My Personal Secret Formula
Supercharge your day with these productivity boosters
Many people ask me how my productivity stay so high. Waking up at 5, meditate, have coffee, go to the gym and still be in the office by 8:45. In addition, I am well trained and lean with only 10-12 % body fat. Not to bad for someone that is over 40.
Well, it is not hard. You can do it too. Actually, anyone can do it. It all comes down to taking care of your mind, body and eating the right things.
To make sure I am alert, feel really good, build muscle and stay lean I do a slow-carb diet food plan based on Tim Ferris book the Four Hour Body. Further down in the article I give you a description of how the diet works in detail.
Daniels daily routine for success
My ideal day
Below you have an overview of my ideal day. Of course, I am not a crazy superhuman. All my days don’t look like below. Currently, I am experimenting a lot by for an example training in the evening. Trying new types of food. I am constantly looking for new ways to optimize.
5:10 AM – Wake up and I avoid snoozing. Instead, I try to go up as soon as possible.
5:30 AM – I eat four eggs fried in coconut oil, salad, legumes, and sauerkraut. I drink a glass of water and I eat my pills. Alternatively, I eat four eggs and protein-rich porridge with blueberries.
6:00 AM – I walk to the gym.
6:20 AM – The days I can I will stop at my favorite coffee place, Bar Centro and drink a Cafe Macchiato while talking to the owner and reading the daily newspaper. I love this moment of the day. I just am!
6:40 AM – I arrive at the gym and start to stretch and warm up and then I start my workout routine.
8:00 AM – I am finished, quick shower, protein shake (no sugar) mixed with creatine and then I walk to the office.
8:45 AM – In the office holding a cup of coffee and ready for a productive day.
12 PM – I have lunch with a good combination of vegetables, legumes and some type of protein-rich vegetable. My favorite is to eat a proper salad at Salladsbaren. I would guess it is around 700 gram of food.
3 PM – Usually no snacks or food in the afternoon. If there is a Swedish Fika, I avoid the cookies and just have a coffee.
7 PM – I have left work and I eat dinner that contains vegetables, legumes and some type of protein-rich vegetable.
8 PM – I do what I feel for. Private projects, hang out with friends, work, play a game or watch a series.
10 PM – I am supposed to be in bed. This never works of course so usually, I am bed sometime between 10-11 PM
I just want to point out that I am not perfect, and I don’t do this every day. Sometimes I travel, I eat lunch with friends, I have a drink or two. If you don’t live a little it would be boring. But I try to make this my routine, meaning this is what I do 80%. It gives me focused energy and I don’t feel tired even though I am working really long days. I try to avoid sugar since it makes the blood sugar go up and down and makes me really tired.
The Supplements I Eat
By eating clean and healthy you will get the most vitamins and minerals you need. I have decided to add below to my daily routine to boost my health, performance and to avoid deficiency.
Morning – Immune System Boost
Zinc – Since I exercise and travel a lot I need extra protection. Zinc helps me to boost the immune system. Make sure you take Zinc together with copper. This because if you take Zinc for a long time it will use up all the copper in the body. Read all recommendations at Examine. I buy the following product Zink Synergi (only available in Sweden)
L-Lysine – I have an issue with cold sore and by eating L-Lysine you suppress the virus. This means you either don’t get the cold sore or the symptoms are minimal. Learn more at Examine.com. I buy L-Lysin at Amazon and you can click HERE if you want to see what I buy.
Probiotics – More and more research indicate the importance of your stomach and gut bacteria for general health. I have lately added probiotics and I buy them from Amazon. You can click HERE to see what I buy. In addition, I make sure to eat a lot of fibers and drink properly of water.
Before, During and After Exercise – Increase muscle growth
Creatine – Proven performance enhancer. Read more at Examine
Protein Supplement – You need protein to build muscle and become stronger. Read more at Examine
Evening – Deficiency Protection
Magnesium – Magnesium deficiencies are the second most common deficiency in developed countries, the first being Vitamin D. I make sure to not to take Magnesium with Zinc since they take out each other. Read all recommendations and research at Examine I buy the following product Magnesium Synergi (only available in Sweden)
Vitamin D – If you live in the northern part of the world, in a smoggy city or if you don’t go out much in the sun you need to supplement with vitamin D. Make sure to take D3 since it is the most efficient version and it should be combined with some type of oil, preferably in the capsule you eat. Read all recommendations and research at Examine I buy the following product – click HERE.
Research – My Genetic Weight
Healthy Habits Advice from 23andMe
Before I explain exactly what I eat I want to explain how I came to the conclusion of how my routines should look like. I think it is super important to understand that every human is unique. What works for me may not work for you. I have tested a lot of different things and this article is about what works for me. I write it to inspire you to start finding what works best for you.
To better understand my genetics I did a test via 23andme.com. You will learn a lot with the test such as where your ancestors are from and many health-related genes. Below you can see my result for the top five advisable healthy habits according to 23andme research.
For me personally, I think the red meat advice is the most interesting one. When you exercise a lot like me you are always hunting protein and meat feels like a natural choice for protein. I have been more and more interested in eating more vegetarian but this really took me over the edge to create new and improved meat-less routines.
