Performancing Metrics

Your browser (Internet Explorer 6) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


Grrr... Dieting

Why when you eat is as important as what you eat

Most people don’t eat enough and those that do, eat too much — of the wrong food — at the wrong time. And, consuming poor quality food will result in a poorly performing person.

What exactly is “poor quality food?” Food containing artificial ingredients and additives (used to lengthen a food’s shelf life, maybe to enhance food color and or taste or to make preparation of the food easier). Some you may have heard of: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Saccharin and Aspartame (sweeteners), FD&C Yellow No. 6 (in macaroni and cheese, cotton candy, soda, Doritos…  you get the picture).

Symptoms of a poorly performing person include: sluggishness or lack of energy, headaches, allergies and hives, hyperactivity, congestion, inability to focus, irritability — you are what you eat!

Why do we use — and accept — artificial ingredients in our foods?

According to the FDA, “Some additives could be eliminated if we were willing to grow our own food, harvest and grind it, spend many hours cooking and canning, or accept increased risks of food spoilage. But most consumers today rely on the many technological, aesthetic and convenient benefits that additives provide.” So there you go, right from the horse’s mouth!

When you nourish your body is almost as important as what you nourish it with. For people who exercise regularly, our body is in a state of perpetual regeneration mode — cellular tissue is broken down following every workout. And, did you know, exercise will age you? Scary! This is why, it is crucial that those of us who exercise regularly consume a diet consisting of foods that are nutrient-dense, high net-gain and alkaline-forming.

The standard Western diet is plagued by foods that are acid-forming: low in minerals like potassium, magnesium or calcium — associated with poor bone health and high cholesterol. Alkaline-forming foods are nearly exclusively found in the vegetable and fruit groups. According to research from the Nutrition Society, it is possible to efficiently modify the urine pH by diet alone.


Also, according to the American College of Cardiology, a diet with an abundance of nutrients, adequate Omega 3 fatty acids and reduced saturated and trans fats is a powerful strategy to help lower the generation of inflammation.

Inflammation can become the single greatest inhibitor when it comes to regular exercise. Furthermore, the right combination of nutrients — carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals — found through nutrient-dense foods have been shown to support your immune system — an often-overlooked component of exercise regularity.

Nutrient-Rich, Good Foods

  • Alkaline-forming foods include: all green vegetables especially spinach, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Also, seaweed, chlorella and spirulina
  • Antioxidants can be found in: berries, fruit (prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, plums and cherries) and green tea
  • Calcium-rich foods are: spinach, kale, collard greens — most dark, leafy greens (so lettuce is not included. Lettuce is mostly water)
  • Electrolytes for hydration can be found in coconut water (Zico is from concentrate, look for fresh coconut water instead), bananas, tomatoes and celery
  • Phytonutrients (reduces inflammation): tomatoes, chia, turmeric and veggies

Vega, A Complete Source

Vega makes a Whole Food Optimizer which contains all of the nutrition your body needs. Try mixing a scoop of Vega in with your morning oatmeal. (Disclosure: I am an ambassador for Vega. This article was adapted from Vega Sport, the first, complete, all-natural, plant-based sport performance system).

  • Hi Stefan!

    Such a great article! It’s true that people don’t think about the time of day in which you eat affecting your health as much as it actually does.

    Thanks for a wonderful post!

    Dr John La Puma

    Dr. John La Puma

    5:07 pm

  • WOW! Another amazing article! I am learning this as I have changed my eating habits BIG!


    4:52 pm

  • Poorly performing person. That is definitely true.


    2:44 pm

  • Didn’t you post a picture of oatmeal with this powder?


    3:20 am

  • This explains the whole eating right after your workouts. Makes sense.


    3:17 am

  • Oh yes…especially the part about inflammation…SO important!!! I don’t think people understand the impact all the chemical laden foods have on their health..until it breaks down and they wonder why they “suddenly” got sick! Actually, the body is AMAZING that it can cope with all the abuse people do to it! The article is excellent!

    Christine Robertson

    2:11 am

  • This is so true. Definitely the more additives in the food that you eat will affect how you feel.

    Dina Paterno

    1:24 am

  • Most of the prepared foods have artificial ingredients so it’s a little difficult to stay away. If all you eat are these foods then you will be consuming all of the things you say to stay away from. I don’t think most single guys can avoid this.

    Rich Sobel

    1:21 am

  • Stefan, I’m an actor and I think you are too. I was just wondering what you eat when you are on set. I am asking you as I know how bad the food can be. Do you pack a lunch? How do you manage long days? Anyway thanks for the helpful information. Your story is really motivating.

    Clifton Farrington

    10:32 pm

  • Great article Stefan. I am one of those women who don’t eat enough. Thanks for the informative articles. I will definitely try Vega.

    Susan C.

    10:30 pm

  • Another wonderful informative article Stefan!!!! Many people have sensitivities to chemicals and preservatives in food such as MSG. However, even those that do not exhibit those sensitivities still may be harming their bodies, or they have not linked their illness to chemicals. Some people claim to not have acid issues thinking that acid is only stored in the stomach. However, later they develop gout or have joint pain which can stem from an unnatural buildup of acid in the body. I think the food industry uses the excuse of shelf life. Many foods can be preserved naturally with salt and citric acid along with other natural ingredients. Another added benefit, all of those chemicals and preservatives could be keeping people fat. Eating natural foods that the body can recognize as food may not only boost the immune system but have the added benefit of weight loss. THANKS STEFAN for your interest in our health.


    10:00 pm

  • I’d say food sensitivity is the issue not ADHD. You can’t rewire your brain with diet. However, a good diet always benefits the body!

    R.k. Finnell

    9:26 pm

  • Interesting about the exercise and aging but I guess that makes sense. Most of the articles only tell you to consume protein after exercising to build muscle. I used to be allergic to Chinese food. Turns out it was MSG!


    9:21 pm

  • Absolutely, great article Stefan. I’ve found that the healthier I eat, the better I can focus. When I cut out bad carbs and processed foods my “ADHD” disappears.

    Adrian de Novato

    9:18 pm

  • Leave a comment  




    Submit comment