Shit is Shit: A Rant

So my kiddo and I are doing some grocery shopping earlier this week,
picking up some things for me to pack in her lunch. She grabs some of
those 100 calorie snack packs and tells me she wants them because they're "healthy."

So, we spent the next few minutes talking about portion control and
why those 100 calorie snack packs are still just candy, albeit in smaller
quantities. (Since we were both on Heelies in a Super Wal-Mart, this
was actually more fun than it sounds.)

And this reminded me of a pet peeve of mine – eating shit foods and
justifying it because you're only eating a little shit, not a lot of

Well, shit is shit.

Portion control is about as effective of a fat loss method as the "I'll
only put it in a little" method of teenage virginity preservation. Most
human beings, especially those who are clearly over-fat, can't eat just
a little of a delectable food. No fat person eats a single Oreo and walks
away. They ought to list the serving size as per row of cookies,
rather than per cookie. That would be more realistic.

Now we have this nonsensical "100 calorie" switcharoo going on. My gripe
is twofold:

1) It's still shit. It's still bad for you. It'll still wreck your health,
shorten your life, and turn you into an ugly naked person. It's not healthy
just because it's served by the tiny handful.

My daughter gets it now, but do fat adults? Do they want to get
it, or will they willingly suspend their dietary disbelief and convince
themselves they're not eating shit so that they can enjoy said
shit even more?

2) Wouldn't you rather eat a whole bunch of nutritious, healthy, great-tasting
food rather than a handful of shit?

Well, you can. You can whip up your own meals that are nutrient dense
and calorie sparse: plenty of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and other
good stuff, but not that many calories. That way you can eat a lot, get
full, and still have abs. Better than a handful of Oreo "crisps," huh?

Here's a few of my latest recipes that reflect this philosophy.

The Good Sh!t

Baked Stuffed Apples

With all due respect to the apple's longstanding role of keeping the
doctor away, I just can't stand crunching on a plain apple. I had to
come up with a way to increase my fibrous fruit intake, so I devised
this recipe.

The password here is texture. Texture is the forgotten element
of taste. That's why protein powder and MRP artists like Tim Patterson
and TC talk so much about "mouth feel" when it comes to protein shakes:
the flavor itself can be spot on, but if the texture sucks then it won't "taste" good.

I figured out that this was the problem with me and apples. I didn't
like the texture of the raw fruit, but I certainly liked the soft gooiness
of apple pie filling! Solution: baked apples. Even better, baked stuffed apples
with the flavors of apple pie. Here's how to get it.


A few apples

Chopped pecans

Chopped dates*


Imitation butter flavoring

Ground cinnamon

Ground nutmeg

* If you can't find dates in the fresh fruit section, get some pre-chopped
in a box over with the dried fruits. They'll probably be covered with
sugar, so just put them in a strainer and rinse.


Peeler (or sharp knife and box of Band-Aids)

Apple corer

Slow cooker (Crock Pot)

The Steps

1. Core out each apple, making sure to get all the seeds. Now peel off
the top half of the skin.

2. In a bowl, mix together the pecans, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, and
Splenda. How much? Depends on how many apples you're making. But don't
sweat it; you can't screw this up. Just use as much of each as you want
and adjust to taste the next time you make the recipe.

3. Take your imitation butter flavoring and put a few drops into each
apple. I use an eye dropper I bought just for this purpose. Using this
potent butter-tasting flavoring instead of real butter knocks a couple
hundred calories off this tasty dessert.

4. Now stuff the cored apples with the mixture of dates, pecans, and

5. Place in a slow cooker and add enough water to cover the bottom third
or so of the apples. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours.
I tend to stick to the longer cooking times because I like mine super
soft and gooey.


Like that? Try this: Use pears instead of apples and low-sugar
orange juice instead of water in your slow cooker. Stuff with dried cranberries
and almonds and flavor it up with ground ginger and a smidge of clove.

