Around the Web: Palm Sunday Edition

The Audible edition of our book will be released tomorrow, Monday, March 25. Also, early buyers of our Kindle edition received email notice from Amazon last week of a major update: this fixes the links to notes.

This week I’ll be at PaleoFX and posting will be light. There are still a few tickets available, so if you can make it to Austin, please do!

Also, the 2013 Ancestral Health Symposium is accepting registrations. Only a limited number of rooms at the Sheraton are available at the event rate, so please consider making plans now.

[1] Music to read by: I feel a sermon coming on …

We try to follow Johnny Mercer’s prescription. The attitude of doing right is:

  • Look for goodness in others and encourage it; overlook faults.
  • Ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive, eliminate the negative.

Robert Louis Stevenson, too, had a good attitude:

  • “There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.”
  • “Our business in life is not to succeed, but to continue to fail in good spirits.”

So let us be happy, and seek good health in good spirits!

[2] Reader results: There is much to celebrate.

Hillary reports that PHD has been life-changing:

Life changing in that it’s the first “diet” I can see being a long term lifestyle, I’ve already lost ten pounds without trying and for once I’m eating healthy because I want to be healthy, not because I want to lose weight (although that’s been a great benefit). It’s much easier to stick with something because it makes your body feel good, not for the fad of it. I’ve got my husband on it as well. We’re eating things we never thought about making before – I’ve recently made goat and oxtail stews, which was a first. I don’t crave sugar anymore, which is amazing and I love that I can still eat chocolate daily (I have a square of 90% topped with a date to sweeten it up) and a glass of wine.

Elizabeth Perez had an epiphany:

I can still remember that first night I had a PHD homecooked meal. I had been fat phobic and eating brown rice and whole wheat bread and the very first time I heard Dr Mercola and Jaminet talk I got some fatty beef with carrots celery and onions in my crockpot and 8 hours later around 11pm had my first home made stew with white rice and avocado and I felt this indescribable nourishing just ‘right’ feeling in my gut and body and that night I slept like a baby. That interview just made so much common sense and left me with this gut feeling like ‘I just knew’ it was true and got ‘permission’ to enjoy a fatty meal. Something in me ‘remembered’ all Jaminet was saying. Weird right? But anyway it was the interview and meal that changed my life forever. Lol.

Claire reports a cure of her IBS:

Hi Paul!

I recently started taking N-acetylcysteine after reading your blog posts about IBS and bowel disease. For the past two years I’ve been in pain, had irregular bowel movements, basically everything that goes with IBS. However, after starting NAC, I HAVE NO MORE IBS AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I’m stunned. I was hoping to understand why on earth this has helped so greatly? I don’t understand what it “fixed?”

The PHD book and this blog have literally saved my health and my sanity. I am eternally grateful.

Libba writes:

I have been faithfully sticking to PHD for one month and have seen drastic improvement! I am so grateful to you and your wife for the work and knowledge you have shared. I have 40 stubborn pounds to lose, scalp psoriasis, acne and other random ailments. I’m down 9 lbs, have more energy than I can remember and my scalp and skin have never looked better (if I do say so myself)!

Long-time commenter Mari writes:

Thank you, Paul, for PHD.

When I first started following the PHD diet and lifestyle recommendations two years ago, I wrote up a list of the various issues that were bothering me: frequent blackouts, cold extremities, digestive issues, hair loss, chronic sinus infections, extremely low blood pressure, low blood sugar, no sensation of hunger, migraines, muscle weakness, insomnia, etc. Without having to think too hard, I came up with 37 health issues.

On my one year anniversary of adopting PHD, I went over my list and saw that nearly all of those issues were gone. There were some new things that that I became aware of as I worked on tweaking to find what worked best for my body. Still, I had only 2 of my initial health symptoms, and a few new ones.

Now, on my second year anniversary of PHD, I have none(!) of the initial health issues. I have a few things that are new since starting PHD–such as a lot more build-up on my teeth–but I can say that following the PHD template has completely changed my health, energy, and mood. And I’m sure by year three, with some tweaking, these last few things will be scratched off the list.

Carmelite wrote:

I just started your diet last week, have not even completely implemented it yet, and am already seeing amazing benefits to my mood, energy levels, and a reduction in food cravings.

A Chinese emailer wrote:

I find that the PHD diet has worked really well. You are so right; when the nutrients are at an optimal level for peak health, I feel very well, physically and emotionally. I neither overeat nor undereat and just feel like a well oiled machine with lots of energy and my mood is on an even keel.

We’re very interested in pregnancy and nursing anecdotes. Meg reports that PHD is great for generating breast milk:

I have had amazing success on your diet after struggling for years to balance my motherly demands and lose weight. I have been breastfeeding and/or pregnant for almost 6 years, and I found that when following low-fat or low-carb diets while breastfeeding, milk supply will diminish. For years I tried cutting calories, cutting carbs, cutting fat, etc, always with the same result= no milk and a mad baby. I started PHD in December and have lost 15 pounds so far (about 10-15 more to go), I feel great, and I have TONS of milk. And the milk has changed! I can tell because the babies (ages 2 and 10 mos) don’t seem to need to nurse as often, and their bowel movements are much healthier looking. Sorry for TMI, but I know that sharing my experience will help someone else eventually.

Daniel Kitching writes:

I have been on the PHD for nearly three weeks now, and I’m seeing AMAZING results. I feel great, I’m not hungry or craving, and I’m discovering new, delicious foods. I even was able to stick to it while at Walt Disney World. Thanks A MILLION!

Laurie has done better on PHD than on low-carb or high-carb:

I’ve only been following the PHD for a less than a week, so I’m still trying to figure out just what works for me. First thing I can say is that I have never felt quite so satisfied and full on any diet as this one. Going 16 hours without eating (except for coffee and cream/coconut oil in the morning) has been an absolute breeze.

I feel full and satisfied after each meal, and that feeling sticks around for a long long time! I thought carbs made me hungry. Turns out it was wheat that gave me the cravings. I’m fine with potatoes and rice! Better than fine, really! I’m amazed at how great I feel!

I’m a person who has always struggled with hunger. I’m just not good at white knuckling through it! I thought I had hit the jackpot when I found low carb. Eating low carb was the closest I had ever come to actually controlling my appetite. Sadly, I didn’t keep it up forever, and gained all my weight back, plus some.

So did Caressa Santella Neary:

Dear Paul and Shou-Ching, I just had to tell you both how much I love the new edition of your book! I have been on a low carb and high fat diet for many years and my weight loss had stalled and my energy levels were terrible. I added some safe starches and cut back on added fat on my foods and am happy to report your approach has restarted my weight loss and improved my energy levels and mood, very excited!

Lynh writes:

My things which resolved:

1) No more cold/canker sores.

2) more energy! and a better mood.

3) I feel satiated with the rice, potatoes, or sweet potatoes

4) finally – a more normal body temperature! this has been the best part, I used to feel cold all the time and supplementing with iodine and selenium, diet, etc., my body temperature went from 97 to 98.2. I don’t need a coat anymore when it’s cold outside and I used to be freezing all the time.

I really like the explanations for everything in this book, I wish it were required reading for medical school students.

Tim Freeman tweeted:

Dropped 20 pounds in 28 days with PHD. No hunger, better mood, and better sleep.

David wrote:

Oh yes, things have definitely gotten better with PHD. I came from a gluten-free standard american diet (GFSAD ), eating out 3 times a day. I was already off gluten for two and a half years before PHD, but transitioned quickly and almost live in the kitchen now. I’ve lost over 40 pounds since starting PHD and have maintained it easily for quite a while now. Thank you guys so much for your work. Glad I found it first before going on to read books on Paleo and Primal. I’m just about finished with the 2nd edition of PHD, awesome work.

Our thanks to everyone who shares their results or writes Amazon reviews! We’re most grateful.

[3] Cute animals:

Via Yves Smith.

Bonus: A new breed of chauffeur:

[4] Interesting items:

The English of the mid-1800s had a life expectancy at age 5 similar to ours, despite a far higher incidence of infectious disease; credit belongs to their healthy diets and lifestyles. This finding is more evidence that diet and lifestyle can substantially reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Miki Ben-Dor reviewed Marlene Zuk’s Paleofantasy and Christina Warinner’s TEDx talk that I mentioned positively last week. He thinks her anthropology is wrong, and suspects her of anti-meatism.

Sally Fallon critiques Paleo.

Neely Quinn points out that if you’re craving carbs, you just might need carbs. Women’s Health Mag has further tips on what food cravings may mean (via Craig Newmark).

Seth Roberts believes in earwax transplants for ear infections.

The Atlantic looks into why published research misleads us.

Emily Deans reports that early-life malnourishment affects adult personality traits.

Via Connie Warner, “Let them eat fat.”

Another reason to avoid multivitamins: Via ProfDrAndro, manganese increases the virulence of the Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia and presumably other pathogens too.

Keeping track of Paleo parodists: Hunter Gavera, who authored this Paleo manifesto, might be the same person as MatthewGreenUK who assembled this video and as Walter West, Paleo Caveman. He might be a different person than Paleo Dooche,.  Via Meredith Harbour Yetter.

The dose makes the poison.

Sarah the Healthy Home Economist shows that food reward really does promote acquisition of the healthiest foods – even in thieves!

Maybe a rice diet isn’t so great for chickens.

[5] Never lose hope: I didn’t know this: In his 30s, Alexander Solzhenitsyn was diagnosed with a late-stage malignant cancer and was not expected to live, but after converting to Christianity staged a recovery he regarded as miraculous.

He went on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and to chronicle the evil of Soviet prison camps. One of his best passages:

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

[6] Not the weekly video: What an inspiration!

[7] Shou-Ching’s Photo Art:

[8] Weekly Video:

Will Harris is a zero-waste farmer, is pioneering zero-waste natural cattle raising at White Oak Pastures. Watch this terrific video (via PrimalDocs):

Leave a comment ?


  1. I have no idea what negativity you are referring to, but maybe that’s just as good.

    I’m also interested in how NAC fixed IBS. Did it help killing bacteria? How?

  2. Paul,

    To an objective observer you’ve handled yourself with much more integrity and honor than the haters. Thanks for all you do and for being the bigger man.

    On cravings for sweet from the magazine, do you think the driver could often be vitamin C deficiency? For our Paleo ancestors something sweet would have almost always been fruit, which is a good source of C.

    It would be interesting to test if Vitamin C supplementation is effective at controlling a sweet tooth…

    • Hi Caleb,

      Thank you.

      Maybe a C deficiency could be a factor, but I had scurvy once and it made me ravenously hungry but not obviously for sweets.

      But I agree, it would be a good thing to test.

  3. Hi Paul,
    Great success stories this week. I want to experiment with iodine and selenium like Lynh to increase my body temperature. I know you recommend a potassium iodine supplement. However, all I could find at my local health food stores is potassium iodide. Would this have the same effect?


    • Hi Paige,

      Yes, that’s good. You do have to be careful about the amount, don’t overdose. I recommend the tablets on our Supplement Recs page because they have a reasonably low dose, 225 mcg. Liquid drops can provide a very large dose.

  4. HI Paul, Thank you for the great post. Love Shou-Ching’s photo-art!

    Just to add to the breast milk thing, I’m nursing my third baby and notice a drastic difference in her when I am eating strict PHD and when I eat wheat or sugar — like the week I stayed at relatives! they had nothing but wheat and cold cuts and ice berg lettuce in their kitchen. There is only so much you can do to control your diet when you are also trying to be a good house guest. I did my best to cook what meals I could, but it was so difficult.

    Anyway. On PHD, my baby’s poops are odorless, and she had virtually no gas, but when I went off, she was more uncomfortable and had smellier diapers (sorry about TMI).

    I also noticed that PHD is great for breastfeeding and hunger. With my first two, I was always ravenous while I was nursing, in fact, almost all of my weight gain over the last 6 years has been from trying to eat enough while nursing, I always got back to my pre-pregnancy weight very quickly, but in between pregnancies my weight went up because I was simply hungry. all. the. time.

    But now, making sure to get the eggs and bone broth, and supplements and enough fat and carbs I can easily fast for 16 hours and have lost weight with no problems (except the ill-fated visit to relatives). I’m hoping to report a good success story soon. Thank you!

  5. Great anecdote and quote from Solzhenitsyn. A blessed Holy Week to you sir! JM

    • Jesus did!! fully man and fully God,the creator of EVERYTHING ,who died for our sins
      so that all who beleive in him may have eternal life in the new creation,”Where there will be no death or mourning or crying or pain”.

  6. Around the Web: Palm Sunday Edition | Low Carb RSS - pingback on March 25, 2013 at 1:11 am
  7. The authors do not fairly frame the argument in that paper regarding Victorian Era Health.

    The Victorian life expectancy numbers show “At 65, men could expect another 10 years of life…This compares favourable with today’s figures: life expectancy at birth averages 75.9 years.”

    That isn’t an apples to apples comparison. At 65 (meaning they’ve already lived 65 years), men today live more than 17 years (social security actuarial life table )

  8. Love the PHD success stories!

  9. What a lot of great stuff in this ‘accentuate the positive’ post! The song (my mom used to sing that one at opportune moments), the driving dog Porter, the wonderful “Cud” video, the 93 year old yoga teacher, and the photos…all very entertaining, thank you.

  10. Always looking forward to your Sunday collection of fascinating bits to procrastinate on!

    You might want to look at paleo and eyesight improvement, as a topic. I used to have a -4D prescription (blind as the proverbial bat). Ran into a big thread over at Mark’s Daily Apple about vision improvement, a year back. Checked it out. Friggin’ amazing results.

    With not eating sugar, and the trick on Alex site, I am now down to a -2D prescription (half!!!), and can see pretty well without glasses. If I eat sugar, things get worse quick.

    Google Frauenfeld Clinic, check out Alex’ stuff. He’s also a big proponent of paleo, even if you have to push his buttons a bit to get him to talk about diet things.

    Cheers Shou-Ching & Paul, keep up the good work.

  11. Amazing! 🙂 And I also adore that giraffe! 🙂

  12. As an Austinite since 1989, I wish I could recommend a restaurant … but … I can recommend the Mexican mineral water, Topo Chico, which is all the rage here among the cool kids. It is carbonated so it no longer agrees with me which is a shame as I was very fond of it.

    I hope the conference goes well. Next year I hope to attend myself.

  13. Peter Silverman

    It seems like there are two opposing trends in articles about heart disease and the modern lifestyle. One, like the article about Victorian England is typical of articles about cultures past and present with little or no heart disease. The other like this BBC article argues that the presence of similar levels of calcification in coronary arteries in mummies in Alaska, Peru, southwestern US, and Egypt shows that it’s a universal process of natural aging.

  14. Hi Paul,

    I have read your book cover to cover but may have missed implementation of the diet in regards to adding vinegars/acids. I have been feeling pain in my kidneys and think it is due to all the highly acidic foods? I am just trying to find the answer. I was eating a lot of red meat, cooked spinach, chocolate, fasting in the morning and having coffee and no water (not smart)… and think this is my problem. I now drink a lot more water with lemon and apple cidar vinegar and have implemented a more alkaline diet. I no longer feel confident eating red meat and chocolate, please help me out?

  15. I have also cut out coffee and turned to Yerba Mate Tea for my morning wake up, what is your opinion on Yerba Mate? Apparently it’s slightly alkaline and should be better for what I think is causing my kidney pain.

    I am trying to find the answer on my own but there is a lot of conflicting information and you are my definitive trusted source when I have a nutritional question. I appreciate all of the work you have done, thanks again for your trusted advice.

  16. Tablet Reading – April 3 | Table Reading - pingback on April 3, 2013 at 8:55 am
  17. Since beginning the PHD about 5 days ago, I am swelling up like a balloon. Gaining weight daily. Prior, I was on a whole foods, high vege, low carb, moderate meat diet. Wondering if this is common. What could it mean. I am a nutritionist professionally and am stumped. I’m doing the 1 lb veg/carb, 2/3 lb fruit, 1/2+ lb meat and 2 T coconut oil. No cheating.

    • Hi Laura,

      I would take that as a sign that you have a gut dysbiosis and the microbes are feeding on the extra carbs and causing inflammation.

      You want to do a few things:

      1) Make sure you are nourishing both extracellular matrix/gut barrier with bone and joint broth for collagen plus vitamin C; and nourishing gut immunity with liver (for vitamin A) and vitamin D and K2; and nourishing gut cells with B vitamins.

      2) Eat fermented foods to help reshape the flora.

      3) Figure out which carbs are problematic — starches? fructose? FODMAPs? all? and try to reduce the most problematic carbs while you work on improving gut health and reshaping the flora. Don’t totally eliminate the problematic carbs as you want to cultivate flora which can digest them, but reduce them so as to starve the problematic flora a bit.

      4) You may want to improve stomach acid production or take a few other steps to prevent SIBO. Salt is important for this.

      Best, Paul

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