Diet & Nutrition
for Strength, Energy & Health
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there is a lot of information on diet out there. Diet is critical
to your health, immunity, and energy-level, but unfortunately, there
are no simple answers. There are tons and tons of books on diet, each
claiming to be THE definitive source of information, and each one
seeming to contradict the next.
me share with you my own philosophy on diet, and then I'll go over
what are (hopefully) a few irrefutable principles shared by everyone
who ever wrote a book on diet.
philosophy: No one has all the answers. Everyone needs a different
diet to be healthy, and there are just a few principles that apply
universally. To find your own optimal diet is going to require some
patience and experimentation.
general prinicpals that I believe apply to everyone. Beyond these,
you must bear in mind that what is healthy for one person may not
be healthy for another -- you will likely have to try adding and removing
specific foods from your diet, and assessing how each one affects
you, before finding the diet that suits you best. Still, everyone
can benefit from these principles:
- Stay well-hydrated
by drinking lots and lots and lots of water (and possibly fresh
fruit juices for some people - do not drink juice from concentrate,
which has been over-processed). Staying well-hydrated will
increase your energy-level, help your digestion, protect you from
illness, and even slow aging. Your body is made primarily of water,
and the benefits to drinking lots and lots of it are ENDLESS!!!
Conversely, if you suffer from chronic dehydration, you are opening
yourself up for a world of problems...
- Increase your
consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly
at breakfast and lunch. These foods provide a lot of nutrients,
including protein, and are easy to digest so they give you a lot
of energy. The human body is specifically designed to take in and
process large quantities of complex carbohydrates, so you can't
go wrong by eating more and more raw foods. If you decide to try
the Atkins diet, which I generally do NOT recommend, remember that
the idea is to give up simple, processed carbohydrates like sugar,
cereal, and bread. You absolutely MUST continue to eat complex carbs
-- fresh fruits and vegetables. If you don't, you will surely lose
muscle and compromise your metabolism and your overall health.
- Decrease consumption
of dairy products – milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. These
foods are hard to digest and pack a lot of bad fat. Once weaned,
even cows don’t drink cow’s milk! Also bear in mind
the damaging effects of the hormones given to both non-organic dairy
and beef cattle -- these hormones are passed on to you and me, and
can have very negative effects on our own bodies.
- Eat meats and
other heavy foods late in the day. The quantity and types
of meat that you should eat depends upon your blood type (see below).
- Eat sweets in
moderation and only after a meal or snack of fruits, vegetables,
or meat, and preferably late in the day. Don’t eat
sweets on an empty stomach, and avoid them early in the day. That
means that pancakes with syrup and sugar cereals are out for breakfast!
The reason is that consuming the refined sugar contained in sweets
causes an insulin-spike in your system -- very damaging in and of
itslef, and then ultimately, the excess insulin is converted directly
into fat which is then stored in your body. Don't be fooled
by the myth of Low Fat Foods -- foods that are labeled as low fat
usually contain more sugar, it's sugar that makes you fat, not fat
- Try to add more
alkaline foods into your diet.
Consuming a highly acidic diet like most of us do (sugar, soda,
and even some "healthy" foods are acidic) is very detrimental
to overall health. Carrot juice is one example of an alkaline food
that tastes good, costs very little, and goes a long way to counteracting
acidity. Given that carrots are the 2nd most nutritious food in
the world, it sure beats taking antacid tablets!
are really important. In order, I believe that the most
important dietary supplements to take are fatty acids (omega-3 and
-6 which the body cannot produce), multivitamins and minerals, extra
vitamin C, and some kind of grape-seed extract (a powerful antioxidant).
Some people need extra iron and some need extra calcium/magnesium,
but that's on an individual basis. Kerry and I get very high quality
supplements at wholesale prices from a company called Usana. To
learn more about their products or to become a preferred customer
and get wholesale prices yourself, click
here. See below for more information on supplements in general.
try to change everything at once, just try to move in the
right direction, one step at a time. If you love pizza, for example,
don’t give it up. Instead, increase your consumption of fresh
fruit by 1-2 servings every day, and start drinking water instead
of milk. Overall, just be aware of these guidelines and remember
that diet can be used to your advantage!!!
- The human body
is not meant to consume or process the major grains that are so
ubiquitous in our diets including wheat, corn, and soybeans.
There is no longer any doubt. More than 50% of people tested show
an increased immune response (i.e. an allergic reaction) to wheat
gluten. And that number increases to over 90% among people of norther-European
ancestry. Wow. This is heavy stuff. How does one get off gluten
given that it's a primary ingredient in bread, pasta and pizza crust?
