Introduction After suffering from a number of symptoms, some of them having lasted for decades, I started doing some radical experimentation with my eating habits recently, and I stumbled upon the phd (perfect health diet). I have adopted it as my diet, not in a temporary sense, but as the way I intend to eat from now on. I’m writing this post to organize my thoughts while the book, which I just finished reading, is fresh in my mind. This will be useful when somebody asks me about the diet. It’s pretty radical, and I’ve already been challenged several times, so it’s clear to me that if I want to discuss the phd I will need to be able to defend it and compare it to other diets. This is a fairly complex subject, and one that I have very little experience with. Keep in mind that this is my take on the diet, and the way I plan to follow it. There are some discrepancies. For example, they recommend taking certain supplements (vitamins and minerals), eating liver, etc. I won’t be doing those things, so I won’t write about them either. If you are interested in the diet, I urge you to read the book, and not just rely on this brief summary, which I openly admit is highly biased to the way I prefer to eat. Finally, I’m in no way affiliated with the authors or diet, and don’t stand to benefit in any way from sales and such. I just want to organize my thoughts, as I’ve said. My health history and how I came to try phd When I was 16 or so I became a serious endurance athlete, and adopted a high-carb diet. Although my activity level has gone down considerably over the years, I stuck with a similar diet, but ate less. I ate several small meals a day, mostly fruit and bread, cereal for breakfast, and something with meat in it at lunch time. If I had to guess, I’d say it was 70% carbs, 15% protein and 15% fat. This happened very slowly over many years, but only recently did I notice that my stool was much softer that normal. Not quite diarrhea, but not far off. My stomach almost constantly gurgled. If I went more than 3 hours between meals, I felt like I was going to die; very weak feeling. And like I said, it had been bad for years, but was finally obvious. My urine stream has gradually been getting weak too, which I attributed to old age, not knowing any better. I’ve been getting dizzy, or getting a “head rush” when I stand up, and this condition has increased dramatically lately. Less of a concern, my throat has been getting more and more hoarse in the morning. I often get what feels like a heart fluttering, especially when I start to exercise, which could also be gas. In fact, all the symptoms got dramatically worse recently. I have had a terribly stressful business situation over the past 6 months or so. It’s probably the most stress I’ve experienced for this a long period of time. It’s actually become a blessing in disguise though, creating a serious medical situation, and forcing me to try new things. I ate some prepared food from the supermarket about a month ago, and I got sick. Classic food sickness symptoms; diarrhea, nausea, etc, so I thought that’s what it was. I went on a clear liquids diet which I’ve found makes me feel the best during these episodes. Usually it clears up in 2 days, but this hung on. I became super dehydrated and dizzy, and got sever heart burn for the first time in my life. So I went to a doctor here, he took some blood tests, put me on the “brat” diet, and advised taking pepto bismol for symptoms. The brat diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) worked well, and the pepto gave me much relief. After 4 days, I felt better, and started to ease back into my normal diet. But that didn’t go well, and I was still dizzy. Because of my stomach problems, I decided to try the vegan diet, since it had served my friend Roman so well. I later found out that he was on a high alkaline version of the vegan diet, but I was on a standard vegan diet, not that it necessarily makes any difference, but who knows. For the first few days, my stomach felt a lot better. I talked to my friend Barry about it, because he has been on a vegetarian diet for a year and really likes it. Unfortunately, after about a week my stomach problems came back. My doctor’s office said my blood work was normal, but I ordered copies of the results, because I was very concerned about the dizziness. It turns out my blood pressure and red cell counts were both a little low. This is about the time I talked to kikenyoy. He recommended the phd. After many years on a high carb diet, 4 days on the brat diet, and 9 days of being a vegan, I started the phd. I discussed the basics with kikenyoy, ordered the book from Amazon, but started the diet even before the book came. The first day I was on the diet my stomach felt much better, although not 100%. But after a few days where I had mild nausea between meals, everything was fine, and this is the best my stomach has felt in years. No more gurgling. No weakness between meals. Stool is normal. Urine stream is stronger. I no longer have a hoarse throat or heart flutter feeling. And after about 10 days of steady improvement, my dizzy spells disappeared. I really want to check my blood pressure and red cell count again, to prove that they are now normal. Background of the “cave man” diet As far as I know, the phd is considered a variation of the paleolithic, paleo or cave man diet. I’m going to summarize what I think are the reasons that people decided they wanted to eat like paleo man. (I don’t feel really strongly about this stuff, and I’m not even sure I believe it, but I include it here because people will ask “why”. I'm not too concerned about “why”, because phd is backed very firmly by