Monday, August 25, 2014

Protein Powder Farts

If you read my first post of 2014, you know that I have my mind set on squatting 180# for 1 rep by the end of the year.  A few months ago I hit 160# for about 3-4 reps.  Since then, I've joined a kettle bell class 2x week, and am continuing to lift 1-2x week.  Therefore...I took a month or two off from really focusing on my squat, but am back at it now with a 5X5 of 155# this morning.
taking a breather between sets.
The point of that ramble is to say that I've had to really focus on increasing my protein intake (approximately 120g/day) to support my strength gains.  In the past I've used protein powders (whey and soy) during my internship in 2008, later from 2009-2011 Ryan and I were big fans of the Whole Foods 365 whey protein powder.  The past several years we switched over to Optimum Nutrition's natural whey and Nutrikey by NWW.  However, after changing my diet to include a lot less processed carbs, beans, and yogurt I found this past spring that I was getting really really really gassy again.  Typically in the middle of the afternoon.
Protein Stash.
After a while I was able to correlate it to the days when I drank a post workout whey protein shake or smoothie.  I checked the ingredients on both the ON and NK powders and figured it could be the flavoring or stevia, so I switched to the NK unflavored whey protein, nope same problem.  Hmmm.... apparently I've got a serious issue with dairy (which I'm still in denial about).  Next I bought the Jay Robb egg-white protein powder, and it seemed that things were a bit better.  Except that just like before, if I drank it more than 2 days in a row, serious bloating and gas would ensue.  This wouldn't be a huge problem, except that being bloated and gassy while sitting in a small office with a client for 1-2 hours is not fun.  I even tried Vega One, a vegan protein powder and that was the worst of all.

So there went my post workout and occasional mid-afternoon snack.  :-(   Over the past two years I've also figured out that I have a very hard time digesting fiber, added fiber in particular.  So switching to a protein bar, even a high quality one such as Quest, Paleo, or Jay Robb which contain inulin, an indigestible fiber are not an option.

Lets be honest, protein powders are convenient, but for some people they just aren't a good option.  I am one of those people.  During several google searches, I only came up with a few poor explanations as to why these powders cause intestinal distress.

1. You're drinking Whey Protein Concentrate which contains more lactose than the isolate form.  If you are lactose intolerant, that might be an easy swap.

2. You're protein powder contains weird thickeners or fibers which are fermenting in your gut and making you gassy.

3. You're drinking casein protein powder not whey.  Casein protein gels in the stomach, slowing digestion.  It can be much more difficult for some people to digest, and it's the protein most people are sensitive too.  Which is why a lot of people can tolerate whey protein, but not actual dairy products that contain casein (cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese).

4. You have a dairy sensitivity! Sorry, but other than switching to egg white protein, or Pure Paleo Protein which is made from beef, or Pure Pea protein, you're out of options.  Better go eat some real food.

Why does the unflavored egg white protein powder also gives me gas? I'm not sure, especially since eating actual eggs doesn't have any effect on me.  I don't recommend rice protein powders because they are high in carbohydrates.  And I'm not a fan of hemp protein powder since it is notoriously hard to digest.

So if you're like me, you're going to have to JERF: Just Eat Real Food.  (Thank you Sean Croxton for that acronym).  Below are a few post workout meals to help you re-fuel.  You want to focus on protein and carbs, you're meals shouldn't be high in fat which will slow the absorption of the other nutrients.

Salmon Patties and Sauteed Greens
Turkey, Veggie, wild rice soup
4+ oz Deli meat + small fruit and maybe a few nuts
Chicken and mashed sweet potato
Reduced fat yogurt topped with homemade granola and fruit
Turkey burger topped with sauteed greens and onions
Ground beef Hash with root vegetables
Tuna steak + steamed veggies
Oatmeal + leftover pork chop
Wrap + Salmon Salad
If carb backloading or carb-nighting...pie and low fat ice cream  :-)  Or cereal.

