Don’t hate me. I’m about to say something extremely controversial.
I am naturally skinny. Yep, a skinny bitch.
I always have been. I hear you groaning. Trust, I eat and eat often, but what can I say? Chalk it up to a mix of genetics and the fact I truly prefer eating clean. I assumed I was hitting the necessary nutritional marks with my balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and by steering clear of processed food as much as possible. But in my recent quest to get healthier and build more muscle, I started keeping a food journal to see what was really going on behind the scenes. Was I getting enough?
Turns out, not even close. In order to sustain on my fitness goals and activity, I require 2,200 calories. Once I started analyzing the nutritional make-up of my meals and snacks, I discovered wasn’t getting anywhere near the amount of protein that I should – not to mention fibre, iron and every other vitamin and mineral our bodies require. I’m not the only one – a quick poll on my socials revealed that only a ⅓ of you take a daily protein supplement. I’m guessing some of you could use a boost too.
Enter protein powders.
As a meat eater I could easily hit my protein goal with a daily steak or chicken breast, but what if I want to offset my meat consumption in favour of more sustainable, plant-based proteins? PlantVital is a family-owned Canadian company started by my pal Mike*. I have tried dozens of green powders over the years, but one scoop of their Complete Protein supplement powder hits me faster than a double Americano – full on Superwoman. Plus I get 24 grams of organic protein from its ingredients of brown rice, peas, pumpkin and chia seeds, with the added benefit of fruits, vegetables and probiotics. You can add it to a smoothie, but in a pinch I’ll mix it in a glass of apple juice (vitamin C boost!).
One scoop of their Complete Protein supplement powder hit me faster than a double Americano – full on Superwoman.
Why stop there? With my morning protein in check, I wanted an option for the mid-afternoons when my sweet tooth comes knocking. Vega has been around since 2001, so you’re likely familiar with the brand. Their products are also plant-based, non-GMO, gluten-free…yadda yadda, yadda. If you want a sweet treat that packs a protein punch (20 grams!) I recommend their chocolate Essentials Shake. It offers an impressive nutritional profile, and is flexible enough to use as a meal replacement.
None of this added protein makes squats and lunges more fun to do (seriously, fuck you lunges), but at least I have energy to do them. Do you have your own secret sauce to get more protein into your diet? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
*Full disclosure: Mike treated me to my first bag of Complete Proteins, but I’ve since bought it on Amazon. No one paid me for this post.