Recipe is from my friend Silvia Lazala!
2 ripe bananas
1tsp baking powder
1 cup oats
1 tbsp natural almond butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 scoop your choice of whey protein
about 5 dates pieces of dates
Mix. Bake at 350° for 15 min
After over two years of thinking about it, attempting to plan it, falling short, and wishing I did it, the Five Boro Bike Tour finally came to pass.
Attending the Bike Expo on Saturday (for the primary purpose of hoarding free samples and free food) my friend Nick and I made a few friends and learned about some excellent cycling opportunities. Being from Vermont, Nick immediately bonded with the Cabotcheese representatives. On top of giving away free cheese samples, Cabot also gave away cups of delicious strawberry banana smoothie blended up in an enormous vat to break the Guinness Book of World Records for largest smoothie. They did it! and all proceeds went to charity.
We walked away with racing gear and our bags full of free goodies and coupons.
Sunday, bright and early, I met up with my racing buddy Jeff, for a breakfast of bagels as we prepared ourselves for the 40 mile trek through Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.
Beginning in Battery Park we worked our way towards the Bronx cutting through Central Park and dodging pedestrians attempting to cross the street or jog along the paths. All of whom were in their own ipod induced worlds completely oblivious to 32,000 bikers flying by them. There were a few narrowly avoided close calls.
The bridges were the most grueling (mainly the Verrazano and the climb leading up to it). Long, steady inclines surrounded by masses of people crawling along, some walking their bikes. This left little room for maneuvering and no room for kicking it up a notch to end the pain sooner.
Excluding those two tough inclines, the 40 miles flew by! Between spectacular scenery at all of the five bridges, random bits of entertainment along the way from local establishments and New Yorkers, as well and good company, a great crowd, and free bananas, the tour was spectacular It ended with a festival in Staten Island with live music, food trucks galore, and plenty of sunny spots to catch some sun.
There are so many myths about protein powders like that it will make you bulk up and manly looking or it will make you gain excess fat. When in reality there are so many protein powders out there to help you reach your specific goals whether it be putting on muscle or leaning out.
The only way that consuming a protein shake will make you actually gain excess fat is if you consume it along with an unhealthy diet because it just adds even more calories to your day. Also, steer clear from all those fancy protein shakes at your local gym, they’re packed with even more calories, fat and sugar that you don’t really need post work out.
As for looking manly, protein will not make you bulk up instantly and all of a sudden grow huge biceps. I personally consume 2 scoops of my protein a day. These scoops are worked into my daily macro intake and I only take them when I work out (which is on a daily basis). So don’t be afraid of taking protein post work out. Just make sure you’re taking the right kind for you! Here are some tips when you’re shopping online or at your local nutrition store.
What to look for:
Not all proteins are created equal. When looking for a protein, look carefully at the ingredients and nutrients. Some proteins out on the market are no better than eating a candy bar (actually a lot of protein bars out there are the same but we’ll save bars for another day). The ingredients in a protein really shouldn’t be that many, around 7-10 is average. Anymore than that and you’re filling your body with a lot of junk that it really doesn’t need.
As for the macronutrients in a protein you want to make sure that it’s low fat (1-5 grams) and low carb (1-5 grams) with very little sugar. The lower on these numbers the better so that you’re not getting added calories, carbs or fat to your diet that is not beneficial to your goals. A good protein will have about 20-30 grams of protein per scoop, which is all you really need since your body cannot digest more than that at a time.
Here’s where things can get overwhelming because there are SO many types of protein out there on the market.
Types of Protein:
Whey protein is the most commonly used protein out there. This type of protein is derived from milk, which means that vegans and those that are lactose intolerant should stay away from this type! Whey protein is digested quickly and provides a good amino acid profile while is ideal with muscle recovery and growth as well as fat loss.
Types of Whey:
Concentrate: This type of whey contains some carbohydrate and fat. It’s created by filtering process, sometimes called microfiltration or ultrafiltration. Filtered whey concentrate usually contains much of the vital fractions of whole-milk proteins. Ion exchange uses an electrical charge to separate protein from carbs and fat, resulting in highly purified protein.
Isolate: Isolate is purer, and it’s valued for its lower carbohydrate and fat content, which is useful when dieting.
Hydrolyzed: When protein is hydrolyzed, which means enzymes break some amino-acid bonds, it becomes faster to digest and absorb. It’s excellent for people who want a fast-absorbing protein post-workout.
Casein is also a milk protein and is a complete protein, however it’s different because it provides a slower and prolonged release of amino acids over time. The slow release is important for reducing muscle damage. This type is beneficial to taking before bed when the body goes into a catabolic state, it keeps you fuller longer and helps in aiding in weigh-loss by helping you take in fewer calories. However, be wary when taking this type of protein. It can cause bad side affects for some people. I’ve heard of upset stomachs and I, myself experienced a break out due to casein. Everyone’s body is different though so try it out for yourself.
Soy protein is an excellent option for vegetarians. While it may not be beneficial to someone that is doing heavy training for a competition or any type of athlete it is a good option for the average person looking to up their protein intake while they are working out.
While brown rice is mostly carbs, there is some protein in there, which is taken out during processing to turn it into powder. This type of protein is easy on those sensitive stomachs. However, this is NOT a complete protein and lacks lysine, which is an essential amino acid. Matching this protein with milk or soy helps fill that missing amino acid.
This is a great option for all those active vegans out there! Hemp protein contains healthy omega-3s which help aid in muscle recovery. However, like brown rice protein, it is not a complete protein because the amino acid profile is not complete. By matching it with other plant proteins like beans, legumes and other grains you can complete that amino acid profile that your body needs. Make sure that you do your research on how to make a complete protein as a vegan!
When it comes to protein, I prefer a whey isolate. I’ve tried some many brands and flavors and found what works best of my body, goals and tastes. Just make sure you do your research before you buy that 5 pound tub!