Who am I?

Copenhagen, Denmark
I'm a 21 year old student of the Copenhagen Metropolitan University College's Global Bachelor in Nutrition and Health, Copenhagen, Denmark. The purpose of this blog is to record my experiences with different diet approaches and health techniques, which I try out for 30 days at a time, thus the name.

lørdag den 13. november 2010

Finished Weston a. Price challenge

So a little late (again) – sry

I completed my Weston Price/traditional diet challenge on the 30th of October, scoring a low 16 (this is good) on the previously mentioned health questionnaire by Mark Hyman, which is half of what I had when I began the challenge, in general my numbers where preety good – I will list them at the end of this post.

It was definetely way easier and more interesting to stick to than doing the raw food challenge, and I scored better on the health questionnaire, I din't loose as much fat though, proably because I ate more food this time.

Generally I think the diet experiment went well, I really like the food, compared to both a raw food and a paleo diet, even a vegan diet, I think it is less restrictive, and I have had some fairly good results.

This diet may be able to be improved by adding some of the additional things that traditional/native/indigenous people also made use of like fermented foods and beverages, bone broths and organ meats which I'm looking into at the moment, with help from Nourishing Traditions (by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig). I will also be adding some raw food dishes, like salads and green juices. In the future I will look into using the meal timing rules of the leptin diet and the low carb rules of the primal diet, and see whether this can improve the diet.

Weight - 64, 4 kg – 2,7 kg decrease

Estimated Muscle perecentage 47,8 – 0.9% points increase

Water percentage 67,6 – 1,8% points increase

Fat percentage 7,5 – 2,3 % points decrease

Average resting pulse 46,5

Lowest reading 45

Highest reading 59

Average resting blood pressure 97,35/52,55

The blood pressure seems unrealistically low – I wil have to compare my blood pressure reader to another one, next time I get a chance.

Total score on Mark Hyman's health questionairre from the ultra simple diet– 16 – a 50% decrease

tirsdag den 12. oktober 2010

Western A. Price Challenge

October 1st 2010 I began my latest diet challenge; a Weston A. Price inspired diet.

For those of you who don't know Weston A. Price, he was a dentist and (in function) anthropologist, who during the 1930's traveled the world to visit different indigenous tribes, and compare their diet, and resultant health, to the western civilization's health and diet of his time.

What he found was that these people were a lot healthier than both western people, and those indigenous people who had recently adopted a westernized diet. He specifically looked at cavities, and facial and skeletal development. He discovered that those indigenous people who still ate their traditional diet had a very low incidence of cavities, whereas cavities where rampant in both the western and westernized peoples. He also found that children whose parents had eaten a traditional diet had well developed skeletons, including broad dental arches with plenty of room for all teeth, as well as broad noses and faces in general.

These different tribes who all enjoyed good health compared to the westernized and western peoples, ate very different diets, as they lived in very different ecosystems – from rainforests to Alaska.

That being said Weston A. Price managed to find some similarities between them, which were different from the processed western diet. He also proved that what he had identified were at least some of the key differences, by implementing his findings in his practice, and drastically reducing the number of cavities occurring in his patients.

The dietary key differences between healthy indigenous peoples and the western diet -

The diets of the indigenous peoples contained:

No highly processed foods

At least ten times the amount of fat soluble vitamins (of the western diet at this time)

A good source of what he called activator X, a fat soluble catalyst/nutrient now believed to be vitamin K2.

No grains that were ground more than one day in advance of usage.

No animals fed an unnatural diet (such as grains).

Higher levels of minerals.

With this in mind I have started eating a diet that includes:

Lots of non-starchy vegetables

A small to moderate amount of starchy vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, yams etc.

Moderate amounts of sweet fresh and frosen fruits

A moderate amount of traditionally prepared (soaked/sprouted/fermented) legumes, grains and pseudograins (quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat)

A moderate amount of high quality fats, oils, and fatty foods, such as – organinc pasteurized (can't get raw) butter, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic cold pressed coconut oil, organic eggs, small amounts of organic fatty meats, some nuts and seeds (mainly soaked first), small amounts of high quality seed oils, avocados, other coconut products

A moderate amount of organic lean meats

Small amounts of honey and dried fruits

Small amounts of traditional style alcoholic drinks, such as wine or unpastuerised organic cider.

