We all know getting enough protein in our diet is essential for repairing muscle tissue damaged during exercise and for stimulating the development of new muscle tissue. Whether you’re trying to increase muscle mass or maintain the muscle you already have, protein is key. That’s where these meals come in.
Remember: The timing of your protein intake and meal spacing is crucial. Try eating four equally spaced, protein-rich meals and snacks throughout the day. There’s also a “window of opportunity” post-workout, when your body is primed to build muscle—so aim to eat a protein-rich snack or meal like one of these about 15-60 minutes post-workout.
Scroll through the gallery for 13 delicious, protein-packed Paleo recipes for optimal muscle growth that’ll keep you covered from breakfast to dinner and every meal in between.
Bayla Bryski, R.D.N., is a registered dietitian and competitive Olympic weightlifter. She specializes in sports nutrition, weight management and general health and wellness.
4 Portobello mushroom caps, stems removed and wiped clean with a damp cloth
4 slices bacon
1 avocado, mashed coarsely with fork
½ large tomato, sliced
1 large handful arugula
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt/pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450F. Place mushroom caps on parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bake in oven for 7 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, fry bacon slices in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon and allow to drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Add eggs to greased skillet and cook over medium-low heat until whites are set and yolks begin to thicken.
On 2 mushroom caps layer avocado, tomato slices, arugula, fried egg and bacon. Top with mushroom caps.
Using a spiralizer, spiralize zucchinis and pat dry with paper towel. In a large skillet, sauté in olive oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
Sauté diced onion in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in ground beef and cook for another 7 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Stir in tomato sauce and remaining ingredients. Cover and allow to simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Serve sauce on top of zoodles.
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes,
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks,
1 cup red and yellow grape tomatoes
1 cup red pearl onions
1/4 cup coconut aminos
2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 crushed garlic clove
1 8 oz can pineapple chunks (in 100% pineapple juice)
Combine marinade ingredients including pineapple juice (but set aside pineapple chunks) in medium bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade for glazing the kabobs after grilling. Add chicken pieces. Toss to coat and let refrigerate for 1 hour. (If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning on the grill.)
Preheat BBQ grill to 350°. (Be sure to clean and oil your grill thoroughly before using.) Skewer alternating pieces of tomato, chicken, pepper, onion, and pineapple chunks on metal or bamboo skewers.
Grill skewers for 12-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through, turning every 4-5 minutes. Brush the kabobs with the reserved pineapple marinade right before they come off the grill.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined. If cookie dough seems too wet, add more coconut flour. Fold in chocolate chips. Using your hands, firmly roll cookie dough into 15 small balls. Store in fridge.
Preheat oven to 450F. Spread sweet potato slices on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and bake for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and spread evenly, stirring occasionally until softened. Set aside. Add sliders to skillet with a little more olive oil and cook 2-3 min per side for medium-rare.
13 of 14
Yields 1 serving
1 chorizo sausage
2 cups arugula
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt/pepper to taste
Broil chorizo sausage in oven for 2-3 min per side. Allow to cool and cut into small pieces.
Combine arugula, pomegranate seeds, pepper, avocado, and chorizo in a bowl.
Combine salad dressing ingredients in small jar: olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, and salt/pepper. Shake vigorously and pour over salad.
In a medium bowl blend all the ingredients except for the olive oil using a handheld blender. Pour in oil slowly as you are blending. The mixture should thicken after a minute or so. Adjust spices to your liking.
Spread 1/2 a tablespoon of paleo spicy mayo in a thin layer across one nori sheet. Arrange 1/2 of the smoked salmon, cucumber, carrots, avocado in a line down one side of the nori sheet. Lift the end of the sheet and roll it over the ingredients, pressing gently. Tuck in the two sides of the sheet and continue rolling forward. Do the same with remaining ingredients on another nori sheet. Slice rolls in half with a sharp knife and serve with paleo spicy mayo.