NIH trial: A plant-based, low-fat diet reduces energy intake compared to an animal-based, ketogenic diet

National Institutes of Health lead investigator Kevin Hall and colleagues have just released the pre-publication report of a randomized controlled crossover trial comparing the results of following a plant-based low-fat (PBLF) diet or an animal-based low-carbohydrate (ABLC) diet.

A plant-based, low-fat diet decreases ad libitum energy intake compared to an animal-based, ketogenic diet: An inpatient randomized controlled trial

Contrary to expectations of advocates of low carbohydrate and ketogenic diets, this study did not support the carbohydrate-insulin "carbohydrate/sugar makes you fat" hypothesis.  Contrary to the advocates of low fat diets, this study did not fully support the passive overeating "fat makes you fat" hypothesis.

I think this study does support the Meats & Sweets approach, particularly the inclusion of fruits at the expense of very high fat animal products.

Here's the abstract:

Study Design

The study was inpatient and had a crossover design.  None of the 20 subjects had metabolic disease.  Each subject was randomly assigned to one of the two diets for the first 2 weeks each diet
The two test diets were opposites in carbohydrate and fat content:

Fats and Sugars

The PBLF diet provided 50 g sugar per 1000 kcal. Almost all meals and all snacks included fresh and/or dried fruits. 

Fats in the ABLC diet came from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, olives, avocados, mayonnaise (unknown oil), canola oil, nuts, peanuts, or flaxseeds.

The study report has photos of all meals served, some I have presented below.

Meals served

The meals were composed primarily of whole foods and subjects ate as much as desired of what was offered.  Meal service provided more than 5000 kcal daily for each subject:

Glucose and Ketones

The ABLC was significantly ketogenic:
The PBLF diet produced slightly higher blood glucose levels than the ABLC, as measured by continuous glucose monitor, however it is important to note that blood glucose levels were in the normal range on both diets:
Mean fasting blood glucose was 84 mg/dL on ABLC, and 85 mg/dL on PBLF.  Mean fasting insulin was 11.3 mcg/mL at baseline, and dropped on both diets to 7.4 mcg on ABLC and 8.3 mcg on PBLF:

From this table also note the following:

  • Triglycerides were higher on PBLF than ABLC, but both were within healthy range
  • LDL particle size did not differ between the diets
  • Uric acid was higher on ABLC than PBLF (7.2 vs 4.8 mg/dL)

ABLC adversely affects thyroid?

This study appears to support previous reports that ketogenic diets may adversely affect thyroid function: 

  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level decreased from baseline on PBLF, but not ABLC, suggesting PBLF improved thyroid function (p=0.03 for PBLF decline).
  • TSH was significantly higher on ABLC (keto) than on PBLF: 2.34 vs 1.86 (p=0.009)
  • Free (active) T3 was significantly lower on ABLC than at baseline (2.61 vs 3.30, p<0.0001) and compared to when on PBLF: 2.61 vs. 3.13 pg/mL (p<0.0001)
  • Total T3 was significantly lower on ABLC than on PBLF: 88 vs. 113 ng/dL (p<0.0001)

This supports the hypothesis that increasing carbohydrate while reducing fat improves thyroid function while simultaneously increasing fat and decreasing carbohydrate impairs thyroid function.  Of interest here:

Increased TSH has been reported to aggravate atherosclerosis.
Elevated TSH promotes cardiac arrhythmia
Increased TSH has been reported to increase risk of coronary heart disease and mortality.
Increased TSH in normal range are associated with unexplained infertility.
Increased TSH in normal range is associated with increased thyroid cancer risk.

Hunger and Satisfaction 

Contrary to prediction of carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis, hunger, satisfaction, fullness and eating capacity were no different between the two diets.  In other words, eating carbohydrates, including sugars, did not make people more hungry than eating fat.
During meals, when subjects were on the PBLF diet they ate more food per minute at meals, probably because the plant foods were more bulky.  When they were on the ABLC diet, they ate more kcal per minute, probably because high-fat or animal-based foods have a higher energy density (kcal/g).
The take-home is that replacing some high-energy density high-fat foods with low-energy density high carbohydrate foods in your diet – such as fruits – may reduce your energy intake at meals and overall.

Energy intake

When assigned to the PBLF diet, during the first week, subjects consumed on average almost 700 kcal less daily than when on the ABLC diet.  During the second week, subjects consumed almost 600 kcal less on the PBLF diet than when on the ABLC diet.  During the second week on the ABLC, the subjects consumed about 300 kcal less daily than during the first week on the ABLC.
Since the subjects were only on each diet for only 2 weeks, notice that for both diets the energy intake appears to be stabilizing during the last 4 days. However this is speculation. Overall from day 8 to 14 the trend line for energy intake is slightly upward on both diets.  My experience is that people tend to lower total food intake during the first ~4-8 weeks of any new diet, then as the become accustomed (adapted) to the new diet, they learn how to eat more.  They learn how to make more dishes that they like and this increases total energy intake.

Nevertheless, there is a clear trend for a significantly lower total energy intake on the low-fat diet.  This is not rocket science.  Since people consume about 3-4 pounds of food daily to feel full, if the food eaten has a lower fat content it has a lower energy density, and if your food has a lower energy density your total energy intake will be lower, assuming no great change in total food intake (pounds per day).

Energy expenditure

Twenty-four hour energy expenditure was about 166 kcal/day higher when subjects were on the ABLC diet than when they were on the PBLF diet.
However, this slightly higher energy expenditure was not sufficient to improve fat balance compared to the PBLF diet.

