Why Protein Is SO Important?

Let’s talk about protein. It doesn’t really need an introduction. most of us know that it is one of the three major macronutrients that make up your diet (the other two being fat and carbohydrates).

From supplements to energy bars, there are hundreds of products where we can get our protein from. there are even diets completely based on upping your protein game, such a the paleo diet.

We also get protein from meats, such as chicken, pork, etc. This is my least favourite kind of way to get protein. I like meat, but i’m not a big meat eater. I basically have cut red meat, and lean more towards fish and seafood. The problem with that, well, is sometimes I feel like my body isn’t getting enough fuel to properly function throughout my day.

But we need protein- and here’s why.

Protein is found in every cell of the body. it’s made up of amino acids that are attached to one another in long chains.

Protein plays a role in:

  • Transporting molecules throughout the body

  • Helping repair cells and make new ones

  • Protecting the body from viruses and bacteria

  • Promoting proper growth and development in children, teenagers, and pregnant women

Some high-protein foods that I like to include in my diet, that aren’t meat include:

Eggs

Almonds

Oats

Greek Yogurt

Tuna

Salmon

Shrimp

Brocoli

Quinoa

Pumpkin Seeds

Avocados

When I first started my fitness and health journey, I believed that protein smoothies and shakes weren't the way to go. I knew a few girls in high school that drank them, whether they were making it themselves for the nutrition factor, or it was those shakes like Ensure that they needed to drink because they have low iron, and other issues. As I previously mentioned on this blog, I never started my journey to lose weight. i’ve never been an overweight person, nor have I ever felt like I needed to drop weight, so I looked at these shakes and smoothies as just another way people were trying to cheat weight loss and I didn’t think they actually worked. Fast forward a few years, with new found knowledge and understanding, i’ve realized that they aren’t just for weight loss, but can be used for muscle repair after a tough workout, allows you to feel fuller for longer, and helps to curb the need to reach for a snack between meals. BUT, I didn't start including protein powder into my smoothies until late 2018. before that, I thought I could just blend a bunch of fruits, some veggies and add some water and ice i’d be good to go. but I quickly realized that two hours later, i’d be ravenous, looking for any kind of meal to satisfied me. I wasn’t adding enough to my smoothies.

For Christmas, my two best friends both bought me different kinds of protein powder (because they know I am a health nut!) and I have been making mainly two different kinds of protein smoothies with those two protein powders before and after my workouts when I want something quick to snack on. I noticed that they really do keep my full, and I don’t feel bloated from them (which I do sometimes if I eat too much after a workout). The two protein powder brands i’ve been using are Tropeka (both the lean vanilla and chocolate powders) and VegEssentials All in One in the vanilla flavour. Both are freaking awesome when it comes to nutrition and taste.

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My best friend Sarah and I love YouTuber Sarah’s Day. She’s pretty much YouTube’s holistic health princess, and she is the ambassador for Tropeka protein. For Christmas, my best friend Sarah gave me a couple of servings of both the chocolate and vanilla protein from her order of them a few months ago (so sweet of her) because she knew I wanted to try it (and I didn’t want to buy a whole package because it comes from Australia and shipping to Canada was crazy). But in saying that, I really want to buy my own packages now. I really love this protein. It’s vegan, sugar-free, high in 3 powerful plant-based proteins and it tastes for freaking good.

The VegEssentials All in One by Progressive Nutrition in the vanilla flavour is also really really good. I love that when you pour it out, it has this like green tint to it. It’s a plant-based protein, and dairy, trans fat and cholesterol free, with no added sugars and no artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners!

I’ve included two of my favourite smoothie recipes for you all to try out yourselves! If you try them, message me on Instagram (@nicoleisshort) or comment below here and tell me what you think! Enjoy!

Recipes

Chocolate Protein Peanut Butter Smoothie

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1 banana

3-5 ice cubes (Depending on the strength/size of your blender)

1 teaspoon of peanut butter (1 scoop with your spoon)

1 heaping scoop of chocolate protein powder (Brand is your choice)

A few pours of almond milk (Brand of choice)

Once blended, add in a tablespoon of chia seeds (Or you can do this before blending)

Vanilla Protein Blueberry Smoothie

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1 cup of blueberries (Fresh or frozen)

3-5 ice cubes

Container of yogurt (Greek works really well to thicken it up, or just regular yogurt works too. Try to stick to vanilla or plain)

1 heaping scoop of vanilla protein powder (Brand of choice)

1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds (Have flax seeds? Put in blender for a 30 seconds and it will become like a powder)

A few pours of almond milk (Brand of choice)

Once blended, add in a tablespoon of chia seeds (Or you can do this before blending)

PS. I posted my first YouTube intro video this week! If you could check it out i’d greatly appreciate it!

Nicole O'Brien