Keep it Off

Yesterday, I wrote about new research showing that you can reverse Type 2 diabetes. All you have to do is lose weight, and keep it off.

But, as any yo-yo dieter knows, that’s easier said than done. The vast majority of people who lose weight regain what they lost (and often more) within twelve months.

Inevitably, that’s because people (especially we impatient folks here in the US) tend to lose weight through inherently unsustainable approaches. Sure, you can eat cabbage soup for a few weeks, and drop ten pounds. But unless you’re planning to eat just cabbage soup for the rest of your life (and for a slew of reasons, from malnutrition to culinary misery, I wouldn’t recommend it), you’re going to return to your normal eating patterns eventually. And the scale will swing back up once you do.

The solution, then, is what I think of as the ‘toothbrush rule’.

Most of us are well aware that toothbrushing isn’t a short-term intervention. Instead, we’ve accepted the idea that we need to keep brushing our teeth as long as we’d like to still have teeth.

Nutrition (and health in general) works the same way. The only things that are successful in the long-haul are things we’re able to keep doing over that long-haul.

That means, first, that if you can’t imagine doing something for the next ten years, it’s a waste of your time and energy to try it for the next ten days.

And second, it means that when you’re thinking about improving your nutrition, exercise and lifestyle, you should be thinking in terms of habits, about small relatively painless things you can do daily until they become second nature.

Only when you turn health into habit can you keep it going indefinitely. That’s why research has shown the single best predictor of continuing to maintain weight loss is how long you’ve already maintained that weight loss.

And it’s not just your brain that adapts to those kinds of long-term habits; the rest of your body is a highly adaptable system, and eventually it will swing around to back you up, too. For example, right after you lose weight, your pancreas secretes large amounts of ghrelin, a hormone that drives the feeling of hunger. But research has shown that if you maintain the weight loss, ghrelin levels (and therefore your sense of hunger) slowly drop back to where they were before you lost weight. In other words, keeping off the weight gets easier the longer you keep it off.

So, if you want to get healthy, and to stay healthy, think about the toothbrush rule. Build your approach based on sustainable habits, and only take on things that you’re willing to keep doing as long as you’d like to keep your health.

Diabetic? It’s Not Too Late

In a healthy body, your pancreas secretes insulin, to manage the level of glucose in your bloodstream.

As you gain weight, eat poorly, and remain inactive, the amount of glucose circulating in your body increases. So your pancreas has to work overtime, secreting more and more insulin to try and keep up.

After a while, however, your pancreas basically just burns out. It stops secreting insulin altogether, leaving toxic levels of glucose circulating. That’s called type 2 (or adult onset) diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is bad news. It increases your odds of death in a given year by 2.5x, and it leaves you vulnerable to all kinds of non-lethal but still crappy complications, like going blind and having your toes and fingers amputated.

By now, about 10% of the US has type 2 diabetes, and another 30% have blown out their pancreases sufficiently to be classified as ‘pre-diabetic’.

According to new research, however, those people aren’t permanently screwed.

In a group of patients who lost weight through six weeks on a very low calorie diet, and who then maintained that weight loss for six months, nearly 50% reversed their diabetes entirely. Their pancreases ‘woke back up’, and started secreting insulin again.

This extends research by the NIH on pre-diabetics, who similarly reversed the disease by losing weight and getting active.

In other words, if you’re pre-diabetic or even have full-blown type 2 diabetes, it’s not too late. You can take matters into your own hands, get in shape, and cure yourself.

Sure, that takes hard work. But let’s be brutally honest: it’s still much better than being blind, toeless and dead.


Five years ago, I recommended Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet’s The Perfect Health Diet.

This week, as part of piecing together the nutrition component of Composite’s coaching, I finished it for the second time.

And, indeed, it holds up, remaining the very best diet book I’ve ever read.

While most diet authors ostensibly appeal to science in supporting their recommendations, their books tend to be long on discourse and short on citation, extrapolating broad claims from a small base of underlying research. Perfect Health Diet, by contrast, is literally 25% footnotes. The number of supporting studies the Jaminets bring to bear is impressively overwhelming.

I finished the book, as I did the first time, not only intellectually convinced that their recommendations were right, but emotionally compelled to tighten up my own eating (as I’d since drifted to sort of an 80/20 implementation of their approach).

Whether you’d like to lose some weight, maximize athletic performance or stave off disease and improve longevity, it’s worth checking out.


One of Composite’s core principles is that ‘science has the right answer.’ In everything we do, we’re guided by current research, and committed to empirical testing.

So some clients are surprised to find that our recommendations occasionally conflict with what their physicians tell them, or run against the current apparent consensus in the world of public health.

As I first dove deep into the science of nutrition, exercise, and health, I, too, was surprised by that same disjoint.

By now, however, I think both conflicts are structural inevitabilities.

In the case of public health, the creation of policy is (not surprisingly) inherently political. And once policy is implemented broadly, change comes around very slowly, like turning a battleship.

Of course, most of us already know that science alone doesn’t rule the policy day. Consider the ‘debate’ over climate science, which has raged for decades despite a lack of any underlying debate in the research itself.

As Otto von Bismarck once quipped, “laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” Nonetheless, to understand the difficulties in health policy, it’s hugely instructive to follow at least one piece of legal sausage being ground out. To that end, I highly recommend Gary Taubes’ great decade-old piece from Science, “the (Political) Science of Salt.

In it, Taubes tracks the birth of the FDA’s official recommendation to reduce sodium intake, despite very little (and often conflicting) research supporting the idea at the time. Mainly, the recommendation sprang from the efforts of a few particularly vocal and politically savvy proponents.

And Taubes explores why the recommendation has continued for decades, even after more recent large meta-studies have demonstrated that clinical trials just don’t support a general recommendation to reduce salt intake. In short, even in the face of increasingly overwhelming amounts of new research, many scientists simply have trouble changing tack mid-career where it disagrees with their own early-career findings.

As physicist Max Planck once put it, “a scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die.”

(Sadly, that actually seems to be the case. A great study from the National Bureau of Economic Research tracked more than 12,000 elite scientists across a slew of different fields, and discovered that substantive and influential new research was most likely in a given field only once one of its current giants retired or passed away.)

In other words, public policy isn’t always the best source of health answers, especially if you’re looking for the most up-to-date ideas.

As for physicians, the difficulty is simpler, and less sinister: there’s just too much new stuff to know to expect any single person to keep up with all of it. Indeed, in any single specialty, following all the journal research is a full-time proposition. Expecting physicians to follow, equally closely, research in peripheral fields – like nutrition or exercise science – is nearly an impossibility.

As a result, most physicians know their own fields inside and out, but are often slightly further behind as they push further away from that core.

For example, for decades, medical education and public health policy agreed that reducing dietary cholesterol was a smart approach to lowering blood cholesterol.

Over time, however, repeated attempts to prove that idea failed. So the public health policy world quietly backed away from it. Last year, the FDA’s annual food guidelines no longer put a daily cap on cholesterol intake, explaining that cholesterol was no longer “a nutrient of concern.”

Yet at the same time, a national survey of physicians found that more than 70% of general practitioners still erroneously believed that “eating cholesterol-rich foods has damaging cardiovascular effects.”

(More dismayingly, 40% of nutritionists also still held that incorrect belief, though I’ll put that aside for another time.)

Even in an area where enough decades of research had accumulated to allow the slow wheels of public policy to come around, the vast majority of practicing physicians still hadn’t quite caught up.

Again, I don’t fault physicians for this. They’re busy keeping current on oncology or pulmonology or nephrology, which is precisely what they should be doing. But we also shouldn’t be surprised that, outside of their deep areas of expertise, they’re not always the single best source for what’s right.

All of which is to say: when it comes to nutrition and exercise, while health policy and physicians are hugely important, our first line of national defense, it also doesn’t hurt to look for a second opinion. Especially if that second opinion is one backed up by piles of current, peer-reviewed research. Usually, it’s not that policy and physicians are wrong, they’re just a bit out of date.

Homework Out

A couple years ago, workout equipment company Rogue Fitness ran this great advertisement:

Like Rogue, I also support street parking. In most of the country, building out a garage gym is an excellent use of money and space. For just a few thousand dollars, you can set up a highly functional gym that’s open 24/7, mere steps from your couch.

In New York City, however, we don’t have that luxury. And though most of us tend to live in walking distance of whatever gym we join, there are certainly times when poor weather, busy schedules, or just the difficulty of putting on pants becomes an all too easy excuse to take a day off.

To that end, it makes sense to assemble at least a minimalist apartment gym – a few items wedged in the corner of your closet that you can pull out in a pinch.

Here are the essentials:

1. Kettlebell

Using just a kettlebell, you can put together a complete and hugely effective workout program.

Russian strength expert Pavel Tsatsouline, for example, has published this minimalist approach:

  1. 10 sets of 10 kettlebell swings;
  2. 10 Turkish get-ups (five per hand).

Do that 3-4 times a week, and you’ll be in pretty good shape.

I’m a fan of these Rogue kettlebells, which are well-made, reasonably priced, and finished in a black matte powder-coat that makes you less likely to launch one through a window unintentionally due to sweaty hands.

An ‘average strength’ man and woman should probably start with a 35 lb and 18 lb bell, respectively. After a couple months, they could likely move up to 44 lb and 26 lb, then 53 lb and 35 lb.

2. Door Pull-up Bar

While Pavel’s minimalist approach is a great place to start, building a broad fitness base requires tackling a variety of movements across a range of time domains.

Fortunately, you can use your kettlebells for a bunch of other great movements, too, and you can add in a slew of functional bodyweight movements, like the push-up, lunge, squat and Burpee.

Pick up a door pull-up bar, and you further expand the list of potential bodyweight choices, with exercises like pull-ups, knees-to-elbows, toes-to-bars, and front and back levers.

My favorite door pull-up option is this type of removable bar, which you can hide in the back of a closet when not in use. Though, nota bene for CrossFitters, while these are great for strict pull-ups, trying to kip usually leads to some pretty entertaining disasters.

3. AbMat

When done right, sit-ups are another great bodyweight movement. The AbMat guarantees good form, by holding your pelvis in an anterior-tilted position through the entire movement. That protects your back (unlike a traditional sit-up), and lets you reach reach full lumbar extension for a powerful movement across your entire range of motion (unlike a crunch).

You can ghetto-fab an alternative with a rolled up towel, but the AbMat is far more comfortable, won’t move around underneath you, and doesn’t need to be laundered when you’re done.

4. Lacrosse Ball

Gyms are full of foam rollers these days, because self-myofascial release feels amazing. But soft polypropylene compresses easily, and doesn’t smash your tissues aggressively enough to make real change.

When you’re ready for serious results, trade in the roller for a simple lacrosse ball instead. You can position it more accurately to target tweaky spots (really digging into your glutes or IT band), reach places a foam roller can’t (mobilizing your shoulder girdle or plantar fascia), and grind down harder (as it has just enough give to keep you from weeping while using it).

If you have back issues, I also can’t recommend enough a two-lacrosse-ball peanut, which is great for both increasing thoracic mobility and for relaxing over-tight low backs. (I bring one along any time I travel, as it’s the perfect antidote to hours sitting on plane, train or automobile.)

A kettlebell or two, a pull-up bar, an AbMat and some lacrosse balls. That’s probably all you need. For the cost of a single month’s gym membership, you’ll be set to work out, mobilize, or just goof off at home any time you want.

Never Miss Twice

As I’ve written about previously, much of fitness (and of life as a whole) comes down to building good habits. But building new habits is tough. So I spend a lot of time thinking about and experimenting with hacks and techniques that might more reliably make new habits stick.

One technique that gets a lot of internet attention comes from Jerry Seinfeld. It’s called “Don’t Break the Chain,” and originates with an anecdote shared by software developer Brad Isaac:

Years ago when Seinfeld was a new television show, Jerry Seinfeld was still a touring comic. At the time, I was hanging around clubs doing open mic nights and trying to learn the ropes. One night I was in the club where Seinfeld was working, and before he went on stage, I saw my chance. I had to ask Seinfeld if he had any tips for a young comic. What he told me was something that would benefit me a lifetime…

He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day. But his advice was better than that. He had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself and you can use it to motivate yourself—even when you don’t feel like it.

He revealed a unique calendar system he uses to pressure himself to write. Here’s how it works.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.

He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

”Don’t break the chain,” he said again for emphasis.

That’s a great story. And the approach sounds easy enough. But having tested it out on myself and on Composite clients, it’s actually pretty much a miserable failure in real life.

Indeed, the problem with Don’t Break the Chain is that it reinforces the same all-or-nothing thinking that dooms most new habits more generally.

Here’s what typically happens when someone decides to start a new diet, for example:

For four or five days, they’re super gung-ho. They make perfect food choices, and bask in the glow of their newfound nutritional motivation.

And then, on the fifth day, they’re tired and it’s someone’s birthday at the office and there’s birthday cake. So they have the piece of cake.

And then they totally go off the rails.

Nutritionally, that single piece of birthday cake is pretty meaningless. But because we’re thinking all-or-nothing, because we’re trying not to break the chain, it feels like defeat. And since we’ve already lost, what’s the point? You might as well get some chips from the vending machine and a pint of ice cream with dinner and then maybe you’ll start again fresh next week with the diet and try to be more perfect that time.

In other words, it’s not the mistake that matters. It’s the spiral that too often follows it.

As a result, what actually works is a slightly different mantra: “Never Miss Twice.” (Hat-tip to James Clear for this one.)

You ate some birthday cake? Fine. But now your next meal has to be a healthy one.

You felt tired and it was raining so you skipped going to the gym? No problem. But tomorrow, you must go and make up the workout.

Never Miss Twice is the opposite of all-or-nothing, “Don’t Break the Chain” thinking. It acknowledges the difficulty of building new habits. It says, sure, you’re going to screw up; that’s how things go. But the crucial point, the reason why you’re going to succeed nonetheless, is that you’re not going to let that single mistake scuttle the whole plan. Any time you fall down, you’re going to get right back up. Any time you derail, you’re immediately going to get back on track.

You’re going to make mistakes, but you’re never going to make two in a row. Because, in the long term, those individual small misses don’t much matter. Instead, what really adds up are all of the good choices you get back to making after those misses. What matters is that you don’t let one small miss devolve to total disaster.

That’s all it takes. Never miss twice.

Breaking the Seal

When it comes to evaluating fitness trends, I tend to value direct experience. So when a hot new diet, boutique gym, supplement or lifestyle tweak comes around, I spend some time reading through the related research, then jump in as a human guinea pig.

Over the past year, I’d been hearing a lot about SEALFIT, a CrossFit variant developed by a retired SEAL commander for “first responders, industrial athletes and military special forces.”

I don’t fall into any of those categories. But I was curious nonetheless. So a few months back, I decided to hop in and give the program a try.

To give you a sense of SEALFIT’s approach, consider this trio, pulled from my workout for tomorrow:

  1. 10 Turkish get-ups on each side;
  2. Five rounds of 10 pull-ups, 15 push-ups and 20 sit-ups, for time;
  3. Two mile run.

Which seems like a reasonable CrossFit workout.

In SEALFIT, however, that’s literally just my warm-up.

After that, I still need to do a heavy weightlifting session, and then a crazy hour-long conditioning workout involving a mile of swimming broken up by climbing out of the pool to do sets of squats, push-ups and burpees.

CrossFitters like to boast that “your workout is our warmup.” Apparently, SEALFIT is the literal next step up that workout=warmup chain.

In the long-haul, I’m unclear how I could keep this up without verging deep into overtraining territory. But, in the short term, I’m getting great results, and enjoying myself in a “it doesn’t have to be fun to be fun” kind of way.

If nothing else, each day I make it through a workout without quitting halfway to curl up in the fetal position seems like a real victory. Hooyah.

Night Shifted

Early this month, I wrote about the beta of iOS 9.3, and its new Night Shift feature. Night Shift reduces iPhones’ blue-spectrum light output in the evening, which in turn helps you preserve your circadian rhythm for a better night’s sleep.

This week, Apple released the final version of iOS 9.3, which you may have already updated on your phone. I had hoped that in the final release, Night Shift would be turned on by default. But though it now appears as a button in Control Center (see below), it doesn’t turn on at sunset automatically as it should.


