One of my biggest frustrations over the past couple of months has been my inability to build muscle. I changed up my workouts, tried out new activities, nothing was helping.
As part of my shifting and staying motivated project, I decided to take a long hard look at my diet to see if there were areas I could adjust to give me the results I wanted.
I began to use MyPlate to analyze my macronutrient (protein, carb, fat) consumption and was surprised to see that I was only having 25 grams of protein a day; a big problem if you’re trying to build muscle.
Given my current training plan, I should be in the range of 85 – 110 grams of daily protein. Needless to say, I’ve been on a mission to increase my protein intake with healthy, whole food, balanced options. No whey, limited soy, and no expensive supplement type bars!
As a first step, I wrote down a general outline of what I eat on a daily basis, then tried to brainstorm ways to add protein to each meal.
almond milk, berries, spinach
chiaseed, almond milk, stevia, apple, veggies
Grain, veg or animal protein, vegetables
Vegetable sticks, hummus
Future protein adds
1 serving vega shake and go
2 tablespoon nut butter
Some animal protein options that I love:
Cook chicken breasts on the weekend and add to salads, soups, and sauces throughout the week.
Make a double batch of salmon cakes and keep them in the freezer for quick snacking.
Use cooked protein as a base for vegetable dips.
Quick and easy extra lean ground meat patties – 1 lb. meat (I like bison), 1 onion, 2 tablespoon ground flax, 1 egg. Mix and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
Making the changes was relatively easy, but I couldn’t figure out how I could create a high protein evening snack. I wanted something that was:
Could be made ahead of time
Between 100-150 calories
15g protein or more
I tried microwaved coconut flour + egg (so gross), sweet egg omelets (I hate omelets), and even dessert hummus (I just couldn’t get into it).
Then something magical happened…
I haven’t been this excited over a recipe in a really, really long time!!
Finally, an evening dessert I can feel good about eating. These grain-free, gluten-free cakes have 15 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and under 100 calories. I know I’ll stay satisfied until bedtime and get my chocolate fix.
Think of protein as the building blocks of your body. Protein consists of a combination of amino acids – structures that combine in a bunch of different ways to help build and support our tendons, muscles, bones, and other tissues.
Protein isn’t stored in the body, so it’s important for us to eat it frequently, and ensure we’re eating enough of it! If you’re fairly active, the protein that you eat is used to repair and rebuild muscle that is broken down during your exercises and helps to store carbohydrate as glycogen. Carbohydrates are ideal to fuel your workouts, whereas protein is required to rebuild after exercise.
Gosh, I just love these cakes and hope you will too! I enjoyed a chocolate one with a dollop of roasted cashew nut butter on top (mmm) while I worked on updating my FAQ and Training pages last night. We’re getting quite the collection of questions, programs, and workouts, oooeee!
Have a fabulous Friday :)