Mark Lundegren

Writer, naturalist, teacher, and strategist, Mark Lundegren is creator of the Natural Strategy method, helping people and groups achieve their full natural potential.

Homepage: http://marklundegren.com/

One Year Of Green Keto Eating!

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By Mark Lundegren

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I am fast approaching my one-year anniversary on a ketogenic diet, after years of Green Paleolithic eating, and wanted to do a summary of my results and lessons so far.

When I went keto, my diet lost none of its greenness, or paleolithic-ness, but it did change substantially. Carbohydrate sugars moved from about 40% of my daily calories to less than 10%, and fats from a similar level to more than 70% of my calories. Out went sweet fruits and starches, and in came more low-carb vegetable fruits and of course added plant and animal fats – especially fish, eggs, avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and butter.

Notably, the protein portion of my diet stayed about the same, at slightly below 20% of calories, though my total daily calorie intake (and therefore total protein) have declined by about 30% in the past year, primarily via reduced meal frequency and thus more efficient food use. As I mentioned, also unchanged was the high amount of greens and vegetables, along with small portions of cheese, that I have eaten for most of my adult life.

My Typical Daily Meal – Easy, Natural & Perhaps Optimally Healthy

In my case, giving up sugar-rich grains, legumes, processed foods, and sweets was not an issue, since I have long avoided these non-Paleo foods for personal and ecological health reasons. I also was not a regular drinker, but quickly found that keto and alcohol do not mix well for me, and stopped using alcoholic beverages entirely. Lastly, my red meat intake has steadily declined in the last year as well. I now rarely eat meat and have wild caught or naturally-raised fish almost every day.

Like me, you probably see many news articles suggesting ketogenic eating is hard to sustain, radical or unnatural, and unhealthy. I’d like to briefly take on each of these claims, while describing my experience on what I will call a Green Paleo Keto diet.

First, I have found ketogenic eating remarkably easy to follow, and even stupidly so – with a bit of commitment and once you make the transition to new eating patterns. This is primarily because hunger is greatly reduced when we are in ketosis, giving us new freedom to choose what and when we eat. When I began keto, my appetite was noticeably lowered within a few days, old food cravings stopped entirely after about a week, and at the end of the first month, I thought I might eat this way, and easily so, for the rest of my life. Now, it is nearly a year later, and I never go off keto eating or depart from a healthy plant and fish-rich diet.

In practice, the foods I eat are enjoyable, delicious, and satisfying. For months, I have been entirely free of the food longings and temptations that plagued me most of my life, even while eating a whole-food Paleo diet, and I never feel deprived. In fact, since I no longer have urgent hunger and am freer to choose and optimize my eating patterns, I now usually eat only once or twice a day – consuming one big meal, or a small and medium meal 1-4 hours apart. I also mostly eat the same foods most days, and again, I am perfectly happy with my ketogenic diet.

Second, what is radical and unnatural? Keto is very different from the way most people eat today. But is modern or traditional agricultural-age eating the standard by which we should judge natural nutrition? Overall, as its name implies, a Green Paleo Keto diet is similar in many ways to how humans and pre-humans ate in wild nature for millions of years. Then, eating required foraging, was often intermittent and low in carbs, and therefore engendered ketosis – though this varied by locale, season, custom, and food availability. But reflecting this natural legacy, I would point out that modern people often easily enter and function during ketogenic metabolism.

In any case, there was no refined sugar, no processed food, no agricultural crops, and no convenience food in earlier life. Food, as a whole, was whole, moving or quickly eaten by other species, and otherwise required substantial work. Food therefore was fairly inconvenient, often leading people to eat less and less frequently than is common today, again promoting ketosis. And while natural perils were much greater and lifespans shorter in primitive life, there appears to have been far less nutritionally-related disease at comparable age levels. So, which diet is radical and unnatural?

Third, as with many diet innovations today, the healthiness of sustained ketogenic eating is an open scientific question. Owing to the newness of intentional ketosis, it will take years of longitudinal study to understand its health effects and limitations. But based on current nutritional science recommending whole and green eating above all, it is possible that the healthiness of keto will depend on the wholeness and greenness, or cleanness, of the foods eaten, rather than the proportion of carbs and fats. Again, this is an open question. As such, anyone claiming keto is categorically unhealthy – including the meal in the photo above and detailed in the chart below – is speculating, or simply parroting current nutritional orthodoxy.

