If you really want to build lean muscle, it is essential that you start by including muscle building foods in your daily diet. Time to stock your kitchen, folks! Here is the best place to start: Grass Fed Beef: Beef contains protein, cholesterol, zinc, B vitamins and iron which are all important in building lean muscle. Beef from grass-fed cattle have much higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than conventionally raised cattle, which gives you a boost in shedding body fat and building lean muscle. Beets: Beets are a great source of betaine, also called trimethylglycine. This nutrient enhances liver and joint repair, and has also been shown to increase strength and power. Brown Rice: Because this is a slow digesting grain, it can provide you longer lasting energy throughout the day and your workout. Brown rice also can help boost your growth hormone (GH) levels, which are critical for encouraging lean muscle growth, fat loss and strength gains. Oranges: When eaten before workouts, oranges can help to boost muscle growth, strength and endurance Cantaloupe: This fruit is a fast digesting carb. This makes it an ideal fruit for first thing in the morning after the night's fast or immediately following a workout. Cottage Cheese: Having lots of the protein casein, cottage cheese is a great go-to protein. Casein protein is the slowest-digesting protein you can eat, meaning it prevents your muscles from being used as an energy source while you fast during the night. Eggs: Eggs are a perfect protein but that isn't the only reason they are good for lean muscle building. Many people find help in the yolks where all the cholesterol is found. If you’re worried about your cholesterol shooting up from eating the yolks, cholesterol from eggs has been shown to decrease the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol particles associated with atherosclerosis. Organic Milk: Milk has both casein and whey as well as the amino acid glutamine. And organic milk has about 70% more omega 3s than conventional milk. Quinoa: One of my all time favourite things to eat, quinoa is a complete protein and a slow digesting carb. Quinoa has been linked with an increase in insulinlike growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels, an important factor associated with lean muscle and strength gains. Wonka Pixy Stix: Yup. You read that correctly. Pixy Stix contain dextrose which means this carb doesn't even need to be digested. It goes directly to the blood stream and straight to the muscles for a speedy recovery post workout. Spinach: An excellent source of glutamine, spinach can also increase strength and endurance. Apples: Making apples your pre workout carb source is a really great idea because the specific polyphenols in apples are great at burning fat, increasing muscle strength and preventing muscle fatigue. Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt has more protein and fewer carbs than regular yogurt and is another great source of the casein protein. Ezekial 4:9 Bread: Ezekiel bread is made from organic sprouted whole grains. Because it contains grains and legumes, the bread is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine of the amino acids your body can’t produce on its own — the ones needed for lean muscle growth. Wheat Germ: Wheat germ is full of zinc, iron, selenium, potassium and B vitamins, high in fiber and protein. It also contains branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), arginine and glutamine. This makes it a great pre work out snack as it is a slow digesting carb and an excellent protein source. How many of these do you have in your kitchen already?