February 22, 2010

Food That Helps You Win In Arm Wrestling

Happy Monday to everyone, hope you all had a relaxing and fun-packed weekend! Hubs and I tried a new recipe on Sunday that I just have to share with you. But, first a little background.

We all, especially when we’re dieting, hear about the importance of eating enough protein. Now, I love, or have loved getting my protein via cheese. Cheese and me are pretty tight. I think just about anything can be made delicious or MORE delicious by the simple addition of cheese. I guess some people use ketchup that way. I would venture to say that nary a day goes by that I don’t have at least a little cheese.

And, the feeling must be pretty universal because what do they ask you to say when taking your picture? “Say, ‘cheeeese’.” It makes you smile, doesn't it? ;)

But, alas, cheese packs a big fat punch along with its protein count, so I’ve had to go to cheese counseling to make our relationship a healthier one.  And, that means finding other sources of protein that won’t be so high in fat and cholesterol.

If we don’t eat enough protein, then as the fat melts away, so does some of our muscle tissue. And, that makes it harder to both lose and maintain weight. Plus we just feel lousy when we don’t have much muscle which leads to losing at arm wrestling every time which leads to more eating because we’re depressed. So, EAT YOUR PROTEIN!

Easier said than done.

In a discussion I had with a nutrition specialist, I was told I should be consuming over 150 grams of protein a day! That’s crazy! I wanted to ask her if she really thought I would lose weight if I eat that much protein in steak, hamburgers and cheese? I didn’t say any of that but I thought about it.

Then, I talked to my chiropractor who is somewhat of a nutrition guru, and he said around 100 grams of protein would be ideal for me, otherwise the liver has to do an awful lot of work processing all that protein. So much information out there, isn’t there?

So, my newest challenge with food is to find ways to get my protein count up while keeping the fat grams down, and I’m shooting for 125 grams of protein each day. Middle of the road. The average. And, here’s how I’m doing it:

1. I found a handy dandy article on About.com that lists high protein foods and their protein count. Did you know that 6 oz. of tuna has a whopping 40 grams of protein, a chicken breast, 30 grams, ½ cup of cottage cheese, 15, and tofu comes in at 20 grams for a half cup? Take a look (later please) at the site to see more options for yourself … but not yet, don’t go yet, you don’t have the recipe I promised yet!

2. Secondly, I'm incorporating one protein drink a day – take your pick, some say soy protein is better and others swear by whey protein drinks. They each have distinct flavors, so maybe don’t buy a ginormous container until you’ve tasted it. I also add to it some freshly ground flax seed which boosts the protein count even farther. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a meal replacement…it might even be good to have it right after a really hard workout to help with your recovery.

3. And, thirdly, I’m purposely looking for recipes that pack a big protein punch. Here’s what you've been patiently waiting for... the recipe I’ve been promising…and I can guarantee you it is GOOD. We had this Sunday morning and may make this a weekly ritual.

Protein Pancakes!!!

Who doesn’t love the pancake? Seriously. Pancakes just warm you up, fill you up, make you smile, maybe even laugh right out loud because they are just so darn good. And, this recipe DOES NOT disappoint, I like to say we’re getting our day off in a proteinalicious kind of way.

Here’s the recipe and it’s so simple, you’ll love it:
1 cup of old fashioned oats
1 cup of 1% cottage cheese
1 cup of egg whites (takes approx 6 eggs)
1-2 scoops of protein powder

How simple is that?

Put it all in your blender or food processor and let it spin until it’s a batter consistency. (We used a chocolate flavored protein powder, so ours had an additional yummy flavor.) Cook the pancake about 3-4 minutes or until the surface is almost dry. Then flip and cook til done, about another couple of minutes…same as other pancakes.

Serve with fruit and a squirt of whip cream! We topped our pancakes with thinly sliced banana, a dash of cinnamon and a couple tablespoons of syrup.

