Tag Archives: protein

  1. Is Collagen a Good Source of Protein?

    With the popularity of collagen and gelatin protein, often I get asked “Is Collagen a Good Source of Protein?” While I am a big fan of both, I think it’s important to note that it may not be the best option for a source of protein.

    Is Collagen a Good Source of Protein?

    With the popularity of collagen in recent years, so too have I seen an increase of the use of collagen as a meal-replacing protein. While I am a big fan of collagen and personally aim to consume a high-quality grass-fed collagen protein in some form, nearly daily, myself, and I definitely recommend collagen to many of my nutrition clients for a variety of therapeutic and supplemental reasons – I wanted to take a moment to share why I don’t recommend that collagen be counted as part of your daily sources of protein or to used as a post-workout, rebuilding and recovering protein.

    Why is a Complete Protein Important?

    The human body is primarily made up of water, protein and fat. Second only to water, proteins comprise most of our tissues in the form of amino acids. And in all those amino acids, about half is collagen.

    There are 22 standard amino acids. Of those 22, 9 are “essential,” meaning they are not made by the body and must be obtained through our diet. Another 6 are “conditionally essential,” meaning our bodies can make sufficient amounts without getting them directly from diet, but only when circumstances are optimal.

    Our bodies NEED protein to sustain life. Protein is responsible for building every single cell in our body. The full panel of essential amino acids are necessary to help us build and repair every structure in our body. We build them up, break then down, over and over and over again. A great amount of dietary protein every day is necessary for this to be done efficiently and effectively.

    Lean muscle is made entirely of complete protein as well, and is key for optimal well being. Lean muscle improves metabolism, helps burn body fat, regulates body temperature, as well as keeps you strong, healthy, and supported.

    Muscle needs protein and getting adequate, quality protein (ideally from high-quality, properly raised, animal sources) supports strength, injury prevention and longevity. Protein also helps with a higher metabolic rate, greater insulin sensitivity, and building that lean, sculpted, sexy physique, you babe, you. Protein is also responsible for satiety and reducing cravings and hunger.

    A complete protein is comprised of, at the very least, the 9 essential amino acids. These are referred to as ‘essential’ because you MUST obtain them from your diet; the body cannot synthesize them on its own. Complete proteins can be found in a wide variety of animal foods and a few plant foods.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  2. Creative Ways to Use Canned Salmon

    Canned salmon doesn’t have to just mean sandwiches. This high-quality protein is loaded up with healthy omega-3 fatty acids and it makes for an incredible pantry staple that is ready whenever you need it. Here are just a few of my favorite Creative Ways to Use Canned Salmon.

    Creative Ways to Use Canned Salmon

    To some canned fish, as the leading star of the meal may be an act of desperation or last-minuteness, and while the latter may be true quite often for me – I think regardless, canned salmon and other canned fish, are really easy, grab-and-go, delicious, super nutrient-rich proteins that are perfect pantry staples for any health-minded kitchen. A great thing on hand for those busy times when you just aren’t sure what to make.

    Besides your standard sandwich, canned salmon and tuna can be used interchangeably in a variety of different recipes. Canned salmon and tuna both make for wonderful and easy healthy fat-loaded proteins to complete any meal. Add to just about any plate, over top a big green salad, in a wrap, serve over top rice or cauliflower rice, pasta, zucchini noodles, over potatoes or squash. For me, I find that canned salmon is a quality, staple pantry protein, for those busy weeknights when I forget to thaw something out or don’t have the time to fuss with much but I still want a well-rounded nutrient-dense meal. Canned salmon is fantastic source of protein, and it’s also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D3, B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals.

    I find that with quality, properly sourced canned fish, less is more. When it comes to Alaska Gold’s Line-Caught Ivory King Canned Salmon, simply toss in some green or red onions and celery, maybe a little mayo and enjoy on a cracker for an easy snack. It truly doesn’t need much more, the flavor is just perfect.

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  3. A Guide to Smarter Smoothies

    While smoothies have become a popular meal replacement, snack and all around trendy food, crafted incorrectly you can be consuming a sugar-loaded, blood sugar exploding cocktail. I am excited to share with you A Guide to Smarter Smoothies to hopefully help you understand how to better create the smoothies that are right for you.

    A Guide to Smarter Smoothies

    A Guide to Smarter Smoothies

    If you’ve been reading Tasty Yummies for some time, you probably know that the archives are LOADED with smoothie recipes. Smoothies used to play a much larger role in my daily diet routine, for the longest time it was always my favorite way to start my day. Interestingly at the height of my smoothie consumption, weight loss was definitely a struggle, as were energy crashes and sugar cravings. What I didn’t know back then, but I do know now as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, is that without the proper formulation, smoothies are a blood sugar explosion waiting to happen.

