Thursday, March 10, 2011

Readers Request: Why Protein?

Hey everyone!! So I have had a few comments and emails asking me about protein. So here is some info about protein from what I know and why it is essential in our diet.

Let me start off by explaining protein. Protein is made up of building blocks known as amino acids. 75% of our body is made up of protein, Our hair, skin, nails, and body tissues aka. MUSCLES.

Now, are you going to become buff, crazy, huge, if you follow a high protein diet? 
---H no.  A high protein diet that consist of lean meat, protein supplements, quinoa, legumes, and nuts can actually help you burn fat, lose weight and achieve those long and lean muscles that we love.

There are 2 types of protein complete proteins and incomplete protein?
Complete protein is built up of lean meats such as chicken, eggs, pork, steaks, fish, cheese etc. these all contain the essential amino acids to create a new protein.
Incomplete protein are legumes, grains, nuts/seeds. Which are missing one or more of the essential amino acids, no big deal though, you can combine these to create a complete protein. easy easy, such as, pb and whole wheat bread, yogurt with some granola.. etc. which is how vegetarians get it every day.
Both kinds proteins are essential to any diet for a happy and healthy life.

When is the best time to eat protein?
--ANYTIME!! all the time..  There should be some sort of protein in EVERY meal of your day. For example this is what my meals look like most days...okay.. just today. But catch my drift.
Breakfast-- egg whites (egg scramble)
Post workout-- whey supplement, 1/4 cup oatmeal
snack-- Almond butter/PB with apple
Lunch-- Chicken Spinach Salad
Snack-- Greek Yogurt with Granola
Dinner-- Salmon/Tilapia with Veggies.

I shoot to have some type of protein with every meal. Do you?

One of the biggest misconceptions I hear is that woman don't eat after they workout because they just worked off the calories and don't want to add to them. Especially, woman who workout at night.
BIG no no..
--I always recommend some sort of protein & carb after you workout. RIGHT after. You do not want to wait longer then 30 minutes, WHY? Because protein includes the amino acids that your body needs to rebuild the muscle tissue that you just stressed during your workout. If you wait longer to eat you risk 50% less glycogen to be stored in the muscle. Eating the carb strikes insulin production, which aids in muscle glycogen.
IN ENGLISH PLEASE..Not eating after workout will actually back track your workout, causing your blood sugar to drop,  you'll be more hungry later and eat more than you want. You will be sore, your body won't change. And then you will go workout again. to "work off" all the additional calories you ate earlier.

Do you eat protein bars?

--Yes, I do. But I do not just buy them to keep at home to eat and or as a meal replacement. Because, I love food to much and they do not sustain me long enough. So I will buy them as a treat or road trips, bike rides etc. If I have them at home I end up sampling them cause I'm a halfer.. and eating whatever else and consuming to many calories. If you like protein bars shoot for ones with under 200 cal. and 20 grams of protein and watch the sugar. Two of my favs are the simply thin crunchy pb or supreme protein.

 I have tried others and have not liked the taste of them to much. Not worth it. Just give me all naturale foods. So, overall.. If its all you got then protein bars are great for on the go. But if you have time, just eat "for real" food

Why do I use protein powder in most of my recipes?

--Easy, to make it a complete amino acid. Oats, waffles, pancakes, cookies & cakes!
Protein helps my meals to last longer to so I'm not as snacky in between meals.

Have I always made sure I was eating protein? 

Honestly no.. I use to be the girl who had a brown sugar pop tart for breakfast with a side of sprite..
and Wendy's frosty with fries for lunch.. then for a snack a huge sugar cookie with extra frosting and dinner I would go for a bowl of fruity pebbles.
yes, high school was awesome.
It wasn't until after I graduated and took a few college classes that I became interested in healthy nutritious foods. Haven't looked back since. (dang, those sugar cookies were good;))

Anyway, as you can see I can ramble for awhile.. But please know that this is my own opinion of protein and was not influenced by anyone or any company. Protein is essential in our diet and assists to fat-loss, muscle repair and a healthy diet.

Q. What is your favorite Protein Powder?

Q. Protein bars? Love em? or hate em?