I tricked you! This post is not about potatoes, although they also start with “P”.

A few years ago I was working in the Operating Room with a very seasoned nurse who scared the bejeezus out of me and all the surgeons, that woman ran the place. Anyway, she said something one day that has stuck with me since. We were preparing for a very lengthy and involved gynecological case and she was getting everything ready, and I mean EVERYTHING. She was telling me about all the things that could happen and how to prepared for them; she had extra gauze, extra specimen containers, printed extra stickers…she had thought of all possible contingencies. I asked her why she did all that preparation, I hadn’t seen any of the other nurses do it. She looked down her nose at me very sternly and said; “Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance”. Then she turned on her heel and marched away.

Food for a workday

I have thought of that quote so many times since that day, I repeat it as my mantra when I have a project that needs to be done or when I am tempted to procrastinate. It also certainly holds true as an excellent guideline for healthy eating, I have even modified it a bit; “Picking proper protein prevents piss poor performance”.

I know, aren’t I clever?

It’s really true though, as much as I would love to say I have discovered eating cinnamon buns is the ticket to health and satisfaction, it just isn’t. Well, at least for me it isn’t. The fact of the matter is without protein we are total goners, we might as well give up any chance of eating healthy, or of maintaining or losing weight without eating less than 800 calories a day.

Now, don’t get all excited and start thinking I am advocating Atkins or some other ridiculous low carb diet. This is about balance and you need to have healthy carbs and fat as well. But protein, protein is an ANIMAL. Not only does it help us build and maintain muscle, it keeps our bones healthy and actually helps maintain your hemoglobin levels (hemoglobin carries the oxygen in your blood). Protein’s are made up of amino acids, essential amino acids are the amino’s that your body cannot produce on its own. The average adult woman needs about 46 grams of protein a day, but where you get it from is vital. Animal meats are high in protein, but choose the wrong one and you end up with a heaping side of saturated fat, which won’t do your body any favors.

Lunch!!

I try to plan most of my meals so they are relatively well balanced, though I will admit I do limit my intake of carbohydrates from starchy sources; bread, pasta, rice etc. Most of the foods I eat have some carbohydrate content; beans, vegetables, yogurt..so I don’t feel like I need to add a lot of extra carbs. Getting protein in the morning is especially important for me because it reduces my cravings for sugar and keeps my energy steady. When I am eating in my “ideal” way I try to eat mini-meals, small bites of balance that keep my blood sugar from dropping because when that happens you better hide the candy because I’m coming after it!

Almonds are a good snack for when I am so hungry I might chew my arm off.

Here’s what I ate today with a breakdown of my nutrition totals. Today was a good day!

1 peach with 1/4 cup Greek yogurt

10 almonds

Salad with chicken, pecans, blueberries and oranges.

Apple and 2 bites of dark chocolate

Salad with goat cheese, avocado, carrots, tomato and zucchini.

1 small turkey burger

Totals:

Fat = 42.8 grams (all healthy fats!)

Carbs = 120.3 grams (this is on the low side)

Protein = 81.8 grams

Now I realize that my protein intake was higher than the normal recommended allowance but I feel full and satisfied and I know from experience it’s the protein that does that. So try it yourself..experiment, what does protein do for you?

* for more protein info visit http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/power-protein

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