Justin’s Food Log

Some readers are really interested in what my diet looks like. I’m the first to point out that it’s not perfect (or interesting), but whether or not there is a perfect diet is debatable anyway. I’m 6′ and usually weigh between 210 and 212 pounds. If I had to guess, I’d say my body fat is about 10%, however lower ab veins are said to be visible under 7 or 8%, so I guess I could be as low as 8 or 9%? In any case, my diet and training has evolved to the point that I’m stronger in most lifts than ever (with the exception of squat due to injury and overall body weight loss) while being the most lean and athletic I’ve ever been. Monday I pressed 220×3 on my third triple, and last week I push-pressed 260×2 on my fifth double after clean and jerking up to 315 for three singles.

I don’t really like talking about my training because I don’t like the lack of privacy inherent in a voyeur look at something that takes up a lot of my time (training, eating, recovering, etc.), especially when other aspects of my life will dictate and alter these activities. I’m not so narcissistic (like the late Zyzz) to think anyone really gives a shit anyway. The point is that I’m not that great, but I’m above average in most things to the point where my diet might be relevant. It’s not something that everyone needs to try and emulate, since I think diet is a very individualistic kind of thing, but hopefully you can get some pointers or ideas by looking at it.

My average day involves:
– Water, vitamins, and fish oil
– Fruit and whey protein smoothie
– 6 Eggs and bacon (random carb)
– Random meal (pre-workout is typically whey and random simple carb)
– At least one pound of meat, typically beef with salad and/or sweet potato
– Whey and sunflower seeds or peanut/almond butter
– Fishoil again

There are more specifics, but you can watch the video to hear them. The first three parts are always the same every day with slight variations (e.g. today I had 7 eggs), and the latter meals are variable. I’ll change things depending on if I have a high carb or sodium meal or if I drink a lot of alcohol (which is uncommon). This is sort of the baseline thing I do, and when there are significant perturbations, then I react in specific ways. I don’t shy away from awesome things like bacon cheeseburgers, waffles, or chocolate, but sometimes prepare my day around them or have set reactions to return to normal after eating them. In any case, enjoy the video. Oh, and the it’s kinda long, but it isn’t necessarily boring. Especially the beginning because I had just woken up.

86 thoughts on “Justin’s Food Log

  1. If you’re concerned about fructose consumption (and for good reason), why not swap out the fruit juice and Lara bars for starches like rice, potatoes and yams?

    If you haven’t heard of it already, you should check out the Perfect Health Diet. Presumptuous name aside, the author’s go to great lengths to back up their approach with empiricism. Basically paleo with potatoes, white rice, more fat and less fructose. http://perfecthealthdiet.com/

    I’ve been doing it for a couple weeks, and I feel good. Paleo always felt weird because I’d have to eat like 5 bananas to get through the day.

    Because I don’t aim to eliminate fruit/fructose, just reduce it from what I used to take. Some fructose isn’t an issue. Whatever I was doing before could have been too much — if that was even the issue to begin with — but it could have just been regular ol’ insulin insensitivity.

    Besides, I have at most 8 oz of juice, but it’s usually 4 to 6. And I’m sure as fuck not going to eat potatoes and rice when I wake up, more so because they aren’t a quick meal.


  2. Missed working out for two weeks due to vaca and then an illness. Squatted yesterday and quads are sore…hammies are also sore but I also did RDLs. I remember reading that sore quads after LBBS might be a form flaw, or am I remembering wrong?

    Depends on where, but generally speaking it implies you aren’t squatting with your ass and using your knees instead.


  3. Is that amount of fish oil and cod liver oil something you have always done, or is that also part of your experiment with your blood pressure? I take 4 fish oil a day, so I was surprised to see that you take 8 fish oil and 2 cod live oil capsules morning and night.

    It’s not that much when you look at the actual EPA/DHA. I think I started taking a little more when I saw the blood pressure issue (went from 10 to 16 plus cod liver oil). Pendlay was telling me how much fish oil he has his lifters take, and it’s probably 30 or 40 a day. The point is that it’s a cheap brand of fish oil without a lot of the good stuff in it, so I take more of it.


  4. I like to rub the insides of cheeseburger buns all over my face and lips each morning to ensure I’m greased, filthy and ready to face the day.

    I think the Iranians use to do this. I’ll have to try it out.


  5. Thanks Justin. Looking forward to hearing about the results of your experiment with lowering BP (if you are open to sharing your findings).

    I have exactly the same “problem”. Have had some high-ish BP readings through my early-mid 20’s, despite a healthy lifestyle with above average fitness, low BF%, etc, etc. My readings have been very similar to yours. I have never been worried about dropping dead, but I would like my BP to reflect my hard work in staying fit and healthy, if possible.

    My BP has dropped already since I’ve been doing this. I’ve changed a variety of things (carb intake, fructose intake, sodium intake, potassium intake, fish oil, increase in conditioning), so it’s hard to pin point it. I’m still higher than I would be happy with (systolic is 120 to 125), so I’m going to continue and see if it will drop over the next couple of months.


  6. Also – what’s the idea behind taking Cod Liver Oil on top of “Fish Oil”? I take 15g of fish oil capsules per day but thought that Cod Liver Oil was just a cruder and cheaper option with less health benefits. Obviously there’s more too it than that!?

    Chill out, brah. I just saw it at the store. Some people take Cod Liver Oil exclusively. I was at the store, it was cheap (under $5, I think closer to $3?), and it has Vitamin A, so I bought it.


  7. Can you explain the potassium thing at some point? I don’t really understand it. Does it counteract the effects of sodium?

    I’m not good enough with the chemistry discussion, so hopefully all of my chem friends can help (there were three of them, one with a phD in Chicago two weeks ago). Sodium, potassium, and chloride will dictate the intracellular hydration. American diets have lots of sodium, and having at least equal amounts of potassium intake alleviates issues from too much sodium.

    “Even mild potassium deficiency can lead to fatigue and decreased performance…” from this textbook I have. Also, mild deficiencies don’t lower T levels, it’s GH and IGF-I levels. Sorry for the mistake in the video. Deficiencies in magnesium lower T levels, though, so that part of what I said still is correct.


  8. I’m curious about the 16 fish oils and 4 cod liver oils a day as well. Seems a bit excessive. Have you considered taking a higher quality product, like Nordic Naturals? Not trying to be a fish oil snob, just wondering what’s most effective.

    I haven’t considered it because this stuff is easy to get and cheap. Remember, it’s the same shit, just less of it in a single pill compared to expensive kinds.


  9. Seems like a lot of whey. Is that consumed just for the sake of convenience?

    I’ve said before on here that a guy 200 pounds or more could get 100g of protein through whey if needed. I get 50 in the morning. Then, unless I have it pre-workout, I might have it before I go to bed if I didn’t eat enough meat. If I have
    50g in smoothie
    50g from 6 eggs and bacon
    100g from pound of meat (can be higher, but low estimate)
    50g from whey at night

    That’s 250g. I would prefer to get more through meat, but since my meat isn’t the most nutrient dense meat (currently), then I’m not over emphasizing this.


  10. Why do you lose so much weight at night? I find that I am eating a pretty healthy diet very similar to your own, and I find that overnight I lose between three to five pounds and I have always wondered why.

    I don’t eat carbs in the last few hours of being awake and I have low bodyfat. I also am not able to drink water while sleeping and ween it off an hour or so before I go to bed. I have less water, less carb intake, and thus less water and fat weight. Plus I have a lot of LBM, meaning my metabolism is humming, and it burns a lot of calories.


  11. i always weigh about 2-4 pounds less in the morning than before bed too. i think it’s pretty common. i also have lost up to 5 pounds after shitting, which is fun.

  12. also, don’t you hate when you make bacon, and the middle of the strips gets done faster than the ends. So, you’re either left with less-than-optimally-cooked ends, or you burn the middle to get good ends.

    fucking bacon.

    On a related note, this “farm to table” store across the street got in some wild boar bacon. Its real good, only about $10 a lb, cooks thoroughly, and has impressive rendering of fat. I’d rate it a 1 on the TIOLI scale. I think even Brent would be real impressed. Some lady apparently ordered a wild boar shoulder from there which inspired the bacon pickup, but at 9.49/lb for the shoulder, I’m more around a 8-9 on the TIOLI scale with that.

  13. easy way to cook bacon evenly and with out the mess.

    -preheat oven 400
    -dark pan, cover with tin foil, lay out strips.
    -cook ~10 minutes. time will vary with how well done you like it.
    – put on paper towel to get half the grease off. enjoy.

