At this point, I’ve tried writing this post over half a dozen times. I’ve promised it for so long, I’ve decided to finally hammer it out, no matter the cost. I feel good though. My head is clear, and I’ve done enough writing lately that I feel I can organize my thoughts clearly, logically, and passionately.
Let’s begin by analyzing why this post has been so hard to write for me.
In short, “nutrition” is an important topic to me. It’s something I have been heavily interested in for many years now, have spent a lot of time (as in hundreds, if not thousands of hours) reading about, and had many different experiences as I tried nearly everything under the sun that caught my attention in the field.
We could summarize all that as, I’ve invested a lot personally into the subject – both intellectually, and in real life actions taken.
But, it doesn’t end there. The second reason it’s taken me so long to write this post, is that I understand just how deeply the way we eat permeates the rest of our lives.
And what’s more, I’ve seen dietary choices affect those I love most.
Many people scoff at the idea (including many Md’s) that nutrition can affect serious dis-eases, including cancer. Diet is a distant second behind conventional medicine and treatments, and often, even the severely abused term “exercise” is a step above dietary choices for health issues such as obesity and heart disease.
Paradoxically, it plays such a vital role in many cases, that it makes conventional medicine/treatment borderline irrelevant. Artificially meddling with “cholesterol levels” via statins being a prime example.
And in the case of my best friend, who died of cancer barely a year ago, the lack of proper nutrition literally caused his treatments to kill him, after transforming his once visibly health body, into something akin to a walking skeleton.
I actually watched him eat copious amounts of brownies, shark bites, various candies and other pastries, not two weeks before his death. He was literally ravenous for carbohydrate – carbohydrate that was feeding his ever faster spreading cancer – which baffled his doctors.
But why was this baffling? His doctors knew that there was a high chance of his cancer spreading and growing to other organs after “treatment”. You would think they would recommend removing the source of nutrients cancer would need to grow further and spread to other organs – nutrients that your body literally does not require for health.
It makes perfect sense, but of course, this was never mentioned to him, either due to ignorance or unwarranted skepticism to other medical doctors who have been shouting for far too long in a room full of sheeple.
Which brings us to our next point – can a 21 year old* possibly know more about the practical application of proper nutrition than thousands of medical doctors, the United States government, and state licensed dietitians?
The answer to this question will surprise some, and be completely obvious to others (I’m doubting there will be many people in between).
*I’m willing to bet the majority of readers on this very blog know more than the mentioned “experts” and institutions – and not because they read this blog, but because they are constantly thinking for themselves and doing their own research on the critical issue of nutrition (among others I imagine).
It’s not a matter of who knows “more” either, as some may assume. Regarding real life application of eating properly, it is a black and white matter. Mass consensus from those in positions we view as having authority, is not “wrong” in a harmless or neutral sense – they are wrong on a level that is detrimental to your (and those who are close to you) immediate well being, life expectancy, functional ability, daily energy, and virtually any aspect of life you can even remotely link to the term “health”, and even on a societal level (think of the far reaching effects of childhood obesity and diabetes).
All the same applies to “exercise”. While I don’t claim to know everything, I can tell you that the consensus from those in positions of fame and authority is detrimental to all of the same points listed above. People like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Horton, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, and your family doctor, spout off information that is at best a waste of time, and more often than not, literally harmful to your body.
This is not to attack of those people personally, as I imagine they are all well intentioned (and truly believe in what they say). Never the less, the information they provide is essentially useless on the topic of exercise (and nutrition), and as the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
The knee-jerk response to this is often times a defense of those we look up to, likely due to a personal investment in the advice given by those celebrities/persons of status. Some may even say this is conspiracy nonsense.
To think that the US government does not have my personal health in their interests? And that “fit” and “cut” celebrities give advice that is not only useless, but harmful? And my doctor?
“Please, this guy must be nuts.”
The reality is that this is not a conspiracy, of course. It’s simply human psychology and errors in thinking/observation on a grand scale.
Celebrity A does X workout program for Y movie. Celebrity A looks “ripped” in Y movie, therefore his actions must be the direct source of his success.
Of course, this is not true. Correlation does not equal causation, and disregarding the infinite number of other variables during X workout program is simply insane.
In the case of doctors and licensed dietitians, the situation is more a matter of reading nutritional dogma for many years and never being exposed to an opinion that counters the accepted norm. Combine that with not wanting to risk one’s self financially by deviating from the prescribed norm, and you have self perpetuating sheeple thinking being distributed like candy on Halloween.
Some may still have a problem with listening to a 21 year old without a college degree over their doctor who has been through many years of schooling. To those people, I ask you not to listen to me, but to yourself. Think critically about the current state of affairs in the United States.
Our health and physical shape is literally falling apart (please visit your local Super Wal-Mart for visible examples).
Does the answer really lie in the information the masses present? Have we really just not listened to the (mystical) information that is presented with biased, shady, or no science at all to back it?
Is it wise to ignore our own contradictions regarding health, nutrition, and exercise?
My favorite being that physical activity “works up an appetite”, yet “exercise” somehow makes you thin (random physical activity does not equate to “exercise”).
My personal experiences, research, and applied logic, have resulted in a resounding NO to these questions. While specifics of “proper nutrition” may differ from opinion to opinion, I believe all individuals who strive to think rationally and are willing to deviate from the norm, will also come to the same conclusion – that most everything popular, is wrong.
In the case of our dietary choices (and exercise choices), everything popular is really, really, wrong.
What is “food”?
Relax, we’re getting to the good part =).
What is food I ask?
It seems to be a term few (if any) have tried to define, or even contemplated defining. Much like the terms “health”, “fitness”, and even “exercise”.
We all have our individual definitions of these terms, even if they are unconscious and never actively thought about (I will assume this is most people any of us have ever met).
The assumed definition most people have for “exercise” as an example, is any sort of random physical activity. By this definition, flicking on a light switch would be considered exercise. This sounds ridiculous of course, but I kid you not – this is where the unspoken logic behind this definition points.
Some may add that “anything that makes you sweat” should be considered exercise (I imagine someone like Tony Horton would say such a thing along with other fitness “gurus” and “celebrities”). Of course this logic would also include defecating in a moderately warm environment.
Of course, no one wants to discuss these unconscious assumptions and double standards for our collective logic on these concepts, but indeed, this is where they point.
All the same applies to the term “food”. I imagine most would be quick to define food as “anything that humans or animals eat”.
Yeah, this sounds pretty good…right?
Of course, this is also false. Your favorite book is not food for your dog, and Elmer’s glue is not food for children in pre-school.
“But of course not, it has to be something nutritious”
That little addition however, solves nothing. I imagine most people could eat some loose leaf paper or cardboard, and get by without any life threatening problems. And of course, there will be some “nutrients” in those items.
Most people will comprehend that that those items are not “food”, that I must be joking. However, I am not. Welcome to the world of processed foods, grain, corn, wheat, soybeans, the oils of these plants, and to a slightly lesser extent, the vast majority of legumes (beans).
I equate these things to cardboard (some processed foods may be excluded however as that is a bit of an over generalization, pemmican I purchased recently being an example).
In some cases tasty, and attractive looking cardboard – but the dietary equivalent of cardboard none the less. They literally have zero place in the human diet for every day purposes. Even in an extended survival situation, they are an extremely poor choice. You would be far better off eating bugs and small animals, as gross as it sounds (unless you happen to enjoy eating squirrels).
But don’t those “substances” provide nutrients?
No, not really. Any minimal nutrition brought on by the ill-advised consumption of corn, soy, wheat, beans, and their oils, is heavily outweighed by it’s profound poisoning effect (that most are completely in the dark about) and spikes in insulin that are foreign to your body, or at best, should be exceedingly rare (and have been for a few million years now).
Okay, but hold on a second, grain and beans are the foundation of what most people on the planet currently eat. Are you suggesting that the basis of the human diet, including on a grand scale, should be something else, such as animals? If so, isn’t that harmful for the environment?
Yes, I am suggesting that the basis of our diets need to be animals. I must not care about the environment or animals then right?
I for one am convinced that not only is the consumption of animals better for us, but also the environment, and (paradoxically), even animals themselves.
This of course, sounds preposterous, especially to PETA fans and other vegans/vegetarians.
But I won’t stop there. I’ll go so far as to say that vegans and vegetarians are the biggest contributors to animal cruelty, and environmental damage, to have ever existed. Cruelly ironic and (I imagine) angering to most vegetarians?
Yes, but never the less, it is the truth. I don’t say the following lightly either.
The farming of corn, soy, and wheat, are literally, the seeds of our own doom. People worry about all sorts of nonsense for an impending apocalypse, but few ever stop to consider our addiction and dependence, as a species, on these fragile substances.
