Now that I have talked in various posts about what the PK Protocol includes as a whole, I decided it was time to explain an aspect that is just as (if not more) important than the IV and oral supplements taken on the protocol – diet. While a low carb, ketogenic diet may not be suitable for everyone, the PK Protocol uses this way of eating to aid in the help of healing those with neurodegenerative and neurological diseases. I, personally, am receiving this protocol to heal from the damage that untreated Lyme spirochetes created in my body. Therefore, through this article, I will explain some of the “what,” “why,” and “hows” of the PK Protocol diet, as well as my own personal implementations and experience.
While the food sources one should consume to obtain optimal cell rejuvenation are quite clear on paper, problems typically arise based off of the patients condition. Nuts, seeds, and eggs, which contain many of the essential fatty acids needed to regrow cells, can be quite aggravating to those with compromised, leaky guts, especially if their disease is partially autoimmune. Personally, I cannot tolerate eggs at this point in my healing, due to always have a huge inflammatory, allergic response when ingesting them. However, I can somewhat handle nut and seed oils (from the right sources that is), though nut and seed butters still remain very irritating to my overall well being. That being said, after avoiding them for many years prior to beginning this protocol, I now find that consuming small amounts of raw, soaked, sprouted, and dehydrated nut butters, to be quite tolerable and cause a minimum (to no) stress on my body. Another aspect of the PK Protocol that Dr. Patricia Kane encourages all patients to play with is raw dairy. Therefore, while cow products have not worked for me for many years, I have found that raw sheep and camel milk products to be somewhat tolerable, especially in an aged, raw form. Overall, because my body is still very depleted and damaged, eating certain foods that are otherwise emphasized on the diet, are not yet part of my daily meals. However, if I could sum up the diet that I have been following in a few words it would be fat, green, and more fat. By green I mean vegetables, of which I consume in green juice, sauteed greens, salads, and roasted greens. Fat is put on top of anything that I cook, even if it is partially fatty and (or) cooked with fat. Therefore, because of this high fat and vegetable content, the need and even want for carbohydrates in any form is very very minimal. As long as I am getting enough fat in the day, not once do I find myself wishing I could eat something starchy and sweet, but instead am completely satiated. As one’s cells heal, so will their leaky gut, which will ultimately fix histamine intolerance, leaky gut, and other neuroautoimmune dysfunctions. However, this is a very broad statement, as what goes into healing is much more complicated than simply healing one’s cells. Overall, the diet one follows is customized and discussed between Dr. Patricia Kane, the patients given doctor, and the patient themselves. Though I am not through with the PK Protocol, I have found the individualization of the protocol as a whole to be quite remarkable. Not only are my specific health complications and needs taken into consideration, but they are also being addressed, even those outside of the dietary department.
Recommended Diet Outline
Though one’s dietary intake is customized based off their BodyBio labs, there is an overall outline for recommended food intake. 1 serving of any protein (seafood, red meat, wild game, poultry, etc…at least three ounces) at each meal, 1-3 daily servings of seeds and nuts (1 oz each – no chestnuts or peanuts) a day, multiple servings of BodyBio Balance oil (2-6 tbsp daily), 2-4 eggs per day, 1 serving of full-fat yogurt (if tolerated), 1-2 servings (1 tbsp each) of soft cheeses, many servings of healthy oils (BodyBio and (or) Flora brand, cold-pressed walnut, sunflower, pumpkin, flax, walnut, sesame, hemp, etc…), multiple servings of fats for higher temperature cooking (coconut, ghee, bacon fat, etc…), as well as numerous servings of oils/fats for medium-temperature cooking (olive oil, tallow, lard, chicken fat), 6-12 servings of vegetables (1/2-1 cup each) per day, at least one salad, and fresh or dried herbs/spices as preferred. If one is going to “cheat,” coconut, avocado, berries, green apple, legumes, beans, and olives are allowed in 1-2 servings per day.
