Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Too Much Protein?

Tuesday Tip: Too Much Protein? 🍗

Protein is all the rage right now – pushes for its ability to aid weight loss, help keep you full, build muscle and added to pretty much everything in the supermarket now! But is it possible to eat too much?

Yes and no!

It’s important to get enough protein – not only is it essential for health (Amino acids in protein are the building blocks for your body), it’s also great at keeping you fuller for longer, but do we really need as much as it seems? The recommended amount is around 0.75g of protein per kg of bodyweight. So if you weigh 65kg you need around 49g a day – a chicken sandwich, porridge with milk, and a veggie chili will give you well over that easily.

Studies do show that higher amounts of protein keep you fuller for longer and there’s also evidence to suggest that higher intakes of protein can help preserve muscle mass when losing weight. If you’re trying to build

Muscle then higher protein is also important(1.2g to 1.6g per kilo).

But…. just because slightly more protein is good that doesn’t mean loads is better.

Studies have shown over 2g per kg brings very little benefit. There’s no way to store protein so any surplus is used for energy – which means of course if you’re consuming more calories than you expend you will store it as fat. Despite scaremongering about excess protein and kidney issues there is little evidence of this in healthy adults. There is evidence though that excess protein causes changes in gut bacteria and digestive issues.

It’s also worth considering what you’re cutting out in order to get extra protein in. If you’re swapping grains for protein you’ll be consuming less fibre which can lead to gut issues.

For the majority of people, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet, you’ll be getting plenty of protein. So if you’re reaching for ‘protein’ laden snacks just because you think they’re better then don’t bother, have what you enjoy instead. If you’re adding protein powder to everything just for the sake of it – stop and think whether you really need to. Are you just adding extra calories for the sake of it? As always, balance is key! 🙌🏼

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Recipes

Jackfruit ‘Tuna’ Pasta Sauce

Jackfruit is a bit trendy at the moment. It’s actually something I first tried during my fieldwork in Indonesia years ago and until recently it was really hard to get over here so I’m thrilled it’s now a bit more readily available. It’s touted as a great meat alternative – and it certainly is, but it’s worth mentioning that it’s not a great protein alternative, but rather provides a great option in terms of texture and taste (when you use the right sauces etc with it). In terms of protein it’s fairly low but that doesn’t stop it being a great option.

I personally love the texture and flavour of it and if you’re trying to watch your calories it’s a great way to reduce calories without sacrificing flavour or mouth feel! This serves 3-4 and comes in at only 89 calories per portion!

In this recipe I’m using it in place of tuna – obviously you could do the same thing with tuna itself if you wanted! I also used what veg I had in my fridge – if you had them then some olives would be a great addition (I was out!).

Jackfruit is available in most supermarkets and comes conveniently prepared in cans of water.

You will need:

1 can of jackfruit

1 large onion

1 pepper

Handful mushrooms

Handful of cherry tomatoes

1 can of chopped tomatoes

1/4 tsp Mixed herbs

Chilli powder to taste

1/4 tsp cayenne powder (to taste)

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of garlic salt (if you have it – or use a garlic clove or omit)

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Dash of balsamic vinegar

Small pinch of sugar to bring out the tomato flavour

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop the onion, pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes. Add the onion to a pan with a little oil and sauté until soft. Add the pepper and mushroom and continue to sauté.

Drain the jackfruit and add to the pan (you can slice it up a bit and use your fingers to separate some of the fibres if you have large pieces). As it starts to soften and brown just break up larger pieces.

Add the cherry tomatoes and cook through.

Add the chopped tomatoes and herbs and spices and then allow to simmer for 10 mins.

Serve on your pasta of choice!

Enjoy 🙂 xx

Recipes

No-meat meat ball ragout!

This is another quick and easy lunch or dinner recipe – it can be served with pasta, rice, cauliflower rice or just on its own! There are lots of veggie meat balls out there – I’ve used the Birdseye ones for this but I’ve also used the Quorn ones in the past. Even if you’re not vegetarian they’re a great way to cut calories without feeling like you are!

