Sunday, January 07, 2007

I read therefore I am..

Years ago I came across some intriguing articles called The Science of Nutrient Timing on which introduced me to the concept of eating what your body can use, when your body can use it. I developed a bit of a food-geek crush on John Berardi and it's not a wild exaggeration to say that I’ve read everything he has published on the net, like the stuff here, and here for a start. When I heard about his latest book The Metabolism Advantage (thanks, Skwigg) I surfed straight over to Amazon and have been working my way through it over the past few months. Seeing as I’m a naturally patient person, (in an alternate world where things happen faster), I filled in the 2 weeks postage time by pestering the nice lady at Precision Nutrition for immediate forum access and then lurking and learning.

As you would expect from the title, the theme of the book is how to structure your nutrition, training and supplementation in order to maximise, and in fact increase, your metabolic rate – a subject that fascinates me almost as much as shopping for shoes. The main points are familiar – eat often, eat protein at every meal, don’t starve yourself, follow the plan 90% of the time, eat most of your carbs around training and train intelligently. And, when Dr Berardi says “eat!” he means it. This is not a plan that proclaims ‘eat more’ and then tricks you into eating less - the idea here is to get your metabolic rate working so swiftly that you can eat more and still get lean. I’m very keen on that because I know that eating less.. and then less again quickly becomes a cycle of diminishing returns where you may not lose a lot of fat but instead lose your sense of humour and all your friends. One thing I learned from this book is the importance of veges. Dr Berardi should be a spokesperson for the ‘veges are your friend’ campaign because I’m sure his best friend is spinach, and for good reason. I entered my daily eats into Nutrition Data yesterday and found I had consumed 1008% of the RDI for Beta carotene (the vitamin A pre-cursor). This was mostly due to my green morning omelette and the spinach that I sneaked into my mediterranean meatballs for dinner. On the Metabolism Advantage plan you eat veges at every meal in order to max out your vitamin intake and balance the natural acidity of the protein - this keeps your mitochondria happily turning glucose into ATP. There is also a section on supplements which I appreciated for its brevity and ‘to the point-ness’. Also, I actually agree with what he wrote about Fish Oil, Creatine and Milk Protein. That doesn’t happen often. Usually I get to the supplements section of a book and have to run and take a shower to clean off the BS. ;)

Today is a rest day, so I’ll finish up reading the book then exercise some enthusiasm towards my pre-cooking for the week. My butt is still aching from the boxing workout I did two days ago (lots of skipping)! Salsa classes start for the year tomorrow evening, that might be interesting if I’m still hobbling like a centenarian.


  1. I'm trying to decide whether it's cheaper to but the book from Amazon (with the currency conversion and their extortionate postage rates), or from good old Angus & Robertson online.

    Think I'll go suss out whether my local A & R has it...or can get it.

  2. I got it from Amazon because it would have taken 8 weeks to have it brought in by any bookshop. It cost me NZ$40 including the freight so I saved about $10 (and 6 weeks) from what I would have paid in a book shop.


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