2019 Reading List | Book 40 of 52
Fit for Life
Jesse Itzler, author of Living with a SEAL, eats only fruit until noon each day. He’s done that for the past 30+ years and he credits this book with that decision. I was curious to learn about the logic behind doing that, so I purchased this book.
This book was written in 1985. It’s 1 of 4 books from the Books of Titans reading list that have delved into nutrition. The other three being:
Each book describes a very different method of eating. I’m mostly curious because I want to run longer. I’d like to qualify for the Boston Marathon next year and I want to be eating right.
With all of the advice and diets out there, and with much of it wildly conflicting, I think the best thing is to experiment and see what works best for your body.
That’s what I’ve been doing. In 2017, I went on an all-fat “Maffetone” diet, a-la Natural Born Heroes. I lost weight but didn’t feel all that different. Earlier this year (2019), I did more of a Keto diet for around a month. I again lost some weight, but it actually slowed down my running times and I was more sore during and after running. I’d like to give eating fruit for one meal a try as well and see what it does – mentally, physically, and weight-wise.
I liked the all-fat diets (good fats like avocado, meat), but I didn’t like that they banned fruit. I liked Keto, but again, no fruit.
When I told my wife about wanting to try the only fruit until noon idea, she laughed in my face. She knows nutrition. I don’t. I’m woefully ignorant. If someone wrote a book that said only eating Twinkees until noon would help with running, I’d probably give it a try. I lack nutritional discernment. My wife does not.
In any of these diets I try, I usually end up feeling better. But, my wife says, there’s no need to go extreme. If anyone out there started eating more fruits and vegetables, they’d begin to feel better. It’s not rocket science. Also, Fit for Life is not exactly a darling amongst nutritionists. They hate the book and its popularity.
But here’s the thing. With each experiment I do, I learn. I may go gung-ho for a few weeks or a month experimenting with a diet. After the diet, I don’t go back to my profligate eating habits. I’m changed. I don’t stick with the extreme diet, but I’ve created new habits. I’ve found new, healthier meals and foods that I enjoy. I discover tricks for when I’m eating at restaurants. To me, that is the power of experimenting with diets.
There are some good bits of advice in Fit for Life, some handy recipes, and some straightforward calls to action. I may try eating fruit until noon for a period, but it won’t stick. But what will stick is eating more fruit in general. And if I see an improvement in my running, it may stick even more.