My main sources of protein shift throughout the week. Whereas many people may eat turkey, chicken or fish for every dinner meal, I (and Karel) typically eat eggs, beans/chickpeas and tofu almost every night of the week. Whereas one night tofu may make a big part of my meal (ex. tofu w/ veggies) on another night it may just be a component of my meal (ex. french toast w/ eggs, veggies and tofu). To make sure I get a variety of essential amino acids my other sources of protein throughout the day include low fat yogurt, greek yogurt, skim milk, whey protein, cheese, cottage cheese and veggie burgers. Then for some healthy protein w/ fat, I throw in nuts, seeds and natural PB whenever I can. I do not choose bars for extra protein in my diet because the quality of protein in bars is minimal compared to natural sources of protein. More so, with all of the digesting, processing and absorbing after eating a bar, it is likely that your body does not receive the suggested amount of protein on the label. Even as a vegetarian I seek out non-meat sources of protein that are known to have a high biological value (a measurement of protein quality expressing the rate of efficiency with which protein is used for growth) in an effort to repair my damaged tissues and muscles and support muscle growth.
Here is a sample of foods with their respective biological value:
Protein Ratings & protein rating
Eggs (whole) 100
Eggs (whites) 88
Chicken / Turkey 79
Lean Beef 69
Cow's Milk 60
Unpolished Rice 59
Brown Rice 57
White Rice 56
Whole Wheat 49
Soy beans 47
Whole-grain Wheat 44
Dry Beans 34
White Potato 34
Because there are a lot of protein powders available to consumers (I recommend whey protein after intense or long workouts), here's another list of protein values:
Whey Protein Isolate 159
Whey Protein Concentrate 104
I always stress eating natural and wholesome foods because our body is more likely (in some cases guaranteed) to receive a good portion, if not all, of the nutrients that that food has to offer. Ask yourself what would be more satisfying and more nutritious...an apple or apple juice? How about chips or a plain baked potato? How about a fruit smoothie or a bowl of fresh fruit?
The more processing done to a food (check ingredient list) the more likely our body will not receive all of the nutrients that we are seeking Sure we will get the calories, fat, carbs, etc. but when it comes down to it, what else are you getting? For example, take the Dark Cherry Yogurt Parfait at Starbucks..sounds healthy right?
At 310 calories and 39g of sugar, you also get
nonfat cherry yogurt (cultured pasteurized grade a nonfat milk, sugar, cherry puree, water, modified food starch, whey protein concentrate [milk], gelatin, natural flavor, pectin, color [blueberry, carrot, and currant juice concentrate], caramel color), cherry mix (sweet cherries, modified food starch), vanilla granola (whole rolled oats, milled cane sugar, vegetable oil [canola and/or safflower and/or sunflower oil], rice flour, cornstarch, honey, salt, natural flavor, barley malt syrup, cardamom seed, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, nutmeg).
Wouldn't you be better off with non-fat greek yogurt, fresh cherries, instant oats and a drizzle of honey?
Certainly there are good "processed" foods out there but as we all know, there are plenty of not-so-good (yet yummy and claimed healthy) foods that have a whole lot of ingredients.
I got a little creative with my eggs the other night and made a few healthy and yummy creations for you...enjoy!
Something's missing under my Egg
(I didn't have a good name for it)
2 slices French Bread
1. Lightly toast bread in toaster.
2. On low-medium heat, spray a non-stick pan w/ a little spray.
3. Cut out a hole in the bread and remove hole.
4. Place bread on pan and crack egg onto the bread.
5. After a few minutes, carefully flip bread and cook the other side for 1-2 min. (less time for a runnier egg).
2-3 tsp beet horseradish
1-2 tbsp greek yogurt
1. Mix together and spread on other piece of bread.
I added the strawberry for a special presentation before topping the egg with the other piece of bread.
Veggie Omelet w/ roasted red potatoes
Rather than serving a piece of toast or hashbrowns w/ my omelet, I decided to do roasted red potatoes w/ onions and herbs.
2 red potatoes
1 clove garlic (crushed/shredded)
2 tsp olive oil
1-2 tsp olive oil
2 eggs (1 whole egg + white) per person
2-3 tbsp skim milk or 1 tbsp greek yogurt (Creamy omelet)
1. Cook filling ingredients for omelete on medium heat for a few minutes.
2. Scramble eggs in a bowl.
3. Remove fillings and add eggs to pan. Give a little scramble for fluffy eggs until the eggs begin to stick.
4. Flip omelet and cook other side.
5. Add fillings and top with a little fresh shredded cheese.
1. Cook potatoes in microwave for 3-4 min. until semi-soft. Cut into cubes.
2. On a non stick pan on medium heat, add oil and garlic.
3. Add potatoes and cook for 8-10 min. or until golden brown.
4. Around 4-5 min, add onion slices and toss.
5. Add your choice of non-salt seasonings (I used marjoram, pepper, Italian herbs and basil)