The Importance of Protein – Powder ideas for smoothies

ImageOnce we are diagnosed with gastroparesis, we have to create a diet of low fat and low fiber.  Eliminating high fat and high fiber allow the stomach to function a little faster than bogging it down to process those foods.   Plus, making smaller meals help move the food faster.  I have found that I need to stick to 1c to 1.5 cups of food.  Nothing more, for my ‘meal’.   Yes, I in a way, measure it out and put it on a small plate.  This way I don’t grab for more food and make myself sick(er).  It is hard to stop ‘eating’ when you are still hungry, but the literal pain if you don’t is worse -for me.

When I started the GP Meal Plan, I cut out a lot.  I was living off a muffin or oatmeal in the morning (both of which are not recommended), then soup for lunch with crackers and a little portion of what I made my family for dinner (still not a wise idea .. if it is not GP Friendly.  Even in a small portion) and during the day I would have a smoothie of some sort.

Can you tell what I was missing?  I hope you guessed EVERYTHING!  I wasn’t getting enough vitamins, minerals and protein was a big miss on my part.

Every day I felt more and more crappy (pain, nausea, fatigue, light headed, dizzy, headaches, etc).   I didn’t understand what was going on.  I was eating low fat and low fiber with small meals.  Maybe my GP was getting worse.  I didn’t know.   But, one day I ran across and article talking about protein and thought for a minuted of how much I may consume in a day.  Hmmm, not much.  Does it matter that much, really?   I began to do more research and found out that lack of protein causes a lot of problems, such as:

  • Loss of muscle
  • Fluid retention
  • Hair loss
  • Body temperature falls
  • Fatigue
  • Nails break easily
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal Pain

Once I figured out that I needed more protein in my days, I began to hunt for items that I could put in my smoothies.  I tried things like tofu and Greek yogurt.  That was never going to be enough, so I searched for protein powders and tried: hemp, peanut butter powder, soy, whey and now my favorite egg protein powder.  Following is a list of Protein Powders along with the amount of protein per serving:

  • Tofu – 9 grams (2″ x 2″ x 1″ chunk)
  • PB2 – 5 grams protein, 2 tablespoons (this is a brand of powdered peanut butter)
  • Soy – 20 grams protein, serving size 24 grams
  • Whey – 25 grams protein, serving size 28 grams
  • Hemp – 25 grams protein, serving size 1 tablespoon
  • Pea – 25 grams protein, serving size 1/4 cup
  • Egg White – 24 grams protein, serving size 28 grams
  • This list is an example from the actual brands I had on hand.  Each brand will/can be different.

For me, the tofu and peanut butter did not contain enough protein for the amount I needed to consume in a day.  The Hemp and Whey could have sent me to the ER if I wasn’t smart and only tired a little amount (sever cramping, bloating, etc).  I ruled out the soy powder, just because I am not that big of a believer in soy.  To me, it is in too much of our food as it is.  I am lucky that the Egg White Protein powder not only tastes great in a shake/smoothie, but it gives me the boost I need every day and has not make me sick!  I swear by it!!

In a given day we should be consuming 50 – 100 grams.  Here is a link to a calculator to help you estimate.   http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/library/blproteincalculators.htm

Lastly, if you can eat some real food, try Protein Bars.  The Balance Bar is easy to digest and can provide any where between 15 – 19 grams of protein (depending on the flavor).  I keep one with me when I go out of the house.  Once I start to feel light headed I eat the bar and am good to go for another hour or two!

It is amazing how just this little changed has helped me.  I feel so much better than before.  Yes, I still have gastroparesis and am in pain every day, but I feel better than I did.

Link regarding protein deficient symptoms:  http://www.buzzle.com/articles/low-protein-levels.html

 

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