Thursday, September 28, 2006

From The Comments

LcforEvah nails it:

This WOE isn't "perfectly acceptable" that phrase is a such a equivocation! It's THE ONLY TRUE WAY for human carnivores to eat.

Everything else is a survival mechanism of last resort.

You need to go back and read all of the Bear's alc thread that's been saved on the activenocarber forum. Firstly, we're descended from insectivores not true vegetarians, so we've always needed animal protein. Modern gorillas get their insects included inside the prodigious amount of vegetation they have to eat all day, every day, so they're not true vegetarians as is often presented.

Secondly, radio isotope studies of the bones of our direct ancestors have shown that they took in no vegetable material--they have the exact same isotope signature as that of lions--an obligate carnivore. So the detail of which animals our ancestors ate is not important to know for the zero carb premise--the fact that they ate nothing else is.

Thirdly, I suspect that you are too distrusting of the need for adding fat to your diet. I think your fat intake is not high enough, and therefore you have to tinker around with calorie counting. Were your fat intake high enough, you would rarely overeat, since fat is the primary nutrient for satiety. You would stop eating way before the calorie count would matter.Just try high fat/moderate protein/zero carb for a few days and see what happens for you.Eating a few pats of butter will not hurt you, believe me!

There you go. For the naysayers out there, just give it a try, although I know very very few people will be able to, perhaps being carnivorous for a few days at the most. People are extremely emotionally tied to their carbage. Unfortunately, the dietary restriction (if you could call it that if you LOVE beef) has tremendous benefits over the mainstream LC diet. The bottom line is that if you don't love beef, or are willing to learn to accept it as your prime source of food and nutrition, this will be an extremely difficult path to follow, yet the rules can be written in their entirety on a post-it note.

If you do decide to take me up on my "challenge", The Active No-Carber Forum, of which I am one of the Admins (insert tooting-own-horn sound here), is a great place for support and information exchange.

Carbohydrates, you've been put on notice!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dick's Picks Vol.11-9/27/72 From The Stanley Theater

On a different note, today is the 34th anniversary of one of the sweetest 1972 Grateful Dead shows and is higly recommended. Recorded by Owsley "Bear" Stanley after his return to the Dead's crew, he notes "This was made from one of my sonic journal tapes, pretty much the standard for that period." And what a period it was. The last half of 1972 was a great era, as they rotated Dark Star and The Other One nearly every other night.

Here's Blair Jackson's review from his website:

This full-concert CD from the beloved Stanley Theater is further proof that 1972 was one of the best years ever for the Dead. With Keith Godchaux fully comfortable in the keyboard chair and Billy K. playing "like a young God," as Phil put it, this edition of the band swings confidently. This is three discs with virtually no down spots at all. Opening with "Morning Dew" is the first tip-off that there was magic in the air this night. All the songs are performed with power and verve. The first set offers the relatively rare fast electric version of "Friend of the Devil," a magnficently exploratory "Bird Song," a solid "China Cat > Rider" and 15 minutes of growling, propulsive jams through "Playing in the Band." The still-new (and peppy) "He's Gone" provides a mellow entry into a second set dominated by a long, typically dissonant (for '72) "Dark Star," which then skitters beautifully into "Cumberland Blues." "Attics of My Life" is a great late-set choice, delivered with considerable emotion, and from there it's a mini-set of rockers, including a fine "Uncle John's Band." There are shows with more continuous threads running through them (like the second set the following night at the Stanley), but this one definitely has the goods in spades, and shows the Dead at a peak.

Songs: Disc One — Morning Dew; Beat It on Down the Line; Friend of the Devil; Black Throated Wind; Tennessee Jed; Mexicali Blues; Bird Song; Big River; Brokedown Palace; El Paso

Disc Two — China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider; Playing in the Band; He's Gone; Me & My Uncle; Deal; Greatest Story Ever Told; Ramble On Rose

Disc Three — Dark Star > Cumberland Blues; Attics of My Life; Promised Land; Uncle John's Band; Casey Jones; Around and Around

I Am NOT The Diet Police And Other Assorted Myths

My, what a day! Apparently there was a little action yesterday regarding my Omega Challenge post and a comment I had once made on Jimmy Moore's blog.

First, that anybody should give the Dr. Furhman types any kind of concern is laughable. As The Bear succinctly noted to me one time, "There is only one true, inevitable, and defining characteristic which is connected with vegetarians, and that is: They ALL are compulsive liars." Why give these idiots even the time of day? Being ragged on by vegetarians is a badge of honor IMO.

Second, I think we have several myths working in tangent at this point. That you can eat carbs and still lose weight is irrelevant. I don't dispute that, but carbs in general are just not healthy things to eat, ever, for any reason. Jimmy falls into the "good carb/bad carb" myth, as do virtually all mainstream low-carbers so it's not particularly aimed at him. In line with this myth, on a purely biochemical level, is glucose is glucose, whether it's from sugar are veggies, the body doesn't make that distinction since it breaks all carbs down to glucose. High glycemic/Low glycemic, it's all irrelevant to the fact that there is no avoiding the glucose and the insulin it provokes. I was even told that this is also the position of the folks too.

I believe it's a result of veggies being sacrosanct in our culture, and the belief by many mainstream low carb proponents that they won't be taken "seriously" if they don't pay homage to vegetables. This was Atkins' biggest mistake and why The Bear accurately pins him as a "diet wuss".

I'm not why Jimmy seems to take my comparison as an affront of some sorts, and while I don't dispute that you can still lose weight eating carbs, I think in the long run it will come back to bite you. I certainly commend Jimmy for restarting his challenge and reducing his carbs which I believe is the true key to his recent success. If people want to try this omega thing, that is up to them. I'm not the diet police, but I'm going to call bullshit when I see it.

What I believe happens is that at first the body doesn't have the onslaught of insulin so it loses weight at a reasonable pace. At some point, those daily 20g-100g/carbs starts to add up and the body becomes more efficient at storing that extra glucose and in turn this creates inefficient fat metabolism. This is also the reason, based on personal experience, that people gain more weight than when they started when going off a low-carb diet after doing it for a long period of time. Thus, the idea that it's "harder" to lose weight the closer you get to goal is a myth.

The way I'm eating will work for everyone, period. There is no "that might work for you but...". That is properly termed denial.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Omega "Challenge"

Lately I've been getting a lot of request to try the omega challenge because of my opinions on grass fed vs grain fed beef and general aversion to supplementation in general. Instead of wasting valueable time and money on something that doesn't work I thought I'd just compare myself to the omega group, Jimmy Moore in particular.

