I love protein as a topic, especially and an athlete who cannot consume dairy. There is a lot of different research out there about what protein is best and how much is best and when to consume it. So in this article I'm going to highlight different types of proteins and what they do for the body. As far as how much to consume that all depends on your body, your sport, the time of year, the quality of the protein. So it's always best to ask a medical professional when you are going to start changing nutrient quantities in your own diet.
First off, lets talk about what protein is. If you asked the general population, the standard response is "meat." That is only part of the picture. Proteins are carbon, oxygen and hydrogen molecules just like fats and carbohydrates. The thing that sets them apart is they also contain nitrogen molecules, which allows proteins to repair and help rebuild cells. Proteins are made up of 22 amino acids; 13 are made by the body and 9 need to be consumed from food.
All animal sources of protein contain all 9 essential amino acids, but several plant sources contain all 9 as well. Quinoa, hemp, chia and soy are great examples of plant based complete proteins.
A couple main types of protein are Branch Chain Amino Acids, Glutamine and Cysteine. Branch chain amino acids (BCAA) are absorbed directly into the muscle tissue for energy use without having to be processed through the liver first. This makes it a great fuel for athletes to have in their system once the stores of glycogen have been depleted. Some researches believe BCAA can decrease muscle damage if consumed before and after exercise, amounts varied greatly so speak with a sports nutritionist if you want to begin adding BCAA to your daily regime. Included in BCAA are whey and casein proteins. Both are derived from milk and have differing absorption properties. Whey protein absorbs quickly without being metabolized making it popular among weight lifters. Casein must be metabolized by the body before it can be used, which gives the body a steady stream of amino. The downside to BCAA is it's a no-no for those of us who cant have dairy.
Soy has been found to be a great comparable alternative to animal proteins. The texture and flavor lend itself well to most dishes that require ground meat. Downside here is it's hard to find a non-GMO soy product and studies are showing that too much soy can cause issue with hormone production. It is also found in EVERYTHING! So you're probably getting more soy that you think.
Quinoa and chia are staples in my house. I use quinoa as an alternative to rice in almost every dish that calls for rice. I also add it to my salads par-cooked to get more plant protein and crunch in my salad.
Chia has an interesting texture. When you add it to liquid it forms a gel-like casing around the seed. So I tend to add it to my yogurt and oatmeal. In yogurt it gives a tapioca like texture and I don't even notice it in my oatmeal due to that fact that I add nuts raisins and apples as well😉
Like with all foods you want to get a variety. Each food may have its one or two nutrients it's known for, but getting a variety adds the benefit of additional nutrients you didn't know your body wanted.
As always leave your questions and comments below or on FB
See you on the other side!
I reposted an article on Facebook about moms putting on their swimsuits and getting out with their kids. Instead of hiding in the back ground ashamed of a body they aren't super happy with.
There are some days when that is easier than others. Sometimes the negative self talk can really mess with you and keep you from interacting or participating in life.
We can place part of the blame for body shaming on the media: “It’s not enough to be skinny anymore — now you need to have visible ab muscles, super-toned yoga shoulders, a skinny waist and other social media-manifested benchmarks such as the ‘thigh gap,'” says Chicago-based body-image expert Leslie Goldman.
Here are 6 ways to acknowledge the self-talk, work through it, and get past it.
1. Focus on the tangible.
Thoughts are just that, thoughts. Sometimes our perception of ourselves hazes reality. When you find that your are hating on yourself, stop, and focus on what you 'can do' rather than what you 'are.'
I know a common phrase in my vocabulary is 'I'm a hot mess!' Sometimes is jokingly, but others that's exactly what I feel like I am. So, in that situation, take a moment and concentrating on being strong 💪 or what I have accomplished that day ✅ can change the mindset and reminding me of what I can do!
Chances are the things you can do have nothing to do with your dress size. 😉
2. Put Thoughts in Their Place
It isn’t easy, but it’s helpful to reframe the concept of thoughts, which takes away some of their power to make us feel bad about ourselves, says Holly Parker, Ph.D., a psychotherapist at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts, Harvard University lecturer and author of When Reality Bites: How Denial Helps and What to Do When It Hurts.
To help people reframe how they view the thoughts that enter their minds, Parker suggests visualizing that you’re walking through a grocery store and looking at all the products. “Do you buy everything? No,” she says. “You might pull something off a shelf, look at it and then put it back. Try thinking about thoughts in same way.” Not all thoughts are relevant or worth your attention, practice paying closer attention to your inner dialogue and decide what is truly relevant for you.
3. Separate 'Thought' from 'Judgement'
Most of us are wired to accept our negative thoughts without question but scrutinize and doubt positive ones, Parker says. So when you look in the mirror and think, “I’m gross,” it can feel like you’re stating a fact, but you’re not. Being mindful helps you realize you’re making a judgment, not stating a reality.
4. Don't Ignore the Negaive Self-Talk
If someone feels sad and another person tells him or her to stop being so negative, Parker continues, “It’s invalidating and can make you feel worse and unheard.” Rather than trying to silence that negative voice, acknowledge that the thought came up, she says. “Changing how [people] talk to themselves is about promoting more accuracy and self-compassion, because negative labels or statements can feel like facts when they’re not.”
5. Stop Comparing Yourself
I know what I just said about acknowledging negative self-talk, but you need to stop lamenting, “Why don’t I look like Beyonce/Taylor Swift/(insert celebrity here)?”
For one thing, celebs, Instagram influencers, and even your Facebook friends who post “thinspiration” selfies on the reg, have learned how to position themselves in photos just right, so you’re seeing them at their absolute best. Factor in Photoshop, filters and editing, and you’ve got a recipe for body envy.
Every person is on their own body journey, you are not them, so your journey does not and will never look like their's. So comparission is asinine, it's 🍎 to 🍊
6. Be a Friend to Yourself.
We tolerate talk from ourselves that we would never tolerate from another person. Think of it this way, the comments you make to yourself, would you look another person in the eye and say it to them?! Would you call your grandmother a 'fat pig' for eating an extra slice of pizza? I wouldn't (my grandma would whip me with whatever hard object was in reach 😉)
It isn’t easy to retrain the brain to be compassionate and reasonable after a lifelong barrage of media and social pressure about how we look. But, everyday practice will help you become, and remain, aware of how you treat yourself on a daily basis.
If you are working on fitness and/or nutrition goals recognize your progress, even the little wins, each day. Find an accountability partner or group that can help you stay motivated on the days when your self-critiques are la little harsher than they should be.
See you on the other side!!
I have been waiting for this since the original version came out!!
Love my morning coffee and I love my Shakeology. Last year the two were COMBINED!!!! 😍
But, alas, I could not have it because the main protein was whey, and my stomach and whey do not get along 🤢.
I have been finishing up my Vegan Chocolate Shakeology and now my order of Cafe’ Latte’ is on its way 😁
There are a lot of meal replacement and protein shakes available to us now. And the science behind their development has made vegan versions SO much better in flavor and texture that even non-vegans are switching to vegan proteins for the ease in digestion and increase in plant based protein (i.e. Extra veggies!).
I love this product for myriad reasons, the main one is convenience. I get a variety of produce that I don’t usually buy at the store or would have to special order. I don’t have to think about what is going into the blender to give me a great flavor and texture, that has already been done in the Shakeology labs. As a parent, it allows me to take care of me quickly, with little effort, while I am busy holding the fort down.
Here’s a little insight into what goes into Shakeology.
This is the ingredient list for Vegan Chocolate Shakeology. It is a better quality photo of all the ingredients, so imagine no cacao and instead natural coffee flavors!
Every person is different, so their nutritional needs are different. There is never a one-size-fits-all model, but there are always better starting points. Many people forget that you cannot out workout a crappy diet, and a true “diet” is not a temporary thing that you do to look good for an event. A true “Diet” is what you are stuffing in your face on a daily basis. Is what you are eating helping you with your goals or holding you back from what you want?!?!
If you need help getting your health on track, this is a great place to start.
Leave me a comment below or find me on Facebook and Instagram. Let me know where you are at, what are your goals? What is easy for you, what are your struggles? The journey is real and it doesn’t have to be alone!
As always, I’ll see you on the other side!
I don’t know about you but this time of the year kills me!!!
With what seems to be every field trip, party, concert, performance, practice, game all falling between now and Christmas. I am toast. ( and not this 🍻 kind!). The last thing I want to do is cook. Even throwing a salad together seems daunting some days.
Well, I have been getting back to my meal prepping roots, and trying to make my life easier on the days where we have a little downtime. For me, meal prepping includes a heavy use of my crock-pot.
This week we are going to a multi-meal staple, Pulled Pork. I make enough to get at least 3 meals for my family of 4. If we have friends over then one meal is all this meat sees!! 😉
The List: Pork
- 2 1/2 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder
- 1 large onion, rough thin chop
- 2 Dried Bay Leaves
- 1 Can Crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, minced, reserve the extra adobo sauce
- 1 Can Dr. Pepper (WHAT! 😲 I’ll explain later)
- Sea Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to Taste
- 1 small head of green cabbage
- 1 small head of red cabbage
- 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
- 1/2 Cup Mayo (the real stuff not that Miracle whip crap!)
- 1 tsp Vinegar ( I use apple cider, but what you have on hand will work)
- 2 tsp sugar (optional)
- Sea Salt to taste
- Cayenne to taste
- Bunch of Cilantro, roughly chopped
*A couple of notes*
- Adobo sauce is spicy, like spicy-spicy 🌶 use it sparingly if you don’t like spice, but the flavor is Ah-mazing
- The Dr. Pepper is obviously NOT healthy, but the acid helps tenderize the meat and adds a sweet kick to the spicy adobo (I mentioned adobo is spicy right?!?)
- For the Slaw dressing, I like more cabbage than dressing. My veggies don’t need to swim. If you like a bit more dressing on yours just make a bigger batch, it keeps well in a mason jar in the fridge if you have extra.
