Written on July 31, 2017 – Cartagena, Colombia.
2017 – Nutrition Update
It’s raining cats and dogs here in Cartagena… this weather has inspired some fundamental thinking time for me… Today’s reflections are on nutrition.
Earlier this year, I wanted to get to my natural weight. I’ve always been around 167lbs at 5′ 10″, but have fluctuated my bodyweight day to day for most of my life. I started lifting weights at age 14 and put on most of my muscle mass in high school and college.
I’ve gone up as high as 175lbs with muscle mass and higher body fat. At my heaviest, I was 12% body fat. This was my strongest body weight, helping me to bench 350lbs (2011), squat 405lbs (2011), dumbbell bench the 140lb dumbbells for 6 reps (2008), while still being able to run a 4.3 second 40 yard dash. Back then, my conditioning was seriously lacking and I wasn’t as good at aerobic sports like hiking or running.
This year, my experiment has been to see how little I could eat while maintaining my strength and athletic goals.
There were some other key points:
1. Spend less money on food
2. Not be a slave to meal prep
3. Give my digestive system a break
4. Feel better by pooping less
5. Get shredded
Here is what I’ve discovered:
We don’t need as much food as we think we do. In my case, food is used for performance. I always have my eye on longevity and have adopted practices of intermittent fasting and am an ardent fan of the Whole30 nutrition plan. Eating less has made me feel better in the following ways:
1. Feeling lighter and having clearer thoughts
2. Fitting into clothes better
3. Better skin glow/looking younger
4. Less pooping/better digestion
5. Maintenance of strength and better recovery
Here’s what I do:
1. Load up on fat: ghee, nuts, animal fat (lots of saturated), olive oil
2. Eat moderate protein: eggs, beef, bison, chicken, organ meat, sardines and fish
3. Include two fist size portions of greens at every meal. I eat a shit ton of kale, spinach, cucumbers, green beans, peas, squash, etc.
4. Only eat starches post workout or when I need a boost in energy.
5. Practice intermittent fasting on days when I’ve overeaten the day before
6. Moderate caffeine
7. Drink a shit ton of water (usually 100-120oz/day)
8. Supplement BCAAs, Glutamine, Fiber Pills
9. Sleep 7.5-8.5 hours a night with a nap if possible.
10. Don’t eat like an asshole ***(key point)***
Here’s my thought process while eating:
1. Eat slowly, chewing slowly to maximize digestion
2. Wait 30 minutes after my meal is complete to see if I’m still hungry (usually the answer is no).
3. Under eat. We can always eat more, but we can’t undo what we’ve already eaten.
4. Eat till my stomach is 75% full. I want to be able to run at a full sprint even after a meal (just in case).
My goals have been completed:
1. At this point, I sit around 7% body fat daily. I feel great but will always have a “loading” day if I’m feeling weak or underfed.
2. I don’t see food as reward, and have little to no interest in eating desserts or sweets. I only crave savory and salty foods.
3. Strength and performance has increased (deadlifted 500lbs at 167lbs bw = triple bodyweight, bent press a 135lb barbell at 167lbs bw = 81% bodyweight).
Anyway, these are some random thoughts… When I got into personal training, my desire was to go 100% into the realm of nutrition. But after hearing everyone bitch and moan about what they read on the internet, I decided to lead by example and train people only. I only work with those individuals who pay me for nutrition advice. I’m not interested in working with people who go on fad diets or think “What the Health” is the ultimate way of eating (it’s not), we are sapiens that evolved on a high protein diet. Why do vegans think they have health’s ultimate answer after 300,000 years of sapiens eating meat and organ meat?
I am the example of proper eating. My blood work is phenomenal, I am strong, my digestion is on point, and I live this lifestyle with little deviation. When people say to me “oh but it tastes so good….” I snicker. That’s what drug addicts say…. How many of you are addicted to sugar? Lots of you…
Be well my friends. I love you all and this message is meant to help. Eat like a sapien, because that’s what you are.
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