July 19, 2012

Packing in the Protein

Earlier this week, I blogged about some of my initial marathon training nutrition dilemmas and how I planned to address them. So far so good, for the most part. I stuck to the plan that day and was not only was my belly satisfied, but I rocked my speed workout that night. I had my pasta salad with tons of veggies for lunch, made banana chocolate chip ice cream in my Vitamix for dessert, and had plenty of energy for my workout. But when I got home from the gym, there was no amount of food that could satiate me. I ate dinner, drank lots of water and tried to ignore the runger only to find myself in bed with a jar of peanut butter & a spoon a few hours later.

I guess this is my next training challenge: RUNGER. Training has only just begun and I'm already hungry all time. This isn't a new experience and I'm sure the runners out there can relate. So what's the solution?  I know that if I add more food to my meal structure, there's a good chance I'll gain weight which I'd like to avoid. And PLEASE do not tell me that if I'm hungry I need to listen to my body and eat more. I have studied nutrition, have spoken to doctors, am at a healthy weight and during training, I track my intake to make sure I'm eating more than enough calories and am getting all of my nutrients. I do not starve myself at all and sometimes, no matter how much I eat, I just can't get full. I also know that in the past, when I've consumed entire boxes of gluten free mac n cheese after a long run, all I did was gain weight during training which made training even more difficult. Imagine carrying a 10 pound dumbell on your next long run. Yeah, exactly.

So again, what's the solution? What can I add to my food intake to help fill me up without packing on extra pounds? Protein perhaps? Since protein is said to help control hunger, I thought I'd give it a try and have begun experimenting with protein powders. I'm still not sure how I feel about this. I've always been one to eat only "real" unprocessed food and know that I already consume more than enough protein through food. But if I wanted to see if I could find a way to make those daily green smoothies even more filling, or if pancakes could keep me satisfied for longer than just the hour after breakfast.

Call it perfect timing but just as all of this was going through my brain, I got this email from Vega:
" I was wondering if you would be interested in reviewing or collaborating on content our newly branded Vega Energizing Smoothie. It’s a great On-the-Go smoothie options with two servings of veggies 10 g of complete, plant-based protein, 5 g of fiber and 1 g of Omega-3. If you haven’t heard of Vega, we are a nutritional company based on using plant-based products for optimal nutrition and health. Check us out online!"
Ok, why not right? I replied with my info and a few days later, I received an assortment of Vega flavors
Included in the samples were Vanilla, Chocolate, Berry, Tropical & Plain. That day, I added the vanilla to my smoothie and I thought it was pretty good. The smoothie was a whole lot of kale, the Vanilla Vega powder, a half a banana and almond milk. I gulped it down, enjoyed it, and was pretty full for a few hours after. The next day I made the same smoothie but used the Chocolate flavor and enjoyed it even more. I love Chocolate so DUH and it tasted a little less artificial than the Vanilla. To be fair, I am one of those people who can pick out flavors in my foods like you wouldn't believe. Bake a cake with all different spices and I'll name them. Cook a meal with a mix of fresh herbs and I'll identify them too. I have a pretty discerning palate so I could easily taste the powder in my shakes and did think they were a little artificial in flavor. For that reason, I really didn't care for the berry or tropical flavor.
Green Smoothie with Kale, Vega, & Almond Milk
That being said, they did accomplish my goal of keeping me full for longer periods of time. I do like that they are vegan since I'm trying to cut back on dairy (it makes my skin breakout) so I would probably buy but only in the chocolate flavor as that was my favorite.

Have you tried Vega? What are your thoughts? Do you use supplements during your training or any other methods to curb your RUNGER?  I'd love to hear suggestions!


1 comment :

  1. I love the chocolate vega protein powder!