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Monday, May 24, 2010

Raw Foods - Where Does The Protein Come From??

Three months ago I couldn't get out of bed, heart palipatations (that I stupidly kept to myself) and a lot of other issues. My stomach got strange and often sharp pains, I couldn't sleep and I felt horrible all the time. I just wanted to sleep. Daily life was getting harder and harder for me.

When we hopped on the raw food train, everyone started asking me, "Where do you get your protein from if you don't eat meat?" I started asking myself the same question. Hubby had done the research and I just listened and followed direction - but when I started to find out for myself just how much non-meat proteins are out there, I was amazed!

There's a great book we picked up called "Eat Away Illness." Sounds fun, doesn't it? Well it may not sound all that exciting but I know factually and unequivocally that it is working for me.

An excerpt from "Eat Away Illness":

Proteins are used to build and repair every tissue in the body. They are necessary for new cell growth. Proteins are used to form muscles, connective tissue, skin, hair and nails. This macronutrient s also essential to forming infection-fighting antibodies, which are immune compounds that help keep you healthy. There are 20 to 22 amino acids, and nine of them are considered 'essential' because the body cannot synthesize them, therefore they must be supplied by diet.

A protein deficiency can cause hormonal imbalance, inability to heal, mood swings, fuzzy thinking and a host of serious consequences. Most women are deficient in protein. A common misconception women have is that a large vegetable sandwich or wrap with a salad, or pasta with garlic toast is a healthy lunch. If you are striving for the full range of amino acids, these are not good choices. One-third of a cup of cooked beans or grain ensures the balance. Try baked beans with brown bread, whole grain tacos, cornmeal muffins, hummus or any legume and grain together and served with condiments of choice. To complete the menu, add raw vegetables as desired.

The body needs .36 grams of protein per pound of ideal body weight. If you are 110 pounds and this is your ideal weight, you need .36 grams X 10 = about 40 grams per day. If you weigh 175 pounds, but your healthy weight should be 150, you need .36 X 150 = 54 grams per day.

Small amounts of good quality protein snacks two or three times a day coupled with thre small meals containing protein works well for most concerns. Many say it clears up brain fog, increases energy, lifts depression, removes sugar cravings and helps with weight loss.

Although your body will utilize protein for energy when there is insufficient carb intake, the reverse is not the case for protein. One must get their protein needs met daily.

High protein diets put us at risk for disease. Annemarie Colbin, in her book Food and Healing states that initially the individual will lose water weight, and weight loss may or may not continue. Some people react with more energy, whereas others may experience sleeplessness, lethargy and sluggishness. High protein diets that lack fibre and carbohydrates will likely trigger cravings for sugary foods, and may cause diarrhea or constipation. It is best to have a balance.

Daily consumption of meat and dairy products is at the core of excessive protein intake, associated with dehydration and heatstroke in athletes, fatal exacerbation of kidney and liver unctions, increased acidity of body fluids, infant deaths, premature againg, heart disease and cancer. The high protein diet creates toxic by-products, which seriously overtax the kidneys and require large amounts of water to flush them out.

Interesting reading - I'm learning so much! I was a 'meat and taters' gal my whole life and it showed on me! I never put the two together when it came to health though. I've said it before, I'll still eat meat occasionally....my brain isn't used to going totally without yet - but I'm told it will happen naturally.

I'm just glad I can finally get out of bed, enjoy my friends and family and not feel like total crap. I'm improving daily, always learning and keeping a positive attitude! It's the best medicine there is. So now, I will log off and go turn on the tunes - my daughter and I will rock out while we do dishes and chat in the kitchen. It isn't as exciting as heading off to the ice-cream shop, but it is creating memories just the same!


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