Your box contains everything you'll need for 5 days of fasting mimicking.
Here's what you'll find inside, and an explanation of why each item was chosen.
LifeBox is a Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD). A diet that tricks your body into thinking it's fasting while still allowing you some food. So you get the benefits of fasting without actually pure fasting.
The concept developed by Dr. Valter Longo, leading Gerontologist (specialist in the field of aging) and Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California - i.e. he knows his stuff.
The results from the original trial are astounding to say the least. They were first published along with the nutritional criteria & dietary framework in the July 2015 publication of Cell Metabolism: A Periodic Diet that Mimics Fasting Promotes Multi-System Regeneration, Enhanced Cognitive Performance, and Healthspan.
A Phase II study was completed in February 2017, adding more evidence towards the effectiveness of fasting mimicking at slowing aging, and preventing metabolic diseases.
I explain how it works and the benefits you receive in more detail on another post, you can read that here.
The Nutritional Criteria
We have borrowed the nutritional criteria from these studies to develop our own version of FMD.
Here's the criteria Dr. Longo followed during the first study (note: it changed slightly for the Phase II study).
- The 5 day fasting plan provides between 34% and 54% of normal caloric intake
- Day 1 provides 1,090 kcal
- 10% protein, 56% fat, 34% carbohydrate
- Days 2–5 provide 725 kcal
- 9% protein, 44% fat, 47% carbohydrate
And here's LifeBox criteria - a nutritional breakdown of current LifeBox contents.
- The 5 day fasting plan provides between 34% and 54% of normal caloric intake
- Day 1 provides 992 kcal
- 12.9% protein, 49.9% fat, 44.3% carbohydrate
- Days 2–5 provide 689 kcal
- 13.6% protein, 53.16% fat, 41.6% carbohydrate
Now let's talk about how we arrived at these numbers.
Calories: 34% to 54% of Normal Dietary Intake
34% to 54% of 2,00 calories equals: 680 to 1,080 calories.
This is the most important criteria and is what separates fasting mimicking from calorie restriction (CR) and dieting.
By restricting calories to within this range FMD activates the physiological process of fasting, our ultimate goal.
Your body transitions into the fasted state, activates ketosis, and upregulates autophagy.
It’s like tricking your body. Your body acts as though it is water fasting even though you're eating some food, which makes it WAY easier.
And that's the beauty of fasting mimicking. You get the benefits of fasting without the physical burden.
Keeping protein low acts as an extra measure for lowering IGF-1 and mTOR, two pathways that have been linked to aging.
One way LifeBox keeps protein low is by adhering to a plant-based diet.
All our box contents are vegetarian.
Balanced Carbohydrates and Fats
FMD's greatest advantage is that it's doable.
Balancing carbohydrates and fats provide your body with essential nutrients that reduce the physical burden of fasting, so you have the energy to go about life as usual.
Your mind will be sharp so you can perform well at work, your mood will be stabilized so you don’t bite anyone’s head off, and you’ll have enough physical energy to accomplish demanding jobs or to get a workout in.
Carbs are kept slightly lower than fats as an extra measure for lowering blood glucose levels.
You may have noticed that LifeBox's criteria differs slightly from the study criteria.
That's because we build our box from existing products.
Using existing products makes it more difficult to meet exact ratios, but it allows us to choose from a wide variety of items so we have the flexibility to keep your box fresh and fun by changing up the contents as new products are released.
Besides, we think it's more delicious this way!
Lastly, we've tested all different combinations of fats, carbs, and protein at all different caloric levels. We guarantee that our nutrient profile will properly transition your body into fasting ketosis and produce the desired effects and benefits for your health.
Let's have a look at what products are currently inside LifeBox.
Comments About Each Product in LifeBox
Organic Oatmeal Packets
Oatmeal is warm and filling. It's a great way to start the day.
Ingredients: Organic whole grain rolled oats
Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee
Mushrooms are superfoods, and these contain some of the best: cordyceps, lion's mane, and chaga.
Extract is taken from these delicious shrooms and combined with 100% arabica coffee. It tastes great, just like coffee, and is packed full of antioxidants, immune boosting properties, and adaptogenic properties
Adaptogens are rare and remarkable plants that increase the body’s ability to counter and resist physical, chemical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors by raising nonspecific resistance toward such stress.
It's longevity coffee, that gives you clean energy without all the caffeine.
Ingredients: Instant coffee powder, cordyceps dual-extract, lion's mane dual-extract, chaga dual-extract.
