The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Kieth

vegmyth cover third reviewThis book is by far one of the most powerful and important books I have every read in my entire life. It is my opinion that it should be required reading for everyone before they are allowed to graduate from high school. Everyone who eats food needs to read this book.

 

Here is the link to the free PDF version.

The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith

 

If you need more convincing, please read:

Dr. Michael Eades Book Review

 

 

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Cereal Grains: Humanity’s Double-Edged Sword by Loren Cordain

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This one of the very best papers detailing why cereal grains are neither a necessary nor a desirable part of the human diet. Click on the link below to read Dr. Cordain’s article:

Cereal Grains: Humanity’s Double-Edged Sword

 

Can Bone Broth Be Used as Part of a Zero Carb Diet?

Bone-Broth-3

I have received a lot of flack in the Zero Carb community Zeroing in on Health (ZIOH) from many long time veterans of the Zero Carb diet who run that group. Now please, don’t get me wrong, I still love and appreciate much that this group has to offer, I just feel that their vehement opposition to me discussing bone both is a wee bit ridiculous. I mean, it is from the animal kingdom, right? So what exactly is the big deal?

First, it is important to understand that – with one exception – none of these long term Zero Carb vets have ever made and consumed bone broth as part of their Zero Carb way of life. Their main concern is that people new to the Zeroing in on Health group who read glowing reports about bone broth by the likes of me will be misled into thinking that bone broth is necessary for long term health on a Zero Carb diet.

However, if a person takes the time to read my very detailed description of The Zero Carb Diet, or the excellent FAQs document written by the ZIOH administration, then they won’t be the least bit confused. But unfortunately – as much as I would like to – I cannot make people read. Some folks just want 30-second sound bites and there is nothing I can do about that.

I have actually been accused of saying that bone broth has “magical healing properties.” I certainly I have noted that it contains specific properties shown to help heal specific health problems. But I have never called it “magical.” It may have healing properties, but there is nothing magical about them. Rather, it is pure nutritional biochemistry, as you will discover if you decide to learn more about it.

But, one could just as easily be misled into thinking that eggs are a necessary component of a Zero Carb diet since they are extolled almost every day by someone in the group. However, as The Andersen Family has clearly shown, eggs are definitely not necessary for long term health on a Zero Carb diet. They have been eating only ribeye steaks for almost 2 decades and are thriving.

And, as many Zero Carb-ers have discovered through experimentation with their own bodies, eggs do not agree with or benefit everyone who follows a Zero Carb diet. The Andersen’s found that pretty much everything except fatty beef made them feel less than well. The only way that any of us can figure out what works best for our individual bodies is through trial and error. There is no one way or right way to do this diet.

The basic Zero Carb Guidelines are to eat only from the animal kingdom, which is quite broad in certainly would include bone broth. If you wish to reduce the variables, many Zero Carb veterans recommend  eating only meat (preferably beef) and water for the first 30 days. This way you will have a baseline from which to test other animal foods like dairy, eggs, and organ meets. I personally support this advice because people rarely react negatively to meat, especially beef.

So, when a person first embarks upon a Zero Carb way of eating, the less variables the better generally speaking. Bone broth is certainly a variable, and not everyone does well with it. In Nourishing Broth, Kaayla Daniel explains that some people who are sensitive to MSG have trouble with the high level of glutamine present in bone broth because the glutamine gets turned into glutamate and crosses the blood-brain barrier creating unpleasant cognitive symptoms.

Glutamine sensitivity is most often experiences by children with Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, etc. For the majority of people, however, this is not an issue, but it is certainly important to be aware of the possibility. Like anything else, you just have to try it and see how it makes you feel. After reading Daniels book devoted to the subject, I decided the potential benefits were well worth exploring. What I discovered is that I felt better when I included it in my diet. But again, this will not be true for everyone.

I noticed very quickly that on the days I drank bone broth, I did not get leg or foot cramps that night while sleeping or the next day. While on the days that I did not drink it, I did. It was a very cause and effect correlation for me. Many Zero Carb vets have stated that they tried everything (salt, magnesium, bone broth) to try and prevent their muscles from cramping, but that none of these measures had any positive effect.

And, yes, these are the same vets who have also stated that they “never have and never will” make and drink bone broth, so I am not to sure how many of them actually tried bone broth specifically to address the muscle cramps they were experiencing. I am, admittedly, a little confused by their contradictory statements.

And even if they did try bone broth without experiencing any noticeable difference, then I would want to know how much bone broth they drank each day and for how long. If you are deficient in a mineral, it not only takes a certain amount of that mineral, but it often takes more than a day or two for the cells to get it where it needs to go.

Muscle cramps are a very common experience in the initial weeks and months of a Zero Carb diet. One of the main symptoms of a potassium deficiency is muscle cramping. When a person first begins a Zero Carb diet, a lot of excess fluid is flushed from the body and a significant amount of potassium is lost in this process. I have explored this phenomenon more fully in my page on The Adaptation Process.

There is nothing especially dangerous about this because it is self limiting. Once a person’s metabolism and kidneys make the transition from being a sugar burner to being a fat burner, you stop losing excess fluid and your mineral balance is restored. However, the interim period can be somewhat uncomfortable, and bone broth might help to ease the transition.

As it happens, bone broth is an especially good source of potassium, especially if there is some meat attached to the bones. I generally use whole chicken and turkey parts, mostly because that is what is affordable. But any meaty bones can be used: pork , lamb, beef, and even fish. It has certainly made a noticeable difference for me personally. But, I also drink an average of 2 quarts of bone broth every day, so this may be why I found it to be an effective remedy for muscle cramps compared to those who did not.

I also remove the fat from the broth after it has chilled and drink only the potassium-rich liquid. I do this so that the broth will not interfere with my appetite and so that I can drink more of it. It act like an sugar free electrolyte replacement beverage, i.e. Gatorade without the sugar. Interestingly, I have found that I do best drinking it on an empty stomach BEFORE a meal. If I eat it AFTER a meal, it will stop the meat in my stomach from digesting and I will be miserable for hours afterwards. I am not sure how it will affect you, but this is what I have learned about my own body. So you might want to pay attention to when you drink it and see if this makes a difference for you as well.

Many Zero Carb vets have argued that making bone broth is time consuming and difficult, but I have not found this to be the case for me. I put the bones in my crock pot, add water, let cook for 12-48 hours, and then strain. It takes me all of about 15 minutes. This is a lot less time that these vets spent ridiculing bone broth and those of us who drink it in a recent ZIOH post that generated 700 comments and continued on non-stop for almost two days! Really? Yes, really.

Okay, I will admit that the straining process is a bit messy, but that can easily be streamlined with the proper equipment. All in all, it is a small amount of work with a big pay off for me personally. Not only do I like the taste and the way it makes me feel, but the nutritional components present in bone broth are very beneficial for gut health.

With the exception of Joe Andersen’s wife Charlene, none of the Zero Carb veterans I have interviewed had serious gastrointestinal issues like I do. Most came to the Zero Carb way of eating for the purpose of weight loss. Therefore, while I deeply respect their knowledge of this diet, I also recognize that I have health issues with which they have no personal experience. I have problems that they cannot possible understand because they have never lived in my body.

And I know that I am not the only one in the group with these kinds of challenges. Many new people have joined the group and started the Zero Carb diet as a result of reading The Andersen Family interview after it was shared by William Davis on his Wheat Belly page and several other very popular sites. The people this interview has attracted are people with severe health problems like Charlene and myself, not people just looking to lose excess body fat.

While bone broth is certainly not necessary to long term health and success on this diet, it also holds the potential of being very beneficial for some like me. The one veteran who does use bone broth on a semi-regular basis is Ana Teixeira. Ana is an Ultra-marathon runner with unique needs due to her almost superhuman physical activities. We are all different, and we don’t all have the same needs. I believe it is import for this reality to be acknowledged and accepted.

