Healthy Variety

“Eat like a vegan… and eat meat.” -Kelly Starrett

Some people seem to be able to eat, drink, and smoke whatever they want with no ill effects. I am not and have never been one of those people. My metabolism had always been slow. I have always gained weight easily and found difficulty keeping it off once lost. Frankly, I like food and I enjoy variety. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost in how I feel, look, and move.

There is a lot of advice out there in terms of diet, exercise, and what is or is not healthy. I am sure that not everyone is the same with regards to these matters, but I also know when I feel my best and when I feel my worst.

Simply put, I feel my best when I eat a diet high in non-starchy vegetables and protein, with a decent amount of healthy fat in the mix. Some nuts and occasionally some berries are okay, but I have a great capacity for over-consumption, so none is often better than too much.

Conversely, I feel my worst when I eat starchy foods (rice, breads, pasta, potatoes, etc.), fruit, and anything sugary or ‘snacky.’ Processed food and fast food are just plain bad.

While I crave variety, I need simplicity and structure, so I am always looking for a balance of what looks good, tastes good, has different textures and colors, but which also fits within the constraints that best serve my attempt to be the best version of myself.

Pictured here is stir-fried Thai and Chinese eggplant with king oyster mushrooms and green onions in a spicy chili and fermented bean sauce. It was served with slices of crispy pork belly (not pictured).

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is a practitioner of Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Kogen Dojo

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