I'm sitting here writing while eating a sumptuous bowl of berry, cinnamon and vanilla porridge and, get this, the meal is good for my health and my cricket. Now that's nutrition we can all love.
It's one of many recipes I have discovered as part of becoming fully acquainted with the Precision Nutrition (PN) system by John Berardi. Today I want to give it my full review.
Here is the short review: Get it, it will change your life.
In fact, that is pretty much the whole point of PN. If you want a diet in the modern sense you can forget about PN. You are required to throw out much of the way you eat and adopt the PN way instead. If that sounds like hard work then yes it is. I have been following the PN principles for several months now and I'm still not used to it fully (hey, I have years of poor habits to get over). But it's also worth it. I'm leaner and stronger than ever. I feel healthy and I enjoy food more than I ever had.
Let me say that again: I enjoy food more on PN than I did before it.
That's something I certainly didn't expect before the package arrived from the US. In the box you get a ring binder with the nuts and bolts of the plan. There is the 10 habits of course, but also a section on personalising your eating and a guide to measuring your progress. That's what the plastic pinchy things are in the picture: Callipers to use to track your drop in body fat.
It's not all plain sailing though.
One of the big hurdles to cross both in deciding to take up PN and also the first few weeks of using it is getting your head around preparation strategies. You are required to eat some lean protein, good fats and vegetables every 2-3 hours. That takes a lot of cooking and planning. While the good Dr. Berardi promises it should take no more than 35 minutes a day that kind of speed takes practice. I have spent well over an hour after work cooking for the next day on occasions.
Luckily the book does include a lot of strategies for speeding things up and the more used to the preparation you get the faster things happen. Despite this it's still way slower than popping to the canteen for burger and chips.
The support forum is there for questions and extra content like a bonus DVD, workouts, exercise demonstrations and audio files. Such big eating changes demand support. You certainly don't feel left alone.
These are practical things though. The real pleasure of PN comes from the recipes. They have been designed for people with minimal cooking skills and time which suits me fine as I have both these issues. Despite that I found the recipes easy to make and I have found myself actually making healthy mixed nut biscuits recently. Biscuits! (Actually it takes about 5 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes cooking in the oven, but they go down well which is the ultimate test.)
As the food tastes so good it's easy to get excited about PN, but the ultimate test is the difference it makes to your health and your cricket. I had my best season ever following the system and as I said before I have never been leaner or stronger.
I highly recommend PN to give you what you need and want from your nutrition. It's the best £70 odd quid I have spent on health and fitness.
As a disclaimer, I am an affiliate meaning I get some money for recommending PN to you. As you can see though, I use it myself and it works.