May 042015

In Mid-April, I began the #ProteinChallenge, a 30 Day guided challenge that aims to help you get a balanced amount of protein at each meal.  Some of the more remarkable benefits of eating protein throughout the day include feeling satisfied after a protein-packed meal, which helps reduce mindless eating. Also, meals with protein helps to build muscle and reduce body fat.  You can read more about the challenge and our participation in this #ProteinPartner collaboration from my RD partner, Melissa Joy Dobbins here: Join Us on the 30 Day Protein Challenge


Monday April 27 – Sunday May 3

This Week I Learned… a few different things, all thanks to it being a week of CELEBRATION!  Tuesday was my birthday [Bar-thday Trivia trip included!], followed by a 5-day vacation from the office; the best gift I could have given myself! 

Birthday Collage
The whole week/long weekend was filled with lots of celebratory eats [and drinks!] and I decided going in that I was going to aim for my protein goals according to the challenge schedule each day, but I wasn’t going to stress over any specific meals that I might not have control over.  Celebrating #THS32 > worrying about any one plate of food.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how easily hitting my protein goals came to me, especially on meals I was dining out.  I am a sandwich lover and ate my fair share of them over the past week, especially when out for lunches and dinners with friends. 

Favorite Meal of the Week: Here’s a tip for me fellow free-food lovers – if you sign up for the Moe’s Southwest Grill E-World, you’ll get a coupon for a free entrée with the purchase of any size soft drink for the days surrounding your birthday.  I love Moe’s for a lot of reasons and the coupons that come to my inbox throughout the year is one of them.


Another reason I love Moe’s is the fillings/topping choices.  This time around I got a steak burrito with grilled mushrooms, peppers and onions, pinto beans, corn salsa, guac, and chipotle sauce on a whole grain tortilla and it was FANTASTIC.  And also giant size so I had plenty of food for leftovers. 

One last note – the current seasonal salsa flavor at Moe’s is Pineapple Cucumber and it is RIDICULOUSLY delicious. I want to sneak in a ball jar and fill it before they swap flavors. [Or you know… just make my own version at home like a normal human.]

Snacking Notes: I have mentioned it before, but I definitely see a difference in my hunger levels and a lack of mindless-afternoon snacking on days where I eat 25-30 grams of protein at both breakfast and lunch.  And I like that difference!  I have found myself gravitating towards protein heavy meals even on days that are scheduled as “rest” on the calendar because of it.

In terms of celebration snacks, I did treat myself to a fancy coffee at The Happy Cappuccino while I was out running errands one early morning last week – the April flavor special, the Samoa, which happens to be my favorite girl scout cookie.  Fancy, over-sugared coffee beverages are one of life’s sweetest, simplest pleasures in my mind.


I also took advantage of the luxury of being on vacation and spent 15 full minutes just sitting in the window of the coffee shop, listening to the music that was playing [something instrumental and lightly jazzy], enjoying the people watching, and not reading, writing, making, or taking.  It was glorious and a reward I plan to treat myself to in the coming months after completing personal goals, for certain. I

Also, on a protein note – I’m estimating this large iced whole milk latte had between 12-16 grams of protein. BOOM!

#ProteinChallenge Reflections: I’m getting more and more comfortable being able to estimate where my meals are going to be protein wise before I track them, which is great for the goal of understanding protein in a “make a lifestyle change” type of way.  Being out and about a lot this week wasn’t all that scary because I was familiar with the ingredients I was eating and could estimate the protein content based on my previous tracking and journaling experience.  

ICYMI: Some protein recipes and resources from around the web I came across this week:

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Beef Expert Bureau.  Though this post is NOT directly sponsored by The Beef Checkoff, my participation in the Protein Challenge does full under my Bureau membership activities, which is a paid position.