If you’ve been a Trim Healthy Mama for any length of time, you already know that having protein with every meal is a crucial part of the plan. God has given us both lean and fatty protein sources, which means we never have to sabotage our S and E meals on account of our protein intake.
Knowing which foods contain high amounts of protein can be challenging enough to learn; knowing which sources of protein are appropriate to pair with S meals or E meals can be even harder. I hope this post helps you figure out what foods to pair with each fuel type to ensure you’re getting enough protein without crossing fuels and stalling your weight loss accidentally.
3 important things to remember:
- S protein sources can only be used in S meals or Crossovers. These protein sources are naturally high in fat, so you’ll want to avoid using them in your E (carb-based) or Fuel Pull meals.
- E protein sources are very few in number. Not many foods are high in both carbohydrates and protein. Small amounts of E protein sources can be used in an S meal to create an S Helper or a Crossover, but if you’re trying to lose weight, you should only eat E protein sources in an E setting.
- FP protein sources are lean and contain little to no carbs, which makes them acceptable in any setting. You could pair them with low-fat, non-starchy foods to make a complete Fuel Pull meal, healthy carbohydrates to make a complete E meal, or fats and non-starchy vegetables to make a complete S meal.
For example: chicken breast in a salad made with mixed greens, non-starchy vegetables, and a light vinaigrette dressing would make a tasty Fuel Pull; chicken breast paired with brown rice and carrots would make an excellent E; chicken breast paired with bacon, cheese, and spinach would make a delicious S.
There are many other foods besides the ones I’ve listed here that contain protein, but I’ve tried to limit this list to those foods that are significant sources of it. The authors of Trim Healthy Mama don’t want us to obsess about numbers, so instead of counting the grams of protein in each meal, focus on consuming a good source of it instead. Your main concern should be to incorporate a Fuel Pull or S protein in and S meal, or a Fuel Pull or E protein in and E meal, or a Fuel Pull protein in a Fuel Pull meal. If you can do this each time you eat, you’re golden!
S protein sources (fat-based):
pork (except the tenderloin)
- Serving suggestion: use in place of beef in recipes; roast in slow cooker; bacon and eggs.
dark poultry meat
- Serving suggestion: pair with cheese and berries for a quick, portable snack
- Serving suggestion: use in a trail mix made with coconut, on plan chocolate chips, seeds, and nuts; enjoy coconut milk in Peanut Butter Cup Pudding
- Serving suggestion: use in Creamy & Crunchy Broccoli Salad
Full or partial fat Greek yogurt
- Serving suggestion: use in place of sour cream in S recipes; pair with berries and on-plan sweetener for a snack
Full or partial fat cottage cheese
- Serving suggestion: use in Mrs. Criddles White Chicken Lasagna
- Serving suggestion: use in Salted Almond Coconut Squares
nut flours and meals
E protein sources (carb-based):
- Serving suggestion: use in Spicy Bean Soup
- Serving suggestion: use in Colorful Lentil Salad
- Serving suggestion: use in Quinoa, Kale, and White Bean Soup
- Serving suggestion: enjoy topped with naturally sweetened 0% fat Greek yogurt
- Serving suggestion: use in Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo
- Serving suggestion: substitute for brown rice in Easy Southwestern Brown Rice Casserole
sprouted whole grain bread
- Serving suggestion: enjoy as a sandwich with lean chicken breast, Laughing Cow cheese, mustard, lettuce, and a teaspoon of mayo
- Serving suggestion: enjoy with baked Tostito chips or pepper slices
FP protein sources:
0% fat cottage cheese
0% fat Greek yogurt
- Fuel Pull serving suggestion: use as a marinade in Indian Spiced Chicken Skewers
- E serving suggestion: enjoy topped with fresh peaches, cinnamon, and on-plan sweetener
- S serving suggestion: use in place of sour cream and make sure your recipe has another fat source
- Fuel Pull serving suggestion: sprinkle over fried egg whites
- E serving suggestion: sprinkle on 2 cups of popped corn for a cheesy flavor
- S serving: use in Just Like Wheat Thins cracker recipe from the original Trim Healthy Mama book
defatted peanut flour
white poultry meat
lean deli meats
- Fuel Pull serving suggestion: use to make soup with non-starchy vegetables and chicken breast
- E serving suggestion: use to make soup with root veggies and beans or rice
- S serving suggestion: use to make soup with red meat and non-starchy vegetables
- Fuel Pull serving suggestion: pair seasoned tenderloin with non-starchy vegetables
- E serving suggestion: pair seasoned tenderloin with root vegetables and rice
- S serving suggestion: pair seasoned tenderloin with non-starchy vegetables covered in cheese sauce
extra lean ground beef, rinsed
What other protein sources would you add to this list?
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed after reading this summary of Trim Healthy Mama, here’s my 4-week NSI (No Special Ingredient) Menu Plan, The Slim And Satisfied Handbook, to help you get started. It contains gluten-free, sugar-free, high-protein recipes for every meal of the day and alternates low-carb and low-fat meals for the optimum metabolism boost.