The Hafduh Diet

I absolutely despise websites that make you scroll for what you came for. Therefore, here is the diet. The philosophy and back story is below: 

Foods and drink that are allowed: 

water – spring or faucet if possible – if filtered, add electrolytes (see supplements below)

coffee – organic if possible, obviously no sugar can be added

extra virgin olive oil (highest quality you can find)

butter (local, grass fed if possible)

Salt – use both table salt (with iodine) and a sea or himalayan, etc. Colima is my favorite. No 

more than a teaspoon per day 

Coconut oil or coconut

Eggs (local, organic, and cage free if possible)

Any fruit (organic if possible) – use lime and lemon juice to flavor dishes

Any vegetable “  “  “

Any mushroom “  “  “ 

Potatoes – sweet is best…regular if necessary

Legumes – all dried or canned beans are great. 0 added sugars allowed. 

Organic plain yogurt – local if possible, 0 added sugar

Almond or Oat milk – 0 added sugar

Nuts – preferably macadamia, almonds, walnut, brazil, pecan (0 added sugars)

Salsa – 0 sugar added

Spices and herbs – cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, oregano, cilantro, etc. 

Fish – the smaller the better, and only packed in olive oil if canned. Some canned sardines for example are packed in cottonseed and rapeseed oil. Not allowed. No batter on fish allowed! Pan cook in olive oil. Or bake/broil

Bivalves – clams, oysters, mussels, scallops 

Cheese – organic if possible – preferably goat, blue, feta, mozzarella, parmesan, 0 added sugars or additives

Whole grains – quinoa, farro, whole grain rice (no white rice allowed), plain oats (make your own oatmeal with ingredients above – no instant or packaged oatmeal)

Seeds – flax, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower, chia, sesame, etc. all great options. 

I don’t eat meat but offer this for those that do:

Red meat –  local, grass fed (grass finished if possible) No hormones, antibiotics, steroids, MSG or sugars

Pork or Chicken – local, free range, organic if possible, No hormones, antibiotics, steroids, MSG or sugars

Foods and drink that aren’t allowed: 

Sugar – some foods like fruit and yogurt contain sugar naturally and that will be allowed. The main thing here is that we don’t consume any ‘added sugars’. Check labels. Dessert can be any fruit. Use this to satisfy the sweet tooth. Yogurt with cinnamon and fruit is very good. 

Bread – this one will be hard for me. But this HAFDuh Diet has a focus on low sugar and low carb. Bread is one of my weaknesses. Ok, here’s a caveat: If you hafduh have bread, you can have up to 1 slice per day BUT, only if you make the bread from scratch yourself. That means either a sourdough starter, or a scratch recipe (containing zero sugar) with whole grain flour (NO white flour) yeast, etc. No bagged or boxed mixes allowed whatsoever. 

Pasta – same as bread. Not allowed unless you make your own noodles (whole grain flour (no white), eggs, salt, extra virgin olive oil. No canned sauce allowed. Use lemon, garlic, e.v.o.o, oregano…or pesto…or fresh tomatoes etc. 

White Carbs – zero refined or white carbs allowed 

Most packaged foods – this is pretty much a whole foods diet, and most foods in packages have been processed, refined, and have other ingredients added. Not all, but most. We are looking for single ingredient foods here for the most part. 

Questions I have for myself

Can’t I just have sugar on weekends?  NO! At least for April, and hopefully longer…none! You know you’ll just binge for the weekend and ruin all of the progress you made all week. No. 

What about my birthday, or some other special occasion? Ok, 1 dessert per month allowed if it qualifies for a special occasion. Just 1! Savor the hell out of that thing. 

What about salad dressings? Duh…these are usually bad, and wash away all of the good we’re doing by eating greens and vegetables. Make your own, and have as much as you want:  EVOO, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt. Done!

What about booze? No extra calories from booze allowed. What ingredients are in the beer or bourbon you’re drinking? You can’t tell me can you?  Because…they don’t have to be listed…so we don’t know, which isn’t cool. CAVEAT: You can drink any organic wine up to 1 glass per day. Note: most benefit from wine is within the ingredient Resveratrol, which you’d need to drink gallons to obtain sufficient amounts, and which can more easily, and more soberly be consumed through supplementation (see below). 

Why no cow’s milk or cream? Look, I actually see the benefit of unpasteurized, organic, local cream and cow milk…with no hormones, antibiotics, steroids, etc. I’m just not going to go through the trouble and expense of getting it. If I need a milk, I’ll use a sugar free oat or almond milk. If you Hafduh have cows milk, make it local and organic. 

