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In Africa (central)


Olivia91

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Hi guys, 

I am starting the whole 30 program this coming Monday (January 16th).

As I am doing this in Africa and products available in the USA, are most definitely not accessible here >> making this a little bit more challenging. 

Thought this his would be a great place to support and give each other tips. 

 

Hope to see a lot of people in the same situation 

 

Love 

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Hi @Olivia91, I'm in South Africa and finding much of anything packaged that is compliant is a struggle. I had previously done a Whole 30 in Australia, and I really miss my old standbys like coconut cream, salsa, sauerkraut, the odd sausage, almond milk... I couldn't even find coconut flakes the other day. Of course, I could make a lot of this myself, but I'm lazy and they're not convenience foods if you have to do it yourself!

My advice is to plan on not finding anything and count it as a bonus when you do find something. Fruit, vegetables and meat are pretty much going to be fine so focus on those things. Most spices will be compliant and the odd spice mix, and I've found compliant olives and jalapenos. You may just end up eating basic for a month (not tasteless or boring, just no "extravagant" recipes).

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I'm in Haiti and started on the 5th. We're probably in very similar situations. I live in a rural area for the most part. I can go about 15 minutes to a small city, but the shopping options are limited. We do a big shopping trip to the capital once a month, but again, the options are limited. I JUST found coconut oil in one of the stores we shop at last month, if that's any indication. Since I'm used to this I've been doing a lot of cooking from scratch for years, so I think that's been a big help. 

Suggestions:

  • Stock your freezer with a variety of meats and seafood so you have a lot of options to base your meals around. From there you can buy fresh veggies and fruit to build your meals.
  • Pinterest has a lot of great recipe ideas. Just tweak ingredients based on what you have available. 
  • Making your own mayo is really easy, especially if you have a hand blender or blender. There are some great recipes on Pinterest, and if you're concerned about the raw egg issue, you can easily pasteurize eggs on the stove. It only takes a few minutes. Google has instructions. 
  • Use the homemade mayo to make different salad dressings. One we've found we love is mayo, dried garlic, dried onion, salt, dill and some coconut milk. 
  • You can also use balsamic vinegar & olive oil with some salt and crushed garlic to make an yummy dressing. I'll make jars of dressings and keep them in the fridge so we just have to pull them out at meal times. They can also work great as marinades.
  • Here produce is seasonal for certain things, like avocados, so I've had to work around that. Thankfully the basics are year round, but we can't get things like cauliflower here, so we're just going without. 
  • Experiment with the produce you DO have. For example, here in Haiti we have a type of squash that can act like a squash or like a pumpkin. I use it for so many different things because I can. Sometimes I roast it in chunks, sometimes I cook it in a half and we dig it out to eat, and today I'm using it to make soup. I've used it for pies in the past too. 

Good luck! I would love to hear more about everyone's experiences with this living abroad. 

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  • 1 month later...

It's difficult to find salsa in South Africa, let alone commercially prepared salsa without sugar. I usually make a homemade pico de gallo and then put a couple of tablespoons of that into mashed avocado to make guacamole.

Checkers here in the south of Joburg has frozen riced cauliflower, which is super easy to use. I usually keep a couple of bags of that in my freezer for savouries when my husband's family gathers (he has one sister who is completely gluten free and three other relatives who avoid it).

If you don't mind driving to Lenasia or Ormonde, there are two brothers here who run butcheries who do banting, so they have lots of premade banting burgers, sausages, and the like in their freezers. Just let them know the differences between banting and Whole30 and they should be able to point you in the right direction. One is Halaal Meat Zone and the other is Shanawaaz Meat Palace. Both I'm pretty sure sell coconut oil as well as other banting supplies. Sometimes HMZ has homemade ghee as well, which is a bargain over the big tub of clover they sell in the stores.

Dischem usually has lots of products, like nuts, that are compliant. I am finding it difficult to find dried fruit that doesn't contain sulphur dioxide, however.

I usually buy nuts from a woman in Mayfair with raw nuts about R165/kg, but prices will spike in the next month or two just before Ramadan.

Checkers does have a lot of new banting products. I need to go and see which ones are compliant. I know they also sell pasteurised eggs in Checkers and that'll be good for making mayonnaise.

We're starting on the first, so as I find things I'll post them. I'm not sure how things work in Pretoria but in Joburg, the Muslim community usually has several home businesses that sell things below retail, so I usually ask around first before I go to the store.

I think the most frustrating thing for me right now is that a lot of my spice blends contain cornflour so I must find or make my own lemon pepper and braai spice.

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