I think our team has tried nearly every health bar out there and we've never left Kind.
Kind bars are the most delicious bars that fit are criteria and don't contain tons of artificial additives.
There are healthier bars out there, it's true, but most of them taste nasty! Our ultimate goal is making this something that you or anyone will actually do, and a huge part of that is including food that you enjoy.
We love Kind bars, everyone else loves them too - cause they're yummy.
Ingredients (example): Almonds, cashews, peanuts, honey, glucose syrup, chicory root fiber, rice flour, sea salt, soy lecithin, sugar.
Brad's chips are dehydrated veggie chips. You get a lot of chips for not too many calories, and they're deliciously crunchy!
Ingredients: Carrots, red bell pepper, flax seeds, buckwheat groat, chickpea miso (rice, chickpeas, sea salt, water, koji spores, scallions, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, Himalayan sea salt, cayenne pepper.
Pistachios are chocked full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. They also happen to be one of my favorite types of nuts!
Ingredients: Pistachios, salt.
Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds
Almonds, another great source of healthy fat. We use whole natural to avoid unhealthy oils that are commonly used during the roasting process.
Tasty Bite Entrees
These entrees are vegetarian, gluten free, with no artificial additives flavors or preservatives and come in BPA free pouches so they're easy to prepare. We use a few different flavors.
Ingredients (example): Tomatoes, Potatoes, Mushroom, Onion, Water, Garlic, Sunflower Oil, Chickpea Flour, Sugar, Coriander, Salt, Chilies, Spices, Turmeric.
Cucina & Amore Quinoa Meal
Quinoa is the bomb, and so are these. We use 3 different flavors and they're all preservative free, gluten free, vegan, and non GMO.
Ingredients (example): Quinoa, artichoke, onion, red pepper, yellow pepper, sunflower oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, parsley, citric acid, and black pepper powder.
Vana Life Food Legume Bowls
Super yum and easy to eat. The main ingredient is fresh green chickpeas that are packed full of vitamins and nutrients. We use 4 flavors that are all vegan, gluten free, preservative free, non GMO, and packaged in a BPA free pouch.
Ingredients (example): Green chickpeas, tomatoes, water, potatoes, kale, garlic, olive oil, parsley, Contains 2% or less of Corn starch, canola/olive oil blend, rosemary, sea salt.
Gynostemma (Jiaogulan) Tea
Gynotemma is a green herb from China that became famous as "immortality tea". It's a caffein free green tea that's used as an antioxidant, stress reliever, and detoxifier, among other things.
Gynostemma is one of the few known adaptogens, which I mentioned above as plants that increase the body’s ability to counter and resist stress.
The biggest reason we included this, however, is that gynostemma is known to raise AMPK. The benefits of AMPK are deep and wide. It upregulates autophagy and is known to lower blood sugar, just to name a few.
A nice glass of this tea is a great way to end the day and add an extra kick to your fast.
Ingredients: Gynostemma pentaphyllum.
Why We Chose These
Obviously the sum of your box contents must fit our nutritional criteria in order to deliver the maximum amount of health benefits while simultaneously minimizing stress on your body.
After that we focus on health quality, or the cleanness of each product. We look for the cleanest possible products prioritizing things like Certified Organic, Non-GMO, MSG free, and avoiding any artificial additives.
Otherwise we simply want you to have the best experience possible. There are 3 main factors that help maximize this.
We Want Everything to Be Delicious
You aren’t getting much food (it is fasting), so the food you do get should be yummy!
We personally try everything to make sure that it tastes as good as it works.
However, we also understand that people have different tastes and preferences.
So if you try something you don’t like, send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll see about getting it swapped out for your next box.
One of the most difficult things about water fasting is that it wreaks havoc on your internal clock and social life by taking away meal time.
Meal time is such an integral part of our day that missing out on it is an unusual and often uncomfortable feeling.
So we chose products that allow you to have 3 meals per day - breakfast, lunch and dinner. This lets LifeBox fit more cohesively within your normal routine.
Besides, no one wants to just snack all day.
On the Go
A good health plan shouldn’t complicate your life, it should simplify and improve it.
That’s why in addition to being all inclusive, your box contents are shelf-stable (no refrigeration is required), and they require minimal preparation.
So when you're busy or travelling for work, LifeBox can go with you.
I hope this has been a useful overview of the products we use and why.
If you have any questions about the food products that we haven't answered, just drop a comment below and I'll be sure to answer them personally!