“Eat breakfast.”          “Don’t eat breakfast.”

“Eat 5-7 times a day.”          “Don’t eat for 16 hours.”

“Eat like a bird.”          “Eat like a caveman.”

“Eat like a grown-ass man.”

The nutrition world is a vast and confusing landscape of strong opinions, billion dollar companies, individual tastes, facts, figures, calorie-labels, and piles and piles of horse shitted mis-information. That’s right. Horse shitted. Information that has been shat from a horse.

It’s no longer easy to know how to eat. Exotic fruits? Juice cleanse? Wild meats? Local vegetables? Organic? Inorganic? Paleo? Raw? Vegan? Häagen-Dazs?

The entire world is at the beck and call of our dinner plate but instead of a blessing, this overload of choice and info has led to paralysis.

What is a bro or babe to do?

Step 1) Let’s calm down. We’re gonna get through this together.
Step 2) Let’s take a step back and ask ourselves one simple, very important question…

What do we want from our food???

Seems like a smart place to start, right? In our pursuit of a long and successful life, on a personal level, what should our nutrition plan offer us?

1) First and foremost, our food should be healthy.

Seems like a no-brainer – good nutrition should be, um, good for us.

Mmmk. Thank you Rob/Captain Obvious. Not exactly mind blowing.

But let’s take this a step further because we don’t want to be sort of healthy. We don’t want okay health. Hell, we don’t even want good health. We want great health. We want rockstar health. We want mind-blowing, unfair, ass-kick, Scarface, the-world-is-ours health.

And our nutrition will absolutely dictate our wellness.

Food is medicine. It can kill. It can cure. It’s THAT powerful.

It can’t come as any surprise that some of the healthiest food for our body is the natural, unprocessed, from-the-earth superfoods that have gotten lost in all of the fasted, carb-hating, carb-loving, carb-loading hoopidy-doopity (technical term.)

Allow me to formally re-introduce you to vegetables.

Why are vegetables so damn good for us?IMG_2181

The vitamins and minerals in vegetables are exceptionally bioavailable. That means our bodies are very suited to digest and utilize them (“it’s not what you eat, it’s what you absorb.”) The phytochemicals in vegetables are also powerful anti-oxidants and have a strong influence on our hormones. They suppress cancer development, protect our cell’s DNA and stimulate enzymes that help our body fight disease. For optimal physiological function, we NEED to consume phytochemicals.

But there’s more. Vegetables also do an impressive job of balancing our bodies pH. Veggies provide an alkaline load to the blood which helps neutralize the strong acid created from the breakdown of proteins (and grains.) Too much acid and not enough base means less bone mass and smaller muscles = no bueno. A strong, lean body wants to stay pH balanced which means a strong, lean body wants vegetables.

Fight cancer, destroy free radicals, protect cells, balance pH, get useable vitamins and minerals, maintain bone mass, get stronger, be lean. It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of vegetables. FIVE servings a day (minimum) is a good place to start.

Okay. What else defines good nutrition??

2) Our food should help us perform awesomely.

Food is fuel.

We eat to live successfully. Said another way, we eat to perform feats of greatness. And this isn’t limited to an athletic perspective. This is a good-life perspective. The food we consume should make us strong, capable, and energized for whatever we do:

uVZ9ZW6xQhw Yes. If you’re a boxer, you eat to punch.mom-tattoo
But if you’re an architect, you eat to design.
And if you’re a mom, you eat to love.
(awwww.)

This means we need to choose foods that fuel our awesomeness.

Unfortunately, when the conversation turns to fuel, the concerns always seems to be enough…as in, “make sure you get enough fuel.”

I call bullshit.

For many of us, the problem with our energy influx is not a matter of enough. It’s a matter of too much.

Over-fueling the body leads to a massive array of health problems, namely chronic heart disease, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Take a look around. This country KEEPS. GETTING. FATTER. Yes. Eat to fuel your performance, but if you have weight to lose, you need to dial down your energy influx.

One of the easiest ways to prevent over-fueling is to limit your non-vegetable carbohydrates. Rice, oats, potatoes – all awesome energy sources. The question is, are you getting too much?

If you want to lose weight, keep your non-vegetable carbohydrates limited/nixed until you get lean. At that point, your carb tolerance is in a much better place and you can afford to eat more carbs.

3) Our food should make us happy.

Food is pleasure.

A badass life is a happy life. If our nutrition makes us miserable, we’re doing it wrong.

