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NUTRITION, WORKOUT, ROUTINE

https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/fitness-articles/workouts-exercise-articles/best-supplements-for-muscle-growth-2019/

https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/fitness-articles/workouts-exercise-articles/best-supplements-for-muscle-growth-2019/

https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/lifestyle-articles/ben-greenfields-daily-routine/

https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/fitness-articles/workouts-exercise-articles/ben-greenfields-weekly-workout-routine/

https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/nutrition-articles/perfect-human-diet/

https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/fitness-articles/workouts-exercise-articles/best-supplements-for-muscle-growth-2019/

 

 

 

 

What Is The Perfect Workout Plan For 2017?

Affiliate Disclosure

Last year, I wrote the article “Look Good Naked & Live A Long Time.”  

In that article, I highlighted how to get a nice body and maximize longevity by using exercise strategies such as mitochondrial density training, super slow sets, plyometrics, power, fat burning zone sessions and beyond.

But there’s a glaring problem.

Since writing that original article, I’ve realized it has a few flaws – namely:

  1. A) it doesn’t include much mobility training in the way of movement elements such as handstand, muscle-ups or anything else similar to the gymnastics skills that I discussed with Tim Ferriss in our recent podcast episode.
  2. B) it doesn’t include a significant number of the biohacking strategies and movement “snacks” I frequently sprinkle into my own day, such as hotand coldtraining, reboundinghypoxiafoundation training, etc. all strung together into the perfect program
  3. C) it doesn’t include a major component of reinventing, rebooting, resetting or otherwise “fixing” your blood, brain and biomarkers, specifically the type of detoxification strategies I outline in detail in this recent podcast episode.

Bottom of Form

So in this quite comprehensive article that I’m hoping will help you kick off 2017 in a very big way, I’m going to tell you exactly how I’m going to personally be structuring my own workout program in 2017 to get the ultimate combination of full body sculpting, strength and power development, brain training, coordination, mobility, gymnastics, detoxification and beyond!

In case you want things completely outsourced, I’ve also put the entire routine described below into a structured, calendared “done-for-you” TrainingPeaks training program that you can download by clicking here.

Strength

Let’s begin with strength. Why start here?

As I highlight in this article about the fittest old people on the face of the planet, strength is a crucial component of a training program – not just because it sculpts and tones your body while building bone density, mitochondria and even cardiovascular fitness, but because it can be a potent hormonal and anti-aging strategy. There are various ways to train strength, but the most effective is to either A) lift heavy and to lift with some kind of a controlled tempo or B) as outlined in this recent excellent article on body weight training, to train with lighter loads to exhaustion.

Most people’s bodies or nervous systems can handle a maximum of two high quality, heavy, tempo-based strength training sessions per week (you can measure your own heart rate variability HRV score each day to see what your ideal volume is). Below, I’ve included two options for you to include for strength. I recommend you do these sessions on Mondays and Thursdays, which will allow about 72 hours of muscle recovery, adaptation and growth between each strength session.

Strength Option 1: Super Slow Routine, free weights (for beginner/intermediate fitness levels or sore bodies)

Do the exact routine shown in this video.You can substitute free weights such as dumbbells or kettlebells instead of a barbell for any of the exercises. To learn the rationale behind training with a superslow routine like this, then read my previous articles or listen to my previous episodes on super slow training, specifically:

Does Super Slow Training Work?

Get More Lean Muscle With Isometric Training

Alternatively, if you are training for strength or size, you are an athlete, or you want something more difficult (warning: try the super slow routine first and be sure to move the weight very, very slowly…you’ll be surprised at the difficulty) then instead perform the Strength Sets below instead of the workout above.

On the flipside, if you are already training with the more advanced program below but on specific days or weeks you’re sore or need an easier day, then do the Super Slow above routine instead.

Strength Option 2: Strength Sets Routine (for intermediate/advanced fitness levels or athletes)

Warm-up for 5-10 minutes, preferably with a gymnastics routineAnimal Flow, a Core Foundation routine, or anything else that dynamically prepares the body for movement and elevates the heart rate.

Next, choose from the “Strength” list below:

-one Upper Body Push

-one Lower Body Push

-one Upper Body Pull

-one Lower Body Pull

-one Full Body Move

Pair each of exercises above with one exercise from the “Core/Mobility” list.

Gradually adding weight and decreasing repetitions or maintaining repetitions with each strength set (if do-able with good form), complete 3-8 repetitions of the first Strength exercise (e.g. Upper Body Push) in a slow, controlled fashion. Next, complete 10-20 repetitions of a Core/Mobility movement of your choice (for active recovery), preferably choosing aCore/Mobility movement that does not exhaust or work the same muscles that you used during your strength set.

Then go straight back to the Strength set, do another set and follow it up with the same Core/Mobility exercise for active recovery. Continue this scenario until you have completed 3-5 sets for both the Strength move and the Core/Mobility move, and then move on to the next movement category (e.g. Upper Body Pull). Continue until you have finished all movement categories (one Upper Body Push, one Lower Body Push, one Upper Body Pull, one Lower Body Pull, and one Full Body Move).

Cool-down with deep breathing, box breathing, sauna, walking or any other “easier” movements.

Finally, ou can substitute kegs, logs, rocks, kettlebells, sandbags, etc. for most of the moves below if you’d rather train outdoors or Strongman style.

Strength Exercises:

Upper Body Push:
-Barbell or Dumbbell Bench Press
Incline Barbell or Dumbbell Bench Press
Standing Overhead Press
Standing Cable Press
-Loaded Pushup (with Weighted Vest, or Super Slow with body weight)

Upper Body Pull:
-Bent Barbell or Dumbbell Row
Weighted Pull-up or Super Slow Pull-Up
-Weighted or Super Slow Horizontal Pull-Up
-Fast Single Arm Cable or Dumbbell Row
Lat Pulldowns
Seated Row

Lower Body Push:
Barbell Squat
Goblet Squat
Front Squat
Single Leg Squat
Front Lunge
Reverse Lunge
-Barbell or Dumbbell Step-Ups

Lower Body Pull:
Deadlift
Suitcase Deadlift
Romanian Deadlift

Full Body Move (this list is not exhaustive, and there may be others that you like:
ManMakers
Turkish Get-Up
Bear Complex (power clean, front squat, push press, back squat, and second push press):
Deadlift to Overhead Press
Overhead Squat

Core/Mobility Exercises:

Torso Twists
Cat/Cow
Birddogs (opposite arm/leg extension)
Yoga Sun Salutation Series
Banded Side to Side Walks
Mountain Climbers
Foam Rolling
Bridging
Banded Side Walks
Lunging Mobility Exercises
More ideas here.

Power

As I recently discussed with strength and conditioning coach Nick Curson on a this podcast, power and speed training are just as important as strength training, especially if you’re an athlete, but even if you’re someone who simply cares about optimizing their nervous system performance.

So, since you’re completing a strength training routine on Monday and Thursday, then on Tuesday and Friday you should do some kind of power and speed component. Similar to the strength training routines above, I’ve included below a couple options for power and speed training: one for beginners or for an easier day, and one for more advanced exercisers or for a harder day.

Option 1: The Ultimate Efficient Body Weight Workout (beginner/intermediate)

You can find complete details and science behind this body weight routine here. Each exercise is to be performed for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between exercises.

Technically, one round only takes about 7 minutes, but if time permits, you should attempt to do 2-3 rounds. Use good form on every exercise, and, because the focus for this workout is power, try to low yourself slowly, then explode through the work portion of each exercise quickly.

Jumping jacks

Wall sits

Pushups

Crunches

Step-ups

Squats

Dips

Planks

Running in place with high knees

Lunges

Pushups with rotation

Side planks

If you are an athlete, if you are wanting to train more for strength and power, or if the routine above feel simply too simple for you, then do the alternative routine for this day: “Complex Sets Routine (for intermediate/advanced)”. Alternatively, if you are already using the more advanced sets but you’re tired or sore today, do the body weight only workout above instead.

Option 2: Complex Sets Routine (for intermediate/advanced)

Warm-up for 5-10 minutes, preferably with a gymnastics routineAnimal Flow, a Core Foundation routine, or anything else that dynamically prepares the body for movement and elevates the heart rate.

Next, choose from the “Strength” list below one Upper Body Push, one Lower Body Push, one Upper Body Pull, one Lower Body Pull, and one Core. Pair that exercise with one exercise from the “Power” list that falls into that same movement category (Upper Body Push, Lower Body Push, Upper Body Pull, Lower Body Pull and Core/Carry/Move).

Gradually adding weight and decreasing repetitions or maintaining repetitions with each strength set (if do-able with good form), complete 3-8 repetitions of the first Strength exercise (e.g. Upper Body Push) in a slow, controlled fashion. Next, complete 3-8 repetitions of the corresponding Power movement as quickly and explosively as possible. If the Power move is a carry (e.g. fast Farmer’s Walk), then rather than completing a certain number of repetitions, instead complete 20-30 seconds of that exercise as quickly and explosively as possible.

Then recover for 2-3 minutes. During your recovery period, you can walk, do more mobility exercises, do foam rolling, dance or do anything else you want that doesn’t exhaust those same muscle groups. Then return to the Strength exercise and repeat along with the subsequent Power exercise. Continue this scenario until you have completed 3-5 sets for both the Strength move and the Power move, and then move on to the next movement category (e.g. Upper Body Pull). Continue this pattern until you have finished all movement categories (Upper Body Push, one Lower Body Push, one Upper Body Pull, one Lower Body Pull, and one Core/Carry/Move).

Cool-down with deep breathing, box breathing, sauna, walking or any of the “easier” movements programmed for the day.

Similar to the strength training routine, you can substitute kegs, logs, rocks, kettlebells, sandbags, etc. for most of the moves below if you’d rather train outdoors or Strongman style

Strength Exercises (if you are still sore from Monday and Thursday workouts, choose lighter workouts for the strength sets, and simply move them in a slow and controlled fashion, or do the body weight workout above):

-Barbell or Dumbbell Bench Press
Incline Barbell or Dumbbell Bench Press
Standing Overhead Press
Standing Cable Press
-Loaded Pushup (with Weighted Vest, or Super Slow with body weight)

Upper Body Pull:
-Bent Barbell or Dumbbell Row
Weighted Pull-up or Super Slow Pull-Up
-Weighted or Super Slow Horizontal Pull-Up
-Fast Single Arm Cable or Dumbbell Row
Lat Pulldowns
Seated Row

Lower Body Push:
Barbell Squat
Goblet Squat
Front Squat
Single Leg Squat
Front Lunge
Reverse Lunge
-Barbell or Dumbbell Step-Ups

Lower Body Pull:
Deadlift
Suitcase Deadlift
Romanian Deadlift

Core/Carry/Move:
Walking Dumbbell Lunge
Walking Overhead Dumbbell Lunge
Farmer’s Walk
Incline Situp
Incline Situp with Rotation
-Any Version of a Knee-Up, V-Up or Get-Up
-Any Version of a Hanging Bent or Straight Leg Raise
Reverse Hyperextension
Slow Torso Twists
Turkish Get-Ups

Power/Speed Exercises:

Upper Body Push:
Overhead Push Press
-Explosive or Clap Pushup
Medicine Ball Chest Throw or Overhead Throw
Snatch
Burpees

Upper Body Pull:
Jumping Pull-Up
Explosive Horizontal Pull-Up
Battle Rope
-Fast Single Arm Cable or Dumbbell Row
Muscle-Ups

Lower Body Push:
Jump Squat
Lunge Jumps
Explosive Step-Ups

Lower Body Pull:
Power Clean
Hang Clean
Clean & Jerk
Kettlebell Swing
Medicine Ball Slam

Core/Carry/Move:
Lunge Jumps
Box Jumps
-Fast Farmer’s Walk
Sled Push
Explosive Stair Climbs
-Explosive Torso Twists
Medicine Ball Side Throw
Rowing Machine
Bicycle
-Treadmill or other sprint
Banded Side to Side Walks
Mountain Climbers
Burpees
Muscle-Ups

Cardio

So far you discovered how to intelligently and properly structure  strength, speed and power training into a perfect workout plan. But unless you’re a football lineman (for example), you’ll need to include additional training modalities to have a truly perfect training program that targets every component of your body, brain and nervous system.

As you probably know, cardiovascular training is also crucial for any complete training program that is designed to include training for the heart, lungs, metabolic fat burning capabilities and circulation, and (as you may not know) so are “biohacks” such as lymph fluid clearance, lung and oxygenation training, building neurons by trying new sports and new moves and targeting a release of brain derived neurotrophic factor that strength training is notoriously not as good at causing.

As you learned in my episode “Does Weight Training Count As Cardio”, many of the strength and power training methods you learned above will train your cardiovascular system. But if you are an athlete or you want to work on fitness parameters such as your VO2max or lactate threshold or mitochondrial density or fat burning efficiency (all terms and skills I cover here) or you are training for some kind of an event such as a triathlon, obstacle race, etc. then, using bicycle, running, elliptical, rowing, swimming or any other cardio mode of choice, perform the following, preferably on Mondays and Thursdays (the same day you do strength training) or on Tuesdays and Fridays (the same day you do power training)

-VO2 Max Sets: Five 4 minute hard efforts with full recoveries (2-4 minute recoveries)

or

-Muscular Endurance Sets: 1-2 Tabata sets (Four total minutes of 20 seconds extremely hard, 10 seconds easy)

or

-Mitochondrial Density Sets: 4-6 thirty second sprints with full 2-4 minutes recovery after each

If possible, choose a different option from the options above when you do your cardiovascular intervals, such as tabatas on Tuesday and 30 second sprints on Friday. To save time, it is fine to do these cardio intervals as a starter or a finisher for your strength training or your power training, or to do your cardio at a different time of day (e.g. cardio morning, strength afternoon/evening).

New Sports & Activities

Let’s review what you’ve learned so far: you will be training strength on Mondays and Thursdays, and you’ll be training power and speed on Tuesdays and Fridays, then optional cardio training on whichever of these days “fits” for you.

Next, on a middle day of the week, preferably a Wednesday, you should give yourself a chance to challenge both your brain and body with a novel activity. If you’re sore or beat up, try something like an easy paddleboard, a yoga class you haven’t tried before, hiking on a strange new trail, frisbee golf, regular golf, etc. For more of a challenge, try something slightly more fitness intensive, such as tennis, basketball, ultimate frisbee, soccer, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, etc.

For example, on Wednesday afternoons, I’m now taking a tennis class with my wife and/or doing “night skiing” with my kids. Basically, this middle day is your “free day” to engage in a hobby of your choice. Just don’t beat yourself up too much since both the Thursday and Friday after this Wednesday are relatively physically intensive.

Weekend Adventure

Use the weekend as an opportunity to choose an adventure of your choice, preferably outdoors. This can include hiking, skiing, snowboarding, road cycling, mountain biking, playing on an obstacle course, etc. This session can be longer, and, if aerobic, can be done in a fasted state.

Since, in the structured “done-for-you” plan I’ve written out for this program you’re reading about, you should ideally be including a 24 hour fast over the weekend, don’t make this adventure too “epic” in terms of physical intensity, but instead use this as an opportunity for nature therapy, challenging your brain, doing something novel, etc.

Your weekend adventure can last anything from forty minutes to several hours, depending on your activity and choices! You can do this Saturday or Sunday, whichever fits for you.

And yes, there’s a method to the madness. Similar to Wednesday’s session, you’re targeting new neurons in your nervous system, and you’re also, due to the longer nature of this session, building the physiological parameters of stamina and fat burning capacity.

“Extras”

Below are the extras, such as biohacks and additional helpful movements that will bulletproof your body. I’d recommend you sprinkle these throughout the week. I’ve included the days that I recommend you do these activities in the descriptions below:

-Foundation Training:

You’re going to need the excellent book “True To Form” to do this properly. You can get it here in Kindle or hard copy off Amazon. Read the whole book, and then do the M/W/F routine on Monday and Wednesday and Friday and the T/R/S routine on Tuesday and Thursday and Saturday every week, preferably in the morning. This will take about 5-10 minutes per day. Get full details in my article How To Turn On Your Butt, Activate Deep Breathing & Decompress Your Spine (And Why I’ve Completely Changed My Morning Routine).

-Hot & Cold:

Using a dry sauna, steam sauna or (preferably) an infrared sauna (read this article to see my own infrared setup), complete 10-30 minutes in a sauna, staying in the sauna at least long enough to begin sweating, and preferably long enough to where you begin to get uncomfortably hot.

It is OK to “kill two birds with one stone” and do any of the other day’s activities in the sauna (such as Core Foundation, mobility work, foam rolling, etc.) or to do yoga or workout like my own sauna workout in the sauna. You can also simply read, breathe, etc. Just stay away from phone/WiFi/bluetooth and other forms of EMF. Listen to this podcast to learn why you need to be careful with this kind of electrical exposure, especially when combined with heat.

Another technique that is good to use in the sauna or in the pool (be careful and responsible!) is resisted breathwork, restricted breathwork, breathing exercises or breathhold training. The best current resource on this tactics in this upcoming Wednesday’s podcast, so stay tuned (if you click before Wednesday, that’s gonna be a dead link).

Finish your sauna session with a 2-5 minute cold shower, cold soak in a bath, cold pool, or any other cold thermogenesis activity. In this particular program, these hot and cold sessions will fit in nicely on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

-Rebounding:

At any point during the day, jump on a rebounding trampoline for 5-15 minutes. I recommend any of the “JumpSport” models here. It is OK to alternate single and double leg bouncing or to work on your “hypoxic” training below while jumping. Here is a complete podcast episode and article on rebounding and why it is so beneficial for your body.

-Hypoxia:

During any of the day’s activities for the week, choose 10-15 minutes to practice hypoxia. For example, during the rebounding session, you could hold your breath for the first 15 seconds out of every 60 seconds. Or during the sauna or yoga, you can hold your breath during certain movements. You can even practice breathholds during the last few reps of a weight training exercise.

In addition, during every activity you do in this program, unless 100% necessary (e.g. you are gasping for breath or getting lightheaded), attempt to *only* breathe through your nose using abdominal/belly breathing.

It is highly recommended that you read the book Breathe and the book The Oxygen Advantage to learn how to “biohack” your oxygen levels for better fat loss, more nitric oxide, improved performance, enhanced sleep and more. You can learn more about the strategies in these books and about proper breathwork by clicking here.

-Mobility Work:

Choose one day of the week, preferably Saturday or Sunday, to do a full body foam roller workout using exercises shown here or here (do approximately 10-15 rolls per body section), or, for a more advanced foam rolling routine, do the routine below. Alternatively, for a bit more rest and relaxation, book yourself in for a 60-90 minute full body massage.

For this, for your massage or for the more advanced foam rolling routine below, if it is possible to do then “blast” your body with healing frequencies the entire time. Do this with the WholeTones CD’s as a form of sound and music therapy (full details in the podcast here), which pairs well with more relaxing mobility work

For a more advanced mobility routine, do the routine below.

I highly, highly recommend the “Rumble Roller” for this routine or the ones above.  You’ll also need an elevation training mask to get full hypoxic benefits during the routine below. You can read more about that mask here. If you need videos or demonstrations of any foam roller exercise, then you can click here for a video in which I walk you through the entire routine below.

This mobility routine combines cardio exercise, breath restriction and foam rolling. Wear elevation training mask for entire routine. For every area that you foam roll, do 20-30 “passes” with the foam roller on the muscle group. One “pass” means you go up the muscle group and back down the muscle group.

