Talking Protein


Protein is a staple in my diet, as it should be for everyone, but I pay particular attention to how much protein i'm eating because I notice a huge difference - I'm not as hungry, I feel stronger during my runs and my body feels healthier. Getting enough protein can be an issue - but not anymore thanks to Designer Whey! I love their products and will happily tell anyone and everyone to use their products.

This past month I received a Designer Whey package of goodies - from their protein powder to their awesome protein bars to their Protein2Go packets (which i take with me everywhere) and coupons for a new brand of yogurt called Smari.  I love their protein bars because they taste good and they don't have that gross protein after taste that so many bars have. Kudos to Designer Whey for getting that right!

Smari is organic yogurt from Iceland. It has 20 grams of protein and 0 grams of fat per serving. It's thicker and creamier than yogurt because they strain off the water and leave just the yogurt. Plus, it takes 4 cups of milk to make one cup of Smari yogurt! Apparently the Viking's lived off this stuff and they were pretty tough dudes, right? :)

I tried blueberry, vanilla and plain. I mixed it in with my smoothies (using Designer Whey protein, of course!) and noticed that I felt fuller for longer. I made a Pumpkin Vanilla Smoothie in honor of Halloween and fall. Enjoy!



Here is the recipe:

  • 1 container vanilla Smari yogurt
  • 1 scoop Designer Whey vanilla almond protein powder
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 of a ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Pumpkin pie spice to taste
  • 3-4 ice cubes

Disclaimer: I received Designer Whey products and coupons to try Smari yogurt free of charge through my partnership with FitFluential. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.

Review of Designer Whey

Meghan had the opportunity to review Designer Whey products. She tested out their protein powder, bars, shakes and their Protein2Go packets throughout the month of April. Disclaimer: Designer Whey sent me the products for the review. All opinions are my own.

I'm a huge fan of smoothies, especially protein smoothies. I pretty much drink one smoothie a day - either for breakfast, an afternoon snack and a post-workout meal. When Designer Whey offered to send product to us to review and test out, I said "of course!" We've used a number of different products before and are always open to trying out new or different brands. I have a sensitive stomach and can't tolerate lactose or soy. I don't really like the aftertaste of hemp protein and some whey proteins have had an adverse effect on my stomach. I've used their French Vanilla Whey Powder in the past so I was looking forward to trying new flavors and their new products.

The box I received was loaded with products: Powders (French Vanilla and White Chocolate), Bars (Triple Chocolate Crunch, Chocolate Caramel Crunch and Peanut Butter Crunch), Shakes (Vanilla and Chocolate) and their Protein2Go packets (Lemonade, Mixed Berry and Tropical Orange).

The bars are my favorite new product from Designer Whey. They were delicious and didn't have that gross, processed after taste that so many protein bars have. I used them as post workout meals when I knew I didn't have time for a full meal (I sometimes have clients, runs and meeting back to back to back) and as afternoon pick-me-up snacks. I never felt heavy after eating any of the bars.

I was traveling for a week during my testing period so I brought along the Protein2Go packets and the bars. These were great because I was traveling a lot during the days and were easy ways to get my protein when eating out all the time. I'm not a fan of pre-packaged shakes and thought those were the most processed tasting product out of everything I sampled. While I was home, I used the protein powder for everything - smoothies, baking and pancakes. I love my spinach, almond milk, banana and pineapple smoothie with french vanilla protein powder in the mornings. I made pancakes with both powder flavors - the white chocolate was delish with berries! I made banana bread and quinoa muffins with the vanilla protein powder. In short, I was a protein eating superstar all through April - even during my travels!

Overall, I would highly recommend the Designer Whey products I tested. I encourage my clients to test out products and find what works for them. I gave a few of them the Protein2Go packets and some of the powder. I especially like the bars and Protein2Go packets because they are easy, tasty and portable. I'm loving the White Chocolate powder and the lemonade Protein2Go flavor currently!




Tasty Tuesday - Protein Powder

I (Meghan) recently made a commitment to eat more protein and pay attention to the actual nutrients I'm consuming as opposed to just going with "I'm eating healthy because I eat lots of fruit, veggies and whole foods." Since that time (about 5 months ago), I've discovered that eating protein is more difficult than I had thought. In order to eat protein in every meal and have it as a main source of my snacks, I had to prepare and think ahead (a lot!) about my food.

I turned to protein powder because 1) it's easy and quick and 2) it can be used in smoothies and baking. I experimented with a few different protein powders, from store bought to order online, cheap to expensive. I found that the more expensive ones are worth it. They taste less powdery and processed and I found I had better results - less hungry and improved athletic performance. Also, I was able to use the more expensive protein powders more than once in a day. My favorite is the Vanilla Collagen Sport by Neocell Sport.


  • Tasteless
  • contains L-glutamine, an amino acid that is crucial in the muscle recovery process.
  • contains 30% of daily vitamin and mineral needs


  • Have to order it online and it arrives via FedEx which requires a signature for delivery (which, if you live in NYC without a doorman, you know how annoying that is!)
  • Expensive (compared to going to your local grocery store/GNC)

How did I use all this protein powder?

I made smoothies. My favorite ingredients for smoothies:

  • Bananas
  • Mango (frozen)
  • Spinach
  • Blueberries
  • Flax seed
  • Peaches

And I made muffins and pancakes! Thanks to Pinterest and the gluten-free craze, I was able to find lots of great recipes that replace flour with protein powder. I used protein powder, eggs and bananas as my base and added in flax seed, cinnamon, blueberries, stevia and applesauce.

What's your favorite protein recipe? Share in the comments section. 


How to Recover Fast and Foods that Help

After working out, especially if you've worked out for over an hour, it’s essential that you replenish your muscles and body with the needed nutrients. During prolonged and/or intense exercise, your muscle tissue breaks down. By replenishing your muscles quickly, you will recover faster and feel stronger.

So, what does that mean and how do you repair your muscles? You eat and drink! First off, make sure you hydrate during the workout and then replace the lost fluids post workout. Next, eat a 4:1 carb to protein source. Carbs are your energy and protein provides the amino acids needed to rebuild muscle tissue. 

Here are some good options that will get you close to the recommended 4:1 ratio:

  • English muffin with 2 tbs of almond butter = 3:1
  • Banana and 2 tbs almond butter = 4:1
  • Smoothie: 1/2 c water, 1/2 c milk, banana & 1/2 c blueberries and 2 ice cubes = 3:1
  • Horizon Low fat Chocolate Milk box = 3:1

After eating and drinking, make sure you stretch out those tired muscles. And allow your body to rest, especially if the workout was intense, in order to allow the body to repair at a natural pace. We love foam rolling or getting a massage after a long run. 

Cait's Plate: Pineapple Fried Quinoa

Caitlin Grams of Caitlin Lives Well, brings us delicious recipes inspired by her New Year’s Resolution “to make one new recipe a week”.  This week, Caitlin takes on makes her favorite Thai dish a healthy dish! We are huge fans of quinoa and can't wait to try out this recipe.

My favorite Thai dish is Pineapple Fried Rice, but there's a reason why I rarely order it - huge portions, white rice, fried tofu...nothing about it is healthy. So I decided to try to make my own healthy version, using my favorite grain, and it turned out surprisingly well! This dish is light yet hearty and full of protein, carbs and healthy fats. 
Pineapple Fried Quinoa with Tofu - adapted from this recipe
1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package directions
1 head broccoli, roasted 
1 block extra firm tofu
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 eggs
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 shallots, chopped 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pineapple, diced
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil 
1/4 cup cashews

While quinoa is cooking and broccoli is roasting, heat oil in pan and add shallots and garlic until heated through. Add eggs, cook and stir until scrambled. Remove  from heat. 
Press tofu to remove excess water and cut once crosswise, then into 1 inch squares lengthwise. Dip each piece into soy sauce to evenly coat and spread onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
Toast cashews in small saucepan over high heat for 2-3 minutes until shiny. 
In a large serving bowl, toss quinoa, tofu, broccoli, pineapple and sesame seed oil. Top with cashews and enjoy! 


Cait's Plate: Tofu and Quinoa Stir Fry

Every other week, Caitlin Grams of Caitlin Lives Well, is bringing us delicious recipes inspired from her New Year’s Resolution “to make one new recipe a week”.  This week we learn about how to make a protein packed stir fry!

Tofu and Quinoa Stir Fry

So it's probably pretty clear by now that I love quinoa. It's super versatile and is so quick to make. In this dish I use it as a substitute for brown rice - it cooks faster than brown rice, plus the higher protein and fiber content and amino acids aren't too shabby. I'm a big fan of meals I can just throw together, and stir fry veggies are so easy. To up the veggie content of this dish I add roasted broccoli. 
1 block tofu, extra firm, chopped into small squares
1 package stir fry vegetables
1 head broccoli, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup quinoa
For the tofu dredge:
1/2 cup peanut flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt
For the vegetables:
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp Sriracha
Coat the broccoli in the olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes until it starts to brown. Remove from oven.
While the broccoli is roasting, prepare quinoa according to package directions. 
While quinoa is cooking, combine ingredients for tofu dredge in a ziplock bag. Toss tofu squares in dredge until coated. Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil over medium high heat (test how hot the oil is by sprinkling a pinch of the flour mixture into it to see if it sizzles). Add tofu to oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, flipping halfway through. When browned remove from pan and set on a paper towel lined plate. 
Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to a wo k or large pan over high heat. Add the stir fry vegetables and cook for about 4 minutes. When the veggies are almost done add the broccoli, soy sauce, garlic and sriracha and ginger powder. Toss and cook for an additional minute, then remove from heat.
Combine the quinoa, veggies and tofu and boom - deliciousness, in a bowl.


Hello Recovery

Our Wellness Wednesday is back. Today Deacon, our favorite Ayurvedic practitioner, talks to us about recovery and what your body needs.

Hello Recovery,
Almost as important as our pre-run fueling is our post-run fueling. When we run, we lose minerals & vitamins through sweating, and our immune systems becomes weaker, as our bodies are repairing the tissues we’ve used during our activity. What to eat and how to refuel?
A good stand by are bananas. They are high in potassium, which regulates heart, kidney, nerves and digestive function. They are also high in Vitamin C and manganese, which helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels. From an Ayurvedic perspective, bananas can be a little tough to digest, especially if your digestive system has been weakened after your run. 
Personally, I love to reach for cooked leafy greens – specifically spinach or kale. One of my favorite post-running fuel treats is steamed spinach on brown rice toast with a little olive oil lemon juice and sea salt (hear me out, I’ll get to the portable foods in just a sec).

Spinach is an amazing food for runners, because it’s completely loaded with fabulous nutrients, like Vitamins A, B6, B2, C, E, K, magnesium, foliate, manganese, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, selenium, niacin Omega 3’s and protein! 
You can also use kale instead of spinach, and actually cook rice rather than use rice bread if you have the time.
Another one of my favorite post-run cooked treats is a smallish beet with a 3-minute egg mixed with a little olive oil and sea salt. Trust me, it tastes better than it sounds. Beets are high in foliate, manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron phosphorus and copper. Adding the egg adds protein, B2, 5, & 12 and Vitamin D, Omega 3’s.
If you like the idea of leafy greens, but think I’m insane if I think you have the time to make a meal after running, or if you want something after a race, I have two words for you: Kale chips. They are delicious, portable and nutritious. You can purchase kale chips at your local health food store or whole foods, or you can make your own from my recipe below. I like the ‘cheese’ flavor variety of kale chip  - not to worry; the ‘cheese’ is actually nutritional yeast.
If you have a sweet tooth, however, may I suggest the humble date? Dates are loaded with potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin A and foliate. They are a little high in sugar, so I would recommend mixing it up a little pumpkin & sunflower seeds and maybe a few almonds. The nuts and seeds provide protein, B1, B2, B6, Vitamin E, zinc, copper and iron.

Remember, hydrating is also very important after running. Try to avoid drinking iced-cold water. You may have heard that drinking iced water makes you loose weight by making the body work harder to maintain body temperature, but in reality, it brings your metabolism to a grinding halt. Imagine throwing iced water on a camp fire. Try drinking room temperature water, or even warm water if you can get your hands on it!

Enjoy the recipes for portable post-run snacks. I’ve also included my recipe for an Ayurvedic trail mix, so you can take the mix with you for a post run munch.
Cheesy Kale Chips

1 bunch curly kale
1 cup cashews (soaked for a couple hours)
1 red bell pepper, deseeded
Juice of half a lemon (2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
Remove the toughest parts of the kale steams, wash then tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. Place pieces in a large bowl 
Cheesy coating: 
Combine soaked cashews, bell pepper, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and sea salt in a blender or food processor and run for a minute or two until smooth.
Add the cheesy coating to your bowl of kale and massage it in with your hands.  
Spread kale pieces on parchment paper on baking trays, and bake at 200 degrees until crispy, about 45 minutes (but again, all that matters is that they MUST be crunchy).
Trail Mix (makes 4 cups)

1 cup of Sunflower seeds
1 ½ cups raisins
½ cup dried apricots (chopped coarsely)
½ cup dried apples (chopped coarsely)
½ cups raw almonds (chopped coarsely)
¼ teaspoon of Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a spoon, and store in a cool dry place.

Deacon founded Daily Veda after working in Global Advertising for 16 yrs. He practices yoga, runs and promotes healthy living through natural eating and Ayurvedic medicine. His Veda Bars are AMAZING. Best tasting bar ever and you can pronounce all the ingredients! He’s a wealth of knowledge and fun.

Cait's Plate: Tacos with a Twist

Every other week, Caitlin Grams of  Caitlin Lives Well, is bringing us delicious recipes inspired from her New Year's Resolution "to make one new recipe a week".  Our mouth is watering just reading this week's recipe. Enjoy!


Fish Tacos

A 60 degree day in the middle of winter calls for a lighter meal, especially after a tough workout. Often when I'm in training I'm looking for dinners that are going to provide as much nutritional value as possible while still being quick,easy and having few ingredients.  Tilapia is a good choice because it is a great source of protein but low in calories and fat (not to mention it has low levels of mercury). This meal comes together super fast and the flavor is awesome.

Fish Tacos (serves 2)

Main Ingredients:
3 filets of tilapia
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 corn tortillas
1 package coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage

For the Marinade:

2 limes, juiced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Chipotle Tabasco 
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste

Lime Sour Cream:
1/2 cup sour cream (I use light sour cream)
1 lime, juiced plus zest

Optional toppings:
Salsa verde
Pepperjack cheese, shredded

Combine the ingredients for the marinade and marinate the tilapia for at least 30 minutes. Heat olive oil in pan over medium high heat and add tilapia with marinade. Cook covered for 5-10 minutes, removing the lid for the last few minutes to reduce the sauce until the fish is firm and flaky - no need to flip. Mix ingredients for lime sour cream. Warm corn tortillas in pan for 1 minute on each side. Add half a filet to each tortilla and cover with a handful of cabbage. Add toppings of your choice and enjoy!