Hello and welcome to Day 4 of 2016!!
I hope this year is off to a great start for you and you’re well rested and relaxed to start this brand new week of the year!!
What? Who am I kidding – who gets rest during the Holidays, right?? I certainly didn’t! And I’m betting that a few of us did! That’s why nourishing yourself in the New Year makes so much sense – it’s not just about starting fresh – it’s about detoxing from the overindulgence we did over the last few weeks! :)
That’s why this Cut the Sugar Challenge is perfectly timed to get you into gear for a brand new year and for a brand new YOU! :)
Today, we’re chatting PROTEIN!!! And not just any protein but healthy protein!!!
There’s so much I could write about protein but I will be brief here on this challenge. But I will revisit this topic in more detail soon so stay tuned!
With today’s eating habits, we often get really confused about protein. Isn’t protein bad? Aren’t we eating too much? Are we eating enough? Where do you get protein anyway? It’s mind boggling about how skewed our perception of food is – and we usually struggle to get it right. But food is nourishment! And protein is right up there as a food we must have enough of!
How much Protein do you need?
On average, we should consume 45-75 grams of protein a day. That varies based on your weight and physical activity/ fitness level. If you’re very athletic – you may need upwards to over 100 grams of protein a day.
You can calculate how much protein you need by multiplying your weight in kilograms x 0.8.
Based on my own calculations, I am 110 lbs/ 50kg – so I need minimum 40 grams of protein a day! On weeks that I’m increasing my fitness game – I go up to 75 grams a day. Because I eat mostly plant-based protein – I split my protein intake throughout the day and make sure I get a serving of about 15 grams of protein at every meal so that’s about 3 meals to get 40 grams! If I have a low-protein lunch because it’s a salad without much of protein – I either have a protein shake right after or I eat a handful of nuts and seeds for a snack later. A serving is usually a cup of beans and lentils or a handful of nuts or seeds or if you’re curious in more detail you can always google how much protein is found in a certain food.
What are some healthy sources of Protein?
Plant-based protein sources are : lentils, beans, nuts, seeds (like hemp, sunflower, pumpkin) and tofu. Protein powders make excellent protein fillers that are very convenient especially if you’re on the go or post-workout.
Most plant protein sources aren’t complete amino acids so you need to mix them up all the time to make sure you get complete protein.
And animal protein sources that are very healthy are : wild salmon, sardines and other small fish (these are also very healthy in fats and that’s also important). If you eat poultry and/ or red meat – you really don’t need to eat it at every meal – that’s because animal protein (especially red meat) is very acidic and takes longer to break down also.
But you don’t need animal protein at every meal – so especially if you do eat meat, mix it up with beans and lentils and nuts and seeds. This helps to balance things out so you get a bit of nutrition from everything!
That’s why I think everyone should eat vegan meals especially if they eat meat!
We’re not a vegan family but we eat a lot of vegan meals – it just makes healthy plant proteins part of our healthy diet. Not to mention that plant based meals are so much cheaper too!
How does protein connect with cutting out sugar?
When we fuel up properly, which includes a healthy regular intake of protein throughout the day – we feel full and satisfied AND we usually stop craving more food!
Sometimes when we crave sweets and carbs isn’t due to our weak will power – it’s because our body is literally still hungry – but it craves sweets and carbs because those our brain recognizes as instant feel-good foods!
So for today’s challenge, be mindful of how much protein you. Are you getting enough?
I know that so many people want to lose weight this time of the year and we often make bad food choices despite good intentions. Food (including healthy protein) is nourishment!
Wishing you a great Monday my friends!
ps. are you continuing with our Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 challenges? I hope so – these aren’t just one day challenges you know, but a way to start a new focus :) xo