“Foods like chicken breast, turkey, lean beef, white fish, tofu and tempeh provide essential amino acids to support muscle growth and repair,” says Claudia. Think of recipes such as chicken or turkey stir fry, chicken casserole or roast chicken with vegetables or in a salad. Lean minced beef will make you a great spaghetti Bolognese, lasagne, chilli con carne or cottage pie. Make fish pie with white fish and marinade tofu and tempeh to enrich their flavour then stir fry with rainbow veg.
By this Claudia means things like salmon, mackerel or sardines. “Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, oily fish reduces inflammation, supports muscle protein synthesis and enhances recovery.” A simple way to cook salmon is to blast for 3 minutes in the microwave with soy sauce and ginger. You can also include it in a Thai green curry. Mackerel makes a nice salad with beetroot, potatoes, walnuts, rocket and horseradish dressing and sardines can make a tasty pasta dish.
“Together, quinoa and lentils provide a vegetarian complete protein source, offering essential amino acids for muscle growth and repair,” continues Claudia. Cook lentils in a stew, casserole, curry or dal and serve with quinoa to form a complete meal.
Whether scrambled, boiled or poached, eggs pack a punch as a protein source. “They are the perfect protein package,” reckons Claudia, “eggs provide a variety of essential nutrients, including choline, which aids muscle function and repair.”
Sprinkled over porridge, yoghurt or salads, nuts and seeds make a versatile addition to any meal. “Almonds, peanuts, chia seeds and hemp seeds are rich in protein and healthy fats, providing energy and supporting muscle recovery,” concludes Claudia.