Keto Hot Chocolate with Benefits! Recipes Using Pruvit's Exogenous Ketones

I have been experimenting with using Pruvit Exogenous Ketone supplements for going on three weeks now, and shared my experiences thus far on my previous post.  I have been so surprised by just how much of a mental boost the exogenous ketones have given me, that I have revised some previously held beliefs.  I've come to realize just how much the vast majority of us do not really ever experience the level of thriving mental and physical health we are (or once were) capable of experiencing.

I was always pretty adamant about getting my nutrition from my diet, rather than relying on expensive supplements.  However, I now see the benefit to taking supplements, or at least these exogenous ketones, along with a few other supplements we often recommend, such as magnesium, and possibly specific herbal formulas for clearing excesses and rebalancing the system,  and/or digestive enzymes or bitters for those newly transitioning to a much higher fat and protein-rich diet.

Considering how much less mineral-rich our soil and water supplies are, and the length in which most of us have consumed inappropriate foods ~ including those foods that we believed to be healthy, but were nutritionally inadequate ~ along with all the ways we are living counter to our true Nature, it becomes easier to understand why having a boost from external supplements, such as the Pruvit Exogenous Ketones can provide such a noticeable and striking improvement.





Pruvit's Exogenous Ketones Improved My Brain Power, Focus, Food Cravings & MORE!

Several months ago, a client had asked us if we had heard of, or ever tried 'exogenous ketones.'  At that time, we figured we were pretty well 'fat-adapted' and didn't need extra help in the form of a supplementary product.  We ran into the client again at the Detroit, MI airport of all places.  Several weeks later, he was back at our clinic.  By that time, after hearing a little more about their potential benefits, my curiosity had piqued about taking these exogenous ketones.

Direct experience has always been my best teacher, so I bought a 10-pack of assorted flavors, each packet being a single serving.  The claim is that some people may take as much as 5 days, or even more, to have the full experience of the exogenous ketones, so it is best to try a 10-pack, rather than a 5-pack, however either is an option.

Watch a short 4 minute cute video to learn more at tracyminton.experienceketo.com


I didn't need all 10 days to notice a difference.  I didn't even really need five days.

I was actually blown away as to the difference in how I felt.

What caused me to change my mind was the research showing promise for helping people with dementia or Alzheimer's improve cognitive functioning.  My mother has been having increasing challenges with short-term memory recall.  Heck, I was having increasing challenges with my short, and long-term memory, especially after five years on a diet devoid of all animal foods!

I also have had such a long history with hypoglycemic reactive symptoms between meals.  When eating a high-carbohydrate diet, I felt like an animal in the zoo on a strict feeding schedule.  If I didn't adhere to the schedule, my mental and emotional condition would quickly deteriorate.

Since eating our low-carb, keto/hypercarnivore diet, I have had some issues here and there with low blood sugar, but much much less often.  Our diet ~ especially when I consume the right combination of protein and fat ~ provides much greater staying power.  I can go for several hours between meals.  However, I still often needed to have my first and main two meals of the day within a four hour window at best.

Ketones give both the body & the brain a positive boost! ~ Leslie J. Thompson


As Leslie J. Thompson explains in her article,  Ketones ~ A Supplement that Optimizes Everything, published in the 2018 edition of Hacked magazine:

Studies show that increasing ketones in the body can have numerous health benefits, including promoting increased mental focus and alertness, lowering blood pressure, reducing cravings and helping with fat loss.  To bolster the production of ketones, however, you have to achieve the metabolic state of ketosis. 
Most people operate in a state of glycolysis, in which the body primarily is fueled by blood glucose from carbohydrates and sugars, which can cause energy spikes followed by feelings of fatigue or sluggishness as insulin levels rise.  Over a long period of time, this dietary cycle can lead to insulin resistance and inflammation in the body, and even trigger metabolic syndrome.  When the body is in ketosis, on the other hand, energy comes from ketones in the blood stream.  Operating at peak efficiency, the body enters fat-burning mode, with energy to spare.

Perfectly Seasoned & Tender Prime Rib Recipe Plus Our Holiday Plunge

Restaurant Perfect Prime Rib Christmas Dinner!


Every now and then, while preparing a meal ~ or meat in this case ~ without prior experience, nor a recipe, I hit the bullseye.  I would have to say this Prime Rib was seasoned and roasted to pure perfection ~ so much so, I impressed myself!  As simple as it was, I thought I'd share the seasonings and roasting method.  

We happened to pick this Prime Rib roast up for a smoking deal.  It was between 6-8 pounds, and cost less than $4 per pound.

I've never actually prepared Prime Rib before.  It was my dad's favorite. I enjoyed it well enough, but I wouldn't say it ever really wowed me.  However, at that price, who could refuse.  It seemed ideal for our Christmas day meal.  And, it was.

Given our uber simple way of eating, we often don't prepare much other than the main course.  I did happen to have some of my Sugar-Free Cranberry Apple Sauce  made previously, and never bothered!

Our 'treats' are either a little dark chocolate, and/or some goat cheese for me ~ especially loving the Trader Joe's goat cheese logs, rolled in dried fruit ~ or Munster cheese for Don.  However, the Cranberry Apple Sauce is good with either cottage cheese, yogurt, or sour cream.  Of course, fill in the side dishes with whatever you like.  In our plants optional approach, little is required to provide satisfaction, but each person will need to make sure to include what provides the best personal satisfaction, and desired health goals.


