A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Taking Control of my Nutrition with the 30 Day #ProteinChallenge

I captured this selfie on a recent tour of a large dairy farm in Colorado. I know it looks like I super-imposed myself into the photo but it's all real. Well, except for the (don't) "Eat Mor Chikin" sign. I added that :)
Have you heard of the 30 Day Protein Challenge? Like most other 30 day challenges the 30 Day Protein Challenge is designed to help you make a positive change in your health. But unlike the others there are no burpees, planks or crunches involved! Nor is this challenge restrictive like all the "detox" or "cleanse" diets (my body does a perfectly good job of cleansing itself, thank you!). In fact, the 30 Day Protein Challenge encourages you to eat MORE of the foods you love, like beef, eggs, and dairy products.

I started the 30 Day Protein Challenge on April 1 but you can start any time. It begins that day after you sign up! On Day 1 you will begin receiving daily e-mails with easy-to-follow instructions for taking the challenge. The first five days are simply keeping a journal of what you eat and how you feel. On Day 6 you get to start adding more protein into your diet. This is when the fun begins!

One of things I noticed when journaling (I am using MyFitnessPal) is that I was under-consuming protein at breakfast and lunch but getting enough at dinner (research shows spreading protein intake evenly throughout the day may be the most beneficial for overall health and wellness). So my focus in the second week was adding more protein and breakfast and lunch. 

For breakfast, I've added a lot more dairy products, specifically Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and chocolate milk after my morning workout (I love the new Fairlife Chocolate Milk with 50% more protein and 50% fewer calories). I also love to scramble a couple of eggs with some leftover steak for a high protein, low calorie start to the day.

I like to grill up an extra flat iron steak on the weekend so I have leftovers for breakfast during the week. Flat iron is an economical and easy-to-grill cut of beef that makes great leftover steak and eggs!
The biggest change I have noticed so far is that I feel less hungry at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and when I do, I reach for some beef jerky, nuts or other high protein snacks. As a result I feel less hungry when I get home from work and am less likely to grab a handful of Wheat Thins (I'm addicted) or other high carb snack before dinner.

But probably the best benefit of doing the challenge is becoming more aware of what I eat vs. what I need. I find myself saying, do I really need that donut, bagel, cookie or whatever goodie my colleagues leave laying temptingly around the office? Actually what I say is, "Do I really want that or another glass of wine with dinner?" :)

So join me in taking control of your nutrition. Sign up for the 30 Day Protein Challenge today!

Ride on!


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