11

votes

Zero Carb Folks: What do you eat in a typical day?

Asked on July 22, 2015
Created May 29, 2011 at 6:19 AM

I'm intrigued by the people here who eat zero carbs. Would you give me an example of how a typical day might look for you regarding meals?

I have a feeling this would help me break an ongoing plateau, and I'm curious about how you go about it. Are meals very plain and simple, or have you found ways to add interest?

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on July 22, 2013
at 08:17 AM

@Quilt the Mongolians ate nothing but lamb and conquered the world thru warfare, no need for carbs. much harder than anthony colpo's scenic bike rides. i think you can adapt to ZC and you recycle lactic acid back into glycogen. ZC is not necessarily horrible for performance but if you half ass it i.e. eat some vegs, alot of seasonings/sauces, for some reason you don't adapt as well. thats my experience. i feel great eating nothing but lamb, beef and H2O. add in fermented vegs, sauces/spices and other VLC foods and i feel worse

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on July 22, 2013
at 07:45 AM

liver has a lot of carbs so stay away from that. otherwise fresh beef, lamb, chicken, pork has 0 carbs per serving (bit of glycogen). eggs, processed meats/sauces, shellfish and some seafood tend to be pretty heavy on carbs from a ZC stand point

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 02, 2011
at 02:25 PM

Editing this (added tags) to bump it back up to see any new ideas. Thanks!

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:12 PM

It's not strict but I just don't go there. I'm too addictive and undisciplined to stop at just one cheat day. Instead I consider my occasional indulgence in nuts and cheese my "cheat" - it's a nice way not to stress about it. Now I just need to figure out where that bottle of wine I drank last night fits in... :-)

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on June 02, 2011
at 05:10 AM

That's good to know. I'll stick with 500 mg for now and see if it helps.

3b7e6c77a5412587152c9e3f22b41c2a

(434)

on June 01, 2011
at 10:00 PM

By advice from Paul Jaminet's blog and from my awesome wife ambimorph, I increased vitamin C dosage daily for a month. At the end of that I was taking around 13g/day. I had thought that this was eventually supposed to overload my capacity to absorb vitamin C and I would have diarrhea, but I never did. What does this say about my body? That I have some extremely high need for vitamin C and could absorb more than 10g/day? I don't know. In any case I grew tired of taking many pills, and it hadn't helped with my skin! So I cut down to 500 mg/day, and only *then* did my skin start to clear up.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on June 01, 2011
at 08:55 PM

Do you notice any differences between eating zero-carb and low-carb?

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on June 01, 2011
at 05:04 PM

I don't think its thin skin, but rather genuine confusion as to your comment.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on June 01, 2011
at 04:58 PM

Thanks, Zooko. I have eczema also, but have never tried vitamin C for it. Will definitely give it a try!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 01, 2011
at 04:15 PM

(Blush) Thanks, Melissa!

A840a825c42276ad05f0a2c0bb2f914e

(46)

on June 01, 2011
at 02:53 PM

Danielle-I don't eat avacado because of the carbs. I am in the process of trying to get to ZC but doing it in steps to I can see how I feel as I drop. Ambimorph- sorry, should have been more specific...I am working on ZC, right now probably considered VLC (i'm under 20 a day days and under 10 some), until this past week I would hit 30 occasionally, sweet potato days. However, I really don't want carbs anymore and even some avocado the other day bothered me. You def can avoid carbs, still learning to process this.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on June 01, 2011
at 02:23 PM

Rose, I cooked some egg yolks (with a little cream) for breakfast this morning. I struggle with eczema and eggs seem to make it worse, so I'm experimenting with yolks-only to see if I can tolerate them better. Damn, they taste sooooo much better without the whites!

3c997ffae3db9464325b96979346d9e9

(1290)

on June 01, 2011
at 01:28 PM

Pastured pork cracklings are a sure cure for thin-skinned Paleotitis.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on June 01, 2011
at 03:14 AM

That would be so fun! Maybe one of these days...

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 01, 2011
at 12:39 AM

Your answer here borders on the bizarre to everybody.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 31, 2011
at 11:52 PM

RN I don't know how else to interpret your comment. You actually used the words bizarre and obsessive. I think I understand what you are saying that this question was just one of the crazy ones that make you think we're all pretty much nuts and caused you to make comment. I get that. I think some of the questions are pretty nutty sometimes too. I can only say that we should all be very grateful we don't have any ailment that forces you to eat such a restrictive diet. I dare say those who eat ZC would much prefer not to but they choose health over food which isn't obsessive or bizarre IMO.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 31, 2011
at 10:50 PM

Neat that you used to write a cooking column; maybe a paleo cooking blog or book is in your future...? ;)

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 31, 2011
at 10:50 PM

I've tried a couple times in the last two years to add small amounts of veggies and "safe" starches, like sweet potato, back in. The result is very rapid return of joint pain, followed by 10-20 pounds. So for me, no; cheating leads to bad things. Others may differ there.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 31, 2011
at 10:31 PM

No problem, sherpa. : ) I used to write a cooking column for a small newspaper where I got to interview home cooks and print their favorite recipes. It's so fun looking into this aspect of people's lives.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:43 PM

Yes, "eating because I was bored" is how I translate food for entertainment. I get great enjoyment out of food, especially a well-cooked steak. 8)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 31, 2011
at 05:16 PM

You will always be my Zero Carb Queen, Ambimorph!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 31, 2011
at 05:16 PM

Thanks for asking this Portesa! I have no desire to go Zero Carb, but I still found it extremely interesting to read the replies!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Just so you know, the smoking is nice but not necessary. About half the bacon we make we leave unsmoked. A pancetta style spice mix, with juniper berries, garlic, thyme, nutmeg and bay leaves (and salt, of course), works really well without a smoker.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 11:40 PM

That looks amazing. I'll definitely give it a try if I ever have access to pork belly and a smoker.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 30, 2011
at 10:32 PM

I don't know. It's possible I need to stay highly ketogenic to keep my mood healthy, so I'd have to proceed with caution. ZC can be daunting to think about, so I try to stay more focused on the short-term.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 30, 2011
at 04:18 PM

Okay, now I'm showing off a little. ::grin:: Here's how we do it, with pictures of one of our early attempts: http://paleohacks.com/questions/36078/all-bacon-at-whole-foods-has-evaporated-cane-juice-wtf/36085#36085

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 04:09 PM

I'll look for homemade bacon recipes - Alton Brown maybe? VLC also leaves me struggling with carb cravings... I'm thinking ZC might be my best strategy.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 04:04 PM

I weighed about 220 four years ago and lost 70+ going through a divorce. I've managed to keep most of it off, but 10-12 lbs have creeped back on and have been very stubborn. I'm 5'7" and like how I feel/look at about 148-150.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 03:54 PM

I think there's a big difference between enjoying your food and eating for entertainment. For me, eating for entertainment usually meant eating because I was bored.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 30, 2011
at 03:18 PM

Oh, and I used to use a fair amount of butter and cream. It doesn't make me "fat" per se, but it seems to keep me stuck in the low 150s. If I don't do dairy, I easily maintain in the high 140s. It's a vanity thing, mostly. At 5'5", I'd rather be in the 140s. :) One thing that adds variety and tastiness is that my husband loves to make sausage and bacon at home. It's pretty easy (especially bacon), and I totally recommend homemade bacon over any storebought brand. You can control and even leave out the chemical crap that goes into most commercial stuff.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 30, 2011
at 03:12 PM

Portesa, the last time I plugged my calories into Nutritiondata.com, I was at 1800 - 2000 cals/day. It feels like plenty to me. I eat to satisfy hunger; I don't walk around with a rumbly belly. I have no carb cravings eating this way; there's nothing to set off the cycle. When I was VLC, carb cravings were a problem, and I would fall off the wagon big time (I weighed 220 when I started, and my weight comes back fast). The worst that's happened on ZC is the 90% chocolate -- sometimes I couldn't stop at one piece. The 99% takes care of that.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 06:34 AM

Also Rose, did you struggle much with carb cravings when you started eating this way?

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 06:30 AM

Ambi - when you reach your goal weight will you add more carbs back in?

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 06:29 AM

Thanks, Rose. I was hoping you'd chime in. Is it hard to get enough calories? It doesn't sound like you're eating much. Do you add extra fat?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 29, 2011
at 08:53 PM

I've lost about 50 lbs, and I'm nearly at goal. I started with weight loss as primary goal, but kept with it for the dramatic improvement to my moods. No bathroom issues -- bowels were a little loose the first couple of weeks, but it settled down.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 29, 2011
at 05:54 PM

Claudia, here's a thread about that: http://paleohacks.com/questions/31385/current-former-zero-carbers-how-did-little-no-fiber-impact-your-bowel-habits#axzz1NlVP8LJN

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 29, 2011
at 05:20 PM

Muzzle, it's a habit I started when I gave Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet a whirl a few years ago. It's practically the only part that worked out well for me, lol. I just noticed that my stomach felt better if ate the yolks only, and I suspect I have some kind of inflammatory reaction to the whites. My dog's happy with the arrangement.

3c997ffae3db9464325b96979346d9e9

(1290)

on May 29, 2011
at 05:02 PM

My comment was possibly directed more at the site and less at this question but you are making assumptions about the questioner and are talking about a very specific situation

D05e94d3fa7fbf32eb56445ad932f654

(773)

on May 29, 2011
at 04:48 PM

Hi Rose, why only egg yolks?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 29, 2011
at 04:43 PM

Bizarre obsessiveness? Zero carb is just one end of a very full spectrum of dietary choices. Perhaps it's of no interest to you but for many, especially those who have battled weight and health issues, it can be an effective tool in the fight against both. If you've never been obese or suffered painful disease you really have no right to judge anyone's choices.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 29, 2011
at 04:25 PM

I think in this, as in so many other things, people vary. I've been ZC a fairly long time now, and I still get tremendous enjoyment from my food, especially when I take the time to prepare it well. And I can say absolutely that I savor my dry-aged ribeye, or my crispy chicken skin, way more than the pasta I used to mindlessly scarf down.

55dbaa499be7740b1cf5a0b5adf188f1

(198)

on May 29, 2011
at 04:15 PM

How is your digestion? As in trips to do #2 in the bathroom? It seems like it would be difficult...but I hope I am wrong.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on May 29, 2011
at 03:58 PM

I hate the idea of food no longer being used for entertainment. We are meant to get enjoyment from our food. Eating is a sacrament that symbolizes the greatest of achievements: survival. It is bred into our pleasure receptor to be thought of as rewarding. Food is the continuation of life!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 29, 2011
at 03:17 PM

i think zero carb is awesome for weight loss.....but horrible for performance exercise. One has to be careful with your exercise because it will drive you cortisol up. Its controllable if you pay heed to it and I personally think a human can live well this way. A guy like Anthony Colpo would die eating this way.....context matters. Nice Post Ambi plus one

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 29, 2011
at 02:42 PM

Wow, 19 months - have you lost much weight during this time? Were you doing this to lose weight?

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 29, 2011
at 02:41 PM

I like the idea of food no longer being used for entertainment.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 29, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Why would you say you can't avoid carbs? If on a particular day you eat no eggs or organs, and no herbs or spices, you get negligible carbs. If you eat avocado and sweet potato, and up to 30g carbohydrate, this question doesn't apply to you. You are VLC, not ZC.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 29, 2011
at 02:29 PM

Why would you say you can't avoid carbs? If on a particular day you eat no eggs or organs, and no herbs or spices, you get negligible carbs. If you eat avocado and sweet potato, why do you think this question applies to you? You are VLC, not ZC.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 29, 2011
at 02:08 PM

Why would you say you can't avoid carbs? If on a particular day you eat no eggs or organs, and no herbs or spices, you get negligible carbs. If you eat avocado and sweet potato, why on earth do you think this question applies to you?

9f933fedd259b97a5369c3ee5dae3151

(341)

on May 29, 2011
at 02:01 PM

There's such thing as zero carb? I highly doubt it.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on May 29, 2011
at 01:57 PM

I don't think you read the question.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on May 29, 2011
at 01:47 PM

I believe she was asking about zero carb menus. Yours, while low carb, is definitely not at zero.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on May 29, 2011
at 01:34 PM

Yikes! Thanks Ben!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 29, 2011
at 01:20 PM

If its a short term experiment you do, I'd say only muscle meat is fine. Maybe for 2-4 weeks? But anything too long and you're going to be missing out on some nutrients, vitamins, etc. that non-muscle stuff gives you. I did only animal flesh for 3 months and ate almost NO organ meat. I had to start sucking limes, not kidding, because my gums had started bleeding from scurvy. Absolutely serious.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on May 29, 2011
at 12:57 PM

I'm curious about this too- I'm wondering if it's okay to just do muscle meats, or if organs and/or bone broth are essentials to get all the needed nutrients.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on May 29, 2011
at 07:13 AM

Bri- why do you limit avocado? Curious because I am doing a whole30 (I've been low-carb/paleo for over 3 years now) and am keeping avocado a staple in my diet.

A840a825c42276ad05f0a2c0bb2f914e

(46)

on May 29, 2011
at 07:08 AM

Keep in mind 30 is on a high "cheat" type day. I am pretty consistently under 20 at this point, but took a while to get here.

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11 Answers

7
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 29, 2011
at 03:49 PM

Like Ambimorph, I've been zero-carb for nearly two years, and do it for both weight loss and therapeutic reasons (history of seizures and RA). I don't do any kind of performance athletics -- my athletic pursuits are painting and reading, lol -- so I don't worry too much if I can't press 200 pounds. My dog seems to find me energetic enough on our long walks.

Here's a typical meal day.

Breakfast: Black coffee, two egg yolks fried in bacon fat, leftover meat from night before (or chorizo from a local Latin market, if no leftovers). My dog gets the whites. About two or three days a week I don't eat breakfast. It's not a strict plan; it just happens.

