I just arrived in Iguazu, Argentina today. I went to the grocery store and bought a frozen bag of peas. I ate them, frozen, on the street enjoying every minute. This reminded me of something else ‘crazy’ I did in Panama. I consumed 36 eggs every day for 2 weeks.
It’s no secret amongst my friends and family that I love eggs. One of my roommates used to yell, “Eggs!” whenever I went in the kitchen to cook. My flat-mates in Cordoba, Argentina called me the “Hombre de Juevos” (Egg Man).
In late 2007 I was eating, by normal standards, an astronomical 12 eggs a day. Most health organizations recommend no more than 4 eggs per week while I was averaging 84! Accordingly, people were constantly warning me that I should get a blood test and check my cholesterol. I took them up on it.
When I got the results, my HDL cholesterol levels were incredibly high while my LDL levels were below average – this is a good thing. My triglyceride level was off the charts good at 52. I remember the nurse reading the results was in disbelief. “That’s incredible,” she said.
The blood test results further solidified my belief that eggs are to me, like spinach is to Popeye. So taking the leap to 36 eggs a day wasn’t a difficult or scary step for me.
Why 36 eggs
In Panama, Clay and I decided to do a bit of experimenting with bodybuilding and diet. My weight had dropped down below 165, the lowest it had been in awhile. I wanted to put on some muscle mass.
After sifting through a lot of diet programs we settled on what is known as the Hormone Precursor diet designed by the famous bodybuilder coach Vince Gironda. His ideas were radical, but the quick transformations and astehically pleasing figures his athletes developed were enough to convince us it was worth a try.
Gironda believed that eggs were a) the most perfect food and b) they had a steroid like effect on the body releasing growth hormones necessary for building muscle. He recommended that the bodybuilder make 3 special eggs drinks and sip them throughout the day in-between meals.
Vince’s special protein drink:
12 (raw) eggs
6 oz heavy cream
1/3 cup of milk-and-egg protein powder
(if you’ll notice, this is similar to my Best Breakfast Recipe Ever post)
The idea here is to keep the body in a constant state of positive nitrogen balance. This is achieved by ingesting 30-50 grams of protein at least every 3 hours to keep your blood-suger levels with a constant supply of protein. Doing this puts your body in an anabolic state by releasing growth hormones.
Working Up To 36 Eggs A Day
We began by half-ing the initial recipe in order to slowly work up to 36 eggs. We drank Vince’s special protein drink (with 6 eggs) 3 times a day for 2 weeks. For the second 2 weeks we bumped it up to 24. The next 2 weeks 30. Then for the final 2 weeks of our program we ate 36 eggs a day.
Breakfast was the largest meal – one whole drink 12 eggs in all. The rest of the day was spent sipping on the drinks to down the other 24.
My time spent building muscle in Panama was very effective. I went from 165 lbs. to 180 lbs. upon waking. This was over an 8 week time period. By a mirror test, I’d say 10 of those lbs. were muscle and the other 5 were fat. I could have exercised more to keep up with the calorie consumption and minimize fat gain.
1) By the time we reached 36 eggs a day both of us were feeling quite bogged down by the amount of food we were eating. Along with eggs, we were both consuming at least 2 lbs. of beef as well. We had to make sure to get plenty of exercise during the day, on top of the normal workouts.
2) During this period I noticed an unusual amount of blemishes popping up. I attribute it to the increased amount of hormones running through my body. When we completed a five day fast afterward, my skin felt and looked a lot better (until I reached Argentina were there’s beef, beer, and all night discos).
It amazes people when I tell them that I did this. They’ll say, “That’s so bad for you,” as they shove another buttery croissant down their face. People are so afraid of cholesterol and eggs because it’s been conditioned (mainly by the cereal companies).
Of course 36 eggs in a day is extreme. It’s not a diet I would consider keeping for the rest of my life. In fact, some of you may be shocked to know I’m thinking of beginning a vegan diet later this year.
It’s not too crazy if you think about it:
Calories in 36 eggs: 2160 kcals
Calories in Macaroni Grill Spaghetti and Meatballs with Sauce: 2,430 kcals
And that’s one meal.
Take home message
There are established rules in every aspect of life. A lot of them make sense, and lot should be questioned. Thus, when I wanted to put on muscle quickly I decided to question the norm. And when I questioned and experimented, things turned out great.
Life is a long series of experiments. Why not eat a bag of frozen peas on a hot day? Why not eat 36 eggs in day?