The Nutrition Whitelist

One of the better pieces of code I've written was a firewall + network filter of sorts. Basic idea is whether to let in a connection/information or not. If you have AdBlock, you know what am talking about - you update blacklists constantly. That's certainly one way of doing things, and in most cases, the only way. But sometimes whitelists come in handy - whitelists are a lot more restrictive and simplistic, but have a huge advantage. The possibility of error is zero - you only let in what you want. There's no danger of bad stuff coming in. Sure, you might miss some good stuff, but hey, safer than sorry (that's the idea). And I think nutrition is a field where a whitelist can be very powerful. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="470"] Mary Kom - 5 time world champion, and Bronze medalist at London '12. Has nothing to do with this post.[/caption]

Sustainability is key

Finding and figuring out a sustainable way to eat is extremely important. The thing is, it is unique to everyone. Constraints, likes, dislikes, cooking skills are just some of the things that alter what we eat. And there are a lot more complicated things as well. For example, - Goals. you need to eat to go towards these goals. trying to put on weight requires a different style of eating from trying to lose weight

  • Allergies. If you are allergic to dairy or gluten, that definitely changes what you can eat.
  • Availability of food nearby.
  • Vegetarian vs meat eater

What all these differences mean is that you need to take a lot more responsibility for what you put into your stomach. What works for me might not work for you. My goal is to constantly experiment with myself, and learn from it. I also learn a lot from my personal clients, and clients at The Quad, as well as Raj's experiments. And your job is to assimilate this information, and try it out. See what works, see what does not. And modify the framework to suit your needs. Let me be clear. There is no "one" right way to eat. But at the same time, certain rules cannot be broken, like stuffing your face with sugar all the time, or with junk food. With all that out of the way, I want to provide a simple tool to help you feel better. Now, am assuming you've read my nutritional framework. And also simple tips like how to restructure your plate. Here's the idea

The idea is simple. Take a list of foods that you should be eating everyday, and make sure you hit that list. And a smaller list of foods that you should be eating every week. Simple as that. In my case, my goal is to maintain my current weight, and feed my body with as much high quality food as I can. The rest of my intake is fillers, and depending on how I feel etc, I decide how those foods will look. But the idea is this - get 80% right in this very simple fashion. 4 idlis

5 eggs

500ml organic milk

1-2 scoops of whey

1-2 fruits

500-750g of organic veggies

1 large cup (about 250ml) of curd

1 tbsp of ghee

1 tbsp of coconut oil

1 tbsp of butter

  • It does not matter when/how I get these foods in. If I have time to cook, I will use some of these ingredients to make something elaborate. If I dont, something simple. I am not a good cook by any stretch of imagination, just so you know.
  • The remaining 20% allows me enough leeway to indulge if I want. This does not mean I do indulge everyday, coz I know that doesn't make me feel good. But it is there, if I want it. And there are certainly days when I do.
  • Depending on my goals, experiments-in-progress etc, I determine the quality and type of the other 20% of my food intake.
  • Currently, am out injured, and it is imperative I get a lot of high quality food. So, I just eat more of the stuff in my list to keep it that way.

Homework time

So, here's your homework. Figure out this list for yourself. Obviously, balance out protein, fats, carbs, and veggies (I like to think of veggies as a separate category, coz we get so little of it otherwise). How much protein do you need? Are you eating too much starch, or too little? And slowly tweak this list every week, and you will arrive at one that suits your goals, your needs, and helps retain your sanity. Do I have to eat salads all the time?

The answer is no. But you cannot be healthy and eat junk/sugar. So, being healthy means eating real food most of the time. So, get started on figuring out how to do that. The Plate-Inversion protocol, and this post are two simple hacks to help you get started. And hey, we are clear on this right - you cannot keep piling junk in and expect to be healthy. Do share this post!

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