Tag Archives: Whole Grains

Got [Veghead] Protein?

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Howdy y’all.

Once upon a time I was a vegetarian for 4 years. Looking back on it, it’s pretty surprising I fared as well as I did in the protein department considering I was nowhere near being well-versed in nutrition. The only thing going for me was that I really liked vegetables. In hopes to save you some struggles that I faced, here are easy ways to incorporate more protein into your vegan/vegetarian, or even just overall diet.

  • Plants. Yes, they have protein! Every single one; in fact, they need it to survive in various ways. Eat as wide a variety as you can stomach, for some have amino acids and other nutrients that others may lack. Fun fact: avocado is a fruit relatively high in protein and can be used in a multitude of ways.
  • Whole Grains. Their main claim to fame may be complex carbs, but they also have protein. That is, as long as you are not taking the processed route (which I know you aren’t!), so that means brown and whole wheat over white. Try amaranth, barley, quinoa and farro on for size, too.
  • Nuts & Butters. Peanut butter is probably a no-brainer, but nuts on their own can sometimes be overlooked. Snacking on peanuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pistachios, walnuts, etc is a great habit to get into. You can incorporate them into meals (stir fry, salads) as well as blending them into a creamy nut butter.
  • Seeds. Same tune as nuts (they both happen to be a great source of amino acids, too) where they are overlooked but oh so delicious and beneficial. Try out quinoa & hemp (complete proteins), chia, flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and the plethora of seeds that exist out there.
  • Beans, Legumes, Lentils. The best part about these is that they won’t hurt your wallet but they are a nutritional powerhouse. Peas are also included in this category. I would recommend taking the fresh and dried route over canned, because you never really know what may be happening during the canning process. Plus, you get more bang for your buck when you buy a bag of beans. *Try saying that 10 times fast!*
  • Miscellaneous. As always, there are supplements out there to aid you in the protein department, but I really think if you incorporate the above mentioned items into your diet regularly, you should be on the right track. If you really feel the urge though – or if you are highly active – brown rice protein is a good one that does not include whey, and there are a few powders out there that combine various plants high in protein.

Th-th-that’s all for me today, folks. I’ve got some econometrics homework calling my name and some other nonsense to do. Before that though, I think I will treat myself to some Thai food because I can 🙂 Peace, love, and all things pretty.

The Skinny (or not) On Nutrition Labels

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Nutritional labels on food packages sometimes would be just as difficult to interpret if they were written in Swahili. Basically, big wig food companies dance and skirt around the truth, showing and telling innocent consumers one thing when in reality you’re not ingesting what you think. I won’t go too in-depth, but here are some important things to know before you buy that product in the grocery store.

1. Always look at the list of ingredients!! Do this first, before you even contemplate purchasing the product. Ingredients are listed in descending order in terms of how much is in the food, so if high-fructose corn syrup or something equally as unnatural/horrible for you is the first ingredient listed… DON’T buy it! If it’s something you can’t pronounce, the same applies. Buy things where at least the first few ingredients are things you know and are natural ie, come from the planet and not factories. These companies sneak-attack us all the time with this because no one bothers to look when it is so, so crucial.

2. Serving size is another huge area where we are constantly getting shanghai’d by the big food giants. Tiny serving sizes make unhealthy substances like fat and sugar look less terrible, when in reality you’re doing the same amount of damage.
For example, a 15-ounce can of organic soup labeled “healthy” contains “about two” servings; each serving has 480mg of sodium (eek!). The FDA says that a food cant be called “healthy” if it contains more than 480 mg per serving.
See what they did there? Sneaky bastards; because of course most people eat the whole can, which is 960 mg.
In a February 2013 study, it was found that products containing two servings that are customarily consumed at a single eating period that displayed two columns – one for the entire package and one for a serving – on the label helped consumers make healthier choices.

3. This concerns whole grains; the phrase “made with whole grains” does not necessarily mean that the product is made predominantly of whole grains like it leads you to believe. In fact, only a minute amount may be within the product. Look for the word “whole” – like whole wheat, whole grain – listed first in the ingredient list.
Similarly, the Whole Grain Stamp (which appears on products that contain at least 8 g whole grains per serving) doesn’t guarantee the best choice for you, either. There was a recent study done by Public Health Nutrition that discovered that some grain products marked with the stamp were actually higher in sugars and calories than grain products without the stamp. Now, that’s repulsive – it really disgusts me how concerned these companies are with money and how they don’t give a rats ass about the consumers that they are feeding, or more appropriately, destroying from the inside, out.
A good way to judge if the product is good in the grains arena is to look for at least 1 g fiber for every 10 g total carbohydrates.

4. This isn’t necessarily a nutrition label, but I believe it is relevant.
Sticker Savvy

I hope that this is helpful to you; it’s so very important to feed your body properly, and that can not happen if you are not paying attention to what you are ingesting. Your body is a temple, and it should be treated as such, wouldn’t you agree???

Happy Healthy Munching!