Udo Butschinek

12 months a carnivore

Nothing but this

If you are like most people out there, you may clutch your pearls at the thought of somebody eating nothing but or mostly meat. And when it’s not meat it is exclusively from the animal kingdom. And NO fruits and vegetables!

Turns out there are lots of people like this. Not only are they doing fine — they’re thriving on it!

I am one of these freaky weirdos and here is why and what it is like.

My story — how I became a carnivore

My low carb “career” started, when pants I had bought for a trip to Argentina started to not fit any more. Although I would explain it away, or tuck in my tummy, I knew that this was not ok.

Everybody has a certain self-image. And mine was definitely not that of a fat and lazy arse. I clearly remember one day when I went to the supermarket that I could feel the fat dribble around my belly.

It’s not to say that I was obese, not even remote. I was rather slim by the standards of most people but I could feel I was drifting slowly away from my self-image. Unless I did something about it.

I had remotely heard something about carbohydrates being responsible for growing fat. I thought that low carb was just one of many diet crazes that regularly swash across the pond.

I was heavily influenced by certain Joe Weider bodybuilding magazines from the early 1990s which advocated for eating lots of carbohydrates, especially pasta and stuff. Which I did. In hindsight it is really a wonder I did not grow fat — although I could never really get rid of my belly fat. Despite running and all.

With this background, reducing carbohydrates striked me as odd. Until I stumbled upon Gary Taubes’ “Good calories, bad calories”, that is (thanks Gary for that! Someday I will translate your book into German — promised.).

We all know this quote which is attributed to Einstein that the definition of madness is that you do the same over and over again always expecting different results.

I had also come across a book by a German cancer-researcher who advocated for low-carb in the treatment of cancer, Dr. Johannes Coy. The book I read was “Die neue Anti-Krebs Ernährung” (The new anti-cancer diet).

I thought: “What the heck? — let’s give it a try!”. I followed Coy’s rule of thumb to reduce carbohydrates to 1g per kg of bodyweight per day.

Results of my low carb journey

I dropped weight and reduced belly fat. I remember losing 5 kg bodyweight within the first week or so. That shocked me. Until I found out that there is a lot of water lost — carbohydrates drive inflammation. Inflammation drives water retention. Reducing inflammation means losing water. This explains most of the rapid weight loss in the beginning and is actually a good sign.

It was not long until I re-fitted into my pants bought for the Argentina-trip again. It is to this day my favorite measure of body-composition.

As most low carbers I first tried to stay as close as possible to “normal eating” — i.e. also eating low carb cakes and stuff. Although I never bought franken-food and always did it myself (I am a hobby-cook so not problem here) I believe that this way of eating does do no service.

For one thing it is hard to get away from your sweet tooth this way. This automatically leads at some point to “Ah, what the heck … let’s eat this chocolate — it’s dark and healthy” or “Come on, one potatoe is not much, is it?”.

So after a while I noticed that belly-fat was creeping in again — then again I had to reduce carbs.

One day — somewhere around my birthday on a hot summer day in August — I believe it was 2012 — I came across a long thread in a low carber forum entitled “The real human diet is a totally carnivorous one”.

In this thread Owsley Stanley, soundman of the Greatful Dead, known as “The Bear” talked about his carnivorous lifestyle he had been on for 47 years! This long thread with lots of interesting (and sometimes hostile) comments took me a few days to read. And I read every single page.

For some reason this idea of a totally carnivorous diet stuck in my head.

A year later I read the whole thread again. It again stuck. I started to eat my steak rare (or “bleu” —fried just one minute from each side).

It was only in 2017 that I stumbled upon Shawn Baker on Twitter who just had started a meat-only diet and posted regularly about it. Meanwhile he has turned into a kind of social-media celebrity with, at the time of this writing, more than 16,000 followers (it was less than a 10th of this when I started following him. Unbelievable!).

At this point I had pondered an all-meat diet for quite a while — and thought that I could try it too.

I also discovered certain carnivore websites which recommend to try an all-meat diet for 30 days (meat and water). I thought I could try it for 30 days.

Damn! I believe the authors of these website know exactly that once you start out on a zero-carb carnivorous journey, you won’t go back.

At least that’s what happened in my case. I have sticked to this all-meat regime since. With the only exception of a piece of low-carb cake on my birthday.

What I eat and drink

  • Ribeye or entrecote
  • ground beef
  • ground beef/pork (50:50)
  • chicken (especially chicken wings)
  • all kinds of pork
  • eggs
  • liver every now and then

I drink water, raw milk, and kefir. Also homemade bone broth. Meanwhile only occasionally coffee — mostly on weekends.

It seems that a carnivorous diet somehow reduces your tolerance for alcohol. Even small amounts may give you a slight hangover. Automatically this leads to a reduction in alcohol consumption. I consider this to be a positive effect. I still consume an occasional glas of dry red wine or carb-reduced beer (for you German guys out there: Freiberger Schankbier or Köstritzer Spezial — only 4–5 grams of carbs per 500ml).

I eat my steaks fried 3 minutes from each side, so basically rare to medium rare. I season with smoked sea-salt and pepper or red pepper.

I consume plant-matter only in terms of condiments: pepper, basil, garlic, onions, lemon.

My current favorite “protein-shake”:

  • 200ml raw milk
  • vanilla powder
  • 2–3 raw eggs
  • put in blender and mix well
  • drink

Recently I have bought my first crock-pot. I love it. It has opened a whole new culinary realm for me.

I have also come to love “smashed burgers”. Which I had never come across before my carnivore way of eating. But they are incredibly tasty.

