Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Protein shakes and bars vs real food


I have had some questions emailed about both protein shakes and bars. Thanks everyone for first of all reading the blog and second for emailing questions. I have now received the following questions from two different people

"Tell me why you use the bars for one of the meals instead of food." and "what type of protein powder do you use?"
Because there are six meals you are unable to shoot from the hip and not plan ahead, if you do that the calories would be through the roof. So predetermined meals are very important.

There are three ways to do a 6 meal plan like this:
1-Make all the meals as you go along- which I have done and it gets tiring and you feel like you are cooking the entire day.

2-Have speed meals incorporated- Which I have tried to do with these meals. Half are very fast, these include shakes and bars.

3-Cook and prepackage meals ahead-I have done this as well. This is probably the best way. I would cook everything at once and then put it in zip lock bags and then set things out the night before. It is very efficient and you can do healthier food like beans and rice, chicken salad or other yummy make a head meals. I switch back to shakes, bars and other speed meals because sometimes I get to the moment of a meal and what I have planned does not sound good to me. With the speed meals I can easily make a switch to a more appealing option.

So in short the shakes and bars are purely for convenience, the easier those meals are to make, prepare or grab the more likely I am to stick to the plan and when I have my husbands meals and my meals to have in advance they are so much easier for me. If you get a chance give the make-ahead meals a try. I try to do some type of make ahead meal every other week for variety.

I use a 100% protein whey powder of any brand. You can buy it at a health foods store but I find it is cheaper at Sams Club, Costco and Walmart. I switch between vanilla and chocolate daily so I don't get too tired of the taste of one. They also carry other flavors like cookies and cream and strawberry. I will eventually post some additional shake options. There are lots of yummy shakes to try.

Glut-amine Powder is recommended by Kristi as part of her plan because she has a workout element added. (Kristiapproved.com). Some protein shakes already have it added to them so watch for that. If you are incorporating exercise daily (which is a very good idea) you may want to consider it. Glut-amine powder is supposed to assist in the rebuilding of muscle and lessen muscle soreness. 

I honestly don't know how it works or if it does. I haven't read the research to make any conclusions but I do know that when I was running 10 miles a day I would crash unless I had a recovery drink soon after the run. The crash was severe like I had the flu and I would have to lay down and suffer sometimes for an hour sometimes it seemed to last only a few minutes. When I started doing a glut-amine drink and replenished my electrolytes soon after my run I could mostly completely avoid the crash.

Protein bars are expensive (according to my standards)! I try to use coupons when possible. I get a whole bunch of coupons, I then wait for the bars to go on sale and then I buy a whole bunch at once and use the coupons doubled with the sale. They then become really cheap, even free sometimes!!! www.savvyshopper.com is a good site for you Utah Folks who want to keep an eye out for coupons and www.pinchingyourpennies.com is more statewide.

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

For my FREE clean eating meal plans please go here and enter your name and email.  You will be sent my printable pdf files with the shopping lists, bulk prep, meal plan and the recipes! 

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