Nutrition


Eat with a purpose

What ingredients were eating, why we eat them, learning how our bodies interact with them, and seeing people make healthier choices are just a few of the many things that keep me inspired.

Green is clean

Green is clean!

Healthy, all-natural food represents something much bigger than the connection we make with it. It is more than a basic need for life. It is the key to unlocking our potential has the power to transform the mind, body and soul.

I’ve experienced personally and seen those around me embrace the many strategies of proper nutrition and as a result, change in incredible ways. Through choosing quality, nutrient dense sources food, a few of the things I have experienced in my own life:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Weight loss
  • Heal and strengthen my broken wrist
  • Heal my facial acne
  • Build muscle
  • Stress reduction

While wellness has been and continues to be a multi-faceted approach, I believe nutrition has been the most critical piece for delivering my best self. We must believe that everything that we put in our bodies matters.

Although we cannot be perfect all of the time, our nutritional approach should never exist only for short term goals and satisfactions.

The call to action is to seek greater understanding of what is healthy and what works best for our own bodies. When we nourish our bodies with the right kinds of fuel, we show up better in the world.

If you are wondering where to start, the SKIED Nutrition Manifesto explains what every healthy nutritional lifestyle should look like.

The SKIED Approach 

My nutritional why is built around enhancing all areas of my life and focuses on minimizing risk through quality, whole-food solutions. While not perfect, almost all the foods I eat have a purpose because I understand the impact our nutrition has on our mind and body.

The list below highlights some of my guiding principles in my nutritional approach.

Core principles

  • Whole foods
  • High Fat, mid protein, low-to-mid carbs
    • 50-70% fats
    • 20-30% protein
    • 5-30% carbs
  • Heavy emphasis on Paleolithic techniques + anti-inflammatory foods
  • Scrutinize food labels – simple ingredients
  • Purposeful eating – optimize nutrient timing
  • Low glycemic to reduce my acne
  • Little supplementation
  • Longevity and sustainability
  • Quality over quantity
  • Healthy and cost effective food buying approaches
  • Never count calories. Make calories count
  • Mindfulness in indulgence
  • Reducing risk of long-term exposure to highly consumed foods (i.e. vegetables, coffee, water, meats)
  • Water quality is paramount
  • Dinner together is non-negotiable
  • Error on the side of health
  • Built in flexibility
  • Cyclical lifestyle – high and low carb days (i.e. 100-150g+ carbs vs. 20-40g of carbs)
  • Breakfast or death
  • The Pareto principle: 80/20
  • “Hunger, Energy, and Cravings (HEC) in check” – Jade Teta
  • Not planning is planning to fail

Priorities

  1. Eliminate all unnatural sugar sources
  2. High-quality whole foods
  3. Macronutrient balance
  4. No processed foods
  5. Read food labels
  6. Water quality
  7. Reduce or eliminate inflammatory foods
  8. Eat acne conscious foods (ex. anti-inflammatory, low-glycemic)
  9. Aim for the right fat balance – Omega-3 : Omega-6 fats
  10. Use safe cooking techniques
  11. Choose grass-fed red meat
  12. Getting more antioxidants
  13. No dairy except occasional kefir or full-fat Grass-Fed yogurt
  14. Fuel weightlifting sessions smartly
  15. Carbohydrates around more activity – especially fruits
  16. Understand everything about the foods I eat
  17. Reduce risk of alcoholic drinks
  18. High quality, natural, and organic wine and coffee

My DO-NOT-EAT list

  • Sugar
  • Gluten
  • Vegetable oils
  • Grains (80/20)
  • Flax seeds
  • Processed food and oils
  • Corn and Soy based products
  • GMO’s
  • Additives/colorings
  • Dairy

Staples

  • Typical meal
    • Grass-fed beef, wild caught fish, or locally sourced meat with:
      • Vegetables
      • And/or carb (i.e. quinoa, sweet potato)
    • Quality brown Eggs
    • Sweet potatoes/Yams
    • Avocado
    • Sea/Himalayan Salt
    • Spices and herbs
    • Grass-Fed butter only
    • MCT oil – Viva Labs
    • 100% Extra Virgin Olive oil (EVOO)
    • Unrefined coconut oil

Notes/strategies

  • Gut health is vital to optimal health
  • Clean eating first, then go off the path
  • Vegetables for dinner carbs – except if close to a workout
  • Build in flexibility
  • Be wary of cooking techniques – especially with oils
  • Replace carbs with quality fats
  • Low Glycemic – doesn’t spike blood sugar
  • Lightly cook foods
  • Fruits are still sugar
  • Most “healthy” foods need reconsideration
  • Eat more raw vegetables
  • Eat more fermented foods
  • Food has the power to heal many things (ex. sleep, mood, stress)
  • Many factors influence weight loss and overall health – no two people are the same
  • Elimination diets can but don’t often work
  • Skin problems are related to gut health and systematic inflammation – which is directly influenced by the foods you eat
  • Toxins such as heavy metals, pesticide residues, and others can build up in our systems over time and exposure to these things is for real
  • Omega-3 : Omega-6 fatty acid balance can greatly influence inflammation
  • Supplements have their place
  • Raw, natural chocolate is great for you
  • Farmer's market every weekend. Load up.

Food quality

  • Organic for some, not so much for others
  • Minimize Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFA’s) because of high Omega-6 content – even Olive oil fools
  • Grass-fed meat has higher nutrient content than Corn/Grain-fed
  • Dairy: full fat, raw, whole dairy from grass-fed cows is a far better choice than the low-fat version
  • Fermented foods are great but quality matters (i.e. canned vs. bottled, organic vs. not)
  • Canned, preserved food has very low nutrient content
  • Locally sourced food will always win
  • Vegetables lose their nutrient value the longer they sit on the shelf
  • Frozen vegetables in off-season

Food preparation

  • High heat and open flame can affect the nutrient value of your food
  • Low-heat, short duration with liquid for minimal risk
  • Blend some veggies for sauce
  • DIY salad dressings – Olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, salt, pepper, and garlic. Mix. Eat.
  • Always cook more than you need
  • Meal prep in the beginning of each week
  • Ceramic pans over Teflon
  • Oils at smoke point are toxic (trans-fats)

Supplements

  • Some can be great but most are unnecessary
  • Vitamin D, Magnesium and Zinc are the most common deficiencies – get these above any else
  • com for the answer to all your research questions
  • Most supplements are very low quality, including most multivitamins
  • Are only supplemental and will do no good with a terrible lifestyle
  • Whole food nutrients are always better options than pill form
  • Randomize your intake
  • “Green/miracle” are typically not as great as they sound
  • If you have the money, and the desire for supps., definitely find higher quality

Travel or Eating out

  • Acceptance
  • 80/20
  • Be that guy/girl – ask for it your way
  • Always ask for more vegetables in a restaurant– they will give them to you
  • Pre-scout a restaurant menu
  • Don’t trust healthy, low-fat, or low carb claims – read the food choice
  • Mindfulness
  • Save money
  • Lower carbs
  • Save your alcohol for after dinner
  • Don’t eat out

Alcohol

  • Distilled spirits > dry, white wine > red wine > beer
  • The more distilled/filtered, the better
  • High protein, lower fat and carbs with drinking
  • High sugars and alcohol do not mix
  • Supplements to reduce impact of alcohol consumption (as recommended by Mark Sisson)
    • Charcoal supplements
    • Take 600mg N-Acetyl Cysteine & 1g Vit C with each drink.
    • 100mg B1 & 250mg ALA at the beginning and the end of the night
  • Cleanse your liver with Lemon water the morning after

Healthy on a budget

  • Meal prep
  • If you can afford it, why not get the best?
  • Look for sales and stock up during them
  • Replace meats with other proteins
  • Trader Joes is easily the least expensive “health” food market
  • Buy in bulk from farmers markets when in season and freeze
  • Buy some foods organic others not
  • Think about your health first, then ask yourself if you can really afford it
  • Frozen is often cheaper when out of season
  • Eggs are a healthy, affordable option for protein
  • Protein powders are worth it – but avoid Whey protein
  • Eat less meat – or less expensive cuts (assuming good quality)
  • Legumes/beans can be quality sources of fiber, protein, and carbs
  • Eat vegetables but eat less of them on occasion
  • Higher fat diet – low to mid protein and carbs which reduce amount spent
  • Quality protein supplements can be cheaper meal “replacements”

Biggest Myths

  • Saturated fats are bad
  • Low-fat is good
  • All calories are equal
  • Only a few people should avoid gluten and grains
  • Eating fat makes you fat
  • Eggs raise cholesterol in a bad way
  • Vegetable oils such as corn and soybean oil are healthy
  • Willpower alone will make you healthy
  • You need to eat many small meals throughout the day
  • You need to eat breakfast (although I don’t recommend skipping)
  • A 3-5 day juice/detox only cleanse will fix your problems
  • Carbohydrates should be the highest part of your diet
  • Fruit is the exception of sugar
  • Most fitness and health magazines (in my opinion)

Other

  • Brain health is extremely important – look for ways to build it
  • Ketones from fats are a better source of fuel for the brain than glucose (carbs)
  • Skin conditions are almost always linked to gut health and inflammation
  • Some people do well with grains, dairy, and gluten but generally speaking, they encourage inflammation by leaky gut
  • Poor food digestion will wreck your health
  • High performance and bio-hack your brain and body for optimal health
  • Nutrition is a powerful tool – eat with a purpose to achieve anything
  • Perfection is overrated –be great 80-90% of the time have fun the other 10% - 20% accept it and get back on track
  • WHY NOT – What do I have to gain by not doing it?
  • There are two sides to every health argument
  • Follow your values but know the argument for both
  • What if your life has been partially determined by the foods you eat?

Conspiracy

  • What if these “crazy” claims on our food safety and quality are more right than their credited?
  • I don't completely trust scientific studies on nutrition that are funded by major corporations?
  • What if the levels regulated by the FDA for pesticides and water quality are not strict enough?
  • The pharmaceutical companies don’t care about people

Summary

This guide is meant to serve as a general outline of some of my beliefs around nutrition. These are all things I practice in my life and my views on how to approach nutrition. I would never recommend something I haven’t tried and I try to be as objective as possible. In some cases, it is hard to do.