September 10, 2017 update

Good evening, ah, ah, ah, just finished having 2 cheeseburgers and coke and a craft ginger ale. It’s heavy squatting season again and experience has taught me that during that type of maximal training even a calorically restricted diet of cheeseburgers and coke is far superior to any amount of rice and lean meat I might be able to shove down my throat both taste wise and recovery wise. I prefer the Ivan Abadjiev diet while engaged in lifting.

Ivan is an interesting guy if you can get past the steroids, then again I think a fair percentage of the Ray Peat forum has dabbled in banned substances. He seemed to have a good grasp on physiology in a practical way and in my opinion a better understanding of stress than Peat as far as how Peat frames stress. In fact he has a view of stress much like my views.

It’s funny I was listening to a podcast with Ray Peat, and sometimes I get the distinct impression that if he is not a communist he at least is a sympathizer. Ideology has a funny way of setting up the framework through which you synthesize information.

I set up this blog more for myself than anyone else to track my own changes, changes in the way I researched topics and changes in my views, when you are writing in the present and with no money to make from it, you can look back, see where you have gone right and see where you have gone wrong. I like that. I like that I can change my mind about things and not feel bad about it.

I’ve come back to a way of eating that tries to avoid PUFA (not that that ever changed outside of some childhood favorites I craved every once and a while), but I don’t deemphasize carbohydrate as much as I used to, I’m quite liberal with them especially sucrose. I eat carbohydrate to taste and fats of the saturated sort to taste and protein to taste, it ends up being my macro ratios are pretty balanced between one another (and incidentally when they are the most palatable). I tend to like the idea of a little bit of physiological insulin resistance promoted by saturated fat so that glucose is shunted to hepatic glycogen and muscle glycogen stores.

I’ve changed my views on things like aspirin. The so called blood thinners and blood thinning effect I think we tend to think of that literally like thinning paint but when I factored in structured water my views changed.

I think carbohydrates are pretty damned individual as far as sucrose verses starch, there are certainly ways of preparing starch that seem to be more healthful but some people seem to tolerate starch regardless of the preparation.

Endotoxin has always been interesting to me, Vodka seems to work fine as a mouth wash and eternal internal cleanser, just don’t go overboard :) a cigarette can also modulate the vagus nerve as well, as for the hot gas, if your pulmonary alveoli are saturated not sure the gas is hot enough to raise the saturated lipids to their smoke point as for the tar and other stuff I’ll take my chances.

I’ve never been a fruit kind of guy, I tried the filtered OJ way back in the day and recently I found some high quality OJ that I tried for a while, you know because it is supposed to be better, I strongly disagree with the reasoning on that and I think there are good reasons to avoid it. I love craft soda and I think the lack of “nutrients” tends to guide cravings a little more accurately.

I drink milk on occasion but for the most part tend to favor cream.

Over the past few months I’ve experimented extensively with topical supplements. Pregnenolone, DHEA, Progesterone, T3, T3/T4, the fat soluable vitamins, etc. I will say that all of them seem to be much more effective topically. They are useful sometimes but can, for most, be a tripping point, if you aren’t approaching their use systemically.

13 Comments September 10, 2017 update

  1. Jacob D

    Hey Edward,

    About pregnenolone/DHEA: you should try topically applying it on the scrotum, mix both in coconut oil and apply. This should actually bypass LH, because all LH does is increase the conversion of cholesterol into pregnenolone, then the leydig cells take care of the rest. I think caffeine topically should help too due to cAMP, and any NAD+ precursor topically could help also (steroidogenic enzymes require NAD+ to function).

    Also, pregnenolone has potent effects intransally, I think most of it is turned into progesterone/progesterone metabolites. DHEA might also have some beneficial effects intransally, it is very neurogenic, the wiki page has some good info on that, DHEA functions like BDNF/NGF among other things.

    When I snorted pregnenolone (don’t try this at home) I noticed very strong effects, it is unlike most supplements in that you actually feel it. I gave it to some friends of mine to try and they noticed strong effects too, one of them actually passed out. I am scared of brain eating amoebas though so maybe this is risky.

    Progesterone I only had negative effects with. I actually rubbed some on my face a couple of times, and interestingly it gave me the ability to grow a beard. I expected the opposite. Before I had done this, I only grew stubble (I’m young). After progesterone, I grew more hair in a 3 days then I used to in a month. Progesterone seems to be capable of being metabolized into androgens.

    It’s a really dirty hormone though, it really messed with my electrolytes and seems to be an immunosuppresant. Though that’s not good for the body in my mind, for the brain it might be helpful.

  2. Chris

    Do you use any particularly special burger buns when eating your cheeseburgers or eat regular store bread?

  3. zach

    Can you elaborate your stance on aspirin? In the past you noted that even half a tab makes you noticeably weaker.

    Aspirin is hard to ignore sincs there are so many supposed health benefits from endotoxin to heart failure. Personally aspirin has always made me feel horrible even in tiny amounts. I may have a sensitivity to salicylic acid since citrus also does not agree with me, especially orange juice and marmalade. I do really enjoy naproxen, i wish a company would make a cleaner version without all the blue dyes and fillers.

  4. Vanner

    “Ideology has a funny way of setting up the framework through which you synthesize information.”

    I like that statement; it got me thinking about how impossible it appears to be able to suspend my beliefs when reflecting on dietary theories. However, I can see, measure, and experience the results of trial and error — which is harder (but not impossible) to refute for the open-minded.

    Fat vs starch vs sugar, processed vs natural…yadda, yadda, yadda. I’m really just leaning towards: what digests well vs what doesn’t — and the right amount of sugar digests well for most. Ditto for other macros. I also pay attention to what helps elimination, which occurs 20-40 hrs after consumption, and what doesn’t. For me, more salt in my diet helps both digestion and elimination; so I’m eating more. But on the other hand, too much salt makes me too hot and can lead to acid reflux.

    Adjustment seems to be the key to balancing the pendulum of my physiology. The trick is knowing what adjustments I need to make in a given moment (and context) for a desired outcome — nothing is off limits.

    Have you tried chartreuse? It’s a good digestive aid, similar to a high quality Vodka, but you’ll wanna watch out for the kick ;-)

  5. Andy

    Hey Edward.

    Nice update. I would love to know what you would recommend for someone with seb derm and acne? Have you found skin improvements from a higher fat diet and maybe fat solubles like vitamin A and D?


  6. Edward

    Vitamin A seems to work in some people and in others cause problems. I believe in most cases acne can be a sign that PUFA is being metabolized OR there is some reaction to starch. Vitamin E seems to work well for PUFA related acne. For starch related acne I think either having sugar with your starch is helpful or figuring out what starches you react to. FODMAPs should be considered as well. In some, even when avoiding PUFA, FODMAPs seem to be quite good at causing cystic acne and/or whiteheads. Pay attention to the foods you eat and where your acne tends to occur, it is interesting that different locations of acne tend to have associations to particular foods. The associations are different for everybody but there does seem to be an association. I have found over time that blackheads on the nose tend to be associated with either a lack of protein and/or unbalanced amino acid intake and/or gut permeability.

  7. Edward

    Zach, best I can do at the moment is say that my previous stance on aspirin was that I felt there was an association between it and feeling weaker when I lifted weights some hints in the literature and some cognitive bias. It could be that when I was somewhat restrictive with carbohydrate the uncoupling effect that occurs on a high fat diet plus the uncoupling effect of aspirin was essentially compounded, I have a tendency to think that uncoupling can “discourage” fast twitch muscle fiber recruitment. But that is purely a speculative hypothesis.

  8. Edward

    If I could find a decent store bread without polyunsaturated fat in them I probably would use store bread. At the moment I either make my own or order them.

  9. Edward


    I’ve had a few positive but acute experiences with pregnenolone and DHEA in extremely low doses. With chronic use on two separate occasions (first time it was without DHEA) it has made my beard hair start to fall out. Interesting to me that using thyroid in conjunction with pregnenolone and DHEA countered that effect; stopping thyroid and continued use of pregnenolone/DHEA, my beard hair loss reoccurred; starting thyroid again with beard loss stopping and growing back leads me to believe that despite the reassurance of some the downstream conversion pathways aren’t that straight forward. And the effect whether positive or negative might be easy to miss if you don’t have a beard to notice falling out. There is a difference between a maturing organism and an aging organism, I don’t believe the ability to grow a beard can be associated with anything negative as some claim.

    If you have the ability to grow a beard you should grow it and stroke it while you read scientific papers and do experiments.

    I have had nothing but positive effects with progesterone in extremely low oral doses.

    I don’t take any hormones for extended periods of time, I tend to experiment with them to answer questions I have and out of general curiosity.

  10. Maria

    Edward, could you give me more specific recommendations regarding acne and blackheads? What protein and how much? Which starches are easier to digest?

    I would also add that applying on your face “beauty products” can also clog your pores and can cause breakouts and blackheads.

  11. Edward

    Hi Maria, not really, I recommend a diet low in PUFA and if not low in PUFA than vitamin E supplementation is advised. Avoiding “beauty products” and sticking to glycerin soap is advised as well. For protein I recommend beef and milk derived proteins, everything else e.g. pork or chicken is a wild card, eat sufficient protein but don’t neglect core energy substrates such as carbohydrates and saturated fats. I generally think that a gram of protein per pound of body weight is desirable. That sounds like a lot but I’m sure that a percentage of the protein eaten is not completely utilized, so aiming for that allows for error.

  12. Jacob D


    Yeah I don’t think growing facial hair is really bad or good, it seems pretty independent of health, has more to do with specific genes/pathways that are unlikely to make much difference elsewhere. And even if facial hair starts to suddenly grow in a different way, or falls out, it seems more likely to have to do with the individual follicles, rather than health of the organism.

    This is in contrast to the hair on the scalp at the hairline, which seems to be somewhat connected to the health of the organism. The two main types of hair on the scalp are the light hairs of youth (which are near the hairline), and the more thick and bristley ones everywhere else. I forgot the exact names, but basically the light ones are far more susceptible to falling out, in fact they actually are really the only ones to fall out.

    I think the best theory so far for androgenic hairloss is that DHT muscularizes the scalp muscles, which chokes off bloodflow. People on the ray peat forum, despite so much evidence, will not allow the thought that DHT causes hairloss.

    I used to believe neoteny was the goal and thus facial hair was bad, but not anymore, doesn’t really make concrete sense.

    There’s nothing better than stroking my beard and reading pubmed (lol jk). Also, people think I’m around 25-29 now, I am 19. When I shave people then think I’m my actual age.

    Anyways, off topic…

    Hormones and their pathways are so individual and complex, from all of the meta feedback loops (like the HPTA axis – testicles), to the individual steroidogenic enzymes, to the ‘receptor’ densities in different areas of the body, and the inherent receptor activation strength (read about on average receptor activation strength in different races, androgen receptor wiki page has some info on this). This all leads to insanely different outcomes in people. So complex.

    About fructose: it took me a while, but from my current understanding, fructose is almost universally bad for two reasons 1) in order to be used, it must be converted to glucose, which costs ATP (I am unsure if this is true) 2) it is all channeled to the liver, which can overload the liver cells mitochondria – the Hyperlipid blog talks about this.

    The main benefit for fructose would likely come from it’s high GI, and would only be useful after working out. I think something like corn syrup (fructose free corn syrup that is) would likely be better. I have some ideas involving this.

    Also, some thoughts about wheat and potatoes: with wheat, I think an interesting experiment would be to buy hard white spring wheat berries. This variety of wheat is extremely low in tannins, meaning you can eat the whole wheat grain and it’ll still taste like white bread. Buying this variety as organic wheat berries, and making your own flour would be pretty easy, ferment with sourdough, and boom.

    I’ve also come to the conclusion that sprouting/malting is very good. Problem with most people who spout, is that they never get around to cooking it properly, thinking that sprouting is sufficient. Sprouting the wheat berries, then grinding them up and fermenting them, seems pretty great. And for grains which don’t digest themselves sufficiently (like brown rice), diastatic malt extract would help too.

    Also, here’s a way to reduce the harm of nightshades:

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