6 High-Protein Cookbooks to Inspire Your Meal Prep
Dine out, order delivery, get takeout, hit the drive-through, or cook it yourself at home — these are the basic choices most Americans face when mealtime rolls around. It can be difficult to cook at home after a long day, especially when you're also trying to fit in a workout before or after work.
But fast food and processed snacks aren't going to get you the results you're seeking. You need proper nutrition to look and perform at your best. Cooking it yourself is the only way to go. Learning how to meal prep and cook with the aid of a high-protein cookbook will put you on the path to success and gains.
Benefits of Meal Prep and Cooking at Home
Dining out is more convenient if you're pressed for time, especially after a hard workout, but it also means you can't exercise much control over your nutrition. If you've decided to focus on high-protein meals, maintaining control becomes even more difficult. The remedy to this situation is simple: plan your meals ahead of time, do the prep yourself, and cook them at home.
Any change in your daily routine that decreases your reliance on pre-packaged foods is good for your health. Switching from a steady diet of restaurant fare and high-calorie processed foods to home-cooked meals, freshly made with high-protein foods, offers numerous benefits.
Control What Goes in the Pot
Restaurants love to prepare meals with heavy doses of butter and salt. Pre-packaged foods tend to load up on sodium and additives. If you prepare your dishes at home, you control which ingredients are used and the quantities of each.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that Americans spend more money dining out than on foods they prepare at home. What you spend on that one restaurant meal could probably buy enough groceries to feed yourself home-cooked meals for a week or more.
Keep Calories Under Control
Keeping up with calories consumed can be tricky when eating out. Because of this, we tend to pack in an additional 200 calories when dining away from home. Prepare and cook the meal at home, and you have complete control over the ingredients and, thus, the calories that go into the dish. You choose the veggies and select the lean cuts of meat. You determine the amount of protein in each serving, making it easier to maintain your high-protein diet.
Meal Prep Is Flexible
How you prep your meals is up to you. You can prep and cook each meal daily or plan, prep, and possibly cook several days' worth of meals at one time on a selected day (Sunday is a favorite choice.) The "one day for meal prep" is a popular choice, meaning you have to simply reheat and serve your meals for the rest of the week.
This routine can be cumbersome at first but quickly gets easier. Once mastered, it helps save you time and supplies you with a wider variety of nutrients, controlled by you, in your diet. When your next meal is prepped at home, you'll be less likely to swing through the nearest drive-thru.
6 High-Protein Cookbooks to Fuel Your Workouts
Now that you've decided to prepare and cook your own high-protein meals, you need a supply of fantastic recipes to try. With that in mind, here's a list of some of the best cookbooks featuring high-protein meals.
1. Healthy Cooking the MTS Whey by Kara Corey.
You'll need proper nutrition if you want to perform at your maximum potential. No matter what activity you're engaged in, your body will need to recover properly afterward. MTS Machine Whey Protein has all the ingredients you need for recovery and growth. This recipe book transforms whey protein into healthy alternatives to "junk food" that everyone will enjoy.
2. The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook by Toby Amidor, MS, RD CDN
Packed with more than 100 meal prep recipes and tips, this cookbook by a registered dietician and best-selling cookbook author is designed to help you save money and time. It offers wholesome options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The meal plans are easy to prepare, quick to cook, and your family will love. There's a good selection of meal recipes designed to build muscle and fuel intensive strength training. It includes meal prep templates designed around two-week planning templates.
3. The High-Protein Cookbook by Linda West Eckhardt and Katherine West Defoyd
This high-protein cookbook is packed with over 400 sophisticated dinner plans and recipes that can go from prep to the table in about 30 minutes. The included recipes are built around lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
4. Body Builder's Kitchen by Erin Stern
In this cookbook, you'll find five weekly meal plans that include a total of 100 recipes designed to focus on nutritional needs for bodybuilding. The meal plans range from salad to side dish recipes, with meal prep instructions for everything from high-protein bodybuilding entrees to protein bars.
5. Carnivore Diet by Shawn Baker
This offers meal prep and recipes for high-protein meals and includes information on the historical, evolutionary, and nutritional science behind the benefits of a diet high in protein.
6. The Shredded Chef: 125 Recipes by Michael Matthews
This cookbook is focused on high-protein recipes designed for building muscles, getting lean, and staying healthy. It includes meal plans centered on nutritional needs for bodybuilders and anyone else who wants healthy, tasty food that won't leave you feeling starved or deprived. You'll enjoy simple, mouthwatering poultry, beef, pork, and seafood recipes. Meal plans include breakfast, side dishes, salads, and snacks.
Make High-Protein Meals a Habit
If you stick with it, practicing meal prep will become one of your best habits. Start with one of the high-protein cookbooks we've listed for you here, and you'll master the fine art of high-protein meal prep in no time! Need supplements to augment your nutritional goals? Check the shelves at Tiger Fitness.