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KFWOHLFORD SparkPoints: (3,013)
Fitness Minutes: (2,581)
Posts: 729
2/19/13 2:51 P

I don't think it's very important to get as much protein in your diet as your daily allowance requires. I aim for at least 40 grams a day, and most days I probably get more, but if I was full at the end of the day I wouldn't eat more food just to fill up on protein.

Edited by: KFWOHLFORD at: 2/19/2013 (14:52)
RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
2/19/13 1:30 P

I get my chicken from an Amish store. They don't use the preservatives, and don't freeze it, and leave it in a warehouse. Plus they let it live it's life on a normal farm. It is amazing how much better the chicken tastes. I don't really have any moral qualms about the chickens being penned in together. However I mistrust the people who are trying so hard to make money. I should probably care about the quality of life of the chicken, but my major concern is that they would do anything to make more profit, and that makes it more likely they will do something that makes the chicken unhealthy. I like the fact that the Na is 1/4 than the stuff in regular stores. I am sure all the chemicals, and preservatives that are missing are a big help too. The idea that it tastes different though really shocked me. What the hell did they do to the regular store chicken??

KERI414 SparkPoints: (3,861)
Fitness Minutes: (2,091)
Posts: 12
2/19/13 2:46 A

Nutiva makes a great hemp protein powder that tastes great with unsweetened almond milk and fruit. Beans are a decent source of protein as are lentils. I also really like split peas.

I know what you mean about not wanting to eat too much meat. I eat meat once per day usually with 1-2 meat-free days and my cholesterol is a profoundly low 118 :) I limit dairy to treats though too.

SCREAMINGFLEA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (6,830)
Posts: 37
2/19/13 12:12 A

Melissa, I LOVE tofu!! I grew up on Asian cuisine so I consider it "soul food." I tend to go through a brick or two a month. I cook for one, so that's a lot. emoticon

Tonight I made a big pot of honey baked lentils from the More With Less cookbook. That cookbook has been a mainstay for me for many years, but this particular recipe is a first. I baked up some corn bread to go with it. I'm not actually vegetarian, I just feel better when I limit my meat consumption to once a day. That ickiness isn't philosophical, it's my arteries talking.

VESUVIOUS SparkPoints: (27,345)
Fitness Minutes: (31,997)
Posts: 785
2/18/13 11:05 P

if I don't eat cottage cheese each day I can't get enough protein. I don't like the taste but it is a must to make my daily food balance out.

2/18/13 8:10 P

Do you like tofu? I'm a vegetarian and I strangely seem to end up okay on the protein end, because I seriously love tofu. My new thing is BBQ tofu w/ cajun spice, but you can do italian / garlic tofu, tofu burritos, etc. Tofu is also low calorie, filling, and CHEAP. $1.87 a block at our Kroger. My friend marinates and grills it. I think you can also make milkshakes with it - although I've never tried - or mix it with spinach and ricotta to make a creamy veggie casserole dish. Bean dishes are also high in protein - veggie chili is yum.

Another thing that helps me - eat something from each food group at every meal. I follow the spark meal plans mostly, so that helps, but I've noticed the plans seem to follow this pattern. A fruit at every meal, a veggie at lunch and dinner, a protein and dairy at every meal, etc.

And perhaps make sure you have eggs for breakfast.

Edited by: MELISSALOVE38 at: 2/18/2013 (20:13)
SCREAMINGFLEA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (6,830)
Posts: 37
2/18/13 2:52 P

Thanks for the help everyone!

To answer your questions, I should clarify on a few points:

* All my grains are whole grains. I have to because I'm hypoglycemic, and they taste better anyway. I realize that my carbs are off the charts compared to veggies and protein. I've started eating a lot of quinoa because of the higher protein content.

* Weird meals. Somebody mentioned a cup of bread cubes ... I couldn't find it when I went back, but that usually means that whatever I listed is close to the real thing but I couldn't find it listed and didn't have the time to enter the whole thing into the system. The recipe website can be time consuming.

