Pump Up the Protein

I had my first experience with overnight oats today! Let me tell you… I was not disappointed.

When I saw Heather‘s post about her peanut butter pumpkin overnight oats, I knew I wanted to make them. However, I didn’t have an open can of pumpkin and I didn’t really feel like going to the garage to get one at night (yes, I’m lazy!) I opted to make her peanut buttery oats instead.

I made a few changes based on what I had:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup water (I had no milk!)
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbsp peanut flour mixed with water

It was SO nice to be able to grab my breakfast and go this morning!

Deeeeelicious. So thick and creamy! I used instant oats- all I had- and you would never be able to tell. I’ll definitely be making these again. Thanks, Heather!

I wanted to make sure I was properly fueled for my little after school activity, so I snacked on an apple in my car between classes.

And after my last class at 12:20, I had a black bean burger on a sandwich thin.

Then, I changed into my running clothes and ran home really quick. Literally. I ran home from school!

My sister didn’t get out of class until 3, and she had a doctor’s appointment right after. Rather than wait around or waste gas by going home and then picking her up later, I snuck in a long run!

It’s actually 7.5 miles from school to my house, but it was so hot and I was so dehydrated I turned off my watch when I hit the 7 mile mark and walked the rest of the way home. It’s 75 degrees today! Combined with little shade, a lot of hills, and low energy, I was dragging by the end. I couldn’t wait to be home!

I slammed a few cups of water and some pumpkin yogurt as soon as I walked in the door. I was still hungry after, so I made Carrie‘s one minute protein cake and topped it with dessert hummus. I was inspired by Evan‘s snickerdoodle hummus, but out of laziness / lack of ingredients, I simply blended half a cup of chickpeas with applesauce and pumpkin pie spice.

Both were delicious- especially together!

Dinner was leftover frittata, which was eaten in the car on the way to class at 7. I ate almost all my food in the car today, ugh! I’m lucky I only have one night class, but still 😦

Now I’m snacking on Cheerios and granola. Anthropology stimulates me appetite, obviously.

Today was my first time trying protein powder, and I was pleasantly surprised! I’m too cheap to buy a whole tub of it, so when I saw some single serving packets at Vons I grabbed two of the chocolate ones. I don’t remember the brand, but it has 18 grams of protein for one serving. Not too shabby!

Since I’m a vegetarian, I get asked how I ‘get my protein’ ALL THE TIME. I don’t know why cutting meat out of my diet has everyone I know all hot and bothered about my protein intake- no one seemed to care before- but people seem legitimately concerned about how much protein I eat.

There are a lot of ways to get vegetarian protein-

  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dairy products
  • Cereals and food grains
  • Soybeans
  • Eggs

While I don’t eat all of these every day, I’ve been making an effort to include more protein in my diet. It’s a huge factor in keeping me full, which is essential. I hate feeling hungry!

There are all sorts of crazy ways to find out how much protein you should be eating, but I aim for at least 65 grams a day. Lately, I’ve been exceeding that goal. Just for kicks, I totaled up how much protein I’ve had today. 90 grams! Not too shabby for a vegetarian whose protein consumption is questioned 🙂

What’s your favorite source of protein? If you’re vegetarian, do people ask you how you get your protein all the time?

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75 Responses to Pump Up the Protein

  1. As a vegan, I get mainly just asked ‘What do you EAT?’!! 😛

    I get my protein from a ton of sources! Soya sources, like tofu, are probably my main, but beans+lentils are pretty important in my diet too 🙂

  2. first time for protein powder!!?? wow.. make a green monster!!!
    and yay im so glad you liked the pumpkin cake!
    im MAINLY vegetarian.. but i will eat chicken or fish very rarely if need be… i get protein from greek yogurt, cottage dcheese, tofu, soya products, beans, nut butters!

  3. AlisonM says:

    Haha, I get so annoyed by the protein question! Certainly it can be a bit of an issue, especially if you’re vegan, but like you say, there are plenty of veggie sources. You just have to pay a little attention. I admit that I rely on protein powder for 30g a day..

    Great grab-n-go breakfast — perfect for busy school days!

  4. I love soy yogurt, beans, nuts, chicken, eggs, (I’m not a vegetarian), etc. Your oats are stunning! 🙂

  5. Way to go on the 7miler!
    I love Vega and Sunwarrior for smoothies. Beans, peas, hemp seeds, sunshine burgers, etc for “food” and my greens!!!!

  6. Did you just write “it was so hot”?!??! Grrrr I am one jealous lady 🙂 Great 7 miler!!!!

  7. 75 degrees? You have NO idea how jealous I am right now. 🙂

  8. I miss 75 degree weather!!! Congrats on the long run. I actually think that vegetarian protein makes me feel better than meat.

  9. runyogarepeat says:

    I always get asked that, but I eat fish occasionally, so I get protein from that, lots of beans & eggs.

  10. Emily says:

    omg, 75 degrees? I thought it felt like spring today because the temperature finally went up to 30 degrees and wasn’t hovering in the negatives or single digits! I was ready to pull out the flip flops this morning until I saw the slushy snow haha 🙂

    Protein? I still eat meat, so my main source of protein is probably chicken, but I also eat a lot of beans. I’m trying to figure out ways to incorporate more protein in my diet other than chicken, because I think I really do need more. I tend to try not to depend on dairy because it can upset my stomach or I’ll eat a whole block of cheese by myself, lol. I totally agree that when I eat protein, even more so than fiber, I feel much more full and for a longer period of time!

  11. 75 degree weather??? Excuse me for a moment while I go cry…



    Okay, I’m better now. 😉 Seriously, though, that’s wonderful! 🙂

  12. Sruthi says:

    So jealous of the 75 degree weather.

  13. Jess says:

    75 degrees! It’s 30 here and it feels warm!

  14. Lisa says:

    Great run!! And jealous of your weather!

    Do you have specific protein products that you like a lot? I don’t eat very much meat and I think my protein has been really low lately. I’m going to buy some flavored tofu and I’ve been eating Greek yogurt like crazy, but I need some new ideas.

  15. I get asked ALL the TIME about how I get protein! It can get annoying, but I definitely get a lot of protein in my diet!

  16. Beth says:

    I get asked that all the time, too! I eat a lot of beans, peanut flour, and cottage cheese. I also eat fish but only a few times a week, so most of the sources of protein I get are vegetarian. I really like tempeh and tofu too, but only eat those 1 or so times a week.

  17. Hubba Hubba, nice looking oats 😉

    What an interesting hummus….I think I need to try this!!

    I love getting my protein from my greens, like my Kale. Love Kale and chia seeds!!


  18. I love adding beans to anything and everything. Beans bulk up a meal in 2 seconds!

  19. That’s a really good way to fit in a run by running from school to your house. I’d do that too if it weren’t for my backpack. Those make running REALLY awkward! haha

    When I first became a pescatarian, my friends and family always asked how I managed to get enough protein (as if fish didn’t give enough anyway??) but little did they know that redmeat eaters get *way* more protein than is recommended. And I even get about 120g on a normal day which is over the “recommendation”, still keeping it within 30% of my daily calories. Anyway, my favorite sources are fish, yogurt, and eggs. 🙂

    • Have you read The China Study? That, along with a lot of other things I’ve read, basically say that humans don’t need as much protein as we think we do and it’s not necessarily advantageous to get it from animal sources. Pretty much what you said- very informative 🙂

  20. Wow! Way to go on that long run! That’s impressive! Did you have a backpack on, too?!

  21. greekmelie says:

    I don’t get asked very often, because most of my friends think that a meal is not a meal if it doesn’t include meat! 🙂 But I’ve been making a conscious effort to include more protein as well, mainly cheese and beans. But I always look for new ideas!

  22. I’m definitely a little jealous of your 75 degree weather 🙂 We’ve got 6 inches of snow on the ground right now!

    Looks like you had an incredibly busy day! I love your commentary on protein–I get asked about it all the time as well. My favorite source is definitely all-natural nut butters…I probably eat my weight in nuts daily 🙂 I also love all types of beans which is my second favorite protein source!

    Hope you’re having a great Thursday!

  23. Because approximately half (if not more) of my days out of the week are meatless, people worry about me all the time. lol I grew up in a VERY “steak and potatoes” family, so my dad was constantly freaking out about me being malnourished until I listed off all the ways I was getting protein everyday. Not sure if he is fully convinced, but he’s stopped vocalizing concern for the most part. :p

  24. ~Jessica~ says:

    The protein thing is even worse as a vegan. And when people find out I’m a vegan distance/endurance runner, they are utterly incredulous.

    I do rely heavily on protein powders and peanut flour, but that’s because I can’t have wheat or tofu. I think veggies and ‘normal’ vegans don’t really have to worry that much about protein as long as they’re eating a varied and balanced diet (and enough food in general of course!)


  25. AWESOME RUN!!! I need to try overnight oats….yours look so so good!

  26. Errign says:

    (I cannot wait until there’s not snow everywhere here & I can actually use my Garmin!)

    My favorite sources of protein are greek yogurt & peanut butter! Yummm -can’t wait to find the new Chobani flavors at my stores!

  27. Hi! I’m lurking, so I should just say hi 🙂

    I tried to be a vegetarian for about 2 weeks; during those 2 weeks, my mom tortured me day in and day out with questions such as “How do you think we are going to feel? Your whole family eats meat! You’re not going to get enough protein!”

    I should’ve showed her your post 😉

    Now the question I get asked mostly is “That bowl of oats looks like it has a lot of nut butter in it… Isn’t that fattening?”

    Oh, and this. This is my favorite: “You eat so much grains… Does that help you with the bathroom?”

    Lol 😉

  28. Danielle says:

    I’m so jealous of the weather. It’s completely icy here!

  29. I love overnight oats so, so much.

    You know, most people get way more protein than they need 🙂 Your sources are lovely. I like getting my protein from fish, greek yogurt, beans, whole grains, PB, etc. mmm.

  30. Erica D says:

    Oy, I hate that question! People are never satisfied that vegetarians get enough. But for instance, today I had protein powder in my green monster (the chocolate soy from Whole Foods is really good!) and a tempeh scramble for lunch. And I definitely have muscles, so take that, haters! 😉

  31. I hold my nose and chug it like a man. haha jk I don’t like protein sources very much so I try to eat an egg white doused in sauce or something. If only my hummus had more protein in it…

  32. First of all…75 degrees?! I think a piece of my heart just broke off inside my chest! You better hope I don’t die in my sleep tonight because this comment could serve as proof in a court of law! 😉

    I’m so glad you enjoyed your first bowl of overnight oats and happy to help inspire your first bowl! I absolutely love the simplicity of making it yet you can mix so much in and make it taste complex!

    I must make this dessert hummus! Never heard of it before, but I know there is a box of graham crackers in my cabinet begging to be dipped in some!

    I was just having a conversation with someone the other day and when I mentioned that I don’t really eat a lot of meat, his first response was, “Well, what do you do to get your protein?” I seriously don’t understand why people always associate animal meat with protein. How about thinking about all that fat? “Hmm, that’s a big juicy steak! I’m sure I’m getting all my protein with THAT!” Entertain me and picture someone that looks like Fat Bastard from Austin Powers! I love to get my protein from Greek yogurt, beans, and nut butters!

    • Thanks so much for the recipe! It was awesome 🙂

      Oh my gosh, graham crackers would be epic dipped in this! I have a serious love for graham crackers. I don’t eat them nearly often as I would like!

      I totally think you should say that to someone! I swear to God, it’s the people that eat the unhealthiest that question my choices. I don’t judge them, why are they judging me?!

  33. Erika says:

    I get my protein from a variety of different things: chicken, fish, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, nut butters, and protein powders, just to name a few of my staples. I tried totalling up my protein intake once – it was around 75 grams. Not too shabby!
    Have a great day! 🙂

  34. Overnight oats are SO GOOD!! Glad you got on it!! Awesome job on running home from school!! Saving the planet!

  35. bakebooks says:

    Love it all! Great run Kate 🙂

  36. inmytummy says:

    I am not vegetarian (I eat fish sometimes in restaurants) but people assume I am. They actually don’t ask me about protein a lot but every time I don’t feel well, I get a lot of “you need to eat meat.”

  37. Alaina says:

    I love chicken and Greek yogurt. 🙂 It try to limit my red meat intake. When I do have it, it’s a treat.

  38. Jessica says:

    As a vegetarian, I get asked all the time about how I get protein. But I love many sources of protein! Veggie protein like soy ground crumbles and Quorn brand chick’n are my favorite. I also love beans and nuts. I wouldn’t say I love tofu, but I’ve definitely learned to “like” it 🙂

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