Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What Do You Call a Vegetarian with Diarrhea?

Now that I've planted that fresh and clean image in your head...

We attend a Bradley Method birth class on Mondays.  One tenant of the method is that good nutrition is key to preventing many pregnancy complications.  Also, high protein intake is important for the development of the fetus and ensures mommy creates enough extra blood during the pregnancy.  Therefore each mommy has to track the food she eats every day.  The sheet we use has the basic parameters for a weeks proper prenatal nutrition.  You check off the number of meats, dairy, nuts, grains, fruits, green veggies, yellow veggies and fruits, etc.  You also calculate the protein in grams you're consuming.  This is the tricky one.  The goal is to eat at least 80-100 grams of protein daily.  We've learned there is an amazing amount of protein in things you'd never suspect.  It has also caused us to look at our nutritional content very closely. 

Each week one couple from the classes brings a healthy snack to share with the group.  We've decided to bring smoothies.  We do not want to purchase protein powder to bulk up the smoothies since that'd require serious research for pregnancy safe, let alone regular folk safe and not "bulking" or weight gain inducing stuff.  My mom let me borrow this book she just happened to have out when we went to visit yesterday.  It's called The Green Smoothies Diet by a lady named Robyn Openshaw.  

This lady is vegan and let me just say, I do not think vegans are right in the head.  Yes you vegans who accidentally stumbled upon this can call me an ass, but it's not my commitment, so just move on and go adopt a cow or save a seal pup!

She did get us thinking seriously about how to incorporate super protein packed spinach and other essentials into our smoothies.  She doesn't add yogurt and obviously milk based protein powders are a big no no, so she's had to become creative with her contents.  This was enlightening and once again made us start scrutinizing our nutritional data.  It also got me thinking how three smoothies a day would make the inventor of adult diapers a lot of money!

Can I just tell you how difficult it is to find nutritional data about anything?  Just tracking the food has been frustrating for my wife as she can't always find protein counts.  Regular food on the shelf has a nutritional label, so that's fine, but what if you don't eat an entire can of something...it's mixed into an actual meal.  I'm not going to measure every minor thing and then try to calculate the nutritional value.  I can barely remember the quantities I've poured one minute to the next, let alone after the meal!  Then there is the super secretive restaurant/fast food joint "food."  Not going there, I'm pretty sure countless blogs exist just griping about it.

But produce doesn't come with nutritional labels!  Try doing a Google search for the nutritional value of acai juice...let alone trying to find the calories and protein content.  You get a dozen pages of people who are selling the crap and touting the antioxidant values of the super fruit...not one lists even the caloric quantity, let alone the protein.  (juice has none to 1 gram per serving...no clue on the actual berry)  Lance Armstrong's Live Strong website has a lot of data, but it is still pretty limited.  We found one site that we pulled a ton of info on and used it for the majority of our research.  It claimed guava had 4.21 grams of protein yet the frozen whole guava at the store only claimed 1 gram.  Lance's site even has both listed with different serving sizes labeled one serving.  WHY DO THEY MAKE IT SO FREAKING DIFFICULT?

Shouldn't we as Americans, let alone humans want this info readily availble?

Maybe I'm just a fat ass and this is my first round of really delving in to nutrition that wasn't a school requirement and don't know where the skinny people have hidden the secret treasure yet!  So now I'm left questioning every bit of info on the infallible Internet and thinking I should just make standard Strawberry Banana smoothies (maybe throw in some spinach to see if I notice the flavor) and be happy with the INCREDIBLE amount of protein Stonyfieilds Organic Oikos Greek Yogurt contains...23 grams per cup!!!!

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