Protein is probably the most difficult macronutrient to discuss simply because we all grew up a certain way and to try and change the thought process is extremely difficult.
I’m not trying to change your thought process here, more so, I’m trying to show you that it doesn’t always have to be a certain way simply because that’s what you know.
We can get protein from different sources other than from meat or animal sources. But first let me explain the levels of protein and how I suggest we choose.
When it comes to most food, I like to take the utilization approach. So when it comes to these foods let’s talk about how our bodies process them.
In this order I’d suggest considering what ‘proteins’ you’ll add to each meal to make sure you have a complete macronutrients profile.
- Red Meat
Ok so from the list above we can see how I suggest we make our choices and in this case that’s from top to bottom and here is why.
Eggs, especially egg whites, process very quickly in the body which is a good thing. I know it may sound like I’m contradicting myself because I just talked about how we want slow digesting carbs in the last section. But carbs and proteins digest differently.
You want protein that is easier to digest but carbs that have fibre to slow digestion which actually helps with the entire process. If everything processes too quickly (like a sugar) then we don’t let our intestines, stomach acid and internal organs do their job.
Let’s say for example you have a meat (quick digesting), washed down with a glass of milk (again quick digestion) with a sweet potato which we now know is a simple or quick digesting carb, then we miss out on many different stages that the body can help with to improve digestion. This is a big issue with how we eat and how we live.
On top of that, in the evening we usually have this giant meal that isn’t easy to digest and we sit and watch tv the rest of the night. Instead of going for an evening walk to help that food digest in your body. And don’t get me started on alcohol right after a meal like that, right before bed no less and we wonder why we can’t sleep at night.
Back to the topic at hand. We have eggs at the top of the list, then a close second is fish. Remember that if you’re going to have fish, I’d suggest buying wild and avoiding farmed fish at all costs. Don’t eat fish from a can and make sure you’re taking your chlorella tabs before and or after any time you eat fish.
Chicken and turkey are also closely linked, have similar properties and are easier to digest which is why you’ll see this in the meal plan as well.
And finally growing up in Alberta, Canada it’s difficult to say, eat less red meat. But the truth is, it’s often found hard to digest, not because of the meal alone, but because of the type of meat, the size, how frequently it’s consumed and what is eaten with it
So if you’re going to have a steak try to find grass fed; enjoy a sweet potato instead of a white potato and have a good portion of veggies with. Make sure the veggies take up more of the plate than any other nutrient and try not marinate that steak in toxic flavours or sauces.
You can have a clean healthy steak once in a while and not feel guilty about it. And that’s now.
Plant Based Protein
Many people don’t know that you can get enough protein from plants. That goes back to how earlier I talked about when asked ‘what’s for dinner?’ The answer was often meat, like, ‘roast is for dinner’, for example.
All it is, is misinformation, it’s the simple fact that we’ve been misinformed but there’s nothing wrong with that. No one should feel guilty, I’m not trying to ridicule anyone regardless of beliefs, understanding or how most of us were raised in North America.
The health industry is often changing, we find new science, research and case studies all the time. Personally I think this is exciting! If nothing ever changed I’d say it would be a pretty boring industry to be in.
Many people live very healthy lives and haven’t touched meat in years. But where do they get their protein from? This question comes up more than I could explain. Let’s take Spirulina for example. Did you know spirulina has more protein than steak – cup for cup?
Crazy right?! How could a little tab of algae (more on this later) contain that much protein? I mean sure, most people aren’t going to have a cup of spirulina tabs or powder but I’m just using it as an example to let you know there are plenty of plants jam packed with protein.
Take hemp seeds for example, these little seeds are a complete protein which means they contain all of the amino acids that you would find in meat.
Hemp seeds are also high in healthy fats which means it could double as a protein and fat at the same time.
Then we have quinoa, which is in the same superfood category as hemp seeds. Quinoa is also a complete protein and a complex carb which means you get a good amount of both macronutrients (carbs and protein) by enjoying a serving of quinoa.
Then we could look at the combination of celery and cucumber, which also makes a complete protein and is detoxing as well. And then there’s the example of beans and rice. Try whole grain rice with the bean combination to make a complete protein.
The list goes on, there are many examples I can come up with to show you that you can get plenty of protein from plants alone. Am I saying you’ll get enough protein from having a green smoothie once a day?
No I’m not, I believe in balance, which is why I’m talking about all the macronutrients here. Enjoy a green smoothie in the morning like we recommend. Maybe you’ll have spirulina tabs throughout the day.
And why not enjoy a quinoa salad, with spinach, hemp seeds, avocado and your favourite veggies like the monster salad listed below.
And what about a protein smoothie once a day, that’s also jam packed with nutrients to improve digestion, increase energy and give you a protein boost that so many people are worried about?
Now that’s a great way to get all your nutrients and have a balance of macronutrients. I really feel like we miss out on vital nutrients (vitamins and minerals) our bodies need by not consuming all the macronutrients as often as possible in a single meal.
So what happens if we don’t get all the macronutrients and we miss out on vitamins our bodies need.
We could be craving throughout the day which is why we head straight to the pantry after work (because our body lacks nutrients),
We could run into a health issue for lack of nutrients. For example a lack of iron could cause anemia, which isn’t a good thing. Side note, algae has tons of iron if this is an issue for you.
And finally we’re forced to use pharmaceuticals which is many cases cause side effects which only equals more meds.