IIFYM+ THRIVE : Our Approach to Nutritional Wellness (part 3)

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What You’ll Read In This 3-Part Article

This is PART3 of a 3-Part Article.

This 3-Part article helps you understand why food choice is so important, and introduces you to the AdapNation nutrition approach that we call IIFYM+ Thrive. You’ll learn the foundations behind this approach, the accompanying Food Pyramid, the #BeYourBest WOE Framework, and our 10 Daily Principles we use to help our family Thrive.

AdapNation IIFYM+ Thrive Gold (non-feature)

PART 1 – Reflect & Level Set…


Reflect Banner

  • Evolution Of Modern Food Consumption – Through The Eyes of an 80’s Baby
  • My Relationship With Food Now – Confessions & Realisations on the Power of Food
  • No Such Thing As A Perfect Diet – Reflecting on Today’s Popular Diets
  • IIFYM – All of it’s Good Points & Where it Falls Short on Wellness
  • Paleo – The Superiority of This Diet & What’s Lacking

PART 2 – IIFYM+ Thrive – What & How?


IIFYM+ Thrive Gold Wide

  • IIFYM+ THRIVE High Level – Our Foundations & Food Pyramid
  • #BeYourBest Way Of Eating (WOE) Framework – Easy to Remember Visual
  • IIFYM+ THRIVE 10 Daily Principles – Our Daily Food Guidance to Optimal Nutrition (1-6)

PART 3 – IIFYM+ Thrive – What & How?


AdapNation IIFYM+ Thrive Logo

  • IIFYM+ THRIVE 10 Daily Principles – Our Daily Food Guidance to Optimal Nutrition (7-10)
  • Other Aspects of Our Diet – Five Real-World Important Practices & Tools
  • Further Proof That Food Can Change Your Life – Other Great Resources & Leaders



IIFYM+ THRIVE – The 10 Daily Principles (cont)

In Part 2 we covered 1-6 of the IIFYM+ Thrive Daily Principles. Lets get into the remaining specifics of our diet and how we think about our food choices that we aim to live by 90% of the time.

IIFYM+ Thrive Principles - Detailed

(7) Use Simple Carbs Around Intense Exercise

Carbs are not evil. Far from it. Carbs (especially simple sugary carbs) are most easily converted into glucose, which is the molecule the body leverages to fuel life. However, we as a western society get far too many carbs, followed by lots of sedentary periods. This is a recipe for type 2 Diabetes. Unused glucose gets stored in our expanding fat cells, and as people often considerably overeat with a carb-heavy diet, this surplus is stored as body fat.

However, getting in simple carbs ahead of a particularly intense exercise can enable me to tap into a slightly greater performance potential. You want that right? You don’t necessarily need post-workout carbs to support protein syntheses, as protein will get converted (slowly) to glucose that in turns spikes the anabolic hormone insulin as needed.

TOP TIP: Unless I expect to train intensely using my glycolytic stores, I typically skip carbs completely for breakfast and just have some protein and fat (such as my Awesome Morning Fuel) . As per (4) in PART 2, my body and mind run really really well, and will keep hunger at bay until I choose to have lunch.

Raw Honey as Pre Workout
PRE-WORKOUT CARBS: If there I feel I really need it, I might grab a 1-2 tsp of raw honey before a super volume workout

(8) Treat Yourself with Fruit & Dark Chocolate

Fruit is natures dessert. Therefore, I treat it as such. Fruit is not a foundation of our nutrition, but instead is used to give the family a sugary treat now and again. The key with fruit is to eat it whole, so the intact fibre helps reduce the blood sugar response, and to prevent consuming in binge fashion. This way, we get all the benefits of nutritious fruit, without the downside. We prioritise berries as our fruit of choice, due to their phytonutrients.

We do not drink fruit juices – they are basically sugar water and often have much more sugar than fizzy drinks! Yep, no more OJ, Apple Juice or other kids fruit juices in the house. The kids stuff is the worst.

