How we fuel our bodies has such an important role in our health that I thought to offer a few quick tips to get you started on the right track on our next lap around the sun! 🌞
1. Plan a week of meals in advance
Undoubtedly the key to long-term healthy eating is planning your meals ahead of time to make sure you’re fueling your body with nutritious foods. While spending your whole Sunday meal prepping for the whole week is not really my cut of turkey – having your menu, key ingredients and shopping in place before the week starts is the first step. Actually, assigning someone in your household to this role comes a step earlier (Thank you for all you do dear! 😛)
You may not want to cook all your meals yourself, but cooking 2 of your 3 daily meals at home and having healthy snacks on hand is most likely an improvement on what we did in 2022. Making an extra portion at dinner time for a no-prep lunch the next day is even better!
Before leaving for work, take out your protein for dinner and leave it out to thaw. Make note of this action as it will reduce the chances of wavering on your way home as you pass takeout chains and restaurants.
Ordering meat online from your butcher for the next 1-2 weeks, simply by adding a basket of beef, pork, poultry, seafood and whole food snack-favorites like biltong will remove the stress of needing to shop daily. In Hong Kong, we are fortunate to have an abundance of street-side vegetables at the ready; however when shopping for proteins I find I need to shop at 3-4 different shops to pick up the affordable quality I need for our growing family.
2. Choose your snacks wisely
When it gets to 4pm and you’re sitting at your desk looking over at your colleagues’ sweet drawer, resist!
Even better, see that pack of crisps and raise him by pulling out a bag of low-carb, high-protein biltong. (Not sure what biltong is – read here). Snacking every three to four hours will help keep your energy levels stable and help to fuel late afternoon or evening workouts. Healthy snacks also provide an opportunity to boost your intake of important nutrients such as protein, fibre and calcium.
Quick and Healthy Snack Ideas to Eat alongside your Biltong include:
- Fresh or dried fruit (with Beef Drywors)
- A small handful of nuts (with Kudu Biltong)
- Apple slices with almond butter (with Smoked BBQ Biltong)
- Greek yogurt with berries (with Wet Chilli Chunks)
- Whole-grain crackers, Original Sliced Biltong and cheddar cheese.
- Raw veggie sticks with hummus (with Chilli Bites).
As a ready-to-eat snack, biltong is packed with 40-60g grams of protein per 100g, it is hard to find a more condensed source of protein and snack that will satiate you through to dinner.
Biltong (40g-60g per 100g) has more protein than these popular high-protein products (protein content is used as a guideline):
– Cottage Cheese (10g per 100g)
– Hard-Boiled Eggs (12g per 100g)
– Smoked Salmon (18g per 100g)
– Peanuts (26g per 100g)
– Protein Bars (20-30g per 100g)
– Beef Jerky (30-35g per 100g)
Biltong is Low in Calories
– Biltong Chief’s 30g Snack Pack contains 109 calories (14g of protein)
– USN Protein Bar 40g contains 136 calories (12g of protein)
3. Eat sustainable proteins to thrive, not survive
Rather interestingly, in 2022 more people were consistently Google searching the carnivore diet than the vegan diet. As communities and “tribes” become increasingly polarised, it’s becoming more difficult for us to get reliable dietary advice.
While I won’t weigh too much on this matter now, we can be sure that protein is so important in our dietary needs. The quote below more eloquently summarises this.
“Since protein sufficiency is known to be utterly critical for optimal energy, immunity, metabolic function, musculoskeletal health, hormonal balance, recovery, and more, I cannot think of a more whole-body relevant macronutrient for ensuring a long, healthy life,” says Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, mindbodygreen’s vice president of scientific affairs.
“Another nuanced consideration is digestibility since animal protein has higher bioavailability than plant protein,” adds Ferira.
While we all sit somewhere on the spectrum of carnivore diet to vegan diet; with a core practicing as functional flexitarians; where budget and availability allows for it, choosing from sustainable meats like grass-fed beef, MSC-certified seafood, free range and organic meat options is certainly doing our level best for the environment.
Hopefully you find some of these tips helpful and easy to implement in 2023!
– Biltong Chief