Bacon, Eggs & Burgers ~ Two Recipes ~ Good For You, Easy On Your Wallet & Oh So Satisfying

Bacon, Eggs & Burgers ~ Easy on Budget, Big on Nutrition


Just in case you are still on the fence about the health benefits of eggs, or meat in general, I am re-posting this article I originally published on the Living Your True Nature blog, along with two delicious recipes featuring bacon, eggs, and/or beef.  What more satisfying foods are there?  

You can also read more about the importance of choline[1], an important nutrient for which egg yolks are an excellent source.  Two of the most recent, longest-lived centenarians both claimed they ate eggs (and even bacon) nearly every day for decades.

Emma Morano from Italy[2], the last remaining person on record born in the 1800's (1899)  passed away fairly recently at the age of 117.  She ate three eggs per day for most of her life, two of them raw!

In a recent randomized cross over clinical intervention study, 50 participants were randomly assigned a breakfast of either two eggs or a packet of oatmeal.  After a three week washout, they switched their breakfast.  The purpose of the study was to compare the effects on biomarkers for cardiovascular disease, and satiety of the egg breakfast, versus the bowl of oatmeal on healthy individuals.   According to the authors of the study, Amanda Missimer, et al,

 Along with an increase in cholesterol intake, there were significant increases in both
low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol following the egg consumption period (p  < 0.01). However, there was no difference in the LDL/ HDL ratio, a recognized biomarker of CVD risk, nor in the plasma glucose, triglycerides or liver enzymes, between diet periods. Several self-reported satiety measures were increased following the consumption of eggs, which were associated with lower plasma ghrelin concentrations (p  < 0.05). These results demonstrate that compared to an oatmeal breakfast, two eggs per day do not adversely affect the biomarkers associated with CVD risk, but increase satiety throughout the day in a young healthy population.[3]


Another study examined whether an egg breakfast would enhance satiety when compared to a bagel breakfast, matched for energy density and total energy, on over weight and obese subjects following a restricted calorie diet for weight loss.  According to the findings of the study, the participants following the egg diet (ED)


showed a 61% greater reduction in BMI (−0.95±0.82 vs −0.59±0.85, P<0.05), a 65% greater weight loss (−2.63±2.33 vs −1.59±2.38 kg, P<0.05), a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference (P<0.06) and a 16% greater reduction in percent body fat (P=not significant).[4]

If this isn't enough to convince you of the virtues of eggs, how about the fact that egg yolks are very antioxidant-rich?

According to the Science Daily,


One of nature's most perfect foods may be even better for us than previously thought. While eggs are well known to be an excellent source of proteins, lipids, vitamins and minerals, researchers recently discovered they also contain antioxidant properties, which helps in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.[5]

Susannah Muscat Jones, the other remaining oldest person alive born in the 1800s, believes she owes her longevity to her century long habit of eating bacon and eggs for breakfast.  According to an article in the Telegraph News, "Every morning she begins she begins her day every day with several strips of bacon, scrambled eggs, and ground corn."[6] 

I'm down with the breakfast of longevity champions, Emma and Susannah.

Now that I've made my case for eggs, ready to make some rocking great fried eggs?  

Here is a family favorite, delicious Fried Eggs & Diced Tomato Recipe




Bacon and eggs is as simple a meal as it gets.  And so rewarding.  Just smelling bacon cooking tantalizes the sensory organs, and begins the salivation process!

Frying the eggs sunny side up will retain more of the antioxidants found in the egg yolks, which are most potent in raw egg yolks.  I like basting the eggs in the bacon grease.  My mom used to make eggs this way when I was young.

Basic Bacon & Eggs ~ Basted, Sunny Side Up, or Over Easy


  • 2+ strips of bacon per person
  • 2+ eggs per serving
  • Sprinkle of dried oregano
  • Sprinkle of paprika
  • Dash of sea salt & cracked pepper
  • Diced tomato (plain or with green chiles) & fresh basil (see below)
Cook the bacon, then remove from the pan.  While the bacon cooks, crack eggs into a small bowl, up to two at a time.

After removing bacon, while the pan is hot, add the eggs.  Use a spatula to collect the egg white, pushing it towards the main body of the egg if needed.  

Season as desired.  

To baste:  Lift the pan up a bit, and use a big spoon to spoon the bacon fat on the egg yolks, until it turns white on top, like above.  

For Sunny Side Up:  Let cook, turning the heat to medium-low, and covering with a lid or foil for a minute to cook the top of the egg.  Cook until desired consistency.

Over Easy:  When the tops of the whites look more opaque, and nearly finished cooking, use a spatula to flip the eggs.  If you have two eggs together, use a butter knife or spoon to help you maneuver the eggs onto the spatula.  Flip, then quickly remove, flipping back right side up onto the plate.

For Fried Eggs & Diced Tomato


If using tomatoes, you can add some fresh diced Roma tomato, or a tablespoon or two of petite diced canned tomato.  Either toss on top while the egg cooks, then baste it all together, or put the lid on top.  Or, remove eggs, then toss the tomatoes in the hot bacon fat for a minute, and serve on top of the eggs.  

Stack basil leaves, roll up lie a cigar, then cut across into thin strips to make a basil chiffonade.  Garnish the eggs with the fresh basil.  Or, just serve big raw basil leaves on the plate, and scoop everything up as you eat, using your bacon like a mini taco shell.  This is the messy way to eat bacon and eggs, and you can bet that this is my chosen method!

I now enjoy eggs nearly daily, after years of avoiding eggs as I became convinced by plant-based doctors and authors that they were too high in cholesterol, which could increase one's risk of heart disease.  Glad I've seen the proverbial golden egg yolk light!

