Tuesday 21 January 2014

My NK Experiment

During February I will be undertaking a nutritional ketosis (NK) experiment, I will be chronicling my journey on a separate blog. Link: http://depawnk.blogspot.co.uk/

Sunday 12 January 2014

Carnivore RDA Version 2

  • 7oz beef/lamb, 30% fat
  • 2oz mackerel
  • 110g beef/lamb tallow
  • 2 eggs, whole
  • 2oz pork kidneys
  • 1/4oz pork liver
  • 2tbsp gelatin powder
  • 1/2tsp losalt
  • 1/2tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1tsp/1g kelp/kombu, dry
  • 16floz tea
  • 400mg magnesium citrate
  • 2 egg shell calcium / month (1/2 per week)

Over my continuing research I've found out a few things since the first carnivore RDA post:
  • We need less retinol/vitamin A: 1200ug (~4000IU) is ideal, with >600ug (~2000IU) being minimum, but vitamin A is found in all animal fats so liver/yolks/dairy is less critical.
  • We need less calcium: 200mg a day is fine, and possibly even better than higher amounts; as long as there's plenty of vitamin D, K2, magnesium, and other co-factors, calcium intake is a non-issue. Still less than 100-150mg probably isn't very good, stick to around 200mg a day.
  • We need more magnesium per calcium: reading some books on holistic health care, it said that the ideal ratio of magnesium:calcium in the tissues is 3-4:1, so intake should be similar. I'm not increasing the recommendation for magnesium supplementation, but rather decreasing calcium as per last bullet point, and putting focus on using a salt like Himalyan pink salt which is naturally rich in magnesium.
  • We need more kidneys: selenium needs to be ~200ug a day ideally, and the decrease in the other foods decreased the selenium intake, so kidneys were boosted to 2oz per day to maintain selenium intake.
  • We don't need quite as much zinc: in the first carnivore RDA I used 12:1 as the zinc:copper ratio, but 10:1 is fine.
  • We need less protein: my first dietary recommendation, to match the USDA RDA was very high in protein, I decreased it in the first carnivore RDA, and I'm decreasing it again. Excessive protein simply isn't needed, there's no point to eating more protein than we need, it just inhibits ketosis and can stall you. 15% of calories is ample protein. I also decreased the gelatin slightly, but it's still >15% of the total protein, so fine.



VitaminUnitcRDAv2In Menu Above
Vitamin A (retinol)ug/IU600-1,200ug
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)mg0.40.44
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)mgN/A2.18
Vitamin B3 (niacin)mgN/A17.60
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)mgN/A5.13
Vitamin B6 (pyroxine)mg0.016mg/g protein

(0.0167mg/g protein)
Vitamin B9 (folate)ug100-200130
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)ug12+16.54
Biotinug50+No data, sufficient
Vitamin Cmg09.56
Vitamin DIUUse blood levels477
Vitamin Emg0.65mg/g PUFA5/87
(0.66mg/g PUFA)
Vitamin K1ug015.05
Vitamin K2ug80No data, sufficient

MineralUnitcRDAv2In Menu Above
(3-4x calcium)
(3.1x calcium)
(~10x copper)
(11x copper)
(16 for females)
Molybdenumug45+No data, sufficient
Chromiumug25-35No data, sufficient


  • Supplement 100ug selenium instead of 2oz kidneys
  • Supplement ~2000IU retinol instead of 1/4oz liver
  • Supplement 1 drop 7% Lugol's solution instead of seaweed.
  • Use no losalt and only 3/8tsp sea salt to keep sodium to potassium ratio the same, this is probably fine after keto-adaptation.

Saturday 4 January 2014

Bachelor Chow (A Soylent Recipe)

Soylent is all the rage these days, so I decided to make my own version, which follows these parameters:
  • Nutritionally complete. I will be following my own RDAs not the USDA's though.
  • Low carb / ketogenic. As low in net carbs as possible.