Italian Baked Tomatoes

First grade, elementary school cafeteria. The bitch's name was Mrs.
Brownie, the most feared teacher in the whole school. I'd broken one
of her cardinal rules: I'd talked too much during lunch and hadn't cleaned
my plate.

Mrs. Brownie made me sit there after everyone else had gone and eat
everything on the tray, including the yucky "salad." Finally, there was
only one item left: the raw tomato. And I didn't like tomatoes.

Fearing the thundercunt's wrath, I ended up dry swallowing the wretched
fake fruit. After that I didn't just dislike tomatoes, I loathed them.

Strange thing was though, I liked those soft chunky bits of tomato you
get in pasta sauces; I just hated raw tomatoes. And maybe this
is a natural thing. You see, one of the most healthful properties of
tomato is the lycopene that's bound up in the cell walls and fiber. You
really can't access this prostate cancer preventing nutrient unless you
cook the tomato.

Here's a recipe that serves up hot, juicy, lycopene-rich tomato goodness:


As many tomatoes as you want

Parmesan cheese

Smidge of olive-oil enriched butter or spray-on I Can't Believe It's
Not Butter

Chicken bullion (powder)

Pam organic olive oil spray

Italian herb blend


1. Slice the tomatoes in half.

2. Sprinkle with chicken bullion.

3. Top with a teaspoon of Parmesan cheese.

4. Give it a shot of fakey butter spray or dab of olive-oil enriched

5. Spray a small dish with a little Pam and place the tomatoes inside.

6. Bake at 400 degrees uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes until soft.

7. Give 'em a dash of your favorite Italian herb blend if you want,
let cool, and serve.

Note: Don't bother with the reduced-fat Parmesan cheese. The calories
are the same and the reduced-fat version has more junk fillers and carbs.
The calories are minimal anyway.

Baked tomatoes make a great side dish for just about anything, from
omelets to grilled chicken and steak. Even Mrs. Brownie would like them.

Low-Carb Red and Green Pizza

Forget green eggs and ham; let's talk first about phytonutrient-rich
green pizza. I like to make this quickie pizza in a toaster oven, so
it's great for college students with limited cooking spaces.


Mission Carb Balance tortillas (Only 4 net carbs with 8 grams of fiber.)

Low-sugar pasta sauce. Ragu Light works in a pinch, but other brands
that don't even advertise themselves as "light" can be even better. I
use Classico's fire roasted tomato and garlic.

Basil Pesto: Pesto is a thick paste made of basil, oil (preferably olive),
and cheese. It's mostly pure basil though, so the flavor is intense.

Fat-free mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 small avocado

Chopped spinach


1) Toss the tortilla in a toaster oven for a few minutes to pre-crisp
it a bit.

2) Then spread a thin layer of pesto on the bottom, then the pasta sauce.
Just a dab will do it. Top with veggies and cheese.

3) Flick the toaster oven over to broil and cook until the cheese is
melted and the tortilla gets a little crunchy on the edges.

Red Pizza Variation

Ditch the greens and go with the reds. Use sun-dried tomato pesto, sliced
fresh tomato, and olive oil packed sun-dried tomatoes on top.

Need some meat? Add turkey pepperoni or Canadian bacon before broiling.
Want to mix your greens and reds? Hey, that works fine.

Baja Fish Tacos and Tilapia Poblanos

There I was in San Diego, just wandering around and taking in the sights.
And by "sights" I mean surfer girls wearing those little cut-off jean
shorts. You know, the ones with holes in them so you can see that their
perfect tans go all the way up.

And that brings me to the subject of fish tacos. Mmmm... Wait,
no, I don't mean it that way. I mean these little surfer chicks invited
me to a fish taco joint with them. What did you think I meant? Perv.

