This morning I shared how I’ve changed my approach to stress over the last couple of decades. For me, this meant first addressing the toll of my training. It’s how the Primal Blueprint, in fact, was born. In today’s feature and in this video (with my long-time friend and co-author, Brad Kearns), I talked about how adaptogenic herbs made a difference for my recovery. I formulated my own supplement to literally help myself first. Fellow athlete friends wanted to try it, and that’s how Primal Calm (now called Adaptogenic Calm) came into being. The fact is, like everything I’ve chosen to sell, my interest in the product sprung from my own story.
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a few questions and comments from last week’s post on the carnivore diet. First, Dawn gives us the unfortunate but necessary information that it’s not just the lone star tick who causes red meat allergy. Great. Second, what are 7-Day Adventists so healthy? Is it all because of their tendency to avoid meat, or is there something else? And third, I give some more thoughts on magnesium requirements on a carnivorous diet.
All-meat diets are growing in popularity. There are the cryptocurrency carnivores. There’s the daughter of the ascendant Jordan B. Peterson, Mikhaila Peterson, who’s using a carnivorous diet to stave off a severe autoimmune disease that almost killed her as a child. The most prominent carnivore these days, Dr. Shawn Baker (who appears to eat only grilled ribeyes (at home) and burger patties (on the go), recently appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience and Robb Wolf’s podcast, and is always breaking world records on the rower. Tons of other folks are eating steak and little else—and loving it. There are Facebook groups and subreddits and Twitter subcultures devoted to carnivorous dieting.
What do I think?
Absolutely! Anyone can go keto, including vegans. They might not be able to stay vegan, but they can certainly go keto. Nothing stopping them. The more the merrier.
Jokes aside. Can someone go keto while remaining vegan?
That’s a tougher problem. Not intractable. But real tough.
Why is it so hard?
Imagine money is no object. Imagine you wield absolute control over the scientific community and can direct it to run whichever study you desire. If you can dream it up, they’ll get the subjects, produce the money, and make it happen. All you need to come up with is the overarching design. What would you choose? What do you wonder? What questions do you want answered once and for all?
Here’s what I’d choose:
For years, the ancestral health community has shunned the humble peanut. I did so myself in fact. “Why can’t I have peanuts?”a person would ask. “Because they’re legumes,” would be the standard answer. And that was that. The status of legumes was sacrosanct in paleo world. Case closed. In recent years, however, our stance on legumes has softened.
The lectins and phytic acid we worry about, it turns out, are mostly deactivated by heat and proper preparation. A bit of phytic acid can even be a good thing, provided you have the gut bacteria necessary to convert it into beneficial micronutrients. All in all, legumes turn out to be a relatively nutrient-dense source of resistant starch and other prebiotic fibers. If you can swing the carbs and you feel fine eating them, legumes are on the table.