Saturday, May 14, 2011

Recipes, Post Workout Nutrition and A Rant (Non Necessarily In That Order).

Diet is a particularly difficult topic for me, for several reasons (a) I'm a semi vegetarian, so my food choices are not going to be yours (although I think it wouldn't hurt to make some vegetarian options a staple part of the diet), (b) I don't generally eat with a lot of variety and (c) my goals at the moment are mass not leanness so my food options are not what I would recommend. I would however refer you to this blog for a basic outline, based on macronutirents, on how to eat during a day.  Having said that though, I guess me relying solely on the "Quick Tips" blog for you guys, as your sole source of dietary strategy (I have done other diet posts here, here, here, here, here), was a mistake on my part. I thought it gave you the option to simply make any meal you want, only making sure the protein, carbs and fats line up with the directions given. But alas, perhaps it requires more work on my part. I'm going to provide, viz. my articles blogs some basic food options via cookbooks you could (and should order) and websites with menus and advice. Why? As demonstrated above, my own food listing is extremely limited.

Here is a list of meal options that you could try

This one has about 150 recipes:
Primal Blueprint Recipes on Mark’s Daily Apple

The Best of Mark’s Daily Apple 2010

Curry Spiced Kangaroo Loin with Savory Coconut Cauliflower

Pan-Seared Venison Chops in a Spiced Marinade

Double-Pork Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Protein Brownies and a Banana Bread Recipe (Gluten-Free)

A Recipe A Week: Roasted Lamb Shanks

Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with Chives

Metabolic Cooking: Making it Easier to Eat Clean with Healthy Food Options

Crispy Roasted Duck with Holiday Seasonings and Sauces

Diet Friendly, Gluten-Free PB&J Muffin Recipe

Mexican Mole Sauce

Beef Stew and Chicken Soup in 35 Minutes or Less

Scrawny to Brawny: Paul Valiulis

The Perfect Primal Omelet

The Perfect Pot of Primal Soup

And here are some cookbooks and guides:

Primal Blueprint 101

The Paleo Recipe Book

Metabolic Cooking

Anabolic Cooking

It might also be less about food choices as opposed to meal preparation, it seems many of you who don't eat the way you're supposed to, base this on the fact that it takes time to cook, and you don't have, for whatever reason, that time. I thought, logically, that the smoothies blog (with it's recent vegetable additions) would help, but I've had serious resistance to this notion, a lot of "yeh that is a good idea" as you drift off into space, clearly not listening, or simply a response of "yuk". But let's put the onus back on you for a moment, the client who doesn't eat properly. Let's assume for the sake of argument you made the smoothies, exactly as directed in the aforementioned blogs, you now have 4 healthy meals a day, that are mobile and easy to prepare. Not to go on too much of a rant, but it really is things like the smoothies that make it hard for me to muster much (though I still do) sympathy for those who say they don't have time, or don't like the smoothies and subsequently can't achieve their goals. There a millions of permutations for the smoothies, and not everything we eat is always what we want (it makes the things we want all the more better when we do get to eat them). If you're outright denying the smoothies, for whatever reason, then you're denying yourself easy calories, that will stimulate muscle growth, aid in fat loss, and that subsequently makes it hard for me to muster any respect or pity for you (not achieving your goals, though as mentioned, I still do, I recognise it's not easy or intuitive, necessarily).

Now, is it my fault, your psychological issues (depression, lack of motivation, disinterest etc) aside, that you don't eat properly? I'm surely willing to take some responsibility viz. education, but I can't eat for you, I can't cook for you. We all have the same 24 hour days, I'm currently preparing some blogs devoted to the efforts of individual clients of mine who have done supurb work in the gym and have amazing results, and when I get these blogs done, you're going to see, that people like you, who work 40+ hours a week, can still train an be ripped and strong.

A caveat at this point seems prudent, it should be noted what I'm not saying: I'm not saying that if you don't drink smoothies you're a lost cause, I'm not saying that all of you are failing completely on your diets, or that even most of you are, many of you have only a few areas to solve and many of you are doing amazing work. I also want to point out that though I write this blog to everyone, I'd like to think these kind of rants only affect the people, who know they have work to do in the diet department, they fall on deaf ears when you're losing weight and are looking good. But for those of you who work hard and take this kind of blog personally, take heed: the people who this blog is about know who they are, they know they have problems to fix, and they are not eating right. The rest of you take something from this post if you feel it applies, but don't lose hope.

Now, having got that out of the way, what's next? Post workout meals? It seems I haven't aptly demonstrated to you guys why exactly this is so important. John Ivy and Robert Portman in their book Nutrient Timing (I recommend you buy it, it's on $14 with free shipping) call this part of the diet the "anabolic phase", to use their words:

"Following a workout, the muscle machinery is primarily in catabolic mode. However, it is primed to switch into an anabolic mode if the right stimulus is provided." (Ivy and Portman, pg 47, 2004)

You may have seen me discuss "anabolic" and "catabolic" before here, but for those of you who don't know what it means, "anabolic" refers simply to growth or to a positive energy balance, whereas "catabolic" simply refers to the opposite. We obviously want to do everything we can to keep the body out of catablolism (as this increases risk of muscle decrease, hence metabolism decrease which = decreased capacity for fat loss). Ivy and Portman continue:

"The principles of nutrient optimization and metabolic sensitivity are particularly relevant during the forty-five minute period postexercise The switch that turns off the catabolic machinery and turns on the anabolic machinery is insulin. During this forty-five minute period, muscle cells are acutely sensitive to anabolic actions of insulin. Just providing the right nutrients will exploit this insulin sensitivity and cause a tremendous surge of anabolic activity." (Ivy and Portman , pg 47, 2004)

It would be my strong recommendation that all of you consume a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein after a weights workout (a 1:1 ratio of carbs/protein after intervals should be fine), though I would be fine with you simply having any smoothy or post workout shake after training (a minimum of 30g carbs and 30g protein applies). This will stimulate metabolism and aid in recovery, all of which you require. This is all obviously done in conjunction with the rest of your diet, I don't have the space here to go into depth in justifying every meal I recommend you eat, but suffice it to say, there is justification in the literature.

A final word from Ivy and Portman:

"At no other time during the course of your day can nutrition make such a major difference in your overall training program.... If you don't exploit this metabolic receptivity, your muscle cells will remain in a catabolic state and even begin to develop insulin resistance. The metabolic window is only open for a short period after exercise. Indeed, within minutes after you stop exercising, it starts to close. Taking in more nutrients outside the metabolic window will not provide the same results. When insulin resistance develops, usually two to four hours after your workout, even the perfect combination of nutrients will be much less effective." (Ivy and Portman , pg 48-9, 2004)

I hope this post helps some of you broaden your food choices and options, I really do require feedback, what will help motivate you, what can I do to provide you with the best tools to succeed in the gym? Answers to these questions will benefit us all. As my email tag line says: "abs are made in the kitchen."


Ivy J., Portman R., (2004). Nutrient Timing. Laguna Beach, California. Basic Health Publications, Inc. Pp-47-49.

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