I cook up a batch for the week and then it’s nice and easy to quickly heat it up for dinner (or lunch!).

Use fresh or frozen veg (or any leftover veg you have will work well) – I happened to have peppers and mushrooms so they went in, but courgettes, aubergines etc would also work well.

Also it’s worth noting that Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies so if you’re vegetarian then double check – Biona and other companies make one without the use of animal products and it’s widely available.

This serves at least 6 at about 227 cals per portion.

You will need:

2 packs of no-meat meat balls

2 cans chopped tomatoes (400g each)

2 small onions (or 1 large)

2 peppers

Handful of mushrooms (or any veg you like)

1 tbsp concentrated tomato purée

1/4 tsp smoked Paprika

1 tsp mixed herbs

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 vegetable stock cubes

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)

1 tbsp marmite (optional)

A dash of Balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

Chop the veg. Heat a little oil in a pan, add onions first and allow to soften, then the peppers, mix and allow to soften.

Add the no-meat meat balls to the pan allow to brown. Then add the mushrooms and any other veg you’re using. Be gentle with the mixture as otherwise the meatballs will break up.

Cook for a couple of mins until the veg start to soften and then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato purée . Stir well and bring to a slow simmer. Add the stock cubes, all the spices, balsamic vinegar, marmite and Worcestershire sauce and stir well.

Bring to a simmer and allow to cook through for about 10-15 mins.

Serve on its own, with green veg and grains, pasta etc.

Enjoy 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Veggie ‘steak’ casserole

I spotted these quorn veggie steak strips in the supermarket so thought I’d whip up a quick casserole. This is a another easy weekday dinner option, perfect for the cooler evenings. I cook up a batch for the week and then it’s nice and easy to quickly heat it up for dinner (or lunch!).

I’ve used frozen veg for this one as I was running short on time. Never be afraid to use these sorts of frozen veg – they actually have more vitamins and minerals in than the fresh variety so you’re not doing yourself any harm and they’re brilliant if you’re busy and short of time. Obviously use fresh veg if you prefer. Also it’s worth noting that Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies so if you’re vegetarian then double check – Biona and other companies make one without the use of animal products and it’s widely available.

This serves at least 8 at about 223 cals per portion.

You will need:

2 pack of quorn steak strips (or any alternative vegetarian product you fancy)

1320g passata (2 bottles at 680g each, but just get approx the same amount)

1 kg mixed vegetables (either 2 packs (500g each) or 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 sticks celery, 2 peppers, 2 courgettes, 1 small aubergine)

1/2 tsp Paprika

1/4 tsp chilli powder (optional – adjust for taste)

1 tsp mixed herbs

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 vegetable stock cube

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)

A dash of Balsamic vinegar

1/4 tsp of sugar

Salt and pepper

If using fresh veg then prepare it and chop it up. Heat a little oil in a pan, add onions first and allow to soften, then the carrot and celery. Otherwise add the frozen soffito (onion, carrot and celery) mix and allow to soften.

Add the steak strips to the pan and allow to brown. Then add the pepper, courgette and aubergine (if using a pack then just throw it all in at once once the steak strips have browned).

Cook for a couple of mins until the veg start to soften and then add the passata. Stir well and bring to a slow simmer. Add the stock cube, all the spices, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Add the sugar (this brings out a richer tomato flavour).

Bring to a simmer and allow to cook through for about 10-15 mins.

Serve on its own, with green veg and grains, or with a jacket potato etc.

enjoy 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Peanut butter and Jam Porridge

Nothing beats a yummy bowl of porridge on a chilly day! And this one combines two of my favourite things – peanut butter and jam! Yum!

I actually tend to have this for lunch as it’s quite a filling portion. If you wanted you could also add a scoop of vanilla protein powder to make it even more filling. My current favourite protein powder is Missfits Vegan Vanilla powder – super yummy and available from amazon and Ocado (and other places!). I like my porridge made with water – but obviously use any type of milk if you prefer (though bear in mind the protein powder and milk will increase the calories).

