Carnivore Experiment

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I’m going to be a guinea pig for Dave Feldman and Siobhan Huggins of cholesterolcode.com. I’m beginning a 6-week protocol Monday, January 21st. I will be eating steak only for 6 weeks and doing three phases two weeks each with water only, full caff coffee, then decaf only. We are testing for the effects of caffeine or components in coffee on triglycerides. So no fasting for me for 6 weeks. I’m going to miss it. If you’d like to follow my experiment I’m going to be detailing it here. No doubt Siobhan and Dave will be talking about it later as well. I will be doing many periodic blood tests at the local LabCorp for them and weighing and measuring all my food, everything I drink and all the salt that I take.
O_O

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February 1, 2019

I’m starting to feel so good on this strict carnivore diet, I have decided to continue with carnivore for an unspecified amount of time after this experiment. There will be a significant difference. I will be eating a proper carnivore diet which means head to toe and includes nutritious offal. I will eat all the animal things, insects too. Poultry, pork, beef, lamb, seafood and dairy will all be included. Also I will eat cured meats. BACON. Good quality sausages and hot dogs. One thing you’ll learn about me: I am NOT a rigid purist. IDGAF about nitrates or nitrates. If I did I would never have eaten celery.

If you do not know my history, I have done all steak before (30 days in 2017), and in 2015 I was strict carnivore for 7 months. I felt well then. I enjoyed the simplicity and lost 50 pounds on that 7-month stint of carnivore. I am certainly a different person now. This time, the strict carnivore feels very much like a fast, with some of the positive benefits of a fast. I am feeling euphoric most of the day, though not as intense as with a water fast. My body feels “light”, not sure how to explain that. In between meals I have no hunger or cravings. Z.E.R.O. Even on the Ketogenic diet, I crave certain vegetables or berries or certain tastes like sour or sweet. Not now. Food has truly become fuel. I eat when hungry and move on. I have emotionally forgotten the sensation of indulging in certain foods for pleasure.

I don’t think I mentioned that I did not weigh myself before I began this experiment. It wasn’t required by my citizen scientist friends Dave and Siobhan, so I did not. I despise the scale. DEXA scans every 4 months or so are fine, I am looking for any reduction of bodyfat or gain of lean mass. That’s all I care about. Total body weight is bullshit. It tells you NOTHING about body composition, so I avoid the standard scale. It can ruin my day. I won’t let it. I don’t own one.

January 27, 2019

Less than a week and I can have coffee again. I’m counting the days. Today I ate two pounds of ribeye. Most days this is what I have been averaging. According to my calculations, this is three times the amount of protein I need for the day. I follow Dr. Jason Fung’s recommendation of .6 grams protein per kilogram of bodyweight. HA! Not for this experiment. Below? A 16 ounce ribeye. Top photo? Currently using the MySugr app. Really easy to track with it. It can record photos, BG and ketones, take notes and be easily edited.

January 26, 2019

It was a great day today. I am noticing higher than normal waking ketones, 2.2 on average. Energy is good, mood is good. I am, however, not wanting to eat another steak. I am bored terribly for lack of variety. Mindfulness comes into play here. I need to carefully navigate through my day to avoid the many temptations. This experiment really feels like fasting because I am essentially fasting from most foods. Forget comfort foods too. I cannot even have any of my keto comfort foods at the moment. Time to learn better methods of managing stress. I did not realize just how much I turned to food until now. I mean sure, I have eaten keto comfort food with no regrets but this strict protocol I’m on allows no deviation whatsoever.

One of two ribeyes today, 14.3 ounces. Ate it with 3/4 tsp salt. I had to keep adding (and measuring) salt. I couldn’t believe it didn’t taste too salty to me!

January 25, 2019

Friday was a very good day. Woke up feeling as I do when fasting. Euphoric and positive, and a total body feeling of well being and wellness. I did my lift routine at the gym as usual. No records of my own broken today, but I am happy with completing my regular routine. Free weight leg press today in a progression: 500 x 10, 590 at 2 x 5, and 640 at 2 x 5. Had a 14-ounce ribeye at 1:30 pm, thought I wouldn’t be hungry again, then had a leaner 16 oz NY strip at 9:30 pm. Bought a special one! Dry aged 28 days and at $20 a pound I was hoping it was exceptional. It was (photo below). I ate half of it raw, dipped in my premeasured salt. Blood glucose continues to be unaffected after a meal. Testing every 30 minutes postprandial for two hours. Overall blood glucose is strangely up 10-20 points and holding since this overconsumption of meat began, but not going beyond 120 mg/dL. I am eating two to three times the amount of protein that I long ago calculated I need to maintain lean mass. Where does the rest of the protein go? Some excess will be burned as fuel. Some will be turned into glucose, but at what rate is unknown. I am following my hunger as instructed. Strange I am often hungry upon awakening, but not so much as to eat before lifting. Also never eat late at night like this. Again, I am supposed to eat if hungry, and this is the pattern lately: eating early, and one more time very late..

January 24, 2019

Busy day today with IDM clients leading educator groups. Started early at 8 am. By 930 I was hungry. Again, unusual for me to be hungry this early in the day. Had a “leaner” smaller ribeye, 6 oz at 9:30 in the morning. At 12:30 I ended up eating a full 16 oz ribeye. The last educator group at 6 pm, then not hungry until 930 pm, and had a smaller 7 oz steak. Eating patterns definitely interrupted, but eating when hungry has changed. Hungry much more often today. I do not normally eat that early, nor do I normally eat that late in the day. It will be interesting to see how I do on my lift day tomorrow. Below an example of how Siobhan and Dave request that photos of my fist are in the shot to show scale.

January 23, 2019

Again waking with a slight threat of a headache. I’m thinking lack of caffeine. Hungry at noon, I had a very fatty end of a ribeye. Feeling as if I need the fat for fuel more than the meat, I chose an 8-ounce end of one of my ribeyes and did the same for dinner. The dinner steak is in the photo below. I’ve been checking my blood glucose every half hour postprandial. For the most part, it has remained unchanged. Occasionally it drops by 5 to 10 points. Ketones are in the 2.0 range upon awakening and maintain a 3.0 range during the day. Eating the steak does not affect the ketone numbers. I did have an unexpected drop in energy today and felt unusually sleepy mid-afternoon. Maybe I relied on caffeine more than I realized, or maybe it’s an energy deficit. This is why I decided to up my fat again for dinner to see if it would help. It was a wise choice. I felt I had adequate energy for hours after my 6:30 pm dinner. I am not eating a set amount at all, or drinking a predetermined amount of water, or even using a preset amount of salt. I am consuming these things by following my hunger/thirst. I do miss eating other foods already, more than I miss coffee, and it’s only day 3. I miss vegetables of all things. I daydream about broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Otherwise I’m fine. So far.

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January 22, 2019

Woke with a slight headache. That could be the lack of caffeine. I am certain I was well hydrated. Also, my body is not used to an overabundance of protein. That could be contributing. I was hungry at 10 am and had a 7-ounce steak. I normally never eat breakfast or any meal that early. I lifted weights at 4 pm, then ate a 16-ounce steak at 8 pm. This is definitely what you would call “mindful” eating. I almost had to concentrate today to make sure I stayed water and steak only. I am measuring my salt intake too. I surprisingly added a half a teaspoon to my steak at 8 pm. And I wanted that much. It didn’t taste too salty to me at all. I find that amazing. I normally eat my steaks very rare, but these last two days were definitely blue rare. I lifted my normal routine at the gym, but only lifted 640 lbs on the free weight leg press. Only. Haha. Lately, I’ve been lifting 680. Feeling a bit less strong today. I don’t think it has anything to do with eating steak only, but who knows?

January 21,

First meal, that extra fatty ribeye. I had no trouble eating this at all. I am supposed to eat steak whenever I would like, to satiety. Restricting to steak-only feels very much like fasting. You have to be very mindful as you navigate through your day. The no coffee part makes it even more challenging. I miss my coffee, but so far, no detrimental effects. From Cholesterol Code, The Proposed Protocol: “all phases are ad libitum carnivore meaning eating when hungry until you are full. Not restricting calories, or intentionally eating above your normal intake. Just as much as you need. Don’t worry about macro ratios, just feel free to follow your hunger.”

January 21, 330 pm.

First Blood Draw
BASELINE 3:30 pm 1/21/2019. 
14 hours water fasted.
Phase 1 Carnivore Experiment
I made sure she had all six tests including the fasting insulin. I double checked her vials, her notes, her tags, and my list.
We had a party.
(Lab tech threw in a peace sign)
Of course I managed to tell her the whole story in 10 minutes. I gave her my IDMprogram.com card, my KetogenicForums.com / 2KetoDudes.com card, and my MinnesotaKetonians.com card and told her about the Keto MiniFest here on May 11th. I told her in detail about CholesterolCode.com and my steak-only carnivore experiment.
She’s diving head-first down the rabbit hole!

January 21, 3 pm

Poured another 25 ounce water bottle.

I’m off to LabCorp to have

  • Lipid Panel
  • NMR Lipoprofile
  • Insulin
  • Hs-CRP
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Complete Blood Count
First Lab Order

Ribeye with fat cap,
This will be the first meal of the day :

I unwrap my treasure.

January 21, 1 pm

It begins. Local butcher “hunted” down an extra fatty primal for me. When one came in, he gave me a call. Only charged me 2/3 the normal price because I left the fat cap on.

January 21, 8 am

I am using the mySugr app to record water, salt, steak, blood glucose, and ketones. Also the steak photos. I am paying the pro fee on the app so I can easily export data. All water and salt intake will be measured on this experiment. This morning I measured out 9 grams of salt, 3480 mg, about 1.5 teaspoons. It will be the only salt I use to supplement today or season my steaks. If I need more I will add it to my totals. I measured a quart of water after midnight last night, finished it this morning. Poured a 25 ounce water bottle. Recorded all of this in the mySugr app.

January 20, 2019

Just came from the pool. Swimming laps. 500 yards, I will eventually work up to 2000 yards twice a week. When I get this new schedule handled, I’m adding in a yoga session too.
Do I do this for “exercise to lose weight”???
Oh HELL no. CICO is a FAILED method of weight loss. Calories in calories out. I do these things because they build strength, endurance, and MUSCLE.
Today I began my swimming again. As I do with lifting, I did it fasted. It felt SO good to be in the pool again! A great way to work out the kinks after lifting. 500 yards took no time at all. It did not tax my energy whatsoever. It did cause my calves to threaten to cramp near the end, but 500 yards was my predetermined limit today anyways. For now, I plan to swim once a week. The pool is 50 yards one full lap, so 2000 yards will be 40 laps. I also lift twice a week. The swim days will not coincide with the lift days.
Today I swam 15 hours fasted. I swam 300 yards freestyle, including turns, then 100-yard breaststroke and 100 yards backstroke. It was minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and the pool felt a bit warm. Usually, it is cool, an optimal temperature for exercise. Got into a short convo with a fellow lap swimmer when we all took a break at the end of the lane for a minute. She complained about the cold outside and I pointed out it was a great opportunity to burn brown fat, and we were off in discussion.
Today I was anxious to get in all the flavors before a 6-week “steak fast”, so I had a treat at the local diner and had them serve me their everything omelet and three sides of bacon. I would have been happy with the bacon only. Then in the afternoon, I had a heavy cream latte. I baked a beautiful pork roast for dinner but wasn’t hungry. It ended up packaged into the freezer. I did indulge in some fresh raspberries and Italian sparkling water with flavor essence. I love the stuff but Siobhan, of www.CholesterolCode.com, said no special waters. We must recreate the original conditions of my 2017 30 day steak challenge. I’ll go into more detail on that, but in the meantime, it is chronicled here, with Dave Feldman, founder of The Cholesterol Code, in the www.2KetoDudes.com podcast here: http://www.2ketodudes.com/show.aspx?episode=70 and on their www.Ketogenicforums.com forum here: https://www.ketogenicforums.com/t/2-28-2017-brenda-donnas-30-day-steak-challenge/5191

January 18. 2019

In anticipation of my food variety deprivation, I have eaten a crazy combination of foods in the last 24 hours. First a sensible meal of lamb breast, fried shishito peppers and raspberries. Then I ventured into the cupboard and found soy butter and pili nuts. Today I was on the road for work and ate a package of precooked bacon while out. Ha! I’ll finish the day today with a cold ripe avocado with powdered kosher flaked salt and avocado oil. Heavy cream in my coffee came into the mix today. Maybe later, raspberries again. They’re my favorite. And greens. I always crave greens. I’ll probably miss greens and raspberries more than anything else these next 6 weeks..….