Which Diet Dogma is the Least Dogmatic?

— I stumbled across something today, read it, dropped a comment about it some other place, and then left it alone.

Until I couldn’t.

I sat there eating my first food in 19 hours—courtesy of an almost daily fast—time restricted feeding, eating window, whatever— and looked down at my 159 baht ($4.15) plate of grilled pork and chicken, with mushroom sauce, green peppercorn sauce, mashed potatoes, smoked pork sausage, and grilled vegetables…then realized I’m eating something that many a diet zealot loves, and that another hates.

…What I’d seen was a head-shaking post by Amber O’Hearn recalling an experience with potatoes she hadn’t touched so much as a bite of in over 2 decades. I seem to recognize the name, perhaps from the Paleo Daze—and apparently, she switched trains at the station at some point, in favor of a high-fat, low-protein keto/carnivore dogma approach.

Yep, I’m perpetually straddling dietary salvation and condemnation both, in nearly every meal—all of them falling short of either someone’s dietary prescriptions or someone else’s proscriptions. And on deeper sociological examination, isn’t that part of of the point of different diets as such, and in the first place?

It starts with chocolate and vanilla…but oops, both are proscribed by some dietary catechisms, allowed only in moderation in others. And unless there’s an Ice Cream DietTM, I don’t know that either are prescribed anywhere…unless perhaps the chocolate is 70% or greater organic cacao and then it might fall under the grudgingly allowable for some. I digress.

I’ll go into detail over Ms. O’Hearn’s post, below.

So what constitutes the ideal inspiration for a jump-to-the-front blog post more than that? I mean, just look.

Diet Dogma Love & Hate on the Same Plate!

This was at my favorite place in Rawai, JeePhueng Phochana and Steak House, a hole-in-the-wall owned and operated by a trained-chef hubby & wife team who met while working in a fancy hotel restaurant on the island, pre-Covid. Unique in the world, a “Thai” restaurant that serves only Farang food, but at Thai-normal prices. It’s less than 2km from my place, I’ve walked over and back a number of times. Every time I go I end up meeting Thai folks who’ve become Farang-food fans, as well as the astute Farangs, and the regulars, like myself.

My friend Jackie, for instance—a former 2nd-baseman for the Phillies way, way on back—eats there every day for lunch. Everyone says the same thing: ‘love the prices but we come here because everything is so good!’

And then I thought about the dinners I cooked at home the last two nights and it’s the same thing. Love & hate on the same plate, depending upon which dogmatic dietary perspective one pays homage to adheres to…practices. There. I fixed it.

Wait until you see those marvelous, mouth-watering photos. But first, the setup.

Two days ago I was in Lotus Fresh, a Seven Eleven-sized offshoot of the Tesco Lotus chain and I walked past the most beautiful pork filet I have ever seen in my life. And that’s the truth. A good inch and 1/2 thick, perfectly marbled, with a thin strip of fat that would turn singed and succulent over a grill flame. I had to have it, though it would set me back 69 baht ($1.80). I pared it with a boiled potato and bathed the entire shebang in a tarragon chicken-stock reduction sauce, dusted with black pepper and cayenne for a wee bit of kick and a Lagasse BANG!

Then down the aisle, an equally attractive, thick chicken breast with its skin called to me at only half the price of the pork. So I got that too, for last night, and that lower-carbohydrate meal was paired with mixed stir-fried vegetables and garlic, tossed in unsalted butter. I did the same thing with tarragon and chicken stock, but added a smidgen of milk for a southern flair.

I trust you’ll be able to tell which is which.

The current membership deal, good thru next Friday, 21 October, 2022, is 2 months free for the monthly subscription, $10 off the first year for the annual, and $25 off the Lifetime Membership. Here’s the announcement post with the applicable Discount Codes. But take great care. The post is littered with irrefusable hypnotic suggestions and the chances that you make it thru unscathed are slim. The other tidbit is that the price for Membership doubles on January 1st, 2023. Those who join prior to then are grandfathered, of course, and so the current discount-code offer is even more attractive to all with even an inkling of perhaps maybe someday.

Quarterly

The price for membership is $20.00 every 3 Months.

Select

$20 billed quarterly.

Annual

The price for membership is $65.00 per Year.

Select

$65 billed annually.

 

Lifetime

The price for membership is $325.00 now.

Select

Never pay again.

[Jesus, I’m having so much fun…Yesterday’s post on economics and marketing signalled a between-the-lines sea change in how I operate. Setting up testimonials (I need more, please) at the same time I’d already begun to put up far less content for satisfied, non-paying “customers,” combined with a Lifetime Membership option, combined with the discount-code thing, combined with announcing I’m doubling the price of membership across the board on January 1st has resulted in quite an uptick in subscriptions. This is good for me and good for you. And of course, your subscription price is grandfathered for as long as you keep it active. …And oh yea, I nefariously placed the paywall right before those two food picks, above. Evil, eh? Frankly, it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure writing for paying members exclusively. And thanks for the amazing testimonials I’m told by two marketers in the know that they’re the best and most unique they’ve ever seen. I just need more of them, please.]

OK, onward…

Well, first, a lot of people say a lot of crazy things and it’s far more than a full-time job keeping up with half of it. So why this? Well, for one, the name rang a bell for some reason. The other is that Sisson linked to the article in question, saying only that it was an “interesting blog post.”

Here it is:

Meat and Potatoes?

— No, potatoes are not on the carnivore diet and I will not be making a Venn diagram proposing to extend the definition of Carnivore.

No, I’m not currently eating potatoes.

— Yes, I took a period of time experimenting with non-Carnivore solutions to what, for years, felt like an intractable problem, and some of those things helped. Moreover, I learned some things about my own tolerances.

— No, I do not think the carnivore diet is responsible for my initial susceptibility to gut infection — that was clearly antibiotic induced — Carnivore just wasn’t enough to fix it.

— I have probably already tried your suggestion, whatever it is. Thanks, though.

— What worked for me might not work for you.

Bold, mine

Not so bad, but it gets worse and worse and illustrates the points I’ve made and will be making.

Last August (2021) was a low point in my life for a variety of reasons, but health was among them. I went to the Ancestral Health Symposium looking and feeling my worst in over a decade. […]

I will attempt to make a long, excruciating story short, which means I’ll omit a lot of detail. In 2018 began a terrible period of decline in health characterised by repeated cycles of antibiotics and worse and worse gut infections. It first became serious that fall when I went to the ER twice within a few days with a salmonella infection that took me completely out of commission for two weeks; “Out of commission” as in I was in so much pain that I took opiates and stayed in bed for a week straight, going in and out of drug-induced nightmares, punctuated by explosive trips to the bathroom. My life flashed before my eyes […] For one thing, the diarrhea didn’t go away.

So confident was I that my panacea of a diet would resolve the issue in good time, that many months went by with no reprieve and I took little to no action, other than taking some probiotics and making some of my own yoghurts, as well as trying some supplemental fibres, none of which helped. (Unlike some have reported, I personally had never before had diarrhea while on a Carnivore Diet. I don’t actually think it’s typical, though I acknowledge some experience it.) Despite chronic post-infectious IBS, I began gaining weight rapidly — abdominal fat, specifically. I started to tire easily. By spring I had to nap all afternoon to get through the day. At about this time I had to put on a conference I had somehow organised. Fortunately, I had many wonderful people help me with the execution, and it was epic! But I was deeply embarrassed about my weight on stage at the time — a weight I quickly exceeded!

It goes on and on in this vein, no reprieve whatsoever, for years! You can read it all yourself. It’s a train wreck of a tragedy. Remember, this began in 2018 and it went on for at least three years, until 2021, which is a year ago, and she’s finally writing about it—all the while being involved in conferences and, apparently, dispensing dietary advice on how virtually zero gut food it simply the cat’s meow. IT’S GOTTA BE!!!

‘After all, my website implies it right in the title: Eat Meat. Mostly Fat.’

Uh…yeah, ok…whatever you say.

Then began my supplement phase. I’m not going to go over every intervention I tried. Almost none made a whit of difference. […]

Keeping the faith same path, expecting a different result.

I decided it was time to do whatever it takes to recover and hired a different doctor, one familiar with Carnivore and functional medicine. We tried a lot of things aimed at gut repair, but nothing made any real difference. I also experimented with fasting, only to find deep intolerance. […] I’ll mention that a dry fast appears to have induced the excruciating expulsion of the kidney stones I had never passed.

…And why kidney stones at such a young age, one might ask?

A ten day regular fast (water and broth) not only caused no weight loss (I lost for a couple of days and then gained it back while still fasting and lost nothing further), but seems to have caused my first ever episode of amenorrhea.

“No weight loss.” “Gained it back while still fasting.”

Uh…BULLSHIT! It’s physiologically impossible for a human to go 10 days with zero calories and not lose weight (fat and lean…it’s all there is for energy once glycogen is depleted within a day or so…unless perhaps she was in a coma…?).

…Oh, wait…”and broth.” Coincidentally, I happened to make this 19-second YouTube short about 10 days ago.

So, no fasting. So, fasting didn’t help or hurt. She has no idea. She didn’t fast.

Unequivocal and absolute and holy fuck has that been a pet peeve of mine forever…at least since I first heard the term “juice fast.”

Most glycogen is stored in the liver, which has the greatest role in the maintenance of blood glucose during the first 24 hours of a fast. After fasting for around 24 hours, glycogen stores are depleted causing the body to utilize energy stores from adipose tissue and protein stores.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534877/

Point blank, personal anecdotes of fasting—but not fasting—notwithstanding.

