Bulking on a Budget

It is often said that the road to six-pack abs or buns of steel starts in the kitchen. Here we’ll be giving you a couple of tips to help you on your way, and how you can do it on a budget!

Location matters

There is a lot of emphasis around in the media at the moment around so called “high quality meat” and food in general, but what does it actually mean for you and your pocket? Well first we’ll start by saying that there’s never been any real scientific evidence that suggests that organic food is better for you or that GM food will harm you. So you can look away from that £10 chicken breast and not be afraid to take a peek at the own brand food that’s on offer from Aldi or Lidl.

Trying not to cheat

It can be tempting in between meals to open up a bar of chocolate and nibble on it. But by doing that you are only cheating yourself. Try to stick closely to the foods you should be eating, believe us when we say the rewards will outweigh the hardship. (Don’t worry, a cupcake every once in a while won’t kill you.)

And now onto the most important part, the most essential foods that will give you the most nutritional value for your money.

Whole Chicken

A whole chicken is not only economic, but is also a great way to obtain a lean source of protein and energy. Every part of a whole chicken can be used towards your daily meals – you can even use the bone to make chicken stock.  Some upmarket stores will charge a higher amount for “improved quality”, but as always its up to you. The price of a medium sized chicken is only £3 a kilo.

Ground Beef

In terms of bulking foods, beef is the winner. It’s easy to prepare, doesn’t leave any food wasted and can be bought for a good price. In addition, beef mince has a large number of cooking possibilities. Beef mince will cost around £4 per kilo.

Tuna

Tuna is an excellent lean source of protein. To make things even better, it’s usually a case of opening a tin of tuna and eating it straight from the can. No mess, no fuss. Depending on the type of branding of tuna bought, tuna can be bought for as little as £1.00 per can.

Oats

The key to a perfect breakfast is oats. When added to water or milk, oats blend to make the perfect breakfast. What makes oats even better is the range of foods you can put into a bowl of oats. Common additions include bananas, cinnamon and honey. Oats can be bought at a dirt cheap price. A kilo’s worth will cost about £1. Excellent value.

Oats

Rice

Long grain rice is our carbohydrate of choice, and is a fantastic accompaniment to meat. Rice is one of the best carbs around for digestion, gaining mass and cutting. Rice is best bought in bulk, and will cost around £6 for 5kg of long gain goodness.

And that’s it! Let us know about some of your favourite recipe/bulking choices in the comments below!

 

 

Photo Credit:

http://www.rinzlermeats.com/html/chicken.html

http://test.transformationisbelieving.com/?page_id=1239

http://fillyourplate.org/blog/50-things-oats/

Protein: Our Vegetarian Guide

Now the figures vary widely depending on what statistics you’re looking at, but the fact is a fair number of you are vegetarian. In the previous two posts of the series, we told you to eat more protein and why its so important you have enough. What we are going to do now is tell you about some great vegetarian-friendly protein sources for when you don’t eat meat or just don’t like the taste (people are crazy, we know). We shall be focusing on the most popular vegetarian diet, which according to the Vegetarian Society is the lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet.

Eggs

If you think back to your childhood, you might remember a movie or two where Silvester Stallone downs a blender full of raw eggs. It’s pretty bad ass (don’t go eating them raw) but there’s a good reason he’s having them. Eggs are absolutely packed full of high quality protein- a single large egg contains about 6g. Just be careful about the 5g of fat in the yolk. It’s fine to eat one or two but when you’re making a 7 egg omelette like us that fat seriously adds up! Sometimes it’s even a good idea to just use the egg white and throw away the yolk.

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Quinoa

Back when we were young we never even heard of a quinoa, let alone know what it was. Well it’s technically a cereal, although you cook it like pasta, and comes with a whole host of health benefits. To start, it has an incredible 14g of protein per 100g and contains all 9 essential amino acids. Its also gluten free, easy to digest, and high in fibre. So it’s pretty easy to see why people refer to quinoa as a superfood. So throw it in your salad and be safe knowing its not only tasty, its good for you too.

Chickpeas

With only 164kcal and 9g of protein in a 100g they are great for those of you trying to cut your calories and lose some fat. They are incredible versatile: for starters you can buy them tinned, dried or even get yourself a bag of chickpea flour. Not only that, they can be added to salads, fill out a curry or be made into hummus. On that point, if you’ve never eaten hummus, try it: it is amazing.

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Tofu

This particular item of food is probably top of the list for vegetarian-friendly protein. It can replace meat in a dish, is very low in calories (70kcal per 100g) and provides you with a whopping 8g of protein. To put that in other words, 45% of the calories are purely from protein. The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) accepted that 25g of soy protein, as found in tofu, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. The only issue with tofu is the decision you have to make: there’s a huge amount of variety out there!

There’s a load more choices out there, though we hope this has shown you that even as a vegetarian you can still have a diet packed with high quality protein. Even if you are a meat eater, these are still some great foods to get into your diet and try out. If you are still struggling to get enough protein into your diet and want to know what protein shakes would make for a good supplement, check out our reviews here.

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Photos from Flickr: Robert Judge, sweetonveg and Brenda Gottsabend