The Secret to Protein (part one)

*I thought I was eating healthy.

A bowl of Shredded Wheat with skim milk and berries for breakfast is full of good fiber. It keeps the system moving…


Quite a bit. (This easy breakfast would be a ‘good’ choice.)

That’s what I was thinking six years ago…

…then I became more enlightened about portions and the true importance of eating enough protein, smart carbs and healthy fats.

At age 45, I completely transformed my body and lost 3% of my body fat.

Whats the difference?


It is the main ingredient in a healthy diet…

…but many people overlook or underestimate its importance.

Much of the confusion revolves around getting “enough” protein and choosing the “best” source.

But there is no one-size-fits-all approach to protein consumption.

That’s because:

  • Getting “enough” protein is relative. A person’s ideal protein intake depends on their individual body, goals, and preferences.
  • The “best” sources of protein, including plant-based protein, can vary from person to person. Some sources may be of higher quality than others, but intolerances and allergies need to be considered, as well as what a person can eat on a consistent basis.

Let me take a sip of my Synergy Raw Kombucha Trilogy drink so we can be crystal clear.

When you finish this important read, you will have some great ideas on…

  1. WHERE to get healthy protein,
  2. good SOURCE for protein (if you are a plant-based eater or meat eater),
  3. the BENEFIT of eating enough protein and
  4. some of the DOWNFALLs of not getting enough.

How important is protein?

We need protein regularly from our diets to GROW, KEEPand REPAIR our tissues, hormonesand immune system.

Protein is the cellular building block of our bodies.

And during PREGNANCY, protein is more important to create a new human life.

Some people may want to eat more or less protein depending on their preferences and goals, but we all need some protein to PREVENT issues like:

  • loss of muscle mass (which can cause a decrease in your metabolism)
  • having skin, hair, and nail problems
  • healing will be slower if you get cuts or bruises
  • experiencing mood swings (something none of us need besides those pesky mother hormones!)
  • bones are more likely to break

If weight loss is your goal… focus on eating more LEAN protein sources.

🤫Here’s a little secret — our bodies do NOT store protein! It is immediately used.

That’s a really important fact worth repeating… our bodies don’t store protein. (It stores carbohydrates and fat.)

For my clients who are on a weight loss journey, I suggest eating a quality source of protein when they are hungry so that it will keep them full and keep them on track for their goals.

The benefits of protein

Unless you have a specific medical reason to keep your protein intake low, most people will benefit from eating more protein.

Specific benefits of a high-protein diet include:

  • Appetite control: Eating a high-protein diet seems to improve satiety.
  • Weight management and body composition: Higher protein intake can help people eat less when they’re trying to lose fat, increase the number of calories burned through digestion (the thermic effect of food), and preserve muscle. during fat loss.
  • Muscle growth or maintenance: Keeping protein levels high, along with exercise, helps people gain muscle mass and maintain it over time, especially as they age.
  • Improved cardiometabolic health: High protein diets can help lower blood pressure, improve blood glucose and cholesterol regulation, and more.
  • Better strength: Higher amounts of protein combined with exercise can also help increase strength.
  • Improved immune function: Proteins are the building blocks of antibodies, and serve several functions in the immune system. People who are deficient in protein are more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections.
  • Faster recovery: Higher protein intake helps repair tissue damaged during exercise, as well as after injury.

There’s a big misconception out there that if you want to get muscular, you just eat protein.

We see all these visions of big, big guys at the gym slurping down their protein shakes, but protein does not build muscle…

…it is a building block FOR muscle.

You also need to lift heavy weights to grow those muscles — it’s a two-fold system.

The benefits of protein and strength training

When we eat higher amounts of protein combined with exercise, it can help increase strength. For me personally, this is a great achievement.

At age 45, I transformed my body and lost 3% of my body fat.

Like I helped my client Alyssa, mother of a 3 year old, lose 7 pounds and 2% body fat this past year.

We both need to be more strategic with our workout timing and lift heavier weights.

As an expert fitness trainer and a Precision Nutrition Level 2 nutrition coach — it’s a golden combination to help my clients gain more body confidence by building their strength and changing their body composition.

*Credit: Precision Nutrition

How much protein do you need?

Protein needs depend on a variety of factors including your age, weight, activity level, health status, goals and more.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Seated people should aim for at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day (Or 0.36 grams per pound.)
  • Adults over 65 should aim for 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. (Or 0.55 to 0.91 grams per pound of body weight.) New research shows that most older people need more protein than the minimum recommendation to slow muscle loss.
  • Athletes and active people should aim for between 1.2 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. (Or 0.55 to 1.0 grams per pound of body weight.) Overweight and obese people may want to stay on the lower end of this range, since protein needs are not as high relative to their body weight. .
  • Healthy people who want to change their weight or body composition should strive for 1.6 to 3.3 grams per kilogram of body weight. (Or 0.75 to 1.5 grams per pound.) Exceeding the threshold for active people (2.2 grams of protein per kilogram) may not be necessary, but there is little evidence that it is harmful.

So let’s do the math to give you an example.

A 165 pound person whose goal is to reduce total body fat will aim to eat 0.75 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound.

165 x 0.75 = 123 grams of protein daily (minimum recommendation)

165 x 1.5 = 247 grams of protein daily (high-end recommendation)

An average between the two: 185 grams of protein per day. I’ll admit, that’s a LOT of protein to consume in one day. This will require you to be strategic about planning meals and to keep your pantry stocked.

But losing fat doesn’t require perfection.

My clients have successfully lost weight and body fat simply by including a lean protein source with every meal.

The point is to be more mindful and work on constantly making good, better, best food choices.

For example, if you usually eat a bowl of “healthy” cereal for breakfast, you can improve your choice, and choose instead an egg white scramble, or 2 hard-boiled eggs, or Skyr yogurt instead a carb-based bowl of cereal.

A complete overhaul of your nutrition—all at once—isn’t the answer…

…because you don’t form the HABIT of eating better.

You try to eat perfectly all the time and that’s a diet mentality.

I really don’t like the word “diet”.

Focus on the continuum: good, better, best.

Another example, if you have eaten some protein for lunch, ask yourself how you can incorporate MORE lean protein— at lunchtime.

Small steps.

Ready to dive into more useful information…


…I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes (and clients’ favorite recipes) and protein-focused snack ideas.

…and how to take smaller steps to work on the continuum.

xoxo, Coach Cassandra

PS If you need some more simple tips to implement immediately, shoot me an email ( Nutrition doesn’t have to be a guessing game, or complicated. I’m here to help you.

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