What’s on the Menu: 10 Meals That John Enjoyed This Past Week

If you’re hungry right now, you may want to save this post for later because these mouth-watering meals are going to make your stomach growl like a mama bear emerging from hibernation.

Now, I’m no expert when it comes to nutrition – certainly not a nutritionist or a dietitian. I did take a Nutrition 101 class in college that helped me immensely in understanding food and how it works with human physiology, and I have read many books on the subject for my own personal education. But alas, with all the intricacies of food and its relation to health, wellness, longevity, and performance, I’ll leave most nutritional recommendations to the true experts and encourage you to do your own learning.

The best advice I could give you regarding nutrition is that a well-rounded education should be the most important priority – draw your insights from many sources and don’t focus on individual diets that tend to demonize certain foods or eating habits. Learn from everyone.

So, take a look at what I eat and try to guess what kind of diet I follow. I’ll let the food do the talking…

Breakfasts

5 egg omelet with onion, green pepper, and ham, 2 slices whole wheat toast with peanut butter, strawberries, raspberries,  and green tea

breakfast 1

Hard boiled eggs, oatmeal with strawberries, blackberries, banana, cinnamon, and shaved almonds, orange tea

breakfast 2

4-egg omelet with onion, green and red bell peppers, ham, shredded cheddar cheese, and medium salsa, oatmeal with strawberries and blackberries

breakfast 3

Lunches

Steak Fajitas with peppers, onions, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce, on whole wheat tortillas

lunch 1

Venison burger with sharp cheddar cheese, mixed greens, and avocado

lunch 2

Buffalo wraps with iceberg lettuce and shredded potato

lunch 3

Dinners

Beef burger with onion, corn, seasoned potatoes, and apple sauce

dinner 1

Beefy Spanish Rice with cheddar cheese on top

dinner 2

Buffalo meat sauce spaghetti, honey-mustard pork chop, and house salad

dinner 3

Appetizer

Bacon Poppers from Son of Grok – Jalepeno pepper stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon, mmm mmm good! – Eating these things could be considered sinful – but we enjoy them with zero guilt. In fact, I usually wish we had made more!

appetizer 1

Now, you’re either dying to eat something right now, or you’re entirely repulsed by the food I’ve pictured above. I know all my Paleo friends are going bonkers because of all the grains and cheese I eat. I don’t care. Nutrition is such a complicated subject, and many guru’s attempt to make it simpler by suggesting “dumbed-down” rules of “eat this, not that.” I’m all for simplicity, but this is a knee-jerk solution that isn’t helping anyone. You see, good nutrition is based upon principles, not rules – just like strength training is.

We tend to get lost in the details of the elusive, “best diet” rather than focusing on the timeless principles that can provide everything we would ever need nutritionally.

Here is some food for thought…

I bet you didn’t know that lactose intolerance is IMMENSELY variable depending on your race/nationality. Yup, some people are at a much lower risk of developing an allergy to dairy products, and I happen to be one of them (European heritage). That’s why I enjoy cheese, whole milk, yogurt, and even ice cream on occasion. And yet, some guru’s claim that dairy will kill you!

And I’m sure you’ve also heard all about the benefits of fish oil, too. I bet you didn’t know it acts as a blood thinner – plus it can contain mercury if it isn’t processed properly and goes rancid. I know, I know – that’s not what you heard. You were probably told all about the omega-3’s and how good it is for your skin, hair, nails, heart health, among other things. Sheesh, what people won’t say for money, eh?

Some people even process¬† carbohydrates better than others (including fibrous, starchy, simple, and complex carbs). It’s been called “carbohydrate tolerance,” and “carb sensitivity” and it is largely variable from person to person. But I usually hear two kinds of advice for carb consumption: 1) eat carbs, or 2) don’t eat carbs. I seldom hear the advice to seek your own answers and see if carbohydrates are ok and good for you personally.

