It's all about the gains, bro. You push hard in the gym and know that muscle is built with quality nourishment and ample fuel. It's simple: Work out, fuel up, get big. The right amount of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs is usually enough to do the trick, but some of us require more fuel than others. Enter the world of the hardgainer.
I am not a hardgainer, but I have worked with a few and seen firsthand how difficult it can be to add weight. But, there's hope! With a few tweaks to their diets, I've seen the scrawniest hardgainers become major hard bodies. The best part: They were able to pack on some serious muscle mass while still remaining fairly lean.
Here's one of the meal combinations that I've seen work, utilizing simple and inexpensive ingredients. I recommend using quinoa pasta because it is high in protein, iron, and fiber. I found that, for many people, it's also much easier to digest, which is helpful when you're chowing down on pound upon pound of grub. Now, pull up a chair and grab a fork. Get ready to eat clean, eat big, and grow!
- 7 oz chicken breast
- seasonings: coconut aminos, Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy
- 4 oz quinoa pasta (or wheat pasta)
- 1/3 of avocado-basil pasta sauce
- 2 large avocados
- 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh basil (chopped)
- 1 lemon
- sea salt & pepper
- Remove the pits from two large avocados.
- Pulse-blend the avocados, Greek yogurt, garlic, basil and juice from 1 lemon. Once blended and the texture is smooth, add salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add freshly chopped red onions.
- Boil the quinoa pasta and set aside.
- Season your chicken breast and cook in a nonstick skillet. Optional: To make the meal even heartier, add extra veggies to your pasta like bell peppers and mushrooms. Toss those in with the chicken while it cooks in the skillet.
- Mix 1/3 of the avocado pasta sauce with the quinoa pasta, and then top with grilled chicken breast.
- Add extra veggies like cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Top with 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, if desired.
Serving Size (1 portion) Recipe yields 1