Friday, September 01, 2006

Frugality and the carnivorous lifestyle

It’s been said on frequent occasions that low-carb (and by extension, zero-carb) eating is expensive. (This claim is typically made by people trying to either discredit the low-carb way of life, or by those that have never even tried the WOE in the first place.) I can agree with this sentiment to a certain extent; healthy eating is not usually cheap and meat is more expensive than grains.

However, it doesn’t have to break the bank. (It certainly hasn’t broken mine, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it.) Costs can be cut, and healthy meat and fat does NOT have to be sacrificed for unhealthy and damaging (yet low cost, admittedly) carbohydrates such as cereals, potatoes, pastas and breads.

If you are a low-carber, then I would recommend purchasing frozen vegetables. Out of all the preservation methods available, it is my understanding that freezing is the least destructive. Local prices at my neighborhood Kroger usually are less than $1 for a one-pound bag.

Since I am personally a no-carber, I will mainly discuss purchasing meat and dairy. Ok, on to meat:


Beef is more expensive than poultry in general. However, this doesn’t mean I’ve slashed beef off of my menu. As I’m sure this has been said before, buying tough cuts and tenderizing them with either marinades or a hammer can work just fine. Soy sauce and lemon juice both work all right, but I like to avoid soy whenever possible (yes, yes, I know soy sauce is fermented and isn’t that terrible for you) and lemon juice has sugar in it (which, I’m sure, increases the Vitamin C content of my meat, which isn’t bad). Those methods work fine in a pinch, and I’ve been able to eat pot roast like a steak. (Lemon juice + hammer + raw pot roast = tender pot roast)

Of course, there is always ground beef, which is cheap, but ground meats should be cooked thoroughly to kill bacteria. Unfortunately, this will destroy most of the nutrients, as well.


Chicken is a tasty and less-expensive alternative to beef. Overall, I have few problems with chicken, except for the fat content. Even with the skin on, the saturated fat to protein ratio is lacking, and with chicken (and most poultry) it needs to be supplemented with some kind of fat. My favorite fats overall is butter and coconut oil. I reserve my oil for eggs, so I just bake my chicken in a stick of butter. Once again, I am weird about my chicken and cook it thoroughly, so some more nutrients will be destroyed.


My hatred for turkey burns like the fury of a thousand suns. But it’s cheap, so get it if you’d like.


Canned tuna, especially store brands, are very economical. If you want to purchase fresh fish such as salmon, avoid farm-raised fish. It has no omega-3s and is a waste of money. I’m not a fan of fish, so I can’t really expand on this.


You remember the old Food Pyramid? On the bottom of the pyramid, the FDA recommended “6-12 servings” of grains a day. This was supposed to be the basis of your diet. That’s a heck of a lot of food from one group, huh?

Well, with frugal no- and low- carb living, we are going to replace that entire section with eggs. Yes. Eggs.

The basis of a frugal carnivore or low-carb diet should be eggs. Eggs are the cheapest animal protein and fat source out there- take advantage of it. I’ve scoured websites that discuss frugal living- and all of them say to stretch out meals with pasta, potatoes or a starch. I can forgive this, as these sites are not diet-oriented and they are honestly stating what the lowest-cost way is to feed a family.

No- and low-carbers? Stretch your meals out with eggs. Hate eggs? Find a way to incorporate them in, anyway.


Buy the solid block of butter, the one with the Spanish name on it or something (I don’t remember what the brand is) It’s about $0.50 cheaper than the butter sticks already cut and wrapped.

Coconut oil

I am a big fan of coconut oil- I buy from Tropical Traditions. The oil can be expensive, so I just wait for a sale, like a buy-one-get-one.

Buying in Bulk

I am aware that some people have like, 15 freezers or whatever and can store huge quantities of meat in them. Buying in bulk is good. If you are able to do this, then go for it. My personal living situation makes this impossible, so I’m giving advice based off of three people sharing one fridge.

If I think of some other tips, I’ll be sure to post them. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

An Ode To My Favorite Meal

This is all I have to say today. Oh yeah, baby.

Three eggs, scrambled with cheese.
One ribeye steak with butter.
And one very Happy Low Carb Taco.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Blood and Butter

God truly loves us…He gave us the cow.

I love cows now. I mean, I liked cows before, but now I think I appreciate food animals a lot more when I made the decision to become a carnivore. (And I don’t mean that “LOL I love animals because they’re tasty” crap.) I sincerely am grateful for the sacrifice these creatures make for the sake of my health.

But on to steak. My favorite cut? Why, the boneless ribeye of course! This particular cut is so tender and so juicy that cooking it beyond rare is not necessary (or advisable). Try to choose a steak (or any meat) with as much fat as possible. Ask the butcher is they’ll refrain from trimming the fat. Here’s a recipe:


1 boneless ribeye steak
kosher salt
unsalted butter


Turn on broiler. Let it heat up for a few minutes, you want it nice and hot. Place steak on pan or tin-foil.

Sprinkle a couple pinches of kosher salt on steak (Not too much, this salt isn’t fine-grained. One pinch does nicely for me). Shake some pepper on steak.

Put in broiler, I like to do about 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove steak; put on plate. Try to make sure the fat is sizzling. (I like to have the meat rest for about 3-4 minutes, but you can do whatever you prefer.)

Place 2 tablespoons of butter on hot steak.


I wish I could afford to eat that every day. Yum.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Weekends: My greatest enemy?

Oh lordy.

I really blew it this weekend. I should be ashamed. Wait, scratch that, I am ashamed. Not only that, but I dearly paid for the consequences of my high carb actions over this fine weekend. (As in, our toilet paper budget will need to be adjusted up a bit.)

Now, what happened?

I really am too embarrassed to admit to my full roster of dietary crime. But let’s just say this weekend involved a plastic one-gallon tub of ice cream. You know, the cheap kind. The cheap kind that tastes like I’m taking a glucose tolerance test.

(But I blame the back-to-school season. And the tax-free holiday. And Office Depot. And the weekend.)

Damn you, weekend!

Weekends, whilst most certainly welcome for the most part, are typically the root cause of any nutritional downfall I may have. My schedule during the week is regular. I wake up at 7:00 AM, cook some jowl bacon and eggs or steak (or both). After I eat breakfast, I pack my lunch (steak and eggs). After work, around 6:30 PM or so, (if I’m hungry) I eat a meaty dinner. I’m typically so preoccupied with stuff during the week that food is just to prevent hunger pangs.

But weekends. They are a problem. I get bored on the weekends. I do work Saturday and Sunday, but irregular hours. It is retail, so it’s not very feasible to insist I am scheduled at the same time every day I am there. I go in. I work. I go home.

At home, I’m sittin’ around, with nothin’ to do. Maybe I’ll go jogging. That helps, but in Georgia in August it’s a pretty stupid idea to do that for longer than 45 minutes.

The gym? That’s air conditioned! Let’s go there! Oh wait, everyone else north of Atlanta has the same initiative.

I need a hobby. Or, I need to revive a long dead one. I think I should go buy some art supplies.

I know! I’ll design a logo. I will draw….

I will draw the Happy Low Carb Taco.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Variety, who needs it?

When I started Atkins for the first time about two years ago, I was amazed at all the different things I could choose from to eat. Besides meat (which is awesome, in case I haven’t stated it enough) I could consume all sorts of non-starchy vegetables, berries, cheeses, oils and creams.

While this was all very tasty and pleasant, it didn’t seem to work in the long run. I would always fall back to my old way of eating, and I could never understand why. I mean, heck, I lost some weight and was doing quite well, and hey, I had variety!

But something kept sabotaging my efforts. I attempted to deduce what it was, perhaps discover some factor or some variable that I had overlooked when I was adhering to Atkins. Maybe I was unknowingly eating something I shouldn’t have been. Maybe it was my friends discouraging me, whether consciously or not.

Maybe I was just weak-willed.

I just couldn’t figure it out. And I almost gave up.

Then, after about two and a half years of low-carb yo-yoing, in desperation, I decided to try Fat Fast. It is an extreme regimen (at least to ‘conventional’ nutrition) outlined by Dr. Atkins in his book. The program consists of 1,000 calories per day, 90% of which is from fat, in five small meals eaten over the course of a day.

I lost about four pounds in three days. It was terrific.

And it was terrific for more than just the weight loss. I had figured out why Induction did not work for me in the long run. The Fat Fast did not contain carbohydrates. Atkins Induction did.

That was the factor.

