Protein and Protein Powders

My husband and I decided to look at our diets to make sure what we are eating isn’t negatively affecting our diets. One of the things we looked at is Protien and the various kinds of powders offered. I thought I would share my research incase anyone else was looking into this or wanted a helpful reminder.

How much protein do you actually need:

That depends on your goals and what you are trying to achieve. Below is a guideline, and I stress the word guideline because not everything works the same for everyone. And really, you need to do what is right for you and your body.

* Recreational Athletes need .5-.75 grams of protein per pound of body weight
* Competitive Athletes need .6-.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight
* Teenage Athletes need .8-.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight
* Athletes building muscle mass need .7-.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight

***Research says you should not exceed .9 grams of protein per pound of body weight.***

Example: An adult athlete weighing 175 who wants to build muscle mass, the max protein you would need is 157.5

Should I take Protein right before/after a workout:

If you are thinking about taking a protein supplement immediately after a workout, you should reconsider. According to Barbara Lewin, a dietitian and sports nutritionist who has worked with NFL, NBA, and NHL athletes and trained ironman competitors, She says, “Before, during, and after a workout, carbs are what your body needs. They’re what your body uses for fuel, and what your muscles run on. Yes, protein is also important for recovery after a workout, but research shows that at that point your body needs fuel with 4-1 or 5-1 ratio of carbs to protein.”

An example of what Lewin is talking about: After a workout if you took a protein powder, which usually has around 20 grams of protein per scoop, you would need about 80 grams of carbs to go with that one scoop to make sure you get the proper nutrients after a workout.

A better choice for after a workout snack is a smoothie with fruit, yogurt or mild or even chocolate milk. Yes, you read that correctly, chocolate milk.

So what type of Protein should I look at:

Like all products, there are good and bad ones out there. So how do you tell the difference? Well, you go to the experts. At muscleandfitness.com, they list the best and worst when looking for a protein supplement. Below is a recap of some of what they say but check out their sight for specific suggestions on whey protein products.

Whey Protein- According to muscle and fitness editor, Whey is one of the richest sources of BCAA’s, which include the three amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine) which are critical for muscle growth and energy during workouts. Whey protein also contains biologically active protein microfractions (alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, glycomacropeptides, immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase) which provide antioxidant benefits, boost immune function and enhance muscle recovery and growth.

Yeah, that was a mouthful. Bottom line, Whey protein is far more effective than any other protein form out there, but its effectiveness can vary based on the other ingredients companies add.

How to tell if my Whey Protein powders is good:

To be considered a great Whey protein the product MUST list whey protein isolate or hydrolyzed whey protein isolate as the very first ingredient. The reason behind this is because whey protein isolate is the purest form of protein you can get, with some being more than 90% of protein. And hydrolyzed whey protein isolates means that the whey has been pre-designed into smaller protein fragments for easier digestion.

You can’t just stop at the ingredient list, you have to take it one step further by doing some math. Take the grams of protein per serving and divide it by the serving size (in grams). This number will give you the percentage of protein in each serving and you want this number to be 80% or higher.

Example: Whey powder provides 25 grams of protein per 28 gram scoop, that protein powder is 90% protein and is a great whey protein for the money.

Meal Replacement:

Protein shakes can come in handy and help control your diet. When used as a meal replacement, it is best to pair them with a source of vegetables, fruit, and a healthy fat. Below is the recommendation for “super shakes” found at dailyburn.com

Men:
2 scoops of protein powder
1-2 cups vegetables (ex spinach)
2 handfuls fruit (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons of a healthy fat (nut butter or seeds)
Mixer (almond milk, milk, or water)

Women:
1 scoop of protein powder
1 cup vegetable
1 handful fruit
1 tablespoon of a healthy fat
Mixer

Keep in mind this is just a framework to start. Women usually need half the amount of protein then men do but if you find you need more, add more to your shake. Do what is right for you and your body!

What am I going to try:

Protein mix

I went with Gold Standard 100% Whey. I added 8 ounces of Almond milk and 1 tablespoons of raw cacao powder and it was delicious!! I am using this as a meal replacement today because our dinner is going to be a high calorie one, but very yummy. So I don’t want to miss out. But don’t worry, I will be having a snack later. Probably a yogurt and jerky.

