The Dragon’s diet
One of the factors that made Bruce Lee an icon. And a timeless myth that has lasted to this day was undoubtedly his spectacular physique.
Achieved through continuous and intense training, and a strict diet developed by himself based on trial and error.
He knew that food is essential to achieve a correct physical, mental and spiritual balance. For some, he became extremely thin, for others he reached physical perfection.
The truth is that it reached a 0% body fat index, achieved. Thanks to an excellent combination of nutrition, supplementation, physical preparation and martial training.
Bruce Lee trained several times a day, which made him create a diet that balanced and compensated for all energy and physical expenditure daily. Seeing the amazing body of the Little Dragon, one can come to think that dietetics and nutrition were part of the many knowledge he possessed, but the truth is that it was not.
His intense life of training, research and film production left him no time to delve into this field. There is no known meeting with expert nutritionists, nor is there a reference to how to improve sports performance in any of their treatises and manuscripts.
However, by combining personal notes with the recollections of those who knew him best. We can arrive at an approximation of what Lee thought about this topic.
-I did more research in the field of nutrition. Since Bruce, the truth, did not know how to boil a pot of water. Nor did he care to learn. He had neither the interest nor the time to waste in these pursuits. I was the cook, and since he was always working outside. I tried to do my best to prepare healthy and nutritious meals for him. Linda Lee ”.
Mealtime, Linda recalls, was never the Lee family’s main focus; eating was simply considered the “fuel” that kept them going to get on with their lives.
Linda did read many nutrition books and was inspired by the advice of nutritionist Adele Davis. Who recommended eating whole grains and avoiding refined foods and simple sugars.
Thanks to this, Lee enjoyed the benefits of a correct diet, without having to commit his time to it. Which is not to say that Lee didn’t mind this aspect in his preparation. Since he was aware that he could not demand the maximum performance from his body. If it did not provide the best “fuel”.
Linda recalls that Lee stopped consuming a lot of baked goods. Because they were made up of refined flours that provided only empty calories. And he had no interest in consuming calories that he couldn’t use for energy.
Bruce ate 3 to 5 meals a day, and in small amounts. Mainly because it all revolved around his work and on a scheduled time throughout the day.
But this did not obsess him, throughout the day he could have a couple of protein shakes, juices, Asian food. And then teach a class or have a “normal dinner”, like most people. His favourite food was just about anything from China, and carbohydrate sources like pasta.
A DAY AT “Bruce Lee Diet”
Bruce could start the day with muesli or mixed cereals (whole grains, nuts, and other dried fruits) for breakfast.
At noon he used to have a modest lunch consisting of rice, vegetables, and meat, chicken, or seafood. And for dinners, Linda remembers making spaghetti or other types of pasta for dinner regularly, along with a salad.
We didn’t always have meat, and Bruce preferred Asian food. Especially because of the great variety it presents. As well as the proportion of meat and vegetables, often more vegetables than meat in Asian dishes. Linda Lee ”.
Lee found American food to be quite monotonous, often a single dish, while Asian food was always more variety. This variety allowed him to eat a more balanced diet, as well as make meals more enjoyable. And he could eat a little of everything. Rather than “too much of something.” Lee considered this to be the best way to eat.
This is not to say that he did not consume western food, or that he even allowed himself to visit a McDonalds from time to time.
But he thought Western cuisine places too much emphasis on protein and fat. And used dairy products primarily to make his protein shakes.
SUPPLEMENTS AND READ
Lee was aware of the benefits that nutritional supplementation can bring to improve athletic performance.
He was a regular consumer of protein shakes. He drank about a couple of protein shakes daily. Which were prepared by Linda from powdered milk, following the advice of nutritionist Adele Davis.
Linda maintains that she never had a “recipe” for making these types of shakes, and she also does not remember exactly what measurements she used.
Because it depended on the type of training Lee was doing (strength, endurance, volume, etc…). But what is certain is that he prepared it once or twice a day.
Bruce wrote some annotations on this, to make a shake that would maximize the results of strength and power gains.
Add the peanuts, eggs (with shell) and bananas with the powdered milk and mix in the blender. If you want faster results, use better semi-skimmed milk than normal ”.
And of course, we have extracted the recipe for you, from among all your notes:
A “Lee’s Protein” shake
- Milk powder
- Water or juice
- Ice cubes
- 2 eggs (sometimes even in shell)
- Wheat germ (or oil, 1 tablespoon)
- Brewer’s yeast (1 tablespoon)
- Peanut butter (1 tablespoon)
- 1 Banana
- Soy lecithin (grain)
VITAMINS AND MINERALS
In addition to his protein shakes, Bruce took vitamin and mineral supplements.
Bruce and Linda frequented the Lindberg Nutrition store in Santa Monica. To buy a multivitamin made up of 7 pills, which provided a balanced supply of vitamins and minerals.
In 1971, when Lee was filming “The Big Boss” (“The Big Boss”, also called “Karate to the death in Bangkok”). In Pakchong (Thailand) he often wrote letters to his family, an excerpt from one of them was can read:
The food in Bangkok is terrible, especially in Pakchong. This town has no beef and very little chicken and pork. I’m happy to have brought my vitamins ”.
Despite taking a balanced intake of vitamins and minerals. He paid special importance to Vitamin C. Of which he took an extra when he noticed that his resistance dropped as a result of fatigue or stress.
PASSION FOR JUICES
Lee was passionate about juices, because being so active, he quickly metabolized the “fuel” he ingested.
Linda Lee, remember they had an electric juicer long before they were all the rage. And on the days when I didn’t have 2 protein shakes, I would have one and a juice.
In the juices, he found the key to raising his energy level. Particularly with a curious mixture of carrots, celery and apples.
HONEY, GINSENG AND TEA
Another supplement that helped Lee keep his energy levels high was Royal Jelly. The mixture of queen bee honey with ginseng.
Kareem Abduul Jabbar recalled how Lee took his Royal Jelly supplement frequently during the filming of “Game of Death”. Herb Jackson recalls Lee saying:
-Every time I have to do a demonstration, I take a jar of Royal Jelly and ‘Boom! My energy levels are perfect. “
Lee appreciated 4,000 years of Chinese history and experience with herbs and tea. I thought that if something had been around for so many years, it would be because it really worked.
Bruce did not drink coffee, but he was a great tea lover his entire life. He drank and tasted all kinds of tea, although he especially liked Lipton tea with honey, and when she was filming in Hong Kong, Linda would prepare a large thermos for him, so that he could drink it between scenes during filming.
Another tea that he consumed a lot was “Li Cha“. A black (almost red) tea that is allowed to steep and is consumed with milk and sugar. Giving it a taste similar to English tea.
But aside from its pleasant taste, Lee knew of the many health benefits attributed to tea.
Bruce Lee had a very healthy and balanced diet for his level of activity. The most surprising thing about bruce lee diet was the consumption of carbohydrates at night. Since carbohydrates, if not consumed, turn into fat.
We must also remember that bruce lee diet was based on the intake of carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins. So perhaps that excess of carbohydrates at night was the contribution of “fats” he needed to balance his body.
Either way, Bruce was physically fit, then he managed to find a diet that perfectly suited his metabolism.
Lee believed that people should be aware of what they consume on a daily basis. And consume what the body really needs and not simply for the pleasure of eating. In this regard, some annotations were found within the pages of his Operation Dragon script (Enter the Dragon):
If you are a martial artist, eat only what your body needs. And do not get carried away by culinary pleasures“.
Bruce Lee Diet Sample
Bruce Lee Diet Sample consists of.
Food: Bowl of muesli with nuts or fruit.
Drink: Juice or tea.
Juice or protein drink.
Food: meat, vegetables and rice.
Juice or protein drink.
Food: Spaghetti and salad or other types of food with rice, vegetables or seafood.
Drink: A glass with 2% milk or tea.
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