Category Archives: Food

80:20 – A Truly ORGAN-ic burger

And by ORGAN-ic, I mean full of organs!

8020 beeforgansTranscript from yesterday at The Healthy Butcher, a nice grocery in Toronto:

ME: 
Hi there, have you heard of 
this new thing called 
"The 80:20"? Do you 
have it?
THE HEALTHY BUTCHER:  
(wearily) Umm... what?
ME: 
Yeah, it's great! You take 80% 
grass-fed beef and add 20% 
grass-fed organ meats and put 
it all through the grinder 
together!
THE HEALTHY BUTCHER: 
Okay, well we don't have that.
ME: 
So if I give you some notice, 
do you think I could order 
it and pick it up in a week?
THE HEALTHY BUTCHER: 
(seeing I'm not going anywhere) 
Uh...  
What kind of organs do you want?
ME: 
You know, the usual. 
Liver, kidneys... Heart... Um, 
(boldly) brains?
THE HEALTHY BUTCHER: 
Let me go in the back and talk 
to my production team.
ME: 
Thank you!
THE HEALTHY BUTCHER: 
(returning, kind of on board) 
Well we are not allowed to put 
organs through the grinder, but 
we can cut up some liver for 
you and hand mix it all together?
ME: 
Done!

80:20 is the new ground beef. Instead of being 100% ground beef, it’s got 20% organs!

Remember that it is still important that your organ meat be not only organic, but also pastured. But beggars can’t be choosers, just do your best.

In the olden days (before today), 80:20 used to refer to 80% muscle meat and 20% fat. But this is a new paradigm, people. THIS 80:20 means 80% of the mixture is a fatty ground beef and 20% is a mixture of various organ meats. Got it?

HOW TO USE 80:20

You simply take a pound of 80:20, and make hamburger patties as you usually would. But if you’re smart (and have some time on your hands), you’ll mix in tons of sea salt and pepper, some garlic, onion, parsley etc. At 20%, you can’t overtly taste the organs, but you’ll get a whiff of them. So if you or your family aren’t exactly used to organs, then the more spices and flavorings you can add, the better.

Also great: use this as a base for meatloaf, tortières, bolognaise sauce, meatballs. I can see the advertisements now: Use it as you would meat! Only this is way, way better than plain ground beef because organs are over the top with nutritional density.

Let’s look at liver, for example. Here is a super amazing graphic reprinted with permission from Gregg’s Diet Shack:

Kale Vs Liver

Chart courtesy of Gregg’s Diet Shack

I don’t know why the whole world seems to go on and on about eating all your fruits and vegetables in order to get your vitamins. Because if it’s vitamins you are after, your best bet is always going to be liver and other organ meats.

Now I’m not knocking kale, I LOVE kale. My sister, actually both of my sisters, make the most delicious kale salads that you can eat and store for days. Kale, sliced very thinly in a frisée, is also excellent at soaking up olive oil.

However as this chart shows you, kale is better than regular beef in a couple ways (more calcium, vitamin C and folate), but it is really no competition for liver. Kale is still a great bet for vitamin C and folate, but I would probably bank on getting my calcium from an animal source (like whole dairy) rather than plant source because of bioavailability issues.

I’m not knocking blueberries either, of course. This is wild blueberry season in Ontario, also known as the best time of year. It is totally acceptable to gorge on wild blueberries right now. But even though blueberries are hailed as a superfood, they still pale in comparison to liver in every way.

DINNER-DINNER

I was recently reminded by some friends about the classic their mother called “Dinner-Dinner” which exists in many incarnations in Canadian homes in the 80s and 90s. In my family we called it “Goulash” even though it has almost no similarities to that dish.

My friend’s “Dinner-Dinner” was ground beef, onion soup and rice – all cooked down together. In my family, “Goulash” was ground beef, consommé, rice and peas – with a bit of worchester sauce thrown in to be fancy.

This is my new version of Goulash/Dinner-Dinner.

ghoulash

80:20 GOULASH DINNER

  • 2 TBS butter, ghee, lard, coconut oil etc, I used leftover bacon fat
  • 1 minced onion, I used an organic vidalia
  • 1 lb of 80:20, I used grass-fed Kobe beef for extra healthy fat, mixed with 20% liver
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped finely like rice
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup of chopped green onion or scallions, whites and green tops
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin, and some salt and pepper
  • Soy sauce, coconut aminos or worchester sauce
  1. Sweat out that onion in the bacon fat or your choice of fat, about 10 minutes on low in a wide, heavy saucepan.
  2. Add the ground beef and simmer until mostly cooked. You might want to raise the heat a little.
  3. Add the cauliflower and the green onions.
  4. Add the garlic, cumin, salt and pepper.
  5. Add the soy sauce or your choice of sauce – just about 2 TBS or so, more to taste.
  6. Add the peas and parsley near the end of cooking.

I actually made this 80:20 Goulash Dinner for lunch, and my six year old gobbled it up. She didn’t need to know there was liver or how highly I think of garlic, green onions and parsley. I also didn’t need to tell her that the original dish included rice, but that I had substituted for lower carbohydrate cauliflower. I also didn’t tell her that my mom used a ton of peas, but that I replaced most of the peas with green onions and parsley so that we could still get that great pop of color – but again reduce the carbohydrate load while increasing the punch of polyphenols. She didn’t care and ate it all up.

The neighbor’s kid? Not so much. You know your family and you know what flavors they will accommodate, so adjust the recipe accordingly. Once you get the hang of it, this is a fantastically simple and nutritiously dense weeknight meal.

80:20 Ghoulash

This one’s for you, mom! Thanks for all the great dinners!

 

November 2014 Update: ROAST on St. Clair West in Toronto will grind 80:20 if you call them ahead of time – they suggested a week.

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Easy Leek Carbonara – Grain-free

INGREDIENTS

There’s a restaurant in Portland, Oregon called Le Pigeon, which makes a leek carbonara that I read about in The Globe and Mail. My lovely aunt forwarded it to me. I will link to the recipe at the end of this post if you want to try out the original.

Although I don’t eat grains anymore and rarely crave bread or pasta – my Achilles’ heel is spaghetti carbonara. There is something so comforting about creamy fettucine noodles in an egg and parmesan sauce, complemented with rendered pancetta that I just can’t get out of my head. Until now.

This recipe replaces the boring fettucine noodles with strips of leeks, cut into the width of fettucine. Since leeks are probably my favorite vegetable, I decided this was a very, very good idea.

The reason I have messed with the great recipe from Le Pigeon is just to make it a little simpler to prepare on hurried nights, and to increase the fat content (obviously!)pancetta

EASY LEEK CARBONARA

SERVES 4 – 5 AS A MAIN DISH, 6 – 8 AS A SIDE

  • 3 big leeks
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup of parmesan
  • 200g of pancettaleek noodles
  1. Cut up 200g of pancetta into small cubes. Cook these slowly in a heavy pot to render out the fat. I always cook for about 15 minutes while I’m getting the other ingredients ready.
  2. Boil a big pot of water.
  3. Trim off the hairy bottom and dark green tops from your leeks. Cut them lengthwise into long strips that resemble fettucine noodles. Rinse these well in a deep bowl of water or the sink to get off any dirt and grit.
  4. Grate about a cup of parmesan cheese.
  5. Crack 3 egg yolks into a large bowl. Add the parmesan cheese and mix together with a fork. Set aside.
  6. Once the water boils, add your leek “noodles” to the pot and boil for about a minute. “Parboil” if you will.egg yolks
  7. Finish rendering the pancetta, being careful not to overcook or your cubes will be crunchy rockettes. Most recipes will drain off the fat at this point, but not me! I spent good money on fancy pancetta from the Healthy Butcher and I’m not throwing any of it away.
  8. Strain the leeks after a minute. At Le Pigeon they are all fancy and plunge the leek “noodles” into an ice bath. I wouldn’t bother, though it is nice to dry them a bit on a towel, and then  add the dry “noodles” to the finished pancetta and hot fat. Toss like crazy in the warm, heavy pan.
  9. Once all the “noodles” have been coated with pancetta fat and the pancetta is evenly distributed, and the leeks have cooked a little more to their desired softness, quickly use some tongs to dump the entire pan into the prepared bowl of yolks and parmesan.  Stir quickly so that the sudden heat doesn’t make the yolks “cook”. (They will “temper” with the heat, but not actually cook). stirring
  10. Serve out smaller portions than you think you can eat, and top with some extra parmesan and fresh ground pepper.

