Published on February 12th, 2014 | by Grinds4Gamers0
The Basics: Part Three
THE PROTEIN BOMB!
Now, this is the part of my eating regimen that I really love. This is the meat of the message, this is where my carnivorous tendencies take hold! Let’s talk about protein.
I’m going to start this part of the article off with a few take-home statements.
- Healthy animal meats are among the best sources of protein.
- Animal meats contain fat, which your body NEEDS (yes, even saturated fats).
- Proteins are essential for cell growth, tissue maintenance and basic bodily functions.
Here are some protein sources to consider:
- Lean cuts, grass-fed (preferable), trim the visible fat, eat as much as you want.
- Beef: Flank steak, top sirloin, extra lean hamburger, London broil, veal, chuck
- Pork: Loin, chops
- Poultry: chicken breast, turkey breast, game hen breast
- Fish: pretty much any (salmon is preferred due to the rich omega-3 oils)
Limit to 6 per week (don’t want to spike that cholesterol!): With yokes recommended, free-range, omega-3 enriched
These protein sources, when chosen from high-quality animals, have proven to be excellent additions to a healthy, fat-burning diet. But just what does “high-quality” mean? I’m sure you have all seen “free-range” eggs, or “grass-fed” beef, or “wild-caught” fish at the grocery store. I’m sure you’ve all scoffed at them as well. I sure did, until I educated myself to the differences of these food sources to your everyday, mass-produced, widely available protein sources. Here’s what they mean:
Grass-Fed & Antibiotic/Hormone Free Meats:
Let’s face it. The world is getting more populated by the day. More population means the need for more food. This global demand requires food sources, such as beef cattle, to be grown, fattened-up and butchered fast enough to keep up with America’s hunger. This demand requires massive amounts of cows to be grown in feed lots. Many of these farms are feeding the cattle genetically-modified grains, corn and animal by-product. I even read an article about cows that were being fed Fruity Pebbles. WTF? Yep, cheaper food means more profit. Who cares what they are fed right? Wrong! These nutrients, or lack thereof, end up in YOUR MOUTH! These feed lots can also become riddled with sick animals, thus producing tainted meats. In order to combat the sickness and promote growth, cattle are given antibiotics and hormones. These additives end up in your meat.
How does Grass-Fed play a part in all of this? Grass-Fed animals are raised in their natural environment, eating their natural food source. They are less stressed, leading to healthier, heartier animals. Grass-Fed beef also tends to be leaner and less fatty than grain-fed beef. This enhances the taste of the meat as well!
Free-Range & Wild-Caught:
Free-Range, usually referring to chicken stock, is a term that means the animals in question are raised with the ability to roam free, as opposed to being confined in an enclosure. Most commercial egg and chicken farms enclose the animals in a warehouse-type setting, where they NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY! What a life, eh? These animals don’t move more than several feet in their lifetime. They eat where they crap and they crap where they eat. Guess what? You’re eating it. Google a picture of a free-range chicken as compared to a commercially grown chicken. Nah, I’ll do it for you. Check this out:
FARM RAISED CHICKEN
Which one would you rather eat?
Wild-Caught fish is just that. They are caught in their natural environment. Much like commercially grown poultry, fish farms can be riddled with sickness. The fish are confined to small areas and are left to bottom-feed. Yep, right where they crap. Your farm-raised fish ends up full of crap. I don’t know about you, but I’m out. On the other hand, wild-caught fish, especially salmon, is among the super foods of the world! Wild-caught salmon contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, anti-oxidants and essential amino acids (essential for cellular repair and optimal immune function). EPA & DHA optimizes the fluid mobility within your spinal column and nervous system. Not only does this fish help you decrease inflammation in your body, it also promotes healthy neurologic function! If you are to choose one protein source, this is it.
So look for the labels! Look for grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free, free-range, wild-caught protein sources. Are they more expensive? Yes, they are. But your pocketbook won’t experience too much of an increase in costs when you are buying mostly vegetables and fruits to supplement your carbohydrate needs! Trust me! I’ve been doing this for a few years now and grocery store bills are only slightly higher overall, if not the same as when I was buying a good amount of processed foods!
But what about if you’re on a budget? Yes, eating these pure sources of proteins can dip a bit more into your pocket book. So what’s a gamer to do? You can still do this! If all else fails, ignore the organic, free-range, wild caught, grass-fed and just go for the leanest proteins you can get. For example, instead of grass-fed ground sirloin, get a lean 93/7 or 90/10 mix of ground beef/sirloin without the fancy labels. These meats will still work for weight loss and this whole lifestyle in general! Just know that to get the maximum health benefit, higher quality foods are more optimal.
So here’s a more comprehensive list of meats:
If you are a vegetarian or do not eat meats, here are some other ways to get your proteins:
- Tofu and other soy products
- Nuts & Seeds
- Meat Substitutes
- Protein Supplements
I don’t claim to be a vegetarian guide, as I’m a carnivore. But you can certainly Google these sources and get more information. I do, however, use lean whey protein powders to supplement my workout recovery shakes. I also eat a good amount of nuts & seeds, but instead of using them as a protein source, I use them as a FAT SOURCE, which we will talk about in our next segment!