BA diet stuff

September 17, 2012 — 37 Comments

Let’s talk Diet. What do I do? I have it written below, and on the BA diet page. Written below is what my bootycamp clients in san diego will get printed up, but in a nice format to put on their fridge. **I’m not a dietician. This is not law, and I didn’t include a bunch of science. If you want the science behind this, please read “it starts with food” by the Whole9, and “carb backloading” by Kiefer-both which are excellent reads and play a large role in all of this.

Be Aware. Be Alive.

I’m not a diet ‘expert’ but I know some things. And you should too. First you need to Be Aware-through learning. Then you can implement that knowledge and Be Alive. Gain some knowledge below.

An internet based diet and lifestyle brand: The Whole 9. And check out their resources page, which is amazingly well organized and helpful. Also, their book “it starts with food” will be required reading for my clients.

As BA living grows, I plan on diet market dominance, but until then, this page will serve to direct you to some fantastic resources on actual experts. If you see me for BA training you will get some diet suggestions (not advice!) from me, otherwise check out these links.

Now, if you are in San Diego, and want to do some training+diet work, I’m sure we could work that out. I can even go to your house and make fun of you while emptying your kitchen of garbage food, then put you in the child seat of a grocery cart while I show you how to shop. It’ll be fun.

Here is the info I will be giving my Bootycamp clients in San Diego.

BA Diet & Lifestyle

Be Awesome, Amazing, Alpha, BadAss. This list of items will help you to accomplish those things.

The BA diet understands 2 things: 1. Calories (quantity) DO count and 2. They aren’t all that count, in fact other things may matter more (quality & timing).

1. You can’t eat endless amounts of clean/paleo/magic foods and keep losing weight. Ultimately energy balance trumps all. However, things other than calories play into your energy balance via your hunger and cravings, your feelings and energy levels, and your timing and hormones.

2. Our bodies just aren’t bomb calorimeters.

  • Too many variables are inherent for calories to be anything more than a guide; ripeness/doneness of a food, enzymatic production of an individual, food measurement, & caloric cost of a macronutrient to digest and use.
  • When a calorie is consumed is also important, for example after a fast or workout we are more sensitive (better able to utilize) carbohydrate based calories.
  • Eating sweets, salts, fats stimulate reward which can in turn spur cravings later on when those foods are seen/smelled.
  • The body is adaptive and becomes accustomed to how you treat it, if you eat constantly like a herbivore, then you’ll feel like you need to…until you adapt to not eating like you were.
  • Your individual level of leanness/muscle mass and activity plays a HUGE roll in what you can eat and still thrive; in other words, you can’t eat how professional athletes eat.
  • Higher quality, more nutritionally dense, foods tend to be more filling and therefore you eat less calories without having to count (some will use this as the trump card to ‘prove’ calories are all that count, and in the short term that may be true, but long term is different, and if you can handle quantity just by focusing on quality, which is really giving you more reward for your efforts of focus?).
  • Some people have screwed up hormones and may have to do something different, or may not be able to mentally handle trying to change how they eat because they are comfortable how they eat and it “works” for them (which doesn’t explain their constant stressing about eating…).

So I ask that you spend your initial 6 weeks tracking your calories so that you learn about them, how much you’re actually eating, and how many cals the common foods you’ll be eating have. Awareness is not the same as obsessing, so settle down calorie ‘myth’ people. For the haters/skeptics of going wheat free, just try it. It’s 6 weeks without breads etc-you’ll still have rice and ice cream and even gummi bears, so settle down!!

My ideas are a conglomeration of info from kiefer, ‘paleo’sphere, Whole9, warrior diet, renegade diet, lots of reading, and experience.


Protein foods=Animals and foods that were gonna be animals aka eggs. Dairy. Protein powder (no soy!). **To hippies: grains, lentils, nuts, and potatoes are NOT good protein sources.** Protein fills you up faster and longer than other macronutrients. It keeps you full longer. It costs more energy to breakdown and utilize by your body. It is ‘harder’ to store as fat. It is safe in high quantities, it will NOT damage your kidneys unless you are already afflicted with a kidney disease. Protein calories are almost “free”, and that is why we emphasize protein. Plus it tastes GOOD, and you need it to build muscle, and muscle is what burns carbs and fat, so the more muscle you have the better you burn fat, helping to keep you lean.

Carbohydrates=Fruits, Sweets, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Juices, Rice, Quinoa, Squashes (squashes are lower carb than the others, and are therefore perfect to eat on the low carb days) Carbs. People fight over carbs. They are frustrating bastards for sure. They’re good. They’re bad. They’re both. Holy hell, what are they? It Depends on how you handle them…Your body can use carbs as energy, or it can store carbs in liver or muscle glycogen stores, or fat cells. It will only store in liver or muscle glycogen stores if there is room, which means you will of had to previously burned carbohydrate for this to happen, otherwise consumed carbs will be stored as fat. In this plan, you eat carbs at night after you have burned through them. Simple. Effective. For our purposes there aren’t really good or bad carbs, there are just carbs…except for two bad sources: wheat and corn syrup.

Vegetables=lettuces, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, dark cooked greens, brussell sprouts, and any other vegetable that isn’t a root or tuber. Also ok is fresh vegetable juice (that doesn’t have any fruit juice). Veggies: raw form veg is basically draino. You don’t digest it well, don’t absorb all that many vitamins, and it really isn’t all that delicious. But raw veggies are useful because they fill you up, move shit along, and provide positive nutrients (albeit overrated). Cooked veggies are better utilized because cooking breaks down plant cell walls liberating vitamins/nutrients that can be more readily used by your body. Additionally, cooking can increase flavor, especially when you add butter, which will increase absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Of probably smaller note, cooking also stops ‘anti-nutrients’ from blocking nutrient absorption to varying degrees (example, raw spinach has oxalic acid which blocks iron absorption. Cooking the spinach minimizes the interference of the oxalic acid. The same is true of other veggies/grains in regards to phytates and other Paleo enemies).

Fats=Coconut oil, kerrygold butter, olive oil, avocado, macadamia nut oil, nuts, nut butter. Don’t always go apeshit on these, they are for taste and flavoring, not for mainlining. I think good fats (sat fat from coconuts and well raised animals, monounsaturated fat, O3) are UNDER eaten by MOST. Until they go paleo or low carb/high fat, at which point after a while (different each person ) they eat too much fat. I’ll elaborate: initially that person was likely deficient in fat soluble vitamins, and helpful healthy cholesterol…and as they switched to eating more of the good fats above the fats were utilized throughout the body in phospholipid bilayers, brain building, nutrient delivering, fueling, replacing stored O6 (really I dont know about this), and other magical things, until the body gets to a place where it doesn’t need huge amounts of these good fats anymore. When does this happen? I dunno. How can you tell? You start gaining weight without changing anything and/or what was working isn’t working anymore. At this point one stick of butter each week MAY be more than is needed.




  1. No Wheat. Zero. aka pasta, cookies, bread, cereal, tortillas, whole grain bread. If the ingredient list says “flour or whole wheat flour” you do not eat it.
  2. No Vegetable oils. If ingredient list says “sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil” you do not eat it.
  3. No corn syrup. If the ingredient list says “corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup” you do not eat it.
  4. No soy. That shit is bad for you, don’t eat it. Check the ingredient list, if it says “soy” anywhere, throw it out.
  5. Protein EVERY time you eat. Aim for your current bodyweight in grams of protein each day. If you eat 3x divide your weight by three and eat that at each meal.
  6. No carbohydrates before 5pm. Later if you workout after 5pm (workout before you eat carbs that day). If you crave sweets or some carbs that morning/day, write it down and enjoy it after 5pm. It’ll be extra good.
  7. You can go Carb crazy on workout days, no carb 1 time each week, and low carb on the non workout days. Low carb=less than 100grams. But no carbs before 5pm!
  8. Don’t drink any calories before 5pm. This includes alcohol, but does not include coconut oil/heavy cream in your coffee/tea.
  9. No dairy before 5pm.
  10. Cook and eat your veggies.


BA foods (eat a lot of these foods)

  1. Sardines, salmon, oysters, and other seafood that isn’t farm raised.
  2. Full fatty cuts of grassfed beef. Or really lean cuts of regular beef cooked in Kerrygold butter.
  3. Bone Broth. This is GREAT, make a stew. It’s easy to digest and delicious.
  4. Coconut oil, kerrygold butter, macadamia nut oil, & olive oil. **butter does not count as dairy in the BA diet**
  5. Eggs. The darker yolk awesome eggs. Golden Hill at trader joes-egg yolks raw in smoothies is a good idea, save the whites and cook those.
  6. Cooked kale and spinach, and raw fancy lettuces.
  7. Blueberries and Raspberries especially, but also other fruit-after 5pm of course. Night time smoothies!
  8. Super Dark Chocolate. *2 squares of dark choc lovers bars with nuts are acceptable emergency treat even before 5pm. TWO.
  9. Saurkraut, kimchi, pickles.
  10. **on workout nights** Haagen Dazs, GummiBears, Juice, popsicles, Sweet potatoes and potatoes, rice, quinoa…aka sugars and starches. **on workout nights, and workouts must be hard work to count**


