The Perfect Protein

The Perfect Protein

I know I usually write about spiritual subjects. But trust me, when you’re not eating right, you can really feel weighed down and unspiritual. So, I thought I’d share a little about healthy eating on the go.

When I was a young man, for eighteen years, I was a vegetarian. We used to call mixing rice and beans together a perfect protein. Today, there is no such thing as an imperfect protein, so there is no need to balance something like beans with a carb to make it more perfect. Whew. What a relief, right? How many times have you found yourself wondering if you could eat just cheese and not a cracker? Would it assimilate in your body the same?

Actually, beans and cheese do better eaten alone and not with carbs. They both already have enough carbs in them to balance them. So, if you’re considering beans for dinner, eat bean soup. If you’re wanting cheese for a snack, eat just a chunk of cheese, preferably mozzarella, because it’s the easiest to digest. Low fat cottage cheese is also good for a snack.

One of the most fascinating things in my work is to find out what most people think is a healthy diet. I have people who call me almost daily saying that they would like to come in for weight loss hypnosis.

Then there is a big pause. “I know all there is to know about losing weight,” they say. “I’ve been on about twenty diets and none of them worked. So, you can save that part of the session for someone else. Let’s just do the hypnosis.”

“Okay,” I say, “then just bring in a diary of a week’s worth of eating, drinking and exercise, please. I should be able to get the gist of what I need from that.”

“Alright.” I hear a reticent sigh. “I guess I can do that.”

Then that person comes in with the diary. Breakfast is 2 cups of coffee with 3 sugars, a piece of toast with jelly, and a glass of juice. –Well, who wouldn’t think that was a healthy breakfast? It had all the food groups, right?

WRONG! It was missing the most important food group for energy, protein. Plus it had 6 teaspoons of sugar, jelly (mostly sugar), and juice (liquid sugar). Also, coffee has enough acid in it to make you very, very hungry after about an hour. It can also give you a sour stomach and make you not hungry, but then postpone ravenous hunger for lunch or those donuts someone brought in for work.

Am I talking to the choir?

Okay, then lunch… Most people go out for lunch because they work. So, the majority of people are trying to find healthy food where healthy dining is a mere impossibility, especially if it’s in the work place where food is catered. I’ve been there, I know. You get a sandwich (too much bread), some carb side dish (chips usually… more carbs and grease), a cookie (sugar and carbs) and a soda (liquid sugar). Is it no wonder we fall asleep at work?

Most of the time I’m trying to help people find what is healthy in the few things that were ordered and take advantage of those few things. If you get a sandwich, you can always take the protein off and eat just that with half or quarter of the bread. If it comes with a pasta salad, you can eat half, instead of all of it. If you have the choice of any fresh fruit or vegetables, by all means choose those. And if you can drink just water, please do that as well. And save the cookie for the guy on the corner selling newspapers. He probably needs the carbs. Sitting on your butt at the computer all day doesn’t count as exercise.

Dinner is most people’s chance to catch up with all the places they went wrong all day. But still, they get home hungry from work, don’t feel like cooking, and end up buying something premade on the way home from work. When you’re hungry, you almost always choose the wrong food. Trust me, you will make bad choices when you are ravenous.

Here is a sure fire way to make healthy choices for a week long of fast paced eating: Pick one day of the weekend when you have a couple hours for grocery shopping and cooking, because we are going to do all the preparing at one time, while you are motivated. You are going to go the store and buy your favorite fruit and vegetables, a couple packages of some kind of tender, lean protein, (can be vegetarian if you like and fish), a couple potatoes, an onion, you may need some seasonings. Also, pick up some protein powder, plain yogurt, and some frozen fruit. If you are inclined, get some protein bars as well and maybe some kind of fruit and nut mix for a snack.

When you get home, I want you to get a beautiful bowl and arrange your vegetables and fruit in the bowl so they look gorgeous. Think CORNUCOPIA!

Place some Saran wrap around them and put them in the middle of your refrigerator. Then make a small stew of some of your veggies and one of your proteins, potato and onion. While that is cooking, grill or bake your other protein so that it is almost cooked. Season these with things that you like.

If you are bereft of ideas on how to season, you can get my cookbook: “The Protein Powered Vegetarian” on Amazon. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, all the seasonings for the stews and protein dishes are the same.

Then when you get ready for work on the first day of the week, make a quick protein shake with the ½ cup yogurt, cup of frozen fruit, ½ banana, and a scoop of protein powder.

For lunch, grab a container of that stew and a couple pieces of fruit. Make sure you take some snacks like nuts and protein bars so you won’t be tempted with the bad stuff.

For dinner, when you get home, most of your dinner will be made. All you have to do is figure out a side dish and warm up the protein. Voila! You have a great week of food with a minimal amount of stress and lots of healthy choices.

Now you even have time to exercise!  LOL

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