I have a confession to make. The other day I ate an entire box of Pumpkin and Cranberry Crisp crackers for a snack…In my defense, the box wasn't that big. And they're seasonal so I needed to know if I liked them so I could buy them again before they go away. As moms we get really busy and sometimes (most of the time) we aren't eating the things we should. One simple change in how I think about my diet could have kept me from eating those nutritionally empty crackers and feeling bad about the choice I made. The key to everyday health, for moms and everyone, is protein. Are you getting enough protein in your diet? I'm not and because of that I make terrible decisions, that might be delicious, but not great for my body. I'm sharing 5 easy ways to look at your daily diet and see if you are including enough protein.
Of course we think about eating protein at meal time, but research shows that it might be beneficial to spread out our protein intake over the course of the day. Which means, we need to be intentional with not only our meal plan but also our snacking. Sure it takes a little bit of planning ahead, but protein is where it's at, you guys. Protein throughout the day helps you avoid that starving hunger that usually hits and makes you want to eat a whole bag of tortilla chips. If you never get to that place, you can make better snack choices. As a work at home mom, I notice that when my energy feels down, my work suffers. Don't worry, I just ate beef jerky so this post is totally good.Listen to Your Body
I know that when I eat more protein, I'm not a jerk due to raging hunger. I've been wanting to add more protein in to my day but wasn't totally sure how. I joined the 30 Day Protein Challenge which helps you, step by step, make easy changes to your diet that will hopefully turn in to habits. It's such a great resource! I love that they focus on listening to your body and it responds to your diet and make it really easy for your to track that. I printed out the Hunger Scale which helps you identify patterns of how you eat so you can start to see where you need to make changes. It's so helpful! We don't need to be at Level 10, “Thanksgiving Full” after our meals. I aim to be at a Level 7 after a meal, “Hunger is definitely gone. Stop here and you may not feel hungry again for 3-4 hours”. Once I gauge my level, I note it on my Food and Hunger Journal (another download). it's such a simple way to track how your snacks and meals make you feel and show you where you can make changes. The protein benefits and diet changes will affect your everyday health greatly. I now know that I can't just eat an apple for an afternoon snack, but need to add protein also. My journal showed me that. Know the Facts
Our portion sizes are all out of whack. Either we are sharing our meal with the kids, since something suddenly made them think that the food on their own plate is not fit to be consumed (Kids! amIright?) or we over serve ourselves. Eating the right amount of protein helps with weight loss by reducing overall overeating and mindless snacking. Plus it helps to build muscles after a workout (chasing your toddler at the park counts in my book) and protecting muscle mass. In the last few years I have changed up my diet a few different ways. One way, I was hungry constantly and miserable. With the second way, finally adding in enough protein, I was not starving and weight came off. I didn't expect to see such a difference but I totally did. So what is the right size of a protein serving? A 3 ounce serving size is about the size of an iPhone. I know when we eat steak, I often eat way more of that simply because I had NO idea! I will modify that immediately! The site also share other easy ways to add protein to your diet.Keep it Lean
Make sure the meat you are serving is as lean as it can be. It was super simple to switch up the ground beef I bought to make tacos this week. I felt better about what I was serving and it is an easy change that I can make for the long-term. For more tips on quick and easy beef meals and snacks visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. It's a great spot to find new recipes to try that are full of protein. I don't know about you, but sometimes just trying to figure out what I'm going to make for dinner is enough to just decide to throw in the towel and eat ice cream. Also, breakfast is a really hard time of day for me since I'm trying to get the kids out the door on time. I just tried this recipe for Roast Beef and Bagel sandwich (the first image of this post) and it was awesome! It came together quickly and it left me totally satisfied. And I can't wait to try these Spicy Portuguese Steak Kabobs! I think the kids will like these too.Challenge Yourself
Sometimes we decide we want to make a change but it's easier said than done. I decided to take the 30 Day Protein Challenge because it will help keep me motivated and on the right path. Plus they help you stay focused and provide resources to educate you on how to stock your pantry with more protein rich options and tips for dining out and not loosing control. You can find everything you need to get started with the Protein Challenge at http://beefitswhatsfordinner.com/proteinchallenge.aspx. Plus you can share your progress and encourage others by using #ProteinChallenge on social media. It's a great way to engage with a new community and stay accountable. One small change in your diet can make a big difference in the way you feel! There's even a calendar for you to follow to help you make this change become a habit! I've been beefing (literally) up my lunch salads so that I don't chase it up with Kettle Corn. What good is a healthy salad if I'm just going to ruin it with junk food? Salads don't always keep me full or satisfied but adding lean beef really helps! You can find more meal ideas here.Did you know that most Americans consume almost all of their daily intake of protein at dinner? Sign up for the 30 Day Protein Challenge and start making the right changes when it comes to protein. Need more help with your everyday health? Joins us for a Twitter party on Thursday, October 20 at 1 P.M. ET using #ProteinChallenge. It will be a great place to chat tips and inspiration for quick and easy protein rich meals and snacks. You'll have the chance to learn more about The Beef Checkoff's Protein Challenge and throughout the chat you'll have the opportunity to answer some trivia questions and win prizes, which include a $50 Visa gift card. Must RSVP for a chance to win!
Thank you for supporting the brands like, Beef, It's What's For Dinner, that let me help you live a better life. All opinons are always my own.