I’ll always be thankful for the day we met in Ljubljana (Slovenia) in March last year. Since then I’ve been following your blog and I never miss a single post.
What attracted me from the very beginning were two things. Your scientific determination to put reason and proof before hype and speculation and your ability to explain complex things in simple English for us non-scientists. As soon as I detected these two qualities of yours, my defenses went down and I was ready to dedicate my time (lot’s of time) to study your research, conclusions of your research and your recommendations for a better, more healthy, diet and lifestyle.
I’m not new to the concepts of optimal diet, super foods, anti-aging, longevity secrets and other similar subjects. I’ve always been buying and reading books and magazines on these subjects, attending seminars and workshops, but it has all become so overwhelming over the last ten years or so. Too much information and too much confusing, inconsistent and even contradictory information.
A quick background for the readers of your blog. I have trained and competed for many years in different athletic disciplines, never smoked or drank alcohol and always consumed healthy foods and drinks. (Or so I thought!)
Before I switched to your dietary regime I was not in a bad shape at all. On the contrary, at 177 cm I had 72 kg, my body fat was around 10% or 11%, and at the age of nearly 50 I could still sprint 100 meters under 13 seconds, do 50 push-ups and 15 pull-ups. I have no medical record and no aches or pains of any kind.
So what more could I possible want? Well, it turned out that I was “deprived” of many good things due to my less than optimal food choices.
I used to believe that the exemplary ‘healthy’ diet consisted of 30% fat or lower, moderate protein and plenty of fruit and complex carbs and that diet should be low on salt or with no extra salt at all.
When my wife and I — our children are coming along with these changes nicely — eliminated simple carbohydrates from our meals literally overnight (no sugars, no pasta, no rice, no pastry or bakery products, only occasionally a few slices of potato) in just a few weeks changes started to happen.
My energy level, mood and my mental functions (concentration, focus, even memory) all went up.
That first week after the “transition” was really a special experience. When one eats lots of processed carbohydrates each and every day and does that for years, and when these food choices are then eliminated from a daily menu quickly and completely, a body needs to experience some kind of a shock and cope with some withdrawal symptoms. I needed to remind myself constantly that I didn’t need those foods to be healthy and feel well. And that was enough, as it was true.
My daily routine is now to drink at least three liters of water with unrefined sea salt daily for maximum hydration. I start my mornings with 750 ml of green vegetable juice, then in the next hours I have a few more glasses of water with sea salt and at around 11 am I consume one can of coconut milk blended with a tablespoon of frozen berries and just a tiny bit of Stevia.
This, together with a few handfuls of almonds, macadamia and other good nuts, keep me going for a good part of the day. It’s amazing how I feel no hunger for may hours after such a simple meal. And even when it’s time for our main afternoon meal, I’m never hungry the way I was when my body and mind was so low on energy, craving for a “shot of glucose” which would put me on a yet another carbo roller-coaster.
What’s for dinner? Greens and proteins, usually. At centre stage we always have a big bowl of salad with organic eggs from free range (grass and insect eating) hens, butter, fatty cheeses and grass-fed meats, in moderate amounts. Luckily, organic, free range eggs and meats, can easily and consistently be purchased on our central food market.
In the first weeks after I made a switch I lost three or four kilograms of mostly fat (I’m now at 67 kg), so my body fat percentage decreased to 8% or 9% which is what I measured in my peak performance years.
I feel great, light and strong. Just one example, I improved my pull-ups result significantly. My recent best was 15 pull-ups but I could go all the way up to 20 repetitions just a few weeks ago. Which is almost my personal best! (My PB in pull-ups is 22 repetitions from a Mr. Fitness competition in Ljubljana when I was 36!)
I feel and perform much better on this high fat diet than on any other food regime I’ve done or tried before. I’m burning good fats for energy and it’s clearly obvious that my muscles and brains like it much better that glucose or glycogen.
Plus I sleep really well. I sleep better than I ever remember I did. And there’s another thing which is important to me, to my good night’s rest and a good start of the new day…
You know how I told you about my involuntary need to wake up in the middle of the night to visit the bathroom. Over the years it gradually went from one to regularly two and then even three “wake up calls”.
You told me what to do to change things and I followed your advise “fanatically”. Instead of decreasing the amount of water consumed which was an advice I was hearing from almost every doctor, you recommended the opposite — to increase my hydration but also to add a fair amount of unrefined sea salt to all my vegetable drinks and water intake during the day. You also said that I needed to be patient and that it would take time for a chronically dehydrated body to get back to appropriate levels of hydration. You said that it might take a full year of following your plan consistently.
It took a little less than that and a few weeks ago it happened. I slept eight straight hours (in a totally dark bedroom) for the first time in probably 15 years. And it wasn’t an exception. That’s a norm now. That’s my new reality and I like it very much. As a bonus I got an additional hour of my waking time and I feel better when I wake up than I ever did.
It’s amazing how everything you said worked out just the way you predicted.
P.s. My blood tests prove this better state of health also with numbers. My Insulin is under 2 mE/L, Glucose is at 4.7 mmol/L, Triglycerides at 0.7 mmol/L, HDL Cholesterol is 1.4 mmol/L and LDL Cholesterol 3.5 mmol/L.