Anyone who knows me knows I care about nutrition and what I put into my body...a lot. As a bodybuilder, you have to make certain choices to achieve an elite level. At times, it seems like success and health are antithetical. Maybe that's a part of the reason why nutrition is so important to me. When it comes to nutrition, I'm always looking to eliminate the nonsense and get right to the good stuff. Over the years I’ve learned that you simply cannot improve on unadulterated, fresh, whole food. As far as perfect nutrition is concerned, technology has failed to surpass Mother Nature.
This is why I have made high quality, unprocessed whole food the cornerstone of my diet. From where I stand, the body looks and functions its best when provided with the fuel it has evolved to require. In my opinion, artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives, flavor enhancers, and unnecessary fillers represent confusion that the body simply does not need. While there are some forms of confusion we cannot avoid in the modern world, we are fortunate to be able to control what we put in our mouths.
Day in and day out, for years on end, I do my absolute best to always have a freshly prepared, balanced meal consisting of high quality foods at my fingertips. Unfortunately, despite even my most diligent efforts, there have been times where I don’t have such a meal at my disposal. To say that I take my nutrition seriously is a gross understatement. I pride myself on my preparedness so that compromise is not necessary. But life is not perfect. As a result, I decided to take action so that even in impossible situations, I would still have access to solid nutrition.
Nutritional shakes could theoretically provide that solid nutrition. The problem was, I failed to find any that I considered even remotely adequate. First, most of what exists in the marketplace is dairy-based and many people, myself included, just can’t tolerate dairy proteins. It doesn’t matter if a product contains the highest quality, purest whey protein isolate (WPI) available, many will feel terrible if they consume it. I know I do. For me, the ideal shake would have to be dairy-free. Instead of whey for example, I’d need to find alternate sources of protein that were just as good, if not better.
Second, there is not one meal replacement product out there that promotes a sensible, balanced approach. When preparing my whole food meals, I seek a 1:1:1 balanced ratio of macronutrients (protein, carbs, fat). Far too many powders you find in stores today are either low carb or low fat—or sometimes both. When it comes to nutrition, I believe that moderation and balance is the name of the game. Each macronutrient plays a key role and each needs to be an integral part of one’s diet.
Third, the vast majority of commercially available meal replacement powders use poor quality ingredients. The numbers may sound good, like how much protein you get per serving, but to me, the quality matters more. Are the ingredients over-processed? Does the product come loaded with extraneous artificial ingredients and fillers to make the product taste and look good? To me, these should never be the primary considerations. To me, the ideal shake is the one that is most nutritious and most easily digested.
Animal Meal is a product of a close collaboration between me and my many years of nutritional experience and ANIMAL’s formulation and manufacturing expertise. The entire process of creating Animal Meal took well over a year. During that time, we reviewed dozens of different ingredients and rejected dozens more. We tested prototype after prototype, both internally and among real world users. I’m proud to say that Animal Meal is, without question, the absolute best meal replacement product available. This is the product I can stand behind 100% and the one I personally use daily.