When Eggs Grow Stale

I’ve noticed some guys complaining about how bland their eggs are. Our own Arin Canecchio and Chris Riley go through spurts when they find it difficult to wolf down six eggs in the morning. I’ve eaten at least three or four eggs every day for almost ten years. Since 2009 I’ve eaten at least five, and usually more than six with peaks of eight or nine. To the complaining gentlemen, I say, “You are a fool.” Dress your eggs up and they won’t let you down. Here’s how.

USE BACON

How could you forget? Nowadays I hate to talk about how great bacon is because all of the hipster pieces of shit tasted it after several months of anorexia nervosa and realized they were fucking missing something. Naturally they rallied together — the most ironic hipster-piece-of-shit thing to do since they allegedly want to lead an independent lifestyle — to make a bunch of shitty t-shirts and memes and never shut the fuck up about it. Yeah, we get it, bacon is fucking awesome; WELCOME TO 1776 AND 1861 WHERE BEARDED AMERICANS ATE BACON WAY BEFORE YOU FORGOT HOW MUCH YOU HATED YOUR PARENTS WHEN YOU TASTED IT ON YOUR FIRST DAY OF LIBERAL ARTS SCHOOL.

Let’s move on. If you clicked the Civil War link above, you would have seen that bacon grease was used to fry beef and corn meal. Confederate and Union soldiers didn’t carry around chickens or delicate eggs, but we’re going to use the same principle.

Hipsters weren't the first to eat bacon.

Hipsters weren’t the first to eat bacon.

SELECTING YOUR BACON

Do you like skinny hipsters? Ptsh, then why would you want skinny bacon? I know of over 900 studies about why thick bacon is better, and they are all single day case studies where I cooked it, ate it, and pat myself on the back for such a solid decision. Thick bacon will cook better, have a better consistency, and yield an appropriate amount of grease (discussed later). I shouldn’t have to say this, but the bacon I’m referring to is the United States variety; Canadian and Australian styles are good, but standard Second Amendment loving Americans will call that “ham”.

BACON TO EGG RATIO

You read that title and thought, “Holy SHIT, I’ve never even thought about this,” didn’t you? I’m here to show you the way. After over 900 studies, I’ve found that two pieces of thick bacon for every two or three eggs is optimal. If you’re bitching about how it’s not enough, then you don’t understand scrambled egg cuisine and can kindly leave. If you’re bitching about how it’s “too much”, then you’re probably a) a terrorist or b) one of the aforementioned hipsters who googled “bacon” looking for a sweet meme to send to your hipster friends so you can ironically fit in with a social crowd instead of doing some squats and curls before bed.

CUT DEM BACONS

No, don’t cut your bacon like a young Ray Lewis; take your pieces of stacked thick bacon and cut it in two to three centimeter segments (for you neanderthals, that’s about an inch). The layers of the bacon pieces will separate when you cook it in the pan.

Bacon thickness as well as cut segment length.

Bacon thickness as well as cut segment length.

FRY THE BACON

Not too hot, mind you. If the temperature is too high, then you’ll just sear the outside too quickly and potentially ruin the consistency. On a stove where “10″ is “High”, I’ll go to 7.5 at the highest. If you want the satisfying sizzle when you put the bacon in the pan, then warm the pan, but it’s not organic to this operation.

WHIP YOUR EGGS

While your bacon is frying, you can prepare your coffee (I prefer a press pot) and eggs. Crack your eggs into a bowl, and whip that shit with a fork. If you use a whisk, then you’re like my 5’3″ mom. If you have a pair of testicles, use a nice, heavy fork. I take a lot of pride in my egg whipping ability; I’m the best on both sides of the Mississippi. On New Year’s Day, I whipped two dozen eggs. Proof below, fuckers.

The technique is a circular wrist motion. You want to think about pulling the eggs off of the surface, break that surface tension, and then push them towards the bottom of the bowl without hitting your fork on the bottom. The business end of the fork has an elliptical motion and the key is pulling the egg off the surface. If you do this quick enough, it looks like you’re separating the layers of the egg and results in much fluffier scrambled eggs without using any cream or milk (which are traditionally used to fluff them up).

ASSESS BACON GREASE SITUATION

Notice what’s happening here; you’re frying the cut bacon in a pan prior to cooking eggs. That’s because you’re going to put your scrambled eggs into the pan with your bacon. This how you’ll change your retardedly bland breakfast into a heavenly romp through taste and time.

You want your bacon to be cooked, but you don’t want it to be charred or overly crispy. Ideally, if you’re a sensible human, you’d want your bacon to have a slight chewy texture instead of crunchy. You wouldn’t cook a steak like a giant buffalo chip (i.e. piece of cow shit), would you? That’s almost as bad as not eating steak.

This bacon is almost ready.

This bacon is almost ready.

Aside from the bacon “doneness” is the grease situation. Too much grease will result in sweaty eggs; their texture will be oily and you’ll feel like you’re eating the stool of someone with cholecystitis. As crazy as this sounds, too little bacon grease is better than too much. Get a jar and pour your excess bacon grease into it (you can use that grease on your baked vegetables later that evening). Knowing how much grease you need for a given amount of eggs is a learned skill, but if you tip your pan at a 45 degree angle (as if you were going to pour grease into the jar), you wouldn’t want your pieces of bacon submerged. The grease does serve a purpose, so don’t pour it all out; it coats your pan to prevent the eggs from sticking, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. The picture below shows the grease pouring technique and the amount of grease before and after pouring.

IMG_20140212_111831_197

POUR IN AND COOK THE EGGS

I’m quite surprised at how some people manage to fuck this part of the process up because it’s very easy. Your pan will be hot enough to make any amount of eggs within a couple of minutes. Pour the eggs over the bacon, make sure your bacon pieces are evenly distributed throughout, and continue to use your spatula to move the eggs off the bottom and sides of the pan.

Letting the eggs sit in the pan, as if you were making an omelette, results in an overcooked eggsterior (I couldn’t resist). If your eggs have a slight browning, that means you’re doing it wrong. If you like that, refer to the charred steak comment above. There’s probably some validity to an argument that would claim you’re denaturing some of the protein by overcooking it, but we’ll save that for another day. Just remember: move the eggs around and off of the pan by flipping the eggs constantly until they are light and fluffy. The fluffiness will be highly dependent on your whipping ability. I also like to use the edge of the spatula to break up the eggs so they aren’t in big clumps. This will improve the texture.

CONSUME AND ENJOY

This next part can make or break your egg eating experience. Some of you will be amazed at how much the bacon will improve your eggs, but if you’ve eaten them like this before you may need something more. I prefer condiments on my eggs, namely ketchup (without high fructose corn syrup in compliance with Paleo for Lifters). Ketchup works really well with white potato hash browns, which you can buy pre-cut up or make from scratch in grass-fed butter or coconut oil. I also like Chipotle Tabasco sauce, but that’s more so for fried eggs or scrambled eggs eaten with my Sweet Potato Hash recipe.

A dozen eggs yields enough for two.

A dozen eggs yields enough for two.

And there you have it. If you’re hating your egg eating experience, you need to cook them with your bacon. Food doesn’t have to be bland, so stop doing all this hipster-like complaining and dress your eggs up.

Hit Your Macros

Here’s a quick note amidst a busy week. I typically see hard training lifters or athletes breaking down when faced with a decision of what to eat. They’ll often pick an unhealthy choice because it tastes better. If you have to eat out during the week, then focus on hitting your macros instead of getting the tastiest item on the menu. 

Macronutrients are protein, carbs, and fat. You should have an understanding of how many you need to eat in a day. If you don’t have a clue, search the 70′s Big site history. If you want my comprehensive methodology, check out Paleo for Lifters. The premise is eating enough protein to maintain or build lean body mass (i.e. muscle), enough carbs to fuel your activity level, and enough fat to recover. There’s some discrepancy or ambiguity on how much of a given macro that a type of athlete will need, but I’ve covered that on the site and in the book.

In any case, hit your macros consistently. The chronic intake is more important than the daily timing, and actually  hitting the requirements is more important to recovery than it is to have a tasty, yet not as healthy meal. Does that mean you should pass on a brisket meal with a baked potato? No, but your goals will make that decision.

This doesn’t mean you should be eating bland meals, because “healthy” or “paleo-ish” meals can be very tasty if you use your brain and put some effort into them. We’ll talk more about this in the near future.

Train hard and get big.

Testosterone and PWO Nutrition

I recently had a conversation with someone about post workout nutrition which turned into me regaling them with my general nutrition philosophy which fell back onto the foundation of my training philosophy. Their question asked about timing of their post workout (PWO) and they were bothered by how I sort of shrugged off the need to worry about it.

“But I thought you were supposed to have x amount of protein and y amount of carbs within 45 minutes…and shit?”

That’s what popular muscle magazines or bodybuilding lore would tell us; the timing of meals is quintessential to progress and jackedness. But I say that the intricacies of the PWO nutrition is low on the priority list. Why would you care about the specifics of your protein shake when you don’t meet the required amount of protein each day, much less the minimum amount for your body weight? Oh and you’re eating about 100g more carbs than you need, eating shitty fats, not mobbing, and getting about 6 hours a sleep a night? And you want to worry about how many scoops of protein and molecularly dense carbs to swallow after training? Assuming you’re doing an appropriate systemically stressful strength training session to begin with?

If it sounds silly, it’s because it is. If you feel cheated, it’s because you have been.

Doug Young

Doug Young would never cheat you like dat.

Take a look at this short, quality article by Dr. Hartman (The 45-Minute Testosterone Myth). It turns out there really isn’t any research on the “do your workout in 45 minutes or your testosterone levels will drop”. Furthermore, there is discrepancy in the research that may show that protein and carb PWO shakes actually decrease testosterone levels! That sound you hear is your entire world-view burning to the ground.

Hartman goes on to say:

The short-term effects of testosterone to a single session of exercise are inconsequential to long-term performance. Long-term changes, or having testosterone elevated over a period of months and years, have been shown to lead to increased strength, power, hypertrophy, and performance. Short-term; those relationships do not exist. 

 

And this is my point entirely, whether we’re talking PWO nutrition, or nutritional and training philosophy, it’s not the precise decisions you make throughout the day, it’s the fact that you hit the minimum requirements on a regular basis. Timing your daily protein or meal intake pales in comparison to getting the appropriate calories in an optimal macronutrient (proteins, carbs, and fats) distribution on a regular basis.

The chronic effect of doing the simple things right is more important than doing the fancy things occasionally or randomly. 

Johnny Skeptic then says, “Well, if I have an optimal PWO meal on a regular basis, won’t it make up for some of my other slacking?” Even if the whole PWO meal was proven to be optimal — the research is meh — it’s better to get the macronutrients you need for the day than it is to specially time everything for your training session. For example, if you train after work and then go home, just eat a quality dinner and don’t worry about making the dinner match an arbitrary PWO requirement.

This is how a discussion on PWO nutrition circles back to general nutrition and training advice; make the simple stuff a habit. Get enough protein and fat to recover, get enough carbs to match your activity level, and get it through quality foods that limit systemic inflammation and help promote recovery (Paleo for Lifters can help you understand this). Worry about your general food intake before even considering supplementation; if you’re eating crap food then the supplements won’t matter anyway. Combine full body, systemically stressful compound movements in each training session a regular basis to get bigger and stronger — squat, press, deadlift, bench, row, and pull-ups. Keep the approach simple, yet consistent. Squatting 100 times over the next year will be more important than following three crazy squat programs sprinkled throughout your year.

Every training or nutrition lesson revolves back to a single, easy idea: the chronic effect of doing the simple stuff correctly is necessary before worrying about sexy or complicated ideas. All that free time you gain by not worrying over your training can now be spent on growing facial hair.

Cloud’s Supplement Guide

I get a lot of questions about nutrition and supplementation, and I’m more than happy to share my opinions on the subject. However, I find myself typing out basically the same thing as a response nearly every time. If only I had some sort of platform where I could just write it all out once, so I could just send people the link later, right?

First, some basic nutrition advice, from a very high-level perspective. Like Mike, I’m not a doctor. I’m not going to argue with you, or try and sell you anything, or convince you to change your beliefs (everyone already has their own food beliefs). But if you’re my athlete, here’s what I expect you to do.