If you think regular carbonara is heavy, this is about twice as heavy. But what I mean instead of “heavy” is filling. What is so remarkable is that even after a large portion, there is no bloating or heaviness – just fullness. I swear you cannot overeat this because it’s just so rich.  And absolutely delicious!

If you are not a fan of leeks, I still think you should try this. Boiling the leeks for a minute before the sauté seems to soften their flavor quite a bit. And yet that subtle leek-ness is still there, making this carbonara dish so much more layered and intense than the standard fare. easy leek carbonara

MACRONUTRIENT BREAKDOWN

One cup of standard carbonara (and who only eats one cup of pasta at a sitting?) is 43g of carbohydrates. One cup of this Easy Leek Carbonara (and you probably can’t eat a full cup) is 7g of carbohydrates.  This recipe also contains 19g of protein and about 32g of fat per serving/cup. If you want less protein, use less pancetta.

As it is, this recipe has 74% of calories from fat, 20% from protein and 6% from carbohydrates. Very LCHF.

What else? Each serving has 25% of your RDA for Calcium, 10% of your Iron, 27% of your Vitamin B12, 28% of your Phosphorous, plus a decent amount of Selenium, Riboflavin, Folate, Potassium, Vitamin A and Vitamin B6.

HOW TO PORTION THIS RECIPE

If you are alone and want to make this for yourself, just use one leek and one egg yolk, with a smaller amount of parmesan and pancetta. You will have leftovers. Generally, a big leek cooked this way will be too much for one person or just enough for two sides  – so gage the recipe that way.

FURTHER READING

Original and slightly more exciting recipe from Le Pigeon restaurant (includes lemon juice! red pepper flakes!)

Read about why leeks are so awesome and also support cardiovascular health. Try to eat something from the allium family every day (garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, etc).

A reminder about just what LCHF stands for (low carbohydrate high fat) and why it matters

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One Day Of Ketosis

krebs

graphic reproduced from Joseph Arcita

I’m not even remotely an expert on this, but I thought I would share a sample day in hardcore ketosis, which is different from LCHF. The conventional ketogenic diet (designed for epileptics) requires the daily ratio of fats by weight to be four times greater than the combined weight of proteins and carbohydrates. Whereas the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) folks tend to eat an amount of protein appropriate for their body size, and then less than 10g (but as much as 50g sometimes) of carbohydrates, and then they round out the rest of their diet with fat – but not in any specific ratio and usually not nearly so much as required on the classic ketogenic diet.

In other words, the classic ketogenic diet would have 50g of protein, 50g of carbs and (50 + 50 x 4 =) 400g of fat. This is a crazy amount of fat and calories (4000!), so I have designed a modified or modern ketogenic diet that still does the same thing without having to eat a couple tubs of mayonnaise throughout the day.

My modified, modern ketogenic diet would have 50g protein, 10g carbs and then (50 + 10 x 4) 240g of fat for an average person.

Whereas the same person doing LCHF would have 50g protein, 10g carbs and maybe just 100g – 150g of fat.

All three versions seem to keep people in ketosis, but since I have not personally tested all the methods with an at-home ketosis strip monitoring device, I can’t say for sure. Now I’ve got a goal this year. At last.

(However I would never test or play around with the “classic ketogenic diet”, as that much fat would invariable cause nausea and I just don’t need to do that to myself. I will definitely experiment with the others, though).

I put this sample menu together to improve upon one of my previous posts about cancer as a metabolic disease. I figured the information would be much more useful if readers could visualize what it really means to eat this much fat!

This menu is designed for me. Because of my body size and low level of activity, my body probably requires just about 45g of protein each day to maintain growth and optimum repair.  You may require more, or less. No matter what your protein requirement is, you will probably still want to consume around 10g of carbohydrates and not much more. For this “modified ketogenic menu”, you will add your protein to your carbs (mine is 45 + 10) and multiply by 4 to find out how much fat you will require.

MY SAMPLE MODIFIED KETOGENIC MENU

  • FOR BREAKFAST I could have a “Big Fat Coffee” (1 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp coconut oil, espresso and hot water), 1 egg cooked in 1 Tbsp butter with a cubic inch of cheese shredded or melted into it. This comes out to 10g protein, 1g carbs and 48g of fat. Within the range!
  • FOR LUNCH I could have a salad with 1 1/2 cups of shredded romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup of chopped cucumber, a cubic inch of grated cheese, 2 pieces of bacon crumbled on top and a dressing made of 3 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp sour cream, spices and 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar. I would have to eat ALL of the dressing. This comes out to 11g of protein, 5g of carbs and 60g of fat. Within the range!
  • SNACKS are tricky. Pâté and cheese, even on its own without crackers, has too much protein compared to fat – so I would have to also spread butter on it or something equally strange. I wouldn’t need much more protein on this “meal plan” suggested here, so all I could really can snack on is fat. I would suggest making an unsweetened chai tea (from a teabag) and emulsifying coconut oil into it as a creamy beverage. This gives me 14g of fat, which is great and filling.
  • FOR DINNER I could have a can of sardines packed in olive oil (I chose that because it’s easy to visualize), a 1/4 stalk of broccoli with 3 Tbsp butter melted on it, and another small salad of 1/2 cup of shredded romaine with a dressing made of 2 tbsp olive oil to 1 tsp apple cider vinegar. For dessert I could have 1/2 cup of whipped cream. This gives me 19g of protein, 5g of carbohydrate and 92g of fat. Just within the range!

DAY TOTAL = 40g of protein, 11g of carbohydrates and 215g of fat, and 2100 calories.

This was really hard! And even after all this work, I was 5g too low on protein, 1g too high on carbs and 5g too low on fat. However this would absolutely keep anyone in ketosis, without starving or feeling hungry whatsoever. This is a lot of fat to get through, and it keeps you feeling really full. But the point of this exercise was to show that you can get into ketosis with a low amount of carbohydrates without resorting to a low amount of calories.

I think what I really need to do is order some ketosis monitoring strips, so that I can verify for myself if LCHF, which is much more palatable, can still maintain adequate metabolism of ketone bodies.

WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO DO THIS?

Well, in addition to reversing tumors, nourishing mitochondria and providing preferential ketones for efficient metabolism, ketosis promotes cardiovascular health, increases HDL cholesterol and particle size while decreasing LDL cholesterol; ketosis increases neuronal stabilization and mental functioning, preserves lean body mass while reducing fat stores, and stops the progression and can reverse Type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s, hypertension and various cancers.

My question is, why wouldn’t you want to do this?

Showing small to moderate ketone levels on these possibly unreliable Ketostix

Showing small to moderate ketone levels on these possibly unreliable Ketostix

___________________

FURTHER READING

I have updated my earlier post, CANCER IS A METABOLIC DISEASE, to include more specific details on the ketogenic diet and also this sample menu to help people visualize what it means to eat this way

A link to My Big Fat Coffee recipe and post

My thoughts on how much protein you should eat for your specific body size and needs

Here is a look at some ketostix test strips for monitoring ketone levels in urine, that you can use at home to see if you are still burning ketones or if you have slipped back to burning glucose

Here is the wikipedia page on THE KETOGENIC DIET

A pretty great and thorough “Guide to Ketosis” posted by Joseph Arcita, whose graphic I used up above. He is really comprehensive!

Inexpensive Ketostix in Canada if you want in on this game

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Cancer Is A Metabolic Disease

Image

That is some headline!  What does it mean? It means that cancer, the second-leading cause of death in North America (a hair behind heart disease), is a disease of impaired cellular energy metabolism which causes gene and cell mutations – not the other way around. It means that cancer is rarely genetic, so therapies at the gene level are not going to “cure” cancer. What is going to cure cancer? Understanding its cause, and then preventing those causes from happening. Both: doable now, not at some point in the distant future.

WHAT CAUSES CANCER: IMPAIRED CELLULAR RESPIRATION

Cellular respiration is the term for essentially turning carbohydrates (specifically glucose) into carbon dioxide and water, which releases energy that can be used by the body. There are two steps to cellular respiration. The first step takes place in the intracellular fluid and is called glycolysis: the breakdown of glucose into pyruvic acid. The second step takes place in the mitochondria, where pyruvic acid is stripped of its electrons (oxidized) into carbon dioxide and water, which creates energy. When it all works well, it is a beautiful thing.

BUT WHEN IT GOES WRONG

Cellular respiration goes wrong for two reasons. The first is if a mitochondrion becomes damaged, the pyruvic acid cannot be oxidized into carbon dioxide and water to produce energy. The second reason is if there is not enough available oxygen in the blood (hypoxia), the pyruvic acid cannot be oxidized. Oxidization requires oxygen. In both cases, oxidation cannot occur so cellular respiration is thwarted.

