Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Water Consumption Important for Carnivores

In addition to fat, water is very important for carnivores, including humans eating a carnivorous diet. Inuits still eating a meat/seafood-heavy diet reportedly drink large quantities of water:

[The Inuit drink] large quantities of water (5 to 6 litres per day), characteristic of the protein-rich diet that triggers renal elimination of the products of catabolism. Jeremy MacClancy, Consuming the Inedible: Neglected Dimensions, p. 123

There's also the example of wolves and other carnivores who drink copious amounts of water after feasting on flesh. This vid is not of an actual wolf, but you get the idea: Josie Wales Wolfdog Wolf Dog drinking Water

Five to six liters is about 10.5 to 12.5 pints of water a day. That sounds excessive to me, so if anyone has any information on how much water the Inuit drank, I'd appreciate it.

I drink mostly mineral water myself, as some studies indicate it provides additional benefits and I figure Stone Age water was probably more mineral-rich than most of today's tap or bottled water.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Update: Still Doing Great

I'm still doing great on my stricter version of a Paleo diet (raw carnivore, with only occasional plant foods--basically an Inuit-style diet). The recent relapse of symptoms disappeared within a couple of months and my health is once again better than it's been in decades--even better than it was at my peak during the more conventional Paleo diet.

I don't tell people what to eat. I think folks should work out for themselves what foods they do best on. However, if you don't even try a Paleo diet, how will you know whether it works for you or not?

Note: when eating near-zero-carb like I am currently, one needs to eat a lot of fat to avoid eating excess protein and potentially even risking "rabbit starvation" (which is "protein poisoning" and malnutrition that occurs when eating too little fat or carbs with protein). I seem to do best on around 75 - 85% calories as fat.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Carnivorous Raw Paleo Diet working for me

After experiencing some relapse of certain symptoms I re-investigated my health and diet and tried a stricter approach, which quickly generated positive benefits. A very restrictive diet seems to work best for me. This is unfortunate, because it means that healthy foods are even less available for me than I realized and my diet is much less socially acceptable. I'm hoping I'll be able to stick with it despite the obstacles, as my health benefits dramatically when I do.

I decided to eliminate all foods that are questionable from a Paleo perspective:

Nightshades: Nightshades (like tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, though not black pepper) are mostly New World foods. Even those available in the Old World were inedible during the Stone Age and had to be selected for reduced toxicity over time to be made edible. Recent research by Dr. Loren Cordain and others has implicated nightshades in diseases of civilization ("How to Treat Multiple Sclerosis with Diet;" multiple videos; covers the role of tomatoes in MS, Nightshades had also been linked in the past to arthritis and other diseases of civilization by many the anecdotal accounts of many patients. They were viewed as toxic for many centuries in Europe. I had been skeptical of these accounts, but not any more.

Foods inedible unless cooked: This mainly meant winter squashes for me (I got to the point of eating them nearly every day), but also some potatoes and occasional french fries. I had been eating increasing amounts of these starchy foods that are indigestible raw in a vain effort to gain weight and increase social acceptance of my diet. I know, stupid mistake on my part and I've actually gained more weight since going carnivorous, as it has improved my health and appetite.

Cheats: I decided to end all cheats. Once I started cheating by eating a "natural" corn-sweetener-free fruit juice popsicle or other cheat, I found myself eating more and more of them almost unconsciously. Such sweet treats are just too addictive for me.

I eliminated nightshades, foods inedible raw, and cheating first and the health benefits were fairly dramatic within a month.

Sugary foods: No more fruit juices or sweetened drinks, no matter how natural. No more dried fruits, or even fresh, sugary fruits like tropical fruits. Eliminating these helped immensely. I appear to be very sensitive to carbs.

Tree nuts: This one surprised me, as I thought that eating lots of walnuts was actually helping me. Yet, when I eliminated nuts I did even better. They do contain antinutrients, as do all plants, and tree nuts are a fairly common allergen. Being a Paleo dieter I had of course already eliminated non-tree "nuts" like peanuts that aren't actually nuts at all, but legumes.

The remaining plant foods: All plants contain antinutrients. They have to in order to survive, because these antinutrients are natural insecticides that fend off predators. Therefore, eating plants every day may theoretically build up toxic levels of antinutrients. Even primates that have been eating lots of plants for millions of years, such as chimps, have to consume clay and other detoxicants in order to offset the accumulated antinutrients they absorb by eating wild plants nearly every day.

Plus, I decided to try a carnivorous, raw Paleo diet, as that was where my experience and research were leading me, and that is what Lex Rooker was doing with tremendous success. I discovered his story here:

All beverages other than water: I don't stick to this one 100%, occasionally having some black coffee or tea, and I greatly resisted trying it, but I'm glad I did. Water was the only beverage of our early ancestors. I found that by not drinking sweetened or flavored beverages, water tastes much better to me. Whenever I'm the slightest bit dehydrated, water actually tastes rather sweet to me. People more experienced with this than me claim that it's the body's natural mechanism to keep my body properly hydrated.

So far, so good. I started going purely zero carb as of 8/5/2009, with only occasional spring greens or tea. As of 8/12/2009 I gave up those things and reached pure carnivory, eating only raw meats and fish (mostly pasture-fed or wild), low-heated beef jerky, low-heated tallow, raw bone marrow, raw suet and water. I know, it sounds weird and I never expected I would be eating this, but experience and research have led me here and the benefits have been marvelous: all remaining acne gone (and I no longer need to take zinc supplements to keep it under control), potassium-deficiency cramps gone and only return if I eat carbs, dental health dramatically improved (I actually have a hole in a tooth that is remineralizing--i.e. filling in--and my loose teeth no longer move when wiggled nor require a retainer to keep them standing straight), etc., etc.

Eating a mostly-raw carnivorous diet sounded impossible, even to me, but it hasn't been nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I especially love jerky with tallow, pemmican, and raw ground venison.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Paleo Nutrition explained in 5 minutes

This video is the best brief summary I've seen yet of Paleolithic nutrition. I can't imagine how it could be made any simpler, yet, astoundingly, some people still don't get it after viewing the vid.

Paleo/Primal in a Nutshell

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Ancestral Way of Eating Basics

Here is some basic information about the ancestral way of eating, also called the Paleolithic diet, among other things (Paleolithic means "old stone," as in "Old Stone Age"):

The ancestral way of eating is not so much a weight loss program--although that is a positive common side effect--as it is a health optimizer. It's the only diet based upon a fundamental explanatory model--biological evolution (or intelligent design, depending on your perspective). It's the only diet that humans are designed to eat and the only one designed by nature (or nature's God). Rather than a single, narrow fad-diet, it's actually a whole category of diets that includes a wide range of indigenous diets that were consumed by all of humanity for the first two and half million years of human existence. It is the original and longest-lasting human diet.

Paleo-type Foods:
-Wild/Pastured Meats and Organs, Fat depots like bone marrow and perinephric fat (aka suet and pork leaf fat), Seafood and Eggs (eggs or egg whites can be a problem for sensitive individuals)
-Vegetables (especially leafy green veggies and those which can be eaten raw; [some Paleo dieters consider sweet potatoes and white potatoes Paleo, but most still don't, though even Dr. Cordain recommends sweet potatoes for elite athletes--as always, find out what works for you])
-Fruits (optional in limited quantities, focusing on the less sugary ones like berries and avoiding or minimizing fruit juices and dried fruits; some people apparently tolerate the sugars in fruits better than others)
-Teas, Spices and most Herbs