Lunch: Either leftover meat from last night's dinner, or sardines and hard boiled egg, or three large plain hamburger patties at Jack in the Box, or a big hunk of grilled salmon from the fancy supermarket (once a week treat). I used to have some pastured butter with this, but I'm weaning myself off the cow crack. Again.

Dinner: Weekly regulars: Roasted chicken, 80/20 burgers, fresh fish. Other nights, whatever's in the "green meat" bin at the supermarket, if I didn't thaw something.

No snacking, generally (when it's meat and eggs only, there aren't a lot of munchy options, and that turns out well for me). Also like Ambimorph, I indulge in some very dark chocolate once in a while. It was 90% Lindt, but I'm really liking the 99% World Market stuff The Quilt recommends. There's very little sugar, so limiting it is easy, and it tastes wonderful.

ETA: At least once a month I make broth from bones, either marrow or oxtail. In the winter some kale goes in after straining. I also eat chicken livers, hearts, and gizzards a couple times a month, fried with bacon, and I try to get as much seafood as I can, usually when we go out to a restaurant (sashimi, for example, or steamed clams). I do think it's important to give yourself the most nutrient-dense foods you can, no matter what "style" of eating you follow.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 04:04 PM

I weighed about 220 four years ago and lost 70+ going through a divorce. I've managed to keep most of it off, but 10-12 lbs have creeped back on and have been very stubborn. I'm 5'7" and like how I feel/look at about 148-150.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 29, 2011
at 05:20 PM

Muzzle, it's a habit I started when I gave Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet a whirl a few years ago. It's practically the only part that worked out well for me, lol. I just noticed that my stomach felt better if ate the yolks only, and I suspect I have some kind of inflammatory reaction to the whites. My dog's happy with the arrangement.

D05e94d3fa7fbf32eb56445ad932f654

(773)

on May 29, 2011
at 04:48 PM

Hi Rose, why only egg yolks?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 30, 2011
at 03:12 PM

Portesa, the last time I plugged my calories into Nutritiondata.com, I was at 1800 - 2000 cals/day. It feels like plenty to me. I eat to satisfy hunger; I don't walk around with a rumbly belly. I have no carb cravings eating this way; there's nothing to set off the cycle. When I was VLC, carb cravings were a problem, and I would fall off the wagon big time (I weighed 220 when I started, and my weight comes back fast). The worst that's happened on ZC is the 90% chocolate -- sometimes I couldn't stop at one piece. The 99% takes care of that.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 06:34 AM

Also Rose, did you struggle much with carb cravings when you started eating this way?

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 06:29 AM

Thanks, Rose. I was hoping you'd chime in. Is it hard to get enough calories? It doesn't sound like you're eating much. Do you add extra fat?

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 04:09 PM

I'll look for homemade bacon recipes - Alton Brown maybe? VLC also leaves me struggling with carb cravings... I'm thinking ZC might be my best strategy.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 30, 2011
at 03:18 PM

Oh, and I used to use a fair amount of butter and cream. It doesn't make me "fat" per se, but it seems to keep me stuck in the low 150s. If I don't do dairy, I easily maintain in the high 140s. It's a vanity thing, mostly. At 5'5", I'd rather be in the 140s. :) One thing that adds variety and tastiness is that my husband loves to make sausage and bacon at home. It's pretty easy (especially bacon), and I totally recommend homemade bacon over any storebought brand. You can control and even leave out the chemical crap that goes into most commercial stuff.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 11:40 PM

That looks amazing. I'll definitely give it a try if I ever have access to pork belly and a smoker.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 30, 2011
at 04:18 PM

Okay, now I'm showing off a little. ::grin:: Here's how we do it, with pictures of one of our early attempts: http://paleohacks.com/questions/36078/all-bacon-at-whole-foods-has-evaporated-cane-juice-wtf/36085#36085

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Just so you know, the smoking is nice but not necessary. About half the bacon we make we leave unsmoked. A pancetta style spice mix, with juniper berries, garlic, thyme, nutmeg and bay leaves (and salt, of course), works really well without a smoker.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on June 01, 2011
at 02:23 PM

Rose, I cooked some egg yolks (with a little cream) for breakfast this morning. I struggle with eczema and eggs seem to make it worse, so I'm experimenting with yolks-only to see if I can tolerate them better. Damn, they taste sooooo much better without the whites!

6
C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on May 29, 2011
at 09:28 AM

Bacon and eggs for breakfast.

Canned salmon or sardines at work for lunch.

Steak for dinner.

So it's very plain but after a couple of weeks eating this way, food became no longer entertainment but just something I had to do for nourishment. The body is best adapted for these foods and always receives them well. I don't know if I'll get sick of it but to me every steak tastes as good as the last.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 29, 2011
at 02:41 PM

I like the idea of food no longer being used for entertainment.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 03:54 PM

I think there's a big difference between enjoying your food and eating for entertainment. For me, eating for entertainment usually meant eating because I was bored.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 29, 2011
at 04:25 PM

I think in this, as in so many other things, people vary. I've been ZC a fairly long time now, and I still get tremendous enjoyment from my food, especially when I take the time to prepare it well. And I can say absolutely that I savor my dry-aged ribeye, or my crispy chicken skin, way more than the pasta I used to mindlessly scarf down.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on May 29, 2011
at 03:58 PM

I hate the idea of food no longer being used for entertainment. We are meant to get enjoyment from our food. Eating is a sacrament that symbolizes the greatest of achievements: survival. It is bred into our pleasure receptor to be thought of as rewarding. Food is the continuation of life!

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:43 PM

Yes, "eating because I was bored" is how I translate food for entertainment. I get great enjoyment out of food, especially a well-cooked steak. 8)

5
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 29, 2011
at 02:27 PM

With the caveat that in recent weeks I've taken to eating a square of baking chocolate a couple times a week, I've been quite strictly zero carb for more than 19 months.

A typical day might include a ribeye steak for lunch and a plate of chicken thighs for supper. Or maybe it's pork ribs for lunch and hamburgers for supper. I do eat liver, and occasionally other organs, but not on a "typical day", only a couple times a month. So, I'd say I do the "plain and simple" version. It's not that I haven't "found ways to add interest", it's that I don't feel the need to truss up the food much. It's tasty and satisfying the way it is.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 29, 2011
at 02:42 PM

Wow, 19 months - have you lost much weight during this time? Were you doing this to lose weight?

55dbaa499be7740b1cf5a0b5adf188f1

(198)

on May 29, 2011
at 04:15 PM

How is your digestion? As in trips to do #2 in the bathroom? It seems like it would be difficult...but I hope I am wrong.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 29, 2011
at 08:53 PM

I've lost about 50 lbs, and I'm nearly at goal. I started with weight loss as primary goal, but kept with it for the dramatic improvement to my moods. No bathroom issues -- bowels were a little loose the first couple of weeks, but it settled down.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 29, 2011
at 03:17 PM

i think zero carb is awesome for weight loss.....but horrible for performance exercise. One has to be careful with your exercise because it will drive you cortisol up. Its controllable if you pay heed to it and I personally think a human can live well this way. A guy like Anthony Colpo would die eating this way.....context matters. Nice Post Ambi plus one

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 30, 2011
at 10:32 PM

I don't know. It's possible I need to stay highly ketogenic to keep my mood healthy, so I'd have to proceed with caution. ZC can be daunting to think about, so I try to stay more focused on the short-term.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 01, 2011
at 04:15 PM

(Blush) Thanks, Melissa!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 29, 2011
at 05:54 PM

Claudia, here's a thread about that: http://paleohacks.com/questions/31385/current-former-zero-carbers-how-did-little-no-fiber-impact-your-bowel-habits#axzz1NlVP8LJN

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 30, 2011
at 06:30 AM

Ambi - when you reach your goal weight will you add more carbs back in?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 31, 2011
at 05:16 PM

You will always be my Zero Carb Queen, Ambimorph!

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on July 22, 2013
at 08:17 AM

@Quilt the Mongolians ate nothing but lamb and conquered the world thru warfare, no need for carbs. much harder than anthony colpo's scenic bike rides. i think you can adapt to ZC and you recycle lactic acid back into glycogen. ZC is not necessarily horrible for performance but if you half ass it i.e. eat some vegs, alot of seasonings/sauces, for some reason you don't adapt as well. thats my experience. i feel great eating nothing but lamb, beef and H2O. add in fermented vegs, sauces/spices and other VLC foods and i feel worse

4
3b7e6c77a5412587152c9e3f22b41c2a

(434)

on June 01, 2011
at 03:31 PM

I'm currently eating:

  • a constant stream of coffee with liberal amounts of half-and-half in it. I haven't measured, but I'm probably getting substantial calories from just the constant stream of half-and-half. I drink two or three pots of coffee a day, which works out to around 15 or 30 cups, I guess.
  • breakfast: nothing (else), because I think intermittent fasting may be very good for health in a few ways, but also because I don't particularly feel hungry and can skip it without difficulty
  • lunch: leftovers from my children's breakfast, such as sausage, fried egg, fried hamburger. There is never any bacon left over, alas. Some days my awesome wife ambimorph broils dried ribeye steak for lunch. Yum!
  • dinner: hamburger with mustard, ribeye, pork chops, or chicken thighs.

Occasionally, maybe once a month, I eat some calf liver, bone broth, or fish.

I take only one supplement currently: a 500 mg vitamin C pill.

I've always had a recurring problem with my skin getting dry and cracked and itchy, on many different parts of my body. Also my gums have always had a tendency to get sore and bleed if I forget to floss regularly. Sometimes people would say the itchy red patches I had on my skin were "eczema", but I haven't really investigated enough to confirm or refute that diagnosis.

After about 12 months on my zero-carb diet, this condition returned and was worse than ever???it appeared on more parts of my skin, including for the first time my forehead, and the cracks on the backs of my fingers and the soles of my feet seemed deeper and less wont to heal, and my gums ached a lot.

Inspired by Paul Jaminet's unreliable but interesting blog, I tried adding vitamin C supplements. This seems to have mostly done the trick! As long as I remember to take a 500 mg vitamin C pill every day, the sores and cracks start healing up. If I forget, they start reappearing.

So that's my current regime. Oh, and in the last month I've made five separate "exceptions" to my diet and eaten an ice cream milkshake or a few bowls full of frozen blueberries with half-and-half on top. I think that was bad for me???for example I had sleepiness, stiffness, and a bad mood in the following days, and I also think I've gained a few kilograms of excess weight at some point.

Changes I intend to make in the near future:

  1. Strictly no more sugary exceptions (which includes blueberries) until further notice.
  2. Try to remember to take a vitamin C pill every single day for a few weeks and see what happens with my fragile skin.
  3. Try to get more diverse meats other than just cow/pig/chicken muscle. Maybe more frequent liver, bone broth, sardines, fish, shellfish. Maybe brains? Kidneys? Intestines?

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on June 02, 2011
at 05:10 AM

That's good to know. I'll stick with 500 mg for now and see if it helps.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on June 01, 2011
at 04:58 PM

Thanks, Zooko. I have eczema also, but have never tried vitamin C for it. Will definitely give it a try!

3b7e6c77a5412587152c9e3f22b41c2a

(434)

on June 01, 2011
at 10:00 PM

By advice from Paul Jaminet's blog and from my awesome wife ambimorph, I increased vitamin C dosage daily for a month. At the end of that I was taking around 13g/day. I had thought that this was eventually supposed to overload my capacity to absorb vitamin C and I would have diarrhea, but I never did. What does this say about my body? That I have some extremely high need for vitamin C and could absorb more than 10g/day? I don't know. In any case I grew tired of taking many pills, and it hadn't helped with my skin! So I cut down to 500 mg/day, and only *then* did my skin start to clear up.

3
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 31, 2011
at 04:50 PM

My version of 'zero carbs' is to avoid any food with more than minimal carbs, but I definitely don't want to turn 'zero/low carbs' into an obsession or religion. So for me this means no fruit, no unfermented dairy, no grains of course, etc. My 'bad' high-carb food is nuts - still indulge once in a while. I like veggies but avoid sweeter ones like carrots and peas.

So what I eat these days (it's still a work in progress!):

  • For breakfast, two or three eggs scrambled in coconut oil, sometimes with bacon or (lately) liver (gonna try kidneys next), with a forkful of pastured butter, sprinkled with lots of tumeric and sumac (my latest favorite spice) and sometimes kelp. And a glass of home-made kefir (yum!).

  • At work I sometimes have the chicken in the local cafe and their veggies if they seem ok. There's a new Japanese restaurant that has a fantastic Hamachi Kama (shoulder of yellow-tail) or I'll have their sashimi (all the other restaurants around cook with too much sugar). Or I'll have an egg. Or sometimes I just have a tablespoon of coconut oil and skip lunch.

  • In the evenings I'll often have some veggie like broccoli or asparagus (lately I've been making a fantastic kale salad - a great way to get lots of green), usually a scoop of sauerkraut (homemade if I have some), and some kind of meat like sausage (not made with sugar) or burger. Once in a while I'll finish off the rest of my daughter's uneaten melon or have some blueberries, but usually don't bother with fruit.

  • Don't often snack nowadays, but sometimes I'll have an egg (especially if at a cafe) and lately I've found a source for fresh pastured hamburger and have been snacking on it raw (reminds me of being a kid and sneaking raw hamburger!) That last by the way has been great - I get the perfect kind of food-based energy boost that I always tried to get from coffee! I'm still leery of raw meat but I do like the burger...

I try very hard not to get hungry - will have nuts or cheese even if I need to. I've been 'burned' too many times feeling "noble" from fasting - and then binging out of control.

Definitely interested in expanding my repertoire, and have bookmarked many of the recipes posted here. Here is a fantastic Question by the way, with lots of great recipe Answers: http://paleohacks.com/questions/40587/whats-your-show-stopping-no-fail-slam-dunk-leave-em-wanting-more-paleo-recipe.

Personally, the very-low to zero carbs thing has been a fantastic health tool for me. It's what finally - finally - allowed me to really change my diet (not just 'be on a diet') and improve my health definitively. Plus it's nearly effortless! But I probably was prediabetic so the carbs were very damaging for me in even small amounts. Another person might be fine with some decent carbs, and be fine just eliminating the worst kinds. As they say, Your Mileage May Vary.

0
Medium avatar

(19469)

on June 01, 2011
at 12:07 AM

I don't do ZERO carbs, but do go pretty low carb on occasion and feel quite good while doing so.

A typical day (like today) looks like this..

Green Tea with coconut milk

Venison with sour cream

Lettuce wrap with venison

Mixed green and veggie (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) salad with pork loin and mustard

2 hardboiled eggs, celery stalks, jalepeno cheddar cheese

unsweetened chocolate with a small (~3oz) glass of heavy cream

0
0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 31, 2011
at 10:27 PM

I'm also wondering... do you hardcore zero-carbers ever have cheat days or cheat meals? Or does zero carb mean zero carb all the time? If you do indulge, is it hard to get back on the wagon?

How strict are you about this??

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 31, 2011
at 10:50 PM

I've tried a couple times in the last two years to add small amounts of veggies and "safe" starches, like sweet potato, back in. The result is very rapid return of joint pain, followed by 10-20 pounds. So for me, no; cheating leads to bad things. Others may differ there.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:12 PM

It's not strict but I just don't go there. I'm too addictive and undisciplined to stop at just one cheat day. Instead I consider my occasional indulgence in nuts and cheese my "cheat" - it's a nice way not to stress about it. Now I just need to figure out where that bottle of wine I drank last night fits in... :-)

0
A840a825c42276ad05f0a2c0bb2f914e

(46)

on May 29, 2011
at 07:05 AM

Well, no matter what you do, there will be carbs in your day. I recently started going "no-carb" and still am getting some in my day, not more than 30 grams though. There are lots of reasons you could hit a plateau...what does a day look like for you right now? are you paleo already?

I use almond milk for my coffee, no nuts/nut butters, no fruit. Re-introducing red meats, bison (which is awesome didn't know what i was missing before, plus it is super filling), fish, adding coconut oil, love avocado but now limit it. Eggs for breakfast (which I rarely even want) If my body really craves it i'll make a sweat potato but thats only been about 2-3 times in the past month. Once I can eat nuts and almond butter in moderation i'll keep it in the house again, but eat in very limited quantities. As far as them being plain...I learned to use seasoning and things like that when I went paleo, there is so much you can do and so much more flavor to a good paleo recipe.

I don't want to give you a "typical day" of food becuase I am still tweaking to see what works for me. Which means I am really limiting what I eat so I can see what how different things effect me. Also, I find that I now don't feel the need to eat so often or as much. its a strange feeling and am struggling with this adjustment. I have never had a problem with not feeling hungry!!! So far I am loving how the "no-carb" lifestyle feels though, feel better now than when I was eating fruits and stuff like that.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on May 29, 2011
at 07:13 AM

Bri- why do you limit avocado? Curious because I am doing a whole30 (I've been low-carb/paleo for over 3 years now) and am keeping avocado a staple in my diet.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 29, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Why would you say you can't avoid carbs? If on a particular day you eat no eggs or organs, and no herbs or spices, you get negligible carbs. If you eat avocado and sweet potato, and up to 30g carbohydrate, this question doesn't apply to you. You are VLC, not ZC.

A840a825c42276ad05f0a2c0bb2f914e

(46)

on May 29, 2011
at 07:08 AM

Keep in mind 30 is on a high "cheat" type day. I am pretty consistently under 20 at this point, but took a while to get here.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 29, 2011
at 02:08 PM

Why would you say you can't avoid carbs? If on a particular day you eat no eggs or organs, and no herbs or spices, you get negligible carbs. If you eat avocado and sweet potato, why on earth do you think this question applies to you?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 29, 2011
at 02:29 PM

Why would you say you can't avoid carbs? If on a particular day you eat no eggs or organs, and no herbs or spices, you get negligible carbs. If you eat avocado and sweet potato, why do you think this question applies to you? You are VLC, not ZC.

A840a825c42276ad05f0a2c0bb2f914e

(46)

on June 01, 2011
at 02:53 PM

Danielle-I don't eat avacado because of the carbs. I am in the process of trying to get to ZC but doing it in steps to I can see how I feel as I drop. Ambimorph- sorry, should have been more specific...I am working on ZC, right now probably considered VLC (i'm under 20 a day days and under 10 some), until this past week I would hit 30 occasionally, sweet potato days. However, I really don't want carbs anymore and even some avocado the other day bothered me. You def can avoid carbs, still learning to process this.

