I turned 51 today and decided to gift the following to you. Today I share with you something about nutrition strategy with a glimpse of tactics too…
[see last year’s birthday conversation Coding @ 50]
If you find it useful, please share this with your family and friends who could benefit from it.
There are 2 videos below. In the first video, I talk you through a generic strategy. In the second video, I demonstrate consistency with daily tactics through a series of colourful visuals. Both are easy and relaxing to watch and listen to.
Food is extremely complex. Way more complex to manoeuvre than the alternative you have if you do not pay attention to your food i.e. medicines produced in factories. About a billion dollars is spent every single day on pharmaceutical R&D because they expect to generate a return when you pay up in desperation. That’s usually when you or your loved one is in pain.
Other than the 2% of circumstances when a medicine is actually required, the remaining 98% of the time when it is taken could be easily avoided if the right lifestyle is followed. That would be wiser given that in almost all of that 98% of scenarios the factory-produced medicine does not actually cure the illness.
Beware of symptomatic relief! Do you know someone whose life has shopping sprees, overdosing on ice cream, or bingeing on Netflix simply to get joy out of a typical day? Then a Robustness focus will be better than Cure Symptomatic Relief.
Those whom I mentor get firsthand experience to learn things at 2 levels about daily nutrition.
The FIRST is the simplicity of an overall strategy.
The SECOND is the complexity in tactics and detail to individually customize and use their food as a pillar for a long Healthspan. With their individual religious, cultural, social, ethical, allergy and financial constraints, each of them works towards making each morsel count towards that goal today of being at my 110th birthday party.
MY STRATEGY FOR NUTRITION
My strategic guidance for others is (courtesy Michael Pollan) the simple triplet:
1234Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not Too Much.
My strategy for my own Brunchnner is a simple replacement of the last of the triplet and is 6 words:
1234Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Mostly Raw.
Let’s have a quick look at each of these.
“Eat Food” – i.e. actual food. Food that your grandmother would recognize as food. Food that does not need a label to tell you what the ingredients are. Food that does not need a sticker to advertise its nutritional benefits. Eat food that is as fresh as possible and, when not fresh, eat plant items that have had to travel the least distance and time since being disconnected from the earth and reaching your mouth.
“Mostly Plants” – is without a doubt the most scientifically confirmed diet for a long Healthspan. When taken to an (unnecessary) extreme, it is translated as “vegan”. My own practical target is only to be vegan for as large a fraction of my calorie intake as possible. You may catch me eating a bowl full of laddoos (besan or nachni, please) or finishing off my Brunchnner with dark chocolate. For this half of 2020, my non-vegan calorie contribution has been less than 2%.
(See The Paneer Ki Sabzi Oxymoron)
“Mostly Raw” – is what I follow for a large fraction of my intake by volume. Though some nutrients (e.g. lycopene from tomato) have high absorption by your body when cooked, many other benefits go to almost zero (e.g. Vitamin-C from tomato) when heated.
Those who have watched me eat are amused or amazed (or both) by the large quantity that I can eat at a single meal. With only one massive meal in the day, my focus on ‘mostly raw’ helps me ensure that I cover a large part of the micronutrients to push up the probability of being able to write Thank You notes to those who graced my 110th birthday party.
Maintaining Consistency is important if you want success through the effort of developing skill rather than praying for luck. Unlike the flip of a coin, or guessing whether the stock market will go up or down tomorrow, with nutrition, the luck is likely to not be a random 50:50. It is more likely to be 10:90 against you if you are not sensible and consistent. To demonstrate to you visually, rather than share my complete food log, I simply photographed the salads I made for myself for 92 days of the COVID-19 period which included the month of Ramadhaan. Here they are with text commentary and advice in this video.
The Pillars – The Wellness Tree
You cannot eat your way to a long Healthspan but it is a necessary pillar for holding up the roof of Wellness. Along with appropriate physical activity, different types of mental activity and sufficient rest you too can create the perfect balance to live with joy, not just now, but for all the decades of your life. Ageing does not have to imply pain and illness.
If you have found this conversation useful, please share it with your family and friends who you think could benefit from it.
Dr Purnendu Nath spends his waking hours focusing on helping individuals and organizations reach their goals, to make the world a better place. He speaks, writes and advises on topics such as finance, investment management, discipline, education, self-improvement, exercise, nutrition, health and fitness, leadership and parenting.