Those involved in bodybuilding and weightlifting know that protein is vital in accumulating muscle mass. However, wolfing down generous portions of beef, pork and chicken everyday can get monotonous to say the least. Of course, you can change up your high protein diet somewhat by mixing in the occasional portions of legumes, yogurt, eggs, or nuts, but let’s face it, men want meat! If the thought of a thick steak sizzling on the grill gets your mouth watering, but the actual eating of yet another one has you a bit bored, seek out and try the following excellent, if not exotic, protein alternatives. These meat selections will liven up your high protein diet and still keep the beast within happy.
I grew up in Eastern Kentucky where hills, hunters and herds of deer were a plenty. I was raised on a steady diet of venison and actually prefer it to beef. Deer meat is more tender and contains much less fat than beef and it can be made into a variety of tasty treats such as filets, roasts, sausage and, one of my favorites, venison jerky. Venison tastes somewhat similar to beef, yet it retains its own unique “wild” flavor.
If you happen to be lucky enough to live in such a wildlife-filled area, head out with a buddy for day of hunting pleasure or, if you don’t hunt, request venison from a hunting friend. If you live in the city, or live in areas where deer are scarce or non-existent, check your local butcher shop or supermarket for venison cuts.
Although the mighty buffalo was almost eradicated from the Great Plains when the railroads went through, they are making an impressive comeback. Not only are herds being raised for viewing pleasure, but their meat is increasingly being served in stores and restaurants as well as served up in festival chili and fairground bison burgers.
Bison is packed with protein, rivaling amounts found in chicken and turkey. It also tastes similar to beef, yet retains its own special taste and is a bit drier due to its being leaner. Ask your local butcher or supermarket if bison is available and enjoy a sizzling bison steak at your next cookout.
This oversized chicken may be similar in looks to its little cousin, but that’s pretty much where the similarity ends. Ostrich meat is higher in protein than chicken and its meat tastes more like beef than bird.
Although not quite as available as bison, ostrich meat is still gaining in popularity and farms are popping up throughout the country to supply the demand. Ostrich meat can often be found as filets or ground meat so look around and splurge on this exotic meat for a change of pace in your taste. And, if you can, try one of those honkin’ big eggs for a super dose of protein!
Fish and crustaceans are much easier to find than the above exotic meats and make another good choice of change in your high protein diet. Cook up an occasional crab, salmon filet, lobster, or serving of shrimp, all of which add a punch of protein while offering a completely different taste and texture of meat to your meal.