Wherefore Art Thou, Protein?
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
I am notoriously low on my proteins. I have been from the beginning of this journey. Most of this is because I am not a fan of red meat. In fact, I actively avoid it when possible. I don't care for the consistency or the taste, no matter what spices I am using. Sounds horrible, huh?
I need a way to boost my protein intake each and every day, and this is taking some fair amount of thought. I had been eating a greek yogurt every day, but it tends to be expensive and I can't afford it as much these days. I eat peanut butter every day, but that's mostly because I need the iron. Perhaps I should incorporate more eggs into my day?
It's hard being a carb junkie and trying to get healthy. Growing up my mom always made sure there was at least one vegetable on my plate each day. Unfortunately for her, and for me, I disliked them so much I found new and creative ways of hiding them. She wasn't very inventive in her veggie choices, either. Wax beans looked gross, smelled gross, and tasted worse. Corn was ok, but only if I could smother it in butter and dowse it in salt. Even then I'd have to hide them in my mashed potatoes to choke them down. Sunday was the worse day of the week. Lunch was always steak, wax beans, boiled potatoes and a slice of bread. She'd allow me two slices of bread if I was having a particularly difficult time with the steak. Even then I'd make it into a sandwich, eat about half of the steak and feed the rest to the cats under the table. When she caught on, I'd hide the steak in my pocket, my socks, you name it. I'd later feed it to my cat. Either way, my cat ate great on Sunday. I didn't fair so well though, despite my parents best efforts.
These bad habits in my youth helped to form the adult I became. Once I was in my own place, I got down to the lowest weight in my adult life. A whopping 135 pounds, which at 5'9" tall is a bit underweight. That was thanks to having a budget of $25 a month for groceries. I learned to live on peanut butter, crackers, cereal, ramen, white bread and milk. Extremely carb heavy. In a good month I could even afford pasta and sauce. When I got my bonus every year, I splurged on eggs. I had no car, so I walked to and from work every night (I worked 3rd shift), and slept all day. In four years I took no vacation time and no sick time. The one time I called out of work was because it was snowing very heavily and the plows were out. My boss drove to my house to pick me up.
Reflecting on this now shows me that when I was healthiest, I got plenty of cardio exercise but ate a very unbalanced diet. At my heaviest, I ate poorly and didn't exercise enough. Somewhere in me there has to be a balance point. I just need to find it.
I would never go back to those meager days on my own. I realize now what toll I took on my body. I am thankful my daughters are not so finicky as I was, and that they love their red meat and their veggies. If they could just exercise more, they'd have their balance. Now if I can get to my balance point, then I can lead by example.
Now that's something worth working towards!