Extreme changes, and big improvements about diet and health

This post has taken me a while to write, and I'm a little nervous about posting it, but... here goes. Some big changes have been happening in our household to do with food. I've talked about my diet before, in response to some questions about me brief mentions about some raw vegan foods I've made. But things have changed a lot since that post, and I guess I feel the need to update my blog to reflect the changes in my life. Diet is a very personal issue, but I want to give context to any future posts about food.

Maybe I'm making too big of a deal out of this. Basically, for more than 10 years I was vegetarian, though I ate fish occasionally. For the last 3 years, I've been mostly raw vegan--mostly raw foods, no dairy, no meat, the very occasional raw fish. Although in the past year I'd started eating eggs again since I wasn't satisfied with the raw foods I had time to make. But over that 10-year period, I never missed meat or craved dairy or anything.

Over Christmas, I started eating (grassfed only) meat again, something I never thought I would do. I also started eating a lot of grassfed butter. This change is completely shocking to me, but I'm really excited about it. If you had asked me a few months ago if I would ever eat meat again, I'd have said, "I don't see why. No need to. No desire to. Not even when I get pregnant. I'm fine!"

So, what changed?

Our kitchen island. (Wait, are those meat books??!!) Image source: The Oregonian

From raw vegan to quasi-Paleo high fat diet


This big change is all thanks to my husband. He was always very supportive of my raw veganism, and happily ate whatever I made for us, but never did the diet as much as me. Last fall he started reading some new health blogs and listening to some great podcasts, and learned some very different views about health--different than what we'd learned in health class, online, in FDA resources, in vegan advocate books like The China Study, and even somewhat in holistic food books like The Omnivore's Dilemma.

Basically, he told me he was leaning how our bodies are healthiest when we eat lots of healthy fats and saturated fats, and no processed fats. So, you can lose weight by eating a lot of good fat like coconut oil and grassfed butter (very different properties than regular butter). Weigh loss and muscle gain was my husband's goal, so he told me he wanted to start drinking coffee with about 400 calories of grassfed butter and MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil blended every morning. This sounded INSANE to me. I was anti-coffee and dairy, and couldn't see how eating more fat would do anything but make you fat.

This coffee recipe--"Bulletproof Coffee"--comes from the diet of same name. The Bulletproof Diet is "Paleo-friendly but not Paleo-derived," so has a lot of similar concepts to the Paleo Diet that Loren Cordain developed in the late '90's and early 2000's, but has a focus on low-toxin foods that don't contribute to hormonal and gut bacteria issues that can contribute to weight gain. The Bulletproof Diet is also a "high-fat, moderate-protein diet" whereas traditional Paleo is generally lower-fat, high-protein.

Our Bullletproof Coffees

But for me first hearing this, I thought it sounded insane. High-fat? More than 50% of your daily calories from healthy fats?? Whaaaa...?!?!

So I did some research myself and read about the founder of the Bulletproof Diet, who had also been raw vegan for a time and tried out basically everything he could to lose weight and be healthy. He had been eating low fat diets and worked out 6 days a week and still weighed 300 lbs until he developed his Bulletproof Diet and lost 100 pounds, gained muscle, increased his mental clarity. All of this confused me a ton--me, the 10+-year vegetarian who yes, had some health issues, but for the most part was okay and looked pretty good most of the time and kept going every day without much fat or animal protein.

I needed more fat!


So, after doing my research about the Bulletproof Diet and other researchers and doctors who prescribe similar ways of eating, I started out by adding more fat into my diet. I wasn't ready to eat meat, but I tried starting my morning with some coconut oil and almond butter instead of a green smoothie and eggs. To my surprise, I felt great! and didn't gain any weight. I felt full longer--go figure, right? ;) I also didn't have sweet cravings and drastically decreased my (always natural, but still) sugar intake. After continuing to learn about this, I started to feel like the principles of this diet had the potential to be the healthier than what I was doing, and it began to make a lot of sense.

