Hello, blog world!
It’s been far too long since my last update. Life has been life (busy) and my health has been… meh. Most days are a general malaise due to the side effects of my prescription. I’m going to try to wean myself off of it because it has been causing more harm than good.
In the interest of getting as many minerals and nutrients into me as possible, I’ve been trying to implement a Dr. Ray Peat style of eating into my life. It isn’t really a specific diet, just a few suggestions based on the benefits of some foods and the dangers of others. He recommends a diet low in polyunsaturated fats and high in fruit, saturated fats like coconut oil, quality dairy, ruminant meats, eggs, shellfish, gelatin, orange juice, potatoes, raw carrots, well-cooked greens, like kale. Beef liver once or twice a week.
Here is a Ray Peat food recommendations chart that someone made:
He doesn’t necessarily recommend grains as staples, but his list of best to less-than-best goes as:
GRAINS (BEST TO WORST)
Masa harina (best), white rice or oats, and brown rice. The phytic acid in the oats block absorption of much of the calcium; cooking the oats much longer than usual might improve its nutritional value.
Danny Roddy aka “The Peat Whisperer” does an excellent job of interpreting and outlining Peat’s recommendations.
Why is Mexican Coca-Cola on the chart? Because it’s made with real sugar and not high-fructose corn syrup and Ray Peat argues that real sugar is not inherently unhealthy, but rather can be beneficial as a supplement. He argues that when it’s coupled with a diet high in PUFAs, like vegetable oils and low-quality factory meats, it becomes problematic.
True to my nature I do my own version of the “diet.” I track my foods on Livestrong, but have also been plugging them into Cronometer.com to see how well I am covering my nutritional needs. I think Livestrong has a superior database of foods with far higher accuracy than Cronometer. I wish I could merge the two somehow! Hmmm… Dustin?
When I am not being… um… stubborn and carefree, one of my typical menus for the day might look like this:
(Note: Some entries are the closest match, but not exactly what I had. e.g., the Vegenaise grapeseed oil mayo; I actually eat the soy-free version which is high in monounsaturated fats.)
This isn’t complete because Cronometer doesn’t have everything in their database that I eat, my more accurate tracking is on Livestrong but it doesn’t provide the nutritional breakdown. Also, I should note that this is a menu after an 18-20 hour intermittent fast. My calories average out to approx. 1850/day over a 7 day period, plus exercise and all other activity.
Let me just say that I LOVE this eating style! I love the foods, I love the easy preparation involved in most of it, and I love that I can eat what I like and cover my needs. I try to avoid things I don’t miss at all: gluten grains, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and colorants, foods high in polyunsaturated fats, like soybean oil. But I am flexible and still eat things that aren’t “Peat Approved.” heh — My interest is piqued in his decades of work in biology and metabolism, and I heed much of his advice, but I am not one to follow the beat of someone else’s drum entirely. I have to make my own music as I go along. Diet is a hyper-individual thing, you need to do what makes you feel best, not just what sounds best in theory.
But my digestion is still whack. So, I’m cutting out all dairy for the next 30 days just to see once again if there’s any improvement. I strayed from Ray through Easter and on, so I haven’t really given it a chance without intermediate interruptions. Life has been bonkers, or it just seems that way because I haven’t felt like myself in so long.
I’m going light on supplements at this time. My current regime is RX potassium as needed, Epsom salt baths for magnesium, vitamin E oil applied topically to my face and hands after bathing, pink Himalayan salt, and vitamin D3. I also made eggshell powder by following Danny Roddy’s method, then I encapsulated the powder. I have taken it twice but I’m not sure if my stomach likes it. I’m giving it a rest before I try it again to rule out some other irritators.
One of Ray Peat’s most famous recommendations is to eat a raw carrot daily, add coconut oil for extra benefits. I fell so hard in love with this that I am actually addicted to it!
Instead of 1 carrot, I usually have 3-4 sliced thinly with my vegetable peeler, sprinkled generously with pink Himalayan salt, a touch of pepper, coconut oil, and Bragg’s apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. The texture and flavor is amazing if you like salty and sour with hints of sweet from the carrot. Think: Salt + vinegar potato chips!
He says to eat it in between meals, but I usually eat it with a meal or while I’m cooking the rest of my meal because I can’t keep my paws off of it. It’s THAT good.
If I have a meaty meaty meal, it’s likely to include grass-fed beef and potatoes.
The night before last, we had a grass-fed beef and mushroom meatloaf (that fell apart due to not adding eggs) with beef and mushroom gravy, roasted Yukon Gold Hasselback potatoes rubbed with coconut oil + salt, and my glorious carrot salad…
I’m drooling just thinking about the carrot salad. It’s my favorite new vegetable! I’ve eaten it nearly every day for months now. Can’t get enough!
Meatloaf wasn’t very pretty but it was tasty! Comfort food is like that, though. Looks like a pile of mush, tastes like heaven.
I decided to get fancy and make Hasselback potatoes instead of plain roasted potatoes. I’m too impatient to use the chopstick cutting method, so I just carefully slice each one.
Last night, I threw together another quick comfort food meal: Road’s End dairy-free/gluten-free mac ‘n cheese dressed up with tuna, broccoli, a bit of Daiya dairy-free cheez, extra nutritional yeast, and some rice breadcrumbs…
Yes. I do line all of my pans with Reynold’s nonstick foil as often as possible. I love cooking, but I hate spending too much time on cleanup.
With my beloved carrot salad, of course.
Daiya isn’t a “Peat food” but it satisfies my cheese desires while I’m cutting out dairy for a while (forever?)
And for dessert: Not-so-tasty watermelon
Dude, where’s the flavor?!
So, that’s where I’m at right now. Even if this protocol doesn’t help or heal anything, it’s still an enjoyable way for me to get all of my nutrition in. I’m considering doing a juice fast for a week or so after our wedding anniversary on the 5th. It’s (FINALLY!!!) getting warmer out and it sounds pretty good actually. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.