By Atom Bergstrom
Re: I’m a bodybuilder and simply need more protein then just almonds for breakfast.
The question is, “Do you actually need the protein or do you need something to make you feel fuller?”
MANY notable bodybuilders and strongmen eat only one high-protein meal a day and manage to build impressive strength and muscle mass.
Pavel Tsatsouline (The King of the Kettle Bells) is an example of someone who usually eats one meal a day in the evening.
I don’t recommend a one-meal-a-day eating protocol for longevity — the point being that protein is not required just before workouts.
So, there are several options …
1) If you think you need extra morning protein, CHEAT and add something from “out of time.” MANY professional athletes regard their career as more important than longevity. (The time-appropriate foods offer protection from the time-inappropriate foods.)
2) Eat more time-appropriate filling foods for breakfast — avocado, olives, coconut milk, cashews, macadamias, dates, etc. (Incidentally, a cup of avocados provides 4 grams of protein and a cup of guavas provides 5 grams (but is not very filling). Butter, ghee and rice are basically neutral; combined they’re very filling and tasty (esp. when you add pine nuts and ume plums).
3) If you want to be way out-of-the-box, eat insect-feeding birds in the morning for high-quality protein. Birds — esp. songbirds — were a major source of food for American pioneers. There was even a famous songbird meat market in Manhattan. No one today will probably give you much grief if you eat starlings or English sparrows, but there are laws against killing many other birds. (Seabirds, of course, are an evening food.)
4) Free-form amino acids are abundant in raw fruit. I used to sell injectable-grade FFAAs to bodybuilders in the 1990s — not knowing that raw fruit and fruto-vegetables are packed with them! The main contender for The Strongest Man in the World — William Bankier, aka Apollo, the Scottish Hercules — was a vegetarian.