It's a pretty tall order, but what I suggest is that you eliminate
these things from your diet for 2 weeks and see how you feel. Just
go on a fresh fruit and veggie diet for that long, and you'll be
feeling so much better that you'll find a way to make the changes
Now, here are some more details
on various principles:
more water. Period.
- Your body is
composed of more than 70% water, your brain more than 90%
- Water is essential
to digestion, no matter what you eat
- Water is essential
- Water is essential
to waste removal in the body
- Water is essential
to nervous function, and thus to alertness and energy-level
less soda, coffee, and alcohol. Period.
- These beverages
are diuretics - they flush water out of the body. This is insane.
- Non-diet soda
contains excessive amounts of sugar and phosphorous. Sugar spikes
your insulin, causes diabetes and coronary heart disease and
makes you fat. Excessive phosphorous flushes calcium out of the
bone density and impeding nervous function. Crazy?
Diet soda contains the same phosphorours as non-diet soda,
and it also contains aspartame. Aspartame is a neuro-toxin. That
is, it damages brain cells and other nerve cells throughout the
body. Again, this is insane.
- Alcohol, in
most cases, contains excessive amounts of sugar. You know what
Sugar Makes You Fat, Not Fat
your intake of simple carbohydrates (sugars)
- Candy is pure
sugar. Pure sugar spikes your insulin production. Excessive insulin
in your blood stream is damaging to your arteries,
thus leading to Coronary Artery Disease. And if that's not scary
enough, execss insulin is stored in your body as fat. The right
amount of body fat is necessary for survival, but excess body
fat suppresses your immune system, and makes you further prone
- Juice from concentrate
is extremely sugar-rich.
- Even fresh fruit
juice can contain too much sugar for people who are insulin-resistant.
- If you want
to eat dessert-type foods, eat them late in the day after a meal
of complex carbohydrates (vegetables) and/or proteins
- Do not consume
simple carbohydrates early in the day. Do not ever eat sugar
cereals, pancakes with syrup, or donuts for breakfast. Even non-sugar
cereals are so processed that they'll likely spike your insulin.
- Your body needs
saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and superunsaturated
fats to survive and to be healthy. Your body can handle fats
much better than it can handle sugars.
on eating complex carbs and protein
- This means fresh
fruits and vegetables, plus protein. These are the things your
body was meant to consume. As you'll read below, some people
need to focus more on fruits, vegetables, and soy, whereas others
need to focus more on vegetables and meat. Period.
More Basic Principles
I have read and
tried many, many of the diets and recommedations that are out there,
and I've gotten the most use and the best results out of four books:
Diet by Ori Hofmekler, Eat Right for your Type by Dr.
Peter J D'Adamo, Natural Hormonal Enhancement by Rob Faigan,
and The New Nutrition by Dr. Michael Colgan. I certainly
encourage you to read these books as well. Below is a list of critical
dietary facts contained in these books, but be advised that even within
these books, there are some striking contradictions:
- TIMING MATTERS: Don't spend your time counting calories
or grams of this or that. You can eat essentially as much as you
the timing and order of what you eat that matters. Obviously, if
you're on a junk-food diet, however, then nothing matters because
you are in trouble no matter what schedule you keep.
- The human body
is designed to consume copious amounts of fresh foods. That means
fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and nuts. Eat them. Period. If
you are insulin-resistant, you need to emphasize vegetables more
- Early in the
day, every day, you should consume relatively little food, and
what you do consume should emphasize fresh fruits
and fruit or vegetable juices (again, if you are insulin-resistant,
you may need protein in the morning). Cereal is out. Pancakes
are out. Drink a LOT of water.
- For lunch and
in the afternoon, more fresh fruit, or a salad of fresh vegetables
and some protein.
- Later in the
day, you can eat essentially anything you want, and lots of it.
Of course, that doesn't mean junk
although a little is OK. It does mean meat, potatoes, grains,
dairy, etc.. If you choose to eat dessert-type foods, make sure
you save them for late in the day after your main meal of protein.
- Among other
things, your blood type is one thing that influences the mix
of foods that you should consume. I will not go into detail
suffice it to say that those with Type A should lean more toward
a vegetarian and soy diet, and any meat they eat should be fish
(particularly salmon) or poultry, while Type O and B+ should emphasize
more red meat. Other types fall
those two extremes, and note that the B- types are really the
only ones who should consume dairy products -- organic and free-range,
- Everybody knows
that junk food will make you fatter and more disease-prone. Don't
worry about eating LIMITED quantities
of these foods, including chips, fries, pancakes with syrup, desserts,
just worry about the timing. Don't eat them in the morning, and
them on an empty stomach later in the day. They are never good
for you, but if you work the timing properly and eat them in moderation,
they aren't much to be concerned about.
