Our Low-Carb Diet Is a Hypercarnivore Keto-diet With plants optional

Our Low-Carb Diet is very simple.  It is based on our Trust Your True Nature (TYTN) Low-Carb Lifestyle/Diet Plan, however, it includes a more narrow range of options allowed in that plan.  Why?  Because we have found eating a very simple, low-carb diet that is high in protein and fat to be what works best for us.  

It is similar to what our Hunter-Gatherer ancestors would have eaten, and it reflects the preferences that would have been particular to our individual, but similar more recent ancestry.

Your  version of a low-carb diet will reflect your personal background, needs, ancestry, and personal preferences, as I discussed in the article about a Healthy Diet.  

The TYTN Low-Carb Lifestyle/Diet Plan is a low-carbohydrate diet with plenty of wiggle room for individual needs. 

So what is a hyper-carnivore?  Is that different than a Zero-Carb or Carnivore Diet?  Is it a ketogenic diet?

I explain what that means, and why I/we consider certain foods healthy despite mainstream beliefs ~ and despite our own previous beliefs that animal foods  high in cholesterol and saturated fats were among the least healthy.  My hope is that by understanding my choices, the mental resistance will be less of an obstacle to others who desire to lose weight and experience better health by eating their version of a healthy, low-carb diet.

What we consider part of a healthy, low-carb diet

Based on the above definitions, most people eat a carnivorous diet.  Many people call a hypo- or mesocarnivore diet (see definitions below) an omnivore diet, however our physiology is designed to preferentially obtain energy and nutrients from animal protein and fats.  

We all have affinities to certain foods, often based on the typical diet our ancestors would have eaten over the last several thousand years - or more!

Even if you grew up with no sense of a connection to your ancestry, you are part of a chain.  Your ancestors' DNA is within you, and whether you are aware or not, it could be affecting many of your choices.  Your preferences and your dislikes may hail from distant ancestors you never met.

Whether you like or dislike pork, beef, fish or dairy foods is often  heavily influenced by your cultural heritage, and mainstream teachings about what is a healthy diet.

Shipping foods everywhere has altered the natural, native  diets of many people.  Is this really ideal?  

Centralizing food production, and shipping foods around the world may expand personal choices at the store, but it comes at a great cost to our shared resources, and the health of our topsoils. 

Local brats cooked w/ cabbage & whole grain mustard, served w/ radishes ~ an Eastern European style meal that you can enjoy on a low-carb diet!

Carnivore is a term that classifies animals who derives the bulk of their nutrients and energy from the consumption of other animals.  

Carnivores may be classified by the types of prey they eat (such as insects versus animals), but also according to percentages of animal foods in the diet.  

A hypocarnivore consumes 30% or less of their diet as meat and animal foods.  A mesocarnivore consumes between 50-70% of their diet as animal foods, and a 70% or greater intake of animal foods is classified as a hypercarnivore.  We are hypercarnivores!

We eat mostly animal proteins and fats, and use vegetables and herbs like condiments, with small amounts of seasonal fruits, or other plant foods.  Our diet is a higher protein ketogenic diet, with plants optional.

The Trust Your True Nature (TYTN) Low-Carb Diet is a flexible plan, with plant foods enjoyed or avoided, according to one's tolerance and tastes.  

Learn to eat a customized low-carb diet, according to your needs and instincts!

We eat a high protein, low-carb diet ~ or what we have come to label a hypercarnivore diet, or a high-protein, ketogenic diet ~  because we feel much better eating this way!  

We eat close to 30% protein, and 65-70% fat, with around 5% carbohydrates, roughly on average.

Studies do indicate that we need a higher protein intake as we age, because we become less efficient at utilization of amino acids and maintenance of lean muscle mass.

While many people who eat a low-carb diet, or ketogenic-diet fear eating high protein because protein can still cause insulin spikes, research indicates that this only occurs in a moderate to high carbohydrate fed state.  

You can find presentations by Dr. Georgia Eades, Dr. Ted Naiman, and many other experts discussing various aspects of health and a low-carb, high-protein, ketogenic diet on DietDoctor.com.  I highly recommend signing up to be a member as the website is chockfull of recipes and information,  excellent interviews,  and several great presentations, and short documentaries.  You can try it out for free for one month.

Dr. Ted Naiman  discusses the influence of high  insulin levels in most diseases, from skin disorders like psoriasis, to obesity, diabetes, cancer, and even conditions like tinnitus!  There are many more great lectures that will help you feel much more comfortable eating a healthy, low-carb, or hypercarnivore diet.

I've included two of his videos below.

We also sometimes incorporate  raw meat, raw fish, and raw liver and other organs into our diet, just as native populations worldwide have traditionally done.  Contrary to what many people believe, it is quite enjoyable, easy to chew, and easy to digest.  

