Health Recovery Diet with Coconut Oil


by Catherine M. Haug,  September, 2007; updated April 2019. Image, right, from Wikimedia Commons

This diet comes from the book Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary G. Enig and Sally Fallon (1).   I tried this diet for several months in 2008, but gained about 15 pounds, probably due to consuming too many carbs (I craved sugars and grains) in addition to the high fat in the diet. I made some modifications in 2009 – lessening the coconut oil a bit.

In 2014, I started a ketogenic eating plan (high fat, low-carb and moderate protein) that includes coconut oil in my morning smoothie, and for cooking. This eating plan cured my sugar cravings in 2 days. I didn’t lose any weight, but I definitely felt better. In 2016, I changed my diet to a cyclic-keto diet (CKD), as recommended by Dr. Mercola.

In 2017, I made some scheduling changes to amplify my circadian rhythm by intermittent fasting, as recommended by Ari Witten’s health docu-series, “The Energy Blueprint.” That adjustment was soon followed by adding the nutrient “myo-inositol” to my daily smoothie. I continue with these life- and diet-changes to this day, and am quite happy with the “new me,” but I still have some work to do. Read on for more detail.

Who Can Benefit from this Diet

According to the authors, this diet is recommended for people who have the following health issues:

  • Asthma
  • ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
  • Frequent colds and flu, or other disease caused by lipid-coated viruses
  • Constipation and other bowel disorders (colitis, Crohn’s, colon cancer, appendicitis, IBS, etc.)
  • Diabetes and insulin Resistance
  • Emotional problems (anxiety, depression, mood swings)
  • Food cravings, especially sweets
  • Fungal and candida infections
  • Gallbladder ailments
  • Hormonal imbalance/women’s diseases
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Immune System/autoimmune disorders
  • Liver problems
  • Skin problems (eczema, dry skin, wrinkles, scaly patches, hair loss, dandruff)
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • Viral infections (Epstein-Barr, herpes, HIV/AIDS)

The Diet

Coconut oil is at the center of this diet. It is fairly solid at room temperature, so the recommendation is to mark it just a bit before taking, as it is easier to take when liquid.

It has a nice balance of saturated and unsaturated fats. According to the USDA, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil provides 117 calories, 13.6 g fat, 0 g carbohydrates and 0 g protein. The following, on the fatty-acid content in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, is from Livestrong (2):

  • 11.7 grams, or 93% saturated fatty acids, including caproic, caprylic, capric, lauric, myristic, palmitic, and stearic acid, with lauric (medium-chain fatty acid) is the most predominant.
  • 0.789 grams or 4% monounsaturated fat – entirely oleic acid,  which is the main reason for the high anti-cancer benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet according to a study by David Tin Win of Assumption University Bangkok, Thailand, and may help to offer added protection against breast cancer. (3)
  • 0.245 g, or 2% polyunsaturated fat – entirely linoleic acid, which is an essential omega-6 fatty acid, important for healthy brain function, skin and hair growth and bone health.

Daily “Eat Fat, Lose Fat” Rules

This is a relatively high calorie diet, but you should not gain weight (unless you cheat), because the coconut oil boosts your metabolism. It is a very low-carb diet; if you consume more carbs than indicated, you could gain weight.

Here are the daily ‘rules,’ with my notes added where appropriate:

  1. Take 1 – 2 tablespoons warmed coconut oil 20 minutes before each meal (add to warm water or herb tea, or blend with yogurt).  NOTE:  If you have difficulty digesting the oil–such as gas or other abdominal distress–take ½ teaspoon Swedish bitters mixed with water in the AM before breakfast, and in the afternoon before dinner.
  2. Take ½ teaspoon high-vitamin butter oil (not the same as ghee). See Amazon (4A) for different brands.
  3. Take at least 2 teaspoons high-vitamin cod-liver oil (such as ‘Blue Ice’ ; see Amazon (4B) for different brands), or 4 teaspoons regular cod liver oil (such as Garden of Life brand) to total 20,000 IU vitamin A.
  4. Take 4 capsules desiccated raw liver, preferably Organic (such as Dr.Ron’s Organic desiccated raw liver in capsules (5))
  5. Take ¼ teaspoon acerola powder, or 2 tablets amla-C.  I use Now-brand acerola powder from iHerb code NOW-00740 (7) and mix it into my morning smoothie.
  6. Drink ½ – 1 cup of lacto-fermented beverage with each meal.  This includes kefir, kefir sodas, kombucha, kvass, etc.
  7. Do not skip any meals, especially breakfast. If you don’t have much time, just make up a yogurt smoothie the night before.
  8. Consume two snacks daily; one mid-morning, and one mid-afternoon, consisting of raw milk or a coconut milk tonic.
  9. If you eat out, try to follow the guidelines as much as possible.
  10. Watch carb consumption, especially grains and fruits, and starchy veggies.

Typical meals

Breakfast: 3 options:

  • ½ – 1 cup lacto-fermented beverage or yogurt
  • a coconut smoothie (you can blend your lacto-fermented beverage into this), or one of the following:
    • or oatmeal with butter and maple syrup or honey; 
    • or 2 eggs cooked in butter

Mid-morning snack:

  • 8 oz raw milk or coconut milk tonic

Lunch: 3 options:

  • ½ – 1 cup lacto-fermented beverage,
  • coconut and broth-based soup, or one of the following:
    • liver patè with whole-grain crackers;
    • salad made with ½ cup chicken, salmon or tuna chunks, and salad greens with dressing

Mid-afternoon snack:

  • 8 oz raw milk or coconut milk tonic


  • ½ – 1 cup lacto-fermented beverage
  • 4 oz red meat or 6 oz fish or chicken, baked, braised or raw
  • Steamed veggies with butter, or salad of greens with dressing
  • Lacto-fermented condiment (such as sauerkraut, kimchee, pickled beets, bread and butter pickles, chutney; all made with whey)


After gaining weight when I first tried this diet (2013), I made some modifications to the Eat Fat, Lose Fat diet:

  • Continue to include all the dietary rules except reduce the daily dose of warmed coconut oil from 3 – 6 Tbsp daily dose to 1½ Tbsp in morning smoothie; continue to cook with coconut oil at dinner;
  • Added fresh avocado to my daily regimen.
  • Added lightly cooked (rare) liver once a week instead of 4 daily capsules of desiccated raw liver. But when I realized the liver I was eating was from soy & corn-fed beef, I gave it up and went back to desiccated raw liver (from pastured Argentine beef) as a powder to my morning smoothie.
  • Increased butter in my diet, choosing Tillamook brand, because I know their cows are raised in pasture.
  • Added butyrate or tri-butyrin fatty acid to help resolve my leaky gut issues.

In 2014, I modified the diet to a ketogenic plan, following Mercola’s guidelines, which basically stayed the same as my the above modifications, except I omitted all grains and starchy carbs.

In 2016, following recommendations from Dr. Mercola, I modified my diet to a cyclic-keto plan (CKD), cycling hi-fat and hi-carb days:

  • 4 – 5 days/week of high fat, low carb keto, and
  • 2 – 3 days/week of higher carbs (whole grain bread, and other good carbs) and less fat.

In 2017, I started intermittent fasting, with some scheduling changes to regain a normal circadian rhythm:”

  • Fast 2 – 3 hours upon waking before breakfast;
  • Fast for 3 hours between each meal and between dinner and bedtime;
  • Sleep for 9 hours before waking;

for total 14 – 15 hour fast from last meal to breakfast.

All of this has been helpful for my energy levels, but my circadian rhythm is still off. I often need a late-afternoon nap, and have to get up to use the bathroom every 2-3 hours during the night.

In 2018, I started adding 1/16 tsp per day of Myo-Inositol powder (Pure Encapsulations brand) to my morning smoothie; after 2 weeks I slowly worked up to ¼ tsp/day. Note, I drink half of the smoothie in the morning and the other half as “dessert” after dinner. It has definitely helped my insulin resistance, as I quickly lost 20 – 25 pounds in 3 weeks, and continue to lose a pound every 3 – 4 weeks. Plus I have more energy. But my circadian rhythm is still off. My March 2019 fasting blood test showed 106 mg/dL blood glucose and 20.3 mcIU/ml total fasting insulin, for a glucose:insulin ratio of 5.3:1, well within the normal range (less than 10:1).


  1. Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary G. Enig and Sally Fallon
  4. Amazon:
  5. Dr Ron’s:

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