The Bottom Line

You see, nutrition is a complicated subject, and the most important thing we can do is to educate ourselves and realize that there is no “one-size fit’s all” diet. I encourage you to view our abundant food supply as a luxury and take advantage of it. Adopt a food-focused lifestyle and enjoy the process of selecting, preparing, and eating delicious, wholesome food. Make your diet a fun priority instead of a dreaded obligation and you’ll reap the rewards of actually enjoying the process of becoming healthier through your diet.

If you want to start educating yourself about basic nutrition, then I highly recommend:

bffmBurn the Fat, Feed the Muscle – apart from going to a college level nutrition course, this is probably the next-best step. Author, Tom Venuto, provides meticulous descriptions and explanations for basic nutrition in easy-to-understand, immediately applicable laymen’s terms. So much so, in fact, that many people who buy Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle call it their Nutrition bible. Do remember that this is a basic nutrition book, with broad and comprehensive advice. It’s the ice-pick, not the scalpel. It won’t answer your question about gluten-related food allergies, but it will give you a big picture perspective on how to enjoy a balanced diet in moderation. The information inside BFFM should form the foundation of any nutrition re-education. The best part is that BFFM was written for people looking to lose bodyfat naturally and permanently, which is exactly why most people change their diet in the first place.¬† Learn more about Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle at the official site here: http://BurnTheFat.com

Or, take a class in Nutrition 101 at your local community college like I did (or just buy the course textbook and study it yourself). It was one of the most informative and life-practical courses I ever took in college.

So, which of the above looks the most appetizing to you? If I get enough comments and votes, maybe I’ll post the full recipe for you.

To your health and success,

CST, CST-KS, NSCA-CPT
Fitness Professional and Food Lover

6 Responses

  1. These look delicious! Now I know what to make for dinner tonight – the steak fajitas! PS: No surprise that I love how much cheddar cheese you use!

    • Hi Wendy, Thanks for your comment, and I know the feeling… I have to scroll past the pictures really really fast so I don’t experience IOOH (Immediate Onset Of Hunger).

      Do you work for Cabot Cheese right over in VT? I live in Southern NH.

  2. Hi John,

    Like the blog. Will need to spend more time looking around!

    This book you reccomend “burn the fat feed the muscle”.

    I went to the website and it all seems to be about fat loss…. I’m one of those individuals for which fat loss is not even close to being an issue, it’s all about muscle gain for me.
    I am interested in deepening my knowledge about nutrition so wondering if this is still a good resource regardless?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Damien,

      Thanks for the kind words. Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle is written specifically to people looking to lose fat, but it is largely a nutrition based program, so it involves a complete re-education about topics such as calorie intake, macronutrient ratios, optimal water intake, protein needs, carb tolerance, good fats versus bad fats, metabolic individuality, etc.

      Many people use the Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle program to build muscle because the same principles apply to both fat loss and muscle gain. The one area that BFFM does not cover is training for muscle gain (the sample training programs are all for fat loss) – but I don’t think this would effect you with your CST background. Plus, I know Tom personally, and he is always open to the fact that training can be approached many different ways for both fat loss and muscle gain.

      So, yes, you will learn Nutrition 101 from Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle. In case you’re interested, Tom often endorses Will Brink’s Bodybuilding Revealed program for people interested in musclebuilding:
      http://www.bodybuildingrevealed.com

      I haven’t reviewed it myself yet.

      Best,

      John

  3. Damien, I own Tom’s BFFM book and Will Brink’s BBR program that John refers to. Both are excellent. I followed BFFM and lost 85 pounds in 15 monhts. I then followed BBR and gained 10 pounds in about three months with no change in skinfold testing (although there is potential for error). There is a lot of crossover in what both programs recommend as far was what you should eat. I feel BFFM provides a lot more of the why and generally I preferred Tom’s writing style. John is correct that the sample workouts are completely different in the two programs though and based on your post BBR might make more sense.

  4. That food looks delicious, especially the omlettes. Gonna try making one this afternoon before work.

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