I am a 29 year old man living in New York. I began my low carb journey at 26 and not long after I was diagnosed with Crohn’s. I went whole hog into the Primal Blueprint lifestyle and I saw incredible benefits. I dropped 60 lbs, and I saw a huge benefit in how I felt daily and my intestines had improved. Slowly over time I kept eliminating foods from my diet: potatoes of all kinds, nuts, squashes, tomatoes, fruits, and it got to the point where I was eating meats and greens with the rare deviation. Then I listened to the interview on the JRE podcast with Dr. Baker. It stuck with me, though I was skeptical at first.
As March came around I decided to experiment and take the step to eating a Carnivore diet. I joined the facebook group and I read other’s stories to find inspiration and guidance. I ate 2-2.5 lbs of mostly ground beef, chicken thighs, some ground turkey, and around 6-8 eggs daily, with some goat cheese and butter thrown in occasionally. I continued to drink coffee, tea, and seltzer. I ate twice daily at lunch and dinner time. The rare snack was either salami or pork rinds.
Because I already knew to increase my salt intake and I had been fat adapted the transition was not difficult for me, but I did notice a challenge in my calisthenics based workouts early on in that I struggled at first but then it became easier.
The first thing I noticed is that my hunger levels surged very high, then dropped significantly. I’m curious how my Crohn’s has impeded my absorption, if at all. My energy levels were more consistent throughout the day. Previously there would be a dull fatigue towards the end but I’m more of a stable calm on carnivore. But most of all I felt the lingering inflammation in my gut decrease and my bowel movements (after the first week) were the most consistently solid and easy passings I have had in a long time. The inflammation I felt was in the upper right and lower left of my abdomen (duodenum and colon) and they were tender to light prodding. They are now far less tender and I don’t feel the swelling as I did before.
As for weigh loss: I did not drop much weight, but I did notice a difference in my measurements, my muscles were slightly bigger and definitely more dense, my waist was thinner, and I’m willing to bet my bone density increased. I have found a lot of benefit in the carnivore diet. But I’m an experimental person and I know I’m going to want to reintroduce fermented foods and mushrooms, maybe the occasional plant, but I know now the best way to return to baseline and reclaim my health. It’s easy to do and it’s very tasty.
Loved your podcast with Rogan! I decided to try out the carnivore diet for one month to see how my body would react. Let’s just say my body loves it and I will be sticking with this diet forever! I feel amazing, I have seen a change in my body fat percentage and my over all health has improved. I suffer from asthma and have gluten and dairy intolerance. My gut & lungs have never felt better taking those products out of my life! Thank you!
I took some before and after pics of my one month experiment. I went from 194 to 180lbs.
I am extremely happy with my results while eating the Carnivore Diet. I’ve been a health conscious individual with a pretty heavy sugar addiction for the most of my adult life. I’ve tried different diets and supplements over the years, with the goal always being the same: to rid myself any depression, anxiety, or brain fog, and to just feel comfortable in my own skin.
I’ve probably spent thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of green powders, supplements, therapy, and everything else that you could think of to better my performance. Most of these things I have tried, and they seemed to have worked for a short duration, but then after a few months, I would be back at the start line again, face down in a pile of candy bar wrappers. It seems that I might have a powerful placebo reaction to things, because I believe so intensely in what I am currently trying (I’ve finally realized this about myself, lol).
I’m 39 years old now, and have been eating like a carnivore for approximately 2.5 months. My plan was to add other foods back in after 1 month of eating like this, but when the end of the month came to a close, I felt so good that I really didn’t want anything to change. I’m still working on analyzing my results, but here’s what I’ve noticed so far:
General feeling of happiness throughout the day
More energy, both mental and physical
More resilience against cold and flue
Ability to stay calm in hectic situations
Physical strength is improved
Digestion is great
One of the best things I’ve noticed about this diet, is that my sugar cravings are gone!! I am so happy about that. It actually feels fairly easy to avoid sugar on this diet! This alone is a major benefit for my health as falling asleep in a sugar coma night after night can’t be good, lol.
I grew up in a family where the dad ate protein, and the family ate potatoes, vegetables, and bread, and drank dehydrated nonfat milk. As a child I was chubby, had digestion and elimination problems, and was always taking medication for ear infections, sore throat, or hay fever.
In 1992, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, later changed to psoriatic arthritis. In 1998, I discovered Atkins (low carb) and learned that if I ate carbs, I woke up the next morning feeling like I had been run over by a road paver. After about six months, I realized that my hay fever was gone. Seemed strange but didn’t ring any bells. I spent years living on Ibuprofen while my hands and feet turned into weird gnarled sticks that hurt a lot and were unusable.
On February 14, 2017 I got the best Valentine’s gift ever when a Joe Rogan interview with Dr. Shawn Baker appeared on my iPad. I listened to it, and it made sense. My son was in the room, and he heard it too. At the end, I said I wanted to try it, and my son said he would also. He went and got us steak for dinner that night and we haven’t looked back.
