Meatless? Monday and Protein

So, its another Meatless Monday! Yikes, what actually counts as Meatless? Does diary count? What about eggs? As a lacto-ovo- vegetarian (90% of the time), I regularly eat dairy and eggs. So my food recall for today does include eggs (ovo) and diary (lacto).

Why I do dairy….In particular, I choose to consume dairy not just because it tastes good, but research has shown that dairy proteins (casein and whey) help support muscle repair and recovery.  Dairy foods are also complete proteins e.g. they contain all the essential amino acids required by the body. What’s an essential amino acid, you ask? The building blocks of life, and so you better eat them!*

Let’s see what I ate….Food Recall time

Pre run breakfast classic: PB toast and COFFEE

Protein= 3g (from rye bread)

Post run Breakfast: Spinach Scramble with Seitan Bacon and Brown Rice and COFFEE

Protein= 23 grams (2 grams from brown rice, 6 grams from 1 egg, 15 grams from seitan bacon)

Scramble and COFFEE

Pre lunch snack: Kefir* and COFFEE

Protein=11 grams of protein


Lunch: Subway….(I forgot my lunch at home?) Also, who knew Chicago subway’s had giardiniera? Falafel Veggie Sub

Protein= 33grams (9grams bread, 24 grams falafel)

Falafel Veggie Sub

Post lunch snack: Kefir* , peanut butter cups, and COFFEE

Protein=11 grams of protein

Coffee…the 4th cup, it seems I have a problem.


Dinner: TBD, let’s hope its something good. Although, I am sorta full from that sub at lunch….

Also…boom, doing the math I perfectly hit my 1.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight already. And it was fairly spread out throughout the day, more on protein timing later. 🙂

Note for vegans: If you chose not to do dairy, no worries, there’s plenty of creative ways you can get your protein in, too (seitan, tofu, etc.).

*Disclosure: I do work for Lifeway Foods; hence the kefir. 🙂

Next up: Protein timing and protein utilization!



Food Recall= myself, obviously.

1.Hansen, M., Bangsbo, J., Jensen, J., Bibby, B. M., & Madsen, K. (2015, April). Effect of whey protein hydrolysate on performance and recovery of top-class orienteering runners. Retrieved March 27, 2017, from

2.Naclerio, F., & Larumbe-Zabala, E. (2016, January). Effects of Whey Protein Alone or as Part of a Multi-ingredient Formulation on Strength, Fat-Free Mass, or Lean Body Mass in Resistance-Trained Individuals: A Meta-analysis. Retrieved March 27, 2017, from

3. Rosenbloom, C. (2012). Sports nutrition: a practice manual for professionals (5th ed.). Place of publication not identified: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Protein Intro

Protein, Protein, Protein….Recently, I’ve seen a few athletes falter in the protein department. It might also be my most frequently asked question: “Protein, tell me more…” So, here’s a quick intro. This week, I’ll be doing a short series on the protein food group.

We all hear and read that we need PROTEIN and need a lot of it for good health, weight loss, training, etc. But is that actually true? Yes and no. Yes, protein is needed for good health and is very important for muscle recovery. However, most Americans are eating too much protein. The general recommendations are .8grams per kilogram of body weight. To put this in perspective, this is about 55 grams of protein for a 150lb person e.g. 1 restaurant steak may contain 62 grams of protein. So you can see that it is easy for someone to very quickly consume too much protein!

Dedicated Athletes: The recommendations are .8grams  of protein per kilogram of body weight. This is a baseline recommendation for the average individual trying to maintain current body weight and fitness.

Endurance athletes need more protein! Why?  Because we’re training, breaking down muscle, and we need to repair these muscles to come back stronger, faster, and fitter! Typically for an athlete in training, 1.2-1.4grams of protein for kilogram of body weight is recommended*.

Resistance Athletes need even more protein! Why? Because you’re building strength and making those muscle fibers break down. Typically for an athlete in training 1.6-1.7grams of protein for kilogram of body weight is recommended*.

*Note: These ranges vary based on the individual, sport, level of training, and various other factors. We’ll discuss this more later in the week. 🙂

Questions:  If you don’t know how to or don’t want to calculate your specific protein needs, please ask me!

Picture credit: Nuun (and the protein I ate after was some Vital Farms hardboiled eggs)

Next up: Meatless Monday and Why I do Dairy!

Sources (because, well I didn’t just make this up, haha):

1. Institute of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2002.

2. Rosenbloom, C. (2012). Sports nutrition: a practice manual for professionals (5th ed.). Place of publication not identified: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.