This is the best info I could find on protein powder intollerance

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Port A Potty

Ryan and I recently had our upstairs bathroom semi-remodeled.  The driving factor was the dripping bathtub faucet and cracked grout between the tile.  Not to mention that the tile was pink.  Thank you 1960s.  Needless to say, we've had bathrooms on the brain for a while, which leads me into today's post.
Bathroom Demolition
Wether you call it a latrine, port-a-john, port-a-potty, Mr. P. Potty, or any other name, no one likes using them.  Perhaps they are better than "pop'n a squat" in the woods; which I have done my fair share of.  But only because you don't risk peeing on your shoes, or getting as wet if it's raining.  While camping the other week I made a list of why latrines suck, and it's more than just the smell.

1. You can't check your hydration status.  All that blue dye means I can't see what color my pee is.  After a day of hiking it's nice to know if it's dark yellow (dehydrated) or very light yellow (hydrated), or clear (over-hydrated).  Thankfully, some camp grounds/state parks have flush toilettes and once or twice a day you might try and visit them in order to check.

2. What shape is your poo?  Unless there is a giant pile of other people's TP and fecal matter for your poo to land on, you don't know if what you just pooped is a nice long normal BM or not.

3. Splash point.  Again, if there isn't a TP pile and you go number 2, you may be in for a wet surprise.  Which is gross since it's not just water... nuff said.

4.  They can be far away from your tent site, which means a long chilly walk in the middle of the night.  Lucky for us, they were only 2 spots up from our site.

5. If you drop anything in it (camera, sunglasses, head-lamp, flash light, wallet, phone...) you don't want it back.

6. People who are on the shorter side (< 5' 4"), will not be able to place their feet flat on the floor of the port-a-john when they sit on the seat.  Not a big issue for going numero uno.  However, achieving the perfect 90 degree angle or better yet, squatting position for going numero dos is pretty much impossible.  That is unless you balance on your sitz bones with your feet up on the door of the john.  Now I know you've got some funny images in your brain.  Guess I'll just have to purchase a squatty potty for our next camping trip, or home use.

7. Oh the summer, they stink.

Sorry if that's TMI, but you know it's all true.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Superior: Sun, Sweat, Mosquitos, and Smoke

This post is all about our 4 day North Shore camping adventure, (actually 5 days...but we drove home in the morning) as told through our delicious meals, and Ryan's beer.  To prepare for the trip we grilled 2# of chicken thighs, and packed 1.5# of ground beef in 2 separate ziplock bags with their designated seasonings.  We froze these and bacon, and 4 brats overnight and packed them on-top of frozen water bottles in the cooler.  Some of the chicken was made into chicken salad for lunch on our first day.  Everything else (deli meat, cheese, veggies, wraps, and other random condiments) were placed on top of the frozen meats and stayed nice and chilly. To be safe, we bought a block of ice on Wednesday.

Just to let people know, not everything we ate was Paleo or gluten free or NWW "approved".  We were on vacation!  However, if you wanted/needed to maintain a GF/Paleo diet it can certainly be done, even while car camping and traveling.  What I've discovered is that I notice NO difference when I eat gluten, compared to when I don't.  But I know that it's terrible for my gut and binds minerals needed for healthy bones; so I still try to minimize it.  Ultimately, I do feel better when I avoid a bunch of processed foods and excess carbs of any form.  However, when eating off track I do maintain that I eat the best option available:  homemade pie (lard) vs. mass produced store bought pie (margarine).

