Groceries in Brazil. 15-item food list - what nomadic brain coach buys first to never get sick. Whole body health. High brain performance.
So I moved to Sao Paolo.
For some indefinite time. To get perspective on life and business, explore new culture in a culture-rich mega city, and to get some work done in the financial/business center of Brazil.
But first things first.
A friend of mine, a former client, big entrepreneur in sustainability reached out to me recently, asking, “How do I improve my immunity❓ I keep getting sick every few weeks”.
What a bummer right? Especially for a high performer. It gets your productivity to a bare minimum.
I wish I could say, "take this supplement". But it requires a bit more work with lifestyle and especially nutrition.
Ineffective immune system will slow down productivity by a lot!
Ineffective nutrition can do more than just weaken your immune system - higher stress levels and lower energy levels, harder times focusing when you need it, or learning faster, not having clarity about priorities, instead feeling overwhelmed and anxious about all the things that can go wrong or an uncertain future.
Some people would try to say it all has little to do with nutrition.
And it’s like saying that the performance of Ferrari has little to do with the quality of parts it's made of.
Both are equally ridiculous.
Back to the meaty part, back to practice.
To ensure that my immune system won’t let me down and that I’m ready to create the best year of my life here’s what I got on my first grocery-shopping trip.
(Not in order of importance. All are equally essential)
1. FRUIT HIGH IN VITAMIN C
Immune system superstar. Also, any challenges that increase stress load will consume vitamin C needed to make stress hormones and to manage that stress.
🍓I got: lots of strawberries, nectarines, kiwis, lemons
Potassium + B6 + gut-loving fiber.
Potassium is about hydration, optimal blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, energy production and so much more!
B6 is needed for dopamine and serotonin - get motivated, feel happy, sleep well.
Gut is our immune system’s superstar. Do everything to support it!
🍌🍌I eat 2 bananas every day.
3. GREEN VEGETABLES
Folate, vitamin K, vitamin C, many minerals hard to get elsewhere like Magnesium.
Blood clotting, DNA repair, production of productive brain chemicals, immune system, gut health - it’s one of those food groups you need to eat daily!
🥦I got broccoli, green beans, ton of spinach.
4. OMEGA 3 FISH
Sardines with skin and bones are my favorite. I usually get them in water or olive oil.
🐟Omega 3s will help to manage stress and inflammation, support immune system and are essential for a high-performing brain.
Bones are a rich source of calcium and other minerals so essential for health.
I also love salmon.
And I get cans of tuna for a lazy protein boost.
(Did you know protein is essential for immune system to function and for your brain to focus and stay happy?)
One of the best sources for vitamins A and D - without which your immune system is a wreck. 3 eggs a day will provide RDA of vitamin D, did you know that?
Eggs are also great sources of selenium and iodine - your immune system and thyroid (major energy gland) need them!
Eggs are also the richest source of choline, a memory molecule, that prevents accelerated cognitive decline, that comes with aging.
🥚🥚🥚I eat 3 a day. I get pastured as they usually have higher nutrient content and greater taste.
6. GREEK YOGURT (plain)
Besides providing a ton of protein and probiotics - we know your immune system loves protein and gut loves probiotics-rich foods.
Yogurt is a great source of vitamins A and D, iodine - immune system can’t get enough!
🥛Calcium, which yogurt is rich in will support a healthy brain, metabolism of vitamins A, D and K and great for digestion and alkaline balance. Not just great for bones that I’d argue is hugely important!
I eat 500 ml a day. It is recommended to eat 2-3 servings daily (150g-200g is a serving).
The best long-lasting carbohydrate source, especially for people with blood sugar challenges.
Great source of plant-based protein. Very satiating - helps to maintain weight and high energy levels easier.
High in minerals like potassium, magnesium and others.
But I believe what’s most important - gut health benefits, as beans provide the best fiber your gut can wish for - prebiotic fiber that helps to feed the bacteria that maintains the integrity of your gut - a huge factor in overall and immune health. A healthy gut lining keeps bad stuff out and takes the good stuff in.
I eat a cup of cooked beans every day.
8. WALNUTS AND BRAZIL NUTS
Walnuts for Omega 3s and 6s. Best ratio. Both are essential for a healthy brain and cells.
Brazil nuts - the best selenium source! Your immune system loves it and I’m in Brazil 😊
I eat a couple of Brazil nuts and a handful of walnuts every day.
9. CHICKEN LIVERS AND MUSSELS
People look at me weirdly when I suggest to put these foods on the top of the grocery list.
I get it. Not most people’s everyday dinner.
These are among the most nutrient-dense foods. Specifically high in rare nutrients in a very digestible form!
Chicken livers: b vitamins, mental health and performance champ. Vitamin A superstar - immunity and circadian rhythm, vision. Zinc for immune system - most people are deficient. Iron superstar - high energy anyone? Choline - remember our memory molecule?
Mussels: low calorie, high protein source of Omega 3s, a very good source of vitamin B12, iron, manganese, and selenium. They're also good source of vitamin C and zinc. Brain health and performance and immune system superstars!
Not your regular protein sources!
I eat 300-400g of liver and mussels per week.
10. BELL PEPPERS
Vitamin C superstar vegetable. 200-250% of RDA in one pepper (raw).
I eat 1 every other day.
11. MUSHROOMS, ONIONS, TOMATOES
Additional antioxidants to help with inflammation and increased stress loads, potassium, prebiotic fibers.
I especially love them because of the Umami flavor they add to any dish. If you want to be called a great cook - use them every time!
For additional vitamin A, fiber, satisfying crunch!
Focus and Flow, Creativity and Memory superfood! It’s one of the brain superfoods!
I eat 30g of 100% bar every day!
To stay productive. Also for anti-oxidants.
15. 💧PLENTY OF MINERAL WATER
For optimal hydration and additional minerals. Nothing works in the body without optimal hydration. Brain performance starts suffering with 2% dehydration that’s not even noticeable.
Do you eat these regularly? What was a new thing you’ve learned?