Protein galore?

/ March 17, 2014/ Holistic Nutrition, Recipes/ 3 comments

What is wrong with this picture? does it look like a balance meal to you? or does it look like it has too much protein?

Protein is one of the macronutrients that we need to consume everyday. Proteins consist of chains of amino acids. Although the body makes some amino acids and proteins, there are 9 essential amino acids that the body does not make! The body cannot store proteins as it does with carbohydrates. although, we have a little amino acid pool that helps to supply missing amino acids in protein synthesis, it is best to consume complete proteins that contains all the essential amino acids. For these reasons, it is very important to get an adequate intake every meal.

Consequences of protein excess

The tricky part is how much protein is adequate? excess of protein can actually be detrimental to your health. Here are some of the problems of eating too much protein:

  • Increased risk of kidney problems (too much work)
  • Increased risk of liver problems
  • Elevated blood cholesterol
  • Bone calcium loss
  • Increased bacterial growth in the intestines

Also, animal protein sources are acid-forming foods. So too much animal proteins makes your body very acidic! We discussed a bit how being acidic contributes to disease in a previous post (Beating the flu)
Your water intake needs increase because it is required in the process to eliminate protein excess. This process is very taxing on the kidneys and liver.

Hope that you are getting the picture and see why I find so scary these protein drinks with 25 g of protein!

What is a complete protein?

A food source of complete protein is one that has about the same amount of all 9 essential amino acids. Eggs are a perfect source of protein. The whole egg… Other animal sources of protein such as fish, meat, and chicken are all good sources of protein. However, most of plant-based proteins are not a source of complete protein! So you need to be careful and make combinations of foods to make your food a complete source of protein. For example, beans or rice are not a complete source of protein but combined they complement each other and make a complete source of protein. Same with seeds ad beans.

What I found amazing is that traditionally we had this knowledge. Take for example rice and peas and humus ( sesame seeds and chickpeas) are sources of complete protein! Why did we loose this knowledge? Is processed food a factor in loosing this knowledge? What do you think?

How much protein is enough?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 0.8 g of protein per kg of lean body weight! So if you know your % of body fat, it is easy to calculate your lean body weight by subtracting the % body fat in kg from your weight in kg. What if you don’t know your % of body fat? no worries, use the DRI tables for macronutrients to find out how much.

If you find hard to make calculation, some sites in the internet can help you with that. Here is an example, However, note that is based on body weight and not on lean body weight. Also the site focuses on athletes. Let me know if you find a better link.

I’m guilty as the next person! My last analysis of the diet showed that I was consuming and average of 73 g of proteins! Funny enough, the days that I was not eating animal protein I had around 40 some g of protein. It turns out that my worries about not having enough protein were totally mistaken… If you are interested in finding out your intake of macronutrients, contact me and I can help you.

An easy tip is the amount of protein that fits in the palm of your hand ( just the palm not the fingers!)

Next time your are making a smoothie, make sure you do not go overboard with those protein powders… most have 25 to 28g of protein per scoop which is close to half of the RDA allowance for male adults. Think of getting your protein from your food. Nuts,seeds, and some vegetables like kale that have a higher protein content.

Cooling hummus

This is a recipe to hummus from scratch… It uses cooling spices that are good for reducing body inflammation.


  • One cup of chickpeas
  • Two cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of kombu flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup of tahini
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds


  • Soak chickpeas in water overnight or at least 6 hrs.
  • Place chickpeas in a pot with the water and add 1 teaspoon of kombu to help tenderize the chickpeas and make digestion easier.
  • Cook for 30-45 min. or until chickpeas until tender.
  • Strain the chickpeas and save the broth.
  • Crush coriander seeds and cumin seeds into a powder in a mortar or spice blender. If you buy in powder form, you might want to add just 1/2 teaspoon of these spices.
  • Place chickpeas, oil, tahini, lime, salt, coriander seeds, and cumin in a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are blended. Add some of the broth to desired consistency.

You can add more coriander or cumin seeds depending on how strong you like the taste. Also, add some fresh coriander leaves either chopped or blend with the food processor.

You can cook more chickpeas than the recipe calls for and freeze to save time next time you want to make this recipe. I do not recommend using canned chickpeas for obvious reasons as they contain preservatives and salt but also because canned food does not have energy as fresh cooked foods.

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  1. Sound delicious! Loving your blog and looking forward to absorbing some more of your wisdom and knowledge. I love your yoga classes and look forward to doing more some day! Love Sarah.

  2. It’s delicious! My boys 1 and 3 years old love it! Thanks so much =)

    1. Thank you for trying the recipe! How lucky your boys are to have a mom making them such delicious and nutritious food!

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