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How Important Is Consuming Protein?

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How Important Is Consuming Protein?

Everyone knows what protein is, in general, but most people don’t have a deeper concept of just how vital it is to our body. It is so important to consume enough healthy protein in our diet and from a healthy source. Opinions vary, but it is recommended that it is healthy to consume anywhere from 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. A bodybuilder’s protein intake recommendations may be higher in order to add the desired muscle mass.

So What Are Proteins?

Proteins are the macronutrients that form the foundation of our diet. Proteins help to build new cells and regulate the metabolism. They actually help all of your cells communicate and shuttle oxygen throughout the body in the form of hemoglobin. They also have the ability to build muscle.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. It is absolutely essential that we consume these daily and in the right way. Our DNA directs the body to join various combinations of amino acids into a variety of sequences, each serving a unique function and feeding our bodies exactly what it needs.

We can store fats and carbohydrates to draw on when needed, but we do not have a storage pool of amino acids. We need to add to it each day in order to build the body proteins that we need. If we are missing a particular amino acid to form the protein it needs, it will pull that amino acid by breaking down existing muscle protein. Consistently lacking certain amino acids means we will lose muscle weight, energy and, eventually, fundamental body functions.

The Main Sources Of Daily Protein:

  • Meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish are complete sources of protein. They contain all of the essential amino acids.
  • Nuts, seeds, beans, peas, and whole grains. However, in order to consume all of the essential amino acids, plant foods must be used to complement each other with their amino acid profiles. Beans tend to be low in one amino acid that grains have plenty of, so combining these foods forms a complete protein, like beans and rice.

Be sure and consume your daily healthy protein and remember that centering on a protein diet promotes energy, healthy muscles and even weight loss!

Is There Such A Thing As A Healthy Fat?

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Is There Such A Thing As A Healthy Fat?

In recent years fat became enemy number one and all the experts preached that a low-fat or zero fat diet was the only healthy diet. They believed this was the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol and basically would solve any and all health issues. What happened was the opposite and our population has never been so obese and riddled with health problems, including soaring numbers of people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Everyone turned to processed foods with very little if any fat and filled with carbohydrates and fillers, to just end up putting on the weight.

As a result of these disastrous results for so many was the new focus to not only make a solid effort not to consume too much fat, but to try to consume a healthy portion of the good types of fat. Diets then emerged like the Atkins diet and the South Beach Diet that are very high in fat and with a definitive protein a focus and yet everyone on these diets started losing weight like crazy. With this new way of eating, the concept of healthy fats has really taken off and all of the great health benefits that go along with it.

So, there is such a thing as a healthy fat! They are essential to our daily physical and emotional health. Fat is not the enemy and can even help you lose weight and improve your health. What gets confusing is that there are good fats and bad fats….oh and trans fats are really bad. They are the biggest cause of weight gain, clogged arteries and so much more.

So what are are some of the good fats?

Monounsaturated Fats:

  • Olive Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Avocados
  • Nuts

Polyunsaturated Fats:

  • Safflower Oil
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Soybean Oil
  • Sunflower, Sesame and Pumpkin Seeds
  • Fatty Fish
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids:

  • Mustard Seeds
  • Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Oil
  • Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon and Sardines
  • Fish Oil

Saturated Fats (but on a limited basis):

  • Beef, Lamb and Pork
  • Chicken (with the skin on)
  • Butter, Milk and Cream
  • Ice Cream
  • Cheese
  • Palm Oil
  • Coconut Oil

Make that special effort to get your healthy fats at each meal and enjoy them guilt free! ( :

A List Of Paleo Foods For Beginners

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A List Of Paleo Foods For Beginners

What is the Paleo Diet? It is eating like they did during the Paleolithic Period, or that’s the idea behind it….imagining what was eaten…WAY back in the day. This means anything we could hunt or find – meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds. The idea is to focus on protein and vegetables that are from whole and natural sources, plus a little bit of healthy fats and very few carbs.

We all have to start somewhere and sometimes having ideas or a list really helps! On the Paleo Diet you can’t have dairy, grains, starches, wheat or legumes….but what CAN you have? It can be a challenge to make these changes, so here’s some specific ideas on what to put on your shopping list.

Healthy meats of all kinds and fish, plus fruits and veggies are a winner. Everyone knows fruit is healthy but too much is not good for you because many of them are high in sugar, which spikes your blood sugar. So what are the approved fruits and veggies, oils, nuts and seeds? Here’s some great ideas for you….

Suggestions for healthy vegetables:

  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Parsley
  • Eggplant
  • Green Onions

Suggestions for healthy fruits:

  • Apple
  • Bananas (but limited)
  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Mango
  • Lychee
  • Blueberries
  • Lemon
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Lime
  • Raspberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Oranges

Suggestions for healthy nuts and seeds:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Macadamia Nut
  • Walnuts

Suggestions for healthy oils:

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Macadamia Oil

I always love something I can print out and take to the grocery store with me. I hope this helps you follow your new lifestyle changes on the fantastic Paleo Diet!

Suggestions For Great Protein Filled Snacks

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Suggestions For Great Protein Filled Snacks

Being prepared with a healthy snack on hand is always a great idea. It will help keep you fuller longer, as well as keeping your metabolism burning throughout the day (improving weight loss if desired), and all the while avoiding an eventual energy crash without it. Plus you’ll skip the unhealthy snacks!

Here are 11 great suggestions that are easy to eat at almost any time:

1)  Protein Smoothie. Great for on the go and if you refrigerate them, they are the simplest and easiest way to get everything you need in an instant.

2)  Nuts and Seeds. 1 ounce (a handful) contains approximately 6 grams of protein and almost 10 grams of healthy monounsatured fat. And they are so easy to carry with you!

3)  Quinoa. It cooks up like a grain, yet has the same type of muscle building protein in it similar to meat or eggs. A half a cup uncooked has 12 grams of protein in it, it’s high in potassium and rich in magnesium, iron and vitamin b-6, plus a little healthy fat.

4) Cottage Cheese. A half a cup has approximately 16 grams of protein and it is very low in fat (unlike most cheese). It’s also wonderful to add to fruit to for a chilled sweet snack.

5)  Black beans. These are packed with protein and fiber. A cup has 15 grams of protein and tastes delicious.

6) Beef or Turkey Jerky. This is an old classic and yummy to gnaw on when you’re feeling a lull and needing something to satisfy your taste buds and give you that little protein boost. Just 3 ounces packs with approximately 24-30 grams of protein and talk about an easy snack!

7)  Salmon. It’s easy to eat and is a power protein that is also a top source of the healthy and much needed omega-3 fats lacking in our diets. A 3.5 ounce serving has 22 grams of protein in it.

8) Eggs. One of the world’s perfect foods. 1 egg has approximately 6 grams of protein in it. It’s cooked in a million ways and hard boiling them allows you to easily transport them for a quick protein filled snack.

9)  Oatmeal. A half a cup has about 5 grams of protein in it, a little bit of dietary fiber and iron, plus you can add a healthy fat to it to round it out for your snack. I love putting some healthy fruit on top, especially berries. Avoid the instant packets because they tend to be loaded with sugar.

10) Tuna. It’s an easy and great source of protein with approximately 25 grams per can. There are so many ways to mix up tuna for a delicious snack.

11)  Deli meats. Lunch meat isn’t just for sandwiches; it makes a tasty protein roll-up snack as well. Two slices of deli meat turkey has approximately 7 grams of protein, 2 slices of lean chicken breast has approximately 10 grams, and roast beef about 10 to 12 grams of protein in 2 slices. It’s so easy to make a great snack with these!

Incorporating a healthy protein snack into your day will give you more energy and stamina to keep you going through your busy day! Try it! You’ll be amazed at the changes in how you feel.

Enjoy!

Protein Power For Your Day

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Protein Power For Your Day

Hmmm…..What do I know about protein? Well, a lot, but yet maybe not enough.

We know the incredible benefits of protein. Eating whole foods and especially healthy protein is a natural thing for our bodies and part of our history through the generations of family before us. Our parents and grandparents ate protein as a staple, but we have somehow strayed from this lifestyle into the convenient processed fast food lifestyle. What a shame. What choices of food we eat makes an incredible difference in our daily life. This everyday choice affects our LIFE directly because it affects our ENERGY, the BALANCE of our body’s systems and processes, and it affects our STAMINA and even our OUTLOOK for the day.

Unfortunately, the food industry is not helping us out in this regard. Our food supply has become more watered down than ever and actually is filled with things we don’t even need or want (extra sugar, dyes, artificial ingredients, and fillers of all kind, many hidden even in the labels we are reading!). We are all super busy and we do our absolute best each day, but deep inside, we all know we could do BETTER. We don’t have to harp on that or be hard on ourselves, we just have to keep striving to eat foods that are closer to nature…whole foods, foods we prepare ourselves from scratch. Each day is a NEW day to improve our health, eat healthy protein, increase our food’s nutritional value and in the process literally gain more LIFE!!

