Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Bulletin #4- -Cooking 101-

-Strategies for cooking healthy food that isn’t bland-

Table of Contents

• Taste of Success
By John Berardi

• Berardi’s Kitchen
By John Berardi

• Massive Cooking
By Ken Kinnan

• Beyond Oatmeal
By John K. Williams

• Recipes for Success
By Steve Berardi

• Damage Control
By John Berardi

• Food on the Go
By Steve Berardi

• Tips and Tricks
From the Gourmet Nutrition Forum

The Taste of Success
Solving the #1 Nutritional Gripe
by Dr. John M. Berardi

The Greatest Nutritional Complaint
"Are you kidding, JB? You expect me to eat this stuff? Where’s the taste? Where’s the variety!?"
This is by far the nutritional complaint I hear most often from clients, athletes and seminar attendees. Ever since I first starting publishing articles on T-Nation six years ago, I’ve been bombarded with this complaint. And over the past two years, I’ve probably gotten at least one angry email a day, basically saying the exact same thing:
"This stuff is boring and tastes freakin' terrible! Give me better food choices!"
To be honest, for the longest time I just dismissed the variety of complaints about variety. Sounded like a bunch of nonsense to me for two reasons:
1) The "no variety" complaint sounds like just another weak excuse for giving up.
People stopped eating well and needed someone to blame. Of course it’s not their fault they’re overweight. It’s their genes. Of course it's not their fault they’re not building muscle or recovering properly. It’s their job. They can’t be expected to eat (gasp!) at work! Of course it’s not their fault they’ve got high blood glucose and high blood pressure. It’s that damn JB’s boring eating plan!
2) There's no reason why great nutrition must necessarily mean boring, repetitive meals and bad tasting food.
You only need to look to my Berardi’s Kitchen articles (Part I and Part II) to see that the variety is almost unlimited. I practice what I preach, and my kitchen has more variety than most others I’ve seen. And if my kitchen is boring, an exciting kitchen must be some kind of culinary amusement park, a veritable Six Flags of cuisine.
But despite all this, people still complain about variety. Quite frankly, it started to annoy me. So in an effort to squash this complaint once and for all (yeah, right), or at least buy myself a brief reprieve from the anti-boredom coalition’s email campaign, I started to investigate the problem a little more seriously.

The Client Survey
The first step was an informal survey of former clients of mine. Usually, when a client ends his service tenure with me, I’ll send him a questionnaire regarding the experience. Among other things, I want to know why exactly he ended his service so that I can continuously refine my coaching systems to get industry-beating results. I hadn’t taken a look at the numbers in a while, so the other day I sat down and got to work.
When the results were in, I was happy to learn that most of my clients (about 83%) had ended for the only reason I accept as good: during their stay with me, they'd learned exactly how to design and monitor their own training and nutrition plans. For my head coach, Carter Schoffer and I, that’s our goal in coaching — to make ourselves dispensable.
Once a client has learned how his own body responds to various training and nutrition protocols, he shouldn’t need us for anything beyond occasional support and troubleshooting.
But what about the other 17% of clients? Why did they stop? Well, that was the disappointing part. They quit because they got sick of the food. One client in particular remarked, "I don’t think I’m cut out to eat such Spartan meals."
Sick of the food? And since when did "Spartan" become a food-related adjective?

Don’t Go Blaming the Spartans
Now, let me make something clear: these aren't your average quitters. These are people who got results. These are people who lost fat, gained muscle, dropped 40 yard times, and drastically improved their health — but still quit. They had every reason to stay, every reason to keep going, but still quit because they hated the food.
That’s just unacceptable, and as a good coach, I should’ve recognized how widespread this misunderstanding really was. I’ve since built questions into the bi-weekly feedback reports I get from clients to spot this problem right away. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and this variety nonsense is blazing out of control.
So what exactly is going on here? Are people just excusing their own laziness, or is there some fundamental flaw in the way they view good nutrition? And if it’s the latter, then what is this flaw and how can it be fixed?
Weighty questions indeed, my friends. So let’s come up with some answers.

The Taste Bud Approach
All these years, I’ve had a standard response to complaints about taste and variety, and it goes something like this:
"Your taste sensation will change. Studies show that eventually you’ll lose that sweet tooth and that love of deep friend, trans-fat soaked garbage. Further, you’ll grow to prefer natural, healthy, richly textured foods. You’ll even grow to like the crunchy freshness of fruits and veggies."
And this comment is absolutely true. The study of taste is fascinating. You see, there are several factors affecting taste, including:
1) Oral concentrations of different molecules in our foods. Our sense of taste is mediated by groups of cells (our taste buds) which sample oral concentrations of small molecules and report a sensation of taste to our brainstem, the very area of our brain that senses pleasure.
2) Airborne chemicals inherent to our foods. Since our taste buds only sense bitter, salty, sweet and sour, the remainder of our sense of taste, about 70-75% of what we perceive as taste, actually comes from our sense of smell.
3) Temperature. The perception of taste also appears to be influenced by thermal stimulation of the tongue. When warmed, the tongue senses sweet; when chilled, it senses salty or sour.
4) Nutrient Needs. There's some research indicating that certain nutrient deficiencies can affect taste as well, leading to a preference for foods that replenish that nutrient.
For instance, removal of the adrenal glands in rats (which causes massive sodium loss) leads to the preference of salty water over normal water. Removal of the parathyroid glands (which causes calcium loss) leads to the preference of water high in calcium chloride over water with high concentrations of sodium chloride instead. And insulin-induced hypoglycemia leads to the preference of very sweet foods over other equally calorie or carbohydrate dense foods.
Now, this is obviously not the decisive factor. Witness the fat man’s preference for Krispy Kreme. Is he Krispy Kreme deficient? I think not. However, it should underline the multi-factorial nature of taste.

Surge and the Science of Taste
Back when we were developing Biotest Surge, it was the science of taste that allowed us to disguise the naturally bad taste of whey hydrolysate, one of the main ingredients in the formulation.
Have you ever tried to drink whey protein hydrolysate on its own? It must be one of the most wretched tasting compounds in existence. I remember getting an unflavored batch for a research study a few years ago and foolishly deciding to drink it straight up, no chaser. What a mistake. Can you say "projectile vomit?"
Biotest Surge is loaded with whey hydrolysate, and ask anyone, the stuff tastes great! So how did we do it? Well, in developing the formula for Surge, we learned which taste buds sense the nasty whey hydrolysates, then we found specific flavorings that compete for those same taste buds. So every time you use Surge, there’s a great race to those taste buds — and thankfully for all involved, the tasty flavorings win.
Here are a few more interesting facts:
• Women tend to be better "tasters" than men, which may make them more finicky and may allow them to distinguish between 800 types of chocolate.
• Age leads to losses in taste sensation, leading to a loss in appetite and the desire to eat. That’s partly why nutrient deficiencies develop with age.
• And finally, as mentioned earlier, our sense of taste will change with what we’re habitually eating.
Let me stress how important this final point is. I’ve seen people come to love foods they used to hate, and turn those same foods into their favorite meals. Exhibit A: cottage cheese. Anyone who’s done this long enough knows a good cottage cheese flip-flop story. Such a flip-flop can even be induced instantly from time to time, by having the subject taste the famous Cottage Cheese Peanut Butter Cup Concoction: cottage cheese, chocolate-flavored Low-Carb Grow!, and natural peanut butter. This stuff is awesome.
But in the end, this discussion still doesn’t get the job done. People still demand variety and "better tasting" foods. So how can we respond to these demands?

Self-Analysis: Variety the Berardi Way
I know one thing for sure: I’ve been doing this for years, day in and day out, and somehow I’ve managed both to stay large, lean and healthy year round and stave off the "variety" demon. So after being bombarded with my one millionth email castigating me to the depths of nutritional hell, I decided to start paying attention to what I was actually doing with my own diet. Specifically, I began leafing through my own nutritional programs, going back almost two years. I noticed four things:
1) The main food choices remained roughly the same over that entire period.
In other words, I’m consistently eating beef, eggs, beans, nuts, fruits and veggies. I’m not out hunting exotic animals on the plains of the Serengeti and dragging them home for barbeque. (Although I do like my elk. Are there elk on the Serengeti?) For the most part, I eat stuff you can find on the perimeter of your local grocery store.
2) Although the choices stay the same, the way I prepare those foods rarely stays the same for longer than a few weeks at a time.
In terms of which foods are combined and which seasonings and sauces are used, my meals are always changing. For a few weeks I might eat 8oz of lean meat and a spinach, carrot, apple and mixed nut salad (with flax oil and balsamic vinegar on top) for lunch. However, after those few weeks, I might make chili out of those 8oz by including a packet of chili mix, carrots, green and red peppers, onions, cashews and one can of diced tomatoes. With different sauces, seasonings and cooking methods, I can come up with infinite variations of the same staples — as simple or as fancy as I like.
3) The meals that did stay the same for longer than a few weeks were the "magic bullet meals."
Magic bullet meals are those meals that both fit into the nutrition plan and taste so good that I could probably eat them six times a day without growing tired of them. Everyone has a few of these. One meal that’s stood the test of time for me is my morning omelet. Every day, for the two year analysis period, I’ve eaten twelve egg whites, one yolk, one slice of cheese, spinach and one or two other omelet ingredients. Next to my omelet is a nice bowl of fresh fruit. I sometimes even eat this meal twice per day.
4) When I want to eat food that’s not on my plan, I save it for my "cheat ritual."
Almost every Sunday night, I get together with a bunch of the guys and eat whatever the hell I want: pizza, ice cream, beer, whatever. As you might imagine, these are serious events, attended only by like-minded individuals.
For instance, here's what Carter ate last weekend: one extra-large pepperoni pizza, two Oreo ice cream cookies, one-third of a rather large chocolate cake, one package of Clodhoppers, a pint of Guinness and a spinach salad (just to keep it clean). I’ll refrain from sharing my menu; I don’t want to frighten off the women and children. But by Monday morning, we’re all back in business.
So what does this mean? Well, for one, my "palettization" theory was only partially correct. To really account for how I’ve been able to do this, I’ve parsed out four basic rules, one from each of the observations above.

The Rules
Rule 1: Stick to the Staples
The reality is that you’re going to have to eat certain foods; there's no way to get around it. But who cares? They’re easy to get accustomed to, especially if you prepare them right. Keep in mind that your sense of taste can and will change over time, as long as you practice the right habits and stick to the staples.
So what are the staples? Well, for a complete treatment of this, check out the "Berardi’s Kitchen" articles I mentioned above. But here’s the short version:
• Lean Protein Sources: beef, chicken, turkey, fish, etc.
• Fruits: berries, apples, pineapple, pears, peaches, plums, etc.
• Vegetables: spinach, sweet peppers, carrots, broccoli, onions, etc.
• Essential Fatty Acids: olive oil, flaxseed oil, fish oil.
• Supplemental Carbohydrate: oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and whole grain bread.
You’ll also have to eliminate the "never-haves," or at least relegate them to cheat meals. So what are the "never-haves?"
• Anything found in Carter’s cheat ritual meal!

Rule 2: Keep the Staples Constant, Change the Meals Often
To succeed in the long term, you’ll have to keep the staples constant. The foods mentioned in Rule 1 will always be a part of your diet. How then do you keep from being bored?
Answer: Learn to cook!
Now, I don’t mean to suggest that you should enroll in a culinary school or waste your days watching Emeril. I do mean to suggest that you need to know a little about flavoring and preparing food. Not a lot, mind you, just enough to prevent stagnation and keep your taste buds from withering away.
I’m honestly amazed by what bad cooks most people are. Basic cooking is just that — basic — and would take you no longer than a few hours to learn. More importantly, it'll make all the difference between nutritional success and failure.
Think about it. For most people, much of the food they eat is cooked for them: fast food, prepackaged or preflavored. How else can we account for the 157 pounds of sugar the average American eats per year? That’s about half a pound a day, folks! They’re not shoveling down teaspoon after teaspoon of sugar — this sugar is being systematically hidden in the foods they’re eating!
We need better solutions. Here are a few:
• Read Ken Kinnan’s Massive Cooking. Great introduction to the topic, and it's free.
• Get some cooking tips from someone who knows, i.e., your mother. If you have one of those modern mothers who knows even less than you do, go a little further up the family tree and ask your grandmother. Take what info you can apply to your own nutrition program and discard the rest. You’d be surprised that a spice here and there can change the meal completely.
• Go to your local bookstore and grab a few basic cookbooks. Most meals can be modified to fit the plan by removing or substituting ingredients, and knowing the difference between rosemary and thyme will help you decide which to add. The goal is to build up a mental database of good meals you can make at any time, and to get some inspiration when the meals start getting a little tiresome.
• Stop by the newsstand and pick up a food magazine or, better yet, pick up a subscription. (And if buying girlie cooking magazines is embarrassing for you, you can send your girlfriend. It’s okay.) The regular arrival of new ideas will remind you that boredom isn't a valid excuse.
• Plug Alert: If you want something that specifically addresses the problem from the perspective of optimal nutrition, grab a copy of my new e-book, Gourmet Nutrition. Dr. John K. Williams (one of the best healthy cooks on the planet) and I have put together over 100 great meals and all the cooking instruction you need. Sure, I’m biased, but these meals are awesome!

With these resources at your disposal, there's no excuse for "variety complaints.” Get out there and start cooking. Stock your kitchen with the right foods, then mix and match to keep things lively.

Rule 3: Find Some "Magic Bullet Meals" and Keep Eating Them
Sometimes it’s not lack of variety that causes people to bail on good nutrition. In fact, often it’s the very idea that variety is necessary that causes the problem. While I agree that you need to have all your nutritional bases covered, I want to dispel the myth that good nutrition requires you to come up with a completely new meal every time you eat.
Here’s the strategy: find one or two "magic bullet meals" — meals that fit into your plan and taste so good you could eat them every day — and eat them every day! Eat them twice a day if you have to. Don’t miss a meal or break your plan when you could simply double up on the best meal of the day.
As for the rest of the meals, you’ll need to constantly change them to stave off the dreaded boredom, according to Rule 2. Remember, keep the staples constant, but continually experiment with combinations, cooking, and flavoring.

Rule 4: Get a Cheating Ritual
No, this isn't some adultery ceremony. This is the preferred method for eating never-have foods without blowing the plan. Now, my general rule on cheating is this: make sure that no more than 10% of your meals are missed or cheat meals. So if you’re eating six meals a day, seven days a week (for a total of 42 meals per week), then no more than four of those meals should be misses or cheats. If you can achieve 90% adherence — and anyone can, it doesn’t require "Spartan" discipline — you can get the results you want.
The catch, however, is that the 10% rule allows you to eat unplanned cheat meals. You know how that goes: "Well, that pizza does look good, but I should stick to the plan and eat the chicken salad . . . oh what the hell, Gimme the pizza! I’ll just consider it a cheat meal."
Now, this isn't necessarily a problem. If you have the discipline to keep your cheat meals to under about four per week, you can have them whenever you want. The problem arises when you allow a spontaneous, unplanned cheat meal to set off a chain of events (first pizza, then dessert, then fast food, etc.) that ends up in a nutritional derailment. Unfortunately, this happens more often than people care to admit, particularly in the early stages of a new plan.
It's better to plan your cheat meals. And even better would be to plan them around a social event (like a weekly get-together with the crew, a weekly restaurant night with your significant other, etc.), and ideally with social support (i.e., like-minded people to whom this event means as much as it does to you).
For the same reason you have training partners in the gym, you should find nutrition partners who can keep you going down the right path. Then, schedule a weekly get-together where you eat whatever you want — understanding that what you’re eating is the exception, not the rule.
Incidentally, I think people immediately identify with the concept of "refeeding" (weekly breaks from otherwise strict diets) for this very reason. The psychological advantage of planning cheat meals is significant and is perhaps the primary reason for the popularity of the various refeeding diets.
I'll add, though, that turning a cheat meal into an entire "cheat weekend," as is sometimes advocated, will almost certainly slow your progress during a dieting phase. Unless there are other issues, I’ll usually keep it to a half-day or less, so as to stay within the 10% zone. I’ve found that this is pretty close to an optimal balance between progress and psychological willingness to keep eating well.
Your Homework
I want this "variety" excuse eradicated. So in the discussion below, I want T-Nation readers to post:
1. Tips and tricks to maintaining good nutrition over the long run.
2. Your own personal "magic bullet meals," the ones you could eat twice a day if need be.
3. Your own cheating rituals.
If one of your biggest nutritional complaints is the variety one, it’s high time you did something about it. Stop emailing me, pick one of the suggestions above (or below) and get moving. The solution is right in your kitchen!


Berardi's Kitchen, Part I
By John M. Berardi
First published at www.t-mag.com, May 21 2004.
The Law of the Land
Long ago, when I first began to pay serious attention to my training and nutrition, I learned of a general principle that has served me well and has since become the cornerstone of my body composition success.
Berardi’s First Law:
If a food is in your possession or located in your residence, you will eventually eat it.
Corollary to Berardi’s First Law:
If you wish to be healthy and lean, you must remove all foods not conducive to those goals from said residence and replace them with a variety of better, healthier choices.
Second Corollary to Berardi’s First Law:
If you know someone whose house is stocked only with optimal food choices and yet who is not healthy and lean, look under his bed.
The bottom line is that you must stock your house with all the ammo you need to fight the battle of the bulge. My body fat ranges from about 5% to about 8% throughout the year (without the use of thermogenics) and the only way I’m able to maintain that level of leanness is by removing all temptation from my home, where I spend most of my time.
For years I’ve advised my clients and athletes to do the same. Now I bring the message to you. Your willpower and discipline will be tested enough at social events, at lunch meetings, and as you pass the six Krispy Kreme locations on the commute home from work. If you’re to have any chance of success, you need a safe home base.
With that in mind, I’m going to give you a peak into my armory . . . er, kitchen. In this week’s installment, I’ll open my stainless steel fridge to show you what and what not to stock. In doing so I hope to demonstrate that there are plenty of options available to the trainee interested in optimal health and body composition. Of course, this is not intended to be a comprehensive list in any way; rather, it’s a snapshot of the actual contents of my favorite appliance, and as such should serve as a practical example of the nutrition theory I expound elsewhere on this site.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Meat, Poultry and Fish
I must get at least a dozen emails a day by readers who complain that they’re tired of eating beef. I don’t dignify those emails with a response. Word to the wise: if you want free nutrition advice from me, don’t disparage Mr. Beef.
In all seriousness, you don’t have to rely solely on beef for your protein intake — I certainly don’t. I get a wide variety of meat, poultry and fish, some examples of which are listed below.
I’m lucky enough to have two excellent markets near my home and I realize that the more exotic selections listed below may be difficult for you to find. However, don’t just assume because it’s not at your local Piggly Wiggly, you can’t get it. Look around for nearby farmer’s markets, or make a trip out to a more distant one and freeze your purchases.
Alternatively, you might want to try one of the various online distributors. I can’t recommend these as I’ve never tried them myself, but if you’ve had some success with them, drop me a line at jb@johnberardi.com and let me know so I can spread the word.
So let’s see what types and quantities of goodies are stashed in my fridge:
Extra Lean Ground Sirloin
Quantity: 3 x 1lb packages
Notes: I buy the leanest ground beef I can find, and I keep a couple pounds on hand. Most of the time this is purchased from the meat section in my favorite grocery store, but I’ll sometimes go down to a local farmer’s market to have grass-fed beef freshly ground for me.
Boneless Chicken Breasts
Quantity: 2 x 1lb packages
Notes: This too fluctuates. I buy the best chicken I can find, which most of the time is the grain-fed, store-bought type. I do buy free-range chicken whenever possible, but I won’t skimp on the protein if I can’t find the really good stuff (nor would I if I couldn’t really afford to buy it).
Mild Turkey Sausage
Quantity: 2 x 500g packages
Notes: Turkey sausage is a great change of pace. I don’t buy it all the time, but it goes quickly when I do. Who said you couldn’t have street meat?
Ostrich
Quantity: 2 lbs
Notes: Fortunately, I’m able to get free-range ostrich meat at a nearby market and it’s excellent. I either grill it as a filet or have it ground for me.
Bison (Buffalo)
Quantity: 2 lbs
Notes: Another great tasting meat. Bison steaks are truly amazing, and the macronutrient profile is excellent.
Elk
Quantity: 2 lbs
Notes: Elk meat tastes good, has a good macronutrient profile and always gets a great reaction when you surprise your dinner guest by revealing the identity of the food they’re eating.
Salmon
Quantity: 2 large filets
Notes: Wild Atlantic salmon is perfect in pasta, in salads, or by itself. The genuine wild stuff has a great omega-3 profile, and cooked properly can go a long way toward impressing a date.
Eggs
I usually make one to two omelets a day so I keep a ton of eggs on hand. Note that my omelets don’t have nearly the amount of cheese or butter one normally finds in them.
Here’s what I use:
Omega-3 Eggs
Quantity: 2 dozen
Notes: Omega-3 eggs are laid by chickens that have been fed an omega-3 rich diet (10-20% ground flaxseed). I use one whole omega-3 egg in my morning omelet.
Egg Whites
Quantity: 12 x 250mL cartons
Notes: In addition to the whole omega-3 egg, I add 1 cup of egg whites to my morning omelet. (If you’re interested, the other components are chopped veggies, spinach and — depending on my goals — a small amount of cheese.)
Cheese
I’m lactose intolerant, yet I can still indulge in a little bit of cheese from time to time. During mass phases and maintenance phases, I use it judiciously. Of course, less is added during diet phases (unless I decide to rip out a couple of low carb weeks). However, dairy is often one of the first things I’ll remove from a client’s diet at the first sign of maldigestion, so you should pay close attention to your response to it. Most of the time I cut the cheese into small cubes and put it in salads, or into slices for my omelets, ground beef patties, and snacks.
Aged White Cheddar
Quantity: 4-8 oz.
Notes: Aged cheddar has a nice sharp taste to it, and a mouth feel that’s perfect for salads.
Baby Swiss
Quantity: 4-8 oz.
Notes: Mild nutty cheese that I occasionally add to my salads.
Havarti
Quantity: 4-8 oz.
Notes: One of my favorites for omelets.
Parmiggiano-Reggiano (Parmesan)
Quantity: 4-8 oz.
Notes: I usually grate some of this finely for pasta, the rest left whole or more coarsely grated for salads.
Feta Cheese
Quantity: 4-8 oz.
Notes: Once made from sheep or goat’s milk, now commonly made with cow’s milk. Perfect for salads with nuts and fruit, as the softer, crumbly mouth feel complements the crispier ingredients.
Fruit
Except for strict dieting phases, I always have some amount of fruit in my fridge. I constantly buy fresh seasonal fruit, whenever possible sticking to local organically grown produce. I keep all my fruit in the fridge, where it lasts longer. Furthermore, cold fruit is more refreshing and just tastes better.
Apples
Quantity: 12
Notes: I buy a half a dozen of two different varieties, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. I’ll cut them up and put them into salads or oatmeal, or eat them as snacks during mass phases.
Tangerines
Quantity: 6
Notes: I find tangerines easier to digest than oranges, and better tasting as well. I like to get at least some of my Vitamin C from whole food, and this is often how.

Red Grapes
Quantity: Large bunch
Notes: Another great salad ingredient, and an excellent snack. Grapes are also great to have around when guests are over.
Pineapple
Quantity: 2 cut and cored fresh pineapples
Notes: Pineapple is one of my favorite fruits, and rarely a week goes by when I don’t buy one or two at the grocery store. Usually I’ll cut it into small pieces and toss it in my oatmeal.
Strawberries
Quantity: 2 cartons
Notes: Who doesn’t like strawberries? These also go in my oatmeal, a half-dozen or more at a time.
Blueberries
Quantity: 2 cartons
Notes: I love fresh blueberries. I put half a cup or more in my oatmeal and occasionally in my salads.
Vegetables
The problem with most diets is not that they don’t get enough vegetables, but that they don’t get any at all! You should familiarize yourself with the produce section of your local supermarket, or better yet, your local farmer’s market. Pick up some fresh veggies and add them to every meal.
Spinach
Quantity: 4 bags, 6oz. each
Notes: Every salad I make, and I make a lot of them, begins with a base of spinach (see my article Covering Your Nutritional Bases for why). On top of that goes a selection of other vegetables, and depending on the time of day or my current body composition goals, cheese, chopped nuts, fruit, and a protein source (e.g., chicken or salmon) either in the salad or on the side. There are innumerable variations on this theme.
Peppers
Quantity: 4
Notes: I usually have two red peppers and two green peppers on hand. I’ll usually quarter them or cut them into slices and store them in the fridge, adding them as necessary to salads, omelets and pasta.
Cucumbers
Quantity: 2
Notes: I’ll have enough sliced cucumber on hand for one or two day’s worth of salad. The rest is left whole.
Tomatoes
Quantity: 2
Notes: Organic tomatoes can be readily found, so I usually pick up a couple and add them to salads or, when I’m feeling ambitious, use them to make homemade tomato sauce.
Baby Carrots
Quantity: 2 large bags, 2lbs each
Notes: These go in virtually every salad I make, and I’ll often snack on them between meals. I’ve heard some people talking smack about carrots as of late, but as long as they aren’t the only vegetables in your diet, they’re perfectly acceptable.
Sauces and Condiments
People always complain of being bored with the food on their nutrition plans. It lacks variety, they inevitably claim. To me, this has always been a spurious claim. For one, most people eat the same terrible foods day in and day out, so variety can’t be the problem. Taste, on the other hand, may well be.
The foods outlined above taste different than the ones found in the average North American Diet — different, but certainly not worse. As I have said before, your palette is changeable, and what you enjoy now is mostly a matter of habituation. If variety is the problem, however, you should look into subtly changing the flavor of your meals with out substantially altering their content.
Pesto
Quantity: 3 jars, one of each flavor
Notes: I love pesto. It’s extremely versatile, as its flavor lends itself to meat, fish, chicken, omelets, pasta and salads. I usually have the Basil, Sun-Dried Tomato and Black Olive flavors, and I’m constantly trying them with new foods. The Basil is my favorite. If possible, go for a brand that uses extra virgin olive oil as opposed to the other cheaper and inferior vegetable oils. You may have to go to an Italian deli or specialty grocer for that.
Peanut Satay Sauce
Quantity: 1 bottle
Notes: Awesome on beef and chicken. I love mixing some cubed beef or chicken, satay sauce and mixed vegetables in a bowl, and either eating it like that or doling the mix out into whole wheat tortillas. There are potential food allergy problems, but I haven’t had issues with it.
Curry Sauce
Quantity: 1 bottle
Notes: Similar usage to the Satay Sauce. Curry sauce is an acquired taste for some, but is certainly useful to add variety.
Tomato Pasta Sauce
Quantity: 2 large jars
Notes: I use this on pasta, on meat and chicken, and on omelets. Generally, I’ll have one or two jars of homemade sauce. As a God-fearing Italian-American, I can’t possibly recommend the store-bought perversions.
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Quantity: 1 bottle
Notes: I buy the Omega Nutrition kind, and use it in most of my salads, most of which have fruit in them — the apple cider is really complementary for this.
Raspberry Vinegar
Quantity: 1 bottle
Notes: I use the raspberry vinegar to break up the monotony of the apple cider/fruit-containing salad combination.
Red Wine Vinegar
Quantity: 1 bottle
Notes: This is better in a more traditional Italian salad, which I have with more upscale meals, like the odd pasta or steak meal.
Balsamic Vinegar
Quantity: 1 bottle
Notes: Similar use to the red wine vinegar. This is a restaurant staple, and most people are familiar with it, which makes it nice to have when guests are over.
Flax Oil
Quantity: 1 bottle
Notes: I use plain flax oil either in shakes or straight from a spoon — both ingestion methods allow me to quickly down this rather unpalatable liquid. I don’t like the plain version in salads as it just prolongs the agony.
Garlic-Chili Flax Oil
Quantity: 1 bottle
Notes: This version from Omega Nutrition is really a godsend to those looking to get a good dose of EFAs. Its more refined taste is perfect for salads, and it mixes well with any of the above-mentioned vinegars to make great dressings (particularly the apple cider vinegar). Unfortunately, it’s relatively hard to find. If you can’t find it, ask the manager at your favorite supplement store to look into it.
Beverages
I drink water almost exclusively, mixing in some green tea in the morning. My fridge, you’ll notice, is conspicuously void of flavored beverages.
Water
Quantity: 1 large Brita filtered jug
Notes: The Brita people have created the heroin of the kitchen industry. While I certainly grasp the arguments in favor of filtered water, what keeps me coming back is the taste. With the current water quality issues, ahem, making waves in the news, a water filter is a decent if incomplete solution. Moreover, unfiltered water now tastes like plumbing to me.
Moet & Chandon Champagne
Quantity: 1 750mL bottle
Notes: Combine with strawberries (above), velour leisure suit, lit fireplace, and Marvin Gaye’s "Let’s Get It On" for a romantic and seductive evening with your significant other. When the laughter subsides, plead for pity sex.
What isn’t in my fridge?
Soft drinks, fruit juices and milk: My stance on these beverages is well known, so suffice it to say that I think people would do well to drink water and get their calories elsewhere.
Packaged foods: My fridge contains no foods packaged in colorful wrappers, boxes, bags, or containers. Be wary of such foods: the "healthiness" of a food is generally inversely proportional to the colorfulness and cost of its packaging. Furthermore, the vast majority of foods worth eating have expiration dates, and generally the sooner the better. Note: yesterday doesn’t count as sooner, so stay away from the supermarket bargain bin.
Rotting leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner: Grandma’s vintage stuffing from 2001 is best stored in a landfill, not in the vegetable crisper.
Conclusion
If your fridge doesn’t contain many or most of the things I have in mine, or if it contains many things that mine doesn’t, you’ll have a difficult time maintaining a lean and healthy body. If it contains none of what I have in mine, tip your fridge over, dump the contents and begin anew.
That’s it for this installment of Berardi’s Kitchen. Next time I’ll show you around the cupboards and tell you what pantry items and supplements to stock.


Berardi's Kitchen, Part II
By John M. Berardi
First published at www.t-mag.com, June 15 2004.
As dutiful T-Mag readers, you've read my theoretical nutrition articles and you've discussed and debated the principles on the forums. But it's easy to talk the nutritional talk -- the question is, do you walk the nutritional walk? (In case you're wondering, the nutritional walk involves a Huggy Bear kind of lean combined with a Travolta-in-Saturday-Night-Fever kind of strut.)
By offering you a glimpse at the contents of my kitchen, this article series is intended to give you a way to check your own practical nutrition habits against my own, and see how nutrition theory is put into practice. In Part I, I gave you a tour of my fridge, and this time around I'll show you the contents of my cupboard, covering both pantry items and supplements.
By the end of this article, you should see that good nutrition practice involves limits and discipline, but not the austerity that most people assume it does.
Let us recommence.
Pantry Items
The pantry is where the average kitchen goes horribly awry. Cookies, crackers, potato chips, baking supplies, and other hydrogenated and over-sweetened junk, all perched high above on a shelf, ready to snipe away at your hard-earned health and body composition. If this is your kitchen, carefully position a large trash receptacle directly beneath said shelf. With a smooth sweeping motion, use your forearm to plow these enemies into the abyss below. Replace with the following:
Rolled Oats
Quantity: 3 lb. bag
If you're looking for soluble fiber and low-GI carbs -- and you should be -- oats are your first choice. I get between 1 to 2 cups each morning, boiled, cooled and mixed with chocolate Grow!, mixed berries, pineapple and a small quantity of mixed nuts. I place this bowl right next to my omelet for a breakfast that's hard to beat.
Mixed Nuts
Quantity: 2 lb. bag
I prefer to make my own mix, and it usually consists of walnuts, pecans, and cashews in equal proportions. Half of the mix is then chopped in a blender or food processor to be added to my morning oatmeal, my salads, and as a topping on my salmon. I'll use the rest for my snacks, which are extremely useful in mass phases.
Dried Fruit Mix
Quantity: 1 lb. bag
Dried fruit is a good way to add occasional variety to oatmeal and salads, and you can usually find a good mix at high-end markets and grocery stores. The one I buy includes currants, dates, pears, mango, apples, and banana.
Legumes
Quantity: 2 x 2 lb. bags (1 bag lentils, 1 bag mixed beans)
Beans are a magical fruit, containing soluble fiber (click here for why that's important), lots of B-vitamins, calcium, a good dose of amino acids (although beans are low in the amino acid methionine and therefore aren't considered a complete protein), and a big whack of anthocyanins, known for their powerful antioxidant capacity. I throw a cup or two of legumes on my plate a few days per week.
Whole Wheat Pasta
Quantity: 2 x 2 lb. bags
As a God-fearing Italian, I have to admit that I love pasta. But, as a gut-fearing weight lifter, I definitely have to choose the lower GI, nutrient dense whole-wheat variety. During phases that require or allow for higher carbohydrate intake, I'll eat one whole-wheat pasta meal per day. During other phases, the pasta stays on the shelf. The general rule is to have two types of pasta on hand: one long cut, such as spaghetti or linguine, and one short cut, such as penne or fusili.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Quantity: 1 bottle
100% extra virgin olive oil is used in my salads and for pan-frying my egg white omelets. While the bottled form will definitely suffice, you might also want to pick up a spray can as well (also in 100% extra virgin olive oil), as it does make cooking with oil more convenient.
Green Tea
Quantity: 2 boxes of 20 packets each
I use organic green tea without any added herbs or flavoring agents, except for the rare occasion when I buy a green tea/peppermint tea blend. For more on green tea and other anti-oxidant supplements, see Are You Getting Rusty?
Spices
I'm always amused when I hear someone describe good nutritional programs as "boring." I just picture them stuffing their vacant faces with canned tuna, day in, day out, like the orphans and their gruel in 'Oliver Twist', or sleeping face first in a plate of broccoli, drooling like that kid in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' during Ben Stein's history lesson. I suppose that the opposite of boredom is excitement, but is that what people really want from their food? A meal so exciting it will have them doing a post-meal cha-cha on their dining table? If that really is the case, may God help us all.
What I think people mean to say is that eating well is challenging because healthy food tends to be less sweetened and flavored, and there is always a temptation to revert back to old habits. It's not that healthy food must necessarily be bland -- and over time you could become accustomed even to "blandness" -- but that many people have never learned to cook, since most of the food they eat is either cooked for them (e.g., fast food) or preflavored and prepackaged. If you're in that situation, do yourself a favor and read Massive Cooking, by Ken Kinnan. There you'll find a great introduction to flavoring and cooking, including many quick and easy tips to help ease your taste buds into their new roles.
I personally keep a few things on hand: salt, pepper, fresh garlic, basil, oregano, chili powder, onion powder, and cinnamon. Seasoning mixes are also handy and take the guesswork out of flavoring. For example, right now I have Italian, Indian, Mexican, and Thai mixes in my cupboard, and combined with all the protein sources I listed in Part I, these allow for all kinds of combinations.
Supplements
Supplementation should be determined by your training goals and your resources, both time and money. Other than your post-workout drinks, fish oil caps, the occasional scoop of protein or a MRP, and perhaps some necessary micronutrients, no supplement should be taken year-round. And while it should go without saying that supplements should supplement and not replace a solid training and nutrition program, this is one of the most common mistakes I see, even in intermediate trainees. For an idea of what I might have on hand on an average, sunny June day:
Low Carb GROW! Protein Powder
Quantity: 2 x 2lb. containers
Most of your protein should come from meat, fish, poultry and eggs, as I discussed in Part I. Getting all of your protein from whole food sources, however, is not always possible or practical, particularly if you need to eat more than 6 meals per day to get your required caloric intake. Nevertheless, I generally limit myself to one daily protein powder meal, either with my oatmeal at the beginning of the day or as a snack or shake prior to bedtime (chocolate for the former, vanilla for the latter).
Biotest Surge Post-Workout Drink
Quantity: 2 x 1lb. containers
Optimizing nutrition during the pre-workout to post-workout period was the focus of my Ph.D. dissertation and is something in which I believe strongly. I designed Surge to do just that, and it does its job exceptionally well. Of course, I should mention that I have a financial interest in the product, so a portion of the proceeds from all Surge sales goes toward cigars and hookers for myself and my staff. For more on pre-workout and post-workout nutrition, read Precision Nutrition.
Biotest Power Drive
Quantity: 1 container
I use Power Drive mostly to improve central nervous system recovery during intense training phases, in which case I will take one scoop alongside my cup of green tea in the morning. During phases involving two-a-day workouts, I will often use it before the second training session.
Prolab Creatine
Quantity: 1 300g container
Creatine is always found in my cupboard, and rare indeed is the day that I don't take my 5 grams (that's right, I don't cycle or load). On training days, I mix it in with my post-workout drink (Surge, naturally). On rest days, I put in my morning green tea.
Concentrated Enteric-Coated Fish Oil
Quantity: 3 x 50 capsule bottles
Fish oil, high in EPA and DHA, should be a staple of everyone's diet. I take the concentrated kind, standardized for 60% combined EPA and DHA, for no other reason than that it allows me to take fewer capsules. Doing so is more expensive, however, and if I couldn't afford or find the 60% version, I wouldn't hesitate to buy the cheaper 30% version found in virtually every nutrition store. I take two capsules with every solid food meal.
Biotest ZMA
Quantity: 1 90 capsule bottle
I travel a great deal, which sometimes makes it difficult to get quality sleep. I find ZMA to be useful in this regard, and so I keep it in my cupboard and in my luggage. For me, anyway, ZMA tends not to induce sleep as much as deepen it. Expect your dreams to be extremely vivid, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on the subject matter.
In a pinch, I've also found magnesium alone to be useful.
Your Assignment
If you wish to expedite the process of reaching your goals, you'll do the following:
— Do an inventory of all the food in your house, excluding nothing. Everything goes on the list, even if you didn't buy it and don't intend to eat it. If it's in the house, either you, someone you love, or someone you want to have sex with will eventually eat it, so everything is fair game.
— Compare your list to mine, checking off both the foods that are on my list but not yours and those that are on your list but not mine.
— Of those checked foods, you may uncheck any of those that are fresh protein sources, fruits or vegetables. As much as I may try, I can't be expected to eat every known type of meat, fruit and vegetable, so these kinds of variations are justifiable.
— Add up the number of remaining checked items, and divide by the total number of items on your list.
If your answer is:
0.1 or less (10% variation): You're right on track, having done all that you can to make your home base an environment conducive to success. 10% is a perfectly acceptable variation, which allows you to both achieve your goals without requiring robotic adherence.
0.1 to 0.25 (10% to 25%): You're close, but some changes must be made. Add foods from my list and subtract foods from yours to make up the difference.
0.25 to 0.5 (25% to 50%): You've got some work ahead of you. Building a successful nutrition program from this selection of foods will be difficult and will require an overhaul.
0.5 or more (over 50%): You're a candidate for "Extreme Makeover: Kitchen Edition."
While this formula may seem a bit gimmicky, it nevertheless offers a useful indication of how well your home is suited to the task at hand, assuming that you draw your meals rather evenly from all the foods.
The final step is to round up all the offending grub, and give it a warm send off as it pulls away in the back of a garbage truck. For those who think it would be more charitable to drop it all off at a food bank, I have news for you: the poor don't want your mother's half-empty box of Ho-Ho's. If you really want to help, make a donation, drop off some good food, or volunteer your time.
There it is, dear readers. Populate your kitchen with the foods above, and you will have built the foundation for nutritional success.