Controversial Foods (considered Paleo or near-Paleo by some, but not others, and may be problematic for some people): nuts, seeds, heated fats (tallow, lard, etc.), honey, [processed] commercial meats, African yams, sweet potatoes, beets, sea salt (added salt may be necessary for carnivorous-style dieters, according to Jay Wortman, MD), [low-lactose and low-casein fatty raw dairy products like raw butter and some raw cheeses, legume tubers that are edible raw, such as jicama, yacon, Jerusalem Artichoke and Chinese Artichoke], alcoholic beverages (like wine, champagne, mead, hard liquor)

Don’t Eat (or strictly minimize) the Agrarian/Processed Foods:
-Grains (wheat, rye, barley, corn, etc.)
-Dairy (bovine, goat, etc., especially pasteurized milk and pasteurized yogurt that has sugar/sweetener/jam added)
-Beans (a.k.a. legumes; includes soy, peas and peanuts)
-Starchy root vegetables that require thorough cooking, like [white] potatoes and tapioca [I learned that sweet potatoes MAY be edible raw if soaked--they certainly taste good that way anyway, though I'm not recommending it and don't know how healthy it is to eat them that way]
-Yeast ([grain] vinegar, foods pickled with [grain] vinegar, alcoholic beverages, etc. [note: natural fermenting without yeast or high heating is supposed to be superior to industrial fermenting])
-Artificial & processed additives like sweeteners, colorings, flavorings, preservatives, excessive salt, etc.
-Heavily processed oils
-Other foods you are sensitive to (at least not at first)

Some resources:
- - includes many links
- - Kurt Harris, MD
- - Loren Cordain, PhD (leading scientist in the field of Paleolithic nutrition)
- - Paleofood email list archives (Paleo and near-Paleo dieters)
- - includes many articles
- - My blog - Sandy Simmons' Connective Tissue Disorder site--good info on diet, supplements, and some disorders that result from consumption of modern foods - The Multiple Sclerosis Resource Center, with info on Ashton Embry's Best Bet Diet (very close to the Paleo Diet)
- - Ron Hoggan's articles on gluten intolerance and other subjects - The Cambridge World History of Food

For pets:
-, website of a veterinarian who successfully treats dogs with a biologically appropriate diet
-, Dr. Billinghurst’s Biologically Appropriate Raw Food

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and studies on this and related subjects. If you have any special health issues, like diabetes or kidney dysfunction, make sure to check with your doctor to address your special needs.

Updates (Paleolithic nutrition is a new and evolving field and I incorporate new information into this summary post when warranted):

4.13.10 Divided controversial foods into a separate middle section; made fruits optional and emphasized less sugary fruits (some people seem to handle sugary fruits fine and others, like me, have difficulty handling any fruit); moved nuts and seeds into the controversial category (they contain mildly toxic compounds that plants use to discourage predation that may adversely affect some people); replaced "lean meats" with the better term "pastured meats"; added a link

[Note, 2009: it may seem strange that I didn't post a summary explanation of this diet until 2009, but the field was new and evolving, with controversies over what foods should be included, and I didn't feel it was sufficiently clear to me to post them until 2009. My views on what is Paleo have continued to evolve since as more information is provided by the field or my own experience. Maintain a healthy amount of skepticism and pay attention to what your own body tells you.

Update 6/20/11: I've moved mention of some foods up a level, such as sweet potatoes and raw fatty dairy products, because enough people do well on them to warrant it and the evidence against them is mixed, even though I don't tolerate some of them well myself]

Clayton's ADHD Success Story

Here is an uplifting ADHD success story to start off the new year on a positive note. It very vividly illustrates the benefits of nutritional treatment (which can benefit everyone, not just ADHD patients):

Recovering from ADHD

Watch for the change in Clayton's handwriting.

The basic diet this physician uses in his treatment program is very similar to the Ancestral Diet, and his findings match what I have found in my own research and observation of those who eat modern vs. ancestral foods.

The principles that helped this child can help adults as well, as Dr. Hyman explains in his other videos (be forewarned that Dr. Hyman laughs too much during his lectures--though maybe that's a sign of good mental and physical health).