Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet

(Darcy Greenwald) #53

They are trying to heal people of serious chronic issues, like autoimmune illness and cancer. So a big part of that is getting people into deep ketosis, which requires high amounts of fat.

(Darcy Greenwald) #54

Thanks so much for this information! I had never heard of oxalate dumping. I used to have cloudy urine all the time, although I did try and cut back on one point on high oxalate veggies. Can you point me toward more resources on this topic?

(Susan) #55

Which are the worse vegetables for being high in oxalates that we should avoid?

I want to do everything the best way too =).

(Darcy Greenwald) #56

Renee, thanks so much for all this great support and information! So great to find someone following the diet. I was on 1/2 grain (30mg) of Armour thyroid for about a decade. They cut me back to 15mg (1/4 grain) a few days after I started the PKD, and now they want me to cut it out completely. But frankly, given how miserable I already am, I’m very worried about cutting it out.
Its not exactly encouraging to hear that you still have low energy and brain fog after 2 months. Can I ask: are you still on any meds? You said you used to be on Armour, but no longer…What was it like for you getting off of it, and why originally did you? I know some people don’t do well on it, but it helped me a lot. Also, can I ask what other autoimmune issues you have? I have Hashimoto’s, and Lupus markers showing up in my bloodwork, though not much symptomatically with Lupus at this point. Maybe because I was already on a very low carb diet.
They have me measuring out exact amounts of lean protein to fat with all my meals, and trying to stay within about 400g of food amount per day. This was rough in the beginning, and I was constantly hungry, lost a fair amount of weight, which seems to be stabilizing now. I don’t want to look like I’m anorexic. But I do want to be healthy, which is why I keep going.
Also, practical question: where do you find brain??? They require at least 200g of bone marrow or brain per week, and the bone marrow gives me explosive diarrhea every time, so now I’m afraid to eat it! I thought about trying local ranchers. It also really grosses me out. I’m pretty sensitive to eggs, so I’m not sure about frying it up as a scramble. Also, any ideas for liver? I just hate it! I gag it down. Will try making a liver soup…Ugh…I’d happily be a vegetarian if I could, but that road leads no where good for me at this point in my health. I hear others love all the fat and meat, but I’m not there yet…I mainly ate fish, pork and turkey/chicken before, so all of this red meat is also very hard for me to digest.

(Edith) #57

Check out this thread. It has a lot of discussion and some good links.


@darcygreenwald :heart:

Good ol’ Hashimoto’s. Yep. I told docs I had thyroid symptoms for years but my “TSH” was normal so I was ignored. I went to a thyroid forum where others who’d been through it all told me what tests to order for myself and where to order them and gee…I had a lot of thyroid antibodies so I was finally diagnosed with Hashi’s. I like Armour thyroid a LOT better than Synthroid. I took 1 grain in the beginning and was up to almost 2 but my last thyroid doc took me off of that and put me on a compounded T3 because my Reverse T3 was way too high. I was able to wean off of my thyroid med when I went low carb but I did it slowly. AND I found that, after weaning, I needed a good iodine supplement. That really helped me feel better. I also wrestle with other auto-immune issues like psoriasis (ugh), Raynauds, and some kind of bowel problem. Docs say IBS because they don’t really know.

Remember that I’ve not had a professional consult with PaleoMedicina yet. I had no idea they required 200g of brain per week. I thought it was brains, liver, and other organ meats. I have 14oz of organ meats (mostly liver and brains) a week.

I get cow brains from a local butcher but I’m thinking of ordering lamb or pig instead simply because I have no idea what kinds of conditions the animals lived in before slaughter. Grass fed (but grain finished) is very popular around here but I wonder how many sellers are really telling the truth? As far as the taste of the cow brains I think they actually taste pretty good when they are first boiled and drained. They are warm and tender to eat at that point, not bad at all. They are fatty but not like typical beef fat trimmings or even suet. I usually boil the brains for around 6 minutes or so then drain and let them cool off just a bit. Then I divide them into portions by weight and refreeze them to add to my scrambled eggs.