Massive Cooking
by Ken Kinnan

Cooking 101 for the Massive Masses
Physique athletes consume the blandest, most boring foods on the planet. Their core diet seems dominated by cans of plain tuna and cottage cheese consumed by people who don't even like the stuff, and boiled chicken breasts limply tossed into some Tupperware and choked down several times a day.

Sure, bodybuilders might attain their goal of bursting the seams of their Men's Wearhouse blue pinstripes with this diet, but something is missing. Good food is universally considered one of the great pleasures of life. While this great pleasure may also be the dirty secret of America's obesity epidemic, there are limitless ways to have your skinless chicken breasts and enjoy them too. The truth is, you can build the body you want without having to gag down foods that don't taste very good. And besides, if your food tastes good, then you'll be more likely to stick to your eating plan and avoid going on an all-out buffet binge!

So how can we eat great tasting meals, build mass, and maintail that ripped physique? The easiest method by far would be to hire me as an in-house chef and nutritional consultant. My salary would be a reasonable $45,000 per annum, plus transportation and living expenses (so I can deliver to your work or gym), and lodging (I'd even pull a Kato Kaelin and live in your pool cabana). What, no takers? Well, okay, I tried. Here are some simple rules for quick cooking that will make the dullest bodybuilder meal a delight for the senses.

The Marinade: Women Will Love to Eat Your Meat!
News flash for those whose only exposure to bodybuilding nutrition was the last "Arnold Spectacular" edition of Muscle & Fitness — the core of our diet is protein, generally meat. But meat comes with two factors that most of us need to control — fat and cost. For both of these reasons, muscular would-be cooks, after ironing their signature Lee Labrada kitchen aprons, tend to purchase meats which are innately lacking in flavor — extra-lean beef, skinless white-meat chicken and turkey, the occasional pork tenderloin, and, most frequently due to budget constraints, canned or otherwise less appetizing types of fish. Sound familiar?

For this article, I'll skip the canned tuna and 99¢ pink salmon, and focus on plain ol' animal flesh. With a few simple steps, soaking that slab of meat in some juices and spices will transform the tolerable into the tasty. The password is marinade.

The base of almost every marinade is something acidic, usually mixed with a little bit of oil. Now for those of you freaking out about the uncontrolled fat (and carbs, as some marinades involve one form of complex carbohydrate or simple sugar), don't worry. After you soak your meat (pun not intended), almost all the marinade is drained off and the caloric increase is negligible; generally no more than a gram or so of any given macronutrient. Once you add these ingredients, everything else — salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, paprika, etc. — is an essentially non-caloric flavor bonus.

Immediately, even over the vast, chaotic din of the internet, I hear innumerable muscular men and women screaming, "What about quantity? How many cups and tablespoons of everything do I put in?" The answer is simple — don't sweat it. The great thing about a marinade is that it's very difficult to screw up, even for those of us that consider opening one of those new-fangled aluminum tuna packets a skill test worthy of MacGyver.

The first thing you do is start with some form of container.
My favorites are the freezer-grade zip-lock bags, Tupperware containers or similar, and for those of you with a bit more money, a jar that fits to a vacuum sealing device (available at many department stores and especially useful because it allows you to marinade in a fraction of the time). But if you're in a rush, any container will do, preferably one with some sort of top, like an old used jar and lid (washed first, please), or even a bowl with plastic wrap or foil over the top. The idea is to create an environment where the flavors can mix with the food.

In terms of price and versatility, watertight freezer zip-locks are great for this job. Not only can you throw a bunch of ingredients into one bag, but you can also freeze them, allowing you to marinade some meats and thaw them for a meal a month later! But don't forget, avoid heating your food in the plastic itself, as carcinogens and estrogen-like chemicals may leech into your dinner and cause you to purchase a CD by Celine Dion. That would be tragic.

Below is a list of some sample ingredients for a marinade. I've divided them into three tiers, from essentials to "advanced" options.


Tier One: Stuff You Gotta Have
• Salt
• Pepper
• Vinegar — Apple cider, red wine, rice, and balsamic are all potentials, each with their own flavor. Stick with a more neutral apple cider or plain rice vinegar (careful, some "season" with sugar) if you're not certain what you like. If you're especially concerned with simple sugar intake, use less balsamic or sugar-seasoned rice vinegar and stick with malt and apple cider varieties.
• Wine — Dry cherry, chianti, vermouth, and a dry chardonay are some of my favorites, but it's a matter of taste. If you like a sweet background flavor or you're marinating something like carne asada which often has a hint of sweetness, go for something like sherry or zinfandel.
Just stay cheap; you don't need to buy a collector's bottle of 1992 Merlot to soak some round steak. For these purposes, there's generally nothing wrong with any of the "wino" wines, or wines-in-a-box, if you're on a budget. Remember when you had to bring a bottle of wine to that party hosted by those people you really didn't like? That kind of cheap wine will do fine. Just don't get some Boone's Farm with extra flavoring — you want the wine to flavor the food, not turn it into raspberry syrup.
• Citrus — Lemon, lime, and oranges all have their place in marinades. If I were to pick only one, I'd say lime, but that's just a personal choice. Lime is more versatile in that it tastes good with all meats, while lemon enhances the flavor of poultry and fish especially well. Orange, again, is for when you're going for something to satisfy a sweet tooth. Lemon and lime juice can be purchased inexpensively. Any citrus juice will suffice, but no, Gatorade doesn't count.
• Oil — Virgin olive oil is my personal favorite, simply because it has more flavor than most other oils, as well as a good essential fat profile. Other nice choices are sesame oil and rice bran oil, but they tend to be more expensive.
• Soy Sauce — No, it won't increase estrogen levels, but if you really don't like it, substitute with Southeast Asian-style fish sauce, available in the Asian or ethnic food aisles in most grocery stores.

Tier Two: Spice it Up!
While a mixture of some or all of the above will get you started, herbs and spices are critical for variety. Here are the most commonly used — pick as many as you like. They can all be purchased dry:
• Garlic (fresh, chopped in a jar, or dry)
• Onion (fresh or dehydrated)
• Chili powder, including the mixes with black and red pepper, cumin, paprika, and the stand-alone varieties like the "fire flakes" people add to pizzas. Not that T-men eat pizza. No sir, not us.
• Thai or Vietnamese style fish sauce
• Paprika
• Honey (great addition for grilling, mixes well with lemon)
• Italian Seasoning (a mixture usually of rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, and/or other herbs, often inexpensive and available in bulk)

Tier Three: Extra Goodies, or Stuff to Use When Trying to Impress the Ladies
All the above ingredients can be mixed according to taste to improve any meat. But when you're ready to expand your spice cabinet or you want to try your hand at something more exotic, here's a little guideline on more advanced flavorings. The first two recipes are for 1/3 lb. of meat, which is approximately one average hamburger patty, small round steak, or breast of chicken, while the third is for a pound of chicken.

Mexican marinade: To a base of citrus juice (one or two fruits or 2-4 tablespoons if you're using juice), add about half a teaspoon each of coriander (or a few sprigs of fresh cilantro), oregano, cumin, and one teaspoon of basic chili powder, plus hot peppers (fresh, dried, or powdered) to taste. In regards to spiciness, you can skip the last ingredient if that's not your style (sissy!).

If you think you like spicy flavors, but aren't experienced with cooking, start small with just one or two jalapeños or a pinch of cayenne or similar powdered hot red pepper. You can always add hot spice later in the cooking, but it's rather difficult to take it away.

Mediterranean: Lemon or lime juice mixed with two tablespoons each of olive oil and dry wine or vermouth. Again, there's little need to be precise, so don't worry about using too much or too little. Add a few shakes of black pepper, a pinch of turmeric, a pinch of garlic powder or teaspoon of chopped garlic (two or three cloves), and a teaspoon or two of dry oregano or Italian spice mixture. Other tariations on this theme include adding all or any one of the following: cumin, onion (fresh chopped or powder), paprika, and bay leaves (around one to two teaspoons each).

Indian: Tandoori is one of my favorite forms of cooking and is much easier than the high prices in Indian restaurants would indicate. In many big cities, ordinary grocery stores will have pre-mixed tandoori seasoning, which I've found to be not only adequate but generally quite delicious and reasonably priced.
However, if you can't find anything pre-made, here's a basic recipe that's not only healthy and delicious, but exotic enough to impress your significant other when you invite her over for dinner. For about one pound of chicken, add:

3 Tbs. plain yogurt

2 Tbs. lemon juice

1 Tbs. oil (optional, it doesn't affect the flavor that much either way)

1 tsp masala (in the spice section of the supermarket; if you can't find it, curry powder is an adequate substitute)

1 tsp. crushed ginger or half tsp. ginger powder

1 tsp crushed garlic, or about two or three chopped or crushed garlic cloves, or half tsp garlic powder

Toss it all together in your covered bowl or sealed container/zip-lock bag, and refrigerate for at least four hours, preferably overnight, or freeze and thaw whenever you're ready to cook. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees, or fire up your BBQ or grill pan, and cook for approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Flip them over once halfway through the cooking time. To be sure they're cooked, take the biggest piece of chicken and cut into its thickest area. If it looks like you'd want to eat it, great. If it's still squishy or pinkish, give it another few minutes, testing again if needed.

As you can see, none of these recipes are very precise. Sure, some books will tell you to pre-mix certain ingredients, using a blender or food processor. Of course you can do this, but I've found it to be, for the most part, unnecessary. I say toss everything together, seal it, shake it like crazy, and throw it in the refrigerator.

One final tip — since you're going to be getting messy, make as much marinade in advance as you can. Divide meal portions into separate containers (zip-lock bags, Tupperware, or whatever you have available), and refrigerate or freeze as you see fit. If you're going to eat what you marinade within three days, just refrigerate, otherwise freeze. Thaw by placing the portion you're going to eat in the refrigerator the night before, placing it in a glass bowl in the microwave on low power for a few minutes, or running the frozen food under hot tap water. You can also keep it in your shorts on squat day, but this isn't recommended unless you like that "gamey" flavor.

Let's Eat!
You've made a perfect marinade, you're hungry, now what do you do? Since we're trying to keep things simple, here are the basic rules for the three most common methods of bodybuilder cooking: bake, stir-fry, and stew.

Baking — This is going to be so easy you'll start getting suspicious. Get a cookie or baking sheet. Build a raging fire in your backyard or preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drain the excess marinade and arrange the meat in a single layer on the baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the oven. Bake 15 minutes for fish, 20 minutes for boneless chicken and veal, and 15 to 40 minutes for red meat (depending on if you like it rare, medium, or well-done). Halfway through the expected cooking time, open the oven and flip the meat over. Around the expected finish time, slice open the thickest piece of meat about mid-way and if it looks hot and cooked, eat it. Well, take it out of the oven first, then eat it, otherwise you'll catch your hair on fire and people will point and stare.

Stir-fry — Stir-frying is such a fantastic and simple method of cooking that I think every household should have a pan by law. Then again, I'm kinda geeky about these things. There are plenty of options for kitchenware, and if you want to closely regulate your fat intake, buy a non-stick stir-fry pan, which will allow you to fry without any extra mil. Otherwise, any frying pan with rounded sides will work.

To cook your marinade, take the pan and give it a light layer of oil. You can do this either with a pre-packaged oil spray like Pam, your own oil in a pump-spray (available at most cookware stores and department stores), or just by dabbing some oil on a paper towel and greasing down the pan's surface. If fat intake isn't a big concern, use up to one tablespoon of oil (any more and you're closer to deep-frying) and tilt the pan back and forth until the entire bottom is oily, just like you do with your girlfriend.


Turn on the burner, medium-high is often the best, and let the pan heat up. Test it by taking a tiny piece of meat and dropping it in the pan — if it starts immediately sizzling, you're ready to cook. Drain the excess marinade, and slice the meat into thin strips or cubes no wider than your thumb. Toss the meat in the pan, give it about a minute to cook, then with a wooden spoon stir it around the pan until every side is browned. Once the meat is evenly browned, you can add whatever vegetables you like.

Stir regularly (but not obsessively) for two to three minutes, until the vegetables look nearly cooked, then add any extra flavorings you want. One of my favorite tricks is to add a tablespoon or two of the leftover marinade, which makes a simple pre-made sauce. Let it heat to the point of sizzling, don't overcook the vegetables, and serve hot.

Stew — Ah, the one pot slow-cooked wonder, another no-brainer. Give a light coating of oil to the pot or pan and heat, as above. Add the drained meat first, brown on all sides, then add some liquid — water or a can of broth, just enough to cover your ingredients. As with stir-frying, a small amount of the marinade can add a lot of extra flavor.

Bring it to a boil, then drop the stove temperature down to low. If you like something soupier, or you aren't using that much liquid, keep covered; if you like it thicker, leave uncovered. Feel free to experiment and you'll probably end up doing something in between, like starting it off covered and then uncovering for the remaining time.

If you're adding something thick like potatoes, throw those in as soon as the meat is browned. Add in uncooked rice or grains about 15 to 20 minutes before you plan on serving the food, with no more than one cup of grain per two cups of liquid, otherwise you'll get a solid mass of rice with some meat suspended within. For green vegetables, add no more than six minutes before serving time, depending on thickness.

Here's an easy way to cook vegetables in stew: when everything else is cooked, raise the temperature to medium, throw in the vegetables and stir constantly until the mixture starts to boil, which is a good indication that everything is uniformly hot. Cut open or taste any vegetables or pieces of potato that you suspect might be undercooked.