    And waste all that fat? Absurd.

    Note: I purposely cook my bacon in the pan to cook my eggs in it. I think I explained that but edited it out of the video since it was so long.


  14. ^that works well, except it tends to pop and make a giant mess in the oven.

    cooking it on a wire rack above a pan, for a longer period of time at around 250 happens to work real well though, and yields the rendered fat in the pan also

  15. Good reminder to evaluate, and if necessary add potassium in my current supplement lineup. A friend of mine once told me that so-called “lite” salt is half NaCl and half KCl, so that might be an easy way to get it in if anyone out there is adverse to taking pills.

    My $0.02 on fish oil: I was taking the Costco/Kirkland stuff but quit because the tocepherol in it is apparently derived from soy and it’s only got about 300 mg of epa/dha per pill, which means 20 pills a day for around 6000 mg of epa/dha. I found some other stuff online that’s got 790 mg of epa/dha, so I take eight of those a day to get the same level. The better stuff ends up costing about $1.44 a day as compared to $0.57 a day, but I will gladly pay an extra eighty seven cents a day to not have to swallow 20 fucking fish oil pills.

    Did you factor in the shipping cost with your price/day?


  16. Cool vid. Funny as hell.

    If you’re trying to control fructose levels, why turn to Larabars, orange juice and berries as carb sources?

    Any creatine? Does it make THAT big of a difference if red meat consumption is already high?

    I eat very similarly to you, but obviously lack the volume, weighing about 175lbs. How many calories do you consume in a day? I’m assuming a large chunk is from fats as well.

    God damn it, you guys are getting one day, not the evolution of how I eat. What I’m doing now is much less fructose than before.

    I don’t take creatine and never really noticed anything when I did. If I was actively training for weightlifting or something, then I would probably take it. It’s just more of an unnecessary expense if I took it now.

    I don’t count calories.


  17. Personally I’m a big fan of the creepy voyeur videos.

    Solution to your bacon problems:

    Get a bacon press and lay the bacon in the cold pan before turning on the heat if you’re not already. Couldn’t tell from the video if you did that. http://www.amazon.com/Harold-43202-CAST-BACON-PRESS/dp/B0041HV2E6

    A few questions…

    Do you consciously pay attention to/track total calories consumed? Perhaps you used to and now you have a feel for it?

    Have you ever taken creatine? You mentioned how it works in your “What’s in your stack?” post, and that you don’t really do a lot of supplaments and just focus on eating and living right. Just wondering what your experience is with it, if any. I’ve taken it and could never tell if it did anything or not since I never exactly did a controlled experiment with it since so many factors contribute to how a month or so of training goes.

    Do you worry about nitrates in bacon? I’ve heard from various unreliable sources (i.e. pretty much anyone making health claims) that nitrates are bad, but I don’t really know if that’s true or why.

    Where do you get crunchy almond butter? I get the same brand at Costco in twice as big a jar as yours for $5, but I’ve never seen the crunchy. I want crunchy.

    I’d also be interested better understanding the potassium issue as others have mentioned. And +1 for not wearing shirts at home.

    I think the crunchy almond butter is sold at wal-mart, but I hate wal-mart (I didn’t even capitalize it). I’ve never counted calories, unless you count that zone snafu in 2008, which is more of countint portions. I don’t really count fat — I just add more of it when I need to. I know how much protein or carbs are in everything that I eat (I’ve looked at labels for at least four years and have most of them memorized).

    I don’t know enough about nitrates to worry about them, but right now I don’t consider it a problem.

    Bodybuilders have historically aimed for equal potassium to sodium. Diets lower in sodium are going to have more nutrient dense foods that would yield better body composition on average anyway. That’s a round-about way of saying clean things (emulating something more paleo-ish for example) up and it will lower sodium and increase potassium, but some things may still have a lot of it (like bacon). I no longer add salt to anything I eat due to my experiment.

    An example is that Sunday I watched the Browns get their shit pushed in by the Titans at Beef O’Brady’s, and I ate an okay double bacon cheese burger (two patties, four bacon, four cheese) and drank two beers. I ended up not eating the top half of the bun because the hamburger was so tall that my first five bites didn’t even include it anyway. When I got home I took potassium and drank some V8 since that meal probably had lots of sodium.


  18. Yesterday I ate the country boy breakfast with a side of bacon and sausage from cracker barrell. Then I went and bought a new flannel.

    Two days ago I pressed 220×3 and squatted an easy 405×3 several times. Then a kid told me how awesome seeing me squat 405 was. Then I did curls with 135 without a warm-up. I only wear tank-tops and flannel.

    What else ya got?


  19. Hi,
    I know I sound insane when I try to talk about social things, but if you haven’t taken a biology class in a while, and want to review the relationship between sodium and potassium in your cells, some people like the videos on this site: http://www.khanacademy.org/#biology

    Video titles:
    Sodium Potassium Pump
    Correction to Sodium and Potassium Pump Video
    Electrotonic and Action Potentials

    And I’d also suggest reading about “Na+/K+-ATPase”, “resting potential” and “action potential” on Wikipedia.

    This will be a good review for me, and help others learn the relationship. Thanks for the links.


  20. FYI Costco has some pretty good deals on supplements if anyone is interested. I’m currently purchasing 6lb of Muscle Milk Whey (27g/2g Protein/Carbs per serving) for $35 and Kirkland Enteric Coated Fish Oil (1200mg/410mg/274mg Omega3/EPA/DHA per capsule, 180/bottle) for $15.

    Justin could you comment on what your macro breakdown looks like gram wise?

    I can’t comment on it because I don’t know or care what it is. I aim for at least 250g of protein. Then I tweak everything else based on what I weigh or what my body fat is, and I’ve already mentioned how I tweak some things because of my experiment thing.


  21. How many mg of EPA/DHA are you supposed to be getting each day? I use the Costco fish oil, and mando posted that he was having 20 of those per day to get 6000mg of EPA/DHA. I was taking 4 per day, which puts me at 1200mg with that brand.

    It depends on your body weight and muscle mass. Reviewing some notes from our discussions, you are a bigger guy, so I think you could increase your intake. Pendlay told me that he tells his lifters to take 30 and then increase x per day until their stool is…uh, different. Then back off by a certain amount. You don’t have to do that, but the bigger you are and the harder you train, the more could be used.

    Just play with it. Take it in increments if you’re worried (and the only worry would be pooping weird, but you’d have to take a lot for that to happen).


  22. a good number for fish oil is around 1 g of EPA+DHA per 40 lbs BW.

    so, a 200 lb person would opt for 5 g of EPA+DHA

    I have found “NOW” brand fish oil to be the best bang for the buck, either NOW “ultra omega-3”, or NOW “super DHA” yield 0.75 g of EPA+DHA per each capsule.

    Liquid fish oil yields even higher amounts per unit, Carlson’s (one of the best brands imo) yields 1.3g per teaspoon, and is available in lemon or orange flavor.

    I would agree with that recommendation. Where did it come from, Brian?


    number comes from the old whole9 calculator, I’ve always used their “maintenance” number with good results, they recommend 2-4x the above number if you don’t eat paleo, eat shitty, eat really shitty, etc.

    also, i would HIGHLY recommend ramping up to whatever your number ends up being over a few days, as overdosing on fish oil is not cool at all.

  23. So are you planning to eat your way up to 105?

    On an another note, lettuce be cereal, 70sbig is softening up a whole lot. I hope this little reading will put you back on the right track <3.


    No, I’m not. I don’t exclusively train for weightlifting and train for other things.

    I’m not apologizing to some fuck head who has posted once on this site. There are thousands of people — the majority of which are a bunch of regular guys who go to school, work on computers, are engineers, work in law, or are sales managers — that listen to everything I say. If I get them to the point where they are fat and unhealthy, then what does that accomplish? I want them to be strong, but I want them to stay strong and still kicking or tapping ass until they are wrinkly as shit.


  24. Is there any reason you would recommend no more than 100g of whey besides the fact that meat has more nutrients in it?

    Because getting the majority of your protein intake via food/meat — especially high quality food — is going to be better than the alternative.


  25. so I bought some men’s one a day bullshit. And two bottles of target’s fish oil caps.

    I slammed 8 of those fish oil caps and 1 one of the multi’s.

    How much fishoil should I be consuming as a 250lb 6 foot tall male?

    I didn’t know you weighed 250 after all this time that we’ve whispered sweet nothings to each other. Look at what Brian said earlier and use that as a guideline.

    Also, regular multi’s are okay, but they don’t have a whole lot of useful stuff, so that’s why I add in other stuff. I’ve heard good things about the Optimum Nutrition daily — does anyone have any misgivings about that?


  26. Interesting and timely article. It’s very similar to how my diet is. I don’t know if it’s just me but I feel like my lifts always improve when I eat above the 1g per pound recommendation. It’s probably just in my head but every time I get in a sticking point I up it to 2-2.5 grams per pound. Have you ever experienced anything like this? Also, I made what is now my favorite sandwich; wheat bread, bacon, 2 eggs, half pound burger patty, 2 eggs, bacon, then bread.

    Are you referring to protein in your “per pound” reference? If so, it’s not in your head. One gram per pound of body weight is bare minimum for decent training. Protein is not an empty calorie: it actually does stuff.


  27. I’ve also heard good stuff about ON’s multi, although the bottle recommends 3x day, I generally only take 1 and assume I get the rest through foodz

    I doubt you do, chief.


  28. Fuck head? Did not come here for a shit storm. Just a word on maximal strength/kicking ass vs what abz do in the real world, but I get the point.

    I didn’t look at the link and instead was pissed at what you implied. Probably an overreaction on my part.


  29. The only negative I’ve heard about Optimum’s multi is that it smells rancid. A guy on Amazon wrote that he kept it in his shirt pocket at work so he’d remember to take it and had to smell it until he finally took it. Other than that, it seems to have strong reviews. If you switch to that, do you think you’ll still do the emergen-c every morning?

    If I take the ON multi? I don’t know, I’ll have to look at a regular multi + emergenC compared to the ON multi and decide after viewing the contents and the price.


  30. Patrick – The Costco brand ends up being about 20 capsules for our weight. The Now Ultra, as smithb9 said, is about 8. The Costco brand is 400 capsules for $10.79, so at 20 a day, you get 20 days worth at a cost of roughly 3 cents per capsule. The Now foods is 180 capsules for $20.99, so at 8 per day, you get about 22 days worth at a cost of roughly 12 cents per capsule.

  31. This video was helpful. My diet is and has been fucked for a long time, and I’m only very recently making inroads to consistency and healthiness. I also had a high BP a couple of weeks ago (142/90) and want to bring it down. I know part of it is my coffee intake and my excess body fat (no idea what it is, but I’d guess over 20% but I doubt it’s above 25%), and need to do more conditioning. I’ve tried taking a potassium a day but out of all the supplements I take it’s the one I just can’t get down. It sticks on the middle of my tongue and it seems like no amount of water will flush it down before I have to spit it out or risk vomiting. Good call on the V8, though. I love the stuff but had forgotten about it in recent months. I also decided to bump up my fish oil after watching this.

    I feel like I’ll be able to improve things after my wedding (10 days) and start cooking large quantities of meat on the weekend and eat them through the week. Plan on doing the pulled pork in a Crock Pot at least once a week until I get tired of it (unlikely). I liked what I saw in that Glenn Pendlay Stew. I’ll give that one a try, too.

    Unrelated, I think I need knee sleeves. What does everyone here use/recommend? I’m also starting to give serious thought to TMing my squats, maybe the press in a couple weeks as well. I’m unsure if I should just keep throwing myself against the wall until I can break past 270-280 (with the hope that after the wedding all the ancillary stuff will fall in line and fix things) or if that mindset is just going leave me weaker and deflated.

    P.S. Cheese fucking rules.

    RE: Coffee — It shouldn’t be a problem unless you’re drinking an unnecessary amount every day. A cup a day won’t be a big deal, but it could acutely effect the BP if you had the BP taken within a couple hours of drinking the coffee.

    RE: BP — The first order of business when having a high BP is to get your BP down. Then consider the ancillary stuff. However, the ancillary stuff could be causing the high body fat, so take that into consideration.

    RE: Potassium — depends on what you buy, but I notice that the cheap pills I have are harder to swallow, although I can get them down. The texture sticks to wet surfaces, it seems like. Coconut water is also high in potassium, if you have access to it.

    RE: Sleeves — Rehband or Tommy Kono sleeves. http://www.70sbig.com/blog/2011/04/gear/
    The TK sleeves aren’t mentioned on that post.


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