Also, I know it’s not a fruit, but we lump Dark Chocolate into this category, as it too is nutritious and valuable, but also to be consumed as a small treat (say 10-15g). Dark chocolate has antioxidants, flavonoids, releases endorphins and has aphrodisiac qualities. Just so you know… 😉

DESSERT TREAT: A couple of squares of Dark Chocolate is great for you, as long as the calories allow. Green & Black 70% Velvet Collection Salted Caramel is incredible!

(9) Eliminate Gluten & Commercial Dairy*

This is not about being Coeliac or Lactose Intolerant – it’s much more. By the way, the family have been tested and we’re not clinically diagnosed with these intolerances. People with these conditions are canaries for the rest of us to listen to.

Studies have confirmed that Gluten is inflammatory to your gut – everyones gut! Some folk are more tolerant than others or don’t express symptoms (yet), but it’s indisputable that Gluten and Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA) are the cause of many chronic conditions as these proteins are small enough to both inflame and pass through the intestine wall and into the blood stream. Tons of tons of data suggests its just best avoided, and is likely why obesity is as high as it is.

To get our bread fix now and again, we eat Sourdough, which has been 48h fermented and therefore the Gluten & WGA has been broken down significantly.

Ham, Red Pesto & Goats Cheese Omelette with Sourdough
GLUTEN REMOVED: Sourdough is fermented for 20-40 hours. This process breaks down the harmful Gluten.

Avoiding Commercial Dairy products is just good practice. Majority of farmed cows today are pumped full of antibiotics, are fed corn when they should be eating grass, are reared in sketchy environments, and have been mutated at some point in their ancestry to have A1 proteins that us Humans struggle with. You are what you eat ate! They are inflamed and have problems. Their milk is their output – would you want to share bodily fluid with someone who is ill?!

Moreover, the ultra high heat in the pasteurisation process damages the proteins and breaks down the enzymes needed to easily absorb said proteins.

Instead, the family have unhomogenised Full Fat Channel Island and A2 Milk which is more compatible for us generally. Better still, Goats milk (and therefore cheeses) strikes an uncanny resemblance to human milk from a DNA level, so this is by far the best dairy choice. I enjoy only goats and buffalo cheeses for the most part – think Halloumi, Feta, Mozzarella, Soft Goats Cheese. All yum!

Pan Fried Chicken, Loaded Sweet Potato Jacket, Salad & Smoky Beetroot
A2 DAIRY: Loaded Sweet Potato Skins, with Chives and Soft Goats Cheese. Creamy and delicious.

(10) Careful Use Of Lectin-Rich Foods*

Most vegetables with husks, seeds or skin contain Lectins – their inbuilt pesticide. Turns out, some lectins are inflammatory to us (e.g. Gluten and WGA are Lectins) and some vegetables have high concentrations of these and other anti-nutrients. This explains why you must soak and pressure cook Beans, Lentils and Quinoa, otherwise you get an upset stomach. That’s the Lectins. Beans (some worse than others), Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Peppers, Chillis and even Cucumber have lectins in their skins and/or seeds.

LECTINS: Plants’ natural defence. Gluten, Legumes & Nightshades are the worst offenders and cause wreak havoc with your gut and then your health, once your gut is compromised.

High pressure cooking and fermentation can break these down, so we do this if we were to have a bean dish (which is rare). I’ve experimented with many of these foods, and have identified that regrettably I get a lot of gas and bloat with large Tomatoes and Peppers. Especially when I have a rich tomato sauce. The solution we’ve found is to either pressure cook the tomatoes or make sauces with Passata, which is a tomato sauce base with skins and seeds removed. With salad, we use only a few heirloom baby cherry tomatoes.


*Gluten, Lectins and A1 Cows Milk – two great reads to get a deep dive into why these recommendations are so strongly pushed are Dr Stephen Gundry’s Plant Paradox and Dr William Davis’ Wheat Belly. Both No1 New York Times Bestsellers.


