NUTRITION: DEMYSTIFYING PLANT BASED PROTEIN
Do you eat enough? What is enough? How do I know? To be honest it's all too confusing sometimes. I don't like to focus on numbers or exact measurements of macronutrients with my clients, as the body does not know numbers. It knows nutrients and vitamins.
I believe that if you're eating a balanced whole foods diet you don't have to stress about numbers. You do have to be mindful of portions, and not overdoing one macro over the other (my struggle is eating too much healthy fats! Hello avocados!). This also isn't healthy, as too much of a good thing, is also not good. Balance and mindfulness are two words that I use a lot in practice, and my daily life. I am not immune to overeating healthy food at times, eating too quickly, having too many healthy treats or not eating enough as I'm super busy or unprepared with my meals and snacks. It happens, I'm human, but what is most important is being and staying guilt-free. The stress and guilt is far worse than any healthy treat or overindulgence.
What I want to bring to awareness though is the beauty and importance of protein. What I'm going to focus on today is plant protein. Although I've been experimenting with eggs ( I had them once last week, and haven't had them since) I think that having them once a week will do my body good! I also mentioned that I consume GELATIN from Great Lakes, which has helped out my body a whole lot. This might not work for everyone, and I'm not 100% vegan, as I really don't agree with labels. I consume so much nutrient dense, and plant based foods, that supplementing with non-plant based proteins is fine by me. As long as they are hormone free, NONGMO and ethically sourced and raised. No one is alike, and therefore no way of eating is for everyone. I greatly encourage you and my clients to find out what works for them. That is why I believe in customizing my clients plans and programs.
The one thing that is over emphasized in the media though is how much protein we need! (the government wants the meat and dairy industry to profit, and therefore we are hit with campaigns on why you should eat more!).
The truth is, however, that you only need to eat about 0.36g/lb of your body weight* in protein, which a balanced plant-based diet more than covers. (which for my is around 46-47 grams).
The key to a protein-abundant plant-based diet is that not all protein is created equal.
Protein is composed of 20 amino acids, 11 of which your body produces naturally and 9 of which you can only obtain through food sources. The commonly tossed around term “complete protein” refers to a food source that has all 20 of these amazing amino acids. There are many delicious combinations that provide this complete source of nutrition. Just think of quinoa and lentils, hummus and carrot sticks, or almond butter on sprouted bread
What’s more is that the human body is amazingly proficient at utilizing its resources, combining all the food you’ve consumed over the course of several days to essentially keep a ‘store’ of amino acids it can pull from when it needs to to form a complete combination of amino acids*. Your body really is made up of beauty and brains. Don't try to out think or out train your body! It does know what is best.
I definitely notice a difference in my body when I'm more mindful of my protein intake, as I can sometimes get too carried away with healthy fats!
What about you? Do you run better off of one macronutrient than the other?
Happy 1st of July, and to my fellow Canadians - HAPPY CANADA DAY!