My Non-Negotiable Essentials (5+ years of CKD + IF) Part 1/2

I am obliged to share, though overdue with my apologies ~ on the non-negotiable essentials.

The reason why I am delaying this write-up is to accrue enough information as well as my own experience(s) thus far amidst my own change of living circumstance, and that of the growing inflation.

 If you are new to this initiative, please acquaint with the introductory start page (“How / where shall we begin”).  I implore as disclaimer, no differently than any other health or fitness channels – that I cannot and will not be able to indemnify should anyone wish to adopt or adapt my way of life,  be it principles and/or dietary methodology(s) I myself experimented and reflected throughout many years. Everybody therefore obligates and represents their own indemnity and responsibility.

This feature is split into two parts. Firstly, here I preface as proposal on how we should perceive consumable as non-negotiable. Then in part two, I’ll disclose my top list of item(s) that I would not live without. Note that this feature write up only covers wholefoods, but I also cover some, perhaps not all  supplementations I consider key. Finally all this is taken in the context of Cyclical Keto + Intermittent Fasting. Hence this article is perhaps reserved amongst those already familiar, or at least having invested some prior # of years tinkering with nutrition protocols.

Gelatin, egg, pumpkin, dessic coconut.
Gelatin, egg, pumpkin, dessic coconut.

What is “non negotiable”?

TLDR; everybody defines this differently. In my own translation: it is anything one can replace as a contingency, until effects and/or repercussions arise that inevitably affects quality of life.

What is a contingency? Anything, be it an existing resource for utility or of value to potentially serve as a:

  1. contingent;
  2. replacement;
  3. instrument of exchange;

…for survival and sustainability. I deliberately do not use the word “lifestyle” here, for a reason it is usually mistaken as discretion. Instead, here we’re talking about essentiality. That is, any food item that is so important, that foregoing or abstaining them until for some lengths of time, will manifest some signs of sacrifice or compensation in order to sustain life.

In nutritional context – minerals, glycogen, triglycerides, amino acids. In sociological/environmental ~ resources availability, and accessibility surrounding arguably firstly ~money, income, and/or welfare before then we have the actual resources food, water, shelter.

The difficulty of writing this article however, is to elaborate this definition in ways that people can relate to.

There is a long list of factors, I believe, given from my prior years of exclusion and reinclusion protocols ~ that help readers identify, as according to their circumstance whether they can relate to one, a few, or many of these amidst their needs for self-journalling.

Hence, I decided to present two (2) categories for which these factors potentially belong to, as Objective (as metrics) and Subjective (as criterias).

Markus Winkler @ Unsplash
Markus Winkler @ Unsplash

The Objective (metrics).

An objective is anything that can be objected to, or from its readily visible number/s or arithmetic. To begin, we have objective criterias  that necessitate everything in our past or present moment, thus far. Note the keywords – time, marker, cost, rate.

  1. TDEE / total daily energy expenditure;
    1. BMR, basal metabolic rate
    2. TEF, thermic effect of food
    3. PAL / approximate physical activity score
  2. Motion / Patterns of living
    1. How busy are you? AM to PM schedules obligations.
    2. Fitness training frequency & scheduling – how often and how long?
    3. Fitness training intensity – how intense? VO2 max, RPE Scale.
    4. Fasting / eating window ~ deficit or surplus?
  3. Means of income – wages (before or after taxations).
  4. Cost of living
    1. Food
    2. Mortgage / Rent
    3. Governance, local councils, rates
    4. Utilities, energy, sundries, facilities…

Next we assess the actual food itself accordingly to:

