Protein

I’ve read over and over that Americans eat too much protein. When I was a vegetarian back in 2007, I didn’t worry about protein because I had read that we don’t need very much and if anything I was probably getting too much. I’m not a vegetarian anymore, but since I started eating meat again, I haven’t eaten tons of it, and lately I’ve cut back even more because I feel better physically when I’m not eating much of it.

I’ve been tracking my food intake on My Fitness Pal, and one thing that I’ve noticed is that I’m consistently not getting enough protein. I eat a lot of vegetables, grains, and especially beans and nuts, but they just don’t match up to the amount of protein that meat has. Since one of my goals is building lean muscle, this is obviously a problem! I’ve been making a conscious effort to sneak in protein wherever I can. I saw a recipe for custard oats on a blog a couple of weeks ago (I’ve actually seen it on several blogs, but I didn’t bookmark any of the recipes so I can’t remember which ones they were!) and decided to try it out for breakfast since the addition of the egg would give me a little extra protein. I don’t think I can ever go back to regular oatmeal now!

Please excuse the low light, I was up and at ’em early this morning so breakfast was consumed before it was very light outside!

Custard Oatmeal

1 cup of milk (I use almond milk)
1 egg
1/2 cup old fashioned oats

Plus the mix-ins of your choice. I used:

1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
Generous sprinkling of cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan, then heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly so that the eggs don’t scramble, until the oatmeal has reached your desired thickness. I like mine really thick, so I cooked it for about 5 minutes.

The texture is so creamy and decadent, it’s almost like desert! You can’t taste the egg at all, it just adds texture. One large egg adds 6 grams of protein, bumping this recipe up to 11 grams total. That’s not too shabby for breakfast! The extra protein is so filling that I could barely finish my bowl + an orange.
In other news, I might not be able to keep doing Extreme Shed and Shred! I did it both Monday and yesterday, and I noticed after both days that I was having pain in my knees, hips and elbows. Muscle pain is okay, joint pain is not. I’ve never had a problem with it with any of her other workouts (so long as I skip lunges; those always hurt my knees so I swap them for squats), and I can’t pinpoint which exercises would be causing the pains, so I think that I’m going to stop doing it for now. I’m going to try No More Trouble Zones instead, because I’ve been doing 30 Day Shred for a few weeks now so I feel like I might be able to tackle NMTZ again. Eventually I’ll give Shed & Shred another try, and if it still hurts my joints, I’ll give it up forever.

This week I’m trying out doing a workout DVD Monday-Friday instead of just twice a week. I am still walking a ton, too, but I’m really itching for more challenging workouts. One thing that I really like about exercise is that it feels good to take time out of your day to do something that’s good for you. Walking doesn’t necessarily fulfill that for me because 80% of my walks are to or from work or class. I do leave early to get in extra walking time when I can, and I am choosing walking over taking the (free!) bus, but for the past two days, the knowledge that I made the effort to exercise before class and work put me in a good mood all day, so I’m trying to keep that up!

Homework time!

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