This post is sponsored by BPI Sports. As always, all opinions are my own, and I wouldn’t recommend a product I didn’t like or try myself. Thank you for your support!
Hi guys, Happy Friday! How was your week? It was another HOT week here in Charlotte, but I adhered to my marathon training. I was proud of myself and even had a few early morning wakeups to get my run in before the heat. I also went to a mid-week run at Noda Brewery. Ending a hot run with beer is always encouraging.
Have you ever sat down to eat a meal, and then been hungry 15 minutes after finishing? This used to happen to me often. And while I attribute some of this to a fast metabolism, sometimes it is my own fault because I didn’t include enough protein in my meal. Like those carb-heavy dishes with lots of sweet potatoes or veggies. Those are great and all, but where’s the protein? (Great dish, but no protein..aka I was hungry 20 minutes later).
How much protein should you be eating?
Protein recommendations for the general public fall between 0.8-1 grams per kg of body mass, which normally equates somewhere between 40-60 grams per day. However, this is the amount recommended to maintain nitrogen balance, and doesn’t sufficiently cover needs for growth, muscle building, active lifestyles, pregnancy/lactation, or even older adults.
While protein is not typically a macronutrient we are deficient in, there is certainly room to increase it (most people consume between 15-25% of their calories as protein).
Recently, there has been a great deal of research linking higher protein diets to weight loss. Protein also takes more energy to metabolize and digest, so our bodies burn more calories processing it than the other macronutrient groups. For my clients who have no idea where to start on changing their eating habits, or don’t really love the idea of loading up on veggies right away, I offer them the suggestion of replacing some of the processed foods in their diet (with minimal nutritional value) with healthy protein sources for these reasons.
Ideally, we would all eat three square meals with 15-20 grams of protein in each one and we would have sustainable energy to power through our day. Buttttt…we have commitments, we have 9-5 jobs, we have errands to run, we have book club meetings, there’s exercise to fit in, we need to bake those cookies for the bake sale, we can’t forget to pick our kids up from school or other places, we need to remember to hit the grocery store, pick up prescriptions, get that birthday card in the mail, prepare for our next big project or presentation….the bottom line is, life happens and what we plan for doesn’t always happen.
Being okay with the idea that some things are out of our control and we may have to “roll with the punches” allows us to nurture our bodies much more easily.
I’m a huge proponent of snacking
Since I’m on the go often, I have to be prepared with healthy snacks. Preparation is a game-changer in my world, and I’d venture out to say that many poor eating habits could be corrected if we all took a little more time to prepare or have healthier snacks on hand.
The biggest problem with some snacks are a lack of protein. Without protein, there’s nothing to induce our satiety and help stabilize our energy levels for hours. We should always aim for at least 2 food groups, whether it be carb + protein or carb + fat. Ideally though, you want some form of protein in there for satiety purposes.
So let’s talk about some of my favorite snack options with protein:
- Greek yogurt with a piece of fruit and some nuts/seeds
- String cheese with a piece of fruit
- Homemade trail mix bites
- Hard boiled eggs
- Roasted chickpeas or edamame
- Protein bars
While whole foods hold the trump card in all circumstances, having a protein bar on hand is often the easiest form of snacking for myself and for many clients. My number one rule when choosing a protein bar is that there should be a higher percentage of protein than sugar (more grams of protein than grams of sugar). Otherwise, your so called “protein” snack is not a protein snack at all.
I’m always looking for new protein bars to taste and recommend to clients, so when BPI Sports reached out to me and asked me if I was interested in testing some of their new BPI Best Protein Bars sample size flavors, I immediately checked out the flavor list and saw Cookies and Cream, S’mores, Cinnamon Crunch and Chocolate Peanut Butter. All of these combinations sounded delicious!
Surprisingly, I was impressed with the flavor and texture – the bars were soft and chewy enough to be enjoyed as a topping for oatmeal or yogurt, but sturdy enough for a protein bar peanut butter sandwich (my favorite!). They even have chunky cookie and chocolate pieces within the bars, which were my favorite part!
Sidenote: I microwaved the S’mores bar for about 15 seconds before adding it to my peanut butter yogurt and it was a match made in heaven. Like real S’mores. Bring the campfire to you, my friends.
When recommending protein bars, I try to stay away from fillers like maltodextrin, corn fiber, and of course, trans fats. The BPI Best Protein bars have none of those, but instead are made with whey protein isolate, almond butter, ground cinnamon, stevia, baking powder, sunflower oil and cocoa powder. Similar to Quest bars, the fiber in BPI bars comes from isomalto-oligsaccharides (IMO), which is a mixture of short-chain carbohydrates that ferment in the gut and are a source of prebiotics. All hail to our gut bacteria (probiotics), because they perform so many vital functions for us and it’s so important to feed them with prebiotics.
Each bar has 230 calories, with 20 grams of filling protein, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fat and 16-17 grams of fiber. You can even buy the mini bars or break the larger bars in half to get the perfect snack size portion (~115 calories, 10 grams of protein, 14 grams of carbs). These are great numbers for snacking, or as I’ve been enjoying them, as pre- or post-workout fuel due to their combination of carbs and protein necessary for muscle repair and refueling.
BPI Sports also wants to give you a chance to win a free sampler pack of the new BPI Best Protein Bar flavors.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Do you like bars chewy or crunchy, or a mixture of both?