Simple, you are what you eat—every cell in your body is made from the foods you put in your mouth.
Are you not worth the best?
So many bodybuilders just think they can eat anything, they have no structure, no balance to the foods they take in. They use what I call the shovel method, basically they just shove food in and hope for the best, as if to force the body to grow.
Sorry guys this will not work—sure you will put on weight and feel bigger in your clothes, but out of them—well it’s another story.
The typical bodybuilder/ trainer in the gym, is not healthy, let’s lay aside for now the fact that drugs are rife in the gym arena.
The weight trainer looking to gain muscle size or get lean goes about it in a very unhealthy way. The body is overloaded with protein, from sources that are rife with drugs and unhealthy preservatives as I mentioned earlier. The diet is also missing many pieces of the puzzle and is unbalanced—this, in turn shuts many of the vital functions of the body off.
All this is risking health and asking for trouble, for the sake of looking good for a show or a holiday coming up.
The thing is that look can be there all the time, every day—and a competition look can be brought about with just some tweaking.
Don’t believe me? Well, that’s how I do it and my clients—I will explain later in the Shape Of Your Life chapter. It’s not rocket science and so simple a task you will not believe it.
It’s simple but not easy—you have to actually do it.
Take care of you.
Come on, take care of that body, treat it well, treat it like the unbelievably expensive piece of machinery it is.
How much would you sell you legs for?
I think you get the point.
So why would you treat your body like some old banger you just drive around in.
As the old saying goes—‘you don’t know what you have till it’s gone’.
Not to many years ago bodybuilders where called health nuts. They ate clean diets, tons of fruit, vegetables, nuts and lean meats.
They trained hard and fast, and could do many other things besides bodybuilding.
Today as a bodybuilder or weight trainer –you are just thought of as someone who- lifts weights. Most bodybuilders are not looked upon as someone who looks after themselves. Tell you what– ask around – chat to the general public or your co workers. You will here things like-they take drugs, eat a lot of food and that you can not run up a flight of stairs.
If you don’t believe me, go on ask around.
Most people think a bodybuilder is a meat head, a big lump. All brawn and no brains.
Truth is to be a bodybuilder, you need to be highly intelligent, and we are just giving off the wrong impression.
Let me get up on my soap box here—I need to as I am short.
I want to have a little rant about my observations over the years, seeing this manual is about nutrition and health, we have to also tie that together with- YOU.
Everything goes hand in hand here—if I offend anyone—maybe you looked deep into yourself and found something you didn’t like.
I am no angel, but I will always try to make myself better, if we are going to change the image we have, we must start with ourselves.
We must walk the talk; to be considered healthy we must lead a healthy lifestyle.
This means –no getting drunk out with your mates on a weekend.
Sure go out with your buddies, but- be an example of someone in control of their mind and body.
I used to go out with my mates on a weekend now and again ‘pre kids’ and enjoy myself without drinking.
At first the lads would try and get me to have a drink, you know the peer pressure thing. ‘Go on have a drink’ —‘No thank you’.
At first they started to try and spike my drinks, I would not drink them.
It’s as if my choice of not drinking was spoiling their night.
When I had just as much as a laugh with them—without being under the influence, they started to look at my choice differently.
I had a positive influence on them without saying a word, I got asked ‘what’s the best drink to have—shall I have a few waters to balance things out’?
It was not long after that that they asked me to bring some oat cakes out with me so they would not eat rubbish later in the night.
I kid you not.
The guys, in time- respected my choice; I never pushed my choice upon them. I led by example and they could see the benefits of my clean ways. So, they adopted some of them, not all but an improvement none the less.
Everyone has the right to their own freedom of choice and if you want to drink and smoke and eat rubbish foods –well that’s up to you.
But think for a second the example you are setting for those around you. Maybe you have children, what example do you want to set them, kids look to you as their mentor, you are the hero and the strongest dad on earth.
If you eat clean they will, if you are a loving parent they will be.
If you get drunk, shout and swear and stuff pizza in your gob like it’s going out of fashion. What do you think they will most likely do?
Remember, to change this crazy world of obesity and disease, you have to start with YOU.
Being in shape is not just about throwing weights around it’s the whole thing you know. You goal is to be- strong, healthy, agile, have boundless energy, have a confidence about you and to be great to be around—You should radiate energy, that is infectious to all those who come into contact with you.
You should also be in control of your mind, being calm, collected and have impeccable manners.
This to me is total health and wellbeing.
To be all those above is how we can change those around us and the perception of bodybuilders.
So how do we start?
Let’s start with, you are what you eat.
1. Eat foods that are as natural as possible, nothing processed.
I ask clients to think when they pick things up in the store ‘Is this natural, is this food unprocessed and as nature intended it to be?’ If the answer is no- put it back.
2. Eat as much organic food as you can.
3. Eat plenty of raw living foods- what I mean by this is fruits and vegetables, fresh and in their natural live state.
If you have to cook something, cook it in a way that will preserve its nutrients.
4. Eat at regular intervals, every 3 hours is good.
5. Drink plenty of pure clean water.
6. Eat a variety of foods- different fruits, nuts, berries, grains, seeds, fish, lean meats, foul, eggs (organic and free range) and tons of fresh vegetables.
7. If you eat red meat—make sure you are eating only grass fed beef and that the cattle has not been treated with drugs. Also keep the same rules of no drugs in chicken and turkey.
Now let’s look at these in a little more detail.
Eat as much organic and natural foods as you can
Let’s cover this again, it deserves repeating over and over –it is your foundation of health. When you eat organic food you are eating the food in its natural state, it will be naturally grown or reared without the use of pesticides or drugs. As you know these are unnatural to the body and can cause all sorts of problems.
There is a world of difference from a slice of organic wholemeal bread and a slice of white. This is made with non organic ingredients, wheat that has had pesticides and chemicals, then milled into flour that has been bleached white and had all the fibre and nutrients taken out of it. It is then treated with preservatives, bagged and sold- you might as well eat the plastic bag it’s in, it will probably harm you just as much.
Organic bread has all its vitamins, fibre and goodness- your body utilises it in a very different way, white bread- non nutritious calories, organic bread- highly nutritious calories.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that ‘normal’ wholemeal bread is good-it’s better than white. But remember that this loaf is made with non organic ingredients—pesticides are used and these will enter your system. So it’s organic all the way.
Vegetables and fruit of non organic type are just a fraction of what they should be in their true natural state. I read in a nutrition document once that said- to obtain the Vitamin C from a non organic orange versus an organic one you would have to eat 100 of them- remember that when you think organic fruit is expensive, actually it is not at all.
Vegetables and fruits taste so much better when they are organic- they are the right colour, right smell, and right texture. They are as god intended them to be, some may not look pretty, but they as sure as heck good for you.
Look around-search for the best place to buy your fruit and vegetables.
Often supermarkets are a little overpriced-but they do have a great choice.
There are many farm shops now, dotted about. Also many delivery services—right to your door, with boxes of vegetables—search the web for one near you.
Don’t you deserve the best?
Let’s now look at organic meats-
Eggs that are made in factories, can not say farms, are produced by chickens that have hardly anything left resembling a chicken- food is forced down their broken beaks. The lights are kept on so they always think it’s daytime. They are induced so they lay eggs all the time. They are fed medicated feed that is made up of the ones that die- (the ones lucky enough to die). How can eggs produced like that be good for you?
I buy my eggs from a farm near where I live- find someone who has chickens and buy eggs from them. The chickens I see run around green fields eating insects, grubs, seeds and corn. They are in their natural environment with a rooster and they produce a real egg that would produce a chick.
That egg has some of the best protein known to man and many vitamins, minerals and fats that the body needs.
The sterile egg from the factories is of no good to you whatsoever, empty calories.
I will cover the cholesterol factor later when I give my all time foods for health, strength and vitality list.
Summing up organic foods.
Empty calories from non organic foods- you eat a lot of rubbish- yet not much in the way of nutrition and your body ends up with a lot of chemicals and more calories than it ever needed.
