Protein is the basic machinery of your cells. We need to ingest it daily to ensure the amino acids, contained within, can be converted into ENERGY. We can store fat in fat cells, but we cannot store amino acids for later use…As we ingest each amino acid, we convert it as FUEL. As humans, we require FUEL every day…
This is why I often post recipes, centered around PROTEIN!
It is vital for your health, energy, stamina, and to support weight loss goals.
Balanced Beauty sources of protein:
- Lean Turkey
- Lean Meat
- 1-2% Cottage Cheese
- Reduced Fat Cheese
- Green Yogurt
- Brown Rice & Beans (together make complete, vegetarian protein)
- Almond, Peanut, Cashew Butters
- Tofu/Edamame/ (I personally keep soy products to a minimum- It contains isoflavones, which can act like estrogen in the body. Women with high risk of breast cancer (for example) should avoid too much in their diet).
- GREENS! Don’t forget, greens like KALE count and are SUPER FOODS to fuel your body!
How much Protein do I need?
For women aged 19 and over, the recommended dietary intake is 46 grams of protein per day. For men 19 and over, the recommended dietary intake is 54 grams of protein per day.
During pregnancy, women need 50 grams of protein per day and women who are lactating need 60 grams of protein per day. Note: when training for an athletic challenge, your daily recommended dose for protein is increased.
Chicken is a high protein food, that can be cost effective and easy to prepare in many different ways.
Below is one of my favorite chicken recipes, which is high in flavor and protein but low in fat and calories!
Chicken Cacciatore Bowl (Gluten Free)
I recommend cooking in slow cooker. This allows for flavorful, tender meat (Makes 6-8 servings).
- 12 ounces onion, peeled and cut vertically into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 green bell pepper, cored/seeded, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 red bell pepper, cored/seeded, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 yellow pepper, cored/seeded, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 cans (15 oz) diced tomatoes, drain/discard juice from can
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 skinless chicken thighs or chicken breast (skin/fat removed)
- 1/2 cup gluten-free all purpose four (gluten free section of any market)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces portobello mushrooms, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 bay leaf
- Place onions, peppers, garlic, drained tomatoes, tomato paste, white wine, oregano, basil, salt and pepper into large bowl. Toss gently to combine ingredients.
- Toss chicken in gluten free all purpose flour to coat lightly
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in pan, over medium high heat. Add chicken to cook evenly, until browned. Transfer to plate.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in pan, over medium high heat. Add portobello mushrooms, until browned on each side. Add these into the large bowl, with other ingredients/veggies.
- Arrange 1/2 chicken in slow cooker pot. Top with half vegetable mixture. Arrange remaining chicken, then remaining veggies. The idea is to have layers.
- Tuck bay lead into the center of the mixture.
- Cover and set time of cooker to 8 hours. Cook on low.
- Discard bay leaf when/before serving– Enjoy!
*Pour into bowls and eat as is (Chicken & Veggie Bowls) OR serve over gluten-free pasta, brown rice, or quinoa!