Increasing My Protein Intake

Happy Summer and Happy Hump Day! We are half way through the work week! That’s something to smile about.

I’m going to dive right in to today’s post because today I want to talk about protein. As many of you are aware, protein is one of the basic components of our diet along with fats and carbohydrates (vitamins, minerals, and water too). The ratio of these components that one needs in order to maintain a healthy balance depends on many factors such as sex, activity, strength training, illness, etc. I am not about to go into all of that today; today is just about the basics.

Protein is so incredibly important in the diet for a variety of reasons such as it is responsible for maintaining and rebuilding tissue throughout the body and it helps regulate the immune system and hormones. Simply put, protein provides energy we need to live and function properly.

Where do we get protein in the diet?

Animal Sources

  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Cheese

Plant Sources

  • Soy
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Vegetables
  • Whole Grains

Vegans and vegetarians have a more challenging time reaching their protein requirements because the body absorbs animal-based iron (heme iron) easier than the plant sources (non-heme). Oftentimes, supplements are just what it takes to help these individuals boost up their protein intake. Carnivores can benefit from supplements when needed as well.

Considering I am not a huge meat eater myself, and considering my current diet and health situation, I am in need of some protein help. I was really noticing that my protein intake was low as I was feeling hungry all.of.the.time. and pretty lethargic also. My body wasn’t getting the energy it needed, and still probably isn’t to be perfectly honest.  When I am eating my normal healthy diet, my proteins will typically come from beans, eggs, Greek yogurt, and nuts, but currently I have eliminated or at least decreased all of these items in my diet due to intestinal upset.

I needed some assistance, so I called in reinforcements, aka a protein supplement.

Nutiva Hemp Organic Protein Powder is made up of one ingredient: Organic Hemp Protein. This is a completely plant-based supplement and it does not contain any hexane, gluten, dairy, lactose, or sweeteners. For those of us who don’t tolerate lactose well, this is a better alternative compared to whey protein.

This particular protein contains a specific protein called edestin that is easier to digest than any other plant.

The Nutrition Facts Per 3 Tbsp:

  • 90 calories
  • 3 g fat
  • 9 g carbohydrate
  • 15 g protein
  • 8 g fiber*

*Currently, I am only able to use this supplement in small amounts (1 tablespoon or less) due to the fiber content. I realize that only using 1 tablespoon is only contributing to 5 grams of protein, but at this point, I will absolutely take all the help I can get.

The taste is very subtle, but does have a slightly plant-like scent. It presents itself in a very green fashion. Get it? Green like organic and also green in color. 😉

They recommend you mix it into smoothies, but I have gotten more creative and mixed it into my Cream of Wheat, and pureed black beans.

I’ve only had it since Monday so I haven’t had much time to get too crazy with it. But I will. I’m thinking or adding it into soups and sauces maybe?

Until I can begin incorporating some of my favorite protein foods back into my diet, I am going to supplement when I can and have also been working on boosting my meat intake slightly. This is usually in the form of chicken or fish, but occasionally Dana and I will cook with ground turkey or ground beef.

Anyway, that was my rant about protein. I am really missing my normal raw-food diet full of salads and raw veggies. I am trying to be patient with this whole colitis deal and let my body work to heal, but I wish it would work faster. I am so ready for fresh strawberries, fresh salsa, big old green salads, broccoli and hummus, black beans, corn on the cob, sugar snap peas, carrots…Come on body. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT.

Thank you all for being so patient with me and still supporting me and my blog even though my diet hasn’t been the most exciting lately. I have to remember that this is only temporary. Soon enough I will back to my old self. I can’t wait.

I got in a quick yoga session this am (second time this week). I want to get one more session in by Friday so that I reach my weekly goal in the June Yoga Challenge. I am loving the yoga!

Have a great day!

Question for YOU: Do you use protein supplements? Which one(s)? Do you like them?

5 thoughts on “Increasing My Protein Intake

    • Hi there! I am not a professional sports dietitian so I don’t know the in’s and out’s of reaching optimum results from protein shakes. We all need protein in our diets so you want to make sure you are getting enough protein in every day, and if you are strength training, you may need to increase your protein intake slightly. It would be best to consult a sports dietitian though! Thanks for reading!
      Melanie

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