Anyone who trains hard tends to develop a great love of food as they have a great need for it. The better quality of the food, its preparation, and what it is eaten with the more energy and the better you can train!

You may have heard of the legendary feats of athleticism as well as the martial prowess of the Gracies, but do you know about the family’s way of eating that helped them achieve these deeds? It is called the Gracie Diet and was developed by Carlos Gracie Senior in the 1950’s. The Gracie Diet is not actually a diet in the sense we have come to know diets to be, with strict rules about what one can and can’t eat and how much. It is instead a method for eating.

Carlos’ interest in nutrition came after he suffered from debilitating migraines. He was not a doctor but began to do a great deal of research on health findings and medical studies of the time in order to try to find a solution to his migraines and find a way to be on the mats training and creating Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He came to the conclusion (and rightly so) that a great deal of ailments can be cured or reversed by nutrition alone. This idea- that nutrition and physical performance are inseparably linked was not a developed notion of his time and culture. Carlos Sr. then began to research exactly how one could eat and in what way in order to get the best effects from both digestion and nutrition. He wanted to find the principals for healthy eating. From his own observations amongst the Gracie family and for his own body he found that it was not so much what you eat as is it how what you eat is combined and when. From these results he then separated out all foods into several groups to create a system of combining foods that would not ultimately have any negative effects like blood acidity and fermentation in the stomach and digestive tract. He also found that meals should be eaten in intervals of four hours, giving the stomach enough time to completely empty and build back up the acids that help break down our meals.

Carlos attributed the growth in size and athletic abilities of subsequent generations of the Gracie’s to his diet. Indeed it is something to behold that both Carlos and his brother Hélio both lived past their 90th birthday, fought no-holds-barred matches into their 40s, and fathered children that were bigger and even more athletic than themselves.

We will begin to releasing some favourite hand picked recipes from our team that follow the Gracie Diet for you to enjoy. We will also be looking more specifically at the groups in the Gracie Diet and their combinations next week. Till then, take a look at the recipe below from Head Instructor, Professor Bruno Panno. Enjoy!



Bruno Panno- Head Instructor:


Here is a great recipe for dinner or lunch that fits perfectly into the Gracie Diet and its principals of food combination.



  • 4 fish fillets (salmon, orange roughly, or tilapia)
  • 1?2 of a green bell pepper minced
  • 1?2 of a red bell pepper minced
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of minced cilantro
  • 1 package of cream cheese (8 oz)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites (whipped to stiff peak or “snow”)
  • Salt to taste

Servings: 2-4 people


Cook the fish in the olive oil with garlic, onion, bell peppers, and salt. Let the fish cook in its own water; do not add water. When cooked, add the cilantro. Allow it to cook until the water dries up. Mash the fish with a fork so it will crumble. Let it cool down.

Whip the cream cheese with the egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of water; add this cream to the mashed fish and mix everything. Add the whipped egg whites and mix gently. Pour everything in a Pyrex dish greased with butter and bake it in a preheated oven at 350 ? for approximately 40 minutes or until golden brown. It’s ready to serve.


This dish combines with any starch because it does not contain any flour.