My 10 year old son is growing at a rate of knots. He has size 10 adult mens feet (we call him ‘the hobbit’ lol) and he’s a big, athletic kid. He’s mad for sport and at the moment, he is training sometimes twice a day (athletics and nippers season is in full swing for him). So feeding him nutritionally balanced meals and snacks is especially important for his day to day wellness and his ability to train often and hard.
When I’m creating a meal, I primarily focus on the macronutrients – the balance I’m after is a complete source of protein, plant based carbohydrate (vegetables, fruit, whole grains) and good fats. I believe if they are coming from a variety of whole foods sources, the micronutrients take care of themselves.
Dietary variety really is key to good nutrition as it increases the range of micro-nutrients derived from food, therefore protecting against deficiencies developing. Carbohydrate I find pretty easy to include in meals and snacks, but ensuring a good variety of quality protein and fats, I find a little trickier. There are a few dietary supplements I just couldn’t live without and the 180 Nutrition Superfoods Protein Blend is one. Actually, it’s more food than supplement and it really has become an integral part of keeping myself and my family well. It’s one of the few, convenience foods I keep in my pantry at all times.
Why is protein SO important?
We all need protein to build new cells and repair tissue. It is especially critical for kids, pregnant women, athletes, those suffering chronic illness or injury, those with dietary restrictions and the elderly. Protein is used extensively by everybody, everyday. Protein is used to make digestive enzymes, to repair the digestive tract, to make antibodies to fight infection, to grow skin, hair, nails, to make blood cells, for strong bones, to build muscle, to make hormones, to stabilise our blood sugar….I could go on forever really.
We cannot store protein, so it’s safe to say, that in order to replace, rebuild and repair, we need to consume protein very regularly.
Protein deficiency is common
In my experience, insufficient dietary protein is surprisingly common, especially amongst fussy kids, pregnant women, athletes, those with food intolerance and the elderly. The one thing that a swing towards processed foods has done, is dramatically reduced the amount of protein many people consume. You see most processed, convenience foods are generally a combination of fat and carbohydrate (breads, breakfast cereals, crackers, muesli bars, pasta and noodles). Anything with a shelf life is generally protein deficient.
It’s a bit of a vicious circle because people who are lacking protein also often reject eating it, craving high energy foods like refined, simple carbohydrate. They may also have also have a poor appetite for ‘meals’ and often just want to snack throughout the day. Poor variety is also another issue, where they may eat protein, but only from one source e.g.; dairy is common. To make matters worse, I’ve also found those deficient in protein are often also deficient in a number of key micronutrients (vitamins and mineral) found in good amounts in, you guessed it, protein rich foods. These micronutrients not only support their health, but help to build a robust appetite for other good foods (like veggies).
First and foremost I advocate eating a good variety of whole foods – there is no substitute for having a solid diet. However, just as medicine is required occasionally for illness, supplementation is often critical, especially in times of increased need.
I find having a good quality, whole foods based protein supplement is so handy for those days that go pear-shaped and a sustaining, nutritionally balanced meal or snack is required quickly. In the case of my son who needs a high-protein, but not too heavy meal on the days he has 5am training, a smoothie including 180 Nutrition Superfood Protein Blend is a lifesaver. Other times he might have a smoothie is before an afternoon training session or to re-fuel after training (this is really important for his muscle recovery and his ability to back up training sessions).
Protein powders are NOT created equal
Navigating the many types of protein powders available is tricky business. Many brands are derived from feed-lot, grain-fed cows (also often fed GMO’s), highly processed soy proteins and contain franken-sugars, fructose, maltodextrin starches (aggravate blood sugars and the GIT), additives and more yuk ingredients.
Most also contain absolutely no plant fibre, good fats or micronutrients (vitamins and mineral) so nutritionally they are incomplete and not at all reflective of a well rounded, whole food meal. Thankfully, there are a select few which offer balanced nutrition and do what we need them to do – provide a sustaining, nutritious supplement, and here’s the clincher, that actually tastes good. It’s just got to taste good right?
My preferred choice –180 Nutrition Superfood Protein Blend
I have decided to partner with 180 Nutrition as a product that ticks all of my ‘tough to tick’ boxes. I love that they have vegan AND grass fed whey protein options (to suit everybody) and that they couple their proteins with nourishing whole food to make it nutritionally complete (so much more than just straight-up protein). I’m a fan of their ethos in general and they’re an Aussie company that I know and trust.
Their Superfoods Protein Blends are a simple, balanced blend of clean, Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate (or Pea Protein Isolate in there vegan range), Flaxseed, Almonds, Sunflower Kernels, Shredded Coconut, Coconut Flour, Cocoa (Chocolate flavour only), Chia Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Psyllium Husks, Stevia. So this protein powder contains loads of essential minerals and B vitamins from plant sources for stable energy and mood, healthy fats and plant based fibre. It’s also super low in sugar (and fructose-friendly) so it will keep you full for longer, without a blood sugar crisis.
You get to try 180 Nutrition Superfood Protein Blend for FREE
I love to try before I buy and I’m thrilled to offer you this special opportunity. Click HERE to receive:
- 4 x Free Serves of the 180 Superfood Protein Blends (2 serves of each flavour – Coconut & Chocolate) -so that’s 2 x 80g packs as pictured above.
- All we ask is you cover a small shipping and handling fee.
- This is a limited offer until we run out of samples! So be sure to get your free samples today!
- Offer is for Australian residents only.
Click HERE to try them out for yourselves. 180 Nutrition is such a great thing to have in your pantry for those days you need a fast, good quality meal or a sustaining snack.
Strawberry Shortcake Protein Smoothie
- 35 g raw almonds (¼ cup)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp 180 Nutrition Superfood Protein Blend (coconut flavour)
- 4-5 fresh strawberries
- 1-2 tbsp rice malt syrup or maple syrup
- 1½ cups frozen strawberries
- 2 florets cauliflower -raw and roughly chopped
- 60 ml coconut water (¼ cup)
- 1 cup full-fat natural or coconut yoghurt
- 1 x 40 g 180 Nutrition Superfood Protein Blend (coconut flavour)
- 1 tsp vanilla -powder, extract or essence
- 2 fresh strawberries -sliced into flat edged quarters (for garnish)
- On a tray line with baking paper place the almonds and drizzle with the syrup. Toss to coat. Sprinkle over the protein powder and toss to coat the nuts.
- Place under a low grill to toast for 5 minutes (watching carefully so they don't burn).
- You can always do a big batch of the nuts for a fabulous, protein rich snack (store in an airtight jar in the fridge but be careful - they are soooo moorish).
- In a high powered blender place the strawberries and the syrup. Blend for 10 seconds to make a syrup and pour into the serving glasses. Thermomix speed 8, 10 seconds.
- Without washing the blender, add the frozen strawberries, cauliflower, coconut water, yoghurt and vanilla. Blend well until smooth and creamy. Thermomix speed 9, 30 secs.
- Tilt the serving glass so the syrup coats the sides. Place the cut strawberries on the sides of the glass and carefully pour in the creamy smoothie touching the sides three times to create the streaky finish.
- With the roughly chopped nuts piled on top.
- Leftovers can be frozen into little cups or ice-block moulds for a fast, healthy snack another day.