Being well-nourished during a disaster can mean the difference between powering through the event with strength, stamina, and energy or plodding through the situation barely able to put one foot in front of the other.
Protein is Crucial For the Prepper’s Pantry
Protein is the basic necessary structure for the growth of organic life on a molecular level. Protein can come from vegetable and animal sources. Protein is further broken down into amino acids, the building blocks of protein. There are 8 essential amino acids the body needs that it does not produce on its own and needs to obtain from food sources. They are as follows: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Your best sources for protein and those essential amino acids are as such: dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, oats, nuts, seeds, and soy protein. Here is a term you need to know concerning protein, and that is the thermic effect, which is the total calories burned in the course of a day to digest your food taken in (it usually equates to about 10% of your total caloric intake). The reason it’s important to know is that 1 gram (g) of protein and 1 g of carbohydrates supply the same amount of energy, 4 calories.
The difference is that food is energy in the form of the various chemical bondings that must be broken down, and you need 2 1/2 times the energy to break down the protein as you do the carbohydrates. Protein prevents you from overeating by giving you a feeling of satiety, as well as speeding up the metabolism. That protein from meats gives you muscle. It also aids you in tissue repair. I also stress that while the intake is important, you can’t just be an “eating machine” and not exercise/live too sedentary a lifestyle. Then again, you guys and gals are preppers and survivalists, well aware that your body is the most important personal tool you have.
There are a couple of works I wish to cite for your further study, as they are excellent in the manner they delve into this topic from a fitness standpoint. They are as follows:
- “The Testosterone Advantage Plan,” by Lou Schuler and Jeff Volek, ISBN: 1-57954-507-6. This book is geared toward men, but has a wealth of health and dietary information that women can use, as well as information on exercise that will benefit both genders. In-depth breakdowns of protein analysis and the glycemic index, as well as the different types of exercise and the muscle systems benefited by their application.
- “Sports Supplement Review, 3rd Issue,” by Bill Phillips, ISBN: 096587320-X. This is one of the greatest books you can find. It goes into each different type of amino acid and tells you the chemistry and their effects on and requirements by the human body. It details vitamins, minerals, supplements, and could be a “Bible” for exercise…strength, conditioning, and recovery exercises in your workouts. This book gives you scientific procedures to obtain lean body mass and maximize your protein intake.
These works will more than get you started: they’ll help you finish. As I have mentioned ad infinitum, you need to exercise to fully develop and take advantage of all your physical gifts. That being said, you can supplement your diet with high-protein and high-amino-acid bearing dietary aids. I already mentioned how I like the use of the whey protein powder; I need it with as much as I lift. There’s one out there called Nutribiotic Organic Rice Protein Powder (Plain) in a 3-lb. container, organic with 80% vegan protein content. One serving in scoop form gives you 36 grams of protein, plus I add 2 tbsp. peanut butter (another 8 grams) and the milk (8 grams) will give you a good “jolt” of protein. Don’t use it as a meal replacement! It is meant to complement, not replace. I add the peanut butter and make a shake out of it because it really tastes bad.
Another goodie: All Natural Bragg Liquid Aminos, comes in a 32-oz bottle. Just 1/2 tsp. will give you 290 mg of aminos. It tastes akin to soy sauce. You can throw this into your bowl of soup, stew, mashed potatoes, or dish such as casseroles. It actually tastes pretty good, and you can use this to flavor your food a little better while adding amino acids.
You Need More Protein in Colder Months
During the winter months, you need more protein than usual. The cold causes your body to need to break down more calories to provide more heat internally. High protein diets take away some of that seasonal debilitation. Needless to say, the high protein will also benefit you in the times of cold and flu by helping you to boost your resistance and (if you should get the sickness) hasten your recovery if necessary. Protein is very important. In our next segment, we’re going to cover survival sources of protein and explain why you can’t just live off of a diet of wild game and other niceties of wilderness living. Until next time keep your powder dry, take care of one another, and turkey sandwiches…lots of turkey sandwiches! JJ out!