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Lacking The Protein

by Courtney on May 31, 2011

I’m sure I’ll be paying for it soon enough, but today’s lunch was totally worth it.

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I say “paying for it” because it seems like any time I’ve enjoyed a salad for lunch in the past few weeks, I end up with a total food baby and am all bloated and gross.

Why is it that the foods that are good for me are the ones that bother me the most??

Ok, rant for the day is done…moving on!

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Today’s salad was chock-full of veggie goodness:

  • spring mix
  • cukes
  • grape tomatoes
  • baby carrots
  • red peppers
  • bread & butter pickles (LOVE B&B pickles!!)
  • scallions
  • dried cranberries
  • strawberries
  • goat cheese
  • sunflower seeds

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Unfortunately, I realized about halfway through that I was totally lacking in the protein department, so I’m sure it won’t hold me over too long. I’ve got to get better about that…

After finishing that beast up there, I needed a little something to satisfy my sweet tooth. Remember theeeese?

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I had saved a few of these Lemon Raspberry Muffins from when I made them last month, so when I opened up the freezer and saw them this morning, I decided to take them out to defrost.

It tasted just as good as I remembered. Smile

Question for the Afternoon:

What are your favorite sources of protein for a salad?

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) May 31, 2011 at 2:02 pm

oh i love adding beans, lentils and tofu to salads!! i make a asian cheezy tofu sauce that i just pour over salads and it FULL of protein! its on my recipe page just fyi.. but other than that… beans and lentils are easy and yummy when mixed with some spices!

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2 Dawn @ Blonde on a Mission May 31, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Chicken! Or a cut up turkey burger. And I can totally sympathize/relate with the bloated mess after healthy foods! Why us?! I need to pretty much lock myself away if I have a vegetable-rich day. I don’t understand why we have to suffer, digestively, for the foods that are supposedly going to make us live longer.

Anyways, that muffin looks amazing! lol I just got set off on a rant because I was wondering the exact same thing yesterday.
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3 Katherine May 31, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh!
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4 Parita @ myinnershakti May 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Beans…for sure. And my newest thing is baked tofu – so good!
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5 Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) May 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Your salad looks so colorful, the strawberries and dried cranberries must be amazing inside. I love chicken to up my protein in salads or chopped eggs. I’m going to have one for lunch today :D

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6 chloe @ 321delish May 31, 2011 at 2:27 pm

if you had thrown a little cottage cheese into that it would have fixed the protein situation :)
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7 Cute~Ella May 31, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Chick peas, chicken, tofu, feta, olives, sliced hard boiled egg, string cheese sliced up…lots of options. But then again, I just put whatever’s on hand in a salad.
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8 Lindsey May 31, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Tuna, hard boiled eggs, black beans and chickpeas! I have even started to add cottage cheese which is yummy too!
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9 Courtney May 31, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I LOVE cottage cheese in my salads! So creamy and delish :)

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10 christina May 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm

that might be the most colorful salad i’ve ever seen!
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11 Faith @ lovelyascharged May 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Garbanzo beans are one of my favorite salad toppings, and the protein punch doesn’t hurt either!
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12 Cara May 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Your salad is so colorful! I love to add lentils to my salads, or some chicken, tuna, cottage cheese, or nuts. It depends what kind of mood I’m in.

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13 Kathryn May 31, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Mmmm, I love salads! Wish I had the fixings for one today. When I make a salad, I like to add some grilled chicken or, more recently, I’ve taken to slicing up some turkey lunchmeat.

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14 Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries May 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm

That looks like a perfect salad! I like to add protein with either beans or chicken. Or some grilled shrimp :) And oh my goodness, those muffins are divine! I made them 24 hours after you first posted about them haha

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15 Blog is the New Black May 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I always try to do the chicken thang but I add chickpeas if I need to!
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16 Steph @ StephSnacks May 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I have to say that one of my favorite sources for protein in a salad is tofu! or seared tuna… although I only get the seared tuna at restaurants ;) you’re salad seems refreshing and such a nice mix with the scallions, goat cheese, and cranberries!
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17 Jess (Sweet Potato) May 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I love all the colors in your salad!
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18 Heather May 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Have you ever looked into “food combining?” While I’m not sure how I feel about all of its principles, I definitely agree with some of the basic rules.

One is that drinking a lot of water while during a meal can hinder digestion and leave you feeling bloated so you should try and save water until a little while afterward. Another is to only eat fruit on an empty stomach and not in combination or after other foods due to its digestive properties.

I do not follow this very closely, but it might be worth looking into based on your symptoms. Couldn’t hurt, right?!

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19 Courtney May 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Hmmmm, that’s pretty interesting. I’ve never really looked into it, but maybe I will. Thanks!

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20 Emily May 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I had a salad today (like a lot of week days) and I threw some beans in the mix. It’s easy and doesn’t require you to cook (if you use canned like me). I also like hummus on a salad…or edamame.
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21 Andrea (Run. Learn. Repeat.) May 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm

I love almonds, ground flax, and deli turkey for salad protein!
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22 Jamie aka "Sometimes Healthy" Girl May 31, 2011 at 4:44 pm

It’s so funny you write this because I’m suffering from the same problem right now. I’m starved because I didn’t get enough protein at lunch. And all I have in my cubicle is plain oatmeal. bleh. I think turkey, cottage cheese and egg whites are my fave sources of protein for salads. I like to keep them light n’ refreshing.
Jamie aka “Sometimes Healthy” Girl recently posted..Why I Love Summer Running in NYC

