It’s now time for the greatly-anticipated results of Elizabeth Walling’s milk mania. How did it go? As expected. She had the full-on milk diet experience as described by the old-schoolers like J.E. Crewe, Bernarr MacFadden, and Charles Sanford Porter. How’s this for a kickoff to Milk-Man Michael Miles’s upcoming milk diet website? I guess this is as good a time as any to also reveal some news. I’ll be doing the milk diet for most of the month of May while in California. I can’t wait. I’ll be blogging like a madman. Anyway, without further ado, here’s Elizabeth Walling, a woman who clings to the word “Nourish” and who has taken the concept to new heights. Thank you so much Elizabeth. May this inspire many out there in desperate need of a health “miracle.” Make sure to check out Liz’s sweet blog too.
In the past my diet ?experiments? have all turned out less than impressive and mostly disappointing (even depressing–and I mean literally; I’ve learned the hard way both butter and carbs are friends when it comes to my mental health). My milk diet adventure, however, has been the exception. As crazy as it sounds to conventional ears, a full 23 days on pure raw milk offered nothing but improvements for me. Raw milk fans may not be so surprised–after all, they know this traditional food packs a powerful nutritional punch like no other.
I’ve thought the idea of subsisting on raw milk alone was an intriguing concept ever since my early days exploring Realmilk.com, but in recent months it began to strike me that the milk diet may be one of the only extreme diets out there that doesn’t damage the metabolism–in fact, it may actually heal it.
Since I’ve personally never encountered a ?diet? that did anything but hurt me in the long run, the milk diet started to sound tempting as an experiment I could try without further damaging the metabolism I’ve worked so hard to heal during the last two years. While I love to self-experiment, I’m pretty much through beating the heck out of my poor metabolism. It’s been through the ringer and I’d prefer to give it a break. To me, the milk diet sounded like the best of both worlds: do something adventurous with food that has loads of healing potential. After a few encouraging words from Matt, I was headed down to my local farm for ten gallons of fresh milk so I could officially get started.
I spent 23 entire days on raw milk alone. For me, this was a terrific feat, because I have never, ever been able to stick to a strict-strict diet for more than a few days at a time, and I’m not kidding. I guess I just figured I was some sort of defective human with unusually weak willpower (though I’m able to stick to my guns in plenty of other situations that don’t involve food). But when I learned about real food, I discovered what I had considered willpower was actually my body crying out for nourishment.
These days I find my eating habits far easier to stay on top of, but still I wasn’t too sure I would have the motivation to stick to only milk for longer than a few days. But to be honest it was surprisingly easy, and in some ways I seriously thought I could live on raw milk forever and be quite content. And when that happened, I realized that under the right conditions, this thing called willpower came natural to me after all.
Basal Temperature Results
Now, I know a lot of you 180 fans are going to be interested in hearing about how the milk diet affects basal temperature. As long as I can remember my temperature has been low. My mother’s was the same way and I assumed it was genetic. I didn’t realize until the past couple years that it was probably metabolic more than anything. And though I’ve been working on healing my metabolism through diet and lifestyle changes during that time, it wasn’t until I went on the milk diet that I saw the most drastic change in my basal temperature.
I recorded my axillary basal temp in bed almost every morning during the milk diet. For those who don’t know, menstruating women generally have a lower basal temperature during the first half of their cycle, and higher during the last half. This is part of the reason I went on such a long sprint with the milk diet, because I wanted at least three solid weeks to gauge the results and get a real idea of what was happening. And here’s how it turned out:
During the first half of my cycle I averaged 98.3 degrees F.
During the second half of my cycle I averaged 99.1 degrees F.
What’s more: so far I’m still holding these averages today, three weeks after eating normally. This is coming from someone who rarely broke higher than 97.8 degrees in recent months, and still saw as low as 96.4 sometimes. After the first three days my temperature read above 98.0 every single morning on the milk diet–so for me, this was nothing short of a miracle.
Weight Gain or Loss on the Milk Diet
What seemed to surprise my readers the most was the fact that during the milk diet, I consumed an averaged 2,520 calories a day from milk (and this wasn’t a low-anything diet?plenty of carbs, fat and protein)… but I didn’t gain any weight. In fact, I lost a couple pounds. Nothing dramatic, but basically, the milk diet did not make me fat, which appears to be something that concerns people, possibly because weight gain was mentioned frequently by old-school milk diet experts (though mostly in emaciated patients).
But of course, you 180 followers know that weight isn’t the whole picture, whether you’re gaining or losing. And the milk diet is famous for putting on the right kind of weight–the kind that makes you look fit, healthy and filled out in the right places (you ladies know what I mean). And the kind that supplies your muscles, bones and organs with what they need to thrive. Lean body mass is totally coddled on the milk diet. So in my mind gaining weight on the milk diet isn’t necessarily a bad thing in the first place, because it might be what you need to give your metabolism that extra edge.
Milk a Makeover
Old-school application for the milk diet included ?beautification? which was basically a kind of milk makeover (or milk-over as dubbed by Matt in one of his comments on my blog). And overall I have to say I noticed a subtle shift in my appearance during the milk diet. A brighter complexion, clearer eyes (I experienced regular redness in my eyes before), just an overall healthy glow and, well, the look of being nourished from head to toe. It’s kind of difficult to describe, but I imagine a lot of women–and probably guys, too–would shell out some major bucks to achieve this kind of natural boost in their appearance (way better than botox).
Cravings-town, Population: 0
I’m not one of those people who looks at a chocolate cake and thinks, ?Boy, look at that sugar-laden, insulin-spiking, liver-devastating hunk of garbage. Well, sometimes I do (because that’s the truth), but I’m still way human and other times I’m caught thinking, ?Damn, look at that delicious, dreamy hunk of sweet awesomeness. Heck, let’s face it, I’m not thinking at that point. I’m just diving in with my fork.