Because the settings are a bit buried, here’s a quick step-by-step guide to configuring Night Shift so that it runs on its own for maximum health benefits:

1. Open the Settings app, and choose Display & Brightness.


2. Choose Night Shift.


3. Toggle on the Scheduled slider, so that it turns green.


4. Choose the newly-appeared From / To option.


5. Check the Sunset to Sunrise option.


6. Finally, go back to the Night Shift pane, and move the Color Temperature slider all the way to More Warm.


Voila! You’re now all set. Enjoy the sweet dreams.

Vegetable-Friendly Athletics

While I’m a big fan of meat, Composite has increasingly picked up vegetarian and vegan clients, most of whom steer clear of meat (and, in the case of vegans, eggs and dairy) for moral reasons.

I won’t argue the moral grounds here (as others have already done so). But because people evolved to eat meat, it is important crucial for vegetarians and vegans to supplement their diets wisely, as it’s easy to run short on important nutrients and micro-nutrients found primarily or solely in meat and animal products.

Here’s a quick rundown of the most important ones, including why they matter, and how much to take:


What is it?

Creatine is an organic acid that your cells use to make energy. It is perhaps the best-studied and most effective health supplement available. It improves everything from strength and power output, recovery from endurance exercise, muscle growth and bone healing to memory formation, attention span and problem-solving skills. Because we get creatine in our diets from meat, vegetarians and vegans tend to have lower levels than omnivores, and benefit even more from supplementation.

How to Take it

Take 5 grams with a meal, once a day. The best form is micronized creatine monohydrate, which is very safe and gentle on the stomach, and dissolves flavorously in liquid.


What is it?

L-Carnitine is an amino acid that’s found only in meat products. Your body needs it for cognition, fat metabolism and sports performance. Supplementing l-carnitine has also been shown to reduce both muscular and mental fatigue in vegetarians and vegans.

How to Take it

Take 500mg with carbohydrates, once a day. Acetyl-L-carnitine is very safe, and can pass through the blood-brain barrier, so it’s the form that provides the greatest cognitive benefits.             

Vitamin B12 

What is it?

Many vegetarians and vegans already supplement B12, and for good reason. B12 is an essential vitamin, and deficiency causes nervous system damage, anemia, heart disease and pregnancy complications. While some vegan foods have been claimed previously as good sources of B12 (spirulina, dried nori, barley grass, other seaweeds, raw foods), research has shown them to be ineffective. All dietary sources of B12 are animal-based, so while vegetarians can sometimes get sufficient B12 from eggs and dairy, it is crucial for vegans to supplement B12.

How to Take it

Take at least 100mcg daily, and as much as 10,000 mcg. (High doses are not toxic, because the body will not absorb more than it needs.) Methylcobalamin is the best absorbed form, though people with kidney problems should speak with their doctor before supplementing B12.


What is it?

Dietary protein is an important macronutrient, a crucial building-block used throughout your body. Eating too little protein leads to muscle wasting, reduced immune function, increased irritability, and eventually shock and death. Most non-animal protein sources have low bioavailability, which means that your body actually absorbs and uses a much lower percentage of the protein that you ingest. Protein supplements can help vegetarians and vegans get sufficient amounts of protein, from the most bioavailable sources.

How to Take it

Aim to eat at least 0.8g of protein per pound of bodyweight, supplementing to cover the gap from what your diet provides. Vegetarians would do best with with whey protein isolate, which is made from milk. Vegans should consider combining pea protein and rice protein instead, which together provides a complete protein. Steer clear of soy proteins, which contain isoflavones, compounds that bind to your steroid receptors and have unwanted hormonal effects on your body.


What is it?

Iodine is an essential mineral, important for a properly functioning thyroid. Additionally, for women who are or who plan on becoming pregnant, iodine is crucial for fetal and early childhood brain development. Most people get sufficient iodine from their diet. However, vegans who don’t regularly eat sea vegetables, and who use natural salts (like sea salt) or salt substitutes like miso, are often deficient.

How to Take it

Taking 325 of kelp is a good insurance policy for vegans who don’t otherwise consume it daily. People on blood pressure medications should consult a doctor before supplementing.


What is it?

