The Carnivore’s Dilemma – A Diet of Just Meats and Fats?

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Pemmican, grassfed beef and liver, pastured eggs, lime, shrimp, chicken

I eat a diet of meat, seafood, eggs, and animal fats. I don’t eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, or vegetable oils. I don’t eat grains. I am able to throw in some coffee, limes, and cane sugar with little problem. I have tried every possible version of a Primal type diet over the last six years until finally, in about 2009, I settled on a carnivorous diet.

I didn’t come about this decision intellectually, though I did read just about everything I could get my hands on about nutrition. I ended up here after years of experimentation in an effort to feel excellent.

In 2007, after having been Paleo for two years, I still had a good long list of symptoms I wanted to overcome, so I decided to try an elimination diet. Since I did’t eat grains, of course my base could not be rice, so I chose fermented raw dairy. I had eliminated dairy two years before, after going primal, but since I had never tried raw dairy and, being infatuated with Weston Price’s work, I thought I’d give it a shot.

For about six months or so I drank only raw dairy which I soured, unrefrigerated on the counter. I stayed on just that one food for so long because each time I tried adding something else, I didn’t feel as good. I was also reading the most underground, alternative nutrition info could find – all meat diets, raw meat diets, raw juice diets, raw dairy and blood diets. I had had enough of feeling like crap my whole life and so I explored everything.

At some point I added raw beef. No problems there so I’d found another food. I added other raw meats and sea foods and even included a little white rice and eventually eliminated dairy again. For the next year or so I ate a raw Primal diet and felt amazing! I was able to maintain the discipline to eat a strict diet of raw meat, raw seafood, raw eggs, and white rice because I felt so great. It just didn’t make any sense to add other foods which altered my mood, impaired my delicate digestion, and fired up my joint pain.

It was getting practically impossible to get back to a “normal” diet because I was feeling so spectacular. I took long hikes every day carrying my daughter on my back for miles. I slept only 6 hours a night and always felt rested. I was happy and smiling all the time. I was busy and productive. My skin was clear for the first time in 12 years. I quit needing lotion or deodorant. Why would I ever go back?

I probably wouldn’t have had I remained a single mom, but I met my boyfriend who ate cooked food and who thought it was kind of weird that I didn’t have a stove or oven in my apartment. He brought over a single burner for the counter and little by little I started eating cooked meat again. Temptations eventually won and I began trying other Primal based foods as well.

Very slowly I started to discover which particular foods bother me and why. While people are generally ready to accept that food affects our physical health, people often balk at the idea that our attitudes, intelligence, and motivation are affected by the same.

After years of careful observation I am certain that the food we put in our bodies is largely responsible for our moods, our mental disorders, our productivity, and satisfaction.

It really is this big.

Interestingly, I have determined that at least for myself a carnivorous diet is not perfect either.  A carnivorous diet comes with its own set of emotional complications, namely no emotions.

A carnivorous diet makes me kind of Vulcan.

Just about the only emotion I would feel is annoyance with all of the emotional people around me! But for me, life was interesting, exciting, and busy.

So I had a dilemma then: To sympathize or to roll my eyes.

But one particularly hot summer week I stumbled upon a solution to this dilemma: cane sugar does not bring about any of the symptoms I mention below and, in fact, makes me somewhat caring, silly, and mildly emotional. Sugar cured my apathy! (Not that I believe apathy is a thing to be cured. Weston Price noted repeatedly that primitive peoples did not “suffer” from a whole lot of emotion. When people died, loved ones did not dwell or freak out.)

Laugh all you want it won’t bother me too much and if it does I’ll just remove sugar for a couple of days and return to my usual poker face.

UPDATE, APRIL 2013: IN PLACE OF SUGAR I NOW EAT STARCH. I DO EVEN BETTER WITH STARCHES THAN I DID ON EITHER A LOW CARB DIET OR WITH A SUGAR. I HAVE BEEN EATING THIS WAY FOR THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF AND AM VERY PLEASED WITH THE RESULTS.

Author: Peggy the Primal Parent

The blog owner!

212 Comments

  1. Your story is so interesting! I had no idea we could be allergic to the foods that you are allergic to. Thank you for sharing with the world.

  2. Wow. You ate amazing for figuring that out!! I wouldn’t think you need to work out either so much bike riding that’s awesome!
    I always wonder when certain things bother me or not. The main thing I’ve noticed since goin primal is more energy and better digstion. Though I still have weird digestion sometimes but it’s hard to pinpoint what it is. Sometimes I think it’s when I have a lot of berries. I’ve told you before I’m nursing two kids so I don’t want to eliminate a bunch of stuff to figure it out cuz I gotta eat enough to make lots of milk.
    Anyway that was a really interesting post. Thanks for sharing a week in the life :)

  3. Wow, Peggy, I wish I had your discipline! Since becoming “Primal” (very loose for me, 80/20 for sure, probably more like 75/25, and full-fat dairy) a year ago, I have felt healthier and shed some fat. The things I struggle with are emotional and hormonal and the idea of any kind of elimination is overwhelming. As you mentioned the difficulties of just adding a boyfriend in the mix, I have my hubs and four kids to contend with and they balk at the tinest changes I try to make. In fairness to my kids, they are pretty willing to go with my flow, it’s the husband that throws a fit.

    • It’s a lot harder to be strict with yourself when you’re tempted by other people’s choices, that’s for sure. While I do have huge discipline I have weak moments too! It gets easier, though, to be more strict the more strict you are. A diet that is easy on your body is easy on your mind. They just kind of work together.

  4. Thanks for this post, I was so looking forward to it! I’m currently in the stages of figuring out what exactly I’m “allergic” to. I like how you said “but what does a diagnosis matter really?” I feel the exact same way…if a food makes me feel crappy, I stop eating it. Whats the point? I don’t need a doctor to tell me whats good or whats bad for me. I’m not sure I could do raw meat, its the consistency that I can do. Raw fish I don’t mind at all. My body definately doesn’t handle sugar well, and I’m very lactose intolerant.
    Knowing what you eat on a daily basis is SUPER helpful! Now I have some awesome guidelines on what to work on! Thanks so much!

  5. This is awesome! I’ve experienced so much of the same well being in being Primal. And the few cheats have made it very apparent how certain foods affect me. What I love about this article is that it’s easily digestible to pass on (pun intended). I have 2 folks dear to me whose mental state is never great. Ima forwarding this on. Thanks for all you do Peggy (yeah…I’m blogger-crushing).

  6. Excellent story. Thanks for sharing. It’s amazing the journey one must take to learn the truth about one’s own health.

    Through research and personal experience I have come to most of the same conclusions as you. I am mostly Paleo/Primal in my eating but am still working to nail down what foods are best for me personally. Your story is encouraging.

    If you have not already come across it, Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride published a book “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” which, as the title indicates, provides a lot of explanation and support for the connection between our diet and our psychological states.

    Cheers

  7. How did you figure out you were allergic to these various foods? When you did elimination did you try to subsist on one thing at a time? Say fruit for the whole Day/week? I’m trying the fodmaps to figure out what the heck keeps causing my stomach discomfort.

    • For the specific allergies I had IgG testing done with my Naturopathic doctor. As far as pinning down symptoms, though, I’ve kept food diaries literally for years. And yes, I will add one food in at a time and check out how I feel for a few days. It can be pretty obvious when your diet is simple and is one on which you feel quite perfect from the beginning. I don’t suspect this would work to well, though, if you didn’t feel great from the beginning.

  8. I love reading about your journey. I am sending this to my husband because he will find it equally fascinating!

  9. Wow! You are intolerant of/allergic to more foods than me, I didn’t think that was possible! Thanks for sharing your story. It always feels good to know there are others like me out there! I eat mostly paleo w some soaked millet/quinoa and can tolerate small servings of low sugar fruit. No dairy for me but ghee is okay. Over the process of working w a ND the past year and a half, I have discovered that I’m sub clinically hypothyroid (symptoms but lab scores in “normal” ranges) with adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance, and lead/mercury poisoning. I’m chelating the metals right now and am hoping it heals my gut. But when it comes down to it, I don’t care what I eat as long as I feel good. I’m glad you have figured out what works for you.

  10. Very interesting peek into your life and diet. It all sounds delicious to me. Out of curiosity, what do you do for work? Do you have to sit all day?

  11. I find this fascinating. We started the GAPS diet in February, and I felt absolutely terrible on it for the first 3-4 months, until my naturopath had me take a metabolic typing test and we figured out I needed massive amounts of fat and protein and almost no carbs. Now, I feel like I *can* feel good, IF I eat carefully. It’s a relief to me! I much prefer the outlook of the primal community to the attitude of the GAPS community, though the diet is so similar – primals tend to be happy to have found a way to feel good. GAPS people tend to be at their wit’s end and furious that it has come to this. Of course those are generalities. ;)

    My question is this though: do you worry about nutrient deficiency since you’re not eating veggies? Veggies do not work well for me either. I’m currently pregnant and eating liver regularly and my body seems to LOVE nettle infusion, both of which my midwife is comfortable with me using to replace a prenatal vitamin (which I cannot tolerate because of the iron content), but I still wonder if I’m getting enough nutrients.

    I also notice that if I eat no fruit/starches, I have no cravings. But as soon as I start again, oh man! The cravings get intense!

    • That’s an interesting comparison but looking at the detailed list of foods to avoid, I can see how it would be frustrating.

      I don’t worry about nutrient deficiencies. I eat lots of special foods like bone broths, shellfish, liver, kidney, and quite a variety of fishes, meats, and fats. When I first started this, I was worried about it but after doing it for so long it’s not so much of a concern. I experience the worst nutrient deficiencies when I eat foods which compromise my digestion.

  12. This is so fascinating to me. I am literally only a week into eating low carb. I can’t say I’m primal yet, because I’m just learning what that means. I totally agree that food effects our moods. For the first few days I felt great, but today I’ve had muscle and joint aches, and that has made me really grumpy. I think I’ve been eating too many egg yolks, so I’m backing off for a few days and seeing how that feels. I do think avoiding sugar and grains is hugely beneficial. I have osteoarthritis throughout my body and need a diet that is as low inflammatory as possible- so I’ll be experimenting with food too.

  13. What a brilliant blog Peggy! I live in London and have been trying to follow a weston-price-ish diet since reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration ( ordering raw butter from france, going to farmers markets for milk) I found your thoughts on how foods influence personality really interesting – it’s something I seem to be reading about more and more. I look forward to your next blog! x

  14. Thanks for the post and detailing out your diet was probably not an easy thing to make public.
    I commend you on your determination for sure. For me cutting out dairy and grains was a huge deal and it has impacted my life pretty significantly. I’ve also read GAPS and found it to be a brilliant book that finally explained my digestion issues.

    I’m still having some issues with fatigue and considering that I get 8 hrs sleep I think it could be food related, or possibly hormone related. Now I just have to decide if I want to bite the bullet and pay for a homeopathic dr visit to really find out.

    Also I think it is great that you can get by without using a car. I imagine in the winter time you have to drive?

    • It can be a little scary to get so naked, but I just don’t think about it. I am quite certain that this info will help so many people who search all over the internet for something that makes sense. I just think about that and then lay it all out there.

      I ride my bike up until about January here in Colorado. I actually have a snow tire so sometimes I’ll ride in snowstorms. My boyfriend has a car though so when we need it, it’s there, and when we want to go on trips, it’s there. We’re responsible driver; we only drive when we need to. :)

  15. Your articles are always great, and you don’t hold anything back (vodka and soda water;) ) which is so helpful for everyone else. I think that when we do give into things sparingly, it doesn’t even have to be a “cheat.” When you take such good care of yourself, good food, good sleep hygeine, good emotional state, low stress, having a glass of vodka, or some chocolate ice cream (or a vodka and ice cream shake…….. :D ) is nothing your body can’t handle. And you can enjoy it guilt free as an extroidinary occasion.

    I too was eager to see what your diet looked like, when I first saw that you didn’t eat nuts or vegetables. While I have always loved my veggies, I find that I am often left bloated, have heartburn and don’t have that great energy you expect to have from eating such colourful foods. It was a puzzle, and if you have any articles or books that were helpful to you, please post them. In the meantime, I have just naturally gravitated towards a more canivorous primal diet, With fat being my main staple, followed by meat, offal, and some veggies. I rarely eat fruit, though I have no problem with most of them (bananas and pineapple are a no go for me) I just don’t like too many sweet things. I eat a lot of pemmican, now that I know how to make it ;) Thanks for that too Peggy. You’re spectacular!

    • Thanks Grainne for the kind words. And I will amend this post with some extra resources in a few days. I really wanted to do that but I’ve been wildly busy. Thankfully, I can focus on a few other things for a week while your pemmican guest post takes the stage. Be sure to drop by for comments!

  16. I love your blog! This is probably the most intriguing and fascinating post that I’ve read in a while. Thank you! You know have a new reader in me!

    I do not have many issues anymore. My weight and health are in check (started with Atkins and now I am mostly Paleo/Primal except for a thing here and there [real beer, not the mass produced crap]). I have no issues with “will power” as I’ve learned to be responsible for my actions (meaning, I learned that I could not blame anyone but myself for what went into my mouth).

    Thank you for this!

  17. Thank you for foraging so bravely into this new world. You’ve inspired me to analyze my own eating habits in the effort to beat PCOS entirely.

    One question: can you eat plain Greek yogurt?

  18. Interesting…. thanks for sharing…
    I’m eating a ton of raw goat milk kefir, butter and raw goat cheese now, it goes pretty good i think, i want to experiment soon with adding some grasfed beef and fish and leaving the dairy out… see if i feel anything different! Greetz!!

  19. Interesting…. thanks for sharing…
    I’m eating a ton of raw goat milk kefir, butter and raw goat cheese now, it goes pretty good i think, i want to experiment soon with adding some grasfed beef and fish and leaving the dairy out… see if i feel anything different! Greetz!!

  20. Hi Peggy!

    Im 21 and used to be depressed. Ive become better but I still dont feel as good as I hope to become. I sometimes feel strong anguish and sadness. Sometimes even thoughts about suicide if something goes wrong. But those are just thoughts these days, not wishes.

    My question is if you think becoming less emotional by eating certain foods would help?

    I too feel bad if I eat fruit or nuts and other natural healthy stuff. Im sensitive to many things.

    Thanks for a great blog. Take care!

    • I am certain it would help, Erik. My depression used to be just as severe, if not worse. The thing is, I have learned to be very careful about what I eat in order to feel great. I have known others who have depression and panic attacks who ate paleo but did so about 80/20 and they never got well. Some people are easy cases and some people aren’t. Figure out which you are, accept it, and then go with it.

  21. I went in to my (fabulous) doctor earlier this week, frustrated by the constant elimination diets I have to do and the huge amount of carb restriction I need to feel good, and said “It’s like even diabetics have an easier time with food than I do!” And she said, “Yep.” I think this extreme food sensitivity thing may have to do with PCOS. Just another gift it bestows upon you.

    But yes, I agree with the above comments – another great post! I’m so glad I’m not alone in my carnivory… Do get a lot of questions about my bowels though, which I think might be a tad invasive. :)

  22. Hi Peggy!

    I’m the spanish girl with acne and PCOS who commented a couple of weeks ago. After reading your post I decided to try a zero carb diet combined with intermittent fasting, in order to try to clear my skin and feel better. And well, two weeks after starting the diet I am ALMOST CLEAR. So, so unbelievable. You don’t know how big is that for me. I had been trying with paleo diet for A YEAR with little or no improvement in my skin condition.

    You know, I had always read these stories about people getting magically clear one way or another, and for me It just wasn’t happening. I was asking so desperately for my little miracle… and two weeks ago, I stumbled upon your post through Mark’s Daily Apple, I read it and I just thought “everything is going to be fine”.

    At the moment I’m having no troubles with ZC diet. Not constipation at all (fat is great for that) and not insomnia, although I do need less sleep. My mood is so great, I’m completely free of anxiety and cravings and I’m just peaceful and happy. I’m also trying to exercise, have a lot of sun and enjoy life.

    I’m eating lots of pastured eggs, liver, seafood, meat and fish. I’m also eating raw cheese, heavy cream, organic butter and some yogurts (but only the cheese is raw, I’m afraid). I’m supplementing with magnesium, vit C and cold liver oil, and planning to get a good multi. I don’t know if I will continue eating this way my whole life, since I do miss veggies and I think I will try to include them again when I get clear. But, as you said, I want to be healthy and I will change my diet and lifestyle until I get it. No matter what is needed to be done, I’m going to do it.

    I hope things will continue this way, and I just wanted to THANK YOU so much. I don’t know if I would have tried ZC if I hadn’t read your post, but I do know it arrived in a moment of my life that I was so hopeless and desperate, and so needed for my miracle. Acne has been my curse since I was 12, and I’m 26 now.

    You will never know how thankful I am. I really have no words. Keep on being so brave and doing things your very own way. You are truly amazing.

    • Reading that brought tears to my eyes, Marina. I am so unbelievably happy that I am able to pass this on . I know exactly how you must feel.

      I spent the same number of years trying everything, every supplement, every diet, every holistic and conventional approach – nothing.

      I was so hopeful when I started the Paleo diet. I read Loren Cordain’s paper about the absence of acne in uncivilized peoples and it made so much sense. I totally quit processed foods and it didn’t make a damn bit of difference. I kind of gave up on the acne – thinking I was plagued to be different – but I couldn’t give up on the digestion. Bad digestion is distracting and noisy and itchy and irritating. It was through the desire to not notice my belly that I was blessed with clear skin. (By the way, there is a connection to digestion and acne but it is not bi-conditional. If I have acne, my digestion is undoubtedly messed up, but if my digestion is messed up, I may not necessarily have acne. Processed meats mess up my digestion but they do not cause me acne. Peanuts majorly mess up my digestion but also do not affect my skin terribly. Just had to throw that out there.)

      Please keep me posted, Marina.

    • I have had a very similar problem to Marina since I was 12 — horrid cystic acne that no doctor could cure, though it was brought under control (but not completely gone) with birth control pills and long-term antibiotic use. I was raised vegetarian, and ate mostly carbs growing up — my mother worked very hard to feed my brother and me sufficient protein. I spoke with my mother a few weeks ago, and she reminded me that I was very colicky and had multiple digestive problems as a baby, and some of her attempts to help me involved feeding me only starches. Not surprisingly, this never helped! None of her attempts ever included meat, so I imagine I developed insulin resistance and hormone imbalances fairly early in life. I never had a regular cycle, and cystic acne started early.

      I’m in my 30s now, and have started to wonder how I will ever have children, if I have to be on birth control pills my entire life. A few years ago I went off the pill to see if my hormones had adjusted, but it resulted in a rapid return of the acne and a course of Accutane. The scarring was just as bad as when I was a teen.

      Peggy’s recent posts have been so helpful, and although I haven’t yet gone zero carb (I’ve had to teach myself how to cook and eat meat, so I’m working toward this goal), I’ve noticed a definite difference in mood and energy levels on days when I can keep my carb intake below 40-50 g. I’m hoping within the next few weeks to convince myself to try organ meats, so that I will feel more comfortable switching to a zero-carb diet…who knows for how long…and possibly even go off the pill again.

      Thank you, Peggy, for all of this information! I’ll always have more questions, but you’ve answered so many. I really appreciate your sharing this with us.

      • I do appreciate you and everyone else keeping us updated. One of these days I think I’ll open up a forum. Oh, Autumn, you’re still on the pill? I didn’t realize that while we were emailing. That could be part of the problem.

        • Two years ago I tried going off the pill, but my cystic acne came back within 2-3 months, and I had to take it again. The acne is currently under control, but I’m terrified to go off the pill again. I’m trying to determine how to gauge when my body is ready for me to stop taking it. My skin has become dryer since I’ve changed my diet, but that’s not enough to convince me to drop the pill. I’m also thinking about ways to “cut down” – perhaps taking it every other day – to decrease the amount of hormone I’m putting into my body, without going off it all at once. I want to be healthy without medicine, but hormonal balance has always been tricky, so I am ambivalent.

          • A good friend of mine has cystic acne and has seen tremendous improvement of her symptoms because she’s stated taking 1 Udo’s probiotic in the a.m. (the one with the highest # of live cultures) and 1 capsule of oregano oil at night.

            • Home remedies like this never did a thing for my acne. Maybe she was simply lacking in gut bacteria and that was all she needed to restore. Good for her! She was probably in decent health to begin with. For some of us, though, the problem is quite a bit more complicated as is the strategy to restore health.

    • Marina, I would love to hear another update on your diet and skin, either here or in the forum!

      I’m very interested in the details, as I think we’ve had a similar history with acne. If you’re not comfortable discussing further in the comments or forum, perhaps we can swap email addresses somehow?

  23. I was just watching an episode of House on TV last night, and his patient had “phytate intolerance”–he could only eat meat. Unfortunately, he turned out to be a wanted mass-murderer who ate his victims.

    I know this was TV, but it’s worth looking up to see if this “phytate intolerance” really exists. If it does, then you know you have company–it probably has a genetic base.

    A totally true fact to dwell on: traditional Eskimos get very little vegetation or grain in their diet, and mainly live on seal blubber, seal meat, fish, and whatever else they can get meat-wise…nothing grows in the ice caps!

    Could you be part Eskimo? :)

  24. I found this buried in a document about grain intoleraqnce:

    “PHYTATE INTOLERANCE – The liver’s inability to digest phytate (a phosphorus-containing compound sometimes referred to as phytic acid) most abundant in the outer hull of cereal grains. The intolerance reduces absorption of zinc, copper, iron and other minerals as well as vitamins.”

    The only remedy? Soaking your grains via the WAPF method (Weston A. Price), or just eliminating them altogether. The WAPF method wasn’t working for me, so I just eliminated them myself.

    This (above) may be why you feel like crap when you eat certain foods.

    • I am going to have to watch that episode! I will definitely look into it too.

      Having been a long time lover of WAPF and Weston Price I know all about soaking of grains and nuts and, of course, I tried that too. No different for me. Maybe these extreme cases of intolerance are beyond soaking though.

      Thanks a WHOLE LOT for thinking of me. I have managed to figure out that I can only eat meat, but I sure am vexed by why, even my ND has no clue…

  25. Fascinating – thanks Peggy for sharing this. I’ve just finished 30 days auto-immune paleo. My recent blog post covers this. I found that putting my carbs back up to around 100 grams a day is my ‘sweet spot’ (I love my veggies – and fortunately don’t have sensitivities to them)It’s amazing how we all find our own place on the paleo spectrum that works for us. And by experimenting we find what works for us.

    • It is amazing! There are many ways to go paleo. I often wonder about alcohol though. During your last 30 days you stopped drinking every day and I wonder if that one change would have been enough to make the difference you were looking for. Just a thought about alcohol (and other poisons). I know I cannot drink very often and feel really super great at the same time.

      • Hard to know – it’s not as though I drink much at all – I may only have 1/3 – 1/2 glass, and I rarely drink in the last 2 hours before bed, because I don’t like it affecting my sleep. I also never have more than 2 glasses – an that much only rarely.

        • I just mentioned it because I too used to drink a small amount each night and even though it was just a small glass it seemed like any time in which I did not do that, health was much more tangible. I wish I had done a more controlled experiment on that. Maybe I will one of these days. (I love doing experiments on myself, just for my own interest.)

  26. Well said Peggy!

  27. Yeah I read that article you wrote and found it really fascinating. I agree about the meat studies you are talking about. It seems like high-meat and high-grain is a poor combo, especially factory meat and modern grain. I was thinking more of traditional diets, though, like the traditional Inuits. They are said to be pretty healthy but age quickly. I just don’t know where a reliable source for that kind of info is. But I totally agree–better to feel great and die younger then feel like crap your whole life. I just have this personal thing about wanting to live a long time :)

    Weird about the dairy fat thing. Usually it’s the sugar or protein people can’t handle. I just keep thinking it’s so amazing you have been able to figure out how to feed yourself because it’s so different from the norm.

  28. I just adore what you’ve said about aging! Most people seem to be on this quest for longevity. My grandmother is 90. In a diaper, bent over, on tons of meds, confused and in an expensive nursing home. I love her dearly but is this living? Personally, since the first time I saw Harold and Maude, I knew I’d take myself out when I felt ripe and ready to go. But recently, being a huge “you create your own destiny (literally)” person, I set an intention for my demise and I plan to feel excellent when I get there. I love when people say things about the way I eat and throw longevity into the picture. I now have the exact words to say to them.

  29. This post is so inspiring Peggy! I’ll be writing a response to it tonight :)

    I have no idea what foods disagree with me outside of grains, legumes and dairy. I’m not even one hundred percent sure that all foods in those groups cause me harm. Ill be starting an elimination experiment after my camping trip with my siblings. Thus, it starts on Monday, august 8.

    Thanks so much for the inspiration Peggy!

  30. I haven’t had a chance to go through your mountains of replies yet so it may have been covered but I have a couple of questions:
    1) You mentioned that certain foods give you panic attacks. May I ask which ones have you seen a link to (diffinitive or possibly) and if you came to this conclusion purely through the elimination diet? I suffer from heart problems related to panic attacks and have been looking for possible alternative solutions, namely nutrition.
    2) How do you know/think you have the fructose malabsorbtion? My 1 yr old gets diarrhea frequently and can be timed to have anything int he berry family (including the non-berry blueberry) go through her within a half hour. I’m trying to figure out if it is fructose. Namely I need the diagnosis so my extended family doesn’t give her anything that upsets her stomach.
    3) Do you ever feel restricted in your diet? Or is it restricting to the point of liberation?
    4) Any words of encouragement? lol.
    Thanks so much for your blog. It is so very helpful to an aspiring Primal Mom.

    • Understandable and good questions.
      1. while I suffered many different mental problems before I changed my diet, panic attacks were never among them. Until, that is, I had a severe brain injury last year. For months I was a very different person and the panic attacks seemed life-threatening. After the accident I was still eating paleo but had added starches and several other things I cannot tolerate. In retrospect, it seems that the panic attacks were due to the TBI in conjunction with starches and allergens.
      2. I suspect I have fructose malabsorption because I get a very rumbly gassy stomach each time I eat fruit or honey and almost always get diarrhea too. I also get acne and depression. It was difficult for me to believe this for a long time because fruit is supposed to be detoxifying and healthy. It is also supposed to elevate the mood. Anyway, I’ve done some pretty controlled tests on this with myself and these symptoms are undoubtedly linked to fructose. There is a test for it but I haven’t bothered getting it.
      3. Oh yeah, I do feel restricted sometimes. But I find that feeling of restriction is exaggerated after I actually eat the stuff I shouldn’t be eating. But yeah, sometimes I give in. And then I force myself to pull it together again. These phases usually last me a week. Once my digestion has gotten bad and my skin and my mood I get out of it.
      4. When I want to eat something out of my ordinary I deliberately think of the consequences I can expect. I ask myself if it’s worth it. 95% of the time I answer no. I have a vivid imagination so I can really put myself there.

  31. Yay, I just found your site! Your signature on a comment on Mark’s Daily Apple caught my eye, so I clicked.
    I have been having digestive issues for 7 years or so, mostly bloating, and in the past 4 years have been experimenting with WAPF and primal diet stuff. My diet is so clean now (raw dairy kefir, coconut oil, pastured eggs, no grains etc), you would think I should be totally healthy, but there is still something else going on. The reaction to a food seems so random and I read it could be delayed up to 72 hours! I have thought before about trying a raw meat and egg only diet for a while to see how I do, but that seems scary.(don’t I need fiber?!) This post has inspired me to try it though. I was a vegetarian for a while (I know now all that soy protein was hurting me), and I wonder if I could eat that much meat all day. Sometimes just chewing it grosses me out. I don’t like liver, except some liverwurst, and definitely don’t think I could it raw! Did you have any problems with that at first? I do really like ground beef, filet mignon and our pastured eggs, although I have never tried them raw!
    I am very tired of trying to figure this out and usually feel like I am the only person dealing with something like this (which I don’t understand when everyone around me is eating fast food SAD), so I am excited that I found your site.
    I am looking forward to reading more of your blog, although I am not on my computer much because I am outside playing with my kids!

  32. Hey Narnia…I think I got this idea from Weston Price but I’m not sure. You can buy your liver and freeze it and cut into pill size chunks. Then just swallow them down with the chewing. Hope that helps!

    • I read that somewhere too, maybe WAPF, I don’t remember either. :) What I do is dice it up really small, put it on a spoon, plug my nose (I wish I liked liver but I don’t), put it in my mouth, and wash it down with water. My daughter and I both do this. It may sound silly but it works!

  33. I meant to say withOUT the chewing. Sorry.

  34. Just thought I’d throw in my experiance on the liver. Lambs liver has less of a strong flavor than Beef, or chicken livers. I just cut it into tiny little pieces, and eat them raw one by one with my fingers. While it’s not the most enjoyable thing in the world, it’s not unpleasant, and goes down (for me anyways) much easier than beef.
    Another thing I started doing was putting it in my bone broth (I’m all about condensing as many nutrients as possible into a meal) You can keep it in your broth for the benefits of the nutrients, or, throw the liver in after the broth has been simmering for a few hours, for five minutes. When you take it out, it might be a little pink inside, but that’s just fine. It will have soaked up some of the flavour, and is unbelievably tasty. It’s doesn’t have the mushy gritty texture beef does either. It’s easier here for me to get lamb liver than beef liver, which is just fine because I happen to like it!

    • I have found that rabbit liver is VERY mild. Only just starting to research the paleo thing, so not sure I could get the liver down raw (I’m flashing on the scene in Rosemary’s Baby… yikes!)

      My husband and I raise our own meat, dairy, and eggs on our little farm. I am much better at raising animals than veg, though I’m no slouch in that dept either.

      I’m very hopeful that I’ll be able to get past fibromyalgia symptoms by exploring paleo eating.

      • Ivy, you have a farm? You are so lucky! I want a little farm one day. :) I was reading about fibromyalgia just yesterday. In case you haven’t read about this already, I read that while fibromyalgia can have several possible causes including low thyroid, it is often caused by low serotonin. It might behoove you to take some tryptophan.

  35. Pingback: Weekend Link Love - Edition 154 | Mark's Daily Apple

  36. Hi!!! Have read your success story over at MDA, wow! Amazing. Since you are a momma too I have a question that maybe-hopefully you can answer. What about calcium for a two year old? We have been primal for about a year, no dairy, but my sons teeth get grey looking if we slack off on the bone broth soup. He will drink it but his sister and hubby make such a fuss over it that sometimes I feel it’s not worth the effort to cook if no one will eat it. We were drinking keifer for a while but any dairy, even kefir, would make him angry and tantrum. Do you do anything special for calcium for your child? Any information would be helpful. Thanks.

    • Hi MamaLovey ,

      My daughter got her dietary calcium from bone broths, canned fish with the bones and skin in, and dark green veggie broth. She also eats a little bit of cheese (like 6 oz every two or three weeks) and occasional yogurt.

      I don’t know that calcium deficiency leads to grey teeth. A few things that definitely do, however, are a trauma to the tooth, tetracycline anti-biotic, and too much iron.

  37. Paleo’s a fad. Everyone needs carbs.

  38. I loved this post. I have also been on a strict carnivore diet for several months, although not raw, for the same reasons as you. I even avoided all salicylates. I still avoid all fruits and nuts. However, I’m learning that many food allergies may have a cause behind them. Upstream of an inflamed GI tract, there’s also an inability to manufacture certain enzymes, and the root cause of these sorts of things could be a heavy metal issue. Hear me out!

    Do/did you have mercury fillings? Did your mother? Have you or your mother ever smoked cigarettes, been near a broken thermometer, a broken flourescent bulb, lived in a house with lead paint, played with lead toys, smoked out of a painted bong or hookah, etc?

    I recently had my amalgams removed, began taking many supportive supplements as described by Andy Cutler in his book, and I’m now slowly experimenting with food reintroductions, like milk and broccoli. It’s going extremely well. There is an inexpensive hair sample test you can get for under $100 that can tell you if you have heavy metal issues. If I was standing in front of you, I would plead for you to order Andy Cutler’s book “Amalgam Illness”, have a read, and just see for yourself. You’ve got nothing to lose. The book title is a bit misleading, as it covers any sort of heavy metal toxicity.

    • Jeremy,

      I have read a couple of books about heavy metal poisoning. Believe me, in all my searching for a cure I read plenty about heavy metal poisoning. And then I had my metals checked. I had no significant metals in my body. It was a big disappointment. I was really hoping to have all my problems solved by something as simple as chelation… Oh well.

      • A note from my own years of personal experience and research: you cannot judge your body’s toxic metal load strictly by the levels shown in common tests. If you have enzyme damage due to metal toxicity, then you likely also have damage to your detoxification pathways. This means that your body is not going to effectively remove the toxic metals from your body and your readings from certain tests (e.g., the hair test and others) are going to be low. Therefore, a test result showing abnormally LOW levels of toxic metals can be an indicator of poor detoxification not of low body burden.

        Some toxic metals get sequestered away and bound up so tight in certain areas of the body that there is no simple way to test for them other than to evaluate your symptoms and then start trying to remove the toxic elements through methods like chelation.

        • (I’m trying to reply to Tony’s post below, but it keeps moving my reply to here, so that may confuse some, just to clarify)
          Tony,
          That’s exactly as I understand it as well. This also applies to blood, urine, and stool tests. Andy Cutler covers this subject as well. Along with the hair test, they provide you with a blood mineral analysis, which can help to diagnose malfunctioning metabolic pathways, which may be malfuntioning due to heavy metals. Andy has written another book on interpreting these results, and the yahoo chelation groups have much experience in this area as well.
          Quite frequently, the person’s followup analysis do show the heavy metals after chelation once they are pryed from their hiding places. Symptoms improve concurrently. It’s all very interesting and repeated over and over by newcomers.

          • While toxic metals are one of many possible causes of all this extreme sensitivity (and I do agree it’s worth looking into further even though I’m about to sound like it’s not), there are a whole lot of other factors which are definitely responsible too. For example,

            1. I had undiagnosed celiac disease until I was 26 – my mineral levels got seriously unbalanced and low since childhood.
            2. I was a soy consuming vegetarian for 13 years – soy being known to destroy intestines and estrogen levels.
            3. I suffered very dramatic and extreme stress which depletes a body of essential nutrients, hormones, and the ability to make neurotransmitters.
            4. I was raised on shortening (transfats) and omega-6 oils and rarely ever saw any omega-3s.

            Growing up this way, there are many solid reasons why my body turned out the way it did

        • That’s pretty interesting Tony and Jeremy. So are you saying that we should just assume we have heavy metal poisoning then, since the tests aren’t accurate, and start chelation therapy?

          I mean, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if I did…

          Here’s the thing, though, I spent soooo many years believing everything I heard about health. I needed to believe at first. I didn’t know any better and I was desperate. I also spent a whole lot of money. I’m extremely skeptical these days and am not as likely as I used to be to read a book and go out and spend a ton of time and money chasing yet another solution that doesn’t apply to me.

          • No, I don’t recommend you begin chelating without reading Andy’s take on the subject. There are tests that exist, called ‘provocation challenges’ that can scrape the metals out into the blood, urine, and stool, but the large amounts used to conduct these tests are often damaging to the subject, and are highly recommended against by Cutler and his supporters.
            This is where the mineral analysis comes in. It may show you your mineral levels are completely out of whack with what you thought they were. It may be showing you are not absorbing or are quickly excreting essential minerals, even if you are supposedly ingesting ‘enough’ of them from real food. Thyroid and adrenal tests are also recommended in establishing your baseline.
            If you’re not sure it’s worth it to proceed, it’s important to ask yourself the questions I proposed above to try and get an idea of you’ve ever had significant exposures over your entire life, even in the womb. Heave metals are carried to the fetus before the placental wall is developed, and can also be in breastmilk. My mother had a ton of amalgams since childhood, and so have I. I’ve been tourettic, OCD, manic/depressive, you name it. A diet very similar to yours has mitigated much of it, but I think i’m now really getting to the bottom of it.

            It’s my opinion that those of us who have to take drastic measures such as salicylate/phenol avoidance to feel and function OK have more going on underneath than simple food allergies. We have enzymatic problems, and why are they screwed up? These are common subjects and symptoms that are addressed and resolved in Cutler’s world. You won’t be any worse off by simply reading his book.

  39. Forgot to mention, the subject is very googlable. There are a couple chelation yahoo groups that you will come across if you google for food intolerance or food allergy and heavy metals. The folks there have been there a long time, supporting a steady stream of newcomers, and have made significant strides in healing themselves and/or their childre. Looking forward to hearing from anyone here on this.

  40. Just curious-
    What is your daughter’s diet like?
    I’m currently breastfeeding a 6 month old who has yet to start eating solids (gonna hold off as long as I can! Why mess with a perfect food?). I’m certainly not going to feed her baby cereal, will probably do fruits and other normal baby mush, but my midwife/pediatrician said meats might give her too much protein early on.
    I know your daughter is much older than mine, but I’d love to hear your thoughts and experience feeding her.
    for me, I love love love dairy. Lots of raw milk mixed with heavy cream (or just a swig of cream when I’m feeling peckish), kefir, cheeses, butter (I eat grass fed butter straight from the block. Yum). I even eliminated all dairy when I thought my daughter might be sensitive for about 6 weeks, missed it terribly, and felt great when I added it back in. Maybe my northern European heritage helps . . . ? Still not sure what I’ll do for daughter with dairy.

    Anyway, thanks!

    • Your Ped is right. You don’t want to feed babies a whole lot of protein. High fat is the most important thing. My daughter was the happiest little thing in town because her diet was so high in fat.

      She ate things like avocado, raw liver, banana and raw egg yolk, vegetables blended with lots of butter (you could use tallow), raw fish, and home made chicken and beef soups made with bones, coconut oil.

  41. Actually, Vulcans are vegetarian. :)

  42. I want to start eating liver and was wondering how much to eat. A tablespoon a day? I love your blog and the topics you cover!

  43. Just discovered this blog from Marks Daily Apple. Seriously love it. I have spent hours going over all of your posts. Your willpower and determination to get healthy is AMAZING. I switched to a loosely paleo diet about 6 months ago and have been eating low carb for almost a year. I feel great, and the more research I do the more and more I want to tell the world about the wonders of living a primitive lifestyle. I think I must sell it well because all of my friends have tried and my boyfriend is a good 70% on board. My family is extremely supportive. I went from being a good 25 pounds over weight to in the best shape of my life, complete with abs and all! Keep writing, I just love your blog! I plan on raising all of my children (once I have them, we want 5! holy moly..lol) paleo, and can’t imagine why anyone would do anything different!

    You are an inspiration! I look forward to following your blog!

  44. Hey Peggy. My body reacts remarkably similar to yours, from what I read, when consuming any vegetables/fruits/grains. At one point in this article, you said you were eating a diet of raw meat/seafood/eggs for a year and felt great. It seems you don’t necessarily eat raw anymore, or do you eat a mix of raw/cooked animal foods? Does it make a difference for you when it comes to eating raw or cooked animal foods? Thanks so much for sharing you story!

    • I admit, I felt best when I ate all my food raw. When I eat raw beef for breakfast as opposed to cooked I feel immediately full of energy. I digest it so easily and my digestion loves the extra bacteria. My skin is utterly perfect when I eat raw. There is a catch to eating a totally raw diet, though, and that is that you just can’t eat very much compared to cooked (and it is so much blander than cooked food).

      Eating a diet like mine of meats and fats keeps me extremely lean but eating just raw food makes me even leaner (if that’s even possible). There’s a trade off for everything. Eat more and feel sated or eat less and feel like a trillion bucks.

      • Hi Peggy. I hope I didn’t miss it somewhere, but I was wondering if you can point me to somewhere that talks about how long raw foods can be safely kept frozen and refrigerated for maximum nutrient retention. I will begin eating raw (after reading through all of your posts and comments again), but just not sure how often I should be buying meats (ground beef and beef liver mostly). Thanks!

        • Hi there. From what I understand there is little change in nutrient value after freezing and frozen foods can be frozen indefinitely.

          • Thanks Peggy. Do you know whether there’s a loss of nutrients if I cook meat, like liver, versus eating raw? If it is more nutritious raw, can you point me to a book or website that I can check out to learn more about it? Thank you!!

            I just tried some raw, and I’m not quite sure if I will be able to stomach it. I haven’t tried the swallow holding my nose method yet, but I will if it’s more nutritious raw.

  45. It’s a good thing you point that out about sugar. I didn’t even think to include an explanation for this. Yes sugar is made up of both a glucose and fructose molecule, but the glucose molecule actually leads the fructose molecule through the process of digestion. So when a person has fructose malabsoption, they cannot digest fructose all by itself, but a tiny bit with glucose will safely make it through. If ever you accidentally ate a tiny bit of honey or maple syrup, you could actually take a glucose tablet to prevent the malabsorption. This doesn’t work, however, if you were to eat a large amount of fructose, like a whole piece of fruit or something. This website is extremely useful on the subject. http://avthompson.wordpress.com/what-is-fructose-malabsorption-disorder/

  46. So happy I found you…I too have a lot of random allergies, unfortunately I have eggs and chicken on my list. My diet includes fruits though is mostly a carnivore diet. I am thrilled to see you talking about this because I find it hard to be the ‘only one’ who is actually acting on my allergies and taking responsibility for my health sometimes. I am not diagnosed celiac though am diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis. I found, like you, that changing my diet is HUGELY helpful. I am amazed when people say things like “I can’t stop eating bread” and whatnot. I haven’t tried so much raw meat, mostly just oysters. I am curious about where you find yours and wonder if you buy it from the site you link to so much?

    • Kristin, I know! What do you mean “you can’t stop eating bread?” Your health and happiness depend on it!!! Allergies do create some chemical dependencies in the brain, so I understand it’s hard, but come on, we CAN do anything we put our minds to.

      Oysters? I eat them at restaurants often and I get them from whole foods too. I don’t think it really matters which raw foods you eat, just as long as you do eat some. So, oysters are fine.

      I buy from US Wellness about once a month these days. I eat pemmican just about every day and they are the only place to get it. (I could make it myself…) Plus, I add their tallow to just about everything I eat. I eat a whole lot of fat, that’s what keeps me kickin. I also like to buy my beef bones from them – soup bones and marrow bones. I buy my steaks and ground beef from a local 100% grass fed and finished farm.

  47. Hi Peggy, I have followed a Zero Carb diet for the last year. I have lost over 100 pounds. The first 20 on VLC and the rest on ZC. I just eat. I don’t exercise at all. I eat all kinds of meat, but my main staple is Fatty Beef Brisket. I have started to eat eggs these last few months and some natural lactose free cheese. I drink plain black coffee. I went from 280 lbs to a current weight of 176.6 lbs and still losing. I have had a blood lipid screening 4 time and they are all great. My LDL was a little high so I did the VAP test that actually measures the LDL particle size and the result was “A”. So I will never ever go back to SAD. I am glad to read about others that have benefited from this WOE. I know we don’t eat exactly the same way, but it is very close. Keep the Faith and Always Battle On!!!

    Cheers,

    Dave

    • Thanks for sharing! What an inspiration. It is nice o hear of others eating similar since it is so weird and all… but so effective ;)

      • Right? Weird indeed! I tell you what: I feel great, I have tons of energy and my spirits and inner being has never been better. I give all this to ZC. If you want to actually see the results so far I welcome you to visit my Zero Carb Blog “The Chronicles of David”. I have a photo tab that shows my before and in progress pictures. I have also achieved my journey almost everyday for the last year. Lately I have only been updating weekly more or less. Fight the Good Fight and Battle On!!!

        Cheers,

        Dave

        • I believe you Dave. I’ve been on and off with VLC and ZC for many years and report the exact same findings. It’s absolutely wonderful how redeeming it has been for me. And for you too! I saw your photos; you have lost sooo much weight and you look so good now! Your amazing effort has paid off. You look very happy in your pictures too. It appears this is the way to go for you.

  48. I do best on almost all meat/eggs too. If I just eat these I am good to go for hours. I do eat fibrous veggies tho and soooooooome fruit. I believe cheese or yogurt makes me hungrier than meat now that you mention ur intolerance for it and I even eat fullfat dairy.
    I really believe I need to eat carbs tho, so I am following a lowcarb, timed/portioned program…usually lol. Just eating meat with some fibrous veggies would probably be ideal for me!

  49. I noticed you mentioned gut issues with starches, and joint pain. You might be interested to read about ankylosing spondylitis, a type of autoimmune arthritis which can be helped by a low starch diet to control Klebsiella in the gut. I am celiac and also have mild AS, and my story is very similar to yours. I’ve found I get depressed on very low carb, and have found a tsp of liquid glucose between meals keeps my mood up without upsetting my gut and joints like starches do.

    A couple of links: http://www.kickas.org/londondiet.shtml
    http://www.lowstarchdiet.net/index.html

    I discovered starches were the issue for me through playing around with my paleo diet, going low carb and then adding “safe starches” back in because of low mood. I was baffled until someone told me about AS and the low starch diet.

  50. Hi Peggy,
    Thanks for your. Awesome post! I have just posted a long question on paleohacks about my digestive issues as I think I have little choice but to give the carnivore thing a go. My post is: http://paleohacks.com/questions/60708/help-food-intolerances-ibs-sibo-do-i-go-zero-carb#axzz1VzrxbpDg
    Cheers,
    Adam.

  51. Peggy, at first I want to tell you that it is great that you “keep that blog alive” and continue the discussion from older posts! For you it makes totally sense to eat such a radical diet and your healthy and vibrant looks are proof enough that it is exactly what you need. However, I am a bit troubled by a post at “The Perfect Health Diet”. I like the articles there for they are in general very well researched (as well as yours). The article is about that very low carb diets might lead to thyroid dysfunction (and there is a link that they possibly promote stomach cancer). Here is the link: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/
    Paul recommends to have at leat 400 kcal from carbs (100 from rfuit, 300 from starches). I enjoy an occassional sweet potatoe but I find white rice boring and adding it to my diet is something I can do without causing me health issues but I do not enjoy it a lot. As I am an athlete Paul would recommend probably more in my case..I am scared to provoke health issues especially as I found it convincing that vegetables do not count as a carb source as the sugar content is digested by gut bacteria…I still feel I haven`t found my own path nutrition wise…I would love to hear your opinion! It would be also great if you could recommend some sample menues for those who include more vegetables/starch than you do for I like your approach of simplicity but I need more plant stuff! Would you mind sharing how many calories you usually eat and how much (if any) you added when pregnant?
    Thank you so much and please keep on blogging!

    • Ahhh! I totally forgot to reply to this comment! Sorry about that. I was just reading part two to the article you mentioned this morning and remembered your question. I think that article was wonderful. I had no idea there was a thyroid link to glucose deficiency. In fact, I really didn’t even know anything about glucose deficiency other than through experience. I can ALWAYS feel it when I’m in need of glucose and in that case I just eat it. I have been discussing the theory a little with others and don’t personally believe that a person who eats ample protein and is low carb (not zero carb) will ever face this issue. I can see how zero carb might be playing with fire, sitting right on the edge of glucose deficiency, but low carb with ample protein doesn’t seem too likely to me. His carbohydrate recommendations seem quite high to me as well. I don’t see why people would need 100 grams of carbs per day, unless their livers didn’t convert protein properly or they were athletes. But again, in this case you would feel it. You’d get tired. Your brain would be slow. It is good to know about the seriousness of the risk though. People who feel unrelenting fatigue on a low carb diet might just want to up their protein intake and carbohydrates a bit. Anyway, I’m going to get back over there and finish reading part two!

    • Sonnenblume, I left a comment on the Perfect Health blog dealing with VLC and T3 — I’ve also made a similar post over on Gnolls.org dealing with the argument that carbs are needed for serotonin production. I’m going to link to both of my comments so you can see them :

      http://www.gnolls.org/1984/the-science-behind-the-low-carb-flu-and-how-to-regain-your-metabolic-flexibility/comment-page-2/#comment-6@100@2254

      -and-

      http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1077#comment-31321

      http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1077#comment-31349

      I hope those links help :)

  52. Pingback: The Paleo Diet Cures PCOS

  53. Peggy, I am very late to this party, but found my way via Primal Toad…
    I am curious if you found your ideal diet strictly through trial & error, or if you at any point consulted w/naturopath or nutritionist? Any references you found helpful? I appreciate hearing about your experience.
    (Hey, I’d love to be Vulcan too – live long & prosper!)

  54. Hi Peggy,

    I just happened on your site through MDC and I have to say that it is intriguing! The idea of eating raw meat sounds interesting to me, though it is not within our means at the moment, as we cannot afford grassfed beef.

    My question is this: when I was in college my A & P professor scoffed at all-meat diets because he claimed that a person would develop fatal ketoacidosis. How does one prevent such a condition from occuring? Have you ever come across someone claiming this? As you can see, I don’t remember all the details about ketoacidosis :). Is it the high percentage of calories from fat that would prevent the metabolizing of proteins as the main energy source? Biologists, help me out here :D.

    Clearly, at least a few pre-industrial cultures ate minimal to no plant matter and remained healthy.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Your professor was mistaking ketoacidosis for ketosis – a common but careless confusion. From Wikipedia,

      “Ketoacidosis is a pathological metabolic state marked by extreme and uncontrolled ketosis. (Normal ketosis, by contrast, is a functional aspect of fat-based energy metabolism, induced by prolonged fasting or a low-carbohydrate diet.) In ketoacidosis, the body fails to adequately regulate ketone production causing such a severe accumulation of keto acids that the pH of the blood is substantially decreased. In extreme cases ketoacidosis can be fatal.”

      Ketoacidosis is a dangerous condition that often happens to people with type 1 diabetes.

  55. Ahh, thanks. So ketoacidosis can occur in someone with a metabolic disease and can’t manage the normal condition of ketosis.

    I wonder what a biologically appropriate diet would be for someone with Type 1 Diabetes, who didn’t produce insulin.

  56. I have been primal for quite some time now. Also diagnosed celiac/hypothryoid. I still have “things” going on that probably aren’t quite right but I guess I don’t know where to start with eliminating things. I am off grains, beans, dairy and most sugar. I do eat some fruit and vegetables. I have added butter lately and am broke out again. But I also added organic regular coffee with coconut milk. I eat nuts sometimes but I always soak them really well. I mostly just feel full all the time. I do get leg swelling and cellulite worsens at times. I have had such severe constipation problems…like wouldn’t go for week or longer at a time. am going now..in morning after coffee…but am also chubbier…weird. I eat a lot of great fats and meats….I don’t know….I am very impressed with your ability to hone in on what exactly you needed to do for yourself. inspiring…

    • Hey Jami. It took a long time. I was determined to stop feeling like crap. You know, when everyone you know feels better than you and you have the healthiest diet? I just couldn’t take it emotionally anymore. So I got methodical and crazy. I wouldn’t go along with typical wisdom anymore because it wasn’t helping me. Just keep trying and realize that when everybody elses prescription isn’t working for you, you’ve got to try something else.

      • Yes, I know exactly what you mean! I’ve often been embarrassed of myself because I am actually as a profession a “health coach”. I will keep on keepin on! thank you

  57. Pingback: Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 9

  58. Different Lindsey from above! Thank you for your posts. I have found since going primal that I have lost interest in most vegetables and like you tend to eat mainly meat or food appertaining to meat (eg eggs). I feel perfectly well eating like this but was a bit concerned that I may not be getting all the nutrients required. What you wrote convinced me that I wasn’t doing myself too much harm :) I must say though that I personally have no interest in sugar whatsoever. Each to his own!

    Take care!

    • That’s great Lindsey! I don’t exactly have an interest in sugar though, I have never had much of a sweet tooth. I have a fat tooth actually. The sugar is just for practical purposes but I don’t crave it or anything. Now if I were to eat grains or fruit, that would be a different story. I would crave those like mad.

      • I wonder why that is. I think fruit, and I know grains for sure, but also sweet potatoes ….make me want to eat them even more. I’m pretty much a meat and veg gal, but even lately the only veg I’ve wanted is jicama. I guess for the cooling hydration during summer. But, even with that said, I am not symptom free yet so still have some experimenting to do. I feel depressed without caffeine or sugar….but maybe I just haven’t given it long enough. I just want to feel alive and vibrant and happy…..

  59. Pingback: Living off animal foods, avoiding vegetables. need sugestions, answers, etc | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 2

  60. Your blog is SO interesting! Thanks for all the work you put into it and all the informative articles! I am new to all of this though. What do you tell people who claim red meat causes cancer and that it sits in your stomach for five days? I admit again that I am pretty new to this, so I apologize if you have already addressed this.

  61. Sonnenblume, I left a comment on the Perfect Health blog dealing with VLC and T3 — I’ve also made a similar post over on Gnolls.org dealing with the argument that carbs are needed for serotonin production. I’m going to link to both of my comments so you can see them :

    http://www.gnolls.org/1984/the-science-behind-the-low-carb-flu-and-how-to-regain-your-metabolic-flexibility/comment-page-2/#comment-6@100@2254

    -and-

    http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1077#comment-31321

    http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1077#comment-31349

    I hope those links help :)

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    • Arbo, thank you very much for the link. Actually, I am more interested in the stomach cancer issue that you briefly adresse in your links: As I have Hashimoto`s (and I am doing fine, never had weight problems or anything) I have my thyroid checked VERY regularly so I can monitor whether I need to change things for my thyroid health. I thought I understood the stomach cancer risk as a problem that was very pronounced among the “optimal dieters” as opposed to the rest of the Polish people (even considering that Poland might have high numbers in general) so it would be great to learn more about this! However, I have found that I do great in averaging 100 g carbs/day and sometimes 150 g but I think this is different for everyone and we have to figure out through trail and error…

  62. Dr. Kurt Harris has also just blogged about the benefit of some starch in your diet:
    http://www.archevore.com/
    and Paul Jaminet deals with the issue concerning cancer treatment (the idea of deficient glycosation in cancer patients is interesting)

  63. That might be high fat by % but very low in calories considering how active you are. Seems like you only eat 1300-1500 calories per day (unless you use gigantic amounts of tallow)?

    • Your estimate is probably right some days. Eating a lot doesn’t make me feel good, plus I’m not hungry as often or for as huge portions since eliminating fiber. I do, however, eat more fat than you probably realize. Some days the amount of fat in my diet kicks the calories well over 2000.

      • I am so happy that I found your site and this thread. I know now I am not alone. I have been limited to eating mostly meat. I cant have gluten and just cant digest fruits and vegies. For years I have been forcing myself to eat vegies. Since all you hear is you wont be healthy if you dont. But I have now listened to my body and it feels better on meat. 95 % of the symptoms I was feeling are gone. The stomach issues the muscle aches and feeling of brain fog and weakness have vanished . I am 42 I am in better shape physiically and mentally then I was all through my 30s.