Natural salts, like himalayan crystal salt


supplemental fats/oils – to provide sufficient omega 3's, as well as the high levels of vitamin A, D3 and K2 -

My plan was to supplement with two teaspoons (10 ml) of high vitamin butter oil, two teaspoons of fermented high vitamin cod liver oil and 9 grams of fish oil a day, however for the first week I had to make due with 20 ml of nordic naturals' cod liver oil with vitamin D added back in (they remove most of it) and 5 grams of fish oil (less was needed as I got more omega 3s from the increased amount of cod liver oil), due to delivery problems. I have received my fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil now (from green pastures).

ohh – and I also managed to get my hands on one raw organic cheese, from cows at least mainly on grass.

So thats basically what I eat at the moment – Im going to return soon with a description of how things are going so far.

If you want more info on weston a. price and his studies - visit http://www.westonaprice.org and/or http://www.ppnf.org/catalog/ppnf/

or read his book Nutrition and physical degeneration

Here are my start stats -

Start date October 1st 2010

Stats at day one:

weight – 67.1 kg

estimated bodyfat percentage (by electronic scale) – 9,8

estimated water percentage (by electronic scale) – 65,8

estimated muscle percentage (by electronic scale) – 46,9

average resting pulse – 50.5

lowest resting pulse reading– 37

average resting systolic blood pressure – 111.25

average resting diastolic blood pressure – 61.71

total score on Mark Hyman's health questionairre from the ultra simple diet – 32

Others – black circles below eyes, some acne in face, and othe places, white coating on tongue.

tirsdag den 14. september 2010

Finished raw challenge

So I finished my almost vegan, raw food challenge! It was meant to be a 30 day challenge, but I added in another day, in order to compensate for a night of drinking (important social event ;)).

Unfortunately I didn't have my body fat measured this time, so I only have my weight in that regard. I went from 68 kg at the beginning of this challenge, to 63,6 kg this morning (32 days later). Thats 4,4 kg lost, about a kilogram a week, which I think is a fine rate. I didn't really have problems with excessive hunger at any time, in fact my hunger seemed to decline as the challenge progressed, which was probably connected with my loss of interest in the food I ate, and my increased craving for whatever I hot meat containing food I made for my girlfriend. Now don't get me wrong, raw food isn't boring, and I could have made it more interesting, or I should say varied, than I did - however making tasty, interesting dehydrated meals successful, takes a lot of work, and experience - in my opinion anyway. I really like a lot of the food I made, but just as if I were to only eat any other kind of food, say only cooked food, or even worse - only animal foods - it just limits your palate too some degree, even if you are very creative. That said it can certainly be done - but it takes a lot of creativity, time and effort to live off of purely raw (and dehydrated) foods.

According to my questionnaire - I did really well - I scored only 20 points this time, the best so far (lower is better). I didn't feel awesome though - I didn't feel 'light', 'high', 'grounded', or even especially energized, as a lot of raw foodies describe.

I guess my conclusion is that it definitely works for weight loss, and it may be a healthy diet for some time, but I have to admit that it is hard to follow, and from a theoretical stand point, I have a hard time seeing how a vegan (or close to) diet can sustain us without heavy supplementation as a life long way of eating. As for the raw part of it, I think people need to be less fanatic about it, and see it less black and white - some ways of processing may, in some situations be a better option than eating/drinking it raw. Teas - infusions and decoctions, is obvisously a good example of this, fermentation another. Besides these one can argue, that even though you do loose some nutritional value by heating your food, it may very well in some situations also improve digestibility, as well as make it easier to consume larger amounts of vegetables.

On top of this I also have a hard time seeing the scientific basis for the 'enzyme theory of digestion and health' - if I am correct (if you have studies showing otherwise - please link), and this does not hold up to scientific scrutiny, the idea of setting the border between raw and cooked foods at 42 degrees Celsius must be dropped. This will hopefully be replaced by a discussion of food processing as sliding scale, as well as a goal and situation based approach. A discussion of the 'living foods' concept, in opposition to the more simplistic term 'raw food', may also be appropriate.

Thats it for now - I plan to start my next diet experiment on the 1st of October - a traditional style, Western A. Price inspired diet.

