• Mary

Let's Talk...Protein!

Are you getting enough OR are you over doing the whole protein intake thing??


First, what is protein?

Proteins are macronutrients (composed of large molecules) made up of a bunch of long-chain amino acids which are vital to our nutrition and life. These (amino acids) are the building blocks of muscle tissue and many other physiologic processes, like energy, recovery, fat loss ,etc. So, what we’re after are those building blocks (the amino acids) of protein to sustain us. We (humans) have to obtain these nutrients from our diet. We need 9 essential amino acids…sometimes you get them from 1 single food (these are called "complete proteins"), and sometimes you need to combine foods to get them all.

Now that you know what proteins are and why we need them in our diets, let’s talk about how much an average person (even a fit one) needs on a daily basis.

“Adults require no more than 0.8 or 0.9 grams of protein per healthy kilogram of body weight per day. So, that’s like your ideal weight in pounds, multiplied by four, and then divided by ten.” Here’s an example: if you’re 130 pounds you’re daily recommendation is around 52 grams of protein. Here’s the kicker…most people are eating WAY WAY WAY more than what’s actually needed. I am not here to judge you if you’re a meat/cheese/dairy eater. I just want y'all to be more mindful about what and how much you’re putting into your bodies. So, a palm size serving of meat (~3-4oz), which is the recommended serving size, gives you between 23-30g of protein, and let’s be honest, hardly anyone eats a portion that small (if you do then just ignore this…I’m personally terrible at portion control). So, go ahead and double that portion bc that’s more likely the size you’ve been eating, and viola! You’ve hit your daily intake needs. Go you! There’s no need to eat it at every single meal or every single time you pick up a snack for that matter. Also, if you have a balanced diet there are small amounts of protein in grains, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc.

This now leads me to the questions every plant-based person gets asked (probably on a daily basis)…How do we hit our protein requirements?? Now that you know our daily requirements are likely a little lower than you originally realized, we can easily hit our daily targets by incorporating foods like nuts, seeds, quinoa, buckwheat, protein powders, soy products (preferably fermented), etc. I LOVE LOVE smoothies so I typically can always bank on getting around 20-40g of protein from my smoothie alone. The sky is the limit really.

So in summary, no judgement on anyone! I only want all of you to be more mindful about what you’re putting into your bodies…omnivores, herbivores, whoever! I hope this helps and clears up some of the confusion.

DM me with any questions you might have!!

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