Here's my recipe:
  • 70g whey protein powder
  • 400g coconut milk (canned, not light)
  • 180g cream
  • 23g almonds
  • 14g flax seeds
  • 10g brazil nuts
  • 3/4tsp pink salt
  • 1 multivitamin
  • 500mg choline
  • 315mg magnesium citrate
  • 1,500IU vit D3
  • 150ug vit K2 (D3+K2=3 drops Thorne D3/K2 drops)
  • 3.5mg iodine (1 drop lugol's 7%)
  • 500mg vit C
A total of 14-15 ingredients. Total weight ~930g.

Why each ingredient?
  • Whey protein: protein, duh.
  • Coconut milk: keto-power activate!
  • Cream: liquid gold.
  • Almond milk: flavour and some omega-6.
  • Flax seeds: omega-3s. You could omit and use cod liver oil (replacing retinol too) or fish oil, but this recipe uses flax seeds as default for taste reasons.
  • Brazil nuts: selenium.
  • Salt: sodium, chloride.
  • Multivitamin+specific nutrients: the MV provides most nutrients except the fat soluble ones in enough quantity, magnesium, iodine, choline, and vitamin C (vit C is included as this recipe as it has some carbs, just as a safe guard (though best to not cook it and take it separately)).
2050 calories, 65g protein, 31g carbs (26g net), 194g fat (omega ratio = 1.9).

  1. Weigh out almonds/flax.
  2. Soak them overnight in salty water, then drain.
  3. Weigh out rest of ingredients.
  4. Set the nuts grinding with water then strain to make nut milk. Discard solids.
  5. Mix all ingredients together into paste.
  6. Store in 3-6 small containers.
  7. When ready to eat mix one container with water to desired thickness.
  8. Drink water as desired also.

One example is 3 'meals', each made up with 750ml of water, for a total of 2ltrs of water consumed over the day. Weigh out 310g each meal for 3 meals, 233g each for 4 meals, 186g for 5 meals, 155g for 6 meals.

I did a basic cost check using mostly Tesco, Holland & Barret's, and a couple of items on Amazon.co.uk, the cost is about £3.15 per day, that's £22.05 per week, not too shabby.

If you're eating other nutritious food and want to just make this for snacks/emergencies, then leave out all the supplements (use first 7 ingredients). It will come out to £2.75 per recipe.

How does it taste? Probably like coconutty whey protein shake (whatever flavour you bought). I may make up a batch soon and post pictures of the process and give you my reaction to the taste. [Edit: I originally made a solid version (using coconut oil and coconut meat instead of coconut milk and cream) but the texture was really weird, I didn't like it, so made a liquid version.]

Name inspired by Futurama's Bachelor Chow (now with flavour!):

Friday 13 December 2013

Home-made Mineral Water

Most water is pitiful, it's either contaminated with chlorine/fluorine, or is very poor in minerals after being cleaned/filtered. Here I purpose the ultimate solution (pun intended), for home-made mineral water.


  • ~2L distilled or very pure water
  • ~200mg silicia
  • ~150mg magnesium citrate
  • 1/2tsp sea salt, eg himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2tsp low-sodium salt (66% KCl)
  • [or 1/3tsp no-sodium salt + 2/3tsp sea salt]
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 2tbsp distilled/white vinegar
  • Optional:
  • 200ug lithium orotate
  • 1 drop Lugol's solution, 3-7% (1.5-3.5mg iodine)


  • Start with very pure or distilled water to minimise toxins/contaminants.
  • Silica, used to remove excess aluminium, set at similar levels to Fuji water which is shown in studies to be effective.
  • Magnesium, needed for over 300 enzymes, most people are very deficient in this mineral due to soil depletion, diluting it in water is a great way to increase intake.
  • Salts (sea and low-sodium), these provide the electrolytes sodium and potassium, the sea salt provides trace minerals including a bit of magnesium.
  • Lemon juice and vinegar, these improve the taste and absorption of water, blunt glycaemic responds (stops high blood sugar peaks), and also remove excess iron.
  • Lithium, for mood support. Populations with water low in lithium are more prone to violent crimes and suicides.
  • Iodine, needed for thyroid health and prevention of certain cancers, set a base therapeutic level; if you eat seaweed then this isn't needed though.

