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  • Writer's pictureMackenzie Martin

High Protein Post Workout REAL Foods that aren't Protein Powder

Protein powder isn’t everyone’s jam.

It never used to be mine, and even some of my clients don’t want anything to do with it.

It’s a personal preference and you can totally do without it and still achieve your health and fitness goals.

All you have to do is be mindful that you are getting adequate protein from your food.

Before getting into this, I think it’s important to just express that if protein powder is in your diet, make sure you’re using it as a supplement, rather than a staple. Don’t rely on protein powder to be your main source of protein…you should aim to get most of your protein from real, whole foods. It’s called a supplement for a reason. *Especially for all my people reading this that eat a vegetarian or vegan diet*.

Okay, so let’s get into it.

5 post workout REAL foods that aren’t protein powder:



Oatmeal is such an incredible, nutrient-dense foodone of my favorite foods for sure!

Try this out: Cook ½ cup of rolled oats using 1 cup milk of choice (pea milk is great for extra protein) or water. Then mix in 1 tbsp SOAKED chia seeds, and/or 1 tbsp hemp seeds, a dash of cinnamon, some banana slices or berries, a tsp of pure maple syrup or honey, etc. Or drizzle some PB Fit over top for even more protein (PB Fit mixed with water).

Delicious, nutritious, and a great source of complete protein!


...with rye crispbread crackers or GG crackers.

Canned light tuna is low in calories & high in protein and so good for you. Or the pouches are just as great and you can take them on the go!

Try this: Mix up a 5oz can of tuna *or one of the pouches* with some garlic powder, chopped celery, hot sauce if you dig that, & spread it onto a few rye crispbread crackers, OR *even better yet*, GG crackers. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re an amazing source of fiber, contain only 2g net carbs, and are 20 calories! This will make the perfect low-calorie, high protein post-workout meal/snack!


Another great option for a great source of protein that's low in calories, especially if you're only consuming the egg whites. *not to say that the yolks are bad to eat...they're full of nutrients!* You can enjoy them many ways, such as hard boiled, scrambled, poached, etc.

Try this: Whip together 1 whole egg, 2-3 egg whites, 2 tbsp low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese, 2 tbsp milk, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and any other seasonings of choice. Cook that on the stove top and you have cheesy scrambled eggs for under 150 calories with 17g+ protein!

Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or kefir (nonfat or low-fat)

All three are high in protein, probiotics, and low in calories.

Try this: Have it with some pumpkin seeds, a few crushed nuts, or chia seeds for some extra protein & healthy fats. And to give it some flavor, try a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg, & a tsp of pure maple syrup or honey.


You can make a protein smoothie without protein powder by using spirulina, cottage cheese, or Greek yogurt.

Try this: One of my ‘Morning Macro Smoothies’ that I’ve created for my clients: ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt, ¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries, ½ banana, 1 handful spinach, ½ tbsp honey or pure maple syrup, ½ cup unsweetened plant milk, & ice as needed. Blend all of that together in a high speed blender & you're looking at 20g protein!

It’s so important to replenish your body properly after an intense strength training or cardio workout, so that you’re refueling the muscles that you’ve just broken down.

Protein powder is a great supplement, and great for when you’re in a crunch for time, but whole, real foods will always be superior.

Strive for your diet to center mostly around those and you’ll be in good shape!

xo Mackenzie

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