It’s really important to fuel our bodies with protein on a regular basis. It stabilizes our blood sugar by digesting slowly, over two to four hours. In fact, when we’re craving sugar like crazy, it means we should have eaten some protein a few hours before. The craving could be a sign of low blood sugar.
For vegetarians, one needs to seek protein at each meal and snack. (Unfortunately, this post won’t provide you with sources) For kids who are gifted, its recommended that they fuel up every 90 minutes because their brains are busy. But I feel like this is important for all kids – no crashes!
I wanted to talk about three easy ways to fuel up, that you may not have thought about, especially if you follow a Paleo diet, and think everything has to involve chia seed and meat.
First, let’s talk gelatin. Gelatin comes in a powdered form. You sprinkle it over cold liquid (inside a pot), let it absorb and rehydrate for five minutes. Then whisk and cook it until warm and no longer lumpy. If you bring it to a boil, it will “set up” or thicken whatever you add to it. You could make your own gelatin juice dessert with unsweetened juice, water, and optional coconut milk. Here’s the link to the gelatin dessert recipe at SnackEnvy.biz.
You could sprinkle over cold water, bring to a boil, or nearly there, and then add to frozen fruit in a blender. (Beware: If you have glass blender, this could cause your blender to crack. Ask me how I know…) The heated gelatin makes it thicker immediately, and will cause the fruit to set into a dessert if cooled in the fridge. The setting process takes about 2 hours.
You could also make a thick, satisfying hot drink while traveling. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold broth. Stir it well, then heat it, and drink it. Or mix the gelatin and cool water, and mix with heated chicken broth.
It contains about 7 grams protein per quarter ounce packet. This is not a vegetarian product, because it comes from animals.
There is gelatin at most grocery stores. It’s usually in the baking aisle up high, or down low. There is a grass-fed version from online stores- Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin is one source, but I am sure there are others.
Drinking a cup of hot broth is a simple way of getting some protein. It’s really nice in the morning in place of coffee, or late at night to warm you up. You may have read about corner stands selling broth in New York city and Boulder. I was thrilled! It adds nutrition and water, instead of dehydrating, like coffee can.
Bone broth is a great source of nutrition, and takes almost no digestion to absorb. This makes it great for anyone who’s convalescing. One nutritionist told me that it was literally keeping people with chronic illnesses alive and functioning, calling it “liquid food.”
You can make it yourself, and I hope to write a full article about this soon. Basically, if you mix good water, bones, some meat, sea salt, and some acid (lemon juice, lime juice, cider vinegar) and cook it for six hours to 3 days, you’ll have a nice bone broth. Flavor it with whatever you like: onions, herbs, garlic, parsley, cilantro, greens stems, beet tops, etc. If you cook it a long time, plan on tossing these flavorings, as they’re going to “give their all.” You can add new ones to eat.
The food acid brings out the minerals in the bones. It’s traditional to let the mix sit for 30-45 minutes with no heat on, then start the heating process. (The book Nourishing Traditions
details this process, and Sally Fallon Morrell has a new broth-making book.)
A little meat in there really helps flavor the broth. I have made it with just beef knuckle bones, and no meat. It gelled great due to the cartilage, but had poor flavor. You can use raw or cooked bones, but the latter will taste (and maybe smell) stronger.
You can mix meat and bone types. I really like beef bones with chicken or turkey wings or backs. If you have digestive issues, you might want to stick to 1 type per broth and rotate. It is sometimes helpful to rotate different protein sources.
A meat broth is just cooked shorter, without bones – about 1-3 hours. It has less minerals. Meat that is simmered is super easy to digest.
This is a shelf stable version that packs easily for trips. This is about a cup or 1 1/2 cups of liquid, with 9 grams protein. Not bad! The ginger flavor was good, and I think the plain one, too. I believe I didn’t like the flavor of the rosemary one.
The company EPIC (meat bar maker) and other companies are coming out with them. I have even seen people shipping frozen broth, but it costs a lot. I think it was $10-12 per pint! Just make your own!
The last handy snack is canned fish like sardines or smoked clams (seen below). These are a great quick snack. I like sardines with skin and bones because the taste is better.
A 3.75 oz container of sardines provides 21grams of protein. They also provide fish oil, which is anti-inflammatory, and some calcium and iron. Sometimes they can taste metallic if you use a metal fork to eat them. A plastic or wooden utensil might work better.
I hope that helps you think about quick, easy ways to fuel up on the go.
What are your favorite protein sources?
If you’ve liked this post, why not share it with your friends, using these ever-so-handy sharing buttons below? And if I can help you with your health, please let me know by contacting me using the link above. Thanks!
This post contains a few affiliate links, which did not affect the content or information listed here. Diana Sproul of Transform Health is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This small affiliate payment helps me support this health education work, which a lot of information is offered for free to the public.