Why you want protein in every meal

by Kim on August 19, 2014

Special delivery in the mail today!

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I knew I was going to want some protein powder to help me through the first few postpartum weeks, when energy is low, eating is kind of all over the place, and lots of breastfeeding is happening. But since I recently gave up dairy, I had to bail on my usual go-to (I’ve been drinking Shakeology lately, and unfortunately didn’t get the vegan kind!).

I’d heard great things about Sun Warrior from other bloggers, but so far it’s…just ok. To be fair, I’ve only had it in this cereal (aka the love of my breakfast life), which really showcases the flavor of the powder—maybe I’ll like it better in smoothies?

I also have plans to whip up a ginormous batch (or five) of these energy bites once the baby’s here. (I lived on them when Mason was born!) They rely on flax and peanut butter for their protein boost, and they’re wildly delicious.

Speaking of protein: you’ve probably heard that it’s a good idea to include it in every meal. But have you ever been totally clear on why?

I just started reading the book Trim Healthy Mama, which has a pretty good explanation of protein in it. (I mentioned THM in this post, after hearing the authors on a podcast, and finally just got my hands on the book after requesting it from the library 5 months ago!)

THM

I don’t love every detail about the book (you can read solid reviews that point out some of the things I didn’t agree with here and here), but it’s still jam packed with good info, and the ways the authors describe different hormones, nutrients, and fuel sources are some of the best I’ve ever read.

In one of the early chapters, they talk about how excess insulin in the body is what makes us fat. It’s no secret that our modern industrialized diets tend to come with too much sugar and carbs, and not enough protein and fat (specifically, the kind of fat that doesn’t come with a bunch of sugar and carbs).

But what exactly is it about protein that makes it so critical to our health?

Well, protein helps keep blood sugar in a healthy range, which saves the pancreas from having to release a bunch of extra insulin to bring skyrocketing blood sugar levels under control.

Ok, but how does it do that?

The Trim Healthy Mama book explains it like this…

“Protein causes the body to release glucagon, a hormone that helps counteract the more hazardous side of insulin. Glucagon helps to halt insulin’s stimulation of fat synthesis. [Storing glucose in fat cells as fat, rather than burning it up for energy.] Animals in a laboratory setting that are given injections of pure glucagon fail to gain weight, and reduce their food consumption. This is why protein is so important in every meal…

A carb heavy meal with little protein will cause insulin to surge ahead without the buffering effects of glucagon.”

Protein is like the good kid who’s forced to sit between the two naughty kids in the back seat to keep the peace—the naughty kids being carbs and insulin. Of course they’re all good, essential parts of the family, but sometimes when carbs are around, insulin gets a little too rambunctious.

Basically, if you’re going to put these guys together, you’re going to want a moderator. Thank goodness for protein!

What’s your favorite way to get protein in your diet?

Do you use protein powder? If so, what kind?

 

xoxo

Kim

{ 3 comments }

What Italy tastes like + almost there!

by Kim on August 18, 2014

39 weeks + 2 days, and baby’s the size of a…

39 plus weeks

We’re expecting lots of storms this week, which, according to my nurse, make pregnant women “drop like flies.” We’re ready when you are, little dude!

Our friends are ready, too. We had a little get-together last night, and celebrated the two biggest upcoming events with this cookie:

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Yes, that’s babies (my good friend Kyla is due a few weeks after me):

Ky and I

Who says giant cookies have to be reserved for birthdays and graduations??

I didn’t get to indulge, since I’m avoiding dairy right now. However, I decided to make an exception for goat cheese, which made this amazing triangle-shaped grilled pizza possible:

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Fresh vine tomatoes, basil, goat cheese, sausage, seasonings, a light layer of pizza sauce and a drizzle of balsamic, all on Trader Joe’s pizza crust. OMG.

This is what I assume Italy tastes like.

No lie: best pizza I’ve ever had.

Also: we’re officially obsessed with grilling pizza. Thanks for the inspiration, Presley and Madeline! < click for Madeline’s how to!

Of course, a weekend wouldn’t be a weekend without some pics of my boys.

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I LOVE it when he reads to himself…

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I was five feet away, holding my breath.

Sneaking in a few pictures with my boy as an only child, while we still have the chance…

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(Lesson learned about toddlers: watermelon eating should be done shirtless.)

Could that be the LAST one?? Stay tuned! Smile

Hope you have a great week.

xoxo

Kim

{ 7 comments }

A new obsession {for once, NOT food/fitness related}

August 15, 2014

I forgot to tell you how I spent approximately 50% of last weekend—and it might just be the same way I end up spending a good chunk of this one… Pinterest, my old friend. I didn’t even realize we were growing apart. (It’s funny—I still remember, very clearly, being SO confused about what Pinterest was. […]

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My silver lining

August 14, 2014

One week and change left of this pregnancy, and I’ve finally hit the point where I can’t wait to see it end! I’m in the huge, uncomfortable, every-movement-kinda-hurts stage—which I somehow don’t even remember from my first pregnancy. Did I just get lucky that time, or did I block it all out?? It probably doesn’t […]

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Top 5 supplements for pregnancy (and beyond!)

August 13, 2014

Supplements are a tricky thing. It’s easy to read up on them and throw yourself into a panic, convincing yourself that you’re deficient in a bazillion different things. “OMG!” you’ll think, “What if THAT’S why I can’t lose weight / have poor skin / am tired all the time / have problems with constipation / […]

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Is nesting real? + why I’m cutting dairy

August 11, 2014

Lots of bloggers do “Five Things Friday” posts, but I’m coming at you with five random things on a Monday. SO rebellious, right? It doesn’t even sound good (Five Things Monday?), which is why I had to come up with a different title. Basically, we’re already off to a rocky start, but here we go […]

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What I’m working on

August 8, 2014

When I told you I was quitting my job to become a stay-at-home mom again, I mentioned I was going to have a month of “free time” before Mason’s daycare contract is officially up and baby #2 arrives. (Kind of a nice coincidence that those things are happening around the same time.) Then, I was […]

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36 week bumpdate + second pregnancy thoughts

August 6, 2014

Hi there! So I’m extreeeemely late on this update—I’m actually just a couple days shy of 38 weeks now—but I still have my 36 week picture to show you, and I’m feeling about the same as I did two weeks ago, so I figured I’d go with it. Just think of this as a 36-38 […]

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High intensity workout playlist

August 5, 2014

Hey guys! Thanks for the well wishes yesterday! I’m feeling miraculously cured today, and I still have no idea what that 3-day hiccup was all about. I headed into the doctor just to check on things, and my blood pressure was fine (high for me, since it’s been in the 90/60 or lower range this […]

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The day pregnancy turned on me

August 4, 2014

So, I think my body JUST realized I’m pregnant. I’ve been feeling generally awesome this whole pregnancy—high energy, not much discomfort, great reviews at my appointments… Until this past weekend. Saturday morning, Mase woke up a little earlier than usual—not even that early, but enough for me to feel a little sleep-deprived going into the […]

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