Good morning! I didn’t go to sleep until really late (Twitter sucked me in), but I somehow managed to wake up early enough to go for a short run.
The goal this week is to increase my mileage over 10.0-miles per week. I need to get over this hump so I can start doing longer distances safely again. It floors to me to think I used to do 25-mile weeks. So far, my knees have been excellently behaved! Slow and steady
wins finishes the race. 🙂
Tomorrow is "long run" day so I took it easy:
- Distance: 2.4 miles
- Duration: 22 miles
And I came home to a wonderful bowl of oatmeal:
My oatmeal contained:
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 sliced banana
- Toppings: flax, pistachios, and blueberries
Protein: 12.5 grams
The Protein Question
Last night I received the following comment:
I would never ask you to disclose how many calories a day you eat, but I AM curious if you’d maybe post daily protein intake over a certain period, two weeks for example? I don’t see that you do a lot of protein powder and I know that beans usually only have 8-10 grams/pro/serving and whole grains 3-6 grams/pro/serving? I know you get a bit from dairy, but some days it seems like you get <50 gs? It’s different for everyone of course, just honestly curious!
This is a very interesting question with a very long-winded answer. I’m going to share my thoughts and then I’m curious to hear everyone else’s opinions on the Protein Question.
Personally, I feel that Americans have been duped by our government into believing that we need to eat tons and tons of protein (and in particular, protein from animal sources — but that’s another story). One of the books that changed my life was In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.
If you have not read this book yet, you really must read it!
Anyway, one of the topics addressed in this book is how the government formed the food pyramid, which as we all remember from grade school, puts a heavy emphasis on protein intake (although it encourages whole grains to be your base). One of the topics addressed by In Defense of Food is that many of the people who were on the committee to form these original guidelines were also either 1) employed by the meat and dairy industries or 2) being lobbied heavily by the meat and dairy industries. Lettuce doesn’t have a lobbyist!
The point I’m trying to make is that I think our government puts a lot of emphasis on protein intake (over fruit and veggie intake) for a variety of (financial) reasons. So, as a result, Americans have been mislead to think that we need to be eating ginormous steaks to get our protein "fill." Don’t even get me started on high-protein diets (which, in my opinion, work because they essentially restrict your calorie intake).
In actuality, the USDA admits you only need to eat about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight (a little fact buried somewhere in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, which I actually read in its entirety once). That really isn’t too much protein! For a female my size, that works out to about 43.2 grams of protein. As you can see from my oatmeal breakfast, 43.2 grams of protein isn’t that much. I’ve already eaten 12.5 grams and the only "animal product" I consumed was 1/2 cup a milk.
OK – I’ve gone off on a total tangent! Sorry. My point is that you get way more protein than you realize, as lots of foods have protein in them. Secondly, protein is important in helping your body recover from hard workouts, so I do usually drink a protein shake after really long runs or bike rides. But beyond that, I think we should focus on eating whole and natural foods than worrying too much about one type of macromolecule.
Just for the sake of discussion, I will be calculating my protein intake for the day!
Again – I’m not a doctor, and the above is just my opinion. I am interested in hearing everyone’s thoughts about the Protein Question. Do you focus on protein intake? Does it help your diet or energy levels? How much protein do you eat a day?