We weren’t talking at all while we ate…was just too good for words. And get this…we got 5 pancakes out of one batch, so each one had about 15 grams of protein! In a pancake! Very filling, too. You really only need one. We had enough for Monday morning's breakfast, too.

Next time we’ll double the recipe and keep them in the fridge for a quick, gourmet-delicious, super healthy breakfast all week long.

Anyone have other ideas as to how we can get more lean, mean protein?

Bon app├ętit,


  1. I think I want to try that pancake recipe. I've been craving pancakes lately. Thanks.

  2. Whey protein is your post workout friend. Drink it 30-45 minutes after your workout when your muscles are ready for it and need it for recovery. Protein pancakes rock! I love them with blueberries on top. Cottage cheese is also great. For an awesome tasty quick recipe go to the Vegetarian Times web site and look up Enchiladas Verdes in the recipe search function. Using cottage cheese for the filling makes them a great protein food.

  3. Whey protein is great. Tuna doesn't provide as many nutrients as salmon. I eat salmon about five times a week. Skim milk after a workout is good too. Almonds are a great source of protein (raw)in moderation. I also eat Detour Energy Bars...low sugar and high protein. Just some suggestions!

  4. I haven't used whey protein on a consistent basis, its mostly been either soy or a really great product called Protivity...truly astounding post-workout results. Love love the suggestions you all made!

    @Weighting Around - Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions for making it better! Thanks for your comment. :)

    @Pamela I have learned so much lately about the need for protein for post-workout recovery! It makes such a huge difference in how I feel the rest of the day. Will definitely check out the Enchildas Verdes recipe. Thanks for your comment today!

    @Anonymous Thanks TONS for the suggestions...its always good to have alternates and what you've offered is pretty much common, every day kinds of food that can be grabbed quickly.

  5. For your protein pancakes, I found the Vermont brand of no sugar syrup. 15 cal for 1/4 cup and 25% each of daily requirements of Niacin, Thiamin, B6, B12, and Zinc.


  6. As a pancake lover, I'm definitely going to have to try this one. Glad you used chocolate and liked it...that's the only kind of protein powder in our house! Just last week we had pancakes topped with homemade whipped cream and cooked apples (no sugar added, of course) - yum.

  7. ahh...my supper is cooking as I'm reading this and the recipe (and subsequent comments) are making my mouth water! I'm definitely gonna have to try this recipe...I'll put it in the next week menu plan with a link to your post here! We had salmon burger last night for dinner (major yum, by the way) and they had a strong protein count too! You can get pre-made salmon burgers at Trader Joe's, though we made our own. I also have a recipe for Applesauce Protein Bars that I've been meaning to make but haven't yet...I'll let you know when I do...I think they'd make a good after-workout protein bar. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  8. @Kat Thanks for dropping in, and glad you like!

    @Ellen Thanks for your comment~yeah, finding a good quality sugar-free syrup is a challenge, some of them come out of the bottle in globs, not sure what all is in them.

    @Lisa I bet adding a small handful of mini dark choc chips would be scrumptious too...would add a few calories but we all know we NEED dark chocolate. :) Thanks for commenting!

    @Minnesota Mami Going to have to look for those salmon burgers and would LOVE the recipe for the applesauce protein bars! Its kinda fun learning about all this stuff, isn't it? See you tomorrow!

  9. Hmmm you said something that really stuck out at me - "If we don’t eat enough protein, then as the fat melts away, so does some of our muscle tissue. And, that makes it harder to both lose and maintain weight."

    So thinking back over the last few weeks and all this grumbling I've done about low weigh in numbers on the scale might make sense now. I can't tell you (well that's not true - Saturday I had steak) the last time I ate some 'real' food - protein specifically. I've kind of been living on Weight Watcher's frozen meals a LOT the past few weeks. So it makes sense now that lack of protein would (1) possibly be the reason for pulling low #'s and (2) why I've felt so tired and 'out of it' lately.

    Great post and those pancakes looks delicious - not too sure about the cottage cheese in them though. That sounds gross. LOL