Assume about 30 minutes for chicken, and 30 to 60 minutes for red meats, depending on their thickness. You'll know it's done when you can pull apart the meat easily with a fork. Seafood is a bit trickier. Fish, even thicker pieces, and large scallops should be cooked for no more than 20 minutes and taken off the heat when the meat flakes under your fork. Thin seafood, like small scallops, calamari rings, and shrimp, take even less time, sometimes no more than 5 to 10 minutes. You'll know they're done when the scallops and calamari are solid (no longer translucent) in appearance, and the shrimp is thoroughly pink and starts curling.

Belch!
So there you have it, a basic start to any amateur cooking career. Just remember that most food is ruined when the chef tries too hard. Keep it simple, taste your food as you're cooking, don't be afraid to experiment, and soon you'll be improvising healthy recipes that taste great and keep you looking good naked.



Beyond Oatmeal, Part 1
By By John K. Williams, Ph.D.

If you’re like me, once you grasped the intricacies of John Berardi’s dietary combinations outlined in his Massive Eating and Don’t Diet programs, you began to suffer the cruel fate of food monotony. The taste and creativity of a meal quickly takes a position on the backburner when six meals a day must be planned with precise macronutrients ratios, within an ever-evolving daily caloric goal. When I began, I found myself grabbing two cans of tuna and a pile of brown rice, and calling it a meal. That gets old quick, and soon my friends were embarrassed to eat with me in public. So for the sake of my taste buds and for the sake of not being forced to live the life of a hermit, I slowly experimented until creating a number of recipes that could actually be considered proper meals. These are meals that you could make for a date. Said date might even be impressed for reasons beyond the fact that she is not eating large amounts of fat and carbs together.
So put down that days-old rubbery chicken breast and shot glass of flax oil. It’s time to turn those P+C, P+F meal combinations into something more than macronutrient ratios.
Protein + Carb Meals
A lot of these recipes are influenced by Middle Eastern cuisine because I’ve had a lot of friends from this area of the world that shared their cooking tips with me. Don’t worry, they’re all easy to make, and remember, exotic is good.
Falafel
It turns out that some of the dry falafel mixes out there are very healthy, as long as you don't deep-fry the stuff. Look for a mix with whole-wheat flour and lots of fiber.
Ingredients:
• 1.5 servings of falafel mix (about 0.65 cups dry)
• 1/2 whole wheat pita
• 4 oz grilled chicken breast
• 1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
• 1 small tomato, chopped
• 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt

Instructions:
1. Soak the falafel mix in water as directed on the box, and form a few 1” balls from the dough. Fry in a non-stick pan without oil, using a bit of Pam cooking spray if needed. I usually flatten the falafel balls a little in the pan and flip them repeatedly. It also helps to lower the heat and put a lid on the pan to cook them thoroughly.
2. Cut the chicken in cubes, adding some salt and pepper when grilling or reheating.
3. Chop the cucumber and tomato in small pieces and mix together with the yogurt, adding a dash of salt, and some fresh parsley if you have any.
4. Open the half pita, throw-in the cooked falafel and chicken, and put a layer of the yogurt sauce over it, saving the remainder for dipping.

Macronutrient Profile:
• K/cal.: 614
• Fat: 9 g (2s, 4m, 2p)
• Carbs: 79 g (17 fiber)
• Protein: 69 g
Dal Masala
Here is a recipe that I adapted from a meal that a college roommate from Bombay taught me to make. He was a strict vegetarian, and he’d always give me a look of resigned disapproval when I slipped some bird onto my plate with a sheepish grin.
Ingredients:
• 1 cup cooked (boiled & drained) yellow split peas (you can substitute canned green peas if you’re desperate)
• 6 oz grilled chicken breast, cubed
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
• 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
• 1/2 whole-wheat tortilla
Spices:
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1/2 inch cube fresh ginger root, finely chopped
• Masala spice powder, 1-2 tablespoons
• Salt, to taste
Instructions:
1. Stir fry the onions, garlic, and ginger in a nonstick skillet with Pam over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until onions start to brown. Add chopped tomatoes and about 1/2-1 cup of water to mixture (or chicken stock), add masala powder and salt to taste
2. Bring to a boil; add the chicken, then stir-in the yogurt 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. Eat with a heated wheat tortilla, which tastes a lot like naan when you heat it over the flame of a gas stove.
Macronutrient Profile:
• K/cal: 670
• Fat: 9 g (3 s, 3 m, 3 p)
• Carbs: 70 gFiber: 20 g
• Protein: 80 g

Baked Yam with Turkey Meatball Marinara
Necessity is the mother of invention, and this recipe was created when I, as a broke college student, spent all of my money on 6 pounds of ground turkey breast during a sale, only to find out that it tastes like an old tire when grilled like a normal burger. But mix it with a few other ingredients and it’s magic.
Ingredients:
• 1 lb. ground turkey breast (97-98% lean)
• 3 medium tomatoes
• 2 medium yellow or white onions
• 8 cloves garlic
• 1 large green pepper
• 1 large egg white
• 2 medium yams
• spices (below)
Instructions:
1. Poke some holes in the yams with a fork, wrap them in foil, and bake for an hour at 400 degrees. While they’re baking, make the marinara sauce: chop the tomatoes and place them in a pan over medium-low heat. Mix in 4 cloves chopped garlic & 1 chopped onion, and sliced green pepper. Stew with a lid after stirring-in a dash of salt, some oregano & basil. Keep stirring the stuff as you cook the meatballs.
2. To make the meatballs, mix these together in a large bowl: ground turkey, 4 chopped garlic cloves, 1 chopped onion, raw egg white, and a dash of salt and pepper (the raw egg white holds them together when they cook). Form into 2-inch meatballs and place on a cookie sheet, throw these in the oven with the yam for 15-20 minutes (also @ 400 degrees). They're done when you can poke them with a toothpick and the juice that comes out is clear, rather than cloudy.
3. Cut the baked yams down the center and mash the interior with a fork. Stuff them with the meatballs, then pour the marinara sauce over them (it will thicken when it cools a bit), and then top with grated nonfat Parmesan cheese. Makes 2 servings.
Macronutrient Profile (each serving):
• K/cal: 595
• Fat: 6 g (2s, 1.5m, 2.5p)
• Carbs: 79 g (13 g fiber)
• Protein: 57 g
Moroccan Chicken
Bust-out the fez, it’s time for a little taste of Marrakesh.
Ingredients:
• 12 oz. grilled chicken breast, cubed
• 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous, dry
• 1 cup chicken broth, from bouillon
• Sun-dried tomatoes, about 20 pieces, chopped
• 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 can green peas, drained
• 4 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
• Spices, below

Instructions:
Fry the garlic and onions in a nonstick pan (large enough to hold all the ingredients listed above) with cooking spray for a couple of minutes until they start to brown, then add the chopped tomatoes. Stir until they become fluid, and then add the broth. Bring to a boil and add the following spices: 1 bay leaf (whole), 4 whole cardamon pods, dash of cinnamon, dash of tumeric, dash of chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground coriander. Slowly stir-in the yogurt, one tablespoon at a time. Add the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and peas. Then stir-in the dry couscous, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, cover it again and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
Makes 2 servings.

Macronutrient Profile (each serving):
• K/cal: 670
• Fat: 9 g (3 s, 3m, 3p)
• Carbs: 73 g (12 fiber)
• Protein: 73 g
A Note About Spices:
It’s amazing how picking-up a few spices, other than salt and pepper, can really make a huge difference in everyday cooking. A dash here, a pinch there, and suddenly you’ve got some gourmet muscle food. Make a trip to the spice section of a larger specialty market (whole foods, central market, etc.), or better yet, a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food market. Pick up these spices (they'll be useful for spicing up all kinds of food):
(Fill a little baggie with each):
• Ground cinnamon
• Ground tumeric
• Ground celery seed
• Whole green cardamon pods
• Whole bay leaves
• Ground cumin
• Whole black mustard seeds
• Ground red chili pepper
• Ground coriander
These spices are super-cheap, and they make your food taste great. Plus, they are full of anti-oxidants.
Also, pick-up some whole garlic and ginger root. You can store the ginger root in the freezer indefinitely.
Desserts, Snacks and On-The-Go Meals
While sit-down meals are great, a lot of us find ourselves in work settings where grabbing a pre-made bar might be the most convenient option. The following recipes are portable and quick.
Protein + Carb Snacks
Granola Bars
These bars provide a nice snack, and they’re good for that second post-workout meal after your shake.
Ingredients:
• 2 cups raw oat bran
• 2 cups rolled oats
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 cup egg whites
• 1 cup nonfat milk
• 2 cups chocolate whey protein powder
• ½ cup granulated Splenda
• 5-6 scoops maltodextrin (180 grams)
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons oil (canola or olive)
Instructions:
Mix it all together in a big bowl, then spread it out on a large nonstick cooking tray. Add some cooking spray, or wipe a little olive oil on the pan with a paper towel. Bake for 25-30 minutes @ 350 degrees.
Cut into 10 pieces.
Macronutrient Profile (each bar):
• K/cal: 344
• Fat: 5 g (1s, 2.5m, 1.5p)
• Carbs: 54 g (Fiber: 7 g)
• Protein: 28 g


Rice Pudding
Here's a tasty little treat that is also well suited for that second jolt of fast-acting carbs and protein after your PWO shake. Or you can split it up for a couple of desserts following P+C meals. It’s a great choice to follow the Dal Masala recipe listed above.
Ingredients:
• 1 cup cooked basmati rice. The quality, fragrance, and taste of basmati are far superior to any other rice I've ever had. Sure the GI is higher than brown rice, but in this case the taste just doesn’t compare. That’s why I like to eat it as one of the post workout meals. Prepare the basmati rice in bulk by adding a cup of rinsed rice to 1.75 cups boiling water, cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
• 2 cups skim milk
• 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (try to find a brand that doesn’t taste like powdered chicken feet, and depending on the brand, you might add some Splenda to get the desired sweetness).
• 2 tablespoons sugar-free instant Jell-O vanilla pudding
Instructions:
On medium-low heat, simmer the cooked rice in milk for 20 minutes or so, until rice bulks-up, cover and cool for a few minutes, then add the protein powder (and Splenda if necessary), and a dash of salt, stir, cover and put in fridge until it cools. Add Jell-O mix to cooled mixture, whip, and you're all set.
Macronutrient Profile:
• K/cal: 478
• Fat: 4 g (2s, 1m, 1p)
• Carbs: 63g (2 fiber)
• Protein: 47 g

Blueberry Bran Muffins
These little treats are made from low-GI carbs, so you don’t have to worry about eating one or two after a P+C meal. They also have a bit of flax meal to add moisture, and just a couple of polyunsats. I’ve been eating these for a while and loving them, so recently I gave them the final test by taking a batch to a dinner party, complete with professors and their wives. Success! They were reduced to crumbs, followed with compliments about their taste, rather than their ingredients.
Ingredients:
• 1 cup oat bran
• ½ cup flax meal
• 4 scoops protein powder, flavor of your choice (I like chocolate with this recipe).
• 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
• 1 cup granulated Splenda
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 3 jumbo egg whites
• 1 teaspoon maple extract
• 2/3 cup water
Instructions:
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the egg whites, extract, and water. Stir until mixed well. Scoop into a muffin pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350-degrees for 25 minutes.
Makes 6 large muffins.
Macronutrient Profile (each muffin):
• K/cal: 176
• Fat: 4 g (1s, 1m, 2p)
• Carbs: 20g (4 fiber)
• Protein: 21 g
Blueberry Cheesecake
Yes, you read this correctly…blueberry cheesecake! Just be careful with these things, as it is nearly impossible to put the cheesecake down after you’ve taken one bite. From my experience, and the stories of my friends who have made them, it’s almost impossible to keep an entire cheesecake around for longer than one day.
Ingredients:
• Crust:
o 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
o ¼ cup ground flax seeds
o ¼ cup raw oat bran
o 1 oz fat-free cream cheese, warmed in microwave
o 1/3 cup water
• Cheesecake:
o 2 cups lowfat cottage cheese
o ½ package (52 g) powdered Jell-O instant pudding, cheesecake flavor
o 3 oz. fat-free cream cheese
o 3 scoops strawberry whey protein powder*
o 1 cup frozen blueberries and 4 tablespoons granulated Splenda (*see option 2 below before adding these at this stage)
Instructions:
To make the crust, mix crust ingredients in a large bowl. Stir this mixture until it is all the same consistency, then press into a 9-inch pie pan sprayed with Pam, stretching the crust up the sides of the pan.For the rest of the cake, put the other ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. You might have to blend it in smaller portions, depending on the power of your blender, but resist the temptation to add water, as this makes the cake soupy. Also, more Jell-O mix can be added for more desirable consistency. Pour the blender mixture into the crusted pan, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
*Blueberry option 2: to make a ‘fancier’ cheesecake, thaw the blueberries, then stir the Splenda in with them, and use this as a topping for the cheesecake.
Makes 6 slices.
Macronutrient Profile (each slice):
• 258 k/cal
• Fat: 5 g (2s, 1m, 2p)
• Carbs: 30 g (2 fiber)
• Protein: 25 g
A few notes about some of the dessert ingredients:
Flax meal is simply ground flax seeds. Flax seeds are cheap as sin in bulk, and you can grind them at home with a hand-held coffee grinder. I usually grind them just before their used. If you want to make the meal in bulk, just be sure to store it in an airtight container in the fridge to preserve its freshness.
Splenda is used as a low-calorie sweetener in many of these recipes, as I prefer its taste to other artificial sweeteners, but others can be used according to your preference. Splenda is not entirely carb-free, since they use a bit of maltodextrin to give it texture. There are 24 carbs in 1 cup of granulated Splenda. This was calculated into the nutritional information for the relevant recipes.
So there you have it. These meals should give you enough variety to avoid the tuna can doldrums. Bon appetit!


Beyond Oatmeal, Part 2
By John K. Williams, Ph.D.

If you’re like me, once you grasped the intricacies of John Berardi’s dietary combinations outlined in his Massive Eating and Don’t Diet programs, you began to suffer the cruel fate of food monotony. The taste and creativity of a meal quickly takes a position on the backburner when six meals a day must be planned with precise macronutrients ratios, within an ever-evolving daily caloric goal. When I began, I found myself grabbing two cans of tuna and a pile of brown rice, and calling it a meal. That gets old quick, and soon my friends were embarrassed to eat with me in public. So for the sake of my taste buds and for the sake of not being forced to live the life of a hermit, I slowly experimented until creating a number of recipes that could actually be considered proper meals. These are meals that you could make for a date. Said date might even be impressed for reasons beyond the fact that she is not eating large amounts of fat and carbs together.
So put down that days-old rubbery chicken breast and shot glass of flax oil. It’s time to turn those P+C, P+F meal combinations into something more than macronutrient ratios.
Protein + Fat Meals
Bring on the fat! All of the following are P+F meals work for Massive Eating, as well as any low-carb diet. These meals tend to be a little harder to get creative with, given the ubiquity of carbs in the modern Western diet. But stick to these recipes, and you might not even notice the scarceness of those tricky little carbs.
Polyunsaturated Beef Stew
The ingredients and nutritional info below are for one serving, so quadruple the ingredients when you cook it and put the leftovers in the fridge for later.
Ingredients:
• 6 oz sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 5 baby carrots, halved
• 1/2 medium onion, chopped
• 1 large celery stalk, chopped
• 1 cup beef broth (from can or bouillon cubes)
• 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
Instructions:
1. Brown the beef cubes in a nonstick skillet spayed with Pam, just until the outside of the pieces are slightly cooked (inside still raw).
2. Put beef cubes in a larger pot with the broth, onions, celery and carrots.
3. Cover and boil over low heat for 30 min to 1 hour.
4. Stir in the flaxseed oil just before you eat it.
This is one of the only dishes I've made that flaxseed oil doesn't ruin the taste of it when you mix it in.
Macronutrient Profile:
• K/cal: 450
• Fat: 27 g (5s, 8m, 12p)
• Carbs: 10 g (2 fiber)
• Protein: 40 g
Turkey Kebabs With Spicy Beans
Here's a recipe that you might use to impress someone special, or just to take a much needed break from the grilled meat, oil shot syndrome.
Ingredients:
Turkey Kebabs
• 1 lb. ground turkey, 7% fat
• 2 whole eggs
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 3/4 teaspoon ground celery seed
• 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon coriander
• couple dashes ground red chili
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1" cube fresh ginger, finely chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Spicy Beans (side dish)
• 1 lb fresh green beans, cut into 1" links
• 4 teaspoons black mustard seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
• 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions:
Turkey Kebabs
1. Mix all of this together in a big bowl, then form into 2" balls and put on a baking sheet.
2. Sprinkle top of meatballs with black mustard seeds, then bake at 400-degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Spicy Beans:
3. Boil the beans in a big pot for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water.
4. Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray and add garlic and mustard seeds.
5. Fry until seeds start popping, and then add the beans.
6. Stir-fry for 10 minutes or so, remove from heat, then stir-in the olive oil and the rest of the spices.
Macronutrient Profile:
Nutritional information is for 1/2 of the turkey kebabs and 1/3 of the beans.
• K/cal: 677
• Fat: 48 g (9s, 30m, 7p)
• Carbs: 11 g (4 fiber)
• Protein: 55 g
Mediterranean Salad
Here’s a good quick fix for filling-in one of the P+F vacancies, or for serving as an appetizer with one of the other main dishes.
Ingredients:
• 6 oz extra lean ground beef
• 1 oz pecans
• 8 giant pitted olives
• Generous amount of romaine lettuce
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Instructions:
1. Fry the ground beef in a nonstick skillet, breaking into small chunks with spatula.
2. Remove from heat and stir-in pitted olives and pecans.
3. Put this mixture over a bed of lettuce, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkle with feta cheese.
Macronutrient Profile:
• K/cal: 703
• Fat: 55 g (12s, 32m, 9p)
• Carbs: 6 g (4 fiber)
• Protein: 50 g