Kerrygold unsalted butter. We eat a lot of these! Source: Kerrygold
The crazy thing for me was this new appreciation for healthy fats (the building blocks of cells, after all)... I really, really love it now. Not only was I full longer, my digestion improved immensely, and I realized I'd really been depriving myself for years of watching fat intake and eating a pretty low-fat diet. I noticed my cravings in the middle of the day when I hadn't had enough lunch were for FAT, not sugar or protein/nuts, like I once felt. It's like my body saying, I need fuel! Fuel to burn! Like gas, but the kind my body wants!! I'm so excited about my new diet that's full of good butter. ;) Now, a legitimate snack for me is almond butter and coconut oil in a dish, haha, although if I eat good meals (veggies, fat, and maybe some meat) I don't need snacks, for the first time in my life. Wow. (I may have needed more protein, too, but I'm not sure I was super deficient in that before. Our bodies are good at creating proteins (fingernails, hair, etc....) but we can't generate fat on our own. When we eat good fat, it's clean fuel. When we eat crazy, modified fats and hydrogenated oils, our bodies don't know what to do with it and we store it. But pure fat is what tells our systems we are not in a place of famine, and we can use energy at a normal rate. Mmmm....)

Eating Meat Again...!?


It's weird, but... I realized that this diet actually had a surprising amount in common with what I had been doing: whole foods, nothing processed, low-toxin, no grains or gluten, nothing overly cooked, lots of nutrient-dense foods, lots of veggies. The difference was the fat and the (grassfed only) meat.

I felt like it might be time to try not only the butter and coffee (which is super delicious, by the way--all you taste is coffee and creaminess!!), but even some grassfed meat and see how I felt. I felt no adverse effects from the butter (very low in milk proteins which I'm sensitive to, mostly just has the good saturated fat). Next, meat! I was excited but nervous to eat meat again, but luckily my in-laws have been buying cow and pig shares from a local farm, so we knew we had access to quality meat to try, and buy some ourselves if we liked it.

So, when I was ready, on Christmas morning I had some bacon. Totally shocked my husband, watching me eat it. Then at Christmas dinner with the in-laws, I ate a pork chop. I never even liked pork chops that much, but it was the best meat I've ever had. Later that week, we cooked up some ground beef in burgers and shepherd's pie. Jumping in with both feet!! I was exhilarated and felt full in a way I haven't since... since I can remember, I guess!

After this I felt like making the choice to start eating meat again, but maintaining my dedication to quality and nutrient density--something I felt really good about, even though it was a radical departure from what I had done before. Since Christmas we bought our own share of local grassfed beef and have been trying lots of new fun recipes, And experimenting with preparation methods. I borrowed some books from friends and family and we got a couple ourselves, and it's so interesting and amazing to learn about the parts of the cow, the ways grassfed is different than conventional, etc. It's like a new hobby!

Gaining muscle, losing fat by eating fat and meat


After reading and listening to podcasts, I understand why my body has undergone the changes it has. But it sounds weird if you come at it from a conventional perspective. Since changing our diets, my husband has lost 25 pounds (and counting) without changing his exercise level, and is gaining muscle and looking awesome. (In fact, he's even been blogging about our grassfed meat/butter lifestyle and other nutrition enthusiasm! Grassfed Geek blog...)

Weight loss wasn't my goal, but I have gained muscle and kept about the same weight, also not changing exercise. My clothes all fit exactly the same, but I have ab definition and my arms look super toned. And I feel great about my body. For the first time in years, like literally, like since I was a kid, I've felt totally comfortable in my skin and not self-conscious or like I should look better or different. I feel like this is how my body is supposed to be in its natural state! How amazing!!

The End! (So far!)


So, I'm really excited about this new-to-me way of eating, and have been enjoying the Paleo and grain-free, high-fat diet resources online. (Great "What is Paleo?" summary on one of my fave sites here.) I'm still super new to this, but I know a lot of bloggers share their Paleo diets and recipes and I'm sure there are tons still to discover! (& Kathleen wrote about her Paleo cleanse, Rubies and Radishes has a great summary of the foods she's found work for her, Jessica Quirk of What I Wore wrote about her transformation, etc...) But for now, here are a few blogs I've found, if you want to check them out.

Favorite all-around source: Balanced Bites (and their awesome podcast!)

Paleo recipe blogs:


Paleo research and article blogs:


I'm also loving a lot of the books out there. We've learned so much about quality meat and cooking meat from these:

And I can't wait to read these:


I guess the basic takeaway from all of this for me is, what we thought we knew about diet and health comes from years of biased influences, but we know that we as a culture have strayed from a healthy, simple diet. Look around and we see all kinds of health problems and weird variations and processed foods. So I'm really excited to have found a way that I can eat that makes me feel and look good--it seems so simple now. I'm loving this new attitude and diet and can't wait to keep learning more!!

(All of that was FYI! Sorry if it's too much, and feel free to ignore if you disagree. Again, diet is personal, but I wanted to put this out in the open and feel able to post new fave recipes, etc. in the future without being confusing. Now it's off my chest!)


P.S. Why I was vegan, and what stayed the same

I should say that I became vegetarian not because I felt compassion for animals, although I do, but because meat grossed me out and it seemed like a good thing to do. Then I became raw vegan because I was inspired by some new friends that had done it, and the raw vegan book and blogs I was reading made it seem like the healthiest way to eat. Health was my goal.

I realized during my raw veganism that the most important things to exclude from my diet were processed foods, grains, and dairy. I had had a lot of health problems before adopting the raw vegan diet, and they mostly went away--and I lost 25 pounds without trying. However, by the end of it, as I said, I wasn't feeling super satisfied with the food choices I had and I didn't often have time to make some of the complicated recipes I did enjoy. So a lot of the time I would end up eating way too much dried fruit (probably not technically raw anyway) and nuts--like, for a meal. Or I'd cut up some fruit and eat it with peanut butter (also not raw, but a whole food) and maybe salt and raw sugar. I ate WAY too much fruit sugar and I knew it, but I didn't know what else to eat and I was hungry. (We even tried a week of juice fasting/juice cleanse, to see what it was like--verdict: terrible. Way too much sugar, numbed my sense of when to eat, and the lack of fiber meant nothing got processed. I was constipated the entire week, literally; sorry about the TMI... but my husband had the opposite problem, which was also uncomfortable. Never doing that again!!)

So, I'm very happy with what we've found now, and so exciting to keep learning more!

The end... for now. ;)

72 comments

  1. Hi Suzannah! I've been reading your blog for over a year now and really enjoy it!
    Loved your post today! I grew up in Argentina and all we ate was grass fed meat and organic food. I've been living in MA for over 13 years now, and not too long ago I found a place that sells grass fed meat and I'm loving it!
    Enjoy you new adventure!

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  2. Anonymous2/27/2013

    I'm glad you are making such healthy progress towards your health.

    And I think you are mistaken when you say paleo is low fat, high protein..

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  3. Yay!!! This post makes me so happy to read! I too was a full-time vegetarian and part-time vegan for about 9 years. I followed the diet to the letter and was happy for the first 7 years. But then my health diminished in those last 2 years, and the end result was being underweight, thyroid disfunction and fatigue issues. My husband and I are both scientists, so we did a lot of research, reading books, reading some amazing blogs and discovered this whole realm of getting back to a diet of "Traditional Foods". We made the switch to including meat, dairy and eggs into our diet, making sure we source them ONLY from local farms who pasture and raise their animals humanely. We live in Vermont, so we are blessed to have so many farms near us who care about their animals, what they eat and how they are raised. It has made such a difference in our health!
    Though not strictly a Paleo-Diet website, I would highly recommend the website, 'Food Renegade'. It's an amazing blog, researching the facts on why a 'Real Foods' diet is so important, things like healthy fats, grass-fed butter & meat, raw milk, plus a whole host of other things. It's not strictly Paleo, though they speak highly of GAPS and Paleo diets. I think you would really enjoy it!

    On the other hand, I hope you don't experience the same thing I went through after I stopped being a self-labeling vegetariam: the backlash. I lost a lot of friends who were rather fanatical about their veg or vegan diets. There has been a lot of name-calling and anger coming from them, as if I have betrayed them, lost my mind, became "stupid", etc.. It's hard to talk about diet with anyone because it is so personal, but I can't ignore the research or how I know my body feels (which is most important!) Best of luck to you!

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your similar story!! I'm checking out that blog now. I hope I don't get angry backlash for my change, but I don't have too many vegan friends anymore, actually... some former vegetarian ones, though!

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  4. I really like the idea of doing a meat share. Like paying for half a cow so you know where the meat came from and storing it all in your freezer. We hope to do that someday, but definitely need to upgrade our freezer first. Anyway, your post was really interesting. I've heard about the paleo diet before (obviously, it's everywhere) but have never heard about a lot of the things you mentioned. I'm still not sold on 100% cutting out grains though.

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    1. It's awesome, and great to have all that meat available to thaw whenever! We can fit 1/4 cow in our regular fridge freezer. You might be surprised at what yours can fit!

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  5. I found this fascinating - great post! You mentioned that when you got cravings during the day, you were craving fat. Can you share what kind of snacks you turn to during the day? I'm always looking for healthy snacks to bring to work so that I don't wander to the vending machine!