    Every time you consume any carbohydrates and sugar containing foods, it causes an increase in blood glucose. How much so is dependent on the food and the individual. Simple sugars more specifically (monosaccharides), those sugars ending in -ose, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactose, galactose, maltose – these are metabolized especially quickly and can often cause a big surge in insulin.

    Our body’s innate intelligence continually monitors the amount of glucose in our bloodstream to maintain balance and homeostasis. When blood glucose levels increase, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin.  Insulin increases the uptake of glucose by our muscle and fat cells; increases the amount of glycogen in our muscle and liver; increases fatty acid synthesis from excessive carbohydrates; and decreases fat breakdown and mobilization from our fat tissue.

    A Guide to Smarter Smoothies

    How Bad Can a Fruit-Loaded Smoothie Be?

    With a spike in blood sugar, a release of insulin and the impending crash, no matter what food is the initial cause, this can lead to immediate hunger, mid-day cravings, energy crashes, lightheadedness, anxiety, etc. Even worse, if the rest of your day’s eating (and most days) continue on the carb and sugar path, you are absolutely creating a long term problem. Whether you are overweight, struggle with weight loss or notice blood sugar issues or not.

    Day in and day out this roller coaster can lead to a slew of health complications beyond obesity, lethargy and cravings. To simplify the worst of it, constant output of insulin is like the boy that cried wolf, your cells stop responding to the insulin that is constantly being produced and they become resistant, meaning without the insulin to transport the excess glucose to your cells for energy production, blood sugar levels remain high and this is can lead to chronic insulin resistance, pre-diabetes and eventually diabetes.

    These days, I personally prefer to opt for (and I recommend to my clients) the prioritizing of nutrient-dense whole foods, rather than drinkable meals, like smoothies or juice. Whole foods offer the opportunity for maximum nutrient absorption, which allows our digestion to work as intended, and assuming these whole foods aren’t loaded up with carbohydrates and sugar – it’s much easier on your blood sugar.

    That said, in the summer I do find myself with a much different appetite and my cravings differ quite significantly from the cooler months. I am not nearly as ravenous for more robust meals, especially on the hotter days. In the summer months I find myself wanting and craving more smoothies than any other time of the year. Knowing what I know now, my approach to creating them has drastically changed, so today I am going to share with you my Guide to Smarter Smoothies.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  4. Grain-free No Bake Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

    Grain-free No Bake Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

    Grain-free No Bake Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

    As I go deeper into learning about nutrition and food, while in school to become a Nutritional Therapist, at times feeding my husband reminds me a lot of what my friends who are mothers, go through with their children. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is no man-child, he can take care of himself, he’ll cook when I am not around, he eats his veggies and he can grill like it’s no one’s business – clearly my hubby is > a toddler. But, the man loves his sweets. If he had it his way he would eat a doughnut or a slice of cake for breakfast every single day, he will however on the average day simply settle for toast with jelly or a bowl of cereal.  Of course, no matter what is selected this would all be accompanied by the largest cup of coffee. Ever. Sigh.

    Recently I have been working with him not to change his diet in some drastic way, I don’t need him resenting me and my schooling, but more to understand how starting his day in this manner definitely contributes to, if not exclusively causes, those mid-day crashes he was constantly struggling with and not only that, how it also leads to additional cravings and the need and urge for more sugar and carbs to be satiated. The vicious, never-ending, sugar-burning cycle.

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  5. Pumpkin Pie Power Smoothie & Vega One French Vanilla Nutritional Shake Giveaway

    ********* The giveaway is now closed! Thank you so much to everyone that entered and congrats to, Chef Amber Shea, our randomly selected winner! *********
    (winner was randomly selected using Random.org)

    I will be emailing you to let you know you have won and to get your mailing address.


    Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie & Vega One French Vanilla Nutritional Shake Giveaway

    A while back Vega One contacted me and asked if I would like to try their new French Vanilla Vega One Nutritional Shake, I of course obliged, I mean who doesn’t love sampling new (and hopefully yummy) food products? I received two packets and with the first I made it straight-up, as is with just some almond milk and ice in the blender. It was quite good, super thick and creamy and it had a really nice flavor. It definitely had just a little of the chalkiness that we’ve all come to know with these types of products, but it was still very appetizing and satisfying and had a really good flavor.

    Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie & Vega One French Vanilla Nutritional Shake Giveaway
    After making the first one straight-forward, I decided to have fun with the second shake and I made a pumpkin pie smoothie. I enjoyed this even more than the first one I made, that is besides the fact that I spilled a good 3/4 of it when the wind blew over my photo back drop (thankfully that was the only tragedy we experienced in over here Western New York due to Sandy). Check out my Photo Fun Day Friday post where I show a little behind the scenes blooper shot of this smoothie’s ultimate demise.

    The smoothie was even creamier and it had a fun color to it, the spices and the pumpkin were nicely complimented by creaminess and the smooth french vanilla taste, it kept me full longer than most smoothies I make.

    [print_this]Pumpkin Pie Power Smoothie

    serves 1 or makes 2 smaller servings

    1/2 cup organic coconut milk, the canned kind (full fat or lite)
    1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 level scoop (or one snack pack) of Vega One French Vanilla Nutritional Shake
    sweetener of your choice, if needed – I add a couple of drops of vanilla liquid stevia
    small handful of ice

    Add all of the ingredients to the blender and process until smooth and creamy.


    Besides being quite tasty, Vega One‘s Nutritional Shakes pack a serious nutritional punch! Here is some more info:

    Vega One- All-In-One Nutrition Shake – Use on a daily basis to cover your key nutritional requirements for optimum health.

    “Cover your bases”

    · Great tasting foundational nutrition to build your day on. All the essentials. All-in-one.
    · Contains 10 different supplements including: Protein, Multi-vitamin, Multi-mineral, Essential fatty acids, Digestive enzyme, Probiotics, Antioxidant, Chlorella/greens, Maca.
    · 50% of RDI for vitamins/minerals-replaces your multivitamin!
    · 15 g protein, 6 g fiber, 1.5 g omega 3
    · Dairy, gluten and soy free
    · Low Glycemic (19.2)
    · No added sugar-sweetened with stevia

    Good for your body and the planet, Vega One Nutritional Shake is the clean, plant-based choice to fuel your healthy, active lifestyle—without compromise. Made from natural, whole food ingredients, Vega One is a convenient, all-in-one supplement.

    Vega One is free from dairy, gluten and soy, and contains no added sugar, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.

    Some bonus info, I read that Vega One can also be used in recipes to replace a portion of flour for a gluten-free and protein-rich addition to brownies, pancakes and more.

    Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie & Vega One French Vanilla Nutritional Shake Giveaway

    Since, I enjoyed the French Vanilla Vega One Nutritional Shake so much, we are giving away a large 30 oz tub of it to one special winner, so you can enjoy it, too.

    The giveaway is just open to US and Canada residents only.

     Enter the contest

    Please leave a *separate comment* below for each entry!
    You can enter up to 4 times

    1) In order to be entered into the giveaway, please comment below and share your favorite smoothie or shake that you would love to recreate using Vega One French Vanilla Nutritional Shake?

    Additional entries will be accepted for the following:

     2) Like both the Tasty Yummies and VegaOne pages on Facebook.
    Share the post I put up on the Tasty Yummies page to be included in the giveaway then come back and comment here telling me you liked both pages, that you’ve shared my post.

    3) Tweet about the contest and while you are there follow me on Twitter @herobeth and follow @VegaTeam
    You could say something like: “Enter to win a large tub of French Vanilla #VegaOne from @VegaTeam & @herobeth on Tasty Yummies http://wp.me/p23r4t-Jq #plantstrong #vegan”
    Make sure you comment here to let me know that you posted about the giveaway.

    4) Subscribe to the Tasty Yummies RSS feed in your RSS reader or by email
    or follow me on Pinterest. Again, make sure to comment here to let me know that you subscribed or follow me.

    Please note – this giveaway is only open to the US and Canada.

    Again, please make sure you leave a *separate comment* below for each entry,
    if you don’t comment you will not be entered!

    The giveaway will be open until the end of the day Monday, November 12.
    Winner will be selected at random and announced on Tuesday, November 13. 1 winner will be selected and notified through email and this post.

  6. Strawberry Basil Almond Flour Muffins – Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free

    Strawberry Basil Almond Flour Muffins - Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free

    Before I get into chatting about muffins, I wanted to take a minute to thank all of you for your amazing, inspiring and humbling comments on my two year blogiversary post. Besides hearing about how many of you read Tasty Yummies and have been inspired by it, reading all of your touching comments about what makes you happy, seriously moves me. I have read each and every comment and so many of them brought tears to my eyes. So, even though I haven’t responded to all of you, thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

