TGIF!  Who else is glad the weekend is almost here?  I am!  Today I had a seriously crazy day.  I am taking care of Skylar alone while Scott travels and for those of you who are parents, you understand what single parenthood, even for a week, is like.  For the non-parents, be glad you have no idea how hard it is.  Children are blessings but they don’t raise themselves and mommy is always on call.  Even at 3:42 a.m.  After dealing with the details of life and my upmteen phone calls, I hit Target, Kinkos, and the bankLove those car seat buckles!  Earlier in the day I went to the gym and lifted.  (I put up some New Pictures of Me on my Gym Workouts Tab)

 
Skylar was at the gym with me helping to flood the carpet by way of playing with the water cooler.  Why are kids so drawn to water coolers?
Young girl standing next to water cooler smiling
Young girl sanding next to door smiling

I am so excited that Scott’s coming home from his business trip and that we have nothing much on the agenda this weekend!   I actually love the lack of any real plans or commitments on weekends.  Just going with the flow is perfect for me lately.  The only thing I plan to do is hit the gym hard and do my cardio with my family, get some pool time chaise lounge and reading time in, and just keep it mellow.  What’s on your agenda?

Today I wanted to touch on my Protein Situation that so many people ask me about it.  I had posted that I was trying to be mindful and increase my protein slightly but nothing crazy, now that I’m Training for Fitness Competitions.

However….

Container of Sun Warrior Protein Powder

…as I alluded to in this Post, my Tummy is not Enjoying the Protein Powder, at all.

Thanks for your suggestions and tips you had for me…

But, I have realized in the past 2 weeks after giving it a valiant effort, that my body does not like and is not tolerating any more than 1 scoop per day of protein powder or “engineered protein”I won’t go into the details, but suffice to say, lots of time in the bathroom, GI distress, stomach cramps, and clearly, that is my body telling me to stop giving it something it doesn’t tolerate!

So, I’m going to stop “trying so hard” to consume “more” protein, and I will have One Scoop of Protein Powder, maximum, per day, and that’s itLet the protein chips fall where they may.  And the rest of my protein is going to come from food.  Real foods, not powders.  Yesterday Heather posted about consuming her protein in the form of real food rather than powder.  Novel concept, huh.  Sometimes life keeps throwing us lessons and challenges and until you really learn the lesson, you will keep being tested.  Ok, I think I got this one now: real food, not powder.

So, as I mentioned in this post about why it was easy for me to become vegan (i.e. I believe my protein requirement just isn’t that terribly high), and I’ve just done some preliminary reading about Metabolic Typing.  Although no one is “textbook” anything, I believe that I possess traits of a Slow Oxidizer and because of that, it’s common to have lower protein, but higher carbs, needs.  Click Here for a Quick-n-Easy Test.  I’ve always said I need carbs over protein or fat.  Turns out, I was onto something! 

Through all of this, I am reminded again that I should never doubt Plants and Plant Power!  Trust in Real Food and Natural Vegan Sources of Protein as discussed in this post and just roll with it.  As evidenced by my Workout Tab Pictures, I am on the right track.


And the timing of a recent post I saw by Vegan Triathlete and Author, Brendan Brazier, was noteworthy:

I am often asked what the secret serving equation should be of protein for optimal athletic performance, and my answer to this is simple. The concern should not be about quantity, but rather quality. Conventional sports training and nutrition books advise taking 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight, which for me would be about double the quantity of what I take now. High-quality, multisource protein that is alkaline-forming and easy to digest will help you reach your peak performance. The question of serving depends on the individual.

 

Top of mind for most endurance athletes is your body’s strength to weight ratio. High-quality, complete protein will help improve this and assist in the maintenance of strong, lean muscles.

 

Plant protein for recovery = best performance
The most important consideration for improving athletic performance is your speed of recovery. This is true for athletes or those who work physical jobs. Reducing the time and energy spent between workouts or periods of higher athletic stress will increase your performance gain. Alkaline-forming, plant protein will reduce muscle inflammation and help speed this recovery process.

I know some of you are going to say, “But you’re Training and you need more now.”  Well, maybe I do and maybe I don’t.  But, I can’t keep trying to use protein powders because I am not going to make myself sick, literally, over trying to consume protein.   Katie and I have talked about this a lot.

Again, to each her own and everyone needs to listen to his/her body and then act accordingly!  Feel free to call me a nut or do 180 degrees opposite from what I’m doing.  I’m simply sharing what my body has been telling me the past couple weeks which is hey, back off a bit!  

I love all my Protein Girls: April, Janetha, Deb, Mama Pea, Susan, Allie, Katie, Alyson, even though I can’t hang in your high protein club, I tried!

Protein can be a good thing, though.  Especially when it’s on top of Chocolate Coconut Oil Protein Popcorn!

Chocolate Coconut Oil Protein Popcorn in bowl

Glad you all liked the looks of that High Protein Chocolate PopcornAnd some of you told me you made it…awesome!

Close up of High Protein Chocolate Popcorn

Or Protein in overnight Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats

Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats in clear containerClose up of Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats

And I’ve been drinking my protein, too.
Chocolate Coffee Vanilla Protein Shake

Overhead of Chocolate Coffee Vanilla Protein Shake in blender bottle
Chocolate Coffee Vanilla Protein Shake with ice
 One of these per day is great; more is not better for me!

I am really glad liked my latest Dessert Recipe…
No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (with an Extra Protein Option) 

  No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ball in clear container
 Close up of No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
These are a 5 Minute, One Bowl, Extremely Easy Recipe!  And Vegan, Gluten-Free, and So Yummy!  

Please let me know if you make the No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (with an Extra Protein Option)!

 Close up of No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

And thank you for letting me know some of your Favorite Songs to Workout To and also how you deal with wearing or clipping on your ipod.  I’m going to have to try some of those suggestions out!  Thanks everyone!

Does anyone else like Blueberry Clif Bars?  This is not a flavor I would have ordinarily chosen for myself, I would have gone for chocolate, of course.  But I bought this for Skylar thinking blueberry is somehow healthier than chocolate.   In a bar like this, I really don’t think there’s much of a difference nutritionally speaking between blueberry and chocolate, but hey, I try.

Blueberry Crisp Clif Bar
Hand holding Blueberry Crisp Clif Bar
 I didn’t count on loving this bar myself! I feel compelled to say, yes, the ingredient list is long but I do like this bar.  I am far from a raw purist.  Very far.
Hand showing side of clif bar and blueberries

What I love about it is the Chewy, Dense Texture.  I hate airy and light bars.  I like to chew.  I love raw foods that are crunchy and that work out my jaw, and I prefer the same highly chewy factor in barsAnd I love this one!  

Close up of Clif Bar
With Big Blueberry pieces embedded.  Nice.
Close up of blueberry in Clif Bar

Green Food was kicked up with some Mango Ginger Chutney from TJ’s

Jar of Mango Ginger Chutney
Close up of jar of Mango Ginger Chutney
Wow, I’m really on a Mango Kick, huh?!  Mango Softserve anyone?
Three bowls of Mango Softserve
Close up of one bowl of Mango Softserve

Love the Lack of Sodium, Onions or Garlic in this chutney

Nutrition Facts on Mango Ginger Chutney bottleIngredients in Mango Ginger Chutney

As I mentioned when I reviewed these chips, it excites me when Sodium, Onions or Garlic are not key ingredients!

Kale and Cheddar Brad's Raw Chip Bags

I love this sauce!  A little heat, not too much, not garlicky/onioney and it didn’t leave me parched and looking for water, either.

Open bottle of Mango Ginger Chutney
Spoon spooning out some Mango Ginger Chutney
I combined Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing and the Mango Chutney
 Jar of Vegan Slaw Dressing
Lidded Jar of Vegan Slaw Dressing
Green salad with mixed vegetables 
And The Combo of the Dressings on top the Raw Kale, Sugar Snap Peas, Cukes, Carrots, and Tomatoes was perfect!  
Yum, I love chutneys!
Salad with vegan slaw dressing and mango chutney
Little Mango Blobs…perfect!
Close up of dressed salad

If you don’t have a TJ’s or are generally opposed to buying prepared condiments, please check out my Vegan Holiday-Spice Orange Vinaigrette 

Salad dressed with Vegan Holiday-Spice Orange Vinaigrette 

The flavors in that dressing are very similar to the mango chutney.  Add in either diced mango or orange pieces if you enjoy the thicker chunks that you’d find in a chutney. 