Tea? yes, totally fine. 

Honey and Maple syrup? I don’t know…that’s a slippery slope. I want to find contentment without satisfying that sweet tooth. I know that these can be local, organic, 1 ingredient healthy sweeteners…but I need more discipline, so no. 

Peanut Butter? So I know that there are two ingredient peanut butters (nuts and oil) that could be ok. But, what kind of oil is being used? Probably some crap oil. Well, I suppose if it’s organic it’s ok. 2 ingredient organic peanut butter is fine.

Jelly? No, it’s too sweet and yummy, even if it’s only made with fruit and organic. I might find myself late at night with a spoon and a jar of peanut butter and jelly. This is not ok.

So why don’t you give yourself a time like 8pm to stop eating? That’s a good question. Although this is already going to be hard for me, and that might make it something I can’t sustain for month. I have dabbled in intermittent fasting, only eating between 12 noon and 8pm…but I’m not ready to commit to working within times yet. Maybe next month.


These are the supplements I’ve been taking, and will continue to take throughout the HAFDuh diet:

Beta Carotene – eye and skin health

Vitamin C – helps in collagen building (connective tissues, skin, etc.), immune system, blood pressure, antioxidant support, many more

Vitamin D – bones, inflammation, covid/sickness mitigation, maybe cancer prevention

Creatine – muscles, muscle function, neuromuscular, cognition, maybe help prevent parkinson’s and other neurological disease, 

Cocoa Flavanols – skin, cell regeneration, blood pressure

Omega 3’s – inflammation, blood pressure, aging, cognitions, eyes…too many to list! This is my number 1 recommended supplement. If you had to choose just one, this would be it!

Resveratrol – metabolic and cardiovascular health, longevity, hypertension, glucose sensitivity, etc. This supplement is another ringer. 

Collagen – connective tissues (joint health), skin, pain, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes…bone broth would be a good relative to this that I’ve used before.

Electrolyte Mineral Drops – I use a triple osmosis filtration system at home. This effectively removes toxic metals like lead, arsenic, etc. but also potentially removes all desired minerals. Therefore, I add them back in. Spring water probably doesn’t need this. 

Back Story and the Why behind The HAFDuh Diet

I woke up this morning very hungover. It wasn’t from booze though…it was from sugar. That’s more forgivable right? I’ve had an ongoing problem or ‘addiction’ with sugar actually. But that’s it! I hafduh do something about it. 

I actually do a pretty good job with diet overall. I’ve been able to maintain what I think is a healthy weight and BMI. I eat a pescatarian diet, consuming mostly fruit, vegetables, eggs, and whole grains. However, I have a sweet tooth. And it bit me in the backside this weekend. 

You see, I’ve been on a good streak as of late, not having too many sugary treats. But last night, I brought my daughter to the movies with some family. We love the movies! And we love to sneak in lots of boxes of dollar store or supermarket candy, knowing that I saved a fortune, not purchasing at the theater. A couple of boxes for my daughter, and a few for me…no harm right? Typical Friday night experience. 

I ended up eating a lot of M&M’s, a bunch of Milk Duds, and a LOT of Sour Patch Kids. It was so good. The mouth feels, the sweet, the sour…the fruity and then the chocolate. Oh my. I was in heaven, tilting back in my puffy recliner seat. Everything was great. Until the next morning. When I woke up all of my teeth and gums were really hurting. It was like the pain of having your braces tightened. Remember that? I mean, I brushed my teeth after the candy-fest…so I’m not sure what happened. Anyway, really painful grill for a couple of hours. 

To add to that? A searing headache, with pain directly above my eyebrows right in the forehead area. I’ve had these sugar related headaches before, so this was familiar. But it was direct, more over my left eye…and not fun. Lastly, my mouth was terribly dry. I felt dehydrated and also lethargic to say the least. I guess I got what I deserved right?

I told myself no sugar at all today, but while out near the seacoast with my daughter, and my headache still raging, I figured a little ‘hair of the dog’ would do me some good. You see, us sugar addicts, we find ourselves on this wheel of needing a little more sugar just to feel better, but then over-consuming and ending up feeling like crap. So there I was grabbing a chai-tea latte to get back on sugar road. Ahh, so warm and tasty…so sweet. This would surely do the trick! To no avail. I continued feeling terrible (headache, nausea, and lethargic) until about 5pm. 