If anyone has anything else they think should be in the mineral water, then feel free to comment below or send me an email :)

Update (20/12/13) - Version 2:

Mineral water #0: Water Base

  • 2,000ml distilled or very pure water
  • 2tbsp vinegar, white/distilled
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2tsp Himalayan pink salt or similar
  • 200mg silica / silicic acid
  • 200ug lithium oratate (optional)
  • 1.5-3.5mg iodine (1 drop 3-7% Lugol's solution)

Mineral Water #1: Magnesium
  • 315mg magnesium citrate (1/2tsp powder)
  • 250-500ml mineral water #0

    Mineral Water #2: Vitamin C
    • 2.5g vitamin C / ascorbic acid
    • 250-500ml mineral water #0
    • Update (21/12/13) - version 2.1: Due to acidity issues with my teeth last night, always add some bicarbonate of soda (bicarb) in equal amounts to the ascorbic acid.

    All can be sweetened/flavoured if desired. Drinking one of #1/2 plus two plain #0s, results in exactly my original recipe, minus the low/no-sodium salt which I am removing because I feel the potassium isn't that critical really.

    Why the split? For better timing of nutrients, for example drink #1 before bed. #2 is optional, drink #0 through the day.

    What to do if you can't filter crappy water (thanks for the reminder Raphi!):
    • Chlorine: boil water and allow to cool to room temperature, the chlorine will off-gas, so best to place outside or by open window to cool.
    • Chloroamines: add 1/4tsp vitamin C / ascorbic acid to the water base to neutralise chloroamines.
    • Fluorine: Use 4-8 drops 3% or 2-4 drops 7% Lugol's solution depending on level of fluoridation, this won't remove it from the water but combat the effects of the fluorine in your body.

    Sunday 8 December 2013

    Boosting Glutathione

    We've talked previously about how important good glutathione levels are, so here we'll talk about how to boost them naturally and also with supplements. First a quick review of how glutathione is made:
    1. First methionine is converted to homocysteine, via methyl acceptors (opposite of donors).
    2. Next homocysteine is converted to cysteine via vitamin B6 with the addition of serine.
    3. Cysteine combines with glycine and glutamate, using selenium to make glutathione.

    So the nutrients needed to make glutathione are:
    • Methionine + vitamin B6 (to make cysteine)
    • Then, cysteine + glycine + glutamate + selenium

    The best foods source of each 'ingredient' is:
    • Methionine: eggs.
    • Vitamin B6: red meat.
    • Cysteine: red meat, eggs.
    • Glycine: gelatin (heads, hooves/feet, tails, ears, skin, cartilage, powder/sheets, etc)
    • Serine (inter-converts with glycine): any protein source.
    • Glutamate: any protein source.
    • Glutamine (inter-converts with glutamate): any protein source.
    • Selenium: kidneys, brazil nuts.

    Notice red meat and eggs come up multiple times, this means they're very good foods to include in your diet if you want to boost glutathione production. But the other components are equally important, so brink your gelatin-rich broth and eat your kidneys/brazil nuts.

    Ok, now you're eating everything you need to make glutathione, lets make sure you make as much as possible. Methods for doing this include:
    • N-acetyl-cysteine: this is a special 'locked up' form of cysteine that really helps boost glutathione production. Never supplement normal cysteine as bacteria tend to get to it first and use it for their own reproduction. Suggested dose: ~600mg.
    • Milk thistle/Silymarin: this is a herb (and its active ingredient) that helps the liver to work properly, boosting its functions, including... you guessed it, making glutathione. Suggested dose: 100-200mg silymarin. This supplement is boosted when taken at the same time as choline, so eat some egg yolks with it for maximum effect.
    • Turmeric/curcumin: this spice boosts glutathione S-transferase which is hormone that regulates glutathione production. Suggested dose: 1tsp turmeric.
    • Whey protein: this boosts glutathione, due to its natural cysteine and other nutrients.