Dessert was a few bites of the New No Bake Vegan Mint Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

No Bake Vegan Mint Chocolate Coconut Snowballs
Can you see the Little Chocolate and Mint Chips Coated in Minty Chocolate? 
Close up of No Bake Vegan Mint Chocolate Coconut Snowballs with chocolate chips

And I couldn’t resist a Few Balls
No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (with an Extra Protein Option)

 Close up of No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
Chomp!
Close up of one No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ball

 Yoga Today is Lolasana (Scale Pose)

Woman doing Lolasana yoga pose

Gym Workout Today was Upper Body with Super Sets
And I also threw in some Stiff Leg Barbell Deadlifts.   3 Sets of 12-14 reps each.   And I lifted my body weight.  Plenty of grunting and shaking by the last few reps of each set, but hey.  I did it.

Must be the New Gloves

Pink and grey lifting glove on handPalm side of lifting glove
 For those of you who said you don’t wear Gloves, I am in awe.  It’s so dry here, the skin on my hands literally cracks open.  I need callous prevention!

Here’s a Few Pics from Today…

And More Pictures of Today’s Gym Session are Here

Woman at gym in mirror wearing workout attire
Side view of woman at gym wearing workout attire

Tip of the Day:

Green Week logo

I saw this challenge on Katie’s Blog and on Lori’s Blog, and I plan to participate since I already do some of the things anyway.  I encourage you to participate, not just because it’s a Challenge, but because long-term, it’s Good For You, Your Health and for the Planet to be as Green as Possible!

Childs plate full of fruits and vegetablesYoung girl sitting at table eating
Young girl sitting at table eating and smiling
 Points I score in Life: Too Many to Count!  Nothing better than raising a high raw vegetarian crunchy kiddo!

Points I scored in Today’s Post According to The Rules:

  • Use cloth napkins 1 pt
  • Eat a vegetarian or vegan meal 1 pt
  • Make an Earth inspired meal using only whole foods- whole grains, fresh veggies and/or fruits, nuts, seeds 1 pt
  • Get in touch with the Earth- try a yoga class, go for a walk without distractions such as your Ipod, meditate 1 pt

Questions
1. For the past few years I was lucky enough to attend The Largest Free Annual Earth Day Fair in the World in Balboa Park in San Diego, CA.  This year living in Phoenix, I will unfortunately not be attending that Fair and am super bummed because I have amazing memories, but wanted to see if you’ve ever gone to an Earth Day Fair or Event?  
What are you going to be doing differently in honor or Earth Week, April 17-25, this year?

2. What’s on your agenda this weekend?  Do you get spring fever this time of year and just want to go a little crazy and go out and whoop it up?
I do!  Perhaps that’s because I’ve been alone with a child all week, though!  As I mentioned at the top of the post, no big plans other than magazine reading, working out, time with the family, and oh yeah, very little time on my computer.  Yay!

3. Do you have any foods that no matter how hard you try to like them or eat them because they’re “good for you” that they just don’t work for your body?
Me = Protein Powders.  I also don’t love carob It’s fine, but I much prefer chocolate.  And Garlic is also very medicinal, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and boosts the immune system but I hate it! 
What foods do you just have trouble bringing yourself to like?  Have you written them off or do you keep trying? 

4. For the Bloggers who blog every day, do you ever feel like you want to take a day off?  Do you take weekends off?  Do you have a set posting schedule or just whenever the spirit moves you to post?
I know everyone says that “weekends are slow” and I have considered taking them off, which would mean no more Highlights of the Week Posts.  I have been blogging 7 days a week for nearly a year and need a break, though.  For those of you who do blog on the weekends, why do you do it?  Does anyone do it for fear of “abandoning” your blog or your readers?  Talk about putting something/someone else first, huh, but I admit I am a bit guilty of this.  
I would hope everyone would understand if I dropped down to 6 or even 5 days a week of posting, and not saying I am going to, but I need time for my ACE Personal Trainer Studying, my husband and child, and well, my life away from the computer!
What do you guys do with weekend reading, commenting, or posting?

Stay Tuned For A Custom Jewelry Give Away!!!!!…

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.