By the way, I did hydrate the hell out myself with water and electrolytes first thing in the morning, and eat some eggs with yellow peppers and greens hoping that I’d feel better. THAT wasn’t working, so back to the sugar I went. 

All this to say, that I need some rules. I need some structure to follow for at least a short period of time. Some discipline. Because when I leave it up to myself…I’m pretty good for getting all of my nutrients, etc. within a day, but when it comes to after dinner time, sitting on the couch, I fall into addict mode, wondering what chocolate is in the pantry…will it be enough? What ice cream would act as a nice bed for that chocolate? What can be sprinkled or poured onto all of that? Then I’m gone. I end up consuming a huge amount of sugar directly before I go to bed. It’s the absolute worst thing to eat at the absolute worst time. Duh.

In lieu of wanting some rules to follow, I thought, ‘Duh, I know all of the rules that I should follow’. I know that sugar is pretty much as bad as cocaine when it comes to the science behind how addictive it is. A couple of years ago, I said okay I need a break, and I quit sugar cold-turkey. I had a constant headache AND crazy nightmares for the next 3 days! Nightmares! For 3 nights I was trying to escape this monumentally huge and rotating room, with no exits. Oh, there were monsters chasing me in said room. Then I googled it, and yeah nightmares is apparently one of the withdrawal symptoms for sugar. Go figure. If you’re wondering where you stand with sugar, try consuming zero for a day. It’s actually hard to do because so much of our foods have added sugars. After a day with zero sugar, assess your symptoms. Hopefully it’s not as bad as mine!

On top of that, I’ve completely torched my skin through the landscaping work that I do. About 5 years ago, I regrettably and embarrassingly went a couple of years in my work with no sunscreen or protection. That 2 years probably aged my skin about 10-15 years. It has seriously paid the price, and it’s time that I give it some TLC. Sugar actually hardens and breaks down collagen and elastin…the building blocks of our largest organ. I’m hoping that with this focus on avoiding sugar, and by using supplementation and other treatments, I’ll repair some of the damage I’ve done. 

But when I leave it ambiguous, and up to ‘me’ during those after meal times? It’s an absolute catastrophe. Therefore, I figured I better create a plan. A diet if you must. And I’ll follow it for at least a month to see what happens. 

It’s going to be hard as f*#k for me to do this. Avoiding sugar will not be easy. I’ll literally be having withdrawals for a couple of days. Nothing too serious though outside of headaches and nightmares. I can ease into this for the next week or so, then get really disciplined at the start of April. Please join me. I’d be happy to have someone to commiserate with. AND, I truly think this diet will be really beneficial for anyone who tries it. I’ve read and practiced a ton in regards to diets of the Mediterranean and Blue Zones (areas where the highest numbers of centenarians live), and I’d say this HAFDuh diet is close to some of those. I mean, it’s close to how I eat normally, just minus all of that addictive SUGAR!

It’s called the HAFDuh Diet because I hafduh do something about this ongoing issue of mine.  It’s Duh because I already know what I should be doing…Duh! I know that 1 box each of 2 different chocolate candies, and a huge bag of fruity sour ones isn’t a smart decision. But I can’t control it. I Hafduh get help! And, a convenient acronym to go with this diet is that it’s going to be Hard as F*#k for me to follow!  I’m sorry for the language. It just came to me in the morning car ride, my head pounding as I wondered what my next sugary fix would be.The Hard as F*#k Diet, or The HAFDuh Diet if the kids are around.  

And I know the final D in HAFDuh stands for ‘diet’ already…so saying HAFDuh Diet is saying diet twice. Look it just sounds better okay? The HAFDuh diet is my way to get myself on track for the next month, then maybe longer. With any luck, I’ll be in a healthy relationship with sugar at the end of April, and I’ll be on my way to that desired summer beach-body to boot. That’s why I’m following the HAFDuh Diet. Put a note in the post that you’ll join me…please?

yours in craving,


Structural Balance

This concept was popularized in the 1980s by Charles Poliquin. It basically states that in order for our bodies to perform optimally, and with less injury and pain…we should be pursuing a type of harmony within the size, strength, and weight distribution of our body. 

To help illustrate this, let’s look at some examples of how we can be OUT of balance:

The most common and pertinent application for me and what I’m seeing in my work…is bodies that are top-heavy. This means a body is loaded with weight above the belt, without sufficient building of connective tissues and strength below the belt. This is just asking for foot, knee, and hip pain and problems. This is where building from the ground up is crucial. 

Another example would be an athlete who has a very strong posterior chain (calves, hamstrings, glutes, etc.), but is very weak in front (anterior chain) with their tibialis, quads, and hips. This could pose problems for deceleration, approaching a jump, etc. or lead to shin splints and knee pain. We’re basically creating a body here that can’t absorb all of the force created by its own self. 

If we build up a ton of muscle tissue, but don’t develop the tendons and ligaments along the way, we are asking for joint issues, tears, pain, etc. 

It’s been very popular to train what’s called Triple Extension. ‘Triple’ is connected to extending the foot, knees, and hips. Think of being in a squat position and then jumping up into the air. Most athletes tend to train these movements separately. We could use a calf raise, a leg extension machine for the knee, and a squat or good morning for the hips. BUT, what about Triple ‘Flexion’? We rarely hear of athletes focusing on this…or at least focusing on it as much as on Triple extension. Triple flexion would be tibialis raise for the shin area, a nordic curl for the back of the knee and hamstring, and a reverse squat where we pull our knees up to our chest. What if we hooked our feet up to a cable and weight stack, and actually measured how much we could lift by pulling those knees to chest? It’s not to say ‘don’t squat’. It’s simply to say let’s also give incredible focus to reverse squatting. Athletes find when they do this, their legs feel so much lighter, instead of that heavy footed feel. Triple extension AND triple flexion leads to structural balance. 

If we can push really well with chest and triceps, but can’t pull for crap with back and biceps, we aren’t structurally balanced. 

If a softball pitcher or baseball player throws hundreds of times with one arm every week, but can’t effectively and safely slow that arm down with external rotation strength, they aren’t structurally balanced. On top of that, one side of their body is developing differently than the other, which can certainly lead to pain or injury. 

Lastly, I’ll consider another issue with knees because that is my weakness. If we develop the outer quad muscles (vastus lateralis), but don’t address the inner VMO (vastus medialis) muscle, we are manufacturing and asking for knee issues. The VMO is rarely trained, but is most correlated with a stable and more pain-free knee.  Therefore, leaving it out leaves us out of structural balance. 

Well, how do we get structurally balanced then, one might ask?  We seek out the weak links by trying a few exercises. It doesn’t take long at all! Then, we use our bodyweight, and our main lifts to calculate some ‘Standards’ for all of the other lifts. This lets us know where we stand, and what we should be at least pursuing. Without this information, a young athlete may just think more, more, more is the answer, but then blow out his knee or shoulder because of a clear weakness our imbalance in a noticeable area. 

Now…we MUST say that even the most structurally balanced human could go out, play their sport, or do the activities within their day, and STILL get injured. This isn’t perfection that we’re striving for. Life is hard. Sports are dynamic. There are many unpredictables along the way. But a wise investment, putting money in the bank to make ourselves much more resilient, goes a long way in preventing a good amount of pain and suffering. 

If you’re thinking you may be structurally ‘imbalanced’ in some way…if you’re in pain…if it hurts to play your sport…I’d love to have a conversation with you to see if I can provide value and get you on the right track. 

ROKP (Reverse Out Knee Pain)

The lightest form of knees over toes training is walking backwards. If you have knee problems, this is the special sauce to start down the path of recovery. At least 5 minutes per day is what I do and recommend. We call this ROKP (reverse out knee pain).

But walking backwards ALONE, even though good for light recovery, won’t cause the pressure and adaptation that we want. At some point, we need to add some load or resistance. AND, walking backwards outside can be dangerous with obstacles, potholes, uneven terrain, etc. especially for older folks.

At that point, pulling a fitness sled on turf is the best method. Smooth, predictable surface and measurable load. The late, great Louie Simmons (RIP) popularized the sled, with some of the strongest folks in the world. I learned it from Ben Hartford and Brian Christopher. Ben is still coaching Anchor Athletics in Concord, NH. This is a great gym… with great turf for sledding!

If we don’t belong to a gym with this setup. There are many DIY sled options to make at home, but you need a good driveway, yard, or street to pull it on.

Don’t want to do that? Another fine ROKP option is the reverse deadmill. Stand on a treadmill, but turn backwards and push away with your feet. It’s good to have padding between your back and the control panel area for comfort. You can probably find a free treadmill out there. It doesn’t even need to work! Just make sure you can spin the belt and that it provides resistance. Some spin fast and gain momentum. No bueno.

