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
My Four Month N=1 (Self-)Experiment on going Zero Carb 100% Carnivore.
This is a lengthy article. So for just the Highlights:
Meat-only way of eating healed my Rheumatoid Arthritis in weeks.
No veggies, fruits, fiber, grains, nuts & etc.
Just meat & water only. I have done a very limited amount of cheese. Tried eggs at about 6 weeks into my experiment, and it did not affect the RA, but they did not work well for me.
My eating consist of about 90% beef, non-organ meats and the rest pork. High fat ribeyes & high fat ground beef are my mainstay. I only season with salt, pepper & rosemary.
I feel GREAT!!!! Improvement in all areas of life too!!!! Nothing negative at all. PTL 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
No more outbreak of kidney stones.
Yes I am sticking with it!!!! Not because I need to but because I love this way of eating.
Here is a little background on why I chose to go Zero Carb 100% Carnivore(ZC). The reason I shifted from a Ketogenic way of eating is I wanted to see they effects on my Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). I’ve kept it managed well for over 10 years but I had flare ups from over use & cold weather. Keto greatly helped my RA when I changed back to it in a strict fashion a few years ago. I was already about 85% to 95% Zero Carb Carnivore (ZC) while Ketogenic. Curcumin & Hemp/CBD Oil had helped my RA but it did not cure it or put it in remission and it was steadily progressing. After much research & talking to people with RA that had successfully done ZC with great success I decided to give it a N=1 (self-)experiment.
My thumb on my right hand was affected the most. I had lost most use of it, and the pain was horrible at times. I needed to address this soon because it is a progressive, crippling & very painful condition that will worsen with age. I had never taken any prescription or OTC medicines for RA & I did not plan to. My prognosis was not good long term under standard medical care & plus the many horrible side effects from the medicine used to treat RA. My joints all through my body was rapidly becoming less & less functioning and causing more and more discomfort. I had inflammation all throughout my body. I was feeling it everywhere. I tried to hide it & stay as positive as I could but I was feeling like a very old person. I was upset with myself because I am a person very knowledgeable on living healthy & treating issues with natural therapies, but I could not help myself very much with this condition. I knew so many were much worse than I were but I saw where my future was heading & it was bleak. I want to be able to enjoy life to the fullest with my wife & four kids.
I had done so much research on everything for RA. I tried many different things but nothing made a significant difference. I kept reading about a meat only way of eating for autoimmune issues such as Rheumatoid Arthritis & many other conditions.
I had done a Carnivore way of eating years before, twice and loved it. However, I did not do it for RA then, it was before I knew I had RA & before I had any noticeable symptoms. I did it for building muscularity & strength. Since the 1990’s I have been a HIT (High Intensity Trainer). Arthur Jones was the founder of this method. I learned of strength training in the early 1980’s from old magazines of Peary Rader, especially Articles written by or about Arthur Jones, Vic Tanney, Steve Reeves, Larry Scott, Mike Mentzer & Vince Gironda. Vince’s Steak & Eggs Diet really caught my attention. It made sense & I personally was wired to eat that way. I was born a Carnivore I think. So I greatly gravitated to his way of eating and I loved it. It worked for me and I felt great, performed great & looked pretty good. I did this until my Lifting Coaches convinced me I would die from eating that way. By the way Mr. Gironda looked great & lived very healthily in to his 80’s.
I also was exposed to ZC from of all things The Grateful Dead, actually their sound man, Owsley “Bear” Stanley, from the Grateful Dead so that was in the mid-1980’s. I was a Grateful Dead Fan. He was a huge advocate of ZC Carnivore Eating & had been doing it since the 1950’s. A true pioneer in the ZC Carnivore movement.
After college I gravitated back to my Zero Carb Carnivore roots. I loved it because I was single at the time & working long hours and it was simple to eat just meat. I can cook hamburger patties. I can order a McDouble & eat only the patties. I had less Decision Fatigue. This worked great until I met & married my future wife, Lori. She also “knew” I would die without veggies, fruits, whole grains, fiber & etc. So by 1997 I was back to large amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole grains & not near the amount of meat. Within a few years from then I started feeling the affects from my Rheumatoid Arthritis. It was getting worse and worse. I tried many natural herbs & therapies and some did help but only limitedly.
Around 2013 my right thumb had become almost totally non-functioning. The pain was horrible and getting worse every day. I was now having trouble doing one of my favorite hobbies, Combat Pistol Shooting. I was having an incredibly hard time loading bullets into my magazines & to press the magazine release button on the gun to be able to quickly drop a mag & replace it.
I was also having a very difficult time buttoning my shirts, holding anything, twisting caps off, practicing Martial Arts, playing guitar and etc.
As a Personal Trainer it was harder & harder to load plates, change weights & to assist my clients. It was even harder not to show the pain to my clients. My own training was incredibly difficult because of the high levels of inflammation I had & the excessive pain I had to go through to achieve Full Momentary Muscular Failure that I needed to get the proper intensity level for an effective session. My recovery post workout was horrible. I had to keep extending my time between workouts to be able to recover and to be able to function post workout. Most that do a HIT protocol workout one to two times per week. Some with less recovery ability or circumstances workout once every 10 days to 14 days. I went from a couple of sessions per week to once a week to eventually every third week. That extreme infrequency worked by far the best for my optimal strength levels, body composition & how I could function at my other activities. I also had to start using gripping aids such as straps & hooks to do my lifting especially with the Deadlift, Shrugs Rows & Pull Downs. My fingers would not allow me to grip effectively. As a person schooled in Old School Powerlifting I was ashamed I had to use these grip aids. Because of my experiences I had Confirmation Bias that everyone needed gripping aids when they did not. I am correcting this now with my clients that I inadvertently hampered them in full development of their grip & forearm development.
So my results have been beyond stellar and way beyond all my expectations!!!!! My Rheumatoid Arthritis is what I would classify in full 100% remission. My pain is totally gone. My movement is back to normal. My inflammation is gone throughout my body & in particular my hands & elbows. My long term Tendonitis (Tennis Elbow)is gone. My Hip pain is gone. My knee pain is gone. My energy levels are incredible. I am sleeping better than ever, except when I have too much energy. My cognition is vastly improved. My recovery rate is better than it has been since I was in my late 20’s and I am 49 years old. My strength numbers have increased. My body composition has gotten better. My digestion is perfect. My bowel movements are the best ever. My dry eyes are not a problem. My allergies have been so much better than in years past. I have not had any sickness since 2013 so I have a great immune system & since going ZC still no problems. I avoided the dreaded cold & Flu this season that was going around this winter. No outbreak of Kidney Stones which have been plagued with especially when eating plants containing Oxalates such as Collard Greens & Spinach. I’m now almost supplement-free. I will continue to supplement with Vitamin D & some minerals if I need them. My Super Supplement is called Ribeye 🥩 & Water!!!! Nothing got worse from this way of eating. It has all been positive!!!! I look forward to continuing this way of eating indefinitely. I truly enjoy this way of eating. PTL 🙏🏻🙏🏻
I want to thank the people & groups who have helped me in doing this way of eating the right way through advice, insight, testimonials, education & support.
Thanks to Vince Gironda, Owsley “Bear” Stanley, Joe & Charlene Andersen, Dr. Shawn Baker, Dr. Paul Mabry, Lawrence Neal, Corporate Warrior Podcast, Zeroing in on Health, Zero Carb UK, Zero Carb Doc, World Carnivore Tribe, and Zero Carb Zen. Especially grateful for my wife, Lori, in supporting this decision and trying it herself with amazing results too and being a great steak maker!!!!!!
I am 33 years old. For a long time I consumed a lot of bad things on a regular basis: Mountain Dew, Monster, all kinda of carbs (especially rice; my wife is Asian). I wasn’t taking good care of myself.
