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Greek yogurt for the win!

by Meghann on December 9, 2011

Happy Friday friends!

Today was strength training Friday. I hit the gym a little after 6:30 this morning and started on New Rules of Lifting for Women Stage 5B. Just like with Stage 5A, this stage was LONG. I mean, four sets with 120 second rests in between each set is just too long. I was pacing more than I was lifting and was just plain bored at times. I did start at some pretty heavy weights thanks to the total of 4 reps in each set, but even that wasn’t enough to keep me focused.

All I know is Stage 5 is going to go at a snail’s pace and I’m already looking forward to moving on from it. Please, please don’t tell me it’s just going to keep getting longer. eekk :/

Post-lifting I really wanted eggs, not because they sounded appealing (they didn’t), but because I I wanted a high protein meal. Then I remembered we didn’t have any bread and eggs without bread made the eggs sound even less appealing than they already were. What I really wanted was something sweet, like cereal, so that’s what I had.


Now what you don’t see under that cereal is 3/4 cup of plain Chobani greek yogurt that I mixed with pumpkin and pumpkin spice then topped with some Uncle Sam’s (1/4 cup), Cinnamon Life (1/2 cup), and apple (it was one of the tiny apples).


3/4 cup plain Chobani greek yogurt = 18 g protein

2 eggs = 12 g of protein

Greek yogurt for the win!

I’ve been writing about my struggles with upping my protein for weeks now. It’s taking time, but I’m slowly learning and have been making a conscious effort to make it work.

(these are all ROUGH estimates)


  • Breakfast: 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter 8g protein
  • Lunch: 1/2 cup Rotisserie Chicken 20g protein
  • Dinner: 4 oz Pork Chop 23 g protein

Total: 51 g


  • Breakfast: 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt 14g protein
  • Lunch: 1/4 cup Rotisserie Chicken 10g protein + 3 Tbsp Hummus 3g protein
  • Snack: 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter 8g protein
  • Dinner: Bean Soup 15 g protein + Duck 16g protein

Total: 66 g


  • Breakfast: 1/3 cup Oatmeal 8g protein + 3 Tbsp 5g protein
  • Lunch: 1 cup Black Beans 15 g protein + 1/4 cup cheese 7g protein
  • Dinner: 2 Meat Balls 16 g protein

Total: 51 g

I’m aiming for roughly 55g – 65g of protein a day, so I’m happy with these very rough estimates (I’m sure I’m leaving out plenty of things with additional protein in it, like the milk in my smoothie on Wednesday or the cheese and milk from my creamy sauce with last night’s dinner or whole wheat ravioli. Again, very very very rough estimates here!)

I’ve also upped the veggies, but kept a respected amount of carbs in for good measure. I’m not counting calories and I’m not saying no to frozen yogurt (oh, yeah. another thing I left out of the protein count πŸ˜‰ ), but I’m being mindful of portions.

Working to keep a balanced/happy diet isn’t something that ever goes away (I’ll probably always be reminding myself to eat more protein, etc), but I’m ok with that. Life wouldn’t be much fun if we always got everything right, would it. πŸ˜‰

1 Victoria (District Chocoholic) December 9, 2011 at 10:24 am

When I was trying to up my protein intake, I used livestrong’s myplate application, since it tracks macronutrients.

2 Meghann December 9, 2011 at 10:29 am

I’ve tried that before, but had problems figuring out how many portions there are of everything. Like the random sauce I made last night where I sort of just threw everything in a pot and didn’t measure ingredients. Those meals are tricky to log and track.

3 Victoria (District Chocoholic) December 9, 2011 at 10:30 am

There’s a “my recipes” section that I use for that, since I make large batches of almost everything and repeat recipes quite often. I enter it once and then select it to track it the rest of the week.
Victoria (District Chocoholic) recently posted..Gluten-Free Secret Kiss Cookies: Flour-Free Family Favorites

4 Meghann December 9, 2011 at 10:33 am

My problem is I never repeat the same exact recipe twice. Each night for dinner I’m never sure what I’m going to get because I add what ever I have on hand/ sounds good at the time. :/

5 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries December 9, 2011 at 10:34 am

I’ve been trying to be more conscious of increasing my protein intake as well. Greek yogurt is great because it is packed with protein AND satisfies my sweet tooth (which is often what gets in the way of me fulfilling my protein goals for the day). Speaking of Greek yogurt, I’m doing a Chobani giveaway today!! πŸ˜‰
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..Love Me Some CHO {+ Giveaway!}

6 Allison December 9, 2011 at 10:36 am

Greek yogurt is my fave for bfast and lunch- so much protein, lots of “staying power” [aka holds me over]!
Allison recently posted..SUPERfoods