Asian Chicken Curry
Here’s a real bastard-child recipe that mixes Asian and Indian elements, as well as some good old natty PB.
Ingredients:
• 12 oz. Grilled chicken breast, sliced
• 1 green bell pepper, sliced
• 6 scallions, chopped
• 6 white mushrooms, sliced (replace with shitake if you’ve got them)
• 2 cups chicken broth, from bouillon
• 4 tablespoons natural peanut butter
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1-inch cube of ginger, finely chopped
• Spices, below
Instructions:
1. Stir-fry the garlic and ginger in a nonstick pan with cooking spray for a couple of minutes, add the veggies and continue stirring for a few more minutes, then add the chicken and broth.
2. Bring to a boil, then stir-in a dash of tumeric (not too much), a teaspoon of ground celery seed, as much chili powder as you dare, a teaspoon of coriander, a dash of cumin, and salt to taste.
3. Stir-in the peanut butter slowly, then serve it up.
Makes 2 servings.
Macronutrient Profile (each serving):
• K/cal: 525
• Fat: 23 g (5s, 12m, 5p)
• Carbs: 14 g (5 fiber)
• Protein: 66 g

Beef Curry
Here’s another good curry recipe; just be sure to keep your gym clothes out of the kitchen when you’re cooking all this curry, so the smell doesn’t mix with all the guys wearing High Karate cologne in the gym.
Ingredients:
• 1 lb. Beef Sirloin, grilled to medium-rare and cubed
• 1 small-medium eggplant, cubed
• 2 cups sliced mushrooms
• ½ medium onion, chopped
• 1 cup broth (beef or chicken bouillon)
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1-inch cube of ginger root, finely chopped
• 4 tablespoons plain yogurt, whole
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Spices, below
Instructions:
1. Fry the onions, garlic, and ginger in a nonstick pan with cooking spray until brown, then add mushrooms and eggplant.
2. Stir-fry for a few minutes, then add beef and broth.
3. Bring to a boil, and add the following spices: 1 bay leaf (whole), 5 cardamon pods, a dash of chili powder, a dash of tumeric, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon ground celery seed, 1 teaspoon Masala spice, and 1 teaspoon salt.
4. Stir-in the yogurt, one tablespoon at a time. The fat profile of whole yogurt is not ideal, but even just four tablespoons really makes this dish nice and creamy. Add more if you want it to taste better, and don’t mind the extra saturated fat. Just before serving, stir-in the olive oil.
Makes 2 servings.
Macronutrient Profile (each serving):
• K/cal: 528
• Fat: 26 g (6s, 15m, 2p)
• Carbs: 14 g (4 fiber)
• Protein: 57 g

Salmon With A Cream Spinach Sauce
Here’s a way to have your fish oil, and eat it too. This one is damn tasty, and quick to boot. When I first started trying to make fish meals with sauce, they turned into a mushy sludge. But salmon is an ideal choice because it’s fairly solid, and if you don’t overcook it, it doesn’t flake apart. The sauce with vegetables adds a boatload of flavor and transforms it into a well-rounded meal.
Ingredients:
• 20 oz salmon fillet, skin removed
• 2 cups frozen spinach
• 1/3 raw eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 2 large slices onion, finely chopped
• 1 plum tomato, finely chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1-inch cube ginger root, finely chopped
• 1 ½ oz. goat cheese, soft type
• Spices, see below
Instructions:
1. The salmon needs to be lightly seared. This is best done on an outdoor grill by placing the whole fillet/ fillets on a grill at high heat for 4 minutes on each side. The outside will get browned, but the inside will still be raw. You can also do it on a Foreman Grill, for a quick 4 minutes (don’t overcook), or in the oven on broil for 4 minutes on each side.
2. After searing, cut the salmon into large cubes (1-2 inches) and set aside. Use a sharp knife, and be careful not to cause too much flaking (quick slashes).
3. While you’re pre-cooking the salmon, spray a heated nonstick pan (large wok-style) with cooking spray, and toss-in finely chopped onion slices, garlic, ginger, 4 whole green cardamon pods, and 1 whole bay leaf.
4. Stir-fry on medium heat for 10 minutes, until onions start to become brown. Keep some extra chicken broth to add to the pan when it gets too dry (a couple of tablespoons at a time).
5. Add the tomatoes and eggplant next and stir for a couple of minutes, then pour-in one cup of chicken stock.
6. Bring to a boil and add the following spices: ½ teaspoon tumeric, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon coriander, and salt to taste (½ -1 teaspoon, depending on how salty the chicken stock is).
7. Mix these spices together, and as the mixture is at a low boil, stir-in the goat cheese, 1 tablespoon at a time.
8. Add the salmon cubes to the mixture, being careful not to break-up the pieces by placing them gently in the pan and spooning sauce over them.
9. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stir-in ½ teaspoon Masala spice (careful with those salmon chunks!), and it’s time for gnashing of teeth.
Makes 2 servings.

Macronutrient Profile (each serving):
• K/cal: 658
• Fat: 36 g (10s, 12m, 12p)
• Carbs: 14 g (5 fiber)
• Protein: 67 g
*A Note About Spices:
It’s amazing how picking-up a few spices, other than salt and pepper, can really make a huge difference in everyday cooking. A dash here, a pinch there, and suddenly you’ve got some gourmet muscle food. Make a trip to the spice section of a larger specialty market (whole foods, central market, etc.), or better yet, a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food market. Pick up these spices (they'll be useful for spicing up all kinds of food):
(Fill a little baggie with each):
Ground cinnamon
Ground tumeric
Ground celery seed
Whole green cardamon pods
Whole bay leaves
Ground cumin
Whole black mustard seeds
Ground red chili pepper
Ground coriander
These spices are super-cheap, and they make your food taste great. Plus, they are full of anti-oxidants. Also, pick-up some whole garlic and ginger root. You can store the ginger root in the freezer indefinitely.
Desserts, Snacks and On-The-Go Meals
While sit-down meals are great, a lot of us find ourselves in work settings where grabbing a pre-made bar might be the most convenient option. The following recipes are portable and quick.

Protein + Fat Snacks
If you like the health benefits of flax, but can’t stand the taste of the oil, these recipes are especially for you.

Peanut Butter Fudge Bars
Some people have told me that these bars stick to their teeth, which might result from adding too much water. I try to use as little water as possible, making it more of a moldable matrix instead of a slimy mess. Just be sure to drink a lot of water with the bars so you can digest the protein.
Ingredients:
• 2 scoops chocolate protein powder
• 2 scoops flax meal (ground flax seeds)
• 4 tablespoons chunky natural peanut butter

Instructions:
1. Mix these together in a bowl, adding ¼ cup water (or less if you can manage) and Splenda, to taste. At first, it will seem like it’s not enough water, but keep stirring, and it will eventually become a moldable blob of dough that looks like what you would imagine it will on the way out of your body.
2. Divide the mixture in half, and put it into separate pieces of plastic wrap, shaping into a bar within the wrap. It’s easier to shape them by laying plastic wrap in one side of a small casserole dish, pressing the dough into the natural shape of the dish.
3. Put the bars into the fridge, or store them in the freezer. You can eat them chilled, or even frozen, or you can eat it right out of the bowl with a spoon if you’re feeling impatient.
The carb amount is on the high-end for P+F meals, but they are mostly low-impact carbs from the flax seeds. Plus, you get the added benefits of the fiber.
Macronutrient Profile (each bar):
• K/cal: 380
• Fat: 23 g (5s, 11m, 7p)
• Carbs: 15 g (6 g fiber)
• Protein: 33 g

Almond-Coconut Bars
Here’s a variation of the previous bars, with a few more bells and whistles, making them taste sort-of like an Almond Joy, if you have a vivid imagination.
Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup flax seed meal
• 5 tablespoons lowfat cream cheese
• 1/2 cup sliced almonds (blanched and raw)
• 5 scoops chocolate whey protein powder
• 1/2 cup granulated Splenda
• 1/4 cup water
• ½ tablespoon oil
• 1 teaspoon coconut extract
• 2 teaspoons almond extract
Instructions:
1. Nuke the cream cheese just until it’s soft enough to mix.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in bowl, and then mix in the rest, until it becomes a big glob. Resist the temptation to add more water; just keep stirring and it will mix.
3. Press into 8x8 brownie pan, sprayed with pam.
4. Chill and cut into 5 pieces. Put each piece in plastic wrap and store in fridge or freezer.
Like the other bars, these melt very easily; so don’t keep them in your back pocket.
Makes 5 bars.
Macronutrient Profile (each bar):
• K/cal: 270
• Fat: 14 g (4 s, 5m, 5p)
• Carbs: 12 g (3 fiber)
• Protein: 27 g

Banana Flax Loaf
The tastiness of this treat increases exponentially with the amount of Splenda and oil that you put in it. The ingredients below have modest amounts of each, to avoid too many carbs and a larger than normal fat-protein ratio. But don’t be afraid to tweak the ingredients to get the desired taste.
Ingredients:
• 4 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein powder
• ½ cup flax meal
• ½ cup granulated Splenda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 oz chopped walnuts
• 1 jumbo whole egg + 1 egg white, beaten
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 ½ teaspoons banana extract
• ¼ cup water
Instructions:
1. Set the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Stir all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the oil, water, eggs, and banana extract and mix well.
3. Coat a 4X8-inch casserole dish with cooking spray, and pour-in the mixture.
4. Sprinkle some whole flax seeds over the top and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees (don’t over bake or it will become dry).
Makes 4 servings.
Macronutrient Profile (each serving):
• K/cal: 350
• Fat: 21 g (3s, 8.5m, 8.5p)
• Carbs: 13 g (4 fiber)
• Protein: 30g
* A few notes about some of the dessert ingredients:
Flax meal is simply ground flax seeds. Flax seeds are cheap as sin in bulk, and you can grind them at home with a hand-held coffee grinder. I usually grind them just before their used. If you want to make the meal in bulk, just be sure to store it in an airtight container in the fridge to preserve its freshness.
Splenda is used as a low-calorie sweetener in many of these recipes, as I prefer its taste to other artificial sweeteners, but others can be used according to your preference. Splenda is not entirely carb-free, since they use a bit of maltodextrin to give it texture. There are 24 carbs in 1 cup of granulated Splenda. This was calculated into the nutritional information for the relevant recipes.
So there you have it. These meals should give you enough variety to avoid the tuna can doldrums. Bon appetite!


Recipes for Success
By Steve Berardi

If it's been a while since you've been scared - really scared - lock the doors, because we're going to go horror show on you. The Berardi brother's are going to take you on a tour of our small and large intestines, and boy, it's not a sight for the faint-hearted! You'll see ominous roughage, terrifying pieces of half-digested beef jerky, and other things too frightening to discuss. Okay, maybe we'll skip that part, but we'll take you somewhere almost as scary, and that's through our minds and right into the cookbook section. That's right, that small section of our brains where we create and store meal ideas.
It's a dangerous journey, too, because it's wedged right in between the two most important sections (okay, okay, the only two remaining sections); the training/nutrition region and the fitness babe spank region.
Yes, we're going to treat you to just a few of the meal ideas that John and I have come up with over the years. We've been eating like bodybuilders longer than we care to remember, so we've tried just about everything.
If you've ever found yourself thinking that you're really sick of eating the same foods every day, print out this article, go to the kitchen, strap on your apron and "blow the cook" hat, and let's get down to business.

Bodybuilder's Chili
The easiest way to go about making this chili is to spend Sunday afternoon cooking enough for the rest of the week. (You can't go wrong with pre-made meals for the entire week!) First, get yourself one of those empty 5-pound buckets of protein you used to buy before Biotest's Advanced Protein hit the market and then fill it with chili, using the following recipe.
Sure, if you broil up 7 pounds of ground beef, throw in a can or two of stewed tomatoes, some kidney beans, a can or two of tomato paste, and a fistful of chili powder, say the magic words (Long live Beano!) and next thing you know, you've got fourteen quick meals. Spoon about a half pound out in your tupperware in the morning and toss it in the microwave when it's time to eat. That'll cut prep time down to a minimum. You can also do the same thing with chicken and turkey. Let's recap:
7 pounds extra lean ground beef, chicken, or turkey
3 cans red kidney beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste
Chili powder
Small Bucket
Magic Words
Sure it won't taste as good as Bubba's 5-alarm chili, but then again, you'll have a much better physique than Bubba, bubba!

Protein Pasta
If you're of the "higher carb" persuasion (as Seinfeld would say "not that there's anything wrong with that!") and you've got some time on your hands, pick up some pasta. The trick though, is to get yourself some protein enriched pasta. Throw in some meatballs made from extra lean ground sirloin, turkey, or John's favorite, ground chicken.
Finally, top it all off with fat-free chunky pasta sauce and you've got yourself a decent, high-protein meal you can eat without attracting all those stupid protein questions from your co-workers or classmates. This meal actually appears, gasp, normal to them. If they only knew! Heck, you could even invite over that T-vixen you've had your eye on and show her your, uh, "manicotti."

Protein Oatmeal
If you're really in a time pinch, and you've got no meat or eggs prepared, you could always mix yourself some oatmeal and protein powder. This is a favorite of ours since we're pretty busy T-men. A good quick meal would consist of cooking 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal and 1 cup of water in the microwave for 3-5 minutes. Then after it's cooled a bit, add a packet of Grow! (or one of those "other" MRP's) or 2 scoops of Advanced Protein, and maybe some mixed nuts or natural peanut butter (if you don't mind the fat).
Mix slowly so that it gets nice and thick. In fact, if you mix up chocolate protein into the oatmeal and add some crunchy peanut butter, you will swear it's the bodybuilder's version of a Reeses' peanut-butter cup.
This meal is so easy that you can probably store all the ingredients at work so you can whip it up at any time. Just be careful of who you work with, though. For months I was having a problem with getting lean and thought I was getting a mild case of gyno. I finally found out that my diet was being sabotaged. One afternoon, back when Grow! came in tubs, I caught Cy Willson hunched over in the corner of the break room eating my Grow! with a spoon. He looked like an addict. Protein powder was spilling all over his mouth and chin as he rapidly shoveled spoonful after spoonful of the tasty MRP into his mouth. Then he would laugh fiendishly while filling the empty tub with soy protein! Sicko.
The recipe again:
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 cup of water
40 grams of protein powder or MRP
Sweetener (you don't need the sweetener if you use Grow!, though, because its sweeteners won't degrade when you microwave 'em)
1 serving of mixed nuts or 2 tbsp of natural peanut butter

Fish in a Flash
Some people praise technology for speeding up transportation, others for making communication easier. I say, to hell with fast trains or talking to people, I'm hungry and I wanna' eat! Take, for instance the geniuses at Star Kist for putting drained tuna in vacuum sealed pouches. If that doesn't qualify them for a Nobel prize I don't know what will. If you're in a hurry, zip open one of those pouches, squirt in a packet or two of mayo (the kind that doesn't need refrigeration) and a packet or two of relish, and you've got yourself some high quality protein in under 2 minutes.
What's that? Been there, done that? Again, try making up a whole tub of tuna on a Sunday afternoon. Don't worry; keep it refrigerated and it'll be okay all week. This time, though, vary the recipe a bit. Helmann's has all these great flavored mayos now. Mix up your tuna with half flavored mayo and half fat-free plain mayo.
If you don't have a lactose problem (or if you do and you'll be by yourself for a couple of hours), mix in some of your favorite fat free, cream-based salad dressing. Try dicing up some onions and celery and tossing them into the mix, or add some relish or pickles. With tuna, the possibilities are endless.

Protein Pancakes
Most of us, when we wake up and stumble into the kitchen, we're faced with the same decision; oatmeal or toast. Why not try banishing the oatmeal and toast from your kitchen for a while? Protein pancakes are relatively simple to make, high in protein, and make for a great change.
There are several ways in which you can make them. The easiest thing to do is to get yourself one of those small Fast Shake containers of pancake mix. Throw 2 scoops of protein into the dry mix and shake in enough milk or water to make a thick, pasty mix. My favorite treat is to get the blueberry pancake mix and shake in chocolate protein.
A slightly less convenient way to make them is to get yourself a box of pancake mix and mix the pancakes up using their directions, but just whip in some extra protein. If you wanna' go all out and make your own pancake mix, you can make your pancakes a little healthier by using whole-wheat flour instead of white flour. This is definitely one recipe you're going to have to experiment with to get the pancakes just how you like 'em. And don't forget pour on some low-carb syrup. Dr. Atkins (I know, I know) makes some great ones!

It's Jerkey, Jerk!
Everybody likes beef jerkey, but you can always mix it up with alternate meats. Lots of companies now sell jerkey made from venison, buffalo, turkey, and ostrich, all of which offer a bit of a different taste. If you're a bit more proactive with your food, you can always hunt down your meat source and make your own. Nothing tastes better than food you killed and prepared yourself, especially jerkey that you can gnaw on all day long. Many types of animal will work, but stay away from poodles and other neighborhood pets.

And just don't talk to my bro about making your own jerkey. If you're a regular to the site, you know of his affinity toward salmon. Well, it seems he's devised a "revolutionary" way to make salmon jerkey from canned salmon (because the canned variety is cheaper and he's always whining about being nothin' but a poor doctoral student). He claims this salmon technique will change the whole health food industry. Keep tryin' bro.