But the cell wants to stay alive and produce energy, so it adapts – and avoids the damaged mitochondrion altogether, and instead uses FERMENTATION in the cellular fluid to produce energy. Handy adaptation, right? This fermentation adaptation has become known as the Warburg effect.

A cell fermenting glucose is the main biomarker for cancer, and is picked up by an MRI measuring metabolic effects on citrate and choline (as in the photo above).

Fermentation is great for an individual cell and it thrives. However the cell can no longer perform any useful actions for the rest of the body. It’s on its own now, a rogue cell, and what it does is multiply. Cancers with the highest growth rates have the highest fermentation rates.

Most cancers are the result of a damaged mitochondrion, not of hypoxia.

WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP READING

I’m going to jump way ahead to keep you interested. Cancer cells ferment glucose, got it? Well what if there isn’t any glucose available?

Hold on, let me bold this answer because it’s going to SAVE YOUR LIFE:

AN ABSENCE OF GLUCOSE MAKES A CANCER CELL STARVE AND DIE

If a cancer cell cannot access any more glucose, then it has nothing to ferment and cannot produce any energy to reproduce or even to exist. It will literally starve and die.

Conversely, glucose accelerates tumor growth. Do you remember what glucose is? It is what all carbohydrates are turned into. Do you get what I’m saying here? Eating carbohydrates makes your tumor grow; abstaining from carbohydrates makes your tumor shrink.

Now if you have been living under the sofa, you might still think that you also need glucose and carbohydrates to exist. Well that’s not quite true! Sure your cells are great at using oxygen to break down glucose – but your cells have another option beyond fermentation. I really need you to pay attention to this:

YOUR CELLS CAN RUN ON FAT INSTEAD OF GLUCOSE

I’m not kidding. This is totally true. It’s called dietary ketosis, ketogenesis, or fat-burning, and I have talked before about how the Swedes are embracing this lifestyle under the banner of a “Low Carbohydrate High Fat” (LCHF) diet. (Not to be confused with ketoacidosis which is the life-threatening condition known to Type 1 diabetics).

When your body runs out of glucose in the blood, and cellular carbohydrate stores have been exhausted, a signal is sent to the mitochondria of liver cells to start producing ketones. This whole KREBS CYCLE thing (also known as citric acid cycle) is initiated: ketone bodies make available energy which is stored as fatty acids, which are then broken down enzymatically into Acetyl coenzyme A (Acetyl-CoA) which is beta-oxidized for energy.

The cells in the body that have healthy mitochondria are going to oxidize the products of the Krebs cycle (such as acetone)  instead of glucose for energy.

But how can a cancer cell oxidize the products of the Krebs cycle for energy if its mitochondrion is damaged? It can’t. The answer is that while the cell can adapt to ferment glucose in the intracellular fluid and bypass the damaged mitochondrion,  the cell CANNOT adapt to ferment fatty acids or the products of the Krebs cycle. Can’t do it! So that cell with its damaged mitochondrion, fresh out of adaptations, will have to perish. Good riddance, damaged cell! And sayonara cancer.

GREAT, CANCER IS CURED. BUT WHY DO MITOCHONDRIA GET DAMAGED IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Let’s do a list. Agents of damage to mitochondria:

  1. INFLAMMATION
  2. CARCINOGENS
  3. RADIATION
  4. VIRUSES
  5. OLD AGE
  6. VERY RARE GENETIC MUTATIONS
  7. RAS ONCOGENE OVERACTIVE SIGNALING – responsible for cell growth and division. This is a cause but also an effect of factors 1-6.

What do you notice about that list? Is it that we can actually control some of those impairment factors except viruses, age and very rare mutations? And even viruses we can get a handle on pretty early these days (not to mention the miracle of oregano oil and astragalus root). And very rare genetic mutations are likely a result of carcinogens, radiation or inflammation – so possibly also controllable at some point in your family tree (maybe not helpful for you, but it should be for your kids and grandchildren)?

WHAT ELSE YOU SHOULD NOTICE

On that list of agents of damage to mitochondria: radiation. Yet another reason why the conventional cancer treatment of RADIATION THERAPY is a future death sentence, even if it buys some time in the present.

Also consider: using any kind of RADIATION TO DETECT CANCER is simply crazy (see: mammograms etc). Basically if you look for cancer long enough with radiation, you will find it thanks to the radiation.

Also on that list: inflammation. What this means is that using SURGERY (which is about as high on the causes of inflammation as you can get) to cut out your cancer can actually cause a lot more cancer. If inflammation causes abnormal cellular respiration, then using inflammatory surgery is not an easy solution for cancer unless you are only concerned with the short game. But more on this later.

NOW LET’S BACK IT UP

I haven’t offered up much supporting evidence so far, so let me be clear that I have sources. I have been suspecting the roles of inflammation and glucose (which can cause inflammation) in cancer for a while now, but was overwhelmed by the detailed research I came across in this really long, boring and expensive ($162!!!) book: “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management and Prevention of Cancer” by Thomas Seyfried. I will post a link at the bottom.

asametabolicdisease

If you have cancer or care about someone with cancer, you can either take my word for it (don’t do that) or you can order this book. But hurry, only 5 left in Canada! I think you should read the supporting evidence for yourself – over 1,000 scientific and clinical studies demonstrating that cancer can be more effectively prevented, managed and treated when it is recognized as a metabolic disease instead of misinterpreted as a genetic mutation. The genetic mutation is real, but the cancerous genetic mutation is largely the symptom of broken cellular respiration, not the cause.

In Seyfried’s words, from Chapter 9:

“Despite overwhelming evidence showing cancer is a metabolic disease in line with Warburg’s original theory, most investigators today view cancer as a genetic disease where mutations and chromosomal abnormalities underlie most aspects of tumor initiation and progression. The view of cancer as a genetic disease is the dogma driving the academic pursuit for resolution and is what currently underlies the pharmaceutical industry’s approach to new therapies. Each person’s tumor contains mutations unique to that tumor and to that person. Consequently, tailored or personalized molecular therapies are considered to be the future for cancer treatment. This therapeutic strategy has emerged from a widely held view that cancer is a genetic disease. How sure are we really that cancer is a genetic disease?
What if most cancers are not of genetic origin and that the multitude of gene and chromosomal defects seen in cancers are effects rather than causes of the cancer?”

In other words, what’s the point in inventing and fundraising for expensive therapies that target genes when the gene mutations are only the symptom and not the cause – and when the cancer will not be cured by these extravagant and complicated interventions?

THE CURE IS HERE NOW

The first thing I would do if I got a diagnosis of cancer would be to go on a water fast for at least 7 days. So would Thomas Seyfried. I would starve the crap out of my cancer and get my body into ketosis.

I would also change my entire life to eliminate outside stressors, make peace with the people around me, and limit my exercise to walking and gentle stretching and yoga. I would divert my energy towards healing instead of wasting it on exercise. So would Seyfried. He shows that vigorous exercise increases blood glucose due to muscle release of lactate and amino acids. Glucose feeds cancer, so vigorous exercise would be counterproductive.

After that though, Seyfried would go on a conventional ketosis diet with limited inputs (low calories). Basically he has seen the best results with a near starvation diet in the conventional ketosis ratio of fats:carbs:proteins. In case you don’t remember what a conventional ketosis diet is: traditionally the fats must be delivered in a ratio that is 4 times greater by weight than the combined proteins and carbohydrates.

I CAN DO BETTER

Seyfried’s research forté is oncology and cellular respiration. He falls short when it comes to diets. He knows that he needs his patients to reduce glucose and replace it with fat, and yet the only “safe diet” he has encountered to do this is the classic ketogenic diet created for epileptics and modified in the last twenty years to include industrial foods like canola oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil etc. No friggin’ way! Because those industrial oils are inflammatory! And inflammation damages mitochondria. Enough said.

In addition, Seyfried has a misunderstanding that to get into ketosis and stay in ketosis, it is mandatory to maintain a very specific ratio of fats:carbs:proteins. What is mandatory is the maximum amount of carbohydrates and proteins. The carbs need to be crazy low (say under 10g/day to starve a tumor) and the protein needs to be appropriate for your specific body or less. What is not mandatory is the ratio of fats to stay in ketosis, which can be increased.

Seyfried did not do any research or studies specifically into fat; instead he used his predetermined bias against the safety of fats that pervades our popular culture and medical literature. Let me say this one more time: fats and especially saturated fats are safe and healthy so long as carbohydrate consumption is limited. In this protocol, carbohydrates are especially limited, so fats and saturated fats are extremely safe and healthy. I do not blame Seyfried for missing this conclusion; it was simply outside the scope of his very detailed research.

LET’S REVIEW KETOSIS FOR A MOMENT

Conventional ketogenic diets (for epilepsy) say you must eat 4 times the amount of fat by weight as proteins and carbs. It also specifies that proteins and carbohydrates should be matched equally by weight. So that means if your body REQUIRES 50g of protein, you must also eat 50g of carbohydrates and a whopping 400g of fat in a conventional ketogenic diet. Incidentally, this is an insane amount of food and calories and everything.

This was Seyfried’s problem – that when he presented a cancerous body with 400g of fat a day, plus 50g of protein PLUS 50g of carbohydrates, it was just too much energy – about 4000 calories for a sick person who is not supposed to be exercising. In addition, 50g of carbohydrates was just too much glucose to starve any tumors at an effective rate. So Seyfried experimented with much lower values in the same ratio, and found that cancerous tumors regressed much better in a restricted caloric setting.

For example, the only way Sefried thought a patient could cut back on the carbs in a ketogenic diet was if he also cut back on the protein and fat, according to the ratio. So in order to make the diet work for 10g carbs per day, for example, he would cut back the protein to 10g and the fats to 80g. He thought it was important to reduce the amount of fat being ingested because of a cultural bias against fat and saturated fat. However he did not test for the safety of high fat/saturated fat diets on cancer or write about it; I contend this oversight was a cultural blind spot put there by conventional, outdated nutritional advice.

But I don’t think this is a successful recipe long term because the body requires what it requires for protein, roughly 1g per day per kg of body weight. This intense caloric restriction may be successful (in fact it is) in the short term at regressing tumors, but you will start to suffer without adequate levels of protein. And in addition, you will be really, really, really hungry and you will literally waste away. And furthermore, malnutrition is a huge risk for cancer in itself.

So if you consider that the body requires a certain amount of protein for daily growth and repair, that really doesn’t leave much room for carbohydrates because for every extra carb you must increase your fats fourfold. The trick to doing this successfully is to strip your carbs down to a bare minimum. The body actually doesn’t require any carbohydrates at all – not to stay in ketosis and not for optimum health. However it is almost impossible not to consume them one way or another. Even plain old meat breaks down into glucose at some level. The body makes its own glucose as needed, so you will never really be able to be completely free of it for the purpose of reversing tumors. However you can go pretty far in that direction if you put your mind to it.

SHOW ME A TYPICAL DAY

I think you’re going to want to visualize this with a typical day of eating. The challenge goes like this: if my specific body REQUIRES 45g of protein per day for optimum body growth and repair, then instead of adding another 45g of carbs and a whopping 90g x 4 = 360g of fat (as was Seyfried’s initial model), and instead of completely restricting consumption to 10g protein, 10g carbs and 80g fat, I am going to present another option.

First of all let’s get this out of the way: the barest-bones model. If my body requires 45g of protein then theoretically I could exist on that plus 45×4 = 180g of fat. But what I am suggesting is that we can have a little bit of carbohydrates if we just add some more fat. But we are by no means going to match the protein with the carbohydrates.

The daily menu I am aiming for has 45g of protein, 10g of carbohydrate and 220g of fat.

SAMPLE TUMOR BUSTING MENU

  • FOR BREAKFAST you would have to have a “Big Fat Butter Coffee” (1 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp coconut oil, espresso and hot water), 1 egg cooked in 1 Tbsp butter with a cubic inch of cheese shredded or melted into it. This comes out to 10g protein, 1g carbs and 48g of fat. Within the range!
  • FOR LUNCH you could have a salad with 1 1/2 cups of shredded romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup of chopped cucumber, a cubic inch of grated cheese, 2 pieces of bacon crumbled on top and a dressing made of 3 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp sour cream, spices and 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar. You would have to eat ALL of the dressing. This comes out to 11g of protein, 5g of carbs and 60g of fat. Within the range!
  • SNACKS are tricky. Pâté and cheese, even on its own without crackers, has too much protein compared to fat – so you would have to also spread butter on or something equally strange. You wouldn’t need any more protein on this “meal plan” I have suggested here, so all you can really can snack on is fat. I would suggest making an unsweetened chai tea (like from a teabag) and emulsifying coconut oil into it as a creamy beverage. This gives you 14g of fat, which is great and filling.
  • FOR DINNER you could have a can of sardines packed in olive oil (I chose that because it’s easy to visualize), a 1/4 stalk of broccoli with 3 Tbsp butter melted on it, and another small salad of 1/2 cup of shredded romaine with a dressing made of 2 tbsp olive oil to 1 tsp apple cider vinegar. For dessert you could have 1/2 cup of whipped cream. This gives you 19g of protein, 5g of carbohydrate and 92g of fat. Just within the range!

DAY TOTAL = 40g of protein, 11g of carbohydrates and 215g of fat, and 2100 calories.

This was really hard! And even after all this work, I was 5g too low on protein, 1g too high on carbs and 5g too low on fat. However this would absolutely keep anyone in ketosis, without starving or feeling hungry whatsoever. This is a lot of fat to get through, and it keeps you feeling really full. But the point of this exercise was to show that you can get into ketosis with a low amount of carbohydrates without resorting to a low amount of calories.

The ratio of proteins to carbohydrates does not need to be maintained to stay in ketosis.

WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO EAT SO MUCH FAT?

That’s a great question. Conventional ketogenic diets required that the grams of fat in the diet be a huge multiple (4x) of the protein plus carbohydrate grams. This heavy handed dose of fat literally guaranteed that children with epilepsy would stay in ketosis and not have seizures. However if you have some Ketostix to measure your ketone level, you can probably observe that in your body you don’t need to be so heavy handed. You might only need 80-90g fat per day to feel satiated, not over 200g. (I will link to Ketostix buying options at the bottom). My point in describing a day in the life of a diet of 220g fat was to show that you don’t need to go hungry to be on a ketogenic diet.

YOU DON’T NEED TO INDEFINITELY STARVE THE BODY TO STARVE CANCER

I can’t see that many cancer patients would choose to live out their days in ketosis if they had to be near starvation every day. It’s just too much to ask, and furthermore IT’S NOT NECESSARY. Just eat an appropriate amount of protein and eat more safe, stable, benign fat for goodness sakes. So long as you keep your carbohydrates under or as close to 10g/day and don’t go overboard on protein (because excess protein essentially converts to glucose), you will stay in ketosis and starve your cancer cells.

In fact, there are thousands of people who are living in ketosis RIGHT NOW, simply as a healthy choice and not because they are reversing tumors or diabetes or anything, and they are finding that they can stay in ketosis without resorting to the 4:1 ratio of fats: proteins and carbs. Their ratios are much less severe, and yet according to their at-home ketosis monitoring strips, their bodies are still metabolizing ketones instead of glucose. The most important part about reversing tumors is that your body must be burning ketones instead of glucose; it doesn’t much matter how you get there.

You can wait for some large scale human clinical trials to be completed. But in my opinion, you don’t have the time. A therapeutic ketogenic diet with less than 10g carbs/day, bulked up with extra fat for satiety, is going to prevent and at the very least arrest most cancers.

ANOTHER BENEFIT OF KETOSIS AND KETONE BODIES

Ketone bodies are anti-inflammatory on your system. They are actually a more efficient fuel, and a preferred fuel, than glucose. Possibly this was an evolutionary pre-cursor to burning glucose. When our system metabolizes ketone bodies for energy instead of glucose, our mitochondrial health is maintained and nourished, which reduces the possibility for cancer to take hold.

NOT ALL CANCERS

There are a few  cancers that do not depend completely on fermentation of glucose. Some cancers can adapt yet again, or simultaneously, from fermenting glucose –  into fermenting glutamine instead. Glutamine is an abundant amino-acid in the body. In addition, glutamine is the preferred fuel source for cells lining the small intestine, so cancers in that area might not respond as efficiently, or at all, to carbohydrate/glucose restriction.  These cancers might require specific drugs that arrest glutamine production from glutamic acid or glutamate.

However it gets a little too complicated for me here because glutamine is found throughout the body and is pretty much essential; not sure if we could survive without it. In fact, a low level of glutamine is typically expressed as a weakened immune system and a more permeable gut (“leaky gut syndrome”) – so basically as auto-immune diseases. I’d hate to remove glutamine from the system to starve off certain cancers only to develop a weak immune system and auto-immune disease. So I’m just not sure for these cancers of the small intestine (and possibly cancer of the lining of the stomach but not the stomach itself), that dealing with glutamine head-on is really the way to go.

