Life at the Extremes: Fueling World-class Performance with a Carnivore Diet

June 14, 2019

Dr. Shawn Baker is an orthopaedic surgeon, athlete, and an advocate of a carnivore diet.  Shawn has a rich history in sport: playing semi-professional rugby in New Zealand, competing in and winning Strongman competitions, and setting records as a powerlifter and Highland Games Masters World Champion. In the meantime, he also climbed the ranks as an officer in the US Air Force, conducting surgeries under pressure in war zones of Afghanistan.

In this podcast, Shawn and I discuss his athletic and military background, and his current athletic passion: Concept2 rowing, in which he has repeatedly broken world records. Shawn talks about his choice to excel at sport without the use of performance-enhancing drugs. He also makes a compelling case for the health and performance benefits of eating zero-carb, offering many examples from anthropological data that suggest man evolved to eat meat.  

Here’s the outline of this interview with Shawn Baker:

[00:00:20] The Minimalists; Paul Saladino; Rich Roll.

[00:00:43] The Human Performance Outliers Podcast.

[00:01:23] Shawn's background: Rugby and moving to New Zealand.

[00:07:02] Joining the US Air Force and becoming an orthopaedic surgeon.

[00:14:17] Hardware used in orthopaedic surgery; risks of infection.

[00:18:03] The rise of chronic disease in orthopaedics.

[00:21:58] Paleo diet; Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf.

[00:22:21] Highland Games; Scottish Hammer Throw, Caber Toss.

[00:25:59] Strongman Competitions.

[00:28:01] On not using drugs to maximize performance.

[00:31:13] Concept2 Rowing.

[00:34:04] Shawn's YouTube channel.

[00:34:49] Dietary recommendations for patients.

[00:37:37] Carnivore Diet.

[00:38:51] The downsides of eating vegetables for some people; oxalates.

[00:40:08] Vilhjalmur Stefansson and Karsten Anderson ate exclusively meat diet at Bellevue Hospital; Study: Tolstoi, Edward. The effect of an exclusive meat diet lasting one year on the carbohydrate tolerance of two normal men. Waverly Press, Incorporated, 1929.

[00:40:42] Dr. Gary Fettke, Australian orthopaedic surgeon.

[00:41:53] Hormesis and plant compounds - When does the negative outweigh the positive?

[00:43:04] Dr. Rhonda Patrick; sulforaphane.

[00:49:35] George Diggs.

[00:50:57] Plant foods containing carcinogens; Study: Ames, Bruce N., Margie Profet, and Lois Swirsky Gold. "Dietary pesticides (99.99% all natural)." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences87.19 (1990): 7777-7781.

[00:55:21] Minimalists podcast, featuring Christopher Kelly and Dr. Tommy Wood: Health Problems.

[00:58:41] Shawn’s podcast featuring vegan doctor, Dr. Joel Kahn.

[00:59:21] Zach Bitter.

[01:00:29] Athletes doing well on a carnivorous diet; Owen Franks, Paul Jordaan, Sarah Thackray.

[01:02:29] Book (available 8/20/19): The Carnivore Diet, by Shawn Baker, MD. World Carnivore Tribe Facebook group.

[01:05:41] Anthropological data that suggest people are facultative carnivores.

[01:19:39] Shawn’s website, Human Performance Outliers Podcast, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Meat Heals, Coming soon: Animal Based Nutrition Network.

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