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on May 28, 2017
Contrary to some of the poor reviews that reference the lack of creativity in the recipes, I'm not a bachelor and I have two kids. I'm also an entrepreneur and between my sometimes failed attempts at being a great husband, father, and employer, I've never made the time to cook. So with that said, I personally don't need elaborate recipes with sexy garnishes. In addition, I don't enjoy prep, cooking, or clean-up. For all those reasons, I love this book. I went thru it and highlighted the best-looking recipes with the shortest prep time. I throw the ingredients on Wunderlist (on a grocery list shared with my wife), she does the shopping, and with these quick and easy, yet tasty recipes, I'm trying to be a bigger part of dinner time in our house - something I've always sucked at. So if you want a huge cookbook filled with elaborate recipes to make in your commercial-chef-inspired kitchen, this might not be for you. However, if you're a busy and/or simple person who just wants good food that is super easy to make, ignore the other reviews and spend the relatively low cost for a ton of recipes that taste good, regardless of the apparent, sometimes-perceived "simplicity."
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on December 4, 2016
I like that these are high-protein recipes, but I'm not sure if I can trust the recipes. After flipping through, I settled in making the no-bake matcha green tea fudge bars first. I bought the almond milk and almond butter (already had matcha). Then, I realized that the recipe leaves out the quantity of matcha and protein powder that are supposed to be added. I could probably wing it and make something work, but it's not a good sign for the rest of the cookbook. I'll probably have to recalculate all the nutrition info so I can trust it.
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on December 2, 2014
There are 2 books that I recommend on a weekly basis. This book and "Strength Training Anatomy" by Frederic Delavier.


I've purchased dozens of copies of both over the last several years and given them to friends and family. There's a reason.

I highly recommend to everyone who's trying to lose weight or build muscle that they read the first couple of chapters of this book. It explains in clear and concise language how food breaks down. It explains thing such as:

why you crave protein or carbs
why you need both and when
which fats are good, which are bad, and why you need both
which protein takes the longest to burn
what you need to eat before bed if you're hungry
what you need to eat when you first wake up

Basic and simple explanations for what to eat, when and why. It helps the average Joe understand the basics of the food that they're eating (or should be).

The last 3/4s of the book contains recipes for eating getting lean or getting big. It's simple recipes that you tweak in one direction or another depending on your goals.

This book is a fantastic read and I recommend it to all fitness beginners or pros.
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on July 22, 2017
So, this is the weirdest review I've written on Amazon. I'm really conflicted about the rating, which I will explain.

But first, here's the deal: you don't want this book. You want Michael Matthews' other book, Bigger Leaner Stronger (or if you're a woman, you presumably want his female-geared book Thinner Leaner Stronger, which I of course have not read). That book is excellent and contains every useful piece of information in this book and then some. If you already have BLS, this isn't going to get you anything useful. It's supposed to be a cookbook that goes along with BLS...but the recipes are pretty much completely useless for that purpose. The BLS program is basically a very high protein diet, and these recipes simply aren't any higher in protein than typical stuff. Just use normal cookbooks and/or grab some recipes from the web.

So that explains why I rated it one star: there are zero people who should buy it. Now, as for why I'm conflicted about that? Well...it also changed my life, hopefully forever. Because I didn't know BLS existed when I bought it. I bought some other cookbook and Amazon popped this up as a suggestion, and I thought what the heck. And then I read it, and the first part (before the recipes) was something of an epiphany. It's a scientific, evidence-based method for losing fat and building muscle, which immediately appealed to me. I quickly bought BLS and read it, then I built myself some meal plans, bought some weights and protein powder, and got to work.

It's hard. Really hard. This is definitely a "no shortcuts" method. But when I bought this book a few months ago I was 207lbs., which at 5'9" is....not good. I estimated I was around 25% body fat, which also is very bad. This morning I weighed 191, I'm somewhere between 15 and 20% fat, and I'm way stronger than I was. I look a lot better too. And I'm not remotely done. So, the system definitely works.

But to execute it you need the workout part as well as the diet part. BLS contains both of those things, whereas this book only contains the diet part and in less detail. And again, the recipes aren't actually useful. So, while I'm incredibly glad that I bought this book, nobody actually needs it. If you want to change your body and you're willing to work really hard to make it happen, grab Bigger Leaner Stronger.