On the milk diet, I sat and watched my entire family eat chocolate cake for my son’s birthday, and I didn’t want any. Not one bite. And, get this, it was during the time of the month when cravings usually hit me so hard you’d catch me red-handed in the candy aisle with a bag full of Reese’s cups (true story). I had mild cravings come and go during the diet, but as I said above, I had no trouble eating nothing but plain milk for 23 straight days. And as someone who’s battled cravings for as long as I can remember, this was completely unexpected. (But, yes, madMUHHH, I did taste the potato soup I made to make sure I wasn’t over-salting… does that count as a cheat?)
Since the metabolism is basically run by our hormones, it stands to reason that if the milk diet improves metabolic health it must do so by promoting endocrine balance. I didn’t have my hormones tested during this sprint on the milk diet (that might have been interesting), so I don’t know for sure what changes may have taken place during this time. What I do know is overall my menstrual cycle (and all it entails) seems to be doing better–for instance, I’ve had a problem with killer PMS and this seems to be moving in a positive direction after going on the milk diet.
My Future with Raw Milk
As far as I’m concerned, if raw milk and I had commitment issues before, the milk diet sealed the deal–I can’t imagine a life without raw milk. Today I’m still aiming for about one quart every day, and am contemplating doing another round of the milk diet soon (probably shorter, more like 1-2 weeks), since my local milk supply should be more consistent in quantity and quality in the coming weeks now that spring has officially made its debut here in Alabama. And after some discussion with Michael Miles from the Nutrition and Physical Regeneration blog, I will be aiming for taking in a larger amount of milk each day, more like 6-7 quarts per day instead of the 4-5 quarts I consumed this time around, in hopes of resolving some digestive issues I experienced during this round and also taking my healing a step further. More is better in many cases when it comes to the milk diet.
To anyone contemplating doing the milk diet, I say find a quality source of raw milk and go for it. I’ve yet to find a diet that has so many potential benefits and clearly doesn’t cause metabolic damage. I don’t think I’m making any friends in the FDA by saying so, but then again maybe that’s a good thing.
Great writeup, what was especially interesting to me was the increase in body temp after only a few days. It has definitely gotten me thinking of doing the milk diet for a couple days in which it wouldn't hinder my schedule…
BTW congrats to Matt for the podcast with Jimmy, really pleased it went up and it was packed with good info.
according to her blog her ratios were 49% fat, 30% carb and 21% protein. so 30% of calories as sugar. i wonder how big a factor that is.
Why don't you be more forthcoming about the "bad"? You write a whole post about the "good" and then mention digestive issues at the end in an offhand way, without any details.
Honestly is the best policy.
This is unrelated, but I've been reading a book written in the 1920s about household engineering. (a good housekeeper) Anyways, there is a chapter on balancing meals and the required calorie amounts for all people. I just thought it was interesting to note how back then, the believed that a 130lb moderately active woman needed over 2000 calories, and a very active growing boy need around 4,000 calories in a day.
Here is the link: http://www.archive.org/stream/householdengine00fredrich#page/330/mode/2up
Also, another page about 'adulterated foods' that she warns about: http://www.archive.org/stream/householdengine00fredrich#page/342/mode/2up
She tells the women that they made a market for junk foods (candy and sodas, white flour and white rice) since they bought them and really comes down on the bleaching of flour because all the nutrients were stripped away.
I just thought it was interesting that such people had such knowledge then, yet no one listened.
Now, this is just a great bag of nonsense! Milk diet? Pah! That thing was totally rigged. I think it should be clear that all those positive effects can solely be attributed to the small amount of potatoe soup. Now imagine how healing a diet consisting solely of potatoe soup could be. Potatoe soup diet ftw!
Alright, enough nonsense for today.^^ I just was caught totally off guard when I read my nickname before even getting to the sentence. That kinda confused me until I read that sentence.
Well, what the heck. I really, really would like to give the milk diet a try, but there are several factors that prevent me from doing it:
1)Time: The milk diet doesn't really go well with my school shedule. I just had two weeks of vacation, but still there were other reasons hindering me to do it. But maybe I can give it a shot during summer vacation.
2)The cows: As far as I can see, the cows I get my milk from get some fairly good food. But I don't know yet how often they will be out eating grass now that the temps have warmed up. If I go on the milk diet, the milk definitely should be from cows fed (only) grass.
3)Also, I only have access to milk from Holstein cows. Don't know how much of an issue this is. Holsteins seem to be pretty much the "worst" breed from a nutritional standpoint, but that may not be too important.
4) I only own a 2 quart milk pot. That would mean a lot of driving around if I would consume several quarts a day.^^
Well, anyways, great write-up and I'm also very much looking forward to Michael Mile' milk diet website. Yay!
Ah, the Holstein controversy. The milk diet old-schoolers felt that Holstein milk was by far the best because it was lower in fat and lended itself to better digestion. Miles mad-dogs Holsteins. I suspect it's not that important in the big scheme of things.
Milk diet for a few days… might be enough for a boost for sure.
Kilton: She goes into some of the negatives on her blog. You should check that out. I think she had to take some supplements to avoid constipation. Given that my digestion goes wonky if I even look at certain foods, I'd be willing to risk it for the big boost in basal temps.
Anneatheart I just love that kind of stuff. Household Engineering, what a great term. A profession so not respected for its vital importance in our (westernized/modern) society.
The whole macronutrient breakdown on page 331 is awesome.
Thanks for the share.
Question for Elizabeth, Miles, Matt and/or anyone familiar with raw milk and dairy allergies: I'm considering a shortened raw milk diet, maybe 4-5 days or so. Since Elizabeth turned me on to a (fairly)local raw dairy farm, I'm very excited to try it. Here's the prob – I have a (admittedly self-diagnosed) casein allergy.
And it's further exacerbated by the current extremely high levels of pollen here in middle Georgia. You can drive down the street and see great clouds of the pine pollen – everything outside is covered in yellow dust. I take some Allegra (fexofenadine) when my head just gets so full of mucus I can't stand it anymore, but not daily if I can help it.
What I wonder is, should I still try the milk diet for a few days? I've had a little raw milk here and there over the last week or so since I first got some, but I can't tell if my allergy symptoms have more to do with the milk or the pollen.
Also, Elizabeth, do you have a link or something to your guidelines of how to drink the milk? I know from reading your blog that the milk should be at least room temperature and that you sipped instead of chugged, but is there more to it? A Cliff's notes version of how to do it? Thanks!
Did Elizabeth skim the milk or did she drink it whole? I can find where she talks about that anywhere.
I found the "How to Drink Your Milk" Cliff's notes:
I believe that dairy products in general are some of the most sensitive foods on earth when it comes to heat-treatment. Casein, when raw is very soft and the particles are small and easy to digest. Human breast milk has tons of casein, so it's clear that we are meant to tolerate it, at least in our youth. So yes, raw milk casein and cooked milk casein are totally different.
Next up is allergenicity. I don't know of anything on earth that can provide true adrenal support like the milk diet – hence the huge and sudden rise in temperatures and the fact that it was used to clear up all kinds of allergies and asthma, and was reported to be a permanent solution (the role of adrenal hormones in preventing allergic reaction couldn't be more clear – think epi pens).
So there are 2 ways in which a casein allergy can be cleared up on raw milk – but I would definitely do what I could to drink it raw, warm, and in small quantities at each "feeding."
Yay! That's exactly what I was hoping to hear. I knew raw milk and pasteurized milk just couldn't be the same allergy-wise, but it always helps to have some real, specific information as to why – even if it's for no other reason than I can repeat it to myself until my brain believes it and reacts as if it's true.
I don't even mind clicking my heels together 3 times and repeating "There's no cure like raw milk, there's no cure like raw milk" ad infinitum.
Danyelle, I've found a difference in my allergies just by getting rid of highly processed dairy versus, minimally processed. Low fat dairy often has extra high-heat treated skim milk powder added in for body. I was living off this crap and was miserable. The minute I cut it out I felt better. Lately I've been just drinking whole fat, grass fed milk that's gently pasteurized and at room temp. I've been completely fine this allergy season and we are having a brutal one up here in MN thanks to an early spring.
I think "Casein allergy" is a really overused term. Matt is right, when milk is processed it changes into something difficult to digest which the body treats as an allergen. Here's hoping the raw milk cures ya and you can say good bye to allegra for good.
Yeh, I guess I hadn't thought of it that way – it's not that it's a casein allergy, it's more like it's an allergy to the quivering pile of mutated protein-jelly that is processed dairy. And frankly, who wouldn't be allergic to THAT?
Oh, just a quick thing about milk I wanted to share.
I think Michael Miles once said that he heard that the ideal temperature to drink milk at is 105 ?F.
I've made drinking some warm milk every now and then a habit and personally wouldn't recommend going above that. Now, I don't know how accurate my thermometer is, but pretty much as soon as my milk gets warmer than that at some times, even if it's just a tiny bit I'm having some very very slight stomach aches when drinking the milk. I don't know if pasteurization sets in at that point or if some enzymes/casein/whatever start to break down, but it feels totally different from milk that is slightly cooler which seems to be super easy on my digestive system.
I dunno if this is helping anyone or whether you people even care, but I just thought I might get that out there.
I have found that once my raw milk is older then a week, it will cause minor digestive issues, bloating and gas. I think I read that this would be due to the good bacteria count being lower then when it is day one fresh. So less lactose is being broken down.
I believe the Milk Diet rule is; should be fresh milk daily if possible.
MadMuhh, I read a rule of thumb about enzymes is that if it is uncomfortable to the touch for a person, it will probably kill the enzymes. So you might have found that kill point and react to it with a bit of indigestion. I've been heating my milk to just warmer than blood temp. This works cause well for me since my kids won't drink it any hotter than that.
Taffy – The fact that 30% of my calories came from sugar made me question a lot of things, considering I didn’t gain weight and I didn’t have any hypoglycemic feelings (I used to have them often). Perhaps the fact that is was unrefined, non-fructose sugar has something to do with that? Something to think about…
kilton9 – I’ve posted a lot of details on my blog and will be doing some more soon, too. The digestive thing was (as Jennythenipper said) some general constipation which will most likely be resolved by drinking more milk. That was the only ?bad? thing that happened during the diet really (unless you count the white tongue thing, visually disturbing perhaps but not an actual problem), and in any case all was resolved immediately after adding normal food back in my diet. The ?bad? stuff was so insignificant that honestly I don’t think about it when I look back on my milk diet.
Anneatheart – That is really amazing how much good information was lost in some kind of whirlwind during the middle of the last century. You know, recently I was reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder with the kids, and the boy in the story ate ridiculous amounts of food (lots of carbs and everything?even loads of pie, and maple syrup on pancakes) and appeared to be a very active, healthy kid. It’s based on a true story, and you can see pictures of the guy throughout his lifetime and he obviously never suffered from weight problems. Our culture has really become so twisted in our theories about food and weight, especially when it comes to kids.
madMUHHH – Glad you liked my joke. The potato soup diet is next on my list. ;)
I personally love Jersey milk, but sometimes we just have to take what we can get. My milk came from a Hereford during the diet actually, because that was all that was available. I would be more concerned with how the cow is maintained rather than the breed, personally. I think my supplier’s cows need more grass. :) Next time around I should be able to get Jersey milk from a cow with plenty of access to fresh grass, so I'm interested in seeing what difference that makes.
