The Whole Food Fairy

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I love EVERYTHING she makes!  My favorites are the Protein Balls and the Fruit Leather!!

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Protein — Why, From Where, and How Much

I am often asked about pro­tein.  How much do I need?  If I eat lit­tle or no meat, where what are the best sources of pro­tein?  I’m tired, run-down, my injuries don’t heal quickly, I’ve lost mus­cle mass and my body fat is up…but what does this have to do with pro­tein?  


Could you be pro­tein defi­cient?  Pos­si­bly, if… 

  • You’re tired and run-down even though you’re get­ting enough sleep
  • You have injuries that don’t heal quickly
  • You’re eat­ing clean but your mus­cle mass is down
  • You feel weak and fatique eas­ily when work­ing out or exercising
  • You’re hair is falling out, nails are weak and brit­tle, and skin doesn’t look healthy

What to do? 

Eat more pro­tein! First let me say, I’m not here to tell you where to get your pro­tein.  I firmly believe the answer is dif­fer­ent is for every­one. While a mostly plant-based diet is best for over­all health, mak­ing sure you get enough pro­tein in vitally impor­tant. YouMUST get in enough pro­tein in order for your mus­cles to rebuild and repair, for your body to heal, for new mus­cle growth, to sup­port new cell growth, aid in gain­ing and keep­ing lean mus­cle mass, and to keep your metab­o­lism burn­ing.  Where you get that pro­tein is up to you.

I’m not rein­vent­ing the wheel with this dis­cus­sion.  What I’m say­ing isn’t some­thing new.  But what’s very clear is that many peo­ple have a hard time get­ting enough protein.  

So how much pro­tein do you need?  

This depends on your activ­ity level, size, weight, and if your are build­ing or repair­ing mus­cles.  Many veg­e­tar­ian sites typ­i­cally rec­om­mend a low amount of pro­tein of .4 grams of pro­tein per 1 lb of body weight (mul­ti­ply body­weight by .4=daily intake).  Run­ning sites will range from .5 to .8gr/1lb body weight depend­ing on activ­ity level.  Pri­mal or paleo sites rec­om­mend a higher amount, .9 to 1.8gr/1lb body weight also depend­ing on activ­ity level.  Body­build­ing sites have the amount even higher.  I have found through both research and work­ing directly with boot campers and clients, a min­i­mum of 75gr-125gr of pro­tein (.8gr/1lb body weight) is needed for most clients work­ing out a min­i­mum of 3–4 days per week doing a mix of high inten­sity inter­val train­ing and/or strength train­ing.  Again, base this on your weight and activ­ity level, but I always see issues when pro­tein falls below 75gr per day.

What foods are high in protein?

Beans, Nuts, Seeds, Meat, Fish, Dairy, Plants and Pro­tein Powders.  

Here are Pro­tein Pow­ders that I rec­om­mend.  I pre­fer Vega One for taste and con­sis­tency, but everyone’s likes are dif­fer­ent.  Find one you like and add it to your daily menu plan if you are hav­ing a hard time get­ting enough pro­tein in:

The fol­low­ing sup­ple­ments are fan­tas­tic addi­tives for your smoothies:

*Spir­ulina — highly rec­om­mend as it is a com­plete pro­tein and so, so good for you!  “Spir­ulina con­tains a high amount of pro­tein, vit­a­mins, and min­er­als. It is about 60–70% pro­tein, which is greater gram for gram than both red meat and soy. It also con­tains all of the essen­tial amino acids, which makes it a com­plete pro­tein; this is not very com­mon in plant foods. It con­tains a large amount of Vit­a­min B12, which is very dif­fi­cult to find in other plant foods. That is one rea­son why Spir­ulina is such a great choice for veg­e­tar­i­ans. Spir­ulina is very rich in iron, which is the most com­mon min­eral defi­ciency. Spir­ulina also con­tains cal­cium, mag­ne­sium, and Vit­a­mins A, B, C, D and E. Due to its abil­ity to with­stand high tem­per­a­tures, it is able to retain its nutri­tional value dur­ing pro­cess­ing and shelf stor­age. Many other plant foods will dete­ri­o­rate at these tem­per­a­tures. It only con­tains 3.9 calo­ries per gram and still has all of these great ben­e­fits. It is a low calo­rie, nutri­ent dense food.”

Chia Seeds — “Chia also pro­vides the body with vit­a­mins A, B, E and D and min­er­als such as cal­cium, cop­per, iron, mag­ne­sium, man­ganese, molyb­de­num, niacin, phos­pho­rous, potas­sium, sil­i­con, sodium, sul­phur, thi­amine and zinc. Chia seeds are also a won­der­ful source of pro­tein. Pro­teins are the build­ing blocks of the body, hair, skin, nails, mus­cles, red blood cells, as well as essen­tial and non essen­tial amino acids and fiber, all of which are nec­es­sary for good cir­cu­la­tion and a healthy heart. Chia seeds also help to mod­u­late blood sugar…”

Hemp Pow­der, Seeds or Hearts — Con­tains “24% pro­tein includes the full range of amino acids as well as a bal­anced source of Essen­tial Fatty Acids or EFAs#1. EFAs include omega-3 and omega-6, which help us keep a healthy immune sys­tem, and are respon­si­ble for shiny healthy look­ing skin, hair and nails. A reduc­tion in the crav­ing for junk foods is also notice­able among many reg­u­lar con­sumers of hemp seed and hemp food products.” 

