Protein is a critical component of the Primal lifestyle. Every meal should be built around clean protein and non-starchy vegetables.
Protein can be a powerful tool along your fat loss journey. It will keep you feeling fuller for longer when compared to carbohydrates or fat. It also helps to balance blood sugar (keeping your energy and mood more stable) and control cravings. Let’s compare 200 calories of each of the three macronutrients and you can quickly see how protein plays such an important part in managing your hunger!
- 6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast (protein) is approximately 213 calories
- 1 cup of plain spaghetti (carbohydrate) is approximately 220 calories
- 2 tablespoons of butter (fat) is approximately 204 calories
Let’s think about it. If I sat down and ate a cup of spaghetti, plain, I’d be hungry again in 20 minutes – max. It wouldn’t fill me up – really – it wouldn’t even come close. And I’d probably be exhausted within an hour after the carbohydrate surge and subsequent crash. And 2 tablespoons of butter? There’s nothing filling about that. A 6-ounce chicken breast on the other hand, that’s a HUGE chicken breast. That’s not a small little pattie. Weigh it out. Six ounces is massive. It’s going to fill you up, it’s going to keep your blood sugar steady and that will help sustain your energy and reduce any subsequent cravings. Win, win, win.
If you have seen my pictures on Instagram, you know that salmon is one of my favorite proteins. Not only do I really enjoy the flavor, it’s also extremely versatile and delivers a ton of health benefits. Salmon is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. It is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which promote heart health, skin health and have been shown to decrease inflammation. Salmon delivers ample amounts of vitamins including fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E and water-soluble, energy boosting B vitamins.
Back to salmon being so versatile….for a powerhouse breakfast I’ll make an egg scramble with salmon and avocado. This fat and protein based breakfast keeps me full, keeps my blood sugar steady and maintains my energy for hours.
Other times, I’ll take a salmon filet and pan sear or grill it to enjoy along side Brussels sprouts or a large salad.
My favorite way to enjoy salmon is as salmon cakes. Not only do they taste amazing, but I utilize canned salmon for the salmon cakes. The canned salmon includes the skin and bones (no, you can’t taste them) so you are getting additional minerals like calcium and magnesium. My absolute favorite salmon cake recipe is from Diane Sanfilippo’s 21 Day Sugar Detox. They are absolutely amazing. I enjoy these a couple times a week, easily. I love to make them ahead and freeze whatever I’m not ready to cook.
Are you a salmon lover? What’s your favorite clean protein? Find me on facebook or Instagram and let me know! While you’re at it, check out my instagram pictures for lots of examples of how I incorporate protein into every meal. Have fun with it and try new things! Remember, not only is protein essential for overall health and optimal function of your body but its going to help you stay fuller longer while managing your energy and cravings!