Chicken, broccoli and brown rice. The quintessential bodybuilding meal. Legend has it that if you consume 5-6 meals of this mystical combination a day, you will gain 10kgs of lean muscle and drop 5 kg of body fat.
You’ll also forget the taste of bread, the sound of trees, the softness of the wind, and your own name (not enough nutrition blogs contain Lord of the Rings’ quotes.)
Whilst there is nothing wrong with chicken, broccoli, and/or rice, there is a bit of a belief that eating healthy requires bland, tasteless and repetitive food. I think basically bodybuilders are covering up the fact that they’re crap cooks.
Instead, here are my favourite ways to add flavour without the extra calories.
Herbs and Spices
When it comes to improving the flavour and health of a dish, these little guys are the business. I’m yet to meet a dinner that wasn’t improved by the addition of smoked paprika. As well as that, your gut bacteria love them, so make sure you’re including a variety of both fresh and dried herbs and spices in your weekly rotation. If you’ve only been using dried oregano, it’s time to do some exploring!
If your salads are boring, you need some vinegar in your life. Whether it be white, balsamic, or apple cider vinegar, all of these do an excellent job of making salads great again.
Similar to vinegars, sprinkle some lemon or lime juice over your protein sources or vegetables to add a ton of flavour for very minimal calories. The vitamin C in the juice can also help your body absorb any iron in your food, so this is particularly useful for people following a vegetarian of vegan diet!
If you’re not afraid of some heat, it might be time to add some hot sauce to your roster. It’s the perfect way to spice up your protein sources (sorry). Just make sure you read the nutrition label and keep an eye out for added sugars. Not because sugar is the devil, but added sugars = added calories.
DIY Pasta Sauce
Smothering things in a homemade pasta sauce is a personal favourite of mine. Instead of having plain veggies, add a tin of tomato, some onion, garlic and spices and you’ve got yourself a low calorie, flavoursome sauce that also sneaks in a couple of extra serves of vegetables. Winner.
All of Jono’s (our Dietitian) meal plans, are flavoursome and so far from boring! If you’re interested in getting a meal plan from Jono, or just having a Nutrition Chat, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours!