I may look like I’m shivering. I may BE shivering. But I’m not worried because I know what I need to get my body temperature up. I spent many years fearing the cold but eventually I cracked the code and learned to love winter. I can take myself to the edge and extend that edge because when I get to camp or home I will fill myself with more heat generating foods and beverages. Knowing what to choose and what to avoid is the key.
The Cold can Keep us Warm but Only if we have the right nutrients. The cold increases metabolism by stimulating the release of fatty acids from the body’s fat tissues, which in turn can increase body temperature. The cold also lowers our REDOX potential, which in effect is like adding anti-oxidants. It doesn’t really add antioxidants, but it reduces Oxidation.
I have developed a diet which kicks ass in winter. I call it the Circadian Reset Diet which is composed of select Paleo Superfoods carefully designed to infuse us with powerful health boosting macro and micro nutrients. The discovery–or lets say acceptance–of this ancient approach has been a complete game changer allowing me to live a life far bigger than I ever dreamed. I can go places and do things which before weren’t possible.
My recipes are based on super foods. Each ingredient is carefully selected for it’s health and heat generating qualities. I choose food based on PERFORMANCE. Then I figure out a way to make it exciting and fun to eat or a way to adjust my own attitude about it. This is the opposite of the dominant food approach where we first figure out what tastes good, then figure out how to get quality foods into the recipes.
The challenge for most of us in adopting the Circadian Reset Diet–which is an attempt to replicate the diet of our ancestors and fit it into modern times–is that our bodies are predominantly adapted to burning carbohydrates as the primary fuel. This means there may be a transition period for adopting a fat-based or ketogenic diet. Two things which will help the process: 1) cut out the sweet and starchy foods and 2) Expose yourself to the cold. it A good way to cure oneself of the “Taste First” approach is to get outside and spend time in the cold. This will actually change the taste instincts which have been thrown off by an artificial environment. When instincts are honed, fat will taste sweet and sweet cravings will vanish.
Five Primary Heat Generating Foods
(Red meat, seafood, eggs, cheese)
2–Fats Rich in Cholesterol, Saturated Fats, and Omega 3’s like EPA and DHA
(Butter, Coconut oil, lard, suet). The colder the climate where the food is grown, the richer in omega 3’s.
4–Hot beverages (Examples: Chai Tea, Mushroom Tea (Chaga, Reishi, Etc.), Dandelion, Chicory, Coffee, Hot Eggnog, Hot Chocolate, whatever Herbs you like)
5–Organ Meats (In winter it’s especially important to get Vit D from foods since we aren’t getting it from the sun)
6–Trace minerals (found in these quality whole foods,)
Four ounces of meat contains about 25 grams of protein, so the average person could barely meet the daily requirements with having that three times a day. A quart of milk contains 33 grams of protein, so 3 quarts a day would be close to the optimal amount of protein. A dozen eggs per day would do it. But twice that (150 grams) would be optimal. Muscle meats and liver contain too much tryptophan for an adult if those are the main protein source, and will contribute to hypothyroidism, etc. If their calorie consumption is around 3000 kcal per day, that’s about 25% of the calories as protein. Gelatin (cooked collagen), a prothyroid protein from the hydrolyzed skin and bones of animals is recommended to balance the anti-thyroid amino acids in muscle meats. The rest of the calories should come mostly from fat.
Fat is just as important as protein. In fact if you could only eat one for an emergency, it would probably be fat.
From an article by Stephen Byrnes, ND, PhD, RNCP, reprinted from Mercola
Dr. Weston Price, DDS, travelled around the world in the 1920s and 1930s, investigating native diets. Without exception, he found a strong correlation among diets rich in animal protein and animal fats, with robust health and athletic ability. Special foods for Swiss athletes, for example, included bowls of fresh, raw cream! In Africa, Dr. Price discovered that groups whose diets were rich in fatty fish and organ meats, like liver, consistently carried off the prizes in athletic contests, and that meat-eating tribes always dominated peoples whose diets were largely vegetarian (42). On his journeys, Dr. Price never once found a totally vegetarian culture. Anthropological data support this: throughout the globe, all societies show a preference for animal foods and fats and people only turn to vegetarianism when they have to (50). Nutritional anthropologist H. Leon Abrams, Jr., has shown that prehistoric man’s quest for more animal foods spurred his expansion over the Earth, and that he apparently hunted certain species to extinction (50). Dr. Price also found that people who, out of necessity, consumed more grains and legumes, had higher rates of dental decay than those who consumed more animal products (51). Archaeological evidence supports this finding: skulls of prehistoric peoples who were largely vegetarian have teeth containing caries and abscesses and show evidence of tuberculosis (50, 51). Furthermore, in his travels, Dr. Price always noted the extreme happiness and ingratiating natures of the peoples he encountered, most of whom were heavy meat-eaters — which dispels the myth that meat eaters are violent. Based on all of this evidence, it is certain that the diets of our ancestors, the progenitors of humanity, ate a very NONvegetarian diet that was rich in saturated animal fat.
What to avoid: Grains (Too much omega 6, starch and carbohydrates). Sweeteners (except small amounts of honey), Alcohol (worse than carbohydrates for robbing cellular energy (small amounts of organic red wine is good), too many seeds and nuts (lectins, phytates, omega 6’s), soy (anti-thyroid), fruits (Thin the blood. Carbohydrates are quick energy producers but do not make heat in the process). avacados and olive oil (too much Omega 6s), seed oils (thyroid inhibitors).
I can eat 1/2 to a pound of butter per day easily in winter depending on how much cold I get. That can be $4 to $16 per day depending on what quality and brand of butter I buy. When I first found out that butter makes me warm from the inside out, so I could turn down my heat and feel invigorated from the fresh air, I considered the trade off in costs worth it. How did we (modern humans) forget this? As we became addicted to indoor environments, over domesticated and cut off from the seasons, we lost touch with how food was affecting our health and well being. It is easy to find pictures of ancient people well over 100 years old, healthy and still completely active in life, in photographs, and almost impossible in modern times. And we very well know what these people ate. So in our efforts at ReWilding our Lives, how can we incorporate these foods back into our diet?
We have been taught to fear cholesterol because of corporate propaganda promoting their seed oils instead. However, cholesterol is the hormone which gives us youth, vitality and energy by building all the other steroid hormones like thryroid, testosterone, human growth hormone, and pregnenolene.
Coconut oil helps keep us warm by stimulating thyroid.
Dr. Ray Peat was one of the first modern voices promoting oils as healthy.
“When added to a balanced diet, coconut oil slightly lowers the cholesterol level, which is exactly what is expected when a dietary change raises thyroid function. This same increase in thyroid function and metabolic rate explains why people and animals that regularly eat coconut oil are lean, and remarkably free of heart disease and cancer. Coconut oil is unusually rich in short and medium chain fatty acids. This makes the oil viscous. Butter has long chain fatty acids that burn slower and thus provide more heat for a longer period.
“One of the roles of fat in the food is to stimulate the secretion of bile by the gall bladder. Besides that important function, saturated fats have a variety of protective, antiinflammatory effects, including the reduction of endotoxemia and lipid peroxidation (Nanji, et al., 1997). “Coconut oil completely abolished the responses to endotoxin” (Wan and Grimble, 1987).”
The correspondence between heart disease and consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol is little more than advertising copy. If people were looking for the actual causes of heart disease, they would consider the factors that changed in the US during the time that heart disease mortality was increasing. Both increases in harmful factors, and decreases in protective factors would have to be considered.
The consumption of manufactured foods, pollution of air and water, the use of lead in gasoline, cigarette smoking, increased medicalization and use of drugs, psychosocial and socioeconomic stress, and increased exposure to radiation–medical, military, and industrial–would be obvious things to consider, along with decreased intake of some protective nutrients, such as selenium, magnesium, and vitamins.
Cholesterol is found in the nucleus in the chromosomes, bound to DNA and in the nuclear matrix that governs the activation of genes, and in the mitotic spindle, which regulates separation of the chromosomes during cell division: without sufficient cholesterol, cells divide irregularly, producing aneuploid daughter cells (i.e., they have an abnormal number of chromosomes).
The steroids in general, especially those produced in large amounts, progesterone and DHEA, are important parts of the antioxidant defenses. Cholesterol, either that produced internally by the cell, or taken in from the blood stream, is the precursor for all the steroids in the body. Several of the major steroid hormones are antiinflammatory, and cholesterol itself is antiinflammatory. (Mikko, et al., 2002; Kreines, et al., 1990). Cholesterol also protects against radiation damage, and many forms of toxin (saponins, cobra venom, chloroform–W.G. MacCallum, A Text-book of Pathology, 1937, Saunders Co.; many more recent studies show that it protects blood cells against hemolysis–breakdown of red blood cells–caused by heat and other harmful agents; e.g., Dumas, et al., 2002, Velardi, et al., 1991). Cholesterol, vitamin E, progesterone, and vitamin D are considered to be “structural antioxidants,” that prevent oxidation partly by stabilizing molecular structures. One of the basic functions of cholesterol seems to be the stabilization of mitochondria, preventing their destruction by stress. Serious stress lowers ATP, magnesium, and carbon dioxide. When ATP and intracellular magnesium are decreased, cholesterol synthesis increases
Why Omega 3’s are Crucial for Cold Tolerance
Omega 3 Fatty Acids help us to stay lubricated during the cold. These oils are fluid and liquid when cold unlike Saturated Fats which are hard. Think of motor oil how you have a thinner visosicty during summer and thicker during winter. We need them both because the saturated fat helps to keep the Omega 3’s from oxidizing which they do easily. These fats are found in perfect balance when consuming animal foods which lived in the cold and grass fed on native diet. So we don’t need to supplement but simply choose the highest quality meats and fats which are grass fed in their natural environments.
The Omega-3 deficiency is mostly misunderstood by just about everyone including the medical community and many nutritionists. The deficiency cannot be addressed by merely taking 2,000 mg a day of a so-called Omega-3 supplement. That’s because the deficiency is defined by Omega-3’s relationship to the quantity of Omega-6 in a body. It is all about balance, not quantity. And the natural balance for animal life is thought to be very close to 1:1 because that replicates the balance in many green leafy plants. Because we have a grain-based food system most Americans have ratios that are 15:1, 20:1, or even much higher. In laboratory experiments with rats and other critters researchers have determined that when the ratio exceeds 4:1 chronic diseases (both mental and physical) are measurable. So it’s no wonder healthcare costs are so high. Nearly everyone is sick and getting sicker.
Carbohydrates are cooling foods which grow in warm climates. They are cooling because they are designed to produce quick energy without generating heat in the process. Because carbohydrates produce fewer ATPs (Units of cellular energy) than Fats and do not generate heat when they break down. Read this for more.
Gelatin is heat producing.
The minerals and amino acids proline and glycine in gelatin add up to make an amazing superfood that can be particularly helpful when battling thyroid and autoimmune diseases. Check out some of these health benefits:
- Builds strong teeth, hair, and nails.
- Gelatin is high in glycine, which is an essential amino acid needed for liver detoxification.
- Glycine is also important for good digestive health and for digesting animal proteins.
- The protein in gelatin can assist in weight loss because it helps thyroid.
- Gelatin can also support overstressed adrenal glands with the right balance of minerals and amino acids.
- Gelatin provides proline and glycine that balance out the tryptophan and Cysteine found in meat that can cause inflammation when not balanced
- Great source of easily digested protein (great for exercise recovery).
- Can help promote better sleep, due to the amino acid glycine.
- Can help calm and soothe nerves and anxiety, due to the amino acid glycine.
- Can help stop bleeding from wounds both internally and externally.
- .Helps heal the gut lining for those suffering from leaky gut.
Eggs have plenty of saturated and unsaturated fats, omega 3’s, proline and glycine as well as other vitamins (vits A, Bs, D, E, K) and minerals (selinium, sulfur) you need to keep your metabolism running top notch. How many raw eggs can you eat per day? I can easily eat 1/2 dozen of even a dozen during winter. That sounds crazy, but when they are raw, they are digestible and bio-available. I often use raw eggs in place of gelatin with a meal by having a hot chocolate drink for dessert. to balance the amino acids in the meat. Eating gelatin in the form of bone broth, gelatin powder, or raw egg drinks will help you feel more full than eating meat alone.
Understanding the Chemistry of Fats