Another hard thing with PKD is the limiting of spices although I totally understand the necessity of that for healing. Spices can be very helpful when trying to get things like liver down. When I was on the SAD I used to love liver and onions but that’s obviously out, lol. When doing keto I would put a dollop of Primal Kitchen mayo on the liver and that helped. Now I just basically cook the liver and measure it out as well for individual portions. Some of the folks here suggested eating it frozen so I’m going to try that next. If you come up with a fantastic way to eat it while doing PKD let me know!! :smile:

When I was on the SAD and even regular keto I ate fish, chicken and lots of casserole types of meals. My fav food was nuts. I did try to include 4oz of liver a week and one steak smothered in butter or ghee. So all this red meat is a new challenge for me too. What do you eat daily? Since you measure do you tend to stick with the same foods? When do you have your next consult?

I drink homemade bone broth so I know I get bone marrow in that. I believe PKD allows that and I’d hate to have to part with that. Hang in there!! {{hugs}}

PS: No meds at this time except my daily iodine supplement.

PKD measurements paleo ketogenic diet liver and marrow
(Kristen Ann) #59

@ReneeRC @darcygreenwald Just wanted to say I’m following this thread and rooting for you ladies!


@kaclp Aw, Kristen, you are a sweetie! Thank you so much! :heart:



I feel super discouraged at times too, hon. I started doing keto 3 years ago last October to try to get well and although I did see many good improvements to my health, these major auto-immune issues didn’t clear up on keto, sigh. This is what Dr. Clemens said. They found problems with many long-term keto dieters which is where the PKD comes in.

When I made up my mind to do this I spent days/hours reading testimonies online. There was a guy with crohns who kept a blog and I read through the entire thing. He wasn’t even PKD, just carnivore, and for 3 months he saw no changes in his crohns, but somewhere after 3 months his bowels (digestive system/gut lining) began to be very much improved. By 6 months he was doing great. It was a very encouraging read and again, that was just regular carnivore, not PKD. PKD would probably get better results faster since they are trying to remove all the things that would hinder our bodies from healing.

The only issue I had on Armour was when I went to 2 grains it really bothered my eyes. Remember as you wean off of any thyroid med, your body has to compensate, and my thyroid doc told me that the thyroid ran everything in our bodies. He said he wouldn’t even do a complete blood work if he suspected thyroid issues because a troubled thyroid would skew other test results. I’m no doc so I am glad you are weaning off under a doc’s care, but that is how I weaned myself off, just like they are doing with you.

The main “ugh” with all this is being able to be patient so that our guts can actually heal. So for some of us, we end up feeling a little bit worse before we end up feeling better. Btw, if I eat over that 400g a day I get diarrhea big time too. Diarrhea isn’t uncommon in the early stages for many of us wrestling with auto-immune issues. I read one carnivore’s testimony and they felt super lousy for the first 3 months. They were considering just quitting when the the 4th month began it all of a sudden they felt soooooo awesome! But then, that guy was super sick when he began. My hubby is carnivore (not PKD) with me and he’s doing fine, but his gut was in good shape when he started.

If they require 200g in bone marrow or brain, then do you have to eat liver? I’d gladly eat the brain and skip the liver, lol.
So how are your numbers looking, hon? Are you below 80 with your glucose and above 2 with ketones? I think they are almost wanting us in a fasting state but still eating and the PKD seems to be the way to get it done.

Sounds to me like you are doing well so far. It’s nice to have you here so we have each other’s shoulder to cry on, LOL.

(Darcy Greenwald) #62

Yes, I am so glad to find someone else on this journey, because it can feel really lonely. Sometimes I think I’m insane…I have a super supportive husband and daughter, but I am not sure how to explain myself to everyone else, who probably thinks I’m off the deep end too. Its hard not to think: Why am I doing this to myself? But my own journey of cutting carbs and feeling better led me to this point. I haven’t heard of any other science-based approach that actually heals the gut lining (and thus the immune system).

They told me a minimum of 200g per week of brain or brain marrow, and a minimum of 400g of liver per week. So far I’m nowhere close. I am also trying some sweetbreads, kidney, and heart. It took me a while to get under 80, but now I’m pretty consistently under 80 with glucose. My ketones are great, usually 3.5-4.5 range. I lost about 10 pounds in 2 weeks, and I’m already a lightweight, so this scared me a bit. But seems to be slowing down a lot.

I’m very encouraged that you were able to wean yourself off your med without serious consequences. I’ve been worried mainly because I get so out of breath…I can barely climb stairs. I believe this to be thyroid. Yes, every cell in the body has a receptor for thyroid hormone, so it profoundly affects pretty much everything. Dry skin, hair, nails, even fatigue, I can live with. But feeling like I’m going to have a heart attack if I take a walk is a bit…scary.

As far as supplements, they don’t want you on anything at all. Someone else asked a question about iodine to Dr Clemens on some podcast I watched, and she said no need for iodine, its in the organ meats. They don’t even want me using toothpaste or lotion–but I have to admit, I cheat on that. Colorado is super dry and my skin is extra dry from hormone problems now, so I have to use something. Its hard to trust that you can get 100% of nutrition from food. Its hard for me, because I’ve been on so many supplements. They said in time the fat in the diet nourishes skin and hair from the inside, so I guess I’ll see…So far, I feel all dried out.

Well, got to run with last minute Xmas. Thank you so much…PLEASE let me know how you are doing, and let’s keep this connection. Also, if you find any recipes you like, pass them on! Mainly, I’m eating a lot of lamb mixed with pork lard (ground, ribs, loin), some beef tenderloin and ground beef, and egg yolks. I found a source for mangalitsa pork, which is the heirloom breed raised without soy, corn etc and mostly pastured, which I am going to order from soon. And I found an AMAZING lard from US Wellness meats, mangalitsa lard, which is so much nicer than any other lard (I was using leaf lard from fatworks). But I’m also curious about how you are cooking non rendered fats, like beef suet and maybe pork belly? I wonder if those fats would be easier on my system than the rendered…


@darcygreenwald So how many grams do you usually eat per day? I remember seeing a discussion on that number when I was researching. Folks were talking about how a smaller person (perhaps an inactive elderly lady for instance) and I 6’5" guy would do with 400g per day. I usually don’t make 400g per day.

Besides the daily organ meats I’ve also been enjoying ground beef/organ combo’s. Both White Oak Pastures and US Wellness Meats (I order from both places) have those and it’s a great way to get in more organ meats or you could make your own blends. I actually gained weight when I began. Even with keto I put on inches when I tried a 2:1 fat to protein diet.

Getting out of breath is scary! Are they aware that that happens? Were your blood work markers okay for your heart? My BP improved so much on keto. I put on lotions too. I’m in Missouri and it’s super dry here in the wintertime also otherwise I’m way too dry, ugh.

I have US Wellness meat’s mangalitsa pork lard but I haven’t tried it yet cause I’m trying to finish off their regular pork lard first. I can’t wait to dig in, lol. I really like the non rendered fats too. I ordered raw beef suet (REAL suet) from US Wellness Meats and I eat that raw mixed in with ground beef and mixed in with other foods like salmon. I like to eat it raw right out of the freezer frozen. It’s chewy and mostly tasteless.

I also buy beef fat. White Oak Pastures has grass fed beef fat and I can get regular fat from my local butcher where I get the cow brains. I cut that into chunks and freeze it. Then I get the portion out that I’m going to use and I roast it in the oven for around 2 hours on 170 degrees. Those are yummy with lean meats. Pork belly I just bake in the oven. It’s really good but easily 2:1 or a whole lot more so it will fill me up fast.

