On the surface, lab grown meat is a nice noble story.
Save all those poor defenseless cows from cruel factory farms and inhumane slaughterhouses. Save the environment from all those cow farts, burps, and emissions involved with animal agriculture. Handcraft meat to be healthy, nutritious, and good for the environment. Optimize the fatty acids. Eliminate the chance of animal-borne diseases or antibiotic resistant bacteria. No gross, unhygienic animal manure. No blood or guts. It’s clean, safe, clinical. We can even call it “clean meat” or “cultivated meat”.
Except it’s none of those things. So, what is it?
So you want to gain some weight, some mass. You want more muscle. You want to bulk up. And you want to do it in a healthy way within the context of the Primal Blueprint, but aren’t sure where to start. Most popular bulking advice consists of eating everything in sight—dirty bulking with fast food, TV dinners, PB&J, peanut butter on the spoon, whatever you have on hand. That’s not the way, folks.
As I’ve made pretty clear, our ultimate goal is to achieve positive gene expression, functional strength, optimum health, and extended longevity. In other words: To make the most out of the particular gene set you inherited.
These are my end goals, and I’ve modeled the Primal Blueprint Laws with them in mind. But that doesn’t mean packing on extra muscle can’t happen with additional input. After I retired from a life of chronic cardio and started living Primally, I added 15 pounds of muscle, while keeping low body fat levels without really trying, so it’s absolutely possible for a hardgainer to gain some. The question is how much and at what expense?
The Primal Blueprint classically recommends against legume consumption, but that stance has softened. Legumes aren’t bad in and of themselves. Many people have intolerance issues with them, and unresolved gut barrier leakiness or FODMAP intolerances can make legumes a painful, often cacaphonous indulgence. But the category of legume itself is not a simple thing. Some legumes are better than others. Some people will tolerate one legume but not another. So where does soy fit in?
As I discussed in a recent post, my diet has been trending toward a higher protein intake than in years past. Rarely do I consume less than 100 grams of protein. Most days I’m considerably higher even eating only two meals. Those meals center around protein first and foremost with vegetables playing more of a supportive role.
After so many years of following a Primal diet, I feel wholly confident in my ability to eat intuitively. I trust my body to guide my food decisions from meal to meal, day to day, and week to week, so I don’t bother with tracking macros (the exact amounts of protein, carbs, and fat I eat each day). However, knowledge is power. You should have a sense of your protein and carb intake at least, even you’re getting even if you ballpark it.
Most folks don’t have a clue what they’re eating, though. Sure, they might read nutrition labels at the supermarket, but how many people know what 100-150 grams of protein look like in terms of actual food? Do you know how much protein is in a single chicken breast? How about a six-ounce steak? Three eggs, handful of nuts, or even vegetables?
A couple weeks ago, I answered 20 of your burning questions about collagen. Today I’m back for part two of this series with 20 MORE questions.
Before starting, let me make a general disclaimer so I don’t have to sound like a broken record: To offer an optimal supplementation strategy with any confidence, you need a fairly substantial body of evidence to draw upon. While collagen is a hot topic, there really isn’t a ton of research on collagen supplementation yet, particularly not studies done in humans. That’s not to say we’re shooting blind here. We know that collagen used to be abundant in the human diet, and we need collagen to balance out the methionine we get from meat. Plus, there is a growing (but not yet extensive) literature on collagen supplementation, as well as a fair number of studies aimed at understanding the effects of specific amino acids—glycine in particular—that are found in collagen.
All this is to say, while I can provide my educated opinion about best practices, some of the nitty-gritty questions you submitted require data we simply don’t have yet. I’m hopeful that it’s forthcoming. In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been able to glean from the available science.
The pantry can be a place for quality foods – canned wild-caught salmon, almond flour noodles, quality cooking oils and all of your favorite sauces and condiments made without sugar. The pantry can also house the usual carb suspects – chips, cookies, crackers, pasta, cereal and bread. If you’re not careful, this cool and dark space could derail your best efforts to eat foods that make you feel your best.
Follow these 8 easy steps and you’ll be well on your way to having a pantry that feeds your body in the way that your genes expect you to be fed.