Danyelle – I would definitely give raw milk a fair run to see if you have the same reaction. Otherwise I would recommend concentrating on gut health, because that can have a lot to do with food intolerances. Same goes for adrenal health (as mentioned by Matt).
April – I skimmed the milk a few times in the beginning but not after that. I like the idea of drinking milk as a whole food, really.
undertow – Fresh is best, I agree. I get milk once a week (twice on the milk diet), and it’s always from that day or sometimes from the day before. If anyone has a close enough source to get it daily, all the better! We may do dairy goats in the near future, I wonder how well that would work with the milk diet?
Jennythenipper – I use the ‘touch? method when I heat up my milk, too. It’s a sure way of getting it warm enough without overheating. Plus you don’t need any pesky thermometers.
according to her blog her ratios were 49% fat, 30% carb and 21% protein. so 30% of calories as sugar. i wonder how big a factor that is.
A factor in what way?
2) The cows: As far as I can see, the cows I get my milk from get some fairly good food. But I don't know yet how often they will be out eating grass now that the temps have warmed up. If I go on the milk diet, the milk definitely should be from cows fed (only) grass.
3) Also, I only have access to milk from Holstein cows. Don't know how much of an issue this is. Holsteins seem to be pretty much the "worst" breed from a nutritional standpoint, but that may not be too important.
The Holsteins of today are not, by any stretch of the imagination, the Holsteins of two generations ago. The modern genetic pituitary freak of dairy cows they use today in milk production is a crying shame.
Still, if the only access I had was to clean raw holstein milk I would definitely go for it.
Thanks for the shout out. Now I have someone on twitter calling me "the MilkMan" :-)
Later this month I will be on the milk diet/cure again (I'm going to change that name to avoid FDA issues) and hopefully for the first time I will actually track some very precise numbers. It should make a nice segue into the new site.
I will also being starting the Milk Man club, so Matt I am glad you are finally joining. :-)
I personally have consumed a gallon of fresh raw milk a day for weeks at a time and I ran into SEVERE problems. If you are going to do this make sure it is at least room temperature, if not warm. Also be sure to drink it slowly throughout the day in small sips.
Wow, what a dynamite post. Congratulations to Elizabeth and Matt. I'll be staying tuned to hear how Matt's milk fast works out in May!
Hope you guys don't mind me reprinting this on The Bovine. This is news everyone should hear!
Talk about citizen science. This is it!
Hey Madmuhhh, I get what you are saying. Actually, when I drink milk (raw or past.) cold or room temp., I have no problems at all, but it is a gamble for me to drink either raw or past. milk warm or hot. For some reason when I heat it I usually get a stomach ache and have to make an emergency bathroom run shortly after I drink it. If I am going out for the day I never drink warm milk before leaving.
Wonder why warm/hot milk does this to me.
My son has been drinking raw milk since 4 months (he is now 3.) There have been some short periods of time where we could only get pasteurized milk and he can drink that fine, but when we switched back to raw, he would usually get diarrhea and diaper rash that would last about a week.
He only drinks about 8-10 oz a day now. He has no allergies and has never had an ear infection, so I don't think the milk caused any problems for him.
Holy Cannoli, Batman! That's amazing! I've been stalled at 97.8/9 for months now. I seriously want to try this now.
Awesome to have some modern proof of da milk diet.
Michael, I used Holstein milk… Yet this is Colombia, they were grass-fed, and I actually was in a farm so I any problem I got I would point the finger at me first.
I have to wonder, though, aren't the freakish holsteins actually products of their enviroment and the industrial procedures more than just by their genes? What if you took some of those unhealthy cows and put them on grass, free to walk? I guess it would take some time to get all things going, but I doubt the quality of the milk would be poor. In time an enviroment guides an animal to develop in a healthier way. If the health of the cow is prioritized by the farmer I don't see things taking any other route. It's not like these cows are genetically engineered unviable freaks, a la Monsanto, or are they?
In a last note, have any of you read these very interesting posts from Don Matez (primal wisdom) about fructose? I would call them eye openers:
This is off-topic, but I found it very interesting. A study that seems to question the effectiveness of fruit and vegetable intake on reducing cancer.
It's probably all about avoiding the PUFA instead of loading on antioxidants. Avoid the poison rather than trying to neutralize it.*
*-I stole this from PaNu, but he uses it to talk about grain fermentation
i'm wondering how much 30% of calories as sugar helped. the milk diet ratios and content (low pufa and high sugar) is pretty much what ray peat recommends. he believes that even table sugar can help improve the metabolism although milk and fruit would be best. i have been eating more sugar and less starch lately, in the morning especially when starch isn't appealing, and definitely feel brighter and more energetic. i have no problem eating lots of starch (or anything) but i think sugar has a lot to offer to people looking for energy.
Taffy are you talking about unrefined sugar or just any kind of sugar found in your local supermarket?
Awesome post. Would adding large amounts of milk to an otherwise healthy (traditional type) diet boost your health in the same way? Having for example three main meals a day and drinking milk in between?
Or does it have to be milk only??
While drinking raw milk additional to everything else, may give you a good boost as well (seems to be the case for me) I don't think it is comparable to the milk diet as that could actually be seen as a combination of the benefits of fasting and nutrient/calorie overload.
i tried a milk diet over christmas break. i only lasted 3.5 days.
it's not that i got sick of the milk or was hungry, it's just that i kept thinking to myself "hmmm, my favorite sushi roll probably has a similar protein-sugar ratio to this milk. mmmmmmmm sushi" and i of little willpower went out and feasted on sushi. i just like chewing too much in the long run.
i will probably try a milk diet again this summer.
I like chewing too crazy mama, but my girlfriend's jaw is getting wired shut for 12 weeks, so I thought a few weeks of the milk diet would allow me to partake in all the fun.
Lactose is different from fructose or sucrose. It is metabolized into glucose just like starch. Fructose is metabolized mostly into triglycerides. I'm still willing to consider it possible that there are advantages to even fructose coming from whole food sources. In general though, trying to somehow "stoke" your metabolism with a nutrient-free food is a horrendous idea. Refined sugar is risky bidness long-term, no matter how it makes you feel in the short-term.
I would like to be part of the club. I've been called "the Milk Man" myself when I milked dairy cows in 2007 and delivered raw milk to my local community.
Funny you should mention your club though. I was thinking of starting a club myself – for women who have hit a basal temperature reading of 99 degrees or higher. There are 2 members now – Elizabeth, and Sarah Braun who wrote a guest post a while back about severe adrenal burnout after all kinds of restricted diets.
I'm thinking I'll call it "180degreehealth Hot Chicks Club." The first 180 to hit 99+ will get a Hot Chicks Club t-shirt. :)
Milk in a mixed diet and milk only is probably an apples to oranges comparison.
Thanks Bovine. We love ya.
wow, I can't get over those temp increases, Elizabeth. I'll be interested to hear if they stay up over the long term. Please keep us posted!
Will you have a post to let us know when your new metabolism book is released? It would be interesting to read it before I head to Robb Wolf's nutrition seminar this weekend.
Working on formatting it today. The book is complete. Hopefully will be out by this evening with a blog post on the new book tomorrow. If you've purchased the first one, you should get an e-mail as soon as it comes out with the url to the new version.
Great, do you have a price point yet?
$19.95 like the others for first-time buyers. Free for those who have already purchased it or who purchased the 180 Collection for $39.95
Oh, that's good. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks Matt. Have you seen the video on the Crossfit Journal on how under-eating increases insulin sensitivity so that when you eat back to maintenance, your body quickly regains weight due to the higher IS? I figure that this makes sense with what you're trying to promote.
Seeing that I have no access to raw milk, is there anything that I could do as a replacement?
I currently buy organic milk from Sam's Club (Stonyfield Farms) but it is ultrapasteurized.
Is it still doable with something like that? Whole milk only? What's the minimum requirement? I should prolly go check out the Milk Man's site, LOL!
Michael, I clicked on your name and it took me to your blog and on to a post about the milk diet/cure. One thing that I noted was the mention of "milk and milk products". I wonder if "milk products" would be superior to just milk. One thing that I stumbled upon is researching the French (because of their longevity) was that they had one of the world's highest consumption of cream, cheese, etc., but one of the lowest consumption of milk.
Thanks for the blog…I am going to save it as one of the sites that auto-open when I open up Firefox.
"I don't think it is comparable to the milk diet as that could actually be seen as a combination of the benefits of fasting and nutrient/calorie overload."
I agree completely. The milk diet is like the reverse of the fructose/pufa perfect storm. It's a perfect nutritional storm. You remove all the crap that sneaks in there on a daily basis, the tiny amount of pufa, the fructose, the white flour, etc and you calorie overload. On top of that you are getting really well nourished.. Not a one of those calories is empty and that's important. .
Will: that Stonyfield farms milk isn't much better than your local dairy. It's ultrapastuerized. I have no idea if the cows have any access to grass, I kind of doubt it. The best thing you can do is contact Real Milk and look for a raw milk supplier in your area, then go visit them before you sign up to buy. Being smack in the middle of a dairy country, I'm lucky to be spoiled for choice. Add to that we get lightly pasteurized, non homoginized grass fed milk at our co-op, which is probably the next best thing to raw. I'm planning on doing a mini milk diet with that milk sometime in the next few weeks. Maybe just a week-end to start and see how my digestion goes.
That Scott Abel article was great. I know you have had good success with Scott and I was wondering what I should get (DVD, MP3 or Pdf)? Thanks
"Add to that we get lightly pasteurized, non homoginized grass fed milk at our co-op"
One thing you could also try is making ome kefir. Now I don't wanna say that you should drink Kefir only, but just a few days ago when I once again heated the milk up just a little too much, I took a small sip of kefir directly afterwards and the stomach aches seemed to vanish almost completely.
Kinda makes you wonder about how it only could have been the placebo effect, but there could be something to it.
I could imagine that drinking just a little kefir before you actually drink pasteurized milk could make the milk much easier to digest and would enhance its benefits even more. After all, kefir is quite a powerful probiotic.
But that's just one of my crazy theories.
Taffy, Interesting point concerning the sugars. I know ray peat is a huge fan of milk reccomending 2 quarts a day along with 2 quarts of fruit juice.
This is actually a yogi diet. Fruit and milk, the 2 foods that nature has meant to be food without, and without killing anything else.
Maybe I will put out the "Yogi Diet" and write a book!
@JT: But what about that poor grass that has to suffer just so we can get to drink our milk?
the grass isn't killed, just trimmed like a hair cut! Milk and fruit are the only things in nature that are designed specifically to be food. Maybe honey too, but then you are hurting the bees.
Damn, I forgot about that. Well, whatever, never meant that seriously anyways. But still, there probably is some death involved somewhere.
Vida and madMUHHH – Oddly, I did experience some diarrhea on the second day of the milk diet, but never again after that (like I said, constipation was the bigger issue). I wonder if it’s some kind of cleansing thing?
Brock – I know, I was so astonished to see my temps above 99.0 for almost half of the diet. I think that’s pretty normal for an ovulating woman, but still, I’d never seen that temp when it wasn’t accompanied by sniffles and sneezes! Pretty amazing.
Jay – I agree with the others: adding plenty of raw milk to an otherwise healthy diet would be great, but I don’t think it would show the same benefits as the milk diet. There’s something about eliminating all other foods and giving digestion a break while overloading on nutrients–hard to replicate with other foods involved.
