Monthly Archives: May 2010

Are you eating enough protein?

I hope so because it’s critical you do.

Far too many people have bought into the no fat/low fat nonsense and in so doing, do not get sufficient amounts of protein. Without adequate protein and fat for that matter, your body cannot reproduce cells, upkeep your various systems and will indeed age faster. In a very real sense your body will literally eat itself up alive for the protein you don’t ingest. And the type and quality of the protein you choose to eat matters as well.

For example, while combining rice and beans provide many of the essential amino acids, this combo does not provide all, not to mention that this combo is pure starch. Starch raises blood sugar greater than any other food source and high circulating blood sugar is caustic to your blood vessels. Eggs and salmon would be a much better choice of protein. In fact, all animal proteins are superior to their plant based counterparts.

A good general guide for protein intake is to get about 1 gram of quality protein per pound of your target body weight. So if you currently weigh 200 pounds but should really weigh 140, you’d want to shoot for 140 grams of quality protein per day.

It is so very critical that you don’t skimp on protein. It is the building block of life. Please don’t worry if the protein is lean. Fatty proteins are actually better for you than lean sources. If you’re worried about saturated fat and heart disease, worry no longer.

Here is a small list of some quality protein sources. I’ve listed both the protein grams and the calories. Most serving sizes are one cup or 8 ounces. Most women should strive for about 3-4, 20-30 gram servings per day. Men 3-4, 25-35 gram servings per day Unless you already have kidney problems, you really can’t eat too much protein. Eating too little is far worse than too much.

Chicken
1 cup: chopped, meat only – 40.5g/266cal
½ chicken w/skin, roasted – 81.6g/715cal

Beef
4oz.: hamburger, cooked – 27g/328cal

Fish
1 cup: solid white tuna in water – 60g/280cal
4 oz: salmon, baked – 25g/234 cal

Nuts
1 cup: cashews – 24g/800 cal
1 cup: almonds – 24g/720 cal
1 cup: peanuts – 44g/1080 cal *
1 cup: walnuts – 15g/660 cal

Eggs
1 whole egg – 6.3g/75 cal
1 cup: chopped, hardboiled – 17g/210 cal

Pork
1 cup: Ham, 11% fat, chopped – 31.7g/249 cal
Bacon, 2 slices – 5g/80cal
Sausage, 2 small links – 9g/180 cal

So make sure to eat your protein! Your health depends on it.

Face down in the Chow Fun

My wife is currently in the throes of her new olive oil company called Euphoria Olive Oil and so, our healthy dinners have fallen by the wayside. I do not know how to cook. But I do know how to dial a telephone. So last night I picked up the phone and called Hunan Balcony.

Enter chicken chow fun.

chow fun

It has been a long, long, time since I’ve eaten this sort of fare. When you’re a staunch real food/low carber, gluten intolerant and have seen the movie Food Inc., Chinese food is pretty much taboo. I had sashimi the night before so I just wasn’t in the mood for more raw fish.

7:43 PM: It arrives. I de-staple the brown bag. As I open the container the smell wafts familiar. The food was all aglow with some sort of shiny brown sauce. Chunks of chicken and rice noodles smiled at me longingly. “Where ya been Fred?” the dish seemed to say. Then a voice in my head barked at me “Throw that shit out NOW!” But it was too late. The smell, look and feel of it was too much. I grabbed my chop sticks and face down I went.

The smart thing I did before I went to bed was eat about a pound of digestive enzymes and probiotics. Amazingly, I did not experience any heartburn whatsoever. In the distant past when I ate like this I would always be beset with terrible heartburn. I do believe that the the enzymes saved me from a terrible case of GERD.

But when I awoke, I had terrible intestinal pain. Sharp and stingy. It felt like there was a serpent in my guts biting me every 10 seconds. Nasty stuff that chow fun. And to think that there are people out there who eat like this most of the time. How do they stand it?

I won’t go into any details about my bathroom adventure this morning. Suffice it to say it was pretty ugly.

So learn from my folly. The next time you have the chance to order in Chinese, think of what happened to your pal Fred and order something else instead. Your large and small intestines will thank you for it.

The Need for Variation in Exercise

When was the last time you needed a different air mixture in order to breathe properly? The air is the air.

When was the last time you needed to vary your macronutrients in order to eat healthfully? The protein you need is the protein you need.

If the stimulus to a muscle is sufficient, it is sufficient. And if the stimulus is severe enough to cause adaptation, it stimulates adaptation.

As an example, if you are shot with a bullet, it will pierce your skin and impale you – every time. You will never adapt and become resistant to the bullet. The stimulus to too severe to become resistant to it.

Many fitness experts would have you believe that after a time, an exercise that has stimulated a positive tissue adaptation will no longer stimulate any further benefit because the body has become used to the same stimulus and resists change. They then claim that in order to make continued gains in that muscle or muscle group, a different exercise is required that the body in not used to.

This is nonsense.

If the stimulation to a given muscle is severe enough to recruit and fatigue the fibers deeply enough to cause a positive adaption, it will always cause such adaptation until you reach the limit of your genetic potential.

And yes, genetic potential is an unknown.

If you are working a muscle or group of muscles intensely enough and increasing the resistance even by a fraction at each session, assuming the exercise is a bio-mechanically correct exercise, you’re on the right track. Keep it up.

I am NOT saying you shouldn’t do different exercises. I am NOT saying you can’t alter the order of your routine to spice it up and keep it interesting. Variety is the spice of life and training.

But the notion that your body gets used to an exercise and refuses to adapt because you have been doing it for too long is poppy-cock of the highest order.

I’m off to the Club Industry fitness show at the Jacob Javitz Center in NYC now. I will undoubtedly be bombarded with huge amounts of fitness fantasies. Fun!

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