There are a few things everyone should know about protein. First of all, most of us were raised with the "Protein Myth", to believe that the only source of real protein is through meat products. While meat products DO provide protein, they are not the ONLY source of protein available! Getting our protein from a variety of sources is very important, because we need to make sure we are getting as many different amino acids as we can. There are 20 different kinds of amino acids, several of which our body cannot create on it's own and we need to get them through our foods. These are called "essential amino acids". The best way to make sure we are getting a variety of the 20 different kinds of amino acids is to get a variety of proteins in our diet. When people let go of the myth that "meat is where I get my protein", they become open to other great sources of proteins and essential amino acids which will help their body function at it's very best!
Some non-meat high protein foods are;
Cheese (especially Mozzarella and cottage cheese)
Tofu, Soy, Soy Beans
Beans; Kidney beans, White beans, Lima Beans, fava beans, black beans etc
Eggs (especially egg whites)
Milk, Cheese, Yogurt
Nuts and Seeds (pumpkin seeds, almonds, etc)
I'm not saying you should or have to go vegetarian, just that it is beneficial for you to make sure you are getting your protein from a wide variety of sources!
The other thing everyone should be aware of with protein; is it safe? Do you know where it came from? In the case of meat... how was it raised, what was it fed, how was it processed? When it comes to other protein sources that are plant based; were they grown naturally? Organic? Are they from genetically modified crops? I know how it is, you're thinking "I would go crazy if I knew the truth about my food and where it came from. I'd rather not know." You're partly right, once you know the truth about this stuff, you can't forget it. You can't un-know it. But in this case, is Ignorance Bliss, or is Ignorance a death sentence? Studies have linked the consumption of conventionally raised meats with cancer and heart disease, hormonal disorders, etc. The long term effects of Genetically modified foods (GMOs) is still uncertain, but early testing of animals has shown a direct relationship between GMOs and cancer. The sad truth is, the food industry isn't interested in the quality of what they produce, as much as they are in the quantity, and in the end... the profit. So, even with your meats, there are healthy protiens in them... yes. But what else are you getting along with those proteins? I'm pretty sure a side effect of cancer or early heart disease is not what you wanted when you bought that steak.
What to do about it? Here is what you need to look for;
Clean Protein Options
- Organic, grass fed beef
- Organic, free range chicken and turkey
- Wild-caught fish
- free-range, organic eggs
- non GMO Soy
There are several documentaries available now which explore these ideas and the truth about the food industry. I would highly recommend you watch these;
Hungry For Change - http://www.hungryforchange.tv/
Food Inc. - http://www.takepart.com/foodinc/film
Food Matters - http://www.foodmatters.tv/
Frankensteer - http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/frankensteer_2005/
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead - http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/
Vegucated - http://www.getvegucated.com/
People tell me "I don't want to know." Just stop. You NEED to know. The only way we can make a change is to first wake up and be aware, and then we can know what changes to make! The more people start changing their eating habits (and their shopping habits), the industry will follow suit and change to provide the people with what they want!!
Today's Challenge was to substitute the protein in one of your favorite recipes with a "clean" protein from the list above.
This morning I had my daily protein shake. I love using Shaklee Energizing Soy Protein Powder* to make shakes, because it is high in protein, has essential amino acids, plenty of vitamins, and it is made using non-GMO Soy!
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 1/2 cup Almond Milk
3 Tablespoons Shaklee Energizing Soy Protein
1 tablespoon Flax Seeds
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
Put everything in the blender except for the Chia seeds. Blend until smooth. Add the Chia seeds when you pour the smoothie in a glass. Stir & enjoy!
*If you are interested in purchasing the Shaklee Energizing Soy Protein, or curious about other Shaklee brand products, contact me!
I also went to the store and found some Organic, Grass Fed beef to use in our spaghetti!
and a couple other things I found at the store, while I was in the process of locating clean and healthy proteins;