Matt – I’d be honored to be part of the 180degreehealth Hot Chicks Club. ;)
Will – In my opinion, there are very few similarities between fresh raw milk and the organic, ultra-pasteurized stuff at the store. It’s pretty much from conventional cows, and the ultra-pasteurization really denatures the milk like nothing else. I’ve heard ultra-pasteurized milk doesn’t even need to be refrigerated–it’s so dead nothing can grow in it if it tried.
madMUHHH – I think adding a little kefir in isn’t a bad idea. It could definitely help with digestion and bioavailability.
And I never thought about the poor grass! After mustering up all that energy to grow, the cow just comes without a single thought and mows it down. Oh, and what about all the little tiny insects that inadvertently end up in the cow’s mouth while she’s chewing? Now that must be an awful way to die. ;)
You mean the bees are hurting you! haha! At least if its out in the wild.
Liz: How often did you have bowel movements while on the diet? Did you feel constipated (all the regular symptoms of constipation) or did you just not poo very often. It seems to me that the milk is likely so bio-available there would be very little waste on such a diet. Some minor waste from the milk and otherwise whatever stuff your body already has in it that it wants to get rid of. Could that be possible? It would explain the infrequent BMs. I remember having a bowel movement every 2-3 days when I was eating just about all raw meat, eggs, and milk. There isnt so much waste on that type of diet. Some insane vegan on the AV skeptics page (named Ken) kept saying people like me were constipated, but I disagree because there was never any discomfort or anything negative. I could be wrong though, who knows.
So bottom line, if you can't get raw, pastured milk, is it still prudent? Best I can get is here is raw, grain fed -and it tastes terrible, which made me apprehensive cuz usually I love milk.
Bernarr MacFadden was the only guy that wrote about using heat-treated milk, but it was not homogenized, so not exactly the same deal – and probably grassfed. His advice was that good results could still be obtained but some fresh citrus fruit needed to be consumed along with it.
I really couldn't tell you how big of a difference it makes though. I haven't even tried it yet.
I know you have said in the past that you used to be Mr. Perfect Paleo and still experienced problems. What foods would you recommend adding in, starch (rice and tubers)? Yams/Sweet Potatoes are the recommended starches for Paleo's. Assume that one is eating pure paleo plus butter and cheese (no wheat, no milk, no legumes). I'm thinking of doing something close to pure paleo but just eating as much as I want with it and see how it goes. Thanks
And what about oats anyway? Gluten or not? Damaging or not? I love oatmeal and it was the only neolithic food I really missed when I was paleo/lc.
Mark, give unrefined sucrose a try as your only carb source, it might be good for paleo people because it would give you a good mix of fructose and glucose. I am tired of hearing all the sugarphobes hate on it and would think an experiment like that would be very interesting.
I would go on the milk diet for the rest of my life if I could get a "Hot Chicks" t-shirt.
"Bernarr MacFadden was the only guy that wrote about using heat-treated milk, but it was not homogenized, so not exactly the same deal – and probably grassfed. His advice was that good results could still be obtained but some fresh citrus fruit needed to be consumed along with it."
A quick google search led me to read up on this dude. Sounds like a Victorian era Matt Stone in many ways.
Gazelle, What makes you think something is bad for you just because it is neolithic or has gluten? Maybe you would do well on all neolithic foods with lots gluten. have you ever had any tests that showed you were celiac or gluten intolerant?
So the usual: lean meat, vegetables, fruit, some starch but just a lot of fruit instead? That would be interesting b/c fruit has a lot of nutrients than white rice I think.
What Macfadden reminds you of Matt? I think the coolest thing about him was his "failed attempt to found a religion, ?cosmotarianism?, based on physical culture. He claimed that his regimen would enable him to reach the age of 150."
Matt do you have plans to become the religious leader of a diet cult?
Mark, try using unrefined sucrose. All of the other paleo people use fruits instead of starches, so this would be a boring experiment if all the other paleos are doing it.
Da'Drooooo – I would definitely say I felt constipated. There was some kind of movement every day, but it didn't feel quite right. I will say I didn't consider it a major setback and it only bothered me a little.
So just pure sugar? I know we're about 180 degrees here but how is that nutritious? Am I wrong to evaluate foods based on their vitamin/mineral content? Is this some of the stuff that Scott Abel teaches?
Mark, I am just saying you could run an experiment if you are going to be really strict about your carb intake. No, this isn't something Abel teaches, he pretty much thinks a carb is a carb. Ray Peat who knows more than all of us on this topic promotes sugar over starches. Starches have a stronger insulin response. Unrefined sugar has lots of vitamins and minerals.
It would be really cool if you could do an experiment with 1 month only sugar, then 1 month only starch, and then 1 month only fruit. Monitor all of your biofeedback and report back.
Don't believe the hype with all the sugar and carb bashing. It is getting really old.
Ive been considering doing something like you suggested to Mark, the only thing holding me back is I am not sure how well sugar would satiate me and determining how much to eat. Starches are easy because they fill you up with volume.
I think that it is fascinating that the Ojibwa Indians (I think) would live on Maple Syrup for great lengths of time.
"Sugar-making continued till the twelfth of May. On the Mountain, we eat nothing but our sugar(maple), during the whole period. Each man consumed a pound a day, desired no other food, and was visibly nourished by it."
-Wild Rice and the Ojibway People
Nice find Riles! That is very interesting.
My problem is the same as yours, I need starch to fill me up and make me feel satisfied. But, I consume a sucrose drink while I train, and i am not hungry for a long time after I do this.
"unrefined sugar has lots of vitamins and minerals."
What form of sugar are you referring to as unrefined? Sugarcane? Sure, that has more nutrients but isn't a form of sugar that most people in the non tropics and many in the tropics can regularly access.
Mike, you can get all kinds of unrefined sugar in the USA. Go to the local health food stores and check it out. Or you can check it out on the internet and have it delivered.
