Protein is not just for body builders! Do I need to say it again? In order to lose weight and get that bikini bod we all keep talking about, you must get the essential amount of daily protein.

There is no need to spend way too much money on overly processed protein powder either! If you do want to get a protein powder I highly recommend getting raw, plant-based, and/or brown rice protein powders. You can find any of these at Whole Foods.

What does matter, though, is the type of protein you are consuming to meet your goals. Each time you sit down to eat; you should aim to consume a complete protein. A complete protein contains all nine essential amino acids. Only animal products such as dairy, eggs, fish, and meat, soybeans, and quinoa contain all nine. Then there are nuts, seeds, and grains. These all fall into the same category of incomplete proteins. Legumes, fruits, and veggies fall into the other category. Getting a complete protein from those that are incomplete is as simple as combining one category with the other!

If you want your booty to be as tight as your budget, there are plenty of natural, whole food ways to get enough complete proteins in your diet. Here are a few examples of easy and quick complete protein food choices:

1 tbsp nut butter on 1 whole-wheat or sprouted grain English muffin or piece of toast topped with sliced apple or banana

½ cup whole wheat or brown rice pasta tossed with ¼ cup garbanzo beans, ½ cup cooked spinach, and ¼ cup low-fat mozzarella, and 2 teaspoons olive oil

A burrito with 1 whole-wheat tortilla with ¼ cup black beans with 2 tsp shredded Mexican blend cheese

Make a smoothie with ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt, and 6 frozen strawberries or a handful of frozen blueberries. Add Stevia or frozen banana for a sweeter smoothie. You could also add your brown rice or plant based protein powder!

 

-Emily Freeman

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