Protein Pudding
Every once in a while, we all get a craving for some sugary junk food, but because of physique goals, or just plain old guilt, we end up putting off the craving. Putting it off, that is, until that mild craving turns into an all out, uncontrollable binge. What happens then? You end up enjoying your junk while you're eating it, but 30 seconds after you're done the guilt sets in. Then you end up torturing yourself for days on end for being weak.
Well my friends, torture yourselves no more, protein pudding's here to save the day. It's a great dessert after a low carb meal, or a good addition to your post workout nutrition. Get yourself some sugar free pudding, some Advanced Protein, and milk. The recipe is simple. Once you've got all the ingredients, throw 1 1/2 to 2 cups of milk, 1/2 a packet of the sugar free instant pudding mix, and 2 scoops of protein in a blender and mix it for about 2 minutes. Then, if you like it cold, throw it in the freezer for a half hour.
The most important part is that you make sure you get yourself a flavor of pudding that will taste good with the flavor of your protein powder. Obviously, chocolate goes great with chocolate, and vanilla goes great with vanilla. If you're into the pistachio flavor, it tastes good with vanilla protein. Also, it's important that you don't try to make protein pudding with the pudding that needs to be cooked; cooking will denature the protein.
[Editor's note: My personal favorite is vanilla Advanced Protein with butterscotch!]

Cottage Cheese that you'd swear was like cheesecake
Plain cottage cheese… yuck! I remember when those cottage cheese meals were fashionable. Mix in a leaf of lettuce, 3 grapes, some unripened cantaloupe, and some stale watermelon and you've got the health platter! All the fat ladies were suffering through this, but unfortunately, not getting any leaner. Go figure.
Well now, my T-friends, we've got a great cottage cheese combo that tastes really good and contributes to your physique progress. Here are the rules. Buy some fat-free cottage cheese. When you're ready to chow down, add 1 scoop or so of Advanced Protein or Grow! The main idea with the protein addition is to use a thick type of protein that clumps up when added to the cottage cheese. Most of the casein-containing MRPs will do.
In addition, straight casein with some sweetener can work too, but the Grow! and the Advanced Protein just taste really good to me so I can't ignore them. After thoroughly stirring, add in some fruit like cherries, a banana, or an apple. Finally, if this is one of your post workout, protein-plus-carb meals, top this off with a light coat of crunchy, fat-free granola for some extra (and yummy) carbs. This meal is damn good!

Guiltless Cereal
My bro and I have always had great distain for habitual cereal eaters. We considered anyone who did nothing but pour some milk over some crunchy flakes to be lazy and unworthy of our time or attention so we pretty much just banished them from the grace of our presence.
However, over the years we've discovered that cereal tastes good, damn it! But a carbohydrate containing, cereal-only meal is a pretty useless waste of what John might call a "feeding opportunity." So add some protein and give your cereal a shot.
Place 1 scoop of casein protein or a casein-containing MRP in a big bowl of milk. Mix this up 'till it becomes thick - sort of like cottage cheese without the lumps (experiment with this to get it right). Then simply top off this blend with some crunchy cereal and you've saved the meal.
John and I still have some unresolved "issues" with cereal eating, so typically we'll only eat this meal in the confines of our own homes, lest someone spot us and mistake us for cereal eaters!

The Old Standby
If you're having a couple of off days - you know, those days when you just don't know where or when your next meal is coming from - there's no shame in eating protein bars all day long. The T-mag staff and I recently had a weekend like this at the Arnold Classic. Three days of eating bars and drinking shakes all day long. Saturday night was not a pretty sight.
After a long day at the expo, 2 days of eating protein bars, and taking care of the three S's (shower, shave, and, well you know), half the toilets in the hotel wouldn't flush. It was a damn good thing that Pavel Tsatsouline was in town. He was running around with a plunger and started screaming something about functional training. Look for his new kettlebell and plunger functional shoulder "workout" in the coming weeks.
I hope that you give some of these recipes a shot as they've practically saved us from throwing in the proverbial towel. I mean, how many dry chicken breasts and cans of tuna can man endure? We've got tons of additional ideas but we'll save them for a later day. Remember, the masters never teach their pupils everything they know.


Recipes for Success II
More Dawg Food for T-Men
By Steve Berardi
.
Once again, inspiration has struck and recipes are as abundant as implants at a fitness pageant. "Damn!" you may be saying to yourself, "How the hell does Berardi keep coming up with these recipes?" Well, you see, after an especially grueling squat and clean workout, I somehow drive myself home in that all-too-familiar surrealistic, pseudo-drunken state, swig down some post-workout nutrition, and hit the pillow. That's where the inspiration strikes.
As I drift into deep REM sleep, the gray matter starts smokin'. Rather than just giving you the goods like a drunk date on prom night, I'd like to describe to you my latest inspirational episode.
You see, during this sleep I found myself back in the college dining hall. The only thing there to drink was this funny looking grape Kool-Aid. Since it was sugar free, the boys and I were drinkin' it down. Next thing I know my watch communicator is ringing (what, you don't have one?) and Jason Alexander from Seinfeld is telling me that I need to report to the Saudi Desert to diffuse a hostile situation. Hey, it was a dream, this kind of think happens, okay?
So before I could put down my sixth cup of Kool-Aid, superman showed up outside with, of all people, the cast of Friends. I didn't even know they hung out! Anyway, we all flew over to the desert together. It was kinda weird because I didn't know that David Schwimmer could fly, but at this point, who am I to question? After all, I've got my orders.
Somewhere over France I fell a little behind and noticed that Courtney Cox wasn't wearing any panties. Needless to say, I flew behind her the rest of the way. While Jennifer Aniston and I were enjoying the view of Courtney's sweet little arse, we had a little chat about nutrition (it takes a while to fly to Saudi Arabia). During this talk, she broke this recipe out on me. Apparently it's Brad's favorite.

Egg Burritos
Hard boil and shred a dozen eggs (use only 1 yolk for every 6 eggs)
To the eggs, mix 1 tablespoon of low or non-fat mayo and salsa (or hot sauce or anything else that's spicy will work)
Throw in 2-3 cups of chopped veggies
Refrigerate
When you're ready to eat, roll up some of the mix into whole wheat tortilla shells. Really pack those shells tight if you want a high protein to carb ratio.
Damn, that Jennifer is cute…
When we reached the desert we met up with Aquaman and Danny Bonaducci. These guys, knowing we weren't accustomed to the heat, were nice enough to build us an in-ground pool. In case you didn't know, it's damn hot in the desert. While Aquaman was showboating his aqua prowess in front of the crowd (I think he noticed Courtney wasn't wearing panties), Danny Bonaducci slipped me a piece of paper. I unfolded it and it revealed this little diddy:

Tuna Burgers
Drain two cans of tuna and mix the tuna with 1 egg (white or whole) and a couple of tablespoons of oat bran
Toss in some curry powder
Hand form 2 patties with the mix and cook it in a pan with moderate heat (just enough to cook the egg)
Pack in a Tupperware container and eat them later, cold
Thanks Danny!

After a while, it was evident that Aquaman was getting nowhere with Courtney so we made our way to Saddam Hussein's crib. It seems the situation we were called to diffuse was a steamy love triangle gone awry between Saddam, Betty White, and Sarah Jessica Parker. I don't see the logistics of that, but suffice to say, Betty and Sarah were growing quite jealous of each other. Luckily we were able to diffuse the situation and after doing so, Betty offered to make us lunch. It was about damn time since I hadn't eaten in several hours. (One builds up an appetite in the desert.)
The lunch was great, especially since I sat across from Daisy Fuentes, who insisted on rubbing my crotch with her foot while we ate. I know the question that's burning in all of your minds: "What were you eating?" Kitchen-sink burgers, of course! Here's the recipe:

Kitchen-Sink Burgers
Half pound of ground sirloin
1 Egg
Bread Crumbs (about a fistful)
Chopped veggies
Mix all these ingredients in a bowl, split the mix into two burgers, and broil them.
They were damn good. Thank you, Betty White!
After lunch we trekked back out into the desert toward base camp. Along the way we met up with some guy named Morpheus. He offered us some little red pills which he said would ensure we didn't become delusional in the desert sun and start dreaming of things that couldn't possibly happen. To thank him for the pills we let him hang with us. This became annoying though since he kept telling me that I was "The One." Whatever.
We brought him all the way back to base camp with us because he claimed that he had this great post workout recipe. Turns out he was speaking the truth! He made us orange-protein creamsicles. Here's the recipe:
Orange-Protein Creamsicles
1 box of sugar free vanilla pudding
1 cup of skim milk
1 1/2 cups of orange juice
2 scoops of vanilla Advanced Protein
He put it all into a blender until it got thick, then stuck it in the freezer until it was half frozen. We enjoyed the meal, but while we were eating he was acting all funny. He thought we'd be impressed with his bending of serving ladles in the crack of his ass trick. After the third or fourth ladle we decided that Morpheus had to go.
Next thing I knew, my alarm clock went off. It was time to get up and go to work. Luckily it was all a dream, but thanks to the cast of Friends, Superman, Aquaman, Danny Bonaducci, Morpheus, Jason Alexander, and Betty White I got all these great recipe ideas.
Back in my real life, it turns out I overslept a bit and didn't have much time to prepare a meal, so I just whipped up what I like to call the "Berardi Instant Breakfast". Grab yourself a blender and throw in two cups of skim milk, three scoops of Advanced Protein, one half cup of dry instant oatmeal, and a little sweetener. Blend it up for 30 to 60 seconds and suck it down. It's a great meal if you're in a rush, especially if you're like me and like to abuse the snooze button.
To recap the recipes:

Hard Boiled Egg Burritos
Shredded, hard boiled eggs (1 dozen whites and 2 yolks)
Mayo
Salsa or hot sauce
Veggies
Wheat tortillas
Tuna Burgers
Two cans of tuna in spring water
2 tbsp. of oat Bran
One egg
Curry powder
Fry in a pan until egg is cooked
Kitchen Sink Burger
Half pound of ground sirloin
1 Egg
Bread crumbs
Chopped veggies
Broil to taste
Orange Protein Creamsicle
1 box sugar free vanilla pudding
1 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups of orange juice
2 scoops vanilla Advanced Protein
Blend until thick

Berardi Instant Breakfast
2 cups milk
3 scoops protein
One half cup of dry instant oatmeal
Sweetener
Blend together for 30-60 secondsDamage Control


How to cheat on your diet without looking like you did.
by John M. Berardi

"Oh come on, live a little!"

"Don't you ever eat anything that's bad for you?"

"I could never do what you guys do, I like food waaaayyyy to much for that!"

Those quotes sound familiar, don't they? I know I've heard them hundreds of times. But don't take my word for it. Studies have shown that every 60 seconds, someone, somewhere in the world, is uttering some permutation of one of these phrases. (1) The most annoying part is that the perpetrators don't seem to "get it."

Now, my normal response is to smile and chuckle it off while deliberately and noticeably glancing down at the extra pounds of "life" around their midsection. But what I really feel like doing is snapping back with something like, "Oh, so what you're telling me is that stale, chocolate brownies are the secret to what you call 'living.' That's interesting. You know, in all honesty, my brethren and I do eat stuff that's 'bad' for us from time to time; we just eat it less frequently than you do, chubby. And this, my opponent of self discipline, is what makes our enjoyment of food waaaayyyy superior to yours!"

After all, bodybuilders love a good cheat meal! So much so that if our livin' and food-lovin friends had occasion to watch us take down an all-you-can-eat buffet or a Christmas goose, their mouths would fall open, spilling cranberry sauce all over the "good linen." But herein lies the problem. While needing to eat big from time to time (for both physiological and psychological reasons), we are a rather vain species, always wondering, "Who's the fairest of them all?" Last time I looked into my mirror after a cheat meal and asked that question, my mirror replied, "Uh, JB, in case you didn't know this, a 10,000-calorie meal doesn't exactly sculpt the abs."

So with the holidays coming up it's about time someone talked about "damage control." After all, in the Berardi house, "cheat days" and holidays carry with them important pre and post meal rituals. Therefore, in this article I'll share a few tricks with you — taken straight from the research journals — for minimizing the damage caused by eating your weight in turkey and candied yams.

As Tiny Tim would say, "God bless us, every one!"

To cheat or not to cheat
I don't know how many times I've heard the following question but it never ceases to make me chuckle.

"So John, I believe in a weekly cheat meal. Do you?"

My sarcastic response is usually something like, "You know, before today I wasn't sure if the cheat meal existed but the empirical evidence located around your waistline has made me a believer."

Then I usually answer the question properly. I think that a modest weekly cheat meal is just fine for some people while it's a mistake for others. Here are some circumstances in which they're appropriate and some in which they're not:

• Cheat meals should only be planned during periods of the year when you're trying to gain mass. During this time, cheat meals eaten once per week or once every two weeks are fine, depending on your goals or your body-fat percentage. The leaner you are, the more often you can cheat. But don't force it. Calling the binge session a "cheat meal" and using it as an excuse to eat a bunch of junk food is not the way to get big and muscular.

From what I've seen, the following always holds true. If you're honestly overeating large amounts of good foods on a regular basis, you'll certainly be getting all the good calories you need to grow. And you won't be hungry for crappy food. In fact, one way I assess whether my clients are eating enough good bodybuilding food each week is whether they are craving cheat foods. If so, they need more calories through the week. Scientifically, this makes sense since chronic overfeeding causes the brain to realease satiety hormones and these hormones signals tell the brain's hunger centers to "shut up and sit down."

• Cheat meal frequency and/or size should be minimized when over 15-20% body fat. I've discussed this before in a previous Appetite For Construction column. Basically, the fatter you are, the more likely that any excess food will be shuttled toward body-fat storage rather than muscle mass. So, if you're fat, minimize your over eating.

• Don't have cheat days or meals while you're trying to lose weight. I know, I know, you've always heard talk about "stoking the metabolic fire" or some nonsense like that, but simply put, that's bunk. First, psychologically, it's very difficult to stay disciplined after a cheat meal. After weeks of dieting, the taste buds, which have all but given up hope, are stirred back to life. Each time you cheat on the diet, it's more difficult to stay strict when next you're being tested by the devil on your shoulder. "Come on, John, you know you want a slice of pizza. Remember, you didn't get fat after your cheat meal on Sunday. This one time will be fine, too."

And physiologically, there's no sound reason to have a cheat meal. One meal will not upregulate your sluggish dieter's metabolism, despite what you've heard. Sure, the metabolic rate gets upregulated for a few short hours after the big meal, but no way will this thermogenesis account for the large caloric load you'll be dumping into the gut at once.

So my final answer is that it's okay for some people to "believe in" the cheat meal. Others however, should categorize the cheat meal right up there with the Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot.

The Physiological Effects Of Eating Big
Before we actually start to talk about what we can do to minimize the damage caused by eating big, I want to tell you about some of the physiological events that occur when you sit down to an all-you-can-eat feasting extravaganza. When overfeeding for a single meal, the following happens:

• Increased blood insulin levels. This decreases fat mobilization and oxidation.

• Increased storage of fat and carbohydrate. It's been estimated that in the average person, outside of the post exercise window, a meal consisting of over 750 calories (regardless of the macronutrient content) leads to measurable fat storage.

• Increased sympathetic autonomic nervous system activity (norepinephrine release, epinephrine release, and related autonomic nervous activity). (2)

• Increased release of thyroid hormone (T3 and T4). (3)

• Increased thermic effect of feeding. This is the cost of metabolizing the food. (3)

• Increased percentage of energy comes from carbohydrate oxidation while a decreased percentage of energy comes from fat oxidation. (4)

• Increased spontaneous activity or NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). This represents the activities of daily living, changes of posture, and fidgeting. (5,6,7)

While these changes are usually seen in most subjects, individual responses are quite variable. In fact, as you might expect, your genetic make-up and exercise activity have a lot to do with your response. Here's a list of some of the ways that different people respond differently to overfeeding:

• Lean people have a significant increase in sympathetic autonomic nervous system activity while obese people often have no response. (2)

• Lean and obese people show increases in T3 and T4 release but there's large variability. This variability may be explained by the fact that the obese may release less thyroid hormone when overfeeding. (3)

• When exercise-trained people overeat, they may store more carbohydrate while burning more fat. Non-exercisers, on the other hand, may store more fat and burn more carbohydrate. (4)

• Weight-gain resistant people tend to experience huge increases in NEAT as a result of overfeeding (most of the extra calories are burned, not stored), while people who gain weight easily tend to store most of the extra calories as fat. (5,6,7) Most interestingly, in one overfeeding study, subjects were given 1000 calories above maintenance per day. The weight-gain resistant subjects in this study oxidized a whopping 70% of those 1000 calories.

Those who gain weight easily actually stored most of those calories as fat. After 8 weeks of overfeeding, fat gain varied almost 10-fold among subjects, ranging from a gain of only 0.79 lb to a gain of 9.31 lb!

• In lean people, the normal insulin response to a meal only minimally affects fat mobilization and fat storage. However, in fatter people, the normal insulin response to a meal nearly shuts down fat mobilization and leads to large increases in fat storage.

I hope it's clear that although there are some common ways that the body responds to overeating, these responses are highly variable and this variability determines how damaging the binge will be. So, knowing the way you respond to the binge is critical to how you should manage the binge. As I said earlier, if your physiology demands it, some of you may have to forgo "cheating" altogether.

Damage Control Strategies
Regardless of how we respond to overfeeding, we all know that the occasional binge is inevitable. So now let's talk about what we can do to minimize the damage. The first area I would like to cover is exercise. Then, I'll talk about nutrition on the day of the binge, and lastly, I'll talk about supplement strategies.

Exercising for Damage Control
One key component of your damage control strategy is exercise. There are two schools of thought regarding exercising on "cheat day," one group arguing that exercising before the meal is better while one argues that exercising after the meal is better. Let's look at the data.

In one study, lean and obese people performed low intensity and high-intensity exercise with and without a meal afterward. (9) Let's talk about the effects of the exercise alone for a minute. While both groups of exercisers burned the same amount of calories during the exercise, the post-exercise energy expenditure was 14% in the high-intensity group and 6% in the low-intensity group.