    The last week has been a really great one for me, between all the inspiring comments about happiness on my post, meeting a new friend and the wonderful week of yoga I had, I am seriously on cloud nine. I have managed to get to a ton of yoga classes this past week (6 in the last 7 days) and despite my injury a few weeks back, I seem to have found a really sweet spot in my yoga practice, at least it really feels that way to me. Every time I think I couldn’t possibly enjoy the practice of yoga and everything it brings, any more than I already do, I have a breakthrough week. This week that feeling came a few different ways, the first is that I got to spend some time with a fellow student that I have practiced alongside many times. Upon hearing the news that she would be moving back to Rochester tomorrow, after nearly a year of living in Buffalo, before heading off to Africa to teach yoga, we decided we had to get together before she left. We grabbed some food and had a couple drinks and just hung out and got to know each other better. I rarely meet people whom I feel that instant of a connection to, and it was yoga that brought us there. I know that although Lyndsey will be far away and I am relocating to California later this year, we both agreed we will stay in contact and who knows where that connection will take us. I feel there are people in this world that we are meant to meet and even though we wish the circumstances would be different or that they lived closer, etc, it is incredible how powerful it can be that we find one another despite all that. Life is pretty amazing. Besides all of the amazing teachers at East Meets West Yoga that I have gotten to know and love, there are so many other great people that are there, like me, to practice, that I have shared such meaningful conversations with, or even just a warm hello! I feel like I have never ever felt that sense of community anywhere else in my life.

    The other thing that made this week of yoga a special one is that I was able to get into three different arm balances that I hadn’t quite been able to master before. I had gotten close on all three in the past at different times, and maybe popped up into them once or twice (likely in happenstance), but it was like I hit a light switch this week and found something that I hadn’t found before. It felt amazing! That is what I love most about yoga, it is ever changing and ever growing. I can’t believe there was ever a time I told myself that I would never be “better” then where I was at that point and that I just couldn’t get into certain poses. Once I let go of that frustration and fear, it not only became so much more enjoyable, but I also found myself doing things I never thought I could. I can honestly say that yoga has changed me both on the mat and off and I will be forever grateful for that.

    Strawberry Basil Almond Flour Muffins - Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free

    OK, let’s talk muffins! Strawberry basil is one of my absolute favorite flavor combos! I discovered it a few summers back when I was obsessed with mojitos. I started playing with basil instead of mint and adding in strawberries instead of lime. It makes for a great adult drink if you add rum, or a refreshing non-alcoholic drink if you just muddle the two together and top it off with a little sparkling water. They are so perfect together, the tart and subtle sweetness from the strawberries paired with the sweet, almost peppery flavor from the basil. If you aren’t a fan of basil, you can add in fresh mint to these muffins, or just skip it altogether. But I highly recommend trying the two together if you haven’t yet, it is a wonderful surprise for your palette.

    These muffins are bursting with flavor and are also quite healthy for you. They are not only gluten-free, but they are totally grain-free, they are also dairy-free and refined sugar-free. I haven’t yet played with using an egg replacer to make these vegan, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. If you do try it out, please do let me know what you think. This recipe makes 6 large muffins. I fill the batter all the way to the very top and as you can see in the photos, that gives you the lovely puffy muffin tops, if you want more muffins, just fill the cups up less and keep an eye on your bake time, it may take a little less time.

    Thank you again guys for your wonderful blogiversary wishes and if you haven’t yet entered the contest, please do. You have 5 different opportunities to enter and the giveaway closes on Wednesday.

    Strawberry Basil Almond Flour Muffins - Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free

    [print_this]Strawberry Basil Almond Flour Muffins – Gluten-free, Dairy-free (vegan option)
makes 6 or 7 large muffins

    • 2 1/4 cups blanched almond flour*
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 2 local farm fresh large brown eggs
 (you can try an egg replacer here, I haven’t yet however)
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
    • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

    Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, and salt. 
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Add in the honey, vanilla and oil and whisk until well combined.
 Add the dry mixture to the wet, stirring until combined. Carefully fold in the strawberries and basil.

    Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling to the top if you want a nice muffin dome, or as us ladies know it “muffin tops”. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the muffin pan on a wire rack for five minutes. Gently pop the muffins out to continue cooling on the rack (don’t cool them longer than 5 minutes in the hot pan they’ll definitely get soggy). Enjoy a muffin after they have cooled 10 minutes, you know you want to.

    I find storing muffins covered tightly in the refrigerator or freezer to be the best. Just pop one out as you want it, heat slightly in the microwave if you want to take the chill off and go.

    *Something I have learned from baking on my own and from reading Elana’s Pantry, is that not all almond flour (or meal) is created equal. Bob’s Red Mill makes an almond flour, though easy to find, that doesn’t seem to react quite the same as other almond flours. It doesn’t seem to rise as much and it just seems to leave recipes flat. On Elana’s recommendation I now buy Honeyville brand almond flour in a 5-lb bag from their website.


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