Protein Party

First things first, Vancouver friends (Alison, I am looking at you!), if you are interested in Choir! Choir! Choir! they’re coming to your city tomorrow night!

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I have been a bunch of times now and it is seriously so much fun. There is just something about singing together with strangers (with very trendy glasses) while drinking a beer that warms my heart. Plus, Daveed and Nobu truly make me laugh hard. I liked them instantly.

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It’s quite the stress reliever also. They’re going to be at the Fox Cabaret in Vancouver at 7pm and singing Blank Space by T. Swift. They’ve already done it in Toronto if you want to check out the video…

I like this version better than the original.

You can check out the Facebook event here. Do it while you can!

Okay, just wanted to spread the C!C!C! love. Onto other things.

A couple weeks ago when I posted about Evan and I calorie counting, my personal trainer pal Gillian contacted me and let me know that since I last saw her she received her Precision Nutrition certification and has created an online nutritional habits coaching program (she has a blog now too, and it’s awesome and incredibly informative — check it out here). Basically it’s a program for people who want to learn a bit more about how to eat healthy while reaching their body composition goals, without counting calories or following a meal plan. She asked if Evan and I would be interested in trying out one of her six week long courses, and yes, yes we would be. I don’t want to calorie count forever, I would like to get back to just intuitively eating, so I thought it would be helpful and we signed on up. I also got my bestie Lisa in it and my coworker friend Frances. Motivation in numbers!

Every week for six weeks, Gillian will introduce us to a new nutrition habit, and then coach us through it. We started on Monday and the first nutritional habit Gillian introduced us to was introducing protein-rich food at every meal. We are to aim for 30g-40g of protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner (Gillian has a really great way of explaining things and breaking down protein facts, and she did a blog post about it that you can read here), specifically a palm-sized amount of cooked meat or a fist-sized serving of eggs, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt (about one cup).

When I first read her email about it I was all “Oh yeah, I got this, no big D, I eat enough protein.” But after taking a look at what I’m eating, it turns out that I don’t. Dinner I’m usually fine, but my breakfast and lunch are not consistent in the protein content. I eat oatmeal for breakfast almost every weekday morning, with cinnamon, berries and a banana. It is satisfying enough, and curbs my hunger until mid-morning snack time, but in my half cup of oatmeal, there is only 5g of protein. That is pretty far off from 30g. And sometimes for lunch I’ll just have soup and a whole wheat English muffin or something. If it’s a vegetable soup, like for example I had borscht a few days this week, there isn’t a lot of protein in that on its own.

So, starting on Sunday, I have really tried to up my protein intake for breakfast and lunch. I have zero time on weekday mornings to make an elaborate breakfast (hence my oatmeal), so on Sunday morning Evan and I made a six-egg vegetable frittata, and on Monday for breakfast I just heated my leftovers up for breakfast and ate that with Greek yogurt (I don’t usually like microwave-reheated eggs, but this didn’t have much “spongy lung texture”, in the words of Evan – who by the way has never commented on anything on Facebook ever, until we joined the nutritional habits group).

The last few days I have been adding egg whites into my oatmeal to get some extra protein. If you’re an avid healthy-living blog reader you’ve probably seen this around, but the idea of putting egg whites in my oatmeal sort of skeeved me out so I had never tried it before. I have to say, it was pretty delicious. It tasted the same as my regular daily oatmeal but my oats were fluffier because of the egg whites. Here’s what I did:

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (I use Quaker either 1 min or quick oats)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites (from a carton)
  • 1/2 cup (ish) frozen fruit – either mixed berry or strawberry and banana
  • Cinnamon to taste

I add all that into a container and then bring that puppy into work. Once I get to work I add enough hot water to cover everything and then I microwave it for about a minute (if you don’t use boiling/hot water you will need to microwave longer, and you could also use milk).

Stir it up and you’re good to go! I usually let it sit for 2-5 min. About 17g of protein for mine, much more than before. I also sometimes add a scoop of peanut butter.

I had borscht (beet soup) yesterday for lunch, but instead of just some filler food on the side like the English muffin I would have had normally, I upped my protein with leftover turkey sausage from dinner. And this was dinner last night:

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Chicken thighs tossed in Franks and a bit of butter, cheese and potato perogies with plain Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream, a good swap!), and green beans tossed in olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Bam. 30 grams of protein (MyFitnessPal actually tracks this, so that is very helpful).

Since I have been concentrating on consuming more protein I have noticed a few things (and Evan has noticed this as well): I am feeling more full and satisfied longer (but am actually consuming fewer calories), I don’t feel as snacky after eating…

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^ Less of this

and I am eating protein instead of carbs, which is a win.This, from Gillian’s email, really resonated with me:

Why it’s worth it:

  • Consuming protein can have the wonderful effect of suppressing our appetite, but only if we get the dose right! The amount of protein we are recommending to you is the amount that most adults require in order to benefit from this.

  • Eating adequate amounts of protein will help you feel full (not to be confused with suppressing appetite). This occurs when there is enough protein consumed to trigger the gut hormones CCK, PYY and GLP-1.

  • Scientific evidence consistently supports that adding protein to your diet will help you take in fewer calories overall, which aids in fat loss. Studies have repeatedly shown that when participants were told to eat freely, those who were given more protein chose to eat less than those who were given less protein.

  • High protein intake correlates with retaining muscle mass as we age, regardless of physical activity levels. By keeping our muscle tissue we not only look strong and shapely but we also preserve our metabolic rate and reduce the gradual weight gain with age!

  • When we are losing weight, we want to ensure that as much of that weight comes from fat (not muscle). Eating adequate protein during weight loss helps ensure we are doing just that, regardless of your age.

I like that she breaks down the science for me. I highly recommend checking out her blog on protein, if nothing else. I’m excited for our next habit.

By the way I’ve lost 8 pounds since Christmas. Things are working! I’ll keep you guys posted.

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3 responses to “Protein Party

  1. Congrats on the 8 lbs! I need to lose 5 but they just love me so much and don’t want to leave.

    By the way, egg whites in oatmeal is probably one of the grossest things I’ve ever eaten. I just can’t do it. Bloggers be lie’n! So my breakfast changed from oatmeal to turkey sausage with a hard boiled egg (or egg whites) and cheese, which I take into work every day.

    • That’s weird, it really grossed me out until I tried it, but I didn’t notice a difference in flavour really at all.
      I might switch it up though, I also love hard boiled eggs I just don’t want my entire office to smell like them.

      Your 5 Lindseys will love you forever.

  2. Choir Choir Choir looks like so much fun. I may have to wrangle up a group of girlfriends and head into the city some time to try it out!

    I’m going to try your oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow. I’ve been tracking macros for a while and have grown quite bored of my egg whites and ham on English muffin breakfast that I’ve been eating for I don’t know how long. I’ve been trying to come up with something quick and easy (and covering all the macros I need) so this is perfect timing.

    I’m also off to read your friend’s blog…always on the hunt for more info!

    Cheers!

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