Prioritizing Wellness: Top 5 Ways Busy Moms Can Get Enough Protein

Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed by a never ending to do list? Laundry, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping etc… As busy moms, our work is never really done. Despite the endless tasks we’re faced with, it’s vital for us moms to take time for our health.

In my personal life, it’s become extremely challenging for me to balance everything and make enough time for wellness. No matter how hard I try, every New Year brings another failed resolution, and every pre-vacation diet soon becomes difficult to maintain. Though i desire to stay healthy and improve the quality of life for me and my family, I often find that other duties take precedence over my desire to stay fit.

I was recently able to get some helpful pointers from the experts at BarBend. Their team comprises some of the top leaders in the fitness sector and they reached out to help the Family Felicity community in our pursuit of prioritizing wellness. Victoria Riddler wrote an informative piece with quick tips on protein consumption to help us all in our journey of living stronger and healthier lifestyles.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you buy from my link I might make a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay. See the full affiliate disclosure here.

Here’s one of my favorite protein shakes.

Introduction

Busy mothers are always on the go. To no fault of their own, moms have countless things they are tasked with every day. Sometimes, they barely have enough time for themselves. This struggle with time can cause imbalances in their daily habits, especially nutrition.

Many moms don’t pay attention to their protein consumption. However, protein is an essential nutrient for every woman’s overall health- even more than it is for men. After all, it’s necessary to repair tissue, maintain healthy muscles, and produce enzymes and hormones.

We’ve compiled a guide on why moms need protein and how to ensure you’re getting enough of it.

Basic Nutritional Requirements for Busy Mothers

To live a healthy lifestyle, the key is to have a balanced diet comprising various foods in a proper ratio. This same rule applies to moms, busy or not.

When cooking dinner or preparing healthy and delicious snacks for you and your children, there needs to be proportion. So, let’s dive into what nutrients you need and how much.

1.   Protein

As a mother, you need 15% to 35% of your daily calories to be protein. Protein is essential to boost metabolic function and lose weight. Common protein sources include nuts, seeds, poultry, meat, eggs, beans, lentils, seafood, yogurt, and some low-fat dairy cheeses.

2.   Carbs

Although you need 30% to 40% percent of carbs in your daily caloric intake, remember to choose complex carbs and whole-grain bread or pasta. Brown rice, oats, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and certain fruits are better than white rice, white bread, and sugar.

3.   Healthy Fats

Healthy moms maintain about 25%-30% of total fat in their daily calories, but choose unsaturated fats like almond or peanut butter, olive oil, avocados, chickpeas etc.

4.   Fruits and Veggies

There is no specific amount here, but doctors suggest that moms should aim for 3 or more cups of non-starchy vegetables, and about 1½ to 2 cups of fruit every day. Imagine turning your plate into a rainbow with leafy greens, carrots, bell peppers, melon, broccoli, apples, berries, and more. The possibilities are endless.

5.   Dairy

Everyone needs calcium and vitamin D, but women need calcium more than men. If you’re a mom, your diet must include dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese.

Importance of Protein for Moms

Now that we know the key components of a balanced diet, lets focus a bit more on some of the health benefits of consuming protein, especially for moms.

1.   Healthy Skin and Hair

Women who become mothers often deal with sudden hair loss, brittle hair, puffy skin, and pigmentation due to changes in their hormones after giving birth. However, eating enough protein can improve your hair, skin, and nail health because these parts of the body are made up of keratin, and protein produces more of it. Similarly, another type of protein called collagen makes up 70% of our skin. The lack of it can lead to premature wrinkles and much more.

2.   Maintains Healthy Weight

Weight gain is an inevitable result of pregnancy, and many moms struggle with losing it. First, you must understand that weight loss is a gradual process with no shortcut. While this is true, protein can help you lose weight because it makes you feel fuller and prevents you from binge-eating extra calories. This, in turn, will improve your body weight as well as cardiovascular health and fat mass.

3.   Muscle Growth Boost

It takes about two weeks for an average human to lose muscle mass and endurance. There’s no doubt that it is bound to happen to women going through postpartum. If you fail to exercise and eat well, your muscle health will keep declining. Since protein contains amino acids, the building blocks of muscle, consuming the required amount will help build and repair your muscle tissues. Additionally, amino acids also boost milk protein synthesis and can increase breast milk production.

4.   Improves Bone Health

Although calcium and vitamin D are popularly known to promote bone and joint health, protein also plays a crucial role because when your body lacks the former, protein takes its place to maintain bone strength. Studies suggest that consuming adequate protein increases bone mineral density and decreases the rate of bone loss (both of which are common concerns among mothers).

How To Ensure You Get Enough Protein?

1.   Include Protein in Every Meal

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, including some type of protein will get you closer to maintaining your daily protein requirements. In addition, protein also keeps you full longer, which means it will lessen your hunger levels and prevent cravings for quick, unhealthy snacks. Plus, if you consume protein during each meal, it will reduce post-meal blood sugar levels to balance insulin production, fat storage, and weight.

2.   Experiment With High-Protein Substitutes

If you’re used to having carbs and dairy, that’s alright, but you can make them healthier by simply swapping certain choices. You will get the same texture and satisfaction but much more protein. For example, swap white rice for quinoa, oat and almond milk for soy milk, white bread for multi-grain bread, regular yogurt for Greek yogurt, and soft cheeses for cottage cheese.

3.   Additional Protein Intake

There are several protein supplements for women such as shakes, capsules, and even powders to boost your everyday intake. For shakes, you can quickly whip one up with plant-based milk, a scoop of your preferred protein powder, fruit of your choice, and nut butter. A shake’s suggested amount of protein powder should be around 20-25 gms.

4.   Eat High-Protein Snacks

Snacking is inevitable, especially if you’re a busy mom juggling work with kiddie duties. You’ll likely crave a snack or two during your day. Why not make them high protein, too? This won’t just prevent you from snacking on low-nutrition, empty calories, but it will also help you make conscious decisions about foods that provide more energy. You can try out boiled eggs, protein bars, veggie sticks with dips, roasted beans, trail mixes, canned tuna, etc.

5.   Serve Meals with Protein Rich Toppings

If we’re talking protein intake hacks, this one has to be one of the best. Just like adding sprinkles to your ice cream or chocolate chips over a milkshake, you can keep your meals interesting by adding a high-protein topping. You can easily squeeze in 10-15 grams of protein daily with one to two teaspoons of seeds like sunflower, chia, pumpkin, and even crushed walnuts or almonds.

To Conclude

Protein is a non-negotiable part of a healthy diet, especially if you’re a busy mom. It’s no surprise that the lack of protein can cause various issues such as fatigue, weakness, injuries, mood swings, fatty liver, skin deterioration, and even conditions such as osteoporosis.

Taking care of your family means taking care of yourself. So, make sure you give your body what it needs to stay healthy, and aim to consume enough protein every day.

Victoria Riddler is a fitness and yoga enthusiast and is an avid writer who also blogs about mental health & personal development.

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4 Comments

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