Addi­tional Info:

Here are links to sev­eral sites pro­vide some great infor­ma­tion and fur­ther detail:

Dis­claimerThe infor­ma­tion pre­sented on this web site is not intended to take the place of your per­sonal physician’s advice and is not intended to diag­nose, treat, cure or pre­vent any dis­ease. Dis­cuss your sit­u­a­tion with your own physi­cian or health­care provider to deter­mine what is right for you. All infor­ma­tion is intended for your gen­eral knowl­edge only and is not a sub­sti­tute for med­ical advice or treat­ment for spe­cific med­ical conditions.

Got Magnesium?

Prob­a­bly Not Enough…

The National Insti­tutes of Health says “Mag­ne­sium is needed for more than 300 bio­chem­i­cal reac­tions in the body. It helps main­tain nor­mal mus­cle and nerve func­tion, keeps heart rhythm steady, sup­ports a healthy immune sys­tem, and keeps bones strong. Mag­ne­sium also helps reg­u­late blood sugar lev­els, pro­motes nor­mal blood pres­sure, and is known to be involved in energy metab­o­lism and pro­tein syn­the­sis. There is an increased inter­est in the role of mag­ne­sium in pre­vent­ing and man­ag­ing dis­or­ders such as hyper­ten­sion, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, and dia­betes. Dietary mag­ne­sium is absorbed in the small intestines. Mag­ne­sium is excreted through the kidneys.”

Dr. Nor­man Shealy’s states, “Every known ill­ness is asso­ci­ated with a mag­ne­sium defi­ciency” and that, “mag­ne­sium is the most crit­i­cal min­eral required for elec­tri­cal sta­bil­ity of every cell in the body. A mag­ne­sium defi­ciency may be respon­si­ble for more dis­eases than any other nutrient.”

Because mag­ne­sium defi­ciency is largely over­looked, mil­lions of Amer­i­cans suf­fer need­lessly or are hav­ing their symp­toms treated with expen­sive drugs when they could be cured with mag­ne­sium supplementation.”

Here are 16 signs of a Mag­ne­sium Deficiency:

  1. Cal­cium deficiency
  2. Poor heart health
  3. Weak­ness
  4. Mus­cle cramps
  5. Tremors
  6. Nau­sea
  7. Anx­i­ety
  8. High blood pressure
  9. Type II diabetes
  10. Res­pi­ra­tory issues
  11. Dizzi­ness
  12. Fatigue
  13. Potas­sium deficiency
  14. Dif­fi­culty swallowing
  15. Poor mem­ory
  16. Con­fu­sio n 

Of course, if you have any of these issues, it doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean you’re mag­ne­sium defi­cient.  But I’m cer­tain most of us are.

How much mag­ne­sium do we need each day?   

*Cour­tesy of National Insti­tutes of Health

What foods pro­vide Magnesium?

Wash Your Produce! (Homemade Veggie Wash)

When it comes to fruits and veg­gies, whether from the store or farmer’s mar­ket, let’s face it; they need a bath! The pes­ti­cide resid­u­als, the dirt, the organic mate­r­ial (as in, manure), the pack­ag­ing and han­dling; all this makes for some dirty produce!

If you’re buy­ing con­ven­tional pro­duce, wash­ing the pro­duce will not wash away the pes­ti­cides that have con­t­a­m­i­nated the item. But it will wash off any­thing that is on the sur­face; and that includes a lot of dirt and germs. Organic pro­duce, while not hav­ing the pes­ti­cides, still have a host of dirt and germs that should not be ingested.

Here’s a list of the Dirty Dozen (those you should always buy organic as they are most sat­u­rated with pes­ti­cides) and the Clean Fif­teen (those items that the pes­ti­cides do not pen­e­trate, or at least not as much or as deep as the items on the Dirty Dozen). 


Dirty Dozen, Clean 15

You can buy fruit and veg­etable cleaner at the store, but it’s very easy to make your own at home.

You can soak your fruit and veg­gies a sink filled half way up with water, adding one cup of apple cider or white vine­gar. (Make sure your sink is very clean before you start.) Do not over­fill the sink with items, make sure there is room for the fruit or veg­eta­bles to move freely. Let soak for 10 min­utes. Remove and dry off. Ready to eat!

You can also use a spray bot­tle and fill it water along with a vari­ety of items. I added a graphic I found on Pin­ter­est so that you could print and cut it out for handy ref­er­ence. I typ­i­cally just mix water with white vine­gar and lemon juice, but of course you can get fancier. It all depends on your preference.

Remem­ber to wash the out­side of mel­ons and any item that you will be cut­ting through. If you don’t, the knife will become con­t­a­m­i­nated and carry the dirt and germs through­out the item. 

The key is to make sure you have clean fruit and veg­gies ready to eat. Oth­er­wise, you may tempted to grab some­thing not so healthy. Cheers to good health and clean produce!