T Nation

Odd Essentials

We all know the essentials any weightlifter and athlete should eat: tuna, chicken, beef, eggs, peanut butter, cottage cheese, oatmeal. But are there any foods you eat regularly that you consider essential but that aren’t always talked about?

Me, I’ve found ostrich meat to be absolutely delicious and greatly nutritious.

Sweet potatoes and whole-wheat, 10-grain bagels.

(The latter is probably only available in places where healthy Jews congregate.)

I like to make liver before a big event, setting a PR or running a race.

Liver’s cheap and nutritous. I know some posters around here like other organ meats too, but liver’s the way to go if you ask me.

I really like Kashi 7-grain pilaf. It’s all whole grains and claims to be a complete protein source. But, I don’t eat if for the protein. I only eat it with some chicken breast for my PC meal/snack 2-3 hours after workout. I always cook it in beef or chicken boulion (no fat variety – actually adds 4-5 grams protein) instead of water.

I hate the taste of hot oatmeal. But, I love Museli. Instead of using only rolled oats in my Museli I use Red Mill 5-grain mix and add a little steel cut oats. This makes up the base for my standard breakfast (usually my 1st post workout meal). I add 100 g chicken breast tenders and 1 omega-3 egg.

Raw Almonds and pecans are a must to add some good fat and low impact carbs. You can grind them into almond butter and pecan butter just like peanuts.

Extra virgin olive oil. That’s about the only virgin anything I care for at this point in my life – give me a little experience over virginity – sorry, my T appears to be getting the best of me.

Forgot one – buffalo. Haven’t found a local source for ostrich yet. Had some gazelle once in Tokyo – it was awesome.


I was reluctant to admit it, but thanks to you Nate, I can now say “Hi, my name is Dan Maftei, and I use milk in half of the meals of my day.” Milk in oatmeal to help Grow! powder mix better, milk in the morning for my shake, milk at night to help chug down that disgusting PB + cottage cheese shake.

I think variety is important.

Tuna is great, but other stuff like white crab meat is not far off it nutritionally, and it makes a change from eating tuna all the time. Same with the other stuff on the list too, just because one food comes out marginally on top in the nutrition stakes, doesn’t mean you’re bound to eat that, and only that, forever.

…and on that note I’ll throw in light cheese. 30g P, 0g C, 21g F per 100g. I pre-cut the pack into blocks containing 10g protein each. Keeps the maths simple when I want to up the protein content of a meal (and make it taste better).

Raw Almonds, Raw Pumpkin Seeds.

Egg whites in a carton.

Raw, unseasoned tuna cubes. From the fish counter- satisfies that craving for rich rich food like foie gras, creamed spinach, etc.

Jack Link’s Steak Bites.

Louisiana Hot Sauce will jazz up the blandest omelette, chicken breast or dish.

Raw Almond Butter.

Extra virgin olive oil.

Green Tea in a bottle.

Fuze Slenderize drink.

Grow Bars- I carry one wherever I go, just in case!

Low-Carb Grow! Carry this everywhere as well. BTW, my Starbuck’s will throw this into the blender for me!