This drink is:
Calories- 215
Fat- 8g
Carbohydrates- 7.8g
Protein- 27.5g

I think it would also be good with peanut butter and oatmeal. And I think next time I will need to try to add my veggies and fruit in the mix.

In the end..

I think you need to listen to your body and do what is right for you. I struggle getting the amount of protein in my diet that is required (111.75g) and needed to find an extra boost. I am going to try this for a month and see if I can see better results.

March Highlights

March

Working Out:

My goal last month was to run 13.1 miles. This month I actually ran 24 miles!! Yes, 24! That is almost double my goal. But looking back, my weeks are all over the place. One week I only ran once and another I ran four times. So for the month of April, my goal is to run/workout at least three times a week. I am adding working out because of my knees. Some days, they need a break and I might have to do some other type of machine.

Books I’ve Read:

Feb reading

Wow, did I read a lot of books this month. I don’t know why it always surprises me that I read so much, but wow..

Hands down, my favorite book to read this month was Midnight Marked. But I don’t think this is fair because I absolutely love this series. So my top suggestion if you are looking for a book is Good Girl. Check out my review, I promise you will love it!!

As far as a book I really did not enjoy reading- I would have to say it is close but Phantasma would be it. The lead character was just too annoying for me to stomach.

If you missed any of my reviews, below are the links to check them out 🙂

Dangerous to Know (Unbroken Heroes #1)
To Katie with Love 
Midnight Marked (Chicagoland Vampires, #12)
Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson, #9)
The Undoing (Call of Crows, #2)
I wish you were mine (Oxford, #2)
Omega (Omega #1)
The Trial
Phantasma 
Good Girl

Writing:

Feb words

My writing was not as productive as I would have liked. I made it to chapter six, but I did far too many revisions and I still don’t have a title. Last months goals was to write for 10 minutes every day and work for 30 minutes each day on writing/editing/working on my book. Yeah, that just didn’t happen. Why? Because life happened and sometimes things just don’t work out. Although I think this is still a good goal, I am going to to change it so something a bit more flexible:

My goal for next month is to write chapter 7&8 and get to section D in my outline. Should be simple, but I already know this will be difficult to accomplish.

Fun and Interesting Post to look back on:

Writing, Erasing, Rewriting…Does it ever stop?
Did I ever tell you…
Help buying a running watch!!

Enough is Enough!!

When do you say enough is enough and throw in the towel? To be honest, I’m not sure it’s the same for everyone. But for me, I have reached that point where I realized I can’t keep going the route I am. I need help!

knee

Since I started running again, there has not been a day that my knee has not hurt. Usually I can just ignore the pain and move on with my day. But running has become a nightmare. The pain is bad and I struggle to get to three miles. Last summer I was running 11 miles and today I can’t even do 3.. It makes me want to cry. And to add insult to injury, I have gained 10 pounds and my jeans don’t fit. Now I really want to cry!

On Monday, I decided I needed to do something about it and I went to the chiropractic sports medicine facility at my gym. Talking to him, he things I have what is commonly known as runners knee but also I have muscles that have over developed and are pulling my tendons out of alignment. This is causing my cartilage in my knees to wear faster and causing pain.

sad face

He did a couple adjustments and gave me an exercise. Monday night my knee killed! I mean throbbing, impossible not to focus on pain. But all day yesterday, I was able to walk around, do yard work, etc without any pain. And this morning I ran 2 miles!! Ok, the two miles weren’t perfect but it wasn’t as bad as it usually is.

I really hope this works because my waste band can’t take much more and I just want to run. I want to be healthy and wear a damn two piece swimsuit this year!! Is that too much to ask..

So fingers crossed, I really hope this is the answer. If you have had any knee problems, please let me know what you have done to get over them. I could use all the help I can get 🙂

 

 

Help Buying a Running Watch!!

Today pushed me over the edge. While doing a much needed run, Map my run app decided to crash on me and I lost everything for my workout. I had no idea how far I went or what my pace was. Frustration doesn’t even begin to explain how I feel.