Hey guys, I already told Matt but I figured I would mention to all the other 180 followers in case they are interested but I'm going to do the milk diet for 6 weeks (at least that is the plan) starting this Monday.
I'm not a good writer so instead I'm considering to perhaps do some daily video updates on youtube or something along those lines in case anybody is interested in seeing the results. I haven't created the channel or anything yet but if I decide to do it, my first video will be on Sunday (I plan on doing the 2 day fast before the milk diet) and I will post my channel on the comments section of Matt's most recent blog post at that time.
Good luck with the milk diet.
Have you ever been to Switzerland? I went there about a year ago and I must say that their milk was hands down the finest beverage I have ever tasted! What's their secret? American milk is pathetic compared to theirs.
If anyone here ever gets a chance to try some authentic Swiss milk, take it!
Thanks for all the feedback. It's funny that Elizabeth mentioned that ultrapasteurized milk doesn't even need to be refrigerated because it is so dead. The expiration on it is WEEKS from when we purchase it. We tried to get my 9 y.o. daughter to drink it because it is organic but she can't stand the taste. Figures that she would know better than us!
@rosentfeltc: That video thing sounds great. I'm definitely interested in that and would like to hear how your milk diet experiment will turn out. (Even though I can't imagine what you actually wanna say in the video: "Well, today, I drank some milk. And then later that day, I drank even more."^^)
@Swede: No, unfortunately, I've never been to Switzerland. I live in the north of Germany, but I can very well imagine that their milk probably is great, after all the Swiss always have been quite the milk-lovers. Maybe the grass in the alps is just very rich in minerals or something like that.
For anyone who's interested, I did some audio podcasts while I was on the milk diet:
JT – You've got me looking into this sugar thing. Interesting stuff, but more than I can wrap my mind around.
rosenfeltc – Good luck! I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
Scott – Okay, I should seriously go on a Swiss milk diet retreat. That would be awesome. :)
I AM already the leader of a dietary cult man! Why make plans?
As for sucrose, unrefined sucrose with all its vitamin and mineral content intact is a different animal. Plus, even fructose-hater Robert Lustig speaks openly about sucrose's advantage for athletes and glycogen refueling. This may be one fundamental difference as well.
"Paleo" would have been just fine for me had I consumed more carbohydrate and far less fat and protein. I also consumed 3 gallons of raw milk a week for several months during my almost pure Paleo phase as well, which makes it certainly not pure Paleo.
I love neolithic foods though. It's the uber-neolithic (last few hundred years, and last century even moreso – veggie oil, trans fat, HfCS, and additives) that I'm much more hesitant about.
That youtube thing would be great. Either way, I'll report on your experiences here.
For several years, about 60% of my calories have come from grass-fed, unprocessed dairy products. Milk (full fat jersey milk), yougurt, butter (eat it as a snack), and cheese. Meat, eggs, and vegetables make up the other 40%. I feel great. I used to have bad allergies and sinus infections, no more.
Make sure you take your temperature every day from now until then so we have a base temperature. If you have a glucose meter, take those readings too. ANY measurement at all you can take before then (and take the same measurements often throughout the milk diet) will be good. You should go to Walmart and buy one of those journal type of notebooks and just keep all your measurements. Redo the measurements every couple/few days or so. Be sure to report any negatives, including diarrhea and frequency of bowel movements BEFORE and DURING the diet, as well as AFTER.
"Mark, give unrefined sucrose a try as your only carb source, it might be good for paleo people because it would give you a good mix of fructose and glucose. I am tired of hearing all the sugarphobes hate on it and would think an experiment like that would be very interesting."
Heh, why don't you do it yourself then?
A couple weeks ago, as you were defending your "Listen to your cravings" advice, you said "I never said we should consume dietary sucrose." How quickly things change.
I'm pretty sure JT has said several times that he consumes 100grams of unrefined sucrose in his workout drink
But he wants Mark to make sucrose his *only* carb source.
Do you think the increased iodine available in raw milk (due to not being destroyed in pasteurization) was the key to the temp. increases?
The iodine is certainly a factor, but not necessarily the key or the only factor. Calories are king in raising the metabolism – along with the whole constellation of what one would call "complete nutrition."
Milk's better assimilability (probably not a word, I know) makes for both increased nutrient and calorie absorption and utilization – especially consumed in the manner it is recommended.
Anon – I agree with Matt. I've megadosed on iodine before doing the milk diet and it didn't have as dramatic impact on my temps as the milk, nowhere close.
I tried the milk diet for 10 days and it gave me terrible results, i gained weight i felt terrible, gave me terrible panic attacks, and itchy skin..
i have hashimotos… and it seemed to make it 10x when i drinking milk
i have no idea why…
McFadden recommended sunbathing and air bathing, he believed that disease could be cured by proper living, (Diet, rest, exercise, fresh air), he was against vaccinations, he carried out his experiments on himself and his family, he was a prolific writer, he had no formal credentials, he was part genius/part huxter and TOTALLY touched in the head…A lot of similarities to Matt. I'm not sure I'm ready to move to a 180 community out in the woods, like some of Mcfadden's followers did (living in tents), but this website is a virtual version of that. Got my cyber tent all set up and am ready for an airbath.
I love you Jenny. I'll be outdoors in the sun for most of my milk diet. It'll be so Jordan Rubin.
Now, I have to go google Jordan Rubin.
Slowly building up my tolerance to the sun. I was amazed that I was outside most of the day yesterday in t-shirt and shorts in 70 degrees and sunny weather and am not even pink today. How broken was my body's natural ability to be out in the sun without negative consequences? Totally broken. I didn't always used to be this way, I'm sure, I never used sunscreen as a kid and I lived outdoors practically in the summer. I don't ever remember getting a sunburn until I was in high school, around the time we started nervously checking the SPFs and shit like that.
