What’s the Beef with Protein?

When I became a vegetarian, my parents were not shy about making sure I met my nutritional requirements. Specifically, the subject on their minds was protein. “Sarah, have this piece of fish. It’s full of protein. You need protein in every meal to stay healthy.” It drove me absolutely mad, so much so that I became super focused on making sure I was hitting at least 100 grams or more. I tracked my macronutrients using LoseIt extensively, making sure that every handful of spinach or carton of egg whites helped me reach my goals. Sometimes, I would eat 3 Quest Bars just to make sure my protein needs were met. Now to be fair, at the time, I probably was not eating enough calories, which resulted in the symptoms of protein deficiency. And yes, once I stopped eating my vegetable-only salads in favor of a more balanced meal with added protein and fats, I felt loads better. However, after reflecting to that time in my life,  I began to critically think about the intense focus our society has on protein in our diet.

With this in mind, I beg the question: what is the deal with protein?

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Buckwheat Banana Pancakes

These pancakes are a bit life changing.

I know I’ve touched on this before, but like, I am obsessed with breakfast food. No joke. I want all the breakfast foods, sweet or savory, all the time. Eggs, pancakes, waffles, hash. You say the words and I am SO. GAME. What makes that hard is most breakfast food is hard to take to work, ya know? And I am at work for a considerable portion of my week. So even if I want breakfast food for lunch (aka, that is most days) it is damn near impossible to make my dreams a reality.

If you’ve ever had a cold fried egg, you now exactly what I am talking about.

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Soaked Coconut Quinoa Porridge

There’s something so comforting about the word porridge, right? Even if it is 90 degrees outside?

I mean, the word porridge just feels nourishing, right? Much more than warmed quinoa breakfast, am I right? And even as summer begins to poke over the horizon (thank GOODNESS) I still want that comfort that a warm bowl of porridge provides.

Then again, I am the kind of person who drinks hot coffee all year round

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“Are You Getting Enough Protein?”: Counting Macros

The first time someone told me that I needed more protein was from my mom. I had just come back from a weekend trip in college and was visiting my family for the holidays. My mom took one look at my hair and asked, “Are you eating enough protein? Maybe you should have some fish.”

To be fair to my mom, I probably was not getting enough protein or calories at the time. Like all trips you take in your late teens and early twenties, I was subsisting on a diet that would not be considered balanced. In this case, my team and I ate nothing but granola bars and Subway sandwiches. And because I was a pescatarian and store bought tuna salad (which is basically half mayo) FREAKS me out, my only option was the veggie delight sub with the sweet onion sauce. As you can tell, this probably has zero protein.

But you cannot say I did not get my veggies in.

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