Sweet Geek

Thoughts on Health and Nutrition

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Dungeons and Dragons: Nutrition Edition

One of the hallmarks of many role-playing games is the concept of min-maxing a character, carefully selecting your abilities to optimize gameplay. Or maybe you weren’t a huge nerd in high school, playing board games in your boyfriend’s basement…

That’s okay! Believe it or not, you are still playing the min-max game. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading health blogs! Do any of these questions sound familiar?

  • Do green beans count as legumes if I am avoiding phytates?
  • Should I avoid dairy to reduce my insulin?
  • Should I eat before or after I workout?
  • Should I eat X before bedtime to reduce my fasting blood sugar?
  • Should I start taking random supplement X?

While these are fun to think about, they are all minor compared to other diet and lifestyle changes. To help put things in perspective, I have created a new game, Dungeons and Dragons: Nutrition Edition. Let’s start out by selecting our character’s attributes.

Attribute Points
Gluten Free 500
Low-Carb 250
Processed Food Free 125
Dairy Free 50
Legume Free 25
Pastured Meat, Dairy and Eggs 10
Artificial Sweetener Free 5

* These are just made up and in no way imply that one is better than the other for everyone.

Now how would you go about customizing your character if you could only choose 3? That should be easy, just pick the ones with the most points, right?

Then why am I regularly asked about phytates from people who still eat donuts? Why do some people reject all the concepts of paleo simply because grass-fed meat is expensive? Why do I see diabetics worrying about diet soda instead of the oatmeal they had for breakfast?

My point is that there is a ton of information on nutrition and health. I love the concept of optimal health as much as anyone. I’m addicted to the inane factoids I pick up on the internet. But I shouldn’t get bogged down in the details when I still haven’t mastered the basics.

Make a list of the changes you have made so far, what you haven’t gotten around to yet or only do “some of the time”. Assign each one a point value and start “min/max”-ing your game!