However even these cancers will benefit from a nutritional ketosis or an LCHF diet because eliminating excess glucose is only going to be anti-inflammatory and beneficial.

WHAT ABOUT SURGERY?

Only after the patient has tried to reverse tumor growth with a ketogenic or LCHF diet should surgery be used. The initial period with the diet transformation will reduce inflammation, possibly shrink the tumor (seriously, this happens) and make the surgery more effective and less damaging if it still needs to be done at all.

WHAT ABOUT CHEMOTHERAPY AND OTHER DRUGS?

Seyfried is very, very careful to say that he thinks patients should still use traditional drug therapies as an adjunct to his diet protocol (consuming less than 10g carbs/day). He does not come out against chemotherapy or drugs (only against radiation), but he thinks they will work much, much better if the patient avoids glucose and carbohydrates. Chemotherapy is “much better” than it used to be!  However none of us can know what Seyfried would do himself if the situation arose. We all have a personal decision to make when it comes to our own treatment, and we should all be flexible as newer, safer drug protocols are developed.

The main thing I would look at when considering a drug protocol is: does this drug promote inflammation or does it reduce inflammation?

WHAT ABOUT OTHER ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS?

Obviously! Look into the gifts of the Magi: Frankincense and Myrrh. I read about a guy who injected these essential oils into his tumor and made it disappear! Why would these essential oils be given to baby Jesus if they weren’t the freaking most powerful substances ever?

Look into super doses of Vitamin C (between 20 – 100 GRAMS/day), which can act as a non-toxic chemotherapy in some cases, as the ascorbic acid targets cancer cells but not healthy cells. This can be done in addition to conventional chemotherapy with no negative reactions – but it can make the conventional treatment more effective. Vitamin C should be taken in intervals throughout the day because if you take it all at once it doesn’t get absorbed (the expensive pee syndrome). Try out 500mg every 45 minutes while awake – and know that you’ve reached your maximum if you get loose stools. This is a fairly inexpensive and harmless thing to try. This would work best with pharmacologic concentrations delivered intravenously, and I will post the clinical research at the bottom which explains these findings. (There has been a long and controversial debate about this effectiveness, but it has recently been studied correctly and resurfaced).

Don’t fly around the world paying gurus and healers big money for their “treatments of the moment”. But if you read about an inexpensive treatment that DOES NO HARM, then what is the risk? Humans have been curing cancers for millenia before the medical system stopped curing it this century. Why not find out how they used to do it?

You’ll also want to be careful that your new diet isn’t malnourishing you. So that is going to take some concentrated effort. In particular, you are going to want to eat a lot of foods that contain active groups of respiratory enzymes (iron salts, riboflavin, nicotinamide, and pantothenic acid). You can get your dietary iron from grass-fed liver, beef and lamb etc. To be extra certain you are getting these B vitamins, I would try using a topical B-complex cream (I will post a link below). In addition, Vitamin D is known to enhance mitochondrial efficiency – so get outside or take high quality cod liver oil. Finally, melatonin protects mitochondria in bone and brain cells – so either keep your room completely dark at night and get a good sleep or consider a melatonin supplement, especially in a topical cream form (again, I’ll post a link to one at the end).

JUICING, THE STEVE JOBS/DR. DEAN ORNISH CANCER TREATMENT

Juicing, for all its hype, is a diet of pure carbohydrates. This is the single fastest way to get glucose into your blood except for eating candy. Cancer cells need glucose to survive. That’s what cancer cells do, they ferment glucose and multiply. I really don’t need to keep connecting the dots for you, do I?

LET’S TALK MORE ABOUT INFLAMMATION

Inflammation is the one thing you probably have the most control over. Inflammation is so key in the chain of events that lead to cancer that I’m going to make another list of variables that provoke tissue inflammation:

  1. infections, either viral or bacterial
  2. excessive sugar, glucose and carbohydrates
  3. trans fats, oxidized oils, excessive vegetable oils and Omega-6 fatty acids
  4. physical trauma (lacerations, breaks, burns, surgery etc)
  5. smoking
  6. excessive alcohol consumption and most drug use
  7. carcinogenic chemicals (in foods, lotions, workplace etc)
  8. ionizing and even non-ionizing radiation (including x-rays and mammograms, cell phones etc)
  9. stress, worry, lack of sleep, negative attitude
  10. grains, improperly prepared or otherwise
  11. obesity

Inflammation damages cellular mitochondria, impairing oxidation and paving the way for intracellular fermentation. So your primary health goal should be to reduce inflammation at every turn.

WHEN DO I HAVE TO START EATING LESS THAN 10G OF CARBS/DAY?

You really only have to start eating less than 10g of carbohydrates a day if you find out you have a cancerous tumor, and only after you have done an initial water-only fast (or a much easier “fat fast” – fats and broths only). Most adults can function for 30-40 days on just water. If you think doing a fast is hard, you should consider how hard it will be to die and leave your family behind to pick up the pieces. Harsh, right?

Now let’s say you don’t have cancer (yet! Ha! I’m hilarious!) Probably you could get enough of a preventative effect from eating less than 50g of carbohydrates/day, provided you were mostly in ketosis. Let’s just make this a goal, okay? Now let’s say you slip out of it and go on a bender for a few weeks. Well guess what, it’s not the end of the world. Just do a therapeutic fast! Probably as little as 5 days on just water (or a fat fast) could set you straight if you were truly worried. Any cancer that was starting to take hold will be starved out. We all know we’re not really going to bother to do this, but I’m just putting it out there! 

What’s more, it’s my personal opinion that if you are generally healthy, you don’t need to go to the extreme of a water fast to get the benefits of starving cancer cells. All you need to do is a fat/broth style fast – eliminate carbohydrates for a week and you will be in the same place as if you had water fasted, but you won’t be hungry or malnourished.

DO CARBOHYDRATES AND SUGAR ACTUALLY CAUSE CANCER?

No way, not at all. Emphatically NO. Excessive consumption, over a lifetime, will certainly cause inflammation and set you up for metabolic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease etc. However we are clearly designed to flourish on a varying amount of carbohydrates. If your people (the people you are descended from over the last thousand years or so) lived in the tropics year round, chances are they adapted to eating a higher proportion of fruit, fructose and starchy, readily available carbohydrates; whereas if your people descended from the high north, you probably aren’t as well adapted to huge amounts of vegetation in your diet, and might thrive better on meats and fats. Humans are infinitely adaptable in their diets for survival; however it takes knowing where you’re from and understanding your own body to determine what kind of diet makes you personally thrive.

For me, I used to literally faint in public places if I started the day with carbohydrates and not enough protein or fat. Then when I hit my thirties, I noticed that carbohydrates caused my body to expand totally differently than in earlier days. I had to adapt and learn more about replacing most of my carbohydrates with fat. It’s not easy every day; it’s more of a journey to be honest.

AND NOW FINALLY, SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME ENRAGED

youkilledher

Mary and her grandchildren engaged in a sick, sugar-fueled suicide pact thanks to your gift

Fundraisers for cancer research that promote carbohydrate eating and especially that fetishize sugar-laden treats drive me bananas. Do you really want to cure cancer if you are right there in the front lines feeding people cookies and Fruitopia? Please tell me you see the irony if not the criminal negligence in this action.

See:

  • every fundraiser at your kid’s school that sells lollipops, cookies, juice or cake in exchange for a donation to cancer research
  • cancer research advertisements asking you to give money so that Mary can spend one last year with her grandchildren baking cookies
  • kids selling chocolate bars with the pink ribbon on them, or any candy with a pink ribbon on it
  • foundations specifically called names like “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer” (even though it is an honest name – cookies ARE for kids’ cancer since cookies literally feed the cancer)

I am not trying to offend you if you are dedicated to raising money for cancer research (or ANY medical research for that matter) through selling the poison that feeds cancer. But maybe you should examine what you are doing? Maybe sell crafts instead? Maybe don’t support those fundraisers in your kid’s school anymore. After all, your kid is at school to learn something – make this lesson your top priority.

ANOTHER NOTE ON CANCER FUNDRAISING

This is a sore point so I’m not going to get too deeply into this. But cancer fundraising is a huge, multi-billion dollar business that doesn’t necessarily have a lot to do with curing or preventing cancer, in my opinion. I might be overstating it. But again, in my opinion, cancer fundraising has a lot to do with funding itself and finding medical interventions for people who don’t want to change their diet or lifestyle, and for economies that don’t want to change their reliance on easy carbohydrates to make a profit.

