Nutrition: Are you fueling your body like a Rolls Royce or a rickety rental?

Posted by Al Boyle
On August 20, 2023

The nutritional verdict is in: As much joy as it may bring, you can’t get ripped on the Homer Simpson Diet. D’oh!

And I’m as disappointed as Homer is content. Why is he content? Well, if pizza, beer, and donuts were your dietary staples for decades and you didn’t gain any weight, scientists would be clamoring to poke, prod, and probe you for secrets that could benefit humanity.

Homer has another distinct advantage over us: His animators can erase thirty years of dietary malpractice in one animation cell.

I want an animator!

Since that won’t be happening, and pressing the self-destruct button like a gamer on Red Bull holds no appeal, I’m trying to get smarter about nutrition.

In a previous newsletter, I spoke about my epic, ongoing battle with my sweet tooth. I believe I’m managing it well better. How? I’m opting for low-to-no sugar substitutes as often as possible.

Does my palate fly into a rage from time to time? Uh huh.

Is it getting used to it? A bit. It helps that I’m making incremental rather than drastic changes. When I look back, they may not reveal themselves to be so incremental, but as long as they feel incremental, it seems easier.

And the cool thing is, I’m not afraid of drastic changes if I must make them. I stopped eating pork years ago and don’t miss it. I cut back on red meat to the point where indulging means a gourmet lamb burger two or three times a year.

Finding worthy substitutes has helped me make those transitions. Since dropping red meat, I’ve eaten poultry and seafood. Poultry was the predominant protein in my diet until recently, with me now going all in on seafood. Seafood, poultry, grains, fruit, and the occasional red meat indulgence.

How does that break down for me?


  • Salmon
  • Cod
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Haddock
  • Crab
  • Lobster

We grill, air fry, or bake our seafood. If we’re eating out, we order it grilled.


  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Eggs

We bake or grill our turkey and chicken. I eat scrambled eggs, omelets, and egg whites. Omelets include spinach and tomatoes.


  • Multigrain bread
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Pizza (red cheese pizza or white pizza with broccoli)

I love getting fresh bread. A French baker owns a bakery near us, and it’s well worth the trip. I also adore sourdough bread, but it’s too light on nutritional benefits to earn a slot in my regular rotation.


  • Fuji apples
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Watermelon
  • Honeydew melon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapes
  • Mango
  • Kiwi
  • Avocado (limited appeal due to texture)
  • Coconut (in small doses)
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon (garnish)
  • Lime (garnish)
  • Plum (sweet. The sour version shouldn’t count as a fruit)
  • Tomato (As a fruit, it underwhelms a bit. As a veggie, it exceeds expectations)
  • Black olives
  • Blueberries (blended)
  • Strawberries (blended)

I’ll eat all but the last two fruits as is. I’ll only eat blueberries and strawberries in smoothies. It’s a texture thing.


  • Broccoli (raw and cooked)
  • Spinach (raw and cooked)
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower (raw and cooked)
  • Carrots (raw and cooked)
  • Corn
  • Okra
  • Kale (raw and cooked)
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber (raw)
  • Parsnip
  • Rutabaga
  • Avocado (limited palate for this. Texture thing)
  • Romaine lettuce (raw. Had it grilled once. Meh.)
  • Mixed greens (raw)
  • Beans (blended in turkey chili or hummus. Texture thing, although I’m good with cooked black beans)

I’m probably missing a few items, but those I’ve listed have kept my palate content for years.

And I’m convinced that’s how you win the long game: You find enough healthy food choices to support your health, and through consistency, you give yourself margin for indulgences and errors.

What earns a spot on your plate?



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