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A couple of weeks ago, I ran the 10K Run for Heart in memory of my dad, who died very unexpectedly of heart failure in July 2014, and even though I consider myself a long-distance runner, the craziness of the past few months has caused me to get off-track with my diet and running routine, and I needed to do some serious preparation before race day.
So despite the fact that I was knee-deep in the chaos of packing, moving, and renovating 2 homes, I found the time to run over 90K in the 4 weeks leading up the race.
I remember feeling incredibly nervous on the morning of the race. I knew I was physically ready to do it, but the event had such emotional meaning to me, and I was terrified I was going to let my dad down.
In the end, I managed to beat my best outdoor 10K time, and while I felt equal parts emotional and invincible when I crossed the finish line, I was secretly relieved I could hang my running shoes up for a while.
Because all of that training left me feeling STARVING all the time, and despite my best intentions to train smart and eat healthy, I had too much going on in my personal life to coordinate my meals and workouts to ensure my body was properly fuelled, and ended up making poor food choices that caused me to pack on over 5 lbs in 4 weeks.
I’ve since spent a ton of time reading everything I can get my hands on to help me balance my food intake properly so I have the energy I need to get the most out of my workouts and not feel as though I need to eat the entire contents of our fridge the moment I get home from a run or session at the gym (my fave is Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performanceby Matt Fitzgerald – I highly recommend it!), and it seems every conversation I have and every article I read is centered around the same theme:
EAT MORE PROTEIN.
Now, I’ve always known that eating more lean protein is crucial for weight loss as it makes you feel full longer and helps build lean muscle, but apart from throwing grilled chicken on top of a salad or reaching for a spoonful of peanut butter or a handful of trail mix, I’ve never been particularly good at figuring out what the best high protein snacks are to grab pre- or post-workout, or when I’m on the go and need a pick-me-up.
So last weekend I set aside a couple of hours to put together a proper workout and exercise plan to ensure I started the week off on the right foot, and I found so many great high protein snack ideas online that for the first time in my life, I had TOO MANY ideas to choose from.
And since I know I’m not the only person out there who is on the hunt for clean and healthy on-the-go high protein snacks that I can prepare ahead of time to ensure I don’t make poor food choices when I’m hungry, I decided to share my faves with all of you.
Some of these take next to no time to prepare, while others are a bit more complicated, but all of them will satisfy your hunger and help with your weight loss goals. I’ve included a wide variety of ideas – low-carb, vegetarian, gluten-free – as well as options for kids, pregnancy, etc.
1. Apple with 2 tablespoons almond butter
2. Skinny bell pepper nacho boats
3. Avocado on whole wheat toast
4. High protein energy balls
5. Chocolate milk
6. Ham quiche cups
7. PB2 protein power balls
8. Oatmeal and banana
9. Crispy oven-baked falafels
10. Celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins
11. No-bake grain-free protein bars
12. Apple and protein cookies
13. Carrot sticks and hummus
14. One minute healthy cookie dough balls
15. Greek yogurt and berries
16. Blueberry yogurt protein bites
17. Cucumber tuna bites
18. Cottage cheese and berries
19. Oatmeal pistachio strawberry breakfast bars
20. Beef jerky
21. No bake pumpkin cheesecake bites
22. Lemon poppyseed energy bites
23. 2 hard boiled eggs
24. The ultimate 1 minute protein brownie
25. Trail mix.