All About Protein – Part 1

By Serene Allison.

Other Articles in the series: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

Read more on the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) Facebook page (Australia).

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What is truth and what is a scam when it comes to the popular and much fussed about topic of protein supplements, especially whey protein?

Out of all the myriads of brands, the different processes involved, the slogans and promises made, how do we figure out the good from the bad? Are certain money hungry companies sweet talking us into products with a high price but a low reward? We have had a lot of questions directed to us about this subject. I knew we had to get to the very bottom of it.

In the last couple of months I have buried myself deep into the research, peeled back the hype and now that I’ve come up for air, I want to share my thoughts with you. This will be a multi-part series so stay tuned each day for the next post on this subject.

First, let’s tackle the subject of whether a protein powder is even necessary. We’ll get to the science and studies in subsequent posts but with so much confusion lately on what is natural vs. what is processed, it’s important to first logically decide whether the idea of a powdered supplement can fit into a “whole foods” lifestyle.

One can argue that we can get all our dietary protein needs from a hunk of real meat, a piece of fish or a bowl of cultured dairy. We can also get our daily requirement of Vitamin C from greens, peppers and lemons, etc. To obtain our Vitamin D, we can choose to sit outside on a sunny afternoon. No, we do not need supplements to fulfill these needs to survive but in my mind supplements can help us do something more. They can help us THRIVE.

If I have a bad cold, I will not only reach for a nice hot drink with fresh squeezed lemon, but also I will take high doses of pure vitamin C in supplement form. During the winter, I am very diligent about taking a D3 supplement as I do not see enough sun. Now, I’m probably going to ruffle some feathers but here goes – I know it might be more of a “Paleo” or “Primal” or “Traditional People Group” approach to sit on some Norwegian Sea-side and suck out the livers of stinky cod fish to get extra vitamin D if I am lacking but I’ll skip that thanks. God has created us in his image with intelligent design. Therefore as children of God we have an incredible capacity for creativity. Processing the cod fish, obtaining the isolated pure oil and bottling it for concentration and ease for consumers is a smart move. Just sayin.

Extracting precious essential oils via distillation to capture the healing essence of herbs and flowers is using our God-given ingenuity. In the book of Genesis God told man to have dominion over the earth and the things on the earth. We should not go to the other extreme and rape the earth of its storehouses of abundance or disrespect the balance God has set up in nature, but being wisely creative with the raw materials he has given us is ‘natural’.

Grok, (the Paleo caveman diet hero) is no relation to me, so I enjoy many healthy foods and supplements advanced from intelligent science. I am not blind to the fact that there are money hungry and morally starved companies and industries that do not care for consumer health or for preserving the integrity of the foundational ingredients used. Yes, there are fan-dangled products available today that do cause toxic chemical abuse to our bodies. But just because some music, art or literature can be marred with dark and evil undertones does not mean that we say all music is out! Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I say all this to lead back to the question about necessity of whey protein supplementation. No, it doesn’t come out of a cow like that. But neither does wine pour straight out of a grape or butter just appear from the Jersey’s udder. How about sea salt? You wouldn’t like to drown your nice steak with a cup of ocean water to give it a good salty flavor.

Many natural foods and even ancient foods described in the bible, like simple salt, need to be harvested. Even ancient, artisan staples like sprouted breads and aged cheeses have to undergo procedures. A roasted coffee bean that was once upon a time a little red berry or the steeping and fermenting of tea are nutrient releasing steps. Manufacturing processes are not all degenerative. Some help release the treasure locked inside the food like certain precious gems that are trapped inside the rock. The cashew nut is found inside of a poisonous pod atop an inedible fruit.

So yes, whey protein powder has undergone a process. But in my mind, that is okay as long as it is a process with integrity, one that maintains as much nutrition as possible. No, you don’t need whey protein to survive, but it can be a helping hand on your health journey and a great tool for allowing you to become or stay trim. It’s not a cake, but it is the icing. And the icing just kicks everything up a notch. I will take my slice with the icing on.

Don’t miss the next few posts. We’ll tackle all the buzz words associated with whey protein. You know how confusing they can be – grass fed, undenatured, cold pressed, bioactive – what do they mean and which ones are best? And we must discuss the argument that suggests isolated whey protein is harmful to the body since it is stripped of fat. One must always eat fat with protein; some experts tell us. Tomorrow we’ll discuss all the many benefits of whey protein. You’ll find out which versions of whey protein allow you to receive all these benefits and which versions are not worth your money.

Love Serene

Other Articles in the series: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

Read more on the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) Facebook page (Australia).


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