    Ultimate glutathione production method:
    • Diet based on red meat (for cysteine, B6, zinc), with additional egg yolks (choline), poultry liver (folate), kidneys/brazil nuts (selenium), and gelatin-rich bone broth (glycine).
    • Supplements: 600mg N-acetyl-cysteine, 200mg silymarin as milk thistle, 1tsp turmeric, 1 scoop whey protein powder.

    Glutathione nutrients for the carnivore RDA example diet (link):
    • Methionine: 2,180mg.
    • Cysteine: 1,130mg.
    • Vitamin B6: 1.66mg.
    • Glycine+serine: 13,700mg.
    • Glutamate+glutamine: 13,510mg.
    • Selenium: 194ug.

    2000 calories of rib-eye (877g raw) would have:
    • Methionine: 4,600mg.
    • Cysteine: 1,700mg.
    • Vitamin B6: 3.6mg.
    • Glycine+serine: 15,300mg.
    • Glutamate+glutamine: 27,600mg.
    • Selenium: 212ug.

    As we can see, both diets are strong glutathione producers. But I don't recommend a diet of JUST red meat steaks for many other reasons already stated in this blog, but glutathione production is not one of my concerns with such a diet. Bare in mind the rib-eye diet has a lot more protein overall too (~170g versus ~100g), so has more of the critical amino acids just from bulk.

    Recommended intake:
    • Methionine: 2,000mg.
    • Cysteine: 1,500mg. ???
    • Vitamin B6: >0.016mg/g protein.
    • Glycine+serine: 13,500mg.
    • Glutamate+glutamine: 20,000mg. ???
    • Selenium: 200ug.

    Wednesday 4 December 2013

    Inner Wolf Unchained

    I'm currently writing a book on nutrition, with my good friend Danny Albers of Primal North assisting. It's called 'Inner Wolf Unchained', with a subtitle of 'Eat and Train like a Wolf to Get Healthy and Conquer Survival of the Fittest'.

    It will cover our evolution in Africa, and how it essentially makes us fur-less wolves; it examines from the base up what we need and don't need in our diet; it looks at the latest science to understand what amounts/ratios of macronutrients and micronutrients we need; it draws this all together into a simple and easy to follow diet framework; it looks at the science of exercise and what forms are best for us; it looks at what supplements one should take based on what they don't eat to ensure complete nutrition for optimal health. The book will include plenty of meal plans and recipes too.

    Here's an extract:
    "There are certain nutrients we must get from our diet, such as essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, fat- and water-soluble vitamins, macro, trace, and ultra-trace minerals, and energy itself.

    There are many nutrients the body requires but can make for itself, but only partially so, such as glucose (with heavy exercise), fat, choline, co-enzyme Q10, semi-essential amino acids, and many others.

    Then there are substances in our food that negatively affect our health, either by blocking nutrients or doing direct damage, including fructose, gluten, excessive blood glucose, linoleic acid, anti-nutrients such as phytic acid, tannins, and many other phytochemicals.

    We must balance these three aspects together in order to achieve maximum health and wellness."

    Saturday 17 August 2013

    Carnivore RDA Chart, The End of A Long Road

    Amino Acids:
    NutrientUnitUSDA RDAcRDANPCD*Recommended Foods
    Total Proteing/kg0.8 (54.5g/150lbs)1.2/lean
    (1.78g/kg lean)

    13,700mgGlycine: gelatin
    Serine: muscle meat
    Methionine mg/kg10.4 (708mg/150lbs)30 (2,088mg/150lbs)2,180mgEgg yolks

