I think Optimal Nutrition
is probably a more useful book for beginners. It's the one I turn to first when I have a question. It has the most straightforward information about the how's and why's of the diet, as well as guidelines for pregnancy and feeding babies and children. There's also an index [Edited to add: actually, no there isn't one... sorry... I guess I misremembered
] -- a feature that Homo Optimus
is kind of long-winded at times, and seems to be more oriented towards theory. There are several chapters about specific diseases and how they're affected by diet, which could be of great value to some people. It also has a couple of chapters on JK's religious and political ideas (basically, implicating wrong diet as the cause of all of society's ills since the dawn of the human race), which are entertaining, if somewhat kooky. The most practical part, IMO, is the recipe section... though if you don't like the ones on the web site, you won't like these ones any better.
To the person who asked about fruits and vegetables, it's not that we're supposed to avoid them completely. They're just considered optional extras, as we can get all the necessary vitamins from the recommended animal foods. The main disadvantages are that they're expensive and full of fiber, which is considered to be a bad thing (the author of The Fiber Menace
takes a similar approach to this subject). In the suggested menus, they're mainly used as a garnish or flavoring. Still, if we prefer them -- or if we have a health condition that requires the avoidance of starches -- we can eat vegetables and less-sweet fruits for our carb allowance, instead of potatoes or grains.
Sweet fruits are more strongly discouraged, though he isn't absolutely strict about this. For instance, the menu for Day 7
, totalling 44 g carb, includes a milkshake made with cream and orange juice. It also includes half a dark chocolate hazelnut bar.
It looks like this is an example of a special treat day. He does mention in Optimal Nutrition
that it would be all right to eat such things in small amounts on occasion, but not as a regular practice.
Regarding exercise, he says that it's inhumane to require obese people to take part in vigorous activity. He also believes that strenuous exercise on an incorrect diet can be harmful. On the other hand, he says that as people become healthier through optimal eating, they'll naturally want to exercise more, even into old age. The elderly people described in the news articles certainly seem to support this claim.
Regarding different types of meat, he says that you can absolutely do the diet without eating pork. Lamb or beef are also fine; they're not as ideal, but certainly adequate. Chicken is less desirable, and fish even less so, because of their low fat content. Of course, you can add extra fat when cooking or serving, but he believes that this is inferior to eating meat together with its naturally occurring fat.
Speaking of added fat, in Homo Optimus
, JK mentions that England was an especially strong and well-nourished nation around 1830 (and has been in decline ever since). I'm interested in English history and traditional cooking, so I looked on Google Books and found a cookbook from 1842, called A New System of Domestic Cookery
, by "a Lady." The copy that was scanned was the 66th edition, so it was evidently a popular book at the time. It's a fascinating read, if you like that sort of thing. One of the techniques that's most strongly recommended is "barding," which involves adding extra fat to lean meats, e.g. by stuffing bacon under the skin of chickens before cooking them. There are also illustrated instructions for carving a cod's head, a calf's head, and other delights. I guess this was the sort of thing that my great-great-great-great-grandparents used to eat. It sounds like an Optimal paradise.
Regarding vegetable protein, I haven't seen anything anywhere that says that it shouldn't be counted. However, he does say that it has lower biological value, so you'll need to eat more than the standard allowance in order to get enough. By contrast, those who get all of their protein from the "most optimal" sources -- egg yolks, liver, and kidney -- can get by with even less than the standard amount. So if you're eating a substantial of vegetable protein (e.g. nuts), I guess you'd have to take that into account when fine-tuning your ratio. Sorry that's not very specific; if I find something else, I'll let you know.
BTW, JK is more positive about nuts than about other vegetable foods. Some of them are naturally optimally balanced. They're a good snack if you're lacking in other options, and they make delicious baked goods (as I've already discovered, thanks to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet). Still, they shouldn't take the place of animal foods.
Okay, that's it for me; I have to go stuff a cod's head. Just kidding....