Ok lastly…it’s too cold and uneven out there for backward walking, no sled, and no treadmill? You can do 5 minutes of ‘knee drops’ seen in my video, standing in place. With your hands holding something for stability, and keeping your torso vertical, let your knees go forward out and slightly over your toes. Your heels should slightly come off of the floor. While returning to starting position(straight legs) engage the tibialis and lift with the toes. Keep pulsing down and up. When knees lockout, toes should lift off of ground slightly. It’s NOT the same if you don’t lift the toes! This helps get into a slightly hyperextended position, but engaging the tibialis causes even more blood flow and good vibes. 5 minutes of this for less pain, and incredible pump around the knee.

Please try ROKP in some way, then tell me how the knees feel! It’s done wonders for mine. 5 minutes per day will help get your base back!

ACL epidemic

ACL injuries for kids have become an epidemic in the States. Adolescent girls suffer the most, in sports that include a lot of unpredictable cutting like soccer, basketball, etc.

My understanding of the literature as to why this is happening, can be distilled down to a lack of structural balance.

One thread seems to be ‘quad-dominant’ athletes, with strong muscles on the front of the thigh, but weak hammies.

Another common thread is overuse with one side of the body…think athlete that kicks a ball hundreds of times with 1 leg, and a couple times with the other.

Lastly, athletes are adding weight and getting bigger muscles, but AREN’T proportionally building up the structures that MOVE those muscles, ie feet, ankles, calves, tibialis, knees, vmo’s.

Every pound added above the waist corresponds to an exponential weight impacted at the knee. We experience 2x the impact at the knee just walking flat ground. So if a 150 pound athlete is dynamically moving, jumping, twisting, stopping…it’s just common sense that the demands that are trying to pull that knee apart are incredibly high!

What can we do though? We can build from the ground up first. We know that any force not taken by the foot and ankle…travels up to the knee. It’s a kinetic chain. So bulletproof the hell out of the foot, ankle, tib…to HELP prevent. Remember, this isn’t a guarantee…but it IS a wise investment.

We can then train to achieve closer to structural balance, relentlessly identifying and pursuing weak links…NOT just continually adding weight to the lifts we like to do.

Lastly, we can train the Nordic exercise. This movement works the tissues that hold the knee together, and fight that pulling-apart action.

This is a cheap and accessible piece of equipment that should be in every gym! I was so focused on my bench and squat numbers when I played my sport. I wish I pursued being able to do even 1 repetition of a Nordic! I can still only do the eccentric portion (downward movement) after about 6 months of trying. Please send me info of any high schooler that can do a strict Nordic! I would be so happy for this kid! I believe that making the Nordic a ‘cool’ exercise would prevent a ton of ACL surgeries.

kia kaha,

Start Backwards

Dear friends,

“Don’t let your knees go over your toes,“ they said.

Turns out, training with our knees going forward over our toes… Is EXACTLY what will help lead to us bulletproofing our knees!

The entry-level exercise for this, and the ‘special sauce’ for repairing your knees is…walking backwards. When you take a step backwards, you land on your toes…and your knee is ‘over your toes’. This is a short-range movement that’s low impact (notice how the landing is softer than a forward walking heel strike). It also flexes and works the big toe and foot…an area that all of us could give more TLC to.

Perform this walking backward special sauce for 5-10 minutes a day. Make sure that you have a clear area and a smooth surface to do this on. Your partner can help by holding your hand, being your eyes, and guiding you. Then switch positions. Another great method, especially during these colder months is to get on a treadmill and without turning it on, turn around and spin the treadmill belt yourself by walking backwards on it. This provides a really good resistance to the walking… And helps build up those muscles around the knee.

The absolute best method, is to pull a fitness sled on turf while walking backwards. Maybe your gym has this? If this can’t happen, there are DIY options for making your own sled and pulling it in your driveway or yard as well.

Backwards walking? It sounds kind of silly… But this is the X factor that has brought my knees back to being out of pain. There are certainly other things to be doing along with this… But this is where it all starts. I can help you find a way to be doing this.

Please call me or message me with your knee story… whether it won’t bend, it hurts, or both! I can’t believe the restrictions that I’m hearing that many of us are living with. And dealing with chronic pain is for the fricken birds! Let’s deal with that! I’m confident that I can help.

No cost, no pressure or obligation. I’m passionate about helping, and I get paid by learning through your story.

with bulletproof knees,