  1. Affordability & Accessibility 
    1. (branding) comparing to its peers / name brands is this food be afforded?
    2. (marked-down-clearances opportunity and frequency) comparing by its condition or subject-to-expiry ; how frequently does this food appear to be short-dated?
  2. Value.
    1. Assessed by habitual per serve – does it adequately sustain caloric needs? In order to answer this daily calorie tracking must be reconciled with overall satiety.
  3. Nutrient density.
    1. Gram per gram and by its nutrient density compared to its wholefood category can this be replaced with something else?
    2. Are there more additives, thickeners, than actual nutrients? Hint: any ingredients on food label firstly on the left, compared to everything else after it ~ legally indicates the biggest component in any given packaging.
  4. Relevance for individual concern (to specific dietary or physiology needs)
    1. Does this food have any suspecting allergens?
      1. Eg. synthetics, industrial additives, thickeners, preservatives.
      2. Eg. Oxalates,  lectins, certain complex carbs / suspecting FODMAPs.
  5. Caloric value.
    1. Assessed by/per 100 grams ~ does it adequately sustain caloric needs?
  6. Re-usability.
    1. Can this food can be re-used in more than one context, or more than one way for it to be enjoyed (reasonably) as is? or does it need combining with additional accessories?

The Subjective (criterias).

These are all “subjective/s” for a reason because they each represents holistic individual experiences overtime. Note the keywords experience, discipline, views, opinions, dissents.

  1. How many years of dieting experiences;
    1. Macronutrient and to some extent micronutrient manipulation, and/or timing.
    2. How consistent and/or discipline at calorie counting;
  2. How many years of self-troubleshooting and/or experiments;
    1. Inclusion / exclusion protocols ~ addressing tolerances or intolerances to food group/s.
  3. How resilient you are at maintaining:
    1. Fitness training ~ both scheduling and their meaningful exertion and/or intensity level.
  4. How many months or years of involuntary hardships?
    1. Income insecurity, food scarcity, involuntary unemployment.

I shall also add to the list, that despite not directly relevant, but indirectly relates to everything we interact. How resilient or ably-critical you are at filtering information, and/or polarising views on;

  1. Science, Nutrition, Politics, Philosophy and so on…

So what do we do with all these information?

Practice Self-Journalling, on top of your daily nutrient tracking.  Then, survey how you feel by eliminating or reducint one (1) food at a time.

  1. Continue reducing and/or Repeat for an entire week.
  2. Continue reducing and/or Repeat for an entire month.

Then, survey how you feel, effects and repercussions, based on the following contexts;

  1. Hunger & satiety
    1. Throughout fasting window take note on changes on hunger rhythms or patterns.
    2. Take note on satiety amidst the the feeding window, relative to daily calorie intake.
  2. Sleep quality
    1. Are you able to fall asleep soundly without distraction.
    2. Do you wake up more tired or wired? Wired – energetic but jittery. Tired – encumbering but anxious.
  3. Stress handling – Physiology
    1. Fitness training quality ~ how are you coping before and after training?
      1. Difficulty, and/or perceived challenges of training volume. Lactic acid threshold, time before exhaustion, number of exericses completed,
      2. Sustainability of the training. Endurance, mind-muscle connection,
      3. Afterwards – how bad is the DOMS / delayed onset muscle soreness. This particularly will be relevant especially if experimenting an entirely new form of movement or exercise.
  4. Stress handling – Psychology 
    1. Composure. How well are you at maintaining, contending or mediating yourself, against amidst minute or hourly stress exposures through:
      1. Creativity- thinking, brainstorming, moodboarding.
      2. Word-finding- fluency, structuring;
      3. Encoding and decoding;

The above are only examples and may not immediately be indicative to someone else’s.  Any specific concerns, especially Nutrigenomics,  auto-immunity, tolerances or intolerances etc are obviously omitted for sake of reading simplicity.

Identify for patterns. And scrutinise.

Should any repercussions happen, especially adverse or detriment, note them down.

See if there is a pattern.Try to replicate this pattern within a time frame (usually no more than a month, depending on severity or nuance). If a pattern is indeed identifiable, then that food item is likely a non-negotiable. 

Of course, people may give up because all this is too hard. Or they blatantly assume everything is important.

Of course everything is important. But by not eliminating nor excluding anything, then effectively we’re not learning anything. Because we do not which is more important, relevant or distinct amidst our own individual circumstances.


In this first part I’ve discussed the criterias, and factors to help determine whether a food is “non-negotiable” from standpoints for maintaining caloric needs, and stress handling both physiological and psychological.

Almost everyone, by now, would realize the impact of every smaller thing they consume. Now more than ever we have to question everything. Of course, this is a long exercise, as one argues.

If you do find value in this, please leave a comment. I wish everyone well.



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