Though I am presently writing a book chronicling the Greatest Lessons Learned from my 31-year dance with nutrition for athletic performance (due out in the next six weeks!) and though ForzaFit™️ aims to multiply the number of Mindful & Enlightened Eaters around the world … and though my teammates didn’t nickname me “The Organic Tank” for nothing … I am human after all.
In this post, which I am sure will resonate with many well-intended eaters who battle real-world, “My-friend-invited-me-to-Dinner-and-the-food-spread-is-ridiculous-but-not-organic-and-not-very-healthy” cravings, I offer a glimpse into a RARE CHEAT MEAL & NO-HOLDS-BARRED BARBEQUE FEAST of the most succulent, juicy, tender, fatty, melt-in-your mouth fire-roasted chicken and ribs to ever cross my lips.
A lapse, ladies and gentleman. A major breach of the Organic Code. The 10 Commandements of Foodjitsu that I developed and celebrate, well, I violated ‘em.
SCENE OF THE CRIME:
My Mediterranean friend Dominic, remarkable for his princely aura and gregarious charm, has a firepit in the back of his home in Old Vegas … he cooked the meats for 12 hours over mesquite wood and let me tell you, the finished product FAR SURPASSED my expectations.
The picture below of the 12-hour Masterpiece Dom produced does zero justice to how flavorful, robust and mesmerizing this meat was.
Was the meat your buddy prepared free-range? Grass fed? Organic? Non GMO?
Truth: 99 percent of the time I want to know. On this occasion, I didn’t ask because I only intended to nibble at the meat, to sample it and be a polite guest, but the barbeque meat was so surprisingly outstanding that on this sunny Sunday afternoon I kept munching and munching, occasionally peaking up at the TV to see my hometown (NFL) Baltimore Ravens manhandling the Oakland Raiders.
Typically, and intelligently, the aforementioned “Is it Organic and Grass Fed?” line of questions are HUGE considerations for me. But when you practice diligent and elite and conscientious eating habits the vast majority of the time, well then you absolutely buy yourself a little more leeway and latitude to indulge in a rare feast like this (metaphor: if you bust your butt in business and and are fortunate enough to thrive financially, well then you generally create latitude for yourself to enjoy more vacation time than those who don’t work hard or haven’t been as fortunate earning or saving money). So being disciplined and practicing exceptional eating habits 98 percent of the time will give you a lot more wiggle room for EPIC FEASTS like this.
In my experience, a cheat meal every three or four weeks won’t do much damage to an otherwise healthy person … but I would still avoid high sugar and high carb indulgences at all costs and stick with something like this — largely comprised of high protein and really high animal fat, which still leans in the direction of the diet I have found to be head and shoulders above the rest: The Ketogenic “Keto” Diet or a Modified Keto Diet (experts offer different definitions of what constitutes being in “Keto” or the body-adapting to run and operate primarily off ingested fat and fat reserves but for general purposes Keto is when you are aiming for 60-92% of your daily caloric intake to come from healthy fats — though I certainly don’t advise most people transitioning into the “diet” for the first time to attempt 80 or 92% fat. For most people it’s just valuable to understand the hierarchy and find where on the spectrum produces desired results for you).
FREQUENCY OF EATING MEAT
I probably ate one large plate of that meat — which defies my normal practice because I maybe EAT MEAT once every three or four weeks and frequently go much longer without eating meat. Also, I usually shoot for 3 to 5 ounces of salmon, sardines, tuna at a meal — and most days I only eat that salmon, sardines, tuna (or on rarer occasions, meat) once a day. Throughout the rest of the day, for protein, I might eat two eggs, lots of nuts, seeds, raw almond butter or broccoli (what I call a protein subsidized — moderate amount of protein but containing all eight essential amino acids), or a scoop of a super-clean vegan protein such as Garden of Life’s “Raw Organic Protein,” which isn’t the tastiest protein on the market (0 grams of sugar after all) but ranks among the best I’ve seen in terms of nutrition profile and ingredient quality.
BIG EVENT ON THE HORIZON
So let’s entertain the obvious: Post-Cheat Meal …. How did my body feel?
I’m roughly 9 weeks out from competing at the 2017 IBJJF No-Gi Masters World Championships in southern Cal … I’ve got to get down to 135 pounds and will be walking around at roughly 4 percent body fat and need to perform at a very high level.
I haven’t weighed 135 pounds in 28 years.
So how did my body respond to that spontaneous Cheat Meal/Barbeque Feast packed with protein and animal fat?
Surprisingly well. My insulin levels didn’t seem to spike very much, there was no big crash. I certainly felt more lethargic and sluggish than usual, a touch of a “food coma” you could say, but nothing too extreme.
Yet the meal so satiated me and stuffed me … I didn’t eat for the next 9 hours. So had a lasted another couple hours without eating some might have said I was in an Intermittent Fasting state of sorts.
I drank a ton of water and the following day I trained Jiu Jitsu/Grappling two times totaling 42 minutes of no-gi rolling.
I’m early in Week 2 of the Masters Worlds training camp … under the same conditions and eating a non-Keto style diet I might fluctuate between 149 and 153.5 pounds (still very lean).
So what did I weigh the day after that Accidental Barbeque Feast and after 42 mins of medium-high intensity grappling with 20-somethings?
On the scale at Lifetime afterward: