I’ve been working with a nutrition coach over the past month. My goal is to lose the few pounds of fat that I put on towards the end of last year when I was focusing on my #Bigness goals (by the way, it was totally worth it!)
I’m bigger and badder now, and I just wanna tighten things up a bit! I’ve examined my reasons behind wanting to do this, and I’ve concluded that they all come from a place of feeling happy and content with my body.
I don’t believe that lasting results are possible when our mindset is such that we *need* to change ourselves in order to be happy, feel worthy, or like ourselves…
Those are false motivators that only get us so far and more than a little frustrated!
But that’s a conversation for another day! Let’s now focus on what I’ve been doing daily to inch toward my goal.
My coach set me up with macros which we adjust every two weeks or so to ensure that I continue to see progress.
I like getting reacquainted with my food and it helps me manage my portions more effectively, which is important because I didn’t realizes how low my protein intake was!
I thought I was on top of it, especially because I’m always preaching #prioritizeprotein to my clients!
I guess I needed to take some of my own advice!
Needless to say, counting macros has required me to take note of the “leaks” in my diet, which for me meant the places where I could be getting more protein but wasn’t.
This has proved a very useful exercise because now, I hit my protein goals pretty much square on the nose each day and it’s relatively effortless!
Wanna know how I do it?!? Here are my top tips to increase your protein intake:
1. Make a shake:
I am a big fan of a morning (or anytime, really!) protein shake. I love experimenting with different protein powders to find my favorites. There are so many brands and flavors out there, and it can be very overwhelming.
However, I’ve noticed that many brands have single-serving sample packets that you can buy, so I take advantage whenever I see these.
Some of my favorite brands–in no particular order–are:
- TGS whey (highly-rated on Amazon; unflavored, and blends really well!)
- Quest brand (so many delicious flavor options! And most stores that carry the brand also carry single-serving packets!)
- Six Stars (not the most nutrient-dense option, but reasonably-priced and very tasty! It’s easy to find, too. I’ve seen it at Wal-Mart and Target.)
I don’t think it’s necessary to pay such close attention to what you add to your shake, at least if your goal is just to get now protein!
Your shake should be something you want to drink; not something that you’re anxious about making “healthy,” at least if you’re just trying to get more protein in overall.
Some of my favorite mix ins to make my shakes taste great are:
- Powdered peanut butter (and regular PB, too!)
- Cocoa powder
- Coconut flakes
- Frozen berries
- Almond or cashew milk
As you can see, the possibilities are endless for this option to get more protein!
2. Build a “bro” breakfast:
One of my go-to breakfasts is oats and protein powder. Typically, I’ll do overnight oats. It’s so simple and easy!
All you have to do is put about 1/2c oats in a mason jar; add almond, coconut or cashew milk; and mix in your fave protein powder, then put it in the fridge over night! The next morning, you add your “fix-ins!”
Here are some options that are delicious:
- Fresh berries (I’ll add frozen berries the night before so they soften up!)
- Nuts and/or seeds
- Nut butter
- Coconut flakes or strips
- Chia seeds (add these the night before, too)
- Ground flax
- Chocolate chips
- Dried fruit
If I have more time, I’ll make a batch of protein pancakes. I typically use almond flour, eggs, cottage cheese, and non-dairy milk. I mix everything up in a blender/food processor, pour in 1/4 c serving sizes onto a hot skillet, and voila! “Bro” breakfast as its best!
Top with fresh fruit, PB & J, whipped cream, whatever!
3. Grab-n-go options:
Having some portable protein options is one of the easiest ways to ensure that I 1) get enough protein; and 2) don’t reach for other, less nutritious options when I’m in a rush and feeling hungry.
Some of my fave grab ‘n’ go options are:
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Protein bars
- Protein trail mix or granola
- Turkey ‘n’ cheese rolls
- Oscar Meyer Protein Packs
- Dannon Light ‘n’ Fit Greek yogurt
4. Put a protein bar in your purse:
I feel like the world’s biggest protein bar fan. They’re my #absolutefave. I’d take a protein bar over a candy bar any day (although, to be honest, some protein bars are no more than candy bars with better marketing so watch out!)!
There are so many brands and flavors out there, it’s impossible to get bored. Protein foods are a huge market, so I don’t forsee anything stopping companies from developing more and better bars going forward.
For a girl who gets bored easily and has a sweet tooth, this is very good news! Here are some of my favorite brands, in no particular order:
- Quest (hands-down fave. Quest reigns supreme over the protein bar empire, IMO)
- Oatmega (these are a close second because of their texture, consistency, and flavor. The ingredients are top notch, too)
- One (with flavors like pumpkin pie, salted caramel, and blueberry crumble, what’s not to love?!?
I eat protein bars intermittently throughout the day to help take the edge off my cravings. I like to have a taste of one mid-morning and again after lunch. It’s a treat that feels indulgent, and keeps me from feeling deprived.
I also find that if I have a protein bar handy–no matter where I go!–I’m less likely to overeat or eat something that I wouldn’t normally simply because it’s there because I know I have my bar waiting for me!
While I don’t recommend relying on protein bars for your nutrition needs, they are a great way to control cravings and keep portions in check!
4. Recipe re-do:
OK, this one’s kindddaaaa my fave! I love taking traditional recipes and “protein-ifying” them! Seriously, you can do it with anything!
Sometimes, it’s a matter of subbing cottage cheese or greek yogurt for sour cream. Sometimes it’s adding protein powder to pancake, muffin, or bread mix. And sometimes it’s making protein granola!
I modified this recipe I found on this blog, and it came out so well, I had to make a couple more batches! The add protein bar chunks and endless flavor combinations means you’ll never get bored with this recipe!
If you’re interested in more high-protein takes on traditional favorites, check out my recipe & moderation tips guide, Operation: Moderation! It’s completely free, and you get 9 delicious recipes and my Top 3 Moderation tips.