First of all, we need to get rid of the typical connotation of the word “diet.” Usually when someone says they are “on a diet,” that seems to imply that they are eating less and trying to lose weight. But being “on a diet” simply means you are eating certain things that you have decided make sense for you to eat. There may be a quantity element to it, but there doesn’t have to be. And everyone is actually on a diet, assuming they are eating something. Some people are on a pizza and beer diet. Some people are on the “I eat everything I see” diet. Koala bears are on the eucalyptus diet. The point is that a diet is essentially a universe of given food items that a subject normally eats.
Bert Betterman has what some would consider a unique diet, though it was probably one that was very normal for all of our ancestors at one time with the addition of some modern alterations. He only eats what fuels him well, but he also enjoys it because it tastes quite delicious. He eats lots of:
- Grass-fed, organic, well-treated animal meats such as beef, lamb, bison, and chicken (especially including organ meats when available!)
- Organic vegetables, local and fresh, especially sea vegetables when he can get them
- Seafood from the cleanest waters
- High quality fats such as coconut oil, avocados, eggs, and butter from the aforementioned cows
- High quality dark chocolate
- Processed foods with additives and preservatives
- Grains (especially those with gluten) with the exception of white rice
- Refined sugars in any amount or natural sugars in large amounts
- Vitamin D
- Fish oil
- Activated charcoal
My diet is pretty close to matching Mr. Betterman. Sometimes the meat I consume isn’t grass-fed, say if I’m eating out with family or friends, but any time I buy my own it is. I rarely yet eat much lamb, bison, or organ meats (supremely nutritious!), but I hope to get more chances in the future. I occasionally eat brown rice or quinoa. I may even eat a curry dish that clearly has some added sugar, though I didn’t intend to when I ordered it. But I do avoid gluten 100%. Most of what I eat tastes amazing, and it almost always makes me feel good.
There was a time when I ate whatever I wanted, though. I’ve always had a good metabolism, so weight gain was never an issue, but other things started becoming issues. I started having problems with my stomach and the rest of the digestive arena. I started having lots of joint and muscle pain, even beyond what I experienced already as a teenager with back troubles. I even started getting headaches and brain fog problems. My energy was lacking, and I just didn’t seem to have the same zest for life. And then one weekend I discovered that food could be the first missing piece of the puzzle for putting it all back together.
My brother got me to listen to a podcast with Dave Asprey, the Bulletproof Executive himself, a wealth of knowledge from where I get many of my ideas these days. I took one weekend eating grass-fed beef, sweet potatoes, and grass-fed butter, and next thing I knew most of my neck pain and stiffness had subsided, and my mind seemed much clearer. I was definitely on to something, and I have continued to refine my diet to this day to squeeze just a little bit more out of it every chance I get. Food is fuel, and it turns out the human body doesn’t do very well with the wrong fuel.
There are a lot of paths from which to choose when it comes to food and nutrition, but I would encourage everyone out there to find one and start walking, maybe even running! Figuring out my diet was just the beginning for starting to really find my life back again through an understanding of my own body, but it was probably the biggest part, so I encourage everyone to do a little research, a little food logging of meals and symptoms, and start optimizing the food they eat.