Jun 27

A Protein-Filled Wednesday + a Snack Giveaway!

Snacking is the new name of the game for me.


Yesterday I revealed my new fitness goal to you all – to compete in a figure competition.  This means HUGE change in my plant-based diet.  Now I have to focus more on protein than plants, and I’m eating constantly… but my goal is to to keep to a vegetarian protein diet.


The Basic Plan:

  • 7 “meals” per day (I eat every 2 hours)
  • 20-25g of protein at each meal
  • 120 oz of water daily
  • 1 serving of fruit for the first 2 meals, and at meal 7 (“dessert”)
  • 1 serving of veggies for meals 3-6
  • 1/2 C carbs at meal 1, 3, 5, and 7 (beans, lentils, and sweet potatoes count as carbs)
  • Limited fats – flax at meal 1, nuts at meal 2, olive oil at meals 3 and 5


The good parts: no calorie counting or macro tracking; I get a cheat day once a week; I already love protein shakes

The hard parts: only eating 1 serving of veggies at a time is hard; eating that much protein on a veg diet is REALLY hard; eating all the time sounds fun at first, but I am really never hungry (except for when I wake up); eating every two hours take a ton of planning; all of that water has me running to the bathroom every 30 mins.


Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday theme of “Sensible Snacking” this month is just perfect for my new plan.  I am snacking all day!


Check out a day in  the food life of a wanna-be figure competitor; then click here to hop on to Jenn Peas and Crayons to see everyone else’s day of eats!


Meal 1:

Janetha hipped me to the fact that I was appropriately celebrating National Chocolate Pudding Day at breakfast

I made a chocolate-peanut butter protein pudding/spread to top my Ezekial bread.  This was accompanied by 1/2 cup of cherries (good for inflammation/muscle recovery).

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pudding:

  • 1 T GNC Soy chocolate protein powder (check out the review here)
  • 1 T peanut flour
  • 1 T ground flax seed
  • 2 T unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Meal 2:

It’s blueberry season!  They are so sweet right now, making of an especially tasty shake… even if it did splash on my brand-new white shirt.  Note to self: don’t drink smoothies and drive.

Blueberry-Ginger Smoothie

  • 1 scoop Vega vanilla protein powder (see review here)
  • 1/2 C blueberries
  • 1 in piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 C spinach (I “cheated” and added veggies… I can’t help myself!)
  • 1 T sunflower seeds
  • Ice + water, to taste



Meal 3:

Leftovers!  Some of you may have seen the vegan quiche I posted on Instagram.  With a chickpea flour base, this high-protein dish made 6 slices which I will be bringing for lunch all week.  I enjoyed it with a side of sprouts.  For those that asked, I promise the recipe will come tomorrow!


While the quiche is high-protein, it’s not quite high enough.  No worries – it gave me an opportunity to have dessert with my meal.  A little sweet and a little savory, I loved this cardamom-laced treat!

Cardamom-Cinnamon Cottage Cheese Mix

  • 1/2 C cottage cheese
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 4-5 drops NuNaturals orange liquid stevia
  • 1 T unsweetened So Delicious coconut milk


Meal 4:

Here is where it gets hard to keep eating.  At this point I’ve downed 60g of protein and I’m feeling satisfied.  However, I’m not even half way through my daily meals!

Remember this seitan chorizo I made a couple of months ago?  I froze what I couldn’t eat for future uses.  I’m beyond happy I did that!  It gave me the protein I needed for the meal, re-heating well and retaining its flavor and moisture.  It was fantastic with the last of my Ultimate Veggie Trail Mix.


Meal 5:

I had an appointment with my trainer at 8p (more legs – OMG), so I wanted my dinner-time meal to be easy to digest.  That can only mean on thing.  Liquid Sweet Potato Pie-Shake.  Meal 5 requires veggies, carbs, and protein.

Since sweet potatoes count as a carb, I ate a side of celery sticks as well.


Meal 6:

This also served as my post-workout recovery meal.  It was also my favorite meal of the day!  This rendition of overnight (over-day?) oats was cool and refreshing after a excruciating really hard workout.  If you’re from Georgia, you know it doesn’t get any better than peaches and cream this time of year.

Creamy Peach-Ginger Overnight Protein Oats

  • 1 peach, mashed
  • 1 scoop GNC Whey vanilla protein powder (see review here)
  • 1/3 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup raw oats
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-5 drops vanilla liquid stevia
Stir it all together and allow to chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight.


Meal 7:

I cheated.  I ate meal 7 as meal 6 (fruit, carbs, and protein).  Truth be told, I’m having a really hard time working in 7 meals.  I am hitting the protein goal of 150 grams, so I’m not going to worry about it until I’m told otherwise.  :)


Now for the part you really wanted to hear about – the giveaway!