      • Hi Peggy, I’ve seen your comments a few times on MDA, and decided to check out your site. Really great material for me. I have info galore, but putting primal into practice has been up’s and down’s (25 years of bad habits to erase), so it’s nice to see how you’ve really simplified (more so) the whole idea.

        I recently found myself full after eating only 1300-1700 cal per day (after switching to MAINLY meats, fats, stock and eggs). Maybe the TYPE of calorie has much more to do with satiety than total amt.

        Thanks again, and happy holidays from Boston!

        • Alex, carbohydrates definitely stimulate the appetite. I never eat a whole lot when I don’t eat much carbs, which is most of the time. I used to worry about my weight because I’m definitely thinner than most, but I’m also super strong and energetic and gain muscle with ease. So I don’t worry about it.

          Happy holidays to you too! One of my brothers used to live in Boston. :) He loved it there but now he’s a world traveler with a backpack and no home. Funny guy.

          • My problem’s ALWAYS been the opposite.. thick since I was 3, husky since 12, obese in HS, now starting to get things under control.. aiming to hit 175 this year.

            Since going primal though, I make my own lard and tallow, butter and eggs almost daily, making coconut milk a few times a year, along with batches of sauerkraut.. and feet nd old bones for my weekly stocks! Odd transformation :) I’m trying raw beef (ground) tonight for the first time, and looking forward to it.

            Technically I’ve eaten raw pork before in Germany when I lived there, but topped in with salt and onion and served on a roll.

            All the best!

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  66. There is also calcium in leafy greens…can you eat those? My kids like seaweed in soup and kale ;-)

    • Sorry this didn’t post right…it WA in response to the mom asking about calcium for kids…feel free to delete since it posted in the wrong place ( I’m on my iPhone..)

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  68. Hi Peggy,

    You mentioned herbs/spices in your raw meat post. Can you elaborate a little more on which ones you can tolerate? And does it make a difference if they are dried as opposed to fresh?

    I have such a hard time with plant matter, and often I think I am reacting to even small amounts of herbs and spices (bloating, cravings, burping…oh the list is endless it feels!.

    But it is so hard to know for sure. Sometimes a bit of parsley or chilli or cilantro or mint ‘seems’ to be okay but then other times I seem to get horrid bloat and distress and they seem to sit in my gut for enormous lengths of time. At least it feels like they do because I have yucky buprs where I can still ‘taste’ them 10-12 hours later!!

    Vegetables are a nightmare for me, I’ve had no ‘testing’ done but can’t find any so far that don’t wreak havoc on my body and my mind. Fruit is easier, it seems, for me to digest and I ‘could’ eat it if the only factor to consider were GI response, but it leads to other physical issues plus massive cravings, brain fog and mood disturbances which then cause horrid bingeing, so that’s out too.

    Anyway, I won’t go on about my long and miserable history with plants, but it does ease the heart and loose the tongue when you find others who understand the same suffering! Thank you for the time and effort you have put into making this info available for others.

    • Circe,

      I feel you. Spices do the same to me. If I eat bacon or sausage made with spices (which is most of them), I will burp spices all day. It’s so lame. This is the case with pretty much everything that grows in the ground. Most herbs are also bad for me. My daughter is the one who is such a lover of herbs. I use them occasionally but most of the time not. Parsley is the best herb for me in small amounts. I don’t really care about herbs and spices anymore. I’ve gotten used to life without them. I too like hearing comments from others who can’t tolerate vegetables. When I first figured it out, I thought I was the only one on earth like me. It was kind of scary. Thanks for commenting. :)

  69. holy moly! this is fascinating! i really hear that some peeps are living well-healthy, full of energy, happy…-with no veggies.

    my confusion is this…was there a time evolutionarily when all we ate was raw meat and butter and dairy and no vegetables or fruits? i thought our main diet, pre-agriculture, included plenty of plant matter…well, more plant matter the closer to teh equator, more animal foods the closer to the poles.

    anyhoo, very curious. as a human with a brain. and as a human who has health issues.

    much appreciation everyone for your willingness to experiment and make change.

    lynn

  70. Hey I’m also in Denver…just wondering where you get your meat that you trust it enough to eat raw/semi raw? Thanks for this blog!

    • Also, not sure if you’re drinking broth, but if so do where do you get good bones (marrow, etc) for broth? I just can’t let myself pay so much for them at whole foods…makes for quite expensive broth.
      I’m doing a meat only trial for a few weeks (previously on GAPS intro for a few months) to see if I can’t get some of my digestive issues under control. Honestly, I’m hoping I don’t have to maintain meat only long term, but I’ll do pretty much anything to feel better at this point : ) I’ll probably never go back to grains though. I’m only on my second day…definitely feel pretty crappy but that expected.

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  72. Hey Peggy,
    I was wondering if you would address the issues of primal living, the Vulcan state of mind and Art. As a musician and a Vulcan how do the two poles work together in your life? Does being a Vulcan remove the emotion from your art?
    My experience is as follows: I’m a filmmaker. Film is an art form whose closest sibling is music. As filmmakers/musicians we must know the difference between a wink and a blink, be aware and anticipate a beat, a colour or a composition. But more specifically, artists must know about the emotion called desire. Desire is film’s stock and trade, it is the main theme for all great films. In fact until the advent of abstract expressionism almost all great art was about desire…and I must report my own personal desire is currently having a dirt nap.
    My primal lifestyle is as hardcore as it comes, for the past four years I have eaten nothing but bison, elk, (mostly raw…like tartare) sockeye salmon, low or no glycemic veggies, kimchee and my own mix of supplements. I also do 5×5’s four times a week and sprints twice a week. I went from a rotund 196 to a Spiderman like (the comic not the movie) 155. Waist from 36/37 to 27 (it’s hard to buy jeans now because I also have 36 inch legs). In short, I look and feel fantastic. The flip side to this lifestyle is my desire, empathy and emotion is like my carb intake…like near zero.
    My strength as a filmmaker came from my ability to identify a emotion, no matter how small, amplify it and pay it like a violin. I used to get emotional over the most trite matters…tempests in a teacup. Those days are gone. These days I walk though people like a lion meandering through a field of three legged antelope. People look up to me these days. However, the other side of this situation is now I’m looking down at them. This is disastrous for a person in my field. I can still function in my profession because I have a good handle on my craft…I define craft as grab bag of tricks an artist uses to get through various situations. But, craft is no substitute for inspiration, desire or empathy. These days my work seems like a mechanical construct and that’s Ok, but I’m astute enough to see an essential missing element…an element I no longer possess.
    In my primal mind emotional meanings have changed for me. Empathy at one moment long ago felt like compassion, now it gives off the foul stench of weakness and desire has changed from the urge to strive to a faint echo of the perverse. I’ve believe I have become a self-contained system in a world full of emotional vampires. As you can imagine, I’m not interacting well with my arts community. Truly, I feel like a Vulcan from the constellation Rigel Five, placed here on earth to observe and report. The same holds true for sex, the emotion and the heightened desire is gone, it has become a pleasant bodily function. I’m not the rational sexual Vulcan that St Augustine envisioned Adam in the Garden of Eden to be…but I’m close.
    It seems to me we can play our bodies through the food we eat the same way we can play or choose a musical instrument. And with every choice comes a tradeoff. In my case the tradeoff is health or art.
    I’m seriously mulling over the kabbalahic contention that wheat not the apple was the forbidden substance in the Garden of Eden in that it removed humans from state of immortality but gave them knowledge of good and evil…and I’m reaching here…emotional art.
    As an aside I can see how primal or “barbaric” peoples were so hard to conquer.
    Will I give up my primal lifestyle for art? Absolutely not. But I’m curious how other artists have coped and created art with a reduced emotional palette. Maybe, it’s time for me to drop this art form and move on, there are a lot of things to do in this life…I’m not married to directing. Anyway, I’m looking forward to your response Peggy.
    Best,
    P.S I just checked out your music. I’m betting the Primal life has impacted your style…Hey, maybe we should create or formulate a Primal aesthetic.

    • What an amazing comment! One of the best I’ve seen yet in the primal community! Such an interesting thing to think about. I find that in my daily living I have ZERO tolerance for whiny and bs. My main art is aerial work, right now aerial tissue. I find the primal aesthetic only has helped here, as literally, I am above the crowd. I’m short and build muscle quickly…it’s easy for me to look kind of squat and bulky. Now I have more of ballerina’s body…I feel length in my muscles that aids in long lines. I do feel “colder” in a way, but it’s served me for this art form. Sort of “untouchable”. I also write music but haven’t written in the past year…I hadn’t thought about it till your comment…I’m not very inspired, similar to what you are saying. Small emotions used to feed my lyrics and now to me, it just sounds like whining.

      But all of this ties into what I’m calling the spiritual aspect of Primal…I feel eating this way has completely eliminated my ego chatter. I feel very “one with universe” and see our true nature. Which makes everything we do seem somewhat useless. I’m choosing to take that feeling and go with “if everything is useless, I’m open to doing anything that feeds my soul”.

      Anyway, that my contribution…I’m going to be thinking about this from now on. Really, really interesting!

    • Thanks for taking the time to write that. This is a real issue for many of us. I have addressed it to a couple of people in emails already. Now that you bring it up I will write more about it in a post. I would like to use your comment in the post. I think there is a lot here that people might relate to. Even if they don’t realize it at first. For some people, it takes time to recognize that things might be different about them. Like Jamie, I don’t write poetry anymore. It takes a kind of whininess that I simply don’t have anymore to do it. I can still write lyrics out of necessity but I don’t just sit around and write poems out of pain and suffering. It’s just not there anymore.

    • Directm,

      I hope you don’t mind me chiming in and I say this with much respect, but I hope you don’t give up what you love to do if you in fact really love it. I did the low carb paleo diet for a few years and I just found out this past year that I’m hypoglycemic so I had to stop eating that way. I now eat a pretty high carb whole foods diet and I’m finally seeing the emotional roller coaster completely gone and I now have nothing but a calm state about me. I Just wanted to point that out as I think for a lot of people low sugars can be a major culprit and to many people go undiagnosed because the standard tests for it aren’t catching it.

      I know we all have a different way of eating that works for us so I respect how you eat and I respect Peggy so that is why I still frequent her blog. I’m not trying to sound all emotional when I say this, but I would hate for you to give up something that seems to have given you such joy in the past, just for a 27 inch waste and an invincible Spiderman like feeling.

      You write so beautifully and you must inspire those around you who look up to you not for your grand stature, but for your true passion for your art. The greatest thing we can do for ourselves is to be true to who we are and do what we love. I know I’m always inspired and in awe when I’m in the presence of someone who is in his/her element and being true to themselves. That’s when we are at our best! Some never truly figure out what makes them tick, but you seem to have and that is definitely more valuable than the food you eat.

      What would we be without emotion? I for one never want to be in a world where, for example, the sight of a my baby being born or the passing of a loved one, doesn’t bring a tear to my eye. It is not weakness, but love and my wish for you is that you find what makes you love to the fullest! Then and only then, will you truly be on top of the world. Compassion just means you can relate to others around you, simply because you yourself have lived! Do what makes you feel alive! :-) I wish you all the best Directm!

      Blessing,

      Jennifer

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  74. Recently I have been able to handle less and less carbs. I can often go a day with my only plant matter be one fruit or a couple of bites of the veggies I prepare for my dh’s dinner, and sometimes no plants at all. If my condition continues I believe I will have to give up carbs altogether. If not for this post I would think something was horribly wrong with me and I that I was doing wrong by skipping my daily veggies. Instead, I know that if I continue filling myself up with the right foods, I’ll be fine. I want to tested for gastroparesis (just to have it in my file), but it isn’t an emergency. Paleo vlc/nc is taking care of it better than any drug or treatment possibly could. And since constantly tweaking my paleo diet to be more like yours for the past few months, I am finally off depression meds for the first time in 3 years. This is a huge big deal for me.
    Thank you so much!

    • Wow that is so great to hear! That’s how it was for me too when I first started eating this way. It was a real godsend. Now, quite some time later, I am not as sensitive to everything that grows and have been able to expand my menu a bit. Good luck to you in your recovery!

  75. do you cook your food? you said you didn’t have a stove. and what do you mean you added blood to your diet? i am brand new and am interested in the paleo diet. i don’t have food in-tolerances to your extent!

    thanks! kelli

  76. This is the single most interesting thing I’ve read in a very long time. Thank-you for writing and posting! I have struggled for over 10 years with auto-immune and IBS-ish issues. The worst I think was the insomnia which was all because of the foods I was eating! Who would’ve thunk!! As soon as I cut out lactose and refined sugar I felt about %80 better.
    I’m so impressed that you stick with a diet like this. I try very hard, but end up binging (something I never used to do) on junk that makes me feel like junk. I want to stop so badly…was binging ever an issue for you? Being on such a restricted diet?
    Also, whenever I cut out fruit and high starch veg and go ultra low carb (which makes me feel amazing btw) I can’t sleep. Until I eat a banana and then fall asleep like a baby. Do you know why this would be?

    • I had trouble with binging too Heather I think because of the severe restrictions. Maybe it took time to build up the discipline or maybe it took some time to figure out what I really liked but eventually I got it. I have to admit though, it was easiest before my boyfriend and I moved in together and while my daughter was younger and ate much like I did. For me, it took eating really high fat to stay satisfied and keep my mind off of other types of foods. Nevertheless, I have found that the easiest diet for me to follow is one that includes a little carbohydrate and vegetables. Thankfully, at this point, I am back on veggies and the diet is once again effortless.

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  78. Hi Peggy,

    Thank you so much for this blog and for sharing your experience. You are a truly beautiful person from inside and outside, and a great inspiration for me. I wanted to ask you how long did it take you to get clear of acne, after you started your paleo diet (or better say “Meat only diet”). I have major problem with acne on my face right now and I started a total elimination diet with just grass fed beef, sauerkraut, spinach, green beans, and zucchini+ olive oil and ghee (they seem to be ok for me). i hope to last for 3 or 4 weeks before adding anything if my condition improves. But I know it will be difficult, cause I work and breastfeed (although only a couple times a day) my 21-month old daughter. I would really appreciate if you could share your experience with acne. and also – is it safe to continue breastfeeding with so few carbs? Many thanks in advance, and sorry if this was too long.

    • Val, thank you for the kind words. Acne has come and gone with me. If I eat foods I’m sensitive to for a while, it comes back. But without fail, when my digestion in order, my acne is gone. In fact, if I eat foods that are bad for me (cheese, fruit, etc), the acne can come back just as bad as ever but then within a few days of eliminating it’s gone. It was never like this until I nailed the culprits. Having good nutritional status and a strong immune system helps to fend off attacks in general, but if I fall off the wagon, it returns.

  79. I loved reading your story with experimenting to see what really works for you, and also simply deciding if you want something even if you know it doesn’t sit well with you. I do that too with some things.. is it worth it to me? Most of the time it isn’t, but sometimes it is :) only I make that decision. Anyway, the first thing I thought of when you said you added sugar to your diet and it made you feel less vulcan was that in this book I’m reading “Healing with Whole Foods” talks about how sweet tastes can sweeten our emotions and are beneficial for those who are feeling down or stern. On a Vulcan related note… I was thinking about it when I was running today actually. The idea of “willpower” and how I don’t feel the need to tap into it to do things because I just do them. I think that Vulcan feeling also comes from your very realized sense of responsibility to yourself, you know what I mean? I find that people who are like this really live their lives in such a pronounced way with strong principles. Glad I stumbled on to your blog!

    p.s. I’m with you on the food at the movies… I don’t find the popcorn there to be remotely palatable

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  81. Hi

    I am an adoptee who was raised exclusively on formula prior to the introduction of solids. I have a university background in the human sciences, have been researching EXTENSIVELY over the past two years and could literally go on for hours about the problems that formula feeding creates for infants; however, I will choose to address your comment about feeling like a Vulcan when obzerving a primarily meat-based diet. I too have experienced the same phenomenon. In addition I have experienced as a result this style of diet. The thing is when animals are killed (and prior to it due to crowding and other stresses, if they are battery “farmed”) there are a flood of chemicals (adrenaline, etc…) that enter their tissues, essentially poisoning the meat. Ingesting these by-products will certainly affect one’s mind/body. I have to avoid most foods in general as I didn’t get the start (i.e. breast milk) that nature intended. I have, however, had the opportunity to witness calves frolicking and playing like puppies (creeps me out when I think about the meat I have eaten – honestly, not trying to be manipulative). There is a social reality to be witnessed with mowt animals if one looks closely. White rice and green beans (and the odd carrot) are my go-to foods. Dark chocolate and plain potato chips are my recreational foods. I react (and always have) to pretty much anything I ingest as I posses little more than an innate immune system (THEY call it ADHD). If you haven’t already, look into the “Failsafe” diet. It helps those with salicylate/mold/yeast/amine/histamine intolerance. Though if you are also sensitive to wheat/dairy/egg/meat/fish/nut, etc…, things may get a little restrictive. For me the choices are: a.) abandon my diet in the interest of entertaining my palate, or; b.) listen to my body in the hopes of relating to others and not winding up in an alley muttering to myself. Pretty cut and dry, unfortunately. I have learned that the effects build up in my system as time passes and the “bucket” overflows.

    • Hi.

      My third sentence should read: In addition I have experienced depression/aggression as a result this style of diet.

      P.S. most is a word… mowt is not (too my knowledge)}

  82. I think it makes sense to ask some serious questions about food and emotions and the conventional logic of vegetables and fruit as a dietary staples. The Masai tribe members eat a diet very similar to what Peggy ate and are by no means unwell. However I find the link between emotion and food to be fascinating as I eat a similar diet carnivorous diet myself and have always had difficulty understanding extreme ranges of emotion. It would be interesting to see some studies on that front.

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  84. Thank you so much for this blog. I went Primal a month and a half ago, and I feel amazing…but the longer I eat this way, the more I have an aversion to vegetables! That went against everything I’ve been taught, so it’s nice to know that there are people out there meeting their nutrional needs in different ways. I would love to have the energy you talk about.

  85. I think we’re opportunistic carnivores. Meat and fat are out primary sources of energy. Fruits and honey are kinda like deserts in my opinion. When they are available, they are beneficial, but they are not sustainable. The same with certain plants, not sustainable. Most plants are not even edible. We are carnivores.

  86. Oh My gosh! I can’t believe I found you! i have been eating only seafood and grass fed meat for 5 months now, and in the last month I have gone completely raw. I any organ, meat, and fish every meal of the day. No veggies, no fruit, no sugar, no dairy…etc. I do do coconut (raw) oil and animal fat. What resources or book did you love the best! So cool to meet you :)

  87. Peggy,
    I have to ask before I try this all animal ( no veggie) lifestyle- how are your stools on this diet? Do you have them comfortablely, are they smaller than the average veg. eater, does it only occur every several days…???
    I’m sorry but I have to ask b/c that is the reason I want to try this.
    I have a History of constipation and spastic colon that i have not resolved. Now i have internal hemorrhoids to show for this problem while using the vegan diet :-/
    I’ve been vegan for 20 yrs thinking tweaking within the vegan diet (ive even done 100%raw for 10 yrs) will solve this, it has not so maybe this is the answer?
    Any tips I will gladly try them out :-)

    • Hey Ali,

      Have you read the fiber menace? Google it if not and check out his website. He’s probably got the answer to many of your questions. I cannot realistically say what your stools will look like. Our bodies and history is totally different. You should definitely experiment though.

      • Thank you Peggy.
        I have read it and I don’t remember him ever suggesting no produce, just no suppliment fiber. that is why I was asking your personal experience with this approach. Just so I know what to expect ” in general”

        Don’t worry, I’m not asking for visuals (no more pictures of toilets ;)

  88. Peggy :-)
    Have another question to ask you in addition to the one above. How are you getting all the vitamins and minerals without veg. And fruits? Is this safe longer term?

    • Ali, I usually do green juices, though there have been times when I haven’t because I didn’t have a juicer. Also, organ meats supply just about every vitamin and mineral you could need, even vitamin c. Add to that fish and shellfish and you’ve got it covered.

  89. I actually tried a Carnivorous diet about two months ago I have been wanting to get back into it. I would actually minimize dairy intake to mostly cheese or yogurt for the fat content. And the same thing I FELT AMAZING! It’s like grains cause some cloudy hangover effect with our brains whole, refined, whatever the grains are. Before trying the diet I weighed 248lbs after two weeks I dropped down to 230lbs. And been going back and forth between 228-235lbs. My only problem is after digestion it would cause intense pain before having a bowel movement. I noticed you had digestive problems too. Is there anything you would recommend to relive these issues? Does peppermint tea work well?

    • I would recommend fermented vegetables like raw organic sour kraut.

      Cheers!!!

      Jason

      • Trying to “heal” myself by including sauerkraut is one of the things that set me back for so long. Cabbage, onions, and garlic destroy my digestion and are partly responsible for what made me so sensitive to everything.

        • I forgot to ask how the sauerkraut and cabbage and things like that ended up hurting you, Cabbage is great for digestion and so is raw sauerkraut. This is really interesting as I have never heard of anyone having issues with veggies like these, please do explain as I am an Athlete/Physical Trainer and really care about my health so I try to learn as much as I can.

          Thanks again Peggy!!!

          Jason

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  91. Thank you for this very interesting look into your world.

    One question and forgive me if it has already been answered in the very long list of comments above.

    Why did you decide on LOW FAT yoghurt? It doesn’t seem, from your other dietary choices like you have any adversity toward animal fat. I’m curious.

    This way of eating is something I am drifting toward naturally and your accounts are fascinating.

    Also how do you feel about the to cook or not to cook debate among carnivores? While I love sashimi and steak tartare, do you see any benefit in going completely or mostly raw?

  92. Wow, so it’s not just me! A doctor once told me that I should consider a dairy intolerance when I went in about my pimply skin. Two months of fairly strict dairy-avoidance (pretty easy at boot camp, save the over-processed fat-free cheese we would sometimes get, but hey, if it’s the only option, you eat what you eat), and my skin was GORGEOUS. Then I started re-introducing dairy, first with non-fat because my husband would eat it, then I went, no, everybody who eats Primally swears by full-fat. So I bought the full-fat, and my skin got thick and dull and pimply darn-near overnight. After eliminating the full-fat yogurt, it took about two weeks for my skin to get back in to shape.

    Fast-forward to reading some articles on the Weston A. Price Foundation site, and I concluded that I should eat cod liver oil and clarified butter. So I bought some grass-fed butter, clarified it, and went to town. Two weeks later, and four big, painful cysts later, I was whining to my husband about how I hate my skin and he said, “Maybe it’s the butter.” The butter that was supposed to be so amazing? I took it out of my diet and the cysts cleared up.

    When I started going Paleo, I never thought I would be up for a carnivorous diet, never mind a raw one! But sometimes, I guess you do what you have to in order to feel better, and I’d rather feel awesome and look awesome than eat crap and feel like crap. I just “made” myself steak tartare for the first time tonight, complete with the raw egg, and it seemed like every part of my body screamed, “Yes! Thank you!” So I’m slowly going through your site, trying to glean every piece of information possible.

    While I think that for now I’m going to keep to a super-low-carb diet, I look forward to possibly being able to eat a scoop of fat-free frozen yogurt or ice cream with my family in the summer and not have it show up on my face! Sorry for the long reply, but your observation about the dairy fats really struck home, and your discipline gives me motivation.

  93. So why don’t you eat veggies?? Or Juice Veggies?? The diet that you eat is really acidic and would cause your body to eventually break itself down, but then again you are includng things like fermented tea which is very alkaline.. Is alkalinity something that you think about when you eat?? Do you eat everything Organic? What kind of meats do you eat?? You don’t eat Cafo(confined animal feeding operation) meat do you? Keep up the great inspiration.

    Cheers!!!

    Jason K

    • For a long time I was reacting to veggies like crazy so I quit eating them and I felt great. About a year and a half ago I found out I have fructose malabsorption and my tolerance to foods changed.

      I don’t eat like this anymore!

      But it worked really well for me when I did.

      • wow thats really interesting, I would say that most ppl who have eaten the standard garbage american diet for a good portion of their lives probably have a similar diagnosis. I love raw meat, lol I ate raw grassfed beef before work this morning and it helped me out a ton through the day by providing my brain everything it needed :P. So you do eat veggies and fruits now?? What are your main things that you eat, its really interesting talking to someone who eats similar to me because their aren’t very many ppl who have the guts to go Primal lol :D Brainwashing plays an unfortunate roll in the transition to eating raw and most ppl dont have any dedication to health which is just crazy in my opinion.

        Thanks again Peggy,

        Sincerely yours,

        Jason Kincaidd

        • Yeah Jason, and not only diet but all the drugs we’re fed. I was on antibiotics ALL THE TIME until I went Primal. Since I was a kid I took all kinds of drugs for every ailment. And I had a lot of ailments. They say that fructose malabsorption may stem from over consumption of fructose. Who knows though really. There are so many elements screwing us up. It could be anything.

          I still don’t eat fruits at all. I seriously doubt I ever will. There are also a lot of veggies I have to avoid, one of those is cabbage. As you can read here. http://theprimalparent.com/2012/03/31/ibs-depression-skin-fructose-malabsorption/

          There are a lot of veggies I can eat though. I also have to be picky about which starches I eat.

          We are seriously narrow minded here in the US. We have no clue how people do things in other culture, how they’ve done it throughout history, and what we are doing wrong. Unfortunately, a lot of it is brainwashing. Corporations rule our world.

          • Amen lol I personally don’t eat any starches and the only fruit that I sometimes consume is lemons and maybe the occasional avocado. I can understand why you avoid Cabbage, it is very sweet, I think I might actually stop eating and juicing raw organic cabbage because of that very issue. I looked into a healthier lifestyle in the beginning of my health journey because of the poor health of my parents and I was well over 100 pounds heavier than I am today and probably had type 2 diabetes and multiple other things that I couldn’t feel because of the bombardment of toxic crap that I didn’t know about. I drink raw milk and eat a good amount of raw cheddar and raw butter as well. How do you do on dairy products?? I have a room mate who used to be lactose intolerant but when I found out about the truth about raw milk he can drink it just fine which is great. It is great talking to someone who eats similarly to myself, I have so many questions haha. for another time maybe.

            Thanks Peggy,

            Sincerely,

            Jason K

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  96. Do you think that sticking to low-FODMAP foods would be a good starting place for someone who suspects Fructose Intolerance? I have been eating Paleo for 4 months but still feeling yucky every time I eat certain fruits and vegetables.

    • Maryjane,

      A low FODMAPs diet may or may not work. Some foods are greater triggers than others for an individual so just keeping the FODMAPs low may not be enough. Try it out and see what works. If low FODMAPs works, great, if you still feel bad, try eliminating fructose and fructans.

  97. Hi, im interested in starting an elimination diet as even though ive been paleo for months I still have digestion & skin issues, i’m planning on only eating eggs/meat/seafood/butter/cheese & some sweet potatoes, and i will gradual’y eat more & more of them raw (im still a bit frightened of eating supermarket meat raw). I was just wondering do you eat your raw eggs whole? I LOVE raw eggs as they make me feel great but I often wonder if I should be eating so many raw whites? I feel i could eat a dozen raw eggs somedays but hold myself back.Thanks for any advice

  98. Hi Peggy,
    I’m interested, what is your experience with cellulite on Paleo diet? Personally, I associated cellulite gain with increase in raw dairy consumption (raw heavy cream in particular so I quit all dairy (except butter), but boy oh boy, it tastes amazing). I actually came to this lifestyle after experiencing abdominal weight gain/ bloating on higher fat raw vegan diet which was quite frustrating since I never had belly fat issues before. To make it worse, I gain cellulite on my belly too. Currently I am low carb (under 50g carbs daily) paleo/ primal eater. My diet mainly consists of pastured eggs (I eat yolks raw and whites cooked), some vegetables (green juice, salad with plenty of fats & protein), butter and meat (chicken and fish predominantly). I do grab some low gycemic fruit/ berries here and there, but they aren’t predominantly part of my diet. I tried experimenting and am very interested to try raw primal but still need more time to get adjusted to eating meat in first place…My goal on this diet, apart from finally finding a sustainable diet that makes me feel in control and good about my body and weight is to lose the accumulated cellulite, so I’m wondering…what is your experience on this topic? Do you have any suggestions on how I should go about this?

    • Ms Maar,

      So, did eliminating your raw dairy eliminate your cellulite? Unless there were food allergies involved, I doubt it did.

      I am so curious, what does a higher fat raw vegan diet look like? Lots of coconut and olive oils? While those oils are beneficial, there are a lot of problems with a raw vegan diet in my opinion. One is the absence of animal fats, two is the low protein which is needed to build connective tissue (to prevent and repair cellulite), and three is the incredibly high amount of fiber. Well, that list is certainly not exhaustive. The high fructose could be a problem. Low cholesterol would be a problem.

      Anyway, I do have experience with cellulite and I wrote an entire chapter on it in my book. Even if you’re not planning on getting pregnant, I would still recommend the book. It’s all about getting in control of your body!

  99. Hi Peggy,

    Im very interested in an all-meat diet to heal the intestines. It seems like when you are trying to heal your gut, carbs are the enemy. Fruit feeds yeasts, vegetables are full of oxalates and other toxins. Meat seems to be the most gentle on the intestines.

    What did you do about electrolytes when you ate all meat? How much salt did you add? did you supplement magnesium like so many low carbers do? Also how is all meat different from just plan low carb in terms of electrolytes?

    • Hi Renee,

      Organs contain electrolytes. I added supplemental mag sometimes. I found that adding vegetable juices with meat was the best for me. I did add salt but found I often overdid it. I am guessing that was because I was low on some electrolytes like magnesium.

  100. Peggy, your the women who will likely know this. Eating “low residue foods” like white rice, meats, skinless fruits, well cooked low fiber veg like zucchini – do they not make stools or just very little of any waste matter?

    I had sigmoid colon resection and a rectopexy. My rectum litterally dropped out of the pelvic floor after my last baby delivery. It’s been months sense surgery and my bowels don’t know how to poop so they are backed up terribly. I need to find a diet that nourishes me but doesn’t get backed up in an asleep colon. Am I right on thinking low resdue foods will keep my colon from needing to pass stools? Not into being a liquidtarian :-/

    • Ali, not exactly. Low res foods are more digestible than high fiber foods because they don’t contain indigestible fibers which must be eliminated, but it is more than just the undigested bits of foods which we eliminate. Stools are made up of a lot of bacteria. If you eat fermented foods, you will probably eliminate larger stools because of that. Also, there are other waste byproducts and digestive juices which are eliminated. Small stools may be more comfortable for your to pass given your situation but eating those foods isn’t going to save you from the need to poo altogether.

      I don’t think this is a bad route to take anyway. Bulking up may help you in the short term, but might not be a great long term strategy. If you have tried everything to solve your constipation, like you are eating plenty of mangnesium (fresh pressed juices can help there), your thyroid is healthy, and well so many other things (there is a section in my book on constipation), then maybe a laxative might be a good idea. Of course our bodies should be able to function without them but after colon surgeries, things may be different. Talk to your doctor about using glycerine suppositories. Konstantin of the Fiber Menace mentioned them in his book or on his website. You might want to check with him too and see what he has to say about healing from your difficulties.

      • Thank you so so much Peggy :-)

        But low residue foods don’t cause constipation do they if you are taking in fermented juices?

        Do you think your diet is the best for the colon functioning?
        Aren’t you all meat and rice, little to no fiber?

        Pretty sure nerve damage down there or something else bc suppositories use to work but after surgery I go a full day with it in.
        Oh and I used konstantin’s buffered vit c and worked good before surgery then not at all afterwards . So so weird.
        I’ll check out your book too :-)

        Hugs to you!

  101. Peggy, I just loved your vulcan comment and can relate directly to that experience my self.

    As a teenager I used to suffer from depression,anxiety and thoughts of suicide many times a day. Looking back I realize that it was more than likely a result of not been regular – going for a poop ever 3 or 4 days despite been extremely active. Later on as a young adult I would experience these violent panic attacks in my solar plexus, as though I was been stabbed with a knife repeatedly. I was emotional and foggy minded. After reading about the raw primal diet ( it did take take 2 weeks of everyday reading the forums to take the plunge) I gave it a go and like so many other people, experienced a miracle. My anxiety and fear of life faded away to non existent. I became still and felt peace for the first time in my 40 years of life. My emotions dissapeared and I was able to walk into life with confidence. (As a side note, note even the most intimidating man caused any sense of fear in me, I just experience a keen awareness and uncommon focus). When I did experience emotions of anger or happiness, they appeared powerfully and dissappeared as they had come, suddenly and without attachment – they just were. I felt no resentment and people were just people.

    One thing I am sure of is that carbohydrates in the now common form are psychotics.

    Vulcan indeed!

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