7 Megan @ bump on a log learns to jog December 9, 2011 at 10:39 am

I can’t go a day without eating greek yogurt. I’m seriously obsessed. The one meal of my day that I never really change is breakfast. I love overnight oats in greek yogurt. It’s the only thing that will keep me full for more than a couple of hours.
Megan @ bump on a log learns to jog recently posted..So that’s what december is supposed to feel like

8 Liz December 9, 2011 at 10:46 am

I’ve been wanting to say this for a while, but I wanted to wait and see if you came to the same conclusion on your own and I think you may be getting there: NRLFW is a let down. In my early lifting days, I tried something similar and stuck to the rules like you are. Even if I was bored as hell, I would sit there and wait 2 minutes before doing my next set. I stopped seeing results, I stopped loving the workout and I became incredibly frustrated. Then, I talked to one of my gym buddies, who is a personal trainer and powerlifter, and he got very angry when I told him about the plan I was following. He explained to me (and converted me to his way of lifting) that in order to gain muscle and fitness, you need to be exhausting your muscles. Sitting for 2 minutes between sets allows your heart rate to drop too low, you lose your muscle fatigue and its plain boring. He suggested cutting the rest time in half (because I wasn’t ready to let go of the rigid plan at that point) until I was ready to just learn to lift by feel. Within two or three workouts I was feeling the burn again, and I started to see the results I wanted. I would suggest that you try something similar because I’d hate to see you lose the love of lifting you have developed. Its such a wonderful way to work your body and gain fitness you never knew possible: don’t walk away from it; adjust it to fit your needs!
Liz recently posted..Tribute to a Father

9 Meghann December 9, 2011 at 11:00 am

Thanks for the advice! I think I’m going to cut the rest times in half. I mean, the time wasted sitting around is a little ridiculous and frustrating. I wanted to follow the plan as is (which doesn’t make much sense since I’m not following the food guides or the interval suggestions), but am ready to edit it to fit my current needs.

10 Liz December 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I agree with both of you. I really like the lifting program in the book – I feel like it’s a great total body workout, the routines change often enough that I don’t get bored, and it pushes me to up my weights. But agreed about the rest times – I can barely sit around for a minute between sets, much less two. I think 60 seconds is plenty of muscle recovery time for any given exercise.

11 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats December 9, 2011 at 11:03 am

There are tons of hidden protein sources so it sounds like you are right on track! I’m also trying to up my protein but not doing a great job, I really need to eat more meat!
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12 Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland December 9, 2011 at 11:06 am

I love Greek yogurt as a protein source. I eat it for breakfast almost everyday (also with Uncle Sam’s ;)). Cottage cheese is another great protein source. I love it with fresh fruit as a side at lunch!
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13 lauren December 9, 2011 at 11:06 am

I’m with you, tracking is such a pain in the butt. I’m trying to do it a few days a week and then hoping I can get good combos stuck in my head…easier said than done. I can’t do it all the time though, it would drive me crazy…especially when I throw things together or eat outside the house πŸ™‚
I think most of my protein comes from greek yogurt and chicken, I need some new options!
lauren recently posted..Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run 5K – 2011 (PR)

14 Lynda @ Hit The Road Jane December 9, 2011 at 11:35 am

Have you ever considered a protein shake in the mornings with whey powder and fruit? It’s an easy way to get 18-20 grams of protein in one meal.
Lynda @ Hit The Road Jane recently posted..Friday Running Cartoon 12-09-2011

15 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife December 9, 2011 at 11:51 am

Protein is KEY for me. If I don’t have it I go hungry extra fast (but I do lift a lot as well). So this is a great reminder! Keep up the good work πŸ™‚
Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife recently posted..Fitness and Food Survey

16 Janine @ ThePurpleGiraffe December 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Nice work on upping your protein intake! I looove greek yogurt, and with pumpkin it sounds even better! Yum!
Janine @ ThePurpleGiraffe recently posted..2012 Race Schedule!

17 Ida December 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Maybe you need to go heavier on the weights? Or you could do something between sets, like mountain climbers or jump rope.

18 Sarah L.J. December 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I linked up with your 5 Years Ago post at

Thanks for the great posting idea!


19 Janetha @ meals & moves December 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm

oh man. i wish my body could function/look good with 50-60g protein! lucky. i aim to get 125-150g protein every day.. it tends to be tricky at times! but greek yog is for sure a staple.
Janetha @ meals & moves recently posted..funny email friday.

20 Meghann December 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Dang girl!!! How do you get that all in? That’s how you got those crazy muscles though!

21 Janetha @ meals & moves December 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I just eat 5x a day and try to eat 25-30g each time I eat.. I wish I didn’t have to watch my carbs though b/c I will blow up like a balloon. Although I refuse to run more than 3 miles at a time, so I guess that’s the reason I have to watch those pesky carbs. Have a great weekend!!
Janetha @ meals & moves recently posted..funny email friday.

22 Liz December 9, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I’m glad to hear this Janetha! I eat between 50 – 60 grams per day now, and I’m not seeing results so I was planning on upping my intake. But then I started reading around the web, and there seems to be a great debate among the fitness community about what’s necessary. But for me, I think I’m like you where I need more protein to see results so thanks for mentioning it!

23 Jamie in Arkansas December 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm

My trainer told me 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight. So I am for 140g per day. It’s a lot, but man do I see a difference!!

24 mel December 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm

So I am a veggie and I have huge arm muscles because I was a competitve cheerleader lifting girls for 10 years. I eat greek yogurt, tofu, protein powder, cheese sometimes, eggs and egg whites, temph, beans on a daily/weekly basis. Question for the fitness experts out there: I eat a pretty good amount of protein *(but I love ma carbs!) everyday but I don’t count. I also run or walk three to 4 days most days a week and lift med/heavy weights about twice a week. If I reduce my protein will my muscles become smaller, but still toned? haha. I don’t want to look manly but when I lift a lot my arm muscles get bigger.

25 mel December 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm

3 to 4 miles* most days of the week

26 Meghann December 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Holy crap? Really?!?! Gah. Do you run to or is just lifting?

27 Jamie in Arkansas December 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Both! That’s why it’s so important to get the protein. I lift 3 times a week and run 4 times a week. Also do yoga and bike about 80 miles week (during biking season).

28 Meghann December 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm

You are my idol!

29 Alicia December 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Meghan, Stage 6 features SHORT workouts. It’s awesome. I am following NROLFW and trying to get about 100g of protein per day – I find it makes a big difference in how strong I feel and the results I get. I do protein shakes plus gobs of Fage yogurt. I also cut the rest time during workouts…I feel awkward just standing around the gym. Good luck!

30 Kelly December 9, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Like you said yourself, you aren’t counting the little things that add up too; hidden protein in things like cheese, bread, oats, milk, etc. You probably are getting closer to 70 most days.

I try to get my protein intake between 100-130 a day. It’s important when you are on a muscle building plan! It is tough some days, but between yogurt, eggs, chicken, beans, and protein shakes on lifting days, I manage. I just had lunch and I’ve already worked in 54g today.

31 Lena @Fit on the Rocks December 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Greek yogurt is seriously awesome. Luckily, I love eggs cooked in all ways, so I snack on those a lot throughout the week.
Lena @Fit on the Rocks recently posted..Hazard to Myself

32 Coco December 9, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I’ve been working to up my protein as well- but as a vegetarian I find it pretty challenging at times. I always eat greek yogurt in the morning with some pb or almond butter… And I drink a lot of whey protein, of course eggs are always good too.. but I kind of run out of ideas sometimes..
Coco recently posted..Ouchie my quad hurts.. lower body workout

33 Kath December 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I bet if you added those other things in you’d be over your goal! Can’t believe you didn’t include milk + cheese in your guesstimates!
Kath recently posted..BIAJ

34 Jo December 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I have had the same problem and my nurtrionist said I really need to eat more protein or I won’t gain muscle. i had complained I wasn’t getting results at the gym, I was only eating about 45 grams a day. Now I drink protein pwoder everyday. it is a easy way to get the extra 25 grams in. It also helps with muscle repair after lifting.

35 Jenn December 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I have really become addicted to Greek Yogurt. The consistency (yum, like custard!), the health benefits (I’m a vegetarian, so I love the extra protein), and the versatility of what I can put it with — granola, fruit, you name it! Great post πŸ™‚

36 Marie December 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm

You need to eat about a gram per pound of body weight. The protein you’re eating now is just going to go to replenish the small amount of muscle you have now. If you want to build real muscle, eat some real protein.

37 Sophia @ Raven Waves December 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Greek yogurt is my favorite way to get protein, and cottage cheese too! Not sure if you eat that already, but if not, I’d def. recommend it!
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38 Karolina December 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I’m a HUGE fan of Greek Yogurt, and love spicing it up with different other flavors or spices. It sounds like you made a delicious breakfast!
Karolina recently posted..Friday Favorites

39 Lorin December 9, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Sorry, I’ve been busy with college and now I’m on break. I’m trying to find the previous posts about you mentioning your need to increase protein…I’m just curious as to what you said.

40 caloricandcrazy December 9, 2011 at 10:41 pm

I need to have bread with my veggies. Or if I’m having a soup/stew. It just completes a meal πŸ™‚

41 Ally December 11, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Girl, up that protein even more!! Honestly, up that pork chop portion to 6oz. It’s hard to get protein up, I know, but bigger meat portions at meals is an easy way to do it.
Ally recently posted..House on Parliament

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