1461 Calorie High Protein Smoothie

 

DSC_0922

This is only an estimate of what this smoothie can provide, 1461 calories, and 47 grams of protein (woah!) It’s great for people who want to increase their daily calories, perhaps gain weight, or those who do body-building.  You can really alter the ingredients, depending on your preferences (but this may alter the calorie and protein intake). You can also add protein powder, or more fruits for extra protein and quick carbohydrates. However, if you’re looking to significantly increase your protein intake, make sure you eat protein with every meal (around 20-30 grams of protein)  because your body cannot actually absorb a very high amount of protein at once, therefore, for building muscles, it is more beneficial to spread out your protein intake during the day.

  • 2 cups of cow’s milk:  84 calories, 8g of protein (or the milk of your choice, please note that cow’s milk can cause you to feel bloated, especially when drinking such a rich smoothie, so I would recommend another type of milk!)
  • 45 g oats:   175 calories, 8g of protein
  • 2 bananas: 200 calories, 2 g of protein
  • 100g almonds: 600 calories,  21g of protein
  • 1 large tablespoon of peanut butter: 100 calories, 4g of  protein
  • 1 large tablespooon of almond butter: 100 calories, 4g of protein
  • 3 tablespoons of honey: 192 calories
  • 1 tsp maca powder: 10 calories
  • Ice (or frozen fruits/bananas)

Blend all the ingredients together (I usually like to blend the almonds first so they turn to powder or you can soak them in water overnight to soften them up) and enjoy the yummines! ♥

 

 

Protein Supplements and Building Muscles

DSC_0431

If you are interested in building muscle, please visit my Get Ripped guide.

We don’t need supplements to build muscles, but because our bodies does not absorb or take in all the nutrients it needs, taking multi-vitamins, fish oils and protein supplements may be beneficial to ensure optimum performance and results. It’s an on-going debate on whether protein supplements are really necessary and the truth is, they’re not. However, protein powders are easily absorbed by the body after working out, so they can reach your muscles quicker compared to, for example, steak which needs a lot more time to be digested. In addition, they help escalating your total protein intake to efficiently build muscles.

When and how much should I consume protein shakes?

Protein shakes should be consumed within 20 minutes of your workout so your muscles can absorb them. Make sure to read the instructions on the pack to ensure you are getting the right amount of protein (should be around 25g). They can be added as part of your daily diet for extra protein, but they should never be used to replace real food like eggs, meat, chicken, fish, etc.

Below I will explain the pros and cons of different types of protein powders.

Whey Protein Powder

Whey protein is the most commonly used type of protein powder, and it’s made from the clear liquid that’s left over from cheese-making, which gets dried up to form a powder. There are 3 types: concentrate, isolate,and hydrolysate. The main difference between them is simply how they’re processed and what they offer e.g. faster absorption rate, less fat/carbs. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what type you consume, unless you have specific requirements.

Pros-

  • Quickly absorbed by the body
  • Can be easily blended in a drink
  • Tastes great, with a variety of flavours
  • High in protein (around 25g per portion)
  • Contains all necessary amino acids

Cons-

  • May cause stomach upsets in certain individuals or bloating – hydrolysate protein is the most recommended for these symptoms
  • May cause acne for some individuals, if combined with a high-dairy diet
  • Not suitable for vegans or individuals who are lactose-intolerant

Casein Powder

Casein is similar to whey, as it’s another compound found in cow’s milk. The main difference is that casein digests slower than whey, making it a better option when you need a slow release of protein (usually before bed as you will go several hours without food). However, I would not recommend it for beginners as it’s not really essential.

Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp protein is my favourite as it always makes me feel more refreshed, and funnily enough, it’s a derivative of cannabis but it’s completely safe to consume.

Pros-

  • Helps ease muscle pain for quick recovery
  • Suitable for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant
  • High in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids
  • Easy on stomach and doesn’t cause bloating
  • Contains all necessary amino acids

Cons-

  • Doesn’t taste good
  • Less protein per portion, so you often need more scoops to have 25g of protein
  • May be expensive, specifically in the US since it’s illegal to grow, so it has to be imported

Pea Protein Powder

Pea protein usually comes from, yes, peas…

Pros-

  • High in protein per portion
  • Suitable for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant

Cons-

  • Does not contain cystine (essential amino acid)

Soy Protein 

Soy Protein comes from soy beans, which are legumes native to East Asia

Pros-

  • Contains all the essential amino acids
  • Cheap
  • Suitable for vegans
  • High in protein
  • Suitable for individuals who are lactose-intolerant

Cons-

  • Studies say that soy can interfere with hormones if taken in large quantities, potentially lowering testosterone levels and increasing oestrogen levels

 

Yummy Egyptian Dip

image

This dip is called ‘Asal Eswed Bel Tahina’ which literally translates to ‘Black Honey (Molasses) with Tahini’, and it’s an awesome dip as it acts as a full meal, which includes around 25g of protein (as much as a can of tuna), healthy fats, and calories. I would especially recommend it to those who do weight training and want to grow muscles (check out the ‘get ripped guide’ if you are interested in that), and I swear I have muscles growing out of no where when I eat this! Molasses is extracted from sugar cane and it’s a staple ingredient favourable to many Egyptians. Tahini is sesame paste, which is flavourful and nutrient dense and used in Middle Eastern cuisine.