Fat balance

When on the ABLC diet, subjects lost lean mass (more than 1.5 kg, likely mostly water + glycogen + ?) but little body fat (about 0.25 kg); when on the PBLF diet, subjects lost little lean mass (less than 0.5 kg) and significantly more fat mass (about 0.75 kg).

When on the PBLF diet subjects had a 3 times greater negative fat balance compared to when on the ABLC diet (–51 g/d vs –16 g/d).  That means the subjects were losing 51 g/d fat on the PBLC but only 16 g/d fat on the ABLC diet.

The subjects spontaneously lost more body fat when eating 50 g sugar per 1000 kcal, compared to when trying to satisfy hunger with fats, mostly animal fats.

The subjects spontaneously lost more body fat when not in ketosis, than when producing substantial ketones.

This is predictable because the subjects had a significantly greater fat intake on the ABLC than on the PBLC. Every gram of fat you eat replaces a gram of body fat as an energy source.

Fat balance = (fat ingested + fat produced onboard) –  fat oxidized 

If you oxidize (burn) more fat than you ingest and produce (via de novo lipogenesis), then you have a negative fat balance, and you lose body fat.

If you oxidize less fat than you ingest and produce, then you have a positive fat balance, and you gain body fat.

Simply put, the more fat you eat, the less body fat you will burn.  To lose body fat, you absolutely must eat less fat than you oxidize.

Regardless of whether your diet is plant- or animal- based, reducing fat is predictably more effective for fat loss than increasing fat.  It is just mathematics and economics.

You don't have to eat a plant-based diet to reduce your fat intake.  Simply eat animal foods that have a lower fat content, more like wild game than the high fat products produced by modern animal feeding methods.


The main limitations of this study are: 

1) Limited duration: Each subject followed each diet for only 2 weeks.  This study can't support any conclusions about long-term effects of following either diet. Long term adaptation to either type of diet could result in either increased or decreased energy intake.
2) Inpatient design:  This study can't be generalized to free-living subjects making independent food choices.  As the authors state: "Due to the controlled food environment in our study, the only choice available to our subjects was how much of the presented foods and beverages to consume."


The authors conclude:

1) This study did not support the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis.  Although the PBLF diet contained foods with a high glycemic load and significantly increased post-meal glucose and insulin levels compared to the ABLC diet, subjects consumed less energy and lost more body fat when eating the PBLF diet compared to the ABLC diet, opposite of prediction of the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis.

2) This study did not support the passive over consumption model either.  Although the ABLC diet had a high energy density, it did not result in net body fat gain.

A murine study published this year also refuted the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis.

However, I disagree with the second conclusion of Hall and colleagues.  Since the ad libitum ABLC diet did not produce body fat loss whereas the ad libitum PBLF diet did, this tends to lend support to the passive overconsumption model.

The high energy density of the ABLC diet apparently prevented spontaneous reduction in dietary energy intake, whereas the low energy density of the PBLF diet allowed a spontaneous reduction in dietary energy intake.

Since subjects ate ad libitum on both diets, and reported no differences in hunger or satisfaction, this suggests that when we eat high fat foods, we have to eat more total energy (kcal) to achieve satisfaction of hunger, than if we eat high carbohydrate foods. In other words, as has been previously established, this study supports that whole foods rich in carbohydrate and low in fat are more satiating per kcal consumed than high fat animal foods.

In my view, this study provides more evidence that if you want to control body fatness, you should focus on controlling dietary fat content, not dietary sugar.  You should reduce butter, cream, other animal fats, including fatty meats, and especially eliminate plant-based oils, not fresh or dried fruits or honey.

This study also supports my hypothesis that we are by Nature designed to eat both natural sweets and lean meats.  

By natural sweets here I mean low energy density whole sugar-rich  foods – primarily fruits (fresh, dried and juiced) and honey – to satisfy hunger and provide a large part of our energy requirements. In other words, meats and sweets.

As I presented in The Hypercarnivore Diet, we have multiple adaptations to a highly carnivorous diet including:

Lean meats provide essential protein/amino acids, fats and micronutrients in a non-toxic package. Presumably we are best adapted to lean meats having a low fat content similar to wild game.

However, we also have features of frugivores, including:

Hence the hypercarnivore upgrade: Meats & Sweets: The High Vitality Diet

Crustless Pizza Recipe ~ Low-Carb, Grain & Gluten-Free & Keto or Hypercarnivore Diet Friendly

Meat-Based, Hypercarnivore / Low-Carb Crustless Pizza

Ready for some grain- or gluten-free pizza? I thought I'd share my first experiment with making a meat-based pizza. Actually Don and I nearly ordered a crustless pizza from Lou Malnati's, but opted to try to make our own instead.

It's a bit like making meatloaf, only the meat gets mashed up a bit more, then pressed into a baking pan and spread out like a crust.

Once the meat base is baked, the toppings can be added then baked through, finishing with a few minutes on broil.

For this Crustless Pizza Recipe, use whatever type of meat, cheese, and veg you like. Be creative. This is just my first experiment with a meat-based crustless pizza, so use this as a base recipe, and make it your own.

The Meat Base

~3lbs. of ground meat ~ I used 1/2 each ground beef & ground turkey (I'd imagine using at least part ground sausage would add a lot of flavor!)
2 eggs
~1/3-1/2 c grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
Generous amount of dried oregano or Italian herbs
Salt and pepper
1-2 tiny pinches of stevia, or other sweetener


1/-1 sweet or yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2-1 zucchini, thinly sliced
Fat for sautéing the vegetables
Tomato sauce (I used 1.5 of the smaller cans of tomato sauce w/ roasted garlic)
Shredded cheese of choice for on top (mozzarella is standard pizza cheese, but use what you like)

Sauté the vegetables until soft in fat of choice. (See variations for alternate preparation)

In a large bowl, add the meat, eggs, seasonings, and stevia. Use your hands to mash it up really well.

Press the meat out onto a big baking sheet, as if pressing out a pie crust.  Make it as even as possible.

Bake at 400º for about 25-30 minutes.

Once the meat is mostly cooked through, you'll probably have excess fat on the baking pan. Carefully pour as much of it as possible out into a heat proof jar.

Spread the tomato sauce in a thin layer on top of the meat base. Then add vegetables, followed by the grated cheese.  Bake for another 15 minutes. Turn to broil for the last few minutes, paying close attention to not burn it.  Some of the vegetables will get a little browned which is great.


  • Sub the ground beef + turkey for ground pork + beef, or better, use a flavorful ground sausage for amore authentic pizza flavor and aroma while baking
  • Add whatever vegetables you prefer, including sliced mushrooms, olives, or fresh sliced tomatoes.
  • In lieu of pre-sautéing the vegetables, you can try to bake the meat base with all the toppings on it all together. In my mind, it seemed better to do them separately so everything would get cooked properly. Plus it would be harder to drain the excess fat, which will keep it all soggier. But, I'm no expert, so you may have a better idea of how to prepare it!

Meats & Sweets High Vitality Diet Is Adaptable To YOUR Needs - When To Limit Versus Expand Your Food Choices

Meats & Sweets ~ A High Vitality Diet is a simple, affordable way of eating that is adaptable to every individual's needs. While there are certain foods we recommend everyone avoid, there may be occasions when you have few alternative options. Polyunsaturated oils are one of the main offenders, however sometimes while traveling, few alternatives exist. Every restaurant with very few exceptions uses these pro-inflammatory oils because they are easier and cheaper than using butter or other animal fats.  Avoid them  as much as possible, but don't obsess if you can't. The more you are thinking about how bad a particular food is for you while eating it, the worse off you will be.  Remember, the dose makes the poison. 

If you maintain a good baseline of health, you will weather occasional 'bad' foods ~ especially if you overcome your stress, anxiety, emotions, and obsessions, which are more destructive to health.

Here is a recent Meats & Sweets shopping haul video.  Be sure to also check out the video below, discussing how unresolved emotions can sabotage your health.

I have personally felt very balanced since adding 'sweets' ~ fruit, honey, maple syrup, and small amounts of raw or coconut sugar ~ back into my diet.  My moods, mental clarity, focus, blood sugar balance and joy factor are all excellent.  My body tingles with warmth when I eat enough sweets. It's amazing.  I no longer have chronically cold hands and feet, a sign of improved metabolism and thyroid health. Plus my thumb joints healed, after nearly a year of no progress while low-carb Keto-Carnivore.

These were my improvements. Your results may vary.

What you need to eat to find your sweet spot will be different than what works for me, hence the beauty of Meats & Sweets. It's flexible. It's not an eat this, not that binary con, with rigid rules.  Instead, we prioritize foods into three tiers to help you make the best choices for you, according to your needs, your tolerances, your condition, and as per what is available in your region.

Even within the context of Meats & Sweets, I vary what I choose from week to week.  I still get plus or minus 70% of my total calories from animal foods, as Don suggests in The Hypercarnivore Diet. 

Grilled Lean Pork Chops and Homemade Apple Sauce

My suggestion for others is to ease up, and not over analyze every symptom, nor judge every choice. As an example, I may occasionally eat Tier 3 foods, such as grains or nuts.  When I do, I don't judge myself,  If I notice symptoms afterwards, I am reminded as to why I prefer to not eat those foods.  Direct experience is the best teacher.

Rather than let the chattering in my head ~ what I now refer to as Satan ~ play games with me about what I should or shouldn't do, or eat,  I just tune in.  If I'm in a celebratory mood, I enjoy the food with abandon.  If I get the sense that I will feel bad afterwards, I skip it, and make a better choice. It's not a big deal!

Many people obsess over every morsel they eat.  Food has become a religion. People either feel powerless to their cravings, and spiral into self-judgement, or contrarily, they preach about their alleged superior food choices, believing everyone should eat or not eat such and such foods!

I suggest learning to observe but not participate in your thoughts, or obsess over your symptoms and choices.  Satan is in your head. He is in everyone's head.  Call it your ego if you prefer, but it's the  endless chatter in your head that you believe is coming from you. It sounds like your own voice. However, all thoughts are lies!

The mind is clever. It will keep you jumping through hoops trying this or that diet, and this or that therapy, always with new symptoms to deal with.  And if you succumb, you will suffer the consequences.  Chances are, unresolved emotions, like anger, resentment, fear, worry, and doubt that are sabotaging all your good efforts at eating a healthier diet, as I discuss in the video below.

As mentioned in previous posts, if you have a lot of unhealed health issues, or get easily triggered by a wide variety of foods, then keep your diet super simple until you are able to improve your health.  Check out this post for recommended supplements if you are having bloating, gas, or abdominal discomfort.

When to Limit Or Expand Food Choices

There are times when you may want a more narrow selection of foods, and times where you need to broaden your horizons. Stay open.

