Ever since the day of Bill Phillips, Body for Life, I’ve tried to balance my meals by combining a protein and carb. I find it incredibly filling, satisfying, and delicious! It’s as if protein and carbs were meant for each other in every meal! It’s been an easy guideline for me when I don’t have a lot of control over my menu, like our recent healthy eating on a cruise!
What is a carbohydrate?
Carbohydrates, or carbs for short, are a macronutrient that provides energy to the body through fruit, grains, milks or vegetables in small amounts. For purposes here, the only vegetables I count in the carbs food category is starchy ones like potatoes. Otherwise, when I talk about carbs it’s mostly foods that are a grain or a fruit.
What is a protein?
A protein is a food that provides amino acid chains that our body uses to build muscle and other tissues. Animal based proteins include meats, eggs, and dairy. While plant based proteins include beans, nuts and seeds.
Why combine protein and carbs?
Combining protein and carbs on your plate not only provides you with the majority of the nutrition your body needs, but it’s also very filling. In combination, micronutrients from both food groups assist our bodies in utilizing the nutrients consumed.
So, these are 33 of my favorite go-to combos for balancing carbs and proteins for a meal! Bonus if you can add some veggies for extra bulk without making a big dent in your macro nutrient profile.
- Scrambled egg and a banana
- Ground beef with white rice (optional: avocado and Bolthouse ranch on top!)
- Chicken and sweet potato
- Egg on toast or bagel
- Protein powder mixed with frozen berries
- Apple and almond butter
- Tuna wrapped in a tortilla
- Steak and potato
- Orange plus string cheese
- Peaches in cottage cheese
- Teriyaki chicken and rice
- Oatmeal with nuts plus hard boiled egg
- Egg white, cottage cheese, oatmeal pancakes.
- Greek yogurt with fruit
- Hard boiled egg salad on bread
- Almonds and dried apples
- Roasted chickpeas
- Rotisserie chicken in a tortilla or wrap
- Rice cake and peanut butter
- Cottage cheese and beans
- Deli turkey with hummus or laughing cow cheese on a flour tortilla
- Granola on Greek yogurt
- Steak with rice
- Fajita: Steak strips with bell peppers, onion on a tortilla.
- Kodiak cake with Greek yogurt on top and berries.
- Salad with chicken and croutons.
- Pita bread with BBQ chicken
- Fish plus quinoa
- Tuna on toast
- Edamame and Rice
- Shrimp and Couscous
- Roast and potatoes
- Salmon with Quinoa
To make your own combinations, use my portion plate food list and choose something from the protein column, and pair it with something from the grain or fruit column. The more veggies you can add to the meal, the better!