Rueben Ramirez

burner of poptarts; breaker of things

Nutrition Recap

Published December 11, 2023

I’ve shared my health progress with a lot of people. Naturally, the topic of diet and nutrition comes up. I wanted to take a few minutes to share the gist of what I’ve committed to on this front.


I’ve not stayed on top of micronutrients all that well. To provide something of a safety net, I make sure to take at least:

In the morning or with lunch:

  • A daily multivitamin
  • B Complex
  • Fish Oil
  • Vitamin D
  • Tumeric (w/ black pepper)

In the evening before bed:

  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc


Now that I’ve lost a significant amount of weight, I feel more confident in how I practice my diet. I’m in the “low carb” camp of the diet flamewars. There are a lot of opinions on the internet, but this is at least what I’ve found works for me…

Common foods throughout the week

  • Protein powder
  • Chicken breast in the air fryer
  • Canned or frozen veggies
  • Protein bars
  • Salads - very little dressing; usually a vinaigrette
  • Chicken wings (without the sweet sauces, since they’re usually loaded with sugar)
  • BBQ - No sauce; not only for nutritional reasons, but because Texas BBQ doesn’t need any help. ;)
  • lots of water
  • ginger, black, or green tea

Limiting calories

I limit the calories that I eat in a given day to 1200 - 1700 per day. This 500 calorie range depends on how much work I put into exercise for the day. If I put in a LOT of work, I will up the calories a bit more for the day.

Intermittent fasting

My typical intermittent fasting (IF) schedule is 16 hours of fasting followed by an 8 hour eating window. In daily practice, this means I usually skip breakfast and have a late lunch (1-2pm) and early dinner (6-7pm). I only eat from 1-8pm.

Toying with alternate day fasting

It’s generally a good ideal to mix things up and keep my body guessing. I’m really great with routines, but after a while routines can start to feel like a chore. Right now I’m toying with alternatives to the 16:8 IF schedule that I’ve been using for so long.

I’ve read a little about alternate day fasting and I’m intrigued. The general idea as I understand it, is to eat a normal diet every other day and fast otherwise. I think this is worth an experiment for me. I’ll need to review macros and caloric restriction limits though.

Ketogenic cycling

Over the past 6 months, I have aimed to mostly eat a ketogenic diet (< 20g of carbs /day) for 3-4 weeks, and then loosen the reigns on carbs a bit (< 150g of carbs /day) for 2 weeks before cycling back. I’ve definitely had “bad eating days” where I blew the top off the carb count, but thankfully I’ve maintained discipline for the most part.

Why keto? I’ve found it really effective for weight loss in the past. I’ve also found it helps me stay on top of blood glucose spikes better than other ways of eating. That is really important to me because of the correlation of lower blood glucose and lowered inflammation. As my liver recovers from a NAFLD scare, I want to smooth that road out as much as possible.

By taking out highly inflammatory, highly processed, and high carb foods from my diet, it’s made this all easier to manage. The trade is exercising discipline and will power. I’ve definitely found this to be worthwhile though.

What I should be doing more of

There are things that I should be doing that I honestly have not been great about. Top of the list is that I need to be eating more vegetables. Monica makes a veggie stir fry that I actually miss. Me missing a veggie plate is a huge step in the right direction ;)