So I have decided I need to buy a running watch. I’m going to bite the bullet and spend the money. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have an idea of what I want but I’m not 100% sold.

If you are a runner, what sports watch do you use?

 

Celiac and the Ramifications that Follow

Gluten Kryptonite

So last week I ended up eating something I wasn’t supposed to and I am paying for it ten fold. Unfortunately I have Celiacs Disease and No, I am not on the gluten free trend. I am the unlucky one percent of the population who gets extremely sick when they ingest anything with gluten in it.

I’m not exactly sure how I ended up with Celiacs because no one in my family is diagnosed with having it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Did you know that 83% of Americans who have Celiacs are living with it undiagnosed. That’s kind of scary considering how damaging this disease is to your body and mind. Unfortunately, it usually takes years for someone to get diagnosed correctly. And during this time, the person continues eating the thing that is actually slowly killing them.

I’m not exactly sure how long it took for me to get diagnosed. I’ve had small symptoms for most of my adolescent life and honestly thought it was normal for your stomach to hurt all the time. I dreaded going to the doctors because they would push on my stomach. It didn’t matter if I was sick as a dog or the healthiest I’ve ever been, it ALWAYS hurt when they pushed. But the disease didn’t really begin to show itself until the end of 2010. By then, not only was I in the emergency room every weekend, but I was so completely swollen, I didn’t even look like myself.  The Picture below isn’t even the worst of it.

me

It took an amazingly persistent doctor to help me get diagnosed. Before I moved to Minnesota, I lived in a college town. And I can remember the one emergency doctor who pushed me over the edge: (Side note- By the time I went in for this visit, my chart had probably shown I had been in there the last three weekends for the same symptoms.)  I went into the emergency room because I had been vomiting for 9+ hours and showing no signs of slowing down. I was dehydrated, shaking uncontrollably, and felt like I was honestly dying . The emergency doctor comes in and accuses me of being an alcoholic. What triggered this particular episode was pizza and little cheesecake bites. Even though I only had one glass of wine at the dinner party, he decides to give me a lecture of wasting his time and needing to get help.

That next week, I was in my doctors office in tears asking for help. My relationship with my boyfriend (now husband) was on the edge of falling apart and I was missing way too much work. My doctor ordered a bunch of tests and specialist finally came to the realization that I had Celiacs. After diagnosed, I went into my house and ended up throwing away 80% of everything in my fridge/pantry. You would be surprised of how many things have gluten in them (ice cream, vanilla, spices, meds..) But once I gave up eating gluten, my stomach stopped hurting, the swelling went down and I looked like a normal human, and I stopped getting sick ever other week.

It's just not worth the risk

When I eat anything with Gluten in it, even the smallest crumb, it can take up to 7 days before the symptoms hit. But usually it happens within the first four days. The severity of my symptoms can be as small as the discoloration bowel movement to as big as losing the contents of my stomach for 9+ hours straight. The first 24 hours after are horrible: my entire body hurts all over and I can hardly stand long enough to make eggs. Drinking water hurts, wearing a bra hurts, my stomach is completely trashed and the only things I can eat usually revolve around the BRAT Diet (Bananas, Rice, Apple sauce, and plain Toast). The week that follows after depends on how sever my reaction is. But usually working out is impossible because my body is trying to recover, I’m cranky and easily irritable, I’m extremely bloated, really tired, and my immune system has been compromised so I usually get a cold.  Sounds like fun right…

Just because something says it is gluten free, doesn’t mean it actually is. Cross contamination is easy to do. Like I mentioned, all it takes is one crumb. And what is worst than getting sick- knowing exactly what I just did to my body. Every time I get sick, I am that much closer to colon cancer and other cancers. Everything, including life, just really sucks! So please watch what you say in front of people- especially if you are following the gluten free trend. Because I honestly don’t know why you would willingly give up some of the best food! Yes there are some good substitutes out there but nothing is the same.

My goal is to get back to things next week. I’m starting to feel more like myself. Thanks for listening to my story/rant. Hope everyone has a good weekend!!