Imagine a world where 7 billion people were dependent on nutritionally devoid/poisonous substances for “food” (that are killing us off by the millions and quite literally don’t belong on the planet in the case of corn), that in the process of producing, cause horrendous damage to “the environment”, and each passing day, cause society to be ever more dependent on them.
Now imagine that world when a disease or severe weather crippled those “crops” (again, corn shouldn’t exist, so it’s difficult to cal it a crop).
In the undeveloped world, you would have millions of people go from hungry or already starving, to dead.
In the (over) developed world, you would have hundreds of millions of people on each continent experience food rationing/shortages of previous food stores, before outright civil unrest broke out (which would be pretty quick once news spread that it will be a very long time until significant quantities of “food” were produced*).
*Combine this with the fact that most people become ravenously hungry after only a few hours due to their carbohydrate addiction/weak ability to produce ketone bodies.
This is hard to imagine in the “developed” world, with all of our technology, communication, industry and so on – but I assure you those “crops” are the basis of the vast, vast majority of “food” currently available.
You would see the richest, most powerful countries in the world, disintegrate almost overnight. People would kill over food.
Think not? Look at every situation in recent history when things got “bad”. People will shoot each other over TV’s and electronics, let alone to feed their kids and family.
In fact, who said a valid reason was required for irrational behavior? I’ve seen people first hand become violent and smash heads into curbs, over nothing.
Now, this is a pretty dark picture we’ve painted, and the chances may be slim. But how slim is anyone’s guess. In any case, there is absolutely no telling what will happen in the years to come with our fragile beyond comprehension production of food.
A bit of a tangent from the definition of “food”, but I feel that it is relative. If interested further, I recommend reading up on famines in the not so distant past (especially Ireland).
Taking a few steps back, what about being vegetarian and not eating the previously discussed items?
Eating nothing but nuts, vegetables, fruits, some seeds, and so on. Wouldn’t that be the best course of action for people and animals (nutrition aside for the moment)?
Being a person who was “paleo-vegan” for a while, I can tell you the answer is most certainly no. This is a downright bastardization of the way we are meant to eat. These items are “foods” by my standards, but are a far cry from the versions we evolved eating. Modern agriculture has eliminated much of the little nutrients these foods once had.
Going further, in most cases, these items constituted a relatively small part of our diet. In some cases, they were even non-existent (Eskimos come to mind). In other cases, plant foods may have played a significant role in diet.
However, these are the exceptions, not the rules – the same way some plant foods are more suited to our dietary needs than others (coconut versus a watermelon for example, which is basically sugar water).
Perhaps the most clear cut reasoning that eating “paleo-vegan” (plants excluding grains and the majority of beans) is an unwise idea is that there is no such thing as a plant that is necessary to eat.
Of course the same could be said about animals, except that you do need to eat at least some animal products to survive and remain free of disease/deficiencies (removing modern technology/food processing from the picture).
Our bodies are literally engineered to need animals. Think about it, how could focusing on foods that are …
- not required
- contain few nutrients (especially in the face of currently available plant products)
- contain large amounts of the macro-nutrient that is unnecessary for consumption and for millions of years, on a grand scale, was the rarest to be consumed
… possibly be healthy?
While nutrients vary from animal to animal (and have certainly been affected by the modern practice of corn/soy feeding), animals were the only universal source of food available to the human race for millions of years.
An apple, an avocado, a watermelon, and starchy tuber are all very different foods.
Ask yourself (even with no formal knowledge of nutrition), how different is the meat of a lamb from the meat of a steer?
The meat and eggs of a chicken, and turkey?
A grouper, and snapper?
The differences are there, yes … but in comparison to a coconut and watermelon?
The difference is night and day. As a direct result, our bodies solely require the consumption of animals. Nothing else is even possible.
Considering this, is it really reasonable to assume that the only sustainable way to feed our population is by diametrically opposing what nature intended us to eat in the first place?
This to me, sounds preposterous, and arrogant, no matter the choice in plants (even removing grains/beans from the picture does not solve the problem).
But this is exactly what vegans/vegetarians would have you believe. I have even met “raw foodists” (who eat some meat) who think that plants are somehow the best decision on a grand scale for the planet, and that raising animals is destructive for the environment.
“They use way more water than plants!”
“Animals release “greenhouse” gases and will drown us all Water World style!”
These notions of course, are ridiculous. Mono-crop agriculture is many times more harmful than the sustainable raising of animals (without corn, soy, and all the related problems for the animal).
Anything to do with “global warming” and the fear mongering of the icecaps melting is blatant propaganda they have mentally sunk their teeth into, so much so they are now “fighting” for it.
