February 4, 2012

The Gracie Diet: A 28 day Journey

Your diet determines the quality of your life! The way you eat determines how you feel on a daily basis, how long you will live, how well you will live, and quite possibly how you will die. It is common knowledge that unhealthy eating contributes to obesity, chronic illness, malnutrition, and other health imbalances. A poor diet can also affect your mental, emotional, and social health – leading to feelings of inadequacy, isolation, and depression. You become what you eat!

Many years ago I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Royce Gracie and subsequently this wonderful martial art known as Gracie Jiu Jitsu. During my infancy years of training, my time spent as a white belt, I often marveled at the endless energy which Royce seemed to possess. Training all day and never exhibiting the slightest signs of fatigue. Dealing with people all day and never showing the slightest hint of stress. And frankly in all that time I had never witnessed him seriously ill. I simply thought he might have been a cyborg!

The truth of it however was something far more mundane than high tech robotics melded with living flesh; it was the Gracie Diet. A philosophy of eating habits that the Gracie family has been following since the days of Grandmaster Carlos Gracie. A diet based on food combinations and their reactions within the human digestive system. I began following the Gracie Diet shortly after earning the rank of blue belt and for years now have enjoyed the benefits of it.

Students often ask me; “How can I lose weight?”, “How can I get in better shape?”, or some similar variation to which I simply state, “The Gracie Diet”. Of course that answer is usually followed up by the question “What is That?” My answer is simple “In the most basic sense of human physiology your body is nothing more than an elegant chemistry laboratory, your digestive system a beaker within that laboratory, and the foods you introduce into it the individual chemicals. Think back to chemistry class. What would happen if you were to combine two chemicals in a beaker that weren’t meant to mix? Let’s say; sodium, chlorine, and a single drop of water. You guessed it BOOM!”

In the light of student interest regarding my dietary habits I decided recently to begin an experiment to demonstrate the effect of the Gracie Diet. From December 1st 2011 through Super Bowl Sunday 2012 I strayed far and wide off the Gracie Diet and ate as I did when I was in high school. During this time I chronicled the physical, mental, and emotional changes I experienced; making observations just as you would for any scientific experiment. In total I was off of the Gracie Diet for 67 days. You will find below the experiences I observed during that period all of which inhibited my training.

Two Severe Colds Requiring Medication
Noticeable Lack of Energy
Short Temperedness
Decreased Libido
Three Severe Headaches
Restless Nights Sleep
Noticeable Weight Gain
Joint and Tendon Pain
Dry Itchy Skin
Decreased Mental Focus

Monday February 6th, 2012 I restart The Gracie Diet and chronicle the journey for the next 28 days! During this four week period I will post a weekly picture (a before and after montage if you will), detail one full days meals, and list observations with relation to my physical, mental, and social attitudes. I also invite you to join me! You will need to often reference  www.graciediet.com and having your own copy of The Gracie Diet book is also recommended. Beyond that all that remains is the will to attempt something that can forever change the way you live your life!