In 2013, my body started rejecting the abuse. I knew this would be coming, but I didn’t expect it at that age. I was very active (military). Vigorous exercise for at least an hour every day. Then, I started gaining weight, and my knee got real bad. I had chronic tendinitis in my knee caused by Osgood-Schlatter (misdiagnosed many times as Chronic Osgood-Schlatter). I started getting stomach issues; diarrhea, inconsistent BMs, bloating, gas, heartburn (I never had heartburn!), trouble sleeping, hip pain, shoulder pain, and back pain. It all came to a head when I got diverticulitis. My diverticulitis was actually on the lower right side. So, everyone (including me, I did my research before going to the ER) thought it was appendicitis. It was like, “Oh. It’s appendicitis. No big deal. We’ll prep you for surgery. Meanwhile, we’ll take this CT just to confirm.” Well, that CT showed diverticulitis, not appendicitis. And, the doctor’s were freaked! They made me think that was way worse than anything else. Why? My age. They concerned about the pockets that form to create the diverticula, or if I had other issues. Scared the crap out of me. I had a colonoscopy on my birthday in 2014. Some minor polyps were discovered. I had surgery on my knee a month later to do a patellar tendon cadaver graft. I felt horrible. I felt like my body was giving up on me, and my knee never recovered.
So, started my journey towards trying become healthier. At the end of 2014 I started a calorie restrictive diet. Whole foods, low fat, lean meats, plenty of veggies and fruits…and, more resistance training. Yes, I lost a little bit of weight. I started feeling a little better, but I couldn’t sustain it. It was too expensive, and cravings started to kill me. And, I started feeling bloated all the time, gassy, and heartburn. Then, I started a high protein diet, and restricted my carbs. The advice at the time was like 20% carb, 30% fat, and 50% protein. Not exact, but basically stick with low carb intake and only whole grain products. I continued exercise as well. My knee had a brief period where it felt a lot better (but, still about 60%). Again, not sustainable. Same feeling with my gut, still too expensive, and my energy levels started dropping. I just couldn’t stop the cravings for Mountain Dew and energy drinks. I wouldn’t last a day without them. So, I tried going back to calorie restriction again, but extreme this time. No more than 1,200 calories a day. Still didn’t work. Unsustainable. This was over the course of 3 years. I had been back to the doctor with another case of diverticulitis, my knee had gotten worse again, my hip got worse, and I had some serious BM issues. I gave up. Just figured my body was breaking down and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
So, since January of 2018, I’ve been listening to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. I heard him speak about keto several times. High fat, when it was broken down seemed like it was a good idea. I looked into some things to get started, and realized it was a lot of counting macros. And, I just didn’t have the money to ensure I was on that kind of level. Then, a little over a month ago he brought up the Carnivore Diet briefly, and mentioned Dr. Shawn Baker. So, on Wednesday, March 21st, I listened to the episode with Dr. Shawn Baker. I was blown away. I started doing my research into evolution, brain size, digestive systems, and cholesterol. I realized what was Dr. Baker said wasn’t crazy. Finally, that Friday, I came home from work, and said no more carbs! Only meat and water. I ate just the meat of what my wife had cooked that night. Ended up getting hungry before bed. Ate some hamburger and eggs. The next morning I woke up starving! I hadn’t had an appetite like that in years! I had been eating for two reasons: random cravings, and I knew I had to. That day it continued. I was ravenous! I wasn’t bloated, I didn’t have heartburn, and I felt good! I could not believe that in just a few hours I was feeling that much better. I said to myself, I need to slow down, and not get too excited. Some of that had to be attributed to a placebo effect, right? Maybe. I don’t know. What I do know is the feeling continued for the last month. Also, that day, I drove almost 10 hours. Got out of my vehicle when I got to my destination, and my knee was fine! It wasn’t stiff, or painful at all!
Maybe it’s too soon to know everything. I’m only a month in. But, this is what I know: down 14 lbs., no bloating, no heartburn, I have an appetite, knee pain way less than before, no hip pain, no back pain, no shoulder pain, sleeping better, waking up easier, more energy, and I can afford it! It’s just so simple.