The Perfect Self Image

The last couple Saturdays my cycle class instructor has asked “Do you Love yourself?” She went on to talk about the importance of loving yourself. But the entire time, I kept replaying her question in my head- over and over again. And each time I asked myself this question, my response has been simple, quick, and the same:

NO

No, I do not love myself because I don’t love how I look. I know this is stupid and I often wonder when I started associating self image with overall likeliness of who I am. I started running because two summers ago I went the entire season refusing to put on a swimsuit, refusing to wear anything at all figure forming, and just refusing to be comfortable because I worse layers and big clothing to hide my figure. Last summer, I refused to spend another swimsuit season inside and trained for a half marathon WHILE breastfeeding.

I lost a bunch of weight: I went from 150 to 137 and I was down to a comfortable size 4.  The problem was that everyone told me I was too skinny and that I had lost too much. But I didn’t see it. All I saw were my imperfections and fat. Now that I have gained some of the weight back and my jeans are uncomfortable, I am able to see how skinny I became. And I want to get back there. But I’m not sure that is an attainable goal.

So to try to get over my self image imperfections, I am laying it bare: I am 31 with two kids. I have a saggy stomach and a cesarean scar. I have always had a big chest size and I am not sure that will ever change. I wear a 34 FF and my size 4 jeans are uncomfortably tight. I’m probably a size 6, maybe bigger. My percentage of body fat puts me in the overweight category. And according to the scale at the gym, I need to lose 13.7 lb of body fat (Yikes!). I weigh 144 and I hate it! But this is me, at least right now.

Typing all of this out makes me see it a little different than the negative voice in my head sees it. It doesn’t sound as bad as I thought. Maybe I am still not seeing myself for what I am. And I know this picture is of me in a big sweater.. It’s kind of what I do. Plus it is winter in Minnesota. This picture was taken today after my workout.

me

My goal is to hopefully start seeing myself in a better light. I want to ask myself “Do you Love yourself?” And I want that answer to be YES!

Polar V800 Athletic watch

Polar V800

I am looking at buying an Athletic watch and after some review, I am considering the Polar V800. I do Not want a Fitbit. But I have considered the Garmin ForeRunner 920XT. The main reason I am not particularly fond of the Garmin, is because of the constant software bugs. But I am curious about what everyone else is using or your thoughts.

So far this is what I found:

The Polar V800 is a GPS watch that tracks a wide variety of sports, from running and swimming to yoga, dance, cycling, and CrossFit. The watch also tracks daily activity, including steps taken, calories burned, and quality of sleep. The heart rate straps includes the H7- Bluetooth smart + Analog transformation for on land (outdoor or gym equipment like treadmills) and underwater usage.

What drew me to this watch:

I am a multi sport athlete. Although I am training for a half marathon, I believe cross training (especially low impact) helps in the success of your overall health and running. Besides running, I also indoor swim and bike weekly. I want a watch I can into my cycling class or in the pool that can tell me how what my heart rate is, how many calories I burned, and how far I went.

Downsides of the watch:

  • Money, Money, Money! Yes, this watch is expensive and that just really sucks!
  • For people with small wrists (that would be me) it isn’t very comfortable. One reviewer stated that when he worked out, he had to fasten the band tightly on his writs so that it wouldn’t slide around his arm.
  • The charging clip takes some practice to get used to. And sometimes with an accidental nudge, it occasionally moved off the charger.
  • One reviewer of the watch stated the difference between suburban and Urban areas in regards to the watches ability to connect with the GPS signal. He stated while the watched was able to acquire a satellite lock within seconds in a suburban area, in an urban environment around tall buildings (he was in Manhattan), the watch is a bit slow at picking up the GPS signal. I live in the Minneapolis area but I will be using the watch 99% of my time in the suburbs.
  • The watches ability to measure your current/instantaneous pace with GPS signal alone is not very accurate at all. This was quoted as more a limitation of GPS technology than the watch itself. To mitigate this, the V800 is able to pair with the Polar Stride Sensor to give more accurate pace data.
  • You are not able to set the watch to keep track of cadence. If you want to monitor cadence (footfall) to let you know how much work your legs are doing over a given distance, you have to buy the Stride Sensor with is an extra $65+. This device is also needed to measure pace/distance on a treadmill.
  • Again, for cycling to measure cadence and speed sensor, you will need to buy a separate device to attach to your bike.
  • While swimming, the watch isn’t always accurate at counting laps, especially when using open turns instead of doing flip turns.
  • Some reviewers thought wearing the watch to bed felt too large and cumbersome.
  • There is no wi-fi option when uploading data from your watch to your computer. The watch can wirelessly sync data from the watch to your mobile device with then updates your flow account with your most recent efforts.
  • Before you initially use, this watch requires plenty of preparation via software rather than via the watch interface itself.

