What does all that fat do to your cholesterol?

We are asked this question frequently. Our answer usually involves a bit about how cholesterol is not the problem, that the true culprit is excess insulin, which is raised only by glucose in the blood. The source of this glucose is, of course, carbohydrate. Most people are dissatisfied with this answer and respond with skepticism, saying they will continue to follow the advice of their doctor—taking a statin. For the few people who want to understand the cholesterol question, we highly recommend this video. From The Fat Emperor comes the best explanation of cholesterol–what it is and how it functions. We ask that you watch “The Cholesterol Conundrum—and Root Cause Solution.” Be one of The Few. It may save your life. Then, share it with your family and friends so they may also join the ranks of The Few. Be bold. Share it with your doctor.

To your health!
Clark & 9ah

So, just what DO you eat?


2014 Meals Aboard

Everyone we talk to about our LCHF way of living inevitably asks, “So, just what DO you eat?” Most people simply cannot conceive of not eating grains or legumes or giving up sugar (including most fruits). And all that fat! Horrors! The mire of false beliefs and misinformation surrounding how to eat for good health is deep. Of course, folks usually want to understand just what eating this way would look like. Thus, many have asked us to put together an LCHF cookbook. This will not happen. We are, however, very happy to recommend several essential guide books–even a few cookbooks!

Notwithstanding our lack of interest in publishing recipes, we do have a camera. Presented on our personal website is a small assortment of meals we enjoyed aboard Rikki-tikki-tavi during five months in British Columbia. I photographed the plates, dinners for the most part, as they were delivered to the table–no time for food styling! The food is simple, quickly prepared, and very satisfying. The ingredients you will see all store fairly well on the boat. It’s not 5-star, but the fare suits us just fine.

Breakfast is nearly always three eggs with bacon. Sometimes Clark will use sliced sausage and/or cheese. We snack lightly on almonds and macadamia nuts, cheeses and a good salami (if we can find one). We make pemmican with grassed beef and suet during the winter. It gets doled out judiciously. IF we eat lunch, which we often do not, it will likely be canned Cole’s sardines in olive oil or Bar Harbor Herring with Cracked Black Pepper. Usually we eat right out of the can, but you will see other ways of using these extremely health-giving little cold-water fish.

Dinner is a serving of animal protein, cooked in natural fats (butter, lard, suet, coconut oil), along with a serving of vegetables that are low in carbohydrate. Cauliflower and cabbage store especially well in the “bilge” under the floorboards, as do red peppers and onions. You will see these simple ingredients are a recurring theme, but we pick up other fresh vegetables along the way when possible. We buy local eggs and we catch a fish on occasion. We eat to live and we live well on what we eat.

So, let’s go to the photographs! Enjoy.

May all your meals be scrumptiously nutritious!
9ah & Clark

LCHF Cookbook!

In the weeks leading up to the holidays, Costco always brings in a wide selection of cookbooks. This past October, we saw the usual plethora of gorgeous cookbooks that focused on baking, desserts, regional cuisines, and techniques. It was heartening to note that several Paleo cookbooks had joined the collection. The Paleo movement is several steps in the right direction–no processed foods, no grains, no legumes. It has made remarkable inroads into the general discussion about diet and we heartily support many of its tenets. However, it is important to remember that the Paleo diet is not necessarily low in carbohydrate. In Paleo recipes, we see far too much emphasis placed on recreating familiar favorites, especially sweet things. This is usually accomplished by replacing processed white sugar and HFCS with dried fruit, honey, or maple syrup–all still concentrated sugars. This is truly unfortunate because, as we see it, the root of our metabolic disorder is our habit of ignoring our basic paleolithic physiology. Humans are designed to use fat as their primary fuel.

Three times a day, plus several snacks, people around the world stoke with carbohydrate. This chronic consumption of carbohydrate interferes with the proper use of fats by “locking the door” to their access, so to speak. Glucose itself is not benign. This molecule is highly damaging to our tissues and so the body must use it immediately by burning it for fuel (getting out of our bloodstream) or storing it away for the future in glycogen, which only amounts to about 120g, and in unlimited amounts as fat in adipose tissue. Keep in mind that the latter cannot be utilized as fuel as long as we keep eating carbohydrate.

Fructose is unique in that our cells are unable to burn it for energy. Fructose, which is the sugar in fruit and the other half of table sugar (sucrose) and corn syrup (HFCS), must go to the liver to be processed, where it is turned into triglycerides–fat–and transported to the adipose tissue. Nor can we burn protein for fuel directly. These amino acids may be converted by the liver, when necessary, into glucose. This process is called gluconeogenesis. Essentially, there are only two sources of fuel for our cells–fats and glucose. Fats are the most efficient, the most stable. As Dr Ron Rosedale says, “If you are a fat burner, you will be healthy. If you’re a sugar burner, you’re not. It’s as simple as that.”

While I examined the glossy covers displayed atop the stacks of cookbooks that day in Costco, I suddenly stopped in my tracks. My eyes zeroed in on a title whose cover was buried beneath a pile of yet another Paleo cookbook. The Low Carb High Fat Cookbook. ♥ Wow ♥ Imagine my shock, surprise, and LCHF Cookbookdelight at discovering this gem! Written by Sten Stur Skaldeman, a Swede who adopted LCHF a dozen years ago and lost a great deal of weight, this is an eye-popping collection of 100 beautifully photographed recipes that are sure to convince you that this lifestyle is filled with a scrumptious variety of foods. If you happen to believe that a low-carb lifestyle is in any way boring or that a person cannot possibly hope to stick with it for any significant period of time, this book may inspire you to change your mind. The stylish presentation of each recipe is gorgeous and mouthwatering. Even though we are longtime practitioners of LCHF, a copy went home with us that day. Before leaving, I moved the remaining copies of this cookbook to the top so they could be seen! Hopefully, many more were sold. We have been recommending Sten’s book ever since.

May all your meals be deliciously LCHF,
9ah & Clark

Become a Fat Burner!

The best guide available to help you become a fat burner!Dr. Michael Eades calls this book “the best low-carb book in print” and we agree. This “expert guide to making the life-saving benefits of carbohydrate restriction sustainable and enjoyable” by Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD, and Jeff Volek, PhD, RD, is THE BOOK we recommend to everyone.

After you’ve read, re-read, and digested the belief-shattering Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories, you are probably asking, “What now? If everything I thought I knew about nutrition is basically wrong, what do I do now?” In The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, you will learn how your physiology works, how your metabolism functions, and why fatty acids, not glucose, are the preferred fuel for every cell in your body (with the exception of red blood cells). You will understand why, when your body makes the switch back to burning fat for cellular energy (fatty acids and ketone bodies are the evolutionarily appropriate fuel), your body begins to heal and rebuild itself, inflammation is curtailed, and you will have energy to burn, literally.

We know you are as passionate about being healthy as we are, so get a copy of this book today! As Dr. Eades writes, “There is so much invaluable information in this book that I’m having to fight back the impulse to quote the whole thing. You’ll learn

why you need more sodium on a low-carb diet and why the sodium prevents lean tissue loss,
why you need to increase fat intake during maintenance,
why a low-carb diet decreases inflammation,
why the low-carb, high-fat diet improves gall bladder function,
why excess carbohydrate converts to saturated fat and how,
what all the lipid parameters mean and how they’re affected by a low-carb diet,
and what the Paleolithic evidence tells us about diet.

And this list is just scratching the surface. As I read this book, I kept marking parts that I needed to use for this blog. In going back through, I would have to practically reprint the whole thing to give you just the important parts because the entire book is a gem.”