“Don’t Be An Asshole…”

People will tell you “everything in moderation”. Nope, that’s both bullshit and so overused that it doesn’t mean anything at all. So I’ve updated the idea, and it is as follows: “Don’t be an asshole about it”. Yes, bacon won’t kill you like we once thought, and you can eat it and be healthy and ripped and shredded and #BA-but please just don’t be an asshole about it. This is the idea behind this section. Some foods in any quantity being consumed results in you being an asshole, some a moderate amount, and some foods when timed correctly never reach asshole level.

  1. Bacon more than 2-3x a week. More than that and you are being an asshole about it. **Small amounts of chopped up bits don’t count. Small amounts.”
  2. More than a handful of nuts. Or more than one time a day. More than that and you are being an asshole about it. **Small amounts of chopped up bits don’t count. Small amounts.”
  3. More than 2tbsp of nut butters. More than that and you are being an asshole about it.
  4. More than 1 night a week of drinking booze. More than that and you are being an asshole about it.
  5. Soda & Diet soda. Please see the BA diet rules #3 & #8.
  6. Wheat, soy, & vegetable oils. Just incase you weren’t paying attention in the rules.
  7. Artificial sweeteners.
  8. Pizza. Sorry, but picture a fat person and what they eat, invariably it is a pizza. I know it’s delicious, sorry.
  9. Chips. It’s vegetable oils, and you eat too many once you start.
  10. Wheat. Yeah, it’s that bad that I listed it 2 extra times in this section. Stop being sick and fat, stop being an asshole.



  1. If you sleep well, you can fast in the mornings. But it’s not always magic for everyone. Keeping your insulin levels low by not eating highly insulugenic proteins and carbs will see many of the same benefits as full fledged fasting-higher fat burning, better focus, autophage. If fasting fits your life and it’s “easy” for you to do, go for it. Otherwise, have my morning shake listed at the bottom of this.
  2. Doing one longer fast per week is bonus points, and you may find this to get ‘easy’ once you have been on the diet for a while.
  3. It’s super trendy, and it works amazing for some…but don’t feel pressured into doing it. Worth a shot, but makes it harder to hit protein goals for many, and in the BA diet, I want that higher protein level reached.


PRE BA DIET – Carbohydrate storage depletion

  • For 10-14 days eat zero carbohydrates (see the carbohydrate list).
  • Raw Vegetables are ok.
  • Eat zero dairy. (The BioTrust Low carb protein is ok). To help you with this, please remember that dairy is nature’s food to grow a 2-ton animal. So if that sounds good to you, then ignore this rule.
  • Drink zero alcohol.
  • Take 2 servings a day of the adrenal support supplement
  • **If you MUST snack, you can. Just follow the #BA diet rules and pre BA diet rules

Pre BA diet warnings and tips

  • Removal of all carbohydrates can leave you feeling like shit. Simple as that. Remember that it is ONLY ten days. Think back ten days, see how close that was? You can do this, and it is necessary for maximal benefits.
  • You may be more tired on account of feeling like crap. Go to bed earlier. Drink more green tea and Tulsi tea, like A LOT. Take a nap.
  • Workouts will be hard(er). But it’s ONLY ten days. You’ll live. Again, go to sleep.
  • Get a massage or two, make your significant other earn that title.
  • Take a bath that has epsom salts (even better are ancient sea salts), 1/2 cup of baking soda, and 1tbsp of apple cider vinegar in it. And bubbles if you feel fancy.
  • Write down what you crave, and you can eat it in the following weeks.


BA supplements; take with each of 3 meals daily. If you don’t eat breakfast, then take with 1-2tbsp of coconut oil.

