Last Update: 6.25.2023
I get asked all the time for resources that cover diet, specifically what do I eat, what brands to buy, why I eat the way that I do.
Which that is a good first question to answer…
Hey Charlie, what do you eat?
Great question, thanks for asking 😉
In simple terms, the foundation of my diet is protein, specifically animals. I believe that as a society we do not eat enough protein and this is key reason for our poor health, especially as we age.
Here is a small list of animal protein I consume on the regular:
- Steak… We eat bone-in ribeye or filet like 3-4 times a week
- Hamburgers, ground beef, all beef hotdogs
- Pork – bacon, sausage, more bacon, ribs, Boston butts (should the B be capitalized there?)
- Chicken – bone in breasts, legs, wings, whole chicken, chicken sausage
- Homemade meatballs
- Ground chicken, ground pork, mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs cooked/fried in butter… YUM
- LOTS of eggs
- Collagen protein – bone broth (I love the Kettle & Fire brand) and when I don’t want to drink bone broth, I supplement with collagen protein powder. Did I mention I own a supplement company (CB Supplements) that manufactures a multi-sourced collagen protein powder? I probably take 4-6 servings a day of collagen protein supplements.
The rest of my diet includes:
- Cheese, truckloads of cheese
- Cream Cheese – we make little cheesecakes that are cream cheese, butter, little bit of coconut oil, vanilla extract and liquid stevia. Then add whatever flavor – chocolate chips, peanut butter, anything works and they are delicious.
- Vegetables – any and all, but a vegetable is really just a transportation mechanism for health fats like olive oil and butter, duh.
- Olive, Coconut and Avocado oil
- Animal Fats – mostly butter, sometimes tallow, occasionally lard
- Whole Milk – specifically cow’s milk, preferred to be organic and grass-fed but I like the Fairlife brand as well.
- Some carbs:
- Chips (cooked in Avocado or Coconut Oil)
- Boulder Canyon Bakehouse Country White (Be careful though, only the country white contains olive oil. All their other breads have canola oil, which is really freaking annoying. But at least their country white is good!)
- Food For Life – all products, they rock
- Siete GF Wraps – almond, cassava, chickpea all rock
- Potatoes (sweet and purple primarily, but white are fine too)
- Gluten Free (GF) crackers (Hu, Mary’s and Simple Mills brands)
- Peanut butter (Gosh, I freaking love peanut butter btw, Santa Cruz brand)
- Nuts & Seeds – I try to get 4-6 Brazil nuts a day too in order to get the selenium and apparently they boost testosterone too!
- A little bit of fruit… Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, RX Bars 😉
- Coffee… Like 3 cups a day. This is how I get 4-6 servings of CB Supplements collagen.
Coffee = Life
What I stay away from (The Evil 3, in order):
- Vegetable Oils – cottonseed, canola, corn, sunflower, safflower, soybean, rice bran, grapeseed. These fats are absolutely toxic and the main culprit for poor health. And I bet you reading this have never ever heard of them… Worst of all, the American Heart Association recommends them and approves of them! Sad really. These fats are in everything. If you eat out or buy packages food, they are in there, read the label. I will write a blog post about why they are so bad in the future. Go listen to Dr. Cate Shanahan on any podcast and you will hear from her why these oils are pretty much the worst thing ever… And if you want to nerd out on the science of how and why vegetable oils came to be, go read Nina Teicholz book, “The Big Fat Surprise.“
- Sugar (in general) – added sugar is awful obviously, but I limit my total sugar as well and treat fruit as dessert. That being said, if I want a banana with peanut butter on it or a bite of ice cream at a restaurant, I am going to eat it. I am not scared of sugar, however I am also going to plan for the sugar occurrences with proper meal timing, workouts, sleep and fasting… Also, I do not crave it but only a few times a year and when I do, I only need a bit or 2 to satisfy the craving. That is the new norm when you eat like I describe above. Most importantly, stay the hell away from sugary drinks, including “diet” too (all that crap is terrible and screws up your gut microbiome) and educate yourself on the 56 different ways sugar can be hidden on label. Here is a great Healthline article about the 56 different names for sugar.