-Station 1: 10 burpees. Foam roll achilles and calf R side.
-Station 2: 10 burpees. Foam roll achilles and calf L side.
-Station 3: Foam roll hamstring R side. 20 high leg swings R leg forward to backwards.
-Station 4: Foam roll hamstring L side. 20 high leg swings L leg forward to backwards.
-Station 5: 10 burpees. Foam roll R outside of hip.
-Station 6: 10 burpees. Foam roll L outside of hip.
-Station 7: Foam roll IT band R side. 20 side-to-side leg swings R leg.
-Station 8: Foam roll IT band L side. 20 side-to-side leg swings L leg.
-Station 9: 10 burpees. Foam roll R adductors/inside of thighs.
-Station 10: 10 burpees. Foam roll L adductors/inside of thighs.
-Station 11: 50 jumping jacks. Foam roll back bottom-to-top.
-Station 12: 50 jumping jacks. Foam roll entire right shoulder complex.
-Station 13: 50 jumping jacks. Foam roll entire left shoulder complex.
-Station 14: 10 burpees. Foam roll neck (back, L side, R side)
-Station 15: 10 burpees. Foam roll entire front of quads.

And yes, you get bonus points if you do this routine in a dry or infrared sauna, or wearing an elevation training mask (at TrainingMask.com code GREEN1 gives you a 20% discount)

-Gymnastics:

For the first four weeks of this program, I’d recommend you choose three days of the week (I recommend Monday, Wednesday and Friday) to work on handstands and other gymnastics movements as a crucial component of your “perfect workout” plan.

You can click here to subscribe to my Get-Fit Guy podcast, on which I’m going to describe in the next few weeks why gymnastics training is so effective.

You can do this on three days of the week, as an alternative to your hot and cold session or as an addition (depending on your time limitations) to your hot and cold session. For the first four weeks, I’d recommend starting with this free handstand program from the website “Breaking Muscle” (if you are already relatively fit, do the “Rx’d work”, and otherwise do the “Scaled work”).

After those first four weeks, I’d recommend you shift into the complete full free year of gymnastics training here at the Breaking Muscle website, or simply follow the daily Gymnastics “WOD” (Workout Of The Day) at GymnasticsWOD.com. If you’d like, you can use this Gymnastics work as a “warmup” or as a “finisher” to your sauna session (e.g. 15 minutes gymnastics work, 15 minutes sauna finisher, or vice versa).

Summary

Whew! That’s it.

You just learned how to string together strength, power, speed, cardio, mobility, gymnastics, hypoxia, hot, cold, rebounding, brain training and new sports and adventures to create the perfect workout plan for 2017. If you follow this routine, I guarantee that you will achieve a level of full body and brain fitness that you’ve never before experienced, along with getting a very, very nice figure.

If you would like to access everything I’ve just described in a “done-for-you” calendar format, along with a host of bonus body care and detoxification tips that I’ll personally be using in 2017 (such as coconut oil pulling, intermittent fasting, dry skin brushing, anti-aging teas and broths, etc.) then you can click here to download a training plan I’ve written that lays everything out for you in a daily plan with no guesswork.

Or, if you want to really get serious and have me personally walk you through everything over the next few months, then click here and join my detox challenge, which begins January 9.

In the meantime, do you have questions, comments or feedback about the perfect workout for 2017? Leave your comments below and I promise to reply!

Ben Greenfield’s Entire Muscle Building Program Unveiled: Top 6 Muscle Building Workouts, Diet For Building Muscle Without Gaining Fat & The Best Supplements For Muscle Mass.

Affiliate Disclosure

Since last week’s post below on Instagram, I’ve been getting inundated with questions about how to build muscle…including how I’ve been eating, supplements I’m currently taking, my workout program and more!

So I figured I’d put together a quick and dirty post to give the basics of my entire protocol. I hope this is helpful! You can feel free to leave your questions, comments, and feedback below the post!

How To Build Muscle: Ben Greenfield’s Top 6 Workouts:

My weight training workouts are actually pretty simple. I find that from a cognitive fatigue standpoint and my hefty amounts of family time, work and travel, I can really only handle a maximum of about six different workout “options”—three for when I’m at home and three for travel. I do three such workouts per week, typically with 48 hours between, and my workouts take somewhere in the range of 50-60 minutes.

There’s actually some evidence that hitting a muscle over and over again with similar exercise, movements, sets, and reps can actually be very good for muscle hypertrophy. If my goal were purely metabolic stimuli, I’d use quite a few additional workouts, but I keep things relatively simple for hypertrophy. 

Home Muscle Building Workout 1: Basic Full Body Protocol

First, I perform a warm-up for about 5 minutes, preferably with a gymnastics routineAnimal Flow, a Core Foundation routine, or anything else that dynamically prepares the body for movement and elevates the heart rate. I usually finish my warm-up with a quick set of 100 jumping jacks or 30 burpees.

Next, I choose one exercise from the “Strength” list below:

  • Upper Body Push (1)
  • Lower Body Push (1)
  • Upper Body Pull (1)
  • Lower Body Pull (1)
  • Full Body Move (1)

Then I pair each of the exercises above with one exercise from the “Core/Mobility” list you’ll see shortly below.

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Top of Form

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I’m interested in…*

 Fat Loss  Gaining Muscle  Having More Energy  Competition & Racing  Biohacking Mind & Body  Anti-Aging  Injuries/Pain  Just Help Getting Started!  Other/Anything Else

YES, HOOK ME UP!

Bottom of Form

Gradually adding weight and decreasing repetitions or maintaining repetitions with each strength set (if do-able with good form), I complete 6-10 repetitions of the first Strength exercise (e.g. Upper Body Push) in a slow, controlled fashion. Next, I complete 10-20 repetitions of a Core/Mobility movement of choice (for active recovery), preferably choosing a Core/Mobility movement that does not exhaust or work the same muscles that I used during my strength set.

Then I go straight back to the Strength set, do another set and follow it up with the same Core/Mobility exercise for active recovery. I continue this scenario until I have completed 3-5 sets for both the Strength move and the Core/Mobility move and then move on to the next movement category (e.g. Upper Body Pull). I then continue until I have finished all movement categories (one Upper Body Push, one Lower Body Push, one Upper Body Pull, one Lower Body Pull, and one Full Body Move).

After this workout, I jump into my cold pool for about 2 minutes to cool my body without staying in long enough (e.g. closer to the 10-minute range) to shut down any type of anabolic response to the workout.

Strength Exercises: 

Upper Body Push:

Upper Body Pull:

Lower Body Push:

Lower Body Pull:

Full Body Move (This list is not exhaustive, and there may be others that you like.):

Core/Mobility Exercises:

This entire protocol takes me about 60 minutes.

Home Muscle Building Workout 2: NEUBIE Electrostimulation Full Body Workout

You can listen to my podcast about this extremely powerful Russian DC E-stim NEUBIE unit here. Garrett, the designer of the NEUBIE, was kind enough to create two separate full body options for me. Each of these workouts takes me about 40-45 minutes, and I typically begin or finish with some kind of high-intensity set on the Air Assault bike (usually a Tabata set of 20 seconds hard/10 seconds easy, 8x through). I only do this type of workout once every two weeks or so because it makes me very sore.

NEUBIE Workout 1:

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Zoom 100%

HOME WORKOUT – WHOLE BODY STRENGTH #1

PART 1

(LOWER BODY)

Channel 1&2 =

Black

Glute Max /

Red

Upper Quads (Rec Fem)

Channel 3&4 =

Black

Hamstrings /

Red

VMO’s

Freq = 100 pps / Work = 10s, Rest = 10s / Power = Max Tolerance

3 TIMES THROUGH THIS SERIES (Try to turn up power each round):

1.

ERA LUNGE

– HOLD BOTTOM POSITION WHEN SIGNAL ON, REST WHEN OFF

a.

6-12 with Right Leg Forward, then

b.

6-12 with Left Leg Forward

2.

TABLE TOP PUSH-UP

– HOLD TOP POSITION WHEN SIGNAL ON, REST WHEN OFF

a.

8-12 Reps

3.

GOBLET SQUAT

– HOLD BOTTOM POSITION WHEN SIGNAL ON, REST WHEN OFF

a.

6-12 Reps x Moderately Challenging Weight

PART 2

(UPPER BODY)

Channel 1&2 =

Black

Lats /

Red

Pecs

Channel 3&4 =

Black

Scapulae /

Red

Serratus

Freq = 100 pps / Work = 10s, Rest = 10s / Power = Max Tolerance

3 TIMES THROUGH THIS SERIES:

1.

ERA PUSH-UP

– HOLD BOTTOM WHEN SIGNAL COMES ON, REST WHEN SIGNAL

OFF

a.

8-12 Reps

2.

SIDE PLANK

– HOLD TOP WHEN SIGNAL ON, REST WHEN SIGNAL OFF

a.

6 Reps on Right Side, then

b.

6 Reps on Left Side

3.

BAND PULL-APARTS

– HOLD BAND APART WHEN SIGNAL ON, REST WHEN OFF

PART 3

(ABDOMINALS)

Channel 1&2 =

Black

Lower Abs /

Red

Upper Abs

Channel 3&4 =

Black

Lower Obliques /

Red

Upper Obliques

Freq = 100 pps / Work = 10s, Rest = 10s / Power = Max Tolerance

3 TIMES THROUGH THIS SERIES:

1.

AB WHEEL

– HOLD BOTTOM WHEN SIGNAL COMES ON, REST WHEN SIGNAL OFF

a.

8-12 Reps

2.

HOLLOW BODY HOLD

– HOLD UP WHEN SIGNAL ON, REST WHEN SIGNAL OFF

a.

8-12 REPS

NEUBIE Workout 2:

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Zoom 100%

HOME WORKOUT – WHOLE BODY STRENGTH #2

PART 1

(LOWER BODY)

Channel 1&2 =

Black

Glutes /

Red

Lower Abs

Channel 3&4 =

Black

Hamstrings /

Red

Belly of Quad

Freq = 100 pps / Work = 1s, Rest = 0s / Power = Max Tolerance

3 TIMES THROUGH THIS SERIES (Try to turn up power each round):

1.

SISSY SQUAT

X 8-12 Reps

2.

SINGLE LEG RDL or

SUITCASE DEADLIFT

x 4-8 Reps per side x Moderately

Challenging Weight Held in Contralateral Hand (eg. Stand on Left Leg, hold Kettlebell or

Dumbbell in Right Hand)

3.