For example, we have a client with joint pain and inflammation, especially the fingers and toes. Certain foods seem to trigger her symptoms such as dairy, eggs, and wheat. My suggestion for her was to eat a more narrow diet of those foods that presently do not seem to be triggering symptoms: fish, pork, beef, some poultry as craved, white rice, winter squash, fruit, honey,  ghee, bone broth, and fresh herbs, or well cooked vegetables if craved.

I would not suggest white rice to all people, however, it has its place. I know several who seem to do well including this easy to store and prepare starchy staple food.  Being stripped of the fiber may improve the digestibility of white rice compared to brown rice for many folks.

Similarly, we have a male client who loves his morning oat meal. OK, fine, enjoy it!  Don't abandon the entire Meats & Sweets approach simply because you (mistakenly) believe it is devoid of all carbs, or grains, or whatever foods you have adapted to eating.  We have purposely outlined a flexible approach, with few foods that are totally off the menu for all people, at all times!

Keeping to a more narrow selection of foods can also be helpful for those who need an outline of foods to include, rather than exclude.  They may do better with fewer choices to consider.

By contrast, if you are already eating a very narrow selection of foods, you may need to broaden your horizons. Eating only beef with little else can be beneficial for a short period of time, as a sort of health reset.  However, if you find yourself getting increasingly irritated, craving sweets, or bored with just beef, by all means, include other foods! Don't stick to someone's 'rules' because you are trying to align with a tribe! Do what you need to do for you!

Don's Delicious Pulled Beef Recipe in Meats & Sweets

Keep your meals simple, basic, and enjoyable.

Here are a few recent meals, just to show how simple the Meats & Sweets way of eating can be.

For breakfast I typically have coffee with one tablespoon of gelatin, and a tsp. each of MCT oil, coconut oil & honey; followed a bit later by orange juice or warmed milk with another tablespoon of gelatin, along with fruit.

Alternatively, fruit and cottage cheese is super simple.

...or we prepare fried, scrambled, or softly boiled eggs which I have with fruit and cheese.

Eggs fried in butter, topped w/ sheep milk pecarino cheese, mango, and blackberries, above;
below eggs seasoned w/ pepper, and served w/ cheddar cheese, and rehydrated prunes & Turkish apricots.

We aim to include 2 oz. of liver each a few times per week at a minimum.  Liver is good with orange juice (increases absorption of iron.)  We either eat it semi frozen, which is actually easier than thawed and raw, or seared in butter.

My snacks are more like an extension to one or the other meal. If after breakfast, I'm still hungry, I'll have 2-3 medjool dates, or more warmed milk, possibly with a little honey or maple syrup.

If before our next meal I'm hungry, I'll start with an apple, or carrot salad.

For Carrot Salad Recipes, Click Here

When London Broil is on sale, we've found that it comes out good as a stir fry. Don will slice the meat up when we bring it home, season it, and let it sit in a pyrex container, using what we need each day until it's gone. It's great stir fried in butter with a few scallions, red bell pepper, and thinly sliced celery, as shown below.

By the time I am ready to eat our second (and last) main meal, I'm usually content with just the meat. Or, I finish with an orange, possibly with a ricotta cheese and honey dip.

If really in the mood, I love removing the pit from a date, and putting a tiny (2g) piece of 92% dark chocolate in the center. It's like a confection. So enjoyable, only a couple are needed to satisfy!

Meats & Sweets ~ A High Vitality Diet is a nutrient rich, simple, flexible, and affordable approach to optimizing your genetic blueprint for lasting health, and protection from dis-ease!

#meatsandsweets #thehypercarnivorediet #dontobsess #simple #affordable #adaptable #meatandfruit

Milk Jello (Lower-Fat Panna Cotta), Creamcycle & Coconut Jello Recipes Rock ~ Easy, Delicious, & Very Nutritious! Learn How & Why! #MeatsandSweets

Milk (&/or Coconut Milk) Jello Rocks!

Milk Jello is like a lower fat version of a traditional Italian dessert called Panna Cotta which usually calls for a mixture of milk plus heavy cream, as prepared here by Giada De Laurentiis from the Food Network. What I love about Milk Jello is that it combines an affordable, high-quality staple food ~ milk ~ with gelatin ~ a rich source of glycine ~ and little else. It packs well too! Take some with you to go while traveling, as we did during a recent outing to Payson, AZ.  Once you read some of the highlights of glycine found in gelatin, and calcium ~ I am sure you will be very motivated to include easy to prepare Milk Jello into your weekly meals.

I love Milk Jello with rehydrated prunes and Turkish apricots, or other fresh fruit, and a drizzle more 'sweet' from maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar, as shown below.

I keep a jar of dried plums and a jar of Turkish apricots covered in water in the fridge. They create a nice sweet syrup, made even better by adding a cinnamon stick to the jar.

Milk Jello w/ Rehydrated Prunes, Turkish Apricots & Drizzle of Maple Syrup

Importance of Calcium

As Don explains in Meats & Sweets ~ A High Vitality Diet, "milk is highly nutritious liquid meat."

Milk supplies an ideal balance of phosphorous and calcium. Higher protein diets increase calcium absorption and urinary calcium excretion, hence getting adequate calcium intake is needed to ensure mineral depletion from the bones.

