The old (and irrelevant) adage goes: you should never trust a skinny chef. But what about a chef with 24-inch biceps and the shredded physique of a Marvel superhero? For the latest installment of Eat Like, we met up with former White House Chef Andre Rush to talk about what it’s like to consume eight meals a day to keep up with his fitness regimen (Yes, eight.)
During the summer of 2018, the military vet went viral after being photographed on the White House lawn, biceps in full view. And to maintain those arm gains, the 47-year-old consumes anywhere from six to 10,000 calories a day, keeping in mind a “60/20/20” split.
“That means I do about 60 percent of straight protein, 20 of those good fats, and then I’ll do 20 of those carbohydrates,” he told Men’s Health. “And if you think about this in perspective, you’ll think about an olympic swimmer or a boxer, they will eat 6000+ calories, and they’re still lean and mean. … I do [it] because I have to exert a lot of energy.”
A day in Rush’s life begins at 3am. “I get up, I meditate, I roll over, and do my 2,222 push-ups.” Same! After a quick workout, Rush chows down on a protein shake—kale, peanut butter, oatmeal—some lean beef, and 24 boiled eggs…hard stop. “I do 20 whole eggs without the yolk, and I eat the other four whole.”
Come 6am, it’s snack time. Rush’s go-to is a peanut butter and banana sandwich with some homemade jam. A few hours later, it’s protein time. He takes two servings of beef, some quinoa, tomatoes, lemon juice, pepper, garlic, and feta cheese for one hell of a snack.
At 2pm, it’s time for one of his “bigger meals”: chicken, steak, and white rice. “I’m not so much into brown rice or wild rice. I like a good jasmine rice.” At 6pm, it’s dinner number one. (Yes, he has more than one dinner.) His is sweet potatoes, broccoli, more chicken, and another protein shake. Dinner number two at 8pm is all about fish; he prefers salmon, and adds some tomatoes and kale.
Then, Rush calls it a day. Kidding. At 10pm, it’s time for dinner three: a protein shake with some greek yogurt, quinoa, and half a banana. Lastly, a midnight snack: even more chicken.
“Remember, if you’re not pushing, you’re not trying,” Rush said. We’re tired just thinking about it.
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