Try These High-Protein Meals When You're Bulking-up

Have you upped your workout routine intending to build some muscle mass for the summer?  

You might want to consider increasing your protein consumption (alongside eating a balanced diet to give your body all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy). You can get protein from poultry, meat, seafood, eggs and a couple of other vegetarian sources, and it’s always best to aim to get the majority of your nutrition from whole foods. Other than increasing protein to help boost the effects of your training, genetics also plays a role in one’s ability to increase muscle mass - our DNAfit tests can inform you of your predisposition.


Even though research suggests that genetics plays a role in the amount of muscle mass we naturally carry, and how that muscle mass responds and adapts to training, there are things we can do to further help build mass. Hence, pay attention to what you eat and the type of workouts you do - with resistance training shown to be one of the most effective forms of exercise for increasing muscle mass alongside a balanced diet. Exercise is shown to support muscle growth, but to sustain that, your muscles need to be given the nutrients they need to recover quicker after each workout so you can keep building more muscle mass. Protein can aid in that recovery because it helps muscles heal and prevents the loss of lean muscle mass while ensuring that you also eat sufficient low GI carbohydrates will provide you with sustained energy to get through your workouts. 


So how much protein do you need?

The answer may vary depending on several factors like your genetics, age, weight, fitness levels and daily caloric intake. Keeping in mind that protein isn't just about quantity - quality or type of protein is just as important. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight (0.8 grams per kg of body weight), but the amount may slightly vary depending on the study (1.2.3)

This amounts to:

56 grams of protein per day for the average sedentary man.

46 grams of protein per day for the average sedentary woman.


Eating insufficient protein can be detrimental to your health - a protein deficiency is defined as only eating 50% to 75% of the recommended daily amount of protein. Be careful about eating too little or eating too much protein, moderation is always best. 


So we’ve got you covered with meals curated by our in-house dietitians and they are easily made in under 30 min. These delicious, healthy recipes ensure that you can add variety to your nutritional plan while bulking up. 

The nutritional information applies per serving:

                                 Asian Inspired Stir Fry


(Serves 4) 

360g Chicken breast, raw

120g Wholewheat noodles

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated 

2 cups mushrooms, sliced thinly

1 cup edamame beans, boiled

2 cups spinach, shredded

2 Tbsp soy sauce, reduced-sodium

1/4 cup coriander, chopped finely

½ medium onion, sliced thinly

1 tsp red chilli, flakes

1 medium lime, fresh



  1. Prepare noodles according to packet directions. 
  2. Place a wok over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and the chicken. Sauté until cooked through and browned. Remove and place in a bowl.
  3. Add the remaining oil, onion, ginger, and garlic to the same wok used for the chicken and saute for a few minutes. Then add the mushrooms, edamame beans, ½ cup of water and the soy sauce.
  4. Add the noodles, and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  5. Add chicken and cook until warmed through. Sprinkle it with coriander and chilli flakes, and squeeze over the lime juice before serving. 


Nutritional Information (per serving): 

Energy: 1105 kJ (264 calories )

Carbohydrates: 19g

Fibre: 5g

Protein: 29g 

Fat: 9g

                                 Golden lentil curry 


   (Serves 4) 

    1tbsp olive oil

    1 small onion, diced 

    2 medium garlic cloves, minced

    1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced

    1 small red chilli, minced

2 tsp curry powder

2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

½ cup milk, low fat 

2 cups water

1 cup red lentils, dry

5 cups baby spinach 


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onion until soft (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, cumin, turmeric, salt and curry powder. Cook until very fragrant (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add the milk, lentils and water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Cook until the lentils are tender, 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Fold in the spinach and cook until wilted (about 3 minutes).
  6. Serve with or without rice.

Nutritional Information (per serving, without rice): 

Energy: 1091 kJ (261 calories)

Carbohydrates: 40g

Fibre: 9g

Protein: 15g 

Fat: 6g


                              Pesto salmon 


(Serves 1)

90g fresh salmon

1tsp pine nuts

¼ garlic clove

6 tbsp basil leaves

4 tsp olive oil

½ tbsp parmesan cheese

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 slice lemon

½ cup turnip greens


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Place the nuts, garlic, basil, olive oil, Parmesan and lemon in a blender. Blend into a thick paste to form the pesto.
  3. Place a pan over medium heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil and the salmon. Grill the salmon for 3 minutes on each side.
  4. Serve the salmon on top of the turnip greens with a slice of lemon on the side. Place the pesto on top of the salmon.

Nutritional Information (per serving): 

Energy:  1507kJ (360 calories) 

Carbohydrates: 6g 

Fibre: 2g 

Protein: 22g

Fat: 28g

                                Sushi Salad



      (Serves 1) 

     1/2 cup brown rice, cooked

     ¼ cup cucumber, sliced thinly 

     ¼ medium avocado, sliced thinly

     ¼ cup red cabbage, shredded

½ medium carrot, sliced thinly

1 tsp ginger, pickled

90g salmon, very fresh, sliced thinly

1 tsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tsp soy sauce, reduced-sodium

1 tsp red chilli, flakes



  1. In a large bowl, top the rice with cucumber, avocado, cabbage, carrot, pickled ginger, salmon and sesame seeds.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the red chilli flakes, red wine vinegar and soy sauce. Just before serving, toss the salad with the dressing.

Nutritional Information (per serving): 

Energy: 1563 kJ (373 calories)

Carbohydrates: 33g

Fibre: 7g

Protein: 24g

Fat: 16g


                                Fish cakes


(Serves 9)

1 large mashed potato

90g boiled salmon 

90g boiled haddock 

1 medium egg

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

110g chopped onion 

60g chopped parsley

120g bread crumbs

5g salt

5g black ground pepper

5g unsweetened lemon juice 


  1. Using a small pot, boil the potatoes until soft. Once cooked through mash until soft and smooth.
  2. Boil the salmon and haddock until cooked through (15min).
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a large bowl. Add the mash and cooked fish.
  4. Chop up the onion/parsley into very small pieces and add to the large bowl.
  5. Add the salt, pepper and lemon juice into the large bowl and mix until all the ingredients are combined. Using your hands, roll small balls and then flatten them into a pattie.
  6. Crack the egg into a small plate and mix well using a fork.
  7. Place the fish ball into the egg mixture and then roll into the bread crumbs.
  8. In a large pan, place the olive oil and wait until the oil is heated up. Add the fish balls into the pan and fry on all sides until a crunchy consistency is achieved.
  9. Serve.

Nutritional Information (per serving): 

Energy:  2102kJ (502 calories) 

Carbohydrates: 16g 

Fibre: 2g 

Protein: 37g

Fat: 32g

If you're unsure about what your genetics say about your predisposition to increase muscle mass, then take a Health Fit test today to get the insight you need to optimise your training. This is the test that can enable you to achieve your fitness goals. 

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