protein power

For today’s WIAW, I thought I’d go into a little more detail on why I eat the way I do.  If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I’m a vegetarian.  And of course, as a veg, I get asked about my protein sources constantly.  However, for me, I don’t find this to be too much of an issue.

My goal with each meal and snack is to have some sort of protein, whether it’s peanut butter, nuts, beans, or dairy (cheese, Greek yogurt, soymilk, etc.).  While I do supplement a little with protein powder, I’m pretty sure I would still reach my protein needs without the protein powder.  According to the book I am currently reading, Racing Weight, endurance athletes need approximately 20% of the calories in the form of protein.  (According to the CDC, the average American needs anywhere from 10-35% of their calories from protein.)  While it might be a little harder for me to reach this goal as a vegetarian, I think Americans typically don’t have a problem reaching and exceeding this amount.  It’s really not as hard as you think it is as long as you make the effort to do it. 

AM Snack + Workout

I had one of my last homemade peanut butter protein bars before hitting the treadmill down in the basement.  I am lucky to have a stomach of steel when it comes to eating right before working out.  I have to eat first thing in the morning because most days I wake up starving and this helps get my metabolism going so I’m not sluggish on my run.  I knocked out an easy 3 miles in about 25 minutes. 

Calories:  215

Breakfast

This is seriously one of the BEST smoothies I’ve made!  It might be green when it’s blended, but it tastes like a Pina Colada – without the alcohol, of course (or unfortunately)!

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  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 large handful spinach
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 4 ice cubes

So refreshing and delightful!  Perfect since the weather is starting to get warmer!  And the added protein powder gives it great flavor!

Calories:  365

Midmorning Snack

Fruit + Nut Medley is back in my life!  Oh, how I missed it!  I might’ve snuck in a little handful of honey roasted peanuts as well.  (Can we say addicted?!)  Plenty of protein AND healthy fats in this snack!

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Calories:  210

Lunch

I threw this chili in the crockpot on Saturday for a quick + easy dinner after church as well as quick lunches during the week.  Our house started smelling like beer – it was amazing!  I might have to make this one again because it was perfectly thick with just a hint of sweetness from the pumpkin ale.

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Pumpkin Ale Veggie Chili

  • 3 cans black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 1 can chili seasoned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen okra
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Schlafly pumpkin ale (or other kind, Schlafly is my favorite!)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Throw everything in the crockpot.  Turn crockpot on to low heat and let cook for 6 to 8 hours.  Top with sour cream, cheese, totilla chips, etc.  Serves about 6.

I have been adding beans to most of my meals lately since it’s much cheaper than buying tofu and a much more convenient source of protein.

Calories:  445

Afternoon Snack + Workout

There wasn’t any Greek yogurt on sale at the grocery store this week, so I had to change up my afternoon snack a bit.  Wheat Thins and an ounce of sharp cheddar held me over before hitting the gym for NROLFW 2B.

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I always like to make sure I have some good protein before or after I lift.  I don’t like plain old protein shakes and I’m usually too hungry to wait until after I lift.

Calories:  250

Dinner

Our fridge is FULL of leftovers, so we are trying to eat them up so we have some room to store things again.  (It doesn’t help that we had a Costco run this weekend and have four 1/2 gallons of soymilk taking up a ton of room.)  I pinned this on Pinterest last week (actually, I pinned it twice on accident!) and was excited to have a chance to make it this weekend!  Typically, I’m not a big pasta person, but ever since pregnancy, I have absolutely LOVED pasta, especially with any sort of creamy sauce.  I will definitely be making this recipe again!

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We added a little Field Roast vegan Italian sausage to up the protein content.  I wasn’t a big fan of it (I was never a sausage fan), but Matt liked it!

Calories:  270

It was an absolutely gorgeous day on Monday, so I strapped MacKenna in the Moby – front facing, thanks to Emily’s videos – and went for a little 20 minute/1 mile walk after dinner.  That’s the longest she has ever gone in the Moby, so I’m thinking we will be doing the front hold from here on out!

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No-Dessert Dessert

Still going strong not eating after dinner.  And I’m proud of myself for not having any sweets throughout the day until my hot chocolate.  So easy too – 2 tablespoons sugar + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder + 1/4 cup water microwaved on high for 30 seconds.  Add 12 ounces of milk or soymilk and microwave for about 2 minutes.

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I added a little bit of this too…

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(AKA cheap Bailey’s) Perfect addition and very timely with St. Patty’s Day this coming Saturday!

Calories:  355

So, what was my macronutrient breakdown?

Total Calories:  2110
Carbohydrates:  256g (50%)
Fat:  72g (32%)
Protein:  92g (18%)

Pretty darn close to that recommended 20%.  Still think vegetarians don’t get enough protein?! ;)

How do you get protein in your diet?  Do you think you get 20% of your daily calories from protein, or do you exceed that or don’t get enough

  • I’m a (mostly) vegetarian too, and am currently doing a vegan challenge, but it’s not too hard to get in good protein with nuts and beans, and I love both. :) That last picture is adorable, we LOVED the moby too and my daughter always insisted on being able to face front so we used it much more than the ergo. So comfy, too!
    Laura recently posted..Grumpy wiaw

  • I’m at the end of a 10 day vegetarian challenge and will continue. I’m surprised by the difference in the way I feel with just 10 days. After finding info on how much protein I need it hasn’t been too difficult finding veg sources. It turns out I was overloading with protein and didn’t really need as much as I was eating pre-veg.

    Adorable photo :)

    I host a weekly blog hop, Fitness Friday. I would love to have you join. A fun way to meet new people and read a lot of great running and fitness blogs.

    Here’s the link to a recent FF if you’d like to check it out.

    [Fitness, Health and Happiness]
    Jill @ [Fitness, Health and Happiness] recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday || Vegetarian Style