I'm struggling with my diet because preparing chicken breast is a total hassle for me, so I've been trying to find a good alternative to it, something that would be as easy and quick as possible to prepare and to carry with me to eat at college and that would provide equivalent benefits.

I've read many posts about this topic, but the answers I found have been too generic, so please consider reading the rest to see my specific concerns. If this post shouldn't be here, please kindly direct me to a place where I can discuss this.

What I've been trying to do? I've been trying to prepare chicken breast in bulk for the whole week to eat 200g of it at lunch and more 200g at dinner. The first portion I eat at college and the second usually at home. Some weeks I manage to do that, but most of them I don't because I often get too busy to prepare them at the weekend or because some days it's harder for me to get access to a microwave to heat it where I am.

Blending? I've tried blending the chicken in the past to create a shake, but I was not able to prepare it in a way that made it smooth enough to be easily drinkable, so in the end it was actually harder than simply eating it. If you know an easy recipe that would make it easily drinkable without making one puke, please let me know.

Also, concerning food safety, if I manage to make it drinkable, would it be safe to take it to college and drink it 5 to 6 hours after taking it out of the freezer? I can use a thermal bag, but it wouldn't hold the temperature for too long.

Alternatives? I've seen suggestions of alternatives such as cottage, egg white, protein powder, fish... but would it really be healthy to substitute my chicken breast meals with these? I mean, would I be getting similar benefits or would I be missing nutrients that can only be found in meat?

Cottage, whole eggs, egg whites, and canned salmon are already part of my diet, but not in big quantities—except for egg white.

Please consider this: I don't like tofu and I don't eat "red meat". My animal protein sources are chicken, fish, eggs and dairy products only, so please don't suggest things such as pork, beef, and sausages.

Please also consider the price of your suggestion: I can't substitute the chicken breasts for something that would increase my monthly expenditure on food as I already spend too much on it.

Hear my plea! Please, help me find a healthy and practical solution to stick to my diet, I don't care much about taste, it just needs to be as practical as possible. I've been struggling with this for years, I always end up losing my extremely hard-earned gains every time I slip on my diet, and I'm becoming more and more unmotivated to continue training as I always end up getting skinny again in the end for eating less than I should. :(

  • As it stands, this is most likely off topic as there is nothing very detailed about your fitness program, just "help me with my diet". Nutrition and food safety questions are off topic, help us out with how this is related to your fitness program. – JohnP Apr 3 '18 at 1:04
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    Why on earth do you think you can only survive on chicken breast? A good nutrition doesn't need one specific dish, especially not in such large quantities. Any protein source would be fine really (canned tuna? Whey?). You also don't get skinny by not eating enough chicken but by not eating enough period. It's hard not meeting the protein requirements for maintenance. If you actively lose muscle because you don't destroy the lives of 3 birds a day 7 days a week 52 weeks a year, I'd rethink your entire approach to nutrition in general because something is going wrong there – Raditz_35 Apr 3 '18 at 2:13
  • I'm not trying to survive only on chicken breast, hence the question; I don't consider tuna a good option for my main source of protein due to its high levels of mercury, and whey... well, whey is only whey, I'm not sure it would be a healthy option considering that chicken breasts are natural and have other nutrients—that's why I asked about an alternative that would provide similar benefits. – kaomot Apr 10 '18 at 8:58
  • My lunch and dinner are the meals where I consume most of my protein, and when I have trouble with these meals I am more likely to mess the rest of the diet (despite the rest being very easy). And by the way, I don't want to be fit, I want to be a bodybuilder—ideally eating as much natural food as possible. – kaomot Apr 10 '18 at 9:00

This might get closed as off topic, but since it's related to your fitness goals (hard earned gains, sticking to your diet, etc) I'll give a whack.

For cooking chicken you can use an Instant Pot, toss a bag of frozen chicken breasts in, and have them all cooked in about ~10 minutes. Then just keep all the cooked ones in the fridge, they'll last a couple of days. You can also use canned chicken which is not that tasty but it's easy to add to salads and other items.

Regarding alternatives:

You can switch out to whey protein, or at least start adding it in, because it's extremely convenient and effective. You will miss out on some nutrients for sure, "real food" is better than supplements every day of the week. But if your diet is otherwise healthy and you're using whey to add on an additional ~50 grams of protein per day, that's pretty reasonable.

Supplements should do just that: supplement. You want to have a well rounded diet and then generally protein is the expensive and hard-to-get-enough-of element.

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  • Instant pot FTW – G__ Apr 3 '18 at 0:36
  • As an aside, you can also precook the chicken, freeze it and throw it frozen on a salad. A couple hours later, presto. Cold chicken salad. – JohnP Apr 3 '18 at 1:08
  • Wow, I saw some videos of chicken breasts being prepared with the Instant Pot and I'm really impressed by how easy it is and the fact it looks very soft. This would save me a lot of time, I will definitely try this—unless someone comes with an even easier solution, but that looks so simple that I doubt someone will. Thanks! – kaomot Apr 3 '18 at 1:44

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