Food! The biggest puzzle to bodybuilding. That term "you are what you eat" is not an exaggeration. It is the truth. It does not matter how well you train, or even what supplements you take, if you are not dialed in on your food, you are not going to get there.
But even set aside bodybuilding. Just health in general, there are so many opinions out about this topic that it makes everyone's head spin. If you watch the news on a regular basis, you will hear that coffee is good one day, then a month later now it's bad. Same with say, chicken, or apples, or, whatever, I think I have made my point.
I honestly do not know very many people who do not like beef. If they do, it is only because of the fat and cholesterol and that we hear it is so bad for you. But we ALL love a nice juicy, medium rare rib eye. Don't we?
I have said before that I have been training and watching my diet for over 25 years. I have always been a believer in anything green. Leafy greens are my favorite. As far as protein goes I have always loved egg whites and white fish, such as Alaska Cod, Halibut, or Alaska Salmon. I am even okay with chicken breast as long as it is hormone free. That is a whole another subject, maybe some other day.
So when I was competing the year of 99, I had a judge plaster me up against the wall after I got off stage from prejudging and she said "If your going to compete again in a few weeks, go home and eat some steak!" I had been eating nothing but fish and egg whites for a couple years. I did not realize how much nutrition I was missing. So I panicked.
I did not want all that bad fat from the cow, so I remembered reading once about how lean deer meat was. And it was red! So I let my fingers do the walking and found a store called http://www.exoticmeats.com. I bought Elk, Deer, Ostrich, Emu, and just bear with me, Kangaroo. Yes kangaroo.
Now all of these meats have pretty much the same, if not more of the nutritional value that beef does, only it has the fat ratio of chicken and fish. Not to mention TONS of phosphorous, potassium, iron, natural creatine, etc.
The contest I got yelled at, I placed 5th. Three weeks later, I came in second! And I looked fantastic! AND, I felt great. So I started looking into other alternative red meats.
Now I am going to be honest. These meats are not cheap. But the way I look at it is, I will never compromise my food for a bargain. I am a firm believer in the "My body is my temple" thing. No, I am not perfect, but nonetheless.
I think the biggest problem people have with the idea of game meat is how it will taste. The venison, which is deer meat, really depends on where it comes from, what breed, and how it was killed. If you buy your meats directly from a legitimate place like exoticmeats.com, you can guarantee it is the best quality.
The venison can have a slight gamey flavor, but I just put a little garlic with it and it is delicious. In fact that is all I do with any of the game meats I eat. I just put a piece of frozen meat into a crock pot with a chopped up garlic clove. Say for a 8-10 oz. piece, 2½ to 3 hours and it is ready and juicy.
Now I am talking contest way of cooking it. If you are not competing and just want to have a nice meal, there are many ways you can cook it just like beef. Since it is much leaner you might have to add oils to it depending on your diet habits. When I am not competing I will take a big 16-18 oz. piece of Ostrich, throw it frozen in a crock pot with a couple of chopped up potatoes, onion, garlic, celery, spinach and 6 hours later, you have stew!
My favorite red meats are Venison, Elk, Kangaroo, Ostrich, and Emu. The Kangaroo is actually the leanest piece of red meat, and in fact has a slightly sweet taste. The Ostrich and Emu, taste the most like beef.
I do believe that the quality of protein is the number one most important thing I put into my body. And at my age of 43, it shows.