“Most people think lean physiques are built on protein powders and shakes. Truth is the leanest people eat mostly REAL food.” – Jill Coleman
Protein, a macronutrient that every cell of your body needs, is an essential part of a h
ealthy diet. There are both animal and plant sources of protein, each providing different types of protein – complete or incomplete.
A complete protein contains all nine of the essential amino acids that your body needs. Animal sources like lean meat and poultry are sources of complete protein.
An incomplete protein is missing one or more of the essential amino acids that your body needs. Plant sources like grains and legumes contain significant amounts of protein, but need to be combined with other incomplete proteins in order to provide all nine essential amino acids.
Combining incomplete proteins together, or eating a combination of complete and incomplete proteins, is a way to ensure you are getting all the essential amino acids your body needs. Here are complementary proteins that make complete proteins:
Whole Grains + Legumes
whole wheat bread with peanut butter
brown rice and beans
Whole Grains + Dairy
granola and yogurt
whole wheat pasta and cheese
Vegetables + Dairy
broccoli and cheese
veggie lasagna with cheese
Protein intake should be measured on a daily basis, not necessarily on a per-meal basis. Growing kids need about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight and adults need about ½ a gram of protein per pound of body weight. This isn’t difficult, as protein is found in many foods and can add up quickly!
If you’re a vegetarian, don’t worry! There are an abundance of plant-based protein sources including vegetables like tomatoes, spinach, broccoli and kale and legumes and beans like soybeans, kidney beans, tofu and lentils.
If you’re ready to explore a variety of plant and animal based protein options, but need help getting started, contact me to schedule a pantry makeover – the first step to a healthier you. Want to learn more about the health benefits of protein?
Over Cooking: This can lead to dry food and, if you’re grilling fish, over grilling can create a stronger fishy flavor. To prevent dryness, turn your grill on high and quickly sear both sides of your meat to lock in the juices. Then, reduce the heat and finish cooking.
Charbroiling Your Food: Charbroil on meat contains harmful, cancer-causing carcinogens. Watch out!
Cross Contamination: Raw meat coming into contact with other food, plates or utensils can be dangerous. Separate your grilling items in one cooler and your other food in another cooler to avoid cross contamination and food borne illnesses.
High Fructose Corn Syrup: This is found in many dressing, BBQ sauces, and drinks and can even be found in bread! Read the labels of your grilling ingredients and condiments to make sure you avoid HFCS whenever possible.