My food plan

Your main focus area is getting more energy. And when it comes to nutrition, that means increasing mitochondrial function.

What’s best to eat

Your goal is to eat widely across your (long!) list of recommended foods. Think about “eating the rainbow.” Therapeutic foods (indicated in bold blue) are recommended more than others, but that doesn’t mean you should eat only them. Be diverse and adventurous across your many food choices!

A closer look at what to eat and why

Now that you’ve gotten to know your food list, you can dive into each nutritional category and understand a bit more about how to approach it in your meal planning—and the science behind how it helps you.


Why to eat them:

They help stabilize blood sugar, which is important for brain health. You’ll see this reflected in reduced hunger and cravings.

Serving size:

Instead of the centerpiece of a meal, think of animal protein as the condiment (2-3 oz). Plants are your key sustenance.

Therapeutic foods:
  • Wild Alaskan salmon
  • Mackerel (Atlantic)
  • Sardines
  • Cod
  • Venison
  • Beef (grass-fed)
  • Lamb (grass-fed)
  • Buffalo/bison (grass-fed)
Special tips:
  • When shopping or dining, look for labels like: grass-fed, organic, and non-genetically modified organism (GMO).
  • For fish, remember to choose wild-caught sources, as farmed fish may contain hormones and toxic chemicals called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).


Why to eat them:

They help keep you feeling full! They’re a complex carbohydrate—which means they help keep blood sugar stable and promote that “I’ve eaten enough” feeling.

They’re also a healthy alternative to animal protein and an important source of the B vitamins and folic acid.

Serving size:

Limit yourself to no more than one serving a day, because they’re concentrated sources of carbohydrates. At the same time, limit other carbs, too (like sugary fruits and starchy vegetables).

Special tips:
  • Try them in the form of soup, cooked beans, dips, or hummus.
  • They’re a great complement to a non-starchy vegetable (which is another one of your recommended foods).

Dairy and alternatives

Why to eat them:

Two words: yogurt and kefir. You want probiotic-rich dairy, which is found in these sources—and is important for a healthy digestive system. (By the way, if you’re trying to choose between the two: kefir is fermented for a longer time than yogurt, resulting in greater probiotic benefits and immune support.)

Serving size:

Limit yourself to no more than one serving a day.

Therapeutic foods:
  • Unsweetened cultured coconut milk yogurt
  • Unsweetened coconut milk kefir
Special tips:
  • Stay away from most commercially available dairy. It’s made from the milk of the Holstein breed of cows, and this breed's milk is known to contain inflammatory A1 proteins.
  • Eating dairy products can also contribute to or worsen certain health conditions by increasing inflammation.
  • When looking for alternatives (like almond, hemp, oat, coconut, or soy milk), also look for “unsweetened” on the front of the box.
  • Cheese isn’t counted as dairy in your food plan, but rather as a protein (due to its low-carb nature).

Nuts and seeds

Why to eat them:

Good news: All nuts and seeds are healthy for the brain (and for your focus of mitochondrial function). But the nuts and seeds your plan highlights are those that are significant sources of beneficial omega-3 oils or brain-healthy medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).

Serving size:

Aim for a generous 4-6 servings a day—and eat a variety of nuts, to ensure a variety of phytonutrients.

Therapeutic foods:
  • Almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Coconut
  • Flaxseed
  • Hemp seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Walnuts
Special tips:
  • Don’t buy nuts that are heavily salted or roasted in oil.
  • Add nuts to snacks, meals, smoothies, and salads. (You want a lot of daily servings!)

Fats and oils

Why to eat them:

Good-quality fats help keep inflammatory processes in balance (which is great news, since fats and oils are so key in cooking techniques—from stovetop to salad prep).

Serving size:

Aim for several servings a day.

Therapeutic foods:
  • Avocado
  • Olives (black or green)
  • Olive oil (extra-virgin, cold-pressed)
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Coconut butter
  • Coconut oil (organic and virgin)
  • Coconut milk
  • Ghee (clarified butter)*
  • Butter (from grass-fed cows)*

*Eat these in limited quantities.

Special tips:
  • Using olive oil for salads? Read the label to make sure it’s unfiltered, cold-pressed, and extra-virgin.
  • Look for butter made from grass-fed cows—if you can’t find this, then opt for organic.
  • For medium to high heat cooking, use avocado oil, coconut oil, or ghee. They’re less likely to oxidize than other oils because of their high smoke point.

