July 7, 2023

Bulletproof Your Health

Bulletproof Your Health

You're wasting time.

Every day, you worry about:

  • What to eat.
  • When to eat.
  • How much to eat.
  • When to cook.
  • What to buy at the grocery store.

Your precious time.

Your precious decision making power.

Hours of your day...

Out the window.

Meanwhile, you're performing at ~80% of your mental and physical capacity.

Training?

Suboptimal.

Focus? Mental clarity?

Average at best.

This used to be me.

No more.

As promised in last week's letter -- I'll show you exactly how to bulletproof your nutrition and health.

How to take back control of your time and mental energy.

How to have optimal performance.

Every. Single. Day.


About 6 years ago, I decided I wanted to look good.

A fit, aesthetic body.

Turns out looking good requires proper training.

Proper training requires proper nutrition and recovery.

Proper nutrition requires proper eating.

Proper eating requires proper grocery shopping, portioning, and meal prepping.

Turns out looking good takes time.

A lot of time.

Over time, my focus transitioned from aesthetics to health — Dialing in everything became an obsession.

  • Bodyweight
  • Bodyfat %
  • Blood Pressure
  • Insulin levels
  • Gut health
  • Macro/Micronutrition

As you can imagine, this took even more time.  

I got sick of how long it took. I wanted to pursue other projects and goals without giving it up.

I had to find a way to do both.

That's why I automated the whole thing and earned my time back.

Why I bulletproofed my health.

And you can too.

Let's jump in.

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Disclaimer: I am not a licensed nutritionist or any other kind of licensed health expert. This advice comes from tons of personal experimentation and research, nothing more. Use if useful.

Preface

At some point while reading or following along for yourself, you may think I'm insane.

This is something I built for myself awhile ago, and I've stuck to it for over a year. I had to make sure it was near perfect if I planned on eating the same thing for a year.

I'd be missing important nutrients for an extended period of time.

Fair warning, I get anal.

It's not for everyone, use if useful.

Follow as closely or as loosely as you prefer.


With that said, I'll make the argument it's worth it. I've decided my health and long term goals take precedence over short term pleasures.

I choose to sacrifice the joy from eating different foods for the sake of my bigger goals.

I choose to sacrifice the dopamine from eating tasty unhealthy food for health.

My choice isn't any more noble than anybody else's. That's not the point.

And yes, you can have both. You can achieve the goals with eating different foods.

But with spending 3 hours a day deciding what to eat, when to cook, how much to eat etc.

I bet you can't pull it off.

Again, this works for me. Use if useful.

It Starts With Your Goals (Calories and Protein)

Step 1. Identify your bodyweight goals (calories).

For this step we wanna know about body weight -- do you want to gain or lose weight?

Enter your information into this chart. For the "weight" section, enter your ideal weight, not your current weight.

It'll generate the recommended calories to maintain the chosen weight (aka get you there). I've found this calculator to be the most reliable. It does a great job estimating.

Here's a filled out example with my info:

Calorie Calculator Example

I put my current body weight as an example.

I need to consume roughly 3,000 calories daily to get to (or maintain) 160lbs.

Here's what it would look like if I wanted to get to 175lbs (and exercising a bit more):

Closer to 3,600. Your calories will be much lower if you exercise less.

If you think your activity level is somewhere between two options, choose both and split the difference.

Write this number down, we'll use it later.

Step 2. Fitness goals (protein)

I won't dive too deep into strategies for muscle growth and/or cardiovascular health here.

That's for another day.

But we do need to touch on it quick... Are you attempting to build muscle?

If so, you have to be consuming adequate protein. I've always eaten way more than necessary, but that's because I love chicken and beef.

To be honest, you should be eating adequate protein regardless. You'll need less if you don't care about muscle building, but I recommend it regardless.

Try and aim for 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of current body weight.

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Ex: 150lb (68kg) person should consume 150-225g of protein.

I try and aim for the higher end (1.5x) to be safe (and because I love steak lol).

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I'll be using 3000 calories (targeting 160lb (68kg) for me) and 200-225g of protein (~1.5x my current body weight) for the rest of the guide. You should use the numbers you've generated from these steps!

Meal Plan

Here's the hard, lengthy part.

We are going to build a perfect diet.

By perfect, I mean:

  • It will be right around the calories and protein we have chosen.
  • It will contain all necessary vitamins and minerals (at their recommended dosage or more).

The big concern with eating the same thing every day (other than it being boring) is that you might be missing something essential, and then you miss it every day.

We won't have that problem.

I'll be re-building the meal plan I've created for myself using the foods I like to eat (backfilled with some things I don't).

This takes some sacrifice, but it's worth it.

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The idea is for you to follow along and see how I did it for myself. I can't choose which foods you like to eat, so if you don't like some of the things I eat or want to fit in something else, try it out. See how it fits in. Use the overall strategy for your own needs and make it as enjoyable as possible!