We have read many books and articles (and continue to research what’s out there), and we believe the Drs. Phinney and Volek have written the definitive reference on the whys and wherefores of low-carbohydrate living. It is the best guide available today, one grounded in science, and it has the information you need to improve your health. We will go so far as to say it may well save your life. The authors are scientists in the forefront of low-carbohydrate research. Included in the guide are a few of the authors’ favorite recipes and a meal plan to get you started. Get your copy today, plus a couple more for friends and family. You’ll love being a fat burner!

To your health!
Clark & 9ah

Another MD Adopts LCHF

In September 2009, Dr Peter Attia, a physician and high-level athlete, decided to reduce his risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer by eliminating sugar from his “typical” athlete’s diet of two-thirds carbohydrate, lean protein and very little fat. Despite exercising a great deal each day, Dr Attia was 40 pounds overweight. Over the next two years, he radically but incrementally changed over to a very low-carb/high-saturated-fat lifestyle. He has since become a recognized nutrition and science blogger who says, “I want to teach people the evidence that shows why to eat a certain way. I believe that when people actually understand the laws and consequences governing fat storage, they will make the correct choices with what they eat.” His blog “explains why everything you thought you knew about nutrition is wrong” and states, “Eating fat does not make you fat.”

Please visit Eating Academy.com to learn how Dr Attia lost weight and improved his athletic performance using nutritional ketosis. His blog is extensive and packed with information. There are videos and outside resources and books, discussions about cholesterol and inflammation, all thoughtfully and clearly presented. We are confident you will find Dr Attia’s website a reliable source of inspiration and support.

Jimmy Moore interviews Dr Attia on his The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show podcast #560: Dr Peter Attia has declared ‘War on Insulin.’ Listen today and get started on your transformation.

To Your Health!
Clark & Nina

Take Care of Your Mitochondria

Terry Wahls, MD
UP FROM THE CHAIR: Defeating Progressive MS Without Drugs

With each bit of new information, it is becoming more obvious that having good health is all about maintaining and supporting healthy mitochondria–those tiny powerhouses inside each of our body’s cells. Dr Terry Wahls reversed her debilitating multiple sclerosis using food to heal herself. This is a very inspiring and sobering TEDx talk that you cannot afford to miss. Send it along to your friends and family. A health-supporting diet has the power to change everything.

To Your Health!
Clark & Nina

Dr Steven Phinney

Dr Steven Phinney speaks with Swedish low-carb “Diet Doctor” Dr Andreas Eenfeldt. Intelligent and illuminating, this interview is one of the most concise sources for an overview of the principles of living a keto-adapted life. Except for Dr Phinney’s consumption of “high oleic” safflower oil (personally, we completely avoid ALL industrial refined seed oils), we are in accord with the good doctor and believe that everyone would benefit from listening to this interview. We also would like to note that we make our own pemmican according to the original First Nations method and find it truly the original power bar! Please watch the video, then share it with your friends and family.

To Your Health! Clark & Nina

Dr Andreas Eenfeldt

Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt Ancestral Health Symposium Lecture

“The Food Revolution” A must-see presentation!

Do you want to improve your weight and health by eating real food? With no calorie counting, no diet products, no hunger? This talk from Ancestral Health Symposium 2011 shows you how to do it the natural way.

The epidemics of obesity and diabetes are continuing to spread across the western world. Now we know why. Modern science has revealed our mistake.

The unnecessary fear of natural food has inadvertently caused us to eat more of the new food that can make us hungrier, make us eat more, make us fat.

Ever more people are realizing the mistake and seeing the solution. The food revolution is here. Please help spread the word once you know.

Dr Eenfeldt’s website links:


Watch and spread the word. We can be the change. To your health!

The LCHF Boat

July 2010

LCHF stands for Low-Carb/High Fat. It’s the way we have been eating for nearly 10 years. It is, of course, the way we provision our boat, Rikki-tikki-tavi, for six-plus months of cruising. This season, we are exploring Southeast Alaska for the second time. We will supplement our food supply along the way with freshly caught fish and shellfish.

