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Protein-rich Snacks: Homemade GORP and more
Q: I'm having a really tough time getting enough protein, and I hate seafood, whey, tofu and eggs. I'm getting tired of dairy, meat and poultry all the time; do you have any other suggestions I could try for protein-rich snacks?
A: Homemade GORP, which is shorthand for everyone's favorite outdoor snack, "Good Ol' Raisins & Peanuts" immediately comes to mind. You might consider throwing together something like a trail mix you can tote with you for snacking, including all your own unique preferences. Try adding some almonds (protein and the "good" fats), peanut butter pretzels (I think Trader Joes seems to have a variety, you'd need to check labels), sunflower seeds, apricots, raisins, and low-fat granolas or other cereals for the base, for plenty of complex carbohydrates and protein.
You might also try concocting a mid-day snack including yogurt, fruit, protein powder with some crushed ice, or reach for an Odwalla protein-rich smoothie (they're pretty tasty, unlike some of the other shakes.) There are plenty of energy bars to choose from -- our favorites include Balance Plus chocolate mint (tastes like a peppermint patty) or Balance Gold Plus (tastes like a Snickers bar) -- we take these on all of our climbs. Both are 40-30-30 bars (40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat). If you like to shop at any of the bulk food warehouses, look for prices from $.99 -$1.50 per bar (the $2.49 price for some of the "high-end specialty bars" just seems to be way too much to spend on 200-300 calories!!) Balance bars in Seattle can be found at Fred Meyer for as little as $.89 each; stock up. (Of course, the moment this secret gets out, I'll never be able to find any cheap bars again!)
Unfortunately there is no such thing as a "protein pill" but there are plenty of protein powders you can mix into breads, cereals, shakes or salads. Wheat germ in soups, stews or salads is another possibility, and don't forget the soy sauce in any of your stir-fry dishes! Soy is, after all, a great source of protein, even if you don't like tofu or other soy products.
Dairy, chicken, tuna, yogurt, and low-fat cheeses are also good choices. Nuts -- like peanuts -- are high fat, but almonds are a better choice. Peanut butter (Adam's all natural) is another great choice, spread on apple chunks, celery, crackers, wheat bread, etc. Beans mixed with corn or rice form a good complete protein. If you don't like seafood, but enjoy burgers, you might be able to get by with a salmon burger or veggie burger on occasion.
Finally, the quick and easy way to get some quality protein without the hassle of cooking anything yourself is to buy a low-fat sandwich at your local sub sandwich shop or deli, but have them hold the mayo and butter.
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