A healthy low-carb diet features whole foods, ideally with some raw, or naturally fermented foods.  

Beef roasts are one of our primary  hypercarnivore, low-carb diet staples. Slow roasted chuck roast is among our favorites.  You can learn how to make perfectly cooked, tender slow roasted meats  here.  Don also has a few 'Slow Roast Sunday' videos on his Full Range Strength YouTube channel. 

It's a great compromise from eating raw, as you still retain many of the nutrients when cooking meat to rare, or medium-rare at the most.  

We make a big batch of bone broth every 2-3 weeks, and have a  small bowl at least a few days or more per week.  We also occasionally make big batches of naturally brined cabbage, and/or beets with red onions, which go great with roasted meats.

The Trust Your True Nature (TYTN) Low-Carb Diet approach inspires making choices instinctually, using your body as your guide.  If you begin by eating a very simple, low-carb diet, you will be able to become more and more clear about which foods digest well and help you feel good, and which foods do not.

We also encourage people to eat according to what their great great grandparents, or even more distant ancestors would have eaten, as these earlier generations experienced much better health.

Our local Sprouts Market often sells grass-fed ground beef on sale for a great price. We stock up, and enjoy burgers, or...
Cabbage Rolls, or our Low-Carb Stuffed Peppers.
Chicken and center cut pork chops can dry out if overcooked. They come out perfectly when marinated with some fresh citrus or vinegar, then grill or pan-fry to perfection.

Don and I primarily consume red meat, along with some wild salmon or cod, poultry, and smaller amounts of pork.  We also have eggs almost daily, often in the form of our Raw Eggnog.  

Blending whole eggs, or egg yolks with heavy cream and a little water or even a little leftover brewed coffee, and a pinch of salt ~ along with an optional pinch of cinnamon, cocoa powder, vanilla, or stevia ~ is a super quick way to replenish amino acids and fatty acids, post strength training.  Eggs are nearly equal in protein and fat, which is ideal. 

We occasionally  enjoy sausages, just as our own Hungarian and Polish ancestors did.  The Okinawans, a population studied for being among the longest lived, had a saying about eating every part of the pork except the ears and the toes.  (Videos we once watched about this are now conspicuously missing, or hard to find.)

Worried about cholesterol?  

Don't be.  It was never proven to be a factor that determined heart disease, however high cholesterol is a good tool for selling statins!  Learn more by reading The Great Cholesterol Myth Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won't Prevent Heart Disease - And The Statin-Free Plan That Will, by Stephen Sinatra.

Many of European descent included pork ~ raised naturally, not in artificial industrial settings ~ as part of their traditional diet.  The ancient Celts highly revered pork, or wild boar.

Pork is high in vitamins that beef is lower in, such as B1, thiamine.  Thiamine is used to help metabolize protein and fats, convert glucose into energy, and for maintaining healthy functioning of the heart and nerves.

Pork can be very lean, or very fatty, depending on the cut ~ same as beef.  The fat from pigs is at least one third monounsaturated which you may not be aware of.  Animal fat is not entirely saturated, however coconut oil largely is.

Pigs are ideal animals to have on a small farm.  They eat up scraps and forage, and turn it into useable, nutrient-dense protein, and delicious cuts that are higher in fat, such as pork belly which is cured to  become bacon.  

As all things, when consumed judiciously with mindfulness, it can absolutely be part of a healthy low-carb diet.

I recently met up with a friend, and we shared an almond croissant, my one time favorite special pastry treat.  Rather than feel guilty, or will myself to not want a food many deem as pure poison, my friend and I enjoyed it with our cappuccinos (made with half and half) as we celebrated Independence day, and having known each other since grade school!

Cows out to pasture, a bucolic scene that was once the norm, here and throughout Europe, the West, and probably many other areas that were no longer hunter-gatherers.

Although red meat has also been under fire in the last several years, it is among the most nutrient-dense sources of nutrients for a regular staple.

Not too long ago, beef was the affordable, primary staple.  Why?  As Joel Salatin points out in his book, Folks, this ain't normal, until recently, grain was too expensive to produce.  Grains were consumed only during celebratory occasions, or among the wealthy. 

It took the convergence of cheap oil, government subsidies, and technology to allow a once very time-consuming and expensive process of growing grain to be suddenly available ~ on the cheap.  

Once it was cheaper to produce and ship grain, cows which start on pasture were finished on grain, inside cement floored structures.  Mono-cropping, tillage, and the use of  synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides replaced the traditional, integrative growing methods including rotational grazing that was once the norm across much of the country.