* The half and half is a work in progress. I'm a coffee snob, and I've slowly been tapering back. I used to add a lot of sugar as well, and now I'm down to it being sugarless. I plan to cut back on the half and half now too, with a goal of being happy with one tablespoon or even a teaspoon. But you're right, I am using a lot now. I may experiment with plain milk, but I've never liked that in my coffee.

* The same goes with the butter. I don't want to use margarine, but I'm working on using less butter and substituting with jam or almond butter.

* Whole foods. As I learn more, I've made an increasing investment in organics. I pay more and go out of my way to get dairy made without rBST. I do most of my cooking from scratch so I have total control over what goes into it. I've always enjoyed cooking, so that isn't much of a change. I live in the hippie capital of the world (the Pacific Northwest of course!) so it's pretty easy to find whatever I need.

* With my next paycheck I plan to make the switch to Politically Correct Meats - no antibiotics, fillers, chemical treatments, grass-fed, and otherwise cruelty free. I've found that the difference in flavor is off the charts. It costs a fortune, but it's so much healthier that I'll get much better mileage out if it in terms of nutrition and satiation.

* My low calorie counts. When I first started trying to lose weight, I experimented with eating until I felt satiated rather than my good standing with the Clean Plate Club. I found that I got the same mileage out of eating less. No surprise there. As I eat more organic, I get satiated even sooner because the nutritional content is so much better. So while I'm not eating much overall, my energy level is fine.

* The brownies. Oh, those beautiful brownies!! That's a tough one. My job (at a mental health clinic) is very emotionally draining. Those brownies fit my criteria above - all organic and no fillers, and as such they taste DIVINE. And to maximize the temptation as much as possible, the store is right in front of the bus stop on my way home. As with the rest of my diet, I've slowly transitioned up the quality scale from ho-hos to Hersheys to these yuppie brownies. Having some chocolate really helps me unwind at the end of some very trying days, but maybe I could upgrade to the superdark cacao. I could keep it in the freezer at home to reduce the temptation to gorge on it.

As I look back over the tracker, I realized that it doesn't differentiate between the different types of fat. While I use a lot of it, I do most of my cooking with olive or sesame oil. So maybe I'm not doing so badly after all. On the other hand, I did a blood test recently and found that my bad cholesterol is 186. Not catastrophic, but a red flag. So some extra scrutiny can't hurt.

I really appreciate all the feedback you've given me. Please keep it coming!

Edited by: SCREAMINGFLEA at: 2/18/2013 (14:58)
NIRERIN Posts: 14,274
2/18/13 9:26 A

for starters, shop around for a new bread. ezekial has 80 cals a slice with .5 g fat and 4 g protein and on a day where you had 1.5 slices of daves [180 cals, 5 g fat and 9 g protein] having 2 slices of ezekial [160 cals, 1 g fat and 8 g protein] save you 20 cals and four grams of fat [though yes, you'd lose a gram of protein, but you could easily make that up somewhere else].

when you're only eating 1300 cals, you really don't have room for discretionary calories. the 1200 minimum is there so that you can get all the nutrients you need so that only leaves you with about 100 cals discretionary cals, tops. so on the 17th you had 40 cals of agave, 200 cals of brownie, and 50 cals of chips. that's 300 cals of stuff that had you skipped you would have had an easier time fitting in the necessities. on the 16th you only ate 700 cals, which is one reason why you got nowhere near your ranges.

you had bread and butter as breakfast one day. you need to skip the butter and find something with protein to put on it. meat works. beans work. meat substitutes work. eggs work. tofu works. cheese works.

if you make your own tossed salad, enter the ingredients separately so that you can get a more accurate count of what you are getting. also, add beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, meat, tuna anything like that to boost the content of said salad.

instead of topping your baked potato with sour cream and butter, try broccoli and cheese. you can get a cup of broccoli for the same calories that you're spending on the condiments and you'll get some fiber and protein instead of fat. if you must have something thick and creamy on your potato, use greek yogurt. you'll swap the fat for protein.

on the fourteenth i cannot figure out why you would have 100 cals of white bread cubes or 3 half and half packets as part of your dinner. that would save you 150 cals for actual food right there.

you need to actually start getting in full servings of protein. for meats, if you choose to eat them, that's going to be 3-4 oz. for beans, you're looking at half a cooked cup. if you go with lentils 1/4 cup dry is 70 cals and 9 g protein. you could add that to pasta dishes, plop them on salads or make loaves or patties with them.
is a great make your own option.

and you really need to cut back on your discretionary calories [ie calories that don't contribute to anything that you need]. you're sticking to the bottom of the ranges, which means you have less room for them, but you seem to be having several hundred calories of them a day. which means that those discretionary calories are taking up calories for the foods you should be eating. if you cut those out, you'll have a lot more room for the foods you need to get in [and you'll have a lot more wiggle room in fat].

