Let’s Talk Protein with Harvard Health.
Let’s get some quick facts down about protein prior to me telling you how I get my protein in each day. How about that? Now, this isn’t going to be the down and dirty details of protein and all it offers our body, but it will be a quick overview. Check it.
I source my health facts from https://www.health.harvard.edu
“The very origin of the word — from the Greek protos, meaning “first” — reflects protein’s top-shelf status in human nutrition. You need it to put meat on your bones and to make hair, blood, connective tissue, antibodies, enzymes, and more.” – OK, I can get behind this. Protos = First. Sounds important!
“The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The RDA is the amount of a nutrient you need to meet your basic nutritional requirements. In a sense, it’s the minimum amount you need to keep from getting sick — not the specific amount you are supposed to eat every day.” – Use this Calculator to determine what’s right for you.
“Before you start ramping up your daily protein intake, there are a few important things to consider. For one, don’t read “get more protein” as “eat more meat.” Beef, poultry, and pork (as well as milk, cheese, and eggs) can certainly provide high-quality protein, but so can many plant foods — including whole grains, beans and other legumes, nuts, and vegetables. The table below provides some healthier sources of protein.” – Very important concept to know. There are many ways to get your protein intake in without eating animal protein.
Good sources of protein
|3 ounces tuna, salmon, haddock, or trout||21|
|3 ounces cooked turkey or chicken||19|
|6 ounces plain Greek yogurt||17|
|½ cup cottage cheese||14|
|½ cup cooked beans||8|
|1 cup of milk||8|
|1 cup cooked pasta||8|
|¼ cup or 1 ounce of nuts (all types)||7|
|Source: USDA National Nutrient Database, 2015|
Here is My (very quick!) Explanation of Why Protein is Important.
This is what I tell my clients regarding protein intake simplified, big time, but you’ll get the gist.
Protein intake = muscle repair = muscle growth = higher muscle density = more lean body mass = less fat = higher BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate, what your body needs to sustain at rest) = more calories burned at rest (it takes more energy to sustain muscle than it does fat).
My personal favorite protein powders are listed below. Here is what I use and what I think have the best ingredients and flavor (after MUCH research and trial and errors over the years…). Again, this is simply my opinion and view on things, so take what you want and leave the rest.
- Herbalife protein powders. This is the protein I have in my shakes at Legacy Nutrition shop here in St. Paul next to my gym. Know that most are a soy based protein, so if you have an allergy to soy, you should try their whey protein. My husband is so picky when it comes to his protein shakes and he asks me over and over to re-order this one whey for him. If you go this route, here is the general protein shake recipe that they use at the shake shop. You can dig around on this site and find so many recipes to make the shakes as amazing as he does but from home.
- Vitals Collagen Peptides: This is flavorless, so you can mix it into anything. I tried to think about what I have every single day, spoiler alert: it’s COFFEE! So, I put my two scoops right into my hot coffee and I’m done. You know my way, simple, but significant. This has 18 grams of protein and collagen is fantastic for skin, hair and nails.
- Tone it up plant based protein. It can be found at Target. I’ve followed these women for years and they have an incredible fitness brand out of California and really stand by a great product. NOTE: It’s a smaller container, it’s 10 less grams of protein than the protein mentioned above and is very low in calories (90 calories compared to Herbalife’s 200 calories) because it is not a meal replacement like Herbalife is. There’s no right or wrong, just something to consider.
- Costco Pre-made Shake: Affordable and pre-made! Easy breezy.
How I Sneak All Forms of Protein into My Day.
- 2 scoops of collagen into my coffee right away in the morning. 18 grams of protein.
- Organic Bone Broth as a snack in the fall and winter. 18 grams of protein.
- Lean cuts of meat at lunch and / or dinner. Make protein and vegetables your leading players in each meal. I’ve listen to a Goop Podcast with a Holistic Doctor recently who focuses on gut health, and she was saying that women, especially, need to get fattier cuts of red meat into their diets more. The quality of the meat should be great, but we do need more iron and red meats than what the majority of us are getting. I found that interesting and exciting, because I love a good steak or a lean burger! Listen to the episode here. It’s a gem as are all of the Goop Podcasts. Seriously, huge fan.
- Yogurt has been a huge craving of mine in my pregnancy (especially Peach!). Be careful with yogurt and all of the added sugar, but you know, do what you’ve gotta do. I prefer Icelandic, Noosa, and Activia for yogurt.
- Protein shakes using the powders above as a meal replacement and / or a workout recovery.
- Snack on nuts and seeds.
- I add protein powder into muffins for myself and the kids.
- Cottage cheese + Sunflowers for a snack or with lunch – my favorite combo!
- Turkey Roll-ups. Add a favorite condiment to a slice of deli meat plus a few veggies and you’ve got yourself a delicious protein packed lunch.
- Add lean meats over a bed of greens.
- Add black beans to salads and / nachos.
There are of course, so many more ways to add protein into your day, so be sure to tell me your favorite ways to eat protein. I’d love to hear!
Have a healthy day,