It’s all about getting back to the basics and treating our body to exactly what it needs. It’s so easy! It’s not just convenience and buying the latest greatest processed and perfectly packaged and marketed food that we have been sold on. It’s taking that extra step feeding ourselves and our family what our body can actually utilize and build on. Educating yourself on healthy alternatives to processed foods.  A little bit of knowledge goes a long way and toward long lasting health.

We need to eat everyday anyway, why not pick something healthy that sustains you. Whatever your meal consists of, focus first on a healthy protein as the center, allow yourself some healthy fats and a few healthy carbs to fill it out, then it’s a perfect meal. Or whip up a whey protein shake. They are easy and super healthy feeding your body the protein it needs.

Show your “protein power” abilities starting today!

 

Easy High Protein Foods To Eat Each Day

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Easy High Protein Foods To Eat Each Day

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Protein is a life sustaining macro nutrient composed of essential and non-essential amino acids required for the proper growth and function of the human body. Our bodies can manufacture several of the amino acids required for protein production, but it cannot produce the essential amino acids. These need to be obtained from an animal source or combined vegetable sources, or both.

The easiest way is through animal protein because they contain ALL of the essential amino acids. If you are a vegetarian, then you will have to eat variety of plant foods to achieve the same result.

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How much protein do we need to eat each day? There is considerable debate on this subject, but a good rule of thumb is to eat .5 gram of protein for each pound of body weight. If you are more active or doing bodybuilding, then increasing your protein intake might be necessary. Eating too much doesn’t do more because your body can only process so much protein at once. It’s best to eat it throughout the day. Not getting enough protein can lead to muscle atrophy, and impaired functioning of the human body in general.

Here are some great high protein food suggestions:

  • Fish, a 3 ounce fillet = 22 grams
  • Cheese, a 2 ounce slice = 18 grams
  • Chicken breast = 17 grams
  • Eggs, 2 large = 12 grams
  • Beef, 6 ounces = 38 grams
  • Pork chop, 5 ounces = 33 grams
  • Black beans, 1 cup = 15 grams
  • Tofu, 3 ounces = 6 grams
  • Milk, 1 cup = 14 grams
  • Peanuts, 1 ounce = 7 grams
  • Almonds, 1 ounce = 6 grams
  • Whey protein powder, 1 scoop = 15-23 grams (varies)

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Make sure to get the proper healthy protein you need today!

It’s Fascinating How Not Everything Works The Same For Everyone

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It’s Fascinating How Not Everything Works The Same For Everyone

I love the idea of bio-individuality. This is a concept that means basically we are all unique and different and there is no one-size-fits-all, even in our diet. We each can thrive on different lifestyle choices. There are many great books out there to determine your metabolic type as well. Basically, we each have a unique and different need in our diet.

Whatever our individual food choices are, definitely no one should miss out on any major type of nutrient, especially healthy portions of protein.

Which one are you?

You like hot meals – Left over barbecued meats, delicious soups, sausage spaghetti sauce are some easy things you can heat up later for a great meal. Some people actually have a hard time digesting raw, cold foods and have no problem digesting whole and complete sources of healthy proteins (beef, chicken, fish, eggs, etc.). When you eat these types of protein, it’s easy to know you’re getting all of the essential amino acids your body needs every day.

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You like cold meals – It’s funny, but it seems like for every person that prefers warm food, there is another person that prefers it cold. They would rather eat a big salad or a sandwich for lunch. You can easily get your healthy protein by adding in extra cold cuts, hard boiled eggs or chopped cold chicken and bacon to your to your salad. Also blending a great whey protein smoothie is a favorite among this crowd.

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You’re a vegetarian – You can follow the vegan diet more or less, except, but you get to add in dairy and eggs. Greek yogurt, quinoa, legumes and lots of eggs are a great way to get your protein.

You’re a vegan – In order to get your protein, you will need to fill your diet with plant-based proteins. Nuts, seeds, and legumes are all great sources, plus add in things like quinoa, lentils, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and chia seeds.

You’re a raw foodist – It gets a bit more challenging to get your adequate amounts of protein every day, but if you are diligent you can certainly do it. Raw nuts and nut butters are an easy choice, plus there are many raw seeds that you can eat such as chia.

You can search all over the internet for websites dedicated to each of these categories. It will help you to learn great choices and to mix it up so you are never bored with the same foods.

Enjoy the foods you love while getting the healthy protein your body needs!

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