Now that spring is finally here, I’m planning to spend as much time as possible in the garden and on my bike. So I’m trying my best to keep my energy level up by getting enough sleep, taking the time to exercise most days and making a few healthy changes in my diet.

Specifically, I was inspired by the Iowa Beef Industry Council’s “30 Day Protein Challenge” to pay closer attention to how much protein I eat throughout the day.

The challenge encourages participants to spread out their protein intake, to about 25 to 30 grams of protein per meal, instead of what most people do: eat one protein-heavy meal in the evening.

I’m still eating oatmeal or half a bagel for breakfast in the morning. But now I’m also adding a glass of milk and a hard-boiled egg on the side. I can definitely tell the difference in my energy levels, especially in the mornings when I like to get my big work and home projects out of the way.

In this issue of the Iowa Dish, we talk to an Iowa State University dietitian on why animal-based proteins, in particular, play an important role in a healthy diet.

Last fall, I was shocked to learn at the Iowa Hunger Summit that Iowa ranks last nationally in fruit and vegetable consumption, especially considering that Iowa is one of the top states in the number of farmers markets. We’re offering tips on how to add more fruits and veggies to your diet. (My tip: Grill some asparagus and peaches alongside that Iowa Chop.)

We’ll also visit a new rock ‘n roll-themed restaurant next to the legendary Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, where the flatbread pizzas are earning raves from guests. We discover why corn-based ethanol is not only a good choice at the pump for the environment, but also your wallet. And we will take a closer look at Iowa farmers’ continuous efforts to protect the well-being of farm animals.

I challenge you to add a glass of milk or an egg to your breakfast routine, and let me know if it boosts your energy levels. We Iowans don’t want to waste a moment of the wonderful spring weather!


Teresa Bjork
Editor, The Iowa Dish

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