Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Protein on the go!


In a day of fast food and convenience it can be difficult to make healthy and protein filled choice when not at home. It is recommended that, in order to keep the metabolism working properly, we should be eating up to five small meals a day and those meals should be protein rich. The problem is the difficulty carrying around traditional proteins and keeping things interesting so that a healthy diet can be attainable. Who is going to carry around a chicken breast or steak in their purse or back pocket? It can be agreed upon that the key to keeping a healthy diet on-the-go is planning, so why not make sure that there are plenty of protein rich snacks with you at pretty much all times?

Here are some ideas for protein on-the-go that do not need to be refrigerated:

Jerky- high in protein, low in fat, various flavors, and low-sodium options

Soy nuts- high in protein, fills the need for that “crunchy” snacks, many flavors

Nuts- Almonds, peanuts, and cashews are protein filled

Protein Powders- can be added to water and come in many brands/flavors

Protein bars/energy bars- come in many flavors/brands

Tuna- Believe it or not it is now available in sealed pouches that do not need refrigeration

If you are at work and have a desk you can keep a few things in consider keeping a small container of peanut or almond butter handy with some whole wheat crackers. There are always good choices that can be at the ready for healthy snacks with just a little planning.

Bonci, Leslie. (2011, Nov). 6 Grad-and-Go Proteins That Fill You Up. Retrieved from http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/healthy-snacks-6-high-protein-foods

Mohrman, Jon. (2011, Oct 18). How to Get Protein at the Office. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/547926-how-to-get-protein-at-the-office/


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

HuffPo Reports: The Power of Sustainable Protein

Is someone at the Huffington Post a fan of EcoMerge? Website contributor and president of Burcon NutraScience Corporation Johann Tergesen wrote up an article today titled The Power of Sustainable Protein in the 21st Century, which could easily be considered a mission statement for EcoMerge's goals. In his article, Tergesen succintly summarizes the problems faced by Ecomerge and by future generations in maintaining adquate protein consumption while also supporting environmental sustainable methods of production.

In brief, the problem is simple: the world has a lot of people, and is getting more of them every day. All of those people need an adequate supply of protein to live full and healthy lives, and many of those who do -- especially in developed nations -- will derive quite a bit of that protein from cows: beef, milk, and cheese are some of the most popular sources of protein known to the West, and unfortunately the cows who provide them are extremely taxing on the environment. From greenhouse grass emissions to fields being cleared for cattle to graze, cows are expensive creatures.

The other sources of animal protein have their problems as well. The seafood industry is removing fish from the sea at a higher rate than the fish can replace themselves at; animals which don't enjoy the lavish conditions that harm the environment produce lower-quality meat that can be harmful to the consumer; the animals themselves, as stated by Tergesen,  are not efficient converters, pound for pound, of the proteins they consume

Sadly for meat eaters, Tergesen doesn't seem to hold much hope for the future of protein. He strongly advocates a transition to soy and other vegetable proteins as part of abandoning protein production methods which are more harmful to the environment. While the future may not hold as dramatic a change as he suggests (other animals, like goats, require less environmental maintenance than cows do), one thing is for certain: with a rapidly rising global population, a more efficient system of producing foods rich in protein must be perfected and implemented in order for both the planet and the people to thrive.






Johann Tergesen. The Power of Sustainable Protein in the 21st Century. Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-02-28 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-tergesen/the-power-of-sustainable-_b_1305121.html

USDA, Michelle Obama, & American Nutrition


Do you care about the future American diet? Does life expectancy and diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer, cardiovascular, and diabetes concern you? You can become informed and find ways to live a healthier lifestyle by following a few easy guidelines. Agencies are currently working with world leaders to help to promote healthy nutrition. 


myplate_green-300x272.jpg

The USDA and the First Lady are attempting to increase the awareness of large companies and consumers on what is readily available in the majority of grocery stores and institutions in America. Healthy alternatives that promote nutrition and sustainability are at the forefront of conversation and research. Meals that are readily available to the elderly, children, and the poor have become an increased concern for those involved in developing healthy diets and proper nutrition. Developing trends in nutrition that challenge the declining health of Americans is a part of the solution. Stress has been put on providing vegetables and fruits in place of alarmingly high sugar, protein, and fat snacks. 

