Protein is the key to a fitter, leaner, stronger you—but that’s only if you are eating it right. Unfortunately, most women aren’t.
Not Pairing Your Post-Workout Protein with Carbs
Exercise—mainly speaking high-intensity workouts or strength training—breaks down muscle fibers. You need a solid recovery and nutrition plan to help build those muscle fibers back up to make you stronger and fitter, protein is always the go-to for post work recovery and while protein’s amino acids are critical to helping repair your muscles immediately following a tough workout, carbohydrates help transport those amino acids into your body’s cells to trigger muscle growth.
Not Getting Protein with Every Meal and Snack
If you’re like most women, you get the bulk of your protein at night. You eat oatmeal for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and a serve of meat for dinner. While your muscle probably won’t suffer as a result, your energy levels and waistline sure will. Protein is what keeps your blood sugar stable throughout the day, boosts satiety, and prevents the dreaded 3 p.m. slump. Start your day right a protein-packed breakfast, aim for eating 20 to 30 grams of protein at every meal. See below for my recipe BANANA PROTEIN PANCAKES
Thinking You Have to Get "Complete" Protein at Every Meal
The bulk of plant-based proteins lack at least one of the nine essential amino acids, which is why they’re called ‘incomplete’ proteins. So to make each meal ‘complete,’ many women pair complementary ‘incomplete’ proteins together at each meal. As any vegetarian or vegan will tell you, it’s tedious and cumbersome. and it’s unnecessary. If you’re eating enough of these plant-based foods to reach your recommended calorie intake and eating a variety of sources throughout the day, you’re also getting enough protein and array of amino acids, just make sure you eat a variety, don't stick to the same foods. 5 plant foods with the most protein: Peas, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, corn
Eating Protein from the Same Sources Every Day
While you don't need complete proteins at each meal, "it’s important to get all nine essential amino acids in your diet, plus, every protein source comes with more than protein—it comes with different blends of vitamins, minerals, fats, and carbs. You need a wide array for optimal health, weight loss, and fitness gains.
Relying on Shakes and Bars for Protein
They are crazy convenient, we’ll give them that. But store-bought protein shakes, smoothies, and bars often come loaded with sugar, and many don’t contain all that much protein, either. Some are almost as bad as a chocolate bar... Most are riddled with hard-to-pronounce ingredients you’d need a chemistry degree to understand. Your best bet: Stick with real foods whenever possible. Nuts, seeds, single-serving Greek yogurt cups and hardboiled eggs, for instance, are all just as convenient as protein bars and contain naturally occurring protein along with tons of other good-for-you nutrients. Make your own protein shakes and smoothies using skim milk, greek yoghurt, protein powder and oats.
BANANA PROTEIN PANCAKES
Prep: 5min |Cook: 9min |Total: 14min | Serves 3-4
1/3 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1/3 cup whole grain plain flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1 packet (1 gram) stevia
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 banana, mashed
1/4 cup almond milk
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon Chobani 0% plain greek yogurt
- In a large bowl, combine the protein powder, flour, oats, stevia, and baking powder. Mix well. Add the banana, egg, and yogurt. Mix.
- Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray, then wipe away the excess with a paper towel and set aside the towel. Use this towel to wipe the skillet between pancakes, recoating the skillet with the oil and cleaning away any pancake batter crumbs. Heat the skillet over medium-low heat.
- Spoon about 1/2 cup of the batter into the skillet. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until firm and golden brown. Flip the pancake and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute longer, or until golden brown. Remove the pancake to a plate. Wipe the skillet with the paper towel.
- Repeat STEP 3 with the remaining batter to make a total of 3-4 pancakes.
Nutritional Facts per serving
CALORIES 350 | FAT 3.3 G | PROTEIN 27.1 G | CARBOHYDRATES 79.8 G