PRONE HIP EXTENSION AND ROTATION

x 5 Each Leg

THEN

LOW SQUAT FOOT JUMPS

x 200 Reps (Rest briefly as necessary)

PART 2

(UPPER BODY)

Channel 1&2 =

Black

Scaps /

Red

Pecs

Channel 3&4 =

Black

Triceps /

Red

Biceps

Freq = 100 pps / Work = 1s, Rest = 0s / Power = Max Tolerance

3 TIMES THROUGH THIS SERIES (Try to turn up power each round):

1.

BOTTOM HALF PUSH-UP

x 15-30 Reps

2.

PLYO DROP BICEP CURL

x 15-30 Reps (Stick at the bottom catch position for 1

second per rep) x Moderately challenging weight

3.

SWORD PULL

x 10 reps per side x 5-10 lb dumbbell

THEN

YIELDING ISO PULL-UP

x 2.5 mins work

PART 3

(CORE)

Channel 1&2 =

Black

Lumbar /

Red

Lower Abs

Channel 3&4 =

Black

Lats /

Red

Upper Abs

Freq = 100 pps / Work = 1s, Rest = 0s / Power = Max Tolerance

3 TIMES THROUGH THIS SERIES (Try to turn up power each round):

1.

CROSS-CRAWL SUPERMAN

x 15-30 reps per side

2.

ASLR

(“ASYMMETRICAL SINGLE LEG RAISE”) x 10-20 reps per side

3.

CRATE CRUNCH

x 30 second hold x Moderately Challenging Load Between Knees

Home Muscle Building Workout 3: “Garage” Strongman Workout

My third muscle building workout is probably the most functional and usually takes place in my driveway or garage. It is simply a mashup of “strongman” style exercises using a half-filled keg, a mace, a sandbag, medicine ball slams, kettlebells, monkey bars, a tire, etc. I try to include some running with this workout to keep my obstacle course racing fitness tuned.

One handy book for learning this type of workout approach is Zach Evenesh’s The Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning

Travel Muscle Building Workout 1: Body Weight Training To Failure

The nice thing is that, based on good research by Brad Schoenfeld, you can still build muscle with lightweight or bodyweight training, provided that you complete each set to absolute failure with a maximum amount of time under tension. So I can still build muscle when I’m, say, in my hotel room and have only my body weight or elastic bands.

Here’s my routine.

Repeat as an AMRAP for 45-60 minutes (I include the burpee warm-up each round for an added challenge) with minimal rest. You can also use blood flow restriction bands around your arms and legs for an amplified growth hormone response and even a bigger muscle-building effect, which I often do.

Travel Muscle Building Workout 2: Hotel or Health Club Full Body Workout

I’m at a hotel or have access to a gym, is to perform back-to-back “supersets” for each body part, with each superset followed by two minutes of cardio performed as hard as possible. For example:

  • 2 minutes on a cardio machine such as an elliptical trainer, bike, rowing machine, or stairmill.
  • Chest pressto failure (8 to 15 reps)
  • Rowto failure (8 to 15 reps)
  • 2 minutes on a cardio machine
  • Squator leg press to failure (8-15 reps)
  • Deadliftor leg curl to failure (8-15 reps)
  • 2 minutes of cardio
  • Shoulder pressto failure (8-15 reps)
  • Pull-downto failure (8-15 reps)
  • 2 minutes of cardio
  • Core exercise #1 of choice to failure (e.g., side plankrotations)
  • Core exercise #2 of choice to failure (e.g., low back extensions)

Repeat 4 to 5 times through with minimal rest.

Travel Muscle Building Workout 3: X3 Bar

X3 Bar 10 minute workout (this workout is for when time is tight). You can read or listen to the full details on the X3 Bar here, and if you get a bar it includes a handy quick cheat sheet with demos of each exercise below. If I have more time available, I’ll do this routine 2-3x through.

  • Chest Press
  • Squat
  • Overhead Press
  • Deadlift
  • Row
  • Squat To Overhead Press
  • Curl
  • Tricep Pushdown

Other than these workouts, I include the following basic movement protocols:

  • at least 30 min/day walking/hiking for low-level aerobic fat loss without much muscle catabolism
  • 60-90 minute hike on weekends
  • family tennis for an hour on Sundays
  • 30 min Clearlight infrared sauna3-4x/week, always followed by a 5-minute cold soak
  • 10-15 minutes foam rollingand mobility work each morning

My Muscle Building Diet

I’m largely following a “bastardized” version of the carnivore diet, which you can listen to full details about in this podcast. My total dietary intake is about 5000 calories per day, even on recovery days, approximately 30-40% protein, 30-40% fat and 20-30% carbs and is comprised of the following:

Sample Breakfast

A large serving of coconut yogurt with cashew or walnut butter and a cup of Kettle & Fire bone broth (code: GREENFIELD for 10% off). A small amount of raw honey drizzled on top or sometimes small handful blueberries.

Sample Lunch

One USWellnessMeats (code: GREENFIELD saves 15%) bratwurst with several slices braunschweiger or head cheese along with a can of Wild Planet sardines. Half can of pumpkin puree on the side. Plenty of the spices listed above. Box of bone broth (code: GREENFIELD for 10% off) for a beverage.

Dessert After Lunch 

Keto ice cream (another option is my mix here):

Sample Dinner

One 20 oz ribeye steak (code: GREENFIELD saves 15%) with a can of sweet potato puree drenched in olive oil and nut butter.

Dessert After Dinner

Same as lunch, but often sprinkle berries or raw honey on top for nighttime carbs. Another cup of bone broth (code: GREENFIELD for 10% off) or glass of wine (code: GREENFIELD10 for 10% off).

Sample Power Coffee

I’ll sometimes add extra calories to my organic coffee if I want more calories after breakfast. A typical mix for me is a heaping tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil blended with organic coffeecinnamonsteviasea salt, and MiCacao.

Supplements

Finally, I kicked this whole thing off with this stem cell procedure with Dr. Chen, which likely also helped and would be something I consider to fall into the biohacking/supplement category.

Summary

OK, those are the biggies! As you can see, it’s not that complex. You just need to be very, very consistent. Aside from the occasional handful of polenta fries with my ribeye steak or a taste of my wife’s sourdough bread here and there, I have no major cheat days or days on which I skip movements. 

Sure, there’s a few extra recoveries or mitochondrial supporting “biohacks” I throw in, but I don’t think they’re 100% necessary and are actually kind of expensive. Namely the big ones:

Again, these are nice-to-have, but in my opinion not really necessary to gain significant amounts of functional muscle while maintaining high-end cardiovascular fitness and keeping any fat gain to a minimum, which is really the focus of my entire protocol.

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for me about this muscle building protocol? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

What Is The Perfect Human Diet? Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Meal Plans From Ben Greenfield That Tell You Exactly How To Eat For Your Unique Body.

Affiliate Disclosure

In my article “F*@# Diets – Customized, Delicious Nutrition Made Easy“, you learned how to customize your diet. However, that article focused more on testing, tweaking and customizing your diet, and less on cutting through the clutter and confusion generated by the myriad of diet books on the market.

After all, I get it: you want some type of done-for-you guide that simply tells you what to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Fact is, since every human being is biologically unique, there is no “one-size-fits-all” guide. However, after reading over the past two decades literally hundreds of diet and nutrition books, and working with clients from pro athletes, to CEOs, to very sick individuals, to the average Joe and Jill, I can tell you with confidence there are less than a dozen books and diets that I actually endorse/agree with and that are intelligently written without excessive bias – and these are the same type of books and diets that I recommend to folks when I help them to review their health history, goals and labs, they desire a done-for-you plan, and they may not be able to afford, say, a customized meal plan written by me

So below, I’m giving you the best of the best: the basic to advanced diets that I’ve found to work time and time again for a variety of issues, including fixing the gut, losing fat, gaining muscle and enhancing performance. This list is not 100% exhaustive, but nine times out of ten, I’m putting my clients on a diet I’ve selected from the list below, then doing slight customizations and tweaks based on individual needs.

The Basic Dietary Best Practices

Let’s begin with the basics: practices that are seen time and time again in Blue Zone hotspots of longevity and also in the healthiest populations worldwide. No matter which diet you follow, you should include the following strategies:

-Incorporate regular intermittent fasts or longer fasting periods.

-Be ruthlessly cognizant of inflammatory foods and control of glycemic variability.

-Occasionally re-feed the body with adequate calories and carbohydrates.

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-Occasionally engage in periods of more intense detoxification.

-Whenever given the option between real food and packaged/processed food, choose the former.

-Eat a very wide variety of multi-colored plants, herbs and spices.

-Whenever possible, choose clean, organic, wild, non-GMO or otherwise healthy foods and ingredients.

-Whenever possible, eat locally grown foods that are available on a seasonal basis.

-Review the longevity tips in my article “12 Basic, Natural & Easy Habits To Enhance Longevity” and incorporate those principles into your diet as frequently as possible.

Make sense?

OK, now let’s dive into the nitty-gritty.

4 Beginner Meal Plans To Reboot The Body

The meals in this beginner section are designed to give you an extremely clean eating protocol fashioned to reboot and reset your entire body, especially the gut. I recommend that unless you are in pristine health, you follow any of the meal plans in this section for a minimum of 4-8 weeks prior to progressing to an intermediate plan. If you have gut issues, inflammation, autoimmune symptoms, etc. you should plan on sticking to this type of diet until symptoms subside, which can take 3-6 months (I’m not a doctor, so please don’t misconstrue this as medical advice).

Depending on taste, desire for variety and your unique food preferences, you can mix and match any of the programs in this section. Rather than simply recommending one single diet – which I’ve already mentioned and you know from this article is a flawed approach – I’m instead equipping you with a variety of diets that you can use to heal your gut, ease digestion, detox the body and prepare your digestive system for more complex eating patterns after you’ve cleaned things up.

Beginner Option #1: The Autoimmune Paleo Diet

One of the best ways to clean up your diet is to follow an Autoimmune Paleo Diet (AIP). Also known as the paleo autoimmune protocol, the AIP diet is a much stricter version of the Paleo diet (which is based on meat, fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds). It eliminates foods such as dairy, grains, eggs, nightshades, legumes and more, since in people with a leaky gut these foods may cause inflammation. By including nutrient-rich foods and avoiding inflammatory ones, the AIP diet aims to heal inflammation and any holes in the gut. People who follow the AIP diet should typically follow it strictly for 4-8 weeks and then slowly reintroduce foods that they have been avoiding. I recommend following this plan if you’ve completed any food allergy panels such as Cyrex that indicate you have sensitivities to wheat, soy, gluten, dairy, eggs, etc. or you’ve tested your gut and have inflammation. The AIP meals can be mixed and matched with any of the meals from the SCD Diet Plan or GAPS diet. The best book to accompany this diet and get even more recipes is ”The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook” by Mickey Trescott.

AIP Diet Sample Meals

Breakfast – Get Your Greens Mint Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups full fat coconut milk

1/4 cup melted coconut butter or manna

6 large handfuls of raw spinach

2 cups packed mint leaves

2 ripe bananas

1/2 large avocado or 1 whole small avocado

Optional: 2 scoops grass fed gelatin 

Instructions:

  1. Place all the ingredients in your high-speed blender (I use Vitamixand love it)
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. If adding the gelatin, stir that in until dissolved
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Lunch – Grilled Peach Salad With Baby Arugula, Pistachios And Lemony Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients:

3 firm, not quite ripe peaches, each cut into 6 wedges

a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for grilling and the greens)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 cups of baby arugula

1/2 cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped

3 or 4 medium-sized radishes, thinly sliced

chives, sliced thinly

salt and pepper, to taste

Lemony Yogurt Dressing (recipe below)

Lemony Yogurt Dressing Recipe

1 cup yogurt (I used homemade coconut yogurt)       

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil                      

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 garlic clove, minced

sea salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat grill (or grill pan) to medium-high heat, brush the grill with some olive oiland brush each peach segment with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place the peaches on the hot grill and grill until they are golden and have char marks, 1 to 2 minutes on each side.  Don’t move them around, once ready – flip to the other side. When your peaches are done, remove from the heat and allow them to cool.
  2. For the Lemony Yogurt Dressing, add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together until combined. Salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  3. Toss the baby arugula with a little olive oiland 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Arrange on a serving platter, top with grilled peaches, radishes, toasted pistachios and drizzle the lemon yogurt dressing over top. Top with fresh chives and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve immediately.

amount per serving (4 servings) calories 339

fat 63% 25 g carb 26% 24 g  protein 9% 9 g

Dinner – Ranch Pork Ribs

Ingredients:

2 lb pork spare ribs

Sea salt, to taste

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

5 cloves of garlic, minced

Zest of 2 large or 3 small lemons

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley leaves

1 tsp dried chives

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp dried dill

Juice from 1/4 lemon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Sprinkle the ribs with salt on both sides and lay them flat on the baking sheet so they curve down.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients, except lemon juice, until they form a thick paste.
  5. Rub the spice paste on top of the ribs until they are evenly coated.
  6. Bake the ribs for 2.5-3 hours until they are juicy in the inside, and crispy on the outside.
  7. Cut spareribs into sections.
  8. If you want crispier ribs, broil them for 4-5 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with lemon juice before serving.

amount per serving (6 servings) calories 511

fat 67% 38 g carb 13% 18 g protein 19% 25 g

Beginner Option #2: The Specific Carbohydrate Diet

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is a diet first described by Sidney V. Haas in 1924 as a way to treat celiac disease, and further refined in the 1951 medical textbook “The Management of Celiac Disease”. It was later re-popularized in 1987 by Elaine Gottschall, the mother of one of Haas’s patients. The SCD is a gluten-free and grain-free diet and was actually a popular treatment for celiac disease decades even before gluten was even discovered. I recommend you follow this plan if you have IBD, IBS, bloating, gas or gut inflammation, particularly if these issues are brought on by gluten or grain consumption. The SCD meals can also be mixed and matched with any of the meals from the Paleo Autoimmune Diet Plan or GAPS diet. The best book to accompany the SCD program and study up on it more is “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” by Elaine Gottschall.

SCD Sample Meals

Breakfast – Bacon, Vegetable & Cheese Egg Bake

Ingredients:

5 slices of no-nitrate bacon

1/2 cup sliced bell peppers

1/4 cup chopped onions

1 cup broccoli slaw mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup dripped yogurt cheese

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop bacon into pieces and fry until crispy. Put bacon pieces on a paper towel and dispose of the bacon grease. Place on the vegetables in the pan and saute for a few minutes until the broccoli mix is soft and the frozen vegetables are heated through.
  3. Whisk eggs, dripped yogurt, and 1/2 cup of the cheese together. Butter a glass 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Place the vegetables and bacon in the baking dish. Pour the egg mixture over them and stir to combine. Spread the remainder of the cheese over the top.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until the eggs are set.

Lunch – Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

3 small peppers (green, yellow, orange, red – whatever you  like – I bought a pre-sliced fresh pack)

1 small onion

butter lettuce leaves

2 cups cooked black beans

fresh salsa

grated cheese (optional)

yogurt (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Slice the chicken, peppers, and onion into thin strips.
  2. Coat vegetables with a little olive oil.
  3. Saute’ or grill chicken and vegetables (I used my Griddle) using olive oil to coat the pan or grill. I did the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side. The peppers took about 5 minutes per side – cook until desired softness. I sauteed the onions on the stove because I ran out of room on the Griddle. They took probably about 5 minutes. I cooked them until they were soft and slightly browned.
  4. Heat beans.
  5. Spread washed lettuce leaves on a plate. Top with chicken and vegetables. Garnish with salsa, yogurt, and cheese if desired. Serve with the black beans.

Dinner – Baked Parmesan Fish Sticks

Ingredients:

2 cod fillets

3/4 almond flour

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 eggs

Olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with olive oil.
  3. Slice cod into half inch strips. Beat eggs in a small. bowl. Combine flour, cheese, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Dip fish into egg and then dredge in the flour mixture.
  5. Place fish evenly in single layer on baking sheet.
  6. Spray fish with a little olive oil.
  7. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until fish is golden brown.

Beginner Option #3: The Gut & Psychology Syndrome Diet

The Gut & Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet was derived from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) to naturally treat chronic inflammatory conditions in the digestive tract as a result of a damaged gut lining. It gained great popularity after Elaine Gottschall healed her child of ulcerative colitis and became an advocate for the SCD diet. Through years of research and clinical experience, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride adjusted Gottschall’s protocol to fit the individual healthcare needs of her patients suffering from a variety of intestinal and neurological conditions as a result of an imbalanced bacterial ecosystem within the GI tract. The GAPS Diet focuses on removing foods that are difficult to digest and damaging to gut flora and replacing them with nutrient-dense foods that give the intestinal lining a chance to heal and seal. If you have cognitive issues, irritation, brain fog or nervous system based problems related to the gut, this is a good diet to follow. The GAPS meals can also be mixed and matched with any of the meals from the Paleo Autoimmune Diet Plan or SCD diet. The best book to accompany the GAPS Diet is “Gut & Psychology Syndrome” by Dr. Campbell-McBride.

GAPS Diet Sample Meals

Breakfast – Slow Cooker Chicken Bone Broth Recipe

Ingredients:

2 pounds chicken bones leftover from roasted chicken, preferably organic

2 stalks celery roughly chopped

2 carrots skin on, roughly chopped

1 yellow or white onion roughly chopped

1 green bell pepper roughly chopped

1 head garlic

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1/4 cup fresh thyme

2 sprigs rosemary

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

8-10 cups filtered water or enough to cover ingredients

Instructions:

  1. Rinse vegetables and herbs and place into a slow cooker.
  2. Add chicken bones and all remaining ingredients to slow cooker and cover with enough water so that all ingredients are submerged.
  3. Turn on slow cooker to low heat and let cook for 12-18 hours.
  4. Remove from heat and carefully separate the vegetables and bones from the broth.
  5. Strain the brothinto a bowl through a colander, and strain once more through a cheesecloth to remove any remaining particles.
  6. Pour brothinto an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

amount per serving (1 cup) calories 13

Lunch – The Best Turkey Bone Broth Recipe That You Can Make With A Finished Bird

Ingredients:

1 turkey carcass from a roasted bird (it’s OK to have some meat and skin attached to the bones)

Turkey giblets

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

6 cloves garlic, smashed

1 cup parsley (1 small bunch)

1 mandarin orange peel (orange peel or lemon peel works too)

2 bay leaves

7 quarts filtered water

Instructions:

  1. Place the turkey carcass and giblets in a large stockpot. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, orange peel, and bay leaves, and cover with cold water.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 8-10 hours.
  3. Discard the solids and strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large container. Ladle the broth into mason jars. Once it’s cool, you’ll be able to remove the fat on the surface easily with a spoon. Enjoy and refrigerate or freeze the leftovers for later.

servings 5 quarts

amount per serving (1 cup) calories 94

total fat 4.1g total carbohydrates 9g protein 6.1g

Dinner – Slow Cooker Pot Roast With Beef Bone Broth

Ingredients:

4 cups Beef Bone Broth   

3 pounds chuck roast

6 carrots roughly chopped

2 sweet potatoes cut into ½-inch cubes

2 onions halved

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

3 sprigs fresh thyme

½ teaspoon Kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a large crock pot, add all of the ingredients.
  2. Cook on high heat for 4 hours. (Or 8 hours on low heat).
  3. Remove herb stems and enjoy.

servings 10  amount per serving calories 303

total fat 15g total carbohydrates 10g protein 29g

Beginner Option #4: Dr. Thomas Rau’s Swiss Detox Diet

Below is a full week of eating based on Thomas Rau’s Swiss Detox diet. If you have a need for a liver or gallbladder cleanse, this protocol works very well and can be used as a 7-14 day “jumpstart” for any of the other meal plans in the Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced sections. I am actually a big fan of incorporating this diet as a cleanse one to two times each year, especially during periods of time when you are at home, not traveling, and able to give your body a little extra rest and recovery. An alternative to this diet is Dr. John Douillard’s Colorado Cleanse, which is very similar in terms of it being a comprehensive approach to specifically heal and detoxify the gut, liver and gallbladder. Both these programs are very simple and comprised of foods such as kitchari cleansing stew, olive oil and celery juice. The best books to read to better understand the protocol and to get more recipes are Dr. Thomas Rau’s “Swiss Secrets to Optimal Health” and Dr. John Douillard’s ”The Colorado Cleanse”, “Eat Wheat”, and “Body, Mind, Sport”.

                          

Swiss Detox Diet Sample Meals

Breakfast

½ cup cooked steel cut oats

1 chopped date

½ grapefruit

½ apple

8 oz vegetable broth

1 cup decaf green or herb tea

Lunch

1 cup of salad

1 tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice to taste

1 cup of steamed vegetables

1 small boiled potato

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds

2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Dinner

1/2 cup fresh vegetable juice

2 cups vegetable soup

1 cup steamed vegetables

1 cup herb tea

Beginner Option #5: The Elemental Diet

Finally, should you need to pull out all the stops to manage gut inflammation, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), candida, yeast, fungus constipation, FODMAP sensitivities or leaky gut and simply want to push reboot button on digestion altogether, you can spend 2-4 weeks on an elemental diet. The elemental diet is the simplest, and admittedly, most boring of all the meal plan options. It involves consuming only a meal replacement powder for breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with a few extra oils, fats and amino acids for added nutrients. Below is a sample week of eating on the elemental diet. For your meal replacement drink, I recommend one to two servings of Thorne’s Mediclear SGS. For each shake, I recommend that you add 10-20g essential amino acids, along with a teaspoon to tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and MCT or coconut oil. Most of my clients who follow this diet have had the best success using organic bone broth as a liquid and blending the meal replacement powder. I personally prefer the blending approach, along with the addition of ice and vanilla stevia so that each meal tastes like a giant bowl of ice cream. Should you want a bit of extra variety, you can include basic soups, broths and steamed vegetables in your evening meal (more details and a good podcast on this here). To learn more about the elemental diet, I recommend Dr. Allison Siebecker’s “SIBOInfo.com” website, along with Dr. Michael Ruscio’s book “Healthy Gut, Healthy You”.

3 Intermediate Meal Plans To Expand Your Options

After following any of the beginner options for 8-12 weeks, your gut will be far more prepared to introduce a wider variety of foods. As mentioned above, if you experience a need to detox or cleanse, you can return to the beginner options at various points throughout the year, such as performing a 1-2 week liver cleanse in the Spring and in the Winter, or following an elemental diet for the first 30 days of each year. As you know from my article on five simple steps you can take to live longer, you should ensure that your lifelong eating plan reduces both glycemic variability and inflammation, while also providing a wide intake of wild plants, natural oils and digestible, nutrient-dense foods. So for the intermediate meal plan section of this article, I am introducing you to my favorite diets that are clean, easy-to-digest, primarily consist of real whole food, and are appropriate for a large number of individuals.

Intermediate Option #1: The Wahls Protocol

Dr. Terry Wahls’ “Wahls Protocol”, particularly the lower-carbohydrate, ketogenic version of her diet as a way to be ketogenic but still eat a wide variety of plant matter, is one that I recommend quite often. After she was diagnosed with MS, she began studying food and vitamins, and based on the plant-rich, Paleo-esque diet she created, she eventually progressed from using a wheelchair to biking miles at a time. On the Wahls Protocol, you eat lots of meat and fish, vegetables (especially green, leafy ones) brightly colored fruit, like berries, fat from animal and plant sources (especially omega-3 fatty acids), and avoid dairy, eggs, grain, legumes, nightshades and sugar. The best book to accompany this meal plan is “The Wahls Protocol” by Dr. Wahls.

Wahls Protocol Sample Meals

Breakfast  – Low Carb Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup almond meal
2 large eggs
¼ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Mix the eggs, pumpkin puree, sour cream and butter together.
  2. Mix the almond meal, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt together.
  3. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients to get a smooth consistency. There will be some clumps in there, but don’t worry yourself too much about these.
  4. Put a pan on medium heat. Use some butter to grease the pan. Then, pour pancake batter into the pan and cook until bubbles appear on the top.
  5. Flip pancakes and cook on the other side until browned. Remove from the pan and serve warm.

This makes a total of 8 Low Carb Pumpkin Pancakes. Each pancake comes out to be 141.18 calories 12.59g fats, 3.53g net carbs, and 5g protein

Lunch – Oven Baked Beef Fajitas

Ingredients:

2 lbs. sirloin steak, thinly sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 large onion, sliced

2 tbsp. olive oil

Fajita Seasoning Ingredients:

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven broiler to 500 F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the fajita seasoning, and whisk until well combined.
  3. Add the vegetables and steak to a bowl, season with the fajitas seasonings, drizzle with olive oil, and toss until well coated.
  4. Place the seasoned vegetables and steak on a baking sheet.
  5. Broil in the oven 5 to 6 minutes, turn the meat and vegetables once, and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes.
  6. Serve with your choice of fresh salsa, lettuce leaves, or cauliflower tortillas.

amount per serving (4 servings) calories 650

protein: 61g / 39% carbs: 8g / 5% fat: 39g / 56%

Dinner – The Best Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients:

10 slices bacon

2 lbs. ground turkey

3 small red chilis

1/2 medium green pepper

1 small onion

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

2 large handfuls of spinach

3 sprigs thyme

2 large Eggs

1 oz. pork rinds

Instructions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil and add your bacon. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Once the oven is heated, add bacon to oven and cook for 30 minutes or until crisp.
  3. While bacon is cooking, prep all ingredients by adding to food processor and dicing.
  4. Add all ingredients (except bacon) to the ground turkey and mix well.
  5. Once bacon is out of the oven, set bacon aside and drain fat into separate container. Form 20 meatballs and lay over the same sheet the bacon cooked on.
  6. Cook meatballs for 15-20 minutes or until juices run clear, then skewer 2-3 pieces of bacon to each meatball. Each meatball should get 1/2 a piece of bacon.
  7. In the food processor, combine spinach, bacon fat, and seasonings of your choosing (see top of post).
  8. Create “stick” of butter and serve under meatballs.

20 total turkey meatballs, each being 141 calories

10.3g fats, 0.6g net carbs, and 12g protein.

Intermediate Option #2: Stephen Gundry’s Plant Paradox Diet

Dr. Stephen Gundry’s “Plant Paradox” diet is a protocol that eliminates dietary lectins (a natural plant-based defensive protein that can cause gastric distress in many people and is found in foods such as green beans, lentils and edemame), limits sugar significantly, and curbs high intake of polyunsaturated omega-6 fats. The traditional diet kick-starts with a 3-day cleanse, wherein one repopulates the gut bacteria with leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, clean protein, and good fats. Beyond those three days, there is a second phase where one eats only from the list of approved foods for at least six weeks. I’ve simplified the diet below to give you a protocol that incorporates the lectin-free approach, primarily using a ketogenic strategy to control any blood sugar fluctuations. If you want to include a rich variety of vegetables in your diet but have difficulty digesting them, this a good way to still be able to consume a diverse array of plants, prepared in a manner that makes them easier to digest. The best book to accompany this diet is Dr. Stephen Gundry’s “Plant Paradox Diet”.

Plant Paradox Diet Sample Meals

Breakfast – Cinnamon Cassava Flour Pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup cassava flour

2 tablespoons monk fruit sweetener

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon plus more for serving

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/4 cup goat’s milk kefir or coconut/almond yogurt, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs room temperature

3 tablespoons melted butter plus more for serving

1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat a nonstick griddle to medium-low heat.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sweetener, baking powder, cinnamon, sea salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk together the kefir/yogurt, vanilla, eggs, and water in a large bowl until well combined. Whisk the butter into the kefir mixture.
  3. Combine the dry mixture and the wet mixture in the large bowl, whisking until smooth and well combined.
  4. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour batter on the hot griddle, 1-3 pancakes at a time. Cook until bubbles break the surface and the undersides are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook about 1 minute more. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  5. Serve hot or transfer to a warm oven and cover with a slightly damp towel to keep warm. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve with butter.

Lunch – Healthy Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 sweet onion chopped

1 carrot peeled and thinly sliced

3/4 pound broccoli 3 1/2 cups, coarsely chopped or 2 10 ounce packages frozen, chopped broccoli

14 ounces low sodium chicken broth

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons mustard seed optional

1/4 cup sour cream

Instructions:

  1. Cook onion and carrots in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender. Stir in mustard seed, salt and pepper.
  2. Stir in broccoli, broth and water. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and blend using an immersion blender. Blend until smooth.
  4. Return the pan to the burner. Heat over low heat just until hot. Stir in sour cream. Top with shredded cheese if desired.

4 servings

Dinner – Lemon Garlic Chicken Drumsticks

Ingredients

1/3 cup coconut aminos

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

1 tbsp avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil

8 cloves of garlic minced

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground black pepper 

3 lb chicken drumsticks

Instructions

  1. In a shallow dish, combine and whisk together all ingredients, except the chicken drumsticks.
  2. Lay the drumsticks in the marinade in a single layer, and marinate in the fridge for 6-24 hours, flipping halfway through.
  3. Cave Tools Chicken Wing & Leg Rack method:Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Fit the drumsticks into the racks, and place some hardy vegetables tossed with a little bit of oil and spices on the drip tray. Place on the grill, cover and let it cook for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Direct grill method:Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Place the chicken on the rack and grill for 30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
  5. Oven method:Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the drumsticks on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 40 minutes, until the chicken is dark brown.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, heat the marinade in a small saucepan on the stovetop over high heat. Once the sauce starts boiling, reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is reduced and thickened, about 7-10 minutes. Drizzle over chicken before serving.

amount per serving (6 servings) calories 451

Intermediate Option #3: Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet

I am a big fan of a low-carbohydrate version of a Mediterranean diet. As you learned in”12 Basic, Natural & Easy Habits To Enhance Longevity“, the Mediterranean diet is a plant and omega-3 fatty acid rich diet that is prevalent in many longevity hotspots and Blue Zones (although some researchers have pointed out that it is possible that the positive health effects of the diet may be caused by lifestyle factors other than the simple macronutrient composition of the diet – such as fasting, seasonal eating, social meals, high intake of tannin-rich beverages and wild plants and limited meat consumption). Another strategy that we see prevalent in many hunter-gatherer and healthy ancestral populations is the ketogenic diet – particularly one achieved not via eating a stick of butter and oodles of coconut oil every day, but instead achieved with high intake of omega-3 fatty acids and natural oils, fasting, low starch intake and high vegetable intake. Scientific literature shows that a ketogenic diet produces robust physiological and biochemical health advantages, and is able not only to induce effective weight loss but also to improve several cardiovascular risk parameters. A ketogenic Mediterranean diet merges the well-known beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet with the positive metabolic effects of a ketogenic diet. An excellent book to accompany this plan and to learn more is the “Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet” by Robert Santos-Prowse.

Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet Sample Meals

Breakfast – Chocolate Almond Butter Crepes

Ingredients:

Crepes:

6 medium size eggs

1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk or almond milk

4 tbsp melted coconut oil

3 tbsp coconut flour

3 tsp arrowroot powder

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Ghee (to grease the pan)

Chocolate (Raw Cacao) Almond Butter Spread:

4 tbsp unsweetened and unsalted almond butter (either chunky or smooth), Stir-well

1 tsp raw cacao powder (use 1 ¼ tsp for stronger bitter chocolate taste)

6 tbsp full-fat coconut milk from a can (For thinner batter, add ½ to 1 tbsp coconut milk a time until desired consistency)

Small pinch of fine sea salt

Instructions:

Crepes:

  1. Whisk and stir all ingredients under “ Crepes” in a large mixing bowl until there are no lumps. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tsp gheein a cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, lower the heat to medium-low, whisk the batter again for an additional 10 seconds.
  3. Pour ¼ cup of the batter into the pan. Quickly and gently swirl the pan around so that the batter coats the entire pan evenly. Cook about 1-minute or until the edges start to crisp. Carefully flip and cook the flip side about 30 seconds. Transfer to a cooling rack and repeat with the remaining batter.

Chocolate (raw cacao) almond butter:

  1. Combine/stir almond buttercacao powdercoconut milk, and a pinch of fine sea salt until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust to your own liking.

Notes: * You may need to add more ghee butter to grease the skillet after the first crepe. Add as little ghee butter as possible (¼ to ½ tsp a time). Too much butter will make the crepe greasy.

*Optional toppings for folks: fresh fruit or maple syrup.

amount per serving (8 servings) calories 237

Lunch – Salmon Arugula Salad

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

1 large wild salmon fillet;

2 tbsp coconut oil;

A few sprigs fresh thyme;

2 cloves garlic, minced;

A few handfuls of fresh arugula;

2 to 3 artichoke hearts, chopped;

3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved;

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;

For the Dressing:

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil;

4 tbsp paleo mayonnaise;

2 tbsp lemon juice;

1 tbsp Dijon or homemade mustard;

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;

Instructions:

  1. Fire up the grill and keep it at a medium-low heat. While the grill heats up, season both sides of the salmon fillet with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Place on a sheet of foil (enough to wrap around the whole piece of fish) and drizzle with coconut oil.
  3. Sprinkle the top of the fillet with minced garlic and place a few sprigs of thyme on top.
  4. Seal the salmon in the foil and place on the barbecue. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft pink and flaky.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl combine the arugula, cherry tomatoes and artichoke hearts. During this time you can also combine the ingredients for the dressing and set aside for later use.
  6. Once the salmon has cooked, remove from the grill and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Using a fork, pull apart the salmon into smaller pieces. Toss in with the rest of the salad. Drizzle with the dressing and serve while the salmon is still a little warm.

amount per serving (4 servings) calories 413

Dinner – Baked BBQ Beef Ribs

Ingredients:

3 lbs. beef ribs, membrane removed

2 tbsp. chili powder

1 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 tsp. paprika

2 tsp. dried oregano

-friendly BBQ sauce

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, and season to taste.
  3. Generously rub the ribs with the chili powder mixture (you can also let the ribs marinate up to 12 hours in the refrigerator).
  4. Wrap the ribs in parchment paper and place on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake in the oven for 3 to 4 hours, or until meat falls off the bone.
  6. Brush the ribs with BBQ sauce and broil in the oven 4 to 5 minutes per side, or on a preheated grill.

amount per serving (4 servings) calories 1238

Advanced Meal Plans With More Complexity & Variety

Although any of the intermediate meal plans can be followed indefinitely as a diet for life, a more advanced and widely varied diet is something I am a big fan of, especially if your gut is healthy and weight loss isn’t your primary goal. In other words, if your blood glucose and inflammation are under control, your body weight is where you want it to be, you’ve achieved full-body wellness and now you simply want to enjoy and experiment with as many foods as possible, and even weave into your diet the concept of eating according to your ancestry, any of the strategies from this section will work for you.

Advanced Option #1: The Weston A. Price Diet

The Weston A. Price diet, which you learn about in my podcast with Dr. Cate Shanahan is the ultimate diet for increasing beauty and symmetry and also ensuring you eat a full spectrum of fat-soluble vitamins. This diet is the closest representation to the way that I and my family eat, although we vary our selections widely based on what is growing in season, what I have hunted, what is available at local farmer’s market, and where our travels may take us. The best book to learn more about this diet is “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon.

Weston A. Price Diet Sample Meals

Breakfast

Bacon (baked in oven at 350°F) and pancakes (recipe in Nourishing Traditions). Serve with maple syrup or, if you are feeling ambitious, top with whipped cream and berries. NOTE: Make a double batch of pancakes and freeze what is not eaten, or simply keep the unused batter in a jar in the refrigerator to make pancakes another morning.

Lunch 

Wild caught canned salmon mixed with chopped hard-boiled eggs, raw yogurt, a little mayonnaise (or Sour Cream Sauce recipe from Nourishing Traditions), crispy nuts, celery, and relish on a piece of sourdough bread with a glass of kombucha (store-bought or homemade). NOTE: Make enough salmon salad for lunch on Monday

Dinner

Grilled or fried beef or lamb patties with grated liver or heart mixed in, all the fixings (lettuce, tomato, onion, homemade ketchup, mustard, avocado, and sprouted whole grain bun or sourdough bread), baked potatoes, and sauerkraut (homemade from previous kitchen session or purchased raw product). NOTE: Make extra patties for lunch the next day.

MEAL PREP NOTES: Soak pancake batter on Friday for Saturday morning. Start your crispy nuts for the rest of the week (if not already prepared). Take chicken broth out of the freezer for soup the next day.

Advanced Option #2: Customize A Whole Foods Diet To Your Ancestry

There are a variety of ways in which you can customize the Weston A. Price to be even more specific to your ancestry. For example, in the book “The Jungle Effect” Dr. Daphne Miller, MD (you can also listen to my fascinating podcast with her here) explains the dietary wisdom of traditional cultures who follow a diet specific to their genes and ancestry. In her research for the book, Miller traveled to a variety of locations around the world that she identified as “cold spots” (the opposite of hot spots!) for specific diseases. These were areas that had a remarkably low incidence of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, colon cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. To discover the ingredients and recipes that truly maintain health and prevent or treat chronic disease, she focused her attention on the traditional foods that were consumed in each cold spot. It turns out, many of these cultures eat a whole food, Weston A. Price-like diet that is specific to their tradition, ancestry and local environment.

For example, Crete, Greece is a cold spot for heart disease and the foods that they eat include traditional Mediterranean staples such as olive oil, whole grains, legumes, red wine and leafy green vegetables. Below are a few other examples. As you read, you may find it intriguing that many of the cold spot inhabitants who relocate from their native regions and switch to a Westernized, modern, processed diet tend to develop the very diseases for which their traditional environments are cold spots!

-Copper Canyon, Mexico (diabetes cold spot): Corn, beans, squash, peppers, nopal cactus, onions, cilantro, tomato, jicama, nuts, avocado.

-Crete (heart disease cold spot): Olive oil, chickpeas, lentils, whole grain pasta, potatoes, Swiss chard, kale, arugula, fish, red wine, figs, walnuts.

-Iceland (depression cold spot): Fish, walnuts, purslane, flaxseed oil, barley, rye, black tea, beans, split peas, potatoes, organic dairy products, omega 3 enriched eggs, wild game, cabbage, bilberries.

-Cameroon, West Africa (colon cancer cold spot): Millet, teff, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach, okra, plantains, beans, nuts, fish, wild poultry and game, onions, tomato, banana, yogurt, kefir, fermented vegetables.

-Okinawa, Japan (breast and prostate cancer cold spot): Tofu, tempeh, miso, fish, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brown rice, green tea, sea vegetables, sweet potato, mushrooms, tomato, watermelon, grapefruit.

For more, read Dr. Miller’s book. In my opinion, a whole foods diet that adheres to the principles of Weston A. Price while also incorporating the traditional foods your ancestors would have eaten is the very best way to eat for the ideal combination of health, cognition, performance, fertility and longevity – and this is exactly how I eat when I’m at home and I have ample time for meal prep and cooking.

Advanced Option #3: The Ultimate Biohacked Diet

When I’m busy or traveling, I’ll often fall into stints of what I call my  “Ultimate Biohacked Diet”, primarily comprised of:

-Major calories and nutrients: Meat, wild-caught fish, bone broth, bitter greens and wild plants – some of the most nutrient-dense food groups you can easily find.

-Beverages: Black and green tea, red wine and coffee – all chock full of antioxidants and longevity-enhancing compounds.

-Supplements: Exogenous ketonesfish oilcreatineessential amino acids.

-Nootropics: Micro-doses of psilocybin blended with Lion’s Mane and niacin (a mind-bending, productivity-enhancing, brain-spinning stack made popular by mushroom expert and mycology researcher Paul Stamets).

Here’s how a sample day looks on this diet:

-Morning supplements: creatinefish oilmushroom stack.

-Breakfast: Sardines or anchovies over mixed greens with green tea; or green smoothie; or fatty coffee blended with mushrooms.

-Snack: One cup bone broth; or exogenous ketones and essential amino acids.

-Lunch: Fasting – black coffee only.

-Pre-workout: One cup bone broth; or exogenous ketones and essential amino acids; or Kion Clean Energy Bar.

-Dinner: Celebration of a day of hard work with a bone-in grass-fed, grass-finished ribeye steak accompanied by red wine and nettle leaves or some other handful of wild plants; or salmon on a bed of roasted vegetables. If I worked out, usually also sweet potatoes, yams, beets, taro, parsnip, white rice or some other “safe starch”. I’ll often also include hefty doses of Dr. Thomas Cowan’s vegetable powders , as they are a fast way to get nutrient-dense plant extracts without much chopping or food prep.

I’ve found this approach to work quite well on cognitively demanding days when I’m at home, when my wife and children are gone, and when I need to buckle down and tackle a good 12-16 hours of deep work, which I occasionally do.

Finally, I’m often asked: “what do I personally eat”? My own diet is a mashup of the biohacked diet above when busy or traveling, and a Weston A. Price approach when I can – along with inclusion of one to two yearly cleanses or detoxification protocols, a daily 12-16 hour intermittent fast, and a weekly 24 hour fast. That’s it. That simple.

What About Supplements?

Due to the inherent complexity of the human body, this section was very difficult for me to write. After all, in an ideal world, you would be able to fully test and customize every last supplement that you take to your unique physiology, rather than following a cookie-cutter program. Yet, in my coaching, consulting, research and experimentation, I’ve managed to develop supplementation protocols that paint with a relatively broad brush and cover most bases for beginner, intermediate and advanced goals. The most effective such supplementation strategies are woven together and spelled out below.

Beginner – you are on a budget, want the lowest hanging fruit to give you 80% of the results with 20% of the expense and effort, and need the minimum effective dose of supplementation to look, feel and perform as good as possible each day. Include:

-A multivitamin/multimineral complex, such as the Thorne Multi.
Good fish oil, such as SuperEssentials or Thorne – 2-3g/day, taken with a meal.
Creatine – 5g/day, taken with a meal or smoothie/beverage, split into 2×2.5g servings (one morning, one evening). Brand is not important as long as there are no added sweeteners, fillers, etc. I prefer Thorne Creapure.
-If traveling or unable to eat wide diversity of plants: greens powder such as Athletic GreensOrganifi Greens, or Living Fuel SuperGreens.
-If injured, natural anti-inflammatory such as Kion Flex or Thorne Meriva.
-If difficulty sleeping, 200-500mg magnesium, 50-100mg CBD and/or 1-2 packets Sleep Remedy in the evening before bed.
-If gut issues or unable to eat a wide variety of fermented foods, good probiotic/gut support blend, such as Kion ColostrumSeed Probiotic, and Thorne Biogest.

Intermediate – you have a slightly higher budget and want to add in supplements that can further enhance performance, longevity and mental function without necessarily breaking the bank. Take all supplements and incorporate all strategies in beginner category, but also include:

-10-20g essential amino acids (EAAs)/day – preferably pre or post workout without a meal.
-Prior to your largest meal or largest carbohydrate-containing meal of the day, consume insulin-stabilizing foods or supplements including bitter melon extractCeylon cinnamonapple cider vinegarberberinerosemaryturmericgingerfenugreekgymnema sylvestreginger and cayenne.
-On more cognitively demanding days, use caffeine or green tea blended with stabilizing compounds such as L-TheanineTulsi and Astragalus.
-Periodic (e.g. twice a year or yearly) use any of the detoxification systems from Dr. Pompa, Dr. Shade or Dr. Walsh I discuss in Podcast #389 (click here to go listen or surf the shownotes).

Advanced – you are willing to invest in better living through science, live as long as possible, perform at a very high level, and desire to incorporate a full-blown wellness and longevity enhancing protocol. Take all supplements and incorporate all strategies in beginner and intermediate category, but also include:

QualiaTianChi, nicotine or other nootropic stack or adaptogenic herb blend on more cognitively demanding days.
-Immune support via the use of mushroom blends in morning coffee or tea and oregano oil in morning or evening water (see my last article on immunity for details)
Ketone salts or ketone esters for longer workouts or longer periods of fasting, especially on more active days.
-Occasional microdoses with psilocybin, LSD or other psychedelics.
Hydrogen-rich water tablets into water or use of a hydrogen water generating machine.
-Include several times per week in a morning or mid-day smoothie: Rhodiolacolostrumchlorellamarine phytoplanktonaloe veracoffeeberry fruit extract, frozen broccoli sprouts and moringa. You can also include other sirtuin-supporting foods from in the smoothie, such as blueberriescacao powder or cacao nibsblack currant powderturmeric and green tea extract. For a full list of everything, you can put into this smoothie, click here for my “anti-aging smoothie” list on Amazon.
-Daily supplementation of longevity supporting compounds including any or all of the following CoQ10PQQglutathionerapamycin or metformin, pterostilbeneMitoQAstragalusC60nicotinamide riboside (NR) and SkQs (if this all seems like a giant list of alphabet soup compounds, you’ll just have to wait for my forthcoming book on longevity to learn why I recommend these specific compounds).

Finally, at my company Kion, I have developed and am continuing to develop a suite of flagship formulations that will allow you to get all the supplements above while purchasing and juggling a minimum number of bottles and products. In particular, over the next three years, you will see appearing at Kion complete, done-for-you formulas for issues such as gut/digestion, longevity/mitochondria, joint/recovery, weight management/blood sugar control, hormone balance, sleep, and immunity. Once each of these supplement formulas are fully developed, you will no longer need to venture to the four corners of the planet to hunt down everything you need for supplementation. I highly recommend you subscribe to the newsletter at GetKion.com to receive an instant alert each time I release a new formulation.

Whew! I know that was a lot of information to digest (pun intended), but you now hopefully better understand why I don’t recommend any one single diet, and why I simply borrow from the “best of the best”, particularly the diets recommended above. 

I also realize I may have just generated more questions than I answered, so if you have questions, leave them below and I’ll do my best to answer. If you want an individual consult from me to review your labs or help you choose a meal plan that is perfect for you, or you want me to design a meal plan that uses many of the same strategies you’ve just discovered, you can click here to learn more about coaching and consulting with me.

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26 THOUGHTS ON “WHAT IS THE PERFECT HUMAN DIET? BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED MEAL PLANS FROM BEN GREENFIELD THAT TELL YOU EXACTLY HOW TO EAT FOR YOUR UNIQUE BODY.

  1. Pradeep Pradeepsays:

October 28, 2019 at 3:50 am

Ben…if you have time… kindly do a research about a diet of Tamilnadu in India….. this is the best blue zone for longevity….. nobody is telling the truth about this

Reply

  1. Erica Munizsays:

February 27, 2019 at 7:32 am

Thanks for the great podcast and show notes!

Which of these diets would you recommend for someone who doesn’t eat much meat? I’ve recently figured out that I have a really hard time digesting it. One serving and I have discomfort for days.

Reply

  1. Aileensays:

February 10, 2019 at 4:48 pm

Wondering if you take any stock in the “Eat Right For Your Blood Type” Diet by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo
Thanks!

Reply

  1. Brian Paulsensays:

January 29, 2019 at 10:48 am

HI Ben,

Great article. I’m curious if you have any experience with the Superman Diet.

Thanks,
Brian

Reply

  1. Marcussays:

December 18, 2018 at 7:32 pm

Hello Ben,

I have liked and subscribed to your podcast as requested. I hope it helps.

Can you PLEASE help me understand something?

Do you operate most of the time on ketones or are you out of ketosis most of the time?

I have read and listened to many of your podcasts and cannot really find the answer to that.

The one thing that I am wondering is this:

If you eat 100g to 150g of carbs per day, then you will likely not be in ketosis.

If that is the case, is 100g to 150g of carbs enough for average athletes (by that I mean, the average guy who prioritizes his health by working out and playing lots of sports for fun) to perform optimally?

I read somewhere that someone who consumes that amount of carb is not in ketosis and runs on empty (in the area of glycogen) most of the time therefor severely limiting his athletic performance.

Please help. I am very confused about all that and want to do what is best.

Thank you.

Marcus

Reply

  1. Marcussays:

December 28, 2018 at 8:38 pm

Pretty please? Can you please let me know when you have a moment?

Thank you!

Happy New Year!

Reply

  1. Ben Greenfieldsays:

December 29, 2018 at 6:57 am

I’m in a state of mild ketosis most of the time. I do this by practicing intermittent fasting, where I’ll typically go from 8pm the previous night to 11-12 the next day without eating. I usually do a “carb refeed” in the evening, which I recommend for athletes. This is a good way to get the carbs, minimize the blood sugar spikes, and allow your body to start shifting back to ketosis as you sleep/wake up w/o eating the next day.

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  1. Marcussays:

January 2, 2019 at 11:12 pm

Thank you so much Ben.
Happy new year to you and your family.
Marcus

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  1. Jordansays:

December 2, 2018 at 7:16 pm

Hi Ben,

Thanks for the article. I’m dealing with SIBO and h. Pylori and going to try the elemental diet. My MD recommends antibiotics but I’m still hesitant. My question is: while doing the elemental diet, would you incorporate probiotics at the same time or wait? I read Healthy Gut Healthy You per your recommendation and see he recommends it, but I wanted your opinion especially since you had previously written about certain probiotics having the ability to worsen SIBO. I ordered Seed probiotics but it contains strains that might be a poor choice (as opposed to soil-based) for SIBO. I don’t know who to believe anymore other than you and a few others, so I’d love your advice. Anyhow, thanks again! Love the Kion products and looking forward to new ones down the road.

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  1. Ben Greenfieldsays:

December 7, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Yes, and I cater it based on the individual for whom I am creating the diet. Almost always, extra virgin olive oil and Kion Aminos are included, along with a few other choice botanicals. You’re welcome to schedule a consult if you’d like to take a deeper dive: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/coaching/

 

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