The Carnivore Diet Diaries: Strong Medicine by Blake F. Donaldson: Book Review + January 2018: World Carnivore Month & Zero Carb Running.

My book review of Strong Medicine by Blake F Donaldson. As well as a look at how my World Carnivore Month went in January.

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Post summary

  • Strong Medicine Book Review
  • Break down of my Eating and Running Exploits in January

Strong Medicine by Blake F. Donaldson: Book Review

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Strong Medicine is wrote by a Doctor called Blake F. Donaldson. He was a Doctor between the 1910’s and 1960’s.

Chapter 1: this is an introduction into his beliefs really. Even though the story begins in 1919, he still makes reference to how doctors were too concerned with the next new drug or procedure. Whereas he believed that all the major diseases were the result of obesity and allergies. I am writing my review chapter by chapter, so I am wondering is what he calls allergies actually what we know to be inflammation? He says 95% of a clinics time should be spent treating these two problems with teachings on diet. He also noted that patients would often prefer a procedure or drug rather than overhaul their life and diet.

Chapter 2: a quick run through of his early life and how he became a doctor.

Chapter 3: discusses his time as a medical doctor in World War 1. Invaluable lessons in how to deal with patients as people, as well as trying to heal in difficult circumstances.

Chapter 4: now it starts getting interesting. He starts a Practice with friends, and they begin to think that obesity and other diseases are caused by and can be cured by diet. They believe that all cells start out the same and specialize afterwards. So the diet to help your heart would be the same diet you would offer to improve dental hygiene. Therefore to help new cell growth and maintenance of a healthy cell. There must be a common nutrition that all cells need. He says amino acid deficiency is much more harmful than vitamin deficiency. They scour the world to try to find which cultures were thriving (around 1919). They struggled to find common themes. The only one they found was we craved fat. They then looked further back in time and realised we evolved eating fatty meat, and as much as we could get our hands on. Solving the amino acid deficiency problem. He suggests a lower limit of 1&1/2 pounds of fresh meat a day, with no upper limit.

Chapter 5: due to our ancestory he suggests there are probably only two perfect foods, fresh meat & clean water. He notes calorie counting is pointless and unsustainable, and you will always put weight back on with this method. He goes onto cholesterol and how people were trying to link it with obesity. He believed cholesterol was vital for health. He goes on to explain how sugar, starches and insulin cause obestity. Yet actually eating fat encourages your body to burn fats for fuel via Ketosis. He believes this is a much more efficient system than sugar burning. He ends by giving an example of a patient who give a list of ills. He wrote to her saying they were all due to obesity, she would be getting no pills and was told exactly how to lose the weight and how much in how long. Great.

Chapter 6: he discusses heart disease. He is of the opinion the heart is made to last a certain length of time. So don’t overwork it and make sure you treat it correctly and you will get the full length of time out of it. This means being active, be at the weight you were meant to be aka eat right, limit stress and get good sleep. Oh and eat plenty meat for artery repair.

Chapter 7: this chapter is about osteoarthritis, and he keeps things very simple. It’s about getting to a weight that is not stressing the body, he advocates the usual meat consumption to decrease the weight but also to help heal the joints, then he advocates progressive exercise to increase flexibility. He also give diagrams of the exercises, which are useful to have.

Chapter 8: an important chapter here on diabetes. He doesn’t sugar coat it, he says that is a mental disease of gluttony and lack of food knowledge. He is right in saying that diabetes is a hard disease to fight because you have to give up the foods you “love”. However you must, as diabetes hardens arteries, and you are likely to suffer a heart attack if you do not control your diabetes through diet. All grains must be eliminated immediately as these also harden the arteries. Again to reverse your weight, it is fatty meat and water with exercise in the form of walking. Again the increase in meat is vital for the increase in amino acids to fight arteriosclerosis. He states that his methods gets 96% of his patients off insulin completely, I wish more doctors knew how many patients they got off insulin rather than how many they have given prescriptions too.

Chapter 9: this chapter is about hardening of the arteries. He suggests that this is kind of inevitable, and a way to control population as people to have to die eventually. However he states that you can do things to slow the decay. He states that the biggest contributor to early hardening is obesity. So he again states that fatty meat is the way to go, as it will result in weight loss and provides the amino acids needed to repair cells. He blames bread that is often eaten with meat, stating bread is doing more harm than the meat can do good. He also makes the point that being under weight and under muscled is just as bad as being overweight, for hardening of the arteries. As it suggests you are not getting the adequate nutrition and amino acids for cell repair. In his opinion nothing hardens the arteries more than processed carbs and sugars.