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23 Ruthie Hart May 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm

oh my gosh my mouth is always watering at the site of your salads! I have been trying to get my hubby to start eating salads, I need to show him these pics! We are on a goat cheese kick right now ;-)
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24 Alexa @ Simple Eats May 31, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Beans! I also love adding nuts and of course cheese :)
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25 Veronica (Run Write Repeat) May 31, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I’ll add to the choir that has already said “chicken.” I also love shredded cheese.
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26 Marykate Sinnott May 31, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Mmmmm…Your salad looks sooooo good. I’m craving the fruits n veggies after a very indulgent holiday weekend!
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27 sara @ the foodie diaries May 31, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I love how colorful your lunch is! I wish my salads looked like that, I’ll have to try it out. My salads are too green ;)
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28 Shayla May 31, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Although I tend to get the bloated tummy too, I love having salads for lunch, especially in the summertime! I get tired of meat and beans on my salad, so I always like to just eat it by itself and get my protein source with a side of greek yogurt. So refreshing and takes care of that sweet tooth I always get after my meals ;)

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29 Corey May 31, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Yummy salad! I have a question about the cute little muffin…. How do you freeze your muffins? In what, how long are they good for, how do you defrost them? Thanks Courtney! PS… as far as the protein… I do love a cut up boca burger or some tuna :)
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30 Corey May 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm

And does anyone know how I can get a picture to pop up instead of the little white guy on grey background :)
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31 Courtney May 31, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I’m super easy…they went into the freezer in a sandwich baggie and I defrosted them by letting them sit on the counter. It’s about 110 degrees in my house right now, so it didn’t take long. ;)

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32 Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles May 31, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I love chickpeas, black beans or cottage cheese for a little protein punch in my salads. My husband is all about adding a can of tuna – but I rarely eat seafood. Hope you’re having a great day, Courtney!

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33 Sarah May 31, 2011 at 6:39 pm

That salad looks incredible! And I too suffer from the leafy green food baby syndrome. Something I’ve come to terms with ;)
I really like cheese on salads for protein. You can get a remarkable amount of protein with just a bit of cheese! Canned tuna is a quickie I love too

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34 Kelsey May 31, 2011 at 7:12 pm

I have the same problem when I eat a bunch of raw veggies. After a little bit of research I realized that my body simply has a harder time digesting the complex carbs often found in raw veggies, beans, etc. Get some Beano. No joke! Whenever I’m planning on attacking a salad beast I simply pop a Beano right before and I’m good to go. No gas, bloating, etc. Life saver!

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35 Lindsey @ Cardio Pizza May 31, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Raw veggies always make my stomach hurt, especially broccoli. Unfortunately I just have to avoid em’ if I want to feel good. Cooked veggies sooth me much better. Or like the previous comment, sometimes an enzyme supplement can help! Plus drinking plenty of water to keep things movin’ along!

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36 Courtney May 31, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Sometimes I almost feel like too much water makes it worse!

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37 Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet May 31, 2011 at 9:18 pm

I love putting tuna and lots of nuts/cheese in my salad for protein! And don’t get me started on watermelon and my digestive system. It’s such a great fruit for the body, yet my body just doesn’t seem to like it :(

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38 Courtney May 31, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Really? Watermelon? I’ve never heard of problems with that!

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39 Kayleigh May 31, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Your salad looks amazing! I like adding chicken, cheese, or even walnuts and almonds for some crunchy-ness!
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40 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 31, 2011 at 9:38 pm

I have a solution for you – whenever I eat a salad, I have to have a carb like a piece of bread or crackers. I don’t know why it works, but it does!
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41 Courtney May 31, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Girl, any excuse to eat an extra carb is fantastic in my book. I’ll be sure to try that out!

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42 Amanda May 31, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I like including either black beans or canellini beans in my salads. If I’m splurging and putting together a salad at Whole Foods, I’ll pick up a small salmon fillet from the deli case.
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43 Khushboo May 31, 2011 at 11:15 pm

I had a monster of a salad for lunch yday and I think I spent half the afternoon walking around with a fiber baby gah! Favorite protein sources are dairy, chicken, seafood/fish, soy products, egg-whites and beans/legumes!
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44 Khushboo May 31, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Woops i thought u meant favorite protein in general- haha well a majority of the above :D
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45 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] June 1, 2011 at 1:32 am

What a crazy salad combo. Huh, I wonder why the bloating? Too much fiber? =/ Do you have food allergies? I can’t recall.
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46 Courtney June 1, 2011 at 8:37 am

Mild ones, but my stomach is just always off.

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47 Christina June 1, 2011 at 10:42 am

This salad looks amazing! I love adding cottage cheese to mine for protein :) Sorry about the stomach issues though — maybe drink more water? I find if I eat a huge salad and don’t drink enough water, it kinda just all sits in there.
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48 Shana Powell June 2, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I have been having the same baby belly issues! I love, love, love fruits and veggies but seem to be having a really hard time digesting them lately. I had to seriously cut back my portion sizes and eat small amounts frequently, but sometimes that doesn’t even help. I hope your tummy feels better! It’s not fun to look pregnant when you’re not actually pregnant!

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49 Holly June 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Not sure if you have ever heard it before, but I was told that you should cut the seeds out of the cucumber to avoid getting gas. Might be tmi, but thought you might appreciate it- I always cut my seeds out…and it helps keep salad fresh longer :)
Holly recently posted..Getting Prepped for the BIG Day!

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50 Courtney June 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I actually have heard that before but didn’t know how true it was…good to know! Thanks pretty lady :-D

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