But in our insta-world, the immediate gratification of a “happy” meal is fool’s gold. A quick hit of serotonin from a sugary, trans-fatty delight feels sooooo damn good…until it doesn’t. The on-the-spot gratification of food needs to be weighed against its long term effects:

Ice cream sundae? Instantly gratifying.
Too many ice cream sundaes? Pure misery.

Now I’m not saying NEVER indulge. I’m saying, indulge intelligently. Ideal nutrition strikes a perfect balance of short and long term satisfaction. It’s your body and you’re gonna have to live in it tomorrow. That’s why optimal nutrition isn’t perfect. It’s balanced: Usually awesome. Sometimes guilty. Occasionally downright glutenous.

Make the right choice 85% of the time and you’re well on your way to a solid nutrition plan.

4) Our food should make us sexy.

Being sexy, feeling sexy, looking sexy, sexy-time – that’s all important.

Food can nourish our sexiness. Food can also sabotage it.

Now of course sex is a huge and complicated topic. It has caused wars, divided empires, and launched 1,000 ships. Or maybe that was Helen of Troy. Whatever. Point being, there’s a lot that goes into bringing sexy back.

And one such factor is our sex hormones. Dietary fat (particularly saturated fat) is a key player in sex-hormone production. In other words, our low-fat obsession of the past two decades has helped plummet America’s sex drive.

Fat is an important part of a healthy nutrition plan and, despite our collective misunderstanding, this INCLUDES saturated fat. Just about everything we thought we knew about SATURATED FAT is wrong.

Here’s how the story goes…way back in the day, sat fat was shown to increases LDL cholesterol – that’s the bad stuff. With heart disease on the rise, we thought it smart to avoid it. But as it turns out, the biomarkers for heart disease are much more complicated than we originally thought aaand sat fat raises HDL cholesterol – the good stuff – and can lower triglycerides – also a good thing.

Now I’m not saying sat fat is your BFF and that you should go lick butter, but I AM saying that the choice to replace the natural occurring sat fat in diary & meat with either man made trans fats (ex: margarine) OR processed carbs (ex: reduced fat yogurt) is NOT a healthy one. Taking active steps to avoid sat fat is causing more harm than good.

And that means the term “healthy” fat has evolved. It now includes ALL natural fats. Yes, almonds and avocados are still on the list, but guess what else is?

  • Coconut oil.
    YMlp7
  • Red meat.
  • Eggs.
  • And 100% all-natural butter.

So what are “unhealthy” fats? Man-made trans fats:

  • Margarine.
  • Partially hydrogenated oil.
  • Fast food.

(Leave it to McDonald’s to screw up somethings as amazing as fat.)

Ideally 1/3 of your fat is saturated (animal fats, coconut oil), 1/3 is monounsaturated (olive oil, nuts, nut butter, avocado), and 1/3 is polyunsaturated (fish oil, salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, pumpkin and sunflower seeds). All equal. All delicious. All healthy.

*A deep breath*

Now of course, ALL OF THIS is only a jumping-off point. The nutrition world sits at a complex intersection of health, finance, morality, politics, socio-economics, individual tastes, etc. etc. etc. There’s A LOT to consider.

But a good place to start is the remind ourselves that a badass food plan should make us healthy, awesome, happy, and sexy.

Translate that into some actionables and that means eat more vegetables, be mindful of your energy influx, indulge intelligently, and don’t be afraid of fat.

Nail that and we’re in for a long and successful life of shred.

200 comments and I’ll post muh food journal. What I eat in a day that makes me healthy, awesome, happy, and sexy.

LIKE THIS POST? Join the #BandanaArmy. We'll teach you how to fight tigers*.

* Do not fight any tigers, ever.

  • Dalif

    As always, Rob, reading was not only a pleasure, but gave me the feeling of attainability as opposed to the usual nutritional guides who paint complicated pictures that make me give up before even getting started. You speak to the lowest common denominator (me), without compromising quality and integrity. I appreciate that!

    • BandanaTraining

      That’s what I’m all about. Let’s get the entire world shredded. =)

  • Rome

    Id like to see the food journal. Your articles are awes- no!… Pretty badass btw

    • BandanaTraining

      Tanks.

      • nothingxbut

        and small artillery vehicles.

  • Kyran

    Muy bien Rob, awesome article

    • BandanaTraining

      Appreciate that Kyran.

  • SMWCHEL

    Changing your eating habits is not easy, but definitely worthwhile. It’s a shame that eating better costs more. A happy meal feeds a family far cheaper than lean proteins, veggies and carbs from a good grocery store. And I think that people assume that to lose weight they can’t eat well, or eat a lot, which is not true. I eat all day long and am never hungry and the food I eat is tasty and great. Nutrition is definitely an extremely important part of health and wellness.

    • BandanaTraining

      I totally agree. If we want to encourage people to eat more nutritiously, we need to shift our legislation towards making nutritious foods more financially accessible.

  • Erin

    Great article!! 🙂

    • BandanaTraining

      thank you. *big smile*

  • Daniel

    Calling you awesome would be an understatement

    • BandanaTraining

      ahh shucks, thx.

  • Mike

    Rob Sulaver – Broseidon, King of the Brocean

    • BandanaTraining

      bro-hug

  • Nathan Lemon

    Awesome! Enough said.

    • BandanaTraining

      Why thank u.

  • gen

    great!

    • BandanaTraining

      Like Tony the Tiger?

  • Peezy

    Great writer. Buff Dude.

    • BandanaTraining

      Thanks. Cool Reader.

  • Mike S

    This is a really great article Rob. Kudos to you!

    • BandanaTraining

      Thank you. Appreciate that.

  • Jan

    “Food is medicine. It can cure. It can kill.”
    I will repeat that to myself each morning as I make my choices for the day. Thanks for the tidbit. It’s a BIG tidbit actually.

    • BandanaTraining

      *man smile* Happy it helped.

    • jan kosko

      (jan kosko)

      • BandanaTraining

        Hiiiiiiii

  • Gumbi

    Awesome

    • BandanaTraining

      Tanks.

  • Mel Sulaver

    I like that you talk about making the ‘right choice’ 85% of the time. That balance of happiness is what it’s all about. I think so many people fall off because they think they need to have a perfect diet at every moment.

    • BandanaTraining

      Don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of “really fucking awesome and sexy.” …or something like that.

  • jeremyques

    fantastic. You hit the nail on the head with this statement: “If our nutrition makes us miserable, we’re doing it wrong”

    • BandanaTraining

      So true though right? Some people claim to have an “awesome” nutrition plan, but they can’t even enjoy a meal with friends. There’s NOTHING awesome about that.

  • Patrick

    can’t wait to see your food journal!

    • BandanaTraining

      It’s up. Give it a gander, lemme know whatcha think.

  • pete

    i feel like i’m losing weight/muscle when i consume more veggies than carbs. always hard to find a balance in order to stay shredded.

    • BandanaTraining

      Hmmm. You feel like you’re losing muscle? How’s your protein? How’s your lifting??

      • pete

        my daily proteins example: 4 eggs + ham for breakfast, 2 chicken breasts for lunch, hummus + veg for snack, protein shake post workout. that’s usually how much protein i consume on a workout day.

        • pete

          and i focus each day on a specific muscle group. i usually do 10 rep/3 set lifts and normally feel sore the next day.

          • BandanaTraining

            Seems pretty solid. With this routine you’re losing muscle?

  • Tamas

    Great article! I’d like to see the food journal! 🙂

    • BandanaTraining

      Tanks Tamas.

  • Rob L

    love it. I think people also need to realize that you can make healthy food fun (especially when they discover that “healthy” includes full flavor fats and butters.

    • BandanaTraining

      So true. Fat is delicious.

  • Brian Jones

    Give me an eating pan that says I can’t eat bacon and I’ll give you an eating plan that I am not going to do.

    • BandanaTraining

      Anyone who says they don’t like bacon can’t be trusted. ….at all.

  • Kira

    Great read bro

    • BandanaTraining

      Appreciate dat.

  • Joseph

    Really awesome

    • BandanaTraining

      No YOU’RE awesome.

  • WarnerKing

    Well played, my good sir; Well played, indeed. Now all the people need do is apply this knowledge! Lemme see that journal!

    • BandanaTraining

      Thanks, King.

  • nothingxbut

    as the krankies would say fan-dabi-dozi, ha ha.

  • Pingback: Nothingxbut Badass Nutrition()

  • Chris

    Great to get back to the basics every now and then. Thank you for this. PS the fat thing is cool, here’s to bacon and eggs!

    • BandanaTraining

      There’s beauty in simplicity.

  • Mesut

    Thanks for awesome information!

    • BandanaTraining

      My pleas. Thanks for reading.

  • Doni

    Sat Fat is where it’s at.

    • BandanaTraining

      kaBoom.

  • zyzz

    Ice cream sundae, not Sunday. #derp

    • BandanaTraining

      I meant eating ice cream on a Sunday. =)

  • Lurch

    Quite curious to see your food journal, sir.

    • BandanaTraining

      Just posted. Let me know whatcha think.

  • Scott

    Nutritional Swollology.

    • BandanaTraining

      ha. I like it.

  • Pingback: A Badass’s Guide to Nutritional Domination | Powerful Gurl()

  • KissTheChef

    I love following a high protein/high fat diet for 5 or 6 days a week and then adding in my one big carb day each week. I find it cuts cravings if I can make sure to give myself “permission” to eat what I like once in a while. I’m not saying I don’t indulge in my glass of wine at night on those 5 days, but I don’t stress when I eat with friends and choose to eat my carbs that night. I’ve tried the all or nothing, and it never works..

    • BandanaTraining

      Sounds like you’ve got a plan that’s working for you. And that’s a victory.

  • max

    Bro I love your all the stuff you Wright. Its the cats ass. The bees knees. And I cant think of anymore at this time lol

    • BandanaTraining

      Why thank you Max. The tiger’s eye?

  • Elizadeath

    I shall incorporate 100% of this advice into a taco.

    • BandanaTraining

      Sounds like an ahhhhmazing taco.

  • TJon

    How about fat from milk?

    • BandanaTraining

      Almond milk? Alllll good.

  • Zach Reichert

    Dear Rob (the awesome-sauce provider)
    Just dropping my 2 cents up in this beezee to say great job on the last article keep up the great work.

    sincerely
    A new reader, lover of tanks, steaks, vegetables, and an all around badass (at least that’s what my mom says)

    • BandanaTraining

      Appreciate that Zach. Tanks for the luv.

  • Al

    keep feeding me more information, cause this badass is hungry!!!

    • BandanaTraining

      ha. already working on it. =)

  • Natalie

    Post that journal! Love this article! 🙂

    • BandanaTraining

      And I love YOU for saying that.

  • Berty

    You’ve been hitting it outta the park with your articles lately. Solid info! I appreesh…

    • BandanaTraining

      Thanks Berty. Appreesh the read.

      • Berty

        No prob! So I almost read this as follow a balanced Paleo diet around 85% of the time and we’re on the right path… Can’t wait to see your food journal.

  • Ross

    i wanna see that journal bro montana!!

    • BandanaTraining

      It’s a real doozy, Nabroleon Bronaparte.

  • Toni S.

    Post that journal and show us the way, Nutrition Yoda.

    • BandanaTraining

      Mmm. Eat. Or eat not.

  • Matthew Arielly

    Really great stuff! FINALLY, debunking the fear of fats. Now I can go eat my steak and eggs in peace (with a mountain of broccoli on the side of course).

    • BandanaTraining

      Sounds delicious. Can I have some??

  • Edgar

    15 more to go!

  • derrick

    Food Journal! In all seriousness, great read. Seems so easy but with a bevy of info we can all get confused from time to time

    • BandanaTraining

      So true. When it comes to nutrition, smart + simple works pretty dang well.

  • Chris

    Good to see people wising up to the greatness of saturated fats! Great read bro!

    • BandanaTraining

      Thanks Chris. Appreciate you reading.

  • Mr. Hollywood

    Rob – love the article. Do potato chips count as a vegetable?

    • BandanaTraining

      Yes Niall. Potato chips are at the top of my superfood list. They’re delicious and calorie free. Once you pop, you should NEVER stop.

  • Danykia

    really looking forward to seeing the food plan tring th shead alot of weight my self so any help is appricated

    • BandanaTraining

      Keep in mind that I’m not trying to lose any weight right now and metabolically, we could be very different. In other words, MY perfect food journal wouldn’t be YOUR perfect food journal. But still, there’s something to be learned.

  • Rob L

    So this comment counts even though it’s sole purpose is to get this thing to 100? Really interested in the FJ. Do you keep one every day?

    • BandanaTraining

      Hell no. That would be excruciating. It’s a good exercise to help us understand what/when we eat, but ultimately food should seamlessly integrate into our badass day.

  • Michael

    Great article! Looking forward to seeing the food journal

    • BandanaTraining

      Just posted. Enjoy.

  • Angel Carbajal

    impressive article! I love the fact we get to eat badass foods to become badasses, not only to feel badass, but to live badass. lol It feels way better when we consume nutritionally because foods really do fight for us, and sometimes we can sabotage ourselves but learn from our mistakes and make leaner choices ahead of us. 🙂

    • BandanaTraining

      So true. It’s never too late to become more badass.

  • Mike Holloman

    Enjoyed the article — look forward to seeing the journal.

    • BandanaTraining

      KaBoomDiggity.

  • Chris

    Whooo Badass!

    • BandanaTraining

      Why thank you.

  • Harris

    100 – Lets see that journal

    • Berty

      I like it! Journal time…

      • BandanaTraining

        Boom.