Calcium has many functions beyond helping maintain strong bones. Calcium is required to prevent leaky gut, and maintain intestinal integrity. Calcium also improves intestinal flora by increasing Bifidobacteria and reducing Bacteroides and Clostridia species. Calcium also has a role in boosting the immune system, along with muscle contraction, nerve transmission, glandular secretion, blood clotting, and cell division and differentiation. A deficiency of dietary or tissue calcium can cause or contribute to muscle cramping, edema, and skin disorders, including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

Creamcycle Jello w/o added fruit, made w/ milk

Importance of Glycine From Gelatin

In Meats & Sweets, Don explains that the vast majority of non-muscle protein in an animal carcass is collagen, which forms approximately 30% of all the protein in the body. Gelatin is a rich source of glycine. Glycine plays important roles in metabolism, synthesis of glutathione and other elements, modulation of intracellular calcium levels, and immune functions. Glycine also increases insulin sensitivity, and is required for synthesis of bile acids to prevent gut bacterial overgrowth, maintain bowel function, digestion, and absorption of dietary fat ~ especially long-chain fatty acids ~ and fat soluble vitamins. Glycine also can be beneficial for inflammatory disorders.

These are the highlights of the importance of glycine and calcium, which few in the diet cults discuss. Read about more of the important functions of glycine, calcium, and getting the right ratio of phosphorous to calcium along with all of Don's references in Meats & Sweets.

We use Knox gelatin, or NOW Real Foods Gelatin Powder in our recipes.

Milk Jello w/ Raspberries, Honey Drizzle & Coconut Sugar

Milk Jello Recipe

1 cup cold whole milk 
3 Tbsp. gelatin
2 cups milk ~ heated until warm to hot, barely steaming but not boiling
1/4 cup honey, or sweetener of choice - to taste
2 tsp. vanilla
Toppings: Rehydrated (soaked) prunes & Turkish apricots; fresh berries; mango or papaya; optional drizzle of maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar ~ all VERY good on top!

While the 2 cups of milk are heating, whisk gelatin into the cold milk. I use a pyrex bowl that I can put a lid onto and pop into the fridge, but use whatever bowl or jello mold you like. Let the gelatin soften for a minute or two.

Add heated milk, whisk, then add honey and vanilla, and whisk to combine.  Let sit a couple minutes, then refrigerate until set. 

When ready to eat, score into wedges. Serve with rehydrated prunes and Turkish apricots and a drizzle of real maple syrup, or fresh berries or other fruit and a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of coconut sugar.


  • For stiffer jello, add another .5-1 Tbsp. gelatin; for more custard like consistency, add less.
  • Add 1 tsp. cinnamon to the milk along with the vanilla
  • Add 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. ground cardamon or a pinch of nutmeg
  • Add .5-1 packet Pruvit Swiss Cacao exogenous ketones

Coconut Jello w/ Papaya & Honey

Coconut Milk Jello Recipe

If you don't do dairy, here is an alternative option.

1 can of coconut milk
1 cup water
3 Tbsp. gelatin
1/4 cup honey or other sweetener - to taste
Juice of 1 lime

Whisk the gelatin into about 1/2 of the can of coconut milk. Heat the rest up in a small pot with the water. Once hot, whisk into gelatin, add sweetener and lime juice, and whisk to combine. Let sit a couple minutes, then refrigerate until set.

Orange Mango. Coconut Jello w/ Honey Drizzle & Coconut Sugar

Creamcycle Jello with Milk or Coconut Milk

2 cups milk, or coconut milk, heated
1 cup orange juice
3 Tbsp. gelatin
1 Scoop Pruvit Orange Swirl Keto OS, exogenous ketones ~ really good in this, but can be skipped
2 Tbsp. honey or other sweetener, to taste
1 cup +/- fruit slices like peaches (peeled) or mango can be added to the jello mold
Fruit, honey, and/or coconut sugar toppings as desired

Start heating milk or coconut milk over a medium heat.

While that heats, combine orange juice and gelatin in a small bowl or jello mold. Whisk in the scoop of Orange Swirl if using.

Slowly whisk in heated milk to avoid curdling. Add sweetener and whisk to combine.  If desired, add fruit slices. I peel peaches first if using. Mango can be fresh, or frozen and thawed. Both are good in this jello recipe. Gently add fruit, give a quick stir to evenly distribute if needed, then refrigerate until set.

To serve, score jello into wedges as above, and top with more fruit, honey, or coconut sugar as desired.

Find more delicious Jello Recipes at, or in Meats & Sweets ~ A High Vitality Diet on Kindle, and now in paperback.

WHY We Need BOTH Meats ~ (Includes Eggs & Dairy) AND Sweets ~ Fruit & Honey For OPTIMAL LONG-TERM Health

In Meats & Sweets ~ A High Vitality Diet, Don explains why we benefit from eating both meats ~ which includes eggs and dairy foods ~ and sweets, primarily fructose containing foods such as fruits and honey. Our physiology is adapted to eating both meats and fruits, providing options based on seasonal availability of different foods. The animal foods portion of the diet will provide the bulk of essential nutrients, and help to maintain bone health and lean muscle mass, while the fruits which contain a blend of fructose and glucose will feed the brain and liver, and support optimal blood sugar metabolism, gut health, thyroid support, and more. Meats which are higher in sodium 'pear' perfectly (pun intended) with potassium-rich, colorful, enticing juicy fruits ~ as Nature or God intended.

In chapter two, The Sweets ~ Fruits and Honey, Don writes:

Fruit is rich in fructose, glucose, sucrose and minerals that support metabolism and health. A high intake of fruit protects against or improves intestinal flora and many degenerative conditions including:

  • intestinal dysbiosis and colonic gastrointestinal diseases, such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases, and diverticular diseases
  • overweight and obesity
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • colorectal and lung cancers
  • premature and degenerative aging 
  • asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • depression and other mental and behavioral disorders including autism spectrum disorder
  • low bone mineral density (osteoporosis)
  • seborrheic dermatitis
Additionally, "honey intake reduces blood sugar levels and prevents excessive weight gain.  It also improves lipid metabolism by reducing total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which leads to decreased risk of atherogenesis.  Honey also enhances insulin sensitivity that further stabilizes blood glucose levels and protects the pancreas from overstimulation brought on by insulin resistance.  Furthermore, antioxidative properties of honey help in reducing oxidative stress.  Lastly, honey protects the vasculature from endothelial dysfunction and remodeling." (I list his references at the end.)

While both meats and sweets are Tier 1 level foods for which we recommend getting the bulk of your calories, there is still an upper and lower limit to each. One can have too little or too much protein ~ also discussed in Meats & Sweets.

Avoiding animal foods or meats will eventually lead to a subclinical protein deficiency. After over five years vegan, we had many signs of nutrient deficiency: premature aging, greying, wrinkling; loss of lean muscle mass; decreased visual acuity, diminished cognitive functioning, poor moods, slow wound healing, ongoing tendonitis, and more. 

On the flip side, we also both experienced the upper limit to protein. Over consumption led to loose stools or diarrhea, poor sleep, increased irritability. For some, too much animal protein may initially cause constipation, although meats are considered very highly digestible and absorbable foods. Poor digestion of meats is usually indicative of deficiency of hydrochloric acid (HCL). Too much fat can impair blood sugar metabolism as well.

I list some supplements below that help improve digestion of protein and fat.

Don's super easy and delicious Slow Roasted Pulled Beef made using a little
grape juice and good quality balsamic vinegar ~ Recipe in Meats & Sweets 
Seen here w/ a little leftover coleslaw we enjoyed during a picnic over the weekend

There are no dietary one-size-fits-all rules, but that doesn't mean we are all 'different' and require completely different diets.

While the notion that 'we are all different' can seem like a given, we are still the same species. We still have a set of foods for which we are best adapted to eating for optimal health. You can eat a variety of foods to help you to survive; surviving is not the same as thriving.

I am guessing if you are like us, you want to thrive, not just survive! You can survive for extended periods eating only plant or only animal foods. Sometimes it can be very beneficial to eliminate certain foods to help identify potential food triggers, and recover digestive health.

The question is whether that is optimal. A few outliers may be better suited than others to survive as a strict vegan or strict Carnivore for longer durations, however, how they are doing (mentally and physically) in their later decades will be the real determinant as to the effects of their diets.

While many people seem to like having a strict set of rules of what to eat, and what to avoid, I want to emphasize that:

  • Each person will need to find the right quantities of protein, fat, and carbs, and which combinations of meats (including eggs and dairy), and fruits (whether whole, juiced, or honey) will help them feel their best. 
  • Each person will need to determine if they tolerate many vegetables, and whether to include grains or other Tier 3 foods we recommend avoiding, or keeping to a minimum. 
Some people enjoy eating white rice, or potatoes, which is totally fine if that is contributing to their overall satisfaction and well being. However, we caution against consuming only glucose containing carbs (breads, grains, pastas, etc.) as opposed to including some amount of fruit, orange or grape juice, other juices, and/or honey, for the reasons explained above, and in Meats & Sweets. The problem is, you may not be able to discern the effects until down the road, when more serious physical degeneration and cognitive decline begin to manifest.

I've personally observed many seniors dealing with bone degeneration and cognitive decline to know which choices I am making. Assisted living and memory care facilities are quickly filling up with the older boomers and earlier generations. Folks who were once highly intelligent, holding highly skilled positions are now sitting in these facilities with very little memory of their former glory.

Many boomer aged women follow the nutritional advice of the day, as advised on morning shows, Dr. Oz, and elsewhere, and now consume fewer eggs, and minimal if any dairy and meat. They have proudly eliminated the ultimate evil 'sugar' in all forms, and instead consume lots of salads and vegetables, whole grains and grain products, and maybe some chicken and/or salmon. Fruit consumption is minimal.  And, although they are eating what they believe to be a 'healthy' diet, their joints ache, their digestion is off, they are chronically cold, and they have diminished vitality. Been there, done that!

Chili made using a little pumpkin purée, followed by a sweet, refreshing
orange w/ ricotta cheese and a drizzle of honey

No matter what, each person will need to find their own sweet spot of foods. 

The amount of protein, fat, and carbs will vary for each individual. You must determine what combination and quantities of the three tiers of foods will help you best maintain:

  • Healthy regular elimination 
  • Endocrine system balance with optimally functioning thyroid, including healthy hunger and metabolism, body temperature regulation, and ability to maintain an ideal body weight
  • Satisfaction from foods without ongoing urges to binge, or inadvertently over or under eat
  • Good sleep
  • Balanced moods
  • Mental clarity and focus 
  • Improvement of deeper issues over time, including vision, and chronic imbalances. 

For those who introduce fruit after going very low carb, the immediate bloating and GI distress indicates that there is some healing to do –– not necessarily that fruit is 'bad' or all carbs are 'bad.'

For those who avoided meat, especially beef, or who have been on a low-fat diet for an extended period, additional supplementation of enzymes with HCL, or bitters, including Swedish Bitters, artichoke extract, and/or ox bile may be needed for a while if the stomach acid is too low, and/or the gall bladder is not adequately functioning to emulsify fats. The bitter herbs and ox bile extract will help improve bile flow, which will improve digestion and elimination.  I included links below to products we suggest in these situations. 

