I spent a lot of time talking about resolutions and goal setting in my last post so today I am going to share some of my New Year resolutions with you. Number 15 develop a healthy relationship with food. This is a really broad statement so let me break it down into my small goals:
- Track Track and Track what I am eating
- Monitor my protein intake
- Only eat when I’m hungry, not when I am emotional or bored
- Eat less processed foods and more natural/organic foods
- Cook at home more
To that extent I have been working on some of these goals for a little while but I took the new year as an opportunity to re-commit myself to the ones I have been working on and start working on the new ones. I had noticed that I hadn’t been feeling as energized as usual but I couldn’t figure out why. Then one day I was in the kitchen thinking about food (shocker, right?) and I heard my dad’s voice in the back of my head saying “make sure you eat enough protein”. Being a vegetarian (well technically a pesceterian, but its rare that I eat fish) I get this A LOT from my dad and usually I just brush it off. Then I posted this yummy Peanut Butter and Banana smoothie (you find the recipe here)
on Facebook and a friend of mine commented saying that I should add in some protein powder. After that, another light bulb (well actually it was more like the grand finale at a fireworks display going off in my head) came on and I was like “Hey Ash, maybe you aren’t getting enough protein and that is why you don’t feel well all the time.” One thing I have really come in tune with over the years is listening to what my body is telling me. I knew by this point, something was wrong but I couldn’t pin point what it was until the concept of protein came into light. So the next day I tracked my protein intake and found I only got HALF of what I needed for the day! By the way in case you are wondering, you should be getting about .8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. If you are working out hard core then you should get even more. So from that point on I really began paying more attention to what I was eating and how much protein I was getting.
When you are on WW you typically count points. In the new system point values are combination of the fat, carbohydrates, fiber, and protein in a food. Generally, foods that are high in fiber and protein and lower in fat and carbs have lower point values. But this isn’t always the case. I had REALLY started to let my food choice get REALLY bad and I was sacrificing nutrition for what was comforting to eat because of all the stress I had been under. Along with this came the sacrifice in protein and the not so friendly scale telling me that I had gained a couple pounds. Hence why I had not been feeling well and did not have any energy.
So, I began a quest through Facebook to find some vegetarian friendly non-processed protein sources. I relied heavily on the pictures of food on pinterest, I figured if it looked good it might be worth checking out. Lastly, I spent some time pursing my friend Courtney’s blog. Which by the way is a really great blog, you should spend some time there too! And I came up with some of these dandies:
Tomato and Goat Cheese Soup – 12g of protein per serving
Combine that with a grilled cheese sandwich and not only is it perfect for a cold day but it jumps up to a whopping 21g of protein per serving!
Blackened Tuna Salad. This was a homemade recipe and consisted of a four ounce yellowfin tuna steak, olive oil on either side to help the coat of blackened seasoning stick, and then cooked on the grill for 3-4 minutes per side (be careful not to over cook!). Layered on top of romaine lettuce with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste.
Granted, I know this is not vegetarian-friendly but it is pesceterian-friendly so enjoy! Oh and I have to tell you, this has about 26g of protein!
Cheesy Quinoa Cakes and Applesauce. Each cake has 5 grams of protein 🙂
Quinoa is an amazing little grain that actually serves as a complete protein. What is a complete protein you ask? Well ladies and gents it is a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all 9 of the essential amino acids for the dietary needs of humans. In this recipe, I actually substituted the cheese listed for parmesan cheese and added in some adobo seasoning.
Greek Yogurt, Almonds, Banana, and Milk
I almost forgot how much I love Greek Yogurt! This is the pineapple flavored Chobani Greek Yogurt (my favorite) and this entire meal has 25g of protein!
I have to admit I did not buy enough brown rice for the recipe so I had to sub in some of the white rice I had on hand. But it still came out to 10 g of protein for a 1 cup serving!
Raisin and Almond Breakfast Quinoa
This was another homemade recipe. Some of you may know I have been experimenting when Breakfast Quinoa lately and I finally found a combination I can eat. This was 1/2c of Quino, 1/4c of Milk, 1oz almonds, 1.5oz of raisins, and 1 tbs of agave (20g of protein)! I tried pumpkin in it earlier this week and did not get the spice combination just right but I plan on trying that one again tomorrow!
Hope everyone enjoys some of these recipes as much as I did!
Stay Hungry 🙂