As a provider, I will experiment with myself before recommending things to my patients. It drives me nuts when a doctor says, “X is bad for you” but has never even experienced it. There are things I will judge ‘bad for you’ without experience, like smoking crack, but no one has ever supported crack as a health hack.
The reality is that your doctor uses more experienced based recommendations than research based one. I had a colleague of mine once get on my case due to his perceived dangers of CrossFit. He kept telling me that I would get injured. Over the next 2 months he blew his spine out doing yoga and broke his leg cycling. I told him he should do Crossfit, it’s safer.
With that said, If I’m recommending a type of workout, I want to try it first. If I’m not willing to try it and experience it, I’m not going to poo poo it. If I’m recommending a certain supplement, I’ve tried it first. And now I’m going to be doing it with a non-conventional diet. There seems to be a mantra that we eat a ‘plant-based’ diet. But plants are hard to grow year round. Could humans (at least myself) do well on an animal-based diet?
Traditionally I eat a paleo style diet that is fat favored. If you were to average out my macros over a week, it would be around a 55% fat, 30% protein, 15% carb, all around 2100 calories. I feel I have great personal results with this.
But I want to see the effects of what eating an animal based diet will look like for me. I feel too many people approach nutrition with a dogmatic attitude that there’s only 1 way to eat and if you don’t follow that way, you’re wrong, you’re unethical, and you’re going to create great devastation to those around you. If I start eating like this and I’m not able to take care of my family, my clients, or myself, I’ll jump ship quick.
With that said, I’m dedicating August to an animal based diet. It won’t be a pure carnivore diet as I plan to keep everything else around me pretty consistent to make sure the solid food is the overwhelming variable in this experiment. If I order a burger and some grilled onions are touching it, I’m not going to send it back. I won’t eat the toppings though. If we go to a friend’s house and they serve meat in some sauce, I’ll partake and be grateful. I’m not going to make my wife make an entirely different dinner either. I’ll just eat the meat. I don’t want this to be a burden on those around me.
I plan to keep my sleep routine the same, my workout routine the same, my social scene the same, my supplements the same, and other little routine items the same like having coffee and a protein shake after workouts (of course the protein is beef based). For snacks, I have CHOMPS snack sticks on hand.
I will track my food and macros not for something to aim for but just to collect data to see how many calories I actually get and what the macro ratios break down to.
Today, Day 1, I started with some lab work to get baselines and will repeat those markers at the end of the month on August 31. The markers I have chosen to get tested are: A1C, Insulin, Homocysteine, CRP, Testosterone, Vitamin D, and the NMR LipoProfile. I was fasted going into the labs but I had also worked out prior. I will repeat those same conditions when I retest.
The biggest cries against eating meat is that it supposedly increases cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and makes you fat. What do all of those ‘diseases’ have in common? Inflammation and insulin resistance so that’s why I chose those markers as starting points.
Other data points:
Medical Symptom/Toxicity Questionnaire. Baseline score is 8.
Body Fat %: 7.4 (Thanks for the measurement 5 Star Nutrition)
Basal Metabolic Rate: 1858 calories
Weight: 163.9 pounds
What do I hope to gain from this experiment? Maybe some more muscle and gain a bit of weight but honestly it’s just plain curiosity to what this style of eating will do to my cardiac markers, insulin markers, and inflammation markers. Maybe they are unknowingly high at the current moment and this will help. Maybe they are perfect and this will absolutely destroy them and I will have to work back to health.
What I really hope to unveil is that the human body is far more adaptable than we give it credit. Does a perfect diet exist? Maybe, but maybe it’s the innate genetic intelligence that possess the wisdom to adapt to external circumstances instead of a static code dependent on perfect factors to express optimally. Sit back, spectate, and feel free to participate with me.