You should be advised that despite over 1,000 clinical studies showing that cancer is a metabolic disease, and that it can be reversed into remission by eliminating carbohydrates from the diet – the famously esteemed Mayo Clinic is still calling this concept “a myth”. I can absolutely guarantee that if you get a diagnosis of cancer and go to your oncologist and ask what role nutrition or carbohydrates have in cancer, you will be told patronizingly not to worry about it.

However avoiding sugar and reducing carbohydrate consumption is possibly the best medicine and it is FREE. And it causes no harm. I really don’t know what else to say.

Oh yeah, happy holidays.

____________________

Further Reading and Links:

Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer by Thomas N. Seyfried

If you don’t want to read the whole book, read this short version online

Didn’t like my rudimentary glossed-over version of the Krebs cycle/citric acid sycle? Read more about how the body can “run on fat” 

At least read this Chapter 2 available online from Mitochondrial Genetics and Cancer, by Dakubo, G. D. : The Warburg Phenomenon and Other Metabolic Alterations of Cancer Cells

The Steve Jobs Diet, Dr. Dan Ornish, and Vegetarian Cancer from The Bulletproof Executive

Mega Doses of Vitamin C selectively killing cancer cells and sparing healthy cells – a research paper from the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.

How to eat LCHF again and what it is

This helpful Australian website by Sarah Wilson, I Quit Sugar – you can buy her books on Amazon

How to determine how much protein you should eat

An absolutely awesome cookbook that will show you how to eat Low Carbohydrate High Fat for life and enjoy it immensely, no starvation or deprivation whatsoever

Ketosis test strips are really expensive but there are lots of types to choose from for at-home monitoring. Actually, they are super cheap at Well.ca

My favorite topical Vitamin B complex cream, expensive but kind of awesome

A topical Melatonin cream that I haven’t used but looks okay

NEW: Article on radiation in the New York Times: We are Giving Ourselves Cancer

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Reset Days

Sometimes a weekend gets away from you when there are birthdays and holiday parties to host and attend. I’m talking excessive wine and champagne, buttercream cakes, croissants, scalloped potatoes, chips and crackers, candy and chocolate. Well that was my weekend anyway. No big thing, let’s do a reset.

Today I’m going to eat a moderate amount of nutrient-dense food (let’s say 1400 calories for my body size and activity level), and I’m going to consume my proteins and carbohydrates exclusively during an 8-hour window, between noon and 8pm. But I can eat fats in the morning to give me energy and bowel motility for the day ahead. This plan is specifically tailored as an LCHF (Low Carbohydrate High Fat) day to reset my fat burning potential and redirect my body into an appropriate state of ketosis.

START OF THE DAY

I’m going to start with a “Butter Coffee”. I brew a long espresso over a Tbsp of organic, pasture butter and a Tbsp of coconut oil. You could also add some boiling water if your espresso isn’t “long” enough. Then I shake in some organic cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla or a few shakes of vanilla bean powder. Then I dump this oily mess into my Vitamix or blender, and blend on high for about 10 seconds to really emulsify the fats. My long espresso turns from black to creamy caramel. I pour it into my favourite mug and enjoy.

This gives me a lot of energy for my morning, and also gets my bowel motility going pretty rapidly. I’m sharing that because I know you want to know. But I am adjusted to this amount of fat, which is an important detail. Sometimes I do 2 Tbsp of butter and 2 Tbsp of coconut oil. Sometimes I’m just that kooky. If you are not used to eating this much fat, try starting with just 1/2 Tbsp of coconut oil. Maybe the next day add 1/2 Tbsp of butter, and then work up from there. Too much fat too soon can literally make you feel nauseous, especially coconut oil. But if you are adjusted to it, it makes you feel great: alert, energized and moisturized!

Butter Coffee 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp coconut oil: 25g of fat and about 220 calories

BREAKING THE FAST: LUNCHTIME

At noon, or closer to 1pm if convenient, I’m going to eat a pretty easy lunch of a can of sardines packed in olive oil or water (not soybean or canola oil), and a parsley salad.

The can of sardines I have handy (Open Seas Portugese sardines) has 11g of fat and 15g of protein.

parsley saladThe parsley salad is a revelation that I discovered in Istanbul. It’s basically tabouli without the couscous. I take 2 bunches of washed flat-leaf parsley and 1 bunch of washed mint and chop them in a food processor with some cucumber. You can also add some lemon peel, lemon juice, garlic and scallions. Then I add some grape tomatoes and a dressing of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar, a touch of dijon mustard and fresh garlic.

Why this salad is a revelation is that parsley is off the charts with nutrient density. 1 cup of this salad is worth about 2 cups of parsley, which gives you 303% of your Vitamin A for the day, 213% of your Vitamin C, 41% of your iron and 17% of your Calcium – not to mention over 2000% of your Vitamin K1, 46% of your Folate, 19% of your Manganese and 10%o four Phosporous. There’s more to parsley, but the numbers are starting to get boring and smaller.

And as far as macronutrients go, 2 cups of parsley has 1g of fat, 8g of carbohydrates and 4g of protein. This is a salad winner. Add some olive oil and vinegar dressing as the fats and acids will help your body metabolize the nutrients in the salad.

lunchSNACKING

First of all I’m going to drink a lot of tea today, specifically nettle tea. Nettles do a million great things, including stimulating the lymph system and boosting the immune system – great at this time of year.

If I feel like a snack today, I’m going to have some high quality olives. 10 large olives have about 5g of fat and 3g of carbohydrates. In addition to their blood pressure lowering properties (due to high monounsaturated oil content), olives are packed with phytonutrients like phenols and terpenes that specifically interrupt the life cycle of breast cancer and gastric cancer cells, and also protect DNA from oxidative damage.

GET READY FOR DINNER

As I’m calling this a “reset day”, these meals are going to be quick and easy.  I’m going to have a 3-egg omelette for dinner with 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese inside. The whole thing will be cooked in butter. I might add some scallions and hot sauce if I feel like it.

I might have a few radishes on the side as a garnish, or a little scoop of fermented carrots and beets as an additional condiment.

DESSERT

Okay it’s not fair to call this dessert. But it’s the most “carby” item of the day, so it sort of fits into this category. After I’ve digested dinner but before my “8 hour window” is done, I’m going to have 1 cup of home-made whole milk kefir. You could have a little bowl of yoghurt or some whole milk kefir (unflavored) from the store. I really like to finish my day with some heavy duty probiotics like this, so that they can get to work on my digestive system overnight. Also, the sugar and the fat in the milk will keep me from getting at all hungry over the night, and will help guide me to sleep.

LET’S LOOK AT THIS 1400 CALORIE DAY

I think I should just re-state that I don’t “count calories”, but that they are still a handy marker for how much food I have eaten. When I am adjusted to eating more fat, I tend to consume less calories overall and yet feel more satiated.

Today’s meals and condiments break down to a ratio of calories from 70% fat, 11% carbohydrates and 19% protein.

Stated another way: 117g fat (51g saturated), 45g carbs (15g sugar) and 70g protein.

I will also have eaten over 1000% of my daily Vitamin A, over 400% of my Vitamin C, 122% of my Calcium, 84% of my iron, 40% of my Vitamin D, over 3000% of my Vitamin K1, etc.

My Vitamin D from today’s foods is a little low, so I will take my cod liver oil supplements like I always do to compensate. My B vitamins are also a little low (only meeting about 60% of required B6, B12 and Folate), so I will supplement with a topical Vitamin B cream, which is designed to bypass digestion and get right into my cells. I’m also only hitting about 50% of my Magnesium requirements, so I’m going to use a topical Magnesium gel and an Epsom salts bath. And as Vitamin K2 is either not measured in our foods or not present, I am always going to take a K2 supplement (mine comes with Vitamin D as well).

This is a pretty good reset day. Probably a little higher in protein for me than necessary, but basically a good day.

WHERE TO GO FROM HERE

This week I’m going to do the Butter Coffee regime every morning. For lunch I’ll switch it up with a kale salad and some boiled eggs. For dinner I’ll have lamb chops or wild salmon with some broccoli or leeks. I’ll try to finish off every day with some kefir.

I’ll let you know how long this lasts before I accidentally eat a bag of chips.

SOME FURTHER READING

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Raw Eggs: Let’s Crack this one Apart

Raw Eggs: Let's Crack this one Apart

Here’s what you need to know: eggs are good for you and it is a fallacy that their dietary cholesterol content somehow contributes to high LDL blood cholesterol levels. These are unrelated factors regardless of what conventional dietary guidelines will have you believe.

In the “old days” people were always eating raw eggs. See: grandma and her quirkiness. See the expression: “you don’t need to tell me how to suck eggs” etc. But since the advent of factory farming and industrial, sadistic production of chicken and eggs, it became common for raw eggs to be contaminated with salmonella and worse. So it has become a preventative practice to cook eggs because heat kills salmonella.

My rule is that if you are buying the kind of eggs that need to be cooked so that they don’t make you sick, you should just avoid them in the first place. Because what else is lurking in that sickening, industrial egg? What was the chicken eating? What were the conditions? What kind of drugs and hormones was that chicken on so that it could survive being cramped in a battery cage, pecked nearly to death and surrounded by feces? Don’t just cook those eggs, throw them out to the raccoons. Stop creating a demand for eggs that can hit store shelves for under $3. Seriously, people.

WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IN AN EGG

You want eggs that come from a small farm where the chickens actually go outside and get sunshine on their backs. This natural form of Vitamin D is essential for synthesizing all the other vitamins and nutrients that will make your egg nutritious rather than a waste of your time, or worse, inflammatory.

Another reason you want chickens that go outside is because you want them to peck grass and forage for bugs, especially the kind of bugs that hatch out of fresh cow patties etc. Sounds gross, but this is the circle of life and you need to get on it. Eating grass means high carotein content; eating bugs means high DHA content.

FREE RANGE FOOLERY

At the store you will see plenty of labels on eggs stating they are “free-range”. Well all this means from a regulatory point of view is that the chickens have ACCESS to a tiny door which leads to some form of outside pen. This does not mean that the chickens use the access door, nor does it mean that the outside pen has any grass or bugs in it whatsoever. Furthermore, the chickens used in large-scale egg operations are weak, inferior animals (suitable only for laying eggs, really) who are too timid and ill-equipped to go outside, so they generally do not choose to venture out the terrifying access door. What I am saying is that you cannot win with a large-scale operation.

So you are going to have to find eggs from a small-scale operation. My rule of thumb is less than 500 chickens. That way a human farmer can actually keep track of the chickens and their various issues, and can remove sick chickens from the flock and also just act like farmers instead of factory foremen. You can get these kinds of eggs directly from farmers, farmers’ markets, CSA clubs and also in Ontario from the “Small Flock” egg co-op, which is a co-op of farmers who keep less than 500 chickens per farm but sell under one label. And of course you can also just keep your own chickens if you want to be hard core.smallflock

FEEDING FLAX TO CHICKENS

You see the “Omega-3” label on eggs as well, and this just means that the farmer (or factory foreman) feeds a high ratio of flaxseeds to the chickens. Chickens are pretty efficient at metabolizing flaxseeds and producing eggs higher in Omega-3 fatty acids as a result – so this is a valid claim.

However factory eggs also happen to contain 19 times more pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids than pastured eggs, so you can see why it is essential to add some Omega-3 back into them so that they are not a total junk food. Adding in some Omega-3 will reduce the inflammatory effect of all that Omega-6 – but in the end it will not make very much Omega-3 available to you. Tricky, huh?

What you should know is that chickens who eat grass and forage for bugs produce eggs that are just as high, if not higher, in Omega-3 fatty acids – yet they have 19 times less inflammatory Omega-6 issues to mitigate.

So when you see the “Omega-3” label on eggs, what that says is that these are industrial, factory chickens that have been slightly ameliorated with a health claim for more Omega-3s. It’s kind of like adding Omega-3s to a candy bar – at the end of the day, it’s still a candy bar and the inflammatory properties of the candy bar just can’t be magically canceled out by the additions of some Omega-3s. So let’s call these eggs “industrial plus”, but let’s not confuse them with the eggs from small-scale pastured chickens.

EGG NUTRITION

More than half of the protein in an egg is in the white, but most of the nutrients and all of the fat are in the yolk. Misguided conventional nutritional advice favors protein and fears fat, which is why freaky conflations like egg-white omelettes exist. I’m sorry for you if you ever had to eat one of those.

I don’t think you should throw any part of an egg away; I think you should eat the whole egg. But if you were going to favor any part of the egg, favor the yolk.

A big, natural yolk should be bright orange and contain at least 5g of fat, nearly 3g of protein – and no meaningful carbohydrates. The yolk contains 13 essential nutrients including 10% of your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin D , 5% of your B6, B12 and Vitamin A – all in a super bioavailable package. It is also a source of lutein – for your eyes, and biotin (Vitamin B7) – for glossy hair and dewy skin. However it should be noted that raw egg whites contain anti-nutrients which bind with biotin, among other things, which both make it unavailable and can lead to a biotin-defficiency.

The white of an egg contains nearly 4g of protein – so nominally more than the yolk. The reason everyone has this idea that the whites are soooo much higher in protein is because it is a lean protein, which excites a lot of people who hate fat. There is neither fat nor meaningful carbohydrates in an egg white. So it can totally be used as a pure protein supplement if you are somehow lacking protein – like if you are a vegetarian who eats eggs. But if you are looking for protein, why don’t you just eat the whole egg and get nearly 7g, plus a bonus of all the healthy fats, fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients in the yolk?

EGG WHITE TRICKINESS

While the protein in egg yolks is readily available in its raw state, egg whites contain trypsin-inhibitors which ironically make it more difficult to digest protein. Easy fix is to cook the egg whites, which mostly disables both the trypsin-inhibitors and the anti-nutrient avindin (which binds with biotin). What I am saying is that there is no benefit to eating raw egg whites. Cook them already.

WHY THE CHOLESTEROL CONFUSION?

Two things.

First: When you cook an egg yolk right through, the cholesterol becomes oxidized. When you eat that oxidized cholesterol, it causes inflammation in the body. The body reacts to this inflammation by producing protective cholesterol, including LDL cholesterol. Ergot it has been broadly interpreted that eating eggs raises blood cholesterol serum. A more accurate interpretation is that eating hard-cooked egg yolks can cause inflammation which leads to elevations in LDL cholesterol.

Second: Eating factory eggs, which are freakily high in inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids, causes inflammation in the body which makes the body react by producing protective cholesterol including LDL.

It is very, very easy to fix both these issues. Just use small-farm biodynamic eggs and eat your yolks raw or soft-cooked. End of discussion.

HOW TO WIN AT EGGS

Egg whites are better for you cooked. Egg yolks are better for you raw. So either add raw yolks to your smoothie, or else soft-poach eggs or serve them sunny side up or over-easy. It’s really not that complicated.

My daughter doesn’t like eggs, so I secretly put a raw egg yolk in her breakfast shake some mornings. Recipe = 1 raw egg yolk, 1 cup raw organic milk, 1/2 TBS organic raw cacao, 1/2 TBS coconut oil, 1/4 tsp raw honey from our own bees, 3 drops stevia, vanilla, cinnamon. She falls for it every time.

FURTHER READING

Review study shows eggs do not contribute to heart disease risk, in fact offer beneficial effects

Three Eggs A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

The Cruelest of All Factory Farm Products

An article from Salon about the social costs of purchasing factory farmed eggs, meat and dairy, which accounts for 80% of antibiotic use in America.

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Let’s Make a Pumpkin Pie

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First a disclaimer: I just can’t make a sugar/sweetener-free pumpkin pie yet, so if you are looking for an LCHF (Low Carbohydrate High Fat) pie, this isn’t it.

I don’t trust the “sugar substitutes” like Stevia drops and any of the other more complicated industrial sweeteners; I am still turned off by the flavor of green Stevia leaf powder; I don’t eat grain so this is made with an almond flour crust – other nut crusts tend to brown too quickly; unlike the Paleo People, I still appreciate whole fat organic dairy like butter and sour cream, so I use those instead of coconut oil and cream; and finally I can’t just eliminate the sugar without everyone in my extended family ridiculing me ad nauseum.

So this is a very simple pumpkin pie made with some nutrient-dense ingredients (eggs, butter, almonds, sour cream, pumpkin purée) and plenty of free radical-fighting spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, lemon zest, vanilla). This version is not Low Carbohydrate though, it is simply a pie.

START WITH THE CRUST

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Now I’m going to do all the mixing for the crust and the filling in the bowl of my 7-cup Cuisinart food processor – because it’s simple and tidy. Into the bowl, add:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 egg white (reserve the yolk for the filling)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Pulse it up until a dough forms. Press this dough out into a pie plate, and crimp up the edges. Put it in the freezer for ten minutes while your oven gets up to temperature. Finally, prick the pastry with a fork and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, until the crust is barely brown and dry on the surface.