Bacon & eggs for breakfast and steaks for lunch and dinner every day. Six days in, I had more energy, no swollen joints, and my feet didn’t feel like someone was holding a flame thrower on them. I started wearing shoes again. At 22 days, I realized that psoriasis had disappeared from my shins and forearms, and I could move the fingers on my left hand individually. At 30 days, my right fingers and toes were showing signs of life. We’re currently 34 days carnivore. The other day my son asked me if I remember what it was like to feel good (not sure I remember, if I ever did), and my answer was that I didn’t know, but that I am happy feeling nothing. I sleep well and wake refreshed. I have no digestion or elimination problems, no aches, pains, headaches or gut issues. Meat heals. I am perfectly happy feeling nothing, and I plan to be a carnivore as long as possible. By the way, I am a seventy year old female stroke survivor.
These are my health improvements after 1 year of cutting out all plants and dairy from my diet:
Healed knee: I had a bike accident as a kid and have always felt a slight pain in my knee since then. My knee is now completely healed. The healing process took 6 month and my body performed something akin to surgery on it self: my knee got really swollen during the healing process and I felt something (which I believe was a tiny piece of gravel left from the bike accident) was being pulled out of my knee.
No more back pain: I would wake up every morning with cramp in my back muscles. it’s all gone now.
No more stiff muscles: most of my muscles used to be really stiff.
Better bowel movements, no more diarrhea, no more bloody stool.
No more night sweats. I would occasionally wake up during the night and my pillow would be soaked in sweat. No more.
Not tired when I wake up in the morning. I’ve become a morning person.
Not tired after eating.
Better eyesight: everything is much sharper and colors are really vivid. I used to have to squint on sunny days before. Not anymore.
Ocular migraine is gone: I think this is due to quitting coffee.
Cleansed sinuses: my sinuses always used to be clogged up. now they have been cleansed. I have felt my pulse in my sinuses for the last 12 months.
Regained sense of smell: directly after starting zero carb I noticed that I could smell the perfume of people on the streets. This had never happened before.
No more anxiety: I used to get stressed out over stupid things. Now I’m the calmest I’ve ever been. I think this is due to quitting coffee.
Better cognitive functions.
Constantly high energy levels.
Better sleep and better dreams. I have not had a nightmare since I started with this diet.
No more dry skin.
No physical fatigue: I feel stronger than I’ve ever felt before.
No winter cold: this is the first year in +10 years that I haven’t had a cold.
No more nosebleed: I used to get nosebleeds on a regular basis. It’s all gone now.
Happier: I’ve never felt this happy in my life before. Now I get sudden bursts of euphoria from time to time. 🙂
Better fine motor skills: playing the piano has never been this easy.
No more red hands: my hands used to occasionally turn red. Not anymore.
No more white fingers (Raynaud syndrome): I think this is due to quitting coffee.
No cravings for food: I used to get cravings for e.g. ice cream and chocolate. Now I only feel hunger.
No more pain between toes (Morton’s neuroma).
Gaining weight: I’ve always been tall and skinny and has never been able to gain either muscle mass or body fat. Now I’m starting to gain weight as my body is absorbing the food I eat.
Quick recovery after physical exercise. I play squash, do TRX, and ride racing bike and recovery has never been this quick. Hardly any muscle soreness.
More stuff has happened that I cannot put into words: I just know that my body feels better and that something has healed that I don’t know what it is. I just feel that I have increased my life expectancy by many years.
All of this happened just because I stopped eating plants and dairy! Better yet, I haven’t paid a penny for it and haven’t been to an MD 🙂 The Internet has been my only resource.
That being said, the healing process was quite intense. I certainly got the keto flu and was many time questioning if I was doing the right thing. I want to thank everyone who has gone through this process and has shared their stories on the Internet. Without having access to all these personal stories I don’t think I would have continued all the way through. Heck, I wouldn’t have come across this diet to start with if it wasn’t for the Internet! This is why I want to share my experience with everyone.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not an MD and have no training or education in nutrition whatsoever. This is purely anecdotal information. As such, I do not give any dietary recommendations. You will have to decide yourself what diet you chose to have. I’m an engineer and academic researcher, and as such the only thing I recommend is that you experiment with different diets and listen to your own body and how it reacts to the food you eat.
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 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.
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/pork (50:50)
chicken (especially chicken wings)
all kinds of pork
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
2–3 raw eggs
put in blender and mix well
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.
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.
Put meatball in pan and press it flat. I use the downside of a pot. You do not have to use extra fat.
Fry for 1–2 minutes then turn around and fry again 1–2 minutes.
Take out the burger and start with the next one
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:
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)
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?
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.
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.
Baking tray/pan with cooling rack nestled inside
Tongs for flipping steak
Skillet for searing steak
Animal fat for searing
Season steak with sea salt. Place the steak on the rack nestled inside the baking pan.
Turn the oven on to 275 degrees F. Put the steak inside.
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.
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.
Cheese, if desired
Large baking tray, lined with aluminum foil
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.
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.
Season the burger patties with sea salt.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.