The Bear

Owsley Stanley, a.k.a. “The Bear,” best known for the sound system he created for The Grateful Dead and manufacturing a very high quality LSD, was a Zero Carb Carnivore for 50 years. He participated in a low carb forum where he shared his experience with and knowledge about eating a diet comprised entirely of animal foods. These pearls were collected and organized by Michael Goldstein, creator of the website Just Meat, and saved as a free PDF file. Enjoy!

The Bear’s Words of Wisdom

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72 thoughts on “The Bear

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  3. This was an awesome read. I just read through the whole thing, top to bottom. I also went on to read more about “The Bear”. He was an incredible man. After experimenting with low carb diets for about a year now, I am convinced that fat, juicy steaks are the best super food you can get your hands on. The same goes for elk, moose and other big game.

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  5. I suffer from a rare mineral metabolic disorder and have been researching all meat diet as a possible life style that could indeed provide for my nutritional needs as well as correct or improve my muscle damage. Recommended diet is low sodium, low carb, high fat, high proteins (high potassium). Insulin surge appears to be the driver of issues with my faulty ion channels as well as sodium. I believe the reason low carbs are included is because this diet is recommended by physicians at least suggesting low carbs doesn’t place the physician in the position of recommending a diet that contains none, perhaps there by protecting their reputations from the suggestion that the diet is a fad diet and dangerous in some way.. even though this is the way mankind survived for millennium.

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  6. For a zero carb meat eater .. he looks pretty old and worn out. Almost looks as bad as a vegan.
    Hope I don’t look that bad by age 76 .. I only have 8 more years to go. Maybe he’s not getting enough sleep.. LOL.

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    • I do think he lived a hard life on the road, etc. but I agree with you. It is important to keep in mind that he had throat cancer in his 40s and received radiation treatments for it. That may have had a long term detrimental effect on his health as well.

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      • That explains alot … same with my wife. She survived breast cancer and the treatment (chemo) has some serious effects on her health. She is not zero carbs like I am and I do believe that it would help her in many ways.

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      • Just read through the post and like Werner thought he looked pretty bad. I googled him (God! I Love Google). Sounds like he lived a “hard life” not matter where he was. And I found he was considered “important in the explosion of 1960’s psychedelia culture.” “Stanley was one of the first people to manufacture mass quantities of LSD.[2][3] His LSD is still known for its quality and purity. Between 1965 and 1967, Stanley produced more than 1.25 million doses of LSD. This amount of quality LSD was responsible for the wide popularity of the drug, and the development of an anti-authoritarian, anti-war counter-culture. From the ‘Sunset Strip Riots’ in Los Angeles, to the Summer of Love in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury was described as “the biggest LSD party in history.”.[4] The name “Owsley” was linked to cheap LSD of good quality.” Interesting character…counterculture all the way…doesn’t surprise me that he would eat a zero-carb diet. However…if he was the only representative I would discount the idea. But an interesting read. 🙂

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  7. The video says his cancer was only a few years before this picture. 50 years of pot and acid use can’t be too good for you either…

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  8. Pingback: "Just steaks alone are sufficient for health and longevity." https://zerocarbzen.com/the-bear/

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  12. I just read the entire article above and realized that I have to give up my salted butter for the unsalted variety. That might explain why I’m not losing any weight. I’m not overweight at 145 lbs., but could stand to lose a little more.

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  13. whats about the salt in cheese, is that ok? and where can I get fatty cuts of beef, in Germany we cant get it, what fat should I add to the beef if it comes too lean and how should the best ratio of fat and protein look like on the plate? I add lots of bacon because of the fat and I dont even like bacon so much and also its processed I would love to stop that but am worried to not get enough fat without it…

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    • If you do okay with butter, that is the fat I would add in your situation. However, you could ask a butcher if he can get you beef suet. This the fat from around the kidneys. Then you can lightly pan fry that along with your meat. I have written several articles on the fat to protein ratio. If you put the words “optimal protein” into the search box at the top of my blog, you will pull them up.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I eat only raw grass fed beef. I add lots of butter to the meat I eat for the added fat and salt.
    And I drink mineral water. My beef comes in steaks, beef chunks and ground hamburger.

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    • I do eat raw meat too, but its best to sear, slightly cook the outside of the meat, to kill off any bad bacteria…even Owsley says that in the LowCarber.org thread in one of his messages.

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      • Sorry … I never worry about bacteria. Illness is caused by what you eat … 99% of all illness caused mostly by processed food. I’ve been eating raw grass fed beef for about a year and I haven’t even got a cold this Winter. I would never touch regular meats .. knowing all the chemicals and drugs in that meat. I’m 69 and feel 30 years old. I run daily and am still working as a School bus driver.

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      • I’ve been eating raw meat for almost 30 years. Do not worry about bacteria! Bacteria is good for you…. you are about 280 bacterial cells to 1 human cell, get used to it! Worry about toxic industrial chemicals…. Eat more good fats!

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          • More varied… my uncle was H.L. Newbold. He taught me a tremendous amount. And I continued learning and questioning thanks to him…. He was a huge influence in my life. He taught me to question everything that the medical establishment says. “Never trust doctors” is what he would tell me. The best advice.

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          • OMG! That is amazing! I LOVE Dr. Newbold. His book The Type A Type B Weight Loss Diet remains one the most important books I have ever read in my journey to regain my health. I encourage everyone on our Zero Carb Facebook group Principia Carnivora to read it. He was a brilliant man.

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  15. I have read through this article multiple times now and I have bookmarked it to come back to. I am blown away how much Owsley knew about this stuff. I was on his Wikipedia page and it mentions nothing about his knowledge in ZC lifestyle, just mentions his drug past and his professional career with music. This guy had a lot of knowledge and was a pioneer, but its still mind boggling to me how he got to know all this stuff.

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    • I was also very interested in this person and did some research. Took a little digging but found some interesting stuff. My husband enjoys reading biography’s of musicians so he will probably get the book:

      Some info on the book and Bear:
      https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/the-trippy-life-of-the-lsd-manufacturer-who-helped-create-the-60s

      And some mention of his “all-meat diet.”
      ttp://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/For-the-unrepentant-patriarch-of-LSD-long-2581601.php

      Bear has always lived in a quite particular world. “He can be very anal retentive, on a certain level, on a genius level,” says Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane. “I’ve seen him send his eggs back three times at Howard Johnson’s.”
      His all-meat diet is a well-known example. When he was younger, Bear read about the Eskimos eating only fish and meat and became convinced that humans are meant to be exclusively carnivorous. The members of the Grateful Dead remember living with Bear for several months in 1966 in Los Angeles, where the refrigerator contained only bottles of milk and a slab of steak, meat they fried and ate straight out of the pan. His heart attack several years ago had nothing to do with his strict regimen, according to Bear, but more likely the result of some poisonous broccoli his mother made him eat as a youth.

      I really enjoy doing research…hope you enjoy the reads. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. This is my fifth day on Zero Carb. I am a little concerned because he and, other I have seen don’t really look all that healthy. Why? Thanks for the info.

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    • The Bear had a chronic infection of Human Papilloma Virus in his tonsil which became cancerous later in his life. He had to have radiation treatment for this which had a negative effect on his health. If he had not bee Zero Carb, the outcome of this cancer could have bee far worse. Also, keep in mind, he lived a very hard life of drugs and rock and roll for many years. Not the best example to us. If you wish to see a healthy family thriving on only fatty beef for 18 years, send me an email at esmeelafleur@gmail.com and I will share a private link with you for the Andersen Family. I also encourage you to read through the interviews I done with many other long term Zero Carbers at https://zerocarbzen.com/interviews/

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  17. Wow what an amazing article, it goes against a lot of things I’ve learned on keto. I’ve been using huge amounts of salt and eaten plenty of fibrous vegetables. Not surprising I gained weight and suffered severe bouts of diarrhea over the last 15 month, keto did make me feel an awful lot better than high carb/low fat though, it was my first step towards better health. ZC for 2-3 weeks and I’m finally losing some weight and goodbye to upset stomach, just got to kick the salt now.

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      • I will Esmee, thank you. I bought some unsalted Butter today for a start and I also bought a huge beef roasting joint (only £3.99/kg) at Lidl, I wasn’t planning on roasting it, instead I’m thinking of slicing it up raw and fry as steak over a few days. I was going to buy steak but first there was no fat on them and second it was very expensive (£15 to £20 for a Kilo) To be honest I never cooked steak before and I wouldn’t know which sort of steak to buy, what sort of steak do most people in the US buy that’s nice and fatty and not too expensive? I bought a meat tenderiser, got that idea from you lovely guys at Principia Carnivora 🙂

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        • In the US, we have a cut called chuck roast that is less expensive and has a decent level of fat. But I think the same cut in England goes by a different name and is not very fatty at all. You might need to see if you can get your butcher to save the fat he cuts off for you.

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        • LSD is completely non toxic…. there is no LD50 for it. It is extremely safe in terms of physical toxicity, one of the safest drugs known. Smoking pot on the other hand is more dangerous than cigarettes in terms of tar, etc. It’s the smoke and combustion that’s the problem creating carcinogenic compounds. Both Bear and Terrence Mckenna smoked a lot of pot for many years. Bear ended up dying from a car accident (not from the throat cancer, although the treatments considerably aged him), Terrence from brain cancer….

          We all need more good fats to protect us! I live in New York and get second hand smoke whenever I walk on the street. Eat more good fat people!

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  18. Yeh I need to find a local butcher rather than buying meat from the supermarket, I’m originally from Germany and we used to eat a lot more fat, pork is the main staple in Germany, I must say that lamb is my favourite meat (apart from lamb liver) but it is quite expensive here and I buy it as a treat only. Unfortunately here in the UK people are scared of fat but hopefully things are changing soon thanks to a handful of awesome nutritional experts and doctors. Thanks for your reply Esmee 🙂

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  20. Did any of the long term zero carbers get a coronary calcium test? I’m concerned about this as I’m thinking of following this/similar way of eating.

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  21. Hello Esmee, thanks for sharing the details of your journey and experiences. I appreciate that much. I am curious about one of the statements of Owsley Stanley. It is the episode regarding the soldier of napoleons army, which suffers from this cut in his abdomen. Do you or any other fo the readers know any resource which supports this as a fact. I would belive this, i also always try to ensure, that informations are true and facts and not kind of fiction. Even i do not think Owsley had any reason to invent such stories, i would feel more comfortable if i can verify this.

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  26. I have done a lot of reading on the Bear. He was about as extreme as anyone could get. I found him to be very interesting and learned a lot. I follow ZC very closely to him although I will admit I use some salt and cook my beef a little more than raw. 🙂

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    • Appreciate your comment Michael. I am still trying to work out my protein/fat ratio and jump all over the place right now. Just wondering…do you follow his 80/20 or his 60/40 ratio? I cannot always get meat that has the correct ratio on its own and have to add fat. Sometimes all of that added fat bothers me. I use salt also and cook most of my meat to rare. Thanks

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      • It took me quite a while to figure out what ratio of fat to protein worked best for me as well as which types of fats. In the end, I feel best on beef that provides a minimum of 70% fat and 30% protein by calories which is 80/20, but more fat is preferable. I also do not do well on any fat except the fat that comes on the beef itself. It is a challenge to find a source that gives me consistently what I need, and Costco has been the most dependable. I buy their PRIME grade ribeye in bulk whenever I can afford it, as it’s the only beef I have found that gives me enough fat.

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        • Thanks, Esmee…I am going to do some calculations. I really appreciate your personal response. Even though I am a pretty OCD Detail Oriented person…I never put it together the 80/20 = 70% fat and 30% protein. When I do buy previously ground beef (I just purchased some from a farm that pastures year round in Georgia – it is frozen immediately after processing and arrives at my home still frozen – I have the least Histamine reactions to this beef) it is 80/20. Does that mean I do not have to add fat? That means I would have to eat a lot more of the beef to get enough calories. That really would be cost prohibitive. But…once you have had the benefits of this WOE it is not an option to go back to the old. Life is a balancing act. 🙂

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          • It all depends on how you feel eating 80/20 ground beef with no added fat. Again, just experiment. If you can find a mix that gives you what you need, it makes it super simple.

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      • Currently I am approximately 80/20. I buy my meats at my local grocery store. I am not doing anything fancy, just eating hungry until I am not and not eating if I am not hungry. Mostly beef and some chicken and fish/seafood.

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        • Thanks, Michael. I pretty much do the same except when I can buy from a farm that pastures their beef and pork and chicken. If I stick with the ground products it is not too bad. It is still more expensive than buying roasts and grinding them myself which is what I do otherwise. I have a problem with histamines and don’t do well on leftovers – so don’t cook more than I can eat at a meal. I keep everything frozen and cook from the frozen state mostly…that leaves the outside cooked gently and the inside very rare but not cold. So…ground beef works very well for me. I form it into patties and freeze immediately. I do get tired of burgers though. 🙂

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  28. Truly fascinating. This is the same guy that Steely Dan imortalized in their song Kid Charlemagne, ( on their Royal Scam record) a song about the famed LSD manufacturer of the Haight-Ashbury hippie days, Owsley Stanely.

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