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How to Optimize Protein Intake for Weight Loss or Mass Building Goals

How to Optimize Protein Intake for Mass Building Goals
We’ve been led to believe that higher protein intake is always better – it has to be better than carbs, or fat – right? Both carbohydrates and fat have been demonized in recent years as both boogeymen origins of inflammation and illness, but it is truly not that simplistic. As we’ve started to gain a better understanding as more research and studies come to light, we can now look at fat and recognize it depends on the quality and type of fat used, what it is being consumed with, and how it is being incorporated into a healthy diet. No longer is the emphasis on removing fat from the diet, only to replace it with things that are much worse and inflammation-promoting. The same applies to carbohydrates – refined sugars and refined grains lead to inflammation. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds can all be extremely antioxidant-rich, protecting against illness and disease. In most cases, a healthy diet is one that encompasses a variety of whole foods and nutrients – both micro, and macro. At the same time, the key importance is to avoid refined foods and grains, artificial sugars, vegetable oils, and red meats. While specific types of diets or lifestyles like the ‘ketogenic’ diet are a great tool for weight loss or managing medical conditions, they are not a ‘one size fits all' approach that will work for everyone. Many of these diets are not sustainable long-term. At the end of the day, they are simply that – a tool. How You Can Incorporate High-Protein into a Healthy Diet Protein plays an important role in many bodily processes and is essential to healthy growth, development, organ function, and mass. But can there be too much of a good thing? Most research seems to indicate that a higher protein intake, above the recommended daily amount, is not required to gain and may actually place more stress on the kidneys as opposed to improving health. The RDA recommendation is about 0.36 grams per pound, while for athletes or intensive trainers, it ranges up to ~0.86 grams per pound. On a 2500 calorie diet for someone weighing in at 160-175 pounds, this roughly equals ~70 grams of protein (or ~280 calories) for the average individual per day, which is easily attainable from either animal-based sources or plant-based sources. For those that are athletes, active, malnourished, or trying to lose weight: incorporating more protein into the diet also does not appear to do any harm, provided it is not a primary source of calories long-term, and the protein choices are smart ones. Getting most of those 2500 calories from healthy protein choices does not seem feasible, does it? Long-term, your kidneys would have a difficult time, and you’d likely smell of ammonia…    What healthy protein means is – reducing intake of red meats, processed meats, and conventional dairy, while instead opting for fish and seafood, eggs, plant-based protein like legumes, and vegetables. Is Plant-Based Protein Comparable to Animal Protein? It is a misunderstanding that plant-based foods are not comparable to animal-based proteins in terms of quality and benefit. While animal-based protein may seem to promote a stronger anabolic response for muscle mass building and utilization, plant-based protein can meet the same nutritional demands. While you would have to eat a much larger serving of vegetables to get the same amount of protein and amino acid profile as some beef, beef is also more difficult to eat more of and tends to promote an inflammatory response compared to foods with high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols, like vegetables. Further, most plant foods do in fact contain all the essential amino acids needed by the body – just in much smaller amounts, depending on the food. This is why high-quality plant-based sources like beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, etc. are combined together in meals to ensure these needs are met with ease. In one of the largest studies conducted on the matter, including 30 (!) years of data, the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer were increased primarily with processed and unprocessed red meats (particularly pork) – but not from fish, seafood or poultry. Conversely, a higher intake of plant-based protein was associated with all lower mortality risks and better health. Selecting The Right Protein Powder for You Protein powders and protein supplements can play an important role in meeting daily protein needs, as an easy way to reach a high level of protein without cooking or stressing. This is especially true for bodybuilders or athletes that do not constantly have the time to be cooking and eat healthy, high-protein meals. The importance then lies in selecting a protein powder that meets your nutritional goals and dietary restrictions. It is essential to select one that is free from ...

