Re: protein intake. I read an interesting article at the Human Food Project, here ---> Do spider monkeys hold the key to why we get fat?. Here's a significant paragraph in that article:
"However, the detailed dietary studies in the Bolivian rainforest found that across all age groups and sexes, spider monkeys aim for a target amount of protein, regardless of how few or many calories from carbohydrates and fats they consumed in the process. In other words, the daily protein intake remained remarkably stable throughout the study period, but the overall calories from carbohydrates and fats fluctuated significantly."
They call this the protein leverage hypothesis, and studies have found that the results from spider monkeys have been found in studies done with pigs, rodents, bird, and fish--and humans.
And then this, from the same article:
"Average protein consumption in the U.S. hovers around 15% of total energy consumed. The National Institute of Medicine – whose reports heavily influence the USDA’s dietary guidelines for Americans – suggests a range of 10-35% for protein as a percentage of energy intake. At 15%, the average American is on the low end. Analysis of modern-day and historical hunter gatherer groups around the world suggest a protein intake on the upper limits of that suggested by the lab coats over at the National Institute of Medicine."
When I eat WHEN, paleo+limited dairy, I average around 30% protein grams. This is almost exactly what I weigh in pounds, one gram of protein per pound of total body weight. Eating this way, I have plenty of energy and easily maintain my desired weight without cravings (and my carbs are between 50 and 100g/day). This is certainly more protein than recommended by the USDA, and is the upper end of what the NIM recommends. Granted, I'm pretty active and Lift very Heavy Things (for my size, I'm small), several times a week.
We're all n=1, though, and I agree that careful nutrition tracking for a period of time (not always) is the sure way to help anyone figure out what works best for them.