Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
December 25, 2016
There is a typical question that a great many vegans have to hear just about every day of our lives…Where do you get your protein? Now some of my brethren have developed a rather snarky attitude about the question, because usually the people that ask are some of the unhealthiest looking people you could possible imagine. I mean, they have the gall to ask where I get the simplest and most common nutrient in nature. C’mon people! Most will know that protein is a very important part of our lives, but trust me…unless you have some problem with your body, the likelihood that one will have a massive protein deficiency is pretty rare. I mean, have you ever really heard someone suffering from actual honest to god protein deficiency? Maybe they have low protein diet but never a true absence. Anyway, I usually play the situation by ear, for some people will give you hell for the most of it. Fortunately I am a large man, so the legitimacy of the question is typically one out of respect rather than derision. There was really only one instance where I felt like knocking someone out, but couldn’t because he worked for Tucson Electric and we needed him to do a vital job for us. So yeah, the guy got a little snarky with me when he found out I drank soy milk and ate tofu instead of meat and milk. I will say I kept my cool, even though the guy was being a douche for no real reason. Anyway, we got the job done and I cooled off later that day.
Anyway, I have been running into some actual protein problems as of late, and it is not because I am sick or something. It’s because I have been working out a lot, not to mention I have been reducing my protein intake by accident. The biggest reason is the fact I have not eaten a potato in over two months. You heard that right, I have not eaten potatoes willingly in quite a long time. Of course, I did eat some potatoes on Thanksgiving, but that was an aberration. The truth of the matter is, I became so use to not eating potatoes considering how much better I seemed to feel, that I really don’t miss the supply delights anymore. Of course, this was when I started running into the regular problems with my protein intake at the plasma center. Back in the day when I previously had problems, the issue was resulting from me not eating enough, which can be a challenge when you are not working and there could be food shortages in your life. I was almost always eating rice and potatoes while throwing in some beans to shake things up. Well, now I can actually make food and I have been pigging out a bit too much when it comes to the Chao cheese. I will admit this to you all willingly….Chao Cheese Quesadillas are far better than any other real cheese quesadilla I ever made. So yes, I have been indulging quite a bit in the stuff since Chao is expensive and I love it better than the other available brands out there.
Now you might have some concern much like the co-worker that was shocked to find out I didn’t meat yesterday. She asked me point blank “How can you live without steak!” Easily is what I said in return. At least I didn’t have to deal with the protein question when she stopped talking to me after that (though I made her day when I gave my little pie to her…yes, my job hands out pies to its employees rather than doing stuff like, you know, update the computers we use rather than dealing with the ridiculous Dells we have to deal with). Anyway, this past Friday was a rather weird checkup for me, for my protein was pretty low on the reading but just good enough to get through the screening process. For some reason, my usual protein loading for the day barely got me over the hump. So here is the problem I have…what is a guy to do? Now according to my favorite medical website, WebMD, they state that a good amount for men on a daily basis is roughly 56 grams of protein a day. Most women will do just fine with 46 grams per day. Now, the official meter for trying to figure out what you need daily is .36 grams of protein per pound, which for a gentleman of my girth needs 86 grams! (I will let you do the math on your own). Now this is just a standard unit of measure for people that are considered normal and sedentary, so in reality who knows what amount of protein I supposedly need for my development. While I will take the word of the professionals in regards to my health, it seems like quite a bit of protein intake. I mean, I am struggling with the very idea of eating in general, especially since I have gotten to the point where I kind of despise the very idea of eating. While I do maintain a good schedule of eating, I do tend to run into some issues from time to time with my binge eating. I hate to admit this to you my friends, but there are moments in the week where I just can’t stop stuffing my face. It just goes to show that no matter what I try to do or how hard I work, I keep running into those old addictive habits. And it has been fueled by the misgiving I have held for myself this past winter season, which is something that typically happens for me. The only thing I can really do is keep fighting those urges with good food and running, which often times makes me feel quite “blah” after ward in my stomach (usually I don’t get the post run hungers for a couple hours afterward).
I’m not gonna complain about my predicament too much, for this is the life I accepted and I figured there would be weeks where the intake would be low. All I can really say is that it might be time to start getting more beans into my diet, especially now that I found out Chipotle charges a reduced rate for their burritos if you just get rice and beans. Seriously, I loaded up on beans that Friday afternoon, telling the woman at the counter to keep adding beans. Even with the peanuts and beans I ate in the morning, I was still close to getting my ass deferred for a week (that is the standard ban time if you are either too low on protein or too dehydrated…though most people get deferred due to high blood pressure…go figure). I also noticed something else that skewed the results for me this past week…I had not been eating much spinach lately. I’m sure my mother would love this fact about me, but I actually love spinach these days. My parents used to make me eat the stuff when I was a kid, but of course it was the steamed freeze dried stuff. For years I stayed away fro the stuff until I started getting this half and half pre-packaged blend at the store. I then discovered I actually like the taste of raw and fresh spinach. Who would have guessed. Either way, I started eating spinach more regularly due to the fact it lasts longer in the fridge and it doesn’t taste like the bottom of a shoe, much like kale and chard. While it may not seem like a huge deal to go nearly a week with spinach, think about how efficient spinach is when it comes to the make-up of its protein content.
Spinach on the average is roughly 45% protein, which is probably why it developed such a reputation as a good protein source. So yeah, Popeye was not kidding when it came to the idea of getting stronger when he ate the stuff. Heck, just look at me in terms of my own strength and ability. Most people still think meat is the best source for protein, which I guess it can be if you do nothing but eat the stuff on a regular basis. Milk has also been reclassified as a high protein source, mainly because people finally learned dairy really does nothing for your bones or for the health of your body…regardless of what the raw milk people say (they most likely heal from the fact they clean up their diet completely, not because they drink raw milk). The trouble is, these two sources maybe have protein constitute 25-30% of its health make-up. While the amount you eat and drink of both sources will compensate for the lesser percentage, you are also supplementing your body with a lot of saturated fat, nitrates, and excess calories. Truthfully, the night and day difference I feel from cleaning up my protein sources has been a godsend for me. I sleep better, I have no heart burn or upset stomachs, and I also don’t fall into these funks when I am coming down from a very distinct food high.
Now, this is not my first rodeo when it comes to dealing with certain life problems due to the extremity of my lifestyle. I used to get headaches quite often due to my lack of iron, but this was remedied by the fact I was not eating three square meals a day while also eating too much useless food like Ramen and also skipping meals. I’ll also admit this, I have been positively lazy about my breakfast eating. Ever since I watched the basketball game on Tuesday, I have been having trouble sleeping the last few days due to the fact I have just been a sluggish oaf all week. When you lose sleep and need constant nutrition and coffee to keep you awake, you know it is not going to be a good week. I did have a hard workout the day before I donated, which was labeled as my heavy day. Since I went so functional during the previous workout, I decided to put some better work on the bench press, overhead squat and the barbell rows. Truthfully, it probably wasn’t as hard for me in terms of cardio, but it still left me sore from all of the heavy lifting. Truthfully, one needs to go through that type of thing to reset your body, just to see if you can still do it. I do like doing high intensity stuff from time to time as well as the functional, but nothing makes me feel as accomplished than the days I pumps some iron.
Personally, I cannot wait for the holidays to be over. Not because I think a lot of people make too big of a deal out of the events, I just think the disruption of my life is just too much on most days. When I was at work, it kind of made me sad that people were still spending time trying to get deals and buy stuff, making for a rather busy day at work for everyone involved. I swear, I had to activate more new phones than I have ever done up to this point. And here am, wondering when I will be able to squeeze in some time to go running or something. Seriously, I’m trying to figure out when would be a good time to go running today. I won’t sweat it too much, but I will get it down for the most part. Especially since this upcoming week is also going to be a nightmare for me, for I actually want to go out on New Year’s Eve (provided I have enough money in my budget). And so, running on Sunday the 1st will not be that great if I have a lotto alcohol in my system. Oh ell, we shall see what happens next week. All I know is this season will be over and I will b ablate get back to my routine soon enough!
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
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Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.