Since switching to his omega tweak, he's lost a total of 15 pounds, which is very excellent and I certainly don't knock him for that. I still contend that during the 6 1/2 pound week some of that was due to water loss and lower than induction carb counts after hovering around 30-40g a day based on what I can gather from his postings.

In that same span of time I've lost 10 pounds (since his challenge began I kept pace, perhaps even having greater losses since his carb counts were still quite high the first 2-4 weeks). That's 10 pounds of pure fat, on top of that, I have no daily or weekly excercize schedule, routine or workouts. I also take no supplementation of any kind, buy cheap store bought grain-fed beef from my local supermarkets and eat plain ol' store eggs.

Despite all these supposed disadvantages, I'm roughly keeping pace with Jimmy Moore, maybe he has a 3-5 pound advantage over me, but he easily probably spends 10x more money on his food and supplements than I do. I'm an extremely cheap bastard (just ask my wife!). If I pay more than $2.50/lb for meat I feel ripped off, unless it's something like a rib eye. Jimmy Moore's supplements list alone is probably what I spend on meat. In the end, I believe he is wasting his money on the excessive supplementation.

Carole Bardelli at Kudos for Low-Carb had a nice little post the other day about one of Jimmy Moore's supplements, Chromium Picolinate:

Be forewarned:

Research shows that excess chromium due to supplements has damaged cell chromosomes in those who over supplemented. The blueprints for a cell's function and reproduction were irrevocably damaged. Similarly, cancer generally starts with a change to the genetic material in a cell causing it to grow and reproduce without restraint.

Chromium Picolinate has not been shown to cause weight loss and its ability to improve insulin effectiveness is being questioned.

Scientific references in articles have SUGGESTED supplementing with Chromium Picolinate MAY enhance insulin utilization. This has not been proven as a consistent outcome in current research.

Since people have started supplementing with chromium picolinate there have been several cases of toxicity which resulted in chronic renal failure and accumulation of chromium in tissues. (1200 mcg taken daily over several months is considered a toxic level. One 24 year old suffered renal failure after 2 days on 1200 mcg. She took it as a weight loss aid and thought 'more is better'.)

I don't believe Jimmy Moore is taking too much chromium picolinate, but I believe it's doing nothing for him, along with the flax seed and fish oil, other than wasting his money. It would be interesting to see what his carb counts were for this week. My guess is that with a 4lb loss he ate less carbs than the proceeding week.

In essence, as always, it's always about the carbs. There's no magical supplemental formula for increased weight loss (outside of maybe speed, but that's another issue) and expensive grass fed beef does nothing for weight loss as well.

Because of this I will never give the "Omega Challenge" a try. Sorry. If you're stalled or not losing, perhaps even gaining, I would suggest avoiding magic Omega ratios and needless supplements and take a good, hard, honest look at your carb counts.

Back Again..Sort Of

Ok, so I'm getting behind again. The end of the months are always the toughest in my line of work (accounting! ugh!). Since I really have nothing to add diet wise right now, I thought I'd comment on my latest adventure in Ren Faires.

Spent a wonderful weekend at the Casa De Fruta Renaissance Faire outside of Gilroy, week 3 of 6. While a wonderful time was had by all, I'm pretty fucking sick of the costume and period Nazis. The people that run this faire are total control freaks with MASSIVE egos to boot. There are some nice people but on the whole most of them are asshats it seems. Not only that, but they totally nickel and dime their volunteer participants to death. $20 gate pass, $10 camping, $10 RV pass to park the van. If they could find a way to charge you a $10 oxygen fee to breath the air on their grounds I bet they would. Needless to say, it seemed that turnout was pretty lame this weekend.

Our in to the faire is the guild called Danse Macbre, which is literally a "dance of the dead". It's the ultimate slacker, burn out hippie guild where you basically wear black or make a bone suit, wear a mask and either bang a drum or for the musically inclined, play a recorder or other type of instrument. The two people who run it are Donnie and Susan and they are two of the nicest people you will ever meet at a faire.

I was quite surprised when another old-timer who goes way back to the Patterson Blackpoint Faire in Novato told us that Bill Watters is running the best Faires around (causing an eye roll from a nearby "Friends of Faire" participant. Without going into the long and short of Ren politics, we mostly have been volunteering for the Bill Watters events, who basically is a competitor to the people who run the Casa faire.

The nice thing about Bill's events is that he truly gets that it's about the "magic", getting all these people together to put on a fun show and have the vendors sell some stuff. That's all anybody wants anyway. This is what the Patterson people don't get. They want to stroke their own inflated egos about how cool and "period" they are, but the customers really could care less. I think it's funner to add a fantasy element to it anyway, the fairies, the ogres, etc. Turnout this weekend seemed pretty abysmal, and frankly, I hope they fuck it up because I think Bill Waters would LOVE to get his hands on this Faire (and honestly, he would probably really do that Faire justice IMO). Eventually I would love to work security for North Winds Events Services, the security arm of the Bill Watters events. I'm not quite there weight wise but pretty close.

What I love about the Faires is the obvious similarities to old Grateful Dead shows. Instead of the focus being the Dead, it's about the Faire, but it's essentially the same vibe. And being able to camp for days like at Valhalla in Lake Tahoe, for free I may add, is an added plus.

Check out all the fun we're having by visiting my lovely wench's site on our faire activities

Friday, September 22, 2006

Oh, And One More Thing...

...I hit 265 this morning on the scale. That amounts to a roughly 80lb loss since February 23rd. Not too shabby. That's a 20 pound loss since July 21st, and that's fat loss, no water loss there. This is also the results based almost solely on a change of diet. While I have been more active on the weekends and with the Ren Faires I haven't really started any kind of serious excercise program. That is a serious weakness on my part.

Could I have burned off more weight excersizing? Absolutely. I have some other health issues that play into that, but I will start doing something here soon and it will definitely be a committment I intend to make in the coming new year.

The important part though is that you don't have to burn calories to still sustain great weight loss numbers on zero carb, especially if you happen to be really morbidly obese where physical movement is an issue, or perhaps if you have a handicap that prevents phsical activity.

Mother Nature and an Update

Hi folks,

Sorry I haven't been keeping as I should lately. I'm doing the Northern California Renaissance Faire in Casa De Frutas just outside of Gilroy. It's week #3 out of 6 so I've been preoccupied with getting things together for the coming weekends. It's great fun and it's great excercise too!

I'd like to bring your attention to the Mother Nature blog. This gal has been doing low carb but recently switched to the carnivorous path. Apparently she says I was the one who inspired her to make the switch. Very very cool, and I wish her the very very best. She's got an excellent grasp on acculturation and seems to know her stuff. Check it out.

Check back on Sunday night for another installment of the Zero Carb Daily.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Fats & Degeneration

Carolyn on the Active No-Carbers Forum came up with this great article from Ray Peat entitled Fats and Degeneration It's extremely well researched with an extensive references section, complete with the study abstract it appears. A very worthy read about the dangers of polyunsaturated fatty acids and questions the "essential" in "essential fatty acids". Peat ends up dropping more bombs than Phil Lesh during a smoking version of The Other One.

Instead of improving health, this is what researchers were finding out about these "essential" fatty acids:

...a few experimenters were finding that animals which were fed a diet lacking the “essential” fatty acids had some remarkable properties: They consumed oxygen and calories at a very high rate, their mitochondria were unusually tough and stable, their tissues could be transplanted into other animals without provoking immunological rejection, and they were very hard to kill by trauma and a wide variety of toxins that easily provoke lethal shock in animals on the usual diet. As the Germans had seen in 1927, they had a low susceptibility to cancer, and new studies were showing that they weren’t susceptible to various fibrotic conditions, including alcoholic liver cirrhosis.
...But then, without acknowledging that there had been a problem with the doctrine of essentiality, fat researchers just started changing the subject, shifting the public discourse to safer, more profitable topics. The fats that had been called essential, but that had so many toxic effects, were no longer emphasized, and the failed idea of “essentiality” was shifted to different categories of polyunsaturated fats.

The addition of the long chain highly unsaturated fats to baby food formulas was recently approved, on the basis of their supposed “essentiality for brain development.” One of the newer arguments for the essentiality of the PUFA is that “they are needed for making cell membranes.” But human cells can grow and divide in artificial culture solutions which contain none of the polyunsaturated fats, and no one has claimed that they are growing “without membranes.”

The long chain fats found in fish and some algae don’t interfere with animal enzymes as strongly as the seed oils do, and so by comparison, they aren’t so harmful. They are also so unstable that relatively little of them is stored in the tissues. (And when they are used as food additives, it’s necessary to use antioxidants to keep them from becoming smelly and acutely toxic.)
Yikes. That doesn't seem like much of an endorsement for fish oil capsules. And then he adds this little nugget:
When meat is grilled at a high temperature, the normally spaced double bonds in PUFA migrate towards each other, becoming more stable, so that linoleic acid is turned into “conjugated linoleic acid.” This analog of the “essential” linoleic acid competes against the linoleic acid in tissues, and protects against cancer, atherosclerosis, inflammation and other effects of the normal PUFA. Presumably, anything which interferes with the essential fatty acids is protective, when the organism contains dangerous amounts of PUFA. Even the trans-isomers of the unsaturated fatty acids (found in butterfat, and convertible into conjugated linoleic acid) can be protective against cancer.
Heh. Whatever "essential" fatty acids I'm eating, even those in the "nasty" grain fed beef, are optimized by my preferred method of cooking meat...searing at high temperatures. Well, at least those on the outside.

Then Mr. Peat drops another bomb:
Although publicity has emphasized the antiinflammatory effects of fish oil, experiments show that it is extremely effective in producing alcohol-related liver cirrhosis. Breakdown products of polyunsaturated fats (isoprostanes and 4-HNE) are found in the blood of people with alcoholic liver disease (Aleynik, et al., 1998). In the absence of polyunsaturated fats, alcohol doesn’t produce cirrhosis. Saturated fats allow the fibrosis to regress:

“A diet enriched in saturated fatty acids effectively reverses alcohol-induced necrosis, inflammation, and fibrosis despite continued alcohol consumption. The therapeutic effects of saturated fatty acids may be explained, at least in part, by reduced endotoxemia and lipid peroxidation....” (Nanji, et al., 1995, 2001)
Yet another ringing un-endorsement for fish oil caps. But Ray's not finished yet, as he finishes up with another stinging warning about the wonders of fish oil:
About ten years ago I met a young man with a degenerative brain disease, and was interested in the fact that he (working on a fishing boat) had been eating almost a pound of salmon per day for several years. There is now enough information regarding the neurotoxic effects of fish oil to justify avoidance of the fatty fish.

Some of the current advertising is promoting fish oil to prevent cancer, so it’s important to remember that there are many studies showing that it increases cancer.

The developmental and physiological significance of the type of fatty acid in the diet has been established for a long time, but cultural stereotypes and commercial interests are threatened by it, so it can’t be discussed publicly.
If you're taking fish oil now as a dietary supplement Mr. Peat gives you something to seriously think about.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Omega Myth

So I've been looking into this whole omega ratio thing and so far I've come to the conclusion that it's a total myth, right along up there is "high cholesteral". One thing that I found interesting on my brief search to find information on this omega fat thing was that just about every website I found was pushing either fish oils, health food type diets or products, grass-fed beef, etc.

The first thing that tipped me off to this obvious myth and scam was this comment at Peak Performance Online, a UK health site:

The best dietary sources of EFAs are nuts, seeds, fatty fish and unrefined whole grains. However, a glance at the table overleaf shows that, while the omega-6 fatty acid is quite abundant, omega-3 is more difficult to obtain. Unless your diet contains significant amounts of seeds and whole grains, it’s likely you’ll be falling short of your optimum omega-3 intake.

That's when I knew this whole total omega fat ratio thing was total bullshit. Funny how the whole omega thing nicely ties into the whole grains, nut and seed oils, polyunsaturated fats, mumbo jumbo, and apparently now some low carb proponents are jumping onto the bandwagon of yet some more poor mainstream dietary advice by low-carbizing it.

At that point I stopped trying to look at omega 3's and 6's and wanted to find info on these research studies that supposedly show you the fantastic benefits of omega fat ratios, figuring it was probably typical that I'd find the same time of "studies" that "prove" heart disease is linked to high cholestoral. That lead me to the discussion at at The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics. It's from Jan/Feb 2003, (mostly about omega-3 and oxidized cholesterol).

Towards the end I came across this excellent quote from Malcolm Kendrick that neatly summarized my suspicions on the omega ratio fat hoopla:

I'm sorry, but I find all of this discussion around 3 and 6 tends to exist in a kind of self-referential bubble. My own belief is that it doesn't matter at all. The only reason, as I understand it, why anyone got interested in Omega 3 is because it was the only ad-hoc hypothesis the lipid hypothesis fanatics could find to explain away the low rate of CHD in Innuit Indians. (I could, of course, be mistaken on this).

In short, where is the biological pathway that links Omega 3s and 6s, and their ratios, to CHD.

A further search on Malcolm Kendrick led me to this great essay at "Spiked Essays" from November 2005:

In fact, no clinical trial on reducing saturated fat intake has ever shown a reduction in heart disease. Some have shown the exact opposite: 'As multiple interventions against risk factors for coronary heart disease in middle aged men at only moderate risk seem to have failed to reduce both morbidity and mortality such interventions become increasingly difficult to justify. This runs counter to the recommendations of many national and international advisory bodies which must now take the recent findings from Finland into consideration. Not to do so may be ethically unacceptable.' Professor Michael Oliver, British Medical Journal 1991

This quote followed a disturbing trial involving Finnish businessmen. In a 10-year follow-up to the original five-year trial, it was found that those men who continued to follow a low saturated fat diet were twice as likely to die of heart disease as those who didn't.

It is not as if this was one negative to set against a whole series of positive trials. In 1998, the Danish doctor Uffe Ravnskov looked at a broader selection of trials: 'The crucial test is the controlled, randomised trial. Eight such trials using diet as the only treatment has been performed but neither the number of fatal or non-fatal heart attacks was reduced.' As Ravnskov makes clear, no trial has ever demonstrated benefits from reducing dietary saturated fat. At this point most people might think it was time to pull the plug.

Far from it. In 1988, the surgeon general's office in the USA decided to silence the nay sayers by putting together the definitive report proving a causal link. Eleven years later the project was abandoned. In a circulated letter, it was stated that the office 'did not anticipate fully the magnitude of the additional external expertise and staff resources that would be needed'.

Bill Harlan, a member of the oversight committee and associate director of the Office of Disease Prevention at the US National Institute of Health, says: 'the report was initiated with a preconceived opinion of the conclusions, but the science behind those opinions was not holding up. Clearly the thoughts of yesterday were not going to serve us very well.'

The sound of a sinking cathedral fills the air with a great sucking slurpy noise. But still nobody let go. Instead, more buttresses were desperately thrown at a rapidly disappearing pile of rocks.

Variations on a theme emerged. It is not saturated fat per se that causes heart disease. It's the ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fat that is critical. Or is it the consumption of monounsaturated fats, or a lack of omega-3 fatty acids, or an excess of omega-6? Take your pick. These, and a host of other add-on hypotheses, have their proponents.

As of today nobody can - or will - tell you which type of fat, in what proportions, added to what type of anti-oxidant, vegetable, monounsaturated fat or omega-3 is the true culprit. Hugely complicated explanations are formulated, but they all fall apart under scrutiny.

This may all seem incredible, such has been the level of anti-fat propaganda, but it is true. With the exception of the Ancel Keys' flawed Seven Countries Study (he pre-selected the seven countries for his study in order to prove his hypothesis), there is not one scrap of direct evidence.

All I can say is avoid the myth folks. If you think you can increase carbs and lose weight by taking fish oil pills and working on some mathematical ratio between Omega 3's and 6's, I think you will be greatly disappointed.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Glucose is Poison: The Moment I "Got It"

Here was an interesting post from Jimmy Moore regarding a moment when one of his readers "got it" about a low-carb diet. I guess you can say that I finally "got it" back in February where out of pure frustration I returned to the Bear emails to figure out what I didn't get the first time.

Because of my lifelong problems with weight and morbid obesity I have a special insight that few others have. When it came right down to it, I came to the following logical conclusions about "low-carb" diets.

There is absolutley no reason to eat carbohydrates. There may be small amounts in creams and cheeses but you could live quite fine eating nothing but meat and survive. Carb consumption is totally unnecessary for the body. This is a very important point, because you have to ask yourself "why"? That the body requires zero carbs proves to me that the real human diet is a totally carnivorous one. That the body can eat carbs is purely a survival feature for times when game was scarce. It's for emergency only.

All glucose is poison, not just sugar. Sure, you can say GI this and GI that, but the reality is is that glucose is glucose. No matter how you slice and dice it the body still has to deal with the glucose and it will screw up your fat burning metabolism and it will wreck havoc on your system. Fast, slow, it doesn't matter. Eventually your body is going to have to metabolize the glucose. There's no way of getting around that. The whole conversation around high vs low GI carbs is like a conversation about whether it's better to smoke a pack of ciggies over the course of 6 hours or 12 hours. In the end, you're still smoking a pack of cigarettes.

The benefits of a glucose poison free diet is obvious. There's nothing impeding the way of fat burning as the insulin factor is kept squarly in check. A nice result of this, steady blood sugar levels, decreases your need for constant intake of food to a minimum. Hunger is just not an issue on a glucose free diet, thus cravings are rarely an issue. Without the cravings you have much better willpower IMO. The hardest part at first dealing with my own acculturation issues but it all comes down to making conscious food choices in the present, at all times, and avoiding peer pressue and social norms to eat veggetation. I know some HATE the acculturation idea but understanding why I chose what I chose to eat and why others chose to eat what they eat is important for making the right decisions now.

This is why I think it's important NOT to seek out debate in real life because it's just that much more added pressure that you really don't need, especially from people who aren't obese or overweight. I know there are types who want to save the world and tell everyone how they're doing, as I was exactly one of those types in 1998, but now I just do my own thing quietly, without fanfare or proclaimations.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Why Meat Prevents Scurvy

Here's a nice little piece from Plant Poisons and Rotten Stuff about the connection between meat and scurvy. I can't believe I missed this earlier.

This is a very interesting site. I am allergic to peanuts, soy and wheat, and although I haven't been tested for the following, I also can not eat peas, split pea soup, most legumes in general, cabbage and rashishes. I don't eat any veggies primarily because they taste like absolute crap. I was resigned for years that there was no way I would be able to lose weight and have a healthy lifestyle because I could never get past how awful veggies and fruit taste to me.

Boy am I glad I emailed the Bear back in 1997. I didn't believe his essay for at least 4 months. Then I told my wife about it and she said, "oh yeah, like Atkins" and the rest is history.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ok, Here It Goes

OK, here it goes. I'm going public with some progress pics. I don't have any pics of me earlier than this. When you're 345 pounds you don't find yourself in front of a camera too often.







Two Birds, One Stone

Ok, thought I'd answer IB's comments and make a post for the day.

as always Rob, show me the evidence!

Everything I post here and at the Active No-Carber Forum is my evidence.

Where is the evidence that zero carb is demonstrably better than, say, 30 - 50 carbs per day?

Weight loss stalls at that level of carbs. That many low carb dieters often have frustrating stalls for long periods of time demonstrates to me that even minimal carbs can affect weight loss. I also think that as someone who always had a hard time remaining on plan that with zero carb I have had no "cheats", stalls or cravings proves to me that it is demonstrably more effective.

Where is the evidence that dietary fat does not convert to body fat?

Crack open any human physiology text book. Without provocation of excess insulin the body can not store dietary fat. Refer to the Bellevue expirement, and my previous posts here and here.

If you are at an ideal bf% and eating zero carb, where does that 11 - 15% (if you're male) body fat come from, then?

It's self regulated by the body. You need some body fat.

People dont refuse to believe you because of "acculturation." They refuse to believe you because they have no reason to believe you. And they happen to like the taste of brocolli and spinach and squash, etc. and dont mind the added nutrients either.

People will "learn" to like anything. Just because they happen to "like" it doesn't mean they should be eating it. My concern isn't that people "believe" me, and frankly, I don't really expect them to. I know that what I'm doing is so against the grain even in the low-carb mainstream culture. And I've been on both sides of the fence. When I lost 120lbs on a general Protein Power type diet in 1998 I was Mr. Livinlavidalowcarb too. I was going to tell everyone around me how I did it, and how I ate twice as many veggies now, and how I'm making "smart" meat choices with lots of chicken and fish, supplements, the whole nine yards. In 1998 there were very few products on the shelves, if any, and the ones online were expensive, and because of that it was my best "low-carb" loss, but eventually the intake of veggies and tortillas, not enough fat and my own personal acculturation proved to great to maintain.

Show me thousands of zero carbers who are all at their ideal bf% and then you can make the claims you make . Till then, well then, what a day for a day dream....

I will grant you that, only time will tell. I'm down 75 pounds as of Saturday, weighing in at 270. As I was noting yesterday at the Active No-Carber Forum and I'll be honest, outside of being more active around the house and doing more stuff on the weekends like working the Faires, I haven't followed any routine excercise plan. I do want to change that as I lose more weight, but the point is that I've lost 75 lbs purely based on a change of diet, an added bonus for people who are particularly obese. Jimmy must have to work his ass off, for which I commend him greatly, just to maintain losses with what he has been eating. The new diet he's been doing is very low in carbs so he's got that working for him, for now.

In the 6 short months I've been following this diety strictly I've seen dozens of people say there were going to do it and last weeks, sometimes days. I could probably count the people I've posted on one hand who have being doing what I've been doing since February. That's not a put down, and quite frankly I'm amazed that I've been able to remain focused myself, and I honestly account for that because I have virtually zero carb intake. If I can do it anybody can.

It's simple and extremely effective, yet extremely difficult.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Omega Theory and an All Meat Diet: Once Again, The Real Human Diet is a Totally Carnivorous One

With all of this talk about the "secret" to Jimmy Moore's recent weight loss, it once again just demonstrates that the real human diet is a totally carnivorous one.

One the whole, I eat about 7 eggs and 1.5 pounds of meat per day, fried in lard although I have to find me some beef tallow, and use 3/4 of stick of butter in a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less, sometimes I go a whole 24-36 hours without eating if I happen to be busy enough. In general, that is my basic diet 80+% of the time. I eat no vegetable, eat no fake-o starches, drink no shakes, eat no nuts or fruits, and I absolutely use no polyunsatured fat, outside of what's naturally found in the meat and eggs. I use no supplements because I think they're an absolute waste of money and time.

Even if you accept this Omega 3/Omega 6 nonsense, the ratio's found naturaly, albeit in a very small percentage compared to total fat and caloric intake, are within the supposed healthy ratio's that's being espoused. That I consume so little omega's doesn't make the ratio business a factor, and on top of that it's within the supposed safe zone of the ratio's to begin just demonstrates, once again, that the real human diet is a totally carnivorous one. Whatever residual build up would be (we're talking about micro grams here) would have to take more years than I'll ever be alive before it, and IF, it becomes an issue, which I completely doubt.

I'll certainly give a hand to the general low-carb counts of Jimmy's diet plan, that is the real "secret" to his current success, not the supplements and omega ratio theories. If he replaced the salad and nuts with another 8oz of steak and dropped the tortilla, he basically is doing what I'm doing. That is literally the difference between a 15-20g low carb diet and a true zero carb diet. This is why people always lose the fastest and best during induction when carbs are at their lowest. Maybe not on the BS 2002 Atkins plan, but all the previous ones, yes. That few people can eat even 15-20g in the long term just shown the addictive power of carbs in general and the power of acculturation in deeply rooted and learned social behaviour. That "induction" is a major subject among Atkinistas goes without saying. There are endless discussions of what to do about "induction flu" and how people can't wait to get out of induction, and induction this and induction that.

Look, you're changing the source in the way you're body burns fat for energy. There's going to be some discomfort for a while until you get used to it. Deal with it and don't let the mental chatter get you carried away. The lack of having any carbs at all in the diet significantly cut down on cravings but I had cravings early on. When it comes on you just have to thank your mind for sharing that and then continue on with what you're doing.

Because of your learned behaviour and beliefs about carbs the mind will come up with all kinds of "reasons" and explainations on why you need to eat carbs. This behaviour is so ingrained that many low-carb diets these days are very high in carbs relative to the early Atkins version. Sometimes the mind will reason itself to the point where it's convinced something fatal might happen eating this way. Relax. This is a common feeling when you're first doing a zero carb diet too. It's just your minds survival mechanism popping up even if you're really not in a survival situation. The body can do it's job just fine on fat and protein. The mind is the one that "needs" the carbs.

That is really the key to all self-will successes, transcending the self-setting and self-learned limitations of your mind to get what you want.

Ultimately, the problem that I have is that by endorsing a needlessly expensive diet you eventually do more harm than good. If someone out there is eating 50g of carbs per day and they're stalling, it's because of the carbs. I don't care how many theories one wants to create or think of, the only thing that puts on the weight is excessive carbs. No carbs, no insulin, no weight gain. You could do what Jimmy's doing at a fraction of the price if you ace the supplements and get regular ol' grain fed beef that you find on sale at any buther shop in America.

Don't forget, it's always about the carbs....always.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Gone Are The Days

I think that in the modern low carb era, the further we get from Atkin's original 1972 book the more bastardized the low-carb popular culture has become and the diet is practically made unrecognizable. There's already enough myths, lies and misconceptions regarding "low-carb" diets why add fuel to the fire?

In all the focus on "low-carb" the culture has forgotten what the diet really is all about, and that's a high fat diet. By the time we get to people like Barry Sears it's pretty much a jump the shark moment. By trying to expand the basic premise of low-carb diets to include higher and higher carb and veggie intake to attract more veggie eating readers and dieters they've lost the basic understanding of what they're trying to accomplish. Vegetarian Atkins plans? C'mon. Is that really necessary? Find me a picture of a piece of meat on the Atkins site. C'mon, I dare ya!

At that level, those low-carbers who espouse that particular philosphy are really buying into several low-fat myths like saturated fat, and fat in general, needs to be limited, moderate cholesteral levels should be a concern, calories count and there are really "good" carbs and "bad" cards, when there really is only one thing, glucose. As a result some of the most craziest claims are made in the face against basic human biochemistry and physiology. There's always somebody's version of the "stall buster" or some strange cider vinegar, soybean oil concoction that always sounds absolutely disgusting that's going to aid in whatever is ailing you, or they have a supplements list that's as long as Elvis Presley's 1976 prescriptions list. What these people need to do is look at their honest carb counts, but instead they focus on calorie consumption and other such nonesense.

After trying this several times and going up and down the scale on this diet I've come to the honest and logical conclusion that there really should be zero carbs ingested, and I'm not talking an ablosulte number but a general idea that you should only eat from the animal kingdom. Carbs and vegetable oils and fats are unnecessary and toxic and should be completely avoided.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Omega Debate

First, I would like to note that I agree with the bottom line premise, that is, to avoid polyunsaturated fats, entirely IMO.

Regina Wilshire responds in the previous posts comments:

Not so fast - you're forgetting Jimmy was well into a low-carb diet for four weeks, eating about the same level of calories and carbohydrates...and lost a respectable six pounds in four weeks.

I don't think his carb count was under 20, at least that's the impression I was getting. Had he restricted his carb to less than that he wouldn't have gained the 3 week into it. Without menus and counts it's hard to say difinitely if it was purely the omega 3/6 ratio, a claim I'm fairly skeptical of. Sorry, but I highly doubt a ratio of what should be a small minor part of total fat intake is the bottom line on how much weight that can be loss. I just don't buy it, and this "experiment" is too flaky to be considered accurate.

Let me put it this way, if I eat 2 pounds of sirloin a day, you're telling me how much weight I lose hangs in the balance of the ratio between omega 3's and 6's? Maybe what you propose has some merit in a high carb SAD but I think it's a meaningless proposal for those on a vlc or zero carb diet. So out of that 2lb 1850 calorie steak, 4.5g of it is polyunsaturated fat. That's 40 calories in an 1850 calorie steak. Does it really matter what the "significant" increase in omega 3's when that portion of fat only consitutes 3% of total fat in the beef? Sorry, but on it's face that grass fed is superior to grain fed beef because of this is ridiculous.

Would it be better if all ranchers fed their cattle grass? Yeah, in a perfect world that would be great, but that doesn't diminish or alter the nutritional value of the meat. As far whether there's some sort of disease that's being passed on by grain fed vs. grass fed I don't buy that at all.

Why waste your money on grass fed beef when you can buy more for your money by getting grain fed beef? I think it's wrong to insinuate to your readers that you're not doing yourself good by buying grain fed beef, or that grass fed beef is nutritionally better when there is very very little difference. If you can't afford grass fed beef I wouldn't sweat it that you can only afford grain fed beef. Besides, the grain fed beef has more saturated fat, which is the good kind anyway.

I'm sorry, but the "research" can be extremely flawed when it comes to "supplements". Once again, why waste your money on something that ultimately has a dubious claim.

Jimmy Moore Did What?

Ok. After much secrecy the secret has come out of the bag for Jimmy Moore's latest weight loss posting on his 30 in 30 challenge. While I congratulate Jimmy on his latest weight loss I have to question whatever method they're claiming on using, and quite frankly I think it veers into the realm of old wives tales and misplaced attributions and correlations.

First Regina Wilshire from the Weight of the Evidence blog lays out the scene:

After reviewing his menus, his weight loss also didn't conform to the "calorie theory" of weight loss. To lose 6.5-pounds, Jimmy would need to be in a calorie deficit of 3250-calories a day less than his active metabolic rate. His menu confirms he was consuming an average of 2300-2400-calories each day, a calorie deficit of, at most, 750-calories a day less than his active metabolic rate. According to the calorie theory, Jimmy should have lost just 1.5-pounds last week with his calorie deficit - instead he lost 6.5-pounds.

My own menus confirm I've been consuming between 1800-2200-calories a day. With an estimated active metabolic rate of 2800-calories per day, my weight loss also does not conform to the calorie theory. Over the last month, based on a calorie deficit of, at most, 1000-calories each day, my weight loss should be 8.5-pounds for the month...if I was consistently eating just 1800-calories a day. Instead, I've lost 17-pounds - twice as much as predicted by the calorie theory and my calorie intake has fluctuated between 1800 and 2200 calories a day.

No new news here really. Dr. Richard Marcarness made this clear in Eat Fat Grow Slim, and was also proven by the Bellevue Experiment done by Viljalmur Stefansson in the 1920's. Like I've stated many times, dietary fat will not make you fat.

Ok, so what do they attribute the success to?

First, you radically implement a limitation/elimination of two things - vegetable oils and sources of high omega-6 fatty acids (conventionally produced beef and dairy products).

Second, you also specifically increase omega-3 fatty acids from foods rich with omega-3 fatty acids (eggs, pastured meats, dairy from pastured animals, fatty fish, some nuts/seeds) and specifically include fish oils.

Third, you include supplements specifically shown to enhance fatty acid and glucose metabolism - Acetyl L-Carnitine and GFT Chromium Picolinate - and use the already recommended multi-vitamin without iron as a safety net along with other supplements you feel you want to include (while, of course being aware of potentially exceeding upper tolerable limits).

Fourth, your fat/oil sources are limited to nut/seed/fruit oils that are cold-pressed - like walnut, avocado, sesame, extra-virgin olive, etc. - and natural sources like butter, coconut oil and tallow.

Lastly, you stick with the basic rules with the above modifications - include non-starchy vegetables, low GI/GL fruits, nuts, seeds, meats, poultry, fish, game as you would normally (depending on what level of carbohydrate you're consuming) and let your metabolism do the rest as you eat to satiety and go about your normal routine.

I agree with the vegetable oils. Polyunsatured fat is the worst kind for the body to use. Someone on a zero carb diet would only be exposed to whatever polys are found naturally, and there probably aren't many.

Then they try to hype the omega 3/omega 6 ratios, which I think is total hogwash. There is little difference nutritionally between grain and grass fed beef. While fatty acid profiles may be different I hardly think it's a factor in weight loss. I don't eat grass fed beef and I've lost over 70 pounds in 6 months. I highly doubt anybody would have problems losing weight on a zero-carb, all grain fed beef diet. Once again I think they're making a false correalation if they believe that weight loss can be spurred by eating only the more expense grass fed beef or that there's some magic omege 3/6 ratio that's going to suddenly make the body burn more fat.

Acetyl L-Carnitine and GFT Chromium Picolinate? C'mon. An appetite suppresent and a supplement. Don't waste you're money. I would avoid most nut, seed and veggie oils. There's some benefits to have some mono oils but I think they hardly contribute to weight gain and stalls. What the authors suggest, and it would be pricey, I think fails to adress the real cause of Jimmy's weight loss.

Let's go to the numbers. First, I'm suspicious that there's no menus posted, either before or after their little experiment. His menu was supposedly around 2350 calories per day, with the following fat/protein/carb ration: 69/28/3. Very respectable number I may add. At 2350 calories that comes out to roughly 70 calories from carbs, or roughly 15.55g of carbs per day. There's the answer right there! It's what I've been trying to point out all along, cut the carbs, cut the weight. Period! No skeevy omega fatty acid profile theory needed.

It's like the mind will be willing to create the most incredible claims and reasons (and excuses) when it counters something that contradicts the dark deep recesses of the mind where your early food learning rests. In this case it's a convoluted theory about fatty acid profiles and the revelation that vegetable oils are bad for you (like we didn't know that already!). At 15g/day he's under basic Atkins induction, assuming his caloric numbers and macronutrient profile numbers are right. By just giving me those ratio's I would have guessed he would lose between 5-10lbs that week. It's hard to know with out specific menus and carb counts but think Jimmy still probably ingests enough carbs that when he restricted his diet to 15g per day that further water loss continued.

My advice would be to drop the carb oils, even the soybean oil (YUCK! 2 teaspoons a day!), drop all the veggies and carbs and he'll reach his goal a lot quicker than 30 weeks.

When you're on a limited budget there is no need to buy expenses grass fed beef if you don't have to. That grain fed beef is unhealthier than grass fed beef is hoopla, most likely started by grass fed ranchers hoping to expand upon their niche market, as a way to get a food in a niche market. Most people who tend to buy grass fed before are health food conscious anyway so they probably LOVE that the fat content isn't happening in grass fed beef as it does grain fed beef, but I don't see any real tangible benefits by making that kind of financial committment to beef, especially if you eat a lot of it. I think it also has the added benefit of Regina and Jimmy to look super health conscious by suggesting such a committment to a pricy way of eating, and for no reason I may add. In fact, low-carbers buying into certain low-fat myths is nothing new, and apparently it will continue.

In a perfect world, would we all be eating grass fed beef? Probably. But there's no reason to waste money than you don't have to, or feel that somehow what you're doing, even if going zero carb, is not as healthy as buying strictly grass fed beef.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Comment Moderation-DOH!

Dammit! I didn't realize I had the comment moderation on. Damn Blogger! Sorry about that folks. Looks like I have some catching up to do, and if you left a comment, I really appreciate it!

Rob's Meat Guide

The one thing that must be certain in a zero or low-carb diet is the love of meat, especially beef. If you don't like, or learn to like, beef then you will constantly struggle with the diet IMO. That doesn't mean you can't eat other types of meat, but if you can't deal with beef on a steady basis. The need for variety as you concentrate solely on beef will not be an issue. If you play your meat money right you can get great bargains on a limited budget, and eggs, well, they're really cheap so you don't have to set much aside for that.

Here are a few of my favorite cuts, none of which should not be too surprising. The excellent part of learning to like raw and bleu cooked meat is that every cut comes into play for the most part since raw meat is tender.

I got a good deal the other day on sirloin. It came out to less than $2/lb. It was 4 nice hunks, about 2"-2.5" thick, the perfect thickness that I like. You can sear the outside but the inside is still cool and raw. I only buy it on sale but when I do I like to buy as much as I can.

Boneless short ribs
Here's a cut you wouldn't think of being good fried, mostly you think of slow cooking and braising. It's really a nice cut to fry up because raw it's still tender, and it has really nice fat content and has a particularly nice flavor. I can find it on close out and sale for around $3.25/lb, sometimes less.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....rib eye..........nuff said. Another one to look out for if it's on sale. Not my everyday steak but a nice treat after pay days.

Prime Rib
This is the fricking holy grail of beef. The best cut in my opinion and perfect for the special occasions like christmas and new year's.

Ah, the old tried and true tri-tip. Can't go wrong here. I like to buy nice untrimmed hunks and then cut steaks off of it. I've seen untrimmed roasts for $1.99/lb on sale, but mostly in the $2-2.50/lb range.

Top and Bottom round
Another cut that you don't usually think of, but sometimes I get big hunks of it and then cut off steaks. I can make them nice and think and I'll add extra lard or beef fat since it can be a fairly lean piece of meat. Eye of round is a very good piece of meat as well. I don't know what it is about london broils but I've totally lost my taste for them. It could just be the quality of the meat from my local stores but I just haven't had a good london broil in months. I've gotten bottom round for as little as $1.50/lb in big hunks. I like it as an economical everyday meat when supplemented with lots of fat.

Cross Rib & Under Blade steaks
More of the not usuals, but sometimes I get really good deals on them and once again, eating it raw offsets a lot of the problems you normally think of when choosing cuts like this. The chewy gristle parts actually are good source of protein, or at least that my understanding of it. I often can find these for $1.50/lb, sometimes less if it's a really big sale. Makes a nice choice for the everyday kind of meat. Under blade in particular has nice fat content, albeit a gristley one.

Skirt and Flank steak
This seems to be a little pricier than round but it's got a great flavor and nice fat content.

New Yorks, Porterhouse, Tenderloin, T-Bone's etc
Ok. I like New Yorks, I've eaten a lot of new yorks, but I think you get more bang for your buck with sirloin or maybe rib eye that's on sale. Just my personal preferance. Same thing with tenderloin. I love to find end cuts of tenderloin on sale. Sometimes I get them from our local meat places at half the price of the top end stuff, but on the whole I'd rather get 4 pounds of boness short ribs than 1 pound of tenderloin.

It's primarily an economic reality but you can still get great cuts of meat for a bargain if you eat it right. Every steak doesn't have to be a porterhouse or rib eye.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Why People Are Fat: Glucose & Acculturation

Lately there's been a spat of posts about why people are fat. Carol Bardelli has a great roundup from yesterday on the various topics.

Reading through the blog-o-sphere gets me thinking. Then I get that awful urge to throw in my two cents. Uh Oh.

Recent blog entries included Kevin Dill asking “WHY DO WE GET FAT??”

The Last Atkins Dieter stated “People know what the right foods to eat are, and when they're ready, they'll make the right choices.”

Diet Blog commented on a UK Times piece – “Besides, there is the embarrassing fact that those who eat and drink junk do so for cheap comfort and because they are either too poor or too ignorant (or both) to prepare healthy food.”

Diet Blog said, “To say that fat folks are too stupid is one heck of a judgment call.“

And Jimmy Moore asked, “Why Do People Have An 'I Don't Care' Attitude About Their Need For Weight Loss?”

I even responded to Jimmy Moore in his comments section:

Jimmy, I get where you're coming from, but we're dealing with acculturation issues that have been ingrained since birth. We learn to eat from our mothers, just as we learn language, dressing, and all other socialization skills. Because of this, what we learned to eat is buried deep in the back of our consciousness.

You noted yesterday that the ability to maintain any diet was 2-3% and this is because of acculturation. It's extremely difficult to overcome what our mothers taught us to eat. Failure of acculturation then is a very serious and difficult issue for humanity at large.

While I get your enthusiasm and concern, ranting at fat people about their failure to change their attitude is like ranting at a person from another country (or from another region of the US for that matter) to change their accent. They can, but it takes a seriously conscious effort to pull off.

It takes serious willpower, focus and discipline for anyone to overcome their early diet acculturation and live a healthy and thin life. This is why very few people will follow a zero carb path, let alone a regular restricted carb diet. I accept that and I have noproselytizeprosyletize the diet.

It's like the veggie thing. There is absolutely no reason to eat vegetables. None. Nada. Any reason you give is a result of your acculturation, mostly that it's what your moms taught you to eat, or society at large dictates that vegetable are healthy and wholesome.

Newbirth, a frequent poster on various blogs and message boards made a summation:

Most people regain the weight because they don't want to change. Simple as that. Sugar tastes good.

People get fat for one reason and one reason only. They eat carbs. There may be lots of reasons why people eat but in the end it's carbs that make people fat. I don't think it's simply a matter of people not wanting to change. With a diet failure rate between 95-97% there has to be mexplanationxplaination than that. People deal with change all the time, new careers, new schools, new spouses with 0% divorce rates. There's something deeper operating here that leads people to be such failures on long term dietary changes, myself included.

Except for handful of times in my life, I've been 300+ pounds since the age of 13. I wouldn't say I was in denial or stupid. I may not have been aware of my options, but that's primarily because society as a whole considers carbs to be good food. Once I did find the diet I didn't understand the concept of acculturation and could never understand why I couldn't remain on the diet, even with help and support from the Bear. You would think that by being a major Dead Head and Phil Lesh freak to boot, that that alone would keep me on the straight and narrow path, but in the end it wasn't. In fact, a week or two before I contacted Bear and started the diet in February and really struggled with that question and examined everything I was doing in 1998 compared to now. When I reread his emails from 1998 (in which he didn't use the term acculturation) it started making sense and then when the subject turned to acculturation it all made perfect sense.

The same pattern emerges from several posters and bloggers. They tend to lay blame and responsibility on the individual as opposed to the society. In other words, they see it has a problem with individuals versus a problem with society and culture as a whole. They may be aware of big agribusiness and the pharmaceutical industry and a medical establishment with their collective heads up their collective asses, but very few people seem willing to look inward at their own acculturation.

In a world where concepts such as "social Darwinism" still garner credibility, and society in general that focuses on the invididual rather than society as a whole, this is to be expected. While it is ulitimately up to individuals, it would take a concerted societal effort to correct the disaster of a high carb diet and all the health problems with it.

This is why acculturation is a very serious, albeit complex, issue. You would literally have to change our culture and society to have a serious impact on societal health as a whole. I think it would be easier to switch to non-fossil fuel sources globally than for world culture to accept that carbs are poison. That's why, in the end, the proselytizers will be frustrated over time. You're on a diet that is extremely unpopular with mainstream society. No amount of PR work is going to change that. You just have to accept it and continue on your business. That's not to say you shouldn't tell people about the diet, but it's like the old saying, "The lips of wisdom are closed except to the ears of understanding". People who are ready for the message will get it. All others will attack and undermine you if given the chance.

For futher info, The Bear made several excellent points on this topic on his thread:

'Acculturation' = Acquiring culture. What you are taught as a baby/child about living as a human being in society, starting at birth and virtually complete by age 8. A kind of social toolkit. Without this we would be just another animal. Our culture is what defines humanity. It is very difficult for any person to change any part of this early training which was burned in heavily. If some of the things we need to know to be human is not learned during the several short, skill-specific 'windows' which open and close as a child ages, in time, that particular skill may never be learned (the rare so-called feral children, which were lost and raised by animals, exhibited varying amounts of disability, some could not learn to talk, some not able to walk upright). Culture includes such things as how to walk, what to eat, how to dress, language, manners and much more.

I must warn all of you that it is very unlikely that very many will be able to eat as I do over the long term, or in fact, to follow any diet for long which is much different from the one you were trained to as a baby/child. This is because diet is learned much the same way language, dress and behaviour is, and is buried deep and inaccessible, a part of your acculturation/socialisation. The very thing which makes us human is that deep and almost instinctive behavior behaviour.

It requires a powerful will and a determination to change, in order to succeed in adopting the 'extreme' diet which this website is based on. Even those who are morbidly obese, as powerful a motivation as any I can imagine will have 'cravings' for what I call 'non-food' (all vegetation and carbs) which will eventually prove irresistible. A few may manage to stay on the diet for years, but unless you are prepared to stick with it for maybe ten or more years, you will drift back into eating what I consider poison. For some reason my mum was not interested in forcing me to eat the veggies I hated so, and i was able to eat only what I liked- mostly meat, especially hamburger and the fat those at our table would cut from their steaks. Still I had massive struggles abandoning the 'civilised diet'.

I have been long puzzled about how easy it was for me, and how nearly impossible for virtually everyone else to adopt the all meat diet. After 47 years of this, and I am not bragging when I say that I am a bit above the average intelligence, I have finally come to the conclusions I have made about human acculturation.

Everyone who is truly interested in this lifestyle will have an uphill battle against their acculturation. This is compounded by all your friends and family who will go to any end to try to get you to eat as they think you should. This is social again. Never underestimate the incredible power of the human societal culture and everyone's early training, it is what makes us human, and different from all other animals. The only thing more difficult to alter than you early acculturation is your skin colour... Hang in there. If I could do it, anyone can.