Brotein Shake

This year, so far, I’ve tried to emphasize protein in my diet. Why am I trying to emphasize protein?

  1. I’m not a big meat eater, so I’m always looking for alternatives that actually have a significant amount of protein.
  2. Since I’m a gym rat, I know that eating protein will help support my workouts.
  3. I’ve realized that I physically feel better when my meals are protein focused rather than carb focused. I feel fuller, longer and I have more energy.

To supplement my real food sources of protein, I use protein powder and bars. Here are my go-tos:

My morning protein shake has Metabolic Nutrition Protizyme whey protein powder in the vanilla cake flavor. Something about metabolic protizyme screams delicious, right? It has 25 grams of protein per 122 calories which is one of the best ratios I’ve seen out there. And it only has 1 gram of sugar per serving. Plus the flavor and texture work well in my smoothie.

Sadie Dishes- Brotein Shake

For my occasional post workout protein shake snack is Vega Protein & Greens in vanilla flavor. It’s a plant based protein powder that includes 2 servings of greens per scoop. The protein to calorie ratio is 20 grams per 110 calories. It’s not quite as delicious as my morning smoothie, but I think it really does the trick! Even just half a scoop helps out a lot! Pro tip- mix it with almond milk, never just water!

Sadie Dishes- Brotein Shake

And lastly, when I’m traveling or on the go, I’m partial to thinkThin High Protein Bars. They are not extremely delicious, but very palatable and they do the job. They have 20 grams of protein for 240 calories which makes for a solid recovery snack or mid afternoon, I don’t know if I can make it to dinner, travel snack. It’s a real happy medium between the high calorie protein bars, and the dinky granola bars with 4 grams of protein and tons of sugar.

Sadie Dishes- Brotein Shake

What are your creative, or not so creative, protein options?

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Recipe: Sore Quads and Hamstrings

Wednesday and Sunday are my leg days. My friends know I am a gym rat, and they always ask me- what in the world are you doing at the gym everyday? So here’s a small peek into part of my routine. Please remember that I’m not a certified trainer so don’t take me too seriously.

When I say leg day I mean on the big kid squat rack, not the Smith Machine, the squat rack. At my gym this requires some planning because the squat racks are popular so I try to go early on Sundays or later in the evening on Wednesdays to better my chances. You’ll notice that I mix in some arms and abs to give my legs a little break between sets. Also, I noted my current weight choices, but those go up and down as I get stronger or lazier. I try to challenge myself, but I’m not about to hurt myself for no reason, so I’m not overly aggressive about increasing weight.

Leg Day Option 1

Classic Squats

  • 2 sets of 7-10 reps at 125 lbs
  • 3 sets of 10-12 reps at 115 lbs

(superset between squat sets with 10 side bends holding 45 lb plate on each side to target the obliques)

Upright Rows

  • 2 sets of 5 reps at 65 lbs
  • 2 sets of 10 reps at 55 lbs

Dead Lifts

  • 10 sets of 5-7 reps at 155 lbs

(superset between dead lift sets with 8 overhead tricep presses with 25 lb plate)

Bent Over Row

  • 3 sets of 10 reps at 65 or 75 lbs

Leg Day Option 2

Superset of Front Rack Squats and Classic Squats

  • 5 sets of 5 reps of front rack squats followed immediately by 10 reps of classic squats at 85 lbs (lower weight because it’s high rep and you don’t want to switch the weight between front rack and regular squats)

(superset between squat sets with 10 side bends holding 45 lb plate on each side to target the obliques)

Overhead Presses

  • 3 sets of 10 reps at 45 lbs

Dead Lifts

  • 2 sets of 5-7 reps at 155 lbs
  • 2 sets of 8-10 reps at 145 lbs
  • 1 set of 15 reps at 135 lbs

(superset between dead lift sets with 10 overhead tricep presses with 25 lb plate)

Other Options (a couple of other exercises when I need to mix it up a little)

Wide leg squats

  • 3 sets of 10 reps at 85 lbs

Sumo Squats (start with feet together on one side, step into a wide squat and stand up on the other side, keep stepping and squatting back and forth)

  • 3 sets of 1o reps at 85 lbs

Front Rack Lunges (hold the bar in a front rack position and step back into a lunge)

  • 3 sets of 10 reps alternating legs at 65 lbs

Curtsy Lunges (instead of stepping straight back, cross your back foot to the outside of the front foot’s position, similar to a curtsy)

  • 3 sets of 10 reps alternating legs at 65 lbs

Leg day

If you feel like giving any of these a try, you can scale the weights up or down as needed, use dumb bells, or use the lighter weighted bars instead of a traditional bar. Just don’t forget to warm up before you start!

Do you have any favorite leg day workouts?

Food Trends in My Kitchen: Chia Seeds

As you may or may not know, I am a rather picky eater. That was just the understatement of the century. I’m the pickiest eater I know. I’ll own it, I know it’s obnoxious and annoying and within my control. There are always improvements to be made.

Anywho, that tangent was supposed to bring us to the idea that I’m not the most receptive eater when it comes to new ingredients. This month, however, in the spirit of the new year, I’ve tried to incorporate a couple new/different foods into my regular routine. One of my new faves: chia seeds.

chia seeds

I know, I’m late to get on this bandwagon, but better late than never! I’ve dabbled with them previously, but I’m definitely starting to eat them on the regular these days.

Chia seeds are a funny thing. I have thrown them into granola bar recipes in the past, and they came out quite well. I flipped on the TV while I was getting dressed for work the other day, and the first thing I saw was Dr. Oz telling me to put a tablespoon of chia seeds into water for a quick snack to satisfy hunger. I am always hungry so this intrigued me. Then later that same day, I saw a quick video on the internet about several super foods and their benefits, and chia seeds were first on the list because they help burn fat. Sign me up!

So that was a long way to say that I bought some chia seeds and have started adding them to my oatmeal, or putting them in water for a quick afternoon snack to hold me over to dinner. They get a slightly weird gelatinous texture when they are submerged in water, but they have no taste so you can add them to anything really. Since I’ve only started eating them regularly a couple weeks ago, so I can’t brag about any specific ways they have changed my life, but I’ll keep you posted!

Here’s the play by play of my oatmeal assembly:

Chia seeds on top, mixed in, then some almond butter and walnuts and it's a meal!
Chia seeds on top, mixed in, then some almond butter and walnuts and it’s a meal!

What new/different food has found it’s way into your pantry lately?