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Jordan Peterson’s Diet – September 2017

By Mikhaila

Dad suffered from a number of health problems. He had GERD, minor psoriasis, mouth ulcers, fatigue and had an extremely hard time losing weight. He stopped eating desserts, went without sugar, and tried exercising. The worst health problem was severe depression. It seems to run in our family.

When I started figuring out my problems were caused by food, and my depression lifted, I convinced dad to go on the same diet. The first year he lost 50 pounds. No joke. He lost about a pound a week. I know this sounds extreme but he’s eating well. We eat a lot and we definitely don’t calorie count. All his minor health problems went away, and he seemed to age backward. No joke, check out his previous YouTube videos (2014 ish) compared to 2016-2017’s. The depression has been harder to get under control but it’s under control too. He doesn’t nap either. We’re going to make a video soon about it.

Anyways this is his diet:

Meats:

  • turkey
  • beef
  • chicken
  • lamb
  • duck
  • wild game is fine too, elk, moose, etc.
  • wild salmon
  • tunacheck the ingredients! Get stuff that’s just tuna and water and perhaps salt.
  • organ meat – chicken liver tastes the best I find
  • wild herring – check the ingredients!
  • wild sardinescheck the ingredients!

Veggies:

  • lettuce
  • arugula
  • arugula microgreens (arugula sprouts)
  • cucumber
  • swiss chard
  • seaweed –check the ingredients! this is hard to find without soy and other things. The brand I’ve linked to is safe and really tasty
  • cilantro
  • collard greens
  • broccoli
  • turnips
  • cauliflower
  • parsnips
  • sweet potatoes
  • spinach

Fruit:

  • olives – check the ingredients! see my olive post. be super careful about which brands you buy here too, many have preservatives and flavours and dyes.

Vinegars:

  • apple cider vinegar – try to get the organic stuff so there aren’t dyes and flavours added

Oils:

  • coconut oil – get unrefined. And try to avoid the Nutiva brand. It’s everywhere but it doesn’t taste as good, and I’ve had ones that have gone bad before.
  • olive oil – make sure your olive oil is pure olive oil. Sometimes it’s also soybean oil!

Spices/Seasonings

  • salt
  • pepper
  • marjoram
  • parsley
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • peppermint
  • turmeric
  • basil
  • bay leaf

Other:

  • baking soda (probably won’t eat this but it’s good for toothpaste 🙂 )
  • peppermint tea – check the ingredients. Buy loose leaf (David’s sells an organic peppermint which is lovely) or organic. We want to make sure there aren’t preservatives or flavours added. White tea bags or coffee filters are often bleached with sulfites. If you’re super sensitive (dad and I), you’ll react to these. So make sure you get organic tea bags as well!
  • black tea
  • bourbon
  • vodka (unflavoured)

This makes it extremely difficult to eat out, and we’d be more relaxed about it if messing up didn’t result in a deep and miserable month long depression. We’re trying to branch out to more foods, but it seems like most of what we try and reintroduce goes badly. Next test is tomatoes!

UPDATE:

The Diet – Updated March 2018

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91 Comments

  1. Former client of Jordan’s. Can’t say I don’t miss working with him. All the best to your dad Mikhaila. Been working on making food changes as well. Not in such a strict elimination way, but definitely watching what effects me and send me spiralling worse into depression. BTW – congrats on the baby.

  2. Dear Mikhaila,

    sorry for the intrusion again; I have commented on a previous post of yours, but I think it got stuck in moderation. One possibility that may be worth considering is “Hereditary Alpha-tryptasemia”, which has to do with mast cells. There is a FAQ on the website of the US National Institute of Health. Your dad’s symptoms would be a fit, in any case. (You did check celiac disease, right?) All the best!

    1. I haven’t heard of that. I’ll look into it. Celiac does run in our family, but dad doesn’t have the gene for it. Although his symptoms are similar enough for sure. Thanks!

    2. Alpha-Tryptasemia has only been discovered a year ago, that’s why nobody has heard about it yet. 🙂 (But it is believed to be quite common, easily ~4% of the population).

      I meant “check celiac” in the sense of “get biopsy and analyse for vlilous atrophy”. Genetic testing is nice, but not all genes have been discovered yet, so it may well turn out empty.

      All the best!

    3. Actually, if you don’t have the gene you can’t have Celiac, and biopsy testing results in false negatives quite frequently. The best way to rule it out is to do the gene testing. If you have the gene, then you can get a biopsy. Or you could stop eating it anyways haha

    4. Mikhaila

      Very interesting diet, I too have found that diet can make or break my depression. Have you heard of “the food type diet” which suggests a diet based on epigenetic self analysis. Essentially, the book breaks down genes into 5 ancestral groups that evolved eating particular diets.

      My epigenetic profile is “explorer” which theorizes that my dominant ancestral genes come from (eskimoes?) which evolved consuming mostly fish and wild bird game. The book goes through looking at fingerprint patterns, bone length ratios, body shape, etc.

