LCHF and Nonviolent Communication

From a recent e-mail:

   This is I guess a build up to blog post.  As LeVar Burton used to say on his Reading Rainbow show, “Don’t take my word for it.”  I do not feel that I am an expert in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) [1], but I sneak in learning opportunities when I can. 

   My personality needs help when it comes to interacting with people. I’m a fairly analytical type (INTP according to Meyers Briggs).  So I have come to acknowledge the importance of keeping it simple, learning from talking with others, and relistening to role plays on YouTube — like Newt Bailey’s [2].

   I appreciate your willingness to consider my ideas.  My goal is to improve my ability to share basic real-food LCHF with other people, and to develop an automatic communication habit that effectively relays information (both ways) in a non-threatening way.

                   – Robert

… draft blog post …

Occasionally a statement strikes us as being profound or inspirational. A possible explanation is that we arrive at a new understanding of a basic need, or how we truly feel about something, or the facts or motivations underlying a history.

I was aware of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) since the early 2000’s. I found the concept while seeking psychological terminology to help understand and defuse an argument in the middle of which I found myself. As far as learning NVC, there are a few free PDFs and several YouTube lectures (which I surprisingly didn’t discover until about 2016) available to help with developing habits of stating your observations, avoiding judgement, expressing your feelings, and making requests. [3,4,5,6]

NVC and LCHF became connected for me when I was trying to categorize files I had saved (PDFs of journal articles and web pages, images, audio files).
I had categories of Perspective and Inspiration, but Logic was split into science vs. press vs. policy debate and Implementation was a little vague (recipes and miscellany)

Once I noticed a slight overlap with the NVC components, a slight realignment was fairly easy and clarifying. It turns out that these categories form pairwise opposites.

  • Perspective — the big picture, satisfying a need for understanding.
  • Implementation – the small picture, details involved in taking action on a personal, community, or national level.
  • Logic – observations, research, facts.
  • Inspiration – examples that make us ready to take action, dismantling fears.

(to be replaced with an image)

(Needs, Values)

(Observations, Facts)


(Feelings, Emotions)

(Requests, Actions)

I am interested in strategies of communicating LCHF with people—people who may be skeptical, fearful, or sugar-addicted. I feel that combining the simple communication strategies of NVC with the enlightened understanding of metabolism expands our ability to reach people.

A few LCHF advocates who, I feel, exhibit NVC qualities.

…. basically, anyone who enters into the debate over public policy in nutrition and argues based on facts, and underlying motives. Those who help people by establishing a personal goal, and a set of actions to get there.
Those who start by explaining their understandings based on personal experience. “This is what worked for me…” is, I feel, a very disarming way to start a conversation.

From 2016-01-12 interview of Jason Seib on Paleo Solution 304, at 29:54:
“So you need first I think, first and foremost, to believe that there is another side, that you can go over that fence and that [such] people do exist. We don’t have more will power than you. I’m not a stronger person. I’m in a different place and I did have to work hard to get to this place and you will too, but I’m in no way better than you. I’m just farther down the path.”

This statement I feel helps us to eliminate judgement, inward or outward.

It can be helpful to listen to interviews with people who have put effort into sharing the benefits of minimally processed, LCHF foods among their peers.
1/ Steve Hord –

Here, I have used the categories — Perspective, Logic, Implementation, and Inspiration — in hopes that for someone seeking help, they might connect really well with one in particular:


1/ “Connected Communication – An Introduction”
2/ “Nonviolent Communication (NVC) In Action (Part 1)”
3/ “How You Can Use the NVC Process”
4/ “Nonviolent Communication – Circle of Life (color)”
5/ “Nonviolent Communication – Circle of Life”
6/ “Giraffe Talk: Nonviolent Communication for Parents”

… draft blog post …

Why Saturated Fat Is Not The Problem

The thought of writing a paper has always intimidated me. Perhaps I’m just not thinking about it the right way, since I’ve typed e-mails that resemble editorials many times. This is a slightly post-edited e-mail to a friend whose cardiologist advised limiting saturated fats, while admitting that a high-carb diet may have lead to angina.

Why natural (minimally processed) fats are not likely to be a problem (when carbs are restricted, which by themselves can cause plenty of problems).

  • The fat in arterial plaque depends on what one eats, especially if one eats seed oils, so-called vegetable oils, which are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Here’s a quote from analysis of fat tissue and plaque fatty acid composition: “[strong correlation] between adipose tissue and plaque omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (r = 0.89)” and no association between stored saturated fat and saturated fat in plaques. “These findings imply a direct influence of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids on aortic plaque formation and suggest that current trends favouring increased intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids should be reconsidered.” (1)
    Take-away message:  might be best to minimize corn/soy/canola oils.
  • Basic biochemistry of fat metabolism (simplified): when insulin and blood sugar levels are low, fat is burned for energy. Both dietary fat, or fat released from fat cells gets converted to acetyl-COA in liver and other cells. Mitochondria then convert that acetyl-COA to energy, releasing water and CO2. When a lot of fat is liberated, there becomes a surplus of acetyl-COA in the liver. This surplus of acetyl-COA drives the production of ketone molecules, particularly beta-hydroxybutyrate. Ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier, providing an additional source of energy for the brain. This fills in gaps in glucose supply, suppressing hunger for long stretches between meals. Suppressing hunger is the often overlooked factor in weight maintenance.
  • Low levels of omega-3 (EPA and DHA) are associated with the formation of arterial plaques.
    “Patients with acute coronary syndrome had significantly lower levels of ω3 PUFAs (especially of EPA and DPA) than those without it.”  (2)
  1. Felton CV, Crook D, Davies MJ, Oliver MF. Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and composition of human aortic plaques. Lancet. 1994 Oct.
  2. Amano T, Matsubara T, Uetani T, Kato M, Kato B, Yoshida T, Harada K, Kumagai S, Kunimura A, Shinbo Y, Kitagawa K, Ishii H, Murohara T. Impact of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on coronary plaque instability: an integrated backscatter intravascular ultrasound study. Atherosclerosis. 2011 Sep.

Backing into low-carb

In February 2014 I started limiting starchy foods and incorporating more savory foods: butter, eggs, cheese (esp. as snack food while at work), bacon, bacon grease to cook eggs with, etc.

I’ve never felt better.
In June, my blood test had triglyceride/HDL at .92

I have collected several journal articles, but I think lectures are a nice way to get started.  Mine first =)

So, as of January 2010, I was avoiding desserts except for special occasions, and not snacking after dinner.  My main motivation was to avoid going down the path of type 2 diabetes.

In February, I was lucky to catch an Alton Brown show called Live and Let Diet. He advocated certain vegetables be consumed daily and some weekly, included green tea, and avoidance of anything diet, and limiting pasta to once per week max.  By March I had given up diet soda (IBS went away), and in general was incorporating some of his advice. (Thank-you, Mr. Brown.)

In 2012-ish I heard an episode of People’s Pharmacy on NPR where they interviewed Gary Taubes about his book ‘Why We Get Fat’. He argued for sugar and starch being the cause of weight gain and that eating whole foods like chicken with the skin was better for us. I think I was thrown off by his accent. In hindsight, I should have checked out the book.

Late 2013, I was challenging the necessity of hunger while trying to maintain weight. Portion control vs. hunger.

Jan 2014, my boss told me of her nurse practitioner’s tip to watch these lectures:

Dr Robert Lustig’s “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”

(Taking on processed foods and high consumption of fructose — it’s a good educational piece about our recent food history and the biochemistry of fructose metabolism.)


Gary Taubes: ‘Why We Get Fat’
(at Santa Cruz)

I hunted down other Dr. Lustig talks and at the one in Oslo, he mentioned being at a low-carb forum. I remembered talk of low-carb a few years back, but it seemed to have gone quiet.

Here are the lectures I found next that helped build my LCHF perspective.
Dr Eric Westman –

Prof. Grant Schofield and Dr. Caryn Zinn –

Dr Peter Brukner, 2013 Low Carb Downunder –

Prof. Tim Noakes, Nov 2013 Paleo Runner podcast –

Postscript:  One of the Dr. Lustig talks I found was at AHS12.  He commented that there was another talk given at the same time and he was bummed out that he had to miss it.  I later tracked that talk down:  Insulin Signaling: Science and  Policy.  At about 42:45, moderator Eric Daniels concluded with the statement that `Take the moral high ground.  Back freedom of food choice.’