You darlings may have noticed that I started eating eggs again. It started when I was traveling in Asia but the reason comes down to protein. If you’re in your 40’s like me, then I’m sure you’ve noticed that there’s a lot of sh*t that starts to happen in our 40’s. Among those changes are a loss of muscle mass, loss of bone density and yes, the dreaded weight gain. Well babes, protein plays a role in all of that.
Every cell in your body relies on protein for cellular repair, new cell creation, and hormone production. During menopause, not eating enough protein has also been shown to play a role in weight gain. That’s because when you’re not eating enough protein, your body will tell you it’s still hungry until your protein requirements are met. Sadly, this often leads to consuming the wrong foods and too many calories.
So what’s the right amount of protein? I’m 45 years old and the average woman of my age needs at least 56g of protein per day. As a primarily plant-based eater, I sometimes find myself struggling to reach that goal. I’m always looking for ways to increase my protein intake but one thing that has really helped is drinking a daily protein smoothie. My daily smoothie gives me around 20 grams of protein to start my day (when I add in protein powder and hemp seed). I definitely notice a difference when I have my smoothies consistently vs. when I don’t. I can tell by my nail growth, hair loss, and my energy.
I have found protein powder very useful in my health journey as it’s one of the easiest ways to meet my daily requirements. My favorite is Ritual’s 18+ protein powder, as it has the ingredients I love and it’s the most delicious! Babes I promise you this isn’t sponsored (but even if it were, you know I only share brands I truly love). Ritual truly is the best! I started using their products about three years ago when the brand first sent me their powder to try. Although when I first used it, it was free and we worked together for content focused on their multi-vitamin, in the subsequent years I have continued to purchase their powder myself as it’s just that good. I really like this powder in particular as it’s plant-based made from peas, sugar-free, is non GMO, gluten and allergen free. It also has amino acids, which is a big plus as these are also important in muscle building. Did I mention that it’s also is delicious? Most powders I’ve tried have not been the most tasty, but Ritual’s protein powder actually delivers in flavor. It contains vanilla, which makes it sweet, and pairs really well with the other ingredients in my smoothies. While this protein serves my needs well, I also want to say there are many other protein powders out there, made from different sources other than peas, such as soy, whey, hemp, etc. based powders. It really comes down to preferences, and because I’m plant-based, I really like that a pea based powder doesn’t include dairy. So now that I’ve laid out why I love protein powder, let me share with you a recipe that you all can try with or without protein.
My Daily Protein Smoothie Recipe:
- 1/2 a banana
- 4 chunks of frozen mango
- 4 chunks of frozen pineapple
- 2 dates
- 1/2 cup of coconut water or oat milk
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1/2 scoop of protein powder (can increase to 1 scoop for added protein)
- Flax, chia, and hemp seeds (as desired)
- Fill with handful of greens and kale
NOTE: after initial blending add in a 1/2 cup of ice and further blend
Feel free to have fun with this recipe and swap out your frozen fruit (e.g. I use frozen berries instead of pineapple and mango some days). Just be sure to keep your fruit to greens ratio at about 50/50.
If you try it, make sure to let me know in the comments your thoughts! Or if you have your own recipes or preferred protein powders feel free to share, I would love to hear about it!