Carnivore Diet- Sustainable Ancestral Diet or Dangerous Fad?

We will be adding more to this article in the future so make sure to check back in or follow us on social media to stay up to date. There is more and more information coming out every day as more people learn about the diet and try it for themselves. I will be trying this diet again this winter and Thaddeus is planning on doing the same. 

Imagine a diet where you only ate things that for many years were considered bad for you. Things like bacon, steaks, ribs, butter and burgers have been demonized for quite a while now for many different reasons.

What if someone told you that you could eat all those things, skip the veggies and still be healthy?

That's what many people are saying about the carnivore diet.

I'm typing away in between bites of a large ribeye and washing it down with some home-made bone broth. It's been a little tough to get used to but surprisingly not as much as I thought.

CARNIVORE DIET AKA ZERO CARB DIET

I've been seeing more and more talk about the carnivore diet and all the benefits people have gained from it so I knew I needed to investigate further.

Proponents of this diet have made some pretty amazing claims about the benefits that they've received by going on this diet. Some are a little hard to believe but because I love experimenting, I decided to dive into it and see what I could find out and even try the diet out for myself. I'll try to dig into the science behind this and also try it out myself for a few months while undergoing testing throughout the experiment.

WHAT IS THE CARNIVORE DIET?

If there is a diet that is the antithesis of the vegan diet, then the Carnivore diet is it.  As for anyone who has not heard of the carnivore diet, well it is exactly what it sounds like, a diet consisting of meat and water.  What about vegetables you may ask, well those are reserved for omnivorous and vegetarian/vegan diets.

Just like any diet approach, there are variables that can be tweaked on carnivore.  With Paleo you will hear zealots argue about legumes, some vegetarians will choose to eat poultry or dairy, the vegan community may not agree on honey, either way, you get the point; there are those 100% committed to the rules and others who see the strategy as a blueprint that can be adjusted for individual needs.  I have met carnivore purists who adhere to a diet of only meat and water, others who allow for dairy and even some that will pull in plant-based foods like coffee and/or plant adaptogen supplements.  For research and understanding, I have gone through periods of both strict adherence as well as allowing for some individualized leniency.  Personally, I have found value in the carnivore diet approach, with little to no subjective effect when deviating from strict adherence – intermittently I allowed for coffee and a few supplements that are plant-based.

Many people start this diet and stick to just a couple of things like ground beef and steak and have seen amazing results, but I'm going to incorporate a few other things that should help to optimize this diet.

Since I'm trying to perform at the absolute best and want to give my body and mind the best chance for success I'll be adding in many different animal products to give myself a more well rounded and ancestrally accurate type of diet (where meat is concerned). I'll be including meat from various sources including farm raised (grass-fed), wild game and also seafood. I'll also be including things like organ meat and bone broth to increase the number of nutrients that I am getting from my food.

So why start a diet in the first place that seems so extreme?  There are a whole host of reasons, but let’s start with something that provides visual feedback…weight loss!  Many Americans and other parts of the world that have adopted American food and lifestyle struggle with weight management, this focus is important not just for aesthetics but also to address the multitude to health issues that correlate with being overweight.  If you have seen the social media posts of people using the carnivore diet, you may wonder how anyone can possibly lose weight eating that much fat, protein and red meat.  While there are a lot of reasons that this seemingly counter-intuitive approach facilitates weight loss, we will limit our attention to a couple of reasons that are fairly easy concepts to understand.

Weight loss

Almost everyone has heard about insulin whether in the context of diabetes or maybe even performance enhancement. We know that insulin plays a huge role in our physiological health, but we also know that too much insulin can wreak havoc on our health.  Through diabetes research, we better understand how carbohydrates can potentiate the secretion of insulin, a hormone that signals the body to store available blood sugar as fat and glycogen.  If we reduce the volume and frequency of carbohydrates in the diet, we subsequently reduce the circulating blood glucose and insulin that can result in increased fat stores. 

Different macronutrients cause different levels of satiety after ingested, protein being the king of satiety [r]. If a diet or type of food improves the length of time in which one is satisfied and not hungry, we can then assume the person will eat less and are less likely to give into cravings.  Don’t get me wrong, you can out eat a good diet approach, but it takes focused effort to eat excessive calories if you are sticking to the macros guidelines – there are a small number of individuals with genetic and hormone imbalances that can allow people to overeat even on a highly satiating diet [r].

Lower Inflammation

Let’s not stop with the benefits, next up is inflammation and how it is affected by the carnivore approach.  As previously mentioned around heart health, excess sugar can cause an inflammatory response that can affect the gut, nervous system and multiple other tissues in the body.  Since the carbohydrate intake is so low on a carnivore diet, there is also a higher potential to dip in and out of ketosis.  The ketones produced during ketosis provide an anti-inflammatory effect, of which science does not fully understand, but no need to wait for science to explain before taking control of your own health.  Since I am not a doctor nor is this article written to treat disease, I will not dive into the proven benefits for individuals suffering from epilepsy, Parkinson’s and many other neurological diseases, but if you or someone you know suffers from a neurological disease it may benefit to look into carnivore or at least a ketogenic diet[r].

Testosterone boost

What about testosterone?  Men and women alike now better understand the importance of optimizing this hormone that seems to have the properties of the Fountain of Youth.   Since testosterone is made in the body from cholesterol and saturated fat, removing or reducing these fats can result in sub-optimal testosterone levels[r].  Testosterone helps maintain/increase muscle mass, ensure a healthy libido, promotes longevity, blood sugar control and a host of other positive impacts.  No one, man or woman, can neglect the importance of this marker on their health if their focus is to optimize overall wellness.

Better digestive health

POSSIBLE NEGATIVES

Digestive Issues

One of the first things that people ask when I mention trying out this diet is whether the lack of fiber caused constipation or other digestive issues and that was one of my concerns going into this experiment. I felt pretty confident after talking to a few other people that if I did have any issues then they would only last a week at most. Come to find out, I didn't experience any negative issues with my digestion at all.

Heart Attack Risk

Will all of this fat and protein cause a heart attack?  This is a concern mostly resulting from misinformation from the low-fat high-carb era, but does have some validity.  If you have had your 23andMe done and found that you are the lucky winner of the APOE4 variant, then a diet higher in saturated fat may not be best for you as it could result if an unsafe increase in LDL cholesterol.  On the flipside, there is a high likelihood that this approach can reverse plaque buildup in the heart/arteries of individuals who do not have the genetic hurdle previously mentioned.  Interestingly, Dr. Rocky Patel implemented the CarbNite diet strategy (not carnivore but it is high protein, high fat and low carb) popularized by physicist John Keifer, and found that both he and his patients had statistically favorable results with reducing built up arterial plaque [r].  Another interesting nugget of information is that excess glucose can cause an inflammatory response in the body and when paired with high cholesterol and blood triglycerides, the result can be the accumulation of arterial plaque; if you simply remove or reduce the variable causing the inflammatory response (sugar in this case), you may encourage the body to clean up the plaque as well as the cholesterol and triglyceride markers that are out of whack.

Environmental Impact

One concern that is important to me as a co-custodian of this earth is the sustainability of a high amount of meat consumption.  Unfortunately, we do not have any data to show how our ecosystem is affected by large swaths of people relying heavily or solely on meat, but we can at least look make good guestimates on the impact of our choices.  Similar to the argument against vegans and monocropping, probably the most important concept is – how is our food cared for prior to human consumption [r].  Monocropping and massive livestock feedlots are terrible for the environment and for our bodies.  On an organic, biodynamic farm where the livestock and vegetation are effectively rotated in such a way that the farm is seemingly mimicking a natural lifecycle, we are then promoting a practice that will symbiotically work with the natural rhythms of the earth.  This relationship with the earth will allow us to build the infrastructure needed to facilitate a productive environment that will give back to the earth in the form of soil nutrients, improvements in air quality and other environmental variables as well it will provide the nutritional support for all individuals, regardless of their diet strategy.  There are a lot of people on both sides of this argument with great points, but I have personally found a lot of value in Robb Wolf’s view.  I would highly suggest checking out a few of Robb’s podcasts on the subject where he passionately discusses the nuances and unknowns.

Cancer Risks

Another curveball that might derail preparations to start a carnivore diet is the misinformation around cancer that stemmed from the china study.  While meat is not inherently carcinogenic, the proponents of the china study would likely argue otherwise.  Below is a few of the shortcomings associated with the china study:

  • The claims are not fully supported by the data collected during the study
  • There was a full population of people involved whose diet was high in fat and protein – they were assessed and determined to be in good health
  • It was an epidemiological study – these do not determine causation, only correlation and furthermore does not account for the multiple other variables that may have also trended in populations with less than favorable health assessments
  • High blood glucose showed a significantly significant correlation with cancer – guess what has little to no carbohydrates in it….MEAT

I would definitely look at Denise Minger’s article debunking the China Study if this peaks you interest.  China Study aside, it is probably a good idea to select for meats that were raised ethically and naturally, as there is evidence to support the differences of nutritional quality and toxin load depending on how the animal was cared for.  If you are interested in the misinformation and propaganda around meat or want to understand more about ancestral diets and health, Nina Teicholz wrote an excellent resource titled The Big Fat Surprise.   

Not Enough Nutrients

Nutrient intake and variety is also a concern, one that was the first to pop into my mind when I heard about carnivore.  Where will I get my vitamin C from if I don’t eat any citrus fruits?  One of the first things to take into account is not just getting enough of the right nutrients, but also being able to absorb them.  Plants contain compounds referred to anti-nutrients, which affects the absorption of nutrients [r], so one argument would be to eliminate plants or at least the ones with the highest level of nutrient robbing compounds – check out The Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry for more.  We must also account for bioavailability of the nutrients consumed because this can vary greatly when comparing animal vs. plant sources.  It is well supported that the animal forms for many nutrients seem to be more favorably absorbed and used in the body, Omega 3s and Vitamin A for example.  Next, we have to think about the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for nutrients and how they were determined.  Many of the reference points for nutrients detailed on the RDA(s) were developed in the context of an agricultural based diet, which means that some of the recommendations for nutrients that facilitate carbohydrate metabolism are either skewed or are completely irrelevant in this context.  To close the loop on the previous comment regarding vitamin C, glucose impairs the metabolism of this highly regarded vitamin, uric acid provides a sparring effect and there are several other factors at play provoking one to think “maybe we should go back to the drawing board on these RDA(s).”

While carnivore is not a panacea, it will provide benefit to many.  If you know how to effectively implement dietary changes, analyze the outcome of those changes and pivot accordingly, carnivore is an excellent option.  If you choose to give carnivore a try, just like anything, make sure to research in advance, carefully prep to ensure adherence and most of all enjoy the learning process.  Good luck to you and your nutritional endeavors, and on that note, I am going to finish up sizzling the ribeye and venison marinating in front of me.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE CARNIVORE DIET

Before I get into my experience with this way of eating, let me give you some background.

For many years I've been experimenting with all types of diets. Well, almost all types..

I've never tried a vegan or vegetarian type diet because, well, I like meat too much. I also believe that there are many advantages to eating close to what my ancestors would have typically eaten for hundreds and even thousands of years and last time I checked there wasn't any record of western and northern Europeans eating a primarily plant-based diet.

I'll start by listing what I typically ate. Then I'll talk about how I felt while on the diet. This includes energy levels, cognitive function, etc. I'll then go into the body composition and then finally my results from the blood tests that I ran. Recently I was asked what my workout routine looked like while on this diet so I will add a section about that as well.

What I Ate

I still did an intermittent fast 2 or 3 times a week. The benefits of IF are too good to cut out completely so I still utilized it as part of my routine.

On days that I didn’t fast, I usually started off with bacon and eggs or sometimes leftover ribeye from the night before. Here is a list of the primary foods that I ate with the things I ate more of at the top of the list. Keep in mind that all of the products were grass-fed 99% of the time. I know that looking at this list you're going to assume that I spent a fortune on groceries, but I really didn't. I did most of my shopping at either a local farm around here or when there was a good sale at Earthfare I would take a trip up to Indy and stock up on TONS of meat. I bought so much each time that I had to start calling in my order before I left home so that they could have that hour to get it all cut and packaged for me. I was really lucky that a few times I caught ribeye, strip, or filets on sale for 6.99- 9.99 a pound! I did order some steaks from US Wellness Meats a few times but they are a little more pricey.

  • Ribeye
  • New York Strip
  • Filet
  • Venison
  • Bone Broth
  • Liverwurst and summer sausage from US Wellness Meats
  • Grass Fed Beef Sticks
  • Ground beef
  • Salmon
  • Oysters

How I Felt

To be honest, the first week of the diet was tough. I was tired, moody, experienced brain fog and struggled with headaches and quite a few cravings. I almost felt as if I was getting sick. If you've ever experimented with a ketogenic diet then these symptoms might sound familiar. What I was experiencing was my body being completely confused. I wasn't on a ketogenic diet before starting this experiment because I wanted to experience the full effect of what someone coming from a typical (although very clean) diet would experience. Because of this, my body was used to using quite a bit of carbs as fuel. Once I started this diet I was essentially depriving my body of the fuel that it was accustomed to running on. 

Once I got past the first-week things really started to improve.

Energy levels were much higher than normal and the brain fog completely cleared. My ability to focus and my memory increased Well above normal levels. The cognitive benefits seemed to taper off after a few weeks but that was probably because it became the new normal.

What The Data Showed

For the first month I tracked my ketones and glucose pretty regularly. I was really surprised that my ketones were as high as they were because of the large amount of protein that I was consuming. My ranges were normally anywhere from .5 all the way up to 3.0! I think this had to do with the large amounts of fat I was eating along with the longer than usual periods of time in between meals. In the beginning, I usually only at once or twice a day because I just wasn't hungry. After a month I had to start to force myself to eat past the point of being full because I was dropping weight way too fast. When I started, according to my FitBit Body Scale, I weighed 195.2lbs with a body fat % of 20.15% and a body mass index of 25.77. Keep in mind that these scales aren't very accurate most of the time but they provide a good insight when using them consistently and under the same conditions.

Within 10 days on the diet my numbers were 189.8lbs, 20.11%, and 25.05 BMI. Keep in mind that I hurt my back right after starting the diet so I wasn't working out AT ALL, and wasn't even moving much for the first month so these numbers are from diet alone. By the end of the first month, I was at 185.56lbs, 19.41%, and 24.49 BMI. 

By the end of the third month, I was at 172.61lbs, 14.87% and 22.78 BMI according to my scale. Its been almost 3 months since I finished this experiment and am still consuming most of my calories in the form of animal products but do have plant-based foods sometimes. Right now my scale is telling me that I am at 170lbs, 22.44 BMI and 14.84% BF. I leveled out quite a bit and am very happy where I am at right now when it comes to my weight. Now I am working on increasing lean muscle mass and keeping my body fat % around the same.

Many biomarkers improved significantly, most notably my testosterone. There are a few things that didn't improve and I will be watching these things closely in the future. I used the Ultimate test from Inside Tracker. You can get a sweet discount by using the code PRIMALHACKER for your own testing.

Workout Routine

My workout routine was pretty much the same the whole time. I would usually only workout 3 to 4 times a week and most of them were at home using just a few pieces of equipment like kettlebells, steel maces and a pull-up bar. 

I did practice what is called "greasing the groove" on a daily basis. If you don't know what this is, I'll give you a little description.

Greasing the groove is a term coined by Pavel Tsatsouline, who is considered the father of the kettlebell in the west. According to Pavel, "Strength is a skill," and like any skill, it needs to be practiced daily to really get good at it. Basically, instead of lifting heavy weights which cause tiny tears in your muscles which cause them to adapt, repair and become stronger, you use lighter weight and reps but do them much more often than you would a normal workout. This trains your muscles to fire more efficiently and "greases the groove."

The way I take advantage of this is by setting up a series of basically If This Then That (IFTTT) scenarios. For example, when I walk into my office, I automatically do two pull-ups on the pull-up bar above my desk and when I go outside I do 10 kettlebell swings. When I take a break every 30-60 minutes, I do 10 pushups and when I go to the bathroom I do 10 squats. There are many other things I do throughout the day but these are the most common. 

One day a week I would go to a gym close by that has an ARX machine. If you don't know what an ARX machine is you should really check it out. 

 

Displaying ARX leg press workout exercise.jpg

The rest of the days were just simple workouts at home using my pull-up bar, kettlebells, steel maces and whatever else I have around. These workouts lasted anywhere from 30-60 minutes and consisted of whatever I felt like doing at the time.  Here is a YouTube video showing the exercises I used most often during the diet.  I also did some functional movement and climbing a few times a week.

 

Sustainable?

There still aren't any long-term studies to prove or disprove this type of diet but many people have had greats results with this way of eating for long periods of time so for some people, it may be a good choice. We're all different so just because I did well on it doesn't mean that you will. Please consult your doctor before making any major changes to your diet.

From an ancestral perspective, I do think I will experiment with this diet for at least a few months every winter since this is when my ancestors would have eaten mainly things they could hunt or fish. We'll be adding to this article as we experiment more and come across more research.

Have you tried out an all meat diet? Let us know about your experience!

Other articles:

THERE IS AN EQUATION AND CHEMISTRY TO FEAR

By Nic Zahasky

 

The equation:

 

Anxiety/Fear = Estimation of danger/Estimation of coping skills (ie. defense cascade)

 

The mechanism:

 

Thalamus > Sensory cortex > Hippocampus > Amygdala > Hypothalamus

 

The chemistry:

 

Adrenaline > corticotropic releasing hormone (HCT) > cortisol

 

The actions:

 

Arousal > freezing > flight > fight > tonic immobility > collapsed immobility > quiescent immobility

 

The human model is also more complex because humans make subjective representations of body states and endow their experiences with meaning, and because humans use their minds to create internally generated representations of threat—images of feeling states and events from the past or images of the imagined future—which, like real external threats, have the capacity to activate the body’s defense systems in the absence of external threat. Fear states can therefore be induced by combinations of internal and external triggers, some of which will be accessible to conscious processing, and some not.” - Harvard review of Psychiatry

 

 

The above paragraph essentially states that the mechanism of fear dictates our rationale, decisions making process and reactions based on our past traumas (experiences) and as humans we all have a level of corrupted data. If you listen to any news outlet these days you will undoubtedly find some information that will scratch the itch you are looking for.  A preset algorithm geared to the [wo]man in front of the screen or in ears shot of the news “cast” with an agenda of complete neural dominance and eventually an artificial human to machine interface.

 

Imagine if you will that there is a specific area in your prefrontal cortex that directly connects you to the Creator or creation, a place harboring specified genetic code that varies slightly from human to human but also connects us all spiritually.  What if this quantum entanglement was accidentally damaged or by nefarious means, purposely corrupted?

 

There is a portion of the worlds population that is currently operating with chemical and media corrupted data files. This has triggered an impulsive reaction to act in anger when they are confronted with data that can be attacked with fictional bias and real dangers that may be omitted through plausibly deniability. Is this the new normal or is it the perpetual human response to fear? Socially engineered ideology, coding and spells have dictated humans emotional status and behaviors for millennia. The group think conditioning has become more pervasive and easier to implement on those plugged in to the matrix. 

 

What isn't a threat has been twisted or augmented by narrative and tech to become a threat, every human has fallen prey to dogma and strict adherence to their social media beliefs, this leaves little to no room for the Creator persona that dictates empathy and compassion for our fellow humans.

 

As I mentioned before each human is specifically encoded with a variation of the VMAT2 gene, the expression of this gene controls the level of connection to the Creator and perhaps many other higher-order executive functions. We have been created in the image of something bigger and more powerful than ourselves and it is beyond our comprehension. Those that are struggling to gain control over our consciousness (soul) know this and the struggle has been perpetual.

 

You may feel that your personal safety and the safety of our loved ones is consistently under attack from an invisible hand.  You may even feel that your path or journey is no longer under own control, a series of “what ifs” lead you into a tailspin of question and false answers and back into aggression or complete paralysis.

 

There is still hope! On the flip side of aggression and paralysis there is action or fleeing. Fleeing or regrouping should not be looked upon as cowardice but it should be viewed as a variation in tactics. Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Chapter Eight, page 74 highlights the character traits of a good commander. Sensibilities and understanding can make all the difference, Knowing the small minority of dark powers that come against you improves your standing and gives you solid footing. When to push forward and when to fall back, when to take the high ground or when to walk with the river bed, its all a choice.

 

Your past is the catalyst to your reaction or coping mechanism to fear. The inner child that was hurt or traumatized in some manner is reacting within and out of the past but the newly created spiritually robust and experienced commander that is here now comforts that child with the abundance of wisdom. Dr. Zach Busch said it very well, “ A mindset of fear has decided the best way to control human beings is to separate us, and ‘they’ are exactly right. In our separation, we lose the connectivity that creates joy, purpose, and our hyper intelligence.”

 

No ‘person’ (corporation or entity) can separate you from your soul or consciousness, you have an internal and eternal right to deny access and its up to you to exercise this right consistently and without hesitation against any and every internal or external threat.  Every spiritual contract that you unknowingly signed under duress can easily be redacted and become null-and-void with a simple declaration, verbal and or written.    Now that you know the equation for fear and anxiety its time to apply the solution.

 

Happiness = Love + empathy + forgiveness + trust + coping + skills + people + nature

 

All of us are conduits of energy or empaths but some of us are extremely sensitive to the slightest of energetic shifts within our universe. I’d like to say that I generally have my emotions in check and that I act out of logic like Sun Tzu when presented with a problem such as fear, that I can immediately apply the equation above and like that I’m calm and at peace and my directives are clear but often the programming keeps coming and its my goal to see through the codes of fear, to see the tactics of the enemy and adjust my army as necessary.

 

Today may you love deeper, trust the process, move with decisive action and always trust your gut! Check out our video, corona part 1 and 2. Logic can explain away fear, remember that belief is the enemy of knowing.

 

 

 

References:

 

https://journals.lww.com/hrpjournal/Fulltext/2015/07000/Fear_and_the_Defense_Cascade__Clinical.3.aspx

 

http://beforeyoutakethatpill.com/blog/2014/10/27/stress-hormones-and-the-fear-response-in-survival/

 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15245638/

A Very Primalhacker Holiday

I don't know about you all, but I'm not real big into holidays. 

In fact, all holidays, with the exception of the made up ones like valentines day, have been bastardized by corporations to turn then into gluttonous spendfests.  In reality all holidays are based on ancient traditions that were anything but the soul sucking things they are today. We like to stick to the ancient traditions because they had real meaning and probably led to higher spiritual awareness vs mass consumerism. 

With that said, we wanted to share our favorite holiday gifts with you all because we know while you and I may feel a certain way about holidays, it's generally expected that we still give others gifts. And we do make money to keep our blog and social media going by offering critical biohacking tools at affordable prices. 

We can gift to others without taking on the soul sucking breath feeders that wait for unaware consumers to buy buy buy. 

Before we link to any potential holiday goodies, let us talk about winter. 

Winter is a time of death. 

The annual plants are now dead. 

The sun slowly dies all fall and finally, on the winter solstice, dies in the west earlier than ever and rises later than ever. 

As tree leaves flutter to the ground, now crispy and colored, sap from trees is now safely in the roots and out of the limbs and leaves. 

Winter is also the time of rebirth. 

This year, winter solstice happens on a GREAT Conjunction where multiple planets align for the first time in the last 6000 years. 

This alignment is a sign of a great reset, and we can see that language popping up everywhere from the World Economic Forum to corporate emails. Literally this word reset is appearing everywhere out of the blue. 

While every winter contains a reset, this year is something special.

Not only is winter a time of resetting, the sun dies on the solstice and is reborn the next day as it begins staying out longer and longer from that day forward. Winter reset is also a body reset. 

The human body cannot sustain perpetual summer. In summer we eat carbs, sugar, stay up late, get less sleep, and work hard. 

In winter, we reset the body and our systems by getting more sleep, eating little to no carbs and sugar and allowing the body to rebuild. 

But this year, a great reset is in order. We have heard that companies, with work forces that cannot come into work, due to State orders, are working harder to automate tasks and remove the need for human workers at all. 

The military is preparing for a rest in the coming year and while we have no idea what that means, I'm thinking about NATO/ UN troops coming onto our soil. 

In addition, as we move from Pisces to Aquarius the Yuga moves from water to air. This likely means an end to water terms of money like currency, flow and such and a change from paper currency to digital currency. 

This great conjunction and great reset is something you can tune into for spiritual upgrades rather and be fearful of.  You can learn more here and here. 

For now, back to traditions. 

Witches back in ancient times were healers. One tradition they kept was the Yule Log. The eldest male selected the biggest log they could find that could still fit in the hearth. This log was decorated with runes, glyphs, prayers, beads and more before being put into the fire. Being so big it would last a long time and it would be accompanied by the family snuggling up on this cold winter day. 

Nearly ALL of what we call christmas is completely and wholly based on saturnalia. Look it up. 

Ancient people would have celebrated the death of the current year with the birth of the new year. Likely this would have been done with a feast, eating up the stores of carbs like squash and potatoes and getting ready to subsist more off meats and fats. 

This was a time of contemplation, additional sleep, and less work. Some people believe ancient humans went through a phase of near hibernation where they slept most of the time, thus reducing need for food and water. 

Whether you celebrate one of the modern religious holidays or want to practice more ancient traditions, take this time to slow, down, sleep more, and eat less carbs. 

Get out of here and go snuggle with a family member or furry friend and meditate on 2021 and the great reset. Make it a reset for your spiritual growth. 

On to the list. 

Bluebockers

Every Primalhacker MUST have blueblockers. Not only do they mimic the ancient sky of darkness, blocking all blue light from entering the eye, but they help you get more sleep at night. 

Our favorite pair are these

 

Red Light

Ancient people had fire at night. They gathered and met by firelight. Firelight was healing from the red and infrared light. It contained nearly no damaging blue light. 

If you can't sit by a nightly fire, plan on buying a healing red and infrared light. 

Our favorite is Gembared (discount code SLEEP)

Our favorite portable red light is the flexbeam (discount code primalhacker)

If the indigogo campaign is still going, you can get up to $249 off by using THIS link.

Avoid EMF

Ancient people healed faster and without modern medical equipment. Part of the reason why is because they were no bombarded by man made EMF that caused massive stress in the body. 

You can use EMF blocking faraday bags for your phone and airtube earbuds instead of putting your phone to your head. 

In addition, you can get yourself one of these EMF blocking hoodie sweatshirts to protect yourself when you leave your home. 

If you need some EMF blocking underwear try these

Greens in Winter

In winter, we advocate eating more fat and little to no carbs.  Usually this means we eat less greens and mushrooms as they aren't available fresh in our area.

One easy way to get in the greens that tastes great and that we've tried out for months and love is Organifi.

Discount code PRIMAL for 15% off.

These are the hand-selected superfood ingredients you’ll enjoy in each serving of Organifi Pure:

They also offer a morning green drink, afternoon red drink, and evening before bed drink for sleep.  We've been using all three and have really enjoyed them. 

Barefoot Shoes

Our ancestors didn't go around cramming their feet into unnaturally narrow shoes that deform muscle and tendon causing pain. All shoes, if we wore them at all, were barefoot. 

It's time to bring barefoot back. After years and years of trialing barefoot shoes, we have two companies that have been around for the long haul and make amazing shoes that last a long time without breaking the bank. 

Xeroshoes and Vivobarefoot (Discount code PRIMALVB )

 

Primalhacked Wine

You can get a bottle of the "hangover" free, low sugar, biodynamic wine for a penny using this link

 

 

EVERYTIME I USE THIS I GET ZONKED

 


By Thaddeus and Tomorrow

EVERYTIME I USE THIS I GET ZONKED...

Those were the last words my husband, (world famous biohacker, Thaddeus Owen) says to me before bed last night.  He said you have to spray it on your belly.  I pulled up my shirt ....⁠ a few seconds later it begins to burn a little and feel sort of itchy, but I am used to him using me as a female biohacking guinea pig.  The tingling went away quickly enough and I slept sound all night long.  Are you able to guess what he sprayed on me? Keep reading.  


Want to know more about Primalhacker’s biohack for a better night’s sleep.  This is one of those articles that will lead you in with a secret and won’t reveal it till the end of the page.  Just heads up.  It’s like reading a book, who reads the last page first?  Well, my mother does, but she cra cra.  


First things first.  Lets talk about ….sleep.  How well are you sleeping at night?


Most people, humans will answer below average.  Why? Because your not sick and tired enough to do something about it.  Tell me im wrong!  Please tell me im wrong. Im not wrong, there are 22 gazillion studies and doctors and people who specialize in sleep.  We will let them be special.  If you answered your sleep is above average but could still be more optimal, we have a few secret biohacks for you.  


Those of you who are doing most things right already, like have your diet dialed in, your workouts, your time outdoors in nature grounding….

These few things I have proven and tested out myself and on my wife and they might be fun and interesting for you to try out just to get your sleep dialed in a little more!


Sleep hacks for those with Above Average Sleep


  1.  5HTP + collagen  on your nightstand if you are really struggling to drift off.

This is something that works every single time. If you are truly struggling with sleep, try this trick, but we do not recommend it long term as we’ve heard it can cause neurotransmitter burnout, specifically serotonin. But used infrequently, or just long enough (perhaps a few months) to learn some other techniques, it works great.  


Recipe:

Before bed, make up a small cup of water 

Add to the water: 

1tsp of collagen powder (find it here)

1 capsule of 500mg of 5-HTP (find it here)

Stir. 

Put this on your nightstand and drink if you can’t get to sleep. 

The collagen helps the 5-HTP dissolve more easily and it can take about 30 minutes before it’s fully dissolved and ready to drink. 


  1. Wear blueblockers after sunset  that’s easy click HERE to shop our “thaddeus approved glasses” and click here to watch his TED talk about why it’s so effective

  1. Watch the sunrise and sunset- and don’t eat after sunset ---its too easy but do it anyway. Just like maugwi turn into gremlins if they are fed after dark, your cells turn into monsters if you feed them after dark. Cells are designed to sleep and detox after dark, so don’t feed them. 

  1. Our secret to getting zonked biohack has to do with the belly button. This is where your umbilical cord was attached and it’s also where all food entered your body when you were a baby. Because of this fact, your body more easily absorbs things from this area

-->Rub topical magnesium on your belly right before sleep….here’s why this works to get you zonked! 


Magnesium is well known to help bring on sleep at night. Topical magnesium has very little studies showing whether it is well absorbed. Because of the lack of data, many people ignore this method of using magnesium. After many discussions with PhD scientists, they believe the theory of topical Mg absorption is accurate, but not studied. Therefore Thaddeus tried this for a year and found it VERY effective for inducing sleep. Find it online here



Is your sleep below average?


If you're not quite there and need to up your game with your diet, workouts, grounding that's a great place to start.  


Here are a few things to start with for sleep


  1.  Don’t bring tv or devices into the bedroom  LINK see our blog post about light hacking here
  2. Turn off your WIFI at night  LINK see our blog post here and learn why
  3. Don’t eat after sunset or before sunrise
  4. Wear blueblocking glasses after sunset and before sunrise  
  5. Meditate in the morning to set up your day
  6. Make sure you see the sunrise everyday without wearing contacts or glasses for at least 5 mins to 45 mins 30 mins within sunrise
  7. Turn off all devices at least 2 hours before bed
  8. Tell your partner or kids what you appreciate about them everyday 
  9. Follow primalhacker for more cool biohacks
  10. Spray topical magnesium on your belly button area right before you go to sleep

The photos are from our dear friend Kristin Canty's farm in Bath, NH.  We held a primalhacker retreat  in 2018.  Kristin is the beauty and brains behind "Farmageddon" the movie.  You can find it here

SLEEP SWEET 

PEACE AND LOVE YOU ALL 

Thaddeus and Tomorrow

Why You Should Block Blue Light at Night

Humans, for all natural history that we know of, have never been exposed to blue light after dark.

Because of this, our bodies are tuned to the color blue, only present in the daytime sky.

This attunement to blue tells our body that it’s daytime.

Daytime means we humans will produce cortisol to be awake and alert and stop producing melatonin, a hormone of darkness and sleep.

When we see blue after dark, our bodies destroy melatonin, lose many of the benefits of sleep, and set us up for long term health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer according to the National Institute of Health.

In order to minimize exposure to blue light at night, the very best thing you can do is to wear blue light blocking glasses.

If Blue Light is Necessary, Why Block it?

Blue light is present in the sun always.

Our bodies have receptors that decode blue light.

These receptors are called melanopsin.

Melanopsin reads the blue light in the environment and uses this information to produce hormones that keep us healthy.

The amount of blue in the environment also tells the body what time of day it is. There is a varying amount of blue from sunrise to noon to sunset. The body reads these levels to know what time of day it is.

Knowing what time of day it is, helps our body set circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is so important to human health that the nobel prize in medicine was given in 2017 for the study of circadian rhythm.

Every cell in our body contains a clock and these clocks are required to be set to the right time for optimal health.

Our clocks are set by the color and brightness of light.

When we live indoors and turn on lights after dark, we confuse our body and the melanopsin receptors into thinking it’s daytime. We mess up our circadian rhythm and cause chaos in the body.

Blue light at the wrong time of day is devastating.

Blue light after sunset tells the body it's daytime, releases stress hormone and keeps you awake, destroying the healing hormone melatonin and ruining your sleep. 

In addition, strong blue light during the day from devices and overheads lights that are devoid of UV and infrared light can damage the eyes by causing too many free radicals in the eye without the mitigating effect of infrared light.

Blue light after dark has been shown to reduce melatonin and shift circadian rhythm.

Why Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses at Night

When the sun sets, melatonin is released from the gut and pineal in the brain into the blood. Melatonin stays high for about 12 hours and helps us clean up cancer and even boosts our immune system!

But artificial light, which has a high amount of blue light at a time when nature provides no blue light, messes with melatonin levels.

Blue and green light have both been associated with decreasing melatonin, blue more than green. Red light does not decrease melatonin.

When blue light is removed at night, people sleep longer and get better sleep and melatonin is preserved.

Blue light blocking glasses have been shown to filter out blue light and preserve melatonin.

Blue Light Blocking for Better Sleep

Wearing blue light blocking glasses after sunset have been shown to improve sleep and reduce insomnia. Personally, I find these glasses so effective that I gave a TEDx talk about the effect HERE and also developed my own blue light blocking glasses because good looking effective blue light glasses on the market were too expensive and I wanted everyone to have them.

Blue Light Blocking to Control Cortisol Release

Cortisol is released with blue light, because blue is always present only when the sun is up. When the sun rises, we want to be alert and awake. This is because we are diurnal animals (we sleep at night and awaken during the day) as opposed to rats that are nocturnal animals. 

Our biology is coded to the light. 

Cortisol is a stress hormone, but also keeps us alert and awake, which is fine during the day but not before bed.

 

Blue Light Blocking Glasses for Reducing the Risk of Disease

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has published multiple papers showing that exposure to artificial light at Night (ALAN) is associated with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. In addition the World Health Organization has declared ALAN or artificial light at night as a Class 2B carcinogen, in the same category as microwave radiation, lead, and asbestos.

It's important to note that light at the wrong time of the day is likely carcinogenic and also leads to health issues. This is true for everyone, even if you do not "feel" like it affects you. 

Protect your Eyes

If you work on a device all day or work under fluorescent or LED lights, you must protect your eyes. Daytime blue light blocking glasses filter some, but not all blue light to help protect the eyes.

Blue light during the day is necessary, but the intense blue light from devices is too much for your eyes and can create free radicals leading to macular degeneration. 

Shift Work

Shift work is anti-life. I’m sorry about this, but humans are diurnal animals while rats are nocturnal animals. Humans are not nocturnal and this means no matter what kind of night owl you “think” you are, you are designed biologically to be asleep when it’s dark.

Yes, you can “try” to hack nightshift work, and HERE is our article on how we would hack nightshift if we had to work nightshift. Ultimately, you will want to find a new job that allows you to work during the day.

How to Choose Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Everyone and even all kids really need to be wearing blue light blocking glasses after dark.

We all are exposed to phones, devices, TVs and lights after dark, especially if we’re not at home where we can control the light.

The cheapest glasses you can buy are THESE and while they aren’t something you’d wear out of the house, you can definitely get the cheaply and try the out at home to see how they work for you.

We recommend you try them out for one month and see what happens. I haven’t yet met someone who didn’t notice a benefit.

For daytime blue light blocking glasses that look amazing, we made these glasses 

Nighttime glasses that you can wear out of the house and look cool can be found here 

Finally, if you want to block blue and green light at night, as both can mess with melatonin, then THESE glasses will do just that.

Other Ways to Avoid Blue Light at Night

  • Use Red Lights in your home like these LEDs or Gembared (Discount code SLEEP) which can also be used for red light therapy.
  • Add Twilight or Iris aps to your phone and use iris or F.lux on your laptops.
  • Use Candles at night.
  • Turn off the power in your bedroom at the circuit box. Many people do this to avoid EMFs as well..
  • Get sunlight during the day. This has been shown to allow you to get better sleep at night.

 

As soon as the sun sets, put on your blue light blocking glasses.

When the sun rises the next day, take them off.

This will ensure you preserve your melatonin and build optimal health.

Portable Red Light Therapy is Here

There are so many different light therapy devices on the market that it might get overwhelming. It's hard to make a choice. But, how do you pick the best one for yourself? What is the best red light therapy device - the answer is surprisingly simple.

The best red light therapy device is the one you use every day. So, it's more than just numbers, outputs and features (although, they are important). It's about convenience. So, behold FlexBeam!

 

There are many different red light therapy products on the market. They include cosmetic devices, cheap red light lamps, wall panels, and even masks.

So, why would you pick a portable device like this instead of a red light wall panel or a different RLT device? Generally, it all depends on how you want to use your device and what you need it for.

Whatever you use, make sure that it does what you need it to do (ie, it has good features and specifics) and that it's convenient for you to use. People often stop using inconvenient devices even when they are amazing.

 

Here are couple of reasons why FlexBeam makes an excellent choice in comparison to other types of RLT devices:

 

Flexibility

 

One thing that makes FlexBeam an amazing choice is its portability and flexibility. You just put it on, placing directly onto your skin and you let it do its thing. This means that you can go hiking, driving, cooking or just normally go about your day. You still get your dose of red light therapy along the way.

Usually, when you have a wall panel, you don’t get as much flexibility. You position it at a convenient place in your home and have your therapy. Panels are excellent devices, but not many people have the time to use them. You have to expose the part of your body you want to treat to the panel. Which sometimes means you need more privacy than you can get in your home.

On top of that, the effects of red light therapy weaken as you move away from the source of the light. Let’s say you have a knee problem. Which side of your knee do you place directly next to the panel? What about the other side? Do you do two sessions? This is all much easier when you can wrap your RLT device

 

Excellent Specs

 

If you want to dig deeper into choosing the best red light therapy device for you (as you should) make sure to check the specs of the device. Keep your eye on:

-          Wavelength

-          Energy density

-          Irradiance


Wavelength

Let’s start with the wavelengths. You want a device that emits the light between 600 to 1020 nm. That’s what science says. It also says that the best healing range is between 625 and 635nm for red light and that the LEAST effective range is 700-770nm. As for infrared, aim for 810 to 850nm. 


Energy Density

Energy density is expressed in J/m2. The maximum of energy density you should go for is 60 J/m2. Everything above that is too much and your body may stop responding to red light therapy.


Irradiance

Irradiance is the flux of radiant energy emitted per surface area. The most effective irradiance for red and near-infrared light is 20-200 mW/cm2. FlexBeam has a safe and solid 100 mW/cm2.

 

Get Yours

You can get yours at a special Indigogo sale for up to $250 off using THIS LINK and you can also buy it on the website for a 10% discount when the Indigogo is over using THIS LINK and discount code PRIMALHACKER

 

We have been using the Flexbeam for almost 3 months and it's amazing. The portability means that we use it more often than a standing panel. 

The power of the device has been incredible. We can bring it into bed, the car and on a hike. 

I would highly recommend this product. 

Why you need to keep your mouth shut for better sleep and performance!

If you have been biohacking for any amount of time now, you have surely discovered the importance of sleep.

As a human you have a very unique set of sleep requirements. According to Dr. Michael Breus, these unique characteristics can be categorized by an individuals chronotype and their sleep drive or circadian rhythm is cued by a combination of epigenetic factors such as sun light, blue light, food, exercise, hormones and body temperature.

Improving your sleep efficiency is key to improving your deep sleep and regulating your sleep drive (circadian rhythm). Circadian rythms will change or can be disrupted by the season changes, age, stress, schedule, alcohol, food,  and how much one is plugged into the matrix. So, where does mouth tape come in and why is it important? (sleep foundation. org - Sleep Drive + The power of when quiz.com)
 
In this modern era [wo]mans connection to nature and its subtle yet immensely impacting biological cues it provides has affected the respiration rate and the way we even breath. According to  James Nestor, author of Breath, The New Science of a Lost Art; a respiration rate increase has taken place in the last 50-75 years and the modern [wo]man is breathing more rapidly and less efficiently than that of our predecessors. According to the Cleveland Clinic the “normal” respiration rate of an adult is 12-20 breaths a minute and an abnormal rate is below 12 and above 25 breaths per minute. I’d argue that above 15 is abnormal and hitting 9-10 BPM is extremely healthy. Why has this shift taken place and how can a simple tool like mouth tape change this and improve your sleep.
thepowerofwhenquiz.com
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm/sleep-drive-and-your-body-clock

What is Mouth Tape?


Mouth tape is a simple yet effective tool to improve your respiration rate and improve your sleep without impacting your wallet. I’ve experimented with all of the products that are out there and have ended up with 3M’s Nexcare gentle paper tape, medium hold. A roll cost me $2.99 plus tax and has lasted for over two months now. I have been mouth taping since the begging of June 2020.

mouth tape 3m

What improvements I saw from mouth taping

With all the things affecting our health and emotional status a great nights sleep can improve your emotional and physical resilience. I’ve tracked my sleep every night for two years until very recently when I removed all tracking devices from my life ( why you should do this is for another topic)! According to my BioStraps data on my last ever recording of July 27th,2020 my deep sleep was 5h 38min, improving on my best ever deep sleep of 3h 14m.

 

Most interesting thing to me was the change in my BRPM. From an average of 15.2 at the begging of June to an average of 12.8 at the last day in July. According to the Oxygen Advantage, “breath light to breath right”! Disclaimer, as [wo]man we throw a lot of the kitchen sink at our problems so its hard to quantify if the mouth tape alone improved my deep sleep or was it a combination of buteyko breath work and mouth taping but I can tell you that the continued mouth taping and decrease in buteyko exercise and my sleep is still anecdotally amazing!

oura ring data on mouth vs nose breathingoura ring nose breathing with taped mouth

Tips for proper mouth taping 

Proper mouth tape positioning is key for first timers to reduce potential claustrophobic feelings and anxiety. Some of the made for mouth tape sleep aids out there have a piece that covers the entire mouth and has a small slit to allow for restricted mouth breathing but this can still be too much for newcomers. 

 

This is why I have chosen the 3M Nexcare tape, a simple two inch piece taped vertically from the upper lip directly under the nose to the base of the bottom lip works wonderfully. This, method and brand of tape works over facial hair and by taping this way you feel less confined because you may breath from the corners of your mouth. Don’t worry if your tape comes off at night as this is a training tool to help improve breathing quality and function.

Breath Light to Breath Right

Remember you must breath light to breath right! Reduce and eliminate chronic mouth breathing and use techniques like mouth taping to improve nasal breathing, sleep, energy, and performance.

 

What to do now?

Take a few moments today to really focus on your breathing. It is a s simple as sitting with your eyes closed to see where your breath begins and where it ends. If you notice through out the day you are yawning frequently its a good sign that you are a mouth breather and everything from your sleep to mental performance will and is suffering to some degree.  Here are my five tips to improve your nasal breathing and respiratory function.

 

  1. Tape your mouth shut at bed time!
  2. Slow controlled nasal breathing with breath holds to improve your C02 tolerance. For instance inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 7 seconds and hold for 8 seconds. repeat for 5 minutes
  3. DO NOT YAWN ever again. Yawning is a nervous system response to off load excess CO2 but most-likely you are actually hyperventilating and not under breathing. If you feel a yawn coming on, close your mouth and quickly exhale through your nostrils and return to controlled nasal breathing.
  4. O-H-M, yes, Ohm! Ohming will naturally increase the nitric oxide profusion in your paranasal sinus which will aid respiratory efficiency and improve epithelial oxygenation. ie. decreased stuffy noses, improved sports performance, and cancer fighting to name a few things. (buteykoclinic.com/docs/Nasal-Nitric-Oxide.pdf)
  5. Use a Neti pot before bed to get things cleared up. Winter in the Midwest can be brutally dry, leading to increased mucus production and congestion. A bit of structured water and mineral rich sea salt will loosen mucus and hydrate epithelial tissue helping you sleep tight!

 

As a bonus tip! You better be blocking blue light and you start here by purchasing a pair or two of stylish blue light blocking glasses.(Secret Discount code Tomorrow20)

 

Check out THIS post of ours on how to sleep right.