Cutting back on meats? Alternative protein sources.

Monday, 1 hour on the cross trainer. Tuesday, 1 hour Spin class. Wednesday, 1 hour on the cross trainer. Thursday and Friday, no workout. Saturday, 29 miles on my bike (yippee!). Sunday, 5 miles cross country skiing. Yes, that’s right. It was warm enough at 53 degrees to bicycle on Saturday and below freezing Sunday. Only in New England. At least if it had to be below freezing, there was still enough snow around to ski on. I’d rather be outside any day and soon enough the weather will allow it more and more. Hooray for spring!

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I’m trying to cut back the amount of meat I eat and get protein from other sources. A good alternate source of protein is beans. Soybeans are one of the richest plant-based protein sources. You’ll get more than 28.5 grams of protein from 1 cup of boiled soybeans. Cooked navy beans have nearly 16 grams of protein per cup, while pinto beans offer closer to 15.5 grams of protein for the same serving size. Prepared kidney beans and black beans each have a similar protein content, providing about 15.25 grams in a 1-cup portion. Garbanzo beans – the type used to make hummus – give you 14.5 grams of protein in a cup. 

But, beans aren’t a complete protein. One thing they lack that we get from meat is amino acids. If you’re going to rely on beans for protein, you’ll need to add another plant based protein on a daily basis to get these essential amino acids. My suggestions would be brown rice, oatmeal or a handful of nuts, 

Beans are comparable to meats in the calorie department but they have the added benefit of high fiber and water content, two ingredients that make you feel fuller, faster. Adding beans to your diet helps cut calories without feeling deprived. The difference in fiber content means meat gets digested more quickly. The beans are processed by our bodies slower resulting in feeling satisfied longer. When you substitute beans for meat in your diet, you get the added bonus of a decrease in saturated fat.

And that’s not all. Beans have something else that meat lacks, phytochemicals, compounds found only in plants. Beans are high in antioxidants, a class of phytochemicals that incapacitate cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Free radicals have been implicated in everything from cancer and aging to diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Hey, sounds like the perfect food, huh? I made a black bean and cucumber salad tonight tonight that is absolutely delicious! I found it here http://allrecipes.com/recipe/black-bean-and-cucumber-salad/detail.aspx. It’s going to be a big part of my lunches this week!

I’m registered to ride in the 2014 Pan Mass Challenge on August 2nd & 3rd. This 192 mile bike a thon raises much needed funds for cancer care and research at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute. One hundred percent of the money raised by the over 5,000 riders goes straight to Dana Farber’s Jimmy Fund. This will be my 11th time riding the PMC and my goal is to raise $10,000. If you’d consider sponsoring me click here https://www.pmc.org/egifts and my ID is JS0126. Another way to donate is “Text to Give to My Ride” means donors can text PMC JS0126 to 20222 to donate $10 to my ride. You must reply “Yes” to the confirmation text message. You can do this up to 5 times from the same phone and the donation will appear on your cell phone bill.

Thanks for reading my blog and have a great week!

 

 

 
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