- Carbs, but specifically, Gluten – this is the protein in wheat, rye, and barley and is a pro-inflammatory food. Our bodies don’t love it, but many people can handle it. Others who have celiac disease can die if they consume gluten. It is a nasty thing, really, check out Dr. William Davis book “Wheatbelly” and you may forever swear off bread. In general, my TOTAL carb count is less than 50-75 grams per day and most of those carbs do not contain gluten. I do eat a piece or 2 of pizza occasionally and have days where I go over 100 grams. Yes, I am human and love cheesecake too. But I plan for the cheat meals, more on that below… Also, if the gluten containing product is sprouted, like all the Food For Life products, that completely changes the dynamic of the food for the better. From the Food For Life website, “Sprouted grain bread is better not only because it uses the whole grain, but the process sprouted grains go through actually breaks down the proteins and carbohydrates in the grain, increasing vitamin content to the consumer.” Check out Food For Life website here to learn more.
A very important thing is meal timing, i.e. intermittent fasting. However, I am not a religious hardcore zealot about getting my 16 hours of a fasted state per day. I might only go 12 hours some days, and other days I might only eat once and go 24 hours without food… I kind of do what my body tells me. But not eating does wonders for the body. When no food is in our stomach, the body repairs itself at the cellular level. I could write 9,000 words about why fasting is important, but instead for now, here are a few articles – Healthline, Everyday Health, Dr. Josh Axe.
And the cheating comment above… If I am going to cheat and eat pizza for example, the gym won’t save you alone… What is most important is the meal timing of how you ate a few days before and a few days after. For example, if I know I am going to have 3 beers and pizza for dinner Friday, I am more strict about my intermittent fasting scheduled on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I will be more on the keto/carnivore/no-carb side on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday morning. Or I won’t eat anything Friday until I crush pizza. I also know that because of the pizza and beer, I will wake up Saturday hungry so I plan to have a high fat breakfast that morning, usually bacon and eggs. Then skip lunch Saturday and back on track Saturday night with a normal dinner, meat and veg combo. Sunday is completely back to normal to a version of the 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule. Make sense? Cool.
Oh yeah, I also workout like a mad man. Yes, the gym won’t save a bad diet, but it can save a cheat meal along with proper planning mentioned above.
So here is my view of diet in a few bullet points:
- Prioritize animal protein, like easily 50% of diet if not more.
- Get 8oz of bone broth in your diet daily. Or 2-3 scoops of CB Supplements multi-sourced collagen.
- Lean low-carb, under 50-75 grams of carbs most days.
- Plan for cheat days by going even lower carb, keto or borderline carnivore before and after cheat.
- Stay away from the Evil 3.
- No snacking, practice some form of intermittent fasting.
If you’re interested in doing some of your own research as to why I eat the way that I do (and feed my kids this same way too), below is a small list of documentaries, podcasts and YouTube videos to check out.
Fat: A Documentary Produced by Vinnie Tortorvich (Like $3 on Amazon)
The Magic Pill (Available on Netflix)
Dr. Ted Naiman – Protein vs Energy
Dr. Tro Kalayjian – The Truth About Nutrition & Obesity
All these podcasts are fantastic and you should listen to as many episodes as possible. I just link the the episodes when Dr. Cate Shanahan is being interviewed. Enjoy!
(1) Fat Burning Man Show – Hosted by Abel James
(2) Peak Human – Hosted by Brain Sanders
(3) Low Carb MD – Hosted by Dr. Brain Lenzkes, Dr. Tro and Dr. Jason Fung
(4) Bulletproof Podcast – Hosted by Dave Asprey
Books – Check out my Book List.