      Anyhow, the author of this book seems to think that about 80% of people are incapable of digesting gluten and milk. Which makes sense if I think about it – because humans are the only mammals that consume 1. other animals milk 2. milk after the age of 3 years old.
      The author also theorizes that the epigenetic profile that can digest milk is the Asian profile. The Asian profile is thought to be able to digest milk because of the way that their immune system evolved. It theorizes that their immune system evolved to handle more foreign substances due to being on horse back thousands of years before the rest of civilization.

      The author also believes that our growing issues with gluten stem from the relatively recent genetic modification of grains. Apparently, our grains hardly resemble the grains that our ancestors consumed. Essentially, the grain has been modified to contain different chromosomes which enhance yield.

      It makes sense though that sugar is causing many of us significant problems. My grandma used to state that oranges and fruit were so rare that they used to eat the Rhine. Now days we are bombarded by sugar everywhere we look.

      IF you get a chance, I believe you would really enjoy “that sugar movie” via Amazon Prime.

      Anyhow, thank you for this general diet outline. It looks to be very helpful & I appreciate your site and what you are doing.

    5. I’m going to look into this. IgG markers show up in about 80% of people to gluten and milk, so that kind of aligns with what this guy is talking about… I am going to check that book out. I’ve looked at genetics for food but haven’t found anything useful yet. Thanks for the info.

  3. Hi Mikhaila,

    I just ran into your blog a few days ago, but have been following Dr. Jordan Peterson a little over a year now. I remember him mentioning a few times about your condition and his eating habits. I’m incredibly happy to hear that you’ve discovered what foods work for you and your father to reduce your depression. I’ve been struggling with my stomach pains and depression for a minute now and believe I will take his diet into consideration. I’m curious to know what resources and book references you might have that has lead you down this amazing nutritional path? Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Also, congratulations on your new born! 🙂

    1. I’ll write a post about other bloggers and doctors who I’ve found helpful because there are a bunch.. But I originally came up with the diet through extremely painful trial and error. I realized gluten was causing my skin problems, then thought maybe it was also causing my arthritis. I went on a kind of half assed elimination diet because I didn’t think it would do anything. Then I reintroduced bananas and had a huge arthritic flare, I couldn’t walk. Then I cut down to basically just meat. Turns out food was causing all my problems. Then I started reintroducing. If I had followed anybody else’s diet, my depression wouldn’t have gone away. Plus I knew nothing about food, or diets. I thought milk was good for you and gluten free was a fad. It’s always the things you laugh at that get you in the end

  4. Hi Mikhaila,
    I already follow a similar diet for health reasons rather than specifically for depression or other symptoms trying to concentrate on real food, no sugar, grains or carbs and plenty of organic meat, fish and eggs and root veg.
    You don’t mention eggs or milk on your blog unless I’ve missed it, I know of adverse reactions from milk but thought organic eggs would be fine?
    I’m so glad this diet is working for you and your father,
    Kind Regards
    Ken

    1. We don’t eat eggs because of an IgG reaction to egg whites. Can’t tolerate them. That doesn’t mean that everyone would have that response though… I’d cut them out at the beginning if you’re doing an elimination diet and then try to add them back in. Lots of people can tolerate organic eggs for sure

  5. Dr. Peterson’s dietary change and improved health could be explained by his diet overcoming a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is a co-factor in over 300 bio-chemical reactions within the body. Both leafy green vegetables and meat are good sources of magnesium. Calcium and magnesium, both being Group 2 metals, compete for the same sites; the elimination of dairy products [a high source of calcium] would make more magnesium available. A magnesium supplement of high bioavailablity might promote additional health gains.

    On the downside, it would appear that Dr. Peterson’s diet is low in potassium. Recommended daily intake values of potassium vary between 3000mg to 4500mg. It is very difficult to reach those values without eating potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, tomatoes, lo-sodium V8 jiuce, etc. A potassium supplement should be used caution. Sodium will compete with potassium for sites within the body as they are both Group 1 metals. It would be interesting to look at the relation between low potassium values and depression.

    1. We eat a lot of sweet potatoes (I forgot to add that to the original post). He also gets vitamin infusions on occasion, and we get our vitamins tested fairly regularly. He was never low in magnesium, it seems to be a bit more complicated than a vitamin deficiency. We had our vitamins tested to see (I was suspicious about B12), but nothing was low. He only recently started the infusions.

    2. I’d like to comment on potatoes and sweet potatoes.
      My understanding is the former is from the Solanaceae or nightshade family (like tomato, capsicum, aubergine) and sweet potatoes are a type of yam. They differ particularly in that the wild yam is a hormone precursor. I have no scientific training but tend to treat both as entirely separate vegetables.
      Can someone clarify please?

    3. Potatoes are really hard on me. Sweet potatoes aren’t. One causes an IgG reaction, no idea why. They are most definitely not the same at all, just have “potato” in their name.

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