“Fighting” for it so hard in fact, that they are contributing to whatever real world problems that cause purportedly hopes to solve.
The same concept applies to all fields actually – extremes become their inverses in due time – especially politics and government … but that is a discussion for another time.
The plus side to this little principle though is that once an individual becomes aware of it in one field, it spills over into other areas of interest. As I just mentioned, connecting the dots with nutrition and food production, spilled over to government and politics. The same can be said of exercise, and so on.
Extended Q and A
As if there hasn’t been enough fictional questions and answers in this article already, I’m going to wrap it up with some more, in a more obvious fashion. It’s sort of stream of thought and not in any particular order, but if you do have a specific question, it should be answered in this section. If not feel free to comment, ask, and I’ll be happy to answer or point you in the right direction.
So, all this theory … but what do I eat?!
It’s simple, mostly animals. Your specific goals/ambitions regarding dietary choices are irrelevant. The bulk of your diet should be animals. And by “bulk”, I mean as much as you want percentage wise – including 100.
There is absolutely no physical need for plants in your diet. Most of us can tolerate small or moderate amounts, some can’t. For anyone with any family history of serious disease*, including heart disease, diabetes (especially), various forms of cancer, and other “diseases of civilization”, I recommend eating little to none at all.
No one can conclusively prove either way if a little is more beneficial or not than none, but you’re best bet in this case is to only eat plants sparingly, as “condiments” as Kurt Harris has said.
*In the case of any sort of stomach/digestive problem, including celiacs disease, “heartburn”, irritable bowel syndrome, chron’s disease, you should be eating nothing but animals, and as close to “zero” carbohydrate as is possible. In other words, if I had any of these problems, I would have to be bat shit crazy to continue to eat grains/beans, and would be turning a blind eye if I continued to eat any measurable amount of plant food. I do not suffer from these diseases, however.
This sounds difficult, but it is not. In fact at this point, I feel that I have to go out of my way in my daily life to eat any plant foods (grain and beans are especially easy to avoid once you think of them as cardboard). It is literally a hassle and I have no desire to eat them.
In fact when I do eat any significant amount of vegetables/nuts/fruit, I quickly lose my appetite for them in favor of meat/animals. It’s a strange feeling to still be hungry but not want to put anymore of what you once considered “food” in your mouth.
I do like carrot cake though, and key lime pie, and chocolate chip cookies. These things make me feel like absolute crap though after eating them (now). And every time I consume them, I am reminded as such. And guess what? The interval between eating these “foods” grows bigger every time I do decide to have a bite.
What was once a one time per month habit, is now “a month or two”. Even that is a stretch – I think the last time I had key lime pie was August or September.
Anything more specific?
Yes. I wrote this post, and it includes pictures. I like lamb shank best. Steak is a close second. I like poultry as well, but it’s usually not fatty enough for me, and I end up adding additional fat such as pasture fed butter, coconut oil, and macadamia nut oil. The “dark” meat of birds is a bit moister, but still not up to par with “red meats”.
Eggs are great. I’m actually on the hunt for turkey eggs from a local farmer. Can’t wait.
I still have the shake on occasion in the post, but not as often. My taste for meat has grown, my taste for The Dream Shake has dwindled.
I like fish as well, usually the less fattier ones however. Salmon for example, is “ok”, but I’ll take a grouper, snapper, red fish, mahi mahi, or snook fillet any day over salmon. I catch these myself more often than not however, and rarely buy fish from a store.
If you do, make sure it is wild caught, and preferably from somewhere around the US (and not from somewhere in Asia where “wild caught” may mean “wild” in a pen where the fish is fed corn, soy and other nonsense).
Grouper and Dolphin (mahi mahi) are plentiful around Florida from example, and to the furthest extent of my knowledge, are always “wild caught”, and never farm raised on grain/beans.
Some may be wondering about lobster/shrimp/crab various shellfish. I think these are fine, but probably not the wisest idea to make them the bulk of your diet. I don’t find them especially tasty however, so if you do, I recommend looking into the issue further yourself.
What about dairy?
A great article on “dairy” can be found here. My personal, short version, is that the fat is excellent when coming from a good pasture fed, pasteurized source. You can eat it “raw” too, but I don’t see the point. “Ultra pasteurized” is not as good. Still better than adding carbohydrate to your coffee, but regular pasteurized cream tastes light years better than “ultra”, and as far as I understand, is better for you.