  1. vitamin d3 take 10,000iu at each meal (recommended brand: Jarrow) supports immune, hormones, and overall health.
  2. vitamin K take 1 serving at each meal (recommended brand Thorne, by far the best. Then Jarrow MK-7) supports immune, hormones, and overall health.
  3. Magnesium 1 serving at each meal (recommended brand: Jarrow) supports too many things to list.
  4. zinc balance by jarrow, 1 serving at each meal. This brand includes copper, which you need when you take zinc. Zinc is good for hormones and stuff.
  5. krill oil, 1 serving at each meal (recommended brand: jarrow) Nice O3 supplement with added benefits, helpful for PMS which is good for gals and guys.
  6. vitamin c, 1 serving at each meal (no recommended brand) This is just for the initial 6 weeks to support diet changes and increased workout numbers.
  7. vitamin B complex, 1 serving each morning (no recommended brand) This is just for the initial 6 weeks to support diet changes and increased workout numbers.
  8. Adrenal Support by Jarrow (1 serving each morning) This is just for the initial 6 weeks to support diet changes and increased workout numbers.
  9. Wobenzyme or some other systemic enzyme supplement, take first thing in morning, and between meals as you can remember. Good for inflammation and digestion.
  10. Liver Pills. (universal brand is good) Liver is soooo good for you, but it tastes like liver, which is a problem.
  11. BCAAs (xtend is good) 10g pre workout and 10g during workout.
  12. Sleep. Seriously, sleep more.


BA lifestyle improvements you should be doing

  1. Morning movement sessions. This could be a hike, a walk/swim at the beach (extra points for a swim), yoga, or the warmup we do at bootycamp. Or any other type of movement.
  2. Sleep more. Specifically go to bed earlier. The earlier the better. Your body wants to be synced with the light/dark cycles, and the earlier you get to bed the better you will recover and rest for the next day. The heavy carbohydrate meals at night should help put your ass to sleep, don’t fight it.
  3. Eat more sardines and oysters. Go to costco, buy in bulk-this plus raw carrots/cauliflower/celery is a perfect snack/lunch/or breakfast (eww, I know). The more the better, just don’t eat in closed spaces.
  4. Drink less booze. 1 glass of red wine each night is NOT helping you live longer, or live better, or anything.
  5. Stress less. Think about what is stressing you out each day, and try to be objective and see if it should actually be stressful. Is it just a little thing? Don’t sweat it. Is it something that you have been procrastinating on, and you aren’t really stressing about it but rather you’re mad at yourself for putting it off? Go DO IT. Get a massage. Figure out who is REALLY important to you, and don’t worry about the acquaintances that don’t really matter to you-focus your energy on those who give and mean the most to you instead.
  6. Learn to let go of what you don’t control. Because, you can’t change that shit. Y’know, lemons and lemonade type shit.
  7. Watch less TV. Go to sleep instead. Pick a couple of “must see” shows for yourself, and really look forward to those, but don’t tiVo every damn show! That’s what losers do.
  8. Get a hobby that is active. Hiking, surfing, biking, frisbeeing, walking your neighbor’s dog, start a meet up group for tag, take a dance class, join a go vavi league, just make your hobby something that isn’t TV, video games, facebooking, or getting drunk. Reading is ok….but not if you are just being a smartass.
  9. BAng more often. But be safe out there.
  10. Listen to the BA podcast. We’re pretty hilarious and will get smart people on the show.
  11. Read the guide to wearing a V-Neck “Going Deep in the V….exploring the depths.” by Clifton Harski.


Splits, examples

Once a week have a zero carb day, the day before an OFF day, even if the zero carb day is on a workout day it is ok because we want at least some carbs the night before a workout day. You can do 2 days a week of NO carb for potentially greater fat loss, and this is advisable if you are working out 3 days a week, and mandatory if you are only working out 2 days a week. You could even go 3 days a week of zero carb, following the same rules where a zero carb day precedes a non workout day. You should workout minimum of 2 days a week of intense (strength/interval) training, but not more than 5. You should do as much “light” activity as you can, where “light” is a relative term. Zumba may be light for me because my hips don’t lie, and it may be very tough for someone else who sits behind a desk all the time.



  1. Workout, high carb
  2. Workout, high carb
  3. Off day, low carb
  4. Workout, high carb
  5. Workout, high carb
  6. Off day, no carb
  7. Off day, low carb
  1. Workout, high carb
  2. Off day, low carb
  3. Workout, high carb
  4. Off day, low carb
  5. Workout, high carb
  6. Off day, no carb
  7. Off day, low carb
  1. Workout, no carb
  2. Off day, low carb
  3. Workout, high carb
  4. Off day, low carb
  5. Workout, high carb
  6. Off day, low carb
  7. Off day, low carb

2 days of NO carb

  1. Workout, no carb
  2. Off day, low carb
  3. Workout, high carb
  4. Off day, low carb
  5. Workout, no carb
  6. Off day, low carb
  7. Off day, high carb

Two key shakes.

Morning shake: 3 egg yolks, coconut oil, ice, water, protein powder, chia seeds, nut butter, macadamia oil. (protein + fat in the morning will help you stay full longer)

Post workout shake: cherry juice, protein powder, berries, banana, pineapple, mango, etc (cherry juice is great for workout recovery)

37 responses to BA diet stuff


    What protein powder(s) do you recommend?


    Dear Clifton,

    Are you concerned about GMO’s and do you feel that those should be avoided to fully achieve BA health?



    This is truly amazing, thank you. I am sure you’re in the “running is stupid,” camp, but considering I am a runner I am wondering what qualifies as an intense workout. I run about 35 miles/week and lift heavy 2. Would the high carb days be needed after running or just on lifting days? Thanks for the clarification.


      how many days are you running? Running is only stupid if it hurts you-which is the case a lot. But if it is something you enjoy, and it is pain free, then go for it. I would do the high carb days the day before my lifting day, and before the 2 more intense running days (if you do intervals for example).


        Generally, 4 days per week. 3 days of moderate runs and one longer run (around 10-12 miles). I don’t do intervals, but one day a week involves tempos. Thanks for your thoughts!


    I like the “don’t be an asshole” rule. Beats straight moderation any day of the week.


    This pretty much sums up all my diet experiences and research over the past year. Carb cycling & backloading is the golden ticket. Every time I just went straight low carb before I tanked and binged.


    Very interesting protocol. Have you seen any of the studies that seem to indicate vitamin c could interfere with training adaptions, any thoughts there? (Clifton, or anyone)


      I have…and that’s partly why it’s only included in the first 6 weeks. Also to not spend a lot of money. Also because tons of exogenous antioxidants can interfere with your own production of antioxidants. It’s meant for support during the initial change of habits.


    Some of your recommendations (Haagen Dazs, GummiBears, Popsicles) for workout nights seem to violate some of your BA diet rules (no wheat or corn syrup). Is this an 80/20 thing where a little cheating is ok after a tough workout or did I just miss the sarcasm?


      Haagen Dazs has the following ingredients: cream, milk, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, vanilla bean-that’s why i said haagen dazs and not just ‘ice cream’. Gummi bears: I purchase them from whole foods and they are sweetened with glucose syrup, not corn syrup. No sarcasm, just ingredient list reading. Some would argue that the corn syrup is no big deal and the same as other sugars, and they may be right, but i don’t like corn syrup from and idealistic view point, and a being safe standpoint.


    Will I get sweet abz? 🙂 Seriously though, this is cool. I’ve been running pretty low carb, just switched to a more fat in the morning, protein at lunch, carbs at night style. Will have to have a play with the no carb day for sure!


    Post-workout shake has carbs? I confuse.


    What’s a typical breakfast for you Clif?


    whats the significance of kerrygold butter?


    why kerrygold butter?


    i LOVE this, clifton! way to be totally BA all the way.


    Any particular liver pill you recommend? Know I need to have more offal, but if I can do this I’d much prefer.


    Can you give approximate ingredient amounts for morning shake? Oils, water, nut butter, etc.?? Also, what supplement for the adrenal support you mention? Thanks Clif!


    Clif, Can you give approximate ingredient quantity/amounts for morning shake (i.e. oils, water, protein powder, nut butter, etc.). Also, what supplement do you recommend for adrenal support? Thanks for the great primer!


    Can youn elaborate a bit further on quantities/measurements for the morning shake (i.e. 3 egg yolks, coconut oil (how much?), ice, water (how much?), protein powder (?), chia seeds (?), nut butter (?), macadamia oil(?). Also, what supplement do you recommend for “adrenal support”? Thanks a bunch. Great primer!


    Just out of interest. How does using the BioTrust protein work with your “no soy” rule. I was just going to order some when I noticed that it had soy lecithin in the ingredients. It has been brought to my attention that soy lecithin is a potent estrogenic. Thoughts?

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  1. PaleoFX 13 « BA training. - April 3, 2013

    […] on yourself if you eat too much fruit. And it’s really hard to overeat MOST animal products. Just don’t be an asshole.  I’m pretty well firmly believing that carbohydrate timing can be optimized by placing it […]

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