One of the biggest determinants of improving my health and vitality has been optimal nutrition. My daily routine now (described below) is a consistent one. It’s taken many years to arrive at the current model. I have tried various “diets” and tweaks to my macro, micro, and supplements. Reading books, listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, etc. have all helped, and occasionally mislead.
Through it all, its taken willingness and hope that I might feel better, if I try something different. (Shit, this might even be my greatest neurotic illusion that leads me astray.) I still have much to learn and embrace staying open: I’m curious to give Vegan a try. Why not? There are some compelling reasons to do so. Curiosity. Experimentation. Optimism that there may be pathway yet to discover.
Failing miserably sometimes looks like a quarter pounder, I mean, a double ¼ pounder with cheese, mac sauce only. Let’s supersize that. Every so often, midday sessions of pounding Sour Patch Kids can really brighten my day. I love sausage mcmuffins with egg: they taste great! And, they fuck you good too. If you’ve really seen what’s in that chicken nugget, you know. How did it come to this? And, how do we so willingly continue down these pathways when our health is tanking, and animal cruelty is at an all-time high? Fast food is… fast, cheap, and designed to seduce. I digress.
As a general rule, I feel that I am on target when 80% of my week is composed of 80% quality: I can get by with 20% “cheating” and still maintain body composition and positive health outcomes. (Let’s set aside the other aforementioned implications and evident hypocrisy.) How convenient.
My advice for most people who want to improve their health with food is as follows: start your nutrition journey with a food journal. Write down EVERYTHING. Use an app, use a notepad. But, really look at what you are consuming. Do it for at least a week. Possibly, step it up a notch by measuring that food. Look at the nutritional value of what you are eating by weight. It is time consuming. It’s telling. The internet is your friend. You’ll find the data quite easily. This “is the way” to quote the Mandalorian. Knowing what you’re are eating, and the nutritional value of that food is necessary for #deepheath.
Documenting your bloodwork numbers before a major change in diet is useful. For example, I wore a continuous blood glucose monitor for a month in July. I slightly freaked because of high numbers. Holy shit! I was pre diabetic. Had no idea. But, I didn’t know my A1C. I may have saved myself a good dose of anxiety. Turns out that intermittent fasting, low carb, exercise types can experience “adaptive glucose sparing”. This tends to skew raw numbers. Of course, consulting your physician prior to major changes is always recommended. (Also, I am not a doctor and do not play one on the internet.) What works for me might not work for you.
What is the lifestyle and health of your GP? Some argue that the traditional food science training for physicians needs upgrading. My father in-laws doctor had not realized continuous glucose blood monitors we even invented. Food science and food wisdom seems to be experiencing rapid growth. We are in the emerging age of bio-individuality. Doing your own research and challenging the status quo may be necessary to harnessing the direction of our health and health of our loved ones.
It’s an exciting time for food science and also ancestral approaches to nutrition. The volume of information and data available can be both liberating and daunting. What are your genetic origins? Can you cook? Will you make time to get into the kitchen? These things may play a role in determining your food action plan. Maybe you live in a food desert. Many do. Maybe you can afford to have healthy food delivered to your home. That would be nice, minus the packaging and carbon footprint problem. So many interesting ways to approach our most essential and needed activity.
For me, the bottom line is getting away from processed foods and cleaning it up. The modern food industry has created the perfect symphony of fast, easy and seductive foods that are literally killing us. Let’s bail on them when and where possible.
My daily routine – Paleo/Clean Eating. Everything below is local/organic/Non-GMO where possible.
7 am – 16 oz blended vegetables, 24 g egg white protein, 12 g of collagen, 5 g creatine, a chugg of olive oil or flax oil. 16 oz coffee with non dairy creamer.
12:30 pm – 16 oz of protein (beef/chicken/fish), 16 oz blended vegetables, a chugg of olive oil or flax oil.
3:30 pm – 16 oz of protein ( beef/chicken/fish), 16 oz blended vegetables, a chugg of olive oil or flax oil
6:30 pm – 12 oz protein/vegetable medley a chugg of olive oil or flax oil.
Throughout the day I’ll likely have consumed 16 more oz of caffeine, 32 g of nicotine and 46 oz of carbonated water. I also rotate the nootropic Qualia. Before bed, I often consume, 20-40 mg of CBD, lavender and black seed oil.
Evening supplements include:
Colon Plus, IPS, Beta -TCP, Berberine HCL and Fish oil… *
I’ll note that this summer I tried variations of intermittent fasting and keto. I typically used an 18/6 window with select days of transition into a keto day followed by the above Paleo/clean eating mentioned above in a compressed window. My main objective was cellular autophagy and detoxification. Aesthetically, I was interested in burning that last bit of tummy fat. The downside was too much muscle loss. I do have some ego about appearance. The results were a surprise in muscle loss. Unfortunately, I presume because of age, it has been more difficulty to regain this muscle. It has resulted in less explosive BMX riding and lower weight tolerances during CrossFit workouts. However, the strength to weight ratio has improved activities such as climbing. I’ll note that during this time I was also doing more endurance mountain biking. It’s simply hard for hypertrophy and endurance to coexist. In the end, I’ll take sports over the gym. And, adaptation over aesthetics.
Paleo/Clean Eating. If there’s a label then this is it. My wife and I have successfully complete two Whole 30s. I’ve somewhat haphazardly been juicing and blending for over ten years. Here are some of my favorite resources of late… Hail to the occasional Almond Roca, IPA, and homemade berry pie with vanilla bean ice cream.
Newport Farmers Market, Sitka Springs Farm, Gathering Together Farm, Ben Greenfield Fitness, Food Sleuth Radio, Oregon Tilth, Ancestral Supplements, Naked Nutrition, Qualia – Neurohacker Collective, Whole 30, Rich Roll, NTP
* These are at the recommendations of a certified NTP (Nutritional Therapy Practitioner) whom I’ve seen twice I the last month and one half. I’m planning on writing a full post on this experience in the coming months. We both agreed that I might be a hard case to = finesse out improvements. But, overall there are no negatives effects from these visits and supplements. In fact, the practical wisdom she has suggested has been really good information. Like, eat your foods slowly, eat warm food in the winter. Neither of which, are part of my values around eating. Since I eat a lot of raw vegetables we’ve also discussed the reality of phytic acid and lectins which can both be problematic. More about this some other time.