The Protein Challenge

It’s hard to track down a recommended daily protein intake for twin pregnancy, but the majority of books and reputable websites seem to come in at between 130g to 170g per day. PER DAY!!! When you eat meat, but prefer to do so only occasionally, that target can be tough. When you also can’t eat gluten or cow-dairy (pasteurized goat is okay, and bonus, has more calcium!), the challenge of getting enough protein becomes even tougher.

So, for the sake of rudimentary and somewhat unspecific science, I’m tracking my food intake for a day, in a bid to hit a protein home run. Let’s see how I do.

Breakfast: Nature’s Path gluten-free cornflakes (2g protein / serving) mixed with granola, with hemp seeds (5g protein / 1.5 tbsp), sprinkle walnuts (0.5 – 1g), sunflower seeds (1g), pumpkin seeds (1g), half a banana (0.5g protein), handful strawberries and blueberries. PROTEIN: About 10g

Getting bare towards the end of the week....

Getting bare towards the end of the week….

Mid-morning snack: I still feel full from brekky, but force myself to eat a slice Silver Hills GF bread (Nuttier and tastier than many other brands; 3g protein / slice), sunflower butter (4g / serve) and honey, and a few prunes (maybe 1g?). PROTEIN: Up to 8g.

Lunch: Ugh. Already? Small bowl of leftover chicken+vegetable curry (a few chicken pieces, peppers, cauliflower, onion, in tomato-base). Grated Mornington goat cheddar (tasty, and yes, pasteurized) on top, and a few cubes on the side (~5g). PROTEIN: About 15g.

Afternoon snack: I’ve left a few hours between feedings, so can handle the thought of something smallish and lightish. Thus 2 GF waffles (4g), small bowl almond yoghurt (3g), 3 tsp hemp seeds (3g), and strawberries. Half an hour later, I realize I am a loooooong way from that daily goal, and decide that desperate times call for desperate measures. I follow the delish waffles with a roasted-soy-beans chaser (half a cup = 18g). PROTEIN: 28g

Oh my god, is there anything I haven't devoured today? And STILL so far to go....

Oh my god, is there anything I haven’t devoured today? And STILL so far to go….

Dinner: Things are looking decidedly dodgy on the “eating enough protein” front (and I’m not even looking at calcium levels yet!), so I dive for the eggs. I can barely stomach the thought of eating more food, but here goes: 2 poached eggs (14g), 2 slices white toast (4g), a pickle. PROTEIN: 18g.

Evening snack: A few hours later, and I have one last, possibly futile, chance to up my intake with a glass of chocolate soy milk (7g progein), a small handful of Brazil nuts (7g) and two cookies (2g). PROTEIN: 16g

THE VERDICT: I am full. Stuffed. There ain’t nothing else going in me today. I have eaten a ridiculous amount of food, and my grand total for protein intake is 95g at best. According to Canadian Living, the recommended daily intake of protein is 0.8g per kilo of body weight, under which rules I would normally only need to eat 50-odd grams of protein. Surely 95g is enough? Isn’t it? Please? Oh dear god, please say yes.

But that leaves one truly puzzling question: How in heck is anyone meant to get 130g, let along 170g??? I am more than a little disturbed by the required intake.

After the struggle of today, I have decided that 90-odd is good enough. The experiment showed that I obviously need to plan my meals and snacks better, but there’s no way in hell I could keep that up for the next 4.5 months. So the new plan is: A few more trips to the fish and chicken counter for us, plus a return of the beans (oh, my poor digestive system!), some protein-rich crackers and  bars, and whatever other whacky measures I can conjure.

And after that? Well, let’s wait for the calcium monitoring…


4 thoughts on “The Protein Challenge

  1. Eat two cans of tinned tuna and 100grams of peanuts a day (that’s 90 grams of protein right there) and the rest can be from Soy milk and your other foods – snack on the nuts and have the tuna morning and afternoon tea.

  2. Don’t want to be the Pregnancy Police, but I was just editing a thing about what to eat/not eat…. And pregnant ladies need to be careful with tuna intake during pregnancy due to mercury levels. From Mayo Clinic: “Canned light tuna is another good choice — but limit albacore tuna, chunk white tuna and tuna steak to no more than 6 ounces, or 170 grams, a week.”

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