Food: Cook and eat real food, not pre-packaged crap. Get at least your pounds of bodyweight in grams of protein (IE, I am 250 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal. I better damn well get 250g of protein every day if I want to stay that way). Eat grassfed beef and other free-range mammals if you can, and eat wild fish. I guess you can add reptiles to that if you go Velociraptor hunting, or kill a snake that looks at your puppy the wrong way. Add all the good fats you can (oils, butters, etc). Add at least 100g of good carbs (tons of veggies, some fruits and potatoes, even rice, but avoid sugar and gluten). Alter your carbs and fat intake based on your aesthetic goals and performance needs. Buy and read Justin’s e-book Paleo For Lifters for a much more in-depth explanation. I edited that book and agree with just about everything in it – and it even goes into depth on supplements, too. However, keep in mind this post is my advice, not Justin’s.

Note: Assuming a consistent training schedule that is not completely stupid, your muscular gains will be DIRECTLY tied to how many days a year you hit your protein goals. You NEED to understand this. If I hit 250g of protein 3 days a week and ~100g the other 4 days of the week, I’m going to get half the results as if I am religiously eating carcasses. Think about it. How hard do you work to never miss a training session? Treat your protein intake this way, starting right now. Go eat a chicken; the article will be here when you get back.

Water: If you’re not drinking a gallon of water a day, you’re fired.

Now let’s get to the actual supplements. You have to have all the things above in order first, OK? It’s important. You can’t supplement your way out of a shitty application of the basics.

Protein Powder: I use whey because it’s cheap and delicious and mixes easily. Use something else (beef, egg, etc.) if whey bothers your stomach or skin. Get an additional 25g/day (small folks) to 50g/day (normal size folks) every day to supplement your real food. If, every once in awhile, you don’t hit your daily allotment of real protein, drink another protein shake, then wake up early and make more real food in your crockpot so you don’t make the same mistake twice.

PWO (Post-Workout): Bro science wins here, folks. I have an average person get an additional 50g of protein IMMEDIATELY post workout, almost always via another protein shake, but lean meat works too if that’s your thing. Add 10-25g of carbs for people who feel they’re too fat. Increase that to 50-100g for people who want maximum jackage and recovery. Reduce the carbs if you’re cutting, and/or use lower-glycemic carbs (sweet potatoes, etc). Add carbs and/or use higher-glycemic carbs if you can get away with it and/or need mucho mas energy (CF, etc). I currently use shitty sugar (Country-Time Lemonade mix…seriously) because I’m cheap and bulking, brah. Look, I’m human. There are better options, obviously.

Caffeine: Drink lots of good black coffee, and you’ll be a better person. Just stop before, say, 3-4pm, so it doesn’t affect your sleep schedule. If you don’t like it black, buy better coffee or try cold-brewing it (which reduces the acidity). If you still don’t like it, add some coconut creamer and stop whining. Use this as your pre-workout supplement if you don’t train at night.

Fish Oil: Take a couple grams a day of Omega-3 (that’s DHA+EPA). If you want to dork out about it, use Robb Wolf’s calculator and spend all your money on the best stuff available. Liquids are the best way to get high doses, especially if you’re nursing an injury. Use more if you eat cheap fatty meat. Use less if you slaughter your own grassfed cows or force-feed your chickens flax seed. Also, since I’m thinking about it, use grassfed butter, like Kerrygold. It’s delicious. Oh, and keep your fish oil in the fridge, unless you claim to be “Paleo,” in which case I expect you to find a cool damp cave for your medical pills.

Creatine Monohydrate: Take all of it. I have small females start at 5g/day and work up to 15g/day and most of my dude-lifters are taking 30g/day. Use something cheap and buy it by the bucket. Use the “internet” to find good deals until I make an affiliate connection with an e-store. Make sure you take it daily – the exact timing isn’t nearly as important as the consistency. Don’t take it on an empty stomach. Deload a couple times a year (vacation, sickness, after a meet, etc). Don’t take this much if you’re an alcoholic. But if you’re an alcoholic, you probably won’t listen to me anyway. Jerk.

Multivitamin: Get a cheap one and take it daily. Can’t hurt.

Zinc/Magnesium: Either take a cheap ZMA pill (especially if you’re a male: low Zinc=low testosterone=bad), or Natural-Calm. Work slowly up to around 25-50mg of Zinc and 4-500mg/day of Magnesium, preferably right before bed for the best acid-like dreams possible (and subsequently, deeper sleep). You and your toilet will know if you take too much, or if you take it on an empty stomach.