Lucky for me, I had already found the Paleo diet many years before the PK Protocol, and thus do not have a hard time switching to a more low-carb approach. The change was breaking down of the autoimmune aspects that I had implemented years prior. That being said, I still do not touch eggs or nightshades, and very little nuts. Therefore, despite following Autoimmune Paleo 95% of the time, I tend to tolerate nut and seed oils quite fine, as well as the BodyBio “Balanced Oil” that is a flax and sunflower mixture. The variety of oils and fats that you can find in my kitchen are quite large, including sheep, chicken, goose, and duck fat, as well as lard, tallow, avocado, macadamia, walnut, pistachio, red palm, almond, coconut, MCT, and hazelnut oil. Saturated fats I use for cooking, as well as topping food once it has been cooked, while the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats I reserve for use after cooking. Vegetables that I consume on a daily to weekly basis include kale, dandelion greens, bok choy, broccoli rabi, endive, escarole, lettuce (red, green, romaine, bibb), turnip greens, green onion, leek, cucumber, radish, jicama (in very small quantities), arugula, swiss chard, collard greens, and seaweed (nori, wakame, kelp, etc). Half of the leafy greens I make into juices, while the other I eat sauteed or as a salad. For meat and poultry, I pretty much eat anything I can get my hands on, thought I try and eat as local as possible, and rotate to minimize histamine and MAST cell allergic reactions. This includes wild venison, lamb, pork, buffalo, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, duck, and ostrich (when I am lucky to find it). Because there tends to be many more species of fish than land animals, I tend to consume these on a daily basis, more so than muscle meats. White fish is usually my top choice for breakfast, as it is the most easily digestible protein, making monk fish, striped bass, mahi mahi, flounder, fluke, skate wings, tilapia, cod, and halibut a great replacement for eggs. Other fish include the top, oily, cold-water varieties such as herring, salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, and mackerel. Like meat products, I seek out local fish as much as possible, and when buying from the store, strive to ensure it is wild and domestic. Eating nose-to-tail as a way to maximize nutrient density, is also a big part of the PK Protocol, which is why I am to eat items such as organ meat 4-5 days a week. This includes venison liver, chicken heart, gizzards, and liver, beef heart, tongue, marrow, and liver, all of which I am able to source from local farms. Overall, the fats, vegetables, and proteins mentioned above are what my PK Protocol diet consists of for the most part. Other foods that are included in my rotation when tolerable are raw sheep yogurt, raw camel milk, raw goat and sheep cheese, and vinegars (apple cider, balsamic, red wine, champagne, infused, etc). If I am craving “treats,” I tend to have a bit of coconut butter, or make a ketogenic, single serving treat high in fat and very low in carbs. I have found that because I have been on an Autoimmune-approach to Paleo for so long prior to the PK Protocol, having small amounts of nut or seed butters (soaked and raw when possible) does not irritate me very much, and are my first choice when looking to increase calories and fat intake for the day. For alternative sweeteners, I use pure stevia or chicory root powder, though I make sure to use these in very very minimal amounts, on a rare basis, as they are not “whole foods.” Together, a typical day includes a green at each meal (whether raw, sauteed, or juiced), a protein, and extra fat on top of it all, plus a few snacks throughout the day that fit into the categories above. Overall, if an ingredient or food is not mentioned in the above categories, then it is most likely eliminated. However, for the sake of this article, I have chosen to refrain from listing all of these foods.
How to Keep Going
Because the portion of ketogenic that my body can tolerate is somewhat restrictive, due to not being able to tolerate some of the main foods (low-carb FODMAP vegetables, eggs, dairy, etc), eating the items that I can have, in different forms, makes things seem not so boring and dull. Examples include my fish intake, which I try and rotate from fresh, canned, and smoked varieties. One day I might make something with ground turkey with some chicken liver mixed into it, while the next time I eat turkey it is in the form of a roasted leg or wing. Creativity is truly a key aspect of keeping a diet “interesting,” and easy to obtain. When I begin to feel “blah” about my body and what I have to eat, I know that it is time to start creating new ways to eat things. That being said, it is also important to focus on what you CAN eat, not what the PK Protocol says that you CAN’T. Really, this is key to any way of eating, especially when the specific diet is being utilized to find true healing. Ultimately, there is so much more to health than food, and if you can get past the mental block of not having what everyone else eating, you will undoubtedly succeed. In the end, you have to believe in what you are doing. Ways to accomplish this include self-education on what exactly the PK Protocol is, and how it is helping your body. That being said, tough this post includes much of the information on the food aspect of the PK Protocol, one’s diet is truly based off of what their body says it needs (via blood work), therefore making the recommendations included in today’s post merely an overall outline. For more information, please feel free to contact me through email or social media, or visit Neurolipid Research Foundation’s website here.