One key to a healthy heart and more energy


Living well and leading over the long haul requires taking care of our bodies.  My friend, Tom Nebel, co-author of the book, Church Planting Landmines with Gary Rohrmayer says that leaders often wish they could add more hours to their day to get things done, but seldom think about how to add more years to the end of their lives.  Healthy habits of exercise and eating right certainly help.

In an earlier post, I suggested five proven ways to lose fat.  Watching your calorie intake and avoiding foods with the 4 C’s (crunchy, crispy, creamy or country) is important.  So, what does that leave on the menu?  Getting down to your fighting weight might require that you eat foods high in protein-that is one key to a healthy heart and more energy.

 Here are five benefits of eating foods high in protein[i]

  1. It is healthy for your heart because it helps lower blood pressure and keeps arteries healthy.
  2. Protein-rich foods are often low in fat, so they can reduce the fat in your overall diet which can lower your cholesterol level.
  3. Protein gives you long-term energy for your day so it is good to eat high protein food to start your day, before workouts or strenuous activities.
  4. Protein makes you feel full longer.  This will help lower your overall calories intake for the day and help you lose weight and feel better.
  5. After work-outs it is good to eat high protein foods since it aids in faster muscle repair and growth!

What is the recommended daily intake of protein?  has a helpful article called, Protein: Are You Getting Enough?[2]  As a rule of thumb, you can calculate your minimum daily protein needs, multiply your weight by .37.  So for a 160 pound man times .37, he will need 60 grams of protein each day.  A woman weighing 120 pounds will need approximately 45 grams of daily protein minimum.

Here are 5 ways to get more protein in your diet.

  1. Yogurt in the morning is a good source of protein.  You will get about 110 calories in a light yogurt, zero calories from fat, and 6 grams of protein. We have recently found Greek yogurts that have the same 110 calories and zero fat calories, but have 14 grams of protein.  They have less sugar but if you add fruit you get over 1/4 of your minimum protein for the day.
  2. Add fish, tuna and chicken to your diet.
  3. Beef is high in protein, but can also be high in unhealthy, saturated fats.  Look for leaner meats which are lower in saturated fat.
  4. Plant foods like beans and nuts are high in protein.  Be careful on the nuts since they can be high in fat also.
  5. Eggs and some dairy.

Didn’t see chocolate on the plan?  Not to worry.  Dark chocolate is OK to add to your diet plan.[3]  Chocolate protein bars are good also-I like the Cliff bars.

Read more: http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/highproteinfood.htm  How much protein do you need? http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/nutrition/a/protein.htm

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About Steve Morgan

I work in Global Leadership Development with Cru with my wife, Terry. We have been married 30 years and have 4 grown children. We have a Masters in Global Leadership together through Azusa Pacific University. I generally write about 5 “L’s: Living Well, Loving Deeply, Learning Continuously, Leading Courageously and Leaving a Legacy. I occasionally write about Laughing Loudly. Subscribe on the right side to receive an email whenever there is a new post. I invite you to leave your comments so we can dialogue on the various topics and learn from each other. If you are new to the site, you might start with looking at some of the top posts or doing a search on the right side bar for one of the 5 “L’s” that interest you. Or you can view the blog archives for topics. Photo Credit: sarahjoellephotography.com
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