Your body processes natural raw cane sugar or honey in the right way using it as energy. Table sugar, white and bleached, has no nutritional value and is just empty calories. Your body can’t handle this and it poisons the system and goes right to the fat cells.
How many products have white sugar in them?
Eat organic and as natural as nature intended. Your body will thank you for it by being lean and trim and full of energy.
The whole premise of this manual is built on EAT CLEAN NATURAL FOOD.
It is a simple plan—that works –But you have to bloody do it.
Eat live foods
Try and make your diet high in raw foods- plenty of leafy green vegetables and also plenty of natural organic fruits and berries.
Do you know that ancient man regarded fruit and berries as giving you the power of the sun? Fruit that was picked from trees that had soaked up the sun were thought to give you that energy. I think that’s amazing and there is definitely some truth in it.
So with this in mind eat as natural and as raw as you can and eat whatever greens, fruits and vegetables are in season.
You don’t have to cook everything.
I eat few big servings of vegetables each and every day.
I can not stress the importance of these life giving foods, they not only give you many anti cancer proprieties but they also contain lots of fibre, the body’s internal cleaner.
Some vegetables are classed in the fibrous carbohydrate section; this means they are relatively low in carbohydrates as they have no starches in their make up.
Some vegetables are higher in starches, like the potato or swede and are therefore higher in calories and carbohydrates.
The only time you would be concerned about this fact is-if you was getting ready for a show- whereupon we reduced your starches slightly and increase your fibrous carbohydrates –this keeps the same appetite balance –and food size portions –but reduces the calories without you knowing it.
Unless it’s ‘show time’-don’t even think about it.
Good rule of thumb here – fill most of your plate or Tupperware box for work 3⁄4 s full of vegetables.
Use every type you can get your hands on and never worry over the calories or carb type. Just eat plenty of it –eat as much as you can raw-if you have to cook then lightly steam. I treat vegetables as a super food, I can not stress enough how much you will be adding to your health and life span by eating more veg.
You will never look better or feel better.
Eat at regular intervals
I have my clients eat every three hours or less. When you eat regularly your body adapts to this by processing the meal. It adapts to knowing there will be another meal along in a little while.
I would like you to think of your internal system as a conveyor belt, think of your body as a factory processing food and being productive. A meal is placed on one end of the conveyor, your top end (mouth) and it trundles along. At each little stop along the belt your- body- workers take what they need form each product serving. What’s left ‘the waste’ is dumped off the end of the conveyor (your back end). So as a meal goes in, it moves the others down the belt, if you eat six meals you are being very productive, the belt is always moving and the workers ‘your metabolism’ are putting in some hours of labour, costing you ‘energy’.
Simple when you think of it like this.
Well now, let’s go a few hours with nothing to eat –the workers have nothing to do the shut down and go for a tea break –come back later when there is work to do but they can not be arsed—they have been sat about doing nothing—low energy and nothing gets done with that metabolism.
We have built in –if you like—in our hard wiring—trip switches that just allow the body to survive. In simple terms—if there are no regular meals—the trip switch –thinks ‘famine’-food is not plentiful.
Ok I will slow my metabolism down, may not get a meal for a while.
Oh and while I am at it—let me store some of this meal in the fat cells to use later if I need it. So the more you don’t eat, the more you get fat—yep –I kid you not.
Let’s look at that conveyor again, ok we eat some food that is not good, we have a day of not eating much and when we do it is rubbish.
What happens here is the conveyor gets clogged up and shuts down –we get back ups off the other end—again workers have to stop.
If they can not get the waste product off the end they can not keep working. Again it’s shut down.
Can you see how simple this is—eat clean and regular and you will be working overtime inside. That means you will look good on the outside.
I am not going to say you have to eat like a monk week in, week out.
You can have the odd cheat meal—it will not harm –if it is one bad product among 20 on that conveyor then it will go unnoticed by the workers. Every two or three meals is not good, you are asking the workers to work with the wrong tools and it won’t be long till they strike.
Slow metabolism –shit meal—fat cells here I come.
So- again simply–with food that is very clean burning, low in poisons, high in nutrients-your body will not store any as fat. Your system will utilise what it needs from that meal. Protein will be broken down into amino acids and will circulate the blood stream ready to be used when needed. Carbohydrates will be used as a clean burning fuel for you, enabling you to do everyday tasks as you work and play. Fat will also be used as a slow burning steady state of fuel. Your metabolism will run like a well oiled machine, a clean, food processing, muscle toning, fat burning, high metabolism machine that will look like it eats the foods you do.
How good do you think you will look eating this way?
Natural foods will give you radiance that will just shine- your skin will look bright- you will bound with energy. Think I am wrong- try it- you will never be better.
It keeps that conveyor working overtime.
Drink plenty of pure clean water
Water is life giving, you can only survive a few days without it. Water is the best fat burning supplement there is, I bet now you have taken more of an interest in this section-
Yes it’s true- every action in your body needs water in abundance to perform it. Your body needs water to take fat from a fat cell, transport it and process it. Food pushed through your system needs water. Carbohydrates bind with water to make glycogen that stores in the muscle cells, this gives you that tight toned look.
Every time you work out, water is your cooling system. Every time you breathe you are expelling water.
Hydration is very important, a life or death situation.
Drink plenty of pure clean water for optimum health. I would recommend for someone between 112-126lbs about 2 litres on top of other drinks and from 126-154lbs 3 litres on top of other drinks, more if you feel the need but I think this is a good guide.
I know it’s hard drinking your water especially in a cold climate, like here in the UK. But please make the effort – it does make so much difference to your body composition. Water is the bare basic of looking and feeling good.
If you did only a fraction of what I outline in this manual—but you drank your water. You would be making a big step in the right direction.
It is the number ‘1’ most important nutrient for your body and health.
When I am getting ready for a show or guest appearance, I make a conscious effort to get my measure of water in everyday.
If one day happens to be off the charts for some reason and I do not manage to drink enough, you would not believe the difference in the way I look when I get home at night.
I can look like Mr nobody to Mr World—just by getting that water in.
Most people will not get to the stage of where you can see every little muscle group on your body –So you can not see, just what water does to the body.
It is an amazing transformation.
Take my word for it
Other drinks I recommend for hydration and recovery are green teas and organic fruit teas. Bottled waters I would recommend are Highland Spring and Evian.
I use a Brita Filter every day and would highly recommend them.
There needs to be a wide variety of foods in your diet- some people have food intolerances to some foods so avoid them, that still leaves you plenty of scope for choice. If you don’t get on well with rice for instance there are plenty of other grains to choose from, what about barley- quinoa.
Quinoa is one of the best foods for protein. This grain was used by the Aztecs and they classed it as a wonder food and it was the stable of their diet. This is available in very good health shops if, they don’t have it in ask them to stock it for you.
Try organic cous-cous. This I just pour on bottled water; let it settle for 2 minutes then have it included in a meal.
You do not have to eat the same things day in day out, this would be unhealthy—the more variety you have the better your health.
Every food Mother Nature has produced and is organic has a health benefit to you. Not only that fact, but you are most lightly to enjoy your diet if you have many different colours and tastes to enjoy.
The same foods day in day out will soon see you craving those unhealthy foods, if I can call them foods.
So with this in mind, always be on the look out for new and exciting foods to try, don’t just eat the same old apple and banana everyday, you have so much more choice and fruits from all over the world are available to you.
There are many different fruits- kiwi- melon- plums- blueberries- cranberries- grapes- pineapple- on and on. Try them all at points in the seasons.
This will allow your body to absorb the wide variety of vitamins and antioxidants in the fruits. Vegetables also come in wide variety- sweet potato yams- butternut squash cabbage- beetroot- onions-
Try them all and don’t get stuck into the same foods day in day out. Remember what I said earlier, this is when boredom sets in and you look for the wrong foods to taste.
There are so many healthy, great tasting, beautiful smelling natural foods out there. Varying your foods will allow your body to extract the best from its diet.
You will look awesome as a consequence.
Varying Protein foods.
Most bodybuilders, just stick to plain old chicken and whey protein powder, there is such a huge choice of protein foods available.
As far as lean protein sources go I like to stick to the cleanest organic types.
Chicken breast- organic and free range
Turkey breast – organic and free range
I use a lot of salmon- wild Alaskan salmon, this is a great source of protein and omega 3s- good fats.
Other fish that is very good is organic farmed trout.
Also from time to time have a good lean organic fillet steak, maybe one every two to three weeks. The more you vary your protein base foods, the more you will benefit your goals, not only are you giving your body a massive variety of amino acid profiles, vitamins and minerals- but you will find the healthy eating plan easy to stick too.
If you eat to the same protein foods, or any foods for that matter.
How long do you think you will stick to a basic eating plan before it becomes a complete bore?
Soon you will be stir crazy and on the hunt for something to satisfy those- killed with dullness- taste buds.
There is no need for this to happen.
Good clean food is out there and some of the freshest most natural tastes you could ever imagine are waiting for you.
My pick of the protein food group
My number one protein food is the egg, I love eggs, call me a bore here but my all time favourite meal is —wait for it—Eggs on toast.
Yep, good old fashioned eggs on toast.
I love the simplicity, the taste and the healthy goodness this meal gives you.
Anyway back to the egg,
I remember reading many years ago about how the protein in an egg is the most biological we can eat. This basically means that when eaten we assimilate very nearly all the protein. I have never forgotten this and I do eat eggs every day.
What about cholesterol? I here you ask.
Well the facts on this are that no research has ever shown that people who eat more eggs have heart attacks.
Let’s start with just how important cholesterol is to the body.
Cholesterol belongs to the group of fats referred to as sterols, and is not a fat as such but is found in fats and oils, especially animal fats.
Sources are eggs yolks, meat, milk, cheese and butter.
Cholesterol comprises of most of the dry weight of the brain and is a conductor for nerve impulses throughout the body. It is an essential part of all cells and fluids of the body.
It is said that the body will balance out its own cholesterol levels depending on your intake. The dangerous way to raise your cholesterol levels to danger levels is to be overweight, smoke and to have stress in your life.
Eating processed non nutritious foods will also, have adverse affects on your serum cholesterol.
Eggs have been thought of for many years as the perfect food, and I have to agree.
So don’t miss out on this wonder food.
But remember as I have said so many times before—eat only organic –nothing else.
All the above only applies to organic free range eggs and not store bought pretend eggs.
I have mentioned this, but I would like to cover this in a little more detail.
I have salmon in my list of super foods elsewhere in this manual.
Salmon is a great protein source of protein and essential fats, the only slight problem with it is the mercury levels in it.
You may think that buy organic farmed salmon will be your best bet. With my research here, this is not so. For the reason of the fish are fed high mercury foods.
The best to buy and eat is wild Alaskan, this is what I eat, it’s clean and natural and tastes great.
Again staying with fish here, I would say fish is my choice along with eggs as my building block foods.
Sardines are an awesome little fish; packed with so many benefits you just would not believe it.
They are a good source of protein, even though there is less of this fish per serving, I would just stick to the 18g or so per average serving.
There is no need to go wolfing down 2-3 tins, its quality here not quantity.
They have a good level of the co-enzyme Q10 this is a wonder antioxidant, a free radical fighter of the highest degree, rather like the super hero of fighters.
All the pollutants in the air and in the food and water we consume cause free radicals that kill cells and break down our bodies, until disease takes over.
Even if you eat a fantastic diet there is still the air we breathe and the self inflicted we create through exercise and work.
Co-enzyme Q10 is your baby, it is anti-ageing in that the fact that is stops cell breakdown and it helps you recover from hard workouts.
This enzyme is also found in the tissues of the heart and will give you a strong healthy beat, all these benefits from this little fish.
Sardines are very low in mercury as they are lower down the food chain and therefore have lower concentrates.
One more thing—buy them from –produce of Portugal—clean waters and they are packed very quickly –No fishy smell as they are fresh.
Keep animal fats to a minimum
If meat is in your menu, here are a few areas you may want to look over.
From all the meat choices I could choose to be in a good healthy diet, I would choose the leanest cuts with the lowest saturated fat content.
What is the point of eating meat marbled with fat, when you don’t have to. You need some fat in the protein foods to digest them absorb them better but eating too much fat is not good. Also much of the toxins found in the animal will be in the fat cells, so again watch the toxins. Chicken is a good source of protein and relatively low in saturated fat whereas Ham is one of the worst choices you could make.
If you are going to eat a steak, eat a fillet.
I tend to base my diet around fish (salmon-sardines), small amounts of chicken and turkey. On the very rare occasion I may have a lean fillet steak. I used to eat lean meat such as the foods above years ago when on a traditional bodybuilding diet around 3-4 times a day, whereas now knowing better, I may only eat it once a day- at most twice, on the odd occasion –maybe once or twice a month, sometimes I don’t eat meat or fish for days.
Not every meal has to involve meat. I use eggs, nuts, seeds and some milk products (yogurt and whey) at each of the meal intervals. To give you an example as I am sat here writing this, I have a meal that consists of brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, dates, grapes and blueberries. There are lots of tastes and textures and I am really enjoying the meal. The added bonus is it is a meal that is as natural as it comes, nutritious and yields high energy, clean burning fuel. Everything is organic and there are no toxins.
Again as basic as possible, keep the good fats going into your system.
These include fats from nuts and seeds, salmon, sardines, olive oil, oil blends like flax and Udo’s oil, even organic butter is very good as it contains a CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) a healthy fat, been shown to help the body fight body-fat and it has anticancer properties. You can buy CLA in health food shops as a fat loss supplement, save your money and get it in its natural state, from organic butter. Butter does not end there; it also contains the fat soluble vitamins –D- E and K.
Here is my take on fats.
I use olive oil to cook and I also use it on my vegetables.
I use butter on my baked potatoes and on my whole-wheat toast.
I eat a few servings of nuts and seeds each and every day.
I use nut butters also, my favourite being almond.
I eat plenty of salmon –giving me the best source of omega 3’s –good fats.
Bad fats are those found in unnatural man made crap that passes for food. Just eat natural.
Don’t be faddy about this –just each time you eat, make sure there are some fats in the mix. If I have eggs and toast I will have butter on the toast.
If I cook a chicken breast I may cook it in olive oil and have some butter on my baked potato. I may mix a spoon of nut butter into my oats at breakfast, you get it.
Nuts as above –I eat each and every day- they are full of monounsaturated fats that are a key fat in prevention of heart disease and cancer. They also have high levels of amino acids and many needed trace minerals. Some nuts are high in Omega 3s also, so I make sure I eat a huge variety of nuts and seeds also to take in every vitamin, mineral and good balance of fat’s I can.
When I eat nuts I have them with fruit or dried fruit, this keeps that protein, carbs and fat’s thing going on all the time—more on this soon.
My pick of whole grains
I eat only natural grains as do my clients, if they eat bread it is organic and whole wheat— most often then not it is home made. I will outline my recipe later.
I love oats and use them in some form or other each and every day.
I may make porridge or make up my own muesli, with oats being the base.
I do not eat a great deal of pasta or recommend it to client’s it for me is too processed and high in gluten. Now not many people get on well with gluten and seem to blow up. I would rather prescribe rice as a grain meal type staple.
Rice is a fantastic source of fibre and a great carbohydrate staple. Make sure you eat brown whole grain—this is much higher in fibre and vitamins than white rice, it will also release its carbs slower.
The bread I make is lower in gluten as it does not rise a great deal. I do not put much yeast in it—therefore it is a heavy loaf –From my research on this, it’s the lighter loaf that is higher in gluten.
Anyway –my bread is tested on the front line and I have had clients be able to eat my bread and not store bought.
I have mentioned above quinoa, a high protein grain that is a fantastic change to rice or potatoes. Remember eating clean is the only way –but variety is need for a balance of every nutrient and taste.