Part 2 begins with a quick recap of what I discussed in Part 1 (childhood eating habits, what led me to embrace the primal / ancestral diet in 2008 with Mark Sisson and The Primal Blueprint, the deep immersion into keto and the publication of The Keto Reset Diet in 2017) and then picks up with the story of the major awakening I had in regards to food a few years ago.
I spend some time in this episode summarizing the rationale for and the benefits of an animal-based diet, including second guessing the deeply ingrained idea many people have that colorful fresh produce is the de facto centerpiece of healthy eating as I explain the science behind how these plant toxins affect your body. You’ll hear about the advent of the Carnivore movement as I discuss how the message from leaders like Dr. Paul Saladino and Dr. Shawn Baker changed my life and challenged my fixed and rigid dietary beliefs, especially this May 2019 podcast episode with Dr. Paul Saladino on Ben Greenfield Fitness where he seemed to blow Ben’s mind—well, he blew my mind too, so we met and hung out in LA and did a podcast, and then I took him to meet Mark Sisson to do another podcast—as you’ll hear, he seemed to blow Sisson’s mind too (yes, Sisson of the daily “Big-Ass Salad”!).
In this episode, you’ll learn all about plant toxins—a variety of chemicals, proteins, and acids that can damage our sensitive digestive systems, upset our delicate hormonal balance, and prevent the release of critical neurotransmitters. I share a list of which foods to avoid (including why roots, leaves, stems, and seeds are the worst offenders) and talk about the way lectins affect the body (like gluten, lectins are widely recognized natural plant toxins that virtually everyone is sensitive to). I also talk a little bit about gluten and how it inflames the digestive tract and triggers an autoimmune response, explain how phytic acid / phytates work in the body (by binding to minerals and inhibiting digestion), and reveal which specific foods have 200 times more estrogen than other foods. We also touch on the issue of oxalates and glycoalkaloids (defined as neurotoxin enzyme inhibitors that impact nervous system function) and talk about sulforaphane (which can inhibit the internal antioxidant system and promote cell death) and isothiocyanates, which can seriously mess with your thyroid health. I also explain the effects that tannins, photosensitizers, salicylates, flavonoids, as well as cyanogenic glycosides, (yes, what makes cyanide!) have on the body.
If you are like me and haven’t been suffering from any acute health conditions, then you probably felt the same way I did before going carnivore-ish, which was, what’s the point of being super strict with your restriction of plant foods if you already think you feel fine? However, as you’ll learn during this show, there are tons of benefits to eliminating plant toxins—and one added benefit is an increased emphasis on the highest-quality animal foods, which ideally includes a lot more organ meats.
Finally, if you’re looking to lose weight, the story of how my joint commitment to go carnivore and fast until 12 noon enabled me to quickly drop eight pounds of excess body fat in exactly three months will probably pique your interest. I attribute this quick and easy success to the natural focus and discipline engendered by my morning fast and narrowed menu options; we forget how easy it is to get derailed from our goals and best intentions by freedom, abundant choice, and the indulgent and decadent cultural inﬂuences we are surrounded by daily. And when we are thrown into the mix of daily life without unwavering rules and guidelines in place, it’s easy to experience decision fatigue, depletion of will power, and a consequent unraveling of our best-laid plans. Hopefully my dietary journey and experience with the freedom found within the seemingly narrow confines of carnivore will inspire you to try it out for yourself!
If you were born before 1950, you had the advantage of more fresh home-cooked meals. [01:24]
The most nutritious diet is based in meat, fowl, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds……….and dark chocolate. [04:42]
Brad describes his years of consuming tons of vegetables and the effects on his body. [07:27]
Plant toxins are all kinds of different chemicals, proteins, and acids that have the potential to damage the digestive tract. [17:43]
It is confusing to hear that we should never eats plants so it is important to not go overboard in either direction. [20:46]
Many people are sensitive to these toxins and don’t even know it. The damage to the body is surreptitious. [22:38]
By giving up the salads, the green smoothie, and the stir fry, Brad optimized his health. [29:53]
Maximize the nutrient density of the calories you consume. Grass-fed beef is number one. [33:41]
Be sure that you have the correct information on the salmon you consume. About 90 percent of what is on the market is farmed as opposed to wild-caught. [39:22]
If you are going for excess body fat reduction, give the carnivore diet a try. [42:01]
Carnivore-ish diet includes avocados, mini corn tortillas, and dark chocolate. [46:43]
- Brad Kearns.com
- Brad’s Shopping page
- Deep Nutrition
- The Primal Blueprint
- Keto Reset Diet
- Dr. Paul Saladino
- Beyond Training
- Podcast with Shawn Baker
- Saladino Carnivore Code
- Carnivore Cooking for Cool Dudes
- Carnivore Scores Rood Ranking
- Monterey Bay Acquarium.org
- Fatty Popcorn Boy Saga
- Shawn Askinosie Podcast (chocolate)
- Butcher Box
Download episode audio by clicking the arrow in the top right corner of the player above
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- Brad’s Macadamia Masterpiece: Mind-blowing, life-changing nut butter blend
- Male Optimization Formula with Organs (MOFO): Optimize testosterone naturally with 100% grassfed animal organ supplement
- BeautyCounter: Premium skin care products and cosmetics rigorously tested to be free from toxins
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Hi listeners. Welcome to a part two episode talking about the subject of Brad’s diet over the decades and leading us into modern times and my top secret C and C dietary strategy for fat reduction, health and long term enjoyment. That C and C stands for carnivore and chocolate. But in part one, we went through a timeline dating back to my childhood and how I grew up with <laugh> the advent of all these unfortunate dynamics of, uh, modern culture, modern society, the advent of processed foods and the, uh, continued escalation of toxic, heavily processed nutrient deficient foods into the diet of the human. So I grew up in sync with the rise of fast food culture, especially because I grew up in Southern California where the major fast food chains all originated and we had the TV dinners and the more our convenience and the more stuff that was frozen packaged, wrapped up, uh, as compared to the old days and people of a different generation, Dr.
Cate Shanahan puts that number at 1950, where if you were born before 1950, you had a great head start in those early formative years of life, where you were able to enjoy a preponderance of home cooked meals from fresh natural ingredients. And then after 1950, after we emerged from war times, that’s when we started tipping over to TV dinners, fast foods, and more and more processed foods. So, I had a lot of, uh, junk go into my mouth during my early years of life, but fortunately we also had a great foundation of healthy home cooked meals, and that was, um, you know, a real advantage. Dr. Cate explains in further detail in her book, Deep Nutrition, that those early years of life and forming a good base of connective tissue throughout the body from getting the right nutrients in your diet can have a tremendous influence on lifelong health.
So then I talked about my years as a high school and collegiate athlete and especially the struggles I had in college and having to turned my attention to dietary habits as I was trying to piece together, all the reasons why I kept falling apart, breaking down, getting injured. So I got involved in the early consciousness of athletic minded diet. Unfortunately back in those days in the eighties, um, we were all about the grain-based high carbohydrate diet, trying to cut back on your F fat intake. So you don’t get fat and all those things that have been wonderfully toppled over by emerging science and the great communication that we have, continuing to progress and optimize the human diet. I talk about my introduction into the world of the primal blueprint, thanks to Mark Sisson in 2008. And that was a cold turkey transition away from a grain-based high carbohydrate diet to a primal aligned ancestral-inspired diet and the primal blueprint, food pyramid, and the complete list of ancestral foods that fueled human evolution for two and a half million years, as a rationale for eating this way.
And I’ll repeat the list as many times as possible until we all memorize it. And that is meat, fish, fowl, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. And in The Primal Blueprint, we go to great lengths to introduce, or to welcome certain modern foods that have health benefits and minimal health objections. One of those would be dark chocolate and I’ve taken full advantage of that. Remember I told you I went cold turkey in 2008 away from, uh, the allowable things like frozen yogurt to whatever I was, you know, giving myself a treat with, uh, the, um, the high carbohydrate energy bars and so forth. So when those left the picture, I had to point to dark chocolate as my one allowable indulgence. And to this day, it’s a centerpiece of my diet has a lot of health properties, minimal sugar when I’m choosing 80, 85% cacao percentage or higher.
And so wonderful addition to the diet, even know the caveman didn’t know such things. And then also raw organic high fat dairy would be allowable with plenty of health benefits. But again, we won’t call that a paleolithic food, so we can have an approved, uh, introduction of certain modern foods that don’t cause a lot of problems. And as we’ve evolved The Primal Blueprint message over the years, we try to be as inclusive as possible. So those interested in transitioning away from the disastrous path that will we will call the standard American diet. We’re trying to do things that are sustainable and enjoyable. So, Hey, if you enjoy some well hosted and buttered sourdough bread, once in a while, we’re not gonna kick you out of the club, but we wanna just emphasize that transition from thinking that you have to go looking for piles of grain foods to establish the foundation of your personal food pyramid, as seen with the United States government and their food pyramid.
That’s been out for many decades with grains at the bottom. That’s an absolutely flawed notion. And we know that the, uh, nutrition is concentrated in the animal products. We’re gonna talk more about that. So you’re gonna get most of your nutrition from that afore- mentioned ancestral list. And you’re gonna a lot of foods in daily life that are purely energy. They’re purely calories. They don’t provide you with a lot of other benefit. And of course we have plenty of food today for the most part. And so those are the things that you can scrutinize and say, Hey, do I really need to pile these giant scoops of rice onto my plate before I serve myself the wonderful avocado curry from the Thai restaurant or wherever the true nutrition and the true enjoyment is coming, uh, from the, the foods and the meals in your diet.
Okay. So, um, I talked about the primal and then I ended the last show with that little revision or escalation in my commitment to ancestral eating where we refined it to The Ketogenic Diet, because Mark Sisson and I put out that book in 2017, The Keto Reset Diet, one of the earliest and still bestselling books on the subject. I think it is ta wonderful way to acquaint yourself with the benefits of ketogenic eating, learn all about how the body works, and then use it as a tool, occasionally or perhaps more frequently to do things like drop excess body fat, or to get these ketones produced and help give your brain a cleaner burning fuel source. There’s wonderful benefits, uh, to be experienced, but it’s not intended to be in my opinion in long term strategy that you must adhere to for years and decades, carefully cutting off your carbohydrate intake at 50 grams per day or below.
So that brings us to the subject of part two and the significant dietary revision that I was compelled to make in early 2019. And I’m gonna pinpoint a podcast that launched in May of 2019. When I heard for the first time Dr. Paul Saladino speaks so passionately and eloquently about this carnivore dietary strategy with none other than one of the smartest guys out there. Dr. Ben Greenfield, just kidding. He’s not a doctor, but he might as well be because he is the go-to source. And, uh, just the wealth of knowledge that he has about all things, diet fitness, uh, is just stunning. When you listen to his shows and the amount of work he put into his gigantic bestselling books Beyond Training and Boundless. So we have two very, very smart well-informed guys talking very responsibly, referencing science left, and right. And, uh, it seemed like, Saladino pretty much blew Ben Greenfield’s mind in the same manner that he blew my mind as a listener. Because he was presenting this case that the foods of the plant kingdom virtually all contain these natural toxic substances called antigens or antinutrients.
And they’re designed to ward off pests, predators that will consume the plant. The plant does not wanna be consumed. Its job is to evolve and reproduce. And so these natural plant toxins that we’re all familiar with that we’re all by, uh, by science. And it’s not, it’s not in dispute, um, but you don’t need to eat these things because they can cause problems in many people, especially those sensitive with things like leaky gut or any form of chronic autoimmune or inflammatory conditions that haven’t been well addressed by traditional medical treatment. So people with arthritis, asthma allergies, all these things that we live with and deal with and struggle with and suffer with and think they’re normal could be <laugh> traced to your consumption of that wonderful, incredibly healthy green smoothie that you drink every morning or that salad that you have at midday, or these steamed vegetables that you have in the evening.
Uh, so this was a complete eye-opener to me. I learned some basic science that I was tremendously embarrassed that I didn’t realize. For example, when you grab that handful of blueberries and shove them down your throat, thinking that you’re getting a dose of potent antioxidants, what you’re really getting is a food that signals for internal antioxidant production. And so what you’re really getting with the blueberry and the other quote, unquote, high antioxidant foods, are pro-oxidants things that cause oxidative stress in the body due to the aforementioned anti-nutrients. And so when you consume a blueberry, your body responds with an antioxidant defense response, so the liver manufactures an internal source of antioxidants, and that’s where you get the food benefit from. It’s not directly from the blueberry. I was like, wait a second, are you serious? And I had to learn it over and over and email Paul follow up.
I got him on my show. It was a fantastic show. He’s been on three times. So please you go back and listen to those shows with Dr. Paul Saladino, you’ll be strongly convinced to check some of your fixed and rigid beliefs and challenge this notion that we need to go looking for this incredible variety of plant foods in order to be a healthy human. And of course, this had me back on my heels with my head spinning because we’ve spent a lot of time and energy in The Primal Blueprint series of books and everything else I’ve written to say, look, the vegetables, the wonderful plants of the world should be the bulk of your dietary emphasis, and you should get plenty of these and make big piles of steamed vegetables and enjoy those, or have a giant salad. I mean, Mark Sisson became famous for his bigass salad and, uh, had a, the, as the centerpiece of, uh, his primal kitchen enterprise.
And then, oh man, I got Paul and mark together. I said, Mark, you gotta meet this guy. And, Paul drove down, uh, from Washington state, uh, to Los Angeles on route for his first major move he’s been moving around now. He ended up in Costa Rica, uh, but back then he was moving from Seattle to San Diego to get more surfing in and launch his career as a health expert. So we had a, a pit stop in LA, had a nice night at my house. He cut me up some raw liver in the morning, heavily salted, frozen, raw liver. I enjoyed it and it’s become a dietary practice to this day. Um, and then, uh, when, when he sat down with Sisson, uh, he pretty much shook up his mind too, and it was got him in a corner and was you know, interrogating him.
Why do you need to eat that salad? Go ahead. Tell me after what we’ve discussed today and how the majority of the nutrients are in the animal foods. And Mark was, uh, stammering at one point going, uh, uh, well, I like the, the chewy texture of the vegetables <laugh> and we’re all like, wow. It was like, uh, the smoke was clearing after these interviews that conducted with Paul, uh, that Mark and Paul conducted. And I was there to enjoy with our cameraman, Brian MacAndrew, another huge eating enthusiast that was forced to, uh, uh, reconsider a lot of his notions. And of course, Brian and I got together with William Shewfelt and wrote the epic, wonderfully, uh, crafted book called The Carnivore Cooking for Cool Dudes, because we all had been captivated by the carnivore movement. And we were looking for interesting fun recipes that were carnivore ish.
So anyway, all this is happening in 2019 and the carnivore diet is emerging as a legitimate strategy, especially for people who are suffering with these puzzling illness that were quite apparent to be triggered by the consumption of antinutrients in plants. And this is very, very personal, so some people have no problem chowing down the salad every day or having the wonderful green smoothie with all kinds of raw vegetables. And that was a practice I was dabble in prior to 2019. So I’d cut up and freeze these big bags of chopped up kale, celery, beats spinach going in these giant Ziploc bags, I’d get ’em out. And when you freeze ’em oh, of course they last for a while and they also kind of make the smoothie nice and cold. So I’d, I’d stuff, my giant vitamin slender full of these, uh, wonderful, uh, nutrient dense foods inspired by, uh, great video by Dr.
Rhonda Patrick on YouTube, where she’s making her own green smoothie. And she’s sticking a bunch in blending it up and then sticking more in top secrets. So you can get more of this stuff into a single pitcher of smoothie. And talking about the amazing benefits of, uh, these, these molecules like sulforaphane, which is found in broccoli seeds. And it’s the, the most potent antioxidant. And I’m like, well, I wanna be as healthy as possible. I better chow down all this stuff. And so I would add protein powder and, uh, whatever, uh, you know, almond milk, coconut milk, something in there, and drink up these big green drinks every day. And guess what happened every single day? Uh, for however long I was doing this, a couple years where I was trying to do this with devotion, uh, my stomach would expand.
It would bloat out. And it would stick out that way for several hours. I’d say three to four hours. Every time I downed one of those green smoothies, I’d walk around with a bloated stomach and sometimes I’d experience these transient sharp pains, like just walking through the house, turning a corner and boom, my stomach would kind of light up and it would go away, but it would still be puffed out and I’d have an assortment of, uh, complaints related to digestion and elimination. I thought these were all normal. I also made giant piles of stir fry and boy, when, like I was cooking for family get togethers, I would just open up the bags, you know, from trader Joe’s and just keep cooking multiple bags of spinach and kale and red peppers and yellow peppers and green peppers and make these, uh, delicious dietary centerpieces every day.
Just shoving that stuff down. I was especially fond of purple cabbage. So I’d cut up the purple cabbage and stir fry that, add some spinach to leaves. A lot of spinach leaves, excuse me. And then everything reduces down when you’re stir frying it. Right? So, um, the, the, the amount of raw vegetables that I was eating in the smoothie and then cooked vegetables in the stir fry. And then of course, giant salads, uh, as a daily centerpiece, uh, featuring a, a protein source like fish or steak or something, uh, a lot of, uh, oil based dressing, the healthy Primal Kitchen line, or just putting my own olive oil on it with lemon juice and consuming these things. So I had this kind of plant heavy, bulky diet for many, many years believing this was the epitome of health practice. And I also had, uh, like I said, uh, an assortment of minor complaints or conditions relating to digestion and elimination.
I think my whole athletic life I’ve had a connection between, uh, high intensity, high impact workouts, like a sprint workout, jumping workout and leaky pipes. So they have the, the association of, uh, needing to visit the toilet in the aftermath of these tough workouts. And of course that’s from all the pounding that the digestive track takes when you’re really pushing it out there. Well, guess what it also is from? I believe it was from the widespread inclusion of these sensitive foods into my diet, the toxins contained in plants. There’s all kinds of terms for them. Paul Saladino can rattle those off like nobody’s business. And I encourage you to go back and listen to our shows for a comprehensive coverage, but I will jump in here with a quick overview of what we’re talking about and try to set the proper perspective.
So these plant toxins are all kinds of different chemicals, proteins, and acids, which have the potential to damage are very delicate digestive tract, especially the gut lining, cause inflammation of the gut lining, which leads to leaky gut syndrome, which leads to a variety of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions and also hormone imbalances and can even affect, uh, the delicate firing of the neurotransmitters. So, uh, in general, as Paul like to repeat frequently, here’s what you want to avoid. These are the most toxic foods in the plant kingdom. The categories of roots, leaves, stems, and seeds, because this is the life force of the plant. The most important thing to protect in contrast to, for example, the fruit of a plant, the plant is offering the fruit to you because that’s part of its evolution and survival. The plant wants you to consume its fruit and then the that who consumes it will go and poop it out somewhere else.
And, spread the seeds of the plant. This is all basic biology, people. The plant wants you to eat the fruit, but it desperately wants to protect the roots leaves, stems, and seeds. Otherwise the plant will be gone if you pull it outta the ground or what have you. And so that’s where the highest concentration of plant toxins are located in practical terms. This means that you’re going to want to have high alert for the food categories of grains, legumes, leafy greens, nuts and seeds. Oh my goodness. That includes Brad’s Macadamia Masterpiece. Wow. Uh, but the leafy green family, also a big shocker because those are widely recognized to be the most nutritious of all the foods in the plant kingdom. Oh boy. Um, there’s all kinds of different plant toxins, uh, floating around in these foods. And again, uh, many of them trigger an antioxidant defense response in the body, which is where the plant gets lauded for its health benefits.
And so it’s all a balance here. I don’t want you to walk away shaking your head, especially when you hear a really enthusiastic presentation of how everyone, uh, should never eat plants again. And then it’s really confusing. And so we don’t wanna go overboard in either direction. Same with the vegan saying that, uh, all manner of animal foods are evil and ruining the planet. And, um, we have tremendous evidence, uh, to show that, uh, statements, blanket statements like these are incredibly irresponsible and agricultural farming for plant foods is, uh, arguably, just as bad or similarly bad as raising animals. And of course we can all agree that factory farming is pretty disastrous for the planet. But animals are raised in a sustainable manner. They represent the most nutritious foods on earth. That’s very, very difficult to dispute by anyone, even someone in the vegan camp.
If you look at a nutrient analysis of a slice of liver versus a stock broccoli, um, there’s no comparison. Okay. So that was an aside, but back to this, uh, discussion of, um, considering the idea of at least experimenting with the exclusion of the most toxic plant foods and determining if you have any improvement in symptoms, even mild symptoms, cuz most of this for those people is subclinical. And one statement that Paul made on on one of our shows is like, Hey, we’re just talking about trying to optimize and perhaps move you from level seven to level nine. And it’s an interesting concept because how, who are we to judge, um, what level we’re at? We all have only the only reference point we have is ourselves, right? So, um, I might think I’m at level nine, but I’m really only at level seven because I eat a salad every day, shake my head.
What are you talking about? Or because my green smoothie is bringing me down from potentially level nine to level seven. When I think it’s bringing me up from level seven to level nine, you get what I mean? So we have to, to test and experiment and maintain an open mind and think critically about all these concepts. And that’s why the carnivore message, uh, was so resonant to me. It’s like, wow, I, I have to take a look at this. Um, some of the antinutrients contained in plant foods, lectins is probably the most prominent and gluten is the most common and most known form of lectin. This is widely recognized to cause all kinds of havoc in the body for especially the sensitive people, right? The, the celiac and the people that are highly sensitive will have an adverse event as soon as they take a slice of pizza or a slice of bread.
But gluten is pretty much a toxin to everyone and it’s very difficult to digest even those who are mildly sensitive and never notice anything. We’re all sensitive at some level and it has the potential to inflame the digestive tract and trigger an autoimmune response in the body for consuming this agent that we have not, uh, adapted, evolved to digest successfully. There’s also a category called phytic acid or phytates, and these phytates bind minerals in the digestive tract and inhibit air absorption. So it’s kind of like consuming too much fiber. You get too much phytic acid and thereby strip yourself of the potential of ingesting these minerals and absorbing them. We have soy and also flax foods, which are widely consumed and widely tatted as healthy, but they’re 200 times more estrogen than any other food category. And so they have the potential to throw off your sex hormones.
Oxalates is another big category. Uh, these can, um, bind with minerals again. So inhibiting your nutrient absorption because you are, are consuming these plant toxins. Uh, the oxalates also have the potential to stress the kidneys they’re blamed for kidney stones and they’re found in high levels and things like nuts, spinach, baked potatoes, rhubarb beets, I think dark chocolate is on the list high in oxalates. We have something called glyco alkaloyds. These can be neurotoxin enzyme inhibitors adversely impacting the function of your nervous system and your neurotransmitters. They are found in high levels in things like potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. Uh, you may be familiar with the FODMAP diet and that is a, an exclusion diet, uh, for people suffer from from, uh, mysterious conditions where they have a, a strict list of things to avoid with potatoes, tomatoes, egg plants, the night shade family prominent on that FODMAP list.
We have sulforaphane that is the exact molecule that you can hear Ronda Patirick, go off and extol the many, amazing antioxidant benefits, but it can also, and this is again, when it’s outta balance consumed to excess or consumed by someone particularly sensitive to ingesting these leafy greens Shohan can inhibit your internal antioxidant system and thereby promote cell death, apoptosis, and other adverse cellular reactions because you are out of balance or not processing this agent successfully. So a little bit of poison has a positive effect. It causes the anti antioxidant response in the body and too much of it too frequently, or if you’re too sensitive or especially if you have an existing condition of leaking gut, you are going to be vulnerable and sensitive to all manner of plant toxins. And that’s where you hear these people go and get their report a, a, a stool report or whatever it comes from.
And they have a list of 27 things they’re allergic to, or what have you that just indicates or suggests an unhealthy gut lining and an increased sensitivity to all manner of plant toxins. But sulforaphane is high in the leafy green family. So the nutrient superstars of the plant kingdom can also turn against you and be the worst offenders. That would be things like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, Brussels sprouts, arugula. There’s another thing called isothiocyanates. What these do is compete with iodine in the cells, so they can cause problems with thyroid. And you have a lot of reformed, uh, vegetarian, vegan eaters talking a about how they just trash their thyroid because they were consuming mass quantities of these leafy greens that are the centerpiece of a plant based diet. Uh, but again, some people can thrive and they can get on podcasts and YouTube and talk about how wonderful they feel with all these leafy greens into their life and other people.
This can be secretly you down. There’s more categories, things like tannins, photo sensitizers, salicylates, flavanoids, cyanogenic glycosides yes, that’s right. They make cyanide in certain circumstances, uh, in certain cell functions. And so, as a group in general, I’m gonna contend that most people are subclinical with their reactivity to plant toxins. Meaning that they’re not rushing off to the doctor and feeling horrible and feeling diseased because they’re eating salads or stir fries. But that’s my takeaway point here is you deserve to try a 30 day experiment where you restric virtually all plant foods, if you’re game, or at least restrict the most toxic plant foods from those categories of roots, leaves, stems, and seeds. So, fruit, honey, the least offensive plant foods can probably stick around. It’s very rare that people are highly sensitive to things like avocado, honey, and the fruit and other, acceptable plant foods, but whatever kind of experiment you’re inclined to do, see how it goes.
And of course, I’m fond of going all in on my health practices, my fitness endeavors. And so I tried, of course, the extreme, uh, carnivore restrictive diet, uh, as soon as I was awakened to this amazing movement. And again, uh, because I was a healthy guy, I wasn’t suffering from any acute health conditions. I did not have leaky gut syndrome. I didn’t have this amazing health awakening where all of a sudden all these terrible things went away. But I did have a quieting of my digestion and elimination. In other words, nothing to report rather than, oh yes, I get leaky pipes after hard workouts. Oh yes. I get a bloated stomach for three to four hours after consuming a green smoothie. So that was a tremendous awakening to realize the absence of symptoms, rather than getting on the podcast, firing up the mic and saying, I feel better than ever.
I’m amazing. I have incredible stamina. <laugh>, uh, it’s all because I, I kicked out the plant foods. It was more like, Hey, some optimization occurred and I jumped up from level seven to level eight in the most amazing and unthinkable way possible, uh, by putting away all those colors and all the things that we’ve been touting for so long as the centerpiece of the healthy diet. And, oh my goodness, I should, it also report on the effect it had on my brain, because once I was convinced well, or once I was open to the possibility that the salad was not the king of the universe for Brad Kearns and for many others that I communicate with that the stir fry was not an absolutely essential element of me being the healthiest guy I possibly could. Uh, I started to lose my appetite for them, and I’d look at the broccoli, that was just served to me.
And I, I couldn’t bring myself to eat it because I suspected that it might not be the king ruler of the universe that I, that I considered it to be, and that it could go quite possibly be doing me harm. Oh my gosh, I threw the bags of frozen vegetables away so quickly. And, um, you know, never had that bloated stomach again from the big smoothie. And of course, I’ll never go near a green smoothie for the rest of my life because the awakening has been so abrupt and striking. And so I have not able to bring myself to consume a salad since early 2019, when previously I would report to anyone who wanted to listen, how delicious and fantastic my super duper deluxe salads were. Now, I’m thinking back to these amazing salads where probably the most enjoyment came from the protein source that was on there, right?
So a salmon salad tastes great largely because it, it is imbued with delicious salmon or a steak salad. Also doesn’t hurt to have those wonderful dressings on there that have so much taste because of the savory nature, the high fat nature of the salad dressing. And of course I would be liberal with sprinkling, uh, nuts and seeds on there, and things that had more intense flavorful enjoyment than the piles of vegetables, and yet the crunchy texture of chewing those red peppers is nice. Uh, but boy, you should have seen the look on Mark’s face. You can look at it on YouTube when he was backed into that corner and trying to advocate and defend his consumption of the salad. So haven’t had a salad. Haven’t had any stir fry. I have had very few vegetables of any kind in the last few years, just because my brain has been, uh, captured and, uh, uh, brainwashed by the, the carnivore leaders had a great show with, uh, Dr.
Shawn Baker, highly trained, highly intelligent folks here, the leaders of the movement and boy, um, the least you could do is give him a listen and, and try for yourself. And Sean Baker’s approach is more, um, uh, a bulldozer than, than the nuanced approach of Saladino. And he’s a guy who’s heading over to Costco, looking at the specials on the ribeyes and the burgers and eating pounds of meat every single day. He’s not going out of his way to go nose to tail or too worried about the little peculiarities of which plant foods he should allow back into the picture. But what’s interesting about Shawn, besides his deep medical background and vast knowledge of health is that he is breaking world records in his in his fifties. So another role model and, uh, cohort for me to, to look to for inspiration, uh, setting world records in the concept to rowing and performing at a high level, uh, you know, looking very strong and ripped and healthy.
And so something he’s doing is working. He has great articles on his website and on his podcast about how even a rudimentary approach to the carnivore diet has helped him to thrive and feel fantastic. Okay. All this to say that I have drifted into what I would call a carnivore ish animal-based, animal-heavy diet, rather than a plant-heavy diet, uh, as followed previously for many years. And I feel probably the, the best attribute is the nutrient density of my diet it, and so I’m gonna put that up there as the number one goal that I personally have, and that I personally recommend is to maximize the nutrient density of the calories that you consume. Of course, you want to enjoy yourself and to feel like something that you can sustain for years and decades ahead head. And when you have the most nutrient density, oh my gosh, of course it’s sustainable because it is enjoyable and satisfying at that deep cellular and psychological level where you’re getting what you need to thrive.
So for example, probably most people can raise their hand and contend that when you’re served a delicious omelet, it’s highly nutritious and satisfying because of all the nutrient density in that food versus a, a bowl of plain oatmeal has less nutrient density and less dietary satisfaction accordingly. Oh, yes, that’s right. You have to add brown sugar to it to increase the satisfaction level, but not so with an omelet or a delicious steak or the true superfoods of the earth and the Carnivore Scores Food Rankings Chart. I did an entire show just covering the chart that was made with my sidekick in that project, Kate Cretsinger. And, I look at that all the time. I inspire you to, uh, print it down off Brad kearns.com. You can download it off the website, print it out and, uh, put it on your refrigerator for a glance, because we tried to rank in a tiered fashion, the most nutrient dense foods on earth.
And that’s the things that you can strive to emphasize to get your diet to the A you know, A plus level. So trip out on this, Kate’s ingenious graphic here on the Carnivore Scores Food Rankings Chart called the steak line, and you strive to eat most of your foods above the steak line. So it’s a de nation line where below it are the foods that are lower ranked on nutrient density and above it are the superstars starting in the top category, the global Allstar. And in that top list, grassfed liver, oysters, salmon, eggs, and caviar. So these are the true superstars with the most nutrient density, highlighting with liver, which across the board nutritional profile, uh, blows any other food away. We have grassfed steak and things up there above the steak line and down below chicken, turkey, and pork. That’s an amazing, uh, recent insight that I’ve come to understand further and appreciate further.
But when we have the typical, uh, mass-produced factory animal that we, uh, have as the majority of what we can consume, unless we’re working really hard to source the most sustainable animals. The chicken and the turkey and the pig take it worse than the, the cow. The cow is a ruminant animal with numerous stomachs as are the other, uh, sources of red meat, things like buffalo, bison, elk, lamb, venison. And so they can process this crappy junk food grained, diet much more efficiently and deliver a superior end product with the fatty acid profile in the meat. What I’m talking about, then a chicken, uh, a turkey or a pig, and the chicken’s life is so disastrous. And if you’re worried about animal cruelty, um, they have a much worse life than a cow who all cows spend about 80% of their lifetime out there, grazing and grass-fed roaming around then, uh, most cows get ushered into the feed lot for the final months of their life.
And they gain hundreds of pounds in just a few months, chowing on that feed. If you’re driving on interstate five in California, you will see them with their faces, stuck into the trough is chowing down and walking around in cramped quarters. And, oh, it’s so sad. Look at that terrible life the cows have. Yes, indeed for the final months of their life in the feed lot. But the chicken is in a cage, uh, day and night with the lights on, typically in these mass produced, uh, chicken facilities because the chicken doesn’t sleep when they, when the lights are on, uh, they’re shot up with hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics. So they don’t get sick and die in these cramped filthy quarters. The hormones make them grow faster so they can get to market faster. So these artificially inflated, uh, fleshy chickens that didn’t exercise, they were stuck in the cages, their whole life eating feed.
They never had a chance to roam on the pasture. Boy, that’s a vastly inferior choice with much more pain and suffering inflicted, if you’re going for that scoreboard, think about this. Uh, I might have these stats wrong, but the, the average person eats, uh, beef at a rate of consuming one cow every couple of years, right. It takes a long time to eat a cow. Anyone who’s, uh, gone in on a cow share. I did that with my neighbors years ago, where I bought a quarter of a cow for, I don’t know what it was a couple, few hundred bucks and, oh my gosh, the amount of meat, it was stuffed full in the freezer for many months. It took a lot of months just to get it through a quarter of a cow. A chicken, we eat at a rate of one every two weeks or something average, right?
I mean, you can get a bird, uh, from the rottiserie at, at Costco or at the supermarket and eat it in a day or two. So that means more chickens are suffering and dying, uh, to feed you rather than sacrificing one cow, couple of years. So a huge vote in favor of red meat to be ranked above what many people widely, uh, blather as a, uh, a dietary improvement when they say, oh yeah, I’ve cut out red meat. And I eat a lot of chicken and fish. Well, uh, look at the fish scoreboard too, at places like Monterey Bay Aquarium, or Seafood watch. We’ll put those links in the show notes where a significant percentage of fish are not recommended highly due to concerns about their raising, their sustainability, and their nutrient profile. For example, salmon, which I believe it’s 90% of all salmon on the market are farm raised.
It’s the number two most consumed fish behind tuna. And a lot of that tuna in the can, might have an adverse ranking due to sustainability. So you want to get that line-caught tuna and look on the, on the jar for signs that the company is concerned about the environment and sustainability. There’s a lot of good brands out. They’re proudly touting that their tuna is harvested, uh, gracefully, uh, but the salmon, 90% of the salmon in these very crowded salmon farms, uh, the species is called Atlantic. So it’s Atlantic salmon is mostly what we’re seeing in the restaurants and in the stores. And Atlantic, it does refer to an ocean on the globe, but it’s just the species of salmon. So it’s not necessarily caught wild in the Atlantic ocean. A lot of waiters and waitresses, if you’re listening, please add that to, your content list because a lot of times they’re misinformed and I ask them if it’s wild caught and they say, yes, it’s Atlantic.
I’m like, oh boy. Okay. So the wild caught salmon will come from the Pacific and there’s several species, king ,coho and others that you can find, uh, you know, up harvested in Alaska and shipped at a pretty affordable price if it’s previously frozen and then fresh found at, uh, the Trader Joe’s has great selection. Costco, also if you’re in United States listening, uh, but anyway, you can get wild caught salmon also, and it can, if you’re worried about affordability. So it’s a very high quality nutritional product, high ranking, but inexpensive. And so we’re trying to stay away from the farm salmon, but again, scrutinize further. That’s what the, the rankings is all about. And I won’t go deeper into the list cuz I did a whole show about it, but trying to prioritize that is a huge thing for me.
And it’s enhanced my appreciation and enjoyment of my diet so much to focus on nutrient density and thereby, questioning the need of, uh, preparing this big, giant salad in the name of health. So by this point, you’ve probably have formed an opinion about an animal-based diet, uh, versus all the propaganda telling us that the, the plant based are the healthiest and most eco-friendly consumers, but whatever you wanna say about it, I will also put in a plug for the carnivore ish eating strategy as the single most effective for fat reduction. So if you’re frustrated with prior attempts to drop excess body fat, you’ve tried whatever, we know how, uh, futile it is to try to increase your exercise output and drop excess body fat because we simply eat more calories and make other compensations in our metabolic and hormonal function to kind of adjust and, and get drift drifted back toward our set point.
And then if you’ve tried on the diet side, things like car restriction, keto, uh, a plant-based, uh, approach, it can also be difficult to sustain, but when you are going for fat reduction and you attempt the carnivore strategy where you’re gonna focus for 30 days or however long on all animal foods, only animal foods, or almost all animal foods, what’s gonna happen is you are gonna feed feel incredibly satisfied, satiated at every meal, right? You’re gonna have your four eggs for breakfast or whatever you want. You’re gonna have, uh, big steaks. You’re gonna have ground beef. Uh, you’re gonna have fish and you’re gonna have these great meals where you’re completely satisfied. You don’t feel like eating more. You don’t feel deprived. And you’re also going to have extremely minimal insulin production and, glucose spikes, which are a prominent cause of increased appetite.
And so that winning combination is going to unlock your body fat from storage to burn off provided you create that, uh, caloric deficit. And that can happen naturally and gracefully because there’s only so many steaks you can eat. And at certain point you’re gonna feel like, Hey, I’ve had enough for dinner. And so the success, the predicted success is much better when you’re feeling satisfied from your meals. You’re not producing a lot of insulin you’re unlocking or you’re upregulating insulins counterregulatory hormone, which is called glucagon and glucagon, not glycogen, but glucagon is what releases energy from storage and liberates it into the bloodstream. So it’s taking the storage form of fat, which is triglycerides and dumping it into the bloodstream as free fatty acids to burn so you feel stable, mood, energy, appetite, and you’re eating these wonderful, delicious meals. You can handle it for a sustained period.
You’re not going to, you know, drift, uh, back over into the ice cream pints because you’re doing something silly, like restricting calories, cuz again, if we do a systematic restriction of calories, but we still produce a requisite amount of insulin because we’re consuming a significant percentage of carbs in this restricted calorie diet what’s gonna happen is we’re gonna be fricking hungry all the time. And the dials are all gonna turn down from 11 or 10 or whatever they’re on down to seven or six or five. So you’re gonna be feeling tired, sluggish. You’re not gonna work, wanna work out as much. You might feel colder temperatures. I know, even at times when I do extended fasting, I detect that my body temperature is a little low. I feel a little cold just walking around in the afternoon. If I haven’t had my delicious morning smoothie or midday meal.
And that happens once in a and I contend that might be, um, some thyroid and some other functions turning down a little bit due to the combination of lack of calories and especially, and when I performed a high intensity workout during that day. So, um, that’s a good sign for me to go and get nourished even if I’m not hungry, right? So this is another plug for the animal carnivore ish diet. If you’re interested in that very prominent goal of fat loss. And I contend that that’s really the centerpiece of what enabled me to drop eight pounds of excess body fat in exactly three months. It was I did a whole show on that the fatty popcorn boy saga, and it was no trouble. Uh, it was just the, um, combination of putting this arbitrary restriction in, of not consuming any calories until noon.
And again, I did that to enjoy and appreciate the benefits of fasting, but also just to have a rule in place. So departing from free pass to have unregulated caloric intake, including a greater variety of foods than just saying, look, I’m gonna focus on this carnivore ish strategy. And the ish stands for things like avocados, maybe the mini corn tortillas that go beneath a large pile of eggs or steak. So it wasn’t incredibly strict and restrictive. And I only, would, uh, recommend that highly for people who have autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. So if you, you restrict all plant intake for 30 days, you can discern changes in your nagging conditions and then you can start to add back. And so you might think, Hey, maybe I’ll try a sweet potato and see if I react to that.
And the super, super sensitive folks will find, will come to this list of approved foods that they can have. It might be kind of small and other people might find that they really don’t have any trouble digesting anything. And I would say that I’m in that category of pretty, pretty adaptable, but again, not to the extent of going and preparing this huge, super duper green smoothie where I get massive doses of oxalates and all the other, uh, fancy sounding stuff that I talked about that can cause problems including gas, bloating, transient digestive pain and elimination difficulties. Oh, and so it’s no picnic to follow a highly restrictive diet even for a short time. And so I allowed dark chocolate to hang around so that I wouldn’t trip out about how difficult my, uh, journey was and how strict I was to only eat carnivore or carnivore ish meals.
And so that’s why I joked with people that I was on the C and C diet and, and that it was so successful. And maybe I’ll write a book with that as the catchy title. But anyway, my single indulgence, or I guess most prominent indulgence is this artisan dark chocolate that I source from around the globe. And I become a connoisseur. I’ve learned a lot about it. It, the production methods, how to source the best stuff, had a great show with gourmet chocolate maker, Shawn Askinosie from askinosie.com. Fantastic chocolate, some of the best in the world and was especially, taken to learn that the mainstream product that we buy and see in the store at that familiar affordable price point is almost certainly sourced from child slave labor in Africa, due to the poorly regulated business of cacao farming, which happens in the equatorial regions of the globe,
particularly in Africa, that’s responsible for most of the production, uh, a big percentage. The rest of it would be in South America with small percent images in Asia, places like Hawaii. So if you’re buying an inexpensive chocolate bar that you found on the shelf at a mainstream grocery store, or even sadly at most whole foods that I visit there have the same selection of chocolate bars. Some of ’em look really healthy and eco-friendly, and 10% of the profits are donated to the rainforest, but you can look on the back of the bar and look at the ingredients. And if you do, do not see cacao beans as the first ingredient, this implies that the bar was made with commodity ingredients. So, uh, of unknown source or origin, most likely from, uh, cheap sources and, uh, poorly processed. A lot of times they will just indiscriminately harvest the cacao beans, including the rotten ones.
And they will burn the crap outta them during the roasting process so that they mask the smell and then dump sugar into the bar, especially if it’s lower than 80%, which is what I try to strive as my cutoff. And then you’re buying sort of this palatable product, but you’re supporting slave labor and you’re not getting the best health benefits. So you wanna source bean to bar dark chocolates, bean to bar designation means that the manufacturer Askinosie there in St. Louis, Missouri got the beans and the gunny sack shipped from the equatorial area where they source the farmer. They know they’re getting great quality beans. In Askinosie’s case, he gives a share of his corporate profits to the farmers down in South America, that he deals with wonderful story. So try to be discriminate with your, even with your indulgences and all you, your foods by looking on the Carnivore Scores Food Rankings Chart, and of course, uh, going for the big picture items like, sourcing, uh, grass fed for your beef and, um, pasture raise for your eggs and your poultry and so forth.
And, um, I’m enjoying my relationship with Butcher Box. You can go on my website for on the recommendations page, and you can click on Butcher Box and you get a great introductory offer to add to your basket, your custom design basket that you can order and ship to your house every month or whatever frequency you want. So there’s no pressure. Mine gets eaten up every month for sure. And so I’m a huge Butcher Box customer. They source the very best grass fed beef, pastured-raise dpoultry, sustainable fish, Heritage Breed pork. So if you’re looking in the pork category, you wanna find that designation, Heritage Breed, that implies that the pig was raised in more favorable conditions than a feed lot pig. Okay. So that’s a lot of commentary getting you up to present day. I should mention the it after I achieved my fat reduction goal.
Uh, I relaxed my commitment to, um, both the carnivore emphasis and especially the fasting until 12 noon, especially putting in the super duper, super fuel smoothie that I can’t wait to share with you when our product comes to market in the coming. And it’s the ultimate way protein super fuel infused with other performance agents like creatine, glutamine, just absolutely fantastic centerpiece to my diet and to my performance and recovery and longevity goals. So, relaxing that commitment about, uh, watching the clock and also allowing whatever other indulgent foods I’ve want to come in, such as the occasional bowl popcorn for fatty popcorn boy. And, um, this is all I think in the interest of enjoying my life, right. I don’t need to go get a bowl of popcorn for nutritional purposes. <laugh> nor, whatever other treats you might find or catch me consuming here and there, uh, mostly dark chocolate again, a if I had my choice or, you know, I’m at a family gathering and dessert is presented and I pass, because I’d rather just have a few squares in my chocolate with all other things being equal.
Right? Okay. So, um, the, the main purpose here is to enjoy my life and also direct those precious and, uh, scarce assets of focus, discipline, and willpower into other areas of my life. Like staying away from my email inbox when I’m trying to write a book. Uh, but the current status of Brad’s diet. Remember that movie Brad’s Status, there’s a movie with Ben Stiller. It’s actually pretty good and believe it or not, it was set in Sacramento. <laugh>, that’s pretty funny. Anyway, Brad’s status today is this, uh, C and C type of dietary pattern where it’s carnivore ish with a lot of gourmet dark chocolate. And I wanna do a whole other show with more details on the lasting benefits of my current dietary strategy. So we will hit that with part three. And thank you for listening to this wonderful part two.
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