My food rules
No grains (consequently no gluten)
No processed sugar
No vegetable oils
No artificial ingredients.
No industrial foods.
No chemicals in the home/body.
Over time, through research and experimentation, I’ve developed a core set of foods I prefer to eat routinely and a set of foods I avoid.
These are the foods that make me feel good and through research I’ve found minimize inflammation, maximize micronutrient intake and reduce energy swings. I’ve eaten this way since mid-2015.
The single most critical rule of my food lifestyle is to never let my rules get in the way of enjoying an amazing food experience. Even when eating out I try to adhere to the general guidelines above, often without anyone I’m with noticing. If that’s not possible I shut up and make do. I would rather violate a rule than be the annoying friend who can’t eat anything at a restaurant.
I consider this a lifestyle, not a diet. A friend once I asked me how I think about diets, this was my response.
My relationship with food has three distinct classifications:
- What I don’t put into my system.
- What I put into my system.
- The quantities I put into my system.
The first category is the most important and is what I recommend people spend the most time researching and experimenting with. The other two are products of my obsession with simplicity and knowing myself well enough to remove discretion from my daily eating decisions.
What I don’t eat
All I want to know is where I’m going to die so I never go there. – Charlie Munger
What I don’t eat is derived from my operating principle, borrowed from Munger, that it’s better to avoid problems than to be great at fixing them. I’ve developed a set of food filters that help me avoid feeling bad or doing things that are well-known to lead to long-term health problems.
Each of the items on my “don’t eat” list has a unique reason for being there. I didn’t seek out an off-the-shelf diet or take the word of an internet expert but rather took time to learn from primary sources (multiple large clinical studies) or experimented myself.
For example, I do not necessarily believe that corn is bad. In fact, tacos are one of my greatest loves. But the modern Western diet uses corn as an artificial filler to such a degree that we overload our bodies with it, which taxes our system in a way evolution didn’t plan for.
Gluten, on the other hand, makes me feel bad. Through experimentation I discovered that eliminating it help alleviate some symptoms of depression.
I’ve resisted publishing my detailed reasons for each filter because I don’t want to get into arguments about science with the internet. But I do seek out disconfirming evidence like I used to seek out cheese. So please email me to talk.
What I eat
I use rules in various parts of my life to short circuit my brain’s tendency to implode when choice is infinite. Some people wear the same thing every day so they don’t have to think about what to wear…I eat the same thing.
The logs and plans below show what I eat. Regardless of changes in my physical activity, when I am on my own, this is what I eat. I occasionally depart from my list for tacos or for a great meal with friends, but rarely break the above rules.
For several years I ate the same thing every day, including a bomber vegetable smoothie with no fruit. But that got boring.
Since mid-2020 I’ve used Territory Foods for meal prep within these guidelines. They partner with local chefs and deliver fresh, clean meals twice a week. It costs about the same as what I spend at the grocery store.
I sometimes eat out, most often with friends. Eating out is a treat. But since I eat out so infrequently I refuse to eat at bad restaurants (good is not the same as expensive).
Our bodies need variety and shocks to maintain immune strength and so I use routine, often weekly, fasting and the occasional molotov cocktail (something like Thai) to add the shocks.
I don’t need cheat days. This isn’t a diet and I don’t feel restrained. So far, years later, I still love what I eat. Every sweet potato is like the first.