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
2/18/13 9:05 A

Start paying attention to the ratio of fat to protein. The reason meat is a favorite source of protein for most people is the protein grams are about 2X the fat grams. I eat 24 ozs of b/s chicken thighs a day, and get 120 grams of protein with 54 grams of fat. So the calories are about the same fat versus protein. Many of your dishes have more fat grams than protein grams, and that is where you need to look to cut.

Since you don't want to eat meat, vegetables are actually a good way to replace the protein. Especially beans.I eat canned veggies, so I am just going by can totals. Butter beans have 17.5 grams of protein, with just 3.5 grams of fat. Sweet peas have 14 grams of protein, and just 1.75 grams of fat. Kidney beans have 13.4 grams of protein versus,9 grams of fat per cup. Another high protein, low fat food is eggs whites.

I am not sure if you consider fish, and chicken to be meat, instead of fish and fowl, but if not, these would be the easiest way to get more protein, and less fat.

LDION2005 SparkPoints: (18,565)
Fitness Minutes: (15,602)
Posts: 478
2/18/13 8:59 A

I just bought a new can of protein powder. I am low every day too. Last summer I had a shake a day after my workout-as recommended by my personal trainer. I have to be careful to adjust my other eating to allow for the calories they have. Did feel better then.

DANAKA4 Posts: 876
2/18/13 8:37 A


SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,201)
Fitness Minutes: (41,449)
Posts: 26,963
2/18/13 2:05 A

I had a quick peek going back over a few days, and one thing that I noticed was that you don't eat much in the way of fruit/veges. Perhaps if you increase them (even THEY have some protein, but very little fat) you will notice a wee bit of a difference in the fat/carb/protein balance.

Also, altho' they weren't a lot, some of the cookies and couple other choices were quite high in fat.

If meat makes you feel 'icky' then there ARE other ways of getting protein. Using low fat milks like soy milk are good. Just make sure that any substitute milk you get is comparable to ordinary milk because some don't have much protein.

Other protein sources are:
Chick Peas
Beans ...
.... they all go beautifully in soups and casseroles. They are filling and very healthy, too.

Rice is a high carb with most of the fibre removed, so if/when you eat it you are better off to use brown rice. I don't use as much, either, because it is carb loaded - and higher in calories than some other starches (potato being one) Perhaps one way of helping to keep you fuller for longer AND helping to meet your protein needs is to make a big smoothie with a variety of fruit, yoghurt, oat bran and some low-fat milk powder or protein powder. That way you can consume it during the day.

Below is a link with a lot of ways to meet your Protein needs:

I hope that you find this helpful

ONELITTLEPILL SparkPoints: (71,826)
Fitness Minutes: (42,408)
Posts: 1,056
2/18/13 1:56 A

I have trouble with this as well. A few things I like (besides meat and fish) that always seem to help me stay in my target ranges are: low-fat cottage cheese, light string cheese, yogurt, special K cereal, reduced-fat peanut butter and eggs. These help fill the void for me- and really keep me full for a long time, too. Good luck to you!

SCREAMINGFLEA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (6,830)
Posts: 37
2/18/13 1:38 A

I'm a little stymied by this. I try to eat enough meat/fish/tofu, but I always come up short on the protein and overload on the carbs and fat. But most especially the fat. I prefer not to eat meat more than once a day because it makes me feel ... icky. So I fill the void with protein bars and almond butter, beans and rice.

Would anyone be willing to take a look at my nutrition records to give me some feedback?

Edited by: SCREAMINGFLEA at: 2/18/2013 (01:40)
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