Did you know?
Menopause is a risk factor for disordered eating.
Even if you’ve never experienced disordered eating in your life, midlife could be a time that you feel less in control because your body is functioning differently, or maybe you’ve gained weight or some body fat – which might lead to drastically decreasing your caloric and nutritional intake. Truth is you might need more high quality calories.
Especially as a woman athlete, and even more so if you’re pregnant, postpartum, or going through menopause you need to get enough protein. Whether you’re looking to build muscle, or trying to avoid winter weight gain, protein will help.
We need about 30 grams of protein in every meal.
Protein provides amino acids that are vital to important life functions, and a balanced diet rich in protein can help performance, keep your immune system strong, aid hormone production, and encourage muscle synthesis and growth and repair.
How to get enough protein if an egg has only 9 grams?
You can spread it out through the day or pack it into each meal.
Great sources of protein are: Greek yogurt, eggs, lean meat, chicken, fish, and cottage cheese. I eat fish, sometimes chicken, and rarely meat, I like eggs, and I am addicted to cheese! For a plant-based or vegan diet- chia, quinoa, tofu, lentils, chickpeas and amaranth, seitan, legumes, nuts, and seitan are all good sources of protein. My breakfast staple is steel cut oats – made weekly and stored in the fridge to eat cold for resistant starch, with high probiotic yogurt, berries, nuts and a bit of honey.
The key to getting the right amount of protein, and the necessary amino acids, is variety. Combine different grains (fiber) with vegetables, and good sources of protein.
Bars and powders are ok if you’re training or if you sometimes find it difficult to get time prepare meals – if they’re high quality and not loaded with sugar and processing ingredients, but real food is ALWAYS preferable!
Can’t wait to know if you try these recipes. Hit me up with comments!
As an alternative to oatmeal, this Amaranth Porridge is delicious. Add nuts, seeds, berries and yogurt:
- 1/2 cup amaranth seeds
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp sweetener (I used brown sugar erythritol)
- 1/2 Tbsp crushed walnuts
- 1/2 tsp ground flax seed
- 1/4 tsp hemp seeds
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp coconut flakes
- dash cinnamon
- Thoroughly rinse dry amaranth seeds in a fine mesh strainer. Put in a small sauce pan with hot water. Bring to a boil.
- Once at boil, lower heat and cover to simmer for 35 minutes. Turn a thick porridge consistency, turn off heat.
- Mix in brown sugar or sweetener of choice.
- Transfer to a bowl and dress it up with the toppings of your choice. Have fun with the process and make it as creative as you’d like! Enjoy.
The health benefits of amaranth make it a great alternative for other grains (amaranth is a seed not technically a grain) with a rich, nutty flavor. It’s rich in protein, with nearly double the amount found in corn or rice. Amaranth also contains your daily dose of manganese, an important micronutrient, in a single serving. Manganese plays a key role in more than 300 enzyme reactions in the body, including immune responses, hormone creation, and even blood and bone formation.
Amaranth is an impressive source of:
- Vitamin C
- 1 ½ cups prepared roasted red pepper hummus
- 4 (8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
- 2 cups bagged spinach and baby kale blend
- 1 large orange bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- ¾ cup crumbled goat cheese
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- Cooking spray
- Spread about 1/3 cup hummus over each tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges. Top each with 1/2 cup spinach and kale blend, one-fourth of bell pepper, 3 tablespoons goat cheese, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Roll up wraps. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add wraps; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
Creamy Tuscan Chicken – an easy and delicious family dinner:
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 c. baby spinach
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook until golden and no longer pink, 8 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are beginning to burst then add spinach and cook until spinach is beginning to wilt.
- Stir in heavy cream and parmesan and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Return chicken to skillet and cook until heated through, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Serve with lemon wedges.
Seared scallops with bean ragu and charred lemon with cannellini beans and greens:
- 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pound mature spinach or white chard, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
- 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound dry sea scallops, tough side muscle removed
- 1 lemon, halved
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add greens and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, capers and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beans, broth and wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Cover to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, sprinkle scallops with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and cook until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a clean plate. Add lemon halves to the pan, cut-side down, and cook until charred, about 2 minutes. Cut into wedges. Sprinkle the scallops and the bean ragu with parsley and serve with the lemon wedges.
Shakshuka is one of my favorite meals:
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 link of chicken sausage, cut up into coins
- 1 28oz can of plum tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 4 eggs
- feta cheese
- parsley to garnish
- chopped baby spinach to garnish
- Add a tbsp of olive oil to a large sauté pan
- On low-medium heat, add your diced shallot and let cook for about 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt to let it sweat.
- Add your garlic and let it cook for about 1 minute more. Do not let the garlic burn.
- Add your bell pepper and chicken sausage and cook for about 5minutes or until sausage starts to crisp on the outside.
- Add your can of tomatoes and mix all ingredients together.
- Add salt, cumin, paprika, and chipotle pepper.
- Turn heat down to low and cover pan. Let simmer for about 30 minutes or until tomatoes cook down. Stir occasionally.
- Once the tomatoes have cooked down, use a wooden spoon to carve out a little hole for the first egg in the sauce. Crack the egg and carefully fill it in the hole. Repeat with 3 other eggs.
- Cover with lid and let eggs cook for about 8 minutes or until the whites of the eggs have cooked.
- Garnish with chopped parsley, spinach, and feta and serve.
I always want to make these posts useful and interesting, so I’ll love to know what you think!