Dieting is tough, particularly when your diet causes you to eat food that is boiled, tasteless, and all around unpleasant. That bland food is really what makes it so hard to stay faithful to your diet.
But what if there was a way to cook good food that was as delicious as it was nutritious? It would definitely make your diet much easier, and you’d be able to enjoy your meals a whole lot more.
Well, that’s a possibility with this program. Keep reading this Anabolic Cooking review.
What is Anabolic Cooking?
Anabolic Cooking is a program aimed at helping you eat the foods that will promote muscle-building as effectively as possible. It’s not just any diet program, but you’ll learn about the best foods to pack on those pounds of muscle.
It’s meant to be paired with a bodybuilding/strength training program, as that’s the only way that you can actually put on the muscle. With the series of ebooks included in this package, you can fuel your body with all of the right foods!
The Mind Behind Anabolic Cooking: Dave Ruel
Dave Ruel is also the author of the Metabolic Cooking book, which we reviewed here.
He is a competitive bodybuilder who won a number of championships in his weight class, as well as a certified nutritionist and Fitness Coach. He’s also known as the “Muscle Cook” thanks to his recipes, all of which are included in the Metabolic and Anabolic Cooking programs.
His goal: to help people lose weight or pack on the muscle without suffering through a strict, bland diet of “boiled chicken, baked potatoes, and broccoli”. 
The Anabolic Cooking Program Reviewed
When you purchase the program, you get a surprising amount of value! It’s not just one cookbook filled with recipes, but you get over 20 PDF files containing a lot of information on eating for weight loss, muscle gain and more.
On the face of it, it’s definitely worth the price, but let’s take a closer look at the books to see what kind of value they offer…
A Look at Anabolic Cooking
Here is a fairly in-depth look at the various books you receive when you purchase the Anabolic Cooking program.
To begin, we’ll start with the primary cookbook itself, Anabolic Cooking…
The book begins with an “inspirational story” of how the author–Dave Ruel–transformed himself from the chunky weightlifter he was into the champion athlete he is today. It gives a bit of insight into how nutrition plays a role in the process of building muscle, but it’s not an absolutely necessary part of the book.
From there, we jump right into the recipes, beginning with everyone’s favorite: Breakfast.
Among the breakfast recipes, you’ll find delicious foods like Vanilla Cream Oatmeal, Low Carb Spinach Scramble, or Zucchini Hash Browns.
The breakfasts tend to be fairly heavy on the protein, fruit, and vegetable-side, and fairly low in the carb/starch side. There is some included, but most of the emphasis is on protein and fiber.
Chicken and Poultry
The next section looks at some amazingly delicious recipes for preparing chicken and turkey, such as Chicken Fajitas, Baked Crispy Chicken Nuggets, and Chicken Pizza. There are even 15 delicious marinades you can use to prepare delicious chicken.
Once again, the recipes are often very heavy on the meat and veggies, with many of them eliminating carbs altogether.
Red Meat and Pork
This is one of my favorite sections, complete with tasty offerings like Lebanese Beek Kebabs, Jamaican Pork, and Southwest Beef.
Some of these recipes call for noodles or rice, while others have potatoes as part of the meal. However, most of them focus on the red meat, which is the star of any bodybuilding diet.
Fish and Seafood
Without plenty of fish, no diet is complete. This section gives you some tasty recipes to help you prepare fish, with options like Creole Tilapia, Cajun Shrimp, and Poached Halibut. As a bonus, you even get 15 recipes that you can prepare using canned tuna.
Salads, Soups, and Sides
Some of the salads listed here include Almond Chicken Salad, Spinach and Chicken Salad with Curry Dressing, and 3-Bean Salad.
The soups include Chicken Barley Soup, Slow-Cooked Turkey Chowder, and Anabolicious Gumbo.
You’ll love the sides, which include Wasabi Mashed Potatoes (an odd idea that could be quite tasty), Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Herbed Quinoa.
You can also try the Guilt-Free Spinach Dip, the Guacamole, or the Perfect Spaghetti Sauce.
Snacks and Bars
These are a very essential part of any bodybuilder’s diet, and they include offerings like High Protein Fudge Bars, Peanut Butter Protein Bars, and Zucchini Bread.
These snacks tend to be fairly carb-heavy, but there is enough protein added in to ensure that your muscles get the necessary amino acids once you have finished your workout.
Who doesn’t love a good dessert? Unfortunately most diets forbid desserts, but not this one! You can prepare tasty treats like Mango Lime Mousse, Guilt-Free Chocolate Sauce, and Banana Cream Pie thanks to the recipes here.
You’ve got about 200 recipes in total–a pretty hefty cookbook filled with excellent muscle-building meals!
Muscle Cook’s 10 Most Anabolicious Recipes
This is a bonus e-book that comes with the package, highlighting the 10 best recipes in the main Anabolic Cooking book. It’s probably the book that is given away free to interest people in signing up for the Anabolic Cooking website’s email list.
The recipes include:
- The Muscle Cook’s Chili
- Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Dave’s Anabolic Blueberry Oatmeal
- Dave’s Famous Turkey Meatloaf
- and others…
Why are these the 10 best recipes? The author doesn’t explain why they are good, just like he neglects to explain why the 200+ recipes he gives you are good for packing on the pounds of muscle. There is a very noticeable lack of information, but the whole package is focused in giving you the recipes without educating you as to what part of the meal plan is best for building muscle.
