Thursday, July 10, 2014

Protein Intake

Protein is a challenge for me. I have been a vegetation for 20 plus years. I log my food intake on my Lose-it app daily so I can pull fat intake, fiber, protein, and calorie percentages pretty easily.
If I can get to 75g or higher of protein I am doing really well. When I first started tracking I was having a time getting to 50g a day. My average was 35 to 40 grams a day my first year of tracking. I have increased that average during my second year of tracking.
Run buddy is so cute ") 

Run buddy talked me into going to a Herbalife weight loss challenge (last year), because I had been struggling trying to get 25 lbs off  I gained in 2010. I had surgery, went through some hormone and thyroid changes and was basically a miserable mess. It was very hard to face the scale at the weekly meetings. I was seeing an endocrinologist already and the doc was on board with me using the shake mix and taking a big calorie cut to just get some weight off. I've had some bad reactions to medication in the past so she wanted me to tackle the weight loss without being on hormones or thyroid meds if possible. I still battle my weight to this day, although I have lost about 15 lbs., I continue to bounce up and down by a few pounds all the time. Seems like every time I get close to my goal weight I bounce back up.  This mornings weigh in I was four pounds heavier again after just getting it off,  (big sigh) so I am feeling a little moody about it at this moment. I am trying to relax and just keep at the weight training, and tell myself next week I will see a more agreeable number on the evil scale. 

I could feel a noticeable difference in how running and recovery felt after adding the shakes to my diet. Herbalife was tasty, but expensive, and had some artificial sweeteners, so after several months on it I started searching for vegan plant based options. The Herbalife challenge really opened my eyes to what I needed to change. When I was running a lot more this past winter I was able to put back to back longer runs together pretty easily using the shakes after a run. 

I found some options for protein now I really enjoy, it's really not all about the flavor with these; although I like the taste, it's truly all about being fuel.

Being off work a few days last week, plus a long weekend for the 4th, sure helped me to have more time to make shakes and clean the blender. I can actually hit  80-90g of protein a day with shakes. My crazy 10 hour work days keep that from happening regularly, but I often make a shake and drink it as soon as I come in from the gym in the evening. 



Recently, I discovered the joy of powdered peanut butter (PB2) - it's so delicious in a vanilla recovery shake. Just add ice water, a banana and PB2 and it tastes fabulous. 

This past year I have added eggs back into my diet, and even tried tuna...yes, the vegetarian of 20+ years has "ruined" her true pure vegetarian status, but I felt I needed to at least try and see if I could find some lean protein I could live with and I liked tuna as a kid. I haven't been able to bring myself to eat any other kind of fish though...I did order Tilapia once but it didn't go down well. I tried some fresh trout over the 4th of July weekend and that didn't work for me either, it seems to close to chicken and I can't get it down, so I am still searching. 

I have been more committed to weight training lately and I hope I will be able to see some results soon. This week has been sluggish for me, just 4 miles of running so far, sure hope I can can get some zippy in my step this weekend. 

Have you ever tried to work on your diet to improve your running? What's your favorite source of protein? Do you make an effort to eat protein after a hard workout?
Thoughts or tips? 

12 comments:

  1. Wow sounds like a real challenge to get all enough protein! I remember you commenting on one of my posts about your tricks for protein intake when I tried to "go vegetarian" for a week as part of a nutritional cleanse I did back in April.

    Good luck with continuing to experiment and figure out what works best for you! It's different for each and every one of us!

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    1. Thanks, I am always trying to find things I can tweak :)

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  2. Great job working so hard to get your protein. I don't put enough emphasis on it as I should. I think I really need to start considering at least one shake a day. I do think a good diet helps my running.

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    1. Shake mixes really are a great option but i do have moments where I just don't want to clean the blender lol

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  3. I am sorry you are struggling! I did not know you were vegetarian. I can imagine it would be very difficult to get the right protein without eating meat. My favorite source is chicken breast. I eat it allllll the time. And I definitely eat it after a lifting session. I don't see the point in lifting (breaking down your muscles) without using protein afterwards so your muscles can build back up. I have tried that PB2 and liked it! I also have more time for protein shakes in the summer, I rarely ever make them in the winter. I have been drinking them this week because chicken was not on sale and I was wincing at the price! OH greek yogurt is good protein as well. The prob with a lot of plant based proteins is that they have more carbs than protein. Like beans and nuts... those are carbs. Sure, they have some protein, but they have way more carbs than protein.

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    1. It has been quite a journey trying to build some muscle. It's getting easier as I find more options, but being at work will always be a challenge. I often wish I could just get some chicken or turkey down, it sure would make life easier. I am working on the weight and I try to not obsess but I confess it's scary as I get older

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  4. Don't beat yourself up about ruining your 'pure' vego status Karen! It shows you are dedicated to your health/fitness by trying different/new protein sources. Protein sources I like are egg whites, beans/lentils, nuts, tofu, and fish (but I rarely get the fish here in China). also, well done on your weight loss! And again, please don't be hard on yourself if your weight fluctuates by a few pounds, this is normal and I think everyone's weight goes up and down on a monthly/weekly or even daily basis (fluid and water plays a big part, as does weight training, with muscle weighing more than fat). Sometimes its a good idea to focus on your shape/measurements and the way you feel in your clothes (ie. same fit, looser, tighter), rather than the dreaded number on the scale. I think you are going brilliantly Karen!! Oh yeah, those protein powders for fuel and upping your protein are a great idea, and I love how detailed you are re: knowing how much protein you're getting each day.

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    1. I know I shouldn't live by the scale but it's still hard. I do check measurements and thankfully they did improve lol or I would be a basket case. My logging seems obsessive at times but it is good to know, it really helps my doctor to be able to see it when we talk :)

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  5. I have never heard of PB2 but it sounds like something I would love. I really can't imagine there is a form of peanut butter I wouldn't like :)

    So many of us have or do struggle with our weight. When you see the scale tip a few degrees in either direction I think it's important to just remind yourself of the goals you are achieving (weight lifting, running, at work, with family, etc.) and remember that with balance everything will stay in check in the long term. Plus, you have been doing some serious weight training, maybe it's muscle?

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    1. PB2 is so tasty! Do you have a good foods near you? If you eat yogurt you would probably like it in that also. I wish I could just feel confident and not worry! But that last about an hour then the worry returns lol I was very weak when I started training but it could be muscle

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  6. Sorry you are struggling but I am sure you will succeed in reaching your goal.
    No particular diet here: when I was a runner pasta was the main source of carbohydrates and proteins in bars/beans or cheese because I don't like the eat the poor animals. Now I only pay attention not to put on weight eating more vegetables.

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    1. A man after my own heart :) I have a very hard time eating animals, hence my decision.

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