It hit me full-force two weekends ago at the Arnold Classic Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. I was 3 weeks out from my first bodybuilding competition, pretty much feeling like warmed-over death (which is standard at that stage), and walking around the expo exhausted and generally feeling crummy.
And it hit: the dreaded sweet tooth. Throughout the majority of this prep—20 weeks in so far, and down about 50lbs—the sweet tooth hasn’t reared its ugly head all that much. I’ve been pretty content with my chicken, egg whites, white rice, and oats. But as the show date gets closer and the variety of foods dwindles to an ever-shrinking list, well, the body starts craving. Every year I’ve competed, I’ve gotten distinctly different cravings. And this time, it was sweets.
You know you’re in bad shape when you start taking shots of calorie-free maple syrup substitute straight out of the bottle. Or worse yet, putting it on your tilapia-and-white-rice-mash, mixed with some yellow mustard, to get that awesome combo of sweet and savory.
That sweet tooth can kick your ass, and it can kick it hard. Which is precisely why you want to catch it before it gets too bad.
Then I met Lou DeNofrio, owner of Divine Nutrition and purchaseprotein.net, who happens to be one of the primary sponsors of our radio podcast, GEAR’D Up. Lou gave me a sample of the cinnamon bun protein by Divine Nutrition, and I was somewhat floored. It was REALLY good! Like, holy crap, Cinnabon good! Before I parted, he gave me a small tub to take home with me.
I’m at that stage of my diet where, unfortunately, several of my meals are protein-only. Specifically, my last meal every night is two cups of liquid egg whites (which I choose to drink, because I hate eating egg whites) along with four ounces of chicken. As of late, in order to address the dreaded sweet tooth, I have instead been mixing one scoop of Divine Nutrition’s cinnamon bun protein powder into the egg whites. Is it a pizza? Well, no, I’d be a liar if I said it hit home with that degree of satisfaction. But it DOES help to curb that terrible sweet tooth at the end of the night, and put my brain in the right spot before winding down and retiring. Knowing that I have that sweet treat waiting for me at the end of the night makes staying on track and not cheating all the easier. I almost think of it as my “reward” for another day of grinding through the brutal diet, cardio, training sessions, endless posing, tanning, and all other things involved with getting ready for a competition.
In a very real sense, Divine Nutrition has been my savior during the final three weeks of prep. Their protein has helped me stay on track and not cave. And every tool in your arsenal when you’re that close to stage day, is a blessing. Thank you Lou and Divine Nutrition for making such an excellent product that will only enhance my efforts all the more come game day!
-David A. Johnston