Butsch’s recipe for smashed burgers:

  • 500g of ground beef and ground pork (50:50). You can also use beef-only — but this way the burgers will be even jucier.
  • A handful of chopped, fresh basil.
  • 1–2 garlic cloves — chopped.
  • Teaspoon dried italian seasoning
  • Teaspoon of salt (I prefer smoked sea salt)
  • Pepper
  1. Mix well until you have a nice meat dough.
  2. Take a steel pan and make it really hot. Form a meat ball the size of somewhere between a golf ball and a tennis ball.
  3. Put meatball in pan and press it flat. I use the downside of a pot. You do not have to use extra fat.
  4. Fry for 1–2 minutes then turn around and fry again 1–2 minutes.
  5. Take out the burger and start with the next one
  6. Enjoy

Funny thing about carnivory is that you start to want to eat the same over and over again. I could it ribeye, smashed burgers, and chicken wings every single day and not get tired of it.

Recently find myself gravitating towards experimenting with raw meats — but “pssst!” don’t tell my wife!

My carnivore results

I am 46 and am now have the lowest bodyfat percentage since my early 20s. I feel the urge to workout more than I used to (what I do is intensive kettlebell workouts for 15 minutes and 2 x 20 seconds sprints every now and then).

I am essentially free of pain. Not that I was in pain before — but I somehow feel that my overall connective tissue quality has improved. Which is no wonder given that 15% of your body’s dry mass is collagen. Eating meat means consuming collagen which then can be used by your body to repair any tissue lesions. I believe that lots of pain-patients could relieve most of their issues by simply adopting this way of eating. This is also reflected in lots of anecdotes by people on a carnivore diet (see e.g. meatheals.com, zerocarbzen.com).

Mental clarity. Many people note a certain mental clarity when on very low carb or ketogenic diets. Carnivory, at least in my case, pushes that by a margin. I see clear pictures and am even more outspoken than before.

Clean teeth all the time. I have virtually no plaque on my teeth. They are so clear I sometimes even forget to brush them. Really. Makes me think that dentists are totally superfluous (well honestly: I believe that doctors are in general totally unnecessary — unless in an emergency. Surgeons are probably the only medical “species” of any use.).

I have lost any urge to eat sweet stuff. It simply is not appealing to me any more. Even if it is right in front on me I have no problem ignoring it. To me it is simply no human-appropriate food.

I have lost any left trust whatsoever in any “health” authorities — be it doctors, nutritionists or scientists. All of them have no fricking idea what they are talking about. I can see it from their body composition and also from their body structure. No doctor with a pot-belly is going to tell me what healthy eating is — because he himself is proof that he has no clue.

And , no(!), I have not developed scurvy!

The poop question

One question that seems to really concern people is “Can you poop without fibre?”.

People seem to be kind of obessed with their poop (what would Freud say?).

I normally am reluctant to discuss my poop or poop frequency in public.

But as this is apparently so important to most people I have to cover this here sigh.

Basically not only is fibre not necessary for regular stool — it might even hinder frequent stool and also cause constipation.

As a carnivore for the last 12 months I can definitely say that fibre is not necessary for frequent stool.

What changes on a carnivorous diet is the amount of poop and probably the frequency. When there is no more fibre left in your diet which sucks up lots of water and thus increases in size up to 5 times its original size, then it is logical that the amount of stool is reduced.

A reduction in size may also lead to different frequency of defecation. In the beginning it was in my case only every 2–3 days. Which did not bother me at all.

There have been times on my journey where I infrequently had runny stool. THAT bothered me. And this is how I fixed it:

  1. I reduced my intake of fluids, i.e. drank LESS. Thing is that it might well be that we need far less water than usually recommended (hey, nutrition “scientists” and medical docs are wrong on practically every single nutritional advice — why would they be right here?). There are two sources I got the idea from: The chapter on “water” in the book “Fiber Menace” by Konstantin Monastyrsky and also from Tim Noakes’ extensive book “Water logged” — if marathon runners just need 1 liter of water when running in warm weather (or can even drink nothing at all) and do fine, even improve performance, then why would Average Joe (or Jane) drink 2–3 Liters per day? Does not make sense to me.

  2. I reduced coffee intake. Not that I have been much of a coffee drinker. Compared to standard folks I am (was) a moderate coffee-drinker. But nonetheless I felt that this is somehow interfering with my digestion. We do not know much about coffee healthwise. All we have is some epidemiological data linking coffee to a number of health benefits. On the other hand we have alarmists like Stephen Cherniske warning of coffee in “Caffeine Blues”. Caffeine raises cortisol levels — which means putting your body under constant stress. Also caffeine messes with regulatory processes in your cell. Reducing coffee intake, almost abandoning it, feels good in my case. As coffee is also comparatively unnatural it is probably a good idea to reduce intake.
    My personal impression is that some advocates on coffee being soooo healthy try somehow to rationalise their own caffeine addiction, citing shitty epidemiological data they would otherwise laugh about.

  3. I added raw milk and kefir. I was lucky to find a source of raw milk just a 10 minute drive from my home. At 1€ per liter it is rather cheap (ok, adding fuel for getting there it is more like double the price — but that’s ok for me). As raw milk is packed with minerals, enzymes, vitamins and good bacteria I thought this could be a good idea. Same goes for kefir — we have some russian-style kefir in our local supermarket. It’s sour, thick and creamy and incredibly tasty.

This fixed the poop-thingy for me.

I am regular, i.e. I poop almost every day. There might be 2–3 days still without pooping. I don’t care much about this. I trust my body to do what’s right. (Butsch’s first axiom: Your body never does anything wrong!). My stool is consistently Type 4 according to the Bristol Stool Scale. I do not need much toilet paper and it is rarely smelly.

Ok, enough embarassing poop stories for now!

What does it all prove?

James DiNicolantonio, the author of the book “The salt fix”, once asked on Twitter what it is that some people are so keen on restricting their diet in such a way.

Well, James, here is the answer:

It’s fun to prove to yourself that practically everything you have been told about nutrition is complete bullshit.

As there are:

  • Eat lots of carbs.
    Wrong! Carbs are not essential. They cause obesity and diabetes, destroy your complete metabolism and hormonal balance.

  • Meat is bad.
    Wrong! If there is anything like a superfood — it’s meat. Full of proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins. Try compare mineral or vitamin content of any plant with meat. Meat will always be way superior.

  • Avoid the sun.
    Wrong! Sun is essential for producing Vitamin D — which is extremely important to your health. Your body knows best. There is surely a reason why everybody exposes himself to the sun after a long winter, don’t you think?

  • Avoid salt.
    Wrong! Salt is essential for your body. And it does not raise blood pressure.

  • Saturated fat is bad.
    Wrong! Saturated fat is essential for your body to function normally. On the other hand vegetable oils — touted as “healthy” — are highly inflammatory and bad for your health.

  • Veggies are healthy and neccessary.
    Wrong! If 12 months of meat-only showed anything then that veggies are not (again: not) essential in any way. And how could they be? In terms of vitamins or minerals they are inferiour to meat in any respect. They also contain anti-nutrients which hinder mineral and vitamin absorption. In addition they contain phyto-chemicals which are potentially harmful to your cells ( I mean, hey: When these chemicals can kill cancer cells in a petri dish — they could kill healthy cells, too, right?). Read more about this here.

  • Drink lots of water.
    Hmmm … maybe wrong. The more you drink, the more you pee. The more you pee, there more minerals you are washing out of your body. The more you have to drink. The more you pee … and so on. Not only does drinking lots of water deplete your body of minerals — it also stresses your kidneys.

The simplest dietary advice ever?

  • Eat meat when hungry
  • Drink water when thirsty

Could it be that simple?

Originally published on Medium

William B.

I, like so many, was taught eat your fruits and vegetables as well as drink your milk and eat multigrain breads and cereals – it’s GOOD for you! Well my whole life I’ve always had one stomach or digestive problem after another.

In 1980, I was put on Tagamet/Cimetidine at 14 years old the doctor said you have ulcers take this and drink milk to coat your stomach! Yeah, lol wow milk, really. Also I’ve downed bottles of Pepto-Bismol, Rolaids, Tums, Beano, Gas-X, milk of magnesia… you get the point. It helped somewhat, but I always had stomach bloat, pains, gas and later diagnosed with IBS and joint pain of some sort or the other.

About 5 years ago it got so bad with acid reflux and loose stool bouts that my GP sent me to an gastroenterologist and then scheduled an colonoscopy and endoscopy (basically a tube with a camera and other little gadgets to look and take sample the GI tract), the end result was moderate inflammation from my esophagus to the business end of the digestive system. The biopsies were all negative, so I was told well it could be from having Lyme’s disease 3 separate times, all treated with a couple months worth of antibiotics each time. We all know that destroys the gut biome, but what choice did I have? That in turn made my stomach issues launch like a Saturn One rocket to the moon. It really can put you in a desperate straits after dealing with this for decades, and not once was I told about cutting out any kind of food choices. Oh I was told to take note of what I ate and the possible reactions, etc., but never a total elimination of 90% of what I eat daily.

That’s until I heard about Doctor Baker and his “Carnivore diet”. I remember when I first found him and his story searching the web I was like, “yeah ok sure,” but something inside me also said, “Hey try it you might as well what have you got to lose.” So after going through a 4 month paleo diet I went to about 80% meat and 20% veggies (and what I thought was very healthy veggies at that), but I was still getting the same ole symptoms. Maybe not as bad, but still there nonetheless. So I kept watching Doctor Baker on Instagram touting the benefits of an all meat diet and being a living example and reading stories from all of you. I said, and excuse my French, “FU$K IT I’M GOING ALL IN!” Know I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my dad, mom and maybe a little my fiancé thought that I was off my rocker, but desperate times call for desperate actions.

Ok… I’m 4 weeks in and heading to 5 weeks, and the difference is very dramatic. I have not taken ONE gas relief pill of any kind ZERO stomach bloating, ZERO IBS, ZERO nausea and acid reflux is nearly gone. I do have a hiatal hernia, so that’s the main cause of acid reflux but it’s down to a 3 out of 8, and that’s a great thing. Trust me, if you’ve ever had that, your throat’s on fire at 3am you know where I’m coming from.

Also eating all meat has given me much better energy very stable all day no ups and downs like before on the “standard Western diet”. My strength has also gone up just pure physical raw strength you can feel. The joint pain is pretty much gone, my old lifetime injures from the contact sports I’ve played in my lifetime don’t even hurt nearly as much as they used to, and my flexibility has really increased to my surprise. Then there’s the obvious outward physical appearance. I have lost thus far about 3 inches off the stomach, 1 inch in the chest, 1 inch in the hips the arms, and thighs either went up about 1/2 inch or stayed close to the same. Neck measurement pretty much the same.

My weight went from 229 pounds to currently 214.4 pounds and dropping. My stomach is a flat as a board compared to 5 weeks prior. I’m 6 feet tall, so that gives you an idea of the weight versus height. I’d say my body fat is around 25%. I had that kinda football player build, strongly built with a bit of a stomach, at the start of this all meat diet, but like I said, it appears that muscle loss is nil but fat loss is dropping like a lead weight to the bottom of a swimming pool, and that makes me a happy camper.

I intend on keeping this carnivore diet thing up no reason to stop with these results. It’s all positive as far as I can see. Also I have no sweets cravings at all. I could care less if you dropped a bowl of my used-to-be favorite ice cream, moose tracks, in front of me with two peanut butter cups, I really don’t have any desire for that type of stuff anymore. But if you lay down a ribeye, or thick cut bacon with some eggs, well I wouldn’t try to take that from me, as it might get a little nasty unless you made enough for two lol.

But most importantly I’d honestly like to thank Doctor Baker for opening my mind, eyes and my body to this way of eating it feels so right eating this way and my body tells me so and so will yours if you give it what it really wants… MEAT!

Stacey R.

I saw my heart doctor today. I was diagnosed with left bundle branch blockage about 9 months ago. He was thrilled with my weight loss and was not thrilled when I told him how I did it. But he wanted to check my ekg to see if my condition got worse. Well it’s gone! He said in all the years he practiced that condition doesn’t go away. I was on track to get a defibrillator in 5 years. He said I’m a miracle! He doesn’t know if it’s my diet or the weight loss but he can’t argue with success! He said he can now tell patients that this condition could go away! So needless to say I’m happy!! Just wanted to tell you. Stacey


Ryan S.

I’m 33 years old. A dedicated Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner for 12 years.

I had been suffering from gallbladder attacks from the age of 17 no matter what fruits or vegetables I ate, or other changes in diet. Currently 2 months into eggs, bacon, and steak on a daily basis and ZERO gallbladder/digestive side effects.

Also limited to no joint pain regardless my amount of training, despite being less than a year post-op from meniscus/ACL reconstruction surgery.

Thank you, Shawn, and thank you to everyone else speaking out. Meal Heals.

Kristen Suzanne

Did I really eat a carnivore diet for over 60 days? No vegetables? No plants?

It’s true. I ate a carnivore diet for 60 days. In fact, I still am. I started this January 2, 2018 and today is March 14 and I’m still going doing it.

Why would I stop eating plants?

I know what people are wondering. Isn’t that weird and dangerous?
I went on a carnivore diet, because I saw others do it with interesting benefits, and I became curious. That’s the heart of it, and… I live by a principle. When new information presents itself, I make changes. No dogma here. I like experimenting with foods and styles of eating. I have for over 20 years, starting back in my bodybuilding days.

People think I’m nutty if I say I’m on a carnivore diet, but not as nutty if I just say Keto or Zero Carb. However, I don’t entertain those people until they’ve done the reading, research, and experimenting that I have. Sure, I’ll answer a few questions, but if you give me the “stink eye” we won’t talk until you’ve done some homework.

Meat over fire

I’m drawn to the carnivore diet for a few reasons.

  • It’s easy. I mean really easy. I only eat two times a day – lunch and dinner (drinking coffee in the morning). The reduced food prep, reduced food shopping, and reduced decision-making fatigue is awesome.
  • It appears we can get everything we need (in the best format!) from animal products so, no, it’s not harmful. It’s actually extremely nutritious! The common sentiment in the carnivore community is that #MeatHeals and it’s anti-aging. I’m inclined to agree. Animal proteins and fats have super nutrition without any of the possible negative consequences of carbohydrates.
  • I don’t crave sugar or carbs. THIS SHOCKED AND EXCITED ME! I can follow a carnivore diet without any effort. I only crave delicious ribeye steak. If I could wave a magic wand, it’s all I’d eat (plus some fish on occasion). While remaining frugal, I’ll keep it to ribeyes some of the time, ground beef regularly, cheese occasionally, whipping cream in my coffee occasionally, chicken rarely, turkey twice a year, bacon sometimes, eggs regularly, and fish once a week (could be canned sardines).
  • It’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done to keep in great shape. It’s effortless. When I ate a “clean” diet in the past years, I stayed in good shape but had to put a lot more effort into it.</li

Now I can go from Steak to Swimsuit 🥩 👙 (or cropped top)

After eating a pound of meat – flat tummy.

I can go from eating over a pound of fatty ribeye steak straight to wearing swimsuit because there’s no bloat. My abdomen stays flat.

I can also workout after eating meat, too. In the past I waited before going to the gym, after eating, usually because I had a “food baby” or I was tired from digestion. Now, I’ve had times where I want to do pull-ups after eating steak.

I was excited about eating a carnivore diet because I knew about the nutrition in meat. I did question, for a while, whether eliminating plants would harm me though. Were there nutrients in plants I needed that I couldn’t get from animals?

Doesn’t look like it. I’ve read interesting information about the excellent nutrition profile of animal foods and the possible lack of nutrients(!) in plants. I didn’t realize that we could thrive without plants.

I was curious enough to try. I wanted to see if I’d feel differently by eliminating plants from my diet and going carnivore. So far, I have no desire for plants other than coffee and tea which I’d like to eliminate and see what that does, too. All in good time.

I wondered about the following if eating a carnivore diet:

  • Will my hormones improve and PMS improve? (They improved when I ended my vegan diet years ago, and I wonder if they could improve even more?)
  • Will my occasional headaches improve?
  • Will my energy improve? It’s not bad pre-carnivore, but as a homeschooling-work-from-home mom I’d love some more energy.
  • I heard about major improvements in skin from many women by eating a carnivore diet. I’ve experienced it first hand and wondered if it’s a fluke or the real deal. My skin greatly improved after ending vegan, but I was getting occasional PMS breakouts (though not every cycle). I look at my skin now and see such health that I not only love eating a carnivore diet, but I feel it’s the optimal choice for me. The health of someone’s skin says so much. I’m also curious… Will I age slower without any carbs?

What prompted this craziness of not eating plants?

Dr. Shawn Baker via Twitter.

When a friend retweeted him I chuckled at his absurd diet of eating as a carnivore. However, he was an MD professsing awesomeness by being a carnivore and I couldn’t help but do a double take. A medical doctor, orthopedic surgeon no less, well that piqued my interest seeing as most doctors are still touting the outdated idea of watching the consumption of cholesterol.

So, I saw that he was a big dude, like super muscular and in great shape for his age (for any age actually!), which I think was 50 at the time. I saw once that he was eating about 8 plain hamburger patties for a meal. I thought, “Huh. That’s bizarre, interesting, and possibly ridiculous.”

At the time, I didn’t think any more of it other than pure entertainment of watching him and following his tweets on occasion. I had zero interest in doing it personally, after all, I was a polyphenol freak. Hello – Matcha Green Tea? Turmeric? Vegetables? I write and sell books about them! Funny how things work.

Over the months, I saw his meaty meals posted on twitter and saw him retweeting other people trying his carnivorous ways. From those links, I read blog posts from other carnivore-eating people and their fascinating experience. Some having done it for decades! More interestingly, some of those people had great health benefits of being low-carb first, AND then noticed a continued surge in health after eating only carnivore and cutting out plants.

Some of these people had real allergies, they learned, to the very phytonutrients many claim are beneficial. When I think back to my vegetable and fruit eating experiences I have to admit I had problems but who doesn’t eat veggies because of a small tummy ache after? The experts say we’re supposed to eat them for health.

When I looked back on my veggie eating days with the different eyes, I realized important points.

  • Coconut foods can give me stomach cramps.
  • Root vegetables can make me nauseous.
  • Broccoli sometimes repelled me even with butter and salt. I would put on my big-girl pants to eat broccoli because of the “super powers” it supposedly had for health.
  • Avocado made me crazy tired.
  • Chocolate can nauseate me.
  • Nuts can make me break out, feel sick to my stomach.
  • Bananas can give me a small belly ache but I still ate them.
  • Citrus can contribute to migraines.
  • Alcohol I don’t drink because I always feel crappy after just a few sips.
  • Kombucha gives me a stomach ache and, again, I still drank it. 😔
  • Dark leafy greens usually bothered me a little bit, but I ignored it, again, and figured I had stomach issues and not a possible allergy to plants.
  • Green tea, on an empty stomach, makes me nauseous.

I don’t react poorly to all plants – I don’t think. However, I find that having ANY carbs can trigger carb cravings for me, so I want to eat carnivore style and eliminate them (save for the trace amounts in animal products)

Back to Dr. Shawn Baker…

He ended up on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and I eagerly listened since I knew who he was and what he was about. Not surprisingly, I found the interview extra interesting. He addressed issues like pooping when there’s no fiber in the diet, vitamin C and scurvy, and more. Those were things I hadn’t even thought about.

I later read more online about those common questions. I listened to interviews from scientists and researchers talking about how we don’t actually need plants and that we can get all of our micro-nutrients from animals along with the essential fatty acids and essential amino acids. I read that carbohydrates aren’t essential. Some experts mentioned these topics and said we should have more research on it, but that there was NOT good science for the constant recommendation to eat more fruits and vegetables either. I was shocked.

You’d think from the way people talk that plants are to be revered to the utmost. We praise kids when they eat their veggies and not their fish or beef. Sure, we like our kids getting good protein, but do we praise them for eating it?

Here are my results that happened immediately in the first week on a carnivore diet:

  • First thing that happened was I wasn’t super hungry all day. Very satiated. In fact I had to work at eating more because I was full. I remember Shawn Baker, MD saying to eat like it’s your job in the beginning to ensure adequate nutrient and energy intake.
  • Second thing that happened was that I woke feeling super refreshed and with less sleep on even the first night.
  • I had/have zero, and I mean ZERO cravings or desire for carbs. That’s never happened before, probably because I was always have some or I was not getting satiated with enough animal proteins and fats. Low-carb past experiences left me wanting carbs. It took eliminating them to be free of them.
  • I lost weight – probably more than I should have. So, I started eating meat “like it was my job” to gain a couple of pounds back for a strong and lean weight.

After 60 days on a carnivore diet (still early but good data):

    • Best skin ever in my life.
    • Wounds heal faster.
    • Satisfaction and satiety. That is liberating.
    • Hip pain mostly gone. I’ve had hip pain for years since sleeping on one side for so long while pregnant eight years ago. That started to get a little better before carnivore, but is almost gone on carnivore.
    • Fewer headaches.
    • Better PMS.
    • Great sleep.
    • Excellent attitude and mental state!
    • Increased sex drive! 💗
    • Beautiful muscle definition.
    • I also think this must be an amazing diet for dental health. I think a person’s skin and teeth are windows into their body’s health. Excellent dental health has been a passion for the past four years, after my teeth went to hell from eating vegan so long. When I think about this diet, it has to be one of the best ones for building and maintaining healthy teeth. For me, that means including things like sardines (with skin and bones), getting sunshine, and including some quality cheeses/eggs/liver (for vitamin K2, retinol).

I figure that if the many people I’ve read eating only animal foods have survived many years, I can safely handle it for a few months while I experiment.

How do I prepare meat for eating a carnivore diet?

Over time, I found that I want mostly beef, preferably ribeye steak though the price can be limiting. I also like ground beef patties and fish. I’ve found my favorite way to prepare steaks and patties.

Reverse Sear Steaks

This is a brilliant way to ensure perfect cooking of any size steak. It will take a bit longer, but with planning, it’s mostly hands-free.

  • Steak*
  • Sea salt
  • Baking tray/pan with cooling rack nestled inside
  • Tongs for flipping steak
  • Skillet for searing steak
  • Animal fat for searing
  1. Season steak with sea salt. Place the steak on the rack nestled inside the baking pan.
  2. Turn the oven on to 275 degrees F. Put the steak inside.
  3. For me, because I like a final temperature (after searing) to be 125 degrees I keep the steaks in the oven for these lengths of time depending on thickness of steak: If it’s a thinner steak, cook 20-25 minutes. If it’s a thick ribeye cook 40-45 minutes. Either way, I keep them cooking in the oven until the temperature reaches about 110-115 degrees F.
  4. Heat the skillet to high. Sear steak on each side for about a minute (depending on thickness)

*I like to let my steak sit out for about a half hour (or a bit longer) to get closer to room temperature than coming straight from the fridge.

Broiling Burger Patties

This is the easiest and cleanest way to make burger patties, because I can cook many at a time and clean up is a snap.

  • Ground beef*
  • Sea salt
  • Cheese, if desired
  • Large baking tray, lined with aluminum foil
  • Spatula
  1. Create patties from the beef. I do this by rolling them in a ball and then placing them on the aluminum foil- lined tray. I then smash them pretty thinly.
  2. Place the rack in the oven so the burgers will be about 3 to 5 inches from the top. Turn on the broiler to 500 degrees F.
  3. Season the burger patties with sea salt.
  4. Cook them for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip them and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until desired temperature is reached. For me, that’s a higher temperature than I eat my steaks because it’s ground and cooking higher is for safety reasons.
  5. If using cheese, place the cheese on top of each patty and return under the broiler for about 30 seconds.

*I like to let my ground beef sit out for about a half hour (or a bit longer) to get closer to room temperature than coming straight from the fridge.

Eating Out: Chipotle

Chipotle Bowl shown above, carnivore style: I asked for 3 servings of steak only.

On a carnivore diet you’ll see people eating cow, chicken, pig, fish, lamb, offal, and some include dairy (full fat like cheese, whipping heavy cream, butter, and ghee). Over time one thing many have in common is that most find themselves gravitating to beef most of the time. It seems the most satisfying.

I’m happy I found this way of eating. I love it. That said, I’m now traveling the world, writing this from Denmark, and I have yet to know if I can sustain it while traveling from the cost of meat, etc. I’ll keep my blog posted. Thanks for reading!

Kristen Suzanne
Twitter: @KristensRaw

Kade Weigum

My name is Kade Weigum.

I live in a small town in the middle of Wyoming, born and raised. A thirty year old with hunting, fishing, and the outdoors deeply ingrained in my way of life. Before this way of eating all started over a year ago, I ate a SAD (Standard American Diet) and really enjoyed my beer (what’s more American than that?!). By the age of 26, I had racked up a bill of health issues that were still lying dormant. I quit my job 5 years ago, and that’s when I had my first lipid panel pulled up for a screening for a new job. They couldn’t even wait until the results came back before they told me I had something seriously wrong with my blood, putting my head in instant fear for my life… I got to the doctor that same week and was given the balanced diet bit and got thrown on statins (again, what could be more American). My triglycerides were over 1200 mg/ dL and cholesterol not really traceable because my trigs were so high. And the newfound stress for my health. I lived this way for a couple years. The statins gave me several bout of joint pain and really made daily activity a thing of the past. I was just tired and lifeless 24/7.

I told my brother what was going on and he told me to eat meat… so… I love meat, but that can’t be good for me. That’s all he eats and always looks super healthy. He introduced me to a zero carb reddit, where I could read up on it. Within a week, I had given up all sugar and was pretty into IF (intermittent fasting), eating only once a day. I gave my beer up for vodka, and I was on my way to health! I’m feeling much better, with energy up the wall and 60 lbs lighter on the scale. Three months into the zero carb lifestyle and I wanted to see what my blood was doing so I went in and got tested. 2400 mg/ dL my trigs raised to! I’d also like to add that I quit those stinking statins without docs approval so here I am again in the same boat horrible numbers and stressed, so back to a plant based diet , fish, skinless chicken breast and everything I didn’t like eating.

Pretty much giving up over the next 6 months and gaining almost all my weight back even though I was pretty much starving myself, I didn’t understand… finally a bell rang (maybe it was the vodka!), so I did a bunch more research and decided to contact Charles Washington via a Facebook message, and a response almost immediately saying drop the vodka and my numbers would plummet! Well here I sit, 5 AM… no coffee, wide awake, and just want people to know that this way of life is really something special. No pain, no stress, tons of energy off my 7 hours of sleep and ready to make today mine!

I waited until 6 months in on this woe [ed: way of eating] and my trigs are down below 800 mg/ dL now and I’m sure still dropping, excited to see what a year of no plants does to my health! My trigs never really got below 1000 even while on statins… so it’s better. All joint pain is gone… I also forgot to add that I no longer do intermittent fasting and I usually eat between 2 and 5 pounds of meat a day, whenever I’m hungry but usually just 2 meals. I’m 6’1” and used to weigh right around 290 lbs in the beginning. I now weigh around 215 lbs and have been there since July, went from 31% body fat down to around 15% that I am completely happy with. I am never hungry like I used to be, all I used to think about was food. We’ll food and alcohol… haha. Also I don’t know if this way of life makes it easier to quit bad habits but both times I have been on it I have successfully quit my nicotine addiction! I was a chewer and a smoker as well for 10 years, feels so good to be free!

