Wednesday, March 9, 2011

missing something ... protein?

I'm digging into this right now. I microwaved it for a minute and sprinkled it with sea salt. This modest portion of edamame (3 oz. / 0.5 cups) contains 12 g of protein.

Do you know why I care about how much protein this has?

Because I have been SLUGGISH lately. And today I hit my breaking point. (Come to think of it, about this time last week I met a similar breaking point ...) I found myself super drained, unable to focus, hungry, grumpy. And I mean this was on an "am I getting sick??" level.

No good reason! I had my morning exercise, my delicious oatmeal/fruit/honey/almond milk breakfast. I had my 12 oz. of coffee.


It was incredibly frustrating. And I continued to feel unwell after my (healthy!) lunch of homemade grain bread, hummus, veggies, granola bar.

On top of all this, I have this nagging feeling that my late-afternoon sleepies (which I experience nearly every day) are entirely avoidable ...

So I wanted to get to the bottom of it.

So I dug into the numbers behind my entire food intake for yesterday and found I'd consumed around 30 grams of protein.

*Ahem* That is not enough. (And this is where I really want to start reading serious, trustworthy, educational materials about nutrition and such, because all I can say is that) I've seen several references to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine that folks get about 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight.

That would put me at 45 grams per day if I weren't active. (125 lbs. divided by 2.2 to get my weight in kilograms, by the way.) But when I add activity I should add protein, too.

This article on [ehh?] suggests that if I'm active, I should take my weight in pounds and multiply it by 0.6 to calculate my grams of protein per day. That brings me up to 75.

If that number seems a little steep, at least it suggests a range to guide me. And 30 does *not* fall between 45 and 75 grams of protein.

taking-action time

I'm going to forgo the gym tomorrow (seriously, I'm still quite tired), which kinda bums me out because I was looking forward to my second Body Pump class (have I mentioned that yet? I suppose not ... I went on Tuesday, I used the absolute smallest amount of weight possible and I *still* found myself struggling at times. It was great, of course).

I will eat a bean and egg breakfast (overkill?).

And I think it's about time for me to bone up on protein-rich veggies, beans, etc. (I eat meat. I will not shun it. [Ever?] But I'm happy to eat it in moderation and I want to get most of my protein from non-meat sources.)

I asked for advice from muh Facebook friends, and folks suggested (list!):

» edamame (see above)
» cottage cheese (I love it! But I must use moderation here, too, because cheese is one of my over-eater foods)
» hemp seed powder (what the what?! I can't wait to find out what this is like)
» quinoa
» tofu
» tempeh
» seitan
» nuts
» avocado
» kashi cereals (which I totally wanna learn how to scratchmake)

It's a great list. I want it to grow. And now I'm wondering what other food groups, vitamins, minerals, fats, etc. I could work into my diet to bring a better balance to meals.

For now, though, focusing on protein seems like the plan ...


  1. I've made this salad from Macheesmo a few times and it's quite tasty. Very hearty and filling and I imagine it's got plenty of protein in it between the quinoa and chick peas. It's kind of pointy, I think I calculated it at 8 points per serving at about a cup per serving but if you have that just as a meal that's fine. Loads of veggies, protein and fiber in one go! Plus it's tasty!:)

  2. Dayum that looks tasty! And pesto! That's the magic work in our house. Also: a good way to test out quinoa (which I *still* haven't cooked/eaten yet ...)

    Thank you!