I eat some cheese. I think it’s fine, and I don’t have any problems with it unless I eat a horrendous amount. If you do have any noticeable problems with cheese, don’t eat it.
Again, the fat is excellent though.
But our ancestors didn’t eat dairy! Oh no!
If you think about it, they probably did on rare occasions. After all, why waste an animal mother’s milk if you’re starving?
But never the less, remove the carbohydrate and the rest of it just so happens to fit into the puzzle that is the human diet. Kind of like coconut (mostly the fat). Our entire race didn’t evolve eating coconut … it just so happens it’s nutrient makeup “works” for us, fairly well.
The same can be said for “milk”. It’s abundant, and has the added benefit of coming from an animal.
You mentioned coffee … is that “okay”?
I can’t prove so, but probably. There isn’t really anything “in” coffee. As far as I’m concerned, it adds a little flavor to my heavy cream, and has some caffeine in it. In short, the negative lime light surrounding “coffee” is overblown. The real issue lies with all of the nonsense people pour into it, including soy, corn, copious amounts of carbohydrate, and frankenstein sweeteners.
Most people also avoid, at all costs, putting the one thing into their coffee that has any real nutritional value – heavy cream.
I also add vanilla bean powder to it sometimes. It’s expensive, but good, and goes well with the other condiment in the drink (the other condiment being coffee).
It’s much better than Vanilla extract too, since it has no alcohol in it (I find the alcohol to ruin the taste of my coffee).
What about things like eggnog and ice cream?
You can actually make these without anything horrible in them. I made egg nog myself not long ago, including water, heavy cream, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla powder. Tasted pretty good, but I could definitely use some practice with the process =).
I haven’t made ice cream, but the same applies – just add whatever flavor you want to it and “roll” with it (assuming you already know how to make ice cream). I’ve read that adding whey helps with the consistency, however.
What else should I be drinking?
Water, water, and uh … water.
Carbonated drinks are completely out, as are “sports” drinks packed with mind boggling amounts of sugar (actually a poisonous derivative of corn in most cases). Coffee is cool, just make sure it’s actually “coffee” and not something else packed with all sorts of trash.
Tea is fine too, I just hate the taste.
Fruit juice is just sugar and water (as are fruits, basically). Lemons and limes are fine to add to water at restaurants though, if you like the taste.
Regarding the quality of water, most bottled water sucks, and so does your tap. I recommend buying the best water bottle on the planet. I use it religiously. The water is filtered to hell and back, and tastes great. I put the water through a Brita or reverse osmosis filter as well before using the bottle, on most occasions (but not always).
It’s not cheap, but it’s not really expensive either. One purchase and it will last for years … (months for the carbon filter though, which improves taste and further filters the water).
Regarding the consumption of alcohol, it’s poison. I have never drank as an adult, so I nearly forgot to mention this, but stay away from it as often as possible, or completely.
Let’s step back for a second, I need to get this straight – I can live fine, my entire life, without ANY carbohydrate?
Yes. You’re body “needs it”, but does not need to consume it, if that makes any sense (it makes it’s own). Read about if further here.
There are essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, but no necessary (dietary) carbohydrates (or anything they happen to contain). Anyone telling you different is either misinformed, lying to you, or a combination of the two.
But what about FIBER?! Don’t I need it?
Oh god, hellllll no you don’t. This myth is so bogus I hardly know what to say on the matter. This post by Danny Roddy covers “fiber” quite well however.
As an interesting side note (this is gonna be blunt so you may want to skip to the next question), most of what people crap out, is plant fiber and other nonsense they decided to put into their mouths. I kid you not, like 90% of it.
You’ll be shocked at how little you defecate eating nothing but animals. Now think about all the nutrients you get from food your body actually absorbs … instead of craps out.
Poop for thought eh?
What about “anti-oxidants”, don’t I “need” those?
No, you do not need them. Can foods packed with them be beneficial? Maybe, maybe not. I really don’t have the answer. I find berries, nuts, and extremely dark chocolate more tolerable than other plant foods though (especially when I cover them in a ridiculous amount of heavy cream). I never focus on eating “anti-oxidants” though. Doing so would result in a lot of carbohydrate – no thank you.
Also, keep in mind there is a lot of dogma surrounding “anti-oxidants”, so tread carefully if you’re going to suggest to a friend that all those “anti-oxidants” he/she is gorging on, isn’t really doing much of anything.
I suspect this will be a point of contention for many paleo fans actually as “anti oxidants” are one of the few points of conventional wisdom that fit into “paleo” eating (as rushing between exercises fulfills “cardio” dogma).
Taking quite a few steps back, is eating animals really better for the environment than eating plants, especially grains/beans?
Yep. Vegetarians will fight you to the death on this one. There is probably a little room for debate when both agree that the farming of corn, soy, and wheat is one of the most destructive practices to ever take place in history for the planet, though.
Regardless, anyone telling you that “plants” are better than “animals” for the environment, is totally clueless on the issue (see here for more info).
Shifting our food production from mono-crop agriculture to the sustainable raising of animals is probably not the easiest task to accomplish, and will cause a lot of friction – but the dark alternative outlined earlier is far worse, and a very real possibility on our current track.
The benefits are high too, if we have the collective balls to pull it off. The best way to do this?
Vote with your money, and your dietary choices.
Buy meat that is raised without grain/beans, and instead, eats the food it was meant to*. It’s better for the animals, and better for you come dinner time.
*Livestock, like humans, get sick eating grain and beans. What a surprise. Feeding animals corn and soy also messes up the nutritional content of the meat/eggs you end up consuming.
What about “organic” foods? Should I be buying them?
The real issue with animal foods lies in the food they eat. First and foremost, search for animals foods that are NOT fed corn, soy, and other nonsense. These animals are usually treated well, and are not subject to growth hormone and anti-biotics (because they aren’t getting sick in the first place, what a novel concept right?).
The farmer just isn’t paying for the “organic” certification, which is expensive for him, and kind of screws him in the ass.
All that said, treat “organic” as a distant second. In the case of heavy cream for example, at least the animal will have not been subject to anti-biotics and growth hormone. The nutrients in the cream wont be “perfect”, but close enough.
I have some form of diabetes, will eating mostly (or all) animal food cure/help me?
Carbohydrate is by far the biggest stimulator of insulin. Remove it from the diet long term, and most diabetics will cease to have any health problems.
It really is that simple despite what mainstream medicine and media would like us to believe.
However, insulin is still required by the body for various purposes (including the digestion of protein). If your body completely and permanently lacks the ability to secrete insulin, removing carbohydrate from the diet is still your best bet, but it’s highly unlikely to “cure” you completely. You still need insulin, it’s unavoidable.
I want to build muscle and/or lose fat, is eating this way ideal to do so?
As I stated previously, individual goals/ambitions regarding dietary choices are irrelevant (on a foundational level). Eating mostly, or just animals, is the basis of a “proper” diet. Nothing else even comes close to making sense.
Once you’re doing that, then it’s time to tinker with macro nutrient ratios (which should always be at least 50% fat, mostly saturated), calorie intake, fasting, and so on.
Build the base, go from there.
And while this warrants a separate discussion, I will add that from my experience, building muscle is more a matter of calorie intake, than macro-nutrient ratio (assuming carbohydrate is minimal or entirely eliminated).
Is this diet optimal for “health” and longevity?
For health, absolutely. For fat loss, absolutely. For building muscle, absolutely. For longevity … it’s hard to prove either way.
My guess is yes, and I’ll let you know for sure in the after life.
The China Study says different of course, but then again that’s probably one of the worst books I’ve ever had the unfortunate chance to lay eyes upon. It’s about as valid as studies done that conclude “running preserves joint health”. Studies done by looking at “life long runners”, and ignoring the infinitely large graveyard of people who dropped out 10, 20, 30, and 40 years earlier due to bone/joint and other health problems.
Going further, I find it folly to think that we can’t have our cake and eat it too. This is a scarcity mentality that permeates most areas of life, that I can have one thing, and not another (with the inverse being true, such as with obese people performing “cardio” while continuing to eat junk).
My experience has repeatedly been that if I use my brain and think critically about a subject, that there is a way to have the best of both worlds. To think that one diet supports health now, and not longevity … just seems asinine to me. Or that one diet supports muscle growth, and not overall health.
These things are interrelated, in my opinion, period.
What about all that saturated fat and cholesterol, isn’t it going to “clog my arteries” and kill me?
The idea that you can eat something that will directly end up in you’re heart is laughable and has no scientific foundation as far as I am aware. This is a serious myth that has permeated every corner of western society though, and a very destructive one at that.
If you want the “criminal” responsible for 99% of heart attacks over the last 50 years, look no further than the shunning of saturated fat and cholesterol, and their replacement with corn/soy and other grain/bean oils.
This notion has literally killed tens of millions of people, perhaps even more if you connect it to issues outside of heart disease (of which, it certainly plays a role).
