This was an interesting week for me. After doing some research on the Carnivor diet and seeing the amazing results others were having with it, I’ve decided to give it a go myself for 30 days. Well…almost 30 days. Our family reunion is at the end of the month so I’ll do it up until the 27th. I started on the 2nd of July. I’d like to give a day by day update. I know this diet might seem extreme and crazy, but again…after seeing results of blood work from people who’ve done this diet, I was curious what it could do for me. Since you’re eating a lot of protein, I am hoping as I continue lifting weights that I’ll build more muscle, burn more fat, have more energy and focus. We’ll see what happens. But first, what the heck is the Carnivor Diet? It’s basically the opposite of a vegan diet only more restrictive. You can eat 4 things. Here they are:
And of course lots and lots of water. I say it’s restrictive, but there are so many different meats out there you can enjoy and so many ways to prepare it. It will hardly feel restrictive. Most people on this diet will also drink their morning coffee and intermittent fast. I don’t drink coffee, but I often start my day with a warm mug of lemon water to detox my liver. I’ve also been using diced onions and minced garlic to flavor my meat. Not sure if that’s allowed but that’s what I’ve been doing. I am also eating primarily grass-fed beef and organic meats. And since I have chickens right in my backyard, I get the most delicious pastured eggs you’ve ever eaten. Here is what a typical day of food looks like for me on this diet:
Breakfast (usually around 8 or 9am): Scrambled eggs mixed in with ground beef or ground elk meat with grass-fed butter, salt and pepper and a sprinkle of feta cheese.
Lunch ( 11am or 12pm): A steak. Ribeye or whatever I got. If it’s thick, I do a “Reverse Sear” method where I salt and pepper the steaks and throw them into a 200* oven for 45 min. Then I sear them in a cast iron pan full of butter and garlic. They’re delicious when cooked this way.
Snack: I usually don’t need to snack. This has been the benefit of the carnivore diet. You stay fuller longer. But if I need to grab something, I’ll fry up a couple of eggs or eat any leftover meat in the fridge ( I have plenty).
Dinner (6 or 7pm): More meat. Sometimes fish, shrimp, chicken, ground turkey or lamb. Whatever I have to mix it up. I made a cheeseburger soup with bacon in my instant-pot the other night which was actually a keto recipe…it had 1 c. of heavy cream in it but it was a great mix up from just eating meat and it was delicious. I just left out the other stuff like tomatoes that I couldn’t eat. It’s good to mix it up however. Look no further than Pinterest for recipe ideas for this diet. It really comes down to different cooking methods like the reverse sear method I mentioned, or perhaps cooking a roast with a delicious marinade, or even chicken in the instant pot with a homemade enchilada sauce. Shred it up and cover it in cheese. There are so many ways to prepare delicious meals on this diet. Most folks just stick with grilling a steak and eat that for 30 day when they’re trying out this diet. While easy and convenient I suppose, my palette craves variety.
Why am I doing this? As a Health Coach, I really like to be able to relate to clients who’ve been on a different diets. I enjoy saying “YES I’ve tried that and here is my opinion”. I tried the Vegan thing for a couple of months. I know what that feels like as well.
So why no veggies?
Plants (just like animals) have their own way of fighting back or warding off preditors so they don’t get eaten. This is a good explanation why “one man’s food is another man’s poison”. While Kale is mostly harmless, some people’s systems just don’t tolerate it well. Same with broccoli. You might have noticed this about your own body with certain plants you’ve eaten. You digest them differently or perhaps you’re left with a stomach ache. When people on the carnivore diet rid themselves of plants and eat clean organic meats (even great results are coming from conventional meats but I don’t recommend it) they’re able to heal from all sorts of inflammation and autoimmune disorders. I believe it’s mainly due to cutting out sugar and flour as well, which causes inflammation in the body. It’s nice to figure out what kind of diet works with your unique epigenetics, which will respond differently to your environment. I want you to get the results you’re looking for. Every single person is unique in this way which means no two diets will look the same. Even from day to day, you are always changing. So just keep that in mind when you go into any certain way of eating for a period of time Get good at listening to your body and understanding the way it feels when you eat certain foods. Food should give you life, energy, mental clarity and focus, fuel and should also be enjoyable without causing inflammation in the body.
I want to be clear that I am not saying vegetables are bad for you. That would be the complete opposite of what I preach as a Health Coach. I actually do feel alive and vibrant when I eat vegetables. They’re what I’ve missed the most on this diet so far. But it will be interesting to see how my body will respond to them again when I put them back in my diet. Most people who dabble in this diet for a while and add them back in, feel fine. For some folks who’ve stuck with the carnivore diet as a lifestyle, anytime they try to add vegetables back in, arthritis or inflammation comes back. Just understand your unique body and get good at listening to it when you do add certain foods back in from taking them away for a long period of time. I suppose then, the same could be said for meat. Which ones don’t sit well with you? Again…if you feel anything other than fantastic, take note. As long as you’re not going through the detox phase (usually 1-2 weeks, which you can feel crappy as your body detoxes from the junk that’s been in it for so long) you should have energy, reduced cravings, mental clarity and focus, healthy emotional state etc..
I will also put yet another plug in here for drinking water. DRINK LOTS AND LOTS of pure filtered water. This alone can do wonders for your health.
But let’s talk about how it’s been going for me so far…
Day 1: Mentally focused on seeing this diet through to the end. Had energy but felt like I was missing some of my regular fruits and veggies I usually eat.
Day 2: Awesome. Had energy. No cravings. Long periods of time before I felt hungry again.
Day 3: 4th of July. Hit a bump in the road. Ate all the good meats like marinated carne asada. bacon, sausage and even a Hebrew National hot dog (not sure if that’s considered good, but it tasted good), but I couldn’t imagine my 4th of July without my homemade strawberry pretzel-jello salad. And While I did use the best ingredients possible, I still ate a piece.
Day 4: Back at it. Leftover carne asada meat mostly all day long. Dinner was elk burgers and a grass-fed cube steak. Felt pretty good. I ate a handful of blueberries (or two) as a snack. Mostly because no one was eating them, I had a huge container of them from Costco and I didn’t want them to go to waste. I almost feel like the first week is a weening off of other foods and finishing off foods you have sitting around…within reason. No junk processed crap.
Day 5: I am fully committed today. Eat nothing else except what is on the carnivore diet list. Breakfast was bacon, marinated carne asada and scrambled eggs with cheese. Sometimes I drink homemade bone broth in the morning as well, and a glass of water.
Day 6: Traveling on the road to visit family. Snacks included grass-fed cheese, jerky and kombucha juice. Other things we ate that day…Marinated Kabobs. Chicken and beef. I made a marinade of coconut aminos, avocado oil, garlic, orange juice, lime juice and a few fun spice blends. The meat tasted great cooked on the Traeger grill!
Day 7: So many left overs. Mostly ate those along with pastured eggs and sausage for breakfast. Felt full on the meat I ate. No cravings for other foods.
Day 8: Deer sausage for breakfast with a pastured egg. I think my insulin levels are evening out. I might even be ready to intermittent fast. Usually I feel hungry in the morning. I think tomorrow will be the day I try the intermittent fasting. Planning on a Piedmontese Roast for dinner, cooked in my dutch oven pot for a few hours in the oven. Will use grass-fed butter to flavor it up, along with some spices. Will possibly serve with carmelized onions on top for even more flavor!
Day 9: Had a personal training session at my house tonight and a clean eating meal prepared for my client. I made a chicken BLT salad with a balsamic dressing (which was delicious). Lots of avocado and feta cheese mixed in. I had a bowl of that, so I guess I sinned on this Carnivor diet today. I had veggies. But I felt good. I even made a post workout smoothie with bone broth vanilla protein. I am not sure if it’s whey or not, but it was really really good.
Day 10: Today I tried Intermittent fasting. I drank a mug of bone broth in the morning, set out to run my errands and didn’t get hungry until about 10:40am. I had a few more things to do so I ended up breaking my fast at 11:22am. This day was a perfect carnivor day. I never thought about food. Never had cravings. Had energy. Ate smaller portions and was full. My insulin levels must have been on target this day.
Day 11: Bone broth for breakfast. Intermittent fasted until 9:30am (so not really, although my last meal was around 7:30pm the night before). Took kids out for the day. Came back and ate lunch (can’t remember what it was). Cravings hit really hard mid afternoon. I wanted to eat ice-cream, cake and anything sugary or salty like french fries. I was binge eating in my mind. I had to go lie down for a little nap to rest the sensation off. I think it came about because I did take the kids to McDonalds for some ice cream during our outing. Not something I usually do, but the McDonalds environment got into my system. I never ate there, but the desire to chomp into a big mac was definitely there (although I’ve never really done that either). I made it through the day however. Fixed a huge meal of Flank Steak and Shrimp! Which was way better than any McDonalds ever would have been!