If you like, enjoy some avocado with your Bacon, Eggs & Tomato.  

Or make it a heartier meal by enjoying it with some leftover diced chicken, turkey, or even a burger (see below) or salmon!









Burgers are an American favorite food.  They can be made super easily by just seasoning with salt, pepper, and whatever else you like.  If you want a really flavorful, savory burger, you can add just a couple more ingredients to up the WOW factor of a good burger.


Delicious Jazzed Up Basic Burgers Plus Plus





  • 1 slice of bacon per person or per burger
  • Burger meat, 85% fat (+/-) (We had grass-fed ground meat, but use whatever fits your budget)
  • 1+ tbsp. natural, low-sugar barbecue sauce, Amy's brand
  • Sea salt &/or Real Salt, pepper, garlic salt, and any other seasoning as desired, such as ground cumin, fennel, oregano, or paprika
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • Several mushrooms, chopped or sliced
  • Cooking oil of choice, like olive oil or ghee
  • Fresh tomato, sliced
  • Fresh basil
  • Anything else you may want, like avocado, or a natural or sugar-free ketchup or mustard; pickle
Cook bacon.

In a separate pan, add oil or cooking fat of choice.  Sauté onions for a few minutes, then add mushrooms.  Continue to cook until soft and a bit caramelized.

Meanwhile, place the meat in a bowl.  Season as desired with salt or Real Salt, garlic salt, pepper, cumin, and/or oregano, paprika, or anything else.  Just salt is fine if you prefer it to be more simple, add other seasonings if you like your burgers more flavored.  Add barbecue sauce.


Mix meat mixture up with your hands, just until combined.

Shape your meat into patties, about 150g, or about the size of the palm of your hand.  

Remove bacon.  Fry burgers on pan with the bacon fat on a medium-high heat to sear it.  Flip.  Let it sear, then turn heat a little lower to let it cook to desired temperature.  It should be slightly firm, yet have a give when you press the top with your finger.  You can use a meat thermometer if you like.  I generally just press, and check the color on the inside.

While cooking burgers, let them be.  Don't be pressing on them or you squeeze the juices out.

Serve with fresh basil, sliced tomato.  Top with bacon, and the onions and mushrooms.  Have with a pickle.


Vary it:   


  • Add cheese!  What is better than a Bacon Burger with Grilled Onions & Mushrooms, then a Bacon Cheeseburger Plus Plus!  Add a slice of Monterey Jack cheese, or your favorite ~ goat cheese, blue cheese, cheddar or Swiss ~ after flipping.
  • Add the Fried Egg from above on top of your Bacon Burger.  It's such a great combo!










While many people still believe that meat and fat, and high cholesterol foods like bacon and eggs are bad for your health, enjoying these foods in the context of a low-carb, sugar-free, processed food-free diet can leave you feeling deeply nourished and satisfied. 

When you trust your instincts ~ those subtle sensations that cause you to feel more drawn to one thing over an another, or one type of food, or meat over another, and you eat according to these sensations, you are rewarded with contentment and satisfaction.  

In that zone beyond the mental shenanigans of what we all believe is healthy, based on decades of indoctrination is the place where the body is just drawn to those foods that will provide the greatest nourishment at any give time.

Trust that.  Follow that.  Listen to that.  That is where we connect with our True Nature.  It takes practice, but it builds on itself.


References:

[1] NCBI U.S. National Library of Medicine, U.S. National Institutes of Health/Pub Med "Choline intake in a large cohort of patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease"
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22338037

[2] BBC News, "World's oldest person, Emma Morano, dies at age 117 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39610937?SThisFB

[3] PDF study of egg breakfast compared to oatmeal, Amanda Missimer, et. al. www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/2/89/pdf

[4] NCBI U.S. National Library of Medicine, U.S. National Institutes of Health/Pub Med "Egg breakfast enhances weight loss"  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2755181/

[5] "Eggs' antioxidant properties may help prevent heart disease and cancer, study suggests" https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110706093900.htm

[6] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11721581/Worlds-oldest-person-116-eats-diet-of-bacon-and-eggs.html


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Here is a video we watched during our initial transition to a low-carb/ketogenic diet in 2017.  It's worth a listen.  Interesting facts that run counter to our traditional narrative about meat being bad for health.




Sugar-Free Low-Carb Keto Coconut Macaroons & Nut Balls

Sugar-Free, High-Fat, Low-Carb Treats

Here are a few sugar-free, low-carb, ketogenic cookies you can make for Christmas, or just to have on hand.

The Sugar-Free Coconut Macaroons and Cinnamon Nut Cookies pack well.

The NO-Bake, Nutty Butter Balls are best left frozen until shortly prior to eating.

NOTE:  This is a reprint from the original Trust Your True Nature blog.  I made them in our early transition to a lower-carb, ketogenic diet, prior to our veering into a more hypercarnivore approach to eating.

I have since dramatically reduced my consumption of nuts, seeds, and nut and seed butters.  Each person will have to determine how well they tolerate nuts and seeds, as they can produce discomforts when consumed too often or in large quantities.

I consider the use of nuts and seeds to be like a treat ~ I neither have to completely avoid them as I do not have an allergy to any that I am aware of, however, I rarely crave or consume them anymore.

Most people can easily tolerate treat foods if not consumed on a regular basis.  Life is to be celebrated, however, celebration foods are not meant to eat every day!






First up:

Sugar-Free Coconut Macaroons


Ingredients:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2.5 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream (or sub a healthy sugar alternative, see below)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • Juice of about 1/4 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  1. Line a big baking sheet with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 300º.
  2. Using a hand mixer, whip egg whites and cream until mixture thickens and becomes stiffer.  (Alternatively, blend egg whites separately until stiff peaks form.  Place in a separate bowl, then blend cream.) 
  3. Add cream of tartar to egg whites, and blend another minute.
  4. Gently fold in coconut oil, lemon and vanilla. You will lose the stiff peaks, but it's fine.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine coconut and coconut flour.
  6. Fold in egg white mixture.
  7. If the mixture seems a bit sticky, or too loose to hold together, add a little bit more coconut flour, 1-2 tbsp. at a time.
  8. Using a big spoon, scoop up a heaping teaspoonful of the mixture, and create a cone shape with your hands.  They will be about 1-1.5 inches tall (not too big).  If needed, wet hands.  Place on baking tray, about 1 inch apart.  They don't really spread.  I made 22 cookies from my batch.
  9. Continue with the rest. 
  10. Bake for ~ 40-45 minutes, until light golden brown on the bottom.



Special Note & Variation:  I added heavy cream, and coconut oil to the mix to provide more satiety and sweetness in lieu of the 1 cup of sugar that the original recipe called for.  

If wanting to skip the heavy cream, you can sweeten with one of the low-glycemic, alternative sweeteners that are not absorbed like regular sugars.  Xylitol is made from birchwood.  Swerve is made from fruits and vegetables and tested to have no impact on blood sugar, with 0 net calories. There are some other alternatives as well.  I'll link to a few options down below.  

If using sugar substitute instead of the cream, blend up to 1/4 cup in with the egg whites.


Each macaroon of 22 total, using cream and coconut oil, and no sugar substitute comes to about:

80 total cals; 7.2g total fat w/ 6.2g SFA, and 1.5mg cholesterol; 3g total carbs w/ 1.9g fiber; .9g sugar; and 1.4g protein.  2% RDI Iron, 1% Vitamin C.  Coconut is also a decent source of potassium.





Here is another very simple, no-bake alternative.  My slightly modified, sugar-free version of Coconut Bombs from Paleo Hacks.

No-Bake, Sugar-Free Coconut Bombs

  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (original recipe includes 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean powder, and 2 tbsp. honey)
  • Few ounces of very dark chocolate (85%+ best, or get a bar of the straight bakers chocolate or baking cacao)
  1. Blend coconut, coconut oil, and vanilla in a food processor or blender until well combined, fine, and crumbly.
  2. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  3. Use a big tablespoon to scoop up some of the mixture, and form round balls in your hands.  Wet hands if needed.  Place on tray.  Continue with the rest.
  4. Place in freezer for 10+ minutes.
  5. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or in a stainless bowl that sits on top of a steamer basket in a pot filled with a couple inches of water.  Heat the water to melt the chocolate, stirring as needed.  Don't overcook.
  6. Drizzle a little chocolate on each using a bread knife, or the pointy end of a chopstick.  Or, if you get tired of making pretty swirls, just dunk them right in the chocolate.  Pop what you aren't eating back in the freezer until ready to eat.
  7. Enjoy!  They will keep pretty well for a while if traveling.



Next up, a nutty variation of macaroons.

(2/24/2019 Update:  We now recommend minimizing nuts for most people, as they contain many problematic components, including Omega 6 fatty acids, and other 'anti-nutrients.'  Eat judiciously, and pay attention to how you feel, including digestion, elimination, possible headaches, skin break-outs, etc., that are common complaints from those who are sensitive to nuts.  These are best enjoyed as occasional treats, and not as part of your daily diet.)

Cinnamon Nut Balls~


Ingredients:
  • 1.25 cups blanched, or soaked & roasted almonds, ground
  • 3/4 cup walnuts ~ raw or soaked & roasted, ground
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp. shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. ghee, or butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Shredded coconut, cocoa powder for rolling cookies in
  1. Lightly grease a big cookie sheet, or line with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 325º.
  2. In a food processor, grind almonds, then walnuts.  Place in a large bowl. 
  3. Add coconut flour, shredded coconut and cinnamon.
  4. Stir in ghee and coconut oil, and vanilla.
  5. In a small bowl, whip egg whites using a hand mixer.  Add cream of tartar, and continue to blend until stiff peaks form.
  6. Add a little more coconut flour if needed until batter sticks together.
  7. Using a big spoon, scoop up some of the batter, and roll into a ball in your hands.  Place on cookie sheet 1.5-2 inches apart.  Continue with the remaining batter.  It should make 20-22 cookies.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Let cool while placing a small amount of cocoa powder on one small plate, and shredded coconut on another.  Roll cookies in one or the other, or try both.  This can be skipped.  Or roll in ground sesame seeds, or more cinnamon.


Each 20g cookie (1/21 of the total batter) comes to:

106 total cals; 9.5g total fat w/ 2.3g SFA 7 2.9mg cholesterol; 9.6 mg Na (sodium); 3.4g total carbs w/ 1.9g fiber & .7g sugar; 3g protein 1% of RDI for Vitamin A; 3% Iron; 3% Vitamin C

The above recipes were modifications from an old book of mine.  To save space and weight from one of my many moves, I just ripped a few pages out from this book of recipes I wanted to save.  I have no idea what the title of this book was anymore, nor whom the author(s) were.