In my experience, moving from Green Paleo eating to a Green Paleo Keto diet provided a number of apparent benefits. It caused me to quickly lose almost ten kilograms (20 pounds) of body weight and move from roughly 18% to 8% body fat. Importantly, however, I have regained about a third of this weight in the last year, but primarily in the form of muscle mass rather than body fat. I am now at about 10% body fat, but can quickly lower this amount by either eating less or fasting (yes, I’ve done this as an experiment).

As I mentioned, I now have low hunger overall, usually eat only once or twice a day, and thus intermittently fast between 20 and 23 hours per day. I also periodically and easily do multi-day fasts as a health practice. Again, despite these seeming limitations or deprivations, I never deviate, or feel tempted to deviate, from my Green Paleo Keto eating pattern, and mostly eat the same core foods (listed below) every day. And as I approach sixty, I can say that I have no medical complaints or symptoms, take no medicines, have boundless energy, exercise regularly and strenuously, and feel fantastic – morning, noon, and night!

A Green Ketogenic Diet – Built From Essential Foundations of Nutritional Science

The chart above summarizes my normal roughly 2000-calorie daily eating plan, which is down from nearly 3000 calories before switching to keto and reducing my meal frequency. I eat these foods 6-7 days per week, varying my selection but not proportions of veggies and fish, in either one sitting or two as I mentioned (in the latter case, with the “side” as a brunch and everything else as my main afternoon meal). Importantly, I sometimes eat less than this full amount – especially when I am less active, the weather is warm, or otherwise simply feel full or less hungry.

Perhaps helpfully, let me add that I often eat before social engagements, and then either do not eat or have a light salad at the event. This is a great way to stay both in control of our diet and well-nourished. And if healthy foods are not available, wherever I am, I simply fast or perhaps have a coffee, and wait for better fare. Again, and crucially, fasting or delaying eating is always a waiting, easy, and untroubling option when we are in ketosis, or are naturally keto-adapted, and can tap our body fat for energy.

As you can see in the photo and chart, the way I eat is neither draconian nor indulgent. I like to think of it as naturally luxuriant. Overall, this flexible framework meets all of my nutritional needs – macronutrients and micronutrients – and contains no novel or unusual foods. And notably, there are no processed foods or plainly unhealthy ones as well, personally or ecologically, my unorthodox or controversial proportioning of foods notwithstanding

Importantly, along with healthfully lowering calories through keto, I also have been able to reduce my daily food costs by about a third – by eating less, eating more simply, eating out less, and eating less when out. And my move to mostly one-meal-a-day (OMAD) eating and more regular meal patterns has added about an hour of free time to my days, allowing me to do fun and impactful new things (like writing this post).

Given my very positive ketogenic experience at the one-year mark, I would encourage you to consider both greener and ketogenic eating, especially if you have health complaints, are overweight, feel you lack control of your diet or life, or otherwise are experiencing reduced physical or cognitive vitality.

HumanaNatura’s OurPlate healthy eating model and Twenty Guidelines offer a good general overview of key considerations and practices for optimizing our modern diets. And the innovative HumanaNatura Personal Health Program provides detailed information on health-maximizing Natural Eating and other essential natural health practices.

To celebrate my first anniversary on keto, I plan to continue my new way of eating uninterrupted, and as I do, would welcome your comments and questions!

Health & best wishes,

Mark

Mark Lundegren is the founder of HumanaNatura.

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Bistro Brunch Salad Meal

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Weekday or weekend, home or away, and with friends or not, there’s always something special about a generous and savored late-morning meal or brunch. And when we eat the HumanaNatura way and follow HumanaNatura’s OurPlate  healthy eating guidelines, brunches can be not only delicious and even luxuriant, but extra healthy too. Check out the sample meal photo and instructions below for an example of a rich and healthy brunch salad meal, and be sure to subscribe to follow our healthy nutrition and other informative natural health posts!

Please note that today’s HumanaNatura meal includes shellfish and is proportioned for both ketogenic (very low carb) and OMAD (one meal a day) eating – with about 2000 calories and 70 percent of them from fats. However, options are included in case you are vegetarian, eat non-ketogenically, or have meals more frequently than once a day.

Our sample meal begins by preparing an omelette with six eggs from pasture-raised hens, a cup each of cooked and shelled shrimp and chopped fresh cilantro, and just a bit of black pepper and curry powder. As the omelette cooks on medium-high heat, a generous raw salad is prepared with fresh arugula, two small sliced avocados, a bit of sliced brie cheese, coarsely diced cucumber and orange bell pepper, and a few grape tomatoes. When the omelette is done, it is quartered and plated as shown, and the whole meal is topped with olive oil and white wine vinegar, raw sunflower seeds, an optional shake of nutritional yeast, and black pepper and parsley flakes. This brimming brunch meal is then served promptly and eaten slowing, as with all proper brunch meals.

Options: If you are vegetarian – HumanaNatura supports lacto-ovo but not vegan diets – or have a shellfish allergy, the shrimp can be omitted or replaced with cheese. For a non-ketogenic version of the meal, replace one of the avocados with berries and/or a bit of cooked potato. If you eat more than once a day, the meal of course easily can be scaled down for fewer total calories. And if you require more calories, the meal can be made larger by adding more shrimp and veggies, or supplemented with nuts and celery to bring calorie and micronutrient levels up. In all cases, we hope you enjoy this beautiful, healthy, and health-inspiring meal!

Learn more about creating naturally delicious and optimally nutritious meals like this via OurPlate, HumanaNatura’s simple natural eating guide for designing optimally healthy modern meals. Experience how this science-based and 100% natural approach to our daily meals can change the way you eat, feel, and live. Sharpen your skills at making delicious and naturally healthy Salad Meals via our Salad Meal Overview. And explore the science and key principles of optimal Natural Eating through HumanaNatura’s comprehensive Personal Health Program.

Once you have begun eating the HumanaNatura way, you can explore your many opportunities for new, more natural, and healthier life between meals – via HumanaNatura’s comprehensive four-part system for modern natural life and health. Check out the overview of our free health programs and resources at About HumanaNatura.

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Making Cross-Quarter Progress

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Greetings from HumanaNatura at the cross-quarter! In the natural year, we are now midway between the naturally more evocative period of the recent solstice and the more balanced time of the coming equinox. Everywhere on earth, there is clear but unmistakable change – away from the depth of winter or height of summer and toward the relative balance of spring or fall in each hemisphere. It’s an ongoing rhythm of life on earth that touches us all.

A Moment in the Everchanging Light and Rhythm of the Natural Year

In the HumanaNatura natural health system, and as explained in our Mastering The Natural Year graphic and post, we recommend extra progress on our Natural Life Plans around each cross-quarter. At the equinox-nearing cross-quarters, this is so we have adequate completed actions and learning at the equinox – in another six weeks or eighth of a year – when HumanaNatura encourages reflection and updating of our plans.

If you have not yet created a Natural Life Plan to guide your use and expression of the third HumanaNatura technique, Natural Living, our links will take you to our planning worksheets and seven-step planning process. Together, these resources will help you to begin more intentionally health-centered and naturally progressive life in the days and weeks ahead.

From all of us in HumanaNatura’s worldwide natural health community, we wish you new health and happiness, at this and every cross-quarter.

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New Beginnings Salad Meal

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Though the natural year began with the winter solstice, a new calendar year is now upon us in much of the world. Regardless, with a new year, resolutions or thoughts of new beginnings often naturally occupy our minds. In HumanaNatura’s four-part natural health system, we encourage action on these progressive ideas, whenever and wherever they occur. And perhaps the easiest or most foundational way to begin the year in new, healthier, and more powerful ways is to ensure that the health-essential and natural empowering meals we eat have all three of these qualities.

While healthier eating may seem difficult, it’s actually quite straightforward and requires just a bit of determination, especially when prepare meals the HumanaNatura way and follow HumanaNatura’s OurPlate  healthy eating guidelines. Check out the sample meal photo and instructions to see an example of how simple optimal natural eating can be, and be sure to subscribe to follow our healthy meal and other informative natural health posts!