Upsides to this watch:

  • The watch isn’t in your face with crazy color combinations. I feel like I could wear this watch throughout my everyday life without worrying about it being out of place. It also has an average weight of 82g, comparable to other athletic watches.
  • The watch is made out of stainless steel and the face of the watch is made out of Gorilla Glass. These are premium materials, giving the watch a high-quality look.
  • The battery is great: you can use the watch for 13 hours in normal GPS mode before needing charged. Or if you want the battery to last longer, switching it to Power-Save mode (the watch will update GPS data less frequently) and it will give you up to 50 hours before the battery needs charged. If you turn the watch to time mode with daily activity monitoring, you are able to use the watch for 30 days before needing to charge it.
  • Waterproof up to 30m
  • You can add custom activity pages to tact multiple sports areas, which is more complicated on the Forerunner 920XT and not an option on the Tomtom multi sport cardio.
  • The Polar Flow app that accompanies the watch does a nice job of laying out your data in an easy-to-read format. If using the watch as a daily activity tracker, you will be able to see how you were throughout the day, being able to set goals and provides ways for you to reach your goals based on the data it has gathered.
  • The Polar Flow also allows you to create a workout with sections- like sprints, rest, cadence goals- and then repeat them for an interval workout.
  • The Polar Flow website seconds as a social network. On this network, you can chose to follow other athletes in your area, it provides recent workout summaries for Polar customers all over the world, and you can add comments to others workouts.
  • Through the Polar Flow, you are able to download the Race Pace Target- this allows you to enter the distance and time you want it will automatically assist in keeping you at the correct pace.
  • You can upload your workout to MyFitnessPal, Strava, and TrainingPeaks.
  • The heart-rate sensor strap can be used to train in certain zones for specific desired results. For example, if you want to burn fat you can set the watch to assist keeping you in that zone: a chirp and vibration will alert you when you’ve slipped outside the desired zone, allowing you to work harder to step off the gas to stay within your workout zone.
  • The watch measures your recovery status after a workout.
  • Easy to use- hit the red button, pick a sport, wait for the GPS to lock on and Heart rate strap to sync, ten one more press and you are off.
  • While swimming, the watch measures time, heart rate, distance and analyze strokes in the the pool using the SWOLF score.

Overal:

There are mixed reviews. Some say its a good watch for runners and triathlons but thats it. While others say it is THE best watch on the market, engineered to not only tracks your workouts but takes your fitness training to a whole new level.

What are your thoughts on this watch or any fitness watch you have used?

Dark Places

Monday morning I woke up to the news of my Uncles death. I wasn’t close to him and most of my memories are from my childhood. But I still feel this disconnection. I’ve never been good at handling death and I am always the last one to visit friends/family in the hospital. It’s not that I don’t care, I care more than I can express. I think part of it is I don’t know how to process and deal with people close to me being sick and dying.

I have tried writing this week and have come to a road block. My thoughts feel smothered and it’s like a fog has consumed my mind. I feel stuck in a cycle of dark places, grouchy, snapping at my husband and children for no apparent reason, and just not like myself. I don’t like feeling this way and I am struggling to come out of it.

What makes this worse is I know if I just ran, I would feel better. I would find myself through the rhythmic pounding of my shoes hitting the ground… but I can’t find the motivation. I couldn’t find it yesterday and today I woke up the same.

My husband stayed home today and is letting me run off to the gym without the kids. I am hoping a cycling class will kick my motivation up and help me feel more like myself. Wish me luck!!