Nutrition Tips For Productivity

Discussing health and nutrition hacks with Liz Fox, director of sports nutrition at the University of Florida.

Video Transcript

Another day, another escape room.

We really liked the one yesterday so we decided to book another one for today. Did some work in the morning.

It’s close to 1 p.m. and we’re gonna head out to do another escape room. What I like about these rooms is they’re two-hour rooms so they’re extra long and Jordan is whining about being hungry even though he had two breakfasts already.

So let’s go.

[I think the concept of owning water balls is so outdated anyway.]

[Come on, Jordan, you’re late.]


Once again, we’ve survived Bali traffic. That’s something about the traffic here. Jordan is making a food stop so you realize he’s too hungry to play an escape room right now. So we’re just waiting on him and then we’re gonna go in.

And that is the place. Pandora experience or another escape room. And I think today’s escape room is… What’s the theme for today? Area 51 is the theme for today. So let’s see.

Thanks to Jordan’s hunger, we’re already 15 minutes into the time we have for our escape room. So we’d better be quick. I do feel bad for him a bit though.

The first challenge with this place was breaking in. So dark in here.


We just escaped. An hour and 16 minutes which is pretty good. It was another pretty cool room. Lots of containers that moved and lots of different rooms, videos, pretty good stuff.

You never know who you’ll meet at the other end of the world

This looks like the perfect life. And I’m super, super happy but also this is a lot more fun to film than the many days where I just sit in an airplane and work or an airport lounge or hotel room by myself and I work late nights.

I think it’s interesting how global the world has become. Everyone’s traveling and even if you’re not traveling, you’re probably interacting with people from far away. So even if you’re just based somewhere in Europe, you’re reading international news or you collaborate with people from all over.

And what’s cool about this is that everyone is traveling. I have these seemingly random coincidences where I get to meet up with people I haven’t seen in a while. Yesterday we actually found out that a good friend of mine who I went to university with just arrived in Canggu which is just north of here. So we’re gonna meet up for dinner. He actually lives in Zurich but we haven’t seen each other in probably one and a half years. So sometimes it takes two people to end up in the same spot at the other end of the world.

I know he’s been here many times, he has his own boat. He does a lot of surfing in Switzerland and I think his job still allows him to live a few months in Australia each year and then the rest of the year in Switzerland.

2222 push-up in a day? Challenge accepted!

We did the escape room, came back, another two hours of work. And we’re gonna head up there to Canggu.

And today I’m skipping my daily workout because tomorrow a friend of mine challenged me to do 2222 push-ups in one day and I’m thinking about adding squats to that. So I’m giving my body a rest because I’m still a bit sore from yesterday. Just let it recharge so that tomorrow I can go all in.


We’ve made it up to Canggu. Worst traffic ever. We were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.

[He’s the number-one surfer boy in Switzerland!]

[You taught me wakeboarding, right?]

We just had a gorgeous dinner, beautiful people, they’re gonna be here for another three weeks on vacation on a boat trip. Took us a long time. Obviously, you have to meet in Bali.

Nutrition tips for travelers with Liz Fox

So it’s almost midnight and I have another call with Liz who’s a friend of a friend. Volunteered to get on the phone with me and talk about nutrition, workouts and so on and so forth. To make it work with my lifestyle where I travel a lot. I’ll report right after the call what I’ve learned.

Liz: So I’m the Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Florida. So I oversee the nutrition care for all of our athletes.

On dealing with jet lag

Cédric: For you personally, when you travel larger distances, do you take any melatonin or any sleeping aids?

Liz: Yeah, if I go West Coast, I’ve been big on just trying to figure out being on a schedule. So trying to mirror where you’re going from a time difference perspective before you get there. Although I know that’s not really applicable for everybody. Melatonin worked well for me. It doesn’t work for everybody, it just depends.

Magnesium can also be helpful for sleep and in particular people that are deficient in magnesium. We use that a lot with our athletes. Exercising is really helpful. There is some research on the “argon” type diet where they recommend you fast as soon as you got on the plane when you’re gonna be going for long periods of time. Never personally done that and I don’t believe there’s a lot of research behind it.

Optimal diet and nutrition tips

Cédric: Besides jet lag, one thing that I used to struggle with and right now I do again even though I had to kind of figure it out but right now I struggle with it again, is that I figured out my routine every day when I get up. I just do a bunch of push-ups and squats. The dieting part – I’m kind of off-track right now. What I used to do is eat keto. Eat no carbs in any kind of cuisine, do intermittent fasting. So very often just eat once per day, maybe a small snack. Right now I’m kind of off of that. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on any particular diet?

Liz: The unfortunate part is that there’s no one diet that works well for everybody. I think you have to figure out what will fit based on your schedule, based on your body, how you react to things… Everybody’s so different. I think the ketogenic diet can be great. I think the hardest part of the keto diet is the sustainability of it unless you’ve got a ketone supplement that you take with you.

Kind of a combination of an intermittent fasting and a crossover between a paleo and a keto where you’re not doing a lot of carbs but you’re putting slow releasing carbs in with other foods throughout the day based on when you’re training and then based on when you’re most active.

Cédric: But is there some advice on what makes sense – if I had to eat some carbs, is it better to eat them in the morning, at lunch or..?

Liz: Sure, obviously most people are more active during the day but if your plan is to get up and be more active, do your workout in the mornings, then yeah, I think it would benefit you to eat some carbs in before and then after.

How do you know when things are off track?

Cédric: I think I have a pretty good feeling for my body and I know when something is completely off but are there any tricks that I can use to get an early sign for when I’m not getting enough sleep or when I’m missing calcium or magnesium?

Liz: Until you’re clinically deficient, you’re not going to have any sort of physical manifestation.

Cédric: Do you guys use any kind of app to help with the tracking and fine-tuning?

Liz: Not super great ones that I’ve come across. I know a lot of my athletes use My Fitness Pal and that one’s okay. It’s just for them, it’s simple, it’s easy for them to put their food in there. Most of them just track it on their notes on their phone and then you can just send the notes to me.

Cédric: Thanks a lot, Liz, this has been super insightful and have a great Monday!

My takeaways about jet lag, nutrition, and workouts

In case I said it wrong – Liz is the Director of Sports Nutrition in Miami. The main takeaway for me in regards to jet lag is to just experiment with stuff that most people agree have no side effects. Something like melatonin and magnesium.

So we covered that but then we also talked a bunch about diets and workouts. For the past few days, you’ve probably seen it in the videos, I’ve cheated. I have not followed the ketogenic diet which is strictly no carbs.

I’m going back to it tomorrow morning and the rule there is I do want to have one small snack per day and then within eight hours one normal meal. And if I know I want to eat at dinner, then I’m gonna skip lunch or have a very late breakfast and small breakfast. So I’m gonna give this a try for the next two months, also until the end of this experiment here.

Liz had super interesting insights. One thing I might want to do is find out if there’s a good supplement that I can carry with me and take.

And then have a good night and I’ll see you tomorrow!

You can listen to the audio version here: