ELK program... to get Efficiently Lean for Killing

isocyanate

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Personally, I eat a fair bit of organ meats (liver and heart mostly) like a multivitamin. However, I don't know if that's really necessary; there are plenty of carnivores out there that do just fine for years at least who don't eat organs. I hedge my bets. But there are some well known 10-20 year carnivores out there that don't. And there are still indigenous populations that largely ignore plants.

Liver is wicked high in riboflavin which is involved in many metabolic pathways. Even the NIH can't dispute that it's the leader, even over "fortified" grains, which is laughable. I also recall reading or hearing that there is a naturally occurring congener of riboflavin in liver that isn't readily replicated in the lab, but can't seem to produce a citation now...

At any rate, I make a bone stock out of a couple of deer every fall and can it for use throughout the year. I include the larger bones as well as the liver and use it anywhere a beef stock might be called for. Deer shanks cooked in this on low heat for 4-6 hours is actual heaven. Haven't gotten into kindey, although I do save the kidney fat when possible.

I will take exception to the strict carnivore (and I see that you aren't really), solely on the basis that humans (and dogs, interestingly) produce both salivary and pancreatic amylase enzymes, both of which appear to aid in starch digestion. This might indicate that the ability to better digest starches was a previous evolutionary advantage.

I'm not defending twinkies and white bread, to be clear. But clearly we are adapted to consume some carbohydrates, and I don't think you disagree.


Edited to add that an evolutionary advantage and a dietary requirement might not always be the same thing.

I'm a food guy and really enjoy cooking, so my internal bias is going to rationalize a BLT sandwich with fresh tomatoes from the garden, an occasional few hot donuts from Southern Maid, and ice cream. I'll balance all those indiscretions with hideously painful calisthenics, cardio, and fasting as needed to maintain my insulin sensitivity and body composition. :cool:
 
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wrhoads

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Since someone threw out the term nutrient density I thought this graph I recently saw from food.lies on Instagram would be informative. This research is coming out of a peered reviewed study for what it's worth.
 

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JDBAK

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I could go on and on about this, perhaps for another thread, but there is sooooo much VITAL (life or death) nutrition information available, of which the vast majority of the public have no idea. And that is due to said vast majority thinking that their personal MDs and drug companies exist to actually repair and prevent their ailments, thinking that food manufactures actually manufacture real food and just simple apathy.

The results are in. Just sit on a bench almost anywhere in the world and notice the 6-7 out of 10 folks that walk by are obese and unhealthy. Most of those eat way too many carbs and grains on their so called balanced diet. If you want to look like them, feel like them and be just as healthy as the 6-7.....then its easy.....eat like them. Eat the manmade foodlike substances instead of the Godmade foods.
It's hard to express the depth of my concurrence. But it's worse than that. Vast swaths of what we've accepted nutritional conventional wisdom, that we assume to be based on solid "scientific consensus", is anything but scientific. Modern man (and medicine) is just as prone to quackery as ever.
It's been entertaining watching the quiet backflips the USDA has gone through in the last 10 years.
 

JDBAK

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I will take exception to the strict carnivore (and I see that you aren't really), solely on the basis that humans (and dogs, interestingly) produce both salivary and pancreatic amylase enzymes, both of which appear to aid in starch digestion. This might indicate that the ability to better digest starches was a previous evolutionary advantage.

I'm not defending twinkies and white bread, to be clear. But clearly we are adapted to consume some carbohydrates, and I don't think you disagree.


Edited to add that an evolutionary advantage and a dietary requirement might not always be the same thing.

I'm a food guy and really enjoy cooking, so my internal bias is going to rationalize a BLT sandwich with fresh tomatoes from the garden, an occasional few hot donuts from Southern Maid, and ice cream. I'll balance all those indiscretions with hideously painful calisthenics, cardio, and fasting as needed to maintain my insulin sensitivity and body composition. :cool:
I don't necessarily advocate completely strict carnivory long term. (However, it can work for many people, at least into the decade+ mark) My goal is not to be the perfect long term carnivore, and I don't hide the vegetables from my kids. However, it can be a godsend for many, many people. I think most people probably ought to try it for a time. A few months isn't likely to hurt you, and you'll learn a lot from the experience. It's the ultimate elimination diet, it takes almost all the variables out.

To whit...probably most people suffer from some degree of autoimmune problems. If you really want to know the effects of different foods, carnivory is the fast easy way to test it out. I didn't think I had any real autoimmune problems, but when I went carnivore, the dry itchy bumpy skin went away, acne stopped, gums stopped bleeding and receeding, dental health is perfect (even if I don't brush my teeth at all for weeks), rarely ever get sick, my joints don't hurt, I sleep through the night, etc. I was ketogenic beforehand. That helped somewhat, but going carnivore for a time really changed things.

Another huge benefit, cravings for crappy foods went away. Which is mind boggling, donuts and ice cream and bread mean nothing to me now, but used to be irresistible. Going keto helped a bit, but carnivore got me the hump.
Now I just eat like an animal....eat when hungry, drink when thirsty, stop when full, and don't care about portion control. That's sounds crazy to modern humans, but if you get used to only eating real nutrient dense food, shouldn't you be able to eat instinctively and not get fat and sick? That's what animals do.

I still eat a little bit of vegetables now from time to time, mostly to know that I still can. I'm lucky, I can. But there are many people out there who can't (for autoimmune reasons). I do think there's advantages to a little bit of carbs to lower cortisol in some people, some longer term carnivores notice improvement adding some back in.


There's an advantage to being able to eat plant matter....it's survival food to help get you through lean times.
And it's probably good to eat some from time to time to know that you can, keep the carb pathway working. But that doesn't mean it's required.

Going a few months without fruits and veg seems pretty reasonable to me.....that would have been known as "winter."
 

isocyanate

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A big realization for me was that eating crappy foods made me feel…crappy, or at best completely unsatisfied.

And yet, I’d still not only crave them but overindulge, and predictably feel…crappy. Almost like a hangover.


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Will_m

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(even if I don't brush my teeth at all for weeks)
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Sapcut

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I would say most people don’t even know what an unhealthy sudtle fog they live in… until they learn what poisons they are eating and make a drastic change.

Eating real food not destroyed by man is not a fad. The other option is to eat “normal” foods and be normally unhealthy like everyone else. Compromise is everywhere you look these days. It’s seems in some ridiculous way, it is becoming cool to be overweight. Just ask the obese diabetic store mannequins.
 

JDBAK

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It's really funny to go into the dentist and hear him say "what great dental hygiene, keep it up!"

Most of the time I brush my teeth, but have gone weeks without as an experiment. There's no difference that I can tell (other than toothpaste taste)...if I don't eat any carbohydrates. Add any carbs and plaque returns.

This shouldn't be a surprise if you think about it. How often do wolves or lions get cavities? (I don't know, but doubt its like us).

There was a cool story about an anthropologist that collected something like 250 some sets of teeth from an old Inuit burial site that was exposed and eroding away. He took the collection back to the Smithsonian (I think). They could not find a cavity.
That jives when many other reports of far Northern people, pre agriculture, as well as other groups around the world.
Anyway, I'm not alone.
 

Wrench

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It's really funny to go into the dentist and hear him say "what great dental hygiene, keep it up!"

Most of the time I brush my teeth, but have gone weeks without as an experiment. There's no difference that I can tell (other than toothpaste taste)...if I don't eat any carbohydrates. Add any carbs and plaque returns.

This shouldn't be a surprise if you think about it. How often do wolves or lions get cavities? (I don't know, but doubt its like us).

There was a cool story about an anthropologist that collected something like 250 some sets of teeth from an old Inuit burial site that was exposed and eroding away. He took the collection back to the Smithsonian (I think). They could not find a cavity.
That jives when many other reports of far Northern people, pre agriculture, as well as other groups around the world.
Anyway, I'm not alone.

I've actually done the same and my wife, who can smell everything from upwind didn't notice. Add in sugar and it smells like a bucket of assholes if i don't brush every few hours.
 

OXN939

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It's really funny to go into the dentist and hear him say "what great dental hygiene, keep it up!"

This is actually an interesting and very logical take on things. I always just wonder how you maintain enough caloric intake to sustain intense and consistent exercise. Are there carnivore marathon runners that eat 5000 calories a day of fat and meat? I know if I eliminated carbs and kept my caloric intake and the ratio of protein I get from seafood the same, I'd be virtually guaranteed to get mercury poisoning.
 