Step 3. Download the Cronometer App (or use the website)

This app allows you to search, select, portion, and add foods to your day.

Nothing special there, lots of apps do that. The cool thing about cronometer is it gives you a detailed report on the foods you've chosen for the day.

It breaks down how much of everything you're getting. The default settings are the FDA's recommended daily dosage for everything.

You'll see more as we go. We'll be using the website for this guide found here:

Once you've created an account, head to the "Diary" tab on the left column:

Once there, find the "+FOOD" button:

You can search for a food, select it, and then this menu pops up. It allows you to enter the serving size (quantity and size of each), and then you can click "ADD TO DIARY at the bottom.

Finally, once you've added the food, you'll end up on the Diary tab again. You can see your added food, and if you scroll down, you'll see the good stuff :)

You guessed it — We are going to get every single one of these to 100% or more.

Its a fun little game trying to get them all green :)

Step 4. It Starts With the Protein

I'm aiming for ~200-225 grams here. Cronometer is recommending me to get 161, but I don't care. I'm trying to build muscle. That's one of the things I'll ignore. It's the general FDA recommended amount for somebody my sex and weight.

Let's do it. I'll add the main protein sources I eat throughout the day and see where I end up.

Not sure how how much chicken or beef you're eating?

Measure it.

I don't mind doing this work up front once. It bulletproofs progress for the next however many months you stick to it.

Here's the foods I chose:

We can ignore the "Burned" Pie chart. You can insert your exercise level on this app, but we already got our estimated calories from the calorie calculator in the previous steps.

And here's the current breakdown:

1235 calories (the first field), and all the protein recommendations taken care of. 90% of the fats are also already taken care of.

We want to hit 200-225g of protein. Filling out our meals (next step) should get us the little extra we need.

Moving on.

Step 5. Build Out Your Meals

Unless you're a psychopath, you're eating other things with these protein sources.

Add them now. Build out the meals how you'd like them to be. Veggies and carb sources.

If you wanna be as free as possible, go with the Alex Hormozi strategy. Get your calories, get your protein, and the rest doesn't matter. Backfill with whatever fats and carbs you want (you won't be requiring all the next steps).

For me, I wanna get all these vitamins and minerals full green. I only have so many calories, so I have to be particular.

This is the time to add the white rice to your chicken breast. To add vegetables to your dinner.

Do what you please. When you're done, you'll have holes. We can backfill after.
I've built out my meals here, this is what I've added:

Notice how the protein worked out.

And this is what my chart looks like:

Step 6. Backfill

Here's where we get creative. As you can see from the foods I've added, I have three meals.

Eggs/Bacon for breakfast.

Chicken/rice for lunch.

Pasta with ground beef in the sauce for dinner.

From looking at the charts, it looks like we are lacking in the following areas:

  • Total Carbs (96%)
  • Fiber (73%)
  • Total Fats (76%)
  • Omega-3 Fats (53%)
  • Omega-6 Fats (64%)
  • Vitamin A, C, D, E, & K
  • Calcium (31%)
  • Potassium (93%)
  • Water (36%)

And we only have about ~250 calories to spare.

The good news is this should be enough, and if it's not, we will fix it in the next step.

What we do next is google foods that fill the deficiencies, prioritizing ones you like to eat. At this point, the deficiencies will be vitamins and minerals with some stragglers.

We have to get the vitamins up.

It's no surprise, we have no fruits or vegetables in our diet.

Kiwi's are insane. Lets add one to lunch.

This takes care of all our Vitamin C, and a good chunk of the other vitamins as well.

By adding:

  • 2 cups of skim milk (skim to make sure it's not too high in calories) for the calcium deficiency,
  • 1 cup of cut spinach (mixed in with the pasta, it's not much you can't taste it) for more of the vitamin deficiencies,
  • And a handful of walnuts (snack midday between lunch and dinner) for the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats,

We're left with the following foods:

And the resulting stats:

Now, we're only left with:

  • Vitamin D (78%)
  • Vitamin E (56%)
  • Fiber (83%)
  • Water (52%)

At this point, since I'm already above my calories by a decent bit I'm okay with supplementing these. I take a multivitamin daily.

Vitamins D & E done.

For Fiber, I take a tablespoon of psyllium husk every night. It's a phenomenal natural supplement I recommend for everybody, regardless of your plan/diet.

Makes digestion a breeze.

Finally, drink a gallon of water a day.

I use soy sauce on my chicken, so the sodium will be higher. I prefer it. I like salt and turns out it gets a worse reputation than it deserves, assuming you're active and drinking lots of water.

Hydrate yourself.

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Pro Tip: Buy 7 gallons of spring water at the grocery store each week. Carry the gallon with you each day. Finish it by the end of the night. Easy way to track and ensure you're getting in your water. Be honest, how often are you in public places where you can't have it? You can leave it in the car for those situations. Exceptions don't break the rule.

Here's what we're looking like now (water, vitamin, psyllium husk added):

WHHEEEEEEEEEEEWW! 100% score (top left).

Step 7. Reduce and Optimize

Only issue is we are almost 250 calories over our target.

I'm being unbelievably anal here, but I'm going to fix it. It's pretty close, but we are doing all this work now, might as well get it right.

At this point I'm looking to reduce the serving size of one of my meals without losing anything necessary.

To do this, hover over the colored bar for each of the fields. It will give you a breakdown of which foods you're getting it from. You can use this to find out what you can remove.

Let's try the amount of pasta in our dinner. It's a super large meal. I'd target that one.

Reducing the amount of pasta by ~20%, and also the amount of skim milk by about ~20% yields the following result:

We've done it! Yea yea the fiber is 95% good enough. I don't care. Psyllium husk is magical it does the trick.

We are about 80 calories over. We won't be perfect with measuring anyways. There's a lot of variance happening.

  • Did we portion correctly?
  • How accurate is the calculator?
  • Did we select the exact foods correctly?

Point is, this is more than good enough.

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Quick note: The red full bars mean you're getting too much of something. I'm disregarding the red "energy" and "protein" bars. These are warnings that you went over limits for yourself. Regarding the vitamins and minerals, do your own research and due diligence. I'm not a nutritionist. I'm not concerned about these ones.

Shopping

Step 8. Grocery Store

The first time will be a bit annoying.

You'll be finding where everything is in the store and figuring out how much to buy.

Before you go the first week, multiply everything you eat daily by 7. You'll know how much you need for the week.

Read the back of the boxes. Look at the serving size and the amount per package or box.

You know the deal.  Figure it out before you go.

Once you know where everything is and how much to buy, the grocery store is a rinse and repeat operation weekly.

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I order the 97% lean gound beef from a butcher shop nearby. I order up to 15 2lb packs at a time (you'll see why in the next step) and freeze them. One less thing to buy every week.

Cooking/Eating

Step 9. Put it Into Practice

This will be different for you based on the foods you decided on.

For me...

Breakfast is easy. I cook 4 scrambled eggs and heat up pre cooked bacon.

Multivitamin with it.

I meal prep the chicken breast on Sunday for the entire week (yes, all 7, not Monday-Friday). This way the following Sunday I have a lunch ready while I'm preparing the next week's food.

I cook the chicken in an air fryer. I have a huge rice cooker, I cook it in there and leave it in the fridge. Grab the daily serving of chicken and rice.

Add a kiwi.

Lunch is done.

Walnuts at 2pm.

Dinner at 5pm. For this, I'll have pulled 2lbs of the ground beef out of the freezer at around 10am to let it defrost.

I'll cook the 2lbs at dinner time, and put it in a big glass bowl. I pour the matching serving of pasta sauce in with it and mix it up. Into the fridge it goes (after grabbing my serving for that night).

This will cover me for 4 days of dinner (3 after that night).

I'll cook the pasta each day. Leftover pasta isn't my thing. 7 minutes and I'm done. 3/4 days it's only the pasta since the sauce is already prepared.

Second multivitamin with dinner.

Done deal.

2 cups of milk around 7pm.

Psyllium husk at 9 before bed.

Lights out.

3/4 days, cooking takes me ~10min, and the 4th day it takes ~15.

That's it.

Conclusion

If you made it this far, I congratulate you. You were able to look past my craziness and stick to the read.

To be fair, I did warn you at the start lol.

I'd like to add this here...

I may not have made this obvious, but I cheat fairly often.

This is the backbone of my health, I was anal in creating it, and I can always lean on it. That was the point.

My primary goal was to buy back my time.

Doing things like going out to eat doesn't interfere with the time I've gotten back from optimizing this.

My fiancé loves it. We do it together. Friends too.

Family dinners every Saturday night.

Again, the point for me was recovering time.


There are a million different diets.

Some are more extreme than others. Some don't have carbs at all. Some are carnivorous.

Some work for some, others work for others.

As I've said, I'm not a nutritionist.

This is my way of doing things.

I didn't want to use my time on these decisions. They were eating up too much time. Read more about the theory on automating your life here.

If I ate the same thing every day, I get that time back.

Not only time, but I'd also get near perfect nutrition every day.

I realized this meant I'd also have get closer to optimal:

  • Mental clarity
  • Gym sessions
  • Recovery
  • Health
  • Lifespan?

For me, it was a no brainer.

I challenge you to try it for yourself.

This is the best decision I've ever made for my health and productivity.

And I bet it will be for you too.

I would say it's the best decision of my life, but proposing to my fiancé takes that one, followed by the gym.

I'm getting off track.

This was a long one. Thank you all for following me on my journey. I appreciate each of you.

I encourage you to reach out with any questions at all. I'd love to help you through it.

Let me know how it goes :)

- Jason