    NutrientUnitUSDA RDAcRDANPCD*Recommended Foods
    Vit AIU3,00010,00010,927Liver, egg yolks, dairy fats, cod liver oil
    Vit B1mg1.20.50.52Pork meat, pork heart, lamb kidneys
    Vit B2mg1.3N/A3.10Liver, kidneys, heart, egg yolks, meat
    Vit B3mg16N/A25Liver, fish, kidneys, heart, tongue, meat, egg yolks
    Vit B5mg5N/A7.47Liver, kidneys, egg yolks, heart
    Vit B6mg1.30.016mg/g protein
    (1.6mg/100g protein)
    (0.0171mg/g protein)
    Liver, kidneys, tongue, heart, meat
    Folateug400~200191Liver especially poultry, egg yolks
    Vit B12ug2.412+27Liver, kidneys, meat, egg yolks
    Biotinug3030+50 (estimate)Egg yolks, liver
    Cholinemg550~550534Egg yolks, liver, meat
    Vit Cmg90017 (when raw)Raw organs, but none strictly needed
    Vit DIU200Use blood levels469Oily fish, pastured lard; sunlight.
    Vit D should always be eaten/
    supplemented based on blood levels
    Vit Emg150.65mg/g PUFA5.60
    (0.67mg/g PUFA)
    Grass-fed fats/yolks/dairy has more,
    though plenty in grain-fed
    Vit K1ug120053None needed with sufficient K2
    Vit K2ugN/A80?70.3-86.6+ (estimate)Grass-fed fats/yolks/dairy has more,
    though plenty in grain-fed; supplement
    1mg every 2 weeks if paranoid

    NutrientUnitUSDA RDAcRDANPCD*Recommended Foods
    (WAPF: 680)
    min: 200-300
    558Bone broth, egg shells,
    fish with bones
    (WAPF: 1,300)
    8781,149Protein-rich foods, bones
    Magnesiummg420420 ideally,
    ~170 minimally
    418Supplement 300mg citrate
    Potassiummg4,7002-3,0002,567Losalt, meat (juices
    from cooked meat very rich)
    Sodiummg1,5003-5,0003,946Salt, meat (juices
    from cooked meat very rich)
    Copperug9001-2.41.28Liver, kidneys, heart
    Zincmg1112-2915.40Muscle meat
    Seleniumug55~200194Pork, kidneys (pork best)
    Manganesemg2.311.24Spices, tea
    Ironmg181820Liver, heart, muscle meat
    Iodineug1501,000-3,000Without seaweed: ~600
    With seaweed: ~3,115
    Shellfish, fish, sea weed
    Molybdenumug4560?+70.5+ (estimate)Liver
    Chromiumug25-3550-200260+ (estimate)Liver

    * Nutritionally Perfect cRDA Carnivore Diet:
    10oz 30% fat beef/lamb (~284g)
    80g beef/lamb tallow
    2oz mackerel (~57g) [or 75g salmon or 40g sardines or 5g/week DHA fish oil]
    1 2/3oz pork liver (~47g)
    1 1/4oz pork kidney (~43g)
    2 large eggs

    3tbsp gelatin powder (or equiv from feet/hooves, skin, heads, tails, ears, cartilage), and
    ~1 cup bone broth (alt: egg shells)

    2g potassium salt
    9.5g sodium salt (unrefined sea salt recommended for ultra-trace minerals)

    Technically plant foods:
    1/2tsp tea or other manganese-rich spices (or alternatively shellfish such as mussels)
    1g  kelp/kombu flakes, for iodine (or shellfish)

    300mg magnesium citrate

    ~2100 calories, 97g protein (20% of calories), 2.3g carbohydrates (<1%), 184g fat (80%).

    Ratios, etc.:
    Calcium:Phosphorus = 0.49 (WAPF ideal 0.52)
    Zinc:Copper = 12.0 (ideal ~12)
    Potassium:Sodium = 0.65 (ideal ~0.6-0.66)
    Omega-6:omega-3 = 2.6 (ideal <2, good <4)
    Saturated:Mono-unsaturated = 1 (ideal ~1)
    Poly-unsaturated = 3.6% of calories (ideal ≤4%)

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Less salts:
    Using no potassium salt and only 3.5g salt maintains the potassium:sodium ratio at a lower total level of these minerals. This should be fine for those who've been on a ketogenic diet for a while rather than those just starting.

    Cod liver oil:
    Substitute 4.5ml cod liver oil for the pork liver and use 3g beef liver or 4g lamb liver for the copper.