-1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on June 01, 2011
at 03:44 PM

I find that I really miss vegetables if I don't have them, but I tend to limit myself to just the crunchy ones. There might be some trace carbs there. I eat carbs freely after workouts, I find that if I don't, my muscles take forever to recover.

Breakfast (one or more of):
Coffee with 1-2 Tbsp heavy cream
1-2 eggs fried in butter
Sausage patties (some trace carbs due to sugar)
Scrapple (has some trace carbs due to corn meal)

Lunch:
Salad with chicken/ham/eggs, spinach, red peppers, mushrooms, bleu cheese, sunflower seeds, etc. olive oil, vinegar.
Meat or liver sauteed in bacon fat or oil, vegetables such as those used in the salad sauteed in the fat
Chipotle bowl with no rice or beans
Kebabs with salad
2-3 egg omelete with cheese, parsley, etc.
Home made chicken soup (some trace carbs in the carrots)
Hard or soft cheese, maybe with thin slices of apple (some carbs)

Dinner:
Beef, lamb, dark meat chicken, salmon, blue fish, other seafood, etc.
Broccoli, broccolini, broccoli rabe, chard, spinach, etc.
Red wine (some carbs in this)
Very dark (~80%) chocolate (some carbs in this)
Home made chicken soup (some trace carbs in the carrots)
Hard or soft cheese, maybe with thin slices of apple (some carbs)

After workouts (I don't worry about carbs here):
Whole raw milk
Banana
Smoothie with fruits + coconut cream

Snack / late night:
Warm coconut milk or cream with stevia, cinnamon, and maybe bourbon/rum
Dark chocolate
Whole raw almonds (not many, 5-10 at a time)
Smoked salmon

This is the typical day-to-day and it doesn't really vary much from here unless I'm traveling or staying with friends. I don't religiously count carbs but I don't imagine there are more than 25-50g in a typical day, most days it is close to zero. The biggest cheat is probably the wine.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on June 01, 2011
at 08:55 PM

Do you notice any differences between eating zero-carb and low-carb?

-2
9f933fedd259b97a5369c3ee5dae3151

on May 29, 2011
at 01:26 PM

Breakfast: a small amount of blueberries with a couple tablespoons of coconut oil, 3-4 oz of kefir milk.

Lunch: eggs, 2 veggies that are in season (a lot of asparagus about!), most of the times a meat like liver/ground beef

Dinner: Again 2 veggies + meat like pork chops/chicken, or a roast/stew

I replace milk in recipes with a 'milk' I make from chia seeds. No nuts, fruits besides tart berries, starchy things. All our veggies from farmer's markets twice a week, all meat from a local butcher. No canned things for me.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on May 29, 2011
at 01:57 PM

I don't think you read the question.

9f933fedd259b97a5369c3ee5dae3151

(341)

on May 29, 2011
at 02:01 PM

There's such thing as zero carb? I highly doubt it.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on May 29, 2011
at 01:47 PM

I believe she was asking about zero carb menus. Yours, while low carb, is definitely not at zero.

-7
3c997ffae3db9464325b96979346d9e9

on May 29, 2011
at 04:26 PM

The obsessivenss on this site borders on the bizarre to me but I have learned a bit anyway and have contributed some.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 29, 2011
at 04:43 PM

Bizarre obsessiveness? Zero carb is just one end of a very full spectrum of dietary choices. Perhaps it's of no interest to you but for many, especially those who have battled weight and health issues, it can be an effective tool in the fight against both. If you've never been obese or suffered painful disease you really have no right to judge anyone's choices.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 01, 2011
at 12:39 AM

Your answer here borders on the bizarre to everybody.

3c997ffae3db9464325b96979346d9e9

(1290)

on June 01, 2011
at 01:28 PM

Pastured pork cracklings are a sure cure for thin-skinned Paleotitis.

3c997ffae3db9464325b96979346d9e9

(1290)

on May 29, 2011
at 05:02 PM

My comment was possibly directed more at the site and less at this question but you are making assumptions about the questioner and are talking about a very specific situation

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 31, 2011
at 11:52 PM

RN I don't know how else to interpret your comment. You actually used the words bizarre and obsessive. I think I understand what you are saying that this question was just one of the crazy ones that make you think we're all pretty much nuts and caused you to make comment. I get that. I think some of the questions are pretty nutty sometimes too. I can only say that we should all be very grateful we don't have any ailment that forces you to eat such a restrictive diet. I dare say those who eat ZC would much prefer not to but they choose health over food which isn't obsessive or bizarre IMO.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on June 01, 2011
at 05:04 PM

I don't think its thin skin, but rather genuine confusion as to your comment.

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