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3 delicious ways to pack more protein into your day, courtesy of celeb nutritionist Kelly LeVeque


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If you’re all about that plant-based life, it can be a challenge to hit your daily protein target—but making sure your meals are satiating (AKA staving off hanger) is oh-so-necessary.

For advice on how to maximize meal times (so you don’t have to tote emergency snacks with you everywhere you go), we tapped celebrity nutritionist Kelly LeVeque for her go-to methods for constructing more satisfying meals—from smoothies to plant-fueled pancakes.

“A high-protein high protein diet…is great at turning off hunger hormones,” LeVeque says. “I recommend between .5 and .8 grams per pound of body mass [to my clients] to ensure they’re maintaining muscle tone, keeping metabolism high, and staying energized between meals.”

Her favorite way to boost her intake is by loading up breakfast with protein-rich ingredients. “Having it first thing in the morning ensures I’m not snacking the rest of the day,” she says. So to help you avoid raiding the office snack drawer at 11 a.m., we rounded up her three favorite a.m. recipes.

“Having [protein] first thing in the morning ensures I’m not snacking the rest of the day.”

The star ingredient? NOW® Sports Organic Plant Protein Powders, which use organic ingredients like peas, brown rice, and quinoa to deliver a whopping 20-plus grams of protein—without any weird additives.

“I love that NOW has such high standards for quality control,” LeVeque says. “Plant-based proteins have a higher chance of being contaminated with heavy metals. NOW goes out of its way to test for heavy metals and other sources of bacterial contamination, so I know I’m totally safe when I choose NOW.”

Scroll down for 3 tasty, plant-based protein-boosted recipes—plus, shop her go-to powders.


kelly leveque protein recipes

The key to building a better breakfast (or any meal) for LeVeque is aiming to make it “Fab Four”: Her term for ensuring her meals have the right balance of protein, fat, fiber, and greens.

“I grew up loving cream of wheat and oatmeal, so I was looking for a Fab Four version of a warm breakfast pudding,” she says. “Knowing that chia, flax, and hemp are high in protein, fat, and fiber, they’re going to help elongate a blood sugar curve and turn off hunger hormones.”

The best part? The protein powder doubles as a flavor booster, giving your faux oatmeal a creamy vanilla taste—with zero grams of added sugar.

Chia Flax Hot Pudding

Ingredients

1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 cups coconut or almond milk
3 Tbsp NOW Real Food® organic black chia seeds
3 Tbsp NOW Real Food® organic flax seed meal
1 serving NOW® Sports Organic Vanilla Plant Protein Powder

Optional toppings

4 Tbsp NOW Real Food® raw pecans, chopped
2 Tbsp NOW Real Food® organic hemp seed hearts
1/4 cup mixed fresh berries

1. In a medium nonstick fry pan on medium heat, add one tablespoon of coconut oil, one cup of coconut milk, chia seeds, and flax seed meal. With a silicon spatula or wooden spoon, continuously stir all ingredients until pudding is thick (about three minutes).

2. Pour warm pudding into a bowl, and top with nuts, hemp seeds, coconut milk, and berries. Serve warm.


kelly leveque protein recipes

There’s nothing quite like a Sunday-morning pancake breakfast, but this plant-packed variation will keep you energized (so your quick afternoon nap doesn’t turn into an all-day snooze sesh).

“This is another childhood favorite in a hunger-calming combination,” LeVeque says. “[It gives you] an option to eat something that feels starchy or carby without the high blood sugar side effects.”

Pro tip: Plant-based protein does a better job of creating a cake-like consistency, according to LeVeque, so opt for the vegan version over animal-based proteins if you want extra fluffy pancakes.

Pea Protein Pancakes

Ingredients

4 scoops NOW® Sports Organic Vanilla Plant Protein Powder
1/2 cup NOW® organic rolled oats
1/2 banana
3 eggs
1/2 cup egg whites
4 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp NOW Real Food® organic flax seed meal
1 pinch salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coconut oil

1. Blend all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

2. Pan-fry on medium heat with coconut oil until cooked through, add your toppings of choice, and dig in!


kelly leveque protein recipes

This recipe takes everything you love about your favorite green juice, but cuts way down on the sugar without skimping on taste. “Greens can be pretty bitter, and the mellow vanilla flavor really brings down the bitter aftertaste of a super-green smoothie,” LeVeque says.

Plus, the protein from the kale, spirulina, and protein powder will easily keep you full until lunch. “[I wanted to find] a super-green, protein-rich smoothie for my raw vegan clients,” LeVeque says. “Something that was clean and full of phytochemicals. And, it’s a fabulous way to increase your greens.” 

Spirulina Smoothie

Ingredients

1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup spinach
1 cup kale
½ lemon, juiced
1 serving NOW® Sports Organic Vanilla Plant Protein Powder
1 tsp. NOW® organic spirulina powder
1 tsp. NOW® organic acacia fiber powder
1 ½ cups coconut water

1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and mix until creamy.

See these recipes in action as LeVeque walks through the protein-packed goodness below.

In partnership with NOW®

Photos: Kelly LeVeque

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