- Place the chopped onion in the bottom of your crockpot, set the pork shoulder on top
- Pour the crushed tomatoes over the meat, folowed by the chopped chipotle and adobo sauce
- Pour the Dr. Pepper over everything and season with Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Drop the bay leaves on either side of the meat and cover tightly.
- Cook on high 5-6 hours or low 7-8 hours. If you can go low-and-slow with this the flavors are so much better!!
- Remove the pork and shred it.
- Skim the fat from the juice left over in the crockpot and use as-is, or you can add it to a sauce pan and let it reduce some while you are shredding the meat. Put everything back in the crockpot and keep warm until time to serve.
- Finely slice the cabbage, I mean shave it. The thinner the better. Dump it into a large bowl
- In a separate bowl mix the milk, mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt and cayenne together
- Pour the mix over the cabbage and add half the cilantro. Toss well.
- Garnish with the rest of the cilantro, cover and place in the fridge. These flavors also get better with time, so you could make this the night before.
We use Kaiser Rolls or Hoagie Rolls. They can withstand the meat and sauce. Hoagies are also good for kids, easier to hold. When I’m reducing my refined carbs, I skip the bun all together and just pile it in a bowl.
Layer the pork and slaw and enjoy!
As you can see this is one of those meals that can be personalized. Play around with the ingredients to you and your family’s tastes. Let me know what you come up with below!!
As always, leave your comments and questions below or on Facebook and Instagram
See you on the other side!
“EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!”
We have all heard or said the phrase a million times in our lives.
We all know that produce is good for us, but many people don’t always know “WHY”
I do a lot of research when I am highlighting my favorite foods, and come across many articles that give the information so much better than I could write it. The following is a portion of one such article written by Trevor Thieme C.S.C.S. A link to Full article below.
… Odds are you, [like many people, have ignored advice to “eat your veggies” at some point or] for even your entire life. Your mom nagged you about eating your broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Your doctor advises you to “eat the rainbow.” And you likely have at least one vegan friend who wants to convert you — or at the very least replace some of the meat in your largely carnivorous diet with plants. Even Michelle Obama has got in on the act, imploring you and every other American to eat more fruits and veggies. And like Murphy (and most other Americans), odds are you don’t listen: Only 1 in 10 people in the United States eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, according to a report from the CDC.
That’s a problem. “If you’re not eating at least two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables per day, you’re not building ‘foundational health,’ which is key for preventing disease and supporting athletic performance,” says Susan Kleiner, PhD, R.D., author of The Powerfood Nutrition Plan. If she had her way, you’d eat eight servings.
While nutritionists have long known about the athletic advantages of increasing protein intake, they’re only just beginning to comprehend the fitness benefits of eating more phytonutrients — bioactive (i.e., body-boosting) compounds found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and other “phyto” (plant) foods. …
“One of the most exciting benefits of phytonutrients is their strong antioxidant potential, disarming free radicals that wreak havoc in the body,” says Kleiner. “But it’s also bigger than that—scientists are learning that some phytonutrients seem go deep into the genetic matrix, turning on and off genes that protect us from disease development.”
That potential of phytonutrients to bolster the immune system is hugely important for athletes, who often run themselves down through overtraining. “One of the biggest things that holds athletes back is getting sick, and research shows that some phytonutrients can act as prebiotics, stimulating the growth of bacteria in your gut, thus helping to boost immunity,” says Kleiner.
Polyphenols — found in abundance in green tea — are among them, according to Japanese researchers. …
But perhaps the greatest benefit of phytonutrients — especially as far as athletes are concerned — is their ability to fight exercise-induced inflammation. “The nature of training is to tear the body down, and the body is extraordinary in its ability to repair and rebuild its tissues to become stronger,” says Kleiner. “But part of that process involves an inflammatory response — inflammatory cells rush to the damaged tissue, heat it up, and begin repairing it.”
If you’ve ever felt sore a couple of days after a tough workout (a phenomenon known as delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS), you’ve felt the inflammatory process at work. A little inflammation is a good thing — it helps your muscles adapt to the demands of training (and you to become more powerful). “But if you don’t have enough anti-inflammatory factors in your body, the inflammation process can proceed unchecked, which can delay recovery,” says Kleiner.
Fortunately, you don’t have to eat every single plant to reap the benefits; you just have to eat a variety of them, according to Kleiner. “And by variety, I mean not only among food groups, but also within food groups,” she says. In other words, while you might love bananas, Amaranth, and Swiss chard, don’t just eat bananas, Amaranth, and Swiss chard. Becoming stuck in a dietary routine is just as detrimental as getting stuck in training rut.
Click for suggestions on what to eat to stay out of a food rut
In short, your mom, doctor, and vegan friend were right — you should eat a greater number and variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. “And whenever possible, skip pills for whole foods,” says Kleiner. “There’s a lot we have yet to discover about phytonutrients, but one thing we do know is that they’re more potent when they work synergistically with other nutrients in foods than when they’re taken [and working] alone.”
I will see you on the other side.