Day 1: Journeyed from Minneapolis to Split Rock Lighthouse where we explored the lighthouse and ate lunch on the rocks next to Lake Superior.  Strangely enough, it was the hottest day of the year so far and the lake breeze was very refreshing.  But that would change.  I also forgot to put on "sun lotion" as Ryan calls it.  ooops.
Chicken salad on a Rudi's Wrap
Ryan eating fresh veggies
staying hydrated
That night we enjoyed Cajun beef salads, seasoned with the Penzey's Cajun spice mix and topped with store bought guacamole.  I cooked on our Green Pan,  instead of buying a new cast iron for the trip.  I bought it last year at target for $20, and did just fine.  It only needed a little extra cleaning to get the soot off the bottom.
Love Campfire Cooking! 
Day 2: After a night of slightly wet weather (we stayed dry thanks to some good trenching around our tent) but storms farther norther in Boundary Waters caused trees to fall on 3+ campers.  Luckily everyone lived.  In the morning we were in the midst of frying bacon on the MSR stove when it started to rain.  So we finished our coffee in the tent. The Rain didn't last long, and we were off to go hiking at Cascade River State Park.

mmm... True Stone in our french press
Which Way?
Made it to the top!
Deli sandwich/wrap + veggies by the Lake
After walking around Grand Marais and climbing around Artist Point, we were in need of some pie...obviously. Off to the Pie Place!  It was sooooo good.  Although I thought the whipped cream was a little too sweet.  

lake water = 40 degrees
apple al'a mode, strawberry rhubarb + whip
Back at camp, we grilled grass fed beef brats, sauerkraut, and made salads.  And Summit Saga for Ryan, he brought a 6 pack, I enjoyed a few sips.  That night we were very happy to have checked the weather before leaving MPLS.  By bed time it was in the 40s.  Sunday before leaving we hurriedly went to REI and purchased new hiking pants (ours were both 2 sizes too big) and made sure to pack an extra jacket; and mittens for me.
"It's a Summit Summer!"
brat + bread + cheese + kraut + mustard = yummy
brat  +  kraut + mustard - bun = delicious
Day 3: A night of fabulous sleep.  "Why is my face wet?  Oh, that's a lot of drool."  We awoke and scrambled egg whites on the stove, only to be chased into the Fit by the Minnesota state bird.  Instead of packing eggs in the cooler and worrying about crack-age, we brought TJ organic liquid egg whites.  Then it was off to Grand Portage where we wondered around the National Monument, hiked at the state park, drove to Judge C. Magney State Park, at lunch then hiked some more.  We forgot our passports, otherwise we had thought about driving up to Thunder Bay.
breakfast in the Fit
Peace Canada
Working up a hunger for turkey wraps and snap peas 
All that hiking left us tired, and happy to leave the cooking up to the talented folks at The Angry Trout. I'm also neither confirming, nor denying that we also bought 2 slices of pie from the Pie Place and ate them around our camp fire.  
Bent Paddle  Venture Pils
Grilled Lake Superior Herring
Day 4: Another amazing night of sleep.  Seriously, why can't I sleep in till 7 when I'm at home?  While making coffee we were again harassed by mosquitos and chased into our tent where we dined on grilled chicken wraps as fuel for our 3 hour Kayak tour later that morning.  Our Guide was Ken, he was awesome!  He's also a super outdoorsman, hiker, canoe paddler, wilderness EMT, and dog sledder.  He's even written a book 'Sled Dogs to Saint Paul' which I plan to read at some point.  We took his suggestion and ate a late lunch at Sydney's,  But on the way stopped and shared a cinnamon sugar donut.
next time we're pitching the tent closer to the lake
don't tell my boss, but I do love a good donut.
"That's my slice."
Bent Paddle, Black.  It was super good
By the afternoon we were beat.  All that hiking and kayaking and walking around had caught up to us.  After some down time and people watching by the lake, we enjoyed a few drinks at the Gun Flint Tavern (Bent Paddle, IPA). Then it was time for the ultimate final campfire supper, CHILI MAC!  I also beat Ryan at another game of cribbage.  I'd call that a successful evening.
1. brown meat with chili spices and diced tomatoes
2. let Ryan cook macaroni on camp stove
3. Assemble and top with remaining guac from Day 1
Day 5: More great sleep. Wake up, tear down camp while swatting skeeters.  Hit the road after grabbing a cup of coffee from Java Moose.  We enjoyed a late breakfast and time outside of the car at The Duluth Grill.  Now that we are home, it's time to get back on track with better balanced meals and a lot less pie.