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies!⁣⁣Who doesn't love something sweet from time to time? What if we told you that not only can you satisfy your sweet tooth with INSANELY moist chocolate brownies, you can do it guilt free!⁣⁣@sabrinavirdee dropped off this recipe that is FOR SURE going to have the family cleaning their dinner plates in anticipation. Don't take our word for it, but a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream pairs up pretty well with a warm Brownie! Let us know what you think below! It's Brownie Time! #livelifehealthy⁣⁣ Fudgy Black Bean Brownies⁣INGREDIENTS⁣1 15-oz can Black Beans rinsed and drained⁣3 large eggs (local if possible)⁣3 tbsp Coconut Oil ⁣1 tsp Vanilla Extract⁣
¼ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder⁣
⅔ cup Coconut Sugar ⁣½ tsp Baking Powder⁣¼ tsp Salt⁣½ cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips ⁣ ⁣DIRECTIONS⁣1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees2. Puree black beans in a food processor, until a rough paste. ⁣3. In a large bowl, mix together the bean puree, eggs, oil, and vanilla. ⁣4. In a separate bowl, combine cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt⁣5. Add the dry ingredients to the black bean mixture then stir in chocolate chips.
⁣6. Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan and pour in batter and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges are visibly cooked and the center doesn’t jiggle much when you shake the pan (a toothpick may still come out a little gooey, that’s fine!)⁣7. Allow brownies to cool before cutting.⁣ Recipe created by: @sabrinavirdee

Spring Chickpea Salad

Healthy Planet is back with @sabrinavirdee and dropping yet another healthy recipe for the family. The ultimate side dish or a stand alone star, the Spring Chickpea Salad can be used in any setting! Lunch, dinner or a snack, you choose! #livelifehealthy⁣ Spring Chickpea Salad⁣Serves 4-6⁣INGREDIENTS⁣1 can of Kidney Beans drained and rinsed⁣1 can Black Beans drained and rinsed⁣1 can Corn drained (fresh corn if possible)⁣1 can of Chickpeas drained and rinsed ⁣½  Red Bell Pepper diced⁣½  Orange Bell Pepper diced⁣½ medium Red Onion finely diced⁣½ cup fresh Cilantro finely chopped ⁣2 Jalapenos seeded and finely chopped  (optional⁣)1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar ⁣¼ cup Olive Oil ⁣½ tsp Sea Salt⁣¼ tsp ground Black Pepper⁣   ⁣DIRECTIONS⁣1. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients and toss to combine. Taste and adjust as necessary until the flavors really pop—I usually add another teaspoon or two of vinegar.2. Cover and chill to marry the flavors—preferably overnight or at least 2 hours. Serve in individual bowls as is, or with a protein of choice!⁣⁣OTHER FUN WAYS TO ENJOY! ⁣1. Top with avocado’s for some healthy fats ⁣2. Pile it onto nachos or serve it as black bean salsa with tortilla chips.⁣3. Use it as a filling for burritos or quesadillas (leaving as much of the liquid behind as possible)⁣   Recipe created by: @sabrinavirdee

Mango & Coconut Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Mango & Coconut Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie!⁣⁣The change of season is here! Longer days, warmer temperatures and a sense that the world is slowly getting back on schedule. @sabrinavirdee is rolling out a delicious treat that can be enjoyed anytime of the day. By adding natural ingredients along with a bit of love, you will be cooling down in no time with a cold smoothie in hand! Add Kaizen Naturals Vanilla Protein Powder and help build muscle, repair tissue! Check out past recipes to put together a full day of eating, snacking and enjoying time with your loved ones and friends! #livelifehealthy⁣⁣Mango & Coconut Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie⁣Serves 1⁣INGREDIENTS ⁣1½ cups Frozen Mango ⁣½ cup Frozen Pineapple ⁣½ cup Coconut Milk ⁣1 tsp Turmeric Powder⁣1 cup of Cold Water⁣1 scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder *optional ⁣⁣DIRECTIONS1. Add all your ingredients into your blender and mix until you have a smooth and creamy consistency. Add more water for desired thickness! Enjoy!⁣ Recipe created by: @sabrinavirdee