This does not change the basic tenets of a Zero Carb diet: meat and water… meat and water… meat and water… meat and water. That is the most important principle of this way of eating to understand. Meat and water must form the foundation of a Zero Carb diet. Everything else must be seen as complimentary to that. In other words, one broth should not be used in place of meat any more than eggs or cheese should.

Meat is the corner stone; meat is the foundation; meat is the rock upon which everything else must be built. There is absolutely no question about that. For many, meat and water is all they will ever want or need on a Zero Carb diet, and that is perfectly fine. For others like myself, the extra nutrition provided by bone broth and other animal foods like liver are a welcome addition.

I really hope the long time vets of Zeroing in on Health can find it in their hearts to be more supportive of people with unique needs, instead of dismissing and ridiculing us as we walk our Zero Carb path to well-being. It is sad and – quite frankly – bizarre that a group of people dedicated to this way of eating would engage in behavior that is both demeaning to individuals and divisive of the community as a whole.

This way of eating offers promise to many people who have been struggling with serious health issue for many years. But they will not stay in a group – no matter how much it’s veterans have to offer in terms of their experience with this diet – if they are treated unkindly…especially over such a minor issue like bone broth. After all, Vilhjalmur Stefansson – whose work they promote above all others – drank broth throughout his year-long Meat-Only Bellevue Study and it didn’t seem to do him any harm. In fact, is it possible that he may have even benefited from it? Hmmm… I wonder…

If you would like to read about some of the unique nutritional properties present in bone broth, please see my Bone Broth page.

 

My First 6 Months on Zero Carb by Mimi Brandt Anderson

Mimi Brandt

Mimi with her grandchildren.

I am a 54 year old a female who has lived an active life. I enjoy running, hiking, and gardening – both flowers and food. I began following a low carb high fat (LCHF) lifestyle in the late 1990s and was able to eat a wide variety of LCHF friendly foods.

I am a surgical nurse and I operate as part of a team specializing in open heart surgery. I work an average of 8 to 12 hours per day, 6 days per week. My work hours vary, day and night, and depend on when my skills are needed. My profession is very demanding and I need to be on the top of my game.

However, at the age of 50, I became sick. When I say sick, I mean I developed a chronic burning, stabbing pain in most of my joints. I never got a firm diagnosis, could have been Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Whatever it was, it was most probably auto-immune in nature. I was in extreme pain virtually all the time. I would rate the pain level at a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10.

I felt so bad, I just couldn’t seem to shake the pain. I was forced to stop running. I consulted with several doctors who tried to prescribe anti-depressants for me. But, these medications provided no relief. I was only depressed because my life became riddled with intense chronic pain.

A year later, a new group of doctors I consulted suggested that I try a combination of Prednisone, Lyrica, and Narcotics. But nothing worked.  The only real effect of these medications is that I gained a massive amount of weight over the next few years. I continued to follow a LCHF diet throughout all of this, but it did not prevent me from gaining excess weight. The influence of the medications on my metabolism were just too strong.

Then, approximately 6 months ago, my gall bladder began to give me serious trouble. I strongly feel a person should keep their organs whenever possible, so I opted not to have my gall bladder removed. But now, I was fat, in constant pain, and truly sad every single day. However, I am a strong person, and somehow I managed to keep going by shear will power.

Finally, out of total desperation, I did a water-only fast for 5 full days. My gall bladder quieted down and the pain I was experiencing diminished significantly. Once I felt stabilized, I slowly began to add foods back into my diet one at a time, testing each item as I went.  I meticulously journaled all the foods I ate, and as I added a food or condiment back in, I carefully observed the effect it had on my body.

What I discovered is that I did well with foods from the animal kingdom, but not so well with foods from the plant kingdom. I have been eating beef, chicken, salmon, sardines, mackerel, shrimp, and eggs. I eat about 1 lb. of meat per day. I do not eat any dairy products or spices because they make me feel unwell. The only thing I use for seasoning is pink Himalayan rock salt.