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    1. Thanks! I'm still figuring out snacks that travel well, but when I eat good meals with enough fat in them, I don't need to snack at all!! I do love raw, unsalted cashew pieces though, and almond butter and coconut oil. Sometimes all together in a dish! People might look at me weird if I did it in public, though...

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  6. I 100% support and LOVE everything in this. It really is the way to go! I'm not fully there, quite yet, but it my goal to be at that very point. Major kudos to you!

    I was very anti-meat consumption (after reading The China Study), but then I learned more about the way that our metabolism works... For example, our muscles are made of protein. Without eating enough protein, our body will start to cannibalize our existing protein stores (aka, our muscles! The things that help us metabolize!) which decreases our metabolism. My mind was blown and I started incorporating grass-fed meats into my diet. It has made a huge difference! I have not been doing the healthy-fats like I should be, but this is super encouraging, so I plan on eating some coconut oil pronto. ;)

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    1. Thanks!! Yeah, I was influenced by the China Study too, but it's been widely discredited since it was published. Don't worry about it anymore. There's a lot more research pointing the other way!

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  7. In the last couple months I've recently changed the way I eat to be very similar to what you've described. What I'm doing is from whole9life.com. It's a type of paleo that focuses on eating meat, vegetables, and healthy fats. What I really love about this philosophy of eating is that not only did it open my eyes to how bad for me processed foods, grains and other starchy foods are for me, but the also focus on dealing with emotional and psychological attachments we have with food - of which I have a lot (I LOVE chocolate!). Their website has lots of interesting articles on health if you need more to read!

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    1. Awesome, thanks! I've heard of the Whole 30 but didn't know where it originated!

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  8. Anonymous2/27/2013

    Yes, indeed you need al the building blocks, so also fats. It's all about balance; not to much yet not to little. It also depends on the request of you body. By eating to little, the body will go to the survival mode and shall uptake and store relatively more nutrients

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  9. A friend of mine has lost over 40 pounds doing this! Investing in your health is important - love to see when people research to figure out what is best for them!

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  10. First off, I'll say that everyone is different ie: blood types, body types, digestive systems, etc, so not every way of eating is for everyone. That being said, I watched the documentary "Fat Head" which really changed the way I think about food. At the moment, I'm on the candida diet (no sugar, yeast, vinegar, dairy, yada yada yada), and even before that, I upped my fat and protein intake and lowered my carb intake. Coconut milk has become my best friend, as has stevia. Here's a very quick recipe using full fat coconut milk from a can to make an ice-cream substitute:
    1/2 can coconut milk (the kind you get for cooking, and if it's left open in the fridge overnight to get thicker–all the better)
    A handful of frozen berries (or any other frozen fruit in small pieces – about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup)
    A few drops of stevia to taste.
    Use a hand blender to blend it up.
    I could eat this every day, and sometimes I do.

    I would also recommend goat dairy instead of cow dairy. The proteins in it are different so it's much easier to digest.
    I'm glad that you are finding success with your diet!

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    1. Yummy, thanks! I looove coconut milk, especially made at home from a sweet young coconut meat and water!

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing this! I started reading your blog a few weeks ago because your sewing tutorials are really helpful, but I'm really glad I read this post. I actually was trying to convince my husband to do the opposite of this after watching some documentaries. He wasn't convinced and now I'm not either! I think looking into this would definitely help us as well as we try to reach new health goals. Again, thanks for sharing!

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  12. We have been recently following the KETO diet which is similar to Paleo which is gluten free, low carb and high fat, and have also noticed similar results as you!

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  13. Hi Suzannah, I've only found your blog recently but am intrigued by what you've discovered.This morning I received a copy of the 2 day diet and I've just skimmed through it but it seems to be saying the same as what your saying in this post re fat and protein. I'm going to try it out - I only have 7 or 8 to lose but its meant to have lots of health benefits re cholesterol and preventing cancer and dementia. I was a veggie for about 7 years but starting eating red meat while pregnant. But like you its all good meat - from local farms.I had a good laugh when I spotted the Kerrygold - we were raised on real butter and luckily here in Ireland most of the milk, butter & cheese is from grass fed cows. Good luck on your new diet!!

    Maeve

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  14. Suzanna, thanks for sharing this. A couple of weeks ago I started change my eating habbits, because I wanted to be a healthier person. I don't really have health issues (apart from being lactose intolerant, but only with milk. I can eat cheese and stuff) nor am I overweight. It's just that I didn't think I was eating healthy and because of it, my body was storing everything, instead of burning. Even when I went to the gym on a regular basis I didn't really notice any difference. So eventually, I gave that up.
    Your post has opened a new world to me: I'd never heard of Paleo before this. Because I want know what I'm eating and what it's doing with my body, I'm definitly checking your links and I'll try this for a few weeks.

    Thanks for sharing and being an inspiration (with sewing, DIY, AND food!)

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  15. I'm happy for you for finding a diet you enjoy and can feel good about!

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  16. My husband have switched over to the paleo/primal way of eating as well and we love it. No longer do we feel energy slumps in the afternoon, get amazing sleep and have both dropped a few pounds. We are all taught fat is the enemy but really our bodies know how to use fat, they don't know how to use all the proceesed foods that have become so mainstream. I have not worked up the nerve to try the butter coffee yet though ;)

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  17. I'm fascinated, so thank you for sharing this rather personal aspect of your life.

    I did have a giggle each time you wrote "grassfed butter". Butter doesn't have a mouth! ;)

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  18. Thanks for the post. My husband would probably want to hug you if this inspired me to change my ways. I've been a vegetarian since age 11 (so, 22 years now..gosh that's a long time and I am old) and meal planning at our house is a nightmare. I cook 90% of the time and I'll only cook veggie stuff. He leans toward a paleo diet and I have a super picky 9 year old step-daughter to feed as well. My husband hates that I usually rely on pasta dishes to appease everyone. I don't think I could give up carbs though--I love bread!!! I mean, really love bread. I'm also not sure I could bring myself to eat meat--it grosses me out. How did you do it? How did you take that 1st bite of bacon?!?!

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    1. Meat grossed me out, too, for years; that's why I stopped eating it and never missed it once. I just got really excited to try this totally new diet and felt inspired by how good it would probably make me feel. The desire to do whatever is "healthiest" took over! (based on what I had most recently learned was healthiest!)

      As for bread, when I stopped eating it 3 years ago when I became raw vegan, I just replaced it with other things--new recipes, collard green wraps, homemade nut crackers, or just lots of salads, etc. I stopped craving it after only like a week. Wheat is addictive that way--check out Wheat Belly if you're not convinced!

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  19. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of coffee and butter. But, I'm glad that you and your husband seem to have found something that makes you feel healthy and most important feel good about yourself. Everyone is different, but I can also imagine how much more fun it is to now have the same diet at your partner and research and try this together! My husband has been vegetarian for more than 10 years and I don't even know how I would look if I saw him start eating bacon...

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  20. So you just eat coconut oil and almond butter mixed together...like with a spoon? I am having a hard time wrapping my head around that one. I love both of those things, but I would need some texture in there!

    I'm intrigued by the idea of bulletproof coffee, though!

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    1. Haha, yep... I'm funny with my snacks... but homemade almond butter is less creamy so there's enough texture!

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  21. I really enjoyed reading this! I've never been a vegetarian or anything similar, but I agree that having good fats in your diet can do wonders! I hope your health continues to improve!

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  22. Hi!
    Congratulations on your big change and posting about it!
    I always used to 'hmm' (think Marge Simpson) at your food related posts before, but I know that diets are so personal that it's really best not to interfere. I do think it's ok to say welcome on board though! I've been following Mark Sisson's advice for a couple of years now, and for the first time in my LIFE I went for a jog yesterday.
    I'm sure you won't have any regrets - unless you don't get around to reading 'It Starts With Food' quickly enough - it's easily my favourite book on the subject as it explains all the science so well.
    Anyway, congratulations again, and thank you for letting us know :)
    PS - if you need recipes google for Slim Palate - he's only a teenager but he's a culinary genius!

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  23. I always find it sad when I read Americans talking about eating grassfed beef/dairy as opposed to 'conventional' - because in New Zealand we have it the other way around. All of our cattle are grassfed, and it wasn't until I visited the USA two years ago that I found out that this is unusual for the States. In San Diego I saw a stall at a farmers market selling grassfed beef and with signs arguing how it was 'better', and I thought - well, duh, of course, right? American conventional dairy products are so different to here as well - the first time I ate at a hotel breakfast buffet and saw a plate set out with little squares of white stuff, I had to ask someone what it was - I didn't recognise it as butter, because NZ butter is always pale yellow from the naturally present carotenes.

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  24. Gosh what a change and I'm really glad you are enjoying it. Congratulations on that.

    BTW I am from NZ and I am constantly reminded that we are so lucky here to have access to grass fed dairy and meat products. So much better than anything else in my opinion :)

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  25. What a great post! Thanks for sharing!
    My husband and I have just started looking into starting a paleo type eating plan. Our main focus is less sugar, non processed local food, grassfed beef, and fruits and vegetables. Just eating food more in it's natural way instead of processed. Which is pretty much paleo.

    Thanks for your tips. I have never heard of a diet with that much butter, but i'm curious to do some more research on it.
    I'm a big believer that our bodies need all sorts of food to function properly. Meats, dairy, vegetables, fruits, polutry. That's why i believe so many vegetarians have difficulty with their health at some point or aren't able to maintain their diet.

    Anyhow congratulations on finding something that works for you and your husband and makes you guys feel great!

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  26. Thanks for the great info and links!! Hubby and I seem to be moving in this direction lately too. I can't wait to check it out!

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  27. How does the bullet-proof coffee taste? It sounds a little... gross (sorry).

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    1. It's like the creamiest, smoothest, tastiest latte I've ever had! A little frothy on top and everything! Only taste coffee and creaminess!

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  28. I have been trying to follow some of the paleo principles myself! hope you're enjoying your new food journey

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  29. Very interesting! Looks like I have something new to research during my insomnia hours.

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  30. That's awesome babe, congrats on your lifestyle change!!!!
    This was a very interesting topic to read about x

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  31. Thanks for the informative post! It's inspiring to learn how consciencious you are about your diet.

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  32. Thank you for this post; I'm going to bookmark it for the blogs and websites you linked. My fiance and I have been doing light research into a paleo-ish diet ever since Steve Gibson started talking about a similar diet on his Security Now tech podcast (haha, I know, right?)

    My fiance has always been underweight, and I worry about the health implications for him. I stand at a completely average weight, but I just don't feel... healthy. I'm prone to fatigue, and just feel kind of icky and bloated most of the time. Like I don't "fit" in my body. We are really interested in a better diet (ours right now is almost entirely pasta and processed food), but feel at a loss for how to start. Everything is overwhelming... from learning how to prepare non-starchy veggies, to figuring out what to bring to work for lunch, to the actual cost of fresh ingredients around here. It feels like such a big challenge, and I'm paralyzed with uncertainty. It really helps to hear that other people are making the same changes.

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  33. Anonymous3/04/2013

    I understand where you are coming from. I too, spent years under incredible family pressure. I also wanted so badly to fit in. That is such a normal feeling. I spent 30 years trying to please other people and eating the way I thought would make everyone happy. Be it religious, or societal, food is a HUGE part of that. For me after a long time, I came to see a better way of being with my self was to be for my self and when I did that they came to respect me for me.

    My sister is Veg and her hubby is not and they now have 5 kids and all is well in the world. They are also orthodox jewish and have 6 sets of dishes so you can just imagine..:) However, her hubby has terrible heart disease in his family. He is now at age 50 trying to cut out some of the worst of it. His Uncle just passed away. Scary.

    Did you know: The China Study studied populations that ate unprocessed foods?
    (ie "Grass fed/Organic Meat and animal products with no antibiotics or hormones") So eating unprocessed, raw, organic, saturated fats is not going to save you from a heart attack.

    Women in this country die of heart disease from these products (animal fats) at a staggering rate?

    Maybe before you were not getting enough healthy fats (such as coconuts chia almonds hemp, macadamia, etc..), or enough B-12 or selenium as that is something to watch? These contain no cholesterol at all as plants & nuts have no Cholesterol. That is why you look so fantastic!

    Protein, as long as you were not anorexic (and you seem fine:) or alcoholic, you will not be protein deficient. Can you think of any disease that is caused by lack of protein? Hmm...No Neither can I...Now can you think of any caused by Saturated ANIMAL FAT? (Heart attack, Diabetes, Stroke, Cancer, Obese..)

    Good luck to you but this seems like a fad diet very close to Atkins, which was sooo dangerous. Of course it feels good for a while..so would eating pounds of donuts. The weight loss is probably because of no carbs? But we need carbs. And eat a tiny bit of carbs after the fat binge and Wamo..And as far as what we were meant to eat or born to eat..we have long intestines as herbivores do and we don't have sharp claws like carnivores to rip into raw flesh. We have the teeth of herbivores as well, not carnivores.

    Somebody very wise said if you put a baby in a room with a bunny and an apple, the baby will eat the apple and play with the bunny not the other way around.
    But again.. best of luck with your family. Take care and good health. I enjoy and learn a lot from your blog.