Chapter 10: the best medicine for high blood pressure? None haha. He had his patients eat meat, lose weight, exercise, sleep well, and relax. He believed anxiety is a major side effect of high blood pressure, so that had to be managed too. However the biggest issue was controlling your weight.



Chapter 11: involves a story about a women who had her gall bladder removed, and the hell her family played when he put her on a high fat meat diet. He states that not only is a high fat diet for someone without a gall bladder not dangerous, it is the only way they should be eating.

Chapter 12: is all about allergies. Something that winds me up a lot in life. His view is that allergies is about not adapting to something, and is not your fault it’s your bloodline. He says the easiest way to clear all allergies is to go back to a time when there was no allergies, to a time where if you had allergies you would have likely died before reproducing. This time goes back to when people just ate meat and drank water! Simple really. I find it frustrating when someone claims to be allergic or intolerant to something, they then take it out of their diet, guess what they end up being allergic to something else. This is because they are not seeing their diet on a macro level, only micro. So someone may say “I am intolerant to chicken”, are they really? Or is it just manifesting in that way. Is it actually grain, oats, vegetable oils, plant matter in general that is the culprit. You might claim you are intolerant to red meat, yet I bet only eating red meat would cure your intolerance to it! Obviously I am not talking a about things like server Peanut Allergies here. Although again eating meat would cure that issue haha.

Chapter 13: a story about a specific women who had multiple allergies. He did not attempt to find the root cause of the allergy for each issue. He look at the diet as a whole, and a meat heavy diet solved all her issues. There is really no point in finding a page full of things you cannot eat, when all you need to know is eating a lot of red meat resolves all your ills.

Chapter 14: he talks about bacterial and viral infections. I particularly like his views that if you ate “primitive” foods, you would be much more likely to avoid getting a common cold. I myself have not had a cold for nearly 2 years since going low carb.

Chapter 15: discusses digestive trouble. Some people are more hardy than others. However he says that the majority of digestive trouble results from “new food”. He classes new food as anything invented in the last 8000 years, I love this guy. Then basically as always, modern diseases and troubles can be resolved through only eating “primitive food” aka fatty meat.

Chapter 16: here he discusses a few things about allergies and skin conditions. The main point he makes it that the main culprits are milk, cream, cheese, ice cream, eggs, wheat and alcohol. If you cut these out immediately and forever most issues would be resolved. Therefore just meat, get a base for your health and you can then start adding stuff back in one at a time to see how things effect you.

Chapter 17: discusses issues with certain allergies and issues with migraines and headaches. The same strategy of 1/2 pound of fatty meat 3 times a day is used. However he goes on to discuss the issues of getting family members to buy into what needs to be done. Even if they are unhealthy themselves and dearly love the sick person, it is hard for them to listen to a doctor that they have helped contribute to the sickness the person is suffering from. They will attempt to sabotage the advice, and consciously / subconsciously encourage the sick person to cheat. This is definitely a problem in today’s world.

Chapter 18: is a story about a man with an ulcer, the jist being do the right things or you will repeat the same issues.

Chapter 19: what he classes as good food and why. He says any thing ate before 8000 years ago is what is good. As we are perfectly designed to eat it, and states you can tell that from the shape of our teeth and size of our bowel. He notes that we do not have the “juices” to process cellulose in plants, therefore it is impossible to extract all the nutrients out of a plant. To get any goodness from plants you need to digest them on your bowel, he states a Lion has a bowel 9 times the length of its spine, ours is 16 which is still extremely short. He is without doubt that the majority of our nutrition must come from animal meat. All our cells may do different things, but they are all made and contain the same things. So to improve the health of your teeth, will be the same way you would improve the strength of your hair or your liver. This is why it is vital to digest amino acids from animal, the easiest way to repair animals tissue is to eat animal tissue.

Chapter 20: nothing much to talk about here. He just discusses how he like to cook meat. However one thing stands out here is that clearly fatty meat was the most expensive cut. He talks about eating on a budget, he says buy the cheap lean cuts and add fat in cooking like suet and lard etc. Nowadays lean mince is more expensive than the full fat mince, that would probably blow his mind. This being the last chapter was a little disappointing, I expected a bit more finality or a closing statement on the powers of meat or something like that.



My Conclusion – I wish more doctors were like him nowadays. If a patient came to him with 10 different issues, and they were overweight. His diagnosis would be you are obese. Resolve that and the other issues will likely disappear. Surely that is better than getting 10 different prescriptions. He saw Meat as a way to get people back to a reset level, a way for your body to get to a weight it was meant to be but also a place in health where it is was meant to be. If you got to this point, then the diseases of civilization would be controlled and prevented from reoccurring.

I have had people say to me, “oh yer your diet probably works but I could never be that strict”. I find it fascinating that someone would think the way I ate was going to make me significantly healthier and less prone to disease, but they aren’t prepared to give up pasta, biscuits or chocolate for their own health. It truly baffles me.

Unfortunately we live in a world of snowflakes. People don’t want to go into a doctors and be told the reason you are depressed, anxious, obese, underweight, have allergies, have diabetes, have heart disease is because your diet is absolutely horrendous. They would rather keep their diet and be given a pill or an ointment and sent on their way.

My closing opinion is that nutritional science and nutritional medicine has greatly regressed since the days he practiced. More the shame.

My Carnivore Diaries – January

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The Carnivore Diet is proving to be a breath of fresh air. You eat meat and you magically hit Ketogenic macros without any tracking. Meat = Ketosis. So you get all the benefits of Keto, with a little added protein to help you out when exercising. The simplicity is incredible, and makes it almost fool proof. You would think you would get bored eating only meat, but you don’t. You in fact just crave more meat. It is like your body is nourished from the inside out, and it finds it so nice being fed what it needs. That if you deviate from it, it gets more pissed off than it did before. I have always loved Apple Crumble, on Keto I would make Keto versions or if I had the occasional cheat day an Apple crumble would likely be consumed. However I had one in a restaurant over Christmas, and I could barely stomach it. It was so sweet it was sickening. Now I can taste subtle differences in sweetness between different cuts of beef.

On Keto compared against the majority of people on normal diets, I was eating very little amount of plants. However dropping that low quantity of plants to zero has be a revelation in terms of energy and digestion.

If everyone cut out all plants and only ate meat, I think everyone would likely benefit. Then once you had a baseline, you could add plants back in one by one it you wanted too as people will have different tolerances to plants. Then you would be sure that it didn’t negatively effect you. That is the only way to know for sure, no allergy or genetic test can tell you that properly.  I think you would be surprised how many plants actually make you sluggish in terms of energy and digestion and you would probably settle on a diet with the majority of it made up of meat. Having little interest in plants.

The biggest barrier for people is education. We have being taught that our 5 a day is vital for our health, or you need your healthy wholegrains. If you can take a moment and consider they are not only non-essential but could be harmful. If you can trust in that or at least say to yourself doing it for 30 days isn’t going to kill me. Then you can take on a limited period on the Carnivore Diet to see what you can take from it. I will tell you now you will likely be positively surprised.

Anyone reading this who doesn’t try Carnivore for 30 days is doing themselves a disservice in my opinion. If you don’t like it then stop, but you should definitely try it.



1st Jan

Food = 2 Fried Eggs, 3 rashers of Bacon. 2 Chicken Drumsticks. 500g Lamb leg joint.

2nd Jan

Food = 2 small Sausages, 2 rashers of Bacon. 2 Chicken Thighs. 1 Whole Chicken.

Exercise = 3 Pull Ups, 4 Press Ups and 20 32kg Kettlebell swings.

3rd Jan

Food = 500g Pork Belly. 500g Beef patties and cheese.

Exercise = 25 32kg Kettlebell swings.

4th Jan

Food = 2 rashers of Bacon, and 2 small sausages. 500g Beef patties and cheese. 500g Beef patties and cheese.

Exercise = 26 32kg Kettlebell swings.

5th Jan

Food = 500g Pork Belly. 500g Beef patties and cheese.

Exercise = 5 press ups and 4 pull ups.

6th Jan

Food = 150g Pork belly. 4 small sausages. 500g beef patties and cheese.

7th Jan

Food = 2 fried eggs and 3 rashers of bacon. 2 boiled eggs and cheese. 454g beef patties and cheese.

Exercise =

334

8th Jan

Food = 454g beef patties and cheese. 400g lamb chops.

Exercise = 27 32kg Kettlebell swings.

9th Jan

Food = 400g lamb chops. 500g beef brisket.

10th Jan

Food = 400g lamb chops. 500g beef brisket.

Exercise =

403

11th Jan

Food = 600g beef casserole steak. 454g beef patties and cheese.

12th Jan

Food = 500g pork belly. 300g beef patties with cheese and wrapped in parma ham.

13th Jan

Food = 400g ribeye steak and 2 fried eggs. Meal out at a Lebanese restaurant.

Exercise =

405

14th Jan

Food = 600g beef patties and cheese.

15th Jan

Food = 1.1kg of beef patties and cheese.

Exercise = Gym

Leg press 75kg 2:00

Shoulder press 15kg 2:20

Pulls ups (normal) 8

Chest press 35kg 1:30

Pull ups (normal) 3, 2

100 meter row test 00:20.5



16th Jan

Food = 1.1kg of beef patties and cheese.

17th Jan

Food = 1kg of beef patties and cheese.

Exercise = Indoor Rower

10 * 100 metre intervals with 2 minute rests – 23:16.2

Then a 100 metre time timed row.

1

18th Jan

Food = 1kg of beef patties and cheese.

19th Jan

Food = 1kg of beef patties and cheese.

20th Jan

Food = 1kg of lamb joint.

Exercise = 6 miles on a treadmill, 12 miles on an exercise bike and 1 mile on the indoor rower.

21st Jan

Food = 4 scrambled eggs and cheese. 500g brisket beef.

Exercise = Strength day –

Workout Time 52 mins.

High Intensity Training – very slow cadence, 5-10 seconds up and 5-10 seconds down.
Pull Ups * 7
Chest Press 35kg
Lat Pulldown 45kg
Shoulder Press 15kg
Leg Press 75kg
Calf Raises 45kg
Pull Ups * 8
Flys 19kg
Reverse Flys 19kg

Then normal lifts at a normal ish cadence.
Deadlift 60kg * 5
Deadlift 80kg * 5
Deadlift 100kg * 3
Deadlift 120kg * 1

Bench Press 40kg * 5
Bench Press 50kg * 5
Bench Press 60kg * 3

Squats 60kg * 5
Squats 60kg * 5
Squats 60kg * 5

60cm box jumps * 10

24kg kettlebell swings * 20

Pull Ups * 3

22nd Jan

Food = 4 small sausages, and 4 rashers of bacon. 500g beef brisket. 500g beef patties and cheese.

23rd Jan

Food = 2 small sausages and 2 rashers of bacon. 1kg beef patties and cheese.

24th Jan

Food = 2 suasages. Madras curry.

25th Jan

Food = 4 suasages. 500g beef patties and cheese.

26th Jan

Food = 1kg beef patties and cheese.

27th Jan

Food = 2 fried eggs, and 4 rashers of bacon. 500g beef patties and cheese.

28th Jan

Food = 2 fried eggs and 4 rashers of bacon. 700g beef patties and cheese.

Exercise – Gym – Strength

High Intensity Training – very slow cadence, 5-10 seconds up and 5-10 seconds down.
Pull Ups * 8 (normal)
Chest Press 37.5kg
Lat Pulldown 47.5kg
Shoulder Press 17.5kg (h)
Leg Press 80kg
Calf Raises 50kg
Pull Ups * 6
Flys 26kg
Reverse Flys 26kg (h)
Then normal lifts at a normal ish cadences .
Squats 70kg 5r 3s
Deadliwft 80kg 5r 3s
Bench Press 50kg 5r 3s (h)
67.5cm box jumps * 10
24kg kettlebell swings * 25

29th Jan

Food = 1kg beef patties and cheese.

30th Jan

Food = 1kg beef patties and cheese.

31st Jan

Food = 1kg beef patties and cheese.

Exercise = 10*100m rows with 2 minute rests.



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  1. Eric (TexasKetoAthlete) February 1, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Interesting book, I had never heard of it. I work in the medical field and I see it all the time…”I couldn’t do that, it’s too restrictive!” No, losing your foot is too restrictive. Losing mobility is too restrictive. Medications are too restrictive. Eating meat and eggs is easy.

    Reply

    1. ketogenicendurance February 1, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      Exactly fella !

      Reply

  2. Great summary… what sort of body change did you experience doing this? Very interesting stuff… I’ve been reading a bunch and trying the Keto lifestyle.

    Reply

    1. ketogenicendurance February 6, 2018 at 9:26 am

      I was keto and leveled out at around 13 stone. Almost instantley I dropped weigth, around 12s4 now. You also seem to lean out more and look more muscular. No improvements in running really, about the same. I see Carnivore as a little niche section of keto, you are still fat adapted the vast majority of the time.

      Reply

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