I admit that in high school I ran about a 12 minute mile. Yearly presidential fitness tests were literally the bane of my existence. Does anyone remember those? How the state basically mandated us to run a mile every year and then forced the runty nonathletic kids to compare their times to the Hulks of the class? WHY. WAS. THIS. A. THING. More importantly, why did they have to happen during the nonathletic years of my life?
Thankfully, I learned to embrace working out once I got to college. And then, by the time I was an off-campus upperclassmen, I learned to embrace making my own meals.
One of the most important nutritional lessons I’ve learned as I’ve grown into a fitness-loving, meal-cooking, (mostly) independent and functioning individual is the importance of protein. If you’re anything like me, than protein is easy for you to miss. I rarely eat meat (not because I’m a vegetarian, but because I hate cooking the stuff), and I couldn’t even imagine myself non-ironically buying whey protein at Giant. But protein is actually quite important to any physically active person working on cutting fat and increasing lean muscle. In fact, not getting enough protein leads to muscle weakness and wasting. So, don’t skip out on protein, because it could reverse the effects of an otherwise rigorous workout! Check out this great article to learn more about this crucial part of your diet.
Now, here are my favorite ways to get protein! 🙂
- Nonfat yogurt – 11 grams in one cup
- Cheddar cheese – 7 grams in 1 oz
- Nonfat milk – 9 grams in 1 cup
- Two-egg omelet – 14 grams
- Red lentils – 25 grams in 1/2 cup
- Black beans – 7 grams
- Greek yogurt – 23 grams in 1 cup
- Oatmeal – 5 grams
For more protein sources, check out this great list from Fitbie! And to really put your new protein knowledge to the culinary test, try any of these 39 protein-packed recipes!
What are your favorite sources for protein? Shoot me a recipe and I may feature it on my blog!
If you read health oriented magazines or keep up to date on fitness-related material at all, you’ve probably read your fair number of articles about plateaus. I’m of course not talking about mountain scenery, but the frustrating lack of progress in personal workouts. Anytime I experienced plateaus in the past, I sneakily attributed them to this or that particular midterm that I had coming up – time constraints that prevented me from going further than I did. However, with summer in full swing and a lighter workload, I have run out of excuses for my most recent plateau.
I thought I had overcome it by starting to run outside in the lovely Baltimore neighborhoods, but then that got boring. Then I started to run on the treadmill, excited to keep tabs on my pace and time. But then that got boring. Finally, I realized what the problem was: I didn’t have a goal. My goal was to workout. That’s it. Period. No wonder I was getting bored!
Soooooooo….introducing, my goal:
Every week, I will up my running duration by an extra ten minutes. Therefore, if I run 25 minutes max on a day one week, that maximum duration has to be upped by ten minutes one day the following week. The best part of this goal is that it doesn’t mandate that I run every day, or perform at my maximum every day. It simply means that on one day, I completely beast my best.
And it worked! Two weeks ago, I ran a maximum of 30 minutes on the treadmill. A few days afterwards, I upped that by running for 45 minutes on the track! Not only did setting a casual and open-ended goal like this help, it motivated me to do more than my goal. #winning? #winning.
Here are some great tips from another fitness blogger about breaking through a plateau. I’m curious to see how this new plateau-buster works out in the long run. If you have any tips and tricks for pushing further in your workouts – shoot me an email or write a comment below and if I use it, I’ll write about it in my next blog!
Catch ya later!