Gaining lean body mass isn't just about eating—it's about eating the right things. It's best to focus on foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, lean meats, and low-fat dairy in your regular diet. These foods provide the variety of carbohydrates, protein, fat and antioxidants needed to properly recover and build muscle mass.
Many of these foods are both calorie-dense and nutrient-dense, which is exactly what you want when you're trying to gain lean body mass. A great strategy for gaining weight is to find high-calorie recipes you enjoy. If you're looking to add quality lean muscle mass, try these quick and easy recipes.
Blueberry Smoothie Bowl
- 1 frozen + 1 regular banana
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 Medjool dates
- ½ cup frozen blueberries
- 1/8 cup rolled oats
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- Optional toppings: shredded coconut, fresh strawberries, chopped unsalted almonds and rolled oats
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add your favorite toppings.
Hearty Bagel Breakfast Sandwich
- 1 whole grain bagel
- 2 eggs, scrambled
- ¼ - ½ cup fresh spinach leaves
- 1 slice provolone cheese
- 1 tbsp spicy mustard
- Crack eggs into a microwave safe mug and scramble.
- Tear spinach and mix with egg in the mug.
- Place in microwave and cook for 3 minutes (or until eggs are cooked thoroughly).
- While eggs are cooking, toast bagel.
- Top bagel with egg mixture, cheese, and spicy mustard.
Jacked Up Turkey Sandwich
- 2 slices whole grain bread
- 1-2 tbsp spicy mustard
- 3 oz. lean deli meat turkey
- 1 slice pepper jack cheese
- 2 slices tomato
- 2 slices cucumber
- 1-2 slices lettuce
- Spread spicy mustard on one or both slices of bread.
- Add turkey and cheese on one slice of bread.
- Add cut vegetables on the other slice of bread.
- Close sandwich and enjoy!
Double Bean Quinoa Salad
- ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed
- ¼ cup canned Great Northern beans, rinsed
- ¼ cup canned diced tomatoes in Italian seasoning blend, slightly drained
- ¾ cup quinoa, cooked
- 5 cups fresh spinach or mixed greens
- Optional: 2 tbsp oil and vinegar dressing or 1 tbsp hummus
- Optional: Wrap salad in a tortilla and eat like a burrito for a quick on-the-go option.
- Prepare quinoa as directed on package.
- Combine all ingredients (except greens) together in a bowl and mix well.
- Place mixture on top of greens and enjoy!
Cilantro and Lime Salmon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lime, juice and zest
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2-lb. salmon fillet
- Puree the oil, lime (juice and zest), cilantro and garlic in a food processor until smooth.
- Place the salmon on foil on a baking sheet, pat dry.
- Season with salt and pepper and spread on the cilantro/lime mixture.
- Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven until cooked, about 10-15 minutes.
- Enjoy with grilled asparagus and roasted sweet potatoes for a well-balanced meal!
Sweet and Nutty Energy Bites
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup nut butter of choice (I use almond butter)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 cup unsweetened corn flakes
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ cup dried cherries
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Makes 20-25 bites
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Scoop 1 tbsp of the mixture at a time and form balls. Use a small ice cream scooper to create the optimal bite-size portion.
- Once all bites are formed, refrigerate them for 1 hour. After an hour, remove and enjoy!
- These bites are a simple and portable snack you can make ahead of time, store in plastic bags and take with you whenever you need something quick!
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