Another Nutty Buttery Cookie ~ No Bake Nutty Butter Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1.25-1.5 cups ground almond
  • 3/4 cup ground pecan
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp. ghee or butter, melted (to modify to be vegan-friendly, add more coconut oil instead)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  1. Line a baking tray with wax paper.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Add a little more ground nuts if needed to create a stiff dough that sticks together, more or less.
  3. Scoop out batter with a big spoon, creating 1-1.5 inch mounds. Place on baking tray.  Continue with remaining batter.
  4. Place in freezer for 30+ minutes to harden.
  5. Once cookies are hard, pack in a container using the same wax paper, and leave in the freezer until ready to eat.

Vary it:


  • Add 1 tsp. cinnamon, and/or 1+ tbsp. cocoa powder
  • Add 1 packet Pruvit Keto Broth Salted Caramel ~ cut back on ground almonds by 1/4 cup  (This will give it a slightly sweeter, nice caramel flavor while adding collagen and exogenous ketones!
  • Try with chopped macadamia nuts or pistachios instead of either the almonds or the pecans.



Each 14g cookie (1 of 18-20) contains:

96.5 total cals; 9.6g total fat w/ 3.4g SFA & 4mg cholesterol; 2g total carbs w/ 1.1g fiber; 1.7g protein


Soak & roast your nuts!


For the most digestible nuts, soak overnight.  Drain, then let dry.  Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake at the lowest setting, at 150-180º for 5 hours until dry and re-crisped.






Better sugar alternatives:


These sweeteners are no/low-carb, low/non-glycemic alternatives with a sweeter flavor than cane sugar, but without the harmful effects, especially beneficial for those with blood sugar imbalances.  Monk fruit was used by the Chinese for centuries.  Xylitol, made from birch is American made.












Meatloaf ~ Super Easy Make Ahead Meal | Low-Carb, High-Protein, Hypercarnivore

Meatloaf ~ Super Easy Make-Ahead Meals





Whenever Don or I post pictures of our meals on Instagram, it's always the Meatloaf that draws the most inquiries for a recipe.  I will be honest, each time I make our Low-Carb, Hypercarnivore version of Meatloaf, I use whatever I happen to have on hand.  So I thought I would share the base recipe, and ways you can vary it.  Of course, I always encourage adding in your own creativity.  Meatloaf is an ideal recipe to make when you want to use up some ingredients need using up.  Just like soups, or bone broths ~ you can add pretty much anything you want, within reason.

Remember, cook once, eat at least twice!  Meatloaf is often even better the next day, so absolutely enjoy the leftovers!

The Hypercarnivore Diet Low-Carb Meatloaf


You will need 1-2 baking dishes, depending on how much meat you use.  I used 1 8x8 and 1 loaf pan for my last batch which was about 3.30 pounds.

1-2 packages of ground beef (2-3#+) ~ I prefer 85% lean
~ 3/4 medium to large sweet onion, diced
1-2 small cloves garlic, crushed (I remove the green stem in the center as best as possible)
2 eggs
1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes, divided
2+ tsp. sea salt or Real Salt or a blend
2+ tsp. dried oregano
Stevia, Xyla, or sweetener of choice
1/8-1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Warm the oven to about 450º.  

Lightly grease your baking dishes.  I use the bacon fat that I collect in a bowl.  Use tallow, or wipe a little butter.  (It can probably be skipped, but it can add to the flavor, and ease of removal.  There will be plenty of fat in the dish by the end of cooking.)

Chop the onion, and crush the garlic.  I learned from watching cooking shows that if you remove the green stem in the center, it is easier to handle the strong garlic flavor.  Some people are more sensitive to the volatile oils in garlic than others.  It adds a nice flavor to the meatloaf, but skip if you need to.

Place the meat in a large mixing bowl.  Add the onion and garlic.  Crack the eggs on top.  Add salt (be generous) and oregano.  Add about 1/4 of the can of tomatoes.

Now comes the fun part.  Get your hands in there, and pretend like you are kneading bread.  Squeeze enough to just combine the ingredients.  Don't over do it or it, or it can create a more stiff loaf.

Place the meatloaf mixture into the baking pans.  I tend to make loaves that are about the height of my four fingers, or 2-3 inches.  

Place in oven and roast at the high temperature for just 5-10 minutes, then turn the heat down to about 200-250º and bake on the lower heat for about one hour.

Meanwhile, pour the remaining crushed tomatoes into a small bowl.  Add a pinch of salt, and either a couple of small pinches of stevia, or maybe up to one teaspoon of Xyla, or Swerve.  Stir, and taste.  You just want to balance the acid flavor of the tomato with a little sweet, salty flavor.  I have variations below.

When it's essentially cooked through, it will be nicely browned, with plenty of fat around the edges, and have a fairly firm texture.  I will usually stab through several places on the top of the loaf with a small, thin knife to let some of the sauce sink in, but not mandatory.  Cover the tops of the loaves with the sauce.  

Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.  Remove, let cool, then cut and serve.

Meatloaf packs well to go, especially in the stainless steel containers which
can be placed in a toaster over to heat if desired.