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  34. Anonymous3/04/2013

    P.S. ...have you ever visited PPK?

    Post Punk Kitchen so good.
    XO

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  35. Anonymous3/06/2013

    I wish we all knew what humans are SUPPOSED to eat. I have no idea. All I know is that I don't feel that great.

    I do feel good when I eat beef and butter, though. Wheat does make me bloaty, ditzy and tired...as does oatmeal...and other grains...Sugar is addictive and terrible, yes. Eating more veggies and farm raised food makes my skin much clearer. Dairy outside of butter gives me skin issues and everything else...Fats are important and help your skin and reproductive system...That's all I know.

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  36. Jodie Cruz3/11/2013

    Thank you for sharing this. My husband and I switched to a paleo diet a few months ago and have been feeling great. While are happy with our lifestyle change people always give us weird looks and often make jokes when we tell them we are paleo.

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  37. Awesome!!! But that's too bad, screw those people... I worry about that a little sometimes, too, but I've been adding a cheerful "so I've been eating a bunch of grassfed beef and butter and I feel and look great!!" and then if they're skeptical, at least I'm still confident, haha!

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  38. Well, seems like what you've figured out is pretty close to the ideal diet for you, anyway!

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  39. Have heard of it but haven't visited... checking it out now, looks tasty and like a lot of the recipes are also Paleo-friendly!

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  40. Thanks! Luckily I never really felt pressure to eat meat, and had no interest in doing it until I checked out this community of Paleo and alternative, grain-free, high-fat, moderate-protein diets. Some good info on why saturated fat is not the problem here http://www.bulletproofexec.com/major-new-study-stop-wasting-your-time-avoiding-saturated-fat/ and in Gary Taubes's research (Good Calories, Bad Calories book) and in this podcast! http://www.bulletproofexec.com/podcast-16-everything-you-need-to-know-about-saturated-fat-cholesterol-with-chris-masterjohn/

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  41. Meat grossed me out, too, for years; that's why I stopped eating it and never missed it once. I just got really excited to try this totally new diet and felt inspired by how good it would probably make me feel. The desire to do whatever is "healthiest" took over! (based on what I had most recently learned was healthiest!)

    As for bread, when I stopped eating it 3 years ago when I became raw vegan, I just replaced it with other things--new recipes, collard green wraps, homemade nut crackers, or just lots of salads, etc. I stopped craving it after only like a week. Wheat is addictive that way--check out Wheat Belly if you're not convinced!

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  42. Yummy, thanks! I looove coconut milk, especially made at home from a sweet young coconut meat and water!

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  43. It's like the creamiest, smoothest, tastiest latte I've ever had! A little frothy on top and everything! Only taste coffee and creaminess!

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  44. Haha, yep... I'm funny with my snacks... but homemade almond butter is less creamy so there's enough texture!

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  45. Awesome, thanks! I've heard of the Whole 30 but didn't know where it originated!

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  46. Thanks!! Yeah, I was influenced by the China Study too, but it's been widely discredited since it was published. Don't worry about it anymore. There's a lot more research pointing the other way!

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  47. It's awesome, and great to have all that meat available to thaw whenever! We can fit 1/4 cow in our regular fridge freezer. You might be surprised at what yours can fit!

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  48. Thanks! I'm still figuring out snacks that travel well, but when I eat good meals with enough fat in them, I don't need to snack at all!! I do love raw, unsalted cashew pieces though, and almond butter and coconut oil. Sometimes all together in a dish! People might look at me weird if I did it in public, though...

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  49. Thanks so much for sharing your similar story!! I'm checking out that blog now. I hope I don't get angry backlash for my change, but I don't have too many vegan friends anymore, actually... some former vegetarian ones, though!

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  55. Sabrina3/15/2013

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  56. Ooh, thanks for the link, am checking her out now!

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  59. I'm glad that you are happy with your diet change. BUT stuff like this really annoys me....its all about diets whether its restricting calories or just what you eat! Why are people always so concerned with extremes....you've gone from a raw vegan diet to one where you put BUTTER in your coffee....seriously!!


    I get that grassfed meat and animal products are always going to be healthier.....to me a better point of view would be to worry about eating real food in general.


