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My Way: Sandeep Sood


Sandeep Sood is a writer, entrepreneur and WLIR Squad member. He lives in Berkeley, California with his wife Deepa, two sons, and A LOT of hippies.

The healthiest, happiest, most productive people I know are not raw foodists.

They are energetic, smiley, 60 year old Indian woman who love their milky tea and starchy diets.  They are 75 year old martial artists who rarely eat anything that isn't fried or drink anything that isn't scotch.  They are President-Elects who sneak cigarettes, make a mean chili, and eat a lot of chicken.

If I could eat (and drink!) that way and feel at my peak (or at least govern a large country), are you kidding me?  I would f***ing do it.

For me, it simply doesn't work. And not for a lack of trying.

A diet based on mostly raw vegetables and fruit has allowed me to work twice as hard, sleep half as much, and enjoy everything a lot more.

During the past three years, my diet has cured my (previously serious) asthma, reduced frequent colds and flus down to one in the last 3 years(!), eliminated my occasional need for painkillers, and allowed my 32 year old body (after numerous knee injuries) to outlast any of my friends on the basketball court (outlast? yes. outscore? hell no.).

So, although I'm still learning, what I eat has worked for me in a significant way (thank you, Dhrumil).  And I appreciate the opportunity to share 'my way' with all of you.

Here are a couple of random days that I hope people will find helpful:

Random Day 1

When I'm not traveling, my diet is fairly consistent, until dinner.

6am: I wake up with the youngest of my two sons (10 months old) at 6am (if we're lucky… sometimes it's 5:30). I hang out with him, taking little catnaps until it's time to get ready for work.

7:15am: My older son (almost 3) bounds up the stairs with his signature greeting (isss a booooful day!) and insists on helping me make my morning concoction:  MSM, sea salt, and cayenne pepper mixed into some water.  If you haven't heard, ain't no better way to handle your bizzness.

8:30am: At home, I have a smoothie for breakfast every day.  If it wasn't for Sarma Melngailis, this smoothie would be simple: just some greens, some fruit, some Maca (Ani Phyo taught me that it's one of the best things for stress), and a coconut.  But, on this random day, I indulge my favorite recipe from Sarma: the cilantro shake.  I get all the ingredients together, and my older son flips the switch on the Vitamix.  As the blender spins, we slap a high five.  Nice work.

Everything I've read and experimented with in raw food has lead me to one fundamental insight:  Make greens the core of your diet.

My morning smoothie ensures that I'll get at least one big serving of greens a day.

12noon: My company's (one and two) office is in downtown Berkeley, directly in between two wonderful raw food restaurants (one and two).  At lunchtime, everyone in the office tells me to enjoy myself and then declines to join me for a $35 lunch.  It's expensive, but if you haven't been, Cafe Gratitude has amazing food.  And is amazingly Berkeley.  I answer the question of the day (Q: What is your gift to the world?  A: My body) and sit at the bar, where I drink some green juice, eat the day's special, and top it off with some pie.  An older white woman tells me about some commune she's starting up near the Oregon border.  I tell her I’m late for a meeting.

3pm: Damn, it's 3 already? I make some green tea, do a Rocky Marciano jog around the office and try to get focused again.

6pm: Work out.  Iss a boooooful day, so I go swimming.

7pm or so: Dinner with friends.  Sushi. I love sushi.

Random Day 2

6am: It's a Sunday.  Sunday's are for chillin.  Sunday's are for waking up at 11am and reading the paper until 3. Unfortunately, babies don't agree.  We're up at 6am, wishing we didn't have those last glasses of red wine the night before.

12pm: I've skipped the stuff that would happen on any other day (smoothies, concoctions).  For lunch, I make one of the recipes Dhrumil taught me a few years ago: nori wraps.  Our older son is about to grub on some ice cream, but wants to know what I'm eating.  Soon, the ice cream is forgotten, and he's dipping nori sheets into water (makin dem wet, daddy!!) and eating them.  Now I have wet nori on my NY Times. Gross.

7pm: I like to spend a few hours cooking and eating on Sunday night. Tonight, I steam some kale and onions and put them on top of quinoa pasta.  Add some lightly cooked chanterelle mushrooms on the side, and it's dinnertime.

Random Day 3

I'm in Pune, India, trying to get our animators to help us make a TV show.

8am: People start work late here, and I don't have any babies to wake up for.  I make my morning concoction, watch some TV, and check email.

9am: I get out of bed, drink some green juice (it's nasty no matter what powder you use, but Vitamineral Green is the best one I've found), eat a raw bar (usually a WildBar), and use a probiotics supplement.  Then I do a long workout.

The team wants to go out for lunch. We end up at a dive near the office.  Can't trust the salad.  I order a vegetable dish with rice and quietly tell my stomach it'll be aight.  It's really good. 

3pm: Out of green tea.  Drink some black tea.

8pm: Back in the hotel, I grab a book and hit the buffet.  Their salad is safe, and the wait-staff eyes me as I eat plateful after plateful.  They're now out of salad, and they think it's hilarious.  I smile and ask for a discount - I didn't eat anything but salad!

Sandeep Sood is a writer and entrepreneur based in Berkeley, CA.