VARIATIONS

For the Meatloaf:
  • Add one peeled and grated zucchini
  • Add 1/4 cup (+/-) raisins, currants, or dried cranberries (see sauce variations, below)
  • Sub 1/2+ bunch fresh, finely chopped parsley for the oregano, or use both
  • If you tolerate bell pepper, add a small amount of finely diced red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
  • Spice it up with a little cayenne or add white ground (or black) pepper
  • Add any other vegetables you enjoy and well tolerate, such as shredded beets or carrots ~ both of which have a higher sugar content, so will sweeten the loaf a bit
  • Add a handful of diced black, pitted olives, or your favorite
  • Add chopped mushrooms
For the Sauce:

  • Sub garam masala for the cinnamon
  • Sub ketchup or tomato paste for the crushed tomatoes
  • Use 1-2 tsp. real maple syrup instead of the stevia or Xyla
  • Try keeping dried plums or raisins covered in water in your fridge to create a thick molasses-like syrup, then use the liquid to sweeten the sauce; add a few chopped prunes or the raisins to the loaf
  • Add fresh grated and squeezed ginger, (or 1/4+ tsp. dried, ground ginger), 1 tsp. dried yellow mustard, sweetener of choice, and a splash of coconut aminos, or equivalent (instead of salt)
  • Try using a little good quality, low-sugar fruit preserves in lieu of the sweetener, such as a sweet cherry preserves


 When you enjoy a Hypercarnivore diet, you can remain low-carb, and even sugar-free as desired with simple modifications and choices.  If following a more ketogenic diet, pour the fat from cooking on top when serving, and/or use 80% lean meat instead.  If trying to lose excess fat, leaner meats may be best, at least initially.  Eat enough of the fat to satisfy.  Full carnivore?  Well, just bake the meat with salt and eggs, and voila.   Or, consider going hypercarnivore, with plants optional for a liberating, simple way of eating that puts you in the drivers seat of your life.  Only you can judge what is best for you to eat.










Is Having A Balanced Diet Essential? What Is 'Balanced?'

Do We Really Need A 'Balanced' Diet?


I used to strongly believe that my meals were not balanced without platefuls of vegetables ~ especially a big pile of dark leafy greens.  If necessary, I would add half a bunch or more of parsley to a salad to compensate for any shortage of our daily kale, collards, or bok choy.  I especially loved shredded carrot, beet, and chopped parsley salads, or my pressed/squeezed cabbage (and parsley) salads.  I enjoyed all that crunchy texture, and imagined my body singing with joy as I consumed all that wonderful fiber, and all those antioxidant-rich vitamins and minerals.   During the fall, I really loved roasting up root vegetables.  Roasted parsnip chips would melt in your mouth.  And of course, I loved eating lots of the really dense, sweet, white, purple, or Japanese sweet potatoes.  Those were especially good with a glob of tahini on top.  Likewise, our all-time fave, the uber  dense, sweet, deep orange kabocha squash ~ heaven on a plate.  




So what happened?  Why do I no longer crave these foods? 

Isn't it good to 'eat the rainbow?'  And of course, you must eat a 'balanced diet!' ~ Right???

I believed vegetables to be Nature's pharmacy.  And as per macrobiotic ideology, root vegetables are considered to be especially grounding.

Isn't all that beta carotene in the allegedly healthy sweet potato, or those roasted or shredded carrots good for us?  Good for our eyes as it converts into Vitamin A in our bodies?

Actually, Vitamin A is an important essential nutrient, and many people do not get adequate amounts.  Vitamin A is only found in animal foods.  Think butterfat.  Nice yellow butterfat, like Kerrygold.  Despite what many plant-pushing coaches and doctors will tell you,  many people are not good at converting beta carotene into Vitamin A.



Well, being the (Strong Spirit) Hypercarnivore heretic that I am, I am going to go up against a sacred cow here.  

I have always seemed to be ahead of the curve ~ like expounding the virtues of eating lots of produce, especially dark greens and vegetables, and eating a vegetarian or vegan diet  ~ long before these recommendations were trending.  Long before kale was a household word.  Pre-internet, ideologies did not spread as fast.  By the time recommendations like eating the rainbow,  consuming as many greens and vegetables as you can possibly handle each day, and/or giving up animal foods altogether  and going vegan were picking up momentum, as they are now, I tended to make my exit.

I'm not bragging.  In whatever way I have attempted to build a profession as a natural foods chef and author, inspiring how to eat a 'balanced' produce-rich diet as simply as possible ~ my inner rebel part reared its head.  Like, well, just as I was completing my FOURTH vegan/macrobiotic and produce-pushing cookbook, and  training to become an 'official' macrobiotic counselor, I realized that eating the rainbow was not providing me the glowing health I had anticipated.  In fact, I was feeling my vitality decline at a pace that was increasingly alarming.  

Even though my later books included recommendations for adding fish or other animal products in the diet, it was the results of our initial 30-Day Hypercarnivore Health Challenge, going from high-carb, low-fat, to low-carb, high-protein and fat that caused me to have a full on paradigm shift of my nearly life-long beliefs about diet and health.  

After listening to and reading blogs and testimonies by others, including Amber O'Hearn of Empirica, who alleviated her long-time depression and improved her ability to lose excess fat by going fully plant-free,  Dr. Georgia Ede, of Diagnosis Diet, who has given presentations (including the one below) connecting mental disorders with consumption of plant foods, and many others on meatheals.com who are realizing much needed relief from chronic and often debilitating conditions from eschewing plant foods that I began to question whether those dark leafy green super foods are as super as we are led to believe!



Many folks of our parent's generation are pretty adamant about eating a 'balanced diet' which typically includes meat as the center piece, a starch, like baked or mashed potatoes, vegetable, and a salad.  (And often dessert!)

Several long-lived folks (especially those who grew up on farms) like  Susannah Mushatt Jones ~ one of the last two remaining people born in the 1800s ~ attributes  her longevity to consuming bacon and eggs for over a century!   (The other lady, Emma Morano, born in 1899 attributes her longevity to genetics, and consumption of "three eggs daily, two of the raw.)

