It’s no secret that the food list Tim Ferriss has in The 4-Hour Body is not very long. The trouble with it is that you get all these “purists” (as I call them) thinking you can’t eat anything outside of that list, and as a result people get bored with the foods.
Now, I can give you a slow-carb meal plan. I’ve created one you can sign up for if you don’t feel like planning your own meals. But you could also come up with them yourself.
The truth is you could make over 70 (an extremely generous number) totally unique meals, not including the spices that give it totally different flair, off of the small list he posted in the book. But 70 isn’t really that exciting.
How about 12,000+ unique meals?
I’ve put together a “matrix” of slow-carb foods that should help you put together meals for any occasion. I got the idea from Robb Wolf, who did this for one of his clients who said she was bored with eating Paleo.
Below you’ll see a chart of over 100 food items that are totally approved for consumption on the slow-carb diet. To make a meal, pick something from each column (the “Extras” column is optional), and throw it on a plate! The amount of preparation and presentation is up to you.
Mung bean sprouts
Peppers (all kinds)
Great Northern Beans
Herbs de Provance
Macadamia Nut Oil
Tamari (wheat free)
Notes about some of the foods
* These foods are dense carbohydrates and are fine to eat if you are just trying to maintain weight. They’re not to be consumed if your goal is fat loss.
** These foods are technically OK but are very easy to overdo. They should be limited to small snacks only.
How I came up with this list
There are a few different websites that are meant to be exhaustive lists of what you can and can’t eat on slow-carb. Some of them are decent, others are crap. For my list, I started with The 4-Hour Body, and then I compared the lists that Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf put out for their paleo/primal followers.
The proteins were a no-brainer. The veggies are where some of the contention can arise. For example, many people have perfectly fine success eating cucumbers and zucchini, but some respected slow-carb sites say cukes are fruits and therefore strictly prohibited.
I then looked through Tim’s Slow-Carb cookbook (offered here with permission) and noted the ones I didn’t have in my list.
In the remaining questionable cases, I literally searched Tim’s blog for references to the foods to see if they were slow-carb approved.
I’m 100% certain that this is an accurate list, and that if you eat only from this list you’ll be eating foods that promote fat loss.