There are certain meals and snacks that – though they may seem strange at first – enhance wellness and improve body composition.
I encourage you to eat whatever you want. Life is for living, so I say: do what brings you joy.
Speaking personally, I like to experiment – to see if particular changes in diet, exercise or lifestyle can help me to feel better. Even if it means eating strange foods that I might not have considered previously, especially if these foods might improve my body composition.
Strange foods only seem peculiar because we’re unfamiliar with them.
Hitting the High-Carb Brick Wall
All of those many years that I lived with a sweet tooth – eating a high-carb/ low-fat diet – caught up to me, and I began to feel poorly as my body composition worsened.
In this case, my percentage of body fat increased beyond levels that I considered healthy.
Eventually, I realized that in order to feel fantastic and improve my body composition, nutritional upgrades would be the wisest course of action.
If you told me back when I was a young fellow that I would be eating the strange foods I do today at age 52, I might not have believed you.
In my case, eating this way now has me feeling better than I have in decades.
Body Composition is the Ratio of Fat Tissue to Muscle Tissue in Your Physique
Body composition typically refers to the ratio of fat to muscle within someone’s body.
From a dietary perspective, this ratio tends to be optimized when someone consumes just enough complex carbohydrates to fuel their workouts, just enough protein to help muscle cells repair and recover, and an abundance of healthy fats to provide ketone calories and improve the luster of skin and hair.
I’m not suggesting that you – or anyone – eat exactly the way that I eat.
I get asked a lot about my diet and my daily lifestyle, so this article is my current answer to those questions.
The eleven strange foods that I – and other people following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle – often eat, are:
- decaf green tea or ginger tea (in place of caffeinated coffee)
- cultured coconut milk (in place of dairy yogurt)
- raw sprouted chips (in place of cereal, oatmeal or toast)
- freshly made green smoothie (in place of juice, soda, or Red Bull)
- full-fat coconut milk (in place of dairy cream)
- No Cow bar or 22-Days Bar (in place of a candy bar, whey protein bar, or granola bar)
- free range grass-fed bison (in place of conventional ground beef or hamburger)
- a large amount of freshly prepared vegetables (in place of burritos or pizza)
- kombucha (in place of wine)
- food-based nutritional supplements (in place of standard synthetic vitamins)
- MCT oil (on an empty stomach to switch from glucose or “sugar energy” into mild ketosis)
Below, you’ll find more specific examples of what I eat on a typical day and the reasons that I eat that way.
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Body composition is a term that indicates leanness – the proportion of fat and fat-free (bone, water, and muscle) mass in a human body. Ideal ratios typically include a lower percentage of fat cells (but not too low).
Many health professionals use body composition to measure a person’s overall health and fitness level.
As long as you experiment with an upbeat attitude of curiosity (shame-free, and with a sense of humor), it can actually be a lot of fun discovering exactly how your body is nourished and what protocols it responds to most positively.
Strange Foods I Eat at Age 52 to Transform My Body Composition
- 8.25 hours of sleep each night
- a tall glass of water upon waking
- ginger, nettle leaf, and/or decaffeinated green teas (I usually blend my hot tea with a 1/2 teaspoon of rice protein powder, a 1/2 teaspoon of bone-broth collagen protein, and just a pinch of stevia. Makes a subtle and smooth tea latte.)
- unsweetened coconut yogurt with raw, sprouted chips; cultured or fermented foods can beneficial to your intestinal flora – the good bacteria in your gut
- green smoothie (brazil nut, flax seed meal, nettle tea, blue-green algae, cucumber, broccoli, kale, spinach, cilantro, celery, and a few drops of fresh lime juice)
- black tea blended with full-fat coconut milk, cardamom, and plant protein
- small serving of leftovers: animal protein and vegetables (bison, turkey, chicken, or fish)
- No Cow Bar (blueberry or lemon) or 22-Days Bar (salted caramel).
- animal protein and vegetables (bison, turkey, chicken, or fish)
- a small glass of kombucha OR a small green smoothie, and 1/2 an apple with almond butter (but on heavy workout days I might have all three)
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Among the strange foods I consume, are food-based enhancers. To fill in any potential missing gaps, I provide my body with extra support in the form of nutritional supplements: examples of some of the supplements I take intermittently are:
- digestive enzymes
- N-A-C (300 mg/Jarrow)
- diosmin (orange peel extract, for vein health)
- food-based calcium/magnesium
- pancreatrophin PMG (Standard Process)
- sublingual B-12 spray
- livaplex (Standard Process)
- immuplex (Standard Process)
- Vitamin D3 (1000 IU)
- Food-Based Multi-Vitamin
- Ultimate Omega (Nordic Fish Oil)
- Zinc (MegaFood)
I cycle on-and-off of supplements.
There is no supplement that I take every day of the year.
- a 1/2 spray of sublingual melatonin
- and I get my bed ready with earplugs, a white-noise fan, a black eye-mask, and soundproof headphones.
- intermittently (once or twice a week) I supplement with SP Prolamine Iodine or CoQ-10
- twice a week I have strategic sport recovery supplements on heavy workout days – trace minerals, sea salt, beet extract, amino acids, synthetic ketones, etc. (no whey protein, though).
- periodically when I’m between meals I sometimes have a large tablespoon of olive oil/avocado oil/MCT oil – together with a digestive enzyme – to give my brain calories to burn and achieve trace-level ketosis – until my next meal.
- I was motivated to try eating this way because of autoimmune challenges.
- I work closely with a medical doctor, a dermatologist, and a naturopath; I think of them as my Wellness Team. They know all about my strange foods.
- my favorite nutritional supplement companies, at the moment, are Standard Process (SP), NewChapter, Biotics, and Jarrow.
- I try to find animal protein that is grass-fed/free-range, whenever possible and when the budget allows for it.
- If I have two smoothies in the same day, I change the ingredients for each. Sometimes I add a bit of fresh lime juice, or a small chunk of frozen banana, or avocado or some berries. For vegetables, I might add kale, spinach, chard, watercress, parsley… all kinds of vegetables.
- when I’m cheating, I’ll have vegan dark chocolate (stevia-sweetened, usually) or macadamia nuts.
Everyday Foods VS Infrequent Foods
Not all foods are everyday foods. Some foods are every-other-day foods. Some strange foods are just for the rare occasion.
What foods you can have every day without developing a sensitivity to them probably depends, ultimately, on your own unique body chemistry.
For example, in my opinion, these foods are not ideal to consume every single day for most people:
- cooked eggs
- cereal (hot or cold)
It’s a good idea to keep a close eye on how many flour or grain products you consume each day, the quality of those products, and how they impact your body composition.
My own life experience has taught me that eating too many poorly prepared, low-quality grains will create belly fat and a puffy face.
Many doctors, researchers, and longevity experts now believe that the two biggest factors of aging are inflammation and glycation:
- inflammation is when your body has been bombarded with irritants for so long – and in such large amounts – that it eventually gets tired, confused and starts attacking itself
- glycation is when sugar begins to impact the tissues inside your body in a negative way.
In my opinion, most flours and grains contain enzyme-blockers and lectins that disrupt our own body’s digestive enzymes. Over time, our bodies can respond to these lectins as if they are toxic proteins and so will pad our midsections with visceral fat in an attempt to protect our vital organs from toxicity.
Flour is made from grains. Grains are carbohydrates that will convert to sugar inside your body. Your body probably has had too much sugar already.
We need carbohydrates to live and thrive, but too many carbs (such as those currently found in the standard American diet) can be problematic.
How Many Grains Are You Consuming Each Week?
I used to consume too many grains.
Chronic inflammation is the root cause of most diseases, and many people find that dairy, sugar, processed grains and refined flours – though they can taste good in the moment – have negative after-effects.
Though our modern culture doesn’t consider grains to be among its list of strange foods, when you look a the timeline of human history you will discover that carbs in these extremely high amounts are strange indeed and have only become commonplace recently.
Flour is an ingredient in many of the items available at your grocery store. If right now I asked you to guess how many grains you eat, on average, each week – you would probably underestimate the amount. It’s just human nature to fudge the numbers. For example:
- most people overestimate how much water they drink and how healthy they eat
- most people underestimate how sedentary they are and how many calories they consume.
The only way to really know how you’re actually doing on your self-care protocols is to – once in a while – pay close attention to what you eat, drink, and how you move, and then carefully track it.
Once you know the choices you’re actually making on a standard day, you can begin experimenting with improvements.What foods will benefit your body, create leanness, yet leave you feeling satisfied?Click To Tweet
For my own body, I experience positive results by having a daily diet that consists mostly of fresh vegetables. To a smaller degree, I also consume fruit, sweet potato, and lean meats.
I now believe that how much animal protein a person has or doesn’t have, can depend on the unique chemistry of her body and her activity level (some people thrive on a vegan diet, while others thrive on a paleo-style diet).
Also, a diet can be modified based on where in the life cycle one is. A particular style of eating that might work well at age 27 might not work so well at age 57 (I’ve noticed that active children can often get by with more flour and dairy products in their daily diets without negative consequences).
While I believe each person must find their own way and discover for themselves what strange foods are the most helpful, it’s safe to state that – generally – the more anti-inflammatory a diet is, the better one’s health will be.
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Over the last year, I have lost 18 pounds. Much of that has been fat-cell weight loss.
Once I reach 25 pounds of weight loss, I will add back more calories to my daily menu so I don’t lose any more weight.
I expect adding an extra serving of clean animal protein during the day will probably help me to maintain my weight and muscle-tissue ratio at healthy levels from that point forward.
- Have you ever experimented with transforming your own body composition?
- How would you change your own body composition – reduce fat cells, increase muscle tissue, or a combination of both?