Friday, November 30, 2007

How to Add Protein to your Day

Appraising Your Success
The end of the week is a good time to review the past week of your SWEET Life and count up your accomplishments. Your goal is 5-6 times per week for each aspect of the SWEET Life: Sleep, Water, Eating, Exercise, and Tranquility. If you didn’t achieve some of your goals for the week, then next week, focus on those areas more and think about how to fulfill them more consistently.
How do you feel at the end of this week? Are you better rested? Do you feel relaxed? Are you more energetic? Do you feel generally healthier? Continue with the SWEET Life and you’ll experience all of these feelings!

Topic of the week -- How to Add Protein to your Day
Protein is very important to your body. Protein is one of the big 3: protein, carbohydrates & fat, which are the major components our bodies need. Protein builds and repairs tissues, such as nails, hair, muscles, hormones, enzymes, bones, skin and blood. Protein also makes you feel satisfied longer after a meal. Our bodies do not store protein, so we must eat it every day. However, most Americans eat a lot more protein than their bodies need, which is five to seven ounces a day. That’s less than an 8 oz. steak or ½ lb. burger. Dieting women, on the other hand, have a tendency to skimp on protein because it tends to have more calories and fat than other types of foods. However, the focus should be on nutrient-dense foods, more so than on calories or fat content.

In order to consume an array of nutrients along with our protein, it is a good idea to eat a variety of sources of protein. Some examples are: fish, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, soy, low-fat dairy products, eggs, pork, and lean beef. For an exhaustive list of sources of protein, go to the USDA National Nutrient Database for protein at:
(The first five pages (out of 25) list the most protein-dense foods. But be sure to look at the “common measure” because some of them are rather high quantities, for example, half a duck.)

As important as which foods have protein is how to incorporate protein into our meals. Here are some suggestions:

Breakfast: an egg, ½ cup cottage cheese, 1 cup low-fat yogurt, milk or soy milk, 1 ½ oz. cheese, whole wheat bread

Lunch: Of course, the traditional lunch sandwich has meat, which contains protein, but some other ideas are: grilled cheese, tuna, peanut butter; soups such as lentil, split pea or chili; whole wheat macaroni & cheese

Snacks: a handful of nuts, edamame, apple or banana topped with peanut butter, pretzels dipped in cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese & apples

Dinner: Of course, the traditional American dinner has meat at its center, which contains protein, but some other ideas are: cottage cheese melted over cooked pasta (a protein-rich, alfredo-like sauce); nuts tossed on a salad; beans tossed on a salad or in soup; stew with beans, tofu, or meat; stir-fries with tofu or meat; burgers with patties made from lean beef, chicken, tofu, or protein-rich garden burgers.

In conclusion, enjoy eating protein, don’t eat too much, and eat it from a variety of sources.


Have a SWEET week!


No comments: