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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!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Beans, beans, are good for your heart!
    The more you eat, the more you - well you get the picture!

    But they are loaded with protein. I found a way to make fake ground beef with black beans and quinoa and use my concoction in tacos.
    1952 days ago
    I remember those young, poor days.:)
    You're doing great, just find those proteins that appeal to you.
    1953 days ago
    In my opinion - for what it's worth - eggs are a good choice!!
    1958 days ago
    Don't feel to badly about not having red meat.For me it tends to be the food that gives me the worst heartburn or GERD symptoms, so I hardly ever eat it. I agree with the others, they gave some very good suggestions on including more protein in your food choices.
    1958 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    I remember going to college on a budget. I ate a limited diet of nutrients and portions. Was at my lowest adult weight. At times, I can't believe I was that low.
    1958 days ago
    I understand where you are coming from and I was that way too for awhile. Then I started talking to people, looked on Pintrest and started being creative in the kitchen. I learned to make dried beans, lentils and all sorts of things into a soup/stew. I took what we really liked and mixed it with some stuff that was just ok and let the flavors blend. I have a set of spices that I use on everything and could make the worse stuff taste better. I've been trying new veggies that I hadn't even heard of before such as the turban squash and found a whole new selection of stuff we now love.

    Use your imagination and try it. If you don't like it, don't have it again but you'll be surprised at the results. I never, ever ate black beans and now, I just love them. Full of protein and so versitale. Read about my soup in today's blog!
    1958 days ago
    I was going to suggest smoothies, but see you have that suggestion already! You'd be surprised what goodies you can put into a smoothie and make it taste acceptable to the picky palate.

    Otherwise, you're wise when you say there has to be a balance in diet and exercise to be healthy. Definitely!! Too much of one thing or another is not good for our health.

    Good luck and keep pushing!
    1958 days ago
  • ELAYNE39
    Fish is a good low calorie source of protein. Even the cheaper kind like cod or swai. Cottage cheese is a good protien source as well and if you get it on sale the cost is pretty good. You can get beans in the dry form in bulk at most grocery store and they are cheap.
    1958 days ago
    Try beans, lentils, soy, dairy products, fish, nuts and if none of that helps try smoothies with added protein supplements or soft tofu (has the consistency of yogurt). Just beware some things packed with protein are also packed with fat. I have the same complication, but when I start getting too low I try one of these things. emoticon
    1958 days ago
  • TOPCAT93
    red meat is full of bad things keep going tho
    1958 days ago
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