Our diet is primarily focused on the inclusion of natural fats at every meal. We try to make sure they are of the highest possible quality. Of no less importance is eating an adequate amount of protein, which we get mainly from naturally raised animals and eggs. Of least emphasis is carbohydrates from non-starchy vegetables. Finally, we throw in things like nuts, coffee and teas, 90% cocoa dark chocolate, herbs & spices.

Proteins & Fats:

  • 20 dozen unwashed, unrefrigerated eggs from pastured hens
  • 7 pounds of beef liver from San Juan Island grassfed cattle
  • 12 pounds of ground grassfed beef from Slanker’s & SJI
  • 24 (3.75 ounce) packs of homemade pemmican
  • 22 (8 ounce) blocks of Kerrygold unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds virgin coconut oil from Mountain Rose Herbs
  • 2 pounds of lard rendered from San Juan Island leaf lard
  • 4 pounds chicken thighs with skin & bones
  • 2 (500ml) bottles of California unfiltered olive oil
  • 12 cans coconut milk
  • 8 cans wild Alaska salmon (when we don’t catch any)
  • 10 cans tuna in water
  • 24 cans sardines in water
  • 6 cans smoked herring (no additives)
  • 10 cans dry-roasted Hawaii-grown macadamia nuts (Costco)
  • 20 pounds Kirkland “raw” almonds (pasteurized!)
  • 3 jars Kirkland dry-roasted almonds
  • 5 pounds raw pecans
  • 3 pounds raw cashews
  • 3 pounds raw Brazil nuts
  • 3 pounds raw walnuts
  • 1 pound raw pine nuts
  • 2 large blocks Dubliner white cheddar cheese (Costco)
  • 1 large wedge Dutch gouda cheese (Costco)
  • 2 pounds Tillamook Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 pound triple-cream Brie cheese
  • 1 pound parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound feta cheese


  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 2 heads green cabbage, 1 head red
  • 8 yellow onions
  • 6 heads garlic
  • 3 English cucumbers
  • 8 red bell peppers
  • 6 zucchini squash
  • 4 bunches green onions
  • 3 jalapeño chile peppers
  • 5 Haas avocados

Dry Goods:

  • 21 pounds coffee beans (a 3-bean mix)
  • dried garlic slices & dried onions
  • dried shitaki mushrooms (still working on those, Diane)
  • 3 pounds coconut flour
  • 4 pounds almond meal
  • dried unsweetened coconut- fine, medium & flakes
  • dried unsweetened currants (left over from 2 years ago!)
  • 24 bars 90% Lindt Dark Chocolate (soy lecithin free)
  • 48 bars TJ’s 85% Dark Chocolate Lovers Dark Chocolate
  • coarse sea salt & black peppercorns for grinding
  • Kirkland Organic No-Salt Seasoning
  • Good Earth Original Spice Tea

Canned Goods:

  • 6 cans tomato paste
  • 1 jar roasted almond butter
  • 1 jar organic tahini (sesame butter)
  • Trader Joe’s Dijon Mustard
  • 2 large jars of sundried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 1 large jar of capers
  • Bufalo Chipotle Hot Sauce
  • Organic tamari & miso

Already On Board:

  • several kinds of vinegars
  • dried herbs & spices of every description
  • baking soda & baking powder
  • coconut milk powder
  • 6 bars TJ’s Pound Plus 72% Dark Chocolate (to give away!)
  • wasabi powder & oil
  • green & black olives
  • canned pumpkin
  • pumpkin seeds
  • umpteen varieties of herb teas
  • seeds for sprouting


  • 4 bottles Charles Shaw red wine (Customs limit for Canada)

This is an approximate list of what we brought with us into British Columbia. We bought a few more vegetables at Ganges on Saltspring Island. Clark caught a nice lingcod, a very large yellow-eye rockfish (we were hoping for another lingcod), and a few prawns in Jervis Inlet. We ate oysters, clams and mussels during our five days in Princess Louisa. Another very large lingcod took Clark’s hook in Fitz Hugh Sound. After this stop, we were moving quickly and did not stop to fish.

Upon reaching Ketchikan, Alaska, we bought red cabbage, Daisy sour cream, and a bottle of gin. Clark caught a kelp greenling in Cholmondeley Sound and a big China rockfish at Kasaan. Our new friend Jene bought a 14-pound King salmon from a fisherman in Meyers Chuck. We split it between us.

In Wrangell, we bought five pounds of ground elk meat (from Alberta), some chicken thighs, four dozen eggs, a block of pepper jack cheese, and a cauliflower. When we arrived in Petersburg, we were fortunate to snag three dozen fresh eggs from pastured hens at their new, local Saturday Market. The large grocery at the top of the hill, Hammer & Wikan, was having a “tent sale”. We bought three large Haas avocados, a pint of organic heavy cream and California strawberries (friends coming for dinner!), green onions, eight red bell peppers (59¢ each!), and four more dozen eggs.

Petersburg is the place to catch herring. Clark picked up a few in very short order. We fried them up for lunch and found they tasted very much like brook trout.

While in Petersburg, we were invited to go out on a fishboat, the Hoyden, to watch the pulling of prawn traps. Our friends Mary and Wayne fish salmon and halibut commercially, so the “shrimp” (as Alaskans call spot prawns) are for their personal use. It was a great experience! Clark helped de-head the shrimp in the pouring rain on the way back to the harbor. They gave us two large bags full of prawns and a good-size King salmon for our tiny freezer. Since they eat fish all the time, we invited them over for a dinner of grassfed beef patties topped with shitake mushrooms, sautéed cauliflower, red wine, with berries and cream for dessert.

After we left Petersburg, Clark added a small halibut to the larder in Sandborn Canal. Yesterday, he caught a large Kelp Greenling and two big Dusky Rockfish.

We drink coffee first thing upon getting up and around. A good portion of coconut oil is melted into our steaming brew. Sometimes we will also add some coconut milk.

A typical day’s eating begins with at least three eggs each. They are cooked with unbroken yolks over some sautéed onions with a bit of diced red bell pepper. Butter and/or coconut oil is the cooking fat. I like butter best. Clark will add some cheese cubes and perhaps some ground meat to boost the protein.

Our late-morning snack may be a 1/8-cup of a variety of raw nuts or a few chunks of pemmican. Lunch is usually canned sardines or herring, tuna or salmon salad, made up with olive oil, capers, mustard and sundried tomatoes. We serve it out of the cans it came in. We have coffee with coconut oil nearly every afternoon, usually accompanied by some nuts.

Dinner is the only meal where we eat a side of vegetables, which is generally cauliflower or cabbage (these store best on board). Sometimes we skip the veggies and just eat the fish, liver, or beef. These are usually cooked in lard, suet or a combination of butter and coconut oil. It depends upon the seasoning. We may drink hot herb tea sometime during the evening. Clark eats a small portion of very dark chocolate every evening. I eat a smaller serving every couple of days.

When we go away from the boat for an excursion in the dinghy, we take our homemade pemmican. Clark made this during the winter with grassfed beef and suet from Slanker’s in Texas. He sliced the meat thinly and dried it at 110˚- 115˚ in our dehydrator. He rendered the suet, strained it, and poured it into mini loaf pans. The dried meat was pulverized in our “new” 1947 commercial Hobart meat grinder. Clark mixed the prepared beef with melted suet in about a 50/50 ratio, and formed it into patties inside plastic snack baggies. The only addition was a little salt. A small amount of this concentrated “paleo power bar” will keep a person fueled for a very, very long time! You can’t eat very much before your body tells you it doesn’t need any more.

This evolutionarily and metabolically appropriate way of eating has improved and subsequently sustained our health for a nearly a decade. Our selection of foods, minus the freshly caught fish, is what we eat all year. We eat the same foods whether we are camping in the desert or staying at our land home in Sacramento. We eat the same LCHF way when we go out or visit friends. If we anticipate that no suitable food will be available at a social gathering, we eat before we go. Missing a meal is of no concern. Intermittent fasting is actually very beneficial and we don’t ever feel hungry anyway.