According to Joel Salatin:

"Actually, I don't think we should eat so much chicken.  If you really want to do something environmentally healing, eat forage-finished beef."

"...One of the most poignant and active environmental decisions you can make is to patronize 100 percent grass-based herbivores:  beef, dairy, lamb, chevon, yak, bison, deer, antelope, elk, moose...you get the picture."

A low-carb diet has been proven to be a healthy diet, which I covered in part in Healthy Eating.  I highly recommend the following books (in addition to the wealth of information from a wide variety of experts available on DietDoctor.com).

NeanderThin, by Ray Audette; Life Without Bread, by Christian B. Allan, MD, and Wolfgang Lutz, MD; and Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes.  Why We Get Fat, by Taubes, along with Grain Brain:  The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar - Your Brain's Silent Killers, by David Perlmutter, MD,  are also recommended.

You can also watch very interesting interviews and discussions with Dr. Perlmutter on YouTube, including this one discussing the ketogenic diet, carbs, and gut health.

In the videos below, Dr. Ted Naiman discusses what to eat and why a low-carb diet is better for weight loss and blood sugar balance.  He explains the impact different foods have on insulin  based on their glycemic index and glycemic load in the first video.

The amount of circulating insulin directly affects blood sugar balance.  Insulin is a hormone that contributes to fat storage.  Therefore, the more you consume foods which drive up the production of insulin ~ primarily carbohydrates ~ the more readily your body will store excess as fat, and make weight loss difficult while continuing to consume those foods.

The second video discusses which types of tests are the most important for determining your insulin levels, and overall health.  

The main one being the ratio of your waist circumference to your height.  Don discusses this here.

Details of our version of a healthy, low-carb diet, based on our ancestry

Click here for a menu of our Low-Carb Diet Recipes.

  • We adhere to the principles outlined in The Trust Your True Nature Low-Carb Lifestyle, roughly outlined in the Healthy Eating article, or in our 30-Day Challenge here.
  • We avoid the foods listed in the Healthy Diet article.
  • We consume a hypercarnivore, or high-protein, ketogenic-diet.
  • We eat 2 meals per day, sometimes having one big meal.  
  • Our main staples include:  beef, with some wild fish,  eggs, and  animal fats including a good quality butter, like Kerrygold.  
  • We supplement with mackerel, sardines, chicken, turkey, bacon, sausages and ham or other cuts of pork, and some whole-fat dairy foods including heavy cream, and possibly cream cheese, 4% fat cottage cheese, sour cream, and / or a grass-fed sharp cheddar cheese we purchase from Trader Joe's.  

Click here for more healthy, Low-Carbohydrate snacks.

  • We enjoy vegetables like condiments, eating them only when we desire, which is not every meal, nor every day.
  •  We enjoy foods of our ancestors, such as bratwursts and other  sausages, Stuffed Peppers or Cabbage Rolls, radishes, and sauerkraut.  
  • We also enjoy seasonal fruits as craved, especially those lower in fructose and total sugars, like berries, melon, citrus, and/or cherries and stone fruits.
  • We regularly make and consume bone broth.  We add kelp or kombu seaweed, and a big bunch of parsley to our broth most of the time.
  • My main 'treat' food is 5-15g of 100% bakers chocolate.  I eat this after breakfast, as it helps me to finish my meal, and curb cravings for anything else afterwards.
Bone Broth Soup w/ added kale & tomato, served for breakfast w/ scrambled eggs ~ all low-carb diet approved!

My recommendations for making a low-carb diet work for you.

  • Keep meals simple, especially if you have digestive issues, allergies, skin disorders, etc., as the simpler the meal, the easier to sleuth out dietary culprits.
  • Trust your true nature!  Lean more into what you feel drawn to, less what your mind has come to believe 'is healthy.'   The mind gets attached to ideas, which may or may not be true for you.
  • My main formula for weight loss is Pro + Fat x 3.  Eat enough protein, especially fattier cuts of beef to feel satisfied.  If eating leaner meats, cook in traditional animal fats.  Fill in if needed or desired with a third item, such as fermented or well cooked vegetables, or low-carbohydrate vegetable salads, such as cucumbers and tomatoes, possibly with avocado.  Adjust accordingly.  You can certainly eat more than 3 ingredients!  This is just a formula!
  • Keep  healthy, low-carb, high-protein snacks around such as an extra-lean ham loaf, and/or cans of sardines or mackerel, or even a good quality hard salami, or the Trader Joe's Turkey Summer Sausage which is lower in sodium.  Here are some more low-carb healthy snacks or simple meal suggestions
  • Consider featuring the foods most likely consumed based on your ancestral diet.  For example, many from Northern European descent consumed pork, beef, fish, and dairy, including butter and heavy cream.  Those around the Mediterranean areas may do better focusing more on fish and seafood, and using more olive oil. 
  • Ignore what mainstream media claims is or isn't healthy.  Tune in, not out.
  • Eat enough to feel satisfied.  Protein has a high level of satiety,  and you won't over eat it.  
  • If you are a carb lover, you can still enjoy this lifestyle!  Only you know what will help you feel your best.  This may take some experimentation.  If craving carbs, eat low-starch vegetables, low-sugar fruits, and/or other carbohydrate-rich foods that can be included in the TYTN Low-Carb Diet Plan, such as winter squashes, sweet potatoes, or very small amounts of whole grains ~ as needed, and if tolerated.  However, you may want to try avoiding all those foods if your health is not improving, at least for one or more months.
  • Keep your total carbohydrate consumption below 75grams, give or take.

We once believed as many people do that vegetables were among Nature's healthiest foods. They simply do not compare nutritionally to animal foods. They contain components that are actually problematic to many, however, you will only know if you really tolerate these foods through experimentation. Eliminating all plant foods for at least one month before reintroducing is one way to find out.

  • Whole grains, products made from grains, and  or beans are more modern foods.  They contain many anti-nutrients that over time can be destroying our gut health, leading to a destruction of the tiny microvilli in our small intestine, more food sensitivities and allergies, skin disorders, and more. I recommend avoiding these foods for at least 1-2 months initially to determine how they may be impacting your health.  If eating, do so judiciously and mindfully!  The phytates in grains and beans inhibit absorption of zinc, and other minerals.
  • If constipation persists, consider trying to eat a meat only diet for a little while.  Many believe meat makes them constipated, but it is more likely the whole context of the diet that one has been consuming all along that is the problem.  Proper gut flora will replenish when given the right raw materials.  Have patience!
  • Remember, animal flesh foods and fats, including the internal organs, and raw fresh dairy (goat, sheep, cow, etc.) are the most nutrient-dense foods.  
  • Plant foods can be enjoyable, and provide a balance of flavors to animal foods, however many people only begin to heal from their life-long health issues when they avoid all plant foods!!!  Consider plant foods optional, enjoying them like condiments as desired.  Enjoy greens to your tolerance, but don't feel obligated if you don't crave them.  Eating nutrient-dense animal proteins and fats is what is most important.  The rest is as desired for satisfaction and enjoyment. 
  • Be patient! Ride the waves of changes in the beginning, including any minor discomforts or changes to digestion or elimination.  They will pass!

How do you know when you are eating the right foods on a low-carb diet?

When you feel good.

When your skin gets smoother and softer.

When your hair gets more shiny and less dull.

When you lose weight if needed, without feeling deprived.

When your mood improves.

When your blood sugar remains more balanced.

When you can reduce dependency on pharmaceutical drugs.

When you feel more energized and motivated.

When you love what you eat, and eat what you love while maintaining good health!

In summary, I once believed that eating a mostly plant-based diet was the healthiest diet.  I have been a near life-long advocate of eating lots of dark leafy greens and vegetables ~ long before kale became a household name.  While eating a so-called nutrient-dense, produce-rich whole foods vegan diet, we consumed dark greens and lots of other vegetables ~ DAILY!

Well, despite my good intentions, mineral deficiencies began to show up over time.  Dry hair and skin, brittle nails, fatigue, and ongoing phlegm, congestion, allergies, bloating, constipation, and more.

Quite honestly, at this point, I could care less if I eat kale ever again.  Considering it is actually more of a winter green, I may change my mind.  My point being that I did a lot of research, and there are many who believe vegetables are not all that healthy.  They all contain a certain amount of anti-nutrients, as these compounds help ward off pesky invaders.

Fruits are actually the part of a plant that a plant actually wants you to eat.  I enjoy getting a little fruit, especially during the summer.  Once it is cold out, my tastes will change.  This is natural. Our ancestors would have certainly consumed what was available seasonally, including some delicious berries!

If you crave broccoli or kale, have it.  If you don't, don't force yourself.  Enjoy your diet, and enjoy your life!  

A Strong Spirit Woman (or Man) decides what is right for her (or him), rather than letting others decide for her!  

Do your research, pay attention to your body's cues, stay open, and question everything, including and especially your long held beliefs for which you are the most attached!

A low-carb diet can be modified in endless ways.  Ditch the dogma!  Make it work for you! 

The Trust Your True Nature Low-Carb Lifestyle is available in print, Kindle and e-book versions.  Look for the color versions if you want the delicious food photos included! 

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Create your version of a healthy, low-carb diet with my easy, informative Trust Your True Nature, Low-Carb Lifestyle, now available in paperback, Kindle, or as an e-book.