The 80/20 Rule For Eating

Eat your vegetables.
 — Mom

Eat more vegetables is the 80/20 rule of nutrition. Want 80% of the benefits for 20% of the work? Eat more vegetables. Live longer? Healthier? Less fat? Eat more vegetables. (Ok, “eat more protein” is up there too, but veggies come first.)

Vegetables contain the highest nutrient density of any food. That means they contain a ton of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients that keep you healthy without containing many calories.

If you think you eat a lot of vegetables, great. Eat more. Like, 3x more. You’ll likely live longer and experience a host of health benefits along the way.

To maximize the amount of vegetables I can consume with minimal effort, I make a shake based on Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s “Micronutrient Smoothies”. Dr. Rhonda provides ample specific micronutrient analysis in her videos and writing, so I wont go into all of that here, but I will share my current shake recipe and note how and why it’s different from hers.

My recipe:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 4 kale leaves
  • 2 chard leaves + stems
  • handful (2 cups?) spinach
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup cauliflower or 1 banana
  • 1/2–1 cup frozen berries (blue, rasp, straw — I just pour some out of the bag)
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • 1–2 tbsp peanut butter
  • protein powder (40–50 g of protein, usually Revere but sometimes Sunwarrior or ON Natural)

I usually split the shake approximately 2/3 to 1/3 with my fiance, Stephanie. She usually drinks her third for breakfast. I fast until lunchtime, so mine is usually for lunch or afternoon snack.

My version is higher protein, higher fat, and somewhat lower veggie than Dr. Rhonda’s (despite still having a ton of veggies). In general, it’s a smaller recipe because both Steph and I have trouble putting down the volume of green goop produced by Dr. Rhonda’s. That said, my current training is focused on muscle-building, so I need more calorie and protein density to stay full and build mass. Hence the added protein and peanut butter. They also help it taste better, in my opinion…

I consume one of these nutrition bombs at least 3x per week. Give it a try! If you play around with the recipe, leave a comment to let me know how it turns out.

Additional Resources

Dr. Rhonda’s Micronutrient Smoothie, Full Report [pdf]

Originally published at essential.