science, and it’s working great for me and many others.) Paleo man lived from when certain types of tools were invented, about 2.6 million years ago, to when agriculture became widespread, about 10,000 years ago. He was taller and healthier than modern man until modern medicine was invented. Geneticists say that it took paleo man 460,000 years to completely adapt to his diet, and that it will take modern man 200,000 years to completely adapt to his, so we are still much better adapted to the paleo diet than the modern diet. Paleo man ate a high fat diet, 15-20% carbs, most calories came from animals, but plants were an essential part. A little more modern science – why eat the paleo ratio? Modern hunter gatherers have a diet similar to paleo, and in many ways are very healthy. The energy profile of a lean human body is 64% fat, 23% protein and 13% carbs. When you are in starvation mode you are basically burning your own body, which matches the paleo ratio pretty well. Unlike that of many other animals, the human digestive system doesn’t do a lot of fancy conversions, so it’s best to essentially “eat what you are”, which again, closely matches the paleo ratio. Human breast milk, when adjusted for the difference in baby and adult brain to mass ratio, closely matches the paleo ratio. Distinguishing characteristics of phd No grains (except white rice), legumes (except green beans and peas), added sugars or vegetable seed oils. Carbos 20-30%; protein 10-20%; fats 50-70%. 1 lb of meat or fish a day. 1 lb of “safe” starches a day (white rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes or taro). 1 pound of fruit, berries or sugary in-ground vegetables (beets or carrots). Vegetables to taste. Low omega-6 fats and oils from animal or tropical plant sources, to taste. Salt food to taste. 8 hour feeding window, which means I eat between 9am and 5pm, and I usually eat 2 large meals because that’s what feels best and is most convenient. Lifestyle recommendations of phd I plan to follow At least 30 min moderate exercise per day, outdoors. 6-8 hrs sleep per night, dark room, no electronics. Often disputed points 1. Why no grains or legumes? High levels of toxins. 2. Why no added sugars? High levels of fructose, which is toxic. 3. Why no vegetable seed oils? High levels of omega 6 fats, which are linked to many diseases (heart, liver, etc). Also, the seeds are the most toxic part of grains, so these oils are very toxic. 4. Why the ratio? These have been calculated scientifically, graphing max and min and finding the sweet spot. It matches the paleo diet pretty closely. 5. Why safe starches? We need carbos. Grains and legumes are too toxic. Fruits are too high in fructose, and a little low in calories. Vegetables are too low in calories. 6. phd vs paleo I call phd a variation of the paleo diet, but there are 2 main differences that I know of. Phd allows safe starches and dairy (except for milk). I already explained why paleo uses safe starches. There are some disadvantages to eating dairy products, but they also have a lot of desirable nutrients, so they are suggested in moderation, except for butter, which is highly recommended. Milk is prohibited because of a combination of high carbs & lactose. 7. phd vs vegan Vegans eat a lot of grains and legumes, which are highly toxic. If they stop eating these, then they will have a really hard time getting enough protein. They will have to eat several times the bulk of the phd diet, for example. 8. phd vs vegetarian Vegetarians eat a lot of grains and legumes, which are highly toxic. If they stop eating these, it would be possible to eat the correct ratios of carbs/protein/fat, but there wouldn’t be as much variety as is possible with phd, and they would probably have to supplement certain nutrients mainly found in meats. 9. phd vs Atkins Atkins advocates grains and legumes, which are highly toxic. It also calls itself a high-protein diet (30% or so). In the beginning eating a high protein diet suppresses appetite. But in a few weeks the brain figures out that body needs some missing nutrients, the appetite and weight return. Some people on Atkins eat as little as 10% carbs. phd has determined the correct amount of carbs to eat by plotting carbs eaten and glucose utilized. Eating less than the correct amount, 20-30%, will force the body to convert protein into glucose. So you risk reduced glucose utilization and loss of some benefits. Also, it can increase the risk of hyperglycemia. 10.Why is coconut oil better than olive oil? A Russian tutor asked me this question. Apparently, coconut oil is regarded as cheap or even junk oil, and olive oil is highly regarded in Russia. I think that’s how it used to be in the US a long time ago, when McDonalds was frying food in coconut oil. See the video Fat Head for more information. I recently bought 1 liter of naturally pressed coconut oil for $25 about 2 weeks ago. Yikes! phd considers coconut oil to be so special, it actually recommends that people eat 2 tablespoons a day. Here’s what makes it special: Eating a spoonful by itself can suppress the appetite during the daily 16 hr fast. It’s loaded with medium-chain fats, which creates a ketogenic effect, which is therapeutic for some diseases (epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, migraines, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc). It can be therapeutic for bowel disorders, and is good for gut health. It’s short-chain fats protect the liver, nerves, brain and cardiovascular system. For a more head-to-head comparison, coconut oil has a lower percentage of polyunsaturated (bad) fat, 1.8%, than olive oil, 10.6%. So olive oil is good, but not as good as coconut oil.