Ohh one more thing - I'm going to see Daniel Vitalis on the 2nd and 3rd of October, In Christiania, Copenhagen :D

Btw. this is posted one day later than intended -so if you count dates - this is why it didn't match :)

tirsdag den 24. august 2010

status thus far

As the title implies I'm going to brief you on my experience so far - the food is generally good, but I have been eating (or drinking) the same stuff A LOT, because a couple of weeks back I spilled buckwheat into my dehydrator, which meant that I couldn't use it for fear of them burning - yesterday I finally got it screwed apart, and cleaned out - so I'm looking forward to making interesting creations starting tomorrow (I have to work  today), and I will report back on how that goes.

Bodily I have been having some acne, but as my digestion seems great (judging on my stools), I am guessing that it is related to too much sugar (fruits and honey) - so, as I get dehydrating, I hope to replace some of the fruit and honey with dehydrated foods such as seed and nut crackers, bars, and cereal, as well as more interesting dips, and nut/seed milks.

So - I'm doing fine right now, but am missing more variety in my foods, and something crunchy. I will keep you updated :)

torsdag den 19. august 2010

started raw food challenge

I started my high raw 'beegan' (vegan + bee products) 30 day challenge last Friday (the 13th of august), and have been doing fine so far – to my slight surprise I haven't had problems with hunger, or cravings for forbidden foods. I have mainly been eating fresh and frozen fruit, fresh salad leaves, honey, oils and seeds.

During my vacation (and break between diet challenges) I put on some unwanted weight (fat), so that I weighted 68 kg at the beginning of this challenge, so I hoping this will help :).

I may have to skip a couple of meals (meaning not following the plan) this time around, because of some important social events, however I will compensate for this by adding an extra day to the challenge for each occasion.

So thats it for now, I'm going to keep posting about how it goes.

onsdag den 14. juli 2010

Finished vegan challenge - new challenges

I finished my 30 day vegan challenge some time ago, unfortunately I haven't been able to set aside time for the blog recently, something that I plan to change in about two weeks, when I will begin my next challenge - 30 days of high raw 'beegan' (vegan + bee products like honey) diet.

With regards to my experience of, and results on, the vegan diet, they were mixed, but generally good. Just prior to the challenge I ran my first marathon, something that didn't go well, as i ended up with pain in both my knees, something that has (and still is) made it impossible for me to continue my running - which has lead to a worse body fat percentage. Other than that I had some gaseous (to be frank) problems in the beginning of the diet, these disappeared when I changed soaked and cooked beans for soaked and cooked lentils, and cut down on grains, while adding in quinoa (a seed and so called pseudo grain).

At the end of the challenge I felt good, better than I did on the paleo diet, which is also expressed in my evaluation using the questionnaire from Mark Hyman. This time I scored 24, compared to 36 on the paleo diet and before 47 before that, remember less is better in this test. 

My average blood pressure measured 120,65 above 60,25, which is a definite improvement over what I normally get (if it is accurate), but worse than what I had after the paleo diet + running, also there were considerable variations in the readings, some being as high as 137 above 62.

So in other words, unfortunately mixed results, when compared to the paleo diet.

Ok thats it for now, I hope to get back to you soon with more on the next challenge.

btw. If you want more, here are some sites I recommend for more knowledge on health and nutrition - 











søndag den 30. maj 2010

Finished Paleo challenge, started vegan challenge

So I finished my paleo diet/ for athletes trial, culminating in running the Copenhagen marathon on 23rd of may. I will be honest and say that looking a couple of months back I had hoped for a better finish time (I actually don't have my exact time – but it was more than 4 hours and 30 minutes) however seen in the light of the situation, I had pains in both my knees the entire time, and from about 7 kilometers to about 15 my right foot kept falling a sleep.

So what is my general experience of the diet? And what measurable results have I got?

My general experience of the diet has been that it is doable, but it takes a lot of planning and preparation time, and on top of that it is expensive and hard (not impossible) to keep interesting. One of the pratical tips, for anybody out there interested in trying this diet – make some sort of 'pot dish' like say bolognese or chicken in curry (without the pasta/rice) for breakfast (you want to make it the day before, not in the morning). I found this sort of dish a lot more easy to chow down first thing in the morning than say a steak is.

I felt pretty good generally during my paleo trial, however I can't say that I have felt any particular surge of energy, or anything else indicating that this diet was just right for me. I may have felt less tired, and I defintely can tell you that meat in the morning keeps you full a lot longer than grains do (even oat porridge) however besides from that I haven't observed anything special.