Nutrition and Training Log
These one-page PDF files are ideal for those who want to keep track of exactly what they are eating and the exercises they do.
The Nutrition Log comes with enough space for 6 meals, as well as the post-workout meal/snack. You can fill in the exact number of calories, grams of carbs, protein, and fat, and use it to help you add up what you’ve eaten in the day.
The Training Log helps you to keep track of each workout you do, with spaces for each exercise you do, the number of sets and reps, and what weight you use.
They’re handy bonus files, but something that anyone could make in Excel in minutes.
The Ultimate Muscle Meal Guide
This is the first part of the program where we actually get some information on the meals, why they’re good for building muscle, and how to structure your own meals for optimum muscle building.
Unfortunately, the author once again fails to break down the various nutrients and explain how they contribute to building muscle, replenishing energy post-workout, etc.
He does give pretty useful information on how much of each food to include in your meals:
- 3 fist-sized portions of vegetables
- 2 palm-sized portions of protein
- 1 fist-sized portion of fruit, whole grains, or starches
- ¼ cup of healthy fats
- 1 large glass of water
Why is this the perfect portion size? If you’re waiting to find out from reading this book, you’re going to be sorely disappointed…
The Ugly Truth About Supplements
This book takes a look at why supplements don’t work, though it doesn’t get into details of specific supplements, reasons why the supplements aren’t effective, or how to read supplement bottle labels to find the right supplements.
He takes a look at five supplements he considers essential:
- Protein powder
- Fish Oil
Good news here: he actually explains why these supplements are vital. He gives recommendations of the brands that he considers the best, which can help simplify the process of choosing from among the millions of supplements on the market.
This is the book where he actually explains the details of the various components of the diet. It tells you about why protein, carbs, and fats are all necessary for your body, and what each of the food types does.
It also gives you the principles of eating according to this diet plan, which include:
- Eating six meals a day
- Eat every 2 to 3 hours
- Eat enough
- Avoid Junk Food
- Drink more water
It also gives you the basics of food prep, a simple shopping list, the items you’ll need in your kitchen, and more. It is exactly what it says: the way to get started.
For anyone who is new to the world of dieting, bodybuilding, weight loss, and muscle-building, read book first. If you read it BEFORE you get into the Anabolic Cooking book, you’ll understand just why the recipes are structured the way they are. It will make everything clear, so it’s the place where you should start.
Unfortunately, it’s not the first book that most people read when they purchase the Anabolic Cooking program, so the information it contains isn’t usually read until much later. In fact, some people never even make it through all of the 20+ files, as it’s a lot of reading to do.
Lean Muscle Mass Meal Plans
This folder comes with an instruction guide to help you get started with your diet to pack on the pounds of muscle–but lean muscle, not just muscle mass. The guide gives you the simple tips that will get you started on the road to gaining lean muscle, along with menus for various calorie intakes between 2000 and 5000 calories per day.
These books make it easy for you to know exactly what to eat in order to consume a certain number of calories each day. When it comes to packing on muscle, the only way to do so is to consume more food and turn those calories into energy.
Optimal Fat Loss Meal Plans
For those who are trying to lose weight, this is the folder of bonus material for them!
The instructions are exactly the same as the Lean Muscle Mass Meal Plan program, but the recipes are different. The meal plans are structured to allow you anywhere between 1200 and 3000 calories per day, depending on your size, energy expenditure, etc.
Once again, the information is broken down into specifics, so you know exactly how many calories, grams of carbs, protein, and fat you are eating!
What We Think of Anabolic Cooking
As far as the program goes, it offers pretty good value. For the price, you get over 20 different files, each of which contains recipes, tips, advice, and specific information to help you stay faithful with your diet while still being able to enjoy what you eat.
It’s not the “perfect” program, but it’s pretty good.
We’re Not Fond Of
The Design of the Book
The interior features a bright yellow picture that is quite grating on the eyes, and the book can take a few minutes to load on a slower computer. It’s not designed to be sleek and streamlined, but it’s definitely very visually impacting–too much for some people’s tastes.
Lack of Information
The only place where you can find out why the meals are structured the way they are is in the Quick Start Guide, which many people tend to skip over. The program could have been written with a bit more background information before readers get to the recipes, as that would make it easier to understand the whys and wherefores.
You get over 20 books of recipes, advice, tips, and details on how to eat for weight loss or muscle gain. For the price, it doesn’t get much better than this.
If you’ve ever prepared any of the recipes in the book, you’ll see that they’re actually quite tasty. There are over 200 of them, so you will never run out of meal options. The layout of the ebook makes it hard to skip to the specific recipe you want to prepare, but you’ll find the wide variety of meal options outweighs the difficult navigation.
The Nutritional Details
With each menu and meal plan comes a breakdown of exactly what’s in the food, including the number of calories and the grams of fat, protein, and carbs in each meal. It’s helpful if you’re like me and want to keep close track of exactly what you’re putting in your body.
Truth be told, the Anabolic Cooking program is one that you could easily do without, and you’d get the same results from a healthy diet–albeit a bit slower. If, however, you are looking for a diet plan that will help you pack on the pounds of muscle quickly, I would have to say that this is the one I would recommend.
Final Verdict: 4 Stars