Vegetables (Non-Starchy)

Why to eat them:

Non-starchy vegetables are your treasure trove of phytonutrients and antioxidants! In other words, they nourish and protect the brain (and mitochondria), supporting your memory and cognition.

(On the other hand, there’s a category of vegetables you should move away from: the starchy ones, like potatoes, corn, peas, and lentils. These vegetables are moderate to high on the glycemic index and tend to impact blood sugar.)

Serving size:

Aim for a minimum of 4-6 servings a day—ideally, you want to increase this to 10-12. (Keep in mind: a serving is ½ cup of most cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw leafy greens.)

For the starchy vegetables you’re trying to avoid: aim for no more than 1-2 servings per week.

Therapeutic foods:
  • Spinach, broccoli, and all other cruciferous vegetables
  • Seaweeds
  • Asparagus
  • Swiss chard
  • Daikon radish
  • Beet greens
  • Dandelion
  • Okra
  • Onions (garlic, scallion, leeks, shallot)
  • Fermented vegetables
  • Sprouts
Special tips:
  • Eat the rainbow! While you should go after your therapeutic foods, you should also strive for high variety and color on any given day. That’s easy to achieve with non-starchy vegetables, like red peppers, orange pumpkins, green asparagus, purple cabbage, and white onions. (The list goes on and on.)
  • Buy fresh, and seek out organic produce. When it’s not possible to purchase an organic option, take special care in washing and peeling the vegetable prior to eating.


Why to eat them:

The fruits in your food plan are bursting with phytonutrients. Plus, they’re an excellent source of antioxidants that aid in memory in cognition, while reducing inflammation in the body. As a final bonus, they also provide an important way for you to satisfy any sweets cravings!

Serving size:

Strive for 1-2 servings of low GI fruits per day.

Therapeutic foods:
  • Apple
  • All berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc)
  • Cherries
  • Pomegranate seeds
Special tips:
  • Eat the rainbow! While you should go after your therapeutic foods, you should also strive for high variety and color on any given day.
  • Avoid fruit juices—they’re dense with sugar.
  • Try to couple your fruit with a source of protein (like nuts or nut butter), to offset any blood sugar spikes.
  • Buy organic when possible.

Grains (Gluten-free)

Why to eat them:

Gluten-free whole grains can provide fiber and other phytonutrients that assist with blood sugar stability. However, they’re still packed with carbs, so you should eat them sparingly! Your body can get the wealth of phytonutrients and fiber it needs from your generous fruit and non-starchy vegetable allowance.

(Note: In addition, it’s important to avoid any grains with gluten. Proteins in gluten called gliadins can break down the microvilli in the small intestine, leading to leaky gut. In turn, leaky gut which may cause food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances, as well as other digestive disturbances or autoimmune conditions.)

Serving size:

Limit to no more than 1 serving per day

Special tips:
  • Learn to identify where gluten lurks, like sauces, dressings, or seasonings.
  • Make efforts to replace your grain (carb) cravings with fruit and vegetable substitutes.
  • Some gluten-free grains include millet, rice, quinoa, sorghum, amaranth, and buckwheat.


Why to drink them:

Healthy beverages (like clean, filtered water, broths, and herbal teas) support all the good food you’re eating—and make you feel even better. Quite simply, by staying hydrated, you rid the body of toxins, build resilience to stress, enhance your metabolism, and promote your satiety (feeling of fullness).

Serving size:

Water: To calculate this, divide your body weight (in pounds) in half. The resulting number is how many ounces of water you should consume each day. (So, for example, if you weigh 160 lbs, you should drink at least 80 oz of water daily.)

Green tea: Try to add 2 cups of this daily, to benefit from this therapeutic food’s high polyphenol (EGCG) content, which can significantly help with fatigue.

Therapeutic foods:
  • Green tea
  • Teas made with adaptogenic herbs
Special tips:
  • Your main source of hydration should be clean, filtered water—but you can also enjoy vegetable and bone broths and cold-pressed vegetable juices.
  • Seek out herbal teas, and read the label carefully. You can especially benefit from those made from adaptogenic herbs like cordyceps, schizandra, ginseng, astragalus, and licorice.
  • Coffee’s allowed! You can enjoy this, as well as Yerba mate, gingko biloba, and black and white teas. They’re all beneficial for brain health and may help reduce severity and negative side effects of stress.
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