Matt & Elizabeth, I am a subscriber to both of your lovely blogs. I've been looking into the raw milk diet off and on and can't seem to find if it is safe to do this while nursing my 5-month-old. I know some would say to just wait, but I feel like I'm reaching the point where I need to do something about my adrenals and thyroid sooner, not later.
History: Have been drinking plenty of raw milk and eating healthy meats and eggs for over 1 year. The rest of our diet has fluctuated in its level of health, but has been generally WAPF-inspired. Generally. We've been hit and miss in big stretches. Before that we were pretty standard Western dieters, although we have always been partial to salmon.
I am 24, and my husband and I have four children under 4.5 years. Spacings were 11mo, 18mo, then 21mo. (And yes, we are finally getting the hang of NFP. . . )Through our NFP education, I learned that my pre-period serious flightiness (actually drew a meticulously perfect graph on my Econ test. . . completely backwards) was a symptom of hypothyroid. Since getting into nourishing foods have become more convinced of it. I've had my temp taken a LOT over the last 5 years/4 pregnancies, and not once has it reached 98. The reason I say things are at a turning point is my increasing difficulty in falling asleep that began during this most recent pregnancy. I am just feeling burned out. I do not want to compromise nursing my very healthy baby, but I don't want my health and mood to spiral downward while I wait.
I have access to truly amazing milk from a grassfed Jersey/Guernsey cross with great numbers. My gut feeling after my reading is that it WOULD be safe and not compromise my milk supply as long as I drank enough extra milk.
Would love to hear your thoughts!
Should also mention that my lack of weight loss, which is typically slow and steady after birth, is another symptom. As are my headaches, which I extremely rarely suffered from in the past, and my perceived need for more coffee.
Rebecca – First of all, I really feel for you. I am your age and have two children spaced close together, and I think that combined with dieting this did a number on my adrenals and thyroid (not to mention my super-mom, do-it-all mentality I carried around for a couple of years), so in a way I certainly understand where you're coming from.
Off the top of my head, the biggest concern about doing the milk diet while nursing would be its detoxifying properties. I'm not sure whether this should be a huge deal or not, but it's worth considering since there are concerns about toxins leaching into the breastmilk during detoxification.
On one hand, I'm hestitant to say go ahead and do it, but on the other hand I'm thinking, how bad could it be compared to the low-fat, high PUFA, low calorie diet I was doing while I was nursing my son? No doubt the USDA would have told me I was doing a fine job, but I know it didn't do either of us any good.
My mom smoked cigarettes and drank hardly anything besides Coca Cola while I was in the womb – then I was raised on formula.
Going milk crazy can't possibly be as risky as doing that. I would think that it would be excellent, and far less "risky" than doing it while preggers.
Let us know how it goes.
Rebecca if you've been eating pretty well (and if you've been following WAPF even hit or miss you are miles ahead of most on that account) then you shouldn't have too many toxins built up in your system to release during detox. The extra fluid from the milk cure should be a big boost to your supply I should think. You can always try it and stop if you or the baby react adversely. Compare to the diet that I nursed with (Weight watchers modified for more points for nursing…gah I hate to think of it!) this is stellar.
Thanks, that's pretty much what I've been thinking! And I'm not overly worried about breastmilk supply as I have an official 'abundant supply' but don't want to create a problem, either.
So how much milk do you think I should aim for? Obviously there will be no bedrest for this mama. . . I can maintain a lower activity level but can only go so low with 4 little ones :)
Elizabeth, it' s nice to hear of others in the same boat!
A couple other questions for the better-researched than I: I would love to get all my applicable levels tested before and after. Fortuitously, we have super awesome insurance that pays for everything, so as long as my doc will agree to run the test I will get them all. What all things am I looking to get tested? Will asking for a "thyroid panel" cover it? Vitamin D?
Which reminds me: to take fermented CLO or not? Is it necessary/does it violate the milk-only premise of the diet?
And finally, the cow who so kindly provides us with her milk is a super-producer of butterfat and protein (6.1 and 4.1, respectively). Does that make any difference?
And I would be happy to keep track of my experiences if y'all would like to share the results on your blogs. Matt, I'm aiming to join your new club!
This will actually be my first diet ever. I've been holding out for "the one", I guess :)
Which reminds me: to take fermented CLO or not? Is it necessary/does it violate the milk-only premise of the diet?
Well of course it does, its not milk. :-)
Give the full meal deal a try before altering it.
And finally, the cow who so kindly provides us with her milk is a super-producer of butterfat and protein (6.1 and 4.1, respectively). Does that make any difference?
Sounds wonderful to me unless your intention is do the skimmed milk version.
This will actually be my first diet ever. I've been holding out for "the one", I guess :)
This is decidedly not a diet in terms of macro-nutrients. It is a diet only in the sense that you are getting everything you need from one food. The Milk Diet is very unique in that sense, transporting us back to a day when milk once provided us with everything nutritionally important – as babies. :-)
Though not for everybody, there is nothing quite like it.
The Milk Diet is very unique in that sense, transporting us back to a day when milk once provided us with everything nutritionally important – as babies. :-)
Ah, to be a baby again. Perhaps it should be called "The Baby Diet."
Rebecca: Since you are nursing I would definitely suggest taking in extra milk to ensure you're getting the oversupply of nutrients intended on the milk diet–probably *at least* 5-6 quarts a day, possibly more if you can manage it. I ran the stats and the milk diet is fairly abundant in highly bioavailable vitamin A and D, so cod liver oil really isn't necessary during the diet anyway. And you are more than welcome to share the results on my blog if you'd like!
I was wondering what the normal temperature swings should be for a female during a cycle and why when you are charting does the chart only go up to 99? If you are at 98.6 already for the first half of the cycle there isn't much room for the temp to swing upwards.
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