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[Guest Post] A 40-something year old's “deep dive” how-to for getting lean, feeling powerful, sleeping deeply…all while eating delicious filling food.
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I have to first admit something:
When I first read the deep dive post I’m about to share with you (all of my BB fans), I immediately saw the author’s ‘school-of-hard-knocks’ health challenges, revealed, in myself.
Up until 2020, I too was struggling with major digestive issues. I saw the naturopaths, got the advanced blood tests, tried eating a “well-balanced” diet — including even elimating gluten as much as possible.
But a feeling of sluggishness, bloating and mental fog was always meandering through my body
What changed for me?
HOW I eat… and WHAT I eat. That simple.
For the past several weeks, I’ve been meaning to write out my own “personal health diary” of sorts. However, Michael Geary’s post, unbenownst to him, has pretty much wrote it for me.
Michael is a gentlemen I’ve watched grow online, since the early 2000’s (via his Truth about Six-Pack Abs brand, and recent Fat-Burning Kitchen offering). So, when I read the post below, I was super-pumped to see him overview the same eating routine I started focusing on in 2020.
While not exactly to the T (i.e., I don’t eat oysters and/or a lot of organ meat), what you’re about to read, is also what has been responsible for my own transformation to feeling more enegerizied, focused, and productive.
This is the kind of 3rd-party content (i.e., high-quality) I usually only reserve, to be linked out, via my WEEKEND WHATS newsletter. However, this is a must-read for everyone on my list.
This will now be archived under my Bear’s Buleltins /HEATH category (link only accessible via a web-browser, not the Substack app).
Over to Michael:
At 47, I'm feeling like a million bucks, the best I can ever remember feeling. I've continued to optimize my diet and overall health routines every year. I honestly feel better right now in my late 40s than most of my 20's and 30s...
I can hike a steep mountain all day and not even feel tired. I do sprints at the soccer field and they don't even gas me anymore. I swim laps in my pool and can hold my breath for double the distance I used to be able to.
Everybody that knows me says I have more energy than anyone they know my age.
After years of digestive issues, when I was eating tons of veggies and fiber years ago, I've finally found the diet (animal based) that has solved my digestion issues; my digestion feels incredible every day now. And I sleep 8 to 8.5 hours every night now, deeply; whereas for years I had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep in the middle of the night. I feel lean and strong all the time now. And my testosterone is naturally high without ever once using TRT.
I occasionally screw up and overeat certain things if I'm at a party or at a restaurant, but I don't worry about it, because I know I'm back on my normal diet the next day and will feel incredible again. If you think about it, if I screw up 2x per month and eat too much ice cream, cake and drink too much, I still had 28 days out of 30 of eating exactly what I know makes me feel incredible.
I want to share my simple way of eating that I know can help a lot of people, because everyone that stays with me loves the way I eat and a lot of friends end up adopting the way I eat and say it's best they've ever felt too.
You may disagree with me if you're a plant based advocate, but I'm not looking for a debate here, so please let's not go there. You can either try the way I eat and decide for yourself, or if you feel like you're already 100% optimized, then keep doing what you're doing.
👉 A couple points...
1. I'm not eating "carnivore" per se...
I do eat some plant foods, but mostly fruit (including non-sweet fruit like cucumbers, squash, and avocados), and occasional starches. With that said, 90-95% of my calories comes from grass fed red meat, fish, eggs, honey, and raw dairy, and I feel best on this sort of "animal based diet".
2. I'e discovered that I feel best eating 2 large meals per day, lunch and dinner.
Both meals have at least 60-90 grams of protein each. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient and eating a lot of protein at lunch allows me to NEVER need to snack during the day...I can go from noon to 7 or 8 without even thinking about food. I don't technically "fast" in the mornings, but I don't eat solid food either, because I do a large mug of bone broth first thing, and then coffee with raw honey and grass fed heavy cream.
3. I don't personally eat any "veggies" at all (except some carrots or potatoes occasionally)...
But I don't eat leaf and stem-based veggies like leafy greens or cruciferous veggies. First of all, I don't think leaves and stems are "essential" in any way... there are no unique nutrients in veggies that I can't get in meat, fish, fruit, and raw dairy. And the micronutrients in veggies are not particularly bioavailable... for example, the calcium and iron in veggies are only about 3-4% bioavailability, whereas the calcium and iron in animal-based foods are about 30-40% bioavailability.
Interestingly, whenever I say anything bad about veggies, I always get a certain % of people that get triggered and angry. I never understood why people were so passionate about their beloved veggies (because they don't even taste that good, it's all about the butter and cheese and dressings that are on veggies that taste good. Dry ass greens don't taste good). However, I think I figured out why people get defensive about veggies... it's because your mom told you to "eat your veggies", so by saying bad things about vegetables, you subconsciously think I'm saying your mom was a liar, lol. That's my theory about why people get triggered about veggie hating.
4. Removing veggies and beans was the most important thing that fixed my digestion problems in the last 5-6 years.
I also think oxalates are a bigger issue than most people realize. Even most gurus, doctors, dieticians, etc have never studied the effects of excessive oxalates on human health problems such as kidney stones, thyroid problems, gut problems, joint problems, etc.
Read the book "Toxic Superfoods" by Sally Norton and make your own decision on whether high oxalate veggies, beans, grains etc belong in your diet or not.
Some of what she claims in that book is overstated, but she also has a lot of good research that is mostly misunderstood in the mainstream health world. Although we evolved to tolerate and detoxify a certain level of oxalates in certain plant foods, those foods would have never been available more than maybe 2-3 months a year at most latitudes, whereas now people are bombing themselves with high oxalate foods like spinach, almond milk, almonds, turmeric, cacao, sweet potatoes, beets and beet greens, etc 365 days a year.
Our bodies didn't evolve to detoxify a constant daily assault of exceedingly high oxalate levels... high oxalate foods were probably only eaten maybe 10-20% of the year. Look up green juice cleanses and the associated kidney failures that happen from people doing those stupid diets.
5. The bulk of my diet is made of these simple healthy foods:
- grass fed red meat: beef, bison, venison, elk, etc. (I only eat chicken and pork maybe once or twice a month... red meat wins big time nutritionally)
- wild fish, mostly salmon and herring for me
- oysters, shrimp, lobster, mussels whenever I can get them (oysters are the most nutrient dense food on the planet right behind liver)
- pasture raised eggs (egg yolks are probably the 3rd most nutrient dense food on the planet)
- raw dairy, mostly local raw goat milk, goat yogurt, grass fed heavy cream in my coffee, and a little cheese here and there.
- fruit, including both sweet fruit and non-sweet fruit (I don't eat as much fruit in the winter in a northern latitude as I don't believe it's appropriate from an evolutionary perspective. But I'm not an extremist and still have occasional fruit in winter)
6. I don't eat side dishes.
I find them unnecessary and time consuming. I can sear a steak or a piece of salmon (or both many nights) in about 4 minutes and be eating in under 5 minutes of cook time.
Honestly, once you eat mostly red meat, you don't crave anything else. It's so nourishing, all I want is another steak or burger or ground meat every single night. Every friend that stays with me for extended periods of time agrees that all they end up wanting is more steak every night and they don't feel fully nourished unless they have red meat every night, even if we have some fish too. I try to minimize high mercury fish like tuna to just occasional sushi nights out.
7. I eat a decent amount of organ meats.
The most nutrient dense foods on the planet, which aside from high micronutrient content, also contain unique peptides etc that are beneficial for your organs in many ways (like supports like, such as eating heart gives you unique nutrients important for your heart). Heart and thymus are my favorite organs taste-wise. Most of my organs come from ground meat I buy that contains 10% organs and 90% ground meat which contains a lot of collagen...
Force of Nature have these blends, and so does Northstar Bison, US Wellness Meats, Maui Nui Venison, etc. I also take dessicated organ meats as a supplement (Heart & Soil, and Ancestral Supplements) and it's one of the few supplements I take these days.
Actually, cutting out a lot of the unnecessary plant-based supplements I was taking years ago was another thing that made me actually feel better... for example, turmeric can possibly lower a man's testosterone, and things like green tea extract and others I have my doubts were doing me any good. Simplifying supplements to mostly just dessicated organs, magnesium and a couple other things seemed to improve my health.
Here's what an average day looks like for me...
🌅 [MORNING]: Bone broth first thing while I do hot tub and cold tub and listen to podcasts.
Then coffee with raw honey and grass fed heavy cream (yum!)
🍖 [LUNCH] is then perhaps ground red meat with 10% organs, 2 eggs over easy, raw cheese melted into the meat, and maybe some taco seasoning or organic sloppy joe seasoning. This lunch is incredible and I never get tired of it. Super quick too. After lunch, I'll have some Cocoyo coconut yogurt (200 billion probiotics per container) with wild blueberries or cherries. Or I'll have raw goat yogurt instead.
🍽️ [DINNER] is usually a grass fed ribeye or ny strip steak (much higher in collagen than filet tenderloin cuts), plus a piece of wild salmon, and maybe a half an avocado, some olives, and a few forkfuls of kimchi or kraut (the only veggies I eat are a little fermented veggies like this). Dessert might be a little fruit some days, or a tablespoon of raw honey (I'm obsessed with honey and I believe it has a ton of health benefits, including oral health, nitric oxide and blood flow, and tons more)
And that's about it...
Maybe a square or two of dark chocolate here and there, or a glass of red wine with dinner one or two nights a week or out on a date. Even at restaurants, I usually just order oysters, and then steak and fish, and that's about it.