IIFYM+ THRIVE – Five Other Aspects of Our Diet

The above covers the daily basics that when observed, we feel amazing and perform at our best. There are five other ideas and considerations that we weave in, as and when needed, to offer greatest flexibility and/or optimal wellbeing:

AdapNation - IIFYM+ Thrive - 5 Other Aspects Image
IIFYM+ Thrive – 5 Other Aspects of Our Diet

(i) Alcohol –

Alcohol is not productive for health and recovery from training, but it brings calm and fun in our lives, and we’re not the fun police! I’ve personally cut my alcohol down to an occasional Red Wine as I really enjoy it, and a glass here and there brings a bunch of health benefits.

The biggest and hardest change has been cutting out Beer, due to the wheat (Gluten). This is extreme, and could be loosened up for sure. For me, going Gluten free is a big deal, so it’s a sacrifice I’ve now accepted.

Red Wine is on the menu
ALCOHOL: Big fan of the deep reds such as Malbec or Rioja. A glass of red whenever I dine out. Cider for the summer.

(ii) Eating Out –

Again, flexibility is super important to us. We’ll eat out anywhere we’re invited or the mood takes us. We’ll make the best choices we can given the menu, and will not have regrets. It’s time to enjoy your friends and family and connect – not fret over the food choices. That said, we manage our calories accordingly to ensure we can have a guilt-free meal, and we do our best to avoid the table bread and pasta dishes etc. Get more details and tips on how to eat out guilt-free in the Dieting & Eating Out Article.

Lets Eat - Eating Out
ARTICLE: Flexible dieting (IIFYM-esque) approach to dining eat and managing your bodyweight.

(iii) Supplementation –

The reality is, if you’re eating as the IIFYM+ Thrive principles, your body will be drenched in great nutrition. You unlikely will be deficient in any of the main micronutrients, other than perhaps Vitamin D if you get little/no daily sun exposure on your skin (read this Wellness Tip blog on Vitamin D) and perhaps Vitamin A if no organ meats are included.

Vitamin D - Sunshine Hormone
BLOG: Wellness Tips on Vitamin D, the Sunshine Hormone nearly 1 Billion are deficient in

That said, I’m not playing to survive, but instead to thrive. I’d rather know the reservoirs are spilling over in nutrients versus being half full. Plus, I demand a hell of a lot from my body through strenuous strength training and hard mental work almost daily.

So, recovery and replenishment is a must, as is getting sufficient Protein and Creatine. As such, I supplement with a few things – some of which a little fringe. You can read Supplement Pills & Potions — Optimising Health, Energy & Gains Article to see what I supplement with for optimal health. This is not a must. It comes down to budget and your level of passion for maximal nutrition.

Steve Katasi - optimal supplements
ARTICLE: Supplement Pills & Potions — What I take to optimising health, energy & gains

(iv) Intermittent Fasting (IF) / Fasting –

A practice that has benefited humans for thousands of years, but only recently understood from a scientific perspective. Fasting can have a profound effect on starving bad/mutated cells and ridding you of many ailments and chronic issues. Plus, our gut and GI needs a break every so often – in modern societies we’ve got it working overtime 24×7!

Fasting Benefits
FASTING: Considered incredibly beneficial to give your body a rest from food and digestion now and again

Our bodies are very resilient, and can actually go several weeks without food. Now, thats extreme, but a short fasting period could do you wonders. Whether it’s a 1, 2 or 3 day Fast, or even a 16-18h Intermittent Fast, your body will thank you and you will feel the benefits.

I personally IF once a week on one of my rest days from training, where my last meal is at 7pm and I don’t eat again until about 1pm the following day. For more information on Intermittent Fasting, check out Episode #5: A Fasting Masterclass where we deep dive into the benefits and process, plus our Bulletproof Coffee Blog talks about some of the benefits too.

A Fasting Masterclass
PODCAST: A Mastclass AdapNation iTunes Episode on Fasting

(v) Restrict Carb-Only Meals/Snacks –

Simply put, if you have a carb-only meal, especially a simple carb or one with a high Glycemic Index, your blood sugar levels will rise and crash quickly. Plus, you would have got a load of calories with minimal valuable nutrients. It will leave you not full and hungry again within an hour or two. You may well get Hangry. 😬

For me, I process carbs so efficiently that this is really an issue personally. Hanger is real people! So, as a tip, when I have Dark Chocolate for my frequent dessert, I occasionally dip it in Almond Butter. The fat in in the Almond Butter provides me with greater satiation and satisfaction, plus helps slow down the processing of the carbs. This works wonders for me.

As another lesson learned, I no longer snack on things like crisps/chips by themselves – it’s a sure fire way to make me more hungry. Without realising, this may have a similar effect on you too.

RESTRICT CARB-ONLY: As dietary fat metabolises slowly, make sure to eat carbs with some fat, to slow down carb digestion and limit the blood sugar spike (and hanger).

Need Further Proof That Food Can Change Your Life?

I’m not the only one, nor the first, to be pushing the idea that food can both heal you and enable you to thrive. People have been saying this for generations, and there have been endless studies that are continuously proving the power and influence food has on our health, wellbeing and outlook on life.

It is a really interesting time, as the internet and ease of sharing information is enabling so many leaders to express themselves to the world. To share their insights and attempt to up-skill society on the importance of good food choices. This is exactly the reason why I am writing this today, due to the inspiration I’ve taken from so many fantastic minds, just over the last couple of years.

If you are hungry for more (sorry, couldn’t help myself) – then there are plenty of fantastic resources, across various mediums.

For books, I’d start off by reading Salt, Sugar Fat by Michael Moss, Plant Paradox by Dr Stephen Gundry,  Wheat Belly by Dr William Davis and Wired to Eat by Robb Wolf. Furthermore, check out other great Wellness/ Nutrition / Microbiome books in AdapNation’s Book Recommendations section.

Salt Sugar Fat Book
BOOK: Highly recommended book – Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss

For Podcasts and great online content producers, I would absolutely check out Ben Coomber, Chris Kresser, Dave Asprey, Shawn Stevenson, Paul Chek, Robb Wolf and Ori Hofmekler, to name but a few.

Recommended Nutrition Podcasts
PODCASTS: The Model Health Show, Bulletproof Radio, Ben Coomber Radio & Paleo Solution are just a few of the great Podcasts out there on all things nutrition

Of course, subscribe to AdapNation’s various channels to not miss out on our latest research, experiences and content – the Weekly iTunes Podcast, the Weekly Newsletter, AdapNation Instagram, Facebook Page, Facebook Community and Youtube Channel.

AdapNation Weekly Newsletter – Sign Up for FREE



Lastly, if Documentaries are your thing, here’s a couple of crackers to get started with. The Magic Pill on Netflix, The Science of Fasting on Amazon Prime, FAT: A Documentary, and Fed Up on Netflix. Prepared to be moved and blown away…

Related image
DOCUMENTARY: The Magic Pill on Medicine. Worth a watch.

Go Make It Happen!

Now, all that is left is to go try it out for yourself! Make one small change today, and commit to cleaning up your diet, one day at a time. Your Body will thank you for it!


Go back to the Second Article 👈 IIFYM+ THRIVE : Our Approach to Nutritional Wellness (part 2)

AdapNation - IIFYM+ THrive - Our Approach Pyramid PART 2
IIFYM+ THRIVE – AdapNation’s Approach to Nutritional Wellness [PART 3 / 3]
Go back to the First Article 👈 IIFYM+ THRIVE : Our Approach to Nutritional Wellness (part 1)

IIFYM+ Thrive Logo - Feature Image (GOLD) PART 1
IIFYM+ THRIVE – AdapNation’s Approach to Nutritional Wellness [PART 1 / 3]

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