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High Protein Recipes for the Active Gymnast

Coaches often tell us to load up on carbs. Why? It's a quick way to get energy, but the downside is that it’s too heavy and hard on our joints. When I sat down with Dr.Axe (the nutrition king) to chat about diet tips for gymnasts, he stressed the importance of staying away from refined carbs because they cause inflammation and muscle tension-- bad news for our leaps and springs! So instead, gymnasts should focus their diet on protein and healthy fats. To make your meal preps easier, I've collected some delicious high protein recipes. Take a look!

Beefy Lettuce Wraps

Ready in 30 min

  • Big lettuce leaves

  • 1 pound lean ground beef ( You can even go for extra lean)

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce

  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons minced pickled ginger (for Asian flavor)

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef and cooking oil in the skillet until browned and crumbly,; it should take 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and discard the fatty grease, then move beef to a bowl. But keep a little fat-- it's still healthy!

  2. Cook and stir onion in the same skillet used for beef until they're soft (5 to 10 minutes). Then, stir in hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger into onions. Next, add green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef-- let it all juice up for 2 minutes.

  3. Arrange lettuce leaves and start filling them with your beefy mixture!

Tangy Mango Tilapia

Ready in 20 min

  • 4 tilapia fillets

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice ( You can even juice it yourself)

  • salt and pepper

  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste


  • 1 mango - peeled, seeded and diced

  • 1 small red onion, chopped into tiny bits

  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced

  • 3 roma tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped

  • 1 lime, zested and juiced

  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

  2. In a shallow baking dish, combine the olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, salt, pepper and chili flakes. The extra kick from the chili flakes is great for your gut! Now, coat the fish with the seasonings in a baking dish.

  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until fish starts to flake. You can check with a fork.

  4. While the fish cooks, combine the mango, onion, avocado, tomatoes, lime zest and juice, ginger, cilantro and salt in a bowl. Stir to blend and set aside until the fish has finished cooking. Spoon the salsa over the fish to serve. The colors are gorgeous-- snap this one!

Onion Smothered Chicken

Ready in 35 min

  • 4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 onion, sliced

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

  1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and lemon-pepper.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook the chicken breasts in hot oil until no longer pink -- about 13 to 15 minutes. Set the chicken breasts aside for now.

  3. Place sliced onions in large skillet and add brown sugar. Stir until onions are golden--about 5 minutes.

  4. Place the caramelized onions over the chicken!

Thai Chicken Balls

Ready in 40 min

  • 2 pounds ground chicken

  • 1/2 cup of almond flour

  • 4 green onions, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seed

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • oil for frying

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the chicken and almond flour (it's gluten-free). Season with green onion, ground coriander, cilantro, chili sauce and lemon juice; mix well.

  2. Using damp hands, create little balls that you can eat in two bites.

  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the chicken balls in batches until well browned all over.

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