I’m okay with the brain amounts but it’s super hard to get the job done with that liver intake, gag. Oh well.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!! {{hugs}}


My issues in no way compare to yours, please don’t get me wrong. :slight_smile: I have histamine intolerance and my body was one big mess of inflammatory response. It took about 6 months of keto to feel normal again. It made me realize that we can’t expect our bodies to forgive us for years of “punishment.” I’ve been having histamine symptoms for over 20 year and they were becoming progressively worse over the last 5 years. When you compare 6 months of healing to 20 years of punishment, it doesn’t actually seem so bad, it CAN actually heal itself rather quickly.
Your hard work will pay off before you know it, your perseverance and strength can inspire us all. :slight_smile: We all feel like mad scientists when we find a new WoL…


@Meerkatsandy A big amen to that! My first 8 months or so of keto seemed like a total waste of time but then I began to see results. I love regular keto but I needed to see more results to carnivorePKD is me. :slight_smile:

@darcygreenwald I forgot to ask if you know…do the folks at PaleoMedicina count bone broth in their 400g per day total of foods? I wasn’t sure on that point since it’s just basically broth/water.

(Darcy Greenwald) #66

Hi Renee, they never told me anything about bone broth counting toward the 400g/day. They just count raw meat/fat. I also never could go much over 300g/day, and some days felt so nauseated by food that I would eat under 300g.
After much deliberating, and feeling extra miserable yesterday, I decided to discontinue the PKD. Yesterday I couldn’t climb stairs, was dizzy when I stood up, nauseous all day, brain fog, had multiple diarrhea episodes with my stools actually turning bright yellow (I think this is bile in the stool? scary for me), and had a lot of trouble with thoughts and getting my words out. It might be one thing if I didn’t have to work, but my family depends on my income, and I cannot work like this. I already bought the control consultation over a week from now, so I will go ahead with it anyway, and perhaps use it to ask more questions about PKD. If you have any questions, let me know, and I’ll ask them!
I am thinking I will continue to use PKD principles–use only animal fats to cook with, add animal fats and organ meats regularly into my diet, and I will take the opportunity to keep moderate and high oxalate vegetables out of my diet as much as possible. I will stay on a very low carb diet, because that was working pretty well for me, so I might continue to stay at the 1/4 grain of Armour, and slowly wean off over time. I can do my own labs, so I can test my thyroid every 3-4 weeks and see where I am at. Its also crazy how the diet made me feel cut off from social interactions, especially hard this time of year–I can see how essential food is to feeling “normal”. I kept thinking: how can I travel? How can I eat out? How can I enjoy life? I am not diagnosed with cancer, or progressed autoimmunity–and I think that I might try PKD again in this circumstance. But otherwise, its just too restrictive for me, and it makes me too sick. I could stand it if they told me: just two more weeks, and you’ll leap to the other side! But it was very uncertain how long the process would take–the nutritionist at Paleomedicina told me it took her 8 months before she really started to feel better. 8 months! Can’t do it…
I feel bad “quitting”, a bit like a failure, but I also feel like I need to listen to my body. I would really be interested in continuing our correspondence though, and would love it if I could check in with you from time to time on how you are progressing. Or maybe I’ll try again in the future, when I am off the thyroid med already, and have some time off. If I can see that others are getting great results, that would give me more incentive. I think Paleomedicina needs a support forum for people going through the transition PKD phase, with other at varying levels in the process.
Again, thank you so much for all of your support! You seem like a great person, and I have been so grateful for all of your responses. HUGS to you, and please let me know how you are doing. Also, I wonder if the fact that you continue with brain fog, and also the weight gain, indicates ongoing thyroid issues for you…You were on a really high dose! I have read that people with Hashimoto’s shouldn’t take iodine (in Izabella Wertz’s book I think). It’s just strange that you would gain weight on a diet like this, as it puts you in such deep ketosis. Do you get your labs done periodically? What is your TSH, free T4, T3?? Anyway, it seems the PKD should heal all of this anyway, so if you keep going, your symptoms should resolve.

(Edith) #67

Maybe on your own you can slowly incorporate their suggestions but at a rate that works with your body.

I didn’t look back at your first post: were you already keto before you started pkd? It could be that is was just too much of a change for your body to physiologically handle. Too much detox at once?


