You might have noticed a lot of delicious foodie photos on my Instagram feed lately, if not you can see them here. I don’t normally post a lot of food photos to Instagram so you might be wondering what I have been up to. Along with a selection of other bloggers I was taking part in the Upbeat Blogger Challenge, the aim of the challenge was to improve my knowledge of protein and learn about the important role it plays in my diet (something I didn’t know a lot about before the challenge).
The challenge was set by Upbeat who produce delicious dairy protein drinks. Upbeat are passionate about protein and recently conducted a study which revealed a lot of interesting facts about our knowledge of Protein. As it turns out there are a lot of misconceptions about protein, one in five wrongly believe that all protein rich foods are unhealthy and high in fat and a fifth don’t realise that it is essential to consume protein daily (I wasn’t aware of the importance before the challenge). The study also included a list of the top ten items us Brits mistakenly believe are a good source of protein, the list includes, cereal, pasta (guilty!), butter, rice, chocolate, beer & wine (who’s going to own up to this one?), biscuits, chips, instant noodles and crisps. There are a lot of items which are a good source of protein including items in the table below, this gives a small idea of the amount of protein that is found in different food sources.
Now I have explained what the challenge is all about I thought I should talk about how my diet normally is, sadly it’s not great! My diet is pretty atrocious if I’m honest, I don’t normally eat breakfast, or lunch and although dinners are usually healthy with meat and veg I snack more than I should, especially in the evenings.
The challenge started with a delivery of healthy, protein filled food which included; meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, pulses and dairy items. I started the week by researching healthy meals that I could make using the ingredients I had received and was pleasantly surprised at how many delicious recipes there were. I wrote down a meal plan for the week which included, porridge with fruit, muesli, toast, scrambled eggs and salmon, chicken stir fry, turkey burgers with sweet potato chips, salmon fish cakes and lots of other tasty meals. Below are photos of some of the delicious meals I made during the challenge.
At the end of the challenge I felt like the healthier diet and protein had a positive effect. I felt fuller during the day which meant I wasn’t snacking as much and I felt less bloated which I think was down to eating less carbs than normal. I also felt like I had more energy which is a big thing for me as normally mid afternoon I start to feel really tired and end up grabbing a sugary snack or fizzy drink. During the challenge I found myself choosing Upbeat drinks and fruit rather than the unhealthy items I would normally eat, this is something I will try to keep up going forward.
Now I know more about protein and the benefits it can have I will be looking closely at how much protein is in the items I am eating. Something I learnt during the challenge was that we are supposed to eat around 1g of protein for every kg we weigh. I do find this a struggle sometimes so I will be picking up a couple of bottles of Upbeat so I can top up my protein intake on days where I haven’t eaten enough protein filled food. If you want to give Upbeat a try there are four delicious flavours to choose from; Strawberry, Mango and Passion Fruit, Blueberry & Raspberry and a delicious new flavour, Chocolate & Orange! The drinks are delicious, I really like both the Strawberry and the Blueberry and Raspberry. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the Mango & Passion Fruit or the Chocolate & Orange but I’m sure they are great and I have them on my to-buy list for when I next go shopping.
You can pick up a protein boosting Upbeat drink at your local Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury, Holland and Barrett, The Cooperative, Ocado and selected petrol stations.