Protein. You know that you need it, but do you have any idea how much you need and where you can get it from? If not, that’s normal, because it can be confusing. Let’s talk about protein for a bit, then I’m excited to introduce you to a few new unexpected protein offerings, which just might encourage you to up your intake …
What is protein and why do you need it?
An essential part of your diet (in addition to carbohydrates and fats) protein is a building block used by your organs and body to run smoothly. And each day, we have to continually fuel our body with the right amount of it. When consumed, protein helps you to feel full and satiated, and it also supports muscle growth.
As important as protein is, there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding it. And while I’m not a registered dietitian nor a nutritionist, I do have a general handle on all things food for myself. I know that I feel much better when I eat the right amount of protein in my diet, starting with breakfast. And I bet you do too. For example, here’s a breakfast with more than 20 grams of protein, which I ate yesterday morning …
A satisfying first meal of the day, which was ready in less than a minute. I loved digging into this FlapJacked Mighty Muffin, alongside my usual banana and green tea. Sometimes quick meals are the best, especially on a busy week-day morning.
How much protein do you need to eat each day?
Back when I went to IDEA BlogFest and IDEA World Fitness Convention, I learned from several seminars with nutritionists that people seem to slack on their protein-intake for breakfast, then eat too much protein at night. (For instance, a piece of toast for breakfast with nearly no protein, then a huge slab of chicken for dinner with too much protein. Sound familiar?) Therefore, if you aim for about 20-30 grams of protein with each meal (depending upon your age/weight/gender/activity level), you should likely hit your allotted goal by the end of the day.
The main point that the experts gave us was that you should try to begin getting protein at the start of the day, rather than eating it all at the end of the day. Space it out! Of course, there is no one-size-fits all for protein intake or for dietary choices, so if what you’re doing isn’t working for you, seek out the help of a nutritionist or registered dietitian.
What type of foods include protein?
Although it may seem simple for those of us who spend a lot of time researching and talking about food to know where to find protein, it’s not for everyone. In case you need a little more information, here’s a look at some foods that contain high amounts of protein …
- Meats, such as chicken, turkey, beef, pork and ham
- Fish, such as anchovies, tuna, salmon, sardines and halibut
- Eggs (the perfect protein, in my opinion)
- Dairy and soy milk (not so much with almond milk)
- Cheese (especially Swiss cheese)
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Lentils, edamame and beans (especially navy beans)
- Some grains, like quinoa and soba noodles
- Protein powders
Some of my favorites include salmon, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and protein powders. And while it’s best to get most of your protein intake from real-food sources, there are always times that you want a quick and convenient snack or meal. That’s where we get to that new offering, making it even easier for you to get your protein each day …
Introducing the Vitamin Shoppe’s new “Protein Pantry”
As part of a campaign with FitFluential, I’m excited to help announce a brand new product category from the folks at Vitamin Shoppe all about protein. In almost 700 stores around the nation and online at VitaminShoppe.com you can now peruse the “Protein Pantry,” which is a curated selection of about 40 special protein-packed goodies, ranging from protein-infused nut butters, to pancakes mixes and more.
There’s just too much goodness in this photo, featuring all of the products I received to test out from the “Protein Pantry.” I’ve eaten some of it, and the rest is filling up my own pantry and making me happy.
Many people think that nut butters (like peanut butter and almond butter) have a lot of protein, but really the average jar doesn’t have even half the amount of protein per serving as Greek yogurt. However, the “Protein Pantry” includes some newer protein-infused nut butters, which feature extra protein, and thus make great additions to your breakfast, lunch, dessert or snacks to help up your intake. For instance, I’m totally loving the following spreads and have been putting them on apple slices and rice cakes …
- Buff Bake White Chocolate Protein Peanut Spread
- P28 Caramel Turtle High Protein Cashew Spread
- D’s Naturals Chocolate Fudge Cake Batter
The other cool products available in the “Protein Pantry” include all the many high-protein pancake and waffle mixes from AboutTime and Mancakes (what a name!), featuring flavors like Cinnamon Oat, Chocolate, Buttermilk, Maple Bacon and more. These mixes make it super easy for you to create a filling pancake or waffle, without all the mess and prep of making the batter from scratch — something I can get behind.
Moral of the story, make sure you’re getting enough protein, while also staying true to whatever your specific calories needs are depending on your age/height/weight/gender/activity level/etc. And if you’re in need of some unique and tasty high-protein foods, check out Vitamin Shoppe’s new “Protein Pantry” and be sure to follow along with the Vitamin Shoppe gang on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too. Eat up, my friends!Protein is our friend! Check out the new #ProteinPantry for delicious protein-filled goodies #FitFluential Click To Tweet
*Please note: This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Vitamin Shoppe. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting my sponsors!
Questions of the day
What’s your favorite source of protein?
What’s something good going on in your day?