I'm sorry to go off on a tangent here, but for all those who think they have to switch their cardio over from low intensity to high intensity, I want to point out a few things. If the average person's basal metabolic rate is 2000 kcal per day (83 kcal per hour), this means that the high-intensity group burned an extra 6 calories per hour vs. the lower intensity exercise group. Since this type of metabolic increase usually lasts for only 5 hours or so, we're only talking an extra 30 calories per day here! So don't make any silly conclusions about what type of exercise is more effective.

Anyway, back to the study. When a 720-kcal meal was ingested, the combined effects of the exercise (either type) plus the feeding led to larger increases in metabolism than either one could produce alone. But even more importantly, the RQ (respiratory quotient; it's a measure of the mix of fuels burned) remains lower if exercise preceded the meal versus eating a meal alone. This means that exercising before eating prevents some of the large shift toward carbohydrate burning after eating. And this means more fat will be burned for energy if exercise precedes your meal than if you were to eat the meal alone.

In another study looking at pre-meal exercise, subjects performed swimming exercise before eating. (11) In this study, swimming before eating a meal led to an additional 4.6 calories being burned per hour versus the meal alone. As with the study above, the absolute amount of calories burned isn't all that impressive, but in my opinion, the more important issue here is the shift in metabolism to less carbohydrate burning and more fat burning in the hours after the exercise and the meal. So it looks like exercising before eating is the way to go, right?

Not so fast! On the other side of the fence we have a study looking at post-meal exercise. In this one, subjects performed either high or low-intensity exercise after a 750-kcal meal.(10) In this study, the researchers noted a synergistic effect between the meal and the exercise. With the combination of the meal and exercise, more calories were burned over the next three hours than if the meal was eaten without exercise or exercise was done without a meal. Again, there were no differences between groups.

Since the studies seem to show that both eating before and after exercise leads to metabolic rate increases and more fat oxidation, what about studies comparing pre-exercise feedings to post-exercise feedings? Well, I've got them for you, too!

In two publications comparing the effects of pre-exercise meal feedings to post-exercise meal feedings, the authors showed that the 3-hour thermic effect of food was significantly greater when the meal was eaten before exercise than when the meal was eaten after exercise (13,14). The exercise bout in this study happened to be 30 minutes of cycling.

From these data it seems that when we put the two head to head, the binging before exercise may be superior to binging after exercise. As a side note, getting back to the individual differences aspect, the authors showed that lean subjects burned more calories in every condition (meal alone, pre-exercise meal, and post exercise meal) when compared to obese subjects.

So is that it? Is eating before exercising the way to control the damage? It appears so. In another study comparing the effects of pre-exercise meal feedings to post-exercise meal feedings, the authors verified the results from above (12). In this study, a 910-kcal meal followed by a 25-minute treadmill run resulted in greater energy expenditure than when the run came before the meal.

Bottom line, when it's time to pig out, if you have to make a choice between exercising before or exercising after the meal, after the meal is the way to go. But what if you have the day free, plan on eating enough for a small army, and want to really control the damage? Since there are no studies on weight training or pre and post-meal exercise, I'm going to have to theorize here. What I would do is the following:

A few hours before the meal, I would perform a glycogen-depleting workout. This could be a 30-60 minute cardio bout or a 15-30 minute bout of high-intensity interval training. Then, a few hours later, I would eat the big meal. Then, as soon as I can button up my pants again, I would hit another workout. This one could be another cardio bout (if it's an "off" day) or a weight-training bout if it's my lifting day.

Eating for Damage Control
I know this section seems out of place since it's the eating we're talking about that actually causes the damage, but what I'm referring to in this section is the fact that the composition of the meals in and around your cheat meal can actually improve your physiological response to the binge.

Studies since the early '80s have demonstrated what's known as a "second meal effect." Basically, if you eat a meal that's low in fat and contains a high percentage of low-glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates, resistant starch (RS), and dietary fiber (DF), your responses to your next meal are improved. Specifically, you'll remain satiated longer between meals and during your next meal, you'll have decreased glucose and insulin responses as well as reduced serum triglyceride (TG) levels. (15,16, 17)

In fact, this is the case whether your next meal has a high GI or a low GI. Although the studies cited here refer to the effects of a low GI/high DF carbohydrate breakfast followed by a high or low GI lunch, your glucose tolerance will also be improved during a high GI breakfast if you eat a low GI/high DF carbohydrate meal the night before.

So, my recommendation would be to consume a low GI/high fiber carbohydrate meal a few hours before your big feast. This will help control the glucose and insulin responses to your gluttonous meal as well as keeping high triglyceride levels at bay. It might also prevent you from eating yourself into a bloated stupor.

Reconciling these recommendations with the ones I made regarding exercise, a few hours before you break bread you should do a glycogen depleting exercise bout and follow it up with a moderate meal of low-GI carbs and high fiber.

In addition to encouraging you to utilize the "second meal effect," I'd like to give you some tips on how to organize the rest of your daily food intake.

• Eat as you normally would (every few hours) before your cheat meal. Don't fast in preparation for your elaborate meal.

• Once you've done the damage, don't eat again that same day until you start to feel hungry or at least wait until you don't feel painfully full any longer. If you're not used to huge calorie loads, you'll undoubtedly remain full for hours and hours afterward. This is due to the super-slow digestion that's taking place as a result of all that food volume and all that saturated fat. Don't force yourself to eat on a schedule on these days because you're afraid of catabolism or something. By feasting you've created a huge nutrition storage depot in your stomach and the nutrition will be slowly released for hours to come.

• On the following day after a ridiculous binge, get right back on your regular diet. Don't try to eat less or try to "diet" the binge off. It doesn't work and just screws you up even more for days to come. You may not feel much like eating the next day. Eat anyway. You may feel bloated. Eat anyway.

Supplements for Damage Control
So far we've discussed how the body responds to a huge meal and some exercise and nutritional strategies to manage your binge. Now I'd like to present some supplement strategies for helping the body cope with your gluttony.

As discussed earlier, the body responds to large meals with increased sympathetic activation and an increased thyroid hormone response. (2,3) Since this seems to be the body's strategy for dealing with the caloric load, why not mimic this ourselves with supplements?
Although most of you know I'm not a fan of chronic use of stimulants or fat-loss supplements/drugs, I'm not opposed to the acute use of them. Therefore, on the day of the feast, taking a few stimulants like MD6 and a few doses of a thyroid drug like T2, T3, or T2-PRO might help give the metabolism a much needed kick start.

Studies have shown that beta agonists can stimulate metabolic rate in a similar manner to the way diet increases sympathetic nervous system activity. (21) Specifically, ephedrine can increase the thermic effect of feeding by over 30%. (18)

As far as thyroid hormones, T3 injections in rats can potentiate the effects of diet-induced thermogenesis on metabolic rate and brown adipose tissue activity. (19) Studies also show that T2 acts directly on the mitochondrial respiration while T3 and T4 must first increase oxidative enzyme levels. This means that T2 has a much more rapid stimulation of metabolic rate (1 hour for T2 vs. 24 hours for T3). Some authors have concluded that T2 may be beneficial in situations requiring rapid energy like cold exposure or overfeeding (20). So a thyroid and ephedrine-type cocktail may increase meal induced thermogenesis and offer a nice degree of damage control.

While prescription "fat blockers" like orlistat may help keep some of that saturated fat and cholesterol out of your blood stream, the consequences of such drugs (i.e. poor vitamin absorption and the famous "anal leakage") may be more detrimental than the fat intake itself. (23) While the prescription drugs do prevent fat absorption, human studies on over the counter "fat blockers" like chitosan have shown that these supplements have no impact on weight loss or fat excretion. (23,24)

Since most cheat meals are often loaded with carbohydrates and sodium, water retention is usually a consequence of the binge. Mild, over the counter diuretics like dandelion and uva ursi may help keep the fingers moving through a full range of motion.

Putting It All Together
So now that I've discussed the data supporting my exercise, nutritional, and supplemental strategies, here's a quick review:

• Exercise: If you have to choose, work out after eating, but ideally you'd work out a few hours prior to eating as well.

• Nutrition: Eat normally before your binge and take advantage of the second meal effect. After your binge, eat again when you're hungry or when you don't feel so full. Get back on your regular diet the next day.

• Supplements: Taking stimulants like MD6 and thyroid enhancers like T2 or T2-PRO during the day of the big feast may fire up the metabolism. In addition, taking mild diuretics may keep the excess water off.

Hopefully, these damage control strategies will allow paranoid types to eat with the family on major holidays without having to break out their golden engraved tub of cottage cheese. And if you're the type who thinks Sunday just isn't Sunday without a trip to Wong's Buffet Palace, you can continue to do so without carrying out a few extra pounds of pork-fried rice on your love handles.


Food on the Go
How to Eat Like a Bodybuilder, Even at McDonalds
by Steve Berardi

Want to lose some fat and get those abs ready for full summertime display? Or is your main goal to pack on tons of muscle mass and finally break that 200 pound barrier? To most people, the key to physique success, no matter what their goals are, lies in an eating plan. I don't care what percentage you want to assign to the importance of diet, whether it's 50% of the equation, 80% of the equation, or whatever, just know that diet is extremely important.

Although we all know diet is crucial, few trainees actually map out an eating program that supports their meticulous training programs and detailed physique goals. I've even heard of guys bringing clipboards and binders to the gym to record everything from weights and reps to how many steps it takes to get from the squat rack to the leg extension machine, only to get home and eat the first thing they see. This makes no sense to me.

Others, however, do plan their diets well only to fall victim to that little distraction called life, a distraction that steps in and makes it difficult to stick to any eating program. Sure you've painstakingly picked out the highest quality sources of protein, the best sources of fats, and the lowest glycemic and insulin index carbs, but sometimes these foods just aren't going to be available when it's time to eat.

I know, I know, as far fetched as it sounds, even the best of us sometimes neglect to bring high protein meals with us to work or school. There's that pesky life thing again. Maybe you woke up late one morning and only had time to slam down a quick shake. (Or is that every morning?) Maybe you were distracted while watching the neighbor's 18-year-old daughter mow the lawn in her bikini and left your burgers in the broiler for a few too many minutes. Or maybe you've got a lunch date with that little vixen in the office that everyone's been pining for since the day she bent over to pick up a dropped pencil. What are you gonna do, invite her out to the parking lot for canned tuna and bottled water? Nope, she'll expect you to take her to a nice restaurant. Heck, you might even have to pay for it! Women! Sheesh!

It's on occasions such as these that most people are caught with their pants down, nutritionally speaking, of course. So now you're out in the cold harsh world with no bodybuilding nutrition in sight. What are you going to do? For starters, you should always have some protein powder or an MRP packet or two stashed discretely around your workspace. Personally, I keep a shaker with some protein powder in my car, and two or three MRPs in my glove compartment. You could also stash some MRPs and bars in your desk, briefcase, school bag or toolbox for emergencies. To be honest, I even keep one protein bar in my underwear at all times, prompting several ladies to ask whether I was happy to see them or is that 42 grams of protein in my pocket.

Before I digress even further, back to being unprepared. If you haven't planned for such contingencies there's no need for panic. You can still eat well without your usual Tupperware and foil packet cuisine. If you've done your homework, you can still get a few healthy, high-protein meals from just about anywhere. Remember, not eating all day is not an option! So how can you eat out and still eat well? Read on.

Scenario #1 — The Work Lunch
You're headed out to a business lunch for some wheeling and dealing. It doesn't matter if you're trying to close a big business deal or just taking the cute intern out for a get-to-know-you lunch. Either way it's clear that Tupperware, chicken, and rice aren't going to project the image you're looking for. So you'll probably be headed out to a decent restaurant; nicer than the Sizzler you took your date to last Saturday night.

Nicer restaurants are full of great opportunities to stick to your meal plan and eat something maybe a little different than you're normally used to eating. The easiest thing to order is a grilled chicken salad with at least a double order of chicken. But if you're out to impress, a grilled chicken salad is a little, well, girlie. If you're wining and dining the meat and potatoes sort of crowd, ordering a chicken salad screams, "I'm weak, have no appetite, and can be walked all over!" Might as well order a club soda with a twist of lime.

Instead of projecting that kind of image, go ahead and order something that screams Testosterone, like a big strip steak or some kind of fish steak. If your diet calls for low carbs, you can always substitute a salad or broccoli and beans for that baked potato that they're going to melt six pounds of butter all over anyway. Remember, you're the customer and you can order anything you want. It doesn't matter if you want your baked potato dry or you want your salad served in the waitress's panties (no empty calories there), you have the right to ask. If the staff hooks you up, leave an extra big tip, especially if that panty thing works out.


Scenario #2 — The Quickie Lunch
You've brought no food and it's lunchtime. Or maybe you're headed out to lunch with some buddies to the closest place with food. Turns out the closest place with food is a fast-food dive. Believe it or not, you can get a decent meal there, too. It may not fit exactly into your eating specifications, but you gotta' be flexible. After all, you can't not eat and you're the dummy who forgot your food at home.

An old favorite of mine is to eat three or four hamburgers. Just put all the burgers between one set of buns and toss the rest. Another option is to get a salad and a couple of grilled chicken sandwiches and toss all the buns. Put the chicken on the lettuce and you've got a nice chicken salad! Turns out the stuff they call chicken is actually chicken. Well, it's chicken parts, but they're low in fat and have anywhere from 20 to 45 grams of protein, depending on the size. At least it's not hydrolyzed horse hooves (found in some of the cheaper protein bars on the shelves and counted as "protein" on the label.) Alternatively, I also like a big bowl of Wendy's chili and their chicken salad. That makes for a decent meal in a pinch and beats starving down to Richard Simmons size.

Now, don't get me wrong, fast food isn't the best option if you're trying to keep those abs looking like etched marble, but what's the alternative? All day long catabolism? I'll take the fast food every time. Just don't do it very often and when you do, eat smart or you'll end up a McFatty.

Scenario #3 — The Road Trip
It's road trip time and not only have you forgotten your jug of protein at home, but your underwear containing the food bar is still hanging on the bathroom doorknob airing out. (Can you tell I'm a college student?) No worries, mate. Whether you're driving across the country or just to grandma's, getting some protein won't be a problem.

First of all, more than likely there's going be some rest stops along the way. Just about every supermarket, gas station, convenience store, and rest stop sells beef jerky and mixed nuts. There may not be a restaurant anywhere nearby, but there's a gas station somewhere on every street corner in America. Pick yourself up a couple of pieces of beef jerky and a small bag of nuts and you're talkin' 44 grams of high-quality protein and about 26 grams of unsaturated fats. I've never heard of a more convenient and tasty source of high-quality protein and fats.

And if your stop happens to be at one of those higher class truck stops, you know, the ones where you gotta' ask for the key to the bathroom, you could possibly substitute the jerky with sliced turkey breast. "What about all that sodium?" you ask. What about it? It still carries all that high quality protein. Just get yourself a bigger bottle of water to flush out that extra sodium.

The Cheat Sheets
No matter where you're getting your emergency food supply, you've got to be wary of the calories contained in most foods. Don't get fooled like everyone else and let your perfectly good meal be spoiled by high calorie, fat-laced sauces and dressings. Try getting that entrée without the thick cream or butter sauce. They have the potential to add upwards of 300 extra calories to your meal. At least order them on the side.

In addition, order your salad dressings on the side. Sure, a little bit of those oil-based dressings won't hurt, but those damn creamy dressings may ruin a perfectly good meal (and if you're lactose intolerant like me, a perfectly good time in public).

Many restaurants and even fast food joints will give you a little sheet listing the macronutrient and caloric values. Just be careful of many places' "healthy choice" dishes. Some of these places only keep the fat content in mind when they label something "healthy". Thus a steaming plate of pasta served with white bread is on the healthy side of the menu. Sure, if you want to get almost no protein and go into an insulin induced coma, eat up. I'll stick to the chicken, steak and salad myself.

Since you've probably memorized exactly the number of protein, carbs, and fats in your everyday foods, I want to give you a little cheat sheet for some of the more common foods you'll be finding in your travels:


Fast Foods
Protein
Carbs
Fat
McDonalds
Hamburger
12
35
10
Cheeseburger
15
36
14
Chicken McGrill (no mayo)
26
46
7
Chicken Caesar Salad (no dressing)
17
3
2.5
Burger King
Whopper Jr. (no mayo)
20
32
16
Hamburger
19
30
16
Cheeseburger
22
31
19
BK Broiler (no mayo)
29
51
8 Wendy's
Jr. Hamburger
15
34
10
Jr. Cheeseburger
17
34
15
Grilled Chicken
34
36
8
Chicken Salad
22
10
8
Large Chili
23
32
10

If you haven't done your homework and memorized the caloric value of all your everyday foods, here's another cheat sheet to study. Print it out and stick it in your wallet if you have to.
Salmon
21.6
0
7
(3oz)
Chicken Breast
31
0
3.5
(roasted 3oz)
T-Bone Steak
20
0
17
(broiled 3oz)
Beef Jerky
22
2
1
Tuna fish
25
0
5
(3 oz steaks)
Tuna fish
42
2
3
(can)
Beef Liver
23
6
7
(pan fried)
Kidney Beans (red)
13
1
0.4
(1 cup) Egg
6
1
5
Peanuts
7
6
13
(28g serving)
Natural Peanut Butter
8
7
16
(2 tbsp)
Cheese
6
0
8
(American, 1oz)
Butter
1
0
7
(1tbsp)
Oatmeal
5
26
3
(1/2 cup)
Baked Potato
3
34
0
(6 oz)
Sweet Potato
3
44
0
(6oz)


Macronutrients and Post-Workout Meals
Another thing to keep in mind is the combination of macronutrients you eat at any given time. This is part of my brother John's new diet plan that will be posted soon at T-mag, but I'll give you a sneak preview. Besides, since he's my big brother, I've gotta' talk about it or he threatens to give me wedgies and noogies 'till I submit.

Seriously, though, I've tried the diet myself, and I can tell you that it kicks royal ass. What I can tell you is that the diet revolves around staggering high protein and moderate carb meals with high protein and high fat meals. This is great for when you're on the road. You can't always get one type of meal, but with this plan you have options. One chicken and chili meal at Wendy's (high protein and moderate carbs) can be followed by a snack of beef jerky and peanuts (high protein, high fat) a few hours later. You'd be wise to structure your meals like that when possible. Just keep that in mind when you're eating on the go and John will give you the whole skinny when his article comes out.

Lastly, while we're on the subject of eating in a hurry and on the road, I think this article would be incomplete if I didn't say a few words about post-workout nutrition. To begin with, you should always be in a hurry to eat after a workout. Some people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but your post workout meal is even more important since often times it'll be the determining factor in how well you perform during your next workout.

The main rule you need to know about post-workout nutrition is to get some! Although this article is all about what to do if you can't otherwise eat a proper bodybuilder's diet, post-workout is not the time to screw the pony. Drink an MRP, or if nothing else is available, you might want to run to a convenience store and chug some milk. Be sure you pay for it first. That's not ideal, but in an emergency at least you'll be getting some fast liquid protein.

In the perfect world, your post workout meal should consist of at least 0.4 g/kg of a quickly digestible protein source (such as whey hydrolysate) and 0.8g/kg of a simple carbohydrate to allow your muscles quick access to glycogen replenishing substrates. Add in a few BCAAs and other amino acids and it'll also help with protein balance. No matter what post workout nutrition you choose to consume, it's important to do it within 30 minutes of putting away your last set of dumbbells.

In summary, eat, eat often, and eat well. You can get high quality meals all around you with minimal hassles; you've just got to know where to look. There's no reason to break your diet if you're not the one preparing the meal. Your best bet is to play like a boy scout and "be prepared."



Tips and Tricks (From the Gourmet Nutrition Forum)

1. Tips and tricks to maintaining good nutrition over the long run.
As JB has mentioned several times, for me it's been important to keep in mind that occasionally straying from my planned meals isn't going to completely ruin my plans and unless you're prepping for a bb show you should definately allow some flexibility for unplanned meetings with friends etc, even if that means taking some extra time to prepare your food and bring it with you. I've been training just over a year now and the first few months I was so determined to keep the perfect diet/recovery/training plan that I stopped having fun...and that killed my motivation until I realized I needed a more balanced approach.

2. Your own personal "magic bullet meals," the ones you could eat twice a day if need be.
They're simple but I love my morning oatmeal with either blueberries/strawberries/banana, and also chili. I could eat either of these meals several times a day. I'm also a huge fan of the apple pie GROW! recipe posted in one of the T-Mag articles b/c I love the taste of cinnamon

3. Your own cheating rituals.
Don't have one, but on the weekends I'll go out with friends and just use that time as my "cheat"


Great Article !!!!!!
I still hate cottage cheese, but based on T-Mag's recommendations, I've been eating it regularly for at least a couple of years now.
I eat at least 32 oz a day of this stuff.
Sometimes you just have to be a man and bite the bullet.

Dr. JB,
Great work. A couple of precepts I picked up from your work not mentioned in this article have been a huge benefit to me:
1. Planning/Preparation: I keep "back-up" meals in my desk at work, this includes sardines, salmon, jerky etc, throw in a few fish oil capsules (if needed) and you have a ready made meal (bring your own breath mints). I know that if one of my three kids want a fast food meal, as we shuttle from one event to the next, that Wendy's Chili will work for me.
2. Hitting 90% is easier than we think. I used to derail my efforts by trying to hit 100% compliance. When I'd miss, the "what the hell" mechanism takes over and anything not nailed down was fair game. Cheat night (usually Saturday but it can move to fit other commitments) is when I have beer, pizza, etc. I'm still waiting for Mrs. Dogg to bring home pizza, Molson and Monica Bellucci for cheat night.
3.Forget minutia. It really doesn't matter if you had 2400 or 2375 calories. Those are estimates anyway.
I'm not "on a diet", but have an eating plan, 7+ meals per day, 6 with around 300 calories and 30+ grams of protein, with dinner around 500 and 60. The only number I really pay attention to is the protein, making sure I get at least 240 grams per day. EFA's are covered with fish oil.

It has been working so far, losing over 50 lbs of fat and adding 15 lbs of LBM the past year. Thanks for all your contribution here on T-Nation.
old dogg

As always great reading and good way to do a plug!
When going on a long run, I always take out the crap from my pantry and either give it to a food shelter or I throw a small get together for friends and family. The next day is used to go shopping and to plan out meals. Cooking my own meals is a must because my girlfriend can't cook healthy and refuses to learn for some reason. After that, it is easy for me to stay on track.

My personal "magic bullet meals" would be a chicken stir-fry using a little olive oil and a stir-fry veggie mix from a local store. Throw in some secret spices and I'm good to go! The same goes for lean beef and sweet potatoes. YUM!

My cheat meals come on a day when the Spurs play. Only one day though. Just a large pizza with pineapple and canadian bacon and beer of course. Blue Moon or a Shiner Bock being my preference.

JB has proven to be an expert in his feild and continues to make the battle of nutrition and training a simple thing for people to understand. I have said it a ton of times and I will say it again. Get yourself a copy of his DVD No-nonsense Nutrition. Even if you have a good understanding of nutrition his DVD will make the things you already know will become even more clear.

Keep up the great work JB

I'll surely print that article and can vouch for the high quality of "Gourmet Nutrition". Fantastic book, a must have!

This article reminded me of a guy at the gym this morning. Well the guy is there every morning I train. He's the typical "year-round bulker" who trains wearing an oversized hooded shirt to hide his "curves" (curves for a woman = good. curves for a man = not so good).

Now, when wearing clothes, especially loose clothes, the guy looks somewhat impressive. At around 5'10" he must weight in vacinity of 225-230lbs and has broad shoulders.

However I saw him a few times in the locker room and the guy is simply fat. There is some muscle under his fat outfit, but most of his bulk is from adipose tissue.

Normally I don't care about guys like this. However this morning he asked a guy, the local "roid" expert (who has about as much smarts on the subject as Jarrod Foggle) when he'll start loosing all his fat from the cytomel, anavar and kynoselen he's taking. The thing is that our poor soul later confessed that he had not progressed in 3 weeks. When asked about his diet, the guy said he was eating cake 2-3 times PER DAY!!!

When told that he'd need to clean up his diet his initial response was a powerful "NO WAY!" ... however he finally conceded and agreed to eat cake only 2-3 times per week!!!

Sad thing is that for the past 3 weeks he's been trying to charm this little blonde girl by telling her that he's on a severe "cutting" regimen, that he'll be ripped to shreds in 12 weeks and that he might even compete.

This made my day ... and sadly it's only one of the story of the sort I see every week.

I would say my magic bullet food is chicken, I can cook it in so many ways that I constantly amaze myself. My staple seasoning is fresh garlic followed closely with fresh ginger root. These two things can make anything taste good. I also love frozen veggies they are too easy to be ignored. Of course I use a lot of fresh ground pepper too especially in my cottage cheese.
I know that JB isn't a big fan of milk but when I am in a rush or low on the cals for the day I supplement with skim milk. No lactose issues for me thankfully!

2. My magic bullets

Steel cut oats cooked with buttermilk and cinnamon or slow cooked overnight with water, milk, and cinnamon. Blueberries added to both, of course.

My bodybuilding protein chili! http://student.ucr.edu/...d001/chili.html

JB- udaman! as far as my staples-
cottage chz with nuts or fruit (usually a banana)
any meat wrapped in a tortilla w/ cheese, salsa, onion, tomato, whatever.

eggs w/ bacon or sausage & salsa in a tortilla, sometimes add beans and/or rice

cold cuts (turkey or roast bf) w/ fresh spinach on grain bread, horseradish sauce, and a handful of sunchips

chicken wings or drums in bbq sauce baked or grilled

and some crap (a couple cookies) post- workout for my reward

i just clean it up when dieting- eat more salads (with feta chz!). since i live in Boston, ive still got a few months. happy training to everyone at T-Nation!

While I don't really have a cheating ritual, my girlfriend likes to be wined and dined, so I try not to let the restaraunt meals get to me too much.

My staple meal has been the same for a while... Basically a chicken burger. 2 peieces of wheat toast (or buns... bread is cheaper), 3 thin slices of cheese, lettuce and the chicken breast and shazam.. tasty as hell and can be made in under 10 minutes. I substitute 95% lean beef for chicken sometimes, just as good.

Another staple meal for me is the way I make my oatmeal. Get it fairly watered down and add a scoop of vanilla Grow! or Low-Carb Grow! and stir it up really good. Top this off with a Banana or berries, and I imagine some granola would be good but i've never done it. This is usually my 1st and last meal of the day.

1. For me, there are several key things that I must adhere to in order to keep good nutrition over the long run.

a.) As stated in your article "Berardi's Kitchen" it is vital to eradicate all temptations from my vicinity. There can not be any twinkies or little debbies in my proximity or else I eventually pig out or eat them until they are gone. *I somehow rationalize that if I eat them quickly, I won't have to worry about them tomarrow or anymore.(mostly this problem arises from living at home with certain mommies and daddies who like those treats and keep them freshly stocked. In conclusion, I agree and think it is very helpful to only have good nutritious food in your home and around you.

b.) Having the quick meals is a life saver when things get hectic. When school or sports demand most of my time a quick run to the hall to eat a salad and slamming a protein shake are essential to not miss meals on the way to class. OR the snacks in "Gourmet Nutrition" from williams and JB are what I use when I know I am about to have a busy week. These quick, easy, healthy "snacks meals" I call them are essential to me as well.

c.) I find for myself boredom to be a big trigger for eating things not healthy sometimes or eating too constantly. When I find this happening I find an immediate hobby I engage in to take my mind of being bored to productive.(I.e reading my books, getting out to run some errands, or playing video games on occasion.)



2. "Magic bullets" are nice to have, but for me it is only helpful around dinner time or the late 4th snack. When I am running around all over the place during the day I don't want to think about a magic bullet and just want to get the meal in and have it be healthy. Seasoned beef and spinach etc suffice for me with all the things going on. When I have a chance to sit down and eat during dinner or with some friends I like to get out of the grind by preparing something special and healthy. For that; I like the meals in "gourmet nutrition;" Coconut chicken is amazing and grilled salmon with rosemary. A side dish of mashed cauliflower to make a nice dish.


3. Cheating rituals I usually save for when I return home and see some of my good friends. I usually dine out and have whatever I like and enjoy the meal with a nice wine. Say, Ferrari Carano or Pinot Noir from the *Carneros valley. Add a nice dinner with some wine and add a gourmet dessert. Creme brulee is one of my favorites. Cheating rituals consist usually of fine dining or party type scenarios. In conclusion, Fine dining and parties are the cheating rituals for me.


These make sense to me and I hope they provide some insight to neat tips and tricks.


Sounds like Mr. Beauford really stuffed his gills!

Am I "Right Side Up" or upside down?

dev wrote:
2. My magic bullets

Steel cut oats cooked with buttermilk and cinnamon or slow cooked overnight with water, milk, and cinnamon. Blueberries added to both, of course.

My bodybuilding protein chili! http://student.ucr.edu/...i.html

Wow, that's one hell of a project! Looks good, albeit messy as hell and quite a bit of work.

Is one serving (for you) = one tupperware bowl?

1. Make eating correctly a habit and just do it. You should get to the point where you don't "feel right" unless you're eating 5-6 clean meals per day. I rarely leave the house without a plastic Walmart bag full of ziplocks of protein powder and a shaker, tuna packets, frozen veggies (they'll thaw by the time I need to eat them), various other tupperware containers full of fish oil caps and milled flax seeds, a small bottle of olive oil, a piece of fruit, and a plastic fork and spoon. It's sitting on the desk beside me right now.

2. Tuna (canned or in packets) and any of the following combos: olive oil and veggies, brown rice and veggies, milled flax seeds and veggies.

3. I usually let them happen on their own around business meals, parties, holidays, etc. If I haven't had a cheat by the weekend, I'll grab the gf or some buds and go out for something. I go many weeks without any cheats; I simply don't crave "bad" foods anymore. I've been doing this for about 12 years and have formed a negative association with the taste of non bb friendly foods. Taste buds can indeed change, as it was pretty tough at first. But I've found that good habits, once formed, are harder to break than bad ones.

I get people always saying how can you eat that food all the time, i dont mind it, spices are the secret. In the 4 months on fatloss i have started to like what i use to call bland foods, and unsweetened nuts and seeds i can eat by the bucket load now, before i needed it to be salty or sweet.


1. Variety is the key i eat all meats turkey, chicken, beef and always change it around. I dont understand how people dont like cottage cheese, i liked it before even knowing its good for you, i could eat a whole tub of cottage cheese if i had to. Salsa is my number one killer food, if i dont like a food i dump salsa on it. I have always hated green beans, but when i dump some salsa on it i love it.

2. Smt's Bullet Burger -
Includes whole meal burger bun, chicken, turkey or beef, salad on top spinach sometimes, tomatoes, capsicum, onions, cottage cheese with crushed garlic on the cottage cheese, light sprinkle of salt and pepper and cayenne pepper if you like it, Yum :)

3. Cheat meals are what keep me same, i have a saturday night ritual usually, where i go all out usually doubling my usual weekly calorie intake in the one meal. I look forward to the day. The thing is after the 3rd month i really didnt have to have a cheat meal, my body got use to eating clean foods. I still cant understand how i can eat so much crap in one meal, and still get incredible results. During the week i totally eat clean, thats why i think the cheat meal is fine, a cheat meal in the week would probably eating too much almonds lol.

Keep the Great Ideas coming.

Regards, Smt.

What are your favorite "magic bullet" meals?

Mine are a simple turkey goulash recipe I created and
High-Protein (cottage chesse/eggwhite & oatmeal) pancakes.

1. Good nutrition has become normal, and I no longer desire "unhealthy" foods. I always plan ahead to make sure I will be able to eat every few hours.
2. As a college student living in a dorm, it is more difficult to eat a variety of healthy meals. I actually have a "magic bullet" meal consisting of 8 oz. fat free cottage cheese I buy @ the campus market, 1/4 to 1/2 a scoop of Grow!, and slightly crushed almonds, pecans, and walnuts. Sometimes I'll throw in a tablespoon of natty PB instead of the nuts. I eat this along w/ 3 fish oil caps for an afternoon snack and before bed every night.
3. I don't have a cheat day/ritual, but I'll eat meals that are not planned when going to a restaurant w/ friends. I don't consider it cheating because I'll still eat something healthy.

My Magic Bullet Meal
Black beans and jasmine rice plus a protien source seperate. (chicken, tuna, etc)

One question though, what do you all think of jasmine rice as far as a rice choice?

Excellent article.
One thing I have found really helps with variety and convenience is to make a different bean and vegetable marinated salad every week in quantity. So, choose red or white or garbanzo (chickpeas) beans and mix with a minimum of three vegetables. Add olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar and put in a covered container in the refrigerator. This is a great combination of healthy carbs, healthy fats, etc. All you need to do is add protein. If you're really in a rush tuna and/or cottage cheese are fine. Better still is to serve the salad with grilled meat or fish.
As far as choosing spices one good thing to do is to get a map of the world, close your eyes, and point. Whatever country you land on or closest to do a little internet research on their cuisine and pick a characteristic flavoring to try. So Vietnam might be lemongrass, Hungary Paprika, and on and on.

My "magic bullet meals"...

a. I have this one for my before bed meal. I have been eating this for about 4 months straight now.
-1 cup low sodium cottage cheese
-1/2 scoop butter cream toffee whey(chocolate would work too)
-1-2 tbsp natty pb

Mix together until consistent and then freeze for about 3 hours...it's like eating recesses ice cream.

2. This my my breakfast 70% of the time. I usually make it the night before.
-1/2 cup uncooked oats
-1/2 cup cooked barley(I make a big batch, ala "Sunday Ritual"
-2-3 tbsp canned pumpkin
-few tbsp sugar free maple sryup
-dash of pumpkin pie spice
-1 scoop vanilla whey

I cook the oats then add the rest of the ingedeints. Mix up, cover it, and store in the fridge over night. It's like having pumpkin pie every morning.

Another thing I just discovered is frozen fruit. MMMM!

I have managed to eat very clean except for planned weekly cheats for up to about 1-1.5 years.

But honestly, rather than adapting, I've suffered the opposite effect. I never want to eat tuna ever again. I like my chicken crunchy or in a rich sauce.

If one is eating 42 meals per week, keeping 41 of them clean is just too much for me to maintain for more than a few weeks. I can keep, say, 30 of them clean and feel like I'm living life. Thirty five, and I feel like I'm doing very well. Nutritious breakfasts and snacks plus a slightly improved (meaning no heavy salad dressings, white dinner roles, etc.) "traditional" dinner is just a more appealing lifestyle IMO.

And that's why I don't have abs. :)

Tuna and Porridge, heat up Porridge in milk and add can Tuna stir till warm.. too easy tastes great , like tuna mornay without all the cheese.

Rich wrote:
My Magic Bullet Meal
Black beans and jasmine rice plus a protien source seperate. (chicken, tuna, etc)

One question though, what do you all think of jasmine rice as far as a rice choice?

Basmati is better , Jamise too high Glycemic / Insulin index.

RipStone wrote:
My "magic bullet meals"...

a. I have this one for my before bed meal. I have been eating this for about 4 months straight now.
-1 cup low sodium cottage cheese
-1/2 scoop butter cream toffee whey(chocolate would work too)
-1-2 tbsp natty pb

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home