These people don't attribute their longevity to downing kale smoothies every day.  They eat eggs (found in at least one study to possibly prevent heart disease and cancer), bacon, meats, and food cooked in lard, butter, or beef tallow ~ a.k.a. those allegedly deadly saturated fats. 

They also don't brag about all the vegetables they consumed.  If anything, plants were only used as a complement to the diet ~ some onion, carrot, and potato cooked into a stew, perhaps an apple or some berries for snacks or dessert.  (Have you noticed how many of these folks live long, productive lives?)

Weston A. Price, D.D.S, author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,  noted the excellent health of the local native populations from several different continents, all of whom considered animal foods to be the central part of their diet.  Those that strayed from their native diet, especially as Western processed foods became more ubiquitously available, quickly showed changes in their bone structure, dental health, and immunity.  The contrast was striking.

While I am not writing this post to prove that plant foods are unnecessary ~ I've already been proving it to myself via direct experience ~ I am going to suggest that the notion of 'eating a balanced diet' and 'eating the rainbow' are more a product of skilled marketing, then a biological fact with which to build your life, or at least your way of eating around.

One thing that people fail to realize is that what the mind thinks ~ and even strongly believes ~ isn't necessarily true, just because you think or believe it!  

Even if every mainstream media outlet and plant-obsessed nutrition author 'believes' that eating clean, organic, freshly plucked, picked, pressed and juiced greens and vegetables are the epitome of health doesn't make it so.  It may sound nice.  It may sound right.  It may resonate ideologically.  However, biology trumps ideology every time!

You may not like the idea that humans require animal foods to sustain the level of health we are meant to experience, however, your not liking that does not undo the fact ~ whether you like it or not!  

Plant foods have their place.  Typically, wild plant foods and herbs have been used medicinally for thousands of years.  Plants contain a myriad of compounds and volatile oils that are added to broths, or taken as teas, tinctures, and poultices for helping resolve a wide variety of symptoms and conditions.  However, kale and broccoli are nouveau foods.  They are hybridized versions of their native, wilder cousin.  There is no comparison as to the nutrition you get from red meat, relative to bunches of broccoli and kale.  Despite what online sites like Cronometer indicate, the vitamins and minerals shown are what is ideally found in those plants, not necessarily what is actually present, nor, more importantly, what is actually being absorbed.

Vitamins and minerals in plant foods are less bioavailable.  Those seemingly benign colorful plant foods also contain compounds that can be quite damaging to those who are sensitive.  Whether that be oxalates, which are especially high in kale, spinach and almonds, and when consumed in excess can lead to arthritic symptoms or kidney stones; phytates, lectins, saponins and more ~ all found in whole grains like quinoa, beans ~  especially soy ~ and other plant foods, that inhibit absorption of minerals and can lead to a host of health issues.  Even the plant fibers themselves can be triggering your gastrointestinal discomforts, and causing (or contributing to) constipation!  

Long-term consumption of these compounds found in dietary carbohydrates can potentially cause leaky gut, and lead to allergies, joint pain including osteoarthritis, and other conditions which have yet to be adequately researched.  Plant foods seem to be given a hall pass, while animal foods are vilified.  Meanwhile people with joint pain, skin conditions, a host of gastrointestinal problems ~ along with many other chronic concerns ~  are finding relief by giving up the plant foods!

So what do I now believe is a 'balanced diet?'


Whatever you really enjoy, and that your body actually craves that brings you the greatest health, vitality, and ability to thrive, and live with minimal dis-ease, nor dependency on Western meds.

So, if having a delicious coffee with heavy cream, and possibly a small amount of coconut oil, along with bacon and cheese sandwiches provides what you need to help you feel good and focused for the morning, followed by a protein-rich second meal, then have at it.  








As we say here in Hypercarnivore land ~ Eat Meat, Get Fit, Plants Optional!

Can't fathom giving up your greens and veggies?

Don't!

Love berries and fruit?

Have a little.

I'm definitely enjoying cranberries ~ the berry of the season.    Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce
stirred into a blend of cottage cheese & sour cream for a nice post-meal 'dessert' or as a mid-day pick-me-up.


Eat what satisfies, provides enduring energy, and helps you realize your health and weight goals.  Just don't let yourself go into denial or become complacent.  

'Eating what you crave' is more applicable once you have had a health re-set, such as after following The 30-Day Hypercarnivore Health Challenge.

If you have troubling symptoms that are not resolving, then you have nothing to lose by eating primarily just animal foods for at least one month, then slowly adding back plants to better determine how well you actually are tolerating all those beloved foods.

I guarantee you will eventually discover what constitutes a balanced diet for you!

Need help?  I'm here.  I offer health coaching, and a variety of other services.






From Produce-Rich Plant-Based to Nearly Plant-Free Hypercarnivore Before & After Photos

My Before & After Photos ~ Plant-Full to Nearly Plant-FREE! 

I actually first wrote this post towards the end of 2017, after having switched from being on a produce-rich, plant-based diet, to a low-carb, then very low-carb/ketogenic diet, which has morphed into our Hypercarnivore Diet.  The original post is below, including all the pictures.

Since it was on the original, Living Your True Nature blog, which has now changed into The Strong Spirit Path blog, I am transferring posts from those first several months of transitioning to an uber low-carb, ketogenic/hypercarnivore diet to here at TheHypercarnivore.com.


I am now, as of December 2018, age 55, and continuing to feel ever better.  I have ups and downs, as we all do, however, I do not have that intrinsic feeling ~ nor look ~ of accelerated aging, and ongoing fatigue.  My skin tone and color are much brighter, less ashen, pale, and haggard looking.