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NOW LET’S MAKE THE FILLING

Don’t even wash your food processor bowl; I’m sure it’s fine. Now add:

  • 2 eggs plus the reserved yolk
  • 1 can of pumpkin purée or equivalent freshly baked pumpkin
  • 1 cup of full fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of rapadura or coconut sugar
  • 3 TBS maple syrup
  • 1 TBS freshly grated ginger
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp powdered cloves or less
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Pulse a few times until all mixed together. When the crust has finished its 10 minutes in the oven, remove and fill right to the top with this mixture. It will be pretty runny, but the eggs will make it set nicely.

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Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Cook for at least 50 minutes or until it is barely “jiggly” in the center, and before the crust starts to brown too much.

The filling is going to really puff up, and then will deflate a little as it cools.

Serve heated with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

A NOTE ON NATURAL SWEETENERS

Honey is great but I like to use it raw, so never in baking. Agave nectar is too high in fructose, so basically no better than HFCS. Regular table sugar and brown sugar have been really refined, so are missing their trace minerals.

Better to choose maple syrup or molasses for your wet applications, as they are both high in trace minerals. And use rapadura (also called Sucanat) or coconut sugar crystals for your dry applications, as they are simply evaporated, so also high in trace minerals.

Trace minerals don’t make maple syrup, molasses, rapadura or coconut sugar good for you; they just make those sweeteners less of a waste of your time. They all have basically the same 4 or 5g of sugar/carbohydrate per Tablespoon – so are interchangeable depending on what flavor you are going for.

In this recipe, I used 1/2 cup of rapadura, which imparts a mild sulphurous molasses note, and 3 TBSP of maple syrup for a sweeter, earthier note. There is even more natural sugar incorporated from the pumpkin purée, but at least its sugar effect is moderated by its own soluble fiber.

NUTRIENT BREAKDOWN

This makes a huge pie. If you divide it into 8 really generous slices, each slice has:

  • 19g carbohydrates (13g sugar, 4.7g dietary fiber)
  • 26g fat
  • 8.4g protein
  • 135% of your Vitamin A RDA
  • 12% of your Calcium RDA
  • 12% of your iron RDA
  • trace minerals

I am pretty satisfied with this ratio of fats:carbs:protein at 67:23:19, especially since I know the generous amount of cinnamon and fat will help lower blood sugar spikes resulting from this dessert.

But if you are worried about pleasing your crowd, I would suggest adding at least 1 TBSP of maple syrup, some vanilla and cinnamon to the crust recipe, and possibly adding another TBSP of maple syrup to the filling. You might also cut back on the powdered cloves because some people find them overwhelming.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING CANADA!

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Back to School Bagels

Back to School Bagels

This can actually happen, people. Bagels without grain. I mean, the Oopsies are a game-changer because they are perfectly LCHF. But these come close.

Let’s Talk Macronutrients

This recipe makes 6 bagels, which break down to 7g carbohydrates each, plus an amazing 18g of fat and 11g of protein. Your ratio for one of these is 69% fat, 13% carbs, 18% protein. Pretty ideal.

(Compare that a classic bagel has 45g of carbohydrate, 1g of fat and 9g protein – you can see that it is the opposite of a low carb high fat product. If you eat a classic bagel, you are probably going to feel full, bloated and yet simultaneously hungry. You can see why Dr. William Davis chose to put a stack of bagels on the cover of his best-selling book, Wheat Belly!)

Now if you add a few ounces of cream cheese or nut butter, or cheese and salami, or a fried egg with bacon and cheese… OMG I could go on and on.

But for people who still remember fruits you could do the classic Australian breakfast: toasted grainfree bagel smeared with ripe avocado, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt. Throw a tomato on top, preferably fried in bacon, and life is pretty good.

To make this really easy on yourself, do this in a food processor (like a classic Cuisinart).

Back To School Bagels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Into the bowl of a food processor, add:

1.5 cups almond flour
.25 cup golden flaxmeal
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
.25 tsp sea salt

Pulse a few times to blend.

Break into a large measuring cup or similar:

5 eggs
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Stir this up with a fork and then pour the wet mixture into the adding funnel of your food processor while you pulse everything together.

Now it gets a little messy. If you are a tidy person, you can carefully spoon this thick dough into a buttered DOUGHNUT PAN (mine is from Crate and Barrel).

If you are not as skilled, scoop the dough into a pastry bag or a ziploc bag and cut a hole in the corner. Pipe the dough out into clean circles in your doughnut pan.

Seeds on top help this to “look” more like a bagel, as eating is a visual exercise. So over the top of the bagels, sprinkle:

.5 Tbsp sesame seeds

Bake for 20 minutes. Makes 6 bagels.

After you’ve perfected these, start adding cheddar, scallions, garlic powder, poppy seeds, onion powder, jalapeños, cinnamon and raisins, or whatever you feel like.

It’s as if you just inherited your own What-A-Bagel.

One Last Note (of Caution)

You couldn’t actually take these bagels to school, even though they are called Back To School Bagels. They are made with almond flour, and schools don’t allow any kind of nut product anymore. So these are technically for breakfast before school, unless you go to some awesome nut-loving school or are home-schooled, you lucky freak.

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Oopsie For Real

oopsie sandwichI’m not here to add anything to this recipe, just to say that I finally tried it. I baked them up, sliced them in two, and filled this weird little bun with salami, Swiss cheese and mustard. It was a revelation! I was eating a sandwich again! But without any aftermath of insatiable hunger and bloating.

What I’m talking about is this internet sensation called Oopsie Bread. The ingredients don’t seem to add up to anything, and yet by some dark magic they sort of form into flat, airy buns. The reason they exist is to create a case around other foods to make them portable – some people call this a sandwich.

The selling point of the Oopsie Bread over regular bread is that an Oopsie bun has 1g carbohydrate, 3.7g protein and 7.4g fat. This is like a dream come true for the LCHF crowd. In fact, I don’t think I was really “doing” LCHF until I tried this bread.

Consider that a classic slice of bread has 20g carbohydrates, 5g of protein and 2g of fat. Not to keep driving home the point about Lindt chocolate balls and how much I love them, but you could have 4 Lindt chocolate balls instead of that boring piece of bread. And chances are, you were going to have two slices. Just don’t waste your carbohydrates on processed grains. It breaks my heart.

Here is the simple method.

OOPSIE BREAD

  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

OOPSIE BAKING TRAYPreheat oven to 300 degrees

Beat 3 egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar until stiff peaks form

In another bowl:

Cream 3 yolks with 3oz of cream cheese

Add 1/2 tsp baking powder

Optional additions to the yolk mixture: 

  • 1/2 tbs fiberhusk, psyllium powder or flaxmeal
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder and 1/2 tsp garlic powder or
  • few drops of stevia or tiny speck of green stevia leaf powder

Now gently fold the whites into the yolk mixture.

Onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, use a spatula to form 6 “bun” shapes.

Bake for 30 minutes in a 300 degree oven.

Let cool, and slice for sandwiches.

These are great with nut butter, or like I mentioned above with cheese and salami.

Now here are some tips. If you don’t have a scale, then use roughly 1/2 cup of cream cheese for 3 eggs. Or let’s say you have 4oz of cream cheese handy, you can use 4 eggs to make the same recipe. 2oz of cream cheese? 2 eggs. Etc. You can also substitute cottage cheese for cream cheese, but I would really want to blend out the lumps. You can’t really add grated cheese to the recipe, because the buns won’t rise. But you can sprinkle some on top at the end and let the cheese get melty. And you can add any sort of powdered spice to great effect.

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What He Said: Macronutrient Breakdown

Sometimes you read a post that is just so succinct and perfect that you want to shout it from the rooftops. That’s how I felt about Chris Kessler’s breakdown and thorough explanation of macronutrients. It’s readable, supported by additional documentation, and nowhere close to what your doctor will recommend!

If you are at all confused about what fats, carbohydrates and proteins you should be eating, this will help you a lot. Give it a bookmark already!

Beyond Paleo: Nourish Your Body

Need a teaser to get you to click on the link? Well how about this…

  • Chicken skin: good or bad?
  • Saturated fat: in or out? Is there a limit to how much we should eat?
  • Coconut oil: my doctor said it was a saturated fat and I should avoid it? What gives?
  • Nuts: healthy snack, or rancid treat? Are walnuts and flax really a good source of Omega 3?

Right? These are compelling questions keeping you up at night. The answers are just a link away. You’re welcome.

* I do not have any information about, experience with or ties to Chris Kessler’s program, The Paleo Code. I just think his information is well-written and helpful.

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