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2/3/15 3:16 P

Le-Vel thrive. Has great protein in their formula mix and then mixing it with almond or coconut milk is a great way to add extra protein.

JWOOLMAN SparkPoints: (2,240)
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Posts: 597
2/2/15 9:16 P

I'm an expert at minimal cooking. I don't even have a stove, just an old microwave and countertop convection/toaster oven. You can add frozen veggies (including high protein peas) to frozen meals while they're cooking, just lift up the plastic cover and pour (assuming the package says to vent anyway). Any bean you like can be added this way. Just open the can, rinse in a colander, use what you want and put the rest in the fridge or freeze in small portions. A 15oz can of beans can be added to those boxes or bowls of Asian noodles while they cooking in the microwave - you can freeze the extra portions. You can add a few beans to salads also. Mash garbanzo beans and use as the basis for a no-tuna tuna salad to eat alone or in sandwiches. Get vegetarian refried beans and use as sandwich filling also, adding whatever you want. Peanuts are high protein also, I've added them to packaged frozen foods or thrown together simple mixtures of veggies and rice or pasta or millet. Any nut or seed can be used the same way.

Nutritional yeast has a decent amount of protein and a cheesy taste - it can be added to ground nuts and seeds to make a Parmesan cheese like thing that is extremely tasty on everything. The commercial version Parma! (nutritional yeast plus sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts) has about 2 grams protein per tablespoon. There are savory yeast extracts (sticky thick stuff, cheesy flavor) that are high protein and can be used in pasta or sandwiches or on crackers. I got one from VeganEssentials online, look for European savoury as keywords. This isn't exactly the infamous Vegemite or marmite but related. VeganEssentials also sells Tartex pâté, which is pricey but tasty. 10 grams protein in an indulgent tiny can. There are recipes on the net to make your own.

If you are more ambitious, you could find recipes for veggie burgers and freeze a batch for convenient use. Then you could avoid the ever-present soy in commercial versions. Maybe there are prepackaged mixes without soy. They can be used alone or in sandwiches or broken up and added to other things.

Edited by: JWOOLMAN at: 2/2/2015 (21:29)
JWOOLMAN SparkPoints: (2,240)
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2/2/15 8:57 P

A good non-soy protein powder is Life's Basics Lifetime Plant Protein vanilla unsweetened. Rice protein, pea protein, hempseed and chia seed- the blend makes the amino acid profile complete for humans. It can be mixed with nondairy milks or juice, I even tried it once in just water with cocoa powder and it was decent (can't remember if I added a sweetener, it does taste a little sweet on its own). Has good reviews from people not thrilled with the individual rice protein or pea protein supplements, and people familiar with the line suggested the unsweetened vanilla as the best. You can add it to oatmeal, pudding, nondairy (or dairy) yoghurt, I think I've even added some to soups or cream of rice or corn grits. Just experiment with a little at a time, one tablespoon is almost 3 grams of protein (2.8 g according to my tracker). So try a teaspoon at a time before going tofu-wild.

If you can tolerate chicory root extract/inulin (I can't really), check out Vega protein powders. They use the same blend but also add a lot of vitamins and minerals and other things. More expensive than Lifetime unless on sale.

If you get tired of drinking: You also can freeze the protein mixtures that you make with these powders. Add fruit and/or sweetener if needed, blend well, and freeze in small containers. I make them in 4oz freezer containers (two or three per glass) and within a couple of hours or so it's soft serve at least in a cold freezer. Will be more rocklike after a night in the freezer, but will thaw enough in a few minutes. You can also just add some of the powder to any real nondairy ice cream recipe.

Edited by: JWOOLMAN at: 2/2/2015 (20:59)
VTMAID Posts: 1,451
2/1/15 5:01 P

Thanks for the info, Becky. Actually, I do quite a few frozen dinners and I keep my eye on the amount of sodium and fiber....looks like I need to pay attention to the protein as well!
I like the breakfast suggestions, and will try to make more omelettes as I really like those and I can throw in some spinach and mushrooms.
I like the idea of a flavorless protein powder as well. I do make smoothies, sometimes with 0% fat greek unsweetened yogurt and either a banana or frozen berries. It would be simple to add some protein powder.
Thanks for your suggestions! I appreciate your help.

2/1/15 4:39 P

So you are looking for a "no cooking" meal plan (or minimal cooking).

Have you checked out the frozen meals in your grocery?
There are several that now offer healthier options that are lower in calories.
You are probably wanting:
--less than 300 calories
--less than 600 mg sodium
---good source of protein, at least 15 or more grams
You could add on veggies, a salad, some fruit (if you like).

You could continue with your current oatmeal choice, but there are some varieties that contain about 10 grams of added protein. Or you could mix in some protein powder to your oatmeal.

Do you ever make smoothies? You can add protein powder to smoothies too. (can you tolerate Greek yogurt?) These would also work well for breakfast or snacks.

So would an omelet with eggs, cheese, veggies.

What about some of the healthier canned soups now available with a deli meat sandwich?

Regarding the type of protein powder---it really does not matter. I often suggest an unflavored one so that you can mix it in with smoothies, soups, hot cereal, etc. But if you prefer the type to make a protein shake that's fine too. The whey protein comes from milk. Can you tolerate this? Soy is probably out for you. Other types like pea, hemp, etc---would be fine to. Taste is key, no gritty texture, etc.


Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 2/1/2015 (16:44)
VTMAID Posts: 1,451
2/1/15 2:13 P

Hi again....I have no problem with adding eggs, but I cannot tolerate cow's milk. That is kind of odd, because I can eat cheese. I don't eat a lot of cheese because of the fat content, but I do really like cheese. As i am a breast cancer survivor, my physician has asked that I steer clear of soy products. That is why I have unsweetened almond milk, and I have noticed that almond milk has a good amount of calcium. I do like chicken, fish and pork. I do not like beef of any type.
I do like beans and I like chickpeas. What I don't like or enjoy in any capacity is cooking, which is why you will see frozen foods appearing frequently in my food listing. I have no objection to whole grains, other than the cooking involved.
I like kale and spinach because I can wilt them with a little chicken stock and garlic and they are quick and tasty.
Truthfully, I am not fond of fruits, but I have been at least starting to eat apples and I have been trying to add fruit to my morning Metamucil as a smoothie.
Does this help determine what else I could do?
Also, there are many kinds of protein powders, should I want to add some. I know there is whey powder and pea protein powder and probably a host more of others. Is one more type more beneficial than others?

Edited by: VTMAID at: 2/1/2015 (14:14)
2/1/15 1:57 P

Thanks for making your nutrition tracker public.
I do think you need to improve the quantity of protein in your diet. (and the quality of some of your food choices)
It looks like on average you are getting:
--only 1 1/2 servings of protein daily (30-35 grams)
--only about 1-2 vegetable servings
--only 1 fruit serving
--about 5-6 grain servings
--0 dairy servings

What are you willing to add daily to your diet?
---cow's milk or soybean milk, (yogurt, cheese), cottage cheese
--beans (black, navy, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, etc), lentils, legumes
--chicken, fish, turkey, beef, pork, etc
---while a protein powder can help supplement; you need to be getting more from food selections. These foods also provide other needed nutrients too.

With a more vegetarian lifestyle-- why are you getting only about 2-3 servings of fruits and veggies daily? What about whole grains? Brown rice, quinoa, barley, whole wheat etc.


VTMAID Posts: 1,451
2/1/15 1:37 P

Hi Becky...I just changed my settings so that my nutrition tracker is public. Today is a good representation of a normal day for me. I believe the ranges will show on my nutrition tracker for protein, etc.
Since I really eat more along a vegetarian eating plan, do I need to make any kind of adjustment with calories, etc., as well as making sure I have additional protein?

2/1/15 12:47 P

It is difficult to answer your question without seeing your Nutrition Tracker. Are you willing to make it public. Let me know if you need the steps to do this. Having specific numbers would also be helpful:

What is your calorie range?
What is your average daily calorie intake?
What is your protein range?
What is your typical protein intake?


VTMAID Posts: 1,451
2/1/15 12:22 P

I hardly ever hit my target for protein. I am not a vegetarian, per se, but don't actually eat much meat at all. Not a conscientious decision, that is just the way my eating habits are.
I do stay within my calorie range and I make sure to eat enough so that my fiber intake is correct.
My question is, should I consider adding a protein powder, and if so, what would you recommend?
I am very confused, lol.
vtmaid (Karen)

5/27/14 9:11 P

I took a look at your nutrition tracker. It looks like the days when you are eating within your 1200-1550 calorie range, you are easily meeting your protein intake needs.

The days you are low in calorie intake, you are then low on protein. It is difficult to meet overall nutrient needs on 500-700 calories.

Be sure to include foods in your diet to meet your calorie range---being too low can be dangerous. This can help boost your protein too with your food selections.

Since you need to watch your sugar intake, if you need a supplement---perhaps use an unflavored type like Beneprotein---this can easily be added to soups, casseroles, smoothies, etc. Another way to inexpensively boost protein intake is with nonfat dry milk powder.

Your SP Registered Dietitian

STRIVER56 SparkPoints: (2,219)
Fitness Minutes: (653)
Posts: 29
5/27/14 8:39 P

I did a search and saw that this topic existed, but it was from well over a year ago. Any input as to favorite protein powders. I do need to watch my cholesterol and sugar, but my protein levels are always too low. Thanks!!!

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