So, it is pretty useless in my opinion to lift heavy unless you are going to eat more and plan on gaining some mass (not fat, mass). As I’ve written before, lifting is the stimulus; food and recovery will be huge determinants as to whether you are actually getting stronger and gaining more mass or just tearing your body down. That being said, a classic way to do this has been the dirty bulk. This basically means lifting heavy and eating everything and anything on hand. Then cutting in the spring, or eating super clean and primal to lose all that unwanted fat that came with your bulk.
Now if you are serious about gaining strength, mass, and muscle development, you are going to have to admit to yourself that you will inevitably gain a little fat and may lose that prime ab etching you worked so hard to get for the summer. Thankfully, the fall is coming, which means no one will see your abs and its alot easier to fill out a sweater when your a bigger, stronger person. All this being said, the old style of bulking is to all intents and purposes, terrible for your general health, longevity, and your musculoskeletal system (think rampant inflammation). Thus we come to the clean bulk. This is the idea that essentially, when you what to gain mass, you just need to eat above maintenance levels of calories. The easiest way, of course, is to do this with chocolate and fast food. However, with the proper food choices and recipes, you can achieve your goals without hurting you longtime health. In short, just eat more good food instead of eating whats most convenient- the crux of the whole primal style.
Enough of my babble, here are two such recipes that can be used for bulking or just for the fact that they are delicious.
Coconut Curried Tilapia:
At some point we have all eaten fried fish and it is delicious (and I don’t mean those “fish fillets” at McDonalds). However, most restaurant versions are fried in omega-6 heavy, rancid oils, and overly breaded in a wheat or corn based mixture. So I basically just switched out the bad stuff for the good stuff.
-Coconut Flour (1 cup)
-Jamaican Curry Powder (1/3 cup)
-Red crushed pepper flakes (2 tbsp)
-Garlic powder (1 tbsp)
-Black Pepper (1 tbsp)
-Tilapia (or fish of your choice)
-Coconut oil (if not available, omega-3 enriched butter or olive oil will do)
1. Breading -> Mix the coconut flour, curry powder, pepper flakes, garlic, and black pepper in a bag. The best way to do this is to taste. Personally, I used the above proportions because I wanted a more curry and peppery taste. Quick aside, if you have never used Coconut flour before, you’ll notice is has a sweet taste/smell like..well… a coconut. It also absorbs liquid like a champion. More on this in a second.
2. Beat the eggs as if you were going to scramble them, and them dip the tilapia fillet in the egg mixture.
3. Bread the tilapia. Its easiest if you pour the breading mixture onto a plate and then dust the tilapia fillet with it.
4. Flash fry the tilapia in coconut oil. A couple things here. Its best to use a frying pan, but to not turn the temperature up to high. You want to lightly fry the tilapia, just enough to make it crispy. Essentially, you will slip it into the pan, turn it in 10-20 seconds, and then take it out. Also, if you have never used coconut oil, note that it is a) expensive but worth it and b) solid at room temp.
5. Bake the flash fried tilapia at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
To make this a true bulking mean, I ate this over a bed of black beans and red peppers. Oh an dthat drink is just diet gingerale with a handful of frozen blueberries thrown in. Amazing.
Now, say you want some dessert. Well, got that covered too.
Almond Flour Raspberry Choco-Peanut Butter Cookies
I somehow lost the picture, but hey, you can picture cookies right?
-1 cup almond flour
-1/4 cup butter, room temperature
-1/4 cup of half splenda and half raw sugar (I almost feel like its not necessary, but its what I used)
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-Dash of raspberry extract
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 cup of PB2
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Mix all the ingredients together, starting with the dry ingredients.
3. When you have a nice, thick cookie dough like consistency (if you are not there, use more PB2), place in even amounts on parchment paper (okay, I made a bunch of large cookies, but to each his own).
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, cool, and serve
You can go alot of ways with this recipe. Due to the almonds, you get large amounts of good fats (great for bulking and feeling full). Why raspberry, you ask? Well, I didn’t have vanilla. But after using raspberry, the taste was unique and delicious so I think experimenting with alot of different extracts and not what seems right is the way to go. I also tried this with coconut flour, however, as I said before, it sucks up moisture because of the high fiber content (8 grams of carbs, but 5 grams of fiber per serving, which is either 1/8 cup). It required 3 eggs and a cup of water just to get it all to mix. And they came out like mini biscuits… something to work on. I also tried coconut flour because the fat content is less and you save 40 calories per serving as opposed to almond flour. Still, I find almond flour easier to use for right now.
More recipes to come!