No Bake Pumpkin, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Everybody’s favourite season has arrived! Why not FALL in love (pun intended of course – I’ll work on it) with health conscious seasonal recipes while we have the time!  For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Cass. I am a Holistic Nutritionist obsessed with creating healthier favourites for myself, friends and the Health and Wellness Community.  I am a sucker for all things baking, making, creating and of course photo styling my creations before I demolish whatever it is I have made. Join Healthy Planet and myself as we create some unforgettable recipes that will certainly keep you coming back for me. Enjoy! If you love pumpkin, cookie dough and a guilt-free way to eat the entire batch of something you have created, then you have come to the right place!  Even as a child I ALWAYS loved cookie dough, this lead to my love/hate relationship with cookie dough. My friends and I would always go to the store, grab a tube of cookie dough and sneak it into the basement to eat it, RAW! Yum…but, not very nutritious. Growing up there weren’t many “healthy alternatives” for treats like cookie dough in a tube. Not only are these filled with grams and grams of sugar, they also have absolutely zero nutritional value to them. So what if I were to tell you, you could revisit your childhood, sit on the couch and snack on RAW HOMEMADE COOKIE DOUGH that will satisfy your sweet tooth without all the sugar! I say heck yes! What about you? Check out my recipe below and enjoy the guiltless snacking! Ingredients 3 cups Bobs Red Mill GF Oat Flour 20 large pitted organic medjool dates (soaked 20 minutes before) 4 tbsp organic pumpkin puree – add 1 tbsp afterwards until well mixed like sticky dough 3 tbsp Nuts to You Cashew Butter 3 tbsp organic raw honey 1.5 tbsp Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice  ¼ cup Lily’s Sweets Chocolate Baking Chips Directions add oat flour and medjool dates in a food processor or blender blend until dates are chopped up  add pumpkin puree, raw honey, cashew butter, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice blend until you get a nice dough ball. You may need to add more pumpkin puree if too dry or more oat flour if too wet. Scrape down the dough from the sides as it may get stuck, this is ok. Blend until combined, we want all the ingredients to be thoroughly mixed so each ball tastes the same! Repeat steps 4-6 until you reach ideal consistency/cookie dough texture Add chocolate chips in last to avoid chocolate melting/balls turning brown Remove from blender/processor and roll into balls (the fun part is you can choose the size) – I like to make a variety as your needs can change depending on cravings. Added bonus: feel free to roll the balls in cacao powder, melted chocolate, maca powder, etc for an added nutritional kick Tips on how to store Refrigerator – store in air tight jar or container, glass is best (I find the taste changes in plastic after 2 days).  Freezer – store in airtight jar or container, tempered glass is best. Good for up to 2 months depending on your freezer quality. I like storing mine in a tempered glass container in the freezer. I will take out a few at a time and keep in the fridge for easy access. Follow @healthyplanet for more Health and Wellness Recipes from yours truly! You can also follow me @the_nourishingproject for past Health and Wellness Recipes! Happy sweet eatin’ from yours truly!

Alkaline living with Progressive VegEssential All in One

It’s that time of year again.   The kids are heading back to school and you’re looking to get back into a routine after enjoying all the fun summer distractions that the nice weather can bring. Did you know that  80% of achieving your health and wellness goals is determined by what you put into your body. So where do you start so you can hit your goals faster? Let’s take a look at 3 key nutrients that will kick start you on the right track fast. Protein A busy lifestyle calls for enough protein throughout your day to keep your energy up as well as support and maintain muscle tissue. Protein is needed for hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes and so much more.  That’s exactly why we need to make sure we’re getting enough. Studies show that as we get older, we need more quality protein to perform and feel our best every day.  Fibre Is very important to our health.  Not only does it help with bowel regularity which reduces the risk of colon cancer but adequate daily fiber also can aid weight loss, support heart health, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and so much more.  Adequate fibre also supports healthier gut bacteria which has many health benefits. It helps with satiety and can support more even energy levels. Most people only get ½ off the 25-40 grams of fiber that is suggested for everyday health.   Antioxidants These are natural chemicals that lessen the stress caused by free radicals.  Everyday your body creates free radicals in response to chemical reactions inside the body. Certain external factors such as smoking, drinking, pollution, pesticides etc can lead to further damage.  Free radicals are unpaired electrons. They steal electrons from other pairs leading to the creation of more free radicals and more damage. This oxidative damage is thought to correlate with accelerated aging and disease. Antioxidants are critical nutrients that donate an electron to these free radicals rendering them harmless.  Vitamin A, C and E are 3 very common antioxidants. It’s recommended to consume 3000-5000 ORAC units per day. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It represents the antioxidant capacity of a nutrient or food.   VegEssential All in One has you fully covered.   1 serving: 27 grams of protein 7grams of Fibre Antioxidant equivalent of 6 to 8 servings of fresh veggies” 2g Omega-3 plant oils  5000 ORAC units (antioxidants) Vitamins & Minerals Veg Essential All in One embraces the wisdom of consuming an alkaline forming whole food diet and draws on nearly 100 plant based ingredients to deliver an incredible spectrum of micro and macro nutrients.  This provides an unbeatable daily nutritional foundation to help you get back to it with ease. It’s like a whole cupboard full of supplements in a single smoothie. You just can’t get any easier or more convenient than that. By Tammy Strome: Performance & Wellness Expert

"Aged" Macadamia Nut Cheese

Who doesn’t love a Vegan Cheese Board? Perfect for any gathering of family or friends living life healthy, the vegan cheese board is the go to spread when entertaining vegetarian, vegan and food loving friends alike! The best part of the vegan cheese board? Accoutrements!You can’t have a proper spread without crackers, nuts, jams or honey!  Our favourite part of creating a Vegan Cheese Board? Mixing and matching! With so many recipes available for a variety of vegan cheeses as well as vegan cheese available at your local Healthy Planet, you can lay out a display worthy of any true cheese connaisseurs respect. Check out one of our very own recipes that combine two of our favourites, Cashews and Macadamia Nuts. Follow our steps and in no time you will be creating your very own vegan cheese!   Ingredients 1 ¾ raw cashews 1 cup raw macadamia nuts 1 ½ cups of water 2 tablespoons pink salt ½ teaspoon probiotic   Instructions Separating the 2 nuts, cover and soak them overnight. This will activate the nuts while also softening them allowing for a smoother blend.  The following day, drain and rinse both nuts transfering to a blender. Add your water, salt and blend until you reach a smooth texture. After reaching the desired texture, transfer the cheese into a 1-quart glass jar and add the probiotic. Stir until it is stirred in completely.  Dehydrate for 24 hours at 85F - 90F. After 24 hours check for desired texture. You should have a “rind” or a tougher outer skin, much like the skin of a Brie, the inside will be creamy and delicious! This “rind” will give you a very similar feel to a dairy cheese without the dairy!  Add your cheese into molds for shape and freeze for 1 to 2 hours. This process will allow the cheese to set into the shape you desired for display. Remove the cheese from the molds directly onto the dehydrator sheets dehydrating  at 118F for 12 hours. Turn your cheese over and continue the dehydrating process for an additional 24 hours.  Gather your friends and family to spread some love….and vegan cheese! #livelifehealthy

Almond Hemp Energy Balls

Almond Hemp Energy Balls? Yes please! On the go treat that will energize you all day? We got it.  Packed with superfoods and high in protein, these Energy Balls will keep you energized and on the move all day feeling healthy and complete. Healthy Planet Ambassador  marissaliana shared with us one of her favourite Fitness snack recipes, AMAZING Almond Hemp Energy Balls. Super fast and easy to prepare, this is the energy ball you will be craving pre and post workout. Combine hemp seeds, chia seeds, almond butter and  protein powder together for what will quickly become your new favorite post workout snack. Find what drives you and fuel it with a heart healthy and nutritious treat made with love. #lifelivehealthy Almond Hemp Energy Balls Ingredients: 1/2 cup Organic Traditions Raw Almond Butter 1/2 cup Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seeds 4 tbsp Prana Chia Seeds 1 overly ripe banana 2 scoops Vega Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder (70g) 2 tbsp Shady Maple Farms MapleS 6 tbsp Giddy YoYo Dark Chocolate Chips   How to prepare Mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined. Roll into golf ball sized balls and store in freezer for best texture. Let thaw for 5 minutes before eating and enjoy!   Put together your favourite Energy Ball recipe, tag @healthyplanet on Instagram and show us what keeps you going! Use the Healthy Planet hashtag #livelifehealthy and we will share your recipe with our followers! Keep spreading the love!

