Almost half a year has past, since I began my 100 Degrees of Change. What have you done? Have you made just one degree of change or many degrees of change. My goal is to help you make an easy transition to a healthier lifestyle and planet. If we all make one degree of change, can you imagine what a different place this world would be?
After returning to U.S. soil, my transition back to my “normal” life has been exciting. When on my exotic travel through Morocco, I spent my quiet time meditating (Transendental meditation), to create some new opportunities. I was inspired by the beauty of the land. Our geography changed many times throughout the trip. We began and ended in Marrakech.
Our trekking led us through the High Atlas Mountains, where we spent five days in the village in Riad Tighza. We trekked from 1900 meters to around 2600 meters (8528 ft!) on several different treks. I sat by a river while the others trekked on. The power and intensity of the water flowing from the melting snow was like music. Of course the perfect opportunity to scour the river banks for stones to build a prayer rock.
Each rock has to be selected for size, color and shape. As I place each stone, I make a gratitude prayer. Sometimes asking to bring something into this world and sometimes to ask for something to be taken away. Each prayer rock is done with intention. And then I get to leave them behind with only a photographic image.
Prayer rock built in the Sahara Desert!
My desert prayer rock was done after meditating in the Sahara. The peace and quiet calmed my heart and soul. Not a sound other than the wind. The desert sand would burn the tops of my sandaled feet during the day but at night if felt as if you were dipping your toes into ice water. So I left a piece of my intention behind in Morocco.
Like the stones I used in my prayer rock, they are the building blocks of the structure. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein for the human structure. Last week I talked about eating like a caveperson. How do you know if you are getting enough protein to build muscle in the body? Well, here’s how we do it!
One Degree of Change #25: Eat 1/2 your bodyweight in grams of protein.
What on earth does that mean?? This simple calculation will give the amount of grams of protein that your body needs in a day. This amount will be approximately 30% of your dietary intake of protein for the day.
Here’s your equation:
Your bodyweight divided by 2 = grams of protein you should eat per day.
Example: 130 (my bodyweight) / 2= 65 (65 grams of protein per day)
One gram of protein= 4 calories, which means I would be eating (65 grams x 4) 260 calories of protein per day.
So why do we need protein? Well, proteins are complex organic compounds. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. They provide energy for your body. Every cell in the body has a protein component. Your hair and nails are mostly made of protein. You build muscle and repair tissue by ingesting protein. It is an important building block of muscles, cartilage, bones, skin and blood. You make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals from protein. Protein, as well as fats and carbohydrates, is a macronutrient, which means that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. But different than fats and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein. So, there is no reservoir to draw from when it needs a new supply.
Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids that hold hands to make all types of protein. Nine of them cannot be made by our bodies, so they are referred to as essential amino acids. This means that it is essential that our diet provides these. There are two types of protein. A complete protein source provides all the essential amino acids, usually called “high quality protein”. Animal-based foods, for example, eggs, cheese, milk, fish, poultry, and meat are considered complete proteins. The second type of protein is an incomplete protein. This means that source of protein is low in one or
more of the essential amino acids. Thirdly, we have complementary proteins. No, this doesn’t mean that the protein tells you that you have nice eyes or beautiful hair (sorry, couldn’t resist)! It means that it takes two or more incomplete protein sources that together provide adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids. This is what makes it so tricky to be a vegan. For now, let’s keep it simple. Pick the complete protein for now.
- Hamburger patty, 4 oz – 28 grams protein
- Steak, 6 oz – 42 grams
- Most cuts of beef – 7 grams of protein per ounce
Free range Chicken
- Chicken breast, 3.5 oz – 30 grams protein
- Chicken thigh – 10 grams (for average size)
- Drumstick – 11 grams
- Wing – 6 grams
- Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz – 35 grams
Wild caught Fish
- Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3 ½ oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce
- Tuna, 6 oz can – 40 grams of protein
Free range Eggs and Local Dairy
- Egg, large – 6 grams protein
- Milk, 1 cup – 8 grams
- Cottage cheese, ½ cup – 15 grams
- Yogurt, 1 cup – usually 8-12 grams, check label
- Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert) – 6 grams per oz
- Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss) – 7 or 8 grams per oz
- Hard cheeses (Parmesan) – 10 grams per oz
Here is your 5 step action plan:
- Calculate your protein requirement for the day.
Try free range eggs. We hard boil several at a time. I use this egg cooker by Cuisinart. Put the eggs in, turn it on, and it beeps when it’s done! No more green eggs!
- Add one protein source to each meal.
- Try a protein snack instead of fruit or sweet treats. It will keep your blood sugar level and keep you from being hungry.
- Purchase local grass fed and free range protein sources. Look at One Degree of Change #19 & 20 for sourcing.