So the other day I took a smoothie into work to share with a co-worker. When I came in the next day he told me how good it was but then also informed me that he added Greek yogurt and protein powder to the smoothie. I cringed.
My friend informed me that he "needs" protein. My usual response to this type of statement is to ask "What is protein?” most of the time people don't even know what it is. On the rare occasion when someone does know, they have no idea that fruits and tender leafy greens provide complete proteins.
I then ask "How much protein do you think you need?” the responses usually very depending on what muscle magazine they are reading that week. In the bodybuilding world I have observed 1 to 2 grams of protein per body pound of weight being the most recommended doses.
So for example a 200lb man should consume 200 to 400 grams of protein per day. That is 800 to 1600 calories a day from protein. On a 3000 calorie a day diet this would be 27% to 53% of the diet calories coming from protein. On a 2000 calorie diet it is 40% to 80%.
This is way too much. Please allow me to explain.
"How much protein do I need day to day?"
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Do you know at what point in your life you need the most protein? It is from the time you are born until around 6 months of age, at this time your body actually doubles in size.
There is no greater need for protein than at this time in your life.
So what do you think would be a good indicator of how much protein we need at this stage of our lives? How about our mothers' milk? Our mothers' milk contains about 10 to 14% protein and reduces as we grow older.
So why do we think we need more protein than this?
Well, we have social influences, the media, the medical system, friends and relatives generational advice, and the list goes on, just pick one.
Allow me to give an example of just what we are doing to ourselves in terms of protein.
Imagine if you will a construction site. When the building is being built semi-tractor trailers bring in raw materials by the truck load. This is the protein of the building.
When the building is completed do they still need to ship in truckloads of materials? Of course not, but they do need to occasionally bring in supplies for maintenance and repair.
We are bringing truckloads of protein into our already built bodies when we only need to bring in a little for maintenance and repair.
The damage that too much protein can cause can literally be quite painful. My personal experience of drinking 3 protein shakes a day for a couple of months landed me in the emergency room with 3 kidney stones.
Not to mention the energy drag that I lived in because my body was so busy trying to process all that protein.
Proteins are hard to digest; this is why Casein protein is recommended to body builders to take at night because it takes so long to digest. It is believed to keep fueling you as you sleep.
Bodybuilders know that muscles build when your body is at rest. If your body is working to digest food while you are sleeping are you truly resting?
Ever wonder why you wake up tired?
It doesn't take a genius to figure this one out.
Why do body builders get so big drinking protein?
I will give you a hint: It's not the protein!
Resistance is what makes muscles big, period.
Your body will adjust to the weight being put against it, the more weight the bigger the muscle becomes to handle it. No weight, no muscle. Simple.
Muscles will take from the 10% pool that fruits and tender leafy greens provide and build your muscles better than when you dump a ton of protein in because it will spend time building the muscle instead of dealing with digesting all that protein.
What is the right amount of protein?
Amazingly the amount that you need is the amount found in your natural diet (almost as if someone had planned it that way!).
Fruits and tender leafy greens provide complete proteins, are delicious and contain all the vitamins, minerals and calories that our bodies need and nothing that it doesn't.
Fruits are also already in the form of sugar that your cells can accept so you don't waste a lot of time or energy digesting food.
It's amazing that in our culture people consider you crazy if you eat your natural diet, like you are depriving yourself in some way. Truth is when you eat these foods you provide your body with everything you need.
When your body has what it needs it stops storing fat, greatly improves or cures diseases, and provides energy to help you really live your life instead of just trudging thru it.
Your body is constantly, even while you sleep, trying to reach a state of perfect homeostasis with its major roadblocks being what we put in our mouths.
Remove the roadblocks and watch what happens!
Food for thought:
I find it interesting that our body makeup is very similar to the foods we eat. I.e. People who eat mostly fruits and tender leafy greens whose nutrient content looks something like this: 80% carbs, 10% protein and 10% fats are relatively skinny, healthy people. And then we have people who eat the Standard American Diet whose nutrient content looks like this 20% carbs, 30% protein and 50% fat and they are fat, sick and just generally unhealthy.
Are you a Christian?
What does 'thou shall not kill' mean to you? I know to me, it means that I shouldn't kill. It doesn't give a list of exclusions so I am going to assume that there aren't any.
So for me I don't really want to kill anything and honestly we really don't need to. When we do kill something to benefit from it we are actually hurting ourselves because along with the benefit comes the consequences of eating something that was not designed for us.
This is what our food system is based on, they promote the benefit without concern for the consequence, and the result is the sick society in which we live.
When we eat fruits and tender leafy greens there is no death to the plant, we are actually working along with the plant to help it reproduce and we get the benefit of being completely nourished with no negative effects, immediate or long term.
Do you believe that your food should cause you harm, either immediately or long term?
I’m guessing your answer is no, but do you suffer from any ailments or are you overweight?
Does that tell you anything about what you consider to be food?
Or do you believe you have to harm something to be satisfied nutritionally?
Does it feel good to harm things? Really?
Does it feel good to be harmed? When something harms us don’t we consider it to be bad?
Yet our current food choices are not only harming us but down right killing us and we will defend our right to eat these things because of our heritage, society and just plain ignorance.
It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
I recommend everyone that I work with to do a 3-day smoothie challenge which I outline for free on my website.
This is to give the body a break from the years of bombardment from the things most of us call food.
For most people 3 days is long enough to let the body get some things back in order to where when you eat a 'bad' food your body will be able to give you signs to let you know.
In other words if you eat a 'food' that makes you feel ill then do you think you should keep eating it?
The smoothies on my site are complete meals; you can literally survive on them for the rest of your life.
My hopes are that you implement 1 to 2 smoothies a day to your daily regime and inspire others to do the same.
Things to expect:
If you decide to take the 3-day smoothie challenge some things you might experience are bursts of energy, rapid weight loss, relief from ailments, soft comfortable stools, mental clarity, solid sleep pattern, etc.
If you experience any cravings please understand that these are going to be mental cravings and not physical cravings.
Big food companies spend millions of dollars to have you addicted to their food.
Now is the time when you are going to find out who they are.
You will also find yourself going to the bathroom more. This is quite normal. You have years and years of crap trapped in your body and it needs to come out.
This is actually one of the reasons why I don't recommend juice diets, there is no fiber to help remove the built up toxins in the body and if they are released without the aid of fiber to get them out of the body it could result in trouble for you (you could literally poison yourself trying to get healthy).
The reason it’s like this is because when you eat a chemical (like those found in processed foods or chemicals sprayed on food) they often get stored in your fat.
Losing a great deal of fat quickly without the aid of fiber to absorb the poison and get it out of the body safely, you would be flooding the system with these chemicals which could be more than you can handle and land you in the emergency room or at the minimum leave you feeling really sick.
This is where most people say that healthy food makes them sick because they don't understand what is really happening.
I STRONGLY believe that if you give your body what it needs and what it was designed for, your body will safely remove all toxins from your body and will keep them out as long as you don't keep reentering them into your system.
Remember your body is always trying to be the best that it can be.
One last word on recommended amount of protein:
Believe it or not the recommended amount for an average person is .5 to .75 grams per body pound of weight. So for a 200 lb man that would be 20 to 30% protein on a 2000 calorie diet.
Do you see a problem here?
The problem is that they are basing the averages on what a sick society consumes instead of basing the recommendations on what they are supposed to be consuming.
You would think with our level of intelligence we could figure this stuff out. Or maybe we have but the powers to be just have way too much money to influence.
After all there is no money in healthy people.
Learn more about the effects of food on our bodies with these great books: