Good nutrition: And it tastes good too

Many are of the perception that eating healthy meals typically only induces a sigh as they are generally tasteless.

 

Wrong

20160124emerson logoIn my last two columns I dished out palatable menus which I typically consume at breakfast and at lunch and stated the benefits of each ingredient.

Like I stated before, there is no secret formula or compounds found in the ingredients that make up my meals. Whatever I consume can commonly be found in any household and the best part is that you don’t have to be a world-class chef to make your taste buds throw a wild party in celebration.

Since I discussed breakfast and lunch, it’s time to reveal what’s on my menu at dinner to induce lip smacking and muscle building and/or preservation.

Let me first state that in order to maintain a lean, athletic physique year round, I tend to keep my carbs low and my protein intake high.

You don’t have to be a nutrition guru to know that low-carb diets are extremely effective at burning body fat. Research has proven over and over again that low-carb diets burn fat more quickly than any other type of diet.

So what’s cooking tonight? Red meat and veggies.

 

Meat

* Beef

* Pork

* Lamb

 

Vegetables

* Broccoli

* Cauliflower

* Cabbage

* Celery

* Mushrooms

* Sweet Potato

* Onion

 

Why red meat?

As well as providing an abundance of protein to aid muscle growth, red meat also increases serum levels of testosterone.

 

An eight-ounce strip steak packs 49.4 grammes of protein to just 5.8 grammes of fat. That’s a fantastic ratio, and the whole thing packs just 250 calories. However, that’s before it is cooked. Steak should be grilled, ideally, with just salt and pepper so that you don’t max-up the calories. Strip steak is tender and cooks up quickly because it comes from near the cow’s ribs where there is not a lot of movement.

Red meat is said to contain 15 mg of niacin per half pound. Also known as vitamin B3, niacin has been shown to expand the blood vessels and therefore can reduce blood pressure.

Beef is a great source of B vitamins (vital for brain function), and the most absorbable form of iron, which builds red blood cells and gives you energy. Its rich store of zinc supports the immune system.

Beef contains both saturated and monounsaturated fat (thought to be protective against heart disease).

Go for grass fed whenever possible. Beef from grass-fed cattle is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid, which some studies show reduces the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes and some immune system disorders.

I usually have steak or fish or chicken breast with a broccoli and cabbage mix; a proper muscle-building dinner.

 

Broccoli

Beef pairs well with broccoli. Many Chinese restaurants have a beef and broccoli dish on their menus and it’s much sought after. But don’t go the Chinese route, you don’t want to reduce the nutritional value of your broccoli by having it smothered in soy sauce.

Broccoli is a good source of D vitamins and flavonoids. The best way to prepare broccoli is by steaming it. Many people only use the florets and discard the stems but the stems are edible and nutrient rich. You should cut them off and pre-cook them before adding the florets which take a shorter time to cook.

 

Cabbage

Broccoli is from the cabbage family, but regular cabbage is a veritable storehouse of nutrition. Low in fat and calories, cabbage is rich in vitamins C, K and B. Red cabbage has high antioxidant value. Steaming is the best way to cook cabbage but for variety you can also sauté it for a few minutes over high heat – just until it wilts.

You can use these or any vegetables you like, just don’t overcook them so that they lose their nutrients.

If you like, you could melt some cheese sauce on top of the veggies for added flavour. Also, why not try a little raw onion on top of your steak.

Man, all this talk about food is making me hungry.

 

Protein shakes

Between lunch and dinner and before bed, I typically use liquid meals. Protein shakes are a great way to get more energy in between meals. They’re especially useful if you need to fight off junk food cravings. Whey protein is easy to digest and absorb.

While conventional diets may be fine for the average person, they definitely don’t work for bodybuilders or athletes burning loads of calories. It takes an extraordinary nutrition plan to build an extraordinary physique.

If you need help on building muscle or losing body fat, shoot me an email: emmersoncampbell@gmail.com

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