Saturday, January 24, 2015

Nutrition Discoveries 101: Importance of Eating enough Proteins

Today I want to start a series of posts about simple nutrition tips that are so easy to forget to do on a day-to-day basis, especially when you have kids, which have a critical impact on our long-term health.

As the post name reveals, today I want to write about Proteins.

To me it seemed for a very long time as the most non-important part of my diet. Watching sugar intake-yes, drinking enough water-yes, obtaining enough of different vitamins and minerals-yes, but I never counted proteins I ate. Well, let me tell you- I was wrong and I should have listened to my Phys.Ed teacher better. I definitely underestimated the role they play in our health.
And now just 4 weeks of a protein-rich diet proved that for me.

It was not until I had tried a variety of vitamins and minerals supplements and was still feeling low on energy, I had come across a Metagenics practitioner, who advised me to watch my protein intake. She explained that consuming enough protein plays a very important role in the way our body burns fat and distributes nutrients. So, pretty much it is sometimes even more important then doing a lot of physical exercises for building healthy muscles.

So, for four weeks my goal was to consume 90g of protein a day(110g for men) (where half a handful of nuts only contains about 10g, cup of soy milk-about 6 g, 100g of turkey breast, steak or lamb-30g, tablespoon of hemp protein-10g (I will write a separate post about them later-quite an amazing addition to anyone's diet who is after a nice combination of protein, omega 3s, vitamins and minerals which can be added to smoothies, juices etc).

As I mentioned earlier, I had been reading nutrition labels and  paying particular attention to all of the hidden ingredients on all of my foods since I was 15, but never paid attention to the protein content. Call me silly, but I always considered that it was only important for guys who had a very high metabolism and were after really big muscles.

So, it was quite exciting to be learning that it wasn't the case and me not consuming enough proteins resulted in my metabolism working slower than it should have with all the further consequences. So, here I was writing down all of the proteins I ate for two weeks and also making sure that I also ate six handfulls of veggies(raw, cooked or juiced) a day, minimum fruit, no breads, beans or legumes.

Let me tell you, I tried raw diet, vegetarian, vegan, no dairy, no wheat, but never anything like this. So, it was a bit of a challenge, but at the end of it I felt great, full of energy, lost a few centimeters of the waist line,  and definitely going to be using some of the recipes and hints I learnt from the program in the future. The program is called "Shake it". You can find more about it here>>>

In the actual initial diagnostics part I quite liked that blood analysis was performed in addition to the body composition analysis and at the end of the 4 weeks I saw how my blood cells moved a lot more freely then they used to. That was pretty cool and informative.

If I knew about it, I would have definitely done this before and after each one of my pregnancies, as it is a pretty nice way of checking how the whole body is doing: if any of the vitamins, minerals or essential fatty acids are missing or low etc. The same Metagenics practitioner worked with both of my girls and I was also quite impressed with the results.

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