Day 19: Good sources of protein

Day 19, and I’m still not entirely satisfied with my BMs, but as I know so well by now, patience is key on this diet. This morning was great; this evening… not so much. But I’m excited to move onto phase 2. Today my diet has consisted of boiled eggs, bananas, gem squash, butternut and meat, and I’m not having any bloating.

I’ve decided to try the pear puree that I made (and froze) a few weeks ago. Once I’ve tested it, I’ll be moving onto phase 2. I can’t wait to add things like avocado, garlic, tomato (carefully), pineapple and mushrooms.

Yesterday I spoke a lot about carbs. Today I want to focus briefly on protein. On the SCD, it’s important that all meals contain a mix of protein, fat and carbs. Protein keeps us feeling full and is essential to rebuilding body cells.

So for breakfast, you could have eggs and banana, for example, or meat and fruit sauce. It takes some getting used to, eating meat for breakfast, but it’s really not so strange after a while.

Benefits of eggs and how to cook them

Eggs are an amazing food on SCD, if you can handle them. Not everyone can, but I seem to be fine with them. They offer a solid dose of protein and fat, and they keep you feeling full for a long time.

If you hard boil them, you can take them anywhere for an easy snack in a cinch. I take boiled eggs to work every morning, and sometimes, if I have a leftover egg in the fridge, I’ll snack on it before exercising.

You can also scramble eggs with no added fat if you have a non-stick pan and watch them carefully. I simply beat them with a little water and then scramble them. I haven’t tried frying them without fat, but I’m sure with the right equipment, one could.

Something to look forward to in Phase 2

Something to look forward to in Phase 2

Meats I’m eating, and how I’m cooking them

As for meat, it’s always best to stick to lean cuts (fatty meat is simply not healthy for anyone). This is especially true in the beginning phases when it’s particularly hard for your gut to digest fat. It’s recommended that you cook your meat in a way that draws the fat out – like grilling, broiling or boiling (and then skimming the fat off the top, as you would do with bone broth).

I’ve been eating a lot of chicken, which I either boil (if it has skin and bones) or grill (if it’s skinless and boneless). I also love steak, though I usually stick to thin, mini cuts – called “minute” steaks because they literally cook in one minute – which I grill. Every now and then I’ll grill a nice juicy rump as a treat, but this is at most once a week.

I haven’t yet tried fish on SCD, as I’ve always needed my fish to be very well seasoned if I’m going to enjoy it. That’s obviously not an option right now, so perhaps I’ll wait until I’ve introduced more herbs and spices.

Lastly, I’m eating a fair amount of ostrich. An ostrich is a large, ugly-looking bird that is indigenous to Africa. It’s so big that an adult can ride it – and they do, for fun, in some towns.

An ostrich. Tastier than it looks.

An ostrich. Tastier than it looks.

Tenderising the meat prior to eating

Tenderising the meat prior to eating

Unlike chicken, ostrich it is a red meat. It is considered extremely healthy because it’s high in protein but very lean. Ostrich meat is definitely an acquired taste and due to its low fat content, it can be very dry. Luckily, I’m becoming accustomed to it and I make meat balls from ostrich mince, which are nutritious, quite tasty, and quick to defrost. Fun fact: One ostrich egg is equivalent to 24 regular hen’s eggs and has 2000 calories! If you need to gain weight, I’d go with one of these babies each morning 😉

An ostrich egg. We do things properly in Africa!

An ostrich egg. We do things properly in Africa!

How to choose meat

When it comes to buying meat, try to choose organic, and always ensure that it has NO ADDITIVES. Some farms inject all sorts of crap into their meat, like hormones, ‘natural’ flavourants, colourants and so forth. I’m extremely fortunate to have a good quality butchery right downstairs from my apartment. I trust them completely and I can see (and taste) that the meat is of a superior quality.

The also sell grass-fed beef, which is rare in South Africa. It is recommended that you always buy grass-fed (as opposed to grain-fed) whenever possible. Makes sense for us grain-challenged peeps!

Organic, grass-fed meat will cost you – especially as more and more people cotton on to the health benefits of eating it. But it’s worth it. It’s an investment in your health, after all.

SCDelicious! Who said you couldn't have any mouth-watering meals on this diet? :-)

SCDelicious! Who said you couldn’t have any mouth-watering meals on this diet? 🙂

One of the things I’m most excited about is finally getting to a point when I can eat biltong again. Biltong is a South African delicacy that is sometimes compared to beef jerky, but is really nothing like it.

Basically, it’s highly spiced raw meat that is hung up to dry. Once dried, after a few days, you eat it just like that, without cooking it. Sound disgusting? I promise it’s not! K and I even make our own. Come and visit me in SA and I’ll make some especially for you 🙂 We’ll tuck in once we’ve hit the 90-day mark 🙂

This is how happy any meat-eating South African will look when you put them in front of a rack of biltong

This is how happy any meat-eating South African will look when you put them in front of a rack of biltong

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3 thoughts on “Day 19: Good sources of protein

  1. I made a list today of all the foods I’m going to try in the next couple of phases, for motivation. Nut butters! Berries! Avocado! Pineapple! I can’t wait. I’m testing butternut squash right now, and then I have spinach and pears to look forward to before moving onto phase 2. Tiny tiny baby steps…

    Biltong sounds intriguing! I wish I could try it sometime. I haven’t tried many meats outside of the chicken/beef/pork arena, but I believe the health food-type store near us has some bison and ostrich meat. I’ll have to check it out.

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  2. Ooohhh nut butters! I can’t WAIT for those. You’re so close to phase 2 – it’s exciting. I’ve got three more days on phase 1, and then Monday I’m moving on.

    Biltong is delicious! You can also make it yourself if you’re feeling brave. Try some ostrich. It’s not amazing but once you’re used to it, it’s quite nice. The smell can be quite strong though. I find that the longer I cook it, the better it tastes – but the drier it is. So you win some, lose some! As far as meat goes, I also want to experiment more. We don’t really get bison here but we have similar game meat. Perhaps I’ll go check it out at the butchery today as my ‘Friday treat’!

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  3. Pingback: Day 2: 10 types of veggies & some cooking tips | My experiences on SCD and the autoimmune paleo diet

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