If you’re constantly craving sweets and snacking through your day or night, then you’re probably
not getting enough protein in your diet.
Protein is one of our major macronutrients, along with carbohydrates and fats. Protein is
essential for building muscle and fueling our body for longer energy vs. quick energy like those
from sugar or carbs.
Protein contains essential and non-essential amino acids required for thyroid function, gut
repair, and immune function. Without these amino acids, our bodies can’t perform basic
functions — like keeping us alive — much less repair the damage from disease!
Not getting enough protein could lead to blood sugar imbalances — eating animal based
proteins also lends the added benefit of nutrients, like selenium, zinc, iron and B12, these are
critical for healthy thyroid function, immune system function and skin.
Are you getting enough protein?
As you think about your morning routine, are you getting enough protein? Here’s a brief
overview to help you determine if you’re eating enough:
Daily Average: Most people should consume 0.45-0.55 grams of protein for each pound that
they weigh. This translates to roughly 75 grams of protein per day for a 150 pound person.
Chronic Conditions: Higher protein intake (0.55-0.68 grams per pound of body weight) is
recommended for most older adults who have acute or chronic diseases. A person who weighs
150 pounds should aim for 83-102 grams of protein per day.
Active People: Typically, the more active you are, the more protein you need. So a 150 pound
person would want to aim for 150 grams of protein each day!
If you’ve never tracked your diet before, you may not realize how little protein you’re actually
eating. We suggest trying an App like MyFitnessPal that will allow you to look at your macro
amounts in grams for the day. Even if you do this for a couple of days, you will notice what your
tendencies are and you will see that eating 100g of chicken breast, does not equal 100g of
Aim to have a serving of protein in all of your meals and some of your snacks to ensure that you
are getting enough throughout the day.
What does 100g of protein look like?
● Chicken breast (100g): 23g
● Haddock (75g): 19g
● Green peas (85g): 5g
● Tofu (100g): 8g
● Edamame shelled (1/2 cup): 8g
● Grass-fed ground beef (8oz): 21g
● Almonds (40g): 9g
● Cheddar cheese (30g): 7g
Protein at Breakfast
We find most people struggle with getting enough protein in the morning, mostly because typical
breakfast options are high in carbohydrates; like cereal, granola, oats, bread, pancakes and
muffins. Eating more meat in the morning may be a good option for some; breakfast sausages or patties, and turkey slices can all be good options when paired with vegetables.
Eggs are a great source of protein in the morning, but we know that many people have
sensitivities to eggs, so this is not a great option for all. Dairy products can also be a good
protein source but again we find many of our patients have some level of intolerance to dairy so
that eating cheese and yogurt, or having whey protein, may not be the best option.
Vegetarian sources of protein come from beans and legumes, nuts and seeds. Grains contain
some protein but should not be considered part of your protein intake. If you’re looking for a
good vegetarian protein powder, pea protein is often a great choice with a decent texture and
mild flavour. Other possible sources are hemp, pumpkin seed, rice or soy.
Pressure Cooker Chicken Taco stuffed Sweet Potato
2 servings 50 minutes
● 2 Sweet Potato (medium, pierced with a fork)
● 8 oz Chicken Breast (skinless and boneless)
● 1 tsp Chili Powder
● 1/2 tsp Cumin (ground)
● 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
● 1 cup Organic Chicken Broth
● 2 Tbsp Organic Salsa
● 1/2 Avocado (mashed)
● 1 Tbsp Cilantro (optional, chopped)
● 1 Jalapeno Pepper (optional, sliced)
1) Preheat the oven to 400ºF (204ºC) and place the sweet potato on a pan. Bake for 40 to 45
minutes, or until cooked through.
2) Add the chicken breast, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and chicken broth to your
pressure cooker. Set to “sealing” then press manual/pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes
on high pressure. Once it is done, press cancel and let the pressure release naturally (this can
take 15 minutes or so).
3) Remove the lid carefully. Remove the chicken and shred it with two forks.
4) When the sweet potatoes are finished cooking, slice them down the middle and top with the
shredded chicken, salsa, mashed avocado, cilantro, and sliced jalapeño. Enjoy!
Top the stuffed sweet potato with shredded cheese, yogurt or sour cream.
Cook the sweet potatoes ahead of time for a quick weeknight meal.
Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Black Bean Brownies
9 servings 40 minutes
● 2 cups Black Beans (cooked)
● 3 Eggs
● 1/4 cup Coconut Oil (melted)
● 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
● 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
● 3/4 cup Cocoa Powder
● 1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
● 1/4 cup Raw Honey
● 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
● 3 1/2 oz Dark Organic Chocolate (chopped and divided)
● 1/4 cup Sliced Almonds
1) Preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC) and line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper. (Use a
bigger dish if making more than 9 servings.)
2) Add the cooked black beans and eggs to a food processor. Turn it on and stream in the
coconut oil. Let the food processor blend for about 60 seconds, or until the black beans are very
3) Add vanilla, salt, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, honey and baking powder to the black bean
batter. Blend until all incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.
4) Add half of the chocolate to the brownie batter and pulse 5 or 6 times until it is mixed in.
5) Transfer brownie batter to the prepared baking dish and smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle
the remaining chocolate and the sliced almonds evenly over top of the brownies.
6) Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a
few moist crumbs.
7) Let the brownies cool completely before transferring to the fridge, cool for at least 4 hours
before cutting into squares. Enjoy!
Omit the dark chocolate and almonds if desired.
These brownies keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Freeze for longer.
How to incorporate more protein
We love using our PurePaleo Protein powders as an easy add to smoothies or chia puddings.
This grass fed beef sourced protein powder is well tolerated and easily digested.
Similarly, collagen powders offer a great flavourless option to add extra protein—if you’re a fan
of the bulletproof lattes (coffee or matcha) then you may already be adding this tasteless, easily
dissolved protein to your morning drink. If not, give it a try. We like our liquid collagen that tastes
like raspberries and cranberries that can be taken off the spoon.
If you’re thinking about adding a protein powder to your diet, be sure to ask us what might work
best for you, especially if you’ve been struggling with digestive issues like bloating and gas.
Remember, not all proteins will work for all people.
Check out the recipes we’ve included, both have bumped up protein levels and could be eaten
any time of the day—breakfast included!
Dr. Rebecca Sagan, ND and Dr. Hajnalka Pinter, ND