When it comes to nutrition, and overall wellness, it’s important to acknowledge that every person is different. Some of us respond better to higher carb diets, some of us respond better to high-fat diets. Maybe a raw salad works well for one person, while a warm grain bowl works well for another. However, the one thing that remains constant across every body, is the importance of quality foods and the inclusion of protein.
My nutrition journey began while I was in college. I remember the late nights of pizza slices, tubs of ice cream, and a few too many tequila shots (I’m sure a lot of people can identify with a night like this!) I could recover the next day with a nap and a little extra water but these lifestyle habits added up.
As a sophomore in college, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and other Autoimmune issues that left my stomach in a constant state of bloat, pain, and uneasiness. Not to mention, I was gaining weight (despite hard workouts) and my mental state was vibrating at an all-time low.
Health is a journey. After spending too many years following complicated diets and routines, I was inspired to become a certified health coach. With my clients, one of my first recommendations is to add a protein smoothie into their daily routine. It’s the easiest way to sneak in a ton of nutrients and there are many delicious ways to drink a smoothie at any time of the day! (You can try my Peanut Butter Espresso Chip Smoothie with Vanilla hi! in the Museum of Smoothies!).
I like to start out with a breakdown of macronutrients as a baseline for what to include:
Fiber rich carbs (from fruit and greens)
Protein (high quality protein powder)
Healthy fat (avocado, nuts, seeds)
The biggest question I get, especially from plant-based clients, is “What type of protein should I be looking for?”
The important qualities of a protein powder:
- all natural, organic ingredients
- enough protein (~20g per serving is a good baseline)
- necessary enzymes so the breakdown the protein efficiently
- no refined sugars
- tastes good!
- a variety of protein sources for various benefits from each (for example: hi! is a blend of pumpkin, brown rice, pea, and cricket)
hi! protein powders check all of the boxes (especially, the good taste!).
Ensuring you have enough protein in your diet will help optimize digestion, repair cells for an active lifestyle, balance hormones, and keep energy up.
A lot of the struggles I faced, before learning more about the importance of diet, were solved by adding in an adequate amount of quality protein and other whole foods. I especially love using hi! because it doesn’t cause me to bloat. Potential effects of eating an adequate amount of protein for your body include a decrease in cravings for sweets and processed carbs, faster recovery from a workout, increased nail/skin/hair health, and potential weight-loss from eating higher quality and balanced meals.