Another significant change has been relief from that lower belly kangaroo pouch!  No more ongoing distention, bloating, and on and off constipation!  Yahoo!

I will always be someone who has to remain on a pretty wholesome routine, as stress and lack of sleep shows up quickly on my face ~ although way worse while vegan!



December, 2018




Nine Tips To Biohack Your Holidays And Stay On Track With Health Goals

HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON TO ALL!



I am making changes to my blogs, including transferring posts from what was the original Living Your True Nature blog, which I started when we first began our journey from plant-based to practically plant-free back in May 2017.  The original blog name is changing to The Strong Spirit Path to better match the Strong Spirit Woman website, and Strong Spirit Woman YouTube channel.

Here is a revised recent post from my other blog about 'biohacking' the holidays ~ tips for maintaining a healthy diet while being surrounded by temptations of others who most likely are not following a low-carb, ketogenic, or hypercarnivore lifestyle!


As the year draws to a close, it's also a time to connect with family and friends, and reflect on your past year, while beginning to plant the seeds for the year to come.  While there may be certain treats that are hard to pass up, especially if they trigger childhood memories, you can find ways to stay on track and have your (keto) cheesecake too!

Here are my tips to stay balanced, and maintain your health and health goals during the holidays:


Tip #1 - Choose your indulgences wisely, and enjoy yourself when you do.  In other words, if you are going for those chocolate chip cookies, or your favorite Christmas cookies, do so with abandon, not guilt.  Eating something while beating yourself up is counter-productive.  Eat.  Enjoy.  Start fresh another day.

Tip #2 - Start your day off right with a good cup of coffee!  Add some good fat, and you'll be a happy camper while chaos ensues around you (if you have kids) and just in general!  

Here is my fave:  My Version of Keto Coffee made with good quality coffee using the pour-over method. 




Add 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, and 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil in a mug.  Measure 1.5+ tablespoons ground coffee to the filter, then pour heated water over, slowly getting the grinds moistened.  Fill the cup, stir, and enjoy!  Your brain will thank me!  And your taste buds!

Tip #3 - Plan ahead meals.  Make a slow roasted Chuck roast, or your favorite, or roasted chicken, turkey, pot roast, etc., so you have plenty of good protein-rich foods around for quick meals. 


Add baby tomatoes to the pan before slow roasting. OMG, they get really sweet!


While the oven is on, make an extra roast!  Roast once, eat at least twice!

To slow roast:  

Season meat.  Place on a roasting pan.  Preheat oven to 475º.  Put roast(s) (or whatever type of meats you are preparing, including chicken quarters, whole chicken or turkey, or a turkey breast) into the oven for about 5 minutes per pound.  I usually leave it at the high temp for approximately 15-20 minutes.  Turn heat to 175º.  Go out, ice skate, snow shoe, cross country ski, shop for gifts, or whatever.  Let it roast for 5-8+ hours.  It will come out perfect!  

Tip #4 - Find some good recipes for low-carb, or ketogenic alternatives to your favorite desserts.  We made the Butter Pecan Cheesecake from dietdoctor.com.   We halved the sweetener, using 2 instead of 4 tablespoons of the granulated (versus confectioners) Swerve, with a pinch of stevia.  It was not only easy, but super delicious!  Find the recipe here.  

I'm sure you can find some healthier alternative keto or low-carb Christmas cookies at the diet doctor, or elsewhere online.  (I did taste a delicious Peanut Butter Keto Fudge recipe using a packet of Pruvit Vanilla Ski the other day that was pretty tasty!  I'll post more about those amazing exogenous ketones soon, but you can watch a cute 4 minute video here if interested.)




We enjoyed leftovers while in flight on our return trip home from visiting family
during Thanksgiving.  The Keto Cheesecake with fresh whipped cream was
perfect with their in-flight coffee service!
Tip #5 - If traveling during the holidays, dress in layers!  Keep your luggage as streamlined as possible.  And carry food, like Trader Joe's summer sausage, salami, cheese, and an apple or something similar as these foods pack well.  Slice it up, zip it up, then pull up your tray, and enjoy en route.

Tip #6 - Do remember to take time out to ground.  Get outdoors, breathe in fresh air, get your blood circulating.  Break a sweat!  Connect.  

Tip #7 - Aromatherapy helps.  Use some nice warm, earthy scents to brighten up your mood, and get in the holiday spirit.  Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and/or fresh pine, wintergreen, and Euculyptus are all great this time of year.  I'm experimenting more with essential oils lately, using wintergreen to heal a strained thumb and wrist.  I'll write more about that soon, either here or The Strong Spirit Path blog.  To use essential oils, find a good therapeutic grade, add a drop or two on a cotton ball, and wipe along your toes, feet, and or inner palms, or behind your ears.  If there is a reaction, dilute the oil with a carrier oil, like almond or olive oil.  Or find some nice aromatherapy candles to burn, or other essential oil diffusers.

Tip #8 - Let everyone be over the holidays.  Breathe.  (Remember, ground.)  It can be challenging being with family for extended periods.  Everyone has their own agendas and quirks.  Take a step back, get a bigger picture, and remember, you can either be here now with them, no matter how much they are triggering you, or not.  What if they were no longer around at all?  Love them, and love yourself for whatever emotions get stirred!  

Tip #9 - Don't over burden yourself or stress out others with too high expectations.  Keep meals, plans, and everything simple for a lower-stress holiday!


More bio-hacking a low-carb, hypercarnivore, and/or ketogenic diet in the video below, along with a slide show with more holiday pictures from our travels.  Enjoy!