Vitamin D: If you live in Seattle, I’m jealous. But you only get to see The Mountain a couple dozen amazing sunny days a year. Here in Austin, we get like 400 a year. Less sun? Take more Vit D. It takes blood work to figure out if you’re deficient, but use your common sense here. I just go outside and creep out the hipster chicks at the pool. If you never get sun, you might need up to 10,000iu/day. If you get some, 2k/day is probably fine. Spend more time outside topless or in tank tops, just to be sure.

Vitamin C: If you feel like you might be getting a cold, take ALL the vitamin C. You might get the shits, but you probably won’t get sick. Otherwise, try and eat lots of various vegetables to get stuff like this on the reg and you’ll be fine.

Iron: Most of you ladies have been told to supplement your iron intake by your lady-doc, haven’t you? First, eat more red meat and kale and other good food. Then, take the liquid iron supplements from your local hippy grocery store, especially…well…you know when. Wait, don’t get mad. Please stop yelling at me. I AM listening. BRB, going fishing. Guys, just eat lots of red meat, and you should be fine, as long as you don’t bring up delicate lady-times like a jackass.

Other stuff: There are literally hundreds of other supplements out there, and some of them are actually worth discussing. If you have joint issues, try taking a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement daily for a full month and see if you feel better. If you’re loaded, BCAAs can be beneficial, but they aren’t cheap and need to be taken in high doses. You shouldn’t really need them if you’re eating properly. If you have specific questions about other supplements, feel free to ask. But make sure you’re eating your damn meat, first.

 

Paleo For Lifters E-book Release

In late 2007 I shifted my training focus from two years of  “bodybuilding style stuff” back to an emphasis on performance. In early 2008 I started doing CrossFit exclusively for several months. As I was studying Kinesiology material in school, I also soaked up training and nutrition information at home. I read Loren Cordain’s “The Paleo Diet” and implemented it immediately. I quickly found that lots of protein and fat with controlled carbs was not only optimal for performance, but also helped me gain almost ten pounds of lean body mass in a month even though I was doing CrossFit. I was meticulous. In the beginning of 2009 I focused on strength training and put an emphasis on low quality, yet high calorie foods in high quantities. I ate like this for 18 months and gained weight and got stronger, but I always felt a bit sluggish. Since the middle of 2010, I’ve steadily experimented and progressed my diet into something that uses the Paleo diet as a base, but provides enough calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat to fuel strength and conditioning training.

I constantly aim to improve my knowledge and how I teach nutrition on 70sBig.com has evolved over time. It’s possible to consume enough macronutrients and calories to recover from training and do so with quality foods that make our bodies more efficient and healthy; increased efficiency improves training recovery.

The result is that I maintain a sub-10% body fat while hovering between 210 and 215 pounds and can perform the following any day of the week: squat 450 for reps, press 225, deadlift 500, snatch 125kg, and clean and jerk 155kg. I don’t like humble-bragging, but these methods are effective not only for me, but lifters and trainees I work with.

Paleo for Lifters is an e-book I’ve been writing off and on for months and is about 26,000 words and 60 pages. It surpasses the length of Texas Method: Part 1 by several thousand words but isn’t as big as The Texas Method: Advanced, which sits at about 35,000 words. While the TM books were riddled with figures, graphs, and images, Paleo for Lifters is mostly just old fashioned text and explanation. Those who have read my books in the past know that I don’t put out crappy e-books, and this book is chock-full of useful information.

Add to Cart

Table of Contents
Preface
1 —  Introduction
2 — Nutrition Basics
3 — Why Paleo?
4 — Implementation
5 — Tips and Such
6 — A Final Word

The early chapters explain the basics of nutrition physiology as well as how much food a lifter, athlete, or trainee needs. Chapter 3 explains why the Paleolithic Diet is a good foundation for quality food and how it can help reduce systemic inflammation and therefore improve training recovery. Chapter 4 teaches readers how to use the Paleo diet to get enough quantities of protein, carbs, and fat and even how to tweak it based on body type and goal. Section topics include questionable and acceptable food choices (that differ from Paleo zealot recommendations), supplements, types of trainees, and a step-by-step guide to improving food quality. Chapter 5 ties up loose ends by covering topics like how to effectively use “cheat meals” (a goofy term that I use for consistency’s sake), how to read food labels, cooking tips, eating on a budget, eating while traveling, timing food intake with training, and how to tweak carbs intake, and information on sleep and hydration.

There are no recipes in this book, though there is a section that gives information on learning how to cook.