Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, and a Happy Holiday Season to everyone!

Today I want to share with you a few new nutrition strategies for staying lean, healthy, and vegetarian during the busy holiday season.

I was just in Beverly Hills visiting Bill Phillips, the author of the New York Times bestseller, “Body for Life”, and he gave me a copy of a book called, “Life Extension Express” (written by Dave Kekich).

In this book, Kekich recommends that to “get 30-50 percent of your food as uncooked. Juicing (or blender drinks) and a salad at lunch will easily put you at that volume.”

By eating more raw foods in your drinks and as salads, you’ll extend your lifespan and lower your bodyweight.

In addition, Kekich recommends getting a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet.

And one strategy I recommend is to always be experimenting with new ingredients in your foods.

Just this year I started adding garlic to my salads, quinoa, and chili.

Last year the big addition to my diet was red onion, and I go through almost an entire onion every week!

Both garlic and onion pack a powerful kick (nutritionally and to your taste buds, of course).

Combined with the broccoli, red peppers, spinach, and mushrooms that go into my salad at lunch, I know I’m eating for a long, lean life.

Finally, I want to mention a small change to my blender drink strategy. In the past, I used to combine a lot of fruits and veggies into one massive drink.

But often I’d make too much and it would sit around…and to be frank, those multiple ingredient drinks don’t “age” well.

So here’s what I’ve done.

I’ve split up my drinks so that I start my day with a Greens-based drink, and then I have a fruit-based drink immediately after workouts.

Here are the ingredients of each:

Green Drink: Almond Milk (1.5 cups), Garden of Life Raw protein powder, spinach, ½ banana, blueberries (small amount, optional), cinnamon (needed for taste!), cacao nibs, chia seeds, teaspoon of Spirulina powder, and a teaspoon of Athletic Greens powder.  I also eat 1 oz of raw almonds and 3 raw dates at this time.

About 30 minutes later I do my workout (4 times per week). On my workout days, I have the following drink right after training:

Post workout Drink: Almond milk (2 cups), whey protein, raspberries or strawberries, and 1 banana (optional small amount of pecans). I follow that up with a big salad lunch 30-45 minutes later.

So there you go…plenty of nutritional strategies to help you eat for a long, lean life.

By the way, if you focus on having your morning blender drink and a big lunchtime salad, you’ll decrease the damage done at big holiday meals. So always make sure you start your day right.


Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Creator, Simple Nutrition

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift to high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com

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