Healthy Eating: Do You Know The Five Refuel Commandments?

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

Okay men, this one’s for you. A healthy lifestyle reboot book that focuses on food, fitness and health. REFUEL, is a well-written book, with a dose of humor, by my friend and a leading health expert John La Puma, MD.

REFUEL is a 24 day eating plan specifically engineered for the male brain and body designed to boost testosterone levels, help men shed fat, pump up strength and stamina and improve sexual performance.

Dr. La Puma will guide you through the 24-Day eating plan, and he will provide you with fitness tips, the Dos and Don’ts of healthy eating, simple and healthy recipes, including “15 Dishes Every Man Should Know How to Make,” and tips to keep you on track, plus so much more. Here’s a taste of what you’ll find.

REFUEL for Healthin30 DrJohnLaPuma_Refuel_BookCover-197x300

The Five REFUEL Commandments


  1. Do not eat foods you can crumple or crush. Skip potato chips, hamburger buns, squishy bread, pretzels, and so on. These foods weaken muscles, zap energy, spike insulin, and make you store fat. No cheating—being able to crush a zucchini or an apple with a hammer does not count.
  2. Eat primarily undisguised lean protein and strong vegetables. “Undisguised” means not sauced, dressed, breaded, coated, battered, or otherwise masked. Strong vegetables, like broccoli and kale, are those that boost your immunity and make you physically stronger.
  3. Eat only small amounts of grains, starches, sweets, dried fruits, and full-fat dairy, tart up your carbs. Any grain, pasta or rice should get, at minimum, a sprinkle of vinegar, lemon, or lime. Bread should get mustard or salsa. Acidic foods lower glycemic index of refined carbs, improve insulin response, and slow the rate at which carbs are stored as belly fat. Less belly fat means more testosterone for your body to use for muscle building and fat burning.
  4. Only use a 6-inch plate for meals at home. This simple step will reduce your food consumption by 20 percent. You probably won’t even notice the difference, except that your plate will be full when you start, and you’ll eat with more pleasure because of it.
  5. Drink 3 liters of filtered (when possible) water with citrus juice daily. Drink more water.

Exactly how much is 3 liters? Here are a few different ways to look at the quantity.

  • 6 ½ 1-pint Mason jars
  • 68 shot glasses
  • ¾ of a gallon jug
  • 8 ½ large coffee mugs
  • 4 27-ounce Klean Kanteens
  • 6 ½ American pint glasses

(Reprinted with permission from the author, John La Puma, MD.)

Simple steps for men and women

These are all simple easy steps you can start right now. I love number 4—“Only use a 6-inch plate for meals at home.” No need to super-size. Eating the right amount of food is as important as eating the right foods.

While REFUEL’s focus is geared towards men, women can certainly take part. ”Women are the secret weapon men have in doing REFUEL: the best way for men to succeed is to invite a woman to do it with them,” writes Dr. La Puma.

You may find more information about REFUEL here.

Good luck and let the challenge begin, but remember, this isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle.

Your turn

We would love to hear from you. In the comment section below, please let us know if you’ve dived into a REFUEL lifestyle. Please share your thoughts and comments. We would greatly appreciate it.

As always, thank you for your valuable time.

About John La Puma, MD

John La Puma, MD

John La Puma, MD

John La Puma, MD is a practicing physician, board-certified in internal medicine and a professionally trained chef. His mission is to help you get measurably, happily healthier with what you eat and how you live.

Three of his books–”Cooking the RealAge Way,” “The RealAge Diet” and “ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine”–have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into 8 languages. His new book, REFUEL, aims to change how men think about what they eat–as fuel too–and to help men become stronger, healthier and the best versions of themselves.

The Wall Street Journal calls him a “Secret Weapon” against cholesterol and heart disease. He taught the first Nutrition and Cooking course for medical students in the US, at SUNY-Upstate with Dr. Michael Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic, and the first Culinary Medicine course for clinical medical students in the US, at DMU. Dr. La Puma developed the recipes for Dr. Oz and Roizen’s YOU the Owner’s Manual. Repeatedly named “One of America’s Top Physicians” by Consumers’ Research Council, Dr. La Puma has been honored with the American Medical Association/National Association of Medical Communicators “Award of Excellence”.

His new “PBS ChefMD Shorts” series can be seen available nationwide through 2016, and his “Refuel Minute” series is available on YouTube. He is based in and sees patients in Santa Barbara, California.


A fun photo at the Freddie Awards

Barbara Ficarra and John La Puma, MD at the Freddie Awards - Healthin30

John La Puma, MD and Barbara Ficarra at the Freddie Awards-International Health and Medical Media Awards



















Follow Dr. La Puma on Twitter @johnlapuma

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The content on this website and related broadcasts is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical condition. Promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical regimen.

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