It really sucks, and I encourage everyone to lead by example for their friends and family by never shying away from eating foods rich in animal fat and cholesterol. Most people will initially scoff at the breaking from a societal norm, but many in a long enough time span will become curious, and ask questions about your choice (and this is a far better option than forcing this kind of information down someone’s throat).
Have any thoughts on nutrition as it relates to working out?
Yep, check it out.
How often should I eat? I’ve heard eating frequently is “good”.
It’s probably splitting hairs once carbohydrate is drastically reduced or eliminated from your diet, but ideally not very often. It just doesn’t make sense to do so from an evolutionary standpoint, and after a few weeks of eating little or no carbohydrate, your body “keto-adapts”, and you cease to be frequently hungry (which now seems like a distant, and alien memory).
Unless the meals I were eating were exceedingly small, I don’t even think I could eat more than 2 or 3 times per day, and I’m a known to eat a lot.
Even more than 2 times a day seems like a bit of a hassle (small snack of pemmican or cheese aside).
I wake up, eat a lot of heavy cream. Later in the day, I eat meat, or eggs. Case closed. In between I am only hungry if I skimped on the cream, even then, “hungry” is a unique term once a person is keto-adapted. It becomes more of a mental itch than physical pain (as is common on a “high carbohydrate diet”, which is sort of an oxymoron now that I think about it).
Cooking, any tips? What about “raw food” and the “raw food movement”?
Yes, don’t under cook your food, and don’t overcook it (unless you are intentionally going to eat something raw, such as fish or egg yolks), simply cook it to your taste preference (it doesn’t matter once it’s safe to eat and as long as it’s not burnt to hell).
Egg yolks are the one exception I know of. As far as I can tell, they are best eaten raw, or close to it. Egg whites must always be cooked however.
Meats can be eaten raw (fish is common), but it’s not entirely safe. At least sear the outside.
Dairy may also be best raw, although I’m doubting it. “Raw” simply doesn’t mean much once the food gets nuked by your stomach acid. Avoid ultra-pasteurized dairy products if possible though – that’s additional “nuking” before your stomach gets to it. No thank you.
So what about the “raw food movement” you ask?
Well, for starters, I have friends that are passionate supporters of it.
Sympathy for their feelings aside, my personal, humble opinion?
It’s only trumped in the “nonsense and self serving propaganda arena” by the idea that humans are naturally vegetarians.
The “raw food movement” is as completely and utterly false as it can get. If Kenneth Cooper’s “aerobics” became the modern faux cardio movement, hippy veganism (that kills more animals than it saves) became the raw food movement.
Same shit, new packaging to serve a hidden moral agenda (that perpetuates exactly what it set out to “solve”).
Humans literally evolved, due to cooking. You can’t even live in the wild, without cooking. It is physically impossible, to get enough calories, from raw food (as a human), without modern food processing and agriculture.
The amount of calories available from raw plant food, and even animal food (egg yolks aside), in the wild, is nothing short of laughable. Man quickly starves in the wild without cooking.
To assume that this food, that would kill you without modern technology, is somehow better for you? Ridiculous to a level that defies description.
It sounds nice on paper of course, “eat live foods if you want to feel alive!”. (Tony Robbins has actually used such logic in his older nutritional seminars). But it is utterly false, dangerously romanticizes our past, and completely disregards how our entire digestive system works.
I actually worry for one of my raw-foodist friends. Not him directly though – he’ll probably wise up before any serious damage is done – but for his new wife, and unborn child (should they end up having children, which I believe they are).
It is a dietary choice that is dangerously low in calories (even with modern food processing), and even lower in essential nutrients – unless you can somehow gorge on raw meat without getting sick (even then, it’s a poor idea).
To grow a child in a mother’s womb, on this type of dietary plan? Scary to even think about, not to mention having the child grow up on such a diet.
Anyway, if you’re interested in learning more about cooked and raw food, there is no better book than Catching Fire: How Cooking Made us Human, which actually delves into more than the chemistry component of cooking and it’s effects on human evolution.
It’s also a lot less abrasive than I am, so don’t let my arrogance about the subject make you shun the book if you currently eat mostly or all raw foods =).
How does nutrition factor in with current “health care reform” in the US?
It causes any and all “debate” for it, to be 100% void and invalid.
The reason is simple – over 75% of our current costs in “health care”, are a direct result of our dietary choices. We know these costs as the “disease of civilization“.
