Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: Going to Africa! Need advice. page

  1. #1
    Chopper9994's Avatar
    Chopper9994 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    7

    Going to Africa! Need advice.

    Primal Fuel
    Hello all

    I just received news that I will be working in Ghana Africa on a 28 day schedule. 28 days there, then 28 days back home. I've been doing some research, talking to fellow co-workers who are there etc. and the nutritional picture is very bleak indeed. I'm currently practicing low carb paleo in order to lose a significant amount of weight so I'm avoiding starches and fruits for now. Unfortunately the western African diet is mostly starches: rice, potatoes, yams, plantains etc. and also a variety of fruits: mango, papaya, pineapple etc. You get the idea. There are a limited amount of meats available but mostly fish and chicken which is great but word from my fellow co-workers are DONT eat anything from the local economy except for fruits and veggies with a rind, especially any meats. There aren't any grocery stores and almost all food is purchased literally on the streets from vendors or from the 2-3 convenience type stores I'll have access to. Most of my co-workers are bringing food over in a suitcase but this is crap like granola bars, canned stew, ravioli etc. I refuse to eat that junk anymore!

    Anyway, I am planning on using a second suitcase for food and could use some advice on things to bring. I'm thinking as paleo friendly as possible like canned sardines, pouches of tuna and salmon, a good high quality protein powder, maybe a good green food mix but after that I'm lost. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    glorth2's Avatar
    glorth2 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    527
    Don't forget jerky. That said, eat the local diet when you need to and don't beat yourself up. How long are you going to be doing this rotation?

  3. #3
    WeldingHank's Avatar
    WeldingHank is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Lawrence,Ma
    Posts
    716
    The local fare sounds great, to be honest.

  4. #4
    Chopper9994's Avatar
    Chopper9994 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by glorth2 View Post
    Don't forget jerky. That said, eat the local diet when you need to and don't beat yourself up. How long are you going to be doing this rotation?
    OK, jerky is an awesome idea! forgot about that one.

    Total duration is 6 months so I'll only be doing 3 total rotations.

  5. #5
    Chopper9994's Avatar
    Chopper9994 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by WeldingHank View Post
    The local fare sounds great, to be honest.
    It actually does sound great especially when I researched some of the local dishes but they are very heavily starched based with little protein. I'm actually looking forward to trying some of the local fare but really want to try and stay as low-carb as possible.

  6. #6
    sketchy's Avatar
    sketchy is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    78
    make and take pemmican

  7. #7
    sbhikes's Avatar
    sbhikes is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    Posts
    9,716
    I would not dream of visiting a far-away place and not eating the local cuisine. It is also primal to enjoy life and all it has to offer. I went to India and ate everything, even guavas I bought from a lady who appeared out of the bushes on a hiking trail, cut them open with a knife, and sprinkled chili powder on them before handing them to me with her bare hands. We really need ladies like this on hiking trails in the US. I ate in little outdoor restaurants, too, and street tacos in Mexico City. Seriously, live life to the fullest, eat the plantains, yams, mangos and whatever else. With gusto.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

  8. #8
    Hedonist2's Avatar
    Hedonist2 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,240
    Where are you going in Ghana? I know only a little about Ghana. My yoga teacher is Ghanan-German and she talks about Ghana.

    Rice, potatoes, yams, plantains etc. are good, when supplemented by protein you take. It seems like any thoroughly cooked vegetable would be fine. I don't know why not.
    Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

  9. #9
    Cavedude's Avatar
    Cavedude is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    151
    If it's only 28 days, I'd suggest trying your best to eat according to your goals, but don't kill yourself. This is an awesome chance to experience local cuisine and culture and you should definitely take advantage of it. I'm sure you'll have a blast no matter what you decide on for lunch! Enjoy your time there and post an update to let us know how it goes!
    "Always be yourself. Express yourself. Have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it." -Bruce Lee

  10. #10
    CaveBug's Avatar
    CaveBug is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    311
    I lived in Malawi for a couple years as a Peace Corps volunteer. I think you are overlooking the possibilities of stocking up on canned goods in the capital. Accra will have larger type grocery stores, more familiar to Westerners, you can stock up on canned fish and meat. See if you can get just a couple hours to shop for a bit. Once you get out into the rural areas you will be more limited if you want to go low carb. Honestly though, don't sweat it. You will have higher carb days and that's ok.

