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PROTEIN. PROTEIN. PROTEIN.

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FOOD TARGETS
,
simplify food choices

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RANT:
It's only a matter of time: our grand kids and future generations will surely curse us for what we've allowed to happen to the oceans and the fish supply. There HAS been some progress, but renegade dumpers and run-off industrialist get away with it. So short-sighted! It's going to cost SOMEBODY a lot of money at huge effort to clean up our oceans.

What can YOU do about it now?

 

FACTOID:
Since the turn of the century the proportion of protein in cheese has increased by more than 500%. Cheese is the largest contributor of dairy protein to the American table today.

 

LEAN CLEAN PROTEIN
= A MEAN MUSCLE MACHINE

Protein builds and maintains musculature better than any other food source bar none. But eating proteins in excess can lead to liver problems, a susceptibility to pollen, animal dander or cause auto-immunity. So, there’s no compromise in a consistently high-quality protein intake: it’s crucial to steer clear of ALL ANIMAL FATS. A smart muscle fueling regimen (food plan) includes fresh vegetables, quality dairy and the occasional fruit.

For all-out, high-gear training and no sloughing off, you need about 1.5-2.0 grams of protein every day times your body weight. That's a lot. That's what it takes ... in proper combination with carbs and fats and training all-out. Do your research. 

POULTRY
Be it chicken, turkey, ostrich or game bird, DARK MEAT (the legs and thighs) is higher in fat and cholesterol than white, that's why it's so juicy. So is the skin. WELL, AVOID THEM BOTH! It's just something ELSE to burn off on the treadmill, to trim down at contest time and dark poultry meat lacks the protein of breast or wing, the WHITE MEAT.

My bodybuilding primary care physician advised me to eat six chicken breasts a day to feed muscle growth. Well, I thought six was extreme, but then again, chicken breasts do come in all sizes. (What's a portion anyhow? Some say, it's what you can hold in one hand. Okay, clinched or open?) ugh. I don't know. I just eat a lot of white poultry meat every day and have it done with and it's working out just fine.


A Really Good Deal

 

Find those individually frozen, that is 'ice glazed,' SKINLESS CHICKEN BREASTS, often 5-6 in a big plastic bag with or without ribs in the bulk frozen foods section. The latter is cheaper because the bones are still in. Almost always that's where the tastiest meat is, next to the bone.

Anyhow, these things are a no-brainer to cook. Perfect, cuz we eat a lot of them. Pop into a covered skillet or pot as is on medium heat for 15 minutes, turn, season, cook some more, eat. They are often however infused with a brine (sodium) solution (SALT), so if you're trying to trim down, this source will be counterproductive to your goals.

Alternately, shop for "GLATT KOSHER" on the packaging; they're clean meats, no artificial ingredients or preservatives, no MSG, 'all natural,' and minimally processed. Works for me.

ALWAYS DISCARD POULTRY SKIN, that’s where the fat lies. Strip it off before cooking. Left-over cooked breasts taste fine refrigerator-cold, throw on some seasoning and you’re good to go.

Good thing I like white poultry meat; but a little variety helps things out. There are surprisingly good simmering sauces, marinade and salsa out there that make all this 'breast feeding' tolerable. Careful though, some pre-made sauces are highly caloric or have a high fat, sodium and cholesterol content, all kinds of preservatives. Read the label. Even spaghetti sauce or pesto will work, then hit it with some Bragg Liquid Aminos, Mrs. Dash or the like and cayenne pepper. Quite easy, tender and tasty for something so good for building muscle.


TIP: Cook up a lot of breasts at a time, then refrigerate some, freeze the rest. Saves beaucoup time down the road. Then with the leftover, already-cooked chicken breasts, you get to be creative. Put chopped onions or garlic or leeks, fresh veggies into a pot with some extra virgin olive oil, then some vegetables, saute. (Look for an organic frozen 'medley' when you're going for easy). When that's softened and heated, pour in some left-over soup. Or packaged organic soup: squash, red pepper, tomato are awesome and re-closable. Let 'em stew in their own juices. Again season with Braggs, maybe some black pepper. Notice: no salt before during or after. Salt breaks meat fibers down but also releases juices. I'd rather they stay right where they are, not in the bottom of the pan.

ALL THOSE BONES:
Grandma Perkins would freak if she saw me throwing out chicken bones. Bones of any sort. Shh, I do all the time. Grannie was a frugal sort. Had to be. Okay, I confess sometimes I DO make the effort, slow-simmer them in good, not tap [or chlorinated], water till the fluid is cloudy and bones soft and all the little flecks of meat are mobile. Ditch the bones for once and for all, but NOT for the dog. Voila, we just made broth!

... Wherein lies the veritable essence of "Jewish Penicillin," the miracle cure for the common everything. Well, a bunch of researchers proved there IS validity to the cute handle, so I'll go with that plus the intense flavor that comes out of the bones, maybe it's the marrow. So, it's prudent to make broth only from strictly range-free, natural, organically fed chickens or turkeys or ostrich. (Yeah, ostrich is great, even higher protein than chicken). Refrigerate the broth for a couple hours, skim off the congealed fat that's settled on top. Then freeze in a proper container, use a glob whenever the needs arises like to add nutrition instead of just water to thin savory dishes, make fresh soup, cook grains. Grandma would be so proud.


4-LEGGED PROTEIN
Beef, bison (buffalo), venison, elk, moose, lamb. Make sure it's fresh, clean and lean. And don't think you can get the same muscle eating this stuff as lean poultry white meat. It ain't gonna happen. For me, about once a week or two, I'll treat myself to nice lean T-bone steak, broiled or grilled. Most Americans eat FAR too much beef and just LOOK at us! Tone it down, your heart will thank you for it.

AVOID PORK: ham, bacon, chops, sausage, pepperoni, etc. Pigs' organs are amazingly similar to ours! Ergo, they are the source of glandular medicines. It's a bit mad-cow-like to eat pork. And pork is usually heavily fat-laden. I can't ignore how most pigs are raised and what they're fed. Screw your taste buds' addiction to the taste of fat. Get over it! Muscle can't be built on pork. (I allow myself about one portion of lean ham or a chop or loin cut maybe once every six months. Seriously.)

 

SMOOTHIES

Srmoothies are important, a daily staple, an athlete's mantra. The most basic formula uses cow's milk and a protein powder. Alternative fluids are good too, variety makes things enjoyable and probably good to get some other milk sources into the mix: Goat milk, almond milk, rice mike, coconut milk or multi-grain milk.

You can use PASTERIZED EGG WHITES instead of a milk in your smoothies! It's supposed to deliver more protein for a longer period of time since it digests (breaks down) slower than milk. Luckily it's easy to find egg whites, but read the label. One of them adds onion powder and salt. NOT so good for a smoothie drink, but awesome for a twist on a scrambled eggs.


Always add a big tablespoon or two of real, organic, active live culture yoghurt (called probiotics) to your smoothies.

Yoghurt helps condition
stomach flora, neutralizes a sour stomach, is an energy boost when you've missed sleep. Amazing stuff. Rural Hungarians eat lots of yoghurt daily and live to be a hundred plus years old! (Himalyans survive those harsh perpetual winters on yak meat, yak milk, yak yoghurt and yak butter.)

Berries or ripe banana, figs, raisins, dates too. I know. I know. This flies in the face of my thing about mixing fruit with NOTHING else. So shoot me. Once in a while I need variety in my 2-3X a day smoothie. And nothing can beat the antioxidants of blueberries and their cousins. This is the only time I mix fruit with protein. It seems to work for me.

I go for at least 40 grams of protein per smoothie. Since L-glutamine is so vital in building muscle mass I add it here too (about 500 grams a day, 3 times a day!). Creatine or a volumnizer too (see Supplements).

Beachbody has some awesome boosts to add to their already awesome Shakeology protein powders.

 


Tuna & Lots
of Cottage Chesse

Long before all the designer protein powders hit the shevles, magazines and juice bars, long before all these amazing supplements appeared guaranteed to pack on lean muscle FAST!, and light years before the current marketing frenzy to perfect bodyness for all, hard-core iron-pumpers relied almost exclusively on TLCC for their lean protein. It's a twist on the expected acronym for 'tender loving care': TUNA AND LOTS OF COTTAGE CHEESE (see below).

They're still viable nutrition, but with a huge proviso. The joint Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency have mandated that certain types of seafood fishes are riskier than others for regular and sometimes even occasional consumption! Severe precautions to children and fertile women raise big red flags are all of us.

It's the larger fishes that are most suspect and the culprit is
mercury which has pervaded every ocean and sea and most lakes on the planet. Fun to watch roll around in your hand in Chem 101, but toxic to human when ingested, mercury when consumed in continued abundance can cause poisoning, learning disabilities, motor skill impairment and short-term memory loss

But fish is such great protein value and the omega-3 fatty acids are important. So, I compromise, I think you should too. Eat only small fish with any regularity. The principle being large fish eat smaller fish. Mercury accumulates UP the food chain. Sad state of affairs, huh? So going for tuna exclusively is playing with the devil, guys. It's a very big hungry fish. And don't even think about swordfish and the big boys*. Sorry, I love the flavor too. Or I used to. My common sense taught my taste buds to know better. I don't HAVE to have tuna, but DO have to have as little mercury in my system as possible.

Make it a mission next you shop to seek out quality small fish. Fresh is best, but the canned versions are practical. I'm talking sardines, kippers, smelt, anchovies and shellfish. If the flavored varieties attract you, fine. I especially like the sardines in mustard, tomato or spicy sauce. Those packed in olive oil are better tasting; avoid soybean or cottonseed oil. Great, usually cheap, portable and convenient protein.


FISH TO AVOID (high in mercury content)
* shark
swordfish
king mackerel
tilefish
"solid white" albacore tuna (limit to no more than 6 oz. per week)
tuna steaks

FISH TO USE (lower in mercury content)
CANNED or FRESH or FROZEN

shrimp
chunk "light" tuna
skipjack tuna
salmon
pollock
catfish
crab
clams
anchovies


sardines
kippers
smelt

WHICH SEAFOODS
ARE BEST AND SAFEST
AND LOCAL?

Get a sweet free downloadable seafood pocket guide

seafood guide

SHELLFISH
Mollusks (clams, oysters, mussels) are bottom dwellers; at least they don't consume many other fish, so mercury content is less of a concern. The crawlers: shrimp, lobsters, crabs, etc. only consume very small critters, also little mercury content.

THANK YOU, CHEESES
SOLID, WHITE & COTTAGE - ALWAYS HAVE SOME ON-HAND. LOW-FAT OR WHOLE-, SMALL OR LARGE CURD; IT MAKES FOR AN EXCELLENT EASY, QUICK PROTEIN FIX.

"The protein in cheese is generally of high quality, containing all of the essential amino acids in the amounts proportional to the body's need. CASEIN is the main protein in cheese, although water-soluble milk proteins (e.g., lactalbumin and lactalglobulin) also may be present depending on the amount of whey entrapped in the cheese. Protein in many cheeses is readily digestible because some of the proteins are broken down during ripening to peptides and amino acids." (per The National Dairy Council)

Read labels very carefully. SOFT WHITE CHEESES are less altered, easier to digest, purer, no food colorings added and closer to the source. RENNET (the calf stomach enzyme added to cause raw milk to curdle and the formation of cheese) can be avoided. Look for a simpler, shorter ingredient list with the fewest lab-sounding terms.

GOAT CHEESE (chèvre) is wonderful, with a higher proportion of medium-chain fatty acids it's characteristic tart flavor is a smart alternative to cream cheese. FETA CHEESE is inadvisable with some HIV medications.

COTTAGE CHEESE is superb when you've just dragged in from a huge workout, your body's craving ... well, everything all at once. Throw some Spike or salt and pepper onto a bowl of cottage cheese and go to town ... safe and sound protein, adjustable fat content, quick. Perfection. Or use pineapple chunks instead of savory seasoning for a cool alternative, even though it violates a big TMK principle (no protein with fruit). The occasional minor transgression IS allowed.

When ordering in a restaurant, ask for cottage cheese instead of potatoes, grits rice or greasy carcinogenic fried potatoes: French, home or hash brown.

OTHER PROTEIN SOURCES
Use soy protein, tempeh or tofu in moderation as an adjunct to animal protein; it's the GMO history of all soybean seeds. There are many kinds of vegan proteins available. Use with discretion, SOYBEANS ARE NOT GMO FREE. Hemp protein, hazelnut protein are viable alternatives.

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PROTEIN BARS proteinbsrs

Most protein bars are no more than convenient fillers, shy on protein and high on sugars and carbs. Don't rely on ANY protein bar for consistent clean muscle- or health-building protein. They're mostly just glorified, hyped-up CANDY! The majority of the protein bars out there, given their ingredients end up in three places:

1. ... in your digestive tract in tar-like layers blocking nutrient uptake
2. ... on the outside of your body deposited as fat

3. .... In the toilet as undigestible filler

Search high and low... ALWAYS scrutinize the label. The good ones are few and far between and usually over $3.
Make sure there's ...
NO hydrogenated oils
NO artificial sweeteners
NO sucralose
NO corn syrup
NO aspartame
NO gluten
NO acesuftame-K

BETTER YET, opt for smarter portable SNACKS, like clean (lightly seasoned) turkey, ostrich, salmon or buffalo jerky.

The healthy bar alternative would be a low-sugar meal replacement bar that has less than 5g of carbs (the ones that affect blood sugar) and at least 15g of protein.

 

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