I developed quite the hefty appetite in high school as a multiple sport athlete who liked fitting in extra workouts on the weekends. My answer to this never-ending appetite was always lots of protein, carbs, and peanut butter to get me through the day and quiet my grumbling stomach in-between meals.

Fast forward through high school graduation and post-athlete life, and now I am in my third year at Michigan State University. Since I live off-campus, I no longer have access to the ease of prepared dining hall food and have to prep my own food for the day/week. I try to incorporate as much protein as possible as it seems that I am never full enough and am always in the mood for a snack. #swimmersappetiteisnevergone

It's hard to always be on top of meal prepping for the week and finding something that keeps me full enough until it is time for my next meal. My solution: copious amounts of peanut butter!

Peanut butter is something that I have found to satisfy my sweet tooth, and provide me with a sustaining amount of protein (average of 7-8 grams of protein per serving). Natural peanut butter is typically my go-to because it has less additives to it, but any peanut butter works! Pairing it with some of my already favorite food groups: fruit and carbs, I have yet to find something peanut butter does not go well with. These are some of my favorite pairs: 

Peanut Butter and Banana Toast

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Jocelyn Hsu

Toasted wheat bread paired with a generous scoop of peanut butter was my staple breakfast in the dorms, and luckily for me, it was full of protein and kept my sweet tooth satisfied well into the afternoon. The peanut butter will start to melt on the freshly toasted bread, aka, heaven!! Drizzle some honey, a tablespoon of Chia seeds, and a thinly sliced banana and you will not be disappointed.

Apple With Peanut Butter

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Jocelyn Hsu

Not a surprising combination, but you just do not mess with a classic. This is my favorite mid-afternoon snack to get me through to dinner without my stomach growling in the middle of the library. A crisp red apple, preferably honey crisp(!), with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter, and you will be full until dinner time. If you are feeling especially sweet one day, throw in a little bit of Nutella with the peanut butter, and you will be singing with joy.

These just happen to be my main two combinations, but obviously peanut butter goes with everything (e.g. peanut butter and jelly).

With the completion of the fall semester and into spring semester, I have already gone through a little more than one jar of peanut butter, I think, putting me at about 6 jars for the school year so far. A comfort food in itself, peanut butter will never let me down! I'm eating a banana? Pair it with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter. Having some Oreo's for dessert? Dunk it in some peanut butter. 

Now I may not have the most out of the box combinations with my peanut butter, but I definitely do not skimp on the serving sizes I give myself, nor the frequency in which I eat my favorite combinations (everyday). My favorite thing is seeing the surprise in people's faces when I explain to them the amount of peanut butter I have eaten, without sharing, within such a short time frame. I think if you find a food you enjoy having on a daily basis, with a good level of protein, then you just have to stick with it.

If you never seem to be able to satisfy your never ending appetite like me, then peanut butter is your new go-to, my friend. I hope you grow to love it as much as I have. Now I am off to go have some apples and peanut butter!