I’ve been getting a lot of questions from friends lately about how much protein we need to get and how to get it all in. Protein is so important, but especially if you are trying to lose weight. The fact is that the American diet is a very carb-based diet and most of us just don’t get very much protein at all. A low estimate is that you need 0.5 grams per pound of body weight. Obviously if you’d like to gain muscle and are an active person you will need more. I shoot for 0.7 grams per pound of body weight. So since I weigh 173 pounds, 120 grams a day is my goal. That’s a lot of protein!
Most people think that if you want to get protein in that means you have to stuff yourself with meat and eggs. While that is definitely an easy way to get it in, there are certainly other sources out there. Get creative! How do you feel about cottage cheese? Yeah, me too. I can only stomach the stuff in small doses. Chia seeds have protein. How about some broccoli or brussel sprouts? Here’s a secret. Chances are the only way to truly hit that protein goal every day is to add in a good protein powder.
I use Precision protein powder. I buy it at Vitamin World. With their rewards card it’s usually buy one get one free, so about $45 for two huge tubs of it. It’s not a bad price. I would typically prefer a plant-based product, but I’ll be honest with you. When it comes to protein powder plant-based usually means chalky taste. This one is a whey isolate so it is derived from milk. I’m ok with that.
After a workout I usually just have one scoop in about 8 ounces of water. Shake it up in a blender bottle and chug. But let me tell you about the treats I make with it! I have discovered that it is possible to make this protein powder taste like a milkshake! Boom! Here’s the recipe that is my current favorite.
Chocolate Covered Blueberry Protein Shake
8 ounces almond milk
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
fill with ice and blend in a blender
It really couldn’t be any more simple than that! I have found that when I get that late night call for something chocolaty this little shake does the trick and I don’t have to feel bad about it at all! It comes in under 250 calories and with all the protein I know I’m treating my body well. Later this week I’ll be posting another shake recipe and a way to make protein powder pancakes! Say what?! How do you use your protein powder?
Overcast sky. Drizzle. Fog. None of these things make for a very motivating weekend. When I got up today, I knew I had to find something that would get me moving. I immediately hit the internet and began searching.
How do you get yourself through the winter slump and find a reason to run? Let’s be honest, the whole “Summer bodies are made in the winter” will only carry you so far when all you really want in the world is a Snuggie and muffin.
Here are my steps to finding winter exercise motivation.
- Pick a really great race. I searched for races that fit the timeline I was looking for and were located in cities I’d love to visit. I narrowed it down to something far south so I could be sure to hit that warm spring weather. Choosing a race in a spring break location lets me build a fitness goal around a vacation. More bang for your buck! So this April I’ll be chasing that sub two hour half marathon goal around the streets of Savannah Georgia!
- Enlist all your friends. After I chose the race, I sold it to all my friends. I called up running buddies and those that aspire to run. What better way to encourage someone to pursue their goals then by promising them you’ll suffer and celebrate together? I ended up with a great group of people to take on this adventure with me. You never know who might go all in with you if you don’t ask!
- Build in other fun. It doesn’t have to be all about the race. Savannah is a gorgeous city. My girlfriends and I will be running the Savannah Women’s Half Marathon, but our husbands will be coming along as support crew. Plan to take a couple extra days for the trip and you’ll have time to really bask in the glow of your accomplishments. Studies show that planning and anticipating a vacation has the same amount of stress reducing qualities as actually taking the vacation.
- Dig out your favorite gear. January is a great time to freshen up your running gear. Lots of stores are having sales and you may even have a little extra Christmas cash laying around. Take stock of what you have that is in good shape and make a note of what you might need to purchase to get you through your winter training. And while it’s all laid out for you to see, slip into your favorite running tights and go!
- Hit the road! There’s no better time to start than right now. You’ve spent all this time making plans and now you’re ready to put it into action. Get out there! If you still need a little help, Spotify has just added a great new feature. You can “Run the January Blues Away” by choosing the adaptable playlist. The app asks you to begin running and after it determines your beat per minute pace it matches you up with a playlist that will keep you steady.
What are your tips for winter motivation?
What city is THE city you’d love to run? Me? It’s Savannah- this is bucket list stuff right here!