Welcome to the first instalment of my new series ‘The BEN Commandments’; the rules/principles by which I base how I live my life.
I’m not suggesting for a minute that you should follow every one of these ‘commandments’ with military precision ‘cos if you did I’m pretty sure you’ve got some sort of vacuum going on in that thing attached to your shoulders. This is a list of what works for ME. Saying that, some should be a given whoever you are, wherever you come from.
I base what I eat on the Paleo erm… Plan? Imagine you’re a cave man/woman (beard and all if you’re taking part in Movember like me). What would you eat? (the picture’s a clue). Was the body designed for refined, processed foods? Me no think so.
Local farms/markets are pretty easy to come by right now, but won’t be if we keep fuelling the Supermarket Beast, who annoy (I mean advertise) the shit outta us… and then pump all their foods with additives and water so it keeps longer and looks bigger.
Next time you’re shopping check the label for nutritional info and I bet there’s a whole host of words that we wouldn’t be able to pronounce without a Chemistry degree.
Crops are less treated (i.e. less/no chemicals involved) and animals are treated better, therefore they’re happier. ‘But I don’t give a shit if the cow was happy or not, I just wanna eat the damn thing’. Allow me to get a bit sciencey on yo’ ass: Stress (even for animals) results in high levels of the hormone cortisol, which is the same story for us. Therefore if we eat meat with high cortisol levels, guess what? Correctamundo.
I already wrote a whole post on this point (read here), and I think I’ll do an update soon, so look out for that one. For now I’ll keep it simple – carrying on from #1, if you were a cave man/woman HOW would you eat? You’d hunt in the day and have a mahooosive meaty feast at night. If you didn’t catch anything you’d go hungry, but that’s fine ‘cos it gives the body a chance to restore hormone balances (homeostasis), aslong as you don’t go too long without food – I’m talking around 3 days here.
I fast for the majority of the day (~20 hours) and chow down on a solid 4 meals worth of food in a 2-4 hour window every day. It’s so easy to do knowing I can get my munch on later in the day and I find it convenient not having to worry about eating every couple of hours like I used ’ta.
I have a few cups of coffee (black) in the morning and make sure I keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day without breaking my fast (no significant nutritional value). This does go tits up if milk and sugar get involved though.
3) Eat protein with as many meals as possible.
Vital for growth & repair, especially of muscle. Training 4x per week I rip plenty of muscle fibres (myotrauma) and something needs to pick up the pieces and stitch that shit back up again. Fish, chicken, turkey and beef provide the bulk, with diary (eggs, milk and cheese being the support act.)
I’m sure you’d agree even at my improved BW of 140lbs I’m still pretty small. The way I see it, the more (good quality) meat I eat = more muscle gained = more strength. I don’t believe that the body can only take 30g protein per sitting, something I hear banded about all the time (even on the course I had to take to qualify as a PT). Tell Rog Law of Rog Law Fitness this and I’m pretty sure he’d lay you out with a shovel (he’d do it with a steak but that’s just a mahoosive waste).
Okay so I base my nutrition on Paleo – that doesn’t mean I’m a social hermit or don’t enjoy some refined shizzle every now and again. I enjoy it and if I want some I’m damn well gonna have it. It just ain’t worth the stress of having to turn it down.
I’m a heluva social person (if you wanna go do something with me I’m normally the first to jump at the chance), so don’t let guilt eat you up inside, move the fuck on. If one day I’m doing something that means I have to change from my preferred way of eating I don’t have a panic attack. I just accept it. We all have busy lives so do what fits into your schedule best.
5) There’s no need to count calories.
Considering how ‘obsessive’ you may think I am about food you might be surprised, but let’s face it – It’s just no fun.
Can you really be arsed carrying portable scales around? I know I can’t. I don’t even measure ingredients when I’m cooking (I’m gonna throw myself some man points now, hope you don’t mind).
In some cases doing this can actually lead to eating disorders – I’ve seen this happen for myself.
Ben. Get Stronger. Live Longer.
If you’ve got any questions just comment below or on my Facebook.