Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Raw meat

with 13 comments

On the subject of Palaeo, I’m no longer convinced that our current notion of a Palaeolithic diet is genuinely Palaeolithic. The fruit and vegetables we get today are Neolithic, they’ve been through a long period of alteration and cultivation in order to increase their sugar content and make them more resistant to the pests attracted by large monocultures. Wild strawberries are tiny and extremely sour, you really wouldn’t want to eat that many of them – and probably wouldn’t be able to find many of them anyway!

Many people describe themselves as ‘Palaeo’ when in fact they still eat cooked vegetables and drink tea and coffee. I equate this to ‘vegetarians’ who eat fish – they’re sort of pretending to go along with the principle. I wonder what percentage of ‘Palaeo’ eaters are actually truly Palaeo? How long we have been cooking all of our meals is still a matter for debate, but the fact that we cannot eat most vegetables raw – because of the toxins and indigestible starches they contain, is surely a clue that such vegetables shouldn’t form a significant part of a Palaeolithic diet.

The other week I found a ‘Palaeo’ recipe in a magazine – it was a mixed green leaf salad with a dressing of pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper and mustard seasoning. I can just imagine Palaeo woman putting on her pinny and getting out her matt-effect steel pepper grinder, walnut wood bowl and matching Habitat salad tossers to throw that one together.

I find it quite amusing to consider that cashew nuts are such a hot topic of debate in Palaeo forums (because they need to be cooked), when that timeless Palaeo quote – that one should only eat what one can find or catch on the Savannah with a sharp stick, pretty much rules out everything from cauliflowers to carrots to green tea to noni juice!

Is eating three meals a day every day truly Palaeo? I think not. Michael Eades advocates intermittent fasting for its health benefits. I’m a fan, I’ve been skipping lunch or tea, undereating or overeating, or mixing up when I have my main meal for a few months now, and it definitely helps weight loss, and is even energising.

Is eating a Palaeo diet composed entirely of cooked meat truly Palaeo? I’ve been eating a little raw meat. It took a bit of courage. I am of course besieged by all the irrational fears about getting worms (it’s not actually the having of worms that is terrifying, more the having to go to the doctor to get rid of them aspect). Having done a little research I’ve learned from the Palaeo/raw messageboards that it’s pretty difficult to get worms from beef, especially when it’s been frozen for a couple of weeks.

Raw meat is tasty. It’s tastier than cooked meat. I’m not at all repulsed by the look or texture of it. I’ve been mincing it and eating it with raw egg yolk and plenty of salt, sometimes adding in a crushed garlic clove, or I’ve eaten raw minute steak. I actually seem to tolerate it better. Sometimes too much fried meat makes me crave sugar, but raw meat doesn’t. The other thing I’ve noticed, is specifically on mornings after eating raw meat the night before, the permanent dark circles I’ve had under my eyes since being a child almost disappear. Now I know they aren’t “allergic” shiners – but perhaps a curious sulphate-deficiency related kind of anaemia. Vitamin supplementation has never worked.

I’ve been eating a lot of beef lately. I guess I’ve been eating about 4 ounces per day, for about five days per week. Based on the statistics I published a few months ago, the average beef steer yields 568 lbs or 9088 ounces of meat. This means at my current rate of 20 ounces per week, I will consume about 1040 ounces per year, so it will still take me 8.73 years to eat my way through one beef steer. I also average around three eggs per day every day. In the same period of time I will work my way through 9559 eggs. Someone who eats one fish five days per week would get through about 2270 fish.

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Written by alienrobotgirl

19 September, 2006 at 1:22 pm

Posted in Historical Diets

13 Responses

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  1. i have been reading your writings for a while starting with the porker diet. i find your posts to be interesting and informative. i don’t think i have any food sensitivity problems like you but i am stil very intersted (obssesed?)in diet. i started eating low carb about 2 years ago,mainly because after reading ‘life without bread’, and about mr steffanson, and various evolutionary articles about humans ,i became convinced it was the healthiest diet for me.unfortunately i have not been too healthy lately.in june a rash appeared on my forehead ,which turned out to be shingles .the virus got into my left eye and damaged the retina.after two spells in hospital,one for antiviral drug treatment,the other for an operation to repair a detatched retina, i am left with one good eye,my left is pretty useless depite the doctors best effeorts.i thought i was young (34)and healthy eating a diet which boosted my immune system.i was tested for various diseases ,such as hiv,to see why my immune system hadn’t dealt with the herpes virus and stopped it progresssing so much.i decided to do some research on the virus that had caused me alot of trouble, and came up with a dietary link.it seems the amino acids arginine and lysine have an effect on the virus. arginine promotes growth and lysine inhibits growth.in the 2 weeks prior to becoming ill i had eaten a few bags of peanuts a food high in arginine.of course i will never know if this was the cause ,but the doctors can’t give me any answers.i like you have no faith in doctors or the drugs they dish out.an episode like this certainly makes you think.i thought i was doing everything i cuold to be as healthy as possible ,then out of the blue i end up in hospital.anyway sorry for boring you with my problems.regarding raw meat don’t think i could do it although i do eat my steaks very rare. anthony.

    Anonymous

    20 September, 2006 at 7:43 am

  2. Yikes, Anthony, sorry to hear about your shingles. I’ve heard chickenpox remains dormant in the body (spine?) and anything from sunburn to stress can allow it to reactivate. Since I sorted my nutrition out, the two things that cause me to get sick are sunburn, and staying up too late/having a bad night’s sleep. The arginine connection is very interesting, I’ve heard it in relation to herpes before but didn’t make the shingles connection. I had chickenpox as a child, so I certainly won’t be trying any arginine supplements! I think it’s inevitable that sometimes people will get sick no matter how hard they try with nutrition, because there are still so many unknowns and other factors, but it’s such a shame when it happens to people who are really trying. Hope you are feeling better.

    Alien Robot Girl

    20 September, 2006 at 2:07 pm

  3. Which paleo/raw messageboards did you look at?

    Anonymous

    20 September, 2006 at 3:45 pm

  4. Raw Paleo Diet, and The Bear’s advice on The Meat and Egger’s Forum. Also, NT’s advice is that two weeks’ freezing kills worms.

    Alien Robot Girl

    20 September, 2006 at 4:56 pm

  5. I would guess that if paleolithic people had a low-carb diet they would not need to eat all the time, i.e. every four hours to keep the blood sugar in check. Tribes relying on starchy tubers, sago etc might be the exception here.An evolutionary hint suggests that we did not eat lunch, and maybe not breakfast. From what I know, the large carnivores on the savanna were active mostly during mornings and late evenings, due to the heat in the middle of the day. Humans filled the “carnivore-vacuum” hours before and after noon. An upright posture, little hair and a well developed ability to sweat is an advantage when hunting during midday. I for one would not eat lunch while hunting wilderbeast, nor go hunting with a big breakfast in my stomach.When would a hunter eat then? A good guess is after the hunting. If the hunting is midday, and it takes some time to bring the kill back to the tribe and prepare it, I would guess that an evening feast is most likely the most common time to eat the majority of the days calories.I have myself been eating only in the evenings, after work, for most of the past one and a half years. I found it to intuitively a good idea for muscle growth and tissue repair due to the high levels of growth hormone during sleep. I later read “The Warrior Diet” and “Maximum Muscle, Minimum Fat” by Ori Hofmekler. The former is a book for the layperson not interested in all the details, while the latter book explains the hormonal changes, cellular processes etc that are affected by periodic undereating/fasting and overeating. His diet is high-carb, but alot of the science is interesting. Arthur De Vany follows a similar diet. Following one paleo (not a salad and chicken breast paleo) meal in the evening (or several spaced by an hour or two) I lost 20 pounds and gained 20 pounds again, all depending on the amount I eat. However, gaining the pounds is harder that with a normal diet. I had to stuff myself completely to gain significant weight, something I did for the purpose of muscle gain (with the accomponing layer of blubber).I had a period of a few months where I also ate breakfast, but somehow it felt un-natural to eat before starting the activities of the day. One feast in the evening and perhaps a small breakfast seems natural. The breakfast is typically leftovers from last nights feast. Cycling between low-calorie and high-calorie days is also a good idea, and ensures that the metabolism does not slow down. Eat 3000 kcals in one meal and tell me a few hours later that you are still suffering from slow metabolism. Your body will be pretty warm. A big meal also regulates the levels of leptin and ghrelin so that metabolism is raised and appetite reduced. The best way to eat big meals without getting fat is to eat few of them, i.e. once a day.There are many other factors that make intermittent fasting a good idea. “Maximum Muscle, Minimum Fat” and http://www.arthurdevany.com are interesting starters here. Be a student, not a follower. These guys either eat carbs or follow low-fat diets with loads of vegetables.Regarding raw diets and healing, I recommend reading the books by Aajonus Vonderplanitz, even though he eats lots of honey and drinks vegetable juices almost everyday. Again, student not follower. His theories on healing are interesting, and in line with holistic medicine, i.e. that the body heals itself when one stops overwhelming it with toxins (e.g. salicylates, oxylates, aspartame, glycoproteins from heavily fried foods etc). Furthermore, the enzymes present in raw food make it easier to digest, thus freeing the “enzyme pool” (for lack of a better word) for use in non-digestion processes. Vonderplanitz also recommends not fearing bacteria, including Salmonella and other. The reason is that bacteria work as a clean-up crew that clean up cells that are filled with “toxins”. A healthy body does not have the same reaction as a body with cells filled with toxins. Don’t blame the vulture, blame what killed the wilderbeast rotting on the savanna. Enough thoughts for now. Search for information on killing cancer with bacteria. What is cancer? Cells filled with toxins and foreign compounds such that genetic expression is irreversibly changed (maybe, just my thought). Prevention: no toxins. How to reduce toxins: No salicylates, oxylates etc, no casein, gluten, corn, soy that causes (possibly subclinical) villous atrophy leading to leaky gut syndrome (thus leaking all toxins into the blood stream and from the blood into the cells). This is a theory-fetus. More thinking must be done. I suspect that different cell types (of the many hundred in the body) have an affinity for different toxins, half-digested proteins, glycoproteins leaked through a duodenum with atrophied villi etc. I am guessing that organ failure (disease) is caused by changes in genetic expression in the cells when the toxin/foreign compound levels are high enough, thus causing the cells to be identified as non-cell and triggering an auto-immune response. Half-theory, half-intuition.Anthony:Vonderplanitz does consulting by phone. I have not tried this myself, but it might be worth trying regarding shingles. Apply the ant philosophy. Never quit looking for a solution to your disease. Ants never quit.-Raw Paleo John

    Anonymous

    21 September, 2006 at 8:12 pm

  6. It’s heartwarming to stumble across another fan of raw meat. I recently spent seven weeks interning on a biodynamic farm where I was introduced to raw pasture raised beef. It was absolutely wonderful, more flavorful and definitely more satiating than cooked beef. The trick now is finding good quality beef that I can eat raw and that hasn’t been easy. Great blog by the way.

    Richard

    21 September, 2006 at 11:57 pm

  7. Hi Raw Paleo John,”Cycling between low-calorie and high-calorie days is also a good idea, and ensures that the metabolism does not slow down. Eat 3000 kcals in one meal and tell me a few hours later that you are still suffering from slow metabolism. Your body will be pretty warm.”Oh yes, I’ve done this! It’s my favourite way of eating, and I’ve been using it a lot to lose fat and gain muscle!John, you have a lot of wisdom you can share. Do you have a blog? If not, PLEASE consider starting one, I think you’d develop a big following! We really need someone to speak out for this kind of diet, paleo has been distorted too much!

    Alien Robot Girl

    22 September, 2006 at 7:32 am

  8. Hi Richard – Are you THE Richard Morris? *starstruck* Thanks Richard!!!

    Alien Robot Girl

    22 September, 2006 at 7:41 am

  9. Yes, I’m that Richard. I’ve been dropping in on your other site from time to time as it has always been a good read. I just discovered PP&RS. I also discovered “The Bear” through this site as well. More good reading. I was introduced to the life and work of Steffanson earlier this year and was fortunate enough to be afforded the opportunity to read a rare copy of Fat of the Land. Thanks for posting what you’ve learned regarding the path you’ve chosen for better health. The more of us who share our stories, the better off we’ll all be.I’m attending a workshop next week regarding the link betweenartificial food additives and learning/behavior problems. Real raw food is definitely one of the best nutritional options out there.”I for one would not eat lunch while hunting wilderbeast, nor go hunting with a big breakfast in my stomach.” Raw Paleo John, I agree with your assessment. Recently while working on a farm, it was not uncommon to put in 14 – 16 hour days. I regularly put in 3 to 4 hours of work before breakfast and lunches were always light. While it may sound counterintuitive to most people, digging trenches and chasing steers is significantly more difficult on a full stomach.-Richard

    Richard

    22 September, 2006 at 1:28 pm

  10. I have a training and diet log at Norwegian forum, under a different alias. I began reading about health and diet in January 2003. At the time I was about 40 pounds overweight, irritable after many hours without food and with small annoying pimples (not acne, but annoying still) on my forehead. Before this I had been following a high-carb diet consisting of pasta, rice, bread, pizza and up to one to two liters of soda a day. I was also taking protein shakes and creatine for my workouts. I was also avoiding fat, especially saturated fat, and eating things like chicken breasts and fish. In other words, I was following the “established” healthy diet (with the exception of the soda).I had always wondered why obese or very obese people didn’t turn around their habits at 200, 240 or more pounds… January 2003 I decided to turn around my habits to get rid of the flab. I started reading “The Ketogenic Diet” by Lyle McDonald and in about 4-5 months the pounds were gone. Since then I have been exploring diet, health and strength training.My health goals are to find and choose a set of health-related habits that ensure a long, healthy and happy life full of mental and physical energy, optimism and clarity. Once I have found these habits, they will be easy to follow for the rest of my life. I am closing in on “perfect” habits now, but there are still some adjustments to be done in training and diet. There are also a few remaining questions. A few of my lingering questions have been answered thanks to your blog. The pimples problem for instance. I had always thought that it would be strange to give people health advice (face-to-face) and have them wondering “If this guy is so healthy and his diet is so perfect, why does he have pimples and greasy skin?”. When I get the time I am considering doing an objective experiment that will definitively prove the connection between salicylates and pimples. My idea here is to use computer vision and automatic texture analysis of skin images, aquired under controlled illumination settings, to observe they changes in skin texture (“pimpleness”) over time. Dietwise I will do this by having two diets, differing only in the amount of salicylates. Both these diets will be raw paleo with the exception of some carbs. In one diet I will have carbs from white sugar or maple syrup, and in the second I will have carbs from honey (not raw, in order to keep this variable out of the equation). I might increase the amount of carbs to 75 grams or so in order to get lots of salicylates. The experiment will simply involve following a diet without salicylates for one month, then one with salicylates for one month, then without for one month, with for one month. For an objective analysis simply plot the pimpleness as a function of time. If honey does not do the trick I will try berries versus pears or something similar.Discovering the cholesterol myth really opened my eyes, not just in the field of diet and health. My eyes are still open and my mind still able to change. I am always skeptical while being open-minded. Interestingly, I have noticed how experts in a field usually almost start saying stupid things when they deviate from their main field. “Raw food is the way because [insert really well researched work], but coffee is ok because [insert vague excuse]”.When reading about health, nutrition, science in general or what have you, I typically “Forget the trees, but remember the forest”. The details disappear, but I remember the big picture and intuition takes care of the rest.I am considering writing a health, diet and training blog in English. Currently I am busy working full time while finishing my PhD (in applied machine vision). At the same time I am getting rid of 10-20 pounds in order to become lean and muscular, while adjusting my diet and training. When I am finished with these milestones I will most likely write a blog in English to promote true health.The work you and others do is very important in order to spread the word. Ideas are like a virus or bacteria and once the reach a critical density, and/or the critical people in the large network of human-to-human relations, they will replace existing ideas. For more information on how this is done I recommend “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. Finally, an excellent quote by Anthony Garrett:”On the large scale, history shows that an uncritical and misinformed populace is a breeding ground for all manner of intolerant beliefs and practices. The discovery that truth has to fight for its survival is not a pleasant one, but is an essential realisation in maintaining civilisation. And in a society as open and susceptible to fraud as ours is, truth needs all the help it can get.”Richard:”Thanks for posting what you’ve learned regarding the path you’ve chosen for better health. The more of us who share our stories, the better off we’ll all be.”I believe the Internet is the tool that enables us to spread healthy practices to more and more people. Hopefully we will reach a “tipping point” in the not to distant future when all preventable health problems are eradicated thanks to people following a truely healthy diet (…which is quite different from the official healthy low-fat, fiber-rich, grain-abundant diet).Some food for thought:Cause-of-death in the US in 2001:Heart Disease ……… 726,000Cancer ……………….. 539,000Stroke …………….. 159,000COPD ……………….. 109,000Accidents …………… 95,000Pneumonia/Flu …….. 24,000Diabetes …………… 62,000Suicide ……………. 30,000Kidney Disease ……. 25,000Liver Disease ……. 25,000- National Vital Statistics, 2001How many of these are related to diet?Regarding your activity on a full stomach, I noticed the same thing. I did not chase many steers though… Training with weights for one to two hours only a few hours after eating did not feel right at all. You can almost feel how the body is working on digesting the food (it takes 3 hours to empty the stomach, and the amino acids, fatty acids are still being absorbed hours after this). So while the body is trying to digest your food, suddenly you start intense activity and the body is thinking “My God, a lion is attacking my tribe while we are resting after the feast.” I do not wish for my body to think it is attacked by lions every day.-Raw Paleo John

    Anonymous

    23 September, 2006 at 8:09 pm

  11. I’m so impressed to have you both post messages on my blog! It’s so important to get the word out to help people who are suffering unneccessarily, it’s wonderful to see two influential people here! Richard, I’m very flattered that you read this and my other site!I see how it must be the natural way of things to exercise (i.e. hunt) before eating, and then eat, and then rest quietly for several hours.Raw Paleo John, this sounds like a really good experiment to do – having the hard evidence like this could be so useful for the thousands of people trying to fix their dermatitis and pimples. If you decide to do it, be careful with large amounts of maple syrup and other syrups like golden syrup, as they can contain small amounts of salicylates. Please let me know how it goes, I’d love to hear the results!

    Alien Robot Girl

    24 September, 2006 at 10:18 am

  12. Is it necessary to retain any fat to protein rations while eating only raw meat? I intend to keep my carbs under 5 grams by consuming 8-9 egg yolks before my big, red steak at night before bed. Steak and eggs will be my staple.Also, does freezing damage raw meat?

    Anonymous

    3 October, 2006 at 4:01 pm

  13. Hi Anon,I think Kwasniewski would advise to stick to the same fat/protein ratios. Personally, I am seeing less and less requirement for them as my health improves on failsafe.Yes, freezing does affect raw meat slightly – not in terms of enzymes or cystine content, but it does destroy some of the vitamin content (I think K and B6 are particularly vulnerable to freezing).However, rather eat freshly frozen/thawed meat than meat that has been sat in the fridge for three days! It’s a matter of offsetting the cost of vitamin loss against the cost of amine formation.

    Alien Robot Girl

    16 October, 2006 at 9:32 am


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