reality is weirder than you think

Tag: zero carb (page 2 of 2)

Image of the week: Eat Your Meat edition

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about carnivory. (Mostly because I don’t want to wax poetic about poop on this blog but that’s another story for another day.)

One of the lines of argument that carnivores use against the constant cries that “you simply HAVE to eat vegetables!” is the anatomy argument. Where ruminants have 27 thousand different stomachs to digest all that grass, humans have one. Much like carnivores, we also have sharp teeth and high acid content in our stomachs.

There are lots of studies and arguments and graphs that show why humans are built more like carnivores than they are like herbivores. There’s plenty of anecdotal data (if you’ve ever read a vegan forum) of people’s digestive systems getting completely wrecked by a vegan diet. Again, statistics and numbers and arguments.

Then, there’s this:

A succinct argument in meme form. Boom, done. QED.

I can’t stop laughing.


On the personal front, switching to an all animal product diet has been one of the best decisions that I’ve made in recent years. I haven’t eaten a plant-based product for five months, and while healing is slow, it’s been fairly steady.

As I’ve searched for “natural” methods to control my autoimmune illness, I’ve focused (perhaps overly so) on diet. After a while, I felt like I could blame everything on what I ate. Taking a whole host of variables out of my diet has revealed how much variability in symptoms has absolutely nothing to do with what I eat. In fact, the lack of margin with food highlights just how much stress or lack of sleep impacts my health. I’m still terrible at exercising regularly, but I’m seeing a few glimmers of how exercise could provide some immediate, direct impacts.

My only diet-related issue is that I keep eating cheese. I have found that raw-milk cheddar is the best option, and eaten only in conjunction with meat. Otherwise, it doesn’t provide enough “matter” for my digestive system to tackle seriously.

Overall, though, no regrets. I may just be able to make it work without drugs. And that, my friends, I never thought that I could say.

The Bitcoin Carnivores

For those of us who have “taken the red pill,” we know that one area of skepticism leads to another, which leads to another, which…

Jordan Pearson of Vice’s Motherboard is just now learning that lesson. He wrote an article on the circle of Carnivores within the Bitcoin sphere, which is significantly large enough to attract attention.

For the Bitcoin carnivore, there is a kind of metaphysical parallel between decentralized digital ledgers and an imagined idea of what our ancestors ate, and by extension, how they lived. Politics, food, and money—it’s all connected.

“The 20th century was disastrous for human health and wealth, and the rise of central banking and industrial food was clearly a major reason why,” Michael Goldstein, founder of the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute and a vocal Bitcoin carnivore, wrote me in an email. “Bitcoin is a revolt against fiat money, and an all-meat diet is a revolt against fiat food.”

The implication of “fiat” is that modern money and modern foods are both artificial, and Bitcoin carnivorism supposedly solves this problem. Goldstein has been a dedicated carnivore since 2015, he told me, and eats “only from the animal kingdom, and mostly fat.” When I asked him to spell out the apparent Bitcoin-carnivory-libertarianism trifecta at play, Goldstein responded, “Once you put on the They Live glasses, you can’t take them off,” referring to the 1988 film in which a drifter finds a pair of sunglasses that when worn reveal the world is controlled by evil aliens.

It seems self-evident to me now, but yes — of course — everything is connected. Parallels systems exist in many different aspects of human activity. And yes, the people who self-select to think outside the system, and even live outside the system, are generally intelligent enough to apply their insights to multiple domains.

I love the reference to They Live, seeing how there’s a screenshot from the movie as one of my header images.

Speaking of self-selection, the author unwittingly reinforces the whole point of off-road thinking with this snide aside from the mainstream nutrition community:

(I reached out to a couple of well-known nutritionists for this article. One responded in an email, saying that the diet is “too ridiculous to be covered.” Another wrote, “Yet another extreme diet. Sigh.”)

“Health care professionals” with the RD or RDN credentialed had their education bought and paid for by the USDA and big-Ag. The people who self-select for the dietetics credentialling process tend to be compliant and incurious; perfect mouthpieces for the establishment’s current system of “fiat food.”

And you can’t expect people of the system to be able to comprehend, let alone have a valid opinion on, a new way of doing things. Especially when their livelihoods depend on people being confused about what to eat — which carnivores are decidedly not.

Actually, a Bitcoin-level carnivore getting trapped in the same room as a dietitian could be the start of a really great comedy sketch. The IQ differential between the two would be so astronomical that communication would be nearly impossible, and there’d be plenty of predator/prey punnage to draw on.

Because you’ll (almost) never find a dietitan with this mindset:

“If someone is willing to say, ‘Oh hey, I’m into this thing that 90 percent of everyone says is dead wrong,’ then you’ve probably got yourself both a cryptocurrency fan and an all-meat dieter”

Personally, I haven’t stepped into the Bitcoin world yet, but I’m hoping to do so in the near future.