We try to avoid commercial and processed foods most of the time, but while driving long distances, we have compromised this somewhat. When stopping for gasoline at the Costco stores along I-5 between Anacortes and Sacramento, we usually buy a whole roasted chicken. We will eat part of it at the food court, where we can get plates and utensils. Then, we cut the chicken apart and take the rest with us to eat later. This practice saves time, money, and circumvents the uncertainty of finding something reasonable at a restaurant.

If you have any questions about what we eat (or why), please don’t hesitate to ask. We are very passionate about LCHF!

To your health,
Nina & Clark

Healthier Food Choices

My husband, Clark, was surfing the craigslist “free stuff” section recently one afternoon when he came upon a listing for free glucometers. The address in the post (no phone number) was less than a mile from our winter home in Sacramento. We looked it up on Google Maps and discovered it belonged to a doctor’s office. We hustled right on down! We were happily supplied with two units and a nurse gave instruction on how to use them. I was the “stickee”. Before we left the office, they handed us a couple of copies of the American Dietetic/American Diabetes Associations joint publication booklet/poster titled “Healthy Food Choices”.

As I read the ADA/ADA guidelines on the way back to the house, I became more than a little irked with its bad advice. I calculated that if a person ate to this “healthy” plan, that individual would be consuming about 300 grams of carbohydrates each day! This plan, which is directed toward newly diagnosed diabetics, would guarantee a person remain diabetic and continue to suffer for decades with its complications, until they died. It is basically an insurance policy for keeping that diabetic firmly entrenched in the medical industry– and keep the money rolling in on the suffering of its freshly recruited victim. Of course, the consumption of the SAD (Standard American Diet) as mandated by our benevolent USDA likely was a major factor in the development of diabetes in the first place.

I was already well aware of the misguided American Diabetes Association advice but I couldn’t sit still after seeing this. Doctors were handing this booklet out to their patients! I felt compelled to do something. I couldn’t sit still for how this would keep people ill-informed, sick and getting sicker.

I know about being in this position. I became insulin resistant as I developed metabolic syndrome. I thought we were eating healthy! (Read my story.) Next step: diabetes. I refused to go there! Instead, I sought to learn how to reclaim my health. What I discovered literally saved my life. I did NOT follow my doctors’ advice, nor the advice of the ADA, and I am glad I didn’t. I followed the advice of Dr. Wolfgang Lutz’ “Life Without Bread: How a Low-Carbohydrate Diet Can Save Your Life”. Miracles happened. They can happen for you too. I just wish I had known the truth decades earlier!

It’s really not difficult for any of you to accomplish the same thing, especially if you have recently received a diagnosis of diabetes, or hypertension, or heart disease, or a lot of other things. Gout comes to mind and NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). The list of diet-induced conditions is very lengthy.

Back to the revised food guide…

Using the same design format, I rewrote all the advice to conform to a low-carbohydrate, higher fat, adequate protein plan. For instance, where the ADA/ADA guide says, “Eat less fat.” I changed that to read, “Eat more fat”, listing “wholesome natural fats like butter, lard, coconut oil, and ghee.” I reworked the layout so it could be printed out on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. It “mimics” the original publication in appearance, but the information will actually lead you down the road to better health, not keep you “slip-sliding away”, as Paul Simon sang.

I have titled this new guide to eating “Healthier Food Choices”. It’s available as a free PDF download. Feel free to print it out. Please send copies to your friends and family. I want to get helpful information into the hands of folks who need it. I want to help disseminate the truth as we who live a healthy low-carb, higher fat, adequate protein life know it. A real food diet supports the body’s natural ability to maintain itself, build new cells, and repair damage. Your body has the ability to heal. It wants you to be well. It’s never too late, truly.

To your wellness, vitality and longevity!

Click the image
or on this link
Healthier Food Choices
to access the PDF.