I was contacted by Special K just before heading to Chile with an opportunity to try their new granola bar.  I don’t eat a lot of processed foods/bars, but I was intrigued by their new concept.  They sent me the samples just in time for me to pack these up as a tasty plane snack.

Of course, I shared with my concierge, Kim, who was in love with the sweet treats.  She couldn’t believe that the bars are just 110 calories and contain only 7g of sugar.  Perfect for sating your mid-afternoon sweet tooth.  They also deliver 4g of fiber and 4g of protein.


My favorite part? The Special K Granola Bars come in my favorite flavors – Dark Chocolate and Chocolatey Peanut Butter.  The chocolate-peanut butter will rock your socks off.  

Yes, they are processed and they have more than 5 ingredients.  If you’re that isn’t a problem for you, you will be really happy with these bars.  They have a great crunch and won’t leave you feeling weighed down.


The lovely people at Special K have offered to let one reader try a box of each flavor.  Here’s how to enter to win:

  1. Follow me on Twitter or Subscribe to the Sprint 2 the Table RSS feed or email
  2. Tweet: You could say something like: I’ve entered to win 2 boxes of @SpecialKUS granola bars at @sprint2thetable http://wp.me/p16jDn-1po #giveaway
  3. Be Social: Twitter Follow Special KPinterest Follow Me and/or Pin Something of MineInstagram Follow Me
  4. Comment: What is your favorite sweet tooth satisfier?

Please leave a *separate comment* for each entry!


Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Monday, July 2nd.  The winner will be announced on Tuesday, July 3rd.


And again with the sore legs/glutes.  Thank god the counter is close enough to my toilet to provide support for lowering down.

Do you prefer to eat 3 solid meals, or snack throughout the day?

What is your favorite protein-rich meal?



9 pings

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  1. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    WOW – that is a LOT of food!! :) I’m really excited to follow your journey and ready your thoughts, but I don’t think I’ll be jumping on this bandwagon anytime soon. Although I would LOVE to eat all that food… :) I love snacking, do it too much. I think I may be headed back to the calorie counting route soon (ugh!)…we’ll see.

    1. Laura

      You’re an endurance girl – that is a whole other bandwagon! One I am totally in awe of. :)

  2. Jen

    oh! wow! that is a lot of protein!! good luck girl!! i know you can do it :)

  3. Hannah

    Ah, yes. I’ve done the need-to-gain-weight thing, and people don’t always understand that it sometimes is not at all fun to have to eat constantly. That said, your eats look super enticing :)

  4. Somer

    Wowza girl! That’s a ton of protein! Good on you for drinking a ton of water too so you don’t tax your kidneys! Best of luck with your figure competition! You’ll knock it out of the park!

  5. Khushboo

    I was hoping your WIAW today would be about your new training plan! Clearly it takes A LOT of plannign but you seem to have nailed it so far! I’m a 3 meal AND 2 snack – a day kinda girl..whoops haha! Current favorite protein-rich snack is Greek yogurt with protein powder- that can easily rack up 30g protein per serving!

    1. Laura

      I used to do 3 meals and 2 snacks. It’s a great plan! That way you never get famished and “desperate.”

      Funny – I brought Greek yogurt with protein powder and cinnamon to work as a snack today!

  6. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers

    That’s soooooo much protein. I’d never be able to change my diet like that. (Partially because I refuse to give up beer for any extended amount of time… well, except that month I gave it up earlier this year. That sucked.) Good luck with it. I’m eager to hear more about it as your journey continues.

    1. Laura

      LOL! Yeah, I am most sad about the wine.

  7. Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness

    Everything looks so good! Your goal is awesome! I’m looking forward to hearing more about it.

    Now I’m off to check out some your links and copy/paste your recipes :)

    [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

  8. Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count

    That’s quite an impressive plan Laura! It sounds healthy and still interesting. The quiche looks delicious! I look forward to hearing how it works for you!

    1. Laura

      Thank you! I’m trying to keep my eats “fun.” I could never be one of those who eats chicken and steamed broccoli 7x a day. :)

  9. Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    That is a lot of protein, such genius ways to pack it all into one day too! :D

  10. Meg

    Welcome to the world of a lot of protein and never being hungry my friend ;) hahahaha your eats look like mine now don’t they!? :D I am so excited to see your transformation!!!!!! This is going to be amaaaazing Laura :D

    I love how we both had bluebs and spinach smoothie yesterday! HEHE and now I see where your peach and ginger combo made an appearance ;)

    I thoroughly enjoyed this WIAW :) <3 I have a question though. When you weren't following this plan were you counting vegetables as carbs?

    P.s. I am looking forward to your upcoming recipe :D

    Love you pretty

    1. Laura

      I know!!! I am going to have to scour your blog for more ideas. :)

      OMG – today I did blueberries, spinach, avocado, fresh ginger, and cinnamon. Total winner.

      I wasn’t counting anything before… but most of my carbs probably did come from veggies.

      Lots of love you! xo

  11. Lee

    Why can’t you have more than one serving of veggies at meals?

    1. Laura

      I dunno… I think because they don’t want me to fill up on those rather than protein.

  12. karina

    frozen yogurt satisfies my sweet tooth!

    1. Laura

      same here! i think i need an intervention. :)

  13. Alex @ therunwithin

    I have been looking for some protein ideas so this post is great! Honestly thank you for all of this.

    1. Laura

      I’m so glad I can help – thank you for reading!

  14. janet @ the taste space

    Wowzie, zowie.. you will definitely need a protein powder sponsor! Your day is so regimented, it is nuts. Way to go, though!!

    I was also thinking of my higher protein meals and this might fit the bill for you:

    This is also a great tempeh recipe: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/jamaican-jerk-tempeh-wraps/

    1. Laura

      I would LOVE a protein powder sponsor. :)

      Those recipes look amazing. I’m adding them to the meal plan rotation! Thank you so much for sharing.

  15. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    I am completely loving you sharing all of this! I am so excited to see your transformation! You know nutrition is my love, so watching you put to work what I learned about is really going to be educational for me! It’s kind of strange how my shift in finding protein sources came about when I realized how much protein I wasn’t getting. Now I get what I’m supposed to and I love how great I feel and how much better my body recovers! I’m with you though…I am a veggie lover and not being able to have my big ass salads would be a downer for me.

    1. Laura

      Thank Sarena! If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

      It funny, but on my “cheat” day I most looking forward to eating my weight in veggies.

  16. Julie and Brit @twosaucysisters.wordpress.com

    We totally know what you mean! Ours is slightly different – with all the high volume and intensity of running we do with cross country and track, our teams RD told both of us that we weren’t eating enough carbs (hence why we were bonking in all the workouts and not running the way we wanted to in competition) so we had to up our intake of grains (where we were lacking) to 8-9 servings each day! Sounds easy, but it definitely isn’t! Sometimes you really just aren’t hungry, and eating is no fun when you’re not! Good for you, we’ll be reading to hear how it’s going – you’ll be great, we’re sure! :)

    1. Laura

      That’s really interesting. Did you guys notice a big difference immediately?

      1. Brittany @ twosaucysisters

        We both noticed a difference within the week, actually! With the increase in grains, we were able to build up our glycogen stores, which really helped our running!

        1. Laura

          That’s so cool. I love how food/nutrients can impact your performance so immediately.

  17. Ray

    Favorite sweet that satisfies is chocolate!

  18. Ray

    Following your feed too Thanks so much!

  19. Lindsay @ Conscious Cravings

    I really like this plan of yours. I think I may have to try to implement it in my normal routine!

    1. Laura

      Thanks! I wouldn’t recommend having that much protein unless you are really trying to build, but 1x your weight in grams pf protein for moderate lifting is a good thing. Let me know if you have any questions!

  20. Georgiana

    My favorite sweet treat our chocolate truffle balls that melt in your mouth!

    1. Laura

      That sounds fantastic right now!

  21. Georgiana

    That is a ton of protein – wishing you luck! I’m following your feed too! Thanks so much!

  22. Farrah

    Good luck to you! Great job with the meal planning. It takes a lot of work. That sweet potato pie shake sounds so good. I love anything sweet potatoes! I can’t wait to read more. :)

    1. Laura

      Thank you! Sweet potato shakes are my all-time favorite. :)

  23. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat

    That is SO much protein – you always rock your dietary goals, though!

  24. Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles

    Wow, what a great goal! Good luck!

  25. Nicole

    My favorite sweet treat is rocky road ice cream!

  26. Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi)

    You are such an inspiration! What an amazing goal. Man, that day looks like a day filled with good eats. Can’t wait to hear all about your progress.

  27. Catalina @ Cake with Love

    I usually eat chocolate and strawberries, or some bananas dipped in yogurt and frozen to satisfy my sweet tooth!

    1. Laura

      I am going to have to go the banana thing – that sounds perfect for the 100 degree weekend we’re about to have!

  28. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

    Oof. I much prefer 3 solid meals and rarely snack. I use to be more of a snacker… I don’t know what made that change! I think my work schedule. I’m jealous of your super sore glutes!! Maybe I’ll do some squats/lunges at work right now…

    1. Laura

      I think it’s a Southern thing too – w like out big family meals!

  29. Marisa@TheCollegeCuisiner

    May I ask, what is Ezekial bread? My favorite sweet snack is pink lady apples with Justin’s honey almond butter. ADDICTING!

    1. Laura

      It a sprouted grain bread. It’s really good and you store in in the freezer so you don’t have to worry about it going stale!

      Check it out: http://www.foodforlife.com/product-catalog/ezekiel-49/breads

  30. Laura

    I’m excited to follow your figure competition journey! 150 g of protein- wow… so interesting to see how you fit that all in. Fave sweet tooth satisfying- date/nut/cocoa balls. Added coconut to mine this week, yum!

  31. Laura

    I follow you on twitter! I’m not big on processed bars, but my husband would love these. He’s much less picky. :)

  32. Jed Gray (sportsglutton)

    So I know you’re attempting to stick with the vegan thing, but is fish so bad for your protein?

    Favorite protein-rich meal…well the most recent one I had was like a 1 lb Elk burger stuffed with sauteed bacon and mushrooms I made while camping. Protein rich enough for ya? :-)

    1. Laura

      Vegetarian, not vegan. I don’t know how people do it without yogurt and eggs! If I do cave, it will be to add in seafood. I actually do eat it on occasion already.

      You ate an entire pound of beef? You are my gluttonous hero. LOL!

  33. Amanda @RunToTheFinish

    no need to enter me, just wanted to say your eats look yummy! quiche might be one of my favorite meals on earth!

    1. Laura

      Thank you! The recipe is up today. :)

  34. corrie anne

    That is a LOT of protein!! That quiche does look amazing. Wow!!!

  35. Laura @ LauraLivesLife

    Love your goal – if anyone can do it, it is you! I’m already totally in awe of your amazing abs (and arms)! Since I’m new to strength training, I can’t wait it read all about your training, eating, etc!

    1. Laura

      Yuo’re too kind. My abs a GONE right now. Gaining mass is not fun in that regard.

      I’m excited that you’re starting to lift a bit! :)

  36. Renata

    Favorite sweet is Strawberry Cheesecake with plump red juicy strawberries!

  37. Renata

    I follow you on Twitter

  38. Renata

    Tweeted your giveaway link too! Thanks so much!

  39. Stacy @ Stacy Eats

    Whoa, so cool! What an awesome goal for yourself!! Can’t wait to follow along. I’m totally jealous of all the food and snacking. I definitely have a snacking problem.
    My favorite thing to satisfy a sweet tooth is salt and chocolate. So peanut M&Ms, chocolate and pretzels, etc.

    1. Laura

      I am with you on the sweet-salty. Salted caramel ice cream with little chocolate chips… NOM.

  40. amy marantino

    i Subscribe to the Sprint 2 the Table RSS feed

  41. amy marantino

    i tweeted – https://twitter.com/onitnaram/status/218284347181109249

  42. amy marantino

    i Twitter Follow Special K,

  43. amy marantino

    my favorite sweet tooth satisfier is a minty chocolate milkshake

  44. Kelly

    Wow, your food looks amazing! That Quiche has my mouth watering for sure. I’ll check back for the recipe tomorrow :) Thanks for sharing what you eat! People need to know that it’s healthy to EAT! :)

    1. Laura

      Thanks Kelly! I’m making good use of my protein powder. :)

      the recipe is up now!

  45. Danni @ Healthy Kitschy Vegan

    Hey! Great looking food! I need to check out your post for that quiche…it looks delicious! I’m into almost anything made with chickpea flour! And good luck with your goal of being a figure competitor! It sounds like you have a pretty darn good plan to get there ;)

  46. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

    Oh my goodness that is quite a bit of food. I understand it is necessary, but I think I would get a little tired of food.

    I am quite intriqued by the quiche and will have to jump to the next post to get the recipe.

    Keep up the good work!

  47. lynn @ the actor's diet

    tootsie pops!!!!

  48. Natalie

    My fav sweet tooth satisfier is dark chocolate chips.

  49. Lara

    how many grams of carbs are you allowed each day and how many sugars?

    1. Laura

      I don’t have specific numbers, just meal guidelines I listed above. The sugars and sodium should be kept to a minimum! It’s no prescribed, but I try to keep sugar around 30g a day, and all from natural sources.

  50. Cheryl

    I am so glad to find this post! I am also trying to build lean muscle, not for figure competitions but just for me. Those are really great ideas..thank you for sharing. And just for a fun fact, I am pretty sure your little sister was in my choir at Mt. Bethel many years ago. Is Alli your sister? if not, I have just made a fool of myself :) Thanks again for sharing!

    1. Laura

      Small world! That is my sister. She sings in a band and lives in Portland now!

  51. Cheryl

    AHH yes! I have been following the release! Love that girl!

  52. Sarah

    Wow! That’s pretty amazing. I’ve had to do 6-meal a day plans, but they weren’t focused on protein. They were more about trying to be high calorie… over 4000 actually! But I think this sounds more effective. Go for it!

  53. karen

    I love a piece of good dark chocolate for a sweet tooth.

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