I miss coffee

Aside from my occasional dreams of layer cakes, the only plant-based food I really miss is coffee.

Not because I crave it, or need the zing of caffeine running through my veins, but because I love the smell, the taste, the body of it.

Trying out different roasts, different regions, different roasters, brewing methods, coffee shops. All those little details so satisfying to my little nerd heart.

That small morning ritual, the pungent smell of ground coffee beans wafting “good morning” into the air.

The ease of saying “let’s meet for coffee” and then actually ordering coffee.

Wrapping my fingers around a mug, feeling its weight in my hands.

Saying hello to my coffee dragon after the first few sips each morning.

No really, I have a coffee dragon.

Coffee dragon, I miss you too.

Salad Days

It’s one of those days. You know what I mean. It wasn’t a bad day, but nothing went quite as planned. I’m a little discombobulated and a lot tired, sitting at my desk. It’s 11:52 pm. I’m eating prosciutto out of the carton and have no idea what to write.

Solution: I’ll name this post “salad days,” after the chapters in L.M. Montgomery books in which she strung together a bunch of journal entries from one of her heroines in order to signify time passing and convey a lot of small, random life updates.

Without further ado:

  • Today marks the end of my 3rd month eating only animal products. Moving forward, I need to continue to whittle out dairy and see what happens. Interesting side note: I had previously thought that I was eating too much fat in general, but it may be that I was eating too much cheese in general. Sad for me, because I love cheese, but probably good for my insides.
  • Not sure what day we’re on for the water-only washing method, but my hair is adapting nicely. I’ve been rinsing nearly every morning in the shower, and some days I can wear my hair down all day. The key is to comb out my hair every night before bed. I’m taking a page from someone on YouTube and bought some Orange Blossom Water (she used rosewater; I’m happy with the Orange Blossom because it has an element of bitterness to balance out the floral perfume) to spray on my hair and make it smell delicious. That’s one downside of not using haircare products: nothing goes in your hair to make it smell nice.
  • I’ve made steps toward a motivated mastermind group. Plans (real, live, executable plans) are in the works. This is probably why I didn’t sleep so well last night. My mind was too busy planning. In related news, sleep remains the most difficult thing to get in my quest for health.
  • This artwork for the making-of version of Taeyang’s White Night album:

N=Many is go!

It’s Day 2 of the NEqualsMany 90-day carnivore study. All across the world, nascent carnivores are weighing, eating, and logging their meat consumption. (I’m at 2.28 pounds for the day.)

The best part about a real-time web data collector is that there’s already data to share!

I quit dairy for this study, which is probably a good thing for my health in the long run, but it’s making me sad. Cheese is delicious, and so is butter.

Nevertheless, dairy is a confounding factor so we are supposed to minimize our consumption. Every little thing counts at this point.

This study is important!

Citizen-funded science

STAT News covers another instance of citizen-funded research, this one for a major kidney disorder:

Then, three years ago, the parents of a 1-year-old girl in Brazil with nephrotic syndrome reached out to Riella. The girl’s condition had failed to improve with conventional treatments. Her parents had read that modified diets had helped others, and wondered if their daughter’s disease might be related to food sensitivity. They asked a doctor in Brazil to guide her through a new diet.

Within two weeks, the girl’s kidneys all but stopped leaking protein, and she effectively went into remission. Her parents were ecstatic, but they also wanted the medical community to better understand the mechanisms of this intervention, in hopes that doctors would embrace it as a treatment.

They were prepared to anonymously fund a research trial, but they wanted it done quickly.

As in this summer.

And apparently, it’s really happening. Somehow, some way, a bunch of MDs, PhDs and RDs from Harvard/Brigham and Women’s Hospital are studying dietary effects on autoimmune disease. I’m a little shocked.

Though I’m less shocked after reading the family’s statement on the study’s website.

We believe that reaching the real cure can only be achieved through love, dedication, and pursuing the unknown with a true belief and faith. […]

Since we understood the Nephrotic Syndrome (FSGS) and how difficult it is to treat it, we started to focus on different approaches. In this way we received a gift when we realized that food is the basic building block of life,so we knew we had to pay attention in the deepest way possible to know what we are giving to our child in terms of a daily diet.

Understanding that relationship,we started to work on the right diet, which was key to improving our daughter’s condition.

The link between several autoimmune reactions such as the inflammatory condition that we see in some cases of Nephrotic Syndrome (FSGS) is related to food intolerance and allergies that were present in our own case and could be present in many other cases that are difficult to treat.

The Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free diet has changed our daughter’s life, reducing her proteinuria levels by almost 90% since she was diagnosed and giving us the ability to see all the changes, and allowing us to reduce the amount of daily drugs that we had administered for the prior 3 years, including the complete elimination of steroids.

Love, independent money, and sincere belief in the truth. Those three things are going to get us more usable data than the last 100 years of dietary studies combined.

As someone who has struggled with an autoimmune condition for most of her life, and who knows how much diet plays a role in how our bodies function, I see a vast swath light opening up over this field of research. So much of what we know about diet is shrouded in the dark, swirling clouds of political policy, lobbying, and corporate interest.

The USDA messes with our basic food guidelines. Big Sugar funds studies that somehow, and no one knows why, declare sugar innocent of all possible wrongdoing. And people everywhere are killing themselves unwittingly, because they trust the authorities in “Science.”

Knowing what I know about the gluten and casein proteins, I have no doubt that The Genie Study will be successful. I can only pray that it will open further avenues of investigation, and open more eyes in the Medical Establishment to the true utility and beauty of a good diet.

If you’re interested in this type of research, check out, because participating in citizen-sourced, citizen-funded research is fun.

We’re enrolling participants until August 12th!

Zero Carb, Day… what day are we on now?

Today’s post is mostly an excuse to look at this gorgeous photo of the spot prawns I ate for dinner. (What ho, is this Instagram now?)

These delicious babies were caught by my uncle in the ice-cold waters off the coast of Alaska, and grilled (much later) on his fancy grill. They’re coated in sea salt, and after ripping off their craggy shells, we dipped them in butter. These are some of the best prawns I’ve ever consumed; their flesh was almost butter on its own, with that echo of sweetness that only shellfish has.

The side dishes to this delicious feast were a slab of wild king salmon (again, caught by mine own uncle) and some New York strip steaks, lovingly reverse seared and surprisingly tender, if a little “furry.” You know that stage in cooking beef where somehow the fibers are rough instead of smooth? Instead of “melting in your mouth,” there’s a kind of furry texture on your tongue. I’ve had that happen in stews that I didn’t cook long enough, so I suspect it has something to do with proteins that have not fully denatured in the cooking process.

I’ve cooked a lot of steaks on my Zero Carb journey so far. Some have been quite successful, some less so. I’m training myself on the “poke it with your finger” method of determining doneness, which has consequently helped me explore what I like and dislike about variously-cooked types of steak. Overcooked steak is no bueno, no matter what, but overly-rare steak is, I’ve found, quite delicious served cold the next day.

My one foray into the reverse sear method (with a giant ribeye) did not go so well. The cooking method was interesting and I appreciated frontloading the wait time (with a reverse sear you don’t have to rest your steak before eating it since the juices were evenly distributed during the long, low portion of the cooking process) but take note: without a good thermometer it’s easy to overcook on this method, because you’re not babysitting a hot pan on the stove until the very end.

Also, unlike what seems like the entire cohort of the Zero Carb community, I’m not a huge fan of the ribeye.

As far as the rest of my Zero Carb journey, I eat entirely too much cheese and deal with some inflammation partially as a result of that (the other part I suspect is due to stress…which eating minimal carbohydrates won’t help reduce). But, my skin looks great and for the most part I’m alert and in a decent mood most of the time.

Still trying to quit coffee, but when your neurotic guts decide to wake you up multiple times during the night, thus disrupting any refreshing sleep cycle, it’s a little hard to say no to at least a little bit. I’ve whittled myself down to about 6 oz of cold brew per day, and try not to drink it if I don’t have to.

The one thing that I’ve noticed is the most major change in my body with Zero Carb is that there is very little “buffer” material anymore. When I’m hungry, I go from 0 to “deep wrenching intestinal hunger roar” in about 5 minutes, rather than feeling traditional hunger signals. Coffee effects me much more deeply, because I’m not consuming it with a bunch of other foodstuff that would slow down its diuretic effect.

The funniest thing (to me, anyway) about going Zero Carb is how much less anxious I am about mealtime, even at a restaurant. In the old days, when I was low-FODMAP or SCD or any other type of diet plan that involved eating only specific vegetables and avoiding “bad” carbohydrates, eating at restaurants was a stressful endeavor. Either you find a place with a menu that naturally dovetailed with the diet, or you had to try to explain what you could or could not eat to a kitchen staff who may or may not be invested in helping you out. (And to a lot of people, sweet potatoes totally don’t count as carbs.)

Now, I just waltz in and order my stack of 3 burger patties with cheese. No worries, no fuss, just meat please. The hardest part is convincing the cashier that yes, I really just want the beef patties.

If you’re interested in the Zero Carb life, there’s still time to join the group of 300+ who will participate in the first-ever study of the carnivore lifestyle. Check out more at

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