This weekend just gone, we had a lovely l-o-n-g weekend here in the UK. Something about the Queen, or something? Yes, it was the Jubilee weekend and we got not only an extra Bank Holiday Monday but a crazy bonus Bank Holiday Tuesday, too.
So I decided to actually do something with the little holiday, and go to stay with family by the seaside. Very nice it was, too. But this post isn’t about watching the Red Arrows at the local airshow, nor is it about bombarding an unsuspecting Frenchman with questions about his career. It’s not even about why my 21-month old nephew refers to our friend Hayley as “Mickey Cakes”, very clearly and very specifically (although we would all love to know the answer to that mystery).
No, it’s about just how easy it actually is for non-bodybuildery folk to host, feed and water a dieting bodybuilder. Or, in the words of my sister:
“That really wasn’t bad at all!”
If you’re related to a bodybuilder, friends with a bodybuilder or simply trembling under the knowledge that you have a bodybuilder coming round for a cuppa, here are some top tips, courtesy of my family.
1) Just ask them what they can and can’t eat. Chances are it isn’t as scary, expensive or tricky as you’ve been imagining. Most BBers live on a diet of chicken, eggs, vegetables, rice and water. See? Not so bad. If it helps, my sister triumphantly declared on Facebook that “the fridge is stocked with berries, veg, salad, chicken, and fish. The cupboards are stocked with sparkling water and coke zero. It can only mean one thing, I’m hosting a bodybuilder this weekend.”
2) Tell them to bring their own. No bodybuilder I know would expect their host to cater to their every whim. We know we’re a pain in the glutes. We’re used to preparing food, travelling with it, eating it in the strangest places out of the strangest of containers. So, if you tell us to bring our own egg whites/chicken/espresso because, quite frankly, you can’t be doing with getting those items in, that’s just fine. We’ll just be happy to have a plate to eat it from!
3) Get creative. As my sister and step mother will agree, hosting a bodybuilder is actually a fine excuse to think outside the culinary box and try a few new recipes (or revisit old favourites). For example, my sister cooked a lovely family meal which suited us all – I think it was a Jamie Oliver one (?) and it was basically chicken breasts baked with lemon and sage, with asparagus (always a winner) and then a lovely side dish of sweet potatoes, chili, coriander and feta. She just left the feta out of my serving. Easy! And so delish. And then on another day, my step mother cooked chicken kebabs (the skewer kind! not the kebab-shop kind!) under the grill, with puy lentils and salad. Simple, lovely and most certainly bodybuilder-friendly. Put extras out like a bread basket and wine for those who aren’t dieting for a bodybuilding competition, and everyone’s a winner!
4) Don’t feel bad for the bodybuilder. Don’t worry that we can’t, or choose not to, have a dessert. Don’t be sad that we’re not drinking wine. We’re OK with it, and we’d like you to be, too. As long as we can sit with you, enjoy your company and (best of all!) have a meal cooked for us, we’re in heaven. Honest! And it will make the distant future time when we *can* have dessert and drink wine with you all the sweeter…
The final word goes to my sister: “I was panicking about what to cook and wanted to make sure I got it right, but actually it was surprisingly easy to cook something that everyone could eat and most importantly enjoy. PS You can also say on your blog that I’m very pleased with the state of my veg and salad drawer!”
Yes, over the course of one weekend I managed to empty that salad drawer single-handedly. I take my duty to all things salad-related very seriously!
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.