@darcygreenwald {{{HUGS}}} Honey, you have no reason to feel guilty or anything else along those lines. :heart: The PKD is super hard to follow for sure and really, only those with serious health issues should try it because it is so hard. So I think you did fantastic simply because you had the guts to give it a go! :+1: Always listen to your body!! If regular low carb was getting it done then “don’t fix it.” :smile:

I haven’t been measuring my meat raw. Some meats I eat really shrink up in size by the time they are ready to eat. I wonder why they demand that? I totally agree with you about the need for PaleoMedicina to host a forum of some kind to help those attempting the diet to get through the early transitional weeks/months. I’ve read that folks with crohns (IBD) take at least 6 months to begin to do well on their diet so it makes me wonder what kind of health issues that nutritionalist had that it took her 8 months. Like you said, it’s hard to stick to something like this for that long.

I’ll be due for blood work next Spring. I don’t get it often because finances are tight for us. As far as blood work goes all my numbers are normal except for my cholesterol which was high. I’m not sure what it will look like this time. Reverse T3 was back in the normal range along with Free T3 and Free T4, etc. I don’t pay attention to the TSH but it was normal also. I’ve read that folks with Hashi’s shouldn’t take iodine also but others say it’s fine. For me, it really made a difference!

I don’t know how long I’ll try to keep on with the PKD either. I wish they worked with some clinics (carnivore docs would be awesome) here in the States. I was doing pretty well on this diet but now I’m having issues with my sodium intake. If I keep my sodium at 3,000 I have no leg cramps but it’s bothering my bowels now and diarrhea is back, sigh. If I try to lower it I get horrible leg cramps, ugh. I also wish PaleoMedicina would share a lot more encouraging reports like MeatRX does.

PaleoMedicina has healed crohns disease on their diet but I’ve read of quite a few on a plain old carnivore diet who were able to do so also. One guy who had crohns decided to just eat meat (animal foods) and kept his fat at 80% to 60% of his daily intake. To get his fat he drank heavy whipping cream which, being dairy, would be a PKD no no. There are many success stories at MeatRX which is so helpful. If folks can get healed of horrible diseases like IBDs on plain old carnivore then why go to the major headaches of the PKD?

Your symptoms while trying to do this have been super bad and with a full time job and family I don’t blame you for going back to your previous low carb eating. The KetoAF folks do a kind of modified PKD in that they eat 2:1 fat/protein and carnivore but they don’t measure or restrict the amounts and so on. You might wanna give that a try down the road if PKD was still too difficult to work into your schedule.

I have two questions for the PaleoMedicina folks:

  1. How much sodium do they recommend? If it is salt to taste how do they deal with leg cramps?

  2. I’ve read over and over that older folks (I’m 63) need more protein than younger folks. How do they deal with that if an older person is on the PKD yet limited to such low protein intake?

I hope you continue to share how you’re doing with us here. We’re all doing keto in one form or another. :smile: So don’t be allowing any guilty feelings at all. If I end up going KetoAF instead of PKD I won’t feel guilty. We have to do what works for each of us and some things work and some things don’t. You’ve been such a blessing to me and I appreciate all the time you have taken to share your experiences here with us. Thank you, hon. Don’t be a stranger. :smile:

(mole person) #69

@ReneeRC I’m going to be getting very strict about the PKD protocol starting the new year. I can’t right now as I’m with family and it’s just too difficult.

But I intend to finally put all the pieces together and see if I finally sort out the last of my issues. The biggest change left to make is to finally get rid of coffee and all the cream that I still use along with it.

(mole person) #70

So here are the elements as I understand them. Please correct anything anyone believes is a misperception of the PKD diet.

*Total 400 grams meat/fat per day (raw weight) in a 2:1 fat: protein ratio by weight.

*No dairy or vegetable matter

*400 grams liver per week

*200 grams bone marrow per week

Am I missing anything?


They also advise to stop any supplements you are on too.

Looks good, hon. :smile:

(mole person) #72

Do you know how they modify it for people of different sizes? Like if 400 grams is right for me then how can surely my husband needs something more? Is it a range?