Nutrition Tip of the Week: How to Avoid “Death by Chicken”I took my own advice this week and broke out the slow cooker, combining an entire package of chicken breasts with broth, setting it low and slow all day. Voilà! Protein prep completed. . . . But now what the heck do I want to do with all of this shredded chicken? Time to get creative.
How to Avoid Death-by-Chicken
By: BLOC Strength and Nutrition Coach Brittany Snyder
Maybe you’ve heard this advice from your BLOC Nutrition Coach: “Prep and plan a big batch of protein this week.” We know that good nutrition won’t happen accidentally or without planning, so this is a common assignment I give to clients as they build their routines.
Well, I also took my own advice this week, breaking out the slow cooker, combining an entire package of chicken breasts with broth, setting it low and slow all day. Voilá! Protein prep completed….
But now, what the heck do I want to do with all of this shredded chicken? Hmm…. Time to get creative.
I’m in New Mexico, where we love our southwestern dishes, so I always lean towards things like chicken fajitas piled high with bell pepper and freshly made salsa. Or burrito bowls built upon a base of steamed rice or sauteed zucchini, complemented with pinto beans and topped with cheddar. Tacos are a staple around here and never disappoint. But sometimes, I need a little variety, so I set out to find other ways to use this glorious batch of shredded chicken that I now have at my service. My goal was to create a simple but different lunch for four straight days.
Day 1: Kimchi and Ramen
Even my high-school self could handle this one. I cooked up a package of ramen noodles, omitting half of the seasoning packet to avoid the unnecessary sodium/msg, added some shredded chicken and a heaping serving of store-bought kimchi that I keep on deck in the back of my fridge. Easy, quick, and it offered a boost of gut-healthy probiotics.
Day 2: Chicken Noodle Soup
With fall on deck, I threw together chopped carrots, celery, onion, and a generous amount of chicken broth, then let it roll until the carrots were soft. Toward the end, I tossed in some egg noodles and shredded chicken and simply followed packaged directions for noodles. Seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little poultry seasoning that I forgot lived in the back of the spice rack—served with French bread because sometimes soup isn’t a full meal when you lift heavy weights.
Day 3: Asian Chicken Salad
This one required a trip to the grocery store, as I needed the right veggies, but it was well worth it. In a mixing bowl, I combined shredded cabbage, radicchio, carrots, chopped green onions, roasted peanuts, and my trusty shredded chicken.
For a tasty sauce, I combined:
¼ cup powdered peanut butter
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp honey
Dash of fish sauce if you have some
Optional chile paste/sriracha if you’re into that sort of thing. I am. Aggressively.
*A store-bought Panang Curry sauce is also a perfectly fine substitute for the sauce.
*If you need a boost of carbs for training, I imagine this would sit well atop some cooked soba noodles.
Day 4: BBQ Chicken on a Bun
The leg work was done, so I just reheated my shredded chicken, tossed it in some BBQ sauce (Cox BBQ Sauce if you have it! And if you don’t, then dude, GET SOME) and served it on a traditional hamburger bun with a little yellow mustard. I paired it with a crunchy pickle and coleslaw because that’s what Coach Cameron Cox told me to do. And I trust the BBQ experts.
Bonus: Kid-Approved Nachos
I’ve got a 9-year-old at home, so on Friday night, we had fun building nachos, giving her plentiful options like black beans, olives, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, diced onion, fresh salsa, guacamole, cheese, and of course shredded chicken all on a bed of tortilla chips.
For me, I put all the same ingredients into a bowl, using only 2-3 tortilla chips to crush over the top for crunch.
When it comes to nutrition, we all have different goals, and some of the above ideas might support weight loss, while others support performance. Recipe suggestions aren’t always a one-size-fits-all approach. But I had fun getting creative with my protein prep, and I encourage you to do the same. Feel free to share with me your favorite ways to use your prepped protein at firstname.lastname@example.org!