A Daily Eating Routine for a Healthy and Productive Life

My Daily Eating Routine

Dinner is an important meal in my house. While our kids were growing, it was practically the only time we were all together. Five times a week, K would cook a great and healthy meal. Usually fresh vegetables, some pasta or potatoes, and fresh fish or organic chicken. We would come to the table well-dressed and with our hands washed. And everyone would be expected to eat properly and engage in sociable conversation.

Things were more relaxed on the weekends. On Saturday night, K and I had a “date,” and the boys ate with friends or cousins. On Sunday night, we all went to a local restaurant – most often Mexican or Italian.

Although K and I are empty nesters now, we still like the formality of our at-home dinners. She still cooks great meals, even if they’re just for the two of us. My contribution is very modest (and gives me great pleasure). Based on what K is cooking, I go out to the wine cellar and select a bottle for us to drink.

We eat at home just three or four times a week nowadays. On Wednesday and Friday, we have separate dinner routines: a book club and girlfriends for her; a different book club and poker for me. Saturday is still date night. And Sunday is still Mexican or Italian.

So that’s dinner. A pleasant mix of formality and informality, dining with K and with friends.

The rest of my eating routine is designed around my work schedule.

I used to eat weekday breakfasts and lunches at restaurants, usually with a colleague. It felt like I was accomplishing more by making those meals business meals, but in retrospect I can see how much time I was wasting. (Plus, all that restaurant food was starting to make me fat.)

Between driving to and from, waiting to order, waiting for the food, and waiting for the check, eating at restaurants is a very inefficient process. Yes, you can have a business conversation while eating, but with very few exceptions it would be better conducted and take less time in the office.

Also, you can’t work on documents very well when you have a plate of food in front of you. For another thing, you can’t think well when you’re hungry or express yourself well with food in your mouth.

These days, eating in restaurants is strictly a social pastime for me – a time to relax with friends and family members, usually on the weekend. During the week, I eat breakfast at home and lunch at my desk.

I will schedule or attend a business lunch (or breakfast) for only one reason: when the purpose is to interview a key person for one of my companies. I like the idea of including a meal in the interview process for the very reason I don’t like business lunches: because eating is a social function. I like seeing the social side of someone I’m going to hire. I want to see how he or she operates outside of an office building. I also like to see how job candidates treat the waiter and busboy. It tells me about their character. And character is my top priority in judging a job candidate’s worthiness.

Other than that, how do I feed myself?

It’s very simple.

Here’s my routine:

Meal One : 7:00 a.m., while editing poetry. Two fried eggs (organic). One piece of toasted hemp bread. Two ounces of fresh juice. Coffee. Water.

Meal Two : 11:00 a.m., while writing in my studio. Blended vegetable drink or a piece of toasted hemp bread with organic peanut butter. Water.

Meal Three : 1:00 p.m. or 1:30 p.m., after my workout. Salad with chicken or fish. Iced tea.

Meal Four: 6:30 p.m., after my second workout. Protein shake.

Meal Five : 7:30 p.m. A well-balanced dinner.

Meal Six : Does not exist when I’m being good. Once or twice a week I snack on something. When I do, I always regret it.

Like my work routine, my eating routine has been developed over time. It is now designed to give me optimum energy throughout the day and provide me with the nutrients I’ve been told I need to lead a healthy life.

Most of my current eating habits have been influenced by the research that my personal physician, Dr. Al Sears, has done on the subject. Al’s approach to food is not difficult to understand: He believes that natural is better.

In particular, he advocates an eating regime that is consistent with how our long-ago ancestors had to eat: fish, grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, organic vegetables that grow above the ground, berries and fruits. He warns against grains, grain-fed meat, and anything that is infused with hormones and chemicals.

In The Doctor’s Heart Cure, he puts it this way:

“Remember those four basic food groups from grade school health class? If you’ve forgotten them, don’t worry about it, they don’t tell you anything about your natural diet. They were a nutritionist’s attempt to make sense of a very contrived artificial diet based on grains and other processed foods…

“… You don’t have to count calories or record fat grams to achieve your ideal weight and maintain optimal cardiovascular health. All you have to do is to eat the same ratio and quality of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that we have for eons. How are you going to do that? Get started by remembering these three easy principles:

“Principle #1: Eat protein at every meal.

“Principle #2: Limit carbohydrate intake.

“Principle #3: Eat natural fats.”

A typical day’s meals for me supply the following nutrients:

Quantity

Food

Fat (g)

Protein (g)

Carbs (g)

Fiber (g)

2

Eggs

10

14

1

0

1

Hemp Bread

2

4

12

5

8 oz

Coffee

0

0.28

0

0

2 oz

Apple Juice

0.07

0.04

7

0.1

8 oz

Vegetable Shake

0

12

3

95

1 cup

Green Salad

0.05

4

1

0.5

6 oz

Broiled Fish

13

42

0

0

16 oz

Iced Tea

0

0

1.4

0

8 oz

Protein Shake

2

7

4

2

8 oz

Grass-Fed Beef

6

56

0

0

1 cup

Green Beans

0.4

4

10

2.6

1 large

Baked Potato

0.4

9

63

6.6

3 oz

Cheddar Cheese

28

21

1

0

1 glass

Red Wine

0

0.1

3.8

0

2 cups

Berries or Grapes

1.6/0.5

3/2

30/55

16

TOTALS

63.5/62.4

176.4/175.4

137.2/162.2

127.8

 

I have tried dozens of eating plans over the year. This one works best for me. I like being able to eat five times a day. I don’t mind if each of those meals is small. Food is primarily fuel for me. I want to put the highest quality fuel I can into my body as often as I can.

Of course, you don’t have to eat exactly the same foods that I do. What you eat is a matter of personal choice. But to stay productive, energetic, and healthy, I recommend that you try for a similar balance of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber.

When you’re full of energy, your goals will be easier to tackle. And you’ll enjoy their achievement even more when you’re feeling healthy and strong.

 

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]
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  • Georgeann

    do you have a recipe for your vegetable shake? I have a hard time getting enough fiber,also like that you said”have protein at every meal” loved your article.rsvp