If you would have asked me before I started this way of eating where I honestly saw myself in five years I probably would have at least had the thought that I would be dead. I’m very grateful and excited to see what the rest of my life brings! I’m almost 30 years old and still got a ton of life left to live. If this gets posted anywhere, I’d like to make sure to give Charles Washington a huge thanks for being stern and believing in what you’re doing and Kelly Williams Hogan for being such a huge inspiration and getting all this helpful info out there. Also a huge thanks to you, Shawn, for trying to spread the word and make people healthy again! Our whole way of looking at nutrition as a world is so messed up.

Jay B.

On the first of the year, a good friend sent me a Joe Rogan podcast interview with Dr. Shawn Baker regarding the carnivore diet. As a healthcare professional and generally health conscious individual, I was intrigued with the logic and supporting clinical information. However, an important missing piece of evidence in my opinion were measurable lab results so I decided to give it a shot and see what happens.

After 2 straight months on the carnivore diet the results are finally in. My primary care physician who has 10 years history on me told me on 3/9/18 that this is the best my lab results have ever looked. Lowest Cholesterol ever at 197 and lowest LDL ever with terrific ratios 2.47 and 3.6. As an added bonus, I haven’t had to take NSAIDS in over a month now for general joint pain. As a 54 year old avid golfer, runner and mountain biker, NSAIDS have been a normal part of every day life for the past several years.

Additionally I have lost 10 lbs and feel terrific. I haven’t seen any measurable improvements in sleep yet however my energy levels are definitely up. I’m currently training for another half marathon in late April and am experiencing continuous improvements in pace without any type of carb load. I’m still slightly skeptical how the longer 10 mile plus runs will go but so far so good at 7 miles.

I am an N of 1 however the carnivore diet has been a real success for me in just about every measurable way. For those looking for at least some evidence of lab results, I hope you find this helpful.

Stephanie Holbrook

I hope someone reading this will learn from my trials. I will have succeeded if one person takes action. I don’t want anyone to experience the pain and struggles that I have gone through. Since I was 12 years I have been on a perpetual diet. I hit puberty and plumped up. My family had an obsession with being thin and my mom was always on a perpetual diet. At 12 I started that rollercoaster too.

My parents thought they were being helpful when they told me that they didn’t want me to get fat. According to the 80’s nutrition advice that meant I needed to cut the fat from my diet. I took the USDA’s advice and avoided ALL FAT. I have a family history of heart disease, so I avoided red meat and especially saturated fat. I ate cereal in the morning, sandwiches at noon, and pasta at night. I never reached my goal of being thin but I held of being super fat out of sheer will and determination. My whole life I never remember feeling good. I didn’t even know what feeling good felt like.

I stayed on that trajectory through college. I was always watching my weight. I was on a ROTC Scholarship and in the Army National Guard. The thought of of losing my scholarship was terrifying. After my commission I joined the National Guard. I didn’t want to lose the GI Bill that was paying part of my tuition. I stuck to the low fat diet and counted calories.

I met and married my college sweetheart. When I found out I was pregnant I decided to leave the National Guard. I didn’t have to watch my weight. I ended up gaining quite a bit of weight being pregnant. After having my son I never got down to where I was before becoming pregnant. Four years later I had my second son. I was even heavier than after my first child.

When my youngest started school I decided to train for a marathon. I believed that running a marathon would make me thin. Life would be perfect if I could run myself thin. I trained for the marathon and followed the prescribed carb rich diet. I didn’t end up losing any weight during my marathon training.

After the marathon I thought that I needed to do a triathlon, then I would end up thin. Nope, I was still fat. The triathlon training made me realize that I liked riding my bike. I took up cycling. I rode my first century bike ride. I was able to cover the distance but I was still fat.

I enjoyed endurance training. I made many friends and loved training with them. I figured that I needed to ramp up my training. Of course, that must by why I was still fat. I wasn’t training hard enough. I started training for the 70.3 distance triathlons, then I worked up to an Ironman. After the Ironman I was STILL FAT… UGH! WTF!

If the calories in/calories out model worked, I would be super thin. I was training 20 hours a week and eating less than 1500 calories per day. I had mild asthma that soon became chronic and uncontrolled asthma. I felt cold and exhausted all the time. I developed reactive hypoglycemia. On top of all that I still FAT.

It became clear to me that I was doing something wrong. Hours and hours of endurance training and eating a low fat, high carbohydrate diet was not making me thin. I must be doing something wrong. I started reading about Scott Jurek, and ultra-marathon runner and vegan.

I thought that was the answer, I needed to eat a vegan diet and train for ultra-marathons. The vegan diet was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. The vegan diet made my health worse. My asthma and allergies were worse. I added to my health issues horrible gas, injuries, and giant boils started erupting on my face. The one thing that stayed the… I was STILL FAT!

At that point, I sought alternative medical help. According to my regular doctor I was completely “normal” and nothing was nothing wrong with me. It is “normal” to have chronic asthma, a poor complexion, chronic injuries, and to be fat after doing an Ironman.

A concerned friend referred me to Naturopathic Doctor (ND). She order a slew of blood tests. I was almost afraid she would say that there was nothing wrong with me. I thought if she said that I was healthy like my primary care doctor, then I must be crazy. I didn’t think it was normal to feel as bad as I did.

The ND didn’t think I was healthy or normal. She measured my hormones, and informed me that I didn’t have any. My hormone levels were so low that they were not readable in the test. I hadn’t had a period in about year, and I thought that was from my birth control. But it was more likely from my poor diet and excessive training.

Thought this process I became obsessed with learning how the body works. I became a ACE Personal Trainer, and read everything I could on health and nutrition.

I gave up on endurance sports and tried Crossfit. That is where I learned about about the Paleo Diet and Robb Wolf. I also learned that Crossfit was doing nothing for my health. My hormones were still a mess. After 18 months I still felt like crap and decided to ditch Crossfit.

I wanted to figure out how to feel better. I started listening to podcast. I found Ben Greenfield’s podcast. He talked following a low carbohydrate diet with endurance training.

I joined Ben Greenfield’s Become Superhuman Coaching program. I took courses and certifications with the C.H.E.K. Institute. The C.H.E.K. Institute and Ben Greenfield’s message was quite a bit different from the USDA advice. I switched to a Paleo Diet, then a low carb Paleo Diet. My body started to heal. My gas subsided, my face cleared up. Over time my allergies went away and then my asthma disappeared. I went from a size 16 to a size 12 with the Paleo diet. I dropped from a size 12 – a 10 following a low carb Paleo diet.

At the Become Superhuman Conference and met Peter Defty from Vespa Power. We soon became great friends because of our obsession with nutrition research. Peter referred me to Esmee La Fleur’s website Zero Carb Zen. I started an on again/off again Zero Carb/Carnivore Diet. I started to feel better and dropped to a size 8.

Even though I had good results with a zero carb diet I had problems sticking to it. I had such a hard time saying ‘NO’ to food in social settings. I felt like I was being rude. It wasn’t until I participated in the Carnivore Study that I felt empowered to say no. I dropped from a size 8 to a size 6 during the 90 day Carnivore Study. I also felt WONDERFUL!!!

I returned to my my love of cycling. I train every year with a group for Tour de Tucson. The bulk of my training this year was during the Carnivore Study. I didn’t want to mess up the study results so I stuck to Zero Carb. I used meat sticks during the longer ride. I added Sports Legs, electrolytes, and salt to combat leg cramps.

The lack of carbohydrates didn’t hurt me. I had a personal record at the last Tour de Tucson. My average pace in 2017 for 54 miles as a Carnivore was 18.45 mph. My average pace while still using carbs in 2012 for 60 miles was 10.06 mph.

On a carnivore diet, Stephanie is hitting new personal speed records.

Over the holidays I had a relapse. I ate too many chips, salsa and margaritas on a trip to Mexico. My size climbed back to a size 8. But what was most pronounced was how horrible I felt after my trip. I couldn’t believe how fast I went from feeling amazing to feeling like crap.

I am back to a Carnivore/Zero Carb way of eating since January 2nd. Since then I continue to get faster on my bike. My functional threshold power (FTP) when I was low-carb/Paleo was 135, now my FTP is 201. My FTP keeps going up!

The carnivore diet is a miracle for my health. I went from wearing a size 16 to now wearing a size 6. I had no readable hormones and no menstrual cycle to having a regular 28 day cycle. As a high carbohydrate athlete I was spending $80 a month on asthma medications. I am not on any medications now.

Stephanie is down to a size 6 and in the best physical shape of her life, thanks to carnivory.

I am 48 years old. I don’t have six pack abs… yet. I have never felt better in my life. I still have extra fat to lose and more healing to do. I went from a lifetime of struggling with my health and weight to feeling good each and everyday. Soon, I expect to see those six pack muscles to show up. MEAT HEALS no matter how old you are or where you start.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sholbk
Website: https://ketoendurance.co/
Email: coach@ketoendurance.co

Rick B.

Carnivore WoE [ed: way of eating] for 5 months.

Cardiovascular: My blood pressure dropped from 130/90 to 95/65 (lowest). Triglyceride to HDL ratio 1.42, down to 1.17

Joints: Knee pain gone.

Nerves: Tremor in left little finger gone, depression and anxiety gone.

Energy up: Doing push ups and cycling.

Skin: Finger nails not ridging.

Celina Garcia

I’ve suffered with stomach problems my entire adult life (about 23 years). I’ve seen a number of doctors who prescribe medications or remove body parts, including my gall bladder, hysterectomy, appendix, but have all refused to tell me WHY I had been so sick and nearly dead for so long. The illnesses range from acid reflux to IBS-C and includes a myriad of food allergies and sensitivities, painful bloating, painful gas, and distended stomach/intestines. I subsisted off OTC and RX medications several times a day for decades.

In January 2016, having had enough, I took matters into my own hands and adopted a Ketogenic lifestyle. This cured my acid reflux, inflammation, and chronic hip pain saving me from yet another surgery. Food heals! Although feeling much better, the one thing that still plagued me was IBS-C, bloating, debilitating gas pains, stubborn extra weight. So, November 2016, I decided to give Zero Carb/Carnivore a try. I allowed all forms of animal protein and limited dairy in my diet.

Within the first 3 week’s eating zero carb I had lost 10 pounds and reversed my IBS-C. After decades of using RX and OTC medication, fiber, green smoothies, salads and produce to alleviate my suffering all it had done was exacerbate the problem. Removing the fiber from my diet made me immediately regular and cured me of all my bloating, swelling, inflammation, and painful gas pains.

I’ve been, for the most part, Zero Carb for 16 months and have never felt better, looked younger, had more energy, or mental clarity in my life. Oh, I still like to occasionally dabble in the dark arts of produce or nuts, but my body rejects it immediately and all my symptoms return reminding me why Carnivore is the lifestyle for me.

Thank you. En Paz.