Being healthy depends on a balance between two kinds of essential fatty acids, Omega-3 and Omega-6. A 1:1 ratio between them is associated with healthier blood vessels, a lower lipid count, reduced risk for plaque buildup, and decreased risk of diabetes, depression, rheumatoid arthritis and several forms of cancer, including breast cancer. Omega-3 fats are found primarily in fatty fish, and in small amounts in eggs, while Omega-6 fats are found in very high levels in most vegetable cooking oils. As a result, research has shown that most vegans and vegetarians (like much of the omnivore population), have wildly unbalanced Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratios.

How to Take it

Taking 200-300mg of DHA from algae, while favoring oils lower in Omega-6 (like olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil), is usually sufficient to bring the balance of fats back in line.

Feed Your Friends

According to a newly-published study, more than 50% of what Americans eat is ultra-processed.

Which is bad news, for a slew of reasons.

First, as I previously explained, ultra-processed food is missing all kinds of micro-nutrients, leaving you far less healthy than you would be if you ate the same foods in more natural states.

Second, ultra-processed food contains basically zero fiber.

For years, I (like most people) thought the point of fiber was that it makes you poop. Which it does. Indeed, sufficient fiber reduces the odds of constipation, lowers the risk of developing hemorrhoids and possibly (though by the science, somewhat unconvincingly) might help prevent colon cancer.

At the risk of over-sharing, however, I already poop like a pro. So I’d never really taken fiber that seriously.

Over the last few years, it’s become increasingly clear that fiber has another, even more important role.

Allow me to explain:

Your gut is full of bacteria. Lots and lots of bacteria. In fact, you have more bacteria in your gut than you have cells in the rest of your body.

But fret not, because those gut bacteria are working on your behalf. They take undigested fiber and convert it into important short-chain fatty acids like butyrates, propionates and acetates. And they synthesize important vitamins, like vitamin B and vitamin K.

Healthy gut bacteria has been linked to slowing cancer tumor formation, preventing obesity, and preventing Crohns, colitis and IBD. And new research is showing unhealthy gut bacteria is implicated in all kinds of autoimmune diseases, from Rheumatoid Arthritis to Type 1 Diabetes.

So, basically, you want those good gut bacteria going full-bore.

Mostly, they live way down at the bottom of your GI tract, in the colon. And because you’re so efficient at digesting, almost all of the nutrients you eat are absorbed well before they make it that far down the line.

But not dietary fiber. Fiber makes it to the colon. Which is good news, as it’s the preferred food of the intestinal bacteria.

But here’s the converse: if they aren’t getting enough of that fiber to keep them full and happy, the natives not only stop working for you, stop producing all these things you need, they also start getting restless. And they get hungry. And the underfed bacteria literally start to eat you, instead.

They start munching on mucin, the mucous barrier that lines your colon and separates all those bacteria from your immune cells. Most people don’t know it, but the gut also houses the largest collection of immune cells in your body. All of which are hanging out right by that giant collection of bacteria that they’re primed to kill, just safely separated by the mucin layer.

But when you don’t eat fiber, and your bacteria start eating the mucin, the immune cells are suddenly exposed to their nearby enemies for the first time. And, basically, they go nuts.

Immune cells are hugely effective – they kill bacterium, viruses and cancerous cells unbelievably effectively. But they also use some pretty heavy weaponry to do it. They generate hypochlorite (bleach) and hydrogen peroxide to use on the offense, much as you might use the same stuff to sterilize a toilet, kitchen counter or floor.

As you probably know from household use, those are pretty nasty chemicals. So their release not only kills the invading bacteria translocating from your gut, they also start causing all kinds of collateral damage.

Suddenly, you end up with serious systemic inflammation. Your body is getting hit with friendly fire, and hit hard.

Systemic inflammation is about the worst thing you can have going on in internally. It’s linked to cancer, heart disease, infections, Alzheimer’s, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis and more.

In other words, it sucks.

And you can bring it on yourself, by letting your gut bacteria go hungry. Conversely, you can get those bacteria working even harder on your behalf, by feeding them the fiber they need.

So eat unprocessed foods. Foods with fiber. Eat all kinds, because research is showing that different bacteria prefer fiber from different kinds of foods. In other words, you can’t just down some Metamucil and call it a day. Instead, you mostly need vegetables and fruits, a wide variety of them, at every meal.

Real food: it feeds you. And it feeds your intestinal friends. And when they’re happy, everybody’s happy.