reality is weirder than you think

Tag: zero carb (page 1 of 2)

Making a better meatloaf

100% Carnivore Meatloaf has been one of my staple foods for the last 6 months or so. A meatloaf is really convenient to make, and leftovers are easy to pack and eat at work for lunch the next morning.

In my months of practicing this recipe, I’ve learned a few things.

  • 1.5 pounds of beef works just as fine as 2.0 pounds. 2.5 pounds works just fine too. The only thing that really needs adjusting if you do this is the cooking time.
  • That said, don’t overcook this. Ground meat is never great when you overcook it. If you look in the over and can tell it’s close but not quite done (such as when there are little pools of semi-opaque juices on the top but its starting to brown around the edges), turn off the oven but let the meatloaf rest in the oven for a few minutes. This technique lets the cooking coast to a stop in a highly heated environment without overheating it.
  • Speaking of resting, I typically let my meatloaf rest out of the oven a couple minutes before I slice it. Is this strictly necessary? I have no idea.
  • THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: unless you legitimately want a “marbled” beef/pork combo, use a light touch when mixing your meat. The more you tighten your grip, the more starsystems will slip through your fingers. Seriously though, mix it gently, thinking “light and fluffy” thoughts, and you will have a much more cohesive end product even after you squish the mixture down into the pan.
  • THIS IS THE MOST USEFUL TIP: buy foodsafe prep gloves. They are the best thing ever. I just use one, mix up my meatloaf, and then I don’t have to scrub raw meat out from under my fingernails. Gamechanger.
  • If you need to switch up your meatloaf game, one easy way to do so is with different types of salt. Hawaiian red sea salt is good for a bit of variety, or smoked salt. This meatloaf is also good with a bit of butter melted on top, if you’re into that.

Overall though, this recipe is easy to make and endlessly iterable.

I highly recommend.

(But of course I wrote it. What else am I gonna say?)

They say there’s no magic bullet

And I used to believe them. I wanted a magic bullet. I wanted to be well without doing any work. I wanted to take a pill or do a raindance or stand on my head while whistling “The Star Spangled Banner” or SOMETHING.

My autoimmune illness was raging (although it was nowhere near its worst) one night when I met up with a friend to grab burgers after work. At that point, I was eating somewhere on the paleo spectrum, so I got a lettuce wrap and stared longingly at her truffle fries.

“I have finally realized,” I said, “That there is no magic bullet for dealing with my disease. I just have to suck it up and do the work.”

She nodded in agreement. I really didn’t expect her to understand but she was sympathetic to my cause.

I kept talking: “I have been looking for a pill or something that would just make everything better, but I’m finally resigning myself to the fact that there is no quick fix for any of this.”

Well, past self, I have news for you. There are no quick fixes, this is true, but after a long, slow slog, when you find the right thing the results are instant.

(Or maybe they just feel instant, because a week is so much quicker than 5 years.)

I have been working on my diet for years. First I cut out gluten, then sugar and all other grains. Soon afterward, I realized (for the 3rd or 4th time in my life, and certainly not the last) that dairy had to go too.

Then, I started cutting out vegetables. Maybe it was just nightshades at first, but then I rooted out [lol] foods high in FODMAPs or foods that I could tell caused an extra special skin reaction. I even cut grapes because I finally realized that any form of grape (fresh, juice, or wine) gave me a runny nose.*

At some point, I was eating about 5 foods. Meats, pickles, cooked carrots, and of course my addiction to sunflower seed butter and honey.

I still wasn’t getting better. Or I would get a bit better, and then get worse again. Usually this coincided with a change in diet or treatment option, so I would get all hopeful for a week or two before my hopes were dashed again.

Even when I went full carnivore, it wasn’t even a week before I decided to try dairy again.

And guess what? Dairy and I are not friends. I mean, we are. Cheese is one of the most delicious foods on God’s green earth. But dairy + me = inflammation all the livelong day.

So last week, roughly 9 months into my carnivore journey, I quit dairy again.

And this week, roughly 9 days later, my health has improved so quickly that I have whiplash.

Is it perfect? No. There’s still a “3 steps forward 1 step back” theme going on. But the three steps forward, well, they are biiiiiiig steps.

Magic bullet? Maybe not. It sure feels like one.

Even after years of experimenting and months of dialing in something that works, those gains come hard and they come fast.

I’ll take it.



*That’s code for “fed the bacteria colony that has a permanent resident card in my left nostril.” And yes I’m serious about the left nostril part, that’s not just poetic license.

I quit dairy and my menstrual cramps are gone again

Forgive me, this entire week has been a learning lesson in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” leading to a bunch of addle-headed evenings. I haven’t been giving my best to this blog, because right now I don’t have my best to give.

