16 In health/ nutrition

Switching the mindset from “cutting the carbs” to “protein + vegetables first”

My favourite breakfast with 15 grams of protein (but also 40g of carbs from the rice bread so often I skip the bread)

Since January 1st I’m back to staying away from sugar, gluten and dairy. It’s not a Detox / Diet /  Cleanse / New Year Resolution, my body just feels great eating that way and whereas December was fun with all its chocolate and mulled wine, my energy levels were not great and most of the time when I worked out I felt heavy, slow and sluggish.

Thankfully as soon as I switch my eating back to what is normal for me i.e. very little sugar/gluten/dairy, my body doesn’t rebel and after a day or two I already feel great again.

In general I’m happy to tick along like that, to eat a little bit of gluten-free grains like rice and quinoa, and to have a bit of milk in my afternoon macchiatos. Since I’ve been using my Jawbone fitness tracker though, I’ve been entering my nutrition into it and I’m seeing that it’s very easy to eat a ton of carbs every day but very hard to hit a decent amount of protein. I’m aiming for 100g of protein a day as a minimum and I’m realising that that’s a lot of protein just to get from a couple of eggs and some chicken. Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet eats twice as much protein a day, by the way. Think about that 🙂

I haven’t used protein powders in a long time. I stay away from dairy and most of them are whey based and most of them have lots of sugar as well. After my Crossfit workouts I use Genetics Vegan Recovery powder, which has 11g of protein per scoop (35g) but also 20g of carbs but those are all fine with me because muscles aren’t made from protein alone, carbs are important after work-outs.

The recommended serving size is two scoops but one is already really sweet for me, I cannot handle doubling it up. Maybe I can just add a scoop of pea or hemp protein powder, I’m considering this as I have some left.  These two have great ingredients, meaning just peas and just hemp, but they taste really gross on their own. The over sweetness of the recovery powder might just balance nicely with the grossness of plant-based protein powder. Something to try out.

Like I said though – most of the time I don’t track my nutrition or worry about macros. However, once in a while it’s fun to get into the numbers. I love treating food as fuel and have it all scientific in my head.

I’m probably not going to be weighing my food and logging it every day but I have decided that I will think “protein + vegetables first” with every meal. As long as these two are the largest portion of my meals, I should be ok.

I will not be thinking “I need to eat less carbs”, because my brain works when I focus on adding, not on taking away.

All in all my snacks and meals are very random – whatever’s in the fridge or in the cupboard, I’ll mix up and eat. I just make sure that I always have a gazillion eggs in the fridge and several cans of mackerel in the cupboard.

Berries + nuts + seeds | Eggs + kale | Salad bar items with tofu and quinoa | Popcorn with melted chocolate (everyone needs a treat once in a while)

I hope all of that made sense. If not, let me know! 🙂

You Might Also Like

16 Comments

  • Reply
    Getting lean: why and how and is there a need? | mind over matter
    February 24, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    […] Why did I start it in the first place? Wasn’t my main New Year’s Non-Resolution just to focus on veg and protein first and foremost for every meal? […]

  • Reply
    Muriel
    January 14, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Can I just say that you sound like a fitness pro? I just don’t do protein powders, I like real food. I can’t get my head around powders, shakes and the likes. That said, I totally agree with having more proteins, and as you know my trick is ‘protein first’. BTW I love your brekkie

    • Reply
      MrsB
      January 19, 2015 at 9:53 am

      I just use a bit of vegan protein powder (pea and rice protein mostly) after my Crossfit sessions. I just don’t feel like eating eggs right after a hard workout. Other than that I eat real food.

  • Reply
    Naomi
    January 12, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    I love this attitude! I’m going to try and adopt the prioritising attitude too – I’ve not got a very healthy perspective with carbs, and find it really difficult to not get a bit crazy about it… But this way I think might work a lot better, thank you for a fab post!

    • Reply
      MrsB
      January 12, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      You’re welcome 🙂 I’ve struggled with food for a long time (it started when I moved to the US at 17 and gained 15kg) but by now I know how my brain works and MOST of the time I do what’s best for my brain as that tends to be best for my body as well (although don’t remind me what December eating was like! ;).

    • Reply
      MrsB
      January 12, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Vegetables, pulses and quinoa/hemp/etc. all have protein but you have to eat a lot of those to get the same amount of protein you get from meat or dairy. The good thing is that you can eat as much kale a day as you want and you won’t ever be ‘overdoing’ it or having TOO much 😀

  • Reply
    Switching the mindset from “cutting the carbs” to “protein + vegetables first”
    January 11, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    […] Read the rest of the post at its original source […]

  • Reply
    Cat
    January 11, 2015 at 7:00 am

    I like what you said about adding, not taking away – I think this is something my brain would respond much better to too!

    • Reply
      MrsB
      January 12, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Have you tried it out? Does your brain like? 🙂

  • Reply
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB)
    January 10, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Have you tried Sunwarrior? They do a rice protein, or warrior blend which is pea/cranberry/hemp and come in natural or flavoured. Good ingredients, and I really like the taste. Think it’s around 17/18g of protein per scoop, around 80 cals, and little carbs.

    • Reply
      MrsB
      January 12, 2015 at 8:52 pm

      Thank you for reminding me. I bought some again, the natural kind this time. Although it does still taste sweet to me 😐 Plus it was brought to my attention that the gelatine flakes I take have loads of protein 🙂

  • Reply
    Tess @ FitBits
    January 10, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    It’s soooo hard to up the protein! Carb cuddles are just so easy whereas for me, protein means effort. Cook chicken. Make a pancake. Boil an egg. I’m working on it though, and when I eat well I feel proper amazing. Let’s keep going!

    • Reply
      MrsB
      January 12, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      I know what you mean about effort. Tonight I came home from work hungry and wanted to grab some bread but remembered that I have some Quorn mince in the freezer and some broad beans – I cooked them up with coconut oil and voila!

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    %d bloggers like this: