Shake it Baby!

Sweaty Stats:  Went on a lil run on Wednesday.  Still in a running and motivation funk…but I’m getting there.  Good ‘ol vacay’s will do that sometimes!  Fortunately my meal prepping on Tuesday set me up for a pretty healthy week. 

Speaking of meal prepping and planning, I feel that I always have my “bank” of meals that I recycle over and over again.  This works for me because it makes prepping and cooking easy with ingredients that I’m familiar with.  There’s nothing worse that buying something new to experiment with and seeing it go bad in the back of the fridge.  Occasionally I get a little adventurous and makes something new-to-me, but I’m a creature of habit. 

Breakfast is no exception.  I tend to rotate between cottage cheese bowls, Coach’s Oats topped with a lil PB and berries, Green Protein Pancakes, and my Enlightened Green protein shake

cottage cheese bowl

Cottage Cheese Bowl

Even though I am not a full vegetarian (because I eat seafood) I always try to get a good source of protein in each meal (especially breakfast).  Protein keeps you fuller longer, and doesn’t cause that spike and drop in insulin caused by sugary foods and too many carbs.   Protein shakes is something that I have always kept in my diet, but always felt weary about over-doing.  I mean come on, I’m no body builder and not trying to bulk up AT ALL!  So where does a normal gal like me draw the line?  In my own opinion, I incorporate more protein shakes as meals (usually breakfast) when I feel I am doing a lot of excercise.  I can’t seem to justify them when I’m doing a few medium effort workouts a week…yes, it happens to all of us!

An article that Fitness magazine just put out affirms that we may not need to overload on protein shakes to make us “healthy.” 

On the one hand:

1. You’re already getting enough protein:

 “The reality is, if you consume enough calories, you’re probably eating plenty of protein.” Most nutritionists agree that active women need about half a gram per pound a day, or approximately 65 grams for a 130-pound woman. And according to the USDA, most of us — even vegetarians — are eating 69 grams of protein daily, so we’re in the clear.”

chicken

Lean Protein Source

2. Protein helps you burn more calories…

“Every time you eat, your body uses up energy (aka calories) to break down your food and absorb its nutrients, which boosts your metabolism. When you tuck into fat or carbs, about 5 to 15 percent of those calories go toward the digestion process. With protein, it’s more like 20 to 30 percent.”

3. …But it can still make you fat.

“That metabolism spike doesn’t mean protein is a freebie. If you overeat, you’ll gain weight no matter where your calories come from.”

But on the other hand:

4. You’ll get more out of your workouts if you pound protein afterwards

“You don’t have to be a marathoner to benefit from a protein chaser. “Your muscles are like sponges for 30 to 45 minutes right after exercise, whether you’ve done cardio or strength training.  Pick a post-workout snack with 12 to 14 grams of protein and about 40 percent of the calories you’ve burned.”

So where does that leave your take on actual protein shakes?  Personally…I will continue to do the whole shake deal when I feel I’m working out hard!  But generally I tend to have a lowfat chocolate milk with 120-150 calories immediately following my sweaty session.   My favorite breakfast shake is definitely this guy:

Enlightened Green Shake

So basically, do what feels good to you…some people swear by protein shakes in the morning and/or post-workouts, and other leave those powders to the pro’s.  If you are considering a modification to your nutrition and/or physical activity, be sure to consult a doctor because I’m just an English teacher…duh!  Yes, I read and research a lot of healthy living stuff, but that doesn’t make me an expert. Period.

What’s your take on protein intake?
Do you leave it to the good ‘ol fashion food intake, or amp it up with bars and shakes?

 

 

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