Measurable results -  

Now -

Body fat -

36 mm skinfolds (between 13 and 16 %)

27, 33 mm skinfolds (8%)

weight – 62,1 kilograms

Bloddpressure– 118,6/49

then – 14/3 - 10

Body fat -

30 mm (13%)

24 mm (7%)

weight 64,7 kg

Bloodpressure -


So if these results are credible, then it seems like I have lost muscle mass, which may very well be the case, though it may be due to my changing training patterns (from medium distance and interval training 2 - 3 times a week, to long distance once a week) up to the marathon.

BTW. the different skinfold measurements are because I have come across two different sets of instructions that give two different results (says something about the reliability of this method), so I decided to include both.

I also filled out a health questionnaire by Mark Hyman, M.D. where you give points for how often and severe different ailments you have are, then add them together - the more points the worse you're off. I had 47 points when I began, and 36 after the first 60 days. It will be interesting to see what I get after the vegan challenge.

New vegan 30 day trial -

Thursday the 27th (of may 2010) I will begin my new diet trial; a vegan diet made up of what i would call real foods – meaning foods that have not have had all their nutritional value processed out of them. This is obviously not a very strict or clear definition, so to clarify; whole grain products are generally acceptable, whereas white flour is not. That being said I may choose to add in supplements, like fiber rich seed husks or vegan protein powders made from brown rice or yellow peas, that are highly processed and have had their fiber and starchy components removed. The difference however is that these things have been done with nutritional goals in mind, and that in some cases, these products have a lot of their micronutrional contents preserved, unlike white flour. For the record undamaged fats and oils are on the to eat list, while damaged fats and oils are not – that means cooking is mainly with coconut oil, and possibly olive or avocado oils (at low heat) while margarine and oils high in polyunsaturated fatty acids are no gos in cooking (however polyunsaturated fats can off course be consumed as part of spreads, dips, smoothies etc.).

Now why would I want to eat a vegan diet?!

First of all this blog is about trying to get an idea of what diet works the best for me, and that will include trying out different approaches, with radically different theoretical stand points, like the paleo diet and a vegan diet.

While I think the theory behind veganism, as a nutritionally superior diet, is fairly weak, the anecdotal evidence is somewhat strong, and it provides an important 'scale' (in lack of a better word) for me to compare the paleo diet against. Furthermore, adding in small amounts of high quality animal products after a period on a vegan diet may tell us something about how a frugivore great ape inspired diet compares.

This is interesting because: while the argumentation, for eating no animal products at all, is weak (in my opinion), the arguments for eating a lot less animal products, than both followers of paleolithic diets and the 'standard american/western diet' do, is a lot stronger - our closest human contemporary relatives – the great apes (more specifically Bonobos and Chimpanzees) all consume, small but highly priced portions of meat and insects (are insects classified as meats? - I mean it is a lot more than that – it is truly a whole food). Now this certainly does not prove that we should eat this way, in fact vegans would emphasize that meat is a small,unstable, and calorie wise rather insignificant part of the different great apes' diets, while proponents of paleo/primal diets would argue that this is were our ancestors diverged from those of the great apes; that, due to different factors like easier access to calories (less time spent gathering compared to hunting or finding and eating carrion, as well as less energy spent on digestion, because of less fiber, and higher energy density) and long chain omega 3 fatty acids, our gut size was decreased and our brain size increased (along with other changes).

This clearly shows that this theoretical standpoint is not clear from counter arguments, however it is a lot easier to defend than the more extreme vegan approach – when comparing this diet to both the 'standard american/western diet' and paleolithic type diets (as well as other diets containing medium or high amounts of animal products) the great ape inspired diet basically has all of the pro vegan arguments (I will get into some of those in another post), but at the same time it can pretty much avoid all of the (often strong) counter arguments against eliminating all animal products from one's diet. In a sense its taking the best of both worlds.

So to sum up there are three reasons why I am giving the vegan diet a chance: first of is off course because the diet concept is, in my opinion, at least worth trying (it is not the most convincing from a theoretical standpoint but there is a lot of people reporting success with it). Secondly it is very much in contrast to the paleolithic type diet I just tried, and thus will make for a good comparison. And thirdly it may tell us something about the great ape inspired diet, which has a lot more going for it on a theoretical level, and in my eyes is one of the best bets at a starting point for trying to find the optimal human diet.

PS. I am still planning on finishing the discussion on critique of the paleo diet theory, however it takes some time to put together - but it is still in the works :)