"Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it can perform very good deeds or very bad deeds. It all depends on the principles that guide them." -Napoleon Bonaparte
In the last ten years I have read over 700 books and 5,000 studies. I have heard the brightest minds of our time speak and tried to learn from the best practitioners. And I asked myself the following question:
What is the basis for building an excellent life?
Because of my academic background, I often start by looking at things from a financial perspective. One of the most important lessons there is that nothing is guaranteed in the markets. And even today you can apply this principle to nutrition. Even scientists still seem to have completely opposite views here. We see: everything is variable and changing – in science and in life.
There are no absolute truths.
This is not a nihilistic world view, but an image of hope and acceptance. Accepting that we may be wrong can teach us to listen because we don't know everything.
The uneasiness that this uncertainty can cause is also the seed of growth. Therein lies an openness to alternatives, an opportunity to grow out of harmful instincts and move forward as a whole.
I am not a doctor and I do not pretend to be one. I'm just trying to see the meaning of life from my perspective and take a closer look at some of its pillars. Anyone who thinks that there is value in this perspective is welcome to take it and use it for themselves; for those who don't find any value in it, I appreciate you taking the time.
"It's not what you don't know that gets you in trouble, it's what you think you know for sure, even though it's not true." - Mark Twain
Coming back to our first question, what is the basis for building a life of excellence.
My answer is: principles.
These are some principles that guide our thoughts and actions. This is what we believe in and what we strive for. This is our foundation. Our values. Certainly not the absolute truths.
Our 5 principles in nutrition
(1) Mastering insulin
Insulin is responsible for many metabolic processes and, above all, for efficient substrate use - efficient conversion of the energy that we supply to the body. Anything designed to improve insulin function (ie insulin sensitivity) will be metabolically beneficial to us.
The key point here is: Metabolic Flexibility.
That means: the ability to use fuel sources on demand and as required. With metabolic flexibility, your body will have the responsiveness and adaptive mechanism to change under any circumstance, such as starvation or overeating, growth or maintenance.
Metabolic flexibility regulates your energy levels, mood, mental resilience, and well-being.
(2) Avoid chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation is critical to nearly all diseases. If only because a long accumulation of inflammation naturally causes damage in the body.
"Inflammation is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to noxious stimuli. It serves to remove the original cause of cellular injury, remove necrotic cells and tissues damaged by the original insult and the inflammatory process, and initiate tissue repair." (Wikipedia definition)
The problem now is that the repair can no longer be carried out with more and more and more and more new damage at some point. So anything aimed at reducing chronic inflammation will benefit you in the long run.
In contrast, low inflammation rates are beneficial. The result of a good workout or hormetic response* in the body increases short-term inflammation and benefits your body in the long-term.
*You know the expression, "The dose makes the poison."? Hormesis means that small doses of harmful or toxic substances can have a positive effect on the body.
(3) Use ketones
Of course, you can read a lot more about the benefits of ketone bodies throughout our website. Suffice it to say at this point: we will almost certainly all benefit from having some ketone bodies in our bodies on a regular basis.
Among many other benefits, ketones reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, increase neuroprotection, help keep your heart healthy, and even act as a signaling metabolite in gene expression.*
*We do not explain all the terms here. More information and explanations of the respective terms can be found in the Articles section.
(4) Life in cycles
This is probably the most interesting... and most overlooked point of all.
learn to let go
Our bodies are seasonal. Rather than continuously following a single-minded approach, our bodies like variation. Even if sometimes we just want to sit on the bicep curl machine, just go for a run, or just want to deadlift.
The keyword is periodization. Periodization is very important in sports, but is easily forgotten by amateur athletes or those in the border areas to competitive sports. For example, when training for a marathon, it's advisable to do a cycle of three weeks of hard training and one week of 50-70% less volume. Why? Because the central nervous system, like everything in life, needs time to regenerate.
We have short cycles (daily) when we feel sore muscles or, in the case of a diet, we need to go more than 12 hours without eating to let our body detoxify. fasting and feasting.
We also have longer cycles (weekly) when we need to recharge our nervous system. This could be related to a few days of fasting or longer recovery periods.
Finally, avoiding a strict keto approach. Carbohydrates aren't bad either. They serve a purpose. When it comes to carbohydrates and your diet, too, you have room to experiment and see what works best for you. See point (5).
Note: This is not a cheat meal pass. I do not support cheat meals (eating junk food) as it can still cause harm.
(5) Nutrition is personalized
Every person is influenced by their circumstances, genetics, lifestyle, preferences, allergies and health condition.
There is nothing that fits everyone.
The most nutritious food can be great for one, good for the next person, and bad for another.
There are certain guidelines and common sense is required. But optimizing nutrition is an ongoing experiment. Your body is a dynamic organism, it is constantly changing.
So learn to orientate yourself by feeling and be your own nutrition expert.
I hope these words make sense to you and you can learn something from them. There's nothing sadder than making noise without improvement. Seek attention without adding value. I may be wrong but firstly I'm doing my best and secondly I'll admit when I'm wrong. And always I'll just try to show how I think; I will never try to tell you how to think.