What’s with the protein?
Well… first, a little bit about myself…
Like many health food bloggers, I have arrived at my current clean eating lifestyle after years of abusing my body through food and drink. Two years ago I found myself extremely overweight, constantly sick, unhealthy, unhappy and incapable of nourishing myself. I literally didn’t know anything about eating for my health and paid no attention to anything I put it my mouth. I had always been athletic as a young teen but when I went off to University that changed pretty quickly. Having never stepped foot in a gym unless it was to play sports, I had no intention of starting to work out. I actually made fun of girls who worked out and labelled them vain. (if only old me could see the new me!) Out went my athleticism and instead I welcomed the freshman 15 with open arms. Freshman 15… 25… who’s counting really? Well I sure wasn’t. I know it’s a bit cliché but the reason I decided to take control of my fitness is because I had a Eureka moment.
“I am fat. Really, really fat.”
After a year of trying to squeeze into my old clothes I had no choice but to stop ignoring my current state. So I started on a very long journey to lose some weight.
When I first decided to begin my transformation, I wanted it quick and easy. My plan was to lose the fat overnight and then go back to my crap lifestyle. Too bad that’s not how it works! I spent useless hours at the gym doing ineffective cardio, afraid to lift weights for fear of “bulking up”. (Ladies if any of you out there has this fear, I will smack you with the 5lb dumbell you’re “working out” with.) I justified my crappy diet with the 30 minutes I spent on a treadmill and then wondered why I wasn’t losing weight at the rate I wanted. Watching portions? Nope. Tracking macro-nutrients? Nope. Getting any healthier? Not a chance. I fell into the trap of buying garbage health foods that were labelled “Low Fat! Diet! All Natural!” and of course, pumped more chemicals into my system. I’d buy those mini rice cakes (Only 100 calories a pouch!) and then eat 3 or 4 in a day. Because it’s healthy right? I believed that crap that I found online that gave me lists of “negative calorie foods” (these are not real. Sorry to burst your bubble fellow pintresters.) I saw a little progress but nothing close to what I so desperately crave. And then came P90x…
Let me tell you, for someone who was in the shape that I was in at the time, this program was HARD. And I still wasn’t following a healthy eating plan! However, I started to see results and began to like my body again. If you know absolutely nothing about exercise and need a place to start, I’d strongly recommend you try it. I’m not sure when exactly but at some point after completing the program I became obsessed! I wasn’t just obsessed with looking good, I wanted to be good. I wanted to start putting nutritionally valuable foods on my plate, I wanted to be able to run faster, lift heavier – be better. So I dedicated all of my free time to learning everything I possibly could that would aid in my transformation. I devoured every article, blog, self-help site, book and documentary I could find on any topic relevant to health. Fast forward through hours upon hours of self-education and here I am today: 40 lbs lighter, stronger, and much more comfortable in my skin. I lift heavy, engage in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and eat an extremely satisfying, clean diet. There seems to be this popular notion among those who eat a Standard American Diet (SAD) that the health conscious eat carrot sticks and iceberg lettuce for dinner. My meals are healthy, hearty and extremely rich! (And I make sure that I get dessert every. single. day. ) I’ve always been passionate about food (I would show you a picture of fat me as proof but it’s really embarrassing!) so I learned how to cook. And I don’t mean buying a jar of sauce and smothering some meat with cheese. That is not cooking in my eyes!
Turns out not only do I love eating food, I really enjoy cooking it. And I’m not half bad at it either 🙂 After the constant urging of friends and family who had tried my cooking, I finally decided to share my passion of clean eating with others. If you’re the kind of person that grimaces when they hear “sugar-free” or “healthy,” I hope you can leave here with a different understanding of what nutritious food can actually taste like.
So about that protein…
My exercise regimen requires that protein makes up a huge chunk of my meals. A girl can only eat plain chicken breast for so long before she snaps! So I had to get creative and think up of interesting ways to get more protein in my diet. I also practice Intermittent Fasting everyday – something I will elaborate on later in greater detail. This means that drinking my protein is not a very fulfilling meal option. Besides, who wants to have a protein shake for a meal? That isn’t very satisfying! Nor is it a healthy way to live/eat. So I’ve found ways to boost the protein content of my meals in order to fulfill my daily needs. I also refuse to eat anything that tastes chalky so you can be assured that all of my high protein recipes (especially the deserts!) are indistinguishable from their unhealthy counterparts. If you’re stuck in a food rut, or just aren’t sure of how to clean up your diet while still enjoying your meals hopefully my blog can point you in the right direction.