  • Chris

    I noticed in yesterdays food you didn’t eat any brown rice, wheat bread, etc… Why? Am I missing something in thinking these are a must? I have 40 grams of carbs in whole wheat bread for breakfast and 66 grams of carbs in a cup of brown rice for lunch…

    • BandanaTraining

      Reducing your non-vegetable carb intake goes a long way towards preventing over-fueling. “Rice, oats, potatoes – all awesome energy sources. The question is, are you getting too much?”

  • Jamie

    So which is better? Raw or steamed veggies? I eat both. It’s nice to switch it up.

    • BandanaTraining

      Hey Jamie. Totally on-board. Variety, as they say, is the key to stimulation.

  • Joey T

    Hey Rob, I think I’m gonna save this article and read it at least once a week….It’s that good

    • BandanaTraining

      Oh stop it. You’re too kind.

  • Derek Phillips

    cabbage and coconut shavings…interesting

    • BandanaTraining

      SOOOO good.

  • Dr Bhushan Bhavsar

    A smart article!

    • BandanaTraining

      Why thank you, Doctor.

      • Dr Bhushan Bhavsar

        The words you write…smartly get into the brains

  • Alyea

    What macro ratio do you recommend for endomorph?

  • Missy

    Thank you for this Rob! Everyone says to “eat your oats!” and have a “%100 whole wheat bagel for breakfast” or…. ok not everyone but, a lot of people do and I see a lot of ladies that do so I figure, why can’t I? well that one comment towards the beginning of this post about eating too much good carbs like brown rice and what not, it set a bell off in my head. I don’t need as much of those carbs as I have been consuming considering I want to lose fat. Thank you so much, I love reading your stuff because it makes sense, and it’s funnier than shit! Not that shit is funny but I guess it could be… ANYWAY!! Thank you, sir:)

    • BandanaTraining

      My pleasure Missy. Glad the article resonates. Keep kicking-ass.

  • Patrick Castillo

    Good read here. Enjoyed number one and two on the list.

    • BandanaTraining

      Kew. Thanks for reading @patrickcastillo:disqus.

  • RJ

    Please show us the way! What do you eat to be so bada**

    • BandanaTraining

      Thanks for reading RJ. More info to be posted soon. Good thing for those fu**ing asterisks, eh? =)

  • Joe Byrne

    Proud to say after two years of practice me and my family are eating exactly how you have discussed. It does take work to eat healthy all of the time but let me just say I have never felt better in all of my life then the way I do now.

    • BandanaTraining

      BOOM. So wonderful to hear. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Keep on rocking, Joe.

  • Dane

    Love the details. it’s easy to get in to analysis paralysis with all the “information” out there today. Did I use those quotes right?

    • BandanaTraining

      You sure did. Appreciate the love Dane.

  • Karen Hernandez

    Now… to convince my sister that fats ARE good for you. Thanks for posting and please bring on more!

    • BandanaTraining

      Pshyea. Old habits die hard. G’luck and thanks for reading.

  • Josh

    I am commenting because I want to see what pure awesomeness looks like. And because I like your style. Writing style.

    • BandanaTraining

      Thanks for reading Josh. Stay awesome.

  • Rainbow

    wow did you just start? i was expecting 200 comments already! haha i am an endomorph with mesomorph tendencies. i am having a hard time finding the right balance of food to stay lean

    • BandanaTraining

      Have you had a chance to check this puppy out?

      http://www.bandanatraining.com/endomorphs/

      • i did! it has great tips but im more of a hands on learner, or it has to be spelled out like a walk-through lol sounds stupid when i type it out but ive known myself since before i was born and im admittedly kind of an ass to myself.

  • jbth

    Rob. I’m a vegetarian because I hate meat. I just can’t…It makes me feel awful and I can’t stand factory farming. I have chickens and eat the eggs. I have to use protein supplements to get what I need. What do you suggest for a protein amount(% vs g/kg)?

    • BandanaTraining

      1g/lbs of body weight is a good place to start. Then you can make adjustments from there based on progress.

  • Jovon Yanez

    Nailed it! Keep up the great work here. .. #brohugz

    • BandanaTraining

      Thanks for reading Jovon. Keep crushing it.

  • Melissa Redsy Love

    I love this Rob! I’ve been doing the Endomorph eating & lost 30-40 lbs. This just really confirmed it. Once I learned my body type it made sense. Carbs are not my best friend right now. Not that I can’t have them but not really until I like this next 30 this summer!

  • susan

    i ate a chocolate croissant and now i hate myself