Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Upbeat Blogger Protein Challenge

When I was asked to take part in the Upbeat Protein Challenge I was very interested. I am always looking for ways to improve my diet and thought this sounded interesting. It's a well known fact that protein fills you up and sustains your appetite, so I was looking forward to this challenge a lot.




 Yummy flavours - strawberry, blueberry and raspberry and mango

Upbeat is a protein rich drink with half the sugar of a fruit smoothie, no fat and less than 150 calories a bottle. The idea with the protein challenge was to have a protein rich diet supplemented with the drinks for moments when you would feel like a snack or you in a rush to supplement your diet.



What are the benefits of a protein rich diet?

We all need protein in our diets. Our bodies do not store protein and therefore it is best to spread our protein intake out throughout the day. Protein is not just for athletes and body builders, it builds healthy muscles and bones and keeps skin and hair looking healthy as well as boosting the immune system. 

A protein based drink is easy to store and carry around for those times of the day when you would be tempted by something unhealthy.  Each bottle of Upbeat contains 20g of protein and a decent amount of calcium, all coming from milk and whey in particular. This amount of protein is as much as a chicken breast or 4 eggs.

The Food

The selection of food they sent to me to try with the protein drinks, was very healthy and rich in low fat meat, pulses, grains and dairy. Foods included turkey mince, chicken breast, eggs, natural yogurt, couscous, pumpkin seeds, lentils and so on. I did wonder where the cake was though ...



I was sent a hamper full of high protein foods

My Food Diary

I must admit I am a bit of a carb addict. Usually for breakfast everyday I would have toast, occasionally cereal like porridge or bran flakes. I have been known to skip breakfast but try not to do that any more.




healthy protein foods

Breakfast

Porridge with blueberries, banana, pumpkin seeds and yogurt x 2
Egg sandwich on wholemeal bread
Ham omelette and salad
Blueberry and raspberry Upbeat protein drink
Toast and jam
Special K with soya milk

Comments

I had the Upbeat drink as I wasn't feeling too well as I had toothache, and it was easy to drink and digest. The porridge recipe I followed included blueberries, nuts and pumpkin seeds, topped off with natural yogurt for the extra protein, and a little sugar for some sweetness. It was really delicious and it kept me full until lunchtime. The omelette was also very satisfying and surprisingly the drink was too. After eating toast for breakfast I was noticeably hungrier than having a high protein breakfast, and the Special K didn't really fill me up.

Lunch

Beans on toast, tangerine
Feta cheese salad with cherry tomatoes
Eggy bread, tangerine
Toasted cheese sandwich on brown bread x 2
Ham and tomato sandwich, a banana
Beefburger and chips

Comments

I could have eaten better. All my lunches included protein but I could have included more salad and fruit with my lunch and the toasted cheese sandwich is high in fat although it did fill me up. The lunches were tasty and mostly filled me up except for the ham sandwich which was with white bread and I still felt hungry after. I went out to Cardiff for lunch one day and as I don't eat red meat very often so I succumbed to burger and chips.

Dinner

Turkey meatballs in fresh tomato sauce with spaghetti,
Chicken and spinach balti with basmati rice
Chicken pie, peas and oven chips
Spaghetti bolognese, small slice of lemon cheesecake
Chicken and mushrooms and egg fried rice
Vegetable lasagne with couscous and garlic bread 
Beans on toast

I made these dishes except the chicken pie and chicken and mushrooms which was from a takeaway. I find making the chicken and spinach balti at home in the slow cooker makes it healthier, with much less fat. I hadn't made this version of the lasagne before - I made the white sauce from creme fraiche and cheddar cheese but it was delicious and really tasty. The lemon cheesecake recipe I made with goats cheese, goat's yogurt and eggs from St Helens Farm, so it was high in protein and it did fill me up.



High protein porridge (I like it thick!) , vegetable lasagne, turkey meatballs 

Snacks

Apple
Strawberry Upbeat protein drink
Banana, 1/2 piece of cake
Crisps
Blueberry and raspberry Upbeat protein drink, almonds and pumpkin seeds
Blueberry and raspberry Upbeat protein drink, tangerine
Mango Upbeat protein drink


Snacking can be my downfall. Often I end up having biscuits, crisps or cake so this week I made a conscious effort to eat more protein based foods and food that are full of nutrients.  Snacks this week took the form of almonds, bananas and apples as well as the Upbeat drink.  I wasn't always perfect though as I did have crisps once and also cake. Drinks this week included tea with soya milk, cappuccino with soya milk, orange juice and water.




The Drink

The Upbeat protein drink comes in different flavours - blueberry and raspberry, strawberry and mango and passion fruit. The drinks are made with real fruit and milk and are high in whey protein. My favourite of all the flavours was the blueberry and raspberry, it is similar to a milky smoothie and has a really delicious flavour, it is like having a bit of extra willpower in a bottle. I did feel quite virtuous turning to the drink rather than having a slice of cake or packet of crisps, and I can honestly say I felt fuller having this drink than many snacks not high in protein.


my favourite flavour

It was interesting writing a dairy of my food intake and how I felt after. This week I did feel a bit low as I had a tooth infection and it is so easy to get a takeaway when you feel like this. I often reward myself with food and need to break this habit. 

I need to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into my diet, perhaps having a salad based lunch two or three times a week and fruit with breakfast would help. We don't had red meat, fish or seafood very often in our house as my husband doesn't like them.  I think I need to look at incorporating a fish dish a couple of times a week for the omega 3 oils which is good for the heart as well as the protein content. I was sent frozen salmon in my hamper and I am waiting for the chance to have this when my husband goes away on business in the near future. 

I am also waiting to use the quinoa which I know is very good for me, as it is high in protein and vitamins, but as I have never cooked before I need to find a recipe for it. To be honest I didn't feel like the Upbeat drink everyday as I do like to vary my diet, and I have two left so will have these this week. I think they are a good standby by to have in the fridge, perfect to have before exercising, or instead of reaching for the high fat, low nutrition snacks.

You can find Upbeat protein drinks chilling in the fridges at selected Tescos, Sainsburys, Waitrose and Holland and Barrett as well as many more supermarkets.

Thanks to Upbeat for challenging me to include more protein in my diet. The drinks are nutritious, filling and convenient and although I cannot promise to give up my crisps and cake I will be happy to buy this on occasion to add a boost to my diet.

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28 comments

  1. I always find food diaries fascinating. I've been looking at these drinks in the supermarket and wasn't entirely sure how they are supposed to fit into your diet, like I wasn't sure if they were supposed to be meal replacements or what. I might give them a try after reading this and understanding them a bit more now :)

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    1. They are not meant as a meal replacement, more of a boost to your protein needs inbetween meals.

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  2. Your evening meals sound delicious. I have never tried protein shakes and it was interesting to see that you drank one of them instead of a snack. Could be a good idea to help me stop snacking!

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    1. Yes I think that is the perfect use of them myself.

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  3. I've actually had one of these before in the early stages of my pregnancy - I'm veggie and don't get enough protein, so I thought it would be a good way to up my protein and have a yummy drink and I have to say it was pretty nice :)

    Georgina
    Makeup-Pixi3

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    1. That's a very good idea and a good point Georgina.

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  4. I have never tried protein shakes before but after reading this I want to give them a try! Angela x
    http://angelahamilton2014.blogspot.co.uk/

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  5. What a great challenge, looks like it's really made you look at what you're eating.

    I've not heard of these drinks before but I'll look out for them.

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  6. I haven't tried protein shakes but would definitely give them a try...snacking is my total downfall.

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  7. I've seen a few people doing this it sounds like a really great challenge, I have to admit to not having tried protein shakes. x

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  8. Sounds like you had fun experimenting too Mellissa. I like the look of your Vegetable lasagne with couscous and garlic bread, delicious. I have to admit I'm a carb addict too, pasta and bread mostly. I really liked eating cous cous it made a nice change, I was just as full at meal times. Fab post xx

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    1. It's hard to cut down on carbs, I found with a high protein diet I was fuller I must admit.

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  9. Never heard of upbeat but the hamper looks awesome - love turkey meatballs!

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  10. A great challenge with so much healthy looking food, we have tried the upbeat drinks and they are really tasty :)

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    1. The blueberry and raspberry drinks were particularly yummy,

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  11. what a fantastic challenge! .. i am an awful carb overloaded and need to re balance .. will look into these

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  12. I find a high protein diet staves off hunger, if I have a carb breakfast I feel really hungry quickly so these drinks are really interesting

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    1. I definitely feel fuller with a high protein breakfast.

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  13. I have never tried protein shakes but keping afood diary sounds like a great idea.

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  14. Been keeping a food diary for a couple of months now and its really interesting. i could never drink protein shakes though

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    1. I enjoyed keeping the food diary, It certainly helped me examine my food intake.

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  15. That sure does look like a lot of food. You can create some really nice things from all of it x

    themakeupjunkiesdiary.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. I so need to do a challenge like this - my diet is terrible

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  17. I need to start a food diary. I know I eat pretty badly but I think having it all written down would be the kickstart I need to being healthier.

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  18. I can spot a pack of salmon there... I love salmon :-)

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