Originally posted on November 17th, 2012.
*Updated August 2018 – the
strikethrough lines you will see is what no longer applies to our diet. I thought it was important to keep these to be able to see the changes and progression we have made.
The question I get asked the most is: what do I myself eat, and what do I feed my family?
One huge change as of 2018 is – no more vegetable oils in our diet! We avoid all vegetable polyunsaturated fats – no more Canola, Cottonseed, Corn oils, and no more Soy, Sunflower and Safflower oils – 3Cs and 3Ss. They are extremely toxic. My family is back to basics, traditional food, clean cyclical ketogenic diet, we use traditional oils and fats, the ones our grandmothers used – grass-fed butter and ghee, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and such. Read more on toxic oils research at Dr. Cate’s website.
Technically now we are Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free,
Yeast Free, Dairy Free – *after going on Bulletproof Diet in December 2017, turning back to traditional ancestral eating plus IM fasting, and seeing amazing healing results, we have reintroduced a limited amount of dairy into our diet, but only grass-fed, preferably raw dairy and preferably fermented (cheese, yogurt). A plant-based diet with some red meat, poultry and eggs, and lots of fish. *I would not call our diet plant-based anymore, since going keto, it is a fat based diet, with lots of greens and non-starchy veggies, berries and a moderate amount of protein. Most importantly we try to eat organic as much as we can; for meat/fish/eggs – grass fed, pasture-raised, wild. Practically no grains, only some cooled white rice, usually in sushi or Indian food, ones a week.
We are no longer able to eat out as much, even the “healthiest” and “nicest” restaurants use cheap vegetable polyunsaturated fats, I actually call the restaurants, or email and ask. The only restaurant I was able to find near me (Boston MA, USA), that fries in all natural fats and oils is the Village Restaurant in Essex Massachusetts. Their seafood is as fresh as it comes and the food is amazing. Truly the healthiest restaurant in the Boston Area.
I love trying and experimenting with food and nutrition, that is my job after all, so I did try many diets over the years, including vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic, Zone, glycemic index, juicing, Adkins, raw foods, Paleo, alkaline, South Beach, just a few that come to mind. After trying it all I found the Bulletproof diet which falls into the cyclical ketogenic diet category and it led me to fasting again. We eat high fat, moderate protein, low carb five or six days a week and then have a day where we do a protein fast (no protein) and eat only veggies and fat, and sometimes another day where we add high glycemic foods (which we otherwise avoid), like we may go out for sushi, or have sweet potatoes or gluten-free pasta, or a gluten-free sandwich.
Ketogenic is now a popular diet, and I hear of websites helping to eat a ketogenic diet on the go and advising what to get at Burger King or other fast food, junk food joints. A big No-No! That is why traditional, clean foods are what we base our diet on.
In the past, when my whole family tried to be vegan (no eggs, no milk products, no animal products at all) for about two months, we all felt great. In fact, we felt better, but as the second month happened to be November we started craving heavier foods and animal proteins such as eggs and fish. Since I am a very strong believer in listening to my body, we began to incorporate these foods back into our menu. We felt better and stronger with more lasting energy. And that is what our (Russian ancestry) diet was based on – dairy, fermented foods, meats and fish, and very seasonal veggies and fruit.
At this time as a family, we are finally at a place where we enjoy eating and making our meals, feel great, have the energy to last all day, no cravings, no one complains of feeling heavy, bloated or getting hungry an hour after a meal. We also fast. We skip breakfast (not kids, they are growing :)) and have one or two meals a day, depending on how we feel. Some call this intermittent fasting when you do not eat for 16+ hour and have one or two meals a day. Usually, I stop eating by 8pm and my next meal will be the next day is around 2-3pm or later.
I also believe location, climate, season and your heritage play a critical role. We are in New England, and so when it gets colder we eat warmer cooked meals, more soups, hot cereal (for the kids), seasonal fruit, vegetables, fish, poultry, eggs, lots of tea, etc. K (my husband Konstantin) and I were both raised in Russia and that is the food we grew up with. We also did eat a lot of fat, butter on everything, lard, salted pig fat, tons of full-fat dairy like sour cream, cream, cottage cheese, milk, the fattiest pieces of meat were considered the best.
We also eat potatoes. When it gets warmer we juice all the time, make smoothies, eat more salads, tons of berries and some sweet fruit, and incorporate as many raw recipes as possible. Since starting ketogenic diet we also reintroduced fermented veggies. We grew up eating a ton of fermented foods and were really missing them.
*Fermented foods and dairy only became an option when my gut has healed after many years of healing and finally improving even more after 8 months on the Bulletproof Diet.
So here it is, the break down of my nutrition goals for myself and my family:
- My number one and the most important goal is to be happy and at peace with all and any decisions I make. If I feel like ice cream
I buy this amazing Coconut Bliss Ice Creamand enjoy some full fat ice-cream from a local creamery. if I feel like coffee I make myself a latte with almond/soy/coconut milk or get a Starbucks soy latte and it makes my day. No soy! When we are out, we eat whatever we feel liketaking into account food sensitivities, allergies, etc. By the way, I find that the better you feel and the healthier you get, the better and the healthier your food choices become. *So here since going keto we have made some changes – we do drink coffee, every day, (yay!!!) – bulletproof coffee with fat (blended with butter or ghee) I rarely eat any sweets, no longer crave them, but if I do, it is a little bit of full-fat natural ice cream. And we hardly ever eat out at the restaurants to avoid toxic vegetable oils in which they cook.
- The second most important goal is to incorporate as many vegetables into our diet as possible. Eating a
primarily plant-based dietfat based diet with mostlyvegetables, greens, berries, and fruit.The reason we do not have grains anymore is that none of us really felt great eating grains regularly (even soaked and/or fermented).
- Incorporate as much raw produce as possible. We eat elaborate beautiful salads daily,
have smoothies for breakfast with frozen kale, water, almond/rice/coconut milk and a variety of fruits and super-foods.*no breakfast for my husband and I, but for our youngest, I do make smoothies on occasion.
- Eat seasonally.
- Buy mostly organic, locally grown, grass-fed, pasture raised, wild, etc. No need to spend money on organic in some cases like avocado, cabbage, grapefruit – get an app from “Dirty Dozen” and it will educate you and help you save money.
- Rotate! do not eat the same thing, even if it is very healthy, every day. Especially with grains and starchy vegetables, if you eat grains, rotate between quinoa, rice, buckwheat, potatoes and yams/sweet potatoes.
- We do use supplements on and off, depending on various factors – B12, D3, K2. Magnesium. We no longer use a multivitamin,
after reading this article my husband started taking Juice Plus and after much research, I did switch whole family on it, but we only take it during the winter months when the amount of fresh local produce is limited.*no more Juice Plus and no multivitamins. We do also use MCT oil! See the brand we use on our Resources page.
Please do not diet, but develop a healthy wholesome way of eating that makes you feel good, fits into your lifestyle and keeps you healthy, balanced, and happy. Diets do not make people happy!
To your Health!