Why trainer Rob Sulaver aims for 170 grams of protein a day—and lots of Brussels sprouts

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You might recognize Rob Sulaver as the badass, bandana-wearing coach on ABC’s strangely addictive show, My Diet Is Better Than Yours. But the trainer and sports nutritionist has actually been a big deal on the fitness scene for years. He’s an adviser for the (yes, the) Arnold’s website, schwarzenegger.com, has designed training programs for Nike, and somehow also manages to run Bandana Training—named, of course, for his preferred accessory.

Sulaver’s a stickler for smart eating, and has graciously passed on his intel for picking the right proteins and choosing “magic” (i.e. bioactive, phytochemical-rich) veggies in numerous e-books, like the recent Shred Kitchen. The success of his formula—which is all about keeping clients lean and energized—is definitely evident in his own, uh, body of work.

We got a peek inside Rob Sulaver’s fridge to see what, exactly, he stocks up on to stay so damn shredded.

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How would you describe your diet?

Metro-Paleo. I’m a dedicated carnivore, but my overall diet is vegetable-centric. I’m relatively low-carb, and I eat minimal gluten and limited dairy—but I’m never OCD about it. I enjoy eating out with friends and trying new restaurants in New York City. Sometimes I go into full shred mode, but most of the time wine, whiskey, and tacos are on the menu. I really love eating.

You obviously work out a ton, so how much protein do you eat in a day?

I aim for about 170 grams per day, or about one gram per pound of body weight.

Wow, that’s pretty impressive! You’ve also got a lot of produce in your fridge. Is it all organic?

I buy mostly organic, but sometimes the organic options are pretty weak—in which case, I buy conventional. And I don’t stress out about it.

What’s hiding in the big tub on the bottom shelf?

It’s got a boatload of Brussels sprouts that have already been pan-roasted with sea salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. I make them in advance, then I’ll throw them back in the pan to heat for a few minutes, so they’re ready to eat whenever.

Any particular plans for all those carrots—and all of that asparagus?

If you’re going to eat well on a daily basis, you have to keep things simple. There’s no time to get fancy-pants, like a French chef. I like to cut the carrots the long way—hot-dog style—sprinkle them with rosemary, drizzle them with olive oil, and over-bake them into caramelized carrot-y delectability. The asparagus I’ll sauté in a little butter, then light it up with some cayenne pepper and lemon juice.

Um, yum. Let’s say I come over for breakfast. What’s on the menu?

An omelet with ‘shrooms and spinach. Maybe a little avocado. And coffee…lots of coffee.

What’s your least favorite food?

A Big Mac.

And your fave?

Right now? A baked Brussels sprouts stalk.

Come on. That’s so virtuous!

No, really. I’m not trying to sound irreproachable or high-minded. But generally speaking, I don’t think we should feel guilty about our food. Food should give us pleasure. It should also leave us feeling strong, capable, energized, and jazzed about our reflection.

I have to ask: Is that all beer in the door?

Yeah, but I’m totally willing to share.

Going all-out with the veggies too? This is how Abel James recommends you store yours. And if you’re stocking up on a protein, here’s a super-handy guide to deciphering meat labels in the supermarket.

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