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The DIET, Sleep, & Exercise Habits of Geniuses: Einstein, Tesla, & Edison

The (sometimes quirky) diets, sleep, and exercise habits of geniuses – Although we often think of genetics as the main factor in genius, your health and diet has a lot to do with it as well.

Consider that the brain uses a whopping 20% of your body’s total energy; more energy than any other organ. They say, “you are what you eat,” so the fuel you’re putting in your body directly affects your mind.

While we still haven’t invented any pills to quickly transform the average person into a genius (despite the plethora of websites selling such pills!), you can certainly be “smarter” and more energetic with a healthy diet, daily exercise, and good sleep habits.

Let’s look at some of the quirkier diet and exercise habits of a few of history’s greatest geniuses:

Albert Einstein:

albert einstein diet genius

“I have always eaten animal flesh with a somewhat guilty conscience” – Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein wrote the above quote in a letter to his friend, Max Kariel, and soon after became a vegetarian.

Einstein also reportedly slept for at least 10 hours a night, which is even more than is commonly recommended for the average adult. In addition, he also took regular naps throughout the day. But the celebrated physicist didn’t spend all his time asleep, despite the known powers of sleep to solve problems.

He also made sure to get some physical activity. And he walked outside, which is said to further stimulate creative thinking. During his tenure at Princeton, he’d walk to school every day, perhaps inspired by Nikola Tesla, another notorious walker.

Despite getting plenty of rest and exercise, which are known key components of success, his other habits may have been less healthy. Einstein enjoyed carbs in the form of spaghetti and was also a devoted pipe smoker.

*Related: Ensure protein drinks: 30% off with coupon!


Thomas Edison:

thomas edison diet

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas Edison

Unlike Einstein, Thomas Edison reportedly slept very little, only around three to four hours a night. Although his invention of the lightbulb meant that he was able to work longer hours, he did sneak in quite a few power naps in unusual spaces, which he apparently didn’t count as sleeping, but likely went a long way toward his inventive prowess.

Edison didn’t exercise purposefully and considered standing and walking around his lab all the movement that was necessary. But, he seems to be an early proponent of preventative medicine, at least according to his famous quote that doctors of the future will stop people from getting sick, rather than doling out medicine based on a current illness.

Hollywood probably won’t ever be swept by a trendy, “Thomas Edison Diet,” as It seems that he engaged in some sort of milk diet fad that touted milk as a healthy cure-all.

Ironically, this “diet” may have contributed to his deadly struggle with diabetes, as milk has a naturally high sugar content and caused his blood sugar to skyrocket.


Nikola Tesla:

nikola tesla diet

Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison’s notorious nemesis, also had some interesting ideas when it came to health and could be considered an early health guru in addition to a scientific genius. He reportedly performed nightly toe exercises to improve his brain function.

Tesla also walked up to 10 miles each day, and would even exercise while bathing.

Although he disliked caffeinated products, he was a fan of alcohol and enjoyed a daily whiskey. Like Edison, he enjoyed a daily intake of carbs, but in the form of potatoes, not pasta. One of Tesla’s interests was to live longer in good health to be able to do his work for longer.

Tesla also drank a lot of milk and was an early advocate of avoiding overeating and filling up on vegetables and was reportedly mostly vegetarian.


More Genius Diets

Madame Curie may have discovered radium, but she was woefully inept when it came to eating. During her younger, poverty-stricken years, she ate so little that she eventually passed out. When she was older, Curie reportedly would get so caught up in her work that she would forget to eat and didn’t want to take precious moments away from her lab to learn how to cook.

Of course, in some cases, unusual eating habits may not be the path to genius and longevity. Steve Jobs is commonly admired as a modern genius but eventually succumbed to cancer after a diet consisting of enough carrots to change the color of skin from time to time. Jobs also ate dates and almonds and was a fan of weeklong fasts.

French writer Honore de Balzac was a huge fan of caffeine for stimulating his ability to put pen to paper and even wrote an essay on the value of coffee. Known for drinking 50 cups of coffee at once, he eventually died of caffeine poisoning, which was either a case of too much of a good thing or shows that Tesla was correct in avoiding the stuff.

“I’m gonna go get coffee. #CoffeeTheMusical” (tweet) – Lin-Manuel Miranda

Hamilton creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda is considered by many (including myself) to be a genius. Unlike Balzac, he’s never risked his life on a caffeine binge, but he does frequently tweet about drinking coffee. (and his dog, Tobillo!)   


Many geniuses were vegetarians

“Nothing will benefit health or increase chances of survival on earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” – Albert Einstein

Although geniuses frequently have differences of opinion, it seems that a great many of them were vegetarian, or leaned toward vegetarianism, include both Einstein and Tesla. Not to mention Gandhi and possibly Leonardo da Vinci.

Adopting some of these curious habits may or may not help you enjoy clearer thinking, but tread cautiously because while Tesla lived into his 80s, other geniuses had considerably shorter lifespans, for one reason or another!

If you want to be smarter, consider a healthy (vegetarian?) diet with plenty of sleep and exercise.  You could also consider the popular MIND diet, as well as daily supplements for your mind like Ginko Biloba, vitamin B-12, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Ironically, our foraging ancestors ate a diet that naturally made them healthier and smarter, but these days you have to make more of a conscious effort!

Looking to lose weight? For motivation, check out our favorite inspirational quotes. We also have great articles on top diets like WW (reviews, coupons) Nutrisystem (reviews, coupons) and South Beach Diet (reviews, coupons).

Thanks for stopping by Mighty Diets!

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Nutrisystem for Vegetarians: (Updated)

nutrisystem logoReview: Nutrisystem for vegetarians – Going vegetarian has undeniable health benefits. However, when some people switch to a vegetarian diet, they may find that they aren’t losing enough weight. For this reason a number of vegetarians seek out the help of a structured diet plan.

If you’re looking for a convenient and effective vegetarian meal-delivery diet, it’s worth considering Nutrisystem.


First, How Nutrisystem Works

vegetarian dessertThe foundation of all Nutrisystem plans is the monthly shipment of high-protein low-carb meals. These prepared meals are perfectly portioned for your dietary needs and are high in protein and low in (bad) carbs.

With Nutrisystem plans for women and men, you’ll eat 6 smaller meals a day (every 2-3 hours) which helps to regulate your blood sugar and boost your metabolism.

Each week you’ll supplement their meals with fresh fruits and vegetables from the grocery store, and you can enjoy a “flex” meal at a restaurant or your own cooking each week. All Nutrisystem plans cost about $10 a day, although you’ll pay more for increased variety of food.

*You can read about the cost of Nutrisystem here or view today’s couponsnew for up to $100 off signup!


All Plans Start With “Turbo 13”

turbo13All Nutrisystem plans, including Vegetarian, start with Turbo 13, designed to help you lose up to 13 pounds in your first month (18 pounds for men). Your first week on the program includes Turbo Takeoff consisting of special meals, shakes, and bars to jump start your weight loss and control your blood sugar levels.

Once you’ve completed the first week, you’ll move on to regular Nutrisystem meals which you’ll record and plan in your Daily Tracker.

If you want to know more, you can read about how Nutrisystem works, or read what we learned from reading 300+ customer reviews. (including bad ones!) 

Here’s how vegetarian Nutrisystem works:


Nutrisystem for Vegetarians:

nutrisystem vegetarian plan

Nutrisystem has a Vegetarian Plan for women and men

If you are a vegetarian, Nutrisystem has created a special plan just for you. Just select the “vegetarian” tab at the top of their site (see above) to view plan options for women and men.

Vegetarians will still get a similar amount of daily nutrition as the regular plan, including protein, but it will come from other sources. If you signup for their vegetarian plan, Nutrisystem will do all the meal planning for you with the option to customize their choices.

Nutrisystem is a high-protein diet, and many of their regular meal options include meat. This means that going vegetarian will reduce your number of menu options. This is a potential drawback for the vegetarian plan, so let’s see what the food looks like.


Vegetarian Food List:

nutrisystem vegetarian food

  • BREAKFAST foods: Buttermilk Waffles, Cinnamon Roll, Double Chocolate Muffin, Biscotti Bites, Homestyle Pancakes, Cinnamon Streusel Muffin, Honey Wheat Bagel, Thick Sliced French Toast, Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal, Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, Harvest Nut Bar, Cinnamon Bun Bar, Granola Cereal, Cinnamon Raisin Baked Bar, Peanut Butter Granola Bar, NutriFlakes Cereal, Strawberry Cheese Crepe, Banana Nut Muffin,  (7 more)
  • LUNCH foods: Spinach And Cheese Pretzel Melt, Southwest Fiesta Melt, White Cheddar Mac And Cheese, Broccoli & Cheese Melt, Tortilla Soup, Black Beans & Rice, Double Chocolate Caramel Bar, Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar, Four Cheese Melt, Cheddar Broccoli Rice, Spicy Kung Pao Noodles, Cheese Tortellini (5 more)
  • DINNER foods: Vegetable Lasagna, Margherita Pizza, Ravioli Formaggio, Stuffed Shells, Italian Herb Flatbread Pizza, Whole Wheat Ricotta Crepes, Vegetarian Chili, Pasta Fagioli, Bean Bolognese, Mushroom Risotto, Fiesta Macaroni And Cheese
  • SNACKS: (and desserts) Dark Chocolate And Sea Salt Nut Bar, Ice Cream Sandwich, Orange Cream Bar, Chocolate Brownie Sundae, Milk Chocolate Flavored Pretzels, White Cheddar Popcorn, Toffee Crunch Cookies, Sweet And Salty Snack Mix (nuts), Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheese Puffs, Sweet Jalapeno Chips, (17 more

Sample Vegetarian Menu:

sample vegetarian menu nutrisystem

When you’re on the Nutrisystem plan, you’re choosing meals and snacks (from the list above) to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Here’s what a sample day on Nutrisystem’s Vegetarian plan might look like:

  • Breakfast: Apple cinnamon oatmeal
  • Mid-morning snack: Non-fat yogurt
  • Lunch: Spicy Kung Pao Noodles
  • Afternoon snack: Apple slices with peanut butter
  • Dinner: Italian Herb Flatbread Pizza and a side salad
  • Evening snack: Chocolate brownie sundae

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Customizing Your Vegetarian Plan:

With the vegetarian plan meal choices are made for you. However, if you’d like to customize your menu, you can do so on their website.

nutrisystem vegetarian options

Nutrisystem food is organized by meal including: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. From their site, choose one and then sort accordingly, in this case I chose “dinner” and then “vegetarian” from under “special dietary needs:”

Although vegetarian Nutrisystem claims to offer 90+ food options, there isn’t a lot of variety as half of this total number are snacks. For example, if you sort meals for “vegetarian dinners,” you’ll only get 12 results, including a lot of pasta dishes.


Nutritional Info:

Nutrisystem provides vegetarians the same daily amounts of nutrients like protein and carbs as their other plans. Here’s an overview of how the plan compares to the recommended daily amounts:

 Daily Recommended:Nutrisystem:
Calories:1600-2000Women: 1200
Men: 1500
Carbs:45-56% (135-195g) Men: 45%
Women: 47%
Protein:10-35%26%
Fiber:25g (source)Women: 30g
Men: 36g
Sodium:2300 mg (source)2124 mg
Fat:20-35%27-28%
Sat. Fat:10% (9-12g) 8-9% (6-9g)

*Based on recommended daily amounts for women on a weight-loss diet


Reviews: What Do Customers Say?

Only a small number of people who review Nutrisystem choose the vegetarian plan, but even so, it’s helpful to read what people like or complain about:

*Positive Reviews: Highlights from customers who tried the vegetarian plan include appreciation for the order that being on Nutrisystem provides. Just about any vegetarian diet is “healthy,” but a lot of customers like the structure that this diet provides, including meal planning and portioning.

“Some people don’t like being told what to eat and when, but it really helps me, especially with a busy schedule. I was eating too many carbs before, and not losing weight, so being on the plan is working for me!” – Toni of Chicago IL

*Negative Reviews: The biggest complaint that I found while scouring reviews is that the vegetarian plan doesn’t have enough variety.

“I quit Nutrisystem (vegetarian) after 3 months because I felt like I was eating the same pasta dishes for dinner every night!” – Joan of Lees Summit, MO

Reviews confirm our overall assessment of the diet which is that you need discipline for this diet to be effective, as you sacrifice menu freedom for weight loss results. If you enjoy cooking, this might not be the best diet for you. (consider Weight Watchers?) Besides meat, you’ll also need to give up a lot of those tasty non-starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn!


Nutrisystem for Vegans? Meh… Not Enough Variety!

If you follow a strict vegan plan, Nutrisystem isn’t a good choice because it’s vegan menu items are very limited and must be sorted and chosen from the vegetarian plan, rather than included in a specific “vegan” plan.

For example, sorting their dinner options by both “vegetarian” and “no eggs,” yields only 5 meal options! Breakfast, lunch and snacks offer more variety, but I can’t recommend Nutrisystem for vegans unless you are content with having most of your meals be bars, melts, and rice.


Why Would a Vegetarian Choose Nutrisystem?

nutrisystem logoChoosing to eat vegetarian has a myriad of health benefits, so why would a vegetarian choose Nutrisystem?

Here are a few reasons the Vegetarian:

  • Convenience: Meal planning and preparation takes a lot of time and energy. Nutrisystem provides you with most of your food, making it a popular diet for busy people.
  • Structure: Eating vegetarian is a great choice, but are you eating a healthy number of meals at the right time? Nutrisystem puts order to your daily menu with 6 small meals each day
  • Truly “vegetarian”: Was that soup you ordered made with beef stock? Maybe that healthy vegetable burrito was cooked in lard? If you aren’t making your own meals, there is always the question of whether they are actually vegetarian. There are no meaty surprises with Nutrisystem’s meals!
  • Portion size is also an important consideration in any healthy diet, and much of our weight issues come from the growing portion sizes that we are served. All of your meals with Nutrisystem are “perfectly portioned” so that you get just the right amount of food
  • Protein: In giving up meat, many vegetarians don’t eat enough protein in their diet. Nutrisystem proves over 70g of protein a day, which exceeds the recommended amount!

In Conclusion

If you have adopted a vegetarian lifestyle but aren’t losing your desired amount of weight, Nutrisystem for Vegetarians is worth considering. It’s high in protein, “smart” carbs, and fiber, and the prepared or packaged meals are perfectly portioned with optimal nutrition.

By eating small healthy meals more frequently, you’ll take control of your blood sugar while feeling fuller longer. While food selection is limited, Nutrisystem does give vegetarians a convenient meal-delivery option for losing stubborn pounds and living a healthier lifestyle.

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*Not sold on Nutrisystem? You may find that the flexibility and food variety of Weight Watchers Online is a better option!Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest