The other day I posted this: Got Milk? What’s so bad about milk? Count me surprised. At 80 comments so far, the vast majority are supportive, most drinking some milk themselves. And many also report the exact sort of benefits I've been seeing over the last weeks. More on that later.
The very few detractors mainly focussed on the acid-alkaline balance (i.e., first it grows bones and teeth but then apparently leeches them away <huh?>), the Paleo argument that other adult mammals don't drink milk (just like they don't cook their food or concoct complex recipes combining many foods at once), and insulin growth factors, i.e., it's insulinogenic (and of course you don't want any insulin </sarcasm>). Of course, lactose intolerance, allergies, and other digestion problems are well known and totally valid.
My main argument is this: what if you tolerate it, it makes you feel good (mental focus, energy, well being, ambition), begins to radically alter your body composition in a matter of days, and it's highly nutritious and bioavailable? Secondarily—and something I don't recall being objected to in that previous post—the real purpose of weaning.
How about stop and consider the evolutionary purpose of weaning. Was it because milk is overnight a bad thing for you; or, rather, is it because the mother needs to get on and get ready to bear another offspring? Seems obvious to me.
And commenter "Dr. Curmudgeon Gee" added something else I had not considered.
I consider milk more “paleo” than broccoli or coconut.
There’re only 2 things in nature that are designed to be consumed—milk & fruits.
Hmm. Most of us are familiar with why fruits are evolutionarily designed to be consumed by some animal—either to disperse seeds by eating the flesh and discarding the seed, or to pass through the digestive tract to be dispersed that way.
Other plants pretty much all have one form of defense or other from being eaten: chemical defenses from mild toxins, to outright poisons. And animals as well have defenses: claws, teeth, fast running legs, stealth, camouflage, climbing ability, burrowing ability, etc. There's really no such thing as a sacrificial animal (...except human beings, of course <grin>). But milk? 100% designed for the consumption of another animal. No, not human beings, but it's certainly a lot closer than everything else if you're talking about sourcing animal foods.
In short, I have come to find the whole Paleo debate over milk to be somewhat religious or "just so" and without much evolutionary logic behind it—and particularly when most Paleos eat other forms of dairy. It's a real, whole, nutritious and bioavailable food.
Alright, so it's been about two weeks now that I first introduced this regularly, just to see what would happen. So what happened? Exclusively good things. Not a single negative. The first week it was just a couple of glasses per day. All last week I upped it to more like 1-2 quarts per day (700-1,400 calories of whole milk).
The Saint Benoit comes out like this per 8 oz serving:
- 170 calories
- 10g fat (8g saturated) = 53%
- 12g carb = 28%
- 8g protein = 19%
I have also added Organic Pastures raw milk and combine the two, just in case there's something to the idea of raw being better, which I don't honestly know (S Benoit is pasteurized at 145F, the lowest allowed). Per 8 oz serving:
- 150 calories
- 8g fat (5g saturated) = 48%
- 12g carb = 32%
- 8g protein = 21%
Seems to me that's a pretty decent 50/30/20 macronutrient ratio of fat, carb, protein. At 30% of calories, even a 2,500 calorie per day diet is under 200g of carbohydrate—and that's assuming the diet was 100% whole milk.
So after the first week with no problems, I conceived of an experiment. The idea: could the use of milk and its high nutrition at about 50% of total daily calories, along with other highly nutritious foods like eggs, organ meats, shellfish and such make it easy to:
- Reduce total caloric intake substantially without constant hunger (like in VLC when fat, but your own body fat is making up the difference) but while carbs are at about 30% of calories?
Retain or even gain lean mass while losing fat (significant caloric reduction = weight loss) owing to the growth factors inherent in milk?
But this time I really wanted to establish a caloric baseline by eating ad libitum this past week, but with at least one, up to two quarts of the milk. I didn't want to fool or prejudice myself, so I only logged the foods and amount of milk without doing caloric tracking as I went along. Then today I put it into FitDay and guess what? Comes out to an average of about 2,400 calories per day, just what I come out to if I use an online calculator (2,445 to be exact).
Something else happened concurrently. I think I finally got to the bottom of my continuinig problem with the herniated cervical disc. This December will be 2 years since that happened (I blogged quite a lot about it back then). Long story short, it put me down, with chronic 24/7 pain and severe weakness in my right arm for months. I finally got control of it, but each time I've gone back to the gym it flares up again—usually for 2-3 weeks. Needless to say, I've been very gun-shy about the gym.
The last time this happened was my workout with Skyler Tanner and Dr. Doug McGuff in Austin. All was fine for about 5 days or so, and then bam! Three weeks of misery ensued, but I was just plain tired of whining about it on the blog yet again. I don't know why, but something just told me it was the overhead press.
I've decided that because of my age and because of this condition, I'm just going to get sensible and just to the plain old Body by Science routine, with two modifications: I'm adding in deadlifts because I love them, and the overhead press is going to be just "light vaginal conditioning." So that's what I did a week ago. Even after so long, DLs at 135x5 to warm up and then 205x5x3 were not difficult. Leg press cable machine at 360x5x3 was fine too (I'll eventually get to the BBS routine of heavier and using time under load, but I want to recondition first in a manner to which I'm accustomed). Everything else went fine including the light overhead press. A full week, and not so much as a tinge of pain from the injury; and I know I hit all the spots just right because I was marvelously sore for days.
So starting tomorrow, my workout day:
- ~ 2,000 calories per day, 1,000-1,400 coming from whole milk (I'll tweak that as I go along, upping or lowering the milk ratio to achieve the best feelings of satiation in the face of a 450 calorie deficit initially)
- One BBS style workout per week
- One 24-30 hour fast per week, sometimes in advance of the workout in order to work out deeply fasted—but not always
- One quart of milk consumed within the 2-hr window following the workout
- Recalculate daily caloric consumption with each 5 pounds lost (I vary between 185-188.5 right now, depending on water retention, i.e., daily)
In terms of nutrition beyond the milk: liver, oysters, clams, mussels, eggs, sushi, cottage cheese, lots of soups & stews made with stock & veggies & meats, light amounts of meat (mostly in the soups and stews). I will not be adding unnecessary fat to stuff (I've never been too much into that anyway beyond butter on a steak). I'll probably have a scoop or two of real ice cream now and then.
It's been quite some time now that I've had a very poor attitude in just about every respect. I know nobody's noticed that, but it's true! There have been many times where I've considered just fading away on this whole diet and nutrition thing altogether. Not even the emails and comments I get was enough, anymore. I just felt run down, crappy—I never use that stupid word "depressed."
Anyway, I feel transformed in the space of two weeks and though my weight remained stable in spite of all that milk, my body composition and just plain old "look" is changing almost daily to the point where I'm excited about hopefully making this work right and taking another step in the Progress Picture direction.
It's amazing what a can-do mental attitude and motivation can do.
Fuck. Milk? Who'da thought?