Q&A: April 2022

by on April 29, 2022

I recently signed up for the “Mountain Dog Diet Club.” I was curious – while I was reading over your proteins/carbs/fats article I noticed that you mentioned,

The only way they (eggs) would be bad for you…is if you get them scrambled say at a buffet, where the yolks have been oxidized due to sitting in light for an extended period of time. Also, if they are cooked on high heat, you can oxidize the cholesterol. I will teach you about cholesterol and its positive role in my nutrition program, and my hope is that you come out of the program with a brand-new perspective. You will learn how to cook/prepare eggs, and how to avoid an allergy due to eating them on a consistent basis.

Granted I’m not signed up for your nutritional program, I am curious to know how one would properly prepare eggs. I’m guilty of cranking up the stove and pouring eggs in a hot pan so they’ll cook faster. So, how do I need to cook them to avoid oxidizing the cholesterol? Also, how would I notice if I’ve developed an allergy to eggs due to consistently eating them? What could I do to avoid getting said allergy? Thanks so much. 

Andrew Berry
Those are great questions. First, when we talk about oxidation, we are referring to the interaction of food with oxygen and heat. Fats and proteins are susceptible to this oxidation (it’s one of the reasons there are so many fillers and preservatives in foods today). Some of these oxidation products have been found to promote inflammatory conditions in the digestive system and can even be linked to carcinogenic processes. When cooking foods like eggs, we want to use a lower to medium heats and a heat stable oil like virgin coconut oil or grass-fed butter. These fat sources are stable at higher heat levels opposed to oils that are high in polyunsaturates which oxidize and convert to trans fats. I think cooking them any way you like (scrambled, poached, etc.), is fine as long as you are not using really high temps to cook them quickly.

In terms of the allergy question, this is a matter of your body having a reaction in response to eating that particular food. Now, it might not be a full-blown allergy but instead and insensitivity. For example, I have eaten 3-6 whole eggs and sometimes more egg whites daily for pretty much my whole adult life. About 4 years ago, I was having severe digestive issues… bloating, cramping, needing to get to a bathroom and my physique had a bloated appearance despite eating super clean and maintaining a healthy body fat level. Of course, I pulled everything else out of my diet, refusing to believe a food that had been a favorite for so long could be the culprit but finally I decided to pull my eggs, and would you know it I felt better instantly. Now, I didn’t need to pull eggs for life. I took a 2-month break and then gradually added them back in again and was completely fine. So, to answer your question, an allergy or insensitivity can very quickly cause a digestive issue, or hives and skin condition or more seriously, swell your airways. If you are ever experiencing hard breathing, be sure to see medical attention asap.

What do you recommend to your clients (or take yourself) for a vitamin/mineral supplement. Also do you use a greens product?

Andrew Berry
So, it depends on the diet. Sometimes we don’t need one. If we are using a broad spectrum of foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables, we might only need to add some vitamin D. Now, for an advanced athletes or those exercising a ton like myself, I use a greens drink called Nutrigen from a company called Morphogen which has all vitamins and minerals, digestive aids, probiotics and more. If you are worried, it’s good to get lab work done and even a nutrient status test to see if you are lacking in any vitamins or minerals.

I have read a lot of information about healthy fats and it’s a bit daunting/confusing, on the best ratio of the fats in my diet. That fat sources I eat are grass-fed free-range meats, wild caught fish, nuts, flax meal, coconut oil, coconut milk, and whole free-range eggs, and a DHA/EPA supplement, and borage oil for the GLA. Any insight on the best ratios of the omega 3,6,9’s and the sat fats?

Andrew Berry
I think you are doing great with variety here. The only one I’m not crazy about is flax. With flax, the body needs to convert the alpha-linolenic acid to DHA which doesn’t always happen at great rates for everyone. Usually, 12% gets converted to DHA and we know that this number goes down with age. I prefer the wild caught fish for the EFA’s.

In a video on YouTube regarding your True Protein supps, John mentioned a regime he follows for liver health. Can you expound on that? What supplements you take and the timing and dosing. Also, how do you use the LBA’s? Do you use them while dieting? 

Andrew Berry
I take liver health seriously. I use a supplement called Liv52 DS daily (its research supported) along with injectable glutathione at times and Milk Thistle at 500 mg am and pm. Liver supplements are pretty inexpensive too, so it won’t break the bank.

As far as the LBA’s go, I used them at one point but kind of fell out of it many years ago. There’s nothing wrong with them though both pre-contest and off-season.

During a pre-contest phase, what is your opinion on Crystal Lite and sugar free gum?  Do you limit these or not?  Or do you eliminate them completely?  

Andrew Berry
I think these are fine in moderation. The issue at hand is the non-nutritive sweetener like sucralose. While not directly harmful-humans can’t digest sucralose- the bacteria in your gut can and they can produce gas and bloat and may cause the population to swell and knock out other good bacterial strains. Now, one would have to eat a lot of this, and digestive systems do vary. But if you were adding some crystal light or a few pieces of gum to a prep, you should be fine. It’s the athletes that go through 2 packs of gum a day that I get complaints on digestion from. Just don’t abuse it.

Can you explain a little bit more specifically how you set up diets for leaning out as well as lean bulking? protein requirements. fat requirements. how many carbs and when are they used?

