The brouhaha over protein and nutrition recommendations got me thinking. Do generic recommendations make sense? Not just for nutrition. Even exercise and training. Sleep. Stress management. Communication. Just everything that is necessary to produce reasonable wellness outcomes.

Many roads to success

I argue against one right plate or an optimal dosage of activity for one simple reason. There are far too many approaches to good quality of life. I mean that in a good way. And all of them work well enough.

Here are the dietary strategies that work:

1. Vegan

2. Ovo-lacto

3. Ovo

4. Lacto

5. Ovo-lacto-poultry

6. Ovo-lacto-poultry-piscine

7. Ovo-lacto-piscine

And so on including mutton, beef, seafood and a protein supplement. There’s over 200 ways to eat the protein, fiber, fat and carbs you need in a day. One plate isn’t going to help you visualize all the ways you can get it right. Same for exercise and training.

The non-negotiable outcome

A healthy heart that can handle a reasonable amount of exertion. Enough muscle to be anti-fragile and handle some work. You could do as little as 30 mins of cardio a week alongside 3 hours of strength training. Or 6 hours of strength training. Or an hour strength and 4 hours of cardio. The combinations are just so many. And throwing in a sport, some hikes, a trek.


Between medical history, family history, bloodwork, fitness tests, DEXA scans and a rigorous medical check up, we can get a terrific sense of how a person is holding up. The weak link here is the medical community. If they assume fragility, fraility and sharply diminished work capacity is business as usual for a person as they age, our ageing society is in for a rather unpleasant few decades ahead. We need higher standards for what a human should be physically capable of doing.And guidelines for how much is just right, too little or too much, be it for exercise or nutrition, might be the more pragmatic way ahead.

Pragmatic not dogmatic