So last Sunday, i did my 2nd attempt at running 10km at lake gardens. Last one was about a month and a half ago. Timing wasn't the greatest, but i am happy. 1:20 for 10.12km. So now i guess i am ready for the race. From now till the Penang Bridge run i will only do 4km to 5km runs maybe twice a week. That's it. Don't want to over do it. My knees did feel a little sore after the run the other day, but its better now. So that's just an update on the run.
OK, enough about running. Today i wanted to talk about proteins once again. Since my recent post on protein and weight loss, i have gotten quite a few emails asking me all sorts of things. One of the most common ones i received were that protein is expensive and if i could recommend some cheap sources of protein. Now i am not sure what the definition of cheap is, but what if you could get high quality protein for under RM 5 or RM 6? Would that be OK? That's affordable right?
So here are just some in no particular order
Eggs - One of the cheapest source of lean protein. Each egg will give you roughly 6g of protein at about 80 calories. Thats pretty good. So you can buy a whole 12 pack for about RM 3 or RM 4. Should you consume the yolk? Yes you can. The whole notion about egg yolks causing high cholesterol is a myth. Your body produces most of the cholesterol and your diet has little impact on this. So yes. Go ahead.
Chicken Breast - Chicken breast is another excellent source of lean protein. You can grill it, toss it in a sandwich, eat it as a chicken chop, dice it up... the possibilities are just endless. Each 100g of chicken breast contains about 45g of protein. That means almost of it is protein. Remember, preparation of your chicken is important. Avoid deep frying it. Pan searing, roasting or grilling would be the best option. How much is one cut of chicken breasts? I usually buy them in the market for about RM 3 to RM 4. Once i buy them, i split it in 2 (as shown above) and just consume one portion.
Sardines - Fish is one power foods that we all need to have more of in our diets. Sardines especially are high in Omega 3, which time and time again has been proven to prevent many chronic diseases especially heart related illnesses. 100g of sardines has about 24g of protein. If possible drain the tomato sauce out before preparing sardines. Usually the sauce has high amounts of sugar and sodium. So i usually drain it, rinse the sardines and then prepare my own tomato sauce. This way i get to control what goes into it. You can easily get a tin of sardine for under RM 6.
Tuna - Tuna in water, tuna in salt water, tuna in oil... which one to choose? Best choice is Tuna in water, second choice tuna in salt water. Usually one 185g can tuna will has about 24g of protein. You can prepare it any way you want, but go slow on the mayo if thats your preferred style. This is also under RM 6 for a can
Tandoori Chicken - This is one of my favourite ways to consume lean protein. You can usually get a quarter chicken of tandoori for about RM 6 or just below that. You can eat it with naan or chappati or you can strip the meat off and make a sandwich out of it. How much protein is in tandoori? Similar to chicken breast. About 40% of its weight (minus the bones of course) will be protein.
Skim Milk - One cup of skim milk has less than 1g of fat and offers you about 8g of protein. You can add fruits to it to make a smoothie or just drink it by itself. For convenience, you can buy skim milk powder so you can prepare it anywhere and at anytime. Excellent source of protein as long as you are not lactose intolerant. One liter of skim milk usually sells for about RM 5 or RM 6 and serves about 4 cups
Tofu - Depending on the type of tofu, generally most tofu will have between 10g to 12g of protein per 100g. Its an excellent source of protein because its lean and its complete protein. That means it has all the essential amino acids in there. Again, preparation is vital here. To make it healthy you want to avoid deep frying it. Try pan frying or even stuffing it and then steaming or baking it.
I could go on an on, but i am sure with what i have shared here so far, it is possible to put together a variety of high protein meals that don't cost an arm and a leg. It all just comes down to creativity. What other cheap sources of high protein foods are available out there? Would love to hear your feedback too. Google some healthy recipes with the ingredients above and i am sure you will find something that will excite your taste buds. So yes, it is possible to stay healthy even on a budget. You don't need to rob a bank to stay healthy and more importantly, no more excuses for staying on a healthy diet. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments.