Back to plant-based "pegan", back to feeling sick
Something about moving away from the city (= less pressure and less expectations) allowed me space to experiment with my diet and training in ways I had been thinking about for a while but too in routine with what was working for me then.
I decided to gravitate towards more plant-based, including as many vegetables and leafy greens as I could. I experimented with my macros, decreasing protein and replacing that either with whole-food fats (avocado, coconut - no nuts), or whole-food starchy & non-starchy veg (pumpkin, sweet potato). Main influencers for this nutritional experiment was:
- Dr Terry Walsh & the Walsh protocol, that advocates 8-10 plates of vegetables a day
- Dr Mark Hyman & the general message prevalent within functional medicine (& keto), where the intersection between plant-based and paleo - "pegan" - recognises the importance of healthy animal sources, but calls for high plant-volume while minimising the portion of protein
Looking back now, all the times I have felt my best, I had plant-food at a minimum, and high quality, well-sourced protein and animal food as the mainstay of my diet.
Long story short, in 3 months of this way of eating, I felt inflamed, had regained 10kg (of fat & inflammation), felt hungry again all the time, my mind was constantly on food even if I was physically full, and I just felt "off".
Moral of the story: listen to your body!!
Shawn Baker: The Catalyst
30 days Beef & Water
Highest nutrient density foods with highest bioavailability where the nutrients are in a form our body can most readily absorb: organ meats from healthy animals; meat and game; pastured pork; pastured poultry; wild, oily fish; 100% cacao, especially heirloom varieties in the form of cacao powder for drinks &/or 100% cacao paste (aka chocolateee, yeah!).
I do my own thing. I don't eat only bacon - I feel sick doing that (I also react to cured or smoked meat in large amounts, probably due to the histamines). I don't add extra fat like lard, butter, ghee. I don't even cook in extra fat, usually (sometimes, yes ;).
As you can maybe tell, I don't like going by rules. I go by guidelines, and modeify what doesn't work for me and add what is purely my own that optimises how I feel & function.
Motto for any self-experiment & examined living:
TAKE WHAT IS USEFUL
DISCARD WHAT IS NOT
ADD WHAT IS UNIQUELY YOUR OWN
- All types of meat, preferably grassfed / organic / wild: beef, lamb, pork. I focus on beef.
- Eggs, chicken and duck eggs (duck eggs are my FAVOURITE!)
- Wild fish and seafood, mostly sardines and occasional mackerel
- Offal and the odd bits!
What I eat daily is very simple. I buy the best-quality meat & eggs at my Farmers market 1x a week, freeze meat I'll be eating later in the week. I've gotten into a rhythm with this system where I rarely have to buy anything else during the week - it is SO LIBERATING! Saving time and mental energy for prepping, planning, shopping has opened up more time to do what I love.
The 1% / occasional plant sources:
- Organic cacao powder
- Coffee, including 4Sigmatic Coffee with medicinal mushrooms
- Pure, organic stevia powder
- Seaweed flakes, for the iodine & trace minerals - I use minute quantities through a Celtic sea salt that has them added :)
I think we can get the best of BOTH worlds - meat + medicinal plants.
I was making fresh cucumber lemon juice, but stopped as I felt better without it.
No fiber, and no vegetables that been the biggest beneficial change for me. Meat + nourishing animal fats + eggs + DHA -rich wild seafood.
I do like the idea of using the beef + H20 template as a protocol to cycle in for periods of time, as a reset and in times where I need maximum simplicity.
So, I am listening to the wisdom of my body, and right now and into the foreseeable future, carnivore is the WOE that makes me feeling & functioning best.
May everyone find health and healing!