Importantly, today’s sample HumanaNatura meal includes meat and is proportioned for both ketogenic (very low carb) and OMAD (one meal a day) eating – with about 1800 calories and 70 percent of them from fats – but options are included if you are vegetarian, eat non-ketogenically, or have meals more frequently than once a day.

Our meal begins by pan-searing a small grass-fed tri-tip steak in a bit of olive oil on all sides, and then cooking the steak to taste on lower heat with a bit of butter, diced garlic, and black pepper. As the steak cooks and then cools for a few minutes, a generous raw salad is prepared with mixed greens, a sliced avocado, some coarsely diced brie cheese and cucumber, a few grape tomatoes, and part of a seeded and chopped orange bell pepper. The steak is then sliced into bite-sized pieces and plated as shown, and the whole meal is topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, raw sunflower seeds, an optional shake of nutritional yeast, and black pepper and parsley flakes. This simple and simply delicious meal is then served promptly – not that waiting likely came to mind.

If you eat vegetarian – HumanaNatura supports lacto-ovo but not vegan diets – the meat can be replaced with a four or six-egg omelette and additional cheese. For a non-ketogenic version of the meal, replace some of the cheese and avocado with berries and/or a cooked starch. If you eat more than once a day, the meal of course easily can be scaled down for fewer total calories. And if you require more calories, the meal can be made larger, or supplemented with nuts and celery. In all cases, we hope you will enjoy our new beginnings salad meal, and perhaps as you plan other progressive or health-increasing changes in your life.

Learn more about creating naturally delicious and optimally nutritious meals like this via OurPlate, HumanaNatura’s simple natural eating guide for designing optimally healthy modern meals. Experience how this science-based and 100% natural approach to our daily meals can change the way you eat, feel, and live. Sharpen your skills at making delicious and naturally healthy Salad Meals via our Salad Meal Overview. And explore the science and key principles of optimal Natural Eating through HumanaNatura’s comprehensive Personal Health Program.

Once you have begun eating the HumanaNatura way, you can explore your many opportunities for new, more natural, and healthier life between meals – via HumanaNatura’s comprehensive four-part system for modern natural life and health. Check out the overview of our free health programs and resources at About HumanaNatura.

Tell others about HumanaNatura…give the gift of modern natural life!

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Wishing You Healthy Holidays!

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In much of the world, winter and new year holidays are upon us, or soon will be – remembering it is the beginning of summer and middle of the natural year in the southern hemisphere.

This common cross-cultural occurrence suggests roots in ancient winter solstice celebrations, even in cultures that traditionally used a lunar calendar, and a common desire to mark the welcome turn from declining to increasing daylight.

Regardless of your culture and the timing of its seasonal holidays, another common theme this time of years is that our emphasis on happy holidays can make healthy holidays difficult. All too often, we are encouraged to engage in older, less health conscious customs, or new ones born of nostalgia for the past.

This can mean less healthy eating, less regular exercise, or less healthy and even patently health-indifferent social activities – all with the potential for significant inertia in our lives well beyond the holiday season.

With these ideas in mind, HumanaNatura would like to offer ten ideas to help make this or your next holiday a healthy one for you, your family, and your community, wherever you are and whenever your holidays occur:

#1: Eat before events – as an aid to avoiding unhealthy foods

#2: Offer to cook – greatly improving culinary control

#3: Bring a dish – ensuring at least one healthy option

#4: Morning walks – before becoming busy with events

#5: Group calisthenics – fun for kids of all ages

#6: Active activities – away from couches and chairs

#7: Share 2018 recaps – fostering learning & understanding

#8: Discuss 2019 plans – inspiring reflection & forward thinking

#9: Volunteer – to reach more people in the holiday spirit

#10: Renaturalize – by spending time in nature, quietly or adventurously

This list may encourage you to have other healthy holiday ideas, and we would enjoy hearing them in the comments section.

From all of us in the worldwide HumanaNatura natural health community, we wish you healthy holidays, whether now or next.