The ingredients below act as a guideline only, so you can try it out and add more tahini or molasses, as much as you prefer.

100g of tahini (sesame paste) – you would often find it in the international section of a supermarket, or any health shops

35g of molasses – usually found at health shops

Your favourite bread (preferably pitta)

Pour the tahini in a bowl, and gradually add the molasses so it twirls on top and mix very gently until the mixture has pretty brown patterns or if it’s a light brown colour. Dip in some bread and see if you would like more or less of any ingredient to suit your tastes. Alternatively, if you would like a lighter dip, you can add some water to the tahini and mix it well first, so it’s less concentrated.

Below are some benefits of molasses and tahini (sesame paste)…

Molasses: 

Good for hair – One serving (two tablespoons) of blackstrap contains approximately 14 percent of our RDI of copper, an important trace mineral whose peptides help rebuild the skin structure that supports healthy hair. Consequently, long-term consumption of blackstrap has been linked to improved hair quality, hair regrowth in men and even a restoration of your hair’s original color! Click here for more information about blackstrap’s hair benefits.

Safe sweetener for diabetics – Unlike refined sugar, blackstrap molasses has a moderate glycemic load of 55. This makes it a good sugar substitute for diabetics and individuals who are seeking to avoid blood sugar spikes. Moreover, one serving of blackstrap contains no fat and only 32 calories, making it suitable for a weight loss diet.

Laxative qualities – Blackstrap is a natural stool softener that can improve the regularity and quality of your bowel movements.

Rich in iron – Two tablespoons of blackstrap contain 13.2 percent of our RDI of iron, which our bodies need to carry oxygen to our blood cells. People who are anemic (including pregnant women) will greatly benefit from consuming 1-2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses per day.

High in calcium and magnesium – Blackstrap molasses contains a mineral profile that has been optimized by nature for superior absorption. For example, two tablespoons of blackstrap contains 11.7 percent of our RDI of calcium and 7.3 percent of our RDI of magnesium. This calcium-magnesium ratio is ideal, since our bodies need large quantities of magnesium to help absorb similarly large quantities of calcium. Both of these minerals aid the growth and development of bones, making blackstrap a good safeguard against osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

Additional mineral content – Two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses also contains 18 percent of our RDI of manganese (which helps produce energy from proteins and carbohydrates), 9.7 percent of our RDI of potassium (which plays an important role in nerve transmission and muscle contraction), 5 percent of our RDI of vitamin B6 (which aids brain and skin development) and 3.4 percent of our RDI of selenium, an important antioxidant.

Source: http://www.naturalnews.com/043009_blackstrap_molasses_nutritional_supplement_health_benefits.html#ixzz3B8XAqkCL

Tahini: 

It’s rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron.
It’s a good source of Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification.
It’s one of the best sources of calcium out there.
It’s high in vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15.
Helps to promote healthy cell growth.
Prevent anemia.
Helps to maintain healthy skin and muscle tone.
It has 20% complete protein, making it a higher protein source than most nuts.
It’s easy for your body to digest because of its high alkaline mineral content, which is great for assisting in weight loss.
It is high in unsaturated fat (good fat!)

Source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6997/10-Reasons-to-Eat-Tahini.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why You May Be Not Getting Results…

DumbbellsA lot of people complain on why their workout regime is not bringing results. The following points are made to help you determine why:

  • Do you allow sufficient recovery time? For weight training, you need to rest every body part for at least 24 hours. This is so the muscle fibres repair and come back even stronger and bigger!
  • Are you putting your mind into the muscles you are working? The brain-muscle connection is key to really target a specific body part and for quicker results.
  • Do you create a challenge? Each time you do the workout, add extra reps or weights. This is absolutely crucial to getting results.
  • Do you change your workouts every 4-6 weeks? Muscles get bored too (just like us!) and do not respond efficiently if they are used to the routine. You must surprise your muscles and hit them at different angles.
  • Concentrate on good form. It’s not about the time you take, the amount you can lift or the number of sets you do. Focus on quality, not quantity.
  • Do not be afraid to lift heavy. If you think that the heaviest thing you can lift is a handbag, time will prove you wrong. You can carry beyond what you think if you give it time. In addition, lifting heavy is what really makes a difference to your physique.
  • Do you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night? Sleep is the time when your body starts recovering, building muscle mass and releasing growth hormones.
  • Remember that it’s 80% diet and 20% exercise. Food is what makes the exercise sculpt you in a specific way. You need to provide enough energy for your muscles by eating healthy carbs, plenty of protein and healthy fats. In addition, eating every 2-3 hours.
  • I recommend that after your workout, you take a good quality protein shake and 1 or 2 bananas so you have quick proteins and quick carbs.

Challenge: How about you don’t ‘check yourself out’ in the mirror for another week or two? Just do what you got to do, and don’t worry about the results yet! It’s a psychological thing, as when you look at yourself everyday, your eyes will try and look for little details and you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. If you completely forgot the mirror for another month, and you finally look in it, you will be surprised. Your eyes will notice the real new changes because you haven’t refreshed your memory for a long time.

Remember: Muscle fibres are like jigsaws. Every workout you do, inserts a new jigsaw over your existing muscles, to form a bigger picture. You don’t form a jigsaw in one second, but you gradually do it by time, adding more and more muscles to your body. So every little helps!