I considered splitting the difference between the 5 stars it should get for changing my life and the one star that's my actual recommendation to people. I guess that would have been a 3 star review. But nobody reads 3 star reviews, and in any case I'm telling you not to buy the book. So 1 star it is...but if you're interested in this sort of thing, go buy BLS, which I'm definitely giving 5 stars!
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on July 21, 2016
A great book with very simplistic and easy to follow instructions. The recipes taste great and there is a lot of variety to keep you from getting bored. Awesome book for a young bachelor who knows absolutely nothing about cooking. Also has great recommendations on how to meet your caloric goals for training. Highly recommended!
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on August 21, 2017
I've cooked 3 things so far and each one has been amazingly good too! Very simple recipes, but yet great tasting ingredients. Hopefully I'll be giving some before and after pics.

Looking forward to another book already!
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on April 2, 2017
Mike Matthews always has good content. I recommend him to my family and friends whenever they seek nutrition facts or exercise tips
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Are you looking for exciting gourmet recipes and already know the basics of cooking? This will take some of your cooking skills to the next level. I've tried five recipes from this cookbook and am looking forward to trying more. Some of the recipes need a little adapting but since I know how to write recipes that is no issue for me. The recipes I've tried so far include:

Creamy Blueberry-Banana Smoothie: This smoothie is made with banana, blueberries, honey, Greek yogurt, flaxseeds and milk. I felt it needed to be a bit sweeter so added three packets of stevia and one teaspoon of vanilla powder. It was then perfect.

Beef Stroganoff: This is a lot better than the type of stroganoff you make with ground beef. Instead this recipes calls for beef tenderloin. I took it up a notch and used two beef ribeyes with all the fat cut off. One thing I can't find at my local store is condensed beef broth, so instead I just used 1 1/4 cup water with 1 3/4 teaspoon beef base (look for it in the soup isle). At the end of the recipe I realized it was a bit soupy (probably because I'm using stock not a condensed broth) so I added in two tablespoons butter mixed with two tablespoons flour. Changes the recipe calories a bit but I don't eat this very often. The Dijon mustard is really essential in the recipe. Once I forgot to add it and totally noticed a difference in flavor.

Grilled Rosemary Lamb Chops: Making these is an aromatic experience. I fried the meat in a frying pan since I don't have a grill and they still turned out fantastic. The minute the rosemary heats up with the lemon juice it produces a heavenly scent. I'd use double the rosemary next time. Also lamb bones are really sharp so when you put them in a plastic bag with the marinade it might leak a bit. To solve this problem I put the bag in a metal bowl in the refrigerator. No mess to clean up.

Pollo Fajitas: This recipe has a heavenly marinade that you can taste even after the recipe is done. The combination of Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar and soy sauce (I used Tamari) was delicious once heated. You serve the chicken with onions and green bell pepper in tortillas. They are also good with sour cream and salsa. Made these twice already and they are going to be a favorite for a long time. I use two large fry pans and cook the onions and peppers separately at the same time as the chicken. Works out great since everything is hot at the same time.

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp with Asparagus: You can omit the asparagus in this recipe no problem. I felt there were enough veggies just with the red bell peppers. And the author would be happy to know I used organic bell peppers. To me they are a bit sweeter. The only thing with this recipe is it calls for garlic to be sautéed and sometimes it can burn. So I put all the sauce ingredients in a Pyrex glass measuring cup and added the garlic to that and poured it into the shrimp and peppers at the end. Great garlic flavor without burning anything. I added one tablespoons butter mixed with one tablespoon flour to thicken the sauce a bit.

Other recipes I'm eager to try include:

Cinnamon-Spiced Sweet Potato Pancakes
Spiced Caribbean Oatmeal with Yogurt Swirl
Coconut Carrot-Ginger Soup
Thai Basil Chicken
Chile Relleno Casserole
Classic Tiramisu
Triple Berry Crisp

Yes this cookbook also has desserts but some recipes call for Truvia instead of all sugar.

So this recipe book has been really fun to work through and I'm not done yet. I had a question about one of the recipes and the author got right back to me so that was nice.

I look forward to trying new recipes in the near future. I love that so many of these recipes are gourmet. And these are recipes my weight lifting husband also enjoys.

~The Rebecca Review
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on February 16, 2016
Great book. Highly recommended.
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on June 9, 2016
I have read the book and started making some recipies , I like it a lot , the simplicity of the recipies is what's helping me have a much better quality and variety of meals and not get tired of " dieting " in combination with my workouts. By dieting i meant saying it as it really doesnt feel like i was dieting at all.
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