Book Excerpt: Michelle Hurn - The Dietician's Dilemma


The body and brain's ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe

In 2019, my health completely fell apart.

I was working as an acute care registered dietitian. I was also running 70+ miles a week, hoping to qualify for the Olympic Trials.

I had long dutifully followed what I believed to be a "healthy" diet (whole grains, lean protein, lots of fruits and vegetables). As a registered dietitian, I was taught that this way of eating was not only ideal for human health but could also help prevent diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. I was often hungry, low-energy, and anxious, but I never imagined that my way of eating could be to blame.

But then my muscles stopped recovering from exercise, and I was in so much pain I couldn't sleep. I was getting cold sweats and feeling dizzy and nauseous even after short, easy runs. Without warning, my lifelong anxiety also went from difficult to paralyzing. I experienced panic attacks so severe that I had could not work. What was going on?

I consulted with medical professionals from several specialties, but no one seemed to have any answers for me. Finally, in October 2019, I found myself sitting in a bathtub full of ice, crying like a baby at three in the morning. Everything hurt. It was time to be done with running. I was physically, mentally, and spiritually broken. Little did I know that on this fateful morning, my life would change forever.

I decided if I was no longer going to run, I would follow a low carbohydrate diet for 30 days. My only hope for eating this way was that the extra protein would help my aching muscles recover.

A few weeks later, my wife informed me that my anxiety was lower than it had ever been since meeting me eleven years ago. I was no longer hungry, I had energy, I was sleeping well, and for the first time in years, I felt calm and present. I was able to resume running, too. I ran a 6-hour timed race and my first ever 50-mile race. I won them both. Now, I had a dilemma!

What do you do if your health is restored by the opposite of everything you were taught? I was not allowed to teach low carbohydrate nutrition education in the hospital setting, as it was (and still is) considered "dangerous" for health... due to outdated, disproven information.

I decided I had to do something. I'd dig into the evidence, share my story, and share the stories of individuals who found long-term healing on a low carbohydrate, high fat, animal-based diet. The Dietitian's Dilemma is my story, as well as a guide to how a low carb, high fat animal-based diet can potentially alleviate and/or reverse several chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, mental health disorders, including major depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, sarcopenia, and heart disease. I include a chapter on where the nutrition guidelines came from (spoiler alert, it's bizarre), and I discuss my nutrition as a low carb athlete.

Excerpts from the book:

"When I first heard about a lower carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat way of eating, I genuinely thought it was crazy. What I have come to realize, however, is that our current nutritional guidelines are what's crazy. It's crazy to keep eating in a way that causes chronic illness, anxiety, depression, and obesity. Our current nutrition guidelines will keep you alive, but it may not be a life worth living.

I believe we will see a low-carbohydrate diet become more mainstream as the evidence for its efficacy continues to grow, but you don't need to wait to get started. A low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet is sustainable, boasts high compliance rates, and it can lead to improved metabolic health. People enjoy eating this way because the food tastes great, they aren't hungry, and they, often for the first time in years, feel really good.

After completely transforming my health with a low-carbohydrate, high-meat, high-fat diet, and witnessing the profound disconnect between feeding people high-carbohydrate diets and watching them suffer preventable, chronic illnesses in our health care system, I could no longer be silent.

My body is nourished, and my mind feels calm and able to handle stress. I'm rarely sick, and my general view in life is hopeful and optimistic. The chains of anxiety, worry, and obsession over food have been broken. I feel free.

I knew I had to discuss the potentially lifesaving benefits of following a diet that aligns with human physiology. In writing The Dietitian's Dilemma, it was my ultimate goal to provide clear, factual information, and give each person reading it hope. Change is possible, joy is possible, peace with food is possible. I'm living proof of this, and you can be too."

The Dietitian's Dilemma

Written by: Michelle Hurn RD, LD, Ultra Runner
Foreword by: Dr. Nevada Gray PharmD, R.N.
Graphics by: Health Coach Kait

Buy the Book: The Dietitian's Dilemma: What would you do if your health was restored by doing the opposite of everything you were taught?: Hurn, Michelle, Kait, Health Coach, Gray, Dr. Nevada: 9798590199563: Amazon.com: Books

Social Media links:
Instagram: @RunEatMeatRepeat
Twitter: @MichelleHurnRD

Website: https://thedietitiansdilemma.net

Written by Michelle Hurn
Published: March 5th, 2022