When I first heard about the Canivore diet, it sounded nuts. I couldn’t believe that people actually ate only animal products and no fruit or veg.
(I’d already previously eliminated grains when I started following an AIP diet in 2015, in an effort to heal my body, so I knew grains weren’t good for us, and eliminating them again wasn’t a big deal.)
But Carnivore sounded crazy. Fringe. Extreme.
Then an interesting thing happened.
I had set a clear intention that the knowledge and resources I needed to heal my body would come into my awareness. And I started seeing some carnivore videos in my feed on YouTube.
Initially I ignored them because I knew what the carnivore diet was; and I wasn’t interested.
Then one day, there was a video titled something like, “I followed a Carnivore diet for 30 days and this is what happened.” Curiosity got the better of me, and I clicked on it.
Unfortunately I don’t remember whose video that was. But that video has changed my life.
The woman listed a whole host of ailments she had had that went away after she started to follow a carnivore diet. Several times she mentioned fatigue, in addition to digestive issues, skin problems, and other symptoms I don’t recall.
The conclusion of the video was that she (and her husband) decided to continue to be carnivore and her health has continued to improve.
Then of course, because of YT’s algorithm, more carnivore videos showed up in my feed. And I watched the ones that looked interesting. I kept seeing story after story of people with autoimmune issues whose symptoms had abated or completely gone away after they started following the carnivore diet.
The decision that changed everything…
Initially I decided to try ketovore. (I’d done keto a few years earlier, but somehow ketovore sounded more do-able for me.)
Ketovore lasted maybe a couple of weeks before I decided to try carnivore for 30-60 days.
It’s been 5 weeks as of yesterday. With a couple of exceptions, like cream of mushroom soup and some basil and bean sprouts in my pho, I’ve not had any veg or fruit.
The most surprising thing about this for me is that it’s been so easy.
I have a long-standing love/hate relationship with food, and a carb/sugar addiction that goes back to childhood. (I remember waking up before my grandparents on a Saturday morning and tiptoeing into the den, and sneaking mini Snickers bars or other candy from my grandmother’s stash, and then hiding the wrappers deep in the trash can.)
From everything I’ve read and experienced, I believe that while there are emotional and genetic components to food cravings, it’s largely our gut microbiome that drives our desires for certain foods.
Childhood antibiotics and c-sections interfere with our natural gut microbiomes, setting us up for a host of problems as children and adults.
In any case, this has been an interesting month.
While I can’t claim major healing like that woman on YT. I have noticed some changes.
For one, I’m not craving sugar or carbs. And I’ll say that walking through Trader Joe’s during the holiday season isn’t easy! OMG! It’s carb city! And while part of me would like the taste of some of those things, I’m not feeling the urge to have them like I used to. (Food actually used to talk to me. IYKYK.)
I’ve also found that I am not so hungry anymore. I have a Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee with Kerrygold butter, organic cream, grass-fed collagen powder, and Truvia (which I do want to wean off of), and that holds me for hours.
I’ve pretty much been eating one meal later in the day, and do not get hungry or want to snack in the evenings, which is unheard of for me.
I do eat a lot of protein and fat in that one meal. Usually it’s 12-16 oz of protein: chicken, burgers (sometimes with cheese), or steak, and some butter (either with the wings or on top of the burgers or steak, if there’s no cheese).
I’ve learned not to be afraid of fat.
Unfortunately fat has been demonized by the food industry, dating back to President Eisenhower’s heart attack back in the 1950s.
Over the last month, I’ve watched lots of videos about fat and our bodies. I knew some of these things before – like Google Ancel Keys if you are in the mood to go down a rabbit hole.
But I’ve learned more about how saturated fats actually help our bodies and how our ancestors ate. How fat and cholesterol are necessary for our hormones, and how 60% of our brains are fat, which makes fat so necessary for our health.
I’ve also done the low-fat thing.
Back in the 90s, Susan Powter’s infomercial, with the now infamous line, “It’s not food that makes you fat. It’s fat that makes you fat” got me. I cut down to practically no fat (and remember, I was still a vegetarian at that time). I was eating practically nothing – about 500 to 600 calories a day and no fat (but loads of carbs because those were supposed to be good for us), and still my weight wouldn’t budge.
So I’ve been a Vegetarian. I’ve done low-to-practically-no-fat. I’ve done the South Beach Diet. After being diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease, I started following the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) and then transitioned to Paleo after reintroducing some foods that my body could tolerate. Then from Paleo, I went to Keto. You name it, I’ve probably done it.
Here’s a little disclaimer:
While I am talking about food and diet, I am not talking about weight loss. In this post, I do discuss some of the “diets” I’ve been on throughout my life, which at the time, were intended to help me lose weight. But my decision to try Carnivore was not motivated by weight loss. It was solely motivated by my desire and need to heal my body. Any weight I lose will come off naturally as part of my body’s healing. And if it doesn’t, that’s fine. I’ve made peace with my weight at this point.
I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. I’ve always felt that everyone has a right to believe and do whatever is right for them, as long as it’s not causing harm to anyone else. We each have our own path and experiences that our individual souls want to have, to learn, grow and evolve.
But I also feel like I want to share my experience in the hopes that it might resonate with some people the way that first video did with me.
It’s surprising how many carnivores are former vegetarians
Here’s the thing: Back in the 80s, I became a vegetarian because 1, I loved animals, and 2, I thought it was a healthier way of eating.
Well, 20+ years of being a vegetarian left me with Leaky Gut, hypoglycemia, a Hashimoto’s diagnosis, debilitating adrenal/chronic fatigue/HPA Axis dysregulation (whatever name it currently goes by because that seems to change often), and more.
I also learned that soy is an endocrine disruptor. (And I actually used to love tofu!)
So I made the decision to begin eating animal products again to help heal my body.
It’s so ironic to me that for over 20 years I was a vegetarian, long before it was popular; which was not always easy because I was going against the grain of how most people in the US ate. And now I’m traversing the same path with carnivore at a time when veganism has become very popular, and eating meat has become demonized.
In fact, I’ve debated writing this post because it may push people’s buttons. But at the same time, I feel like I need to be true to myself. And if my lifestyle is a deal breaker for someone, that’s fine. I need to be true to myself and honest about who I am.
So while I haven’t experienced any major healing yet, it has only been 5 weeks, which some say isn’t giving my body enough time. Also, in addition to the issues I mentioned above, I’m also healing from mold toxicity (after unknowingly living in 2 moldy homes over 12 years), which is very complex to heal.
All in all, I’m very happy with my results and experience so far with Carnivore. My meals are satiating and very enjoyable. I am able to enjoy the flavor that fat gives our food without the shame and guilt and remorse that I felt most of my life. I’m not craving carbs or sugar at all. Food isn’t talking to me anymore. I thoroughly enjoy my food.
Physically, I can see small changes in my symptoms, but nothing to write home about yet. But based on how I’m feeling at this point, I am hopeful that as I continue this, my body will continue to heal.