So recently I’ve been running into some trouble. With changing my vegetarian diet to incorporate less massive amounts of spinach and Brussels sprouts, switching from greek yogurt to regular (all for the sake of being cheap) I’ve been hitting exhaustion walls. Furthermore, my muscle mass has not been developing like I hoped it would. For example, this is me flexing my legs and trying in vain to get a good angle (left). Arg! I want legs like this awesome crossfit woman!
Um, yeah, not quite the leg guns I’m going for. I came to the realization that if I want the guns, I got to buy the ammo. According to men’s health (and this is the lower of the estimates I’ve seen) a serious athlete needs .77 grams of protein per pound of body weight in order to perform at their highest level. For my 138 pound frame, that’s 106 grams! That’s a lot! I need this, BUT HOW?
After some finagling, (and some shopping around for good prices) it seemed the easiest places to increase protein intake were upping my eggs and adding glasses of milk into my diet. Way back in college, when I had to go a few random days without the cafeteria, my go to was jugs and jugs of whole milk. Cheap, filling, and full of protein. I’m going to bring back those days. Furthermore, many body builders, swear by four or more eggs a day. Thus, I have no problem filling my fridge with 24 eggs for the week and a gallon of whole milk to go with my piles of kale, and tub of cottage cheese. The core of the current diet is as follows….
Peanut butter oatmeal, glass of milk, and coffee. — 28 grams of protein
After workout snack:
Protein shake with banana and ½ cup yogurt — 23 grams of protein
2.5 cups rice and beans with kale — 20 grams of protein
3 eggs with ½ cup cottage cheese, grapefruit with honey — 25 grams of protein
Total Protein Count: 96 grams of protein
And this is just the diet core. Snacks throughout the day of things like… um cookies, free food I find at work, more peanut butter if I’m hungry, and emergency mac and cheese should boost the daily intake up to where it should be. If the cost allows in grocery runs in the future, I’m going to invest in some chocolate soy milk, in order to further diversify and increase the protein intake.
The Update: It’s been a long week… but I bought an avocado!
You know those weeks where you never seem to leave work? Well yeah, that’s me. And thank you imaginary or real readers for keeping me accountable, because it is weeks like this when you want to just order pizza, and go to Safeway instead of checking out the local food co-op like you promised. And it is a good thing I did! For one thing, Safeway appears to have jacked up the prices of some health foods, to make up for the very low price of organic grapefruit and who knows what else. Free range organic, local eggs at the Sacto co-op are a $1 cheaper per dozen, and organic yogurt is and cottage cheese is $3 cheaper per container. That being said, the prices for things on average were a little higher, so even with planning on going to Safeway for organic peanut butter, grapefruit, and shaving needs, I approached the cash register with a heavy heart. It looked like a lot of my few fun food purchases, (like my usual smoothies) were going to be impossible. Little did I know that this particular co-op gives military members a 10% discount all day every day! Ecstatic (literally) I almost bought more kale and decided last minute instead to spring $2 for an organic avocado. Happy day!
Seriously, if you think you can get a discount for something, just ask. What’s the harm? And thank you patriotic Americans for my wonderful, wonderful avocado!
The Recipe: Peanut Butter Oatmeal
So this is a really simple recipe, but it is a fantastic one that I’ve never seen anyone else do. Oatmeal (even organic) is dirt cheap, and one of the best breakfast foods you can buy. However, it still needs a fiber and protein boost. If you are just buying packaged oatmeal, or just adding fruit and/or sweetener to your oats, you are actually not getting a much more than 5-7 grams of protein, and a lot of carbs to go with it. A few simple additions (like peanut butter) will transform your oatmeal into basically a warm, protein packed granola bar.
½ cup oatmeal
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons flaxseed
(I think you know what to do)