The “P” Word

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Happy Friday friends! Today we are going to talk about Protein! We will be discussing its many benefits, why it is essential to any diet, different foods that contain Proteins (for those of you with food allergies who may find certain means of getting Protein into your diet difficult,) and some mish-mash ways in which you can make homemade Protein shakes and avoid expensive and unregulated supplementation!

Like many of my articles, each one was inspired by a real conversation with someone, or a story from my life. Today’s topic of Protein is no different.

Early last week, a few friends of mine were asking me about Protein. Questions such as when to ingest it, what the best sources were, and so on. Questions like these are fairly general and run of the mill, meaning: I get these often.

But one question I received about Protein made me stop cold, because it took quite a bit of thought to understand the best way to answer the question.

It was posed as this: What is the best way to increase Protein intake via Shake if you are allergic to Milk products, avoid Soy because of your gender, and generally just have a lot of dietary restrictions?

Wooo! This one challenged me and really got me thinking. But before we delve into it, let’s first take a closer look at our subject matter.

Protein

So what’s the deal with Protein, and why is it important?

Protein is one of the fundamental building blocks of life as we know and understand it. In fact, every cell in your body contains Protein and just about every fluid in the body contains protein as well (save for Bile and Urine (at least, healthy urine is NOT supposed to have protein in it))

Your body uses Protein to repair and maintain itself. Like the maintenance crew of your body, without it, the slightest wear and tear would eventually become catastrophic. Repairing your road ways, patching your walls, and reinforcing structural integrity to your tissues, Protein is your guy.

 

Now, before we address the best way to keep our protein levels at a good maintenance level when faced with dietary restrictions for one reason or another, here’s a list of foods that contain this essential building block of life.

Dairy
                Milk
                Yogurt
                Cottage Cheese

Animal
               
Eggs
                Beef
                Poultry
                                Chicken, Duck, Goose, Turkey, etc.
                Pork
                Lamb
                Game Animals
                                Bison, Venison, Bear, etc.

Seafood
                Fish
                Shellfish

Beans
                Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Kidney Beans, Navy Beans, Soy Beans, Lima Beans, White Beans
                Chickpeas (Garbanzo)
                Lentils
                Peas

Quinoa

Seitan – WHEAT MEAT (Yes, this is “Meat” made out of wheat! Here’s a DIY recipe http://www.theppk.com/2009/11/homemade-seitan/ )

Soy Products
                Milk, Yogurt, Tofu, etc.

Nuts & Seeds
                Almonds, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pistachios, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds (Most of these can also be found in a spreadable form, such as “Peanut Butter.”)

Rice

 

Wow! So as you can see, there are A LOT of foods that contain Protein that span wide across the various food groups.

So, if you are someone who does not tolerate dairy well, you are still in luck! You have access to meats, beans, nuts, seeds, and many more solutions.

Vegetarian? No problem! There are still plenty of other foods that are nowhere near an animal product that contain that oh so important Protein.

 

Now, perhaps the most important part … If I wanted to make a homemade Protein shake, my base would be milk, yogurt, or soy so I could attain that creamy texture.

But what if I can’t, or don’t want to do Milk Products or Soy?

Never fear! Many nuts and seeds these days can be turned into creamy “milk” like products. For example, one of my FAVORITES is almond milk. In fact, I enjoy it so much that I have more or less replaced animal milk in my diet with Almond Milk.

As well, there are many Yogurts that are made from a Soy base that you can substitute if you are trying to avoid just dairy.

Here’s to hoping this helps any of you out there expand your horizons on what products to try ingesting for a new way to get your Protein on, and for those of you with dietary restrictions, I hope this will help you find new ways to meet your protein quotas without having to eat the SAME Protein laden foods ALL the time.

-Ferret, Out!

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