If I ever write a fictionalized account of my time not working I’ve already got two potential titles: Domestic Economy (which I think speaks for itself) or I Wake Up Flexing. I’ve also got the title to the sequel. It’ll be called I’ll Stop Flexing When I’m Dead. The plots are a little vague, but they all involve a protagonist who is a stay-at-home dad without any kids and who wants to have a body builder’s body but even with all the free time in the world he can’t get into healthy eating.
They call it fiction for a reason, because this summer is all about healthy eating, Beast Style.
Beast Style is a new way of finding and assimilating information that I’m using to build everything from my workout routine to our summer spreads of spritzes and salads.
Step 1) Have a vague idea in your mind of what you want to do–whether it is maximizing your glutes or deconstructing a Nicoise salad–in order to get started.
Step 2) Google a diverse assortment of words that include what you want. This can be as complicated as “max impact delts resistance bands easy” or “no cook Mediterranean salad sardines eggs delicious easy” or as simple as “how do I get ripped”.
Step 3) Manage your time! This is the one of the big lessons I’ve learned: domestic economy is all about time management. Do not read any of the articles that come up on the first page of Google. Scroll through the image results until you see a picture that resembles what you had in your head in the first place. There are usually some words that come up alongside the picture, in the case of salads, treat these as a shopping list. In the case of exercising, treat these as notes on form. Form is very important. [Foodie: Manage your time? Oh that is rich. You Google so much bullshit and get side-tracked from dinner prep so easily. I know because I check your Internet history. You literally Googled “What type of body oil does Joe Manganiello use?”]
Step 4) Half-remember stuff you have read about celebrities. Although doctors don’t tend to agree with Tom Brady on shunning night-shade vegetables, I’ve never met a doctor with a Super Bowl ring, let alone two. Or three. Or however many Tom has. I’m not really that interested in football. [Foodie: Night-shades are incredible and we will never stop enjoying them.]
Beast-style info gathering is good for more than just salads and workouts. It is also how I have become an expert in Heraldry and regional variations in southern Italian sandals. [Foodie: See above, re: time management.]
But back to those salads. Eating well in the summer is incredibly easy. For the last couple of years the Foodie and I have settled into a pretty great summer routine. Grill a protein. Grill a green. Grill a bag of potatoes. Plate and serve. Summer eating: balanced, nutrish and delish. [Foodie: Exactly: why mess with a good thing?]
There is a snag though. This summer I’m in charge of meals and I hate cooking like that. If I’m going to prepare dinner I want to make something. [Foodie: Why do you have to complicate everything?] Great summer eating, at least as we have done it, is really nothing more than buying groceries and standing over a barbecue. [Foodie: Exactly. It is so easy.] I hate barbecuing. So much timing. So much pressure. [Foodie: Actually so easy.] If I get distracted Beast-Style-info-gathering about Joe Manganiello’s body [Foodie: Silence] my cassoulet can take it. Grilling bread over an open flame? Not so much. Plus, I don’t think Joe Manganiello is eating a lot of complex carbs. [Foodie: I don’t even know who you are anymore.]
So I’ve been making summer salads. I know, I know. A salad is just buying ingredients and putting them in a bowl. It actually involves less making than grilling a protein, a green, and a bag of potatoes.
Sure. Maybe a normal salad. But let me introduce you to salad Beast Style. [Foodie: oh god.] This ain’t just iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing, but a universe of flash pickled onions, grilled lime and chile shrimp, poached eggs, roasted cauliflower two ways, braised chick peas, and tinned sardines. At one point there was even grilled trout and fiddleheads. [Foodie: At one point, it felt like you put all these ingredients into a salad and called it “dinner” and we almost got into a fight because you didn’t want to put the sardines on the side.]
It all starts with a vague idea, an image search and then a frantic hunt through our fridge and cupboards. [Foodie: Not to mention frantic text messages to me asking where everything is in the cupboards and fridge and how the hell should I know you are the one at home JUST LOOK FOR IT.] The salads rarely ever look like I originally imagined them and are never anywhere close to the pictures the ‘net provides. But they are always delicious. [Foodie: This is accurate.]
Sort of similar to the way adding Joe Manganiello’s body building book to my Amazon cart but not buying it hasn’t got me the body of my dreams yet. [Foodie: If you buy that book I must divorce you.]
You’ve got to get inspired somewhere. [Foodie: And I am thankful for it. Your salads, save for the sardines, are wonderful. And your body, save for smelling like sardines, has become my wonderland.]