A Punch of Protein

Have you been feeling sluggish? Muscles sore and achy after a workout or a run?  Or are you even injuring yourself at the gym?  Do you find your nails breaking a lot or your moods all over the place?  You could be low in protein.  You may just need a punch of protein in your day to help boost that up.  

Calories from protein affect you brain; your appetite control centre, so you are satiated and satisfied – Mark Hyman

Signs you are low in protein:

  • Muscle loss and weakness (a lack of protein will signal the body to use stored lean muscle mass which can lead to muscle loss or weakness – meaning… a pulled muscle or atrophy.
  • Bone injury or fracture: Building muscle goes hand in hand with bone density.  A lack of protein is associated with decreased bone mineral density, increased fractures and weakened joints.
  • Slow recovery.  If you find you have a cut or a wound that is not healing quickly, you could be low in protein.  A lack of protein slows down recovery time from injuries, cuts, surgeries, sprains or exercise related injuries. 
  • Weak nails and hair: A lack of protein can have an effect on your nails and hair and even your skin.  If your nails are brittle and breaking frequently, your skin is dry and flaky and your hair is brittle or thinning, your protein intake could be low.  Your body is made up of keratin, collagen and elastin and when these proteins are lacking in your diet, your nails, hair and skin pay the price.
  • Immune Function:  Are you sick a lot?  If you are lacking protein, you are lacking the necessary antibodies which signal white blood cells to fight off bacteria or viruses.  Protein are huge in detoxifying waste and toxins out of your body.  
  • Mood and Mind Function:  Are you grumpy? A lack of protein can mean your body is not making enough hormones to relay information between cells and nerves.  Serotonin and Dopamine are made of amino acids that regulate our moods and happy meters. 

Do any of these points resonate with you? If you answer yes to at least one of these, you could be low in protein.  Besides the obvious of meat for protein, how else are you getting your protein?  Is it all animal based? Or do you incorporate some plant based?  

Top Sources of Protein (in dairy free options):

  1. Eggs: 1 large egg has 6 grams
  2. Almonds: 1 oz of almonds contains 6 grams
  3. Chicken Breast: 1 breast of chicken may contain up to 53 grams
  4. Oats: 1 cup of oats may contain up to 11 grams
  5. Broccoli: one cup of broccoli may contain up to 3 grams
  6. Lean Beef: 1 oz of steak may contain up to 25 grams
  7. Tuna: one can of tuna contains 27 grams
  8. Quinoa: 1 cup contains 8 grams
  9. Turkey Breast: may contain up to 26 grams
  10. Salmon: a 3 oz serving may contain up to 19 grams
  11. Brussel Sprouts: may contain up to 2 grams
  12. Peanuts: may contain up to 7 grams in a serving

Incorporating the above list into your weekly meal plans would be excellent sources of obtaining your body’s requirement of protein.  However, what if you are on the run? Have a busy week with work or family?  How could you get that punch of protein your body desperately needs?  

A quick and easy way is making a protein shake.  Simple, fast, healthy, and packed with protein.  There are endless varieties and recipes you can make.  Some are sweeter. Some are more bitter. Some can detox. Some can replace a meal.  Whichever recipe you find or make, you cannot be wrong.  Pick one that you are drawn to and try it.  Below is one of my favourite protein shakes to make (even my family enjoys them).

Strawberry Banana Protein Shake:

Mix together in a blender or Magic Bullet until you reach desired consistency.  Pour into glass or to-go cup and enjoy. 

Aside: Being a dairy free family, we choose Vegan Protein powder. There are plenty of protein powder options to choose from so choose according to your diet and taste.  Also, if you don’t have fresh fruit on hand, frozen fruit works just as well. 

These protein shakes are not only a great way to pack protein into your busy work week, but also as a post workout snack to help those muscles build their strength back up.  

If you are keeping track of how much protein you require. Here is an example. For the average woman in her forties, it is recommended to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 lbs) of body weight. For a 140 lb woman, this translates into consuming 51 grams of protein per day. By drinking one shake a day, you’d be consuming almost half of your body’s daily requirements.

Do you have a favourite protein shake you make? I’d love to know. Click below to send me your recipe. 

click here for cottage go-to meals

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