Cris Edmonds
Lets get into leaning out first……I tend to really like 1.5-2g of protein per pound when leaning out. As carbs and fats are dropping from the plan, protein goes up to ensure you keep your strength and do not melt any of the hard-earned muscle away. Now carbs and fat HEAVILY depend on the individual. Some people hand carbs really well and not fats, or vice versa. What I can say is I tend to leave carbs on the higher end in the peri-workout window. For guys that’s 50-100g pre, 20-30g intra, and 50-100g post. Then carbs away from the workout depend on how lean they are and how much time we have to get shredded. With fats, I prefer to have 6-10g prelift so that you don’t go hypo mid workout. Then fats are used in all the meals that are carb free along with fibrous veggies. Fats are the same as carbs, slowly pulling them back when needed to stimulate more fat loss.

When the client get depleted (muscles flat/dull, pumps begin to fade, etc) I like doing a carb load day. This can be 200 to as many as 800g of carbs added to the day. Again that’s a large range, but it fully depends on how much of a hole we have dug and how much muscle a person has.

So for lean gain, it’s the same thing but instead of carbs and fats going down they work their way up. Protein I tend to have them sit at 1-1.5g per pound of bodyweight, especially if carbs are high. This is an effort to ease digestion and to keep the stomach flat vs. distended.

The number one thing IMO is to track everything, measure all your food and take progress photos weekly. No matter if its fat loss or muscle gain, if the current plan is working, stick to it. When your progress stalls, its time for a change. This is the art of coaching!

Questions I would love to see get answered by you:

1. Concerning combining carbs and fats in a meal. I’ve always learned not to combine them, due to the higher insulin activity when consuming carbs and therefore creating an environment for easy fat storing. I was surprised to read in Justin Harris’ “Comprehensive Performance Nutrition” E-book, that he also combines carbs and fats. I know you too work with carb/fat meals and was interested if there is a certain ratio you go by?

2. (actually an expansion of point No. 1) Eating carbs before bed. As you may know Dante suggests to include a “carb-cutoff” in your diet to keep fat gain to a minimum while taking in huge amounts of calories. What’s your take on carbs before bed?

Cris Edmonds
For the longest time that was just common knowledge in the bodybuilding world. They thought process was if you had carbs and fats with meals you would get beyond fat.

Once I started to really dig into what John was teaching I added fat to my preworkout meal and noticed a nice bump in performance and I NEVER went hypo, even on brutal leg days. So I began expanding this to other meals throughout my day and muscle just started to accumulate on my body as well as the clients I was experimenting with this on.

The only meal I prefer just protein and carbs is post lift bc I don’t want the dietary fat slowing down entry of the nutrients.

On the flip side if I have a client who tends to get fat easily, I like to keep their meal 1 to meat, fat and veggies. This just gives their body more time without an insulin spike. An exception to this rule is if they train after meal 1. Then of course I will do a mixed meal pre workout.

So to conclude this question, don’t be afraid to have protein, carbs and fats in a meal. This is an exceptional technique to put on muscle mass, keep you satiated and craving as bay.

The second part to your question, do I have a carb cut off window? Let me start by saying I have yet to find something that Dante does that is not effective. But I’m sure there is context here behind his statement.

For years I would eat my final meal in bed and it was 6 whole eggs, 1 scoop whey and 2 slices of Ezekiel bread. Now my genetics want me to be super skinny, so I may play by different rules than most, but I typically have my guys and girls have carbs before bed so that they sleep well. And as we all know, quality sleep helps recovery and packing on lean muscle mass.

Unless you are extremely overweight or are pounding carbs all day long, I see no reason to back off carbs at night if muscle gain is your goal. Even if you have slowed digestion, bc to me, fat slows that down, not carbs.

How important is the grass fed in your diet regimen? It’s hard to get around here and costly as all hell to ship it in. I was wondering if I could substitute wild deer for some of the beef needs , or could somebody use alot more eggs and powdered supps?

Cris Edmonds
John always pressed the importance of grass fed beef and wild caught fish to me. Both him and I truly believe this is such a power packed food, that even if you can only afford it 2x a week, do that for your post-post workout meal (the 2nd meal after your workout) on your weak bodyparts. Then have your wild deer the other 5 days.

Eggs are a great option as well as long as you invest in quality eggs, not the cheap ones. Lastly I don’t think there is any powder that sniffs what real meat can do for growth.

I’ve been reading your site alot. I’m only 28 but as I get older I find myself looking at long term health alot more and I like that your diet methods put a strong focus on this.

On the Pre and post workout meals, Would you recommend just Protein and carbs here? Leave the fats for the other meals?

Cris Edmonds
So for sure we love to keep fats in your pre workout meal to slow the absorption/digestion of the protein and carbs so that you don’t go hypo. For the post workout meal, we prefer to do protein and carbs only to really get those nutrients replenished fast after a hard training session.

Here is a good example of what I love to have clients do who are looking to optimize training:

90mins pre lift: 6-8oz cooked lean meal, 200-300g cooked jasmine rice, 6-10g coconut oil, 100-200g fruit of choice

Intra workout: 1-2 scoop Granite Recovery, 5-10g creatine monohydrate, 6-8oz coconut water

60 mins post lift: 50-60g whey isolate, 50-100g Rice and Grinds, 100-200g fruit of choice

All this food ensures a great workout, proper recovery and digests like magic.

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