- Low fat foods
will not necessarily help you lose weight. Sugar is what makes
people fat because it is converted and stored
as fat once it is consumed. Low fat foods are often very high in
sugar, and thus work against you. This simple fact probably causes
more heartache (and more weight gain) than any other. AVOID SUGAR,
NOT NECESSARILY FAT.
- Change your
diet one step at a time. Never try to change everything overnight,
and never start making changes by trying
to give up your favorite things. Trying to change too fast is simply
too difficult and there's no way to stick to it. Choose something
such as breakfast cereal that's a habit but that you're not too
attached to, and replace it with fresh fruit. You'll immediately
begin feeling better, and you'll want to make more changes, one
You Must Experiment
Again, the same
diet will not work for everyone. Everyone needs to reduce simple
carbs and drink more water, but beyond that, there are many,
many factors that will dictate what you should be eating. I've
touched on some of them, but there are many, many more. You must
realize that you're going to have to try various approaches to
your diet in order to find what works.
Let's cut right
through the crap. Everywhere you read about various
trainers recommending that
your protein intake, and they'll even go
so far as to argue over which kind of protein is better --
whey, soy, animal, complete, incomplete, on and on.
reality is that many Americans already get more
protein than they need. That's a simple fact.
What you're probably lacking is sufficient amounts of fresh fruits
there are no absolutes here. People with blood type O, for example,
simply have to have meat every day, or they suffer from lack
of energy and other problems.
general, I neither encourage nor discourage people from taking
do take them myself -- every day I take multi-vitamin and multi-mineral
supplements, as well
a grapeseed extract, and essential fatty acids (omegas 3, 6,
and 9). I believe in them, but they can be expensive, especially
if they are of good quality, and even then the specific benefits
are the things you should bear in mind when considering
The main rule to bear in mind is that you get what you
pay for in
most cases. The so-called "nutrients" in vitamin
supplements are not particularly expensive in and of themselves.
What can make them expensive
in general, is the process
of making them bioavailable. In short, if minerals are not
chelated properly, they cannot be absorbed by your body.
Thus, you can take all the calcium or multi-mineral supplements
want, and you'll get very little, if any benefit from them
if they are put together cheaply. The same applies to vitamins.
out for this common trick used by supplement manufacturers: Loading
a multivitamin supplement with excessive amounts of vitamin B-12.
This particular vitamin
can serve as a natural stiumulant,
and big doses of it can give you a "buzz," making
you think that the supplemnt is "really doing something," when
in reality you might as well spend 50 cents on a cup of coffee. In
addition, overdosing on B-12 causes your body to fail to use
the other B-vitamins properly. Having the correct balance between
nutrients is critical. I don't think anyone knows the exact right
proportions, but the manufacturers of cheap supplements don't
- That's not to say that big doses of vitamins are bad -- the RDA
of various nutrients is only enough to guarantee survival,
not health. You definitely want more than the RDA, but you
don't want to overload on one particular nutrient or group of nutrients
at the expense of all others. All nutrients work together and enhance
the effectiveness of one another, so you must have them all.
- The only case in which
it makes sense to take excessive amounts of one nutrient is with
vitamin C. As a water-soluble
vitamin, you must replenish
day. Vitamin C is relatively inexpensive, it operates fine independently,
no toxic level has ever been found, and the anti-oxidant, and anti-cold/
documented. Take as much as you want. I've read about people taking
up to 18 grams per day. Shoot for 5, and you'll really be doing yourself
a favor, but I do warn you to start slow and build up. Otherwise
you may find yourself running for the bathroom every 10 minutes!
- For all other nutrients, it really never makes sense to use single-nutrient
supplements unless your doctor tells you you have a deficienty, as
is sometimes the case with iron or calcium. Most nutrients work in
teams with other nutrients -- as an example, calcium cannot be absorbed
body without the presence of Vitamin D, and calcium, magnesium, and
phosphorous form a trifecta of minerals that must be present in certain
proportions to each other, or they lose much of their effectiveness.
- The essential fatty
acids are critical for healthy skin and for optimal brain and nervous
function, and there's even a body of evidence suggesting that the
fatty acids kill breast cancer cells. Excema/dry skin/skalp can
be good indicators of a fatty-acid deficiency. Fish oil has Omega-3,
flax oil has Omega-6, and I recommend a supplement that has them
3, 6, and 9.
- It's best to take your
supplements with your evening meal. If a supplement is any good,
then taking it on an empty stomach should give you a stomach ache.
So, take them at night with food.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if
you have other questions, and I'll do my best to answer or at least
to steer you toward the information you need.
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