Muscle Chow | Healthy Receipes in 30 Minutes or Less

Healthy Receipes just got wicked good!  Say hello to…

healthy receipes

Easy to Make Healthy Receipes

If You Want Healthy Receipes and You Don’t Have This Book… Get It!

  • If you are a bodybuilder looking for quick and easy to make healthy receipes to build muscle and conscious about preventing weight gain, this book is for you.
  • If you are just somebody looking at changing eating habits that doesn’t involve being a bodybuilding chef, this book is for you.
  • If you want to pack on mass and cook healthy recipes but the whole nutrition thing has your stumped, this book is for you.
  • If you know healthy eating is something you want but don’t know what to eat and even less how to cook it, this book is for you.
  • If you don’t have a lot of money to spend but need some ideas for 30 minute healthy main dishes, this books is for you.
  • If you want to learn how to make healthy sauces, healthy dressings, healthy soups, healthy appetizers and my favorite … healty desserts, you need to read Muscle Chow.

Desperately Seeking Healthy Receipes

Before I found this, I kinda went from the cooking light magazine searching for how to cook healthy. Or to overly complicated cookbooks that had a lot of easy diet recipes for overweight people but not for bodybuilders trying to get lean or build muscle. Greg Avedon nailed it with this and wrote to the married guy or single guy (not married to Rachael Ray) who can’t cook but wants to cook healthy meals in order to build muscle. It was so incredibly simple to follow. I am not a cook or chef by any means. Planning meals was grilled chicken and burgers. This is so stinking simple to use. It doesn’t have a ton of ingredients and you’ll find that many of the recipes use the same foundations. Meaning, less big trips to the store. Many of them are only 4 steps. They taste great and are low in fat and sodium. Perfect for that health and nutrition conscious person.

It’s not that I didn’t know what to eat as I’ve made plenty of healthy side dishes (albeit a bit boring). It’s not that I didn’t know how to cook it. My main problem is similar to many of you. I get too caught up in making this sport or lifestyle more complicated than it needs to be and when it comes to creativity in terms of healthy receipes or even some off the beaten path ideas like vegetarian recipes, I tend to stick to the same old things. I want something easy to make (I do not want pre-made Jenny Craig type meals), that tastes good that doesn’t take 60 minutes to do. I don’t want a huge mess in the kitchen and I don’t want to be in the kitchen for 2 hours each time (Hint: I don’t like to cook).

The biggest problem anybody will face when it comes to building muscle, burning fat and making the changes they need to enhance their body is all done thru health nutrition. And the biggest problem we all face, unless you are OCD or love to cook is that you don’t have too many healthy receipes ideas and cooking isn’t enjoyable probably because you don’t have many easy food recipes at your disposal.

Cooking Isn’t Enjoyable (to me and maybe to you)

I’m not a food person.  As Tom Venuto said in his Body Fat Solution, people he’s interviewed see food as fuel.  A way to get the energy necessary to live and workout.  But that’s it.  I see food as fuel.  I don’t like cooking or else I’d not have issues with eating often, eating enough and having plenty of healthy food recipes socked away in my kitchen junk drawer (everybody has one of those right?).

My guess is that you don’t like to cook either! You don’t like being in the kitchen for hours. You have few healthy receipes ideas but not nearly enough.

But if you do like to cook but just don’t know what to cook that fits into the category of healthy receipes, this book will solve it for you.  Healthy cooking is about to get really easy.

It’s your guide to losing weight and your guide to packing on muscle. As much as that sounds crazy, it’s the only thing in 10 years that literally changed my life in the kitchen.

“Do you sit down to every meal with a calculator in hand?  No?  Me neither.  Any diet that requires more than basic counting skills is a diet that is way too complicated and will ultimately fail.” - Page 3 of Muscle Chow

A Small Sample of Healthy Receipes in Muscle Chow

The Key Lime Pie that I pulled out of Muscle Chow took hardly any effort to make and was arguably one of the better healthy dessert recipes you could have given the circumstances. Those circumstances being I love Key Lime Pie! But it’s proof that diets that work can be quick and easy and things like pie you don’t think would be good for you can still classify as healthy food recipes. One of my go-to baked chicken recipes is Mustard Roasted Chicken.

There’s over 150 quick healthy receipes in Muscle Chow that even somebody on the Weight Watchers program could easily use. They are broken down into several categories that includes healthy fish recipes (You are getting your Omega-3′s right?!). It’s more than enough ideas to get you lean and muscular and you won’t be in the kitchen long enough to setup your own food network show! These are 30 minute meals or less. In fact, too many ideas is a bad thing. It leads to indecision and in the bodybuilding world, too many choices means you can’t plan for your specific needs and ultimately no action leads to unfulfilled dreams.

The real secret to meal planning is advanced planning. Knowing what you will eat before you eat it is the concept behind those pre-packaged meals like Nutrisystem. Not tracking it after the fact and realizing at 9:00pm that you’ve missed your target by 1000 calories or ate too much. Planning in advance is key and healthy food recipes that are geared towards your goals is what this book is about.

What Makes Muscle Chow Different?

It’s not just a healthy foods cookbook or some random collection of 30 minute weight loss recipes. It’s not a bodybuilding diet. It’s healthy receipes that integrate into a healthy lifestyle (one of the rare diets that work is the one you’ll do for life). You can use it to burn fat, build muscle. It’s not complicated. It’s low in sodium which is a factor for some. It’s lower in fats but higher in healthy fats. There’s even vegetarian recipes and low carb dinner recipes that are skewed towards the person who wants to build lean muscle.

If you don’t have Muscle Chow, go get it. It’s a fantastic healthy food recipes resource loaded with 30 minute meal ideas and should be in your kitchen right now. And you can pick it up at Amazon or Barnes and Nobles for under $20.00. The first thing I’d do is look thru the healthy breakfast recipes and pick one. Before you know if, your friends will be calling you the Rachel Ray of the group

To Your Good Health,

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”

P.S. - I wish Muscle Chow was a sprial book as I’ve got 2 copies.  And both are coming apart at the seams because I use it that much.  This was my first introduction and love into the world of healthy receipes.

Ideal Body Fat Percentage

What is your ideal body fat percentage?

According the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) they have come up with a very simple ideal body fat percentage chart that outlines from the essential body fat needed to survive to what is classified as obese. You should be able to use this body fat percentage chart to find your ideal body fat percentage based on your gender and age.

Healthy Body Fat Percentage for Males and Females
Gender Male Female Male Female Male Female
Age 18 – 39 40 – 59 60 – 79
Essential Fat 2% to 4% 10% to 13% 2% to 4% 10% to 13% 2% to 4% 10% to 13%
Underfat 5% to 7% 14% to 20% 5% to 10% 14% to 22% 5% to 12% 14% to 23%
Healthy 8% to 19% 21% to 32% 11% to 21% 23% to 33% 13% to 24% 24% to 35%
Obese 20% + 33% + 22% + 34% + 25% + 36% +

* Chart courtesy of the ISSA

Note: You may have heard terms like the following: Lean, ripped, shredded, contest shape, competition shape. If so, those terms generally refer to the category listed above as underfat. For example, if you are a male, who’s 25 years old, with significant muscle mass at 6%… not only are you lean, you are probably ripped, shredded and huge and possibly standing on stage in contest shape.

How to Test for Your Ideal Body Fat Percentage:

There are several methods that you can use to determine body fat.  It’s important at the beginning of any exercise program to at least have a guideline to determine where you are so you can set forth to make changes.  While putting too much emphasis on a number is unnecessary and leads to frustration, having excessive levels of body fat are linked to numerous health issues.

Getting your body fat tested can be motivating (for new clients) and bodybuilders getting ready for a competition (although no judge gets on-stage with calipers to test body fat; the winners are based on look and performance).  Your ideal body fat percentage can be determined thru the following methods:

  • Dual Energy X-Ray Absortiometry (DEXA):  Using a single X-ray source to determine the layout of the entire body along with regional estimates of bone, mineral, lean tissue and fat.  The software then processes this information to determine the percentage of body fat for a person.
  • Hydrostatic Weighing:  Know as underwater weighting, compares the weight of a person in air to their weight completely submerged underwater.  Because fat is less dense than water, a person with a higher percentage of body fat will weight less than a person of similar weight who has less fat.  To get accurate results, the amount of air in the lungs and intestinal tracts must be taken into account.  This requires the person to expel as much air as possible underwater.  In most cases, you do 3 tests for the average result.  If you are uncomfortable underwater, this test will test those limits!  A skilled technician can provide reasonable estimates of body density which can be converted to a percentage of body fat.  This technique is often called the Gold Standard of Body Composition.  It’s relatively inexpensive but not portable. (although in my area, there is a body fat van that comes to the clubs)
  • Potassium Ion:  Taking the amount of naturally occurring isotope, potassium that is active in the body, it is possible to take that total amount and estimate lean body tissue.  The equipment necessary is expensive and the test is not widely available.
  • Bioelectrical Impedance (BIA):  This is the most popular consumer option and the devices are relatively inexpensive and serve a dual purpose in some cases of a common scale.  These devices are based on the theory that water conducts electricity better then fat.  Muscle has a high water content while fat has a lower water content, thus the rate at which your body conducts electricity can be used to estimate body fat.  These devices can be a scale which sends a current upwards thru your feet or hand-held.  They use calculations for the average person and population at large.  If you have a high concentration of muscle, aren’t properly hydrated or are obese, these devices are highly inaccurate.   There are many other variables that can skew the results.  Take whatever these devices report with less than a grain of salt.  I had a hand-held scale at my gym tell me I was 31% body fat when a Hydrostatic test reported I was 13%!  While they are the neatest and easiest to use, they are very unreliable for the most part.  A trick you could use if you were set on purchasing one is to get Underwater Weighed and then go to a location (same day; same hydration levels) and see which devices comes the closest to a much more accurate test.
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR):  By sending electromagnetic waves thru tissues, the nuclei will absorb the frequency and release energy at a particular frequency.  That frequency can be matched to a type of tissue (fat or muscle).  Tissue composition can be calculated based on the results.
  • Ultrasound:  By transmitting sound waves thru tissues and analyzing the echos received, this technique has been used to measure the thickness of subcutaneous fat and the volumes of various organs.  Whole body scans are possible.
  • Near Infrared Interactance (NIR):  By placing a fiber-optic probe over the bicep, an infrared light is emitted.  The light passes thru the subcutaneous fat and muscle and is reflected back to the probe.  I had this done in Las Vegas.  It was expensive and inaccurate compared to Hydrostatic Testing and Skinfold Thickness.  It was “neat” but not worth the money.
  • Skinfold Thickness:  A total estimate of body fat can be made by measuring the subcutaneous fat.  About 50% of all body fat is under the skin.  By using a device called a caliper, you can measure the thickness of the skin at various sites representative of where body fat is stored (1 site pinch test to a 10+ site pinch test).  Using these measurements and applied to specific formulas, a indivdual or professional can get an estimate of body composition.  This technique can be done at home, with 1 site or multiple using a cheap or expensive device called a caliper.  With practice, you can become quite good at this to the point of a +/- 3% of the Hydrostatic Testing.  Skinfold testing is inexpensive, portable and done by a professional with multiple sites can be very accurate.  This is by far the best method to keep track of body composition.

Ideal Body Fat Percentage Tips:

In the past few years, I’ve received many questions (mostly from males) asking if they should bulk or cut first. I use this chart as a reference in conjunction with their overall goals. I prefer to use my current body fat as a health gauge vs. my height vs. weight. If you are a tall skinny person with a rather unusual higher than normal percentage of body fat, you’d be very unwise to start bulking up and adding more body fat without first knowing the reasons why you might be in your particular situation. Using body fat as a measurement vs. other visual aids is more accurate, safer and will help monitor your overall muscle gains or fat loss.

* If you are a male or a female who’s looking to step on stage or just wants to look good for summer, then take a quick body fat percentage check. Using that, you can then determine your best option if it’s to cut or bulk.

* If you are at the top end of healthy or considered to be obese by body fat percentage standards, focus on burning the fat. Your goal should be to get healthy first and then adjust as necessary. If you are already at the top end of healthy and you want to “bulk up,” you’ll get stronger but you probably will add more fat to your body composition making you more at risk.

* Take a body fat measurement weekly or monthly to get a continual status update of your progress. When you start a new program you should take a new measurement for a baseline.

* Don’t let a body fat measurement control your life! It’s just one of many indicators of progress and/or health. A body fat caliper can be quite accurate with practice but seek medical advice in conjunction with your own findings.

I own a ton of fitness books (both downloadable and physical).  Most resources I own always mention the use of calipers and to just use the chart that comes with the product.  But those charts leave so much room for error.  I needed something a bit more professional.  Some in-depth tutorial on how to use the thing would be nice other than the cartoonish drawing on the back you get that shows the person “pinching” around the stomach.

I tried watching YouTube videos on the subject but that’s not a reference I can refer to over and over and frankly, I’m shocked that some of them were over 16 minutes.  It’s not that complicated to use and I don’t need a lecure of every site where I want to test.  Plus, some of these people were using caliper devices that were $200 or more!?

A long time ago I stumbled across a nutrition book called Burn the Fat by Tom Venuto.  Really solid book on nutrition.  Can’t recommend it highly enough.  But one of the bonus items he has is a really detailed book on measuring your body fat.  That gem is worth it alone.  Tom covers exactly what to do and where to test for the most accurate body fat results using that caliper.  He includes charts that are down to the half millimeter!  So it’s really got all the bases covered.

If you want to know your ideal body fat percentage and precisely how to test at home, the bonus that comes with Burn the Fat is worth it.

Click here to download How to Measure Your Body Fat which is one of many bonus books that comes with the purchase of Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle.

Be Fit, Stay Strong!

Marc David – CPT

P.S. - I use an Accumeasure body fat caliper ($10) to test my body fat.  I use the book above for expanded charts for ideal body fat percentage.

Waist to Hip Ratio

Question:

The waist to hip ratio or WHI doesn’t seem to be any better of a predictor than the BMI because neither one takes into lean body mass.  How good of a predictor can this measurement actually be when it only takes into account fat in one area of the body, not the overall body fat percentage?

Answer:

The WHR ratio was designed in or around 1993 as a replacement for an indication of health for the BMI.  Many health professionals including myself don’t find the BMI or the WHR to be useful as a sole indicator of health.

While it can be useful in some aspects, body composition is much more accurate and a better determination of overall health as you have pointed out.

In more recent years, the WHR has taken fire for being not such a good indicator of overall health either!

(more…)

So, what do you think?