Today we tackle the second-most important F.G. Foundation: your physical diet.
F.G. FOUNDATION II: EATING A CLEAN DIET
“Let food be thy medicine.” -Hippocrates
I recently went through a move to a new job in a new city.
Working 12-hour days and hustling to find suitable housing, my diet went into ‘survival mode’: I ate more than my usual share of processed food, fewer fruits & vegetables, and much less clean meat.
In other words, I was eating a ‘dirty diet’, not a ‘clean diet’.
This had dramatic effect on my work productivity and presence-in-the-world. I was a shadow of my usual self. My work performance suffered.
As I was able to return to my normal diet, everything about my life improved.
I share this story so you don’t underestimate what a totally different life you could be living if you cleaned up your diet.
When I say ‘clean diet’, here’s what I’m talking about:
- Replacing soda, energy drinks & alcohol with water & green tea.
- Reducing processed, refined foods in your diet by 75-99%
- Eating those 8-12 servings of fresh, local, in-season fruits & vegetables like everyone has always told you to. (Below, I’ll share a shortcut that makes this easier).
- Adding fresh, local, nutrient-loaded meats, nuts, yogurts, beans, mushrooms, organ meats & legumes (and seafood if you live near the coast).
- Adding a few of the most scientifically-backed supplements to your regular diet.
Once you do this, you will notice a drastic improvement in your mood, happiness, & ability to accomplish great things in the world — or your money back.
A word about money. Eating a clean diet is more expensive. In the long run, however, we can’t afford not to eat this way.
How expensive is it to be forced into early retirement because of health problems? How expensive is it to be the sole breadwinner for your family and be incapacitated by illness? How expensive are cancer treatments?
Spending your food dollar with local farmers also means your money stay in the community, building the local economy. Now, nobody knows what’s going to happen as the 21st century unfolds, but we can be pretty sure that these three things will be really beneficial: local food, local energy, and strong local economies. Buying from local farmers hits two out of three.
Here is a comprehensive list of the ‘clean diet’ that I have adopted, along with the relevant research that backs up the benefits:
- Beverages: Green tea (anti-cancer, dental health). Coffee w/ real cream or milk and no added sugar (diabetes, liver & heart protection). Cocoa beverage (heart health).
- Fruits: apples, bananas, cranberries (dental health), blueberries (anti-cancer), strawberries (anti-cancer).
- Vegetables: spinach, kale (anti-cancer), chard, broccoli, & mushrooms (anti-cancer).
- Proteins: Lentils, black beans, farm-fresh & free-range eggs, chicken, beef or buffalo meat, organ meats, and locally-caught seafood. (For a good summary of the research on all this stuff, read the book Real Food by Nina Planck.)
- Fats: coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, real farm butter.
- Starches / carbs: quinoa, sprouted grain bread, potatoes.
- Supplements & Spices: fish or krill oil (immune & heart health) creatine (brain health & athletic performance), flax seeds, ginseng, garlic (blood pressure), cinnamon, nutmeg, (anti-cancer), CoQ10 (blood pressure), probiotics (immune function). A great source of these is Onnit nutrition, who will give you 20% off if you use our referral link here.
As you can see, there is so much to a clean diet that most people will only want to tackle on point at a time.
I suggest you start with simply switching to plain green tea, or drinking your coffee black, or with only real cream from cows that eat grass.
How do you get all those vegetables into your diet? Here’s the trick I mentioned earlier: try juicing or blending. Both allow you to get maximum nutrients with minimum time and chewing investment. Whip up two blended green drinks or juices per day and you’ll be set to go.
In general, your food should come from a farm as near to you as possible. Of course this is very difficult in some areas of the world. Just do your best.
FOUNDATION TWO SUMMARY: CLEAN DIET
- Eat fresh, local, and in-season food.
- Avoid eating anything that came from a package.
- Avoid drinking anything with more than two ingredients.
- Eat 3x more vegetables and fruits than any other food group.
In the next article, we’ll tackle the power of rest.
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Also published on Medium.