Below you can see the full list of advice I received. I think the yogurt advice is very interesting. It also made me change things where I would eat more yogurt.
A change to the better
My dad, my brother and my sister Ingmarie Nilsson are all vegetarians/vegans. My sister is a former winner of the Stockholm Marathon, check out her blog HERE for inspiration. I have lately felt more and more compelled to be more vegetarian due to ethics and also my genetic health advice. But it has felt like a big step and I have to admit, I love meat. I gave it some thought and decided to become 80% vegetarian. My idea is that for most of my meals I aim to eat vegetarian/vegan and then occasionally I can eat meat if I am at a dinner cooked by friends or when I know the animal had a good life.
I then did research on how I could replace meat with new sources of protein. I checked vegan bodybuilders food advice and I used the infographic below by mikimottes.com. He has some amazing stuff on his site. You should check it out.
One of the most important things I did was to eat legumes in most of my meals. That is one of the most important food changes I have ever done in my life. It seems that legumes have a great effect on my body, fat percentage, muscle growth, and muscle quality.
A comment about my choice of diet and supplementation
There is no right or wrong when it comes to food, diet, routines, and supplements. This article is about what works for me, my body and my situation. You need to find out what works for you and make sure it becomes a lifelong routine. I created this page to inspire and give you links to all the resources I use. I wish you the best of luck to find your perfect health routine.
Slow-carb diet food plan by Tim Ferris
Below you have the details for the slow-carb diet that I follow. Most important is that I follow the diet strictly for 6 days and then on day 7 I have a cheat day where I eat what I want.
Slow-Carb Diet – what to eat – 6 days a week + breakfast on “cheat day”
- Eat the same few meals over and over again. Pick three or four meals and repeat them. Water, unsweetened tea/coffee with no more than two tablespoons of cream is acceptable.
- Proteins – as much as you like – egg whites with 1-2 whole eggs for flavor (or whole organic eggs), chicken breast or thigh, beef (preferably grass fed), fish, pork. Eat at least 20 grams of protein per meal.
- Legumes – as much as you like – lentils, black beans, pinto beans, red beans, soybeans
- Vegetables – as much as you like – spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, other cruciferous vegetables, sauerkraut, kimchee, asparagus, peas, green beans. There’s no need to limit yourself to these vegetables, although the more variety you attempt the more likely you are to quit as this makes the diet more complicated.
- Tomatoes and avocados are allowed. Eggplant is also mentioned as ok. There’s no discussion of other fruits used as vegetables, e.g. bell peppers and olives, but presumably, they’re acceptable as well.
- Up to 2 glasses of red wine a day are allowed.
- Butter is fine. Cottage cheese is also acceptable. (Yes, this appears to contradict the “no dairy” rule below).
- Oils aren’t discussed in detail, although “good fats” are mentioned. Olive oil, grapeseed oil, and macadamia oil, as well as nuts as a source of fat, are preferred.
- Canned foods are fine.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Timing: Make sure you have your first meal within an hour of waking (preferably within 1/2 hour), and have meals approximately 4 hours apart.
Slow-Carb Diet – foods to avoid – 6 days a week + breakfast on “cheat day”
- Avoid “white” carbohydrates. No bread, rice (including brown), whole grains, cereal including steel-cut oats, potatoes, pasta, tortillas, and fried food with breading. Cauliflower is ok.
- Don’t drink calories. Do not drink milk (including soy milk), normal soft drinks, or fruit juice. Limit soft drinks to no more than 16 ounces per day, as the aspartame can stimulate weight gain. No beer or white wine.
- Don’t eat fruit or fructose.
- No dairy because of its high insulinemic response on the insulinemic index (II or InIn) scale. Milk is better avoided. Up to 2 tablespoons of milk in your coffee is ok.
- Avoid refined soy products, if possible, including soy milk.
- Don’t deep fry foods – stir-fry is okay.
- Be careful with “domino foods” – nuts, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), hummus, peanuts, macadamias. They are very easy to overeat and prone to portion abuse. A few almonds (5-10) are fine.
- Limit consumption of artificial and natural sugar substitutes, even agave nectar – they can stall weight loss.
Slow-Carb Diet – what to eat – 1 “cheat day” a week
- Take one day off a week, preferably Saturday as you’re not working and can recover the next day. The first meal of the day is not a binge meal. After that, you eat until you’re a little sick, no restrictions. Start the diet at least 5 days before your designated sick day. The “cheat days” have guidelines to ensure that as much of the food ingested either goes into muscle tissue or out of the body unabsorbed.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Consume a small quantity of fructose (fruit sugar) in grapefruit juice before the second meal, to encourage defecation.
- Consume citric juices.
- Increase the speed of gastric emptying (passage of food through your stomach) to limit absorption; he suggests caffeine and yerba mate tea.
Some more tips and ideas can be found in Erin Frey’s article about the slow-carb diet and everything you need to know about it. -> Click here to read the article.
Infographic – Foods known to make us more productive at the office
I got a tip about this Infographic and I think it is really good and give guidance on what you should eat. As you may notice candy is not listed ;-).
Click to Enlarge Image
I hope that you find my story inspirational and that you start/continue your own journey for a better and healthier life. If you have any comments please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org