Digestive health is the corner stone of whole body health. If you have healthy digestion and regular healthy elimination, you will have a healthy immune system, and greater overall vitality. Many people have some type of gastrointestinal dysfunction, which can take time to heal. Years of consuming high-fiber whole grains and beans never healed my constipation, it made it worse. 

Whether you enjoy eating vegetables or not, they are not providing the endless fountain of nutritional support that the purveyors of nutritional information would have you believe. Eating lots of whole grains and beans, or nuts and seeds are not ideal for gut health either, so we caution consuming these foods as per individual tolerance.


Read More: 


Below are products Don and I have used. As for the bitters, Swedish Bitters can usually be found anywhere supplements are sold. The higher cost bottle shown is more than 3 times the size of the one next to it (16.9 fl. oz., vs. 3.38), so it is a better value. As for taste, we both prefer the Grape Bitters. Price shown is for 8 oz.

Click on either of the two links below for extended options for both Ox Bile Extract, or Digestive Enzymes.  Nature's Sunshine also has a good quality Food Enzymes.

Any purchases made through the links may amount to a small commission for me, no extra cost to you, and is greatly appreciated!!!  Every little bit helps!

Ox Bile Extract Digestive Enzymes with HCL

References numbers used replicate those used in Meats & Sweets:

102 - Singh RK, Chang HW, Yan D, et al. Influence of diet on the gut micro biome and implications for human health. J Trans Med. 2017;15(1):73. Published 2017 Apr 8. doi: 10.1186/s12967-017-1175-y <>

103 - Dreher ML. Whole Fruits and Fruit Fiber Emerging Health Effects. Nutrients 2018;10(12):1833. Published 2018 Nov 28. doi:10.3390/nu10121833 <> (I see this URL is missing from the book)

104 - Ramli NZ, Chin KY, Zarkasi KA, Ahmad F. A Review on the Protective Effects of Honey against Metabolic Syndrome. Nutrients. 2018;10(8):1009. Published 2018 Aug 2. doi:10.3390/nu10081009. <>

Fruit Truffles Recipe - Meats & Sweets - DON'T FEAR SUGAR, continued

While eating high protein + fat meals, I began to experience a similar post-meal crash that I often experienced while eating a plant-based diet high in 'complex carbohydrates.' Other folks who follow me on Instagram or YouTube have mentioned having a similar experience. The more they eat a very low-carb, or no plant food diet, the more they start to feel increased fatigue, and poor recovery post training. So here is a wee bit more info on carbohydrates, on the heels of my last post discussing sugar and diabetes, along with my Fruit Truffle recipe. And really, it's all about the Fruit Truffles, because these are such awesome sweet treats!

Carbohydrates contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and are the primary source of energy for our cells, especially our brain. I learned this a long time back in basic nutrition classes. These days, many believe that there is no essential requirement for carbohydrates, because protein can be converted into glucose, in a process called gluconeogenesis, the means by which the body can produce glucose from non-carbon (non-carbohydrate) sources.  Ketones are produced in the liver as another back up source of energy.

What all this means to me is that the body has been miraculously designed to have back up sources for essential processes required for survival ~ just in case.

If living in a northern, mountainous climate during harsh winters, for example, with little more to eat than just animal foods, the body will maintain blood glucose levels through the conversion of protein and/or fats for fuel.

Contrarily, if living in a situation where animal food sources are limited for extended periods of time, your body will survive that as well. We have many physiological mechanisms in place to adapt to a wide variety of environments and conditions.

The common recommendation promoted among many registered dietitians and nutritionists is to eat more complex carbohydrates, especially if you have diabetes, or hypoglycemia. They favor starches and whole grains which break down into glucose.

I discussed in a previous post that fructose and sucrose ~ both now believed to be bad for diabetics ~ were once used to successfully treat patients who had diabetes, especially when accompanied with weight loss. Diabetes was always known as the 'wasting disease' as the red flag symptoms included big thirst, big urination, and big weight loss, or as we say in Chinese medicine, the three bigs.

I enjoyed this awesome sweet treat after having some chili, shown below.
Blackberries with a splash of heavy cream, and drizzle of maple syrup. There is also
a sliver of coffee jello in the top part of the photo, coffee that had gelatin stirred
in that Don never drank turned into a coffee jello which is great with maple syrup!

I personally believe we have a sweet taste receptor for a reason. Unlike cats and other obligate carnivores, we have taste receptors, saliva, and enzymes that all aid in the metabolism of sugar. While glucose is most often referred to as the primary sugar the body requires, I have determined from my own direct experiences, and years of experimentation that eating the combination of both protein from animal sources, and sugars ~ primarily from the very sugars most people suggest avoiding ~ I feel the best, and avoid the post meal crash.

I don't believe we were created with a craving for sugar simply to test our will power. People have very orgasmic experiences indulging in certain sweet treats. While I'm not advocating consumption of a lot of refined products, especially commercially made cookies, cakes, etc., I do believe we are here to enjoy the sweetness of life. Quit fighting sugar cravings. Enjoy Meats AND Sweets! It's a high vitality way of life!

I know, not a good picture, but for the moment, it's all I have!!

Fruit Truffles

These Fruit Truffles are a delicious sweet treat. Keep some around to grab a couple to enjoy as a quick, energizing and refreshing snack, or dessert.

The amounts are not precise, as I just grab handfuls of the fruit I want to use, and add it to the food processor, adjusting the remaining ingredients to taste, and to desired consistency. They will be a little sticky. If too sticky or moist to roll into a ball, add a little more dried fruit. Once they are rolled in the coconut, they will be easy to store and hold while eating. 