I don't eat much of the side dishes because they likely cooked in inflammatory vegetable oils (aka, seed oils). I'm not worried about entirely eliminating seed oils, so I'm not obsessed with that like some health influencers...I'll eat a couple fries in they're in front of me, but I keep the quantity super low and it's only occasional.
I'll even enjoy some quality artisan sourdough bread with real butter maybe once or twice a month and enjoy every bite of it! Quality sourdough bread is the easiest form of wheat to digest because the fermentation helps break down the gluten and other antinutrients so it's easier to digest.
I might also drink a coconut water a couple times a week, maybe a potato here and there without the skins (the skins contain most of the antinutrients that can do more harm than good), and maybe a random banana or orange here and there. I absolutely LOVE what I eat every day, and NEVER get tired of these foods.
In fact, my body seems to only want these foods now, and if I'm traveling and get off my diet for a couple days, I start craving just getting back to my simple diet again of meat/fish/fruit/raw dairy, because I just won't feel 100% anymore if I'm eating random restaurant foods, grains, etc.
If your diet isn't working for you, or you want an easy way to fix digestion issues, get lean really easily all while eating delicious filling food, get stronger, and have tons of energy every day…
Honestly the way I've laid this out works for almost every friend of mine that has tried it. Everyone reports that they feel f*cking incredible if they actually put away their biases and beliefs and just try it. In fact, one of my friends tried what I eat for 2 weeks and lost 16 lbs in 2 weeks while loving everything he was eating and felt incredible and satisfied after every meal without any hunger pangs or cravings.
As for fiber, I know this is controversial, but I honestly don't think most humans need much fiber, at least not much more than 5 - 10 grams per day. Personally, my digestion is absolutely perfect on this low level of fiber and years ago when I was eating tons of fiber, I was a mess and always bloated and gassy. Now, with this way of eating, I never have gas (great for dating), am never bloated, and have perfect bowel movements every morning.
And many hunter gatherer groups that display almost perfect health like the Hadza don't eat much fiber either...
The Hadza eat only 5 foods... meat/organs, honey, baobab fruit, berries seasonally, and tubers... but the tubers are so fibrous that they chew them up and spit out the fiber.
There was a journalist that was claiming the Hadza ate a high fiber diet because of these fibrous tubers, but they actually eat a low fiber diet of mostly meat and honey, but just smaller amounts of fruit and berries, and the tubers are their least favorite food and don't even give them that many calories.
Also, I think gurus that cite "studies" about benefits of fiber are mistaken... most of these so called "studies" are just epidemiology (surveys), and I think all it shows is simply that people that eat more fiber are eating less junk food (chips, candy, cookies, cakes, fast food, vegetable oils, sugar, etc)... so was it the fiber that led to their better health or the LACK of all those junk foods I just listed? I think it's the lack of junk foods and not their higher fiber intake.
That's the problem with epidemiology studies...
The researchers try to make a conclusion about something and that's what you see in the headlines, but their conclusion was often the wrong conclusion. The same exact thing happens all the time with trying to claim benefits of a "plant based diet" based on epidemiology studies and the inherent "healthy user bias" that happens... it's not the plants that make people healthy, it's that people that are intentionally trying to be healthy (exercising, drinking less alcohol, eating less junk foods, smoking less, etc) are the ones that trying an intentional eating plan like plant-based... but it has nothing to do with their ratio of plants vs animal foods, and has everything to do with their healthy habits in all areas of their lives. That's why most epidemiology studies are mostly garbage, despite trying to account for these factors.
Anyway, I hope all of this helps if you want to try it. I'm not saying my way of eating will work for everyone, and again, PLEASE DO NOT try to debate me here.
I have no interest in pointless debates, and I definitely have no interest in debating vegans who have no idea what they're talking about and their brains aren't getting enough nutrients to function correctly.
I'm not saying that sarcastically, as there are plenty of studies showing vegans are lacking in DHA/EPA, b12, creatine, carnitine, taurine, zinc, iron, k2, etc, etc which all can affect either brain health or other parts of the body.
In fact, one study showed that adding creatine to vegan/vegetarian diets significantly improved brain function in these plant based dieters, but didn't show any improvement in omnivores, proving that the omnivores already were topped off on creatine (it's in meat), and that the vegans are severely deficient in creatine which was harming their brain function.
Also, let's not forget that vegetarians have 28% lower bone density than omnivores, and vegans have a whopping 48% lower bone density than omnivores.
So if you want to be frail and weak, have lower cognitive function, have a weak immune system, and have a damaged gut from excessive amounts of plant based antinutrients, fiber, etc, then by all means, eat vegan.
I'll continue to eat mostly grass fed red meat (which actually helps the environment instead of vegan foods which harm the environment), and I'll continue to be strong, lean, perfect digestion, and amazing brain clarity on this type of diet.
Back to the Bear:
This post was approved by Mike to be used here. To learn more about Michael Geary and/or his past online pursuits, you can read this interview from 2011, via Tim Ferriss’s blog.