    People always associate travel in third world countries with food born illnesses. If you are smart, you will be just fine. You said chicken and fish are around, the fish is going to be pretty fresh because there is no refrigeration. I lived near Lake Malawi and had fish quite often and never got sick. Usually you buy it whole, and will have to clean it for yourself.

    Same goes for chicken, a lot of the time, chicken are sold live in rural Africa, because, let's face it, live chicken keeps better than a dead one. You haven't said anything about your housing situation, will you have access to a fridge of your own? If not, my method was to cook a large meal for dinner and have the left overs for breakfast. Americans are VERY squeamish about leaving food out. We refrigerate everything, even if it doesn't need to be. One meal left out overnight in a sealed tupperware container and then heated, won't cause any problems.

    Also, what about eggs? Your co-workers may have overlooked them because they feel like if they can't keep them cold, then they'll go bad in a day. Do NOT worry about keeping eggs cold, I have left eggs on the counter for a week at a time during the hot season and they are still perfectly good. If you are worried about eggs, put them in a bowl of water, if they float, they're bad, if they sink, they're fine.

    Do you know what the situation is like for goat meat there? Goat is pretty popular all over Africa, I made it a point to buy goat once a week, it's good. Your co-workers may be warning you off it because, again, squeamish Americans. Honestly, ask around. The locals will know where a butcher is, any meat he is selling is going to have been very recently killed. Just because it is meat that isn't packaged and in the refrigerated section, doesn't mean it is bad. Ask someone there what a local person would pay for a Kg of meat and go buy some. Frequently, it will come as one big chunk with bits of bone still in it (meat isn't butchered as pretty as it is here), get creative with it. I would cook it all at once, and make a stew and then remove the bones after cooking.

    You can even get away with fruits and veggies too. Sure, if it has a peel, peel it, but washing goes a long way. In Malawi, they have a water treatment sold everywhere in a little blue bottle called Water Guard. It is just plain old bleach, nothing fancy, we used it All. The. Time. I know, you're thinking, "Bleach! No! Chemicals!" Relax, you aren't chugging it. A couple milliliters to a big 20 L bucket of water made it drinkable, I also did a filtration on my water. To clean 1L of water, it was 2 drops, maybe 3. There is probably a similar product, sponsored by Water Aid or USAID etc, for making water safe for drinking. Add a few drops to enough water to cover your veggies and let them sit for a little bit, maybe 20 min. You can rinse them after soaking if you want but they'll be fine. I did this to clean greens but I usually cooked my veggies.

    Fruits are very seasonal, you may be there at the wrong time of the year for mango, which would be sad, fresh mangoes are like eating pure concentrated joy and sunshine. Ask some of the locals what is in season, they eat seasonally, so can you. Odds are good, most fruit you will get will have just been picked. A quick wash and you're good to go. Imagine if you went apple picking here in the States, sure, there's probably some dirt, wash your fruit. I can't stress this enough about food, if you are looking for something, ask someone who lives there. They know the country, what is available and what is a good price. You will get ripped off if you don't know what the real price is. If you are still unsure about it, have someone buy it for you. I did this a lot, especially when I first got there, and you know what, it's ok. Your friends will understand, just tell them you don't want to get a bad price and ask if they will find out what the price is for you.

    Even street food I wouldn't worry about too much. A lot of the time you can find people cooking meat on roadside stands. I know, everyone and their Doctor is telling you not to eat it but the rule I observed was, if it is hot, just off the fire, it's fine and I never got sick. Travel is fun, I think you have a great opportunity to see how people around the world cook, eat and live. Enjoy it! If you are invited over to a meal at someone's house, don't be a snob and refuse potatoes or something else because it is high carb. You are there as a guest of honor and it would be really rude to refuse. The high carb starchy foods are a staple, people eat them because they can't afford to eat meat as often as you will, recognize this and please be okay with it. It may take you a couple trips over to get a good feel for the food and what's available but I am absolutely willing to bet that there are a lot of other options you haven't found yet. Before traveling, everyone is convinced by their doctor that any food not made in America will kill them. If you are smart and use common sense, you'll be fine.
    You are an animal on this planet and the rules of engagement are non negotiable.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •