Last week I started the New Rules of Lifting for Women program and that means extra protein. I need to make sure that I am consuming enough protein to build extra muscle. I am following through with the workouts so it’s very important that the nutrition is in check too – it’s just part of the equation.
Although I need to significantly increase my total protein intake, for ethical reasons I don’t want to increase the amount of meat I eat. That means, I gotta get creative First up – sardines. They are full of Omega 3s and despite a bad reputation, are absolutely delicious. This is my favorite brand – the olive oil is infused with different flavors, like lemon, and really deepens the flavor of sardines. Yummy 😀
I kept it simple this last time – just spread over a whole wheat peace of toast and paired with a simple kale/tomato and feta salad. Not a trace of fishiness. 😀
After going back and forth on the protein powder dilemma, I decided that while processed, natural whey protein powder is still real food. So I stocked up!
Whey protein powder is made out of milk through a process of separating whey from casein, then filtered, purified and dried (more details on the process here). I kind of think of natural protein powder as natural corn tortilla chips. It takes a little while to make corn into chips, but if there are no junk ingredients added, I can justify enjoying some in moderation. Plus, it’s hard to beat the convenience of protein powder when trying to add protein into your diet!
The packets are I bought for “emergency” protein to-go. I also received this 100% Gold Standard Natural Whey from America’s Nutrition (thank you, Stephanie, for sending this to me!!).
I chose the vanilla flavor because I thought it’d be most versatile and I was right. It’s sweetened with stevia and has a real vanilla flavor. I’ve been adding a scoop to my iced coffee and shakes, stirring some in to yogurt and most recently into these protein cookies. I have a not so mild obsession with these!
The “dough” is based on this recipe of granola bars (found through EatingRD) – omitted the pumpkin spice, then I replaced raisins with dried cherries (and doubled the amount) and 1/2c of large chunks of walnuts instead of pumpkin seeds (I followed the recipe as is the first time and it’s also delicious if you like spiced pumpkin!). Each cookie is 1.5 ounces which makes for a perfect pre-workout snack!
These are sticky before going into the oven but super soft and cookie-like once baked. These have incredible texture – they’re soft and slightly sweet. I’ve made 3 batches in the past 3 weeks and just love feeling like I get to eat a cookie before working out but also knowing that these are little nutritional power houses.
If you use protein powder, what’s your favorite way to use it? I’ve heard of protein ice cream and protein pancakes. I think that sounds pretty awesome! 😀
If not, what are some easy ways you’d use to increase your protein intake?