Let’s repeat that statement so it is abundantly clear. The majority of current costs for “health care”, are the direct result of individual dietary choices (and other conventional wisdom). In other words, individuals are at fault. Knowingly or unaware is irrelevant, since I refuse to pay for another individuals poor choices that were well within his or her’s control.
Carr accident? A broken leg from playing a sport? Random event that no one could have anticipated?
Sure, it’s probably not a bad idea to attempt to come together as a society and make these kind of unforseen events less of an issue (possibly, but not necessarily through government).
Force people who have thought for themselves and worked hard for what wealth they have produced, to pay, for someone elses **ck up that is 100% their fault?
That’s outright insane. There is no argument for health care reform – it ends with the fact that currently some 3/4 of our health care costs are the direct result of poor dietary choices. If this was not so, then there would legitimate discussion.
At the moment, this is a bunch of scum bags trying to steal from the minority and slapping a bunch of propaganda on it to get support from the masses.
I for one, will have nothing to do with directly paying for someone elses mistakes, no matter the cost.
What about pets, what should they be eating?
It depends on the animal. A hamster should not be eating the same food as your dog for example … Never the less, dogs and cats (which I assume this type of question would be about), are 100% carnivorous. You could say we are as well, except we can tolerate being omnivorous to the extent that it is required to survive.
Regardless, your dog/cat should be eating nothing but meat. It’s ludicrous to think otherwise, and anyone telling you differently, is either trying to sell you something, or grossly misinformed.
If you feed them common dog and cat “food”, they will inevitably become sick (and fat), because it’s not meat and probably contains tons of corn and soy. I’ve watched my families dog/cats become sick, and my room mates cat as well (bladder infections). These events are costly, and annoying when they pee blood on your sheets.
Do your pet, and yourself a favor, and feed them cheap meat.
You’ve done a lot of crazy and wild stuff Anthony, are you sure this isn’t another fad diet?
I’ve been through a lot of different “diets” over the years, and this is perhaps the most valid skepticism if there ever was one. However, I encourage people to view this in a positive instead of negative light.
I’ve basically gone through all of the bull $#!+, so you don’t have to. Any area of importance has this same path to mastery, whether it be success with women, exercise, career, and so on. Nutrition is no exception, unless you happen to stumble onto something valid early on, by random chance.
I certainly did not. I got sucked into a lot of nonsense by well intentioned individuals. I hold no grudges, but wish it upon no one. Do your own research and see if you come to my conclusions, but save yourself a lot of time by not having to try out everything under the sun, and move on to your next topic of interest.
In addition to all of this, my path with nutrition followed has had a “paleo” theme for some time, which is certainly in the right direction, and a major source of reason for much of what was written in this post.
My dietary choices basically went as follows.
- Standard American Diet (SAD)
- Tinkered with Alkaline/Raw Veganism
- Paleo Vegan (no more grains and beans)
- Paleo/Octo Vegetarian (vegan plus eggs and fish)
- Mostly paleo vegetarian with eggs, some grass fed meat
- More eggs, slightly more meat, slightly less plants
- Lots of eggs, some meat, even less plants
- Mostly eggs, meat, nuts, little plants
- Mostly eggs, meat, dairy (continuing on the less plants theme)
- Mostly meat, some eggs, and dairy fat (very little plants)
Which is where I’m at now. Most days of the week, I eat no plants (excluding coffee). I just eat heavy cream, and meat. Sometimes cheese, sometimes eggs (eggs are awesome for the record).
I feel I was pretty fortunate to have turned out where I did though. A lot of people, many friends included, get sucked into one dogma, and stop their search for truth.
I’ve never experienced the success I have with the way I have chosen to eat for the past few months. I constantly feel good, never bloated, never gassy, plenty of energy, skin is healthy, hair is healthy, teeth are healthy, I’m lean, and stronger than I have ever been, by a long shot.
There is definitely more to be learned, but really, continuing on the trend outlined above, how many options are there?
Of the options available (say, eliminating dairy completely), how much of an option is that, really? Eliminating a source of animal fat and replacing it with another?
Wow, what a fundamental shift in diet! =)
Anyway, as far as I can tell, I’ve hit the sweet spot. I’m always open to new ideas, and ideas that contradict those presented today … but then again, I can’t recall ever reading something that seemed even remotely legitimate as a counter argument to any of the major themes in this article.
I’ve believed otherwise at times of course, but after years gone by, and from a birds eye view, nope.
Have questions, comments, or concerns? I’m an open book. Let’s boogy.