In October of last year, I heard the Joe Rogan podcast with Shawn Baker. Shawn was talking about just eating meat. It sounded crazy, but I was willing to try it. At the time, I was close to 260-275 pounds, borderline diabetic, my cholesterol was over 250, my LDL 205, and my blood sugar and blood pressure were both high.
I was on the path to a heart attack and diabetes. So I started eating meat and slowly working out. I dropped 20 pounds in the first two months. Currently I’m down almost 50 pounds, my cholesterol is 205, my LDL 148, and both my blood sugar and blood pressure are normal. I’ve never felt better in my life. I even stopped taking sleep meds and anxiety meds. Who would have thought eating meat and not being lazy would do the trick? Shawn Baker is dead on and I have no doubt about being a meat eater now.
Just for some background, I’m 26 years old. I have been a police officer for the past three years and serve on a variety of specialized teams, to include the SWAT Team, K9 Bloodhound Tracking Team, and Riot Team. I have also been serving for the past six years in the Army National Guard as in a Light Infantry unit in charge of a heavy weapons squad. So over a deployment and the requirements of these units, it entails aggressive physical standards with a demanding training schedule.
The demands as of late have been weighing down on me, it was taking me longer to recover after workouts or call-outs, my sleep had gotten worse, and I had been putting on some noticeable body fat.
Cut to seeing Dr. Shawn Baker on Joe Rogan’s podcast. The science of Dr. Baker’s diet, the results, the evidence was very compelling. Moreover, the simplicity of it. It just felt right.
After a few months of the carnivore diet, everything has improved. My workouts have significantly improved, recovery is renewed, my energy levels are up, and my sleep is better than I have felt in years, my body fat is disappearing and I am steadily gaining more muscle. Then there are the other aspects. My grocery shopping takes 10 minutes on a long day and I look forward to every meal. I am finally eating the amount of protein I need to be getting and cutting out the carbohydrates and the sugar has really helped to lean me out and improve my mood, workouts, and energy.
Take the time to look into this diet and the science and research that Dr. Baker regularly displays. The results are real, you become a more optimized and resilient version of yourself.
I have been somewhat of a diet elitist and have been lifting weights for 15 years now. As science would tell you my diet begun with a high protein, high carb, low fat diet.
Whilst being at that time in my 20s it worked, but calories wise, I had to eat around 1800 to get to the body fat I wanted along with going through the motions of constant hunger, irritability and still struggling to lose that last bit around my waist.
Then about 7 years ago I stumbled on intermittent fasting and began eating in an 8 hour feeding window. This way of eating freed me from food and eating every 3 hours as we are told as bodybuilders. I had never felt better and mentally and physically had made significant improvements. As I dived deeper I realised my body was inducing a state of ketosis so about 5 years or so ago I began a keto diet and had noticed even greater physique and mental benefits. These benefits included reduces waist size and body fat whilst getting stronger, with almost super cognitive function and a greater sense of well-being.
One thing I had always felt in my keto travels, however, was in my day of eating when I would only have fatty cuts of meat with no other oils, butter or added fat, I would wake up the next day with more energy and actually look and perform much better. I now fast from 20 to 24 hours a day depending on my schedule and have been following your carnivore diet for 3 months now.
I just wanted to thank you Dr Shawn Baker for your words of wisdom. My body has transformed before my eyes and my performance is on another level. People are consistently commenting, and I now train full body every day with a ton of volume. I am strong and have a crazy amount of work capacity. I have made more improvements in the last 3 months than I have in the last 3 years, all due to this way of eating. I am never sore and even my little aches and pains have completely disappeared. I can actually get by now with less sleep and feel almost superhuman. I now eat anywhere from 5000 to 6000 kcals a day which consists of usually 2.5 kg of meat, usually in one sitting (with pink salt added). My taste buds and body make me crave this way of eating, and I now believe I have found the most optimal way of eating.
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.
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!