    Re the China Study--- questioning a study on thousands of people based on some anecdotes in a magazine, blog or podcast seems severely flawed. And yes you mentioned that some of the information you've come across is from researchers and doctors. I'm a researcher....I could spin any sort of BS I wanted, even if I know nothing about it and because I have a Ph.D I'd have a 50/50 chance of people believing me simply because of that.Look at the numbers in any study they need to be in the hundred/thousand anything less than that tells you nothing. Do the people who tell you all this stuff make money from it? Most researchers make nothing from the research they do..other than a pretty bad salary lol!
    If you have a healthy varied diet (vegan or not) you should not need to resort to extremes to get take in enough fat or any other macronutrient.
    I'm not trying to be mean or anything. Good on you if you really feel like your diet is based on solid scientific evidence. I just want to offer an alternative viewpoint.

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  60. I totally understand your skepticism. Like the author, I went a long time without meat (my whole life, actually). I ate lots of "healthy whole grains," and by all the old standards a mostly generally ok-to-healthy diet. I never ate a lot of junk food, I ate fruits and vegetables every day. But the basis of my diet was grains, which was how my mother was taught to eat as a vegetarian in the 1970s when books like Diet for a Small Planet were so popular. Now she's 63, has spent her entire life since giving up meat between 50 and 100 pounds overweight, and she can't walk. By age 30, I felt like I was dying. My joints were already shot, I had ballooned up in my late 20s to over 200 pounds, and I was hungry ALL THE TIME. I tried veganism for a while. Oh.my.god. I was starving and miserable all the time. I just couldn't eat enough fruits and vegetables and quinoa to keep me going. I juiced. I found it a little helpful, but nothing dramatic. Then I found Bulletproof an Paleo an Wheat Belly. I gave up wheat and lost seven pounds without even thinking about it. I've lost twenty to date (about six weeks) and I feel like I've lost a lot more than that. I'm not hungry anymore. My joints don't hurt anymore. I don't have IBS and acid reflux anymore. I can sleep for the first time in my life. You can be skeptical if you want, but the only way to know anything about the validity of nutritional advice is to actually follow it. THAT is the science of nutrition. If others have found something that works well for them, why waste your life trolling blogs to criticize them? P.S. My profession is also in research, and I have taught critical thinking at college level. Cynicism and critical thinking are not the same thing. EX the China Study: The research questions were limited and the variables were incalculable. The types of meat people ate, the other things eaten in conjunction with them, etc. Critical thinking would lead a person to re-visit the study with new controls and see, for instance, how a large population who ate a diet grain-fed, hormone-treated meat along with grain-based carbohydrates compared with a population whose diet consisted of healthy fats, grass-fed meats, and vegetable-based carbohydrates, and then compare THOSE to vegan or vegetarian diets. Without controlling for more variables than the China study could have possibly controlled, the experiment carries little empirical weight. The internet actually provides a much more solid basis for evidence, not through individual anecdotes, but through the compilation of massive numbers of anecdotes, given freely and without particular bias. I think we will find very interesting data coming out of these nutritional conversations in the future.

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  61. It's true, it is a pretty big change in some ways--but in others, the diets are very similar! Both are focused on whole foods/no processed foods, and lots of high quality vegetables. I see what you mean about questioning who I listen to, but I'm pretty jaded these days and take everything with a grain of salt! It's very cool to find a diet that makes me feel awesome and hear it makes other people feel that way, too. Thanks for your comment and critical thinking!

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  62. Wow, what an amazing story! I totally know what you mean about joint pain and constant hunger with veganism. It's so cool that you've been doing a Bulletproof and Paleo diet, too, and are seeing such wonderful results! I feel like this is how my body is meant to be, too!

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  63. Hi Suzannah! I just found your blog via last year's PFW style collective post, I myself am a PDX blogger and I love design/fashion/sewing and so far I love your blog!


    I'm also really excited to see these posts about food and eating Paleo-ish. I've been researching this new way of eating the last few months and, although it seems crazy to a lot of people (like I've seen in the comments below) it makes SO much sense. There is a lot of research out there that isn't government funded (like it was with the FDA, China Study, etc..) that shows this way of eating really works and is most natural for what our bodies want.


    Sometimes I can't get over the ignorance of the people who continue to spew whatever information they've been fed their whole lives (again with some of the comments you received) -- before bashing grassfed butter and meats, get your facts straight! Haha! I guess it's their loss then, we can reap the benefits of eating whole, real foods, and plenty of good FAT that are bodies are desperately in need of.


    Anyway! Loved this post and I'm excited to keep following your blog! :)


    -Kayla
    www.astateofstylishgrace.com

    ReplyDelete

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