Monday, September 16, 2013

The Hunt for Meals High in Proteins in this High-Carbs Society

Hey people!
Yes, I've been MIA for a while but then, it's not like anyone's noticed. *side-eyes my non-existent readers*

For about 5 weeks now, I have been on a high protein diet. I started noticing that my jeans were a bit tighter and my shirts were becoming harder to button. My waistline was beginning to expand, my forearms were getting flabby and my thighs were beginning to strain. The breaking point was when someone told me I was "now fat". 'Fat' is such a nasty word. It has such a negative effect on many people. Me, inclusive. Most annoyingly was the fact that my friend's idea of me being fat was that I was no longer the UK size 8 I used to be but was now a size 10. It pissed me off but it still ended up having the same negative effect on me and made me decide to look into getting back my previous weight.
I chose to go on a high protein diet to lose this weight. You may wonder why I didn't just start exercising. Well, I used to have an active exercise routine years ago just for the purpose of having a healthy lifestyle. This exercise routine actually consisted mostly of long walks, runs and jogs. 2 years ago, on my way to work one random morning in May, I suffered an incident. I had Meniscal Injury on my left knee. This led me to 6 weeks with my entire left leg put up in a caste. After this was weeks of crutches then walking sticks and physiotherapy. My doctor gave strict instructions: No running, no long walks, no jogging (he didn't even know I was already doing this in my exercise routine), no heels too (annoying because I had just before this incident considered embracing my feminine side and take up wearing heels. I had bought some heels too). He, however, said I could swim.
I thought these instructions of limited cardio were only temporary till the pain was gone. However, I have found that if I were to run now, or walk long journeys, my knee begins to throb in pain. Weeks ago, I tried some aerobics in the comfort of my home. I soon found that it is almost impossible to find any exercise that works on the thighs and legs that will work without the knees. My knee was in pain by the 3rd day. As a result, I turned to a diet plan.
Here's how my dietary plan is. It is just mostly protein. In fact, in the first week, it was only protein. Almost no fats, zero carbs and very little vegetables. By the 2nd week, I incorporated vegetables. It is not an Atkins diets because I do no fats or sugars. And it is hardly the High-Protein diet because I haven't done much carbs and my protein intake is definitely more than 30% daily. But I have eaten some during outings.
What makes this dietary plan extra different for me is the fact that I'm off dairy products and nuts. *sigh* This is so complicated. Yes, I know dairy is protein. I found about 7weeks ago that dairy products make me break out excessively. It is like fuel to my pimples. I can't believe I'm just finding that out. I always knew that butter/margarine and nuts made me break out so I kept away from them. But during the months when I was recuperating from Meniscal Injury, perhaps as a side effect of the numerous medication I was on, I developed a lot of pimples. This never passed even when I went off medication. So now, I am battling LOTS of pimples, blackheads, acne scars. Things I only used to have occasionally or when Aunt Flo came visiting. So, recently, I found that milk, yoghurt and cheese which I used to really indulge in were added culprits. Add groundnut, almonds, pistachios etc to that mix. This narrows even further my meals for the diet.
I know Nigeria is particularly limiting on a diet such as this. We boast a variety of carbs more readily than a variety of protein. If you have been having a difficult time finding proteinous meals for a diet, here are a few I have found that you can incorporate into your plan.
1. Beans Porridge. Of course. This is the number one fully proteinous meal of the average Nigerian. I am not particularly a fan of this but I have found a way of making this meal in a way that I can enjoy it. Recipe of this coming up in subsequent post. :)

2. Moi-moi. Of course! Fantastic beans pudding loved by many.

3. Fish meal. This could be fish in a sauce or fish steamed in spices.

4. An Omelette. I didn't know one could have this as a normal meal until the day I visited my Polish friend and she served me an omelette with nothing else. I just went "where is the bread?". Of course. I'm Nigerian! To me, it was plain fried egg and needed something to go along with it. She laughed and said it was a meal. I was surprised but I enjoyed it still.
5. Scrambled Egg & Wheat Bread.

6. Akara. Fantastic bean cakes.

7. Ewa Agoyin. If you haven't tried this, you certainly should. Easy to make too.

8. Gbegiri Soup. This is a soup made from beans. Very proteinous. The Nigerian in me doesn't believe you can drink this alone. You can tilt your plan a bit and have it with some wheat or you can just plain have it with fish!

9. Fish or Chicken or beef Peppersoup.
10. Shredded Chicken in Vegetable Stir fry. Very high in protein and vitamins from the veggie.
11. Chicken Cabbage Soup. Cabbage soup is very nutritious but for that added protein punch, add some shredded chicken to the mix.
12. Soyabeans porridge. I used to have this as a child. I hated it though. My mum cooked soyabeans like the regular beans porridge. This was after soaking the beans and peeling the skin.
13. Smoothie with Soyamilk. Because I am off dairy products, I have substituted my regular milk with soyamilk or coconut milk. Preferably, try making yours. It's not hard. Many of the soymilk being sold here have a little percent of cow's milk contained therein.
14. Soyabeans egusi soup. Yes, believe it or not, soyabeans is used to make egusi soup and this is indigenous to some parts of Ekiti and Ondo. Instead of the melons in the egusi soup, you use soya flour.
So there. Do note that there are some downsides to this dietary plan. About 3 weeks into the plan, I noticed extreme weakness and fatigue I had to start incorporating a bit of carbs into my diet. This is not a long term dietary plan. I am not even endorsing it. This post is just a help for a search for protein-filled meals in this carb-dominated side of the world.
I am glad to say that I am back to being a UK size 8 and tummies are flat again! ^_^ No, I have no pictures because this is not a post on my 'weight loss journey'. I don't miss the carbs as much as I thought I would. It's the dairy products I truly miss.

Know of any other meals that are high in protein as well?

1 comment:

  1. Here in the US its fat fat fattening food everywhere. But thank God for my mom we eat Nigerian food mostly. But now in school and none is here men i wish i was back home.


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