My name is Nathaniel Champion. I’m 24 years old.
Similar to some of y’all, I was first introduced to Dr. Baker on JRE. My first inclinations were that this guy was a complete nut job. All meat? What about healthy people 2020 and MyPlate guidelines? I shrugged it off, but began following Dr. Baker on Instagram because I wanted to see all the heat he was going to get.
At this time in my life, I was eating a light breakfast and 2 solid meals consisting of 3-4 cups of vegetables (high variety, mixed organic/non-organic), 1 cup complex carbohydrate, and either baked chicken breast, fish, or pork. Hardly any red meat. I did this all throughout undergrad, very methodical and didn’t miss a beat. My fitness goals at the time were to be as functional as possible (running, swimming, biking, lifting weights). I just cared about vitality and health. I wrestled growing up and never had any problem putting on mass, so my goal was not to put on size, although I felt emaciated on the diets coaches had me on.
I was diagnosed with IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) when I was a senior in high school (2011). Had a colonoscopy and was put on a low-dose Lialda (Mesalamine) to control the inflammation. For those of you that know about IBD, you know that there are certain “trigger” foods – spicy, fried, large amounts of alcohol, fresh vegetables (if in acute stage). Diet became everything for me. So much that I cut out all meat for 6 months. (There are articles/literature relating processed meats to higher incidences of colon cancer and this was the logic I used – true or not, I was desperate – I just wanted vitality and I already had risk factors). I had labs performed around the same time (insurance does yearly panels) and they showed I was anemic and had high LDL. I remember being very weak and tired all of the time. I concluded that I was taking steps backwards and not forwards – listening to my body holistically. I got back on my meal prep spread and started feeling better. All of this time I was rehabbing a back injury I got in college and was severely depressed because I was in pain every day – doing lots of rehab, diving into regenerative medicine as well. Was back on track for about 4 months until I heard about the carnivore diet.
I began straight carnivore mid-January 2018, about the same time I started a fast-bacc 1 year nursing program down in Houston. Everything was new for me. New city, new curriculum, less time, no social life, less sleep. In my mind, I needed optimal nutrition in order to function at my peak levels and make the grades I wanted in such a fast program. I considered all factors – I knew I was going to be sitting a lot (8-10 hours per day), getting less sunlight, not getting social interaction. At this time I stopped taking my Lialda because the cost went from $10 a month to $250 a month.
It’s been approximately 4 months on carnivore and I haven’t had an IBD flare, I sleep throughout the night, my mental and cognitive functioning have increased (I know this is subjective, but I’m able to sit through 12 hour lectures 2x a week, study 8-10 hours per day on the weekends and do 12 hour clinicals every week as well). I only have time to work out 1-2x per week and when I do, I just get my legs moving as much as I can, lift heavy, and work on mobility. Since I’m in school, I haven’t been able to afford all grass fed, so I just go to HEB or Kroger and pick up steaks, hamburger patties, eggs, and butter. I have not had labs performed, but I plan to do that in June, 2018, but I feel better than I ever have.
Nathaniel Champion, SN
University of Houston College of Nursing ’18