One of the reasons for that is the lovely, ever present PMS. All my ladies know what I’m talking about. My astute gentlemen probably track this in their female bosses and coworkers so they know when to get out of the way.

Anyway, back when I was eating vegetables but no grains, sugar, or dairy, I didn’t have any menstrual cramps. I still got hormonal and moody around my period (I doubt there is any way around that), but my period itself was not painful. That was nice.

Then, I went keto, and lost my period altogether. Keto may not stress your body out, but it did mine. My advice for you is to find out what things unduly stress you body, and then don’t do those things.

After my keto experiment, I went full carnivore, with dairy. I thought I could get away with dairy, I really could. And for a while I truly thought that dairy was helping.

I was wrong. Dairy and I do not get along. As my systemic inflammation rose, my menstrual cramps came back–and it seemed like they were getting progressively worse each month.

Last Monday I cut out dairy again as part of the disastrous breakfast experiment. This weekend, not even a full week later, I’m experiencing no cramping.

There’s a lot of work to be done on the systemic inflammation that’s built up over the last 9 months, but if I can see this much improvement in less than a week, I know I’m on the right track.

A few of my friends have had horrific experiences with menstrual cramps, and they eat high-grain and high-dairy diets. If you eat foods that are known to cause inflammation, I encourage you to explore low-inflammation diets like autoimmune paleo, low carb/high fat (LCHF), or going full carnivore, to see how decreased inflammation can have an effect on your periods.

It doesn’t have to be bad, I promise.

It’s self-experiment time! Changing my eating window

For years, I’ve naturally gravitated to the French-style dinner. It has been normal for me to eat my evening meal at 8:00 pm–or sometimes even later–since I started managing my own meals.

That’s over a decade, if you’re counting.

As I’ve started to put together the parallels between my physicality and my personality, I’ve noticed that one of my less-helpful habits is my tendency to start slow and build to a huge frenzy of work under pressure.

This is probably a great structure for a novel, but my daily life doesn’t need that type of stress.

So I’m changing the way I eat.

Instead of eating no breakfast, a decent lunch, and a huge dinner, I’m eating a legit breakfast, and a big lunch. No dinner. (I’m also deliberately doing some intermittent fasting because I need to lose some fat.) All completely carnivorous, of course.

This means that not only can I not lollygag in bed before work, because I need to eat breakfast, my guts get a nice long break overnight to rest and heal. Supposedly we lose fat in our sleep, too, and I’m hoping that being nice and fasted during a nice, long, uninterrupted sleep will help with that.

Demolishing the food bad habit and the lay-in-bed bad habit (oh I didn’t mention that one?) in one fell swoop. I stopped eating cheese, too.

So far so good, with the exception of some heartburn at about hour 6 of digestion for both breakfast and lunch. Hopefully that will go away as my body adjusts to its new digesting times; if it doesn’t I’ll definitely have to reassess. Heartburn is no bueno.

I’m giving this a one-week trial period.


Update: This experiment ended after 5 days. Not worth it. 

Giving up cheese was a good call, though.

Appreciation post

Lately I’ve noticed some sour thoughts sprout up in my mind.

“I hate people.”

“Why do I do this? It’s absurd.”

“Coffee tables are stupid and ugly.”

It’s easy to get caught up in a spiral of negativity. I’ve noticed myself doing so more and more.

This is not the life I want to live.

So to counteract, I’m going to appreciate some things:



How can you forget how delicious steak is? Apparently I can. I made myself steak tonight for the first time in many months. It was delicious. I’m partial to NY Strips, because I like the fat/lean ratio.

(Don’t ask me about my cast iron pan, though. They come with a learning curve that I haven’t quite mastered.)


Jordan B Peterson

Our favorite Canadian professor absolutely owned his recent interview with Channel 4 News.

Talk about the IQ/communication gap in action. Obviously she’s not dumb, but she paddles around in the shallow pool of word-thinking while Peterson is plying her with logical arguments and abstract reasoning.

Even if you know Peterson’s arguments front and back, it’s worth watching his delivery. Unflappable, friendly, on the offense. Beautiful. I aspire to this level of mastery.



My recent foray into the needle arts has reminded me about the crack-level addiction that comes with embroidery floss colors. You go to the fabric store, and stand before an entire wall of pure, unadulterated color. And usually it’s in gradients, gradually morphing in hue and shade. I want them all.


The Donald Trump chia head that is sprouting in my dining nook

One of the delightful parts of moving is finding all sorts of things, packing them, and then finding them again when you unpack. I had totally forgotten about the Donald Trump chia head that I bought sometime in 2016 but had never sprouted.

Our God Emperor deserves the best of chia hair. I’ll post a photo when it’s sprouted.

World Carnivore Month

It’s 2018!

You know what that means? (Of course you do, you read the title of this post.)

It’s WORLD CARNIVORE MONTH, which is conveniently timed to coincide with both the new year’s resolution crowd and with #veganuary.

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather spend the month eating steak than raw carrots.

Most people think that eating only meat is extremely weird (which, yes it is) and/or potentially unhealthy (I disagree). If you’re one of the intrepid few who is doing some research before diving in, here are some quick resources for you.

Disclaimer: I’m biased, as my health has improved dramatically after becoming a strict carnivore.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you poop?

Yes, all of us poop. I myself have gone from nothing but off-the-charts urgency to fairly civilized, almost gentlemanly poops. (FYI, I have a digestive-themed autoimmune illness.) Others have had their constipation relieved. It varies, but the general consensus is “no pooping problems, other than a smaller volume of waste.”

What about scurvy?

I’ve never heard of a case of scurvy amongst the zero carb crowd. Even those who have been eating nothing but meat for 10 or 20 years are scurvy-free. It turns out that vitamin C and glucose share similar molecular structures, so if one is not digesting glucose, one can be super-efficient digesting vitamin C (and there is vitamin C in meat, believe it or not). This topic is discussed more during Shawn Baker’s appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast.

Isn’t it expensive?

It can be, if you eat nothing but wagyu tenderloin (although I wouldn’t recommend that because the tenderloin doesn’t have much fat). Typically I spend between $10 and $15 per day on food. I’ll eat a 2 or 3 lb meatloaf, plus some cheese, coffee, and maybe a little butter.

How do you get all the nutrients you need?

Easy, through beef. I eat plants like everybody else…they’re just pre-digested. 😉

Do I have to eat grassfed?

Nope! Any meat is fine.

I don’t eat many carbs…how is that different?

It’s incredibly different, believe it or not. My journey to carnivory started when I was following a ketogenic diet last year. I lost weight, sure, but my body was stressed out and my digestive system was not improving. Switching to “zero” carbs has made a world of difference.

How hard is it to get started?

Functionally, it’s pretty easy: just eat meat (and drink water). You’ll go through a period of adaption, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. I won’t lie, the adaption period is not always fun–when I first detoxed from gluten I was a raging bitch for 2 weeks–but it doesn’t last forever. Your hunger signals will change, you may experience withdrawl-like symptoms from gluten or sugar, and you’ll probably get “keto breath,” which is a sickly sweet smelling byproduct that means your body is adapting to running on fat instead of sugar. Keep eating meat, drink lots of water, take it easy on exercise, get lots of sleep, and you’ll be fine.

What else do I need to know?

Well…there’s lots to find out and lots that’s still unknown. This diet takes mental fortitude to follow, because it goes against socially-acceptable diets and it feels like a risk from the outside. I suspect that’s the reason that carnivory and bitcoin are so closely linked.

But you never really know until you try! I encourage you to take advantage of World Carnivore Month. Eat only meat for 30 days and see how you feel. Don’t rely on what other people (“experts”) say you should be feeling–feel it for yourself and then decide.

Other resources

Happy (meat) eating!

If you’re gonna eat meat, make sure to eat the fat

Today I discovered that the butcher near my parents house clocks their “lean” ground beef at 88/12. That’s 88% muscle, 12% fat.

Their “extra lean” is even beyond that.

Considering that most supermarket lean ground beef is 80/20, this was a surprise. Supermarket extra lean (or “diet” as I’ve seen recently) clocks in at 85/15.

The butcher’s version of “lean” is leaner than the supermarket’s version of “extra lean.”

Funny, that.

But why does it matter?

It explains why I feel less healthy when I visit my parents.

Not enough fat.

Since I’m a strict(ish) carnivore, I get all of my nutrition and energy from meat and fat. Most of the meat I eat these days is ground beef or pork (easier on the gut than steak) without much added fat–usually it doesn’t need it.

No fat, no energy.

I’m working on a plan to supplement this shortfall until I can get my hands on some fattier cuts of meat.

Right now, that plan is butter.

Butter fixes everything.


This has been a public service announcement brought to you by people who don’t think fat is going to kill you.

Carnivore guy on Joe Rogan

More like podcast roulette. I’m posting this before I listen to it.

You know why?

Because Shawn Baker MD is one of the reasons I’m a carnivore, and is a tireless advocate of eating meat and how it’s better for you and me and you.

(The comments on the YouTube video area already trash, but what’s new? Angry vegans sure are a sight to behold.)

Anyway, Joe Rogan can be a good host sometimes, and I appreciate that’s he’s open-minded enough to have all sorts of different guests on his show. Sometimes I wish he would learn a little bit more from them, but that’s not up to me.

Shawn is stepping out into a pro-carnivore messaging campaign, and the JRE audience would be a decent place to start.

If you’re curious about becoming a strict carnivore (or “zero carb” as some prefer), it’s pretty great. If you happen to be anything like me, it’ll be way less stressful on your body than being in ketosis, and it’s way easier to follow. You just eat meat until you’re full. (And then maybe eat some more, if you’re in the early stages.)

Switching to a diet made up of animal products only has been the best decision I’ve made in the last 5 years; I’m so glad I did it.

And I’m glad people like Shawn are talking about it, because otherwise my autoimmune disease would be running my life.

100% Carnivore Meatloaf Recipe

Ok friends. This is the food that I’ve been subsisting on for most of the last month.

It’s not ribeye steaks or even beef roasts, although many carnivores will tell you that they subsist mainly on these things. I’ve found that my own personal leaky, scarred-up, overly bacteria infested gut likes ground meat much more than whole cuts.

Ground beef certainly isn’t as sexy as a good NY strip steak, but I’m more interested in “healing” than in sexy at this point.

Anyway, I finally hit on a good balance of fat/lean and beef/non-beef that doesn’t make my ankles swell and that’s versatile enough to eat for lunch and dinner and sometimes breakfast.

This meatloaf is good both hot and cold, and it’s also delicious if you shingle bacon over the top of it before you cook it. When I’m in a permanent dwelling, I’ll cook up a few batches in 11×13″ pans. When I’m in an Airbnb, I’ll grab some disposable aluminum roasting pans and line them with foil (so they can be reused).

Carnivore Meatloaf

Serves 1, usually a day’s worth of eating


2 pounds 80/20 ground beef

1 pound 80/20 ground pork

Salt to taste (I like Hawaiian red sea salt the best because it brings out the pork flavor, but use whatever you have on hand)


Preheat the oven to 425.

Put ground beef into your baking dish. Sprinkle with salt. I usually use about a tablespoon of “large grain” salt and half that of fine grain salt, but use however much you like. Some people don’t even use salt. I am not one of those people.

Knead your beef and salt together. Then, add the pork and knead into the beef so the whole thing becomes “berk” or “poef.”

Smash your mixture into the bottom of the pan so that the meat wad fills all the corners and is relatively flat.

Place in the oven. Cook for ~30 minutes or until the juices run clear out of the center. There will be a swimming pool of fat and juices around the meat. It will also shrink out of the corners.

When you take it out of the oven, use a knife to cut into pieces to make meatloaf bars. These are super-easy to travel with.

Let your meatloaf cool in its own fat. It’ll soak up some of it, which will make a richer and more filling eating experience later.

Chow down cold or hot.


“It’s like being friends with a werewolf”

Okay, friends:

Time for a carnivore update.

I have been a bad NEQUALSMANY participant, because I quit tracking sometime in late September. There have been many things that have happened since then (#NoRestForTheWicked), most of them good, some of them frustrating, but all of them lifechanging — a new dawn is upon us and I AM SO EXCITED.

The good news is that I’m still 100% zero carb. No vegetables (save coffee, I’m back on coffee, I can’t quit coffee for more than a month I love it so) since May — that’s five months, for those of you counting at home — and only animal products have gone through my digestive system. My diet has done from a variety of steaks, hamburgers, fish, shrimp, pulled pork and bacon to…ground beef bricks. Usually flavored with some ground pork and usually with a side of raw-milk cheese, but ground beef bricks just the same. This is partly a byproduct of being busy, but also because I’ve started to tweak the meat part of my diet.

I do best on mostly ruminant — beef is my favorite — rather than pork or chicken. Sometimes when I forget to pack a lunch, I’ll use the salad bar at work to stock up on grilled chicken, and I am reliably bloated at the end of the day, without fail. Crazy, right?

That doesn’t happen with beef, so beef it is.

The other thing I’ve done is switched to mostly raw-milk cheddar cheese as far as my dairy goes. To be a good NEQUALSMANY participant, I should have given up dairy completely, but too bad I noticed that the right amount of cheese makes my stool quality jump up an entire notch on the Bristol Stool Scale.

As in, from December 2016 until October 2017, I was a solid 7 on the scale. That’s the worst score, for those of you keeping track at home. Carnivory and raw-milk cheese has boosted me to a solid 5. This week, when I’ve been full of stress/not sleeping well with the receipts to show for it in the form of psoriasis, I have still managed to have multiple days IN A ROW with only Bristol 5 stools, which would have been completely inconceivable even two months ago.


For someone who’s been struggling with days upon days of horrible poops, having multiple days in a row showing PROGRESS toward PERFECTION in DEFECATION is a dream come true. No, actually, it’s better than that — because nobody ever visualizes perfect poops. Maybe that’s part of the problem.

Nevertheless: eat yer meat, kids.

Dairy can stay too, as far as I’m concerned.

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