Now for even more head shaking.

When I went to AHS, then, in August 2021, I felt haggard, defeated, embarrassed. I had taken with me the latest experiment, which was a supplement containing ox bile and digestive enzymes, to try to address the fat malabsorption. A little seemed like it might, maybe be helping? So the day before my presentation I doubled my dose. It was a mistake. I could not leave my hotel room that day due to diarrhea every twenty minutes. I ordered a steak from room service. It was small and I was ravenous. The box had come with potatoes. I have to emphasise that I had been on a low carb diet of some form or other for, at that point, two dozen years. I have never been tempted to eat even one bite of potato the many times they have been served with my bacon and eggs. They might as well have been decorations on the plate. But for whatever reason — all the reasons, but maybe especially the sense of futility and despair — I decided that rather than order another $25 4oz steak that would take an hour to arrive I was just going to eat the damn potatoes.

And that was instantly the end of three years of chronic diarrhea.

After THREE YEARS!!! of getting progressively worse while continuing to eat a completely fucktarded (sorry not sorry) diet, trying every fucking thing under the sun and then some, and a little potato side to a tiny 4oz steak spell an ‘instant end to three years of chronic diarrhea;’ and yet, “[to] be clear,” right up top of her post:

No, I’m not currently eating potatoes.

Well why the fuck not?

Seriously. A real and whole food de la terre that outright cured you “instantly,” and which you dared not take a single nibble of for over 2 decades? You try a micro-portion side with an expensive small steak, and three years of abject misery including many stages of bed-ridden down hard at home, afternoon slumbers, hospitalizations, endless doctor consultations at doubtless significant expense—not to mention the cost of all the the worthless supplemental interventions tried and failed—and the one free one, fasting, you didn’t do for even a few hours…‘gotta get that liquid fat “broth” in my belly’—are all largely rectified quicker than a jog to the toilet, and…

No, I’m not currently eating potatoes.

…And…

“No, I do not think the carnivore diet is responsible for my initial susceptibility to gut infection — that was clearly antibiotic induced — Carnivore just wasn’t enough to fix it.”

Double-plus LOLs at “Carnivore just wasn’t enough to fix it.”

Well, I certainly hope I’m not “misquoting you” and for sure, everyone is letting you “be clear.” Lady, are you ever clear.

So’s this, just not in a way that could be intended:

‘No, I do not think [my deep and abiding faith or ritualistic religious practices] is responsible for my initial susceptibility to [otherwise obvious and predictable consequences]—that was clearly [the work of the Devil]—[my Crucifix, Rosary, and Holy Water] just wasn’t enough to fix it.’

…Imagine the story of an imaginary nun.

Once she finally takes her vows, integrates and settles in with the convent, she’s elated. The euphoria persists for some years. She feels belonging, importance…that she’s involved with something far more important than her. She delights in refining her testimony as a gift to others, testimony that can help them in their troubles and times of need.

The elation fades slowly at first until one day, she realizes she’s just not well. She feels depressed, tired, unfulfilled, unhappy generally. She consults with other nuns, the parish priest, etc., and though anticipating recovery, finding her niche, and settling in for a lifetime of worthy service, it just doesn’t materialize.

Then one day, on mission away from the convent and finding herself alone and isolated from the flock, she happens into a handsome man who’s kind to her, listens, judges not. In a moment of desperation, weakness, or some glimmer of hope—she can’t decide or tell which—she falls into a sexual experience in his caring arms and she is instantly transcended in rapturous satisfaction that takes away all the pain, replacing it with a deep love and abiding sense of hope.

…Until she’s all good to go.

“No, I’m not currently having sex.”

She leaves open the door to maybe a nibble at it here or there, from time to time, when away from the convent and her covenants.

She regards it as a life.

2 Comments

  1. Nick Glatz on October 29, 2022 at 20:13

    I’ve read this three times since you wrote. Arguably one of your best — I love the “thought of carnivore” but not the practice of it. I’ve tried it but always the same outcome — cramping, shit attitude, lethargy, not enjoying some rice, potato or a single slice of bread with my wife….a slice of pizza with the kids. As you so perfectly say “it’s the dose, not the poison”…. I am certainly not saying anything about folks who subscribe to and benefit from this way of life; personally, I feel so much better with a 100ish Grams of carbs a day than without….don’t miss the constipation, don’t miss the leg cramps…..all the things a damn potato or a some rice can cure. And on the occasion I have some pizza with the kids…..I may fast the next day20ish hours and not think twice about it. LOVE YOUR SANITY….

    • Richard Nikoley on October 29, 2022 at 20:27

      IT REALLY IS THAT EASY.

      Some folks just have an inherent need to be dogmatic about diet, just like religion and politics.

      What happened to the days when people with slight variation in personal taste generally agreed on what good food was, and what wasn’t?

      No it’s gotta be a big federal case about everything.

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