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Progressive Life At The Solstice

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Greetings from HumanaNatura at the solstice! Around the world, we are now at one of two crucial milestones in the natural year. Today is the shortest day, start of winter, and beginning of a new natural year in the northern hemisphere. And it is the longest day, natural midpoint of the year, and start of summer in the south.

New Day Waits For You

A Moment in the Everchanging Light of the Natural Year

In the HumanaNatura natural health system, and as explained in our Mastering The Natural Year graphic and post, we encourage spending this and every solstice with family, friends, and community. With the extreme light and heightened feelings that come with the solstices, it’s a natural opportunity to celebrate progress in our lives and Natural Life Plans, break from our routines and seek new perspective, and encourage greater health and progressivity in others.

If you have not yet created a Natural Life Plan to guide your use and expression of the third HumanaNatura technique, Natural Living, our links will take you to our planning worksheets and seven-step planning process. Together, these resources will help you to begin more intentionally health-centered and naturally progressive life in the days and weeks ahead.

From all of us in HumanaNatura’s worldwide natural health community, we wish you new health and happiness, at this and every solstice.

Tell others about HumanaNatura…give the gift of modern natural life!

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One-Meal-A-Day Salad Meal

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In the Natural Eating section of our Personal Health Program, HumanaNatura encourages care with meal frequency, in addition to meal quality, to promote weight and health optimization. At first, this may involve a daily eating window of 4-8 hours, but we may eventually move to eating just one meal a day, or OMAD eating. This added step can further increase our nutritional and metabolic efficiency, and provide a number of practical and long-term health benefits (see OMAD for an overview).

The idea of eating only once a day may seem daunting at first, but OMAD and intermittent fasting more generally are quickly and easily practiced by most people – by moving first to snack-free eating and then to fewer, larger meals. The approach is also greatly aided when we eat healthfully and ketogenically – for example via the HumanaNatura program and following HumanaNatura’s OurPlate healthy eating guide – since each step naturally reduces food cravings. As an example of healthy ketogenic and OMAD eating, check out today’s sample HumanaNatura meal, and be sure to subscribe to follow our healthy eating and other natural health posts!

Our meal today is calorie-rich and ketogenic, with about 1800 calories overall and 70 percent of these calories from fats. It is intended to provide all needed daily nutrition and a stable body weight for a person at their ideal weight and fully transitioned to OMAD eating and ketogenic nutrition. Importantly, and as with eating overall, our actual calorie needs for weight maintenance with OMAD eating will vary by person. But often, they will be on the order of 2/3 of calories when consuming three meals a day and 3/4 when eating two meals. If you are not eating ketogenically, you can replace some of the foods with fruits or starches (see OurPlate and  Natural Eating Overview for more information).

Our sample meal begins by preparing a four-egg omelette with cooked shrimp, chopped cilantro, thinly sliced and chopped cabbage, and a bit of black pepper. As the omelette cooks, a large salad is prepared with baby greens, a few grape tomatoes, a peeled and sliced avocado, a generous portion of cubed brie cheese, seeded and coarsely cut orange bell pepper, a scattering of raw sunflower seeds, and a simple but generous dressing of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar (not shown is an appetizer or dessert of raw almonds and cut celery). When the omelette is done, it is plated alongside the salad ingredients as shown, and topped with a small zig-zag of chilli sauce. The entire meal is then garnished with black pepper and parsley flakes, and served promptly. Tasty, healthy, and perhaps needless to say, filling!

Learn more about creating naturally delicious and optimally nutritious meals like this via OurPlate, HumanaNatura’s simple natural eating guide for designing optimally healthy modern meals. Experience how this science-based and 100% natural approach to our daily meals can change the way you eat, feel, and live. Sharpen your skills at making delicious and naturally healthy Salad Meals via our Salad Meal Overview. And explore the science and key principles of optimal Natural Eating through HumanaNatura’s comprehensive Personal Health Program.

Once you have begun eating the HumanaNatura way, you can explore your many opportunities for new, more natural, and healthier life between meals – via HumanaNatura’s comprehensive four-part system for modern natural life and health. Check out the overview of our free health programs and resources at Welcome.

Tell others about HumanaNatura…give the gift of modern natural life!

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