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Talk to me about protein powder...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I need to add protein to my diet, but I have two problems. I don't like cheese, cottage cheese, nor do I eat much in the way of meat... family of 7... we just don't. The second issue is I am so small, that I just don't eat a lot of food. Squeezing protein in has been an issue. So, I know nothing about protein powder, but I want to do something... is it safe? What should I buy? Where should I buy it?

THANKS LADIES!
post #2 of 20
I don't know how true this is or isn't, but I was asking on another board about diet affecting baby's size if you don't have GD. I tend to grow big babies, and this is a concern of mine because much bigger isn't going to be coming out the way he is supposed to! Someone told me that there was a study done that linked protein powder to larger babies?

I think you'd have to go to a health store for it...the problem being a lot of the protein shake mixes out there are for body builders and so have other weird stuff in them. I did find some vegan ones, but they tasted terrible...I'd have to mix it with something and make a smoothie to even get it down.
post #3 of 20
I read up about this a little in the beginning of this pregnancy because I was so nauseated and not eating much. As far as I know, you can have simple whey protein. You don't want other kinds that are loaded with chemicals and crap. But look into it more, I don't know about what NicoleS mentioned about bigger babies?? That may be a side effect worth avoiding!
post #4 of 20
There are some controversies on isolated protein powder, because of the amount of processing involved. They are definitely not a whole food! It's probably not the best food option, but on the other hand, if you can't get your protein another way, it's better than nothing. I would stick with a whey based protein, isolated soy protein is probably worse for you in the long run if you can avoid it.

Also, what about eggs? Eggs are a great source of whole protein and other nutrients, and the more you can mix up your diet, the better for you and the babe.
post #5 of 20
Yeah, the protein powders are reportedly not the best for pregnant women.

You can eat all kinds of BEANS, all kinds of ways. Eggs are great, too, as well as whole-grain breads, brown rice, yogurt, milk...

One serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards, and that small bit is usually 20-30 grams of protein, depending on the kind of meat--I just mention b/c I think most meat-eaters usually eat more than a serving (I know I do); maybe you could handle a small amount? It does add up!
post #6 of 20
What about beans? Dips for snacks in particular might be the way to go. There are a million hummus recipes out there, and they're not all made with chickpeas! I have a cookbook (Eat, Drink and Be Vegan by Dreena Burton) that has a whole chapter of hummus recipes! One of my favorites is orange black bean hummus - it's SO good! There are also a ton of lentil pate type dips out there.

When I use protein powder (which isn't all that often) I use Living Harvest Hemp protein powder - I think I have the vanilla chai flavor or something. It's a little gritty, but the flavor itself is pretty ok. I usually do a banana smoothie with it. I really haven't found a protein powder that doesn't scream "PROTEIN POWDER!!!" when I'm drinking a smoothie with it.

Another smoothie idea is to use nut butter! I LOVE a smoothie with chocolate almond milk, banana and peanut butter (or any nut butter, really). It's SO good! You can find unsweetened chocolate almond milk if you're worried about sugar (the banana makes it pretty sweet on it's own).
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeta View Post
Another smoothie idea is to use nut butter! I LOVE a smoothie with chocolate almond milk, banana and peanut butter (or any nut butter, really). It's SO good! You can find unsweetened chocolate almond milk if you're worried about sugar (the banana makes it pretty sweet on it's own).
Oh, yeah! And nuts and nut butters!! Yumm!!
post #8 of 20
Quinoa! I am not a big meat eater, so I have this as much as possible. It has a really high protein content (around 15% I think), and even though it is a grain/cereal, can be considered a "complete" protein b/c of its amino acids. I do all sorts with it, and it is fast to cook. (Kind of like cous cous, but a bit "nuttier"). Usually I make it in chicken stock and then add corn, black beans (a can of Ro-Tel), cilantro and put guacamole on top. I also use it in a "mash" with cooked apples, sweet potato and cinnamon.
post #9 of 20
Speaking of quinoa, another "grain" (it's actually a seed that cooks like a grain) is amaranth. It has a protein content of 15-18%. We have a ton of it on hand in storage because it's a shelf stable form of protein. You can google for recipes.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ficus View Post
Quinoa! I am not a big meat eater, so I have this as much as possible. It has a really high protein content (around 15% I think), and even though it is a grain/cereal, can be considered a "complete" protein b/c of its amino acids. I do all sorts with it, and it is fast to cook. (Kind of like cous cous, but a bit "nuttier"). Usually I make it in chicken stock and then add corn, black beans (a can of Ro-Tel), cilantro and put guacamole on top. I also use it in a "mash" with cooked apples, sweet potato and cinnamon.
I'm hungry!!
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ficus View Post
Quinoa! I am not a big meat eater, so I have this as much as possible. It has a really high protein content (around 15% I think), and even though it is a grain/cereal, can be considered a "complete" protein b/c of its amino acids. I do all sorts with it, and it is fast to cook. (Kind of like cous cous, but a bit "nuttier"). Usually I make it in chicken stock and then add corn, black beans (a can of Ro-Tel), cilantro and put guacamole on top. I also use it in a "mash" with cooked apples, sweet potato and cinnamon.
That sounds really yummy!


I'm having trouble with Protein as well, which is soooooo bizarre because I consider myself more carnivorous than omnivorous. So I've been having a hard time not wanting meat and not getting the vits and proteins and what not I need.
post #12 of 20
Beans are my main source of protein (vegetarian, that can't eat soy or dairy)

While I was transitioning my diet (getting used to no soy) I used a brand of rice protein powder, at my health food store. My advice, go to a store, read labels, and compare... what ever is the most whole, least processed product it you best bet. Not able to do soy or diary, rice was my only option... if you are diary sensitive, whey might not be your best option.


