When your coach says swim - you swim.
When your coach says swim faster - you make it happen.
And when your coach says that you need to put on weight - you grab the nearest banana, a chicken kebab, a handful of nuts and a hard-boiled egg ... and inhale them all. You get the picture.
So, #1 teenage son has been challenged with putting on weight. And that's no mean feat when you do hardcore exercise for a total of 24 hours in the week. But let's be practical about this -
- There are only so many hours in the day to eat - school, being underwater and sleeping get in the way.
- #1 teenage son already eats ALOT at mealtimes and is full (at least for a moment) when he's finished eating.
- He only wants to eat good food - champion's choices all the way for him - so those 'eat a pound of lard' quick fixes just ain't gonna cut it. What he eats needs to count.
People argue about carbs, fat and everything in between but almost everyone agrees that protein is important. It helps to increase muscle mass and strength and as a bonus keeps you full too.
Eating between meals seems to be the only answer - especially after training - and protein shakes are a handy way of ticking all the boxes. But there's a problem ... He doesn't like the taste of the protein powders that you buy in those ENORMOUS tubs and I get that - they do have a bit of an unpleasant, chemical aftertaste + there are often way too many mystery ingredients. So a shake made with natural ingredients which has a high emphasis on taste and also delivers on the protein front is what's needed here, and his current fave is this Raspberry Protein Shake. It's creamy without being too rich; fruity without being overly sweet and there are no ingredients that you can't pronounce.
So where does the protein come from in this Raspberry Protein Shake?
- Egg whites - They're almost pure protein. If you're using egg whites from whole eggs, you'll be left with the yolks. Annoying ... Alternatively, if you're going to make a lot of these shakes, buy a carton of egg whites from the supermarket and measure them into an ice cube to freeze. It's an expensive workaround, though.That way you don't have to worry about the egg whites expiring and you can just chuck a cube into the blender rather than having the faff of breaking the eggs and finding a use for the yolk.
- Greek yoghurt - Tastes great and packs a protein punch.
- Quinoa powder - It's completely natural and has a lovely malty flavour.
- Chia seeds - They deliver great protein and as an added bonus have handy thickening properties.
- Milk - Milk is high in protein. Cow's milk provides the most bang for your buck, closely followed by soy (but beware of those mystery ingredients). Almond milk is quite a way behind. Choose whichever suits you.
- Oats - They fill you up too.
I used raspberries in this shake but you can substitute for other frozen fruits. Blueberries are lovely, mango is wonderful, blackcurrants are tasty, strawberries are sweet. Make it your own.
I'm not a nutritionist. I'm not an athlete. And I can't remember EVER needing to put ON weight ... but a shake that's packed with protein, filled with natural ingredients that will keep me full and fuel my body in a good way, has to be a good thing - alongside a healthy balanced diet.
So go on - let's all join #1 teenage son in a Raspberry Protein Shake or two. Grab your blender and get blitzing ...