I had an amazing opportunity to learn from Grand Master Rorion Gracie, first born son from the legendary Master Helio Gracie, creator of UFC and precursor of Jiu-Jitsu in America. He showed us some fundamental movements with another level of precision. However, his seminar was not just about Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. His seminar also focussed on health and longevity. There was one very important message that Master Rorion pointed out; you don’t need to train like a professional, but why not eat like one. Gracie Jiu Jitsu is a lifestyle that goes beyond the mats. It’s the way that you look after your body, your temple.
What is the Gracie Diet?
The Gracie family follow the same diet that Master Carlos Gracie created. It’s a very specific combination of foods, and this method is still having success decades after its creation. “Let the food be your medicine.” No doubt, Great Master Carlos Gracie already had this phrase in his mind when he decided to devote himself to developing the Gracie Diet. Carlos Gracie genuinely believed in the power of food to protect the body, enhance immunity, and prevent diseases. This is mainly based on a few fundamental guidelines. That is; not mixing cereal together, or fat with sugars, or acidic foods with any other type of food. As well as aiming to eat meals at intervals of at least four hours, and only eating again when the stomach is empty.
My approach to healthy eating
We’ve probably all watched high level athletes compete on TV and said to ourselves “I wish I could be like him, or her”. Although most of us just don’t have the luxury of time to train like a full-time athlete, but there’s no reason why you can’t eat like one. In my own experience I don’t follow the Gracie Diet to the core, but I do only have 3 meals a day. I also made a few simple adjustments based on the Gracie diet principles. I avoid combining the same food types in each meal. For example I only have one carbohydrate, and one protein in one meal. I leave at least 4 hours between meals, and only eat if I have empty stomach. I avoid processed sugars and try to minimise packaged or processed food. Since I made these adjustments, my digestion has improved, and energy levels increased. I can’t say I eat clean 100% of the time because I don’t. But I do eat clean 6 days a week. I train BJJ almost every night, and I don’t remember the last time that I got sick.
There is no one magic formula. Everyone is different
The reality is that there is not one perfect approach to healthy diet. You need to find what works for. More importantly, it needs to be something you can sustain for a lifetime. Not a fad, or a hardcore diet that limits entire food groups. You don’t need to stop to drink or eat the things that you like either. You just need to find a balance that works for you.
In order to change your diet, you first establish a “base point” to help you understand more about your eating behaviours. You can just start writing what you eat for I would say 1 week, so you have a base of information. Analysing habits will give you more insights to identify the positive steps you can take to improve your diet. Small changes are the easiest to implement on your daily basis so you will be given ample time to adjust gradually and incorporate the principles of the Gracie Diet into your daily routines. The Gracie Diet is about reprogramming and educate you’re eating behaviours. As you restructure, you’re eating habits, a healthy diet will naturally become part of your way of life.
BJJ is more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle
My goal here is not to sell you a diet plan. The intention is to you how important a good diet is for all aspects of your life. At Melbourne Jiu Jitsu Academy we don’t just teach you the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or how to defend yourself. We teach the lifestyle too. Some people will embrace it, others less. In the end we try to give you the tools to improve your lifestyle, and live a more balanced, healthier lifestyle.
This blog is not intended to replace professional guidance. Before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle, we recommend that you consult your GP, a nutritionist, or specialist for their advice and guidance.
Come and do a 10 days free trial and embrace the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle.