As a disclaimer – I’m not a health professional nor a financial advisor. The below is a study of one, and how I think about things. The GOAL of this post is to get you to ask questions, not to provide you “the way” or “concrete answers”.
I can see it now…the family budget…
- Heart attack
What? Who budgets for a heart attack? Cancer? No one, really. I have heard that with insurance, a heart attack could cost you $50,000 for open heart surgery in the USA…assuming you live. Cancer could cost you $100,000 to $250,000 if not more.
So why don’t you have this in your monthly budget? The answer is, you should. In the form of preventive medicine. A gym membership, high quality food, reduction/elimination of alcohol, smokes, and other terrible vices.
Why am I writing this? Because many of us see inflation coming. I have been seeing a form of doom since Sept 16th 2019 and I’ve been preparing my family the best I could. Recently, I just bought a quarter cow of grass fed/grass finished beef. About 90 pounds.
My wife’s boss asked how much it was, then balked at the price. I get it. Lots of people get it. The cost was like $832 USD which came out to be something like $9.30 per pound.
I’d also like to add here for anyone new, that I had at one point in time taken off 175 pounds. In the last year, I lost my mother and had a child – on top of COVID craziness. Where I used to exercise an hour a day on average, it’s now down to 20-30 mins twice a week and walks. The COVID 40 hit me!! So, emerging from a winter here of not leaving the house much, I’m looking forward to snapping back into shape in the next few months and dust off the cobwebs of weight loss, and I wanted to share this with you – and tie it in to my silver/gold/miners investment plans.
Carbohydrates and calories
My personal belief is that in the United States, it’s the quality of food that is killing our country. I was born in 1975 and grew up with the food pyramid.
This told everyone that the “correct” way to eat is lots of breads, grains and rice. Then, we layer on all types of fruits and vegetables. Then we have some seafood and dairy, followed by a little meat. Then…somehow on top is cupcakes? What???
All throughout my life, I followed this. And I exercised, a lot. I had hit 372 pounds. I was hungry, all the time. I would go on these diets and try to restrict to 1800 calories…2200 calories. whatever. Tried diets my whole life. I knew calories in every morsel of food. Ledgers recording everything, dozens of times in my life.
A pattern emerged, time and time again…
Restrict calories –> lose some weight –> be hungry all the time –> exercise a lot –> body break down –> can’t exercise –> weight gain
Long story short, I learned time and time again what people were telling me….DID NOT WORK FOR ME.
What I found was….
- foods high in carbohydrates I could eat endless amounts of
- they would give me immediate gratification
- shortly after, I might be too tired
- shortly after that, after the insulin spike, the insulin would crash and I’d be hungry again
What got me wondering was…how did people diet throughout history? I mean, if we don’t understand history, we are doomed to repeat it, right? It’s when I discovered the food pyramid was newer in the USA. It was never tested long term. What you find is crazy. Something like 1 in 3 people today get cancer and over a hundred years ago it was 1 in 30. Heart disease here is prevalent, but in some cultures it barely exists. Here’s the shocker I learned above all…..
You need fats and proteins to live. There is no nutritional need for your body to eat any carbohydrates. You can go the rest of your life without a single carbohydrate and there’s nothing that would happen to you.
So wait a second. The first two rungs of this food pyramid thingy is telling me to load up on carbs. My diet I had for years had lots of pastas, breads, whole grains, granolas, etc. I started looking and noticed how many calories a day I was having just in bread products. Insanity!!
Furthermore, I realized they didn’t even know what a calorie was until just over a hundred years ago. Diabetes was a rare disease until the year 1900. Coca cola and other sugary stuff started becoming available to the masses at that time. I also found that ‘vegetable oil’ was an industrial lubricant that is “edible”. And this is something people cook with?
Wait wait….what did people up until 120 year ago eat? What about 200 years ago? 500 years ago?
What you realize is that up until 10,000 years ago, agriculture as we know it didn’t really exist. If you really want to picture it – think about the hunter gatherers going after meats. Game. Deer. Chickens. Wild boar. Perhaps at times they would eat bugs like grasshoppers for protein. Maybe worms and grubs. They didn’t really eat carbohydrates. Maybe wild berries? Carbs in nuts? It’s not like they even had breads. Potatoes were not cultivated.
What you then found is perhaps in warmer months man would eat berries, maybe some veggies if they could not find proteins. In the colder months, there were literally no carbohydrates available. All they would eat would be animals they could find. But – they would eat ALL of the animals, which is where they get the fats and proteins – but also get all kinds of vitamins and minerals. Just eating chicken breast doesn’t give you the nutrients in a kidney or liver.
If you look at what we eat, today, it’s not what the machinery was designed for.
Additionally, no one had calorie counters. So why is obesity such a new phenomena here? Many would like to blame being sedentary. That’s true, to an extent. 100 years ago my family were farmers and coal miners and when they did eat potatoes or bread, it was to support expending 5,000 calories per day with manual labor. They didn’t run for fun. They worked 15 hours in coal mine doing hard labor. When you take away that hard labor, lets look at what you have.
You work an office job, sit in the car an hour each way to work, and eat the food pyramid loaded with carbohydrates. You are tired, hungry, and eat convenience foods. Your boss works you far more than 40 hours a week and you get 5 hours of sleep per night. You struggle to stay under 2,000 calories.
What they told you is wrong.
What if I told you that everything they told you was wrong? Don’t take my word for it. Please. Don’t. I have 135 blogs on this site about health and fitness, with hundreds of hours of research and links to all of my research. I lost the first 75 pounds using low calorie diets, but the last 100 was using low carb dieting.
Low carb – you mean you want me to eat bacon and sausage all the time? No.
The principles of the low carb diet I use, today, are based on the Primal Blueprint written by Mark Sisson. I had almost lost 100 pounds on keto BEFORE I read this book. Here’s the big picture:
- low carb veggies
- healthy, organic/grass fed meats
- Occasional low carb fruits
- Occasionally have a cheat meal or day once or twice a month
What the low carb food pyramid is, is closer to how nature designed our bodies. Imagine you are alive 50,000 years ago. What did you eat? Meats, fish, berries, etc. People didn’t die of heart attacks. They died of tigers eating you.
But Nate, all of that fat will kill you?
Yeah, right. Let me tell you something about that. Fats and proteins create satiety. As in, you aren’t hungry. As in, when I lost that last 100 pounds, I did not count one calorie. Hormones are created from cholesterol and fats. What do you think a very low fat/low cholesterol diet does to you? I’d suggest, just on a tinfoil hunch, this is where a lot of the mental health issues start coming in to play. Let’s see, you deprive your body of the hormones it needs to self regulate by depriving it of the foods it needs to create them. “Chemical imbalances” ensue. How has no one linked this yet??? Anyway, I’m sure mass shootings were a thing 60 years ago as well, right? No. My mom told me of a story when she was in sixth grade at 12 years old, she took her gun in to school for show and tell. It was a different time before the “food pyramid” hit us….
The trick here is this…
The fats you see in meats are mostly bad because they feed them….feed. Chickens are supposed to eat bugs and worms, not feed. Cows are supposed to munch on grass…not corn. When you are feeding these animals cheaper diets, the quality of those meats are then terrible. This is measured by your Omega 3:6 ratio. The better quality of meat, the better the omega 3:6 ratio, and thus lower inflammation.
This is what the low carb food pyramid looks like. Almost inverse of what they tell you to eat. Notice you don’t see breads or carbs there.
So when you see all of these studies with red meats causing cancer and fats causing heart disease, I want you to consider IF this is true, are they using the Walmart low grade beef or a grass fed/grass finished cow from your local farm? Remember all, I’m big on sourcing and information. I have 135 blogs chocked full of sources and information for you to run down that rabbit hole with.
I have tons of posts on this I wrote over the years, but the point is that you want to optimize your omega 3:6 ratios when eating fats/meats. If you eat cheap meat, you are inviting high levels of inflammation.
Inflammation is the “heart” of the matter
Again, I have lots of posts up about this, but one of the prevailing theories I abide to is that inflammation is the ROOT cause of a lot of western diseases. Typically, you are talking about smoking, alcohol, high omega 6s, and…..sugar. If you would just remove all of that from your diet, then, perhaps your body would function like it should?
That’s what I found. I removed all of the bad stuff. Drank lots of water. And my body seemed to heal itself.
The inflammation problem is what many feel is the root of the heart disease. The concept is that when you introduce all of these inflammatory items, you cause tiny cracks inside of your arteries. Cholesterol is made naturally by your body (it makes about 4 times what you would consume, so yeah, why would it make poisons) and deployed to fix these cracks. It plasters it over. Continued debauchery adds more and more and more issues inside. Blockages occur. If you simply do not cause the tiny cracks, by not inducing inflammation, the theory is that cholesterol present in your body simply flows through your body doing no damage.
All of this ties in to hormones as well. Dr. Lustig was someone I liked to watch on youtube. He talks about all the dangers of fructose, and shows that your body processes fructose the same way it processes alcohol. Essentially, when you are giving your 8 year old a juice box or coke, the body processes that fructose the same way it would alcohol. So yeah, this is how children develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. High fructose corn syrup.
But Nate, fruits are HEALTHY sugar. No. There is no such thing. What I would tell you is that once you cut all sugar from your diet, your bench press is going to drop to nothing for awhile. Your body depletes your glycogen stores because you are so used to punishing it with sugar. Eventually, your body runs off of ketones when in ketosis.
To LOSE weight, ketosis is GREAT to start!!
He then says you can lose weight well at 50-100g per day.
To maintain weight – I use 75-125g of carbs per day.
Over 125g of carbs, I gain weight.
Sisson puts this in a chart…
With me, I also did a TON of intense training for a triathlon. At times, I was biking 3.5 hours at a time, swim for an hour straight, or ran 8 miles. What I had found was that if I did have any carbs, it was fruits/smoothies of sorts before workouts and right after. My body would use them as rocket fuel.
However, when you do NOT run, bike, or swim that much….there’s zero need for carbs. I found that my morning smoothie ended up putting significant weight on me after I stopped the intense training, so I had to cut it out.
You can read about my weight loss journey here, but the overarching point of the above was to show you that I had a strategy for losing massive amounts of weight – and with this, there were upfront costs. There were food costs.
What I found was very interesting….
In my life before all of this, I was smoking, drank on weekends, went out to dinner maybe 8 times a month with my wife. The smokes alone were probably $250 per month. Dinner out was maybe $400 a month. Booze? maybe $200. Then there’s the cost of going out and doing things. I’d say my life in that respect had a cost of maybe $1,000 a month.
Today, what I most enjoy doing with my time is walking my dog, hiking, running, and biking. I’m not a member of the gym anymore where I swam, and I like to work out once or twice a week – but I don’t TREASURE it, like the top 4. I also now avoided costs of smoking, drinking, and never go out to eat. I make all of my food. And, my food bill has probably gone up $200 a month from where it was.
So before – shit was toooo expensive to eat meats and low carb, but that’s because I had $1,000 of my budget allocated to shit. I cut out all of that and spend $200 more per month on quality foods.
How does spending more for quality foods impact your budget?
- Clothing cost a lot less. I can now shop off the rack at Kohl’s. Cheap clothing. I used to have to go to Big and Tall stores where you have NO IDEA how expensive that is
- Food costs a little more. Buy the grass fed/grass finished, when possible. Organic/free range eggs. Organic chicken. Wild caught salmon. This reduces inflammation in your diet. Scrap vegetable oils and use avocado oil, coconut oils, kerrygold butter, beef tallow (grass fed/finished).
- Avoid costs in smokes/booze/going out – saving hundreds a month
- Getting outside a ton gets you more vitamin D. This is your body’s natural immune system. In the northeast here in the US, people get sick a lot in “flu season”. It just so happens people aren’t going out and getting sun. What if getting sun and HELP with prevention? One other theory of mine is our modern diet with lots of carbs screws up our hormonal system so sun rays lead to skin cancer, when historically, that wasn’t exactly the case. Could our foods be blocking something that then allows cancers to grow? Or, could high carbs be causing massive growth and encouraging cancer?
- Being fit means going to the doctor a lot less. I had my wife and son sick here with COVID. son was sneezing/coughing in my eyes the whole time. I never had a symptom. One of my theories was about vitamin D and reduced inflammation diets could prevent sickness.
- Preventing all kinds of heart disease and cancers can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars – not to mention the most precious asset you have….time.
I swear to god I’m not a doomsday prepper, but the financial system impending collapse had me stressing for 18 months. I feel I’m in a pretty good place now, and it’s time to put a lot of my worries behind me and get back focused on my health again.
Because this is what I see people all over my facebook thinking is healthy….
If you are an American, this is what they tell you a healthy breakfast is…
This is probably over 120g of carbs. More than I eat in a day. This can perhaps have you hungry by 9:30, at which you need a snack. Skip it.
So where am I going with all of this?
I feel like the community that is reading these posts is also caring about their financial security and thinking ahead about how to stay alive, a lot longer. You can budget $1,000 a month for heart attacks, $3,000 a month for future cancer – or you can look at the food on your plate to determine if it is high quality foods. Is it worth spending more for higher quality of food to live a better, healthier, and longer life?
What is your end goal with this?
- Reduce carbs. If you do have carbs, ensure you exercise a lot to burn them off
- Eat healthy fats and proteins
- Reduce inflammation
- Ensure proper hormonal function of your body by eating as natural as possible
- Eat foods with less ingredients – less processed foods
- Increase satiety
- Increase water intake
- Increase exercise, specifically walking and weight training. I do biking and running for cardio health and fun, not weight loss. There’s a VAST difference.
- Increase sun exposure
- Decrease probability of metabolic diseases that were not really a thing years ago
- Get better sleep, higher quality sleep
- Live longer
- Improve your quality of life