Episode 302: Evan Brand: Host Elle Russ chats with functional medicine practitioner Evan Brand about autoimmune disorders.
Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.
Hey folks, I’ve got Friday Link Love coming right up, but I wanted to mention that we’re closing in on the last days of sign-up time for the (totally free) Keto Reset Kickoff, which begins Monday morning. You have until midnight this Sunday night (1/6) to sign up. After that, the doors close, so to speak.
The Kickoff won’t be happening on the blog here, so if you want to receive the 7-day email series from yours truly and Dr. Lindsay Taylor—my colleague, co-author and (as many of you know her) administrator of the Keto Reset Facebook group, get your name on the list before Sunday night.
The Kickoff emails and materials will offer a comprehensive look into the full Keto Reset approach with exclusive commentary and video from me, as well as Q&A and additional resources—all totally free. Oh, and did I mention a free ebook and personal journal? For more information, check out my previous post with all the details. I’m looking forward to it!
You can sign up for the Keto Reset Kickoff and receive the 7-day email series, ebook and journal without any purchase whatsoever. Literally, just click here to visit the Keto Reset Kickoff page. Then click the green button at the top of the page that says “Click Here To Get Free Access.” It will take you right to the signup form.
One last thing…Those who participate in the Kickoff are also eligible for a deal even I can’t quite believe: buy a Primal Kitchen® Advanced Keto Kit ($65.95) and get my comprehensive Keto Reset Online Mastery Course entirely free (a $147 value). You are in no way obligated to take advantage of this offer to participate in the Keto Reset Kickoff. But it’s a great way to stock your pantry with staples that will make keto eating easier and more enjoyable as you begin (or continue) your keto journey—and receive an incredibly comprehensive, action-oriented online course to both motivate and inform your full Keto Reset experience.
Eggs are an easy and nutritious breakfast, but some mornings a plate of eggs just isn’t what your body craves. Viva variety!
These delicious keto breakfasts are either egg-free or include eggs as a minor ingredient. From keto pancakes, muffins and hot cereal to breakfast sausage and keto pizza, keto breakfasts have never tasted so good.
Homemade sausage is sugar and additive free, and for convenience can be made ahead of time and frozen. These flavorful patties are filling on their own and don’t have to be served on a plate with eggs.
Nutritional Info: (1 sausage?) Total fat: 24.2 g | Net carbs: 0 g | Protein: 30.7 g
Before cauliflower pizza crust, there was meatza. This recipe deserves to be brought back from the past because it’s so darn good, and because it makes pizza for breakfast a keto reality. Serve Greek meatza for dinner then enjoy cold slice of pizza (or, “meatza”) for breakfast the next day.
Nutritional Info: (1 slice) Total fat: 25.7 g | Net carbs: 4.3 g | Protein: 31 g
This warm bowl of healthy goodness serves up enough protein, fat and fiber to satisfy until lunch. Optional topping like pecans and fresh berries give this healthy breakfast pudding a dessert-like flavor.
Nutritional Info: 1 serving Total fat: 35.7 g | Net carbs: 7.6 g | Protein: 22.3g
If you’re craving oatmeal or hot cereal, this keto porridge is what your body really wants. Made with richly flavorful ingredients like almond butter and coconut, this anti-inflammatory porridge also contains bee pollen, turmeric and hemp seeds.
Nutritional Info: 2 servings Total fat: 50.2 g | Net carbs: 6 g | Protein: 14.8 g
Last month, I gave a heads up about what I’m calling the Keto Kickoff—a quick and comprehensive 7-day dive into the ketogenic diet, a pure distillation of the lessons contained in The Keto Reset Diet book. That starts next Monday (sign-up closes Sunday night 1/6/19), and it assumes, but does not require, an audience without any formal experience in the ketogenic diet.
What about a similar-but-different-enough population—those who have tried keto, stopped for any number of reasons, and want back on the wagon? Should those looking to restart keto do or know anything different?
First and foremost, the basics still apply. Anyone looking to restart keto should pay attention to all the stuff I’ve covered in previous posts and books and will be covering in the Keto Kickoff email series (so sign up today!). Going keto is going keto.
What’s the most important step someone trying to restart a ketogenic diet needs to follow before doing anything else? Identify why you fell off the wagon in the first place. Then address it.
That’s really what sets you apart from the average keto beginner—your preexisting hangups. If anything, you’ll have a better physiological response to the ketogenic diet because your body retains knowledge. Some of that metabolic machinery is still there, still functioning, once you shake off the rust.
But you do need to figure out and overcome what tripped you up the first place.
People have dozens of potential reasons for quitting keto. I can’t possibly cover them all, but I can address and offer solutions for the most common ones.
It Was Challenging Figuring Out How To Eat With Friends, Family, and Colleagues
The people who give this reason usually fall into one of two camps. Either they’re too agreeable and give in to peer pressure (imagined or real) at the drop of a hat, making it impossible to get into any sort of keto rhythm; or they’re too rigid, turning every social excursion with food into an epic battle of will that eventually breaks them. The former group needs to toughen up. The latter group needs to lighten up.
Avoid rigidity and timidity. Stand firm and be resolute in your convictions about what diet makes you feel best; don’t be afraid to say “no” or order a salad with four meat patties when everyone else is getting pizza. In the vast majority of these cases the only one making you feel awkward is yourself. Most people don’t care. And if they do care, it’s probably because they’re intrigued and want to know more. Besides, going keto isn’t such a foreign concept these days. You may even have secret compatriots present who are also restarting keto.
Stick it out for three or four weeks and then lighten up. Once you’ve re-established your ketogenic metabolism and achieved metabolic flexibility, it won’t hurt (that much) to drift in and out on special occasions. You should be able to bounce back relatively quickly after a dalliance with carbs at happy hour, or Thanksgiving, or a birthday party. Just try to stick to healthy Primal sources of carbs to make the transition that much easier.
It Stopped Working
Sometimes keto stops working. An understandable reaction is to stop doing keto. It’s not the ideal move, but it makes sense.
If you’re thinking about restarting keto after a hiatus, and the reason you stopped in the first place was that keto stopped working, you probably have some bad habits or misconceptions to overcome.
You ate too much fat. A common trajectory among keto dieters who plateau is that they overdo the fat. Early on in keto, anything you eat seems to promote weight loss. The extra fat in those early days even upregulates the fat-burning of your mitochondria, speeding up the keto adaptation process. You’re eating more fat than you ever have before, and you only seem to be growing more powerful. It’s a profound sensation. But as you keep eating more and more fat, you plateau. As you attempt your keto restart, remember that getting into ketosis is more about the carbs you don’t eat than the fat you do. Calories don’t stop counting on keto.
You ate too little protein. Protein absolutely can inhibit ketosis, but it takes more than you think. Ketosis is protein-sparing, but you still need to eat it. And some people can get away with far more protein than others and still remain firmly in ketosis. The oft-given blanket advice to “limit protein” can really throw some people for a loop and lead to keto “not working.” Too low a protein intake on keto can reduce performance in the gym, limit or even reverse muscle hypertrophy, increase appetite, and make it hard to construct a palatable meal. If that sounds like you, try eating a bit more protein when you do your keto restart.
It Felt Too Restrictive
Not to toot my own horn too much, but this is one of the main reasons why I developed the Primal Kitchen line. Having an arsenal of reliable, convenient, and most importantly healthy mayos, dressings, sauces, and marinades promotes dietary variability. You end up eating a wider range of meats, vegetables, and other keto-friendly foods when you can modify their taste and presentation by flipping open the top of a bottle of dressing or mixing in some mayo. Meal monotony is a deal breaker for many people on any diet, including keto.
It Was “Too Hard”
That’s about as vague a complaint as you can get, but it’s very common. Going keto forces a totally new way of looking at your food, at your conception of energy, even your experience of the world. Your breath changes. Your grocery shopping routine changes. Three-quarters of the food at your favorite restaurant is suddenly off-limits. Then there’s the salt, potassium, and other electrolytes to worry about.
If you found keto to be just too hard to get a handle on, you’re not alone. Sign up for the Keto Kickoff, refresh your knowledge of the basics (and see what you were overlooking, if anything), get daily support, and do your keto restart right.
You Just Drifted Away
Things snowball, don’t they? You have a quarter of a donut at work because it’s just a quarter of a donut and it’s your favorite kind and it’s free. You get home and taste test the mac-and-cheese you made for your kids a few times, then finish their plate because, hey, it was only a couple more bites and refrigerated mac-and-cheese gets weird. Before you realize it, you’ve eaten refined carbohydrates every single day, haven’t lost a pound, and you can’t rightfully call yourself keto.
Keto drift happens, and it demands a restart. To prevent it from happening again, remember why you wanted to go keto in the first place:
For the fat loss…
For the improved energy…
For the metabolic flexibility…
For the freedom from hunger…
For the potential for a long, healthy, active life…
When you’re ready to get serious, get moving.
It Never Worked…As I Tried It
This is rare, but not inconceivable. Occasionally, a diet doesn’t work.
If keto truly doesn’t work for you, no matter how faithfully or optimally you implement it, don’t do it. Ketosis is still a good state to visit, so just be sure to implement some other method of entering ketosis even if you’re not going to restart the keto diet, whether it’s intermittent fasting, intense exercise (with precautions), caloric restriction, or simply not snacking all the time.
Do make sure you gave it a good three-week try, however, before concluding that “it doesn’t work for me.” That’s the minimum amount of time you need to know if it’s a good fit. If you didn’t give it three full and earnest weeks, sign up for the Keto Kickoff (opportunity for sign up closes January 6th!), and see what additional guidance and support can do for your process.
Thanks for reading today, everyone. Are you restarting keto? Trying it for the first time? Committing to another deep dive after a successful keto experience before? I’d love to hear your stories, questions and tips for all who are taking up keto in the new year.
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering one eternal question: How do the Hadza tribespeople of Northern Tanzania eat so much honey and maintain their trim figures and pristine metabolic health? Are they eating keto whenever they’re not eating honey? Are they running hill sprints to burn through glycogen stores and improve their insulin sensitivity? Are they trading mongongo nuts for Metformin? Or is there something unique about honey that makes it different than sugar?
But before I get to the question, it’s a brand new year.
This New Year promises to be bigger and better than ever. Change is in the air, and not just in my own life. Everyone I talk to—all my friends, colleagues, family members, and random acquaintances—seems to be entering a period of great change. Their professional lives, their relationships, their health, their mindsets are all shifting. And for the better. The way I see it is that change happens regardless of what you do. It’s a far better idea to take the reins and make the change work in your favor than let yourself be swept away by powers and fate unseen.
Happy New Year to everyone! I hope 2019 is your best yet, and I’d love to hear your visions for it.
Okay, on to the question:
What are your thoughts on honey as the sweetener for the mulled wine? Given how the Hadza draw so many of their carbs from honey (especially given the particular sugars and micronutrients that it contains), I’m surprised it doesn’t appear more often in these recipes that call for sweetening.
In case readers are unaware of the reference, the Hadza are one of the few remaining hunter-gatherer groups on this planet. They inhabit northern Tanzania, and their lives haven’t changed much at all. They’ve resisted ethnic admixture from other groups. They still hunt and gather for the vast majority of their calories. Their hunting and foraging grounds have been condensed due to pressure from the state, and there are probably fewer game animals available, but they’re still in the same general area. According to their oral traditions, there’s even no indication that they came from somewhere else.
One of the more striking features of their diet is their utilization of honey.
Ask the average Hadza tribesperson what their favorite food is and “honey” will be the answer.
Catch the Hadza during the right month and they’ll get half their calories from honey. Averaged out across the year, they get 15% from honey.
They even use a bird called the honey guide to lead them to the choicest hives. After completing the harvest, they’ll burn or bury the remnants to keep their honey guide from getting too full for the next search.
The honey isn’t your store-bought, pristine golden syrup smelling faintly of HFCS. It’s straight up honeycomb, teeming with bees and larvae and pollen and the queenly secretions called royal jelly. In fact, studies tend to emphasize that the Hadza get 15-50% of their calories not from honey, but from “honey and bee larvae.”
Bee larvae, also known as bee brood, is packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals. It’s high in folate, B12, thiamine, pantothenic acid—pretty much all the B vitamins—and biotin, to name a few.
How about the honey itself? I’ve written about honey as a sweetener and explored how its metabolic effects differ from plain white sugar. Suffice it to say, the evidence is clear that honey isn’t just sugar. Honey contains sugar—a lot of sugar—but it’s much more than that.
A set of studies in humans compared the effects of honey, sham-honey (a mix of fructose and glucose), dextrose (which is just glucose), and sucrose on several health markers. Honey resulted in smaller blood glucose spikes (+14%) than dextrose (+53%). Sham honey increased triglycerides, while real honey lowered them along with boosting HDL and lowering LDL. After fifteen days of honey feeding, CRP and LDL dropped. Overall, honey improved blood lipids, lowered inflammatory markers, and had minimal effect on blood glucose levels, despite being similarly high in fructose in particular and sugar in general.
So, in some respects, the honey the Hadza eat like crazy isn’t the honey that most of us can easily obtain in stores or even farmer’s markets. Yet even standard honey is different from—and better than—white sugar.
This is a roundabout way of saying that a little honey will be just fine in your mulled wine. Extra points if you can throw some bee larvae and royal jelly in there, with maybe even a dash of Hadza fecal bacteria.
Of course, don’t eat 15% honey diets. You are not Hadza. You are not living like the Hadza. You don’t have the precise genetic makeup of the Hadza. It won’t work as well for the average Westerner reading blogs.
Do you eat honey? How do the metabolic effects compare to sugar in your experience?
That’s it for today, folks. Thanks for reading, and be sure to tell me your thoughts and New Year intentions down below.
It’s Monday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
I’m a Certified Executive Chef by the American Culinary Federation. I have about 20 years of experience in the field.
During my training as a Chef and years working in kitchens for all kinds of outlets (Restaurants, Hotels, Employee Cafeterias, Dining Services of Universities), I learned and then implemented the knowledge that a balanced nutritional plate is supposed to have 3 components: a protein, a vegetable and a starch, and how to control the amount of fat used to produce this plate.
I moved from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Columbus, Ohio, USA, to finish my Chef training. The possibilities of success here were much better, so my wife and I decided to make it our place to grow our family.
After several years working in a great restaurant, I started to have episodes of headaches that would end with me throwing up and having to leave work. This would happen at least once a week. I ended up going to the doctor and found out that I had very high blood pressure (180/150 mm Hg), so the doctor started me on BP medicine. My BP was under control for several years until one of my yearly visits to the doctor. After my vital signs were taken and the blood work came back, the doctor told me that he needed to increase my BP medication and that I had become pre-diabetic. He said that in the next visit he would probably have to prescribe some diabetes medicine to me. I refused to believe that I was becoming a diabetic person and have never been very friendly to take drugs, so I asked the doctor if I had any other ways to turn this around. His answer was that all of this was hereditary and there was nothing else I could do about it.
I decided to look for a second opinion. I was lucky to find a functional doctor. Before the visit, there was a questionnaire. I remember that one of the questions was something like “write down what your goal is for when you retire.” That made me realize that I really wanted to be able to see my kids graduate from college, get married, have kids, and be around when my grandkids graduate from college. Considering that my kids were still in elementary school at this time, I had to stay healthy for a long time.
This new doctor presented me with an elimination diet that I started the same day I was inspired by the question from the questionnaire. At the end of my visits I was presented with the Paleo Lifestyle, which (without knowing) I always had a sense was the right thing to do. After about a year, I was almost out of the BP medicine and had lost 30 lbs. I also never had to talk about diabetes as my blood work was pretty good—until I left a job of 7 years and let myself go back on eating grains and sugars while looking for a new job. When I went back to the doctor for my yearly check up, my blood work results came back as the worst I ever had. It only took 6 months to reverse all the good this lifestyle has done on myself. I realized that I had done wrong, and started back with even a stronger belief that the right thing was to avoid all grains, legumes and sugars. After 3 months my blood work was back to almost perfect.
About this time I started listening to the Primal Blueprint Podcast (it was sometime before the launch of The Keto Reset Diet. I had read The Paleo Solution and Wired to Eat from Robb Wolf, but had never read anything from Mark Sisson. I really liked Mark’s approach and also liked the podcast. Something about it started making me think about wanting to help others to improve their health, so after doing some research on the different coaching programs that existed at that time, not too many, I decided that the Primal Health Coach Institute was the best option. Now I’m a certified PHC. So far I had only one client that requested a menu with easy recipes to be able to follow the program.
As I’m a Chef who has been training young students in University environments as new kitchen employees—and being aware that most people in the States don’t know how to cook and are afraid to be in their kitchens—I decided that my best option is to help people to be re-introduced to their kitchens, creating simple recipes and teaching them how to cook.
As we believe that 80% of our health is what we eat I strongly believe that everyone needs to learn the kitchen basics to be able to cook and better understand how to make special requests in restaurants when eating out, eventually making an educated decision when picking a restaurant.
My motto is:
Food for Health
Because you are worth it
I still love cooking and I have a project that is on the final stages of a loan application to build a Primal Food Truck in Columbus Ohio. I’m hoping to have it ready for Spring 2019 to start the Food Truck season here in Columbus. The name will be PH Chef, PH has to do with Primal Health and also to ph balance as I relate that to the balance food gives you when you eat right.
I’m sharing with you the menu that I’m planning to start with, probably with some changes as I have time to keep playing with food.
Baked Egg on Avocado Pork Belly and Avocado Dressing
Romaine Heart Big Ass Salad Jicama Slaw
Proteins (all grass-fed, pasture-raised or wild-caught)