P.s Feeling really full on just this small amount of food.
Day 12: Woke up and drank a glass of water (woke up at 5:00am). Had a mug of bone broth around 7:00am. Wasn’t super hungry and had to go teach a Barre class. Had energy and felt great all morning. Got home around 10:00am. Warmed up some left over flank steak and ate a few ounces of that. Was good until about 4:00pm. Made a huge batch of BBQ pork ribs. Ate one of those. Haven’t had cravings today. Feel good. I could up my water consumption. I bought some basil pesto from Costco to put on my beef (whenever I have beef) and it’s delicious. Feeling a little bit thinner than before I started the diet. Wishing I would’ve taken before pics.
Day’s 13-16: Still going strong. I am starting to notice a little slim down in my waistline. Still have energy, still feeling full on smaller portions and going longer times between meals. I have been drinking my “Live to 100” shake in the mornings because it helps me feel fantastic. It’s a detoxification shake. I made a roast for sunday dinner, but it didn’t turn out like I’d hoped, so I turned it into a delicious stew for dinner last night. And I have to say…my beef stew really is the best. I took the kids to see Hotel Transylvannia 3. My movie theater snack was a bag of turkey pepperoni and snack size mozzarella cheese balls. Other delicious things I’ve been eating…Bison burgers with cheese and carmelized onions, Bone Broth protein shake, Pork chops. Tonight I’m making a Tri-Tip Roast and possibly shrimp as well.
Day’s 17-19: I was doing great up until yesterday. Constipation, headache, woke up with body ache. I’m not sure what exactly did me in. I ate honey, garlic shrimp which was delicious but maybe didn’t sit well. I had stomach pain afterwards. I was out and about and got hungry so I ate an apple. But I don’t think that could’ve been it, however, I question everything now. Ate Turkey burgers last night as well. Here’s the thing…When I eat red meat, I feel fuller longer. When I eat chicken or other white meats, I get hungrier quicker. The only problem is, I don’t always want to eat red meat. While it’s delicious, I am a person who likes variety. Today I’ll spend some time doing self care and getting right back to where I want to be with this diet. I only have a few more days to go. I plan on being done by the 26th. But I also want to keep going until I can get my blood work done. I’ll let you know.
I will also add here that I haven’t been intermittent fasting because I feel hungry in the mornings. I want to get back to that day where I felt amazing doing an intermittent fast. Drinking bone broth in the morning for breakfast and going until 11am before I eat my meal. That day felt good and I felt amazing.
Day 20: Success! Drank my bone broth for breakfast. Ate leftovers for lunch (turkey burger) and for dinner I made the most delicious tri tip you’ve ever tasted in your life! Here’s the recipe I used.
I do feel like my insulin levels are normal. I can usually tell because my cravings are totally gone and I can intermittent fast easier. I can go longer periods of time without food (I’ve mentioned this benefit several times) but I must say, it’s completely freeing to NOT think about food all the time. I’m still drinking my “Live to 100 Shake” daily, AND an occasional protein shake full of superfoods like cacao, hemp seeds or chia seeds and coconut milk. But that’s it! I’ve pretty well stuck with the no veggies, sugar or flour thing. The Tri-Tip was a big hit. I have another one in there, but if I could make that everyday, I think hubby would be happy. Tonight I’ll slow cook a roast for dinner with some grass-fed butter. I’ve got another rack of ribs to cook up as well as some ground bison. Thanks to Costco for supplying two weeks worth of meat for us! While it’s not all organic, I still feel like it’s quality meat.
Days 21-23: I can’t believe I have just a couple more days to go! Is it weird to say “It’ll be weird going back to eating vegetables?”. The biggest advantage in all of this experiment was for sure regulating insulin levels! Ate Bison Burgers for dinner along with another Tri-Tip. Had lots of energy.
Days 24-25: Finished out strong. Was able to lean down a bit before my big family reunion. It’s always exciting to try a new way of eating to see if it actually works. I can say with confidence, that for me, this carnivore diet did work mainly because it restricted a lot of foods I was eating before and really narrowed down my menu (which actually made it simple in a way).
So all in all, I don’t really have anything bad to say about this diet. I think if you are a person suffering from some extreme conditions or autoimmune disorders, this might just be your ticket to a healthier life. You’ll have to look into it for yourself and see if it feels right for you. And it never hurts to try something out for a month or two consistently and faithfully to see what your true results would be. That’s my 2 cents.
Have a great day. Happy eating!