Hey folks! Cam from Evilkind® here and I wanted to drop a quick post about my experience with the Carnivore Diet. It’s definitely been trending, and since I’m a fairly health conscious dude always looking for ways to improve health I jumped right on the bandwagon. As bizarre, out of left field and quite frankly unhealthy it seemed at first glance I listened to what the YT gurus had to say and went for it.
I should also mention I was particularly struck by Mikhaila Peterson’s story, which I found to be extraordinarily fascinating. I wasn't really familiar with autoimmune disease malfunctions or symptoms, but found her testimony to be very compelling.
Just to quickly break it down for the uninitiated, the carnivore diet is exactly what the name implies, a fully loaded animal protein diet void of fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds, nuts or any starches. It’s incredibly hardcore, and believe it or not the purists actually profess that RAW, "organic", grass-fed meat is the ideal approach to this diet. Some are even advocating the consumption of raw chicken!
These same folk also incorporate moderate amounts of what they call High Meat, or meat that has been left to decompose to a putrid state. This is apparently what the eskimos did and supposedly a highly nutritious method of consuming meat. The beyond the scale, next level carnivores even promote the idea that water is even somewhat unnecessary and unhealthy for you especially if consumed in mass amounts. Yes water. But in sum, it’s a diet of morning 'til night meat, eggs, dairy, organ meats and more meat.
So here’s what what I learned from the carnivore experience:
First and foremost, vegetarians and omnivores have been going at it for ages on the subject of whether or not the human digestive system is designed to process meat or plant based foods. I can now tell you unequivocally and incontrovertibly, at least in my mind, that we are designed most definitely, and 1000 percent definitively, to process meat: animal fat, tissue and animal protein. Hands down, I am wholly convinced of this. Some would say we’re more like omnivores designed to process everything, which to a degree is true, but after experiencing an all meat diet in full effect, it’s clear that you will run into far less digestive issues on this diet than on a vegan or even omnivore diet that incorporates moderate levels of fruit, veggies, grains and starches.
Now, to be perfectly transparent, I did run into minor issues with constipation, but on a whole totally insignificant in comparison. I have tried vegetarianism and for many years I was a strict pescatarian. In both cases I consumed massive amounts of what I considered to be “healthy” fruits and vegetables along with moderate amounts of what I thought to be “healthy” whole grains.
It is entirely true what the carnivores say, plant based foods lead to adverse digestive issues on the daily, where you are constantly going, constantly feeling it and aware of your digestive process since you’re never entirely digesting. Personally, I’ve been wheat free for quite some time now, but it took ages for me to snap out of the indoctrination to realize processed wheat in the forms they take in most bread based items were tearing me up. When I finally became disciplined enough to stay off the bread it changed everything and made many of the digestive issues I had suffered for so many years a thing of the past. I make no claims of being gluten intolerant, I just know from practice that when I fully cut out processed wheat I eliminated major problems.
As for vegetables, I’m not quite there with my anti-wheat militance, and I'll get to that shortly. But to hammer this one home, it was quite amazing to never feel bloated or gassy or overly full or uncomfortable in any way after eating a large portion of meat. Not only that, it would be something to look forward to. The carnivores are absolutely correct when they say, meat is good to go! You don’t have to dress it up with crazy sauces or wacky flavors because meat is highly palatable in it's natural cooked (and uncooked yikes) state. It’s a pleasure to consume meat, especially when it’s high quality and prepared to perfection. But seriously, to never experience gas or uncomfortable bloating was unfathomable, but this is exactly what you get with an all meat diet!
Secondly, it is also true what they say when it comes to brain fog. You will completely eliminate it. It’s amazing! Absolutely amazing. On this note, I’ve also heard others talking about exactly what I experienced when it comes to waking up in the morning. On an all meat, pure carnivore diet, when you wake up in the morning you are crystal clear in the head, not drowsy, not battling some high carb fatigue or hangover, you are completely GOOD TO GO!
Seriously, these states of existing are wholly possible and totally accessible when you change up your diet! I remember as a kid, loaded up on carbs and junk food how hard it was to wake up in the morning, like having an anvil planted on your forehead and your eyelids wired shut. It was always torture to have to get up and get the day started. As a kid! With youth and vitality feeling like absolute shit in the morning! It is so profoundly true that if you eliminate carbs, junk food, high amounts of sugar etc. you will eliminate brain fog!
Thirdly, you will lose weight - and almost immediately! When I’m in top gear, I work out close to 5 days per week. And I’m talking about 45 minutes of weight lifting and at least 50 minutes of cardio. (Lately I've been in medium gear though, whatever it's all good...) Almost overnight after starting the carnivore diet I was more chiseled in the face and slimmer in the abs. Now I’m not that young anymore, so it’s tough to lose it in the belly area even with all the working out I do. That said, you will notice immediate results on the weight loss front on this diet - no doubt about it!
Fourthly, and again to be totally honest and transparent, this diet is a little hard to maintain. At least it was for me. According to the pros, in order to truly satisfy your nutritional needs you need to be consuming moderate amounts of organ meats. Now unlike most people, I actually don’t mind beef and chicken liver, but when it really comes down to it, there’s only so much of that you can take, you know what I mean?
Bone marrow is alright, but not really substantial or voluminous in any way. It’s like a few bites of fat and that’s it. I tried cooking beef heart a few times and it was okay, but really more irony than I would have liked. It's also super high in cholesterol, so that's something else to consider. Beef kidney seemed appealing, but as soon as I learned how much effort it took to clean and prepare before even cooking it, I was totally over it. Brain just seemed gross and totally out of reach so I opted against it, which left the innards, and again a total pain in the ass to prepare and cook. Who has the time for all that noise?
In the end, I was basically consuming nothing but eggs, cheese, liverwurst, bacon, ground beef, ground turkey, beef jerky, steak and chicken. And no joke bacon everyday to the point where it was making me nervous so I’ve since cut back. When I was out and about, needing to find a quick bite for lunch, I’d find myself at the supermarket deli looking to put down half pounders of deli roast beef right out of the bag. That couldn’t of been healthy.
Ultimately, I've found myself steering away from the carnivore diet. I went hard for a good two-three months, but it just wasn't sustainable. Do I feel this diet has merit and virtue? I do. Am I wholly convinced of the health benefits being touted by the purists? Somewhat I guess... I don't know.
You will lose weight, lose the brain fog, minimize digestive issues, be more of a morning person, feel more satiated throughout the day, have more energy for the most part... All good stuff. I just wonder about the quality of meat that normal folks like myself have access to. Bacon and processed meats are allegedly linked to colon cancer. Who knows what's in regular old supermarket ground beef. I'm not the kind of dude willing to shell out big bucks for expensive cuts of meat or organic chicken to get breakfast and lunch going. As much as I thought I loved liver, it definitely gets old real quick.
So...I get there is so much more to the physiology behind gut health and gut bacteria and the magical healing qualities associated with an all meat diet, but for my personal lifestyle this deal is currently on the shelf. I am certainly not opposed to it or closing the door forever, but for me it was a good solid run and now I'm back to doing more of the keto thing. I was already grain free, have no attachments to carbs, not a foodie in the slightest, and do actually like certain low carb veggies like broccoli, celery, cucumbers, avocados...
So that's where I'm at folks. Just wanted to throw in my two cents, a little bit about my experience and leave it at that.