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Things are starting to go really well. My skin is phenomenally clear and moist. The fluttering heartbeat that often accompanies a big shift like this is gone. In fact, my resting pulse was back to normal – low enough to set off the “minimum” alarm on a heart rate monitor. I have little body odor, no morning breath, my hair has softened, my eyes are clearing, my tongue has fantastic color (although I’m noticing a very small V appearing in the back of the tongue – Acupuncturists feel free to drop some knowledge in the comments section).

Interestingly, I’m not showing any overt signs of ketosis, the metabolic state that Dr. Fatkins and other low-carbers refer to as being some kind of holy grail (a line of logic that doesn’t jive with the mainstream very well, especially considering that ketosis is the state your body enters into WHEN YOU ARE STARVING!)

But I’m not one to feel great and say, “Ho brah, this meat diet is da kine! I think I finally found my perfect diet,” or what have you. Lots of things that make us feel really good come at a cost.

Here’s a potential scenario…

The stress of going too low in carbohydrates induces a stress response. My adrenal glands activate and my system is flooded with adrenaline, cortisol, beta endorphin, and norepinephrine. The result would be reduced allergies from the epinephrine, a great buzz from endorphins, good mental focus, clarity, and a good mood, and a reduction of physical pain from cortisol’s anti-inflammatory effects. Anyone who has ever done a “cleanse” or fast has probably felt some of these same physiological effects.

But these changes, because of the counter-regulatory systems of the body, would come at a price. For one, receptor sites for all those feel-good biochemicals would shut down (called downregulation). That way you feel normal, instead of high, with elevated amounts of those chemicals. This is a strategy the body employs to maintain normalcy of its other systems. This opens up the door for addiction. If you go back to “normal,” eating a diet with carbohydrates, these feel-good chemicals get lowered, and since you have less receptor sites, having even normal levels of those chemicals feels crappy because you don’t have your old level of receptor sites to get those chemicals into the system where they can function. Anybody get that? The only way to spike those chemicals back high enough, to where your limited number of receptor sites can take in enough juice, is to go back to a diet or activity that spikes those biochemicals.

More on up and downregulation, addiction, and how that plays a role in the feel-good effects of taking up a new and very different (extreme) diet tomorrow.

Today’s menu. Still eating like a horse… well, make that a tiger:

Breakfast: 2 slices uber-fatty totally uncured pastured bacon with all grease, 10 ounces calamari steak, 5 oz. shrimp head/crab tomalley broth, 1T butter

Lunch: 2 ounces raw milk cheddar, 8 soft-boiled eggs

Snack: 5 ounces Brie

Dinner: 8 ounces fatty ribeye