The idea of a fish taco was new to this Texan, but man was I happy when
I bit into one. While most grilled fish tacos are fairly healthy (compared
to a Big Mac at least), I knew I could do better. Here's what I came
up with:

You'll need

Tilapia fillets (or any other firm white fish)

Mission low-carb, whole grain tortillas

Fat-free or low-fat shredded cheese, Mexican blend

1 can Rotel (Mexican lime and cilantro variety)

Fat-free sour cream

1 lime

1 surfer girl

Optional: 1 can chilpotles in adobo sauce, 1 can black beans

The Steps

The Fish

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spray a pan with a little Pam organic olive oil and get it nice and
hot. Place the tilapia in there and sear it for one minute each side.

3. Now place the fish in an oven safe dish (I use my lasagna dish because,
um, because I'm a bachelor and just don't have a lot of fancy cookware!).
Top with mixture of shredded cheese and Rotel and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

The Tortillas

Take your low-carb, high fiber, whole grain tortillas and pop them in
the toaster oven until slightly crisp. Or spray a pan with a little olive
or canola oil and crisp them for about a minute each side.

Of course, you can just heat them a few seconds in the microwave too,
but I like 'em a little crisp. Bet you will too.

The Baja Topping

Mix a half cup of fat free sour cream with around two tablespoons fresh
lime juice. Add a little coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, stir, and
serve in a bowl you stole from El Chico's at the mall.

Slap your fish into a tortilla, top with Baja sauce, a chilpotle pepper
if you're man enough, and maybe some black beans. Enjoy with aforementioned
surfer girl.


Want a super low-carb version or just want to ditch the grains altogether?
Then stuff your fish into roasted and pealed poblano peppers. Here's
how to do it.

1. Go buy some poblano peppers. These are the same big mild peppers
that your favorite Mexican food place uses to make chile rellenos.

2. Here's the fun part. With a pair of metal tongs, burn them over an
open flame. No, really. Burn and blister them until they're pretty black.

3. Place them into a paper sack or airtight container. This will allow
them to naturally steam, loosening their skins.

4. Now make the surfer girl peel the tougher, slightly bitter skin off.
Rinse with a little water to help get it all.

5. Slit down one side (it may be split already due to the roasting),
cut out the seed pod, and stuff with fish, cheese, and Rotel.

6. Place in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or so until the cheese
is melted.

Poblanos work great with bison, beef, and turkey too! Stuff 'em with
whatever you want! Same goes for the surfer girl if she's frisky.

Piña Colada Protein Shake

Know what's funny? Midgets. But you know what else? Gyms with
"smoothie bars" up front.

Ever stop and look at what most of these smoothies and protein shakes
are made from? Sugary fruit juice, more fruit added to it, lard-in-a-jar
regular peanut butter, so called "weight gainers"
that are mainly giant tubs of sugar... the shit list goes on.

And the sad part is, half the men trying to lose fat and ALL of the
little ol' ladies that train in the afternoon pull up to the smoothie
bar and order one after their training, sometimes before! Gee, burn 150
calories in your half-ass workout, then drink 1000 calories of sugar!
No wonder they seem to regress in spite of all that "training."

Listen, you can make some pretty cool shakes without turning them into
1000 calorie gut bombs. Here's one of my favorites:


2 scoops of banana cream low-carb Metabolic

1 can of unsweetened crushed pineapple it its natural juices

A few drops of imitation coconut extract


The Steps

1. Don't add any water to your blender. Just strain in a little of the
natural pineapple juice.

2. Now add two scoops of banana Metabolic Drive, a few drops of the
coconut extract, and blend. It should be very thick at this point.

3. Start adding ice, a little at a time, until you get the desired consistency.
I like mine super icy and so thick you need a spoon to eat it. Then top
with a few spoonfuls of the crushed pineapple. (If you want to be able
to use a straw, just blend the pineapple along with the other ingredients.)


Filling, tasty, physique friendly, and shit free. Eat up.

Chris Shugart is T Nation's Chief Content Officer and the creator of the Velocity Diet. As part of his investigative journalism for T Nation, Chris was featured on HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumble." Follow on Instagram