(Now, I am not bashing the Atkins program. It has been beneficial to a great many people.)

I cut carbs to zero. Things started getting easier. I didn’t want sugar. I didn’t crave potatoes or bread. Instead of forcing myself to eat the burger without the bun, the bunless burger became preferable.

Now, I eat an average of eight eggs and about three-quarters to one whole pound (0.34 to 0.45 kg) of meat (usually beef) a day. I feel great, and don’t really want to eat anything different. Variety was what made me stumble before…why should I start now?

It takes me ten minutes to cook a meal now, as opposed to 30 then. I have actually saved money because the vegetables always went bad before I could make them. I don't go out to eat anymore, (well, rarely) because it is cheaper to broil a steak at home then have O'Charlies do it for me.

And I have saved time too, because I don’t waste said time counting carbs anymore.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Why I eat what I eat...

When it comes to diet, I have three main concerns:

1. Time

In a typical week, I work 60-65 hours; I don’t have a whole heck of a lot of time for cooking meals. However, in order for me to attain optimal health with my diet, preparation of my own food is a must. So, I try to make it easy for myself. For instance, beef and fish generally cook up quicker than, say, chicken or pork. Steaks and fish also have the advantage of not needing to be burnt to a crisp in order to be safely consumed. Time constraints are pretty much the only reason why I rarely eat chicken or pork. (Bacon, on the other hand…) Basically, if I can’t slap it in the boiler or in a frying pan and have it cook in less than 10 minutes, then I don’t bother buying it. (Even though I could eat it otherwise.)

2. Carbohydrate content

I hate counting. (I think this has something to do with me hating math.) So, you can imagine that counting carbs is a tiresome chore for me. So, how did I get around this little issue? I just don’t eat carbs. (This includes fiber, which I am convinced is not essential to good health. But to each his own.)

3. Hidden ingredients

Last, but not least, I wish to avoid chemicals and other undesirables that lurk in processed foods. Current items on my list are: trans fats, polyunsaturated fats, soy and soy derivatives, and certain preservatives.

So basically, I realized I needed a diet that was quick and easy to prepare, healthy, with no carbs or hidden ingredients. Yes, my food choices are a little bit limited.

But I’ve loving every bite of it.

Typical menu:


1. Two to four eggs, either scrambled or fried with two tablespoons (60g) of virgin coconut oil. I may or may not use cheese in the scrambled eggs.
2. Some form of meat, usually a four to five ounce (113.40-141.75 g) steak but sometimes two to three ounces of bacon.
3. Crystal Light Orange drink (about eight ounces, or 226.80 g)


Since I take my lunch to work (in order to save some money), due to my diet plan, it’s much simpler to pack the same thing every day.

1. Four eggs already cracked in a disposable Tupperware dish. I pack butter separately to add to the eggs after they’ve been cooked in the microwave- they tend to dry out if I don’t.

2. Some red meat, depending on what I got in the fridge from the night before.

3. Water or diet cola.


See breakfast.

I can't tell you how much I love my food. Most people don't believe me...Ah well. Can't argue with results.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Post numero uno!

Cool, my first post on my new blog.

I will start by introducing myself.

I am a reverse-vegan. I really can't think of any better (dietary) category to put myself into. I like meat. I eat animal products, and animal products only (with a few exceptions). But please don't confuse 'reverse-vegan' with 'anti-vegan', cause quite frankly, I don't care if you want to live off of tofu and bean sprouts. If you like it, that's great, and more power to you. (Just please don't e-mail me telling me how I'm going to have a heart attack or a stroke or whatever. I will just delete it, because, as I'm sure you know, I've heard it all before. )

Before I started this way of eating (WOE) I was (and still am) insulin resistant, and, at age 19, was well on my way to acquiring Type 2 diabetes. With a BMI of 32.5, I was clinically obese. I stood at 220 pounds (99.79 kg) at the not-so-short height of 5’9 (175.26 cm), had elevated blood pressure, and all the symptoms of PCOS.

Oh boy.

But you know what? I consider myself lucky. I am lucky that I won’t have to endure a lifetime of obesity. Though I still have 20 more pounds to go, I'm glad I figured out how to control my weight at age 21, rather than at age 40.

And I don't want anyone else to have to put up with it either.

I hope, perhaps, that I can help even one person with this blog.