Happy Mother's Day from Healthy Planet!

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! This is the perfect opportunity to treat all the Mama's in your life and even yourself to a few sweet gifts to celebrate this beautiful day. Healthy Planet is currently running an INCREDIBLE Mother's Day Sale, full of pampering and practical products for all Mothers! I have narrowed down my top 4 favourite products that not only do I use, but would make the  perfect Health & Wellness gifts for the Mama's in your life this Mother’s Day!   Organika Collagen – Because healthy skin is always on trend. Collagen has many beautiful benefits that does our body so good - promotes skin health, boost muscle mass, improve ingestive health, burns fat, alleviate joint pains, promotes heart health, and improves cognitive health. Our bodies naturally produce collagen, however our ability to produce it decreases less and less as we age. This is why it is so important to either incorporate foods that contain collagen in our diet or supplement it with a product like, Organika Collagen. Because let’s be real, who doesn’t want beautiful skin? Skin Essence Facial in a Jar – Spoil the Mama's in your life with this multipurpose product. You can either use this as an exfoliator to scrub away dead skin or leave it on as a mask so that the product can absorb all the oils and impurities out of your skin. Either way, this product will leave your skin super soft, supple, nourished and will brighten your overall complexion!   Everyone Hand Soap Coconut Lavender – This is the best naturally smelling hand soap on the market. I really love that it is kind to our earth, cruelty free, gluten free, does not contain synthetic fragrance, and really does a wonderful job at cleansing and moisturizing the skin.   Andalou Naturals Body Lotion Lavender Thyme – You will not catch me without some sort of hand lotion in my diaper bag. With all the diaper changing and constantly washing my hands to avoid catching my toddler’s germs, it strips away my natural oils leaving my skin super dry and cracked. I love this hand lotion not only does it DELICIOUS but it also does a fab job at moisturizing and keeping the skin moisturized for a long period of time. If Lavender Thyme isn’t your jam, they also have a large selection of other scents as well!   Written by Healthy Planet Ambassador @lifestylebycp.  Follow Cherrie as she lives her best life spreading her vision of the Health and Wellness lifestyle with the help of Healthy Planet!

Healthy Earth Day

  Every day is Earth Day at Healthy Planet! As we continue to work on improving ways to help the planet Live Life Healthy, We are fortunate enough to work alongside like minded ambassadors of Health and Wellness! Here are some of their products that not only help them live their best life, they are Earth friendly as well!   karmic.kara"I think my favourite Earth friendly product is Iron Vegan Protein Powder because vegan products help the animals, the environment and the planet! So I love that I can still get tons of protein while conserving/helping in those areas! :)" keto.cute_eh"I’m a huge fan of is The Green Beaver company. I have been using their make up remover for almost a year and it’s amazing.I love that it’s all organic, all-natural, sensitive on my skin, and not tested on animals!" lifestylebycp "Eco Lunch Box! I love that is so durable, toxin free and of course reusable. Stores all my goodies without the use of plastic contains and bags. With this product in your household, there’s no excuses whatsoever to have any plastic containers period!" the.nourish.company"My favourite is My Progressive Harmonized Vegan Protein The fact that eating plant-based is better for the environment and for your health! Progressive is made with quality ingredients and is also dairy and gluten free! I LOVE IT!" kellymnutrition"I’d have to say Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap for a few reasons. It’s organic and free of toxins making it healthier for the environment and you. Plus it’s super versatile and can be used for anything, from personal care to cleaning the house. Its a must-have for anyone looking to reduce their exposure to chemicals and keep their house a little greener." Melissliliana "My favourite Earth Friendly product is Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap! It’s an 18-in-1 so it replaces so many of my products and reduces waste. My favourite is the peppermint and I love to use it as a body wash and for household cleaning, it does it all! Dr. Bronner’s is made with 100% vegetable oils, is totally biodegradable and is harvested sustainably, which makes it my top pick for planet earth!"

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