When you think of Leonardo da Vinci, what words come to mind?  Personally, I think of the Mona Lisa, painting, art, genius, etc.  What would you say if I told you that along with all of those things you should also be thinking about anatomy, exercise, and diet?  Yep, da Vinci could have been a healthy living blogger!

My team and I hosted a number of career and personal development events at work this week.  One of the workshops was called “How to Think Like da Vinci.”  It was about the 7 da Vincian Principals and how we can use them to improve our lives.  A few individuals, including myself, got to take home the book associated with the session – “How to Think Like da Vinci” by Michael Gelb…go figure!  I was flipping through it today and came across an entire chapter about da Vinci’s thoughts on the body, fitness, healthy eating, and flexibility.  Obviously, I was intrigued!



Da Vinci believed that along with exercise, a healthy diet will help us live long, happier, more balanced lives.  He believed in the fundamental truths of intelligent eating – most of which have withstood years of research. 

I really like da Vinci’s “diet tips” because they’re simple, easy to understand, and applicable to everyone.  I’m actually not a huge fan of the word diet.  It just seems too temporary to me.  I think that if your goal is to be healthy, a diet is not the way to go.  It’s about a healthy lifestyle – one that fits you and your needs.  So, now that I think about it, I’m going to call the following tidbits of information “The Da Vinci Healthy Living Guide.”  Much more fitting!

Here we go…

1. Don’t eat junk food.  Seek out foods that are fresh, natural and wholesome.

2. Eat a lot of fiber. 

3. Avoid overeating.  Train your mind to listen to your stomach and stop eating before you’re full. 

4. Drink enough water.  Make water rich foods an integral part of your diet.

5. Reduce your intake of sugar and salt.  Your body gets enough of both of these things through your natural diet.

6. Reduce the amount of saturated fats you eat and try to stick to the healthy fats when necessary.

7. Eat only “free range” meats in moderation.

Fun fact: Da Vinci was a vegetarian!

8. Maintain a varied diet – to keep things fun.

9. Enjoy wine in moderation.  Woo! Winking smile

10. Don’t eat, dine.  Involve all of your senses in the process.

11. Listen to your body and figure out what it is that you really want to eat.  Try imagining how you would feel after eating the food in question.  Bring awareness to that moment.  Make every bite count.

That da Vinci was a super smart man!  It’s funny how each and every one of these points are still touted by most doctors and nutritionists.  My favorites are # 10 and #11.  And they’re probably the ones I need to work on the most.

I thought this was super interesting, but I’m a sucker for “personal development” + “healthy living” type stuff.  Smile

What do you think?  Which principal resonates the most with you?

By Parita

11 thoughts on “The Da Vinci Diet”
  1. I definitely agree with #11. It seems like with our busy lives these days, we neglect to listen to our bodies – and in return, we end up with many diseases that could have been prevented.
    As I’ve gotten older, I also prefer preparing my own meals vs. going out to eat. Going out to eat isn’t bad, but of course, it should be done in moderation.
    Thanks for this post, my favorite so far.

    1. Agreed! I think that if we actually just listened to what our bodies are telling us, we would be able to avoid so many diseases – high cholesterol and blood pressure just to name two.

  2. Oh! …oh how I love number 11! Our sense are a gift and compliment each other, they’re all best friends… so we must let them go out to eat together, socialize & not fight or hog the food 😉 All around wonderful post! Love your blog!

    1. Thanks, Leana! And yes, I think it’s so important to use all of your senses when you’re eating. Not something I’ve mastered quite yet, but I’m working on it. 🙂

  3. Oh my gosh, I love number 10- Don’t eat…dine. What a fabulous way to take a few moments out of the day to enjoy life, instead of rushing through it. I think I am going to make a pretty print out of this and hang it in my kitchen! Maybe Keep Calm and DINE? Thank you for the insights, this was a great post!

  4. Love number 10! As a society, everything is done so rushed these days! Eating is one thing I hate to do on-the-go and will always try and avoid it where possible! Eating should be a celebration- it’s one of life’s simplest joys so why not spend a mere 20 minutes to take in the moment! Looks like Da Vinci had it cracked!

  5. I really like the part about imagining how you will feel after you eat something. That helps me a lot. I try to choose foods that will make me feel good while I am eating them AND after – usually yummy, but healthier options that don’t make me feel gross and heavy (like not too greasy) afterwards.

  6. Wow…I’ve never heard of this. I’m really intrigued! It sounds like a good plan, built on common sense – which is something so many diets out there don’t incorporate.

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