I keep prunes (dried plums) in a jar covered with water. If I have cinnamon sticks around, adding one to the jar creates a super delicious thick sweet syrup.

If using dried prunes that were not previously soaked to soften and rehydrate, just add a splash of fresh or even hot water to the processor. 

The amounts are estimates:
  • 1 cup each raisins and prunes (dried or rehydrated / soaked)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Turkish apricots (dried or rehydrated / soaked)
  • 1/4-1/2 dried cranberries (I use the Trader Joe's dried cranberries that contain cranberry oil, versus any that contain sunflower or safflower oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1-2 Tbsp. coconut + MCT oil blend* (see note below)
  • ~ 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • ~ 2 tsp. vanilla
  • Splash of water as needed
  • 2 cups or more finely shredded coconut
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process into a paste, or batter that will be a bit sticky. Place the coconut on a small plate. Roll the fruit batter into small balls in the palms of your hands, then roll in the coconut until completely covered. Place on a wax paper lined container. Refrigerate until ready to enjoy.


You may need to pulse the mixture first before being able to fully process. Use a rubber spatula to scrape around the edges as needed. Add a little water at a time as needed if the fruit is sticking to the blade without blending.

Use whatever are your own favorite fruits. You can do all apricot, or whatever you like. The Turkish apricots taste a little more like brown sugar once soaked and rehydrated. They are not as tart as other dried apricots that have the brighter orange color.

The oil blend I use is the Pruvit 1:4:3 oil blend. I use it because the right ratio of coconut oil plus MCT oil maintains a liquid consistency, unlike coconut oil which will harden at room temperature. It also contains a small amount of phosphatidylcholine. The body uses phosphatidylcholine to make acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter. It is showing promise in supporting the health of the brain, especially to prevent memory loss, anxiety, and other depressive conditions.  I like the blend, but unless you are on smart ship, it is a bit pricey. 

To make your own blend, try mixing 3 parts MCT oil to 4 parts coconut oil. If that doesn't work, then try it in reverse. 3 parts coconut oil to 4 parts MCT oil. (I have not tried to make my own yet.)

We discuss the importance of consuming choline-rich foods in Meats & Sweets. The best sources of choline include eggs, liver, and beef.

Vegan FAIL Dr. Robert Lowery 30-Day Experiment

Dr. Ryan Lowery recently conducted a 30-Day experiment of going vegan. He took several before and after measurements, both times taken after a 16 hour (I believe 16 hours) fast to minimize skewing measurements from water weight. He measured cognitive function as well, which looked specifically at visual focus and acuity. He shows the (expensive) products he purchased, and seemed to be genuinely excited for trying the new foods. He shares the pros and cons at the end.

So what were the results? I will say, he was shocked.

Don and I were not.

We had similar results.

  • Loss of total weight
  • Loss of lean muscle mass
  • Increase in percentage of body fat
  • Gut distress
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Loss of power
  • Longer recovery between training sessions
  • Decrease in visual focus
  • Other results from blood tests not yet posted 

It is very disappointing to lose lean body mass, and gain fat after having worked diligently to achieve those results. Some people are hard gainers, which Don discusses on his website, Full Range Strength.

I could immediately see the change in his physical appearance. He had lost weight, and maybe 'felt light' yet this is a great example showing that it isn't about total weight. He didn't look better lighter. He looked like less of himself. Less muscular. Less manly.

A vegan diet is deficient in several nutrients, including choline, several amino acids, vitamin A, K2, B12, and more. (Many people do not convert beta carotene to vitamin A.) Plant foods have several nutrients that are less bioavailable, including iron and zinc. The Hypercarnivore Diet by Don discusses all these points and more.

He also points out that many vegan foods contain canola oil and/or soy, both of which are horrible for health.

Vegans believe they are full of compassion, which is not a virtue.  Compassion is a weakness, not a strength. We are led to believe that compassion is a noble virtue, yet this is dishonest. It reflects a lack of self-reflection, self-awareness, and self-honesty.

Any time people push an agenda onto others, believing that their way is superior, it is coming from a place of anger and hate, not compassion. Activists who bash and berate others are full of anger; vegan activists especially lack adequate nutrition, which is damaging to their brain, negatively impacting their moods.

What they most need is the love of their father!  They need to forgive their parents, and find peace.

Anger, resentment, and all the emotions are not natural. And neither is a vegan diet. Some may do better than others, however, the majority of plant foods are processed, or man made hybridized versions of the original plant, like kale, broccoli which were originally from the mustard plant. Humans never consumed kale, broccoli, cauliflower pizza, fake burgers, and commercial plant seed oils until recent decades. Increased consumption of these foods has not correlated to improved health.

Dispassion is the ability to see Rightly ~ to discern, or acknowledge a wrong without anger or hate.

How much are the vegan activists really contributing to society by simply promoting anger-infused sentiment about how everyone else is destroying the environment? Or by going onto private property of farmers and ranchers to release cattle, which in some cases has led to the death of the cow?

Why do they feel so entitled as to be above the law? These folks are tyrannical authoritarians, yet believe they are virtuous. It is so self-deceptive. It's the coyote trickster running amuck with their ego.

I look forward to watching Dr. Lowery's results after his  30-Days Carnivore experiment.  I suspect he experienced similar results as we did after following a super low-carb, nearly plant-free diet after about 2 years.

#vegandiet #nutritientdeficient #gamechangers #drrobertlowery #30dayexperiment #comapssion #dispassion #jesseleepeterson