This comes in at approx 384 cals of warming yumminess!

You will need:

50g jumbo oats

1 tbsp raspberry (or any flavour) jam

15g peanut butter

Raspberries and blueberries to top

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

Place the oats in to a saucepan (also add the protein powder if using) Add enough water to cover (I like my porridge quite dry so adjust the amount of water to suit you) – heat gently and stir well. If I’m rushed I just pour boiling water on to the oats, stir and add a little extra water then blast in the microwave for a min.

Once cooked pour the porridge in to a bowl and add the jam and stir through.

Drizzle the peanut butter on top next.

And then pop the berries on top.

Enjoy!

🙂

Xx

Recipes

Valentine’s Vanilla, Berry and Chocolate Porridge

As it’s the season of love I thought I’d celebrate with something I love… porridge! This makes a great brekkie or lunch option. The protein powder is optional but adds the vanilla flavour and also the added protein helps to keep you fuller for longer. My current favourite protein powder is Missfits Vegan Vanilla powder – super yummy and available from amazon and Ocado (and other places!)

I make my porridge with water because I prefer it that way but obviously use milk if you prefer. I have used some yummy little protein chocolate hearts from Cocoa+ but you can use any chocolate you like! It would work well with some squares of dark chocolate

This comes in at approx 415 cals of warming yumminess!

You will need:

50g jumbo oats

Large handful of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional – replace with a 1/4 tsp Vanilla essence if not using)

3 Chocolate hearts or squares

Place the oats in to a saucepan with the protein powder. Add enough water to cover (I like my porridge quite dry so adjust the amount of water to suit you) – heat gently and stir well. If I’m rushed I just pour boiling water on to the oats and protein powder, stir and add a little extra water then blast in the microwave for a min.

Once it starts to cook add in the blueberries and raspberries and stir in.

Slice the strawberries. Once cooked pour the porridge in to a bowl and add the strawberries and chocs on the top.

Enjoy!

🙂

Xx

Recipes

Roasted butternut and apple soup

It’s getting to that time of year when we want to curl up on our sofas under a blanket and fill up on warming foods.

This soup will definitely hit the spot when you are feeling a bit autumnal. Roasting the butternut squash and the apples adds a lovely rich flavour and the sweetness of them both compliment each other brilliantly!

This soup is dressed with the seeds from the butternut so you don’t waste anything either!

You can substitute any sort of pumpkin for the squash too if you prefer.

This will serve 3 – 4 people.

You will need:

1 Butternut squash (approx 1.5kg in size before peeling etc)

2 Apples (Braeburn work best)

2 large white Onions

2 sticks of Celery

1/2 tbsp dried Thyme

1 tsp ground Cumin

1/4 tsp ground Allspice

1 litre Vegetable stock

500ml Water

Salt and Pepper to taste

For the topping:

Seeds from the Butternut squash

1 tsp Olive oil

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

1/4 tsp ground Paprika

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Cut the butternut in half and scoop out the seeds (keep the seeds for the topping). Peel and cut into chunks. Peel, core and chop the apples into wedges. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season. Place in the oven  and roast for 20 – 25 mins or until tender and golden.

Slice the onion and celery finely and pop in to a large pan with a little olive oil. Saute gently for about 10 minutes until soft. Add all the spices and saute for another minute. Add the butternut and apple and stir gently for a minute or 2. Then add the vegetable stock and water and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Let it cool for a while and then pop in a blender and blitz it (do this very carefully if still warm – it may be worth doing it in 2 batches).

Take the seeds that were removed from the squash and toss in the olive oil and topping spices. Spread on to some baking parchment and place in the oven at 200 C for 5 – 10 minutes until they are starting to turn brown.

Pop a serving of soup in a bowl, sprinkle with the seeds and enjoy with some toast.

(This post was originally published on pureformfitnesskitchen.com)