There was a fork in the road, but I pulled it out and stabbed myself with it

Monday I start work again at new job as a supervisory histotechnologist but back in the clinical setting. I’m pretty excited about it.

This past year has seen it’s ups and downs in terms of what I’ve been eating, I never strayed to far from the saturated fat but I did experiment with my fair share of carbohydrate in the form of starch and sugar.

I did put on some weight for sure probably a mix of muscle and fat, but nothing approaching obesity and big surpise sucrose was the primary driving factor. Like in the past it was just enough weight to where I felt a bit uncomfortable with the road I was going down.

But the lengthy “experiment” because I never tracked any parameters was interesting in the effect it had on my mood and my neurotic tendencies and highlights a statement I made a few years ago in my private work regarding the ability of diet to change behavior:

I’ve seen people who have never picked up a book in their life—do so—I’ve seen creative happy people spiral into a stagnant depression, I’ve seen rational thinking people turn into basket cases, I’ve seen non-religious people become so, and the vice versa for all these examples. Just with changes in diet.”

There is nothing groundbreaking about that observation its a really simple concept that translated to jargon simply means changes in respiration manifest as different observable behaviors.

Dancing with the devil was however freeing of any doubts I may have had over the years to my approach and conclusions. And now I realize I was right the first time, so right, and so I’m back to my meat and milk and occasional sweet potatoes and honey.

The transition back was painless, the slimming effortless, the clarity priceless, the sanity beautiful. It’s just too easy for me to eat like that, it took effort to eat a lot of carbohydrate and it never felt quite right.

When you get down to a low level eating saturated fat as a primary way to fuel metabolism not only is supported on a number of levels, but even when considering structured water of the cells, eating saturated fat makes a great deal of sense.  And I like things that mesh up like that.

Until the next solar eclipse,


P.S. One small change, although there is not enough data to completely support the idea of A2 milk I have switched to it and not only does it taste better but I do notice a difference.

18 Comments There was a fork in the road, but I pulled it out and stabbed myself with it

  1. Ben

    I always wonder, when things feel “off,” what it was that I’ve eaten the past 24 hours.. It’s usually vegetables, fruit, or some kind of healthy nonesense at a restaurant.

    By off, it could be skin issues, obsessive thoughts and worries, lack of calmness, sensitivity to work pressures, drama pipes (gas) etc. etc.

    I still feel best with lots of cream, butter, and full fat yogurt/kefir as the bulk of my diet as well. Can’t seem to get it right with “the carbs” and stay warm/happy/attractive. I feel like my body stays cold and doesn’t heal properly with too much sugar– like you said, dance with the devil and you’ll see what doubts remain.

    Glad to hear you’re moving up again in the field as well. Do keep us updated, and hope the family is doing well.


  2. Harel

    Hey Edward,

    thanks for sharing your thoughts. Of all the macronutrients, carbs seem the most difficult to get right. I have never gone back to high-carb since college, as I never want to experience the rush. I remember how terrible difficult it was to concentrate on my studies, and I never felt calm enough to sit down for long.

    Nowadays, even moderate amounts of carbohydrates seem to affect my mood. I briefly toggled with Ray Peat ideas, but I never seemed to be able to force down more then 200 grams of carbs a day, despite trying. I could never consume skimmed milk products, and sugar started giving me severe nausea. Additionally, many young folks on the forum are resorting to taking steroids and supplements to correct problems that are likely caused by an abnormally high sugar consumption.

    For the last few months I have been limiting carbohydrates, and focusing on animal products, and health is returning. No amount of drugs or supplements give me the same sigh of relief as basing meals off meats, seafood, and dairy products. Activities that require patience and concentration like playing music, drawing and even mundane activities like personal accounting are just easier. I can sit down, and just do what I want without a hint of anxiety or discomfort.
    I am still trying to figure out that ceiling for CHO is. Its definitely not high, and probably not moderate. It seems like somewhere around LOW is where I feel comfortable most of the time.

    Thanks for your thoughts and updates.


  3. Isaac Roths

    I’ve recently been experimenting with some all natural cigarettes and because of my tendency towards neuroticism as well, I experience an increase in anxiety/fear but not surprisingly a decrease in worry and “depression”. I figure it has something to do with harmala alkaloids and nicotine combined. But, I was wondering if you would have any theories on how one could modulate this anxiety dietarily, if at all. I’ve got my own theories to try out so my asking you is mainly out of curiosity, it’s not obligatory. Also, nicotine seems to decrease neuropeptide Y and increase CRF in the amygdala. It might be a question that can’t be answered by anybody without direct research but would diet be able to modify changes in CRF and other stress/ HPA axis stuff like that?

  4. Zach

    Edward (or anyone else who would like to comment) have you ever tried the combination of saturated fat and simple sugars as a fuel source? Example would be cream and maple syrup.

    After moving away from high carb, low fat peatarianism and looking more at ancestrial diets revolving around animal products, i have come up with a diet that for myself has been incredible. I base the diet on animal products, mainly pork, beef, eggs, cheese, cream and seafood. I supplement simple sugars, mainly maple syrup for its mangenese content and general great taste and i eshew almost all starch and raw plant products.

    The combination of saturated fat, simole sugar and a decently high protein has been incredible for mood, body composition and energy levels.

    There are several nuances i play with such as small fasts, magnesium therapy and red light that also contribute.

    Thanks for this blog, i would have never had the courage to ditch the plant products for high saturated fat diet without it and Westin Price’ work.

  5. Harel


    I have tried something similar when I “peated” a few years ago, but I currently avoid too many carbs in general. I tried maple with coffee a few times, but the flavor was too overpowering for me. It goes great with bacon though, from what I remember :)

  6. EPJ

    Hi Edward, let me first of all say that I really do love your work.

    For Edward or anyone who could give me some guidance here, if you don’t mind, I’d like to give you a quick background, what I’m currently doing, and ask a couple questions:

    – I did about 5 years of super strict Paleo (LCHF but lots of PUFA, no milk, lots of Crossfit…I am very OCD, so when I do smth I am insanely disciplined about it). Needless to say that really racked my health, to the point where I broke up a 6 year relationship mainly because of zero libido, ED and my gut was so damaged I’d spend most evening barely moving from all the discomfort and pain. In retrospect, out of all the stupid things I did during that period, the worst was trying heaps of different probiotics, made my own Sauerkraut and Yogurt, and specially palyed a lot with RS. I feel like since then my gut has been a total disaster.

    – Fast Forward to April this year, I started Peat and got reasonable improvements. Especially in the gut department, because I seemed to tolerate milk well since the very beginning, and just eliminating all fiber and starch made me feel great, bloating went away (not entirely, but enough). Problems with Peat: still not much libido, although it kinda started to get back…I was getting about 3 morning woods a week, after 5 years of ZERO morning wood. Also, I’d get crazy cold hads/feet out of nowhere. Sometimes after sugar I go hot hands, sometimes cold. And eventually bloating came back, even though I’m basically zero fiber. I was eating lots of white sugar, because I can’t tolerate OJ (not even from fruit), I seem to be very sensitive to Citric Acid, my butthole literally hurts when I have OJ.

    – Currently, I’ve been trying your diet (sorry, I mean, a diet based on principles you discuss: High Sat Fat especially from dairy, red meat about 3x/week, about 2 quarts full fat milk, no sugar, little salt, a couple eggs every now and then, some liver, some gelatin). Some specs: I am 34, 6 feet tall, 172 pounds. I used to whey 200 lbs with very very low fat percentage, but in 2015 I lost about 35 pounds with lots of stress from work and playing around with Intermittent Fasting. I also lost most of my hair and developed ulcers in that period.

    Anyways, to my questions:

    1. Since starting this diet based on your writings, about 2 weeks ago, I noticed excellent increase in energy and focus. I mean, really a lot better energy, and constant!! Also less bloating, less gut sensitivity, better mood. My concern is with the negatives: I am having terrible sleep (in my Paleo days I had severe insomnia. With Peat I was having a glass of Skim milk with 4Tbsp of sugar and 1t of salt before bed and sleeping 8-9 hours easy), since started this diet I am having no white sugar at all, not sure if that’s connected, by I take min 2 hours to fall asleep. I wake up feeling good and it’s easier to wake up as with Peat I always woke up a little groggy. Do you have any idea why my sleep is so terrible with High Sat Fat, 100gr protein, low sugar?

    2. I am also a little constipated, I figure it’s the calcium. Do you have any suggestions to remedy that?

    3. And finally and most important: my morning woods have vanished!!! Libido is not so bad, but I am having a lot of problems getting it up, even with porn. Peat had absolutely solved ED, but now with High sat fat and low sugar, it’s back. Any ideas why could that be?? Maybe an adaptation period? My fear is that the excess FFA in the bloodstream could be having some sort of negative effect in circulation or NO production, but what the hell do I know! Just want to have a decent sex life again.

    Once again, thank you so much for your extremely valuable posts and I completely understand you must be very busy with the new job. If you do have the time to get to these questions at some point, I would really appreciate it! Oh, btw, below is a quick summary of my current diet:

    7:00 coffee, 100ml cream (usually have a bm here, If not, I’ll be constipated all day)
    9:00 1 quart Full fat milk
    13:00 ¼ LB cheese (usually swiss), 1 tsp honey
    16:00 ½ quart full fat milk
    19:00 ½ LB ground beef
    22:30 1 quart full fat milk (btw, milk here in New Zealand is extremely good quality, I get A2 non-homogenized)

    No supplements currently. I do have D, E, Bs, iodine and selenium at home, plan to try them at some point.


  7. Harel

    Hey EPJ
    A couple of suggestions:

    1.It seems like you are eating too frequently, and possibly not drinking enough water. Fatty meals can take longer to digest, and it could be your digestive system is burdened by a previous meal. I’d recommend trying to get down to ~3 meals a day, and be guided by your appetite rather than a specific regiment. There isn’t a quota you need to get to, nutritionally. If you are eating primarily nutrient dense foods, your appetite may be satisfied quickly on some days. Make sure you are not eating past your appetite on some meals.

    2.Additionally, drinking extra water or carbonated water between meals should help digestion. I typically go through 1-2 liters of water a day in addition to other fluids. I think this is particularly important in a diet that is higher in fat and protein.

    3. Try replacing some of the milk with kefir or yogurt. Fermented dairy products are much easier to digest. Heating the yogurt a bit will kill the bacteria if that concerns you. I typically add cream and some honey to it to offset the sourness.

    4. Add some stew meat/steak and replace some of the ground beef. I don’t think there is anything wrong with ground beef, but I find digestion is better with whole cuts of meat.

    5. Add a wider variety of animal products(lamb, chicken, seafood). Some Bacon/Eggs in the morning is excellent. Seafood like oysters, clams, scallops, fish, etc will add a nice variety to your meals, and contribute to possible nutrient deficiencies. I typically have a small portion of fish to start my meals, followed by a larger amount of meat. Digestion should also improve with the increased variety in fewer meals.

    6. Marinating meats in salt,vinegar, oil, and herbs can make them easier to digest. Soaking “fishy” seafood in a vinegar solution or lemon juice juice will improve the flavor and and texture and reduce the fishyness. Additionally, when the food is more appetizing, I find my stomach is happier.

    7. Occasionally, include small amounts of starch to meals. I add small amounts of sourdough to my evening meal in either the cooking, or with the cheese after it(usually 2-3 oz). Use a starch you tolerate well, and don’t worry about starches you don’t tolerate. Since you were on the paleo diet before, root vegetables like turnips or yams might be more acceptable for you.

    8. I don’t really recommend using supplementation, unless you have a deficiency that needs correcting. Even then, supplementation should be used until the problem is corrected, and not indefinitely.

    I hope some of this information helps you out.

  8. Zach

    Add a quality magnesium, you are certainly not getting enough on that diet and the calcium will disrupt magnesium uptake further. Should help with bowel issues and sleep.

  9. Matt


    I’ll give you a few simple suggestions. I would say the milk is fine, but not mandatory. For me, the closer to zero carb I get, the better. There may be differing opinions on this. Protein can go lower as well. Salt intake may need to rise, especially during initial periods of a lower carb diet, as insulin drops and causes a lot of retained water to be lost, along with electrolyte. Supplement some magnesium if you feel like it. The most important thing is the saturated fat. The greater percentage of your calories that come from butter and cream, the better. 60-80g protein should be enough. You don’t need any carbs. To improve sleep, eat the majority of protein [and carbs if you so choose] earlier in the day. They are stimulating and will oppose sleep if you are sensitive. To regain morning wood, replace your late night milk/meat with 3-4 tbsp of butter or a few ounces of cream. good luck

  10. Claire

    You should read Nutrition and Your Mind: The Psychochemical Response by George Watson. He was a researcher at UCLA in the 60s and found a connection between diet, blood ph, and behavior. Rudolf Wiley was inspired by his work and wrote a book called Biobalance which is also pretty interesting. A higher fat diet that includes animal protein is apparently important for people with Northern European ancestry who tend towards having acidic blood. Saturated fats are important to slow the rate at which carbs enter the blood but the real key to increasing energy, according to Watson’s research, is the nucleo proteins in high fat animal flesh proteins like sardines, red meat and liver, which bring the blood ph up to normal (in effect meat is alkalizing) and which apparently increases the oxygen in the blood. Watson’s other book on personality is amazing also and the metabolic type specific supplement recommendations blows all others away.

  11. Michael Luna

    The skim variety of A2 milk with raw cream seems like a good option.

  12. Michael Luna

    I mean the A2 milk company’s skim milk with raw cream from another source added.

  13. Jacob Dodson

    Speaking of structured water… Gerald Pollock mentions in the following interview that sugar structures water very strongly… So does aspirin, according to him.

    He says that sugar creating structured water isn’t necessarily a good thing, his concern being that high blood sugar would be too structured and thus viscious, or as he says, “you don’t want a paste in your blood, you don’t want ketchup”. He remarks that maybe the reason for poor blood flow in diabetes is because of high blood sugar and thus thick blood. Maybe he’s right, but many smart people are scared of sugar, so who knows, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

    Now about aspirin… I’ve wondered this same thing myself. Why does aspirin work on so many different functions in the body, and why is it pretty much (to an extent) universally beneficial? Probably because of the water-structuring effect it has. It might increase EZ from the IR light it produces when uncoupling the mitochondria too.

    He also says that glyphosphate and anesthetics destroys EZ water.

    Why does saturated fat structure water? Is it because of the uncoupling effect or does it directly create EZ?

    Skip to 46:00 for his comments on aspirin and EZ
    Skip to 1:06:32 for his comments on sugar and EZ.

  14. Michael Luna

    “Changes caused by homogenization on milk organization were broadly investigated. The size of milk fat globules dramatically decreases and caseins become the main protein fraction adsorbed onto the newly formed interface, together with some whey proteins. Heat treatment changes the impact of homogenization on milk structure. When milk is heated then homogenized, complexes of caseins with heat denatured whey proteins adsorb onto the new expanded lipid droplet interface. When milk is homogenized then heated, heat-denatured whey proteins link to the proteins already located at the homogenized droplet interface
    (MFGM proteins and casein micelles or fragments thereof).”

    So does homogenization make the A1 casein even more harmful than it would be otherwise?

    From this paper:

  15. Jacob Dodson

    Yep Edward, it’s all coming together. I think you’re absolutely right about high SFA diets.

    I’m gonna make a list of reasons why, but I just wanted to let you know.

  16. Vera

    What good quality of magnesium would you recommend?

    Recently I added more fat into my diet and starches, less sugar.

  17. Ian Lane

    Miss you, man.
    I’m going on a bender and re-reading a bunch of your posts, and I’ve been enjoying your new podcast. ;) I hope you keep going with it.

    I am curious; in the above post, you mention knowing your weight gain, here, was driven primarily by sucrose. How did you determine that – i.e., by what metrics or method? (I’ve been experimenting heavily with my own multivariate diet analyses as of late and, in terms of the regression analyses I’ve run, I’ve been surprised at what I’ve found and not found, which has reshaped the way I’ve viewed my own nutrition.)


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