Dr. Rhonda Patrick recently appeared on Tim Ferris’ podcast and it quickly became one of his most downloaded episodes EVER.
That’s a pretty big deal, considering he has one of the most popular and longest running podcasts in the world. So why was her episode so popular? In short, she’s really smart and knows a helluva lot about how to live a healthy life.
She’s also a regular guest on Joe Rogan’s podcast, having appeared three times, and in every episode she dives into a super detailed approach about how she lives her life, including what she eats, how she exercises, and so much more.
She is one of the most intelligent and fascinating people I’ve ever heard. I pay close attention to what she says and always take away impressive, and eye-opening insights into how to help your body and mind thrive.
Who is Rhonda Patrick?
First, you probably want to know who she is.
She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Ph.D. In biomedical science, and since then Dr. Rhonda Patrick has been doing extensive research on various parts of the aging process, cancer issues, and nutrition overall. After doing much research at St. Jude, Children’s Hospital Oakland, and Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, it is no wonder that Dr. Patrick is renowned for her incredible intelligence and research.
Though she is just 36 years old, Dr. Patrick has been working hard for many years, since she was 18 years old, to provide the research and ideas necessary to create her brand and website, Found My Fitness. Right now, Patrick spends much of her time doing public speaking in addition to her research.
If you’ve listened to Rhonda’s podcast “Found My Fitness” then you already know she takes a rigorous scientific approach to everything. I find her interviews dense and complex, not easy to follow for someone who doesn’t have a degree in medicine.
That’s why I wanted to tease out some of her routines, advice, and recommendations here.
Rhonda Patrick Diet Overview
If you’ve listened to her podcast interviews, you know Rhonda takes eating seriously.
Like, WAY seriously.
To say Rhonda takes her diet seriously would be a massive understatement. When she was pregnant she gulped down heaps of salmon roe on slices of avocado. Her breakfast smoothie doesn’t exactly sound like something you’d find on the menu at Jamba Juice. She knows the ins and outs of nutrition, and specifically, what works for he exact body, down to specific genetic expressions.
Rhonda knows a great deal of information about the human body, how it works, and what it needs to thrive. With that idea in mind, she looks at food like a valuable resource, where each element should be carefully considered for its contribution. From her daily meals to her supplements, nothing goes into her stomach without first being considered for its worth and nutritional aspects of the body.
Let’s take a closer look at what a normal day of eating looks like.
Spoiler, there are no slices of chocolate cake on the menu…
While she eats early in the morning, she practices many time-restricting eating options. There are generally two or three variations of meals that she alternates for her breakfast.
Everything on her breakfast plate serves a specific purpose.
The first breakfast meal consists of tomatillo salsa on the scrambled eggs, along with sautéed kale along with garlic cooked in avocado oil, mustard powder, salt, olive oil, and a delicious grapefruit or kiwi, sometimes with a bit of Alaskan salmon on the side. She alternates types of fruit, sometimes using blueberries, kiwi, grapefruit, or apples, in order to get a mix of different fibers and micronutrients.
A few important things to note about her food choices:
- Tomatillo salsa is not only delicious but contains tomatidine, which has been shown to increase muscle mass
- Mustard powder contains myrosinsase which helps activate the glucoraphanin found in the kale into the powerful sulforaphane compound.
- In addition to the sulforaphane, kale delivers a nice combination of folate, magnesium, vitamin K1, lutein
- Eggs supply a great source of choline which helps with overall brain function by activating genes
- Salmon has omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, all great for brain function and could possibly lower all cause mortality
- Kiwi is high in fiber and has great prebiotics that help feed the gut bacteria to create a healthy and thriving microbiome
If eggs aren’t your thing, another breakfast option consists of a delicious berry and nut cereal that includes a hydrolyzed collagen powder. She fills the cereal with coconut milk for a delicious milky taste that most breakfast cereals are known for.
When it comes to lunch, Rhonda Patrick enjoys a delicious lunch smoothie.
Her lunch smoothies have the same common base ingredients of water, kale, frozen berries, avocado, and hydrolyzed collagen powder. She has two delicious smoothie recipes that she loves to enjoy her lunch breaks.
Ultimate Micronutrient Smoothie #1
- 8 large kale leaves
- 3 cups of baby spinach
- 4 or more rainbow chard leaves (stems attached)
- 2 medium or large carrots
- 1 large avocado
- 1 tomato
- 1 apple
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of blueberries (can be frozen or fresh)
- 3 cups of flax milk (unsweetened)
- 1 shot glass of flaxseed (optional ingredient)
Ultimate Micronutrient Smoothie #2
- 8 kale leaves
- 2 cups of spinach
- 2 rainbow chard leaves (with stems)
- 2 celery pieces
- 8 pieces of parsley
- 1 tomato
- 1 large carrot
- 1 lemon
- 1 apple
- 1 avocado
- 1-2 cups of frozen blueberries
- 2 cups of water
- 1/4 cup of hydrolyzed collagen powder
It’s worth noting that her smoothie doesn’t contain much protein, so if you’re concerned with building muscle or just getting enough protein, you may want to add a high quality protein powder into the mix.
Finally, you’ll need a serious blender if you want to puree this stuff into a seamlessly smooth drink. Trust me, you will not like having tiny bits of kale and chard stuck in your teeth! Rhonda uses a Vitamix pro, generally regarded as the Cadillac of blenders. Thing is, they’re expensive. However, you can get certified refurbished ones on Amazon now for about half the price.
Also similar to what somewhere like Jamba Juice uses. For a MUCH cheaper alternative you could check the MengK smoothie blender which is essentially a clone of the Vitamix for a fraction of the price.
Dinners for Dr. Patrick is all about the protein and the vegetables. Nothing too complicated here, but if good ol’ fashioned Paula Dean style home cooking is your jam, you’ll be disappointed. Not much in the way of biscuits and gravy here sadly!
Instead she enjoys a delicious salad of greens like spinach, collard greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Her proteins consist of things like chicken, salmon, and grass-fed beef fillets.
Rhonda’s Preferred Supplements
Aside from eating a well balanced and nutrition packed diet, Dr. Rhonda Patrick takes several supplements on a regular basis that help her stay healthy, thriving, and active.
“The fact that sulforaphane has such a profound impact on lowering inflammation is of great interest to me because it is now believed that suppression of inflammation is the single most important driver of successful longevity…”
She favors certain brands like Thorne and Pure Encapsulations, which have great reputations.
This is a very high quality all in one multivitamin, suitable for both men and women.
She takes 2000-4000 IUs daily depending on the time of year, with more in the winter when there’s less sunlight.
Approximately 135 mg/day or one pill.
She takes 100 ug/day of this basic vitamin k2, which is hard to get from the basic American diet.
This is basically the best omega-3 fish oil you can get, because it is made from herring roe and is bound by phospholipids which greatly increase absorbtion in the body. Rhonda takes 2-4 capsules per day.
If money is no object, consider this form of fish oil, which is highly concentrated (basically 2-3x the amount of any other brand) in the phospholipid form.
Occasional or As Needed
This is a form of vitamin B3 that boost metabolic function among other things.
Curcumin is a special formulation of turmeric root extract that is highly bioavailable and helps promotes healthy joints and lower inflammation.
promotes wound healing
Cacao ativates the antioxidant genes to kill cancer cells and makes for a healthy and tasty snack if you get a sweet craving.
Arguably the most powerful and most studied (there are around two dozen published reports on this brand) probiotic for gut health. It is powerful! So you may need only 1/2 a sachet to begin.