I was fascinated by the way my body responded negatively too all plant foods and so I started searching the internet for answers. I found the collections of comments that Owsley Stanley (a.k.a. The Bear) had made on a now-defunct low carb forum. And from there, I discovered the Zero Carb diet and, eventually, the Facebook group Zeroing in on Health.

After three months of eating only meat and drinking only water, I had some bloodwork done. I had lost weight and all my tests came back great. Now, after 6 months on Zero Carb, I am still losing weight by combining Zero Carb with intermittent fasting. I do not force myself to fast; rather, I fast naturally because I have no appetite. I let my hunger guide me.

My life is amazing once again…

  • I am off all medications except for an occasional guaifenesin after a long day.
  • The pain level has been significantly reduced. (3 on a scale of 1 to 10.)
  • I have no more brain fog and better mental clarity.
  • The quality of my sleep has improved substantially.
  • I am much more mentally balanced and even tempered.
  • I feel light-hearted and happy most of the time.
  • My energy has returned and I am actively keeping up with folks half my age.
  • I have lost 65 lbs since starting Zero Carb (from 228 lbs down to 162 lbs).
  • I have finally been able to start running again, too, which I love.

Zero Carb has literally saved my life!

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

If you are interested in meeting others who practice an All-Meat diet, please feel free to join Charles Washington in his Facebook group Zeroing in on Health or Michael Frieze in his Facebook group Principia Carnivora for guidance and support. These two groups use different approaches, so if you find that one does not suit you, please check out the other one.

 

My First 30 Days on Zero Carb by Karen Kelbell

Karen Kelbell

Karen Kelbell on her Path to Well-Being

I came to Zero Carb from a low carb background. I’m 57 years old and I’ve been low carbing for the last 30 years, gaining and losing the same weight over and over. I’ve found that the older I get the harder it’s been to lose. I’m 5’2 and was at an all time high weight of 273 pounds when I started keto. It took 6 weeks before I became keto-adapted and the next month was great. I had lots of energy and lost 18 pounds. Then, I hit a brick wall. For the next 18 months my weight would go up and down a couple of pounds, but I was never able to get under 255.

I know that my biggest problem was embracing what I call the “new keto.” My goal every day was to fit in as many substitute “junk” foods (many with Zero Carb sweeteners) as I could without exceeding 20 grams of carbs. Net carbs were the rule for all of my high fiber substitute foods which meant I subtracted the fiber grams from the total carbohydrate grams.

In addition to not being able to lose weight, I began to suffer from chronic fatigue. I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue by a naturopath, due to my low cortisol levels and other symptoms. I can’t really describe the tiredness of chronic fatigue. Every movement was a challenge and some days even speaking was too difficult. I was suffering from depression and had an extremely negative attitude. I really believe I was causing everyone around me to suffer right along with me. It’s hard to deal with an illness that some in the medical field won’t even acknowledge.

Getting dressed and going anywhere took every ounce of my energy and usually left me wiped out for the rest of the day. I would wake up after a sleepless night and wish the day were already over. Some days I despaired of life and wished it would end. There are no words for how terrible I was feeling, both physically and mentally.

It was at this time that a friend suggested I try doing a high protein moderate fat keto diet. Supposedly this was the way to health and weight loss. I ended up gaining 8 pounds in 3 days! I was having trouble maneuvering the stairs in my home and would find myself out of breath once I reached the top. I was feeling scared at how out of shape I was, but didn’t know what to do. I started doing a beginner body building workout, but could barely get past the basics.

I was full of despair and – to add to my already stressed out life – my daughter had announced she would be getting married in 5 months. I was so tired and so overweight and so overwhelmed, I couldn’t even feel joy for her happiness. I didn’t know what to do. The 8 pounds I’d gained, putting me at 265, weren’t budging. I went back to my LCHF keto diet.

A couple of days later an interesting story came across my news feed in a keto group I was in. It was the story of Kelly Williams Hogan and her Zero Carb journey. I was intrigued, but I thought it was too much of an extreme. Meat and water? Who could live on that?! I honestly don’t know if I would have tried Zero Carb if I hadn’t been absolutely desperate. I HAD to lose some weight. So, I decided to give it a try.

I found the Facebook group Zeroing In On Health and started reading everything I could, both there and elsewhere on the internet about this unique diet. At first, I desperately hung on to my coffee replacement drink with heavy cream and a tiny scoop of stevia. It was so small; it couldn’t be that bad! Things went well and I lost 5 pounds in 5 days. So far, so good.

Then something astounding happened. I woke up on Day 6 and my life had changed. I felt rested, peaceful, and happy. Getting up didn’t seem to be a chore. As the day went on, I realized my new found energy was staying with me. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I was doing Zero Carb to lose weight, never dreaming it would make me well. The next day was the same.

I realized the hip and knee pain that had been waking me up at night (when – by some miracle – I was able to get some sleep) was now gone. My mood continued to improve, even when I didn’t think it could get any better. I’ve seen this described by some people on Zero Carb as “euphoria.” I would say that’s a good description. Then I had a setback.

I took my sleeping pill one night and didn’t go immediately to bed. I was then able to convince myself that eating a couple of mini low carb chocolate bars made perfect sense. After all, I was still using the stevia in my coffee replacement drink without any visible problems, but now I realize this “carb-free” sweetener was perpetuating my desire for sweet things. They say experience is the best teacher. I’d have to agree.

The next morning I woke up and the tiredness was back. I felt nervous and edgy all day and had gained 3 pounds. So, I decided I was going to give Zero Carb my all. I wanted that good feeling back! That day I gave up my stevia for good. I also gave up the coffee replacement drink. I did start having a cup of coffee in the morning with heavy cream. I just felt like I needed it.

After 3 days I was back to feeling great again, although my weight at that point was bouncing around. I read that dairy could stall weight loss, so I decided to give it up. (I probably should have given up the scale, as well.) I wasn’t eating much cheese, maybe an ounce or less every few days, so that wasn’t hard. I tried drinking a cup of coffee black, but found it tasted so bad without cream there was no point in drinking it.

I’ve now fallen into an easy basic Zero Carb routine. Eat meat (and eggs). Drink water. Live (and enjoy!) my life. I love the simplicity of it. No more counting carbs or worrying about whether I’ve eaten the proper ratios. It’s like everything is built into Zero Carb eating. I get hungry, I eat. I eat until I’m full. When I’m full, I stop. At first I felt hungry a lot and worried about eating too much. But I was trusting what I’d read on Zeroing in on Health and ate if I was hungry.

After about a week or so, I found I was only able to eat 2 meals a day. That was so amazing to me. I wanted to try eating only one meal a day, but I knew that I would be playing head games if I tried to manipulate my hunger. So, I just let my body lead me.

At first I thought eating meat would be the most boring thing ever and wasn’t sure I would be able to stick to it. It hasn’t been that way at all. I wait until I am truly hungry and then every piece of fatty meat I eat tastes wonderful. I feel like I’m eating a King’s diet. After only 30 days, it is clear to me that this way of eating is not only the way out of my obesity nightmare, but it is also the path to restoring my health. I am sold on it for life.

To date, I have lost a total of 9 pounds. My clothes are also fitting much better and I’m sure if I had measured inches in the beginning I’d be amazed at the results. Zero Carb is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I’m thankful every day for the opportunity to live life to its fullest. I am actually looking forward to each day now, and I am even feeling excited about my daughters upcoming wedding!

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

If you are interested in meeting others who practice an All-Meat diet, please feel free to join us in the Facebook group Principia Carnivora for support.

 

Protected: Zero Carb Interview: The Andersen Family

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