Michelle Obama Unveils New USDA Food Plate. Vegetarian Star. http://vegetarianstar.com/2011/06/02/michelle-obama-unveils-new-usda-food-plate/

Monday, February 27, 2012

How Much is Too Much



Making sure to get an appropriate amount of protein should be an essential part of anyone’s diet because unlike fat and carbohydrates the body does not store protein. Protein deficiency can cause hair loss, weak nails, skin rashes, fatigue and other issues, which is why it is important to make sure the body gets a sufficient amount protein everyday from the right sources.

According to Cari Neirenberg, writer of the article “How Much Protein Do You Need,” many Americans get plenty of protein each day and Neirenberg believes that they may be getting too much from sources such as poultry, meat, and eggs. Also, Neirenberg notes that the majority of people benefit from eating less processed meats. Bacon, hot dogs, and lunchmeats are just a few types of processed meat. Furthermore, soy foods such as edamame, tofu, and veggies burgers can be great substitutes in order to limit the amount protein taken in by meat sources.

Further, protein should take up no more than one-third of your meal plates and it is best to be eaten in small portions throughout each meal in order to avoid having too much protein. In addition, it is important to note that not everybody requires the same amount of protein, nursing women, pregnant women, athletes, vegetarians, and vegans typically require more protein than the average person, however, many can achieve a higher protein intake without resorting to protein supplements.

Source: Nierenberg, C. How Much Protein Do You Need?. Guide To A Healthy Kitchen. WebMD. Retrieved Febuary 26, 2012, from http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/how-much-protein

For a tasty little dish with a good size of protein check out Fitsugar.com recipe for Avocado Quinoa Salad. Nom Nom. The grain is a complete protein (contains all nine of the essential amino acids)
with 22g per cup!

Recipe
1 cup of quinoa
1 bunch of rainbow chard, roughly chopped
1 bunch of asparagus, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon quality olive oil
1 ripe avocado, sliced into bite size pieces
Pinch of salt
1/8 cup quality olive oil, I used orange infused
1-2 tablespoons of champagne vinegar, any vinegar would work

Directions: Cook the quinoa. Saute the asparagus and rainbow chard in one tablespoon olive oil until cooked. In a small glass or jar mix the olive oil and vinegar together. Once everything is ready mix the quinoa, asparagus, chard, and vinaigrette in a large bowl with the avocado. Season with salt and enjoy!

Makes about 4-6 servings.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Choosing Your Chickens Wisely




Choices For Your Body
Free-range certified organic: Chickens are scavengers and omnivorces, and they need protein in addition to plant foods to be healthy. Free-range certified organic poultry mostly feed on bugs, grubs, worms and grasses. Farmers raise hens in a stress-free environment, in the most traditional and old-fashioned way. Eating organic free-range chickens is highly recommended by the USDA because these chickens are raised in a chemical-free environment, void of any drugs or growth-enhancer hormones. These chickens are not housed in close quarters so disease is less likely. Reducing antibiotic use lessens antibiotic resistance and reduces the likelihood that super strains of bacteria resistant to human drugs will develop.

Conventional: Conventional poultry are fed conventional food, usually grain, as carbohydrates, which are just as effective at fattening animals as humans. Conventional poultry farms house thousands of chickens very close together, so disease can spread quickly. Farmers give each animal antibiotics to prevent them from getting sick. Chicken feed on these farms have been known to contain 11 different antibiotics including Bacitracin, methylene, disalicylate, bacitracin zinc, chlortetracycline, erythromycin, hygromycin, neomycin, novobiacin, oxytetracycline, and penicillin. Increased use of antibiotics on farm animals can lead to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that can be passed to humans.

Choices For The Environment
Chickens emit no methane and emit less phosphate and carbon dioxide than other meat-producing animals. If carefully managed, poultry litter (manure) can also be processed for commercial fertilizer. Opponents of conventional poultry farming argue that it harms the environment and creates health risks, as well as abuses the animals themselves. Advocates of conventioanl farming say that their highly efficient systems save land and food resources due to increased productivity, stating that the animals are looked after in state-of-the-art environmentally controlled facilities. Recent research suggests, contrary to widespread belief, that conventional poultry production may have a lesser impact on the environment and global warming than free-range organic production. Choosing organic poultry that has been trucked across the country may have more of an adverse environmental impact in terms of transport pollution than selecting a conventionally raised local chicken.

Resources
http://gardenpool.org/facts/poultry-farming