Lots of burritos, with different types of beans, fixin's, and tortillas
Beans and rice - so easy, so good...
Bean soups - chilis, white bean & greens
Indian curries with chickpeas and/or lentils
Dal
add mashed beans to all sorts of things, I'm going to try some sort of bean bread, something biscuit like to go with our potato soup tonight
Humus - could not get easier than this! This is my quick lunch fix, with either pita or corn chips
Falafel - mmm, so yummy I get Naan from WholeFoods to make wraps
Baked beans are an easy side, get them in a can or make them in a crockpot (or you can do the traditional bake them in the oven for hours if you're home that long)

I use the book Fabulous Beans, from Barbara Bloomfield, to get base recipes from, then experiment from there

I keep canned beans, some whole and some refries, in stock for a quick fix. I also cook up pots of dried beans in my pressure cooker if I think ahead about it... then freeze extras.
If you can eat soy, Tofu? it is SOOO versatile. Cream it and add it to baked goods, make desserts out of it (pie), stir frys, fried tofu w/ soy sauce, bbq tofu in the oven, I miss it quite a bit, but now I'm forced to eat more whole foods.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the ideas ladies! Going to step up the beans and maybe some tofu! I get in cooking ruts sometimes and haven't thought about bean dishes much lately... going to allrecipes now to get some ideas... LOL.
post #14 of 20
Back to protein powders....I would stay far away from a soy-based powder, esp. during pregnancy. I also limit whey because I had a dairy allergy when I was young (have mostly outgrown it now, but I'm still cautious) and my 5yo dd seems to have a similar sensitivity. All our dairy is now raw and totally non-processed, and dd does great with it, so I really don't want to introduce highly processed dairy back into our diets. I used to keep an eggwhite-based protein powder on hand. I used this one.

It's great....easy to use, very neutral flavor. I'd blend it into fruit or chocolate smoothies, or add it to baking....I'd even sneak it into spaghetti sauce, oatmeal, etc.

I certainly wouldn't suggest relying on a powder to provide the bulk of your protein, but to boost things a bit, I think this is a good one.

I've also heard a bit about hemp-based protein powder...haven't done much research, so I can't say anything intelligent about it. Honestly, I'm a bit leery of any plant-based protein powder simply because it seems to me that they'd require a lot more processing. But what do I know?
post #15 of 20
I do protein powder. But I weight lift, so I'm used to it.

I would stick to a whey or casein blend: milk proteins. Milk has the highest bioavailability, so while a vegetarian protein will give you protein, the body will use the milk proteins more efficiently.

You can find some without a lot of additives. Check a health food store.

I do second beans, quinoa, egg whites, ricotta, greek yogurt, for other sources of protein.
post #16 of 20
Oh, if the problem is recipes, then, yes, you should look into beans and quinoa!

I make red beans and rice New Orleans style with cajun seasoning I got at the grocery store (there's only 1 I could find without MSG, so read labels). I add some hamburger to it. We only eat free-range local meats, so while we don't have the huge family, meat costs more and I make it stretch as far as I can.

I also make a baked chicken every other week or so, which is marvelous, I stuff it and then I make soup with the bones and any meat left, so I get at least 2 (often 3) meals out of a single chicken. So if you're not opposed to meat, just limited, there are ways to make it stretch out further. I get 1 or 2lbs of hamburger and cook it in the skillet and freeze 1 cup portions for use in meals, that way I make it last for 3-5 meals and cut down on cost.
post #17 of 20
I agree with others who have said that you don't need a lot of meat to a long way. One chicken can really stretch, especially if you meake something with it like burritos. You can put lots of beans and brown rice in the burrito, plus whatever else you like to eat with it, and just a small amount of chicken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramat View Post
You can eat all kinds of BEANS, all kinds of ways. Eggs are great, too, as well as whole-grain breads, brown rice, yogurt, milk...


Greek yogurt is super-duper awesome. Sprouted wheat breads have lots of protein in them. Rice is very versatile, and goes with almost anything. Another vote from me for quinoa!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeta View Post
What about beans? Dips for snacks in particular might be the way to go. There are a million hummus recipes out there, and they're not all made with chickpeas! I have a cookbook (Eat, Drink and Be Vegan by Dreena Burton) that has a whole chapter of hummus recipes! One of my favorites is orange black bean hummus - it's SO good! There are also a ton of lentil pate type dips out there.
Can you share the orange black bean hummus recipe? That sounds AWESOME!!! Our family looooooooves hummus. My kids actually cried this morning because I wouldn't let them eat it for breakfast.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lulu_n2 View Post
Falafel - mmm, so yummy I get Naan from WholeFoods to make wraps
I want falafel now!!!!
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikki Jean View Post
Can you share the orange black bean hummus recipe? That sounds AWESOME!!! Our family looooooooves hummus. My kids actually cried this morning because I wouldn't let them eat it for breakfast.
Sure! Someone was good enough to post it online here.
post #19 of 20
yuuuum....that sounds so good! I texted my dh a grocery list this afternoon, and hummus was att he top of the list! I sure hope he brings some....he should be home in an hour!
post #20 of 20
My DS loves hummus, thanks!! He claims that he doesn't like beans, but I've never told him that hummus was made from beans The other day I made him a tortilla wrap with hummus, and he asked, "Does it have beans in it?" I replied "Just Hummus" (notice I didn't say no.) He ate the whole thing.
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