JDBAK

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This is actually an interesting and very logical take on things. I always just wonder how you maintain enough caloric intake to sustain intense and consistent exercise. Are there carnivore marathon runners that eat 5000 calories a day of fat and meat? I know if I eliminated carbs and kept my caloric intake and the ratio of protein I get from seafood the same, I'd be virtually guaranteed to get mercury poisoning.
Well, fat is pretty energy dense. I'd like to experiment with living off of pemmican for sheep hunts and such. It used to be a staple for explorers and trappers and such. I can put down 3 pounds of red meat a day.

marathons
Per several talks I've heard from Zach Bitter's podcast (Human Performance Outliers podcast...he also holds multiple 100mile and 12 hr records), elite marathoners are working at a high enough intensity, with long enough duration that going really low carb doesn't seem optimal. They deplete are their glucose stores enough that gluconeogenesis can't keep up with the demand, hence eating more carbs seems beneficial.
For the average runner, who isn't putting out nearly that intensity, the low carb high fat approach could be more successful. it works well for me....but I'm not doing 2 hour marathons.

There are really successful pure carnivores in the short duration, high intensity events, and also in very long duration, lower intensity events. But that middle ground of high intensity, relatively long (multi-hour) exercise probably needs carbs the most.

The low and very low carb things seems to work pretty well for ultra endurance events, where the intensity isn't that high, and more favors fat burning.

Bitter himself has gone from really low carb ketogenic (sometimes carnivore) to adding in some carbs strategically. It's still way less carbs than most people would imagine. I think he figures he averages like 10% carbs in the course of a year, but might be 20+ for a 100 mile race. And then maybe 0 carb afterwards during recovery.
 
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Sapcut

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Another thing to remember. Our bodies are designed to burn fat as energy… even with what we think is low body fat. Even 10-15% body fat has a tremendous amount of flab calories to burn for energy. Then you’ll have another nutrient dense animal to eat to replenish your body reserves.
 

JDBAK

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Zach Bitter is training up for a transcontinental run, want to break the record.
He plans to average 70miles and 12 hours of running per day, for several weeks.

He figures eating around 5% carbs and something like 10,000 calories per day. The reason for going that low carb is that this event is so low intensity, long duration that he'll be better off going really high fat, won't need or want the carbs. Reasons he gave are lower inflammation, faster recovery, and easier digestion. Besides meat/eggs/dairy being easier on the gut, it just makes for way less volume of food (vs using high carbs). Figures there will be a lot of heavy cream in the morning.

Doesn't plan on eating any greens, that stuff just takes up space with minimal nutrition or energy, and he'll have enough trouble eating enough.

Anyway, he's documenting his train up now, pretty interesting stuff. He's talking about it on the Human Performance Outliers podcast, and on Shawn Baker's MeatRx podcast.


Side note, Mike McKnight ran a 100miler awhile back on 0 calories. I think he has a 200 mile record. He said he could have gone faster with food, but it wasn't too bad going without. Not a fast pace by Bitter's standards (Bitter owns 100 mile records, McKight ran a few hours slower), but still impressive that it could be done, and done relatively well without harm. I think he said he walked some hills that he probably could have run if he'd been eating.
 

Robster

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If you want to really get the breakdown on what the OP and JDBAK are trying to say, listen to the Joe Rogan podcast with Dr. Paul Saladino. He is a physician and board certified nutrition specialist. it's episode #1551. I listened to it the other day, that's why I finally decided to look around the nutrition section of this forum. He has everything backed up with science about how our body processes food and the effects it has. How we don't need any carbs as our bodies make what it needs from the protein we are eating. Great podcast, I really enjoyed it.
 

swampthing

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I have been fairly low carb for a couple years now. I am still heavier that I want. I tried this 20/4 fasting 3 weeks ago. I lost about 8lbs in the first week and then weight loss stopped. I have been indulging in carbs now though! I guess I better go low carb again to try to cut the additional 10lbs I want to dump. What I have noticed is I sure feel better lately! Less aches n pains than before the fasting for sure!
 
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FYI....last 6 weeks of ELK program... lost 17 lbs to 205 and lean. Just had blood work today. Best ever. Highest HDL ever at 55. HDL/Triglyceride ratio best every at 1.78 (best indicator of heart events). Blood sugar at 96. That is from eating low carb and very high wild saturated fat and protein. You can loose weight on any "diet" available but you can't lose body fat AND provide your body with perfect proper nutrients without quality meat, preferrably wild.

It takes herbivores 24 hours a day and four stomachs to digest vegetables to get enough sustenance. A human's one stomach can never possibly get proper nutrition from herbivore foods.
 
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