If you want a taste of Patrick’s exercise routine, she does a great mix of many things. Usually, she blends up the high-intensity interval training (or HIIT) along with aerobic exercises, strength training, ballet, and yoga. Squat jumps are her favorite high-intensity workouts since they get the blood pumping and works the muscles. She loves to focus on lower body exercises like lunges to increase her muscle mass with strength training. Her endurance comes from running at least 3 miles just three times a week.
This also helps her calm down and think since running provides her with a cognitive boost. She also spends as much as 20-30 minutes in a sauna as much as three times a week, and her yoga and ballet classes are 3-4 times a week to help improve the flexibility in her body as well as tone specific muscles.
It’s not always easy to follow topics such as nutrigenomics and gene polymorphisms, but one thing we can pretty easily tease out and understand after listening to hours upon hours of Rhonda’s interviews is that certain essentials of a well rounded diet and lifestyle are cery good for your body, brain, and lifespan.
Having recently listened to Rhonda speak with Joe Rogan about her diet during pregnancy, it was obvious she knows a thing or two about how to optimize her body to support a strong, healthy developing baby.
Here are a few tips I thought were especially helpful.
One of the most impressive aspects is Rhonda’s systematic approach to diet and supplements during pregnancy.
First and Second Trimester
Rhonda switched things up a bit from her normal supplement and diet regimen (see here) and cut a few things out that she deemed non-essential or even possibly dangerous for her unborn son.
She’s a huge fan of Thorne, mostly because they are known to use some of the highest standards in the supplement industry. Basically, she trusts them, and that’s reason enough for me to trust her. This multivitamin is great because it contains methylated folates instead of folic acid. Methylated folate is much easier for your body to absorb.
The multivitamin she takes contains 1,000ug already, but she supplements with an additional 1-2,000ug.
As you may already know, Rhonda is a huge fan of VSL probiotics. They have more published research than any other probiotic supplement and while expensive, they pack a punch! Your average probiotic pill has somewhere between 10 billion and 50 billion live bacteria. These have around 112 billion!
Rhonda needed to add extra iron during her last trimester, but this was something she needed based on having a low red blood cell count. Certainly not required, and is something you should ask your doctor about.
Rhonda is a huge advocate of breastfeeding, and for good reason. It might be the single best thing you can do for a developing newborn.
Mother’s milk has some unique compounds that you can’t find anywhere else. Specifically, it contains human milk oligoaccharides (HMOs) which are basically unique sugars that the infant can’t digest. Instead, they pass through the stomach and into the newborn’s gut, where they help build a strong microbiome. Many studies have shown that breastfed infants have significantly lower rates of asthma, allergies, and learning disabilities.
So yea, you’ll want to do whatever possible to help your body produce some super powered breast milk!
Thorne Research Multivitamin
As mentioned above, Rhonda continued taking this throughout the time she was breastfeeding.
Norweigian Pure 3 Fish Oil
You could probably supplement something like these from Nordic Naturals, which are similar, and a bit cheaper, or even a high quality krill oil. Both are better than regular fish oil supplements, which are not as bioavailable.
Rhonda’s Pregnancy Powerhouse – Salmon Roe
In her interview with Joe Rogan she talks extensively about the diet she followed while pregnant.
Specifically, she talks at length about one particular thing she ate. Something she seemed to think was HUGELY important.
What was it? Salmon roe!
Why salmon roe?
The stuff is jam packed with brain nurturing nutrients EPA and DHA. But that’s not the only reason.
The roe in salmon contains 38-75% omega-3 fatty acids in phospholipid form. That’s important. Regular salmon that we eat has only 1% omega-3 in phospholipid form. The phospholipids (basically fats) help make it MUCH more bioavailable, especially to the developing fetus.
She buys it by the kilogram, which is shipped with dry ice overnight.
Another thing found in salmon roe is astaxanthin, which was found to increase the longevity gene Foxo3 by 90% in mice. This gene is associated with a ton of other genes responsible for managing the body’s stress response, and could play an important role in making you more resilient to aging.