Yep, I’ve embarked on the carnivore.
30 days of JUST Animal products, no plant products. With very tiny herbs and spices exceptions.
It sounds VERY controversial and it goes against anything I have ever believed in food, especially as an “ex-vegan” or as I like to define myself, a wholefood flexitarian.
I just heard too many interesting things about it, for example:
reversing chronic disease, weight loss, hormone balance, gut health (which is my main interest here), an elimination diet.
So I treated it as an experiment, 4 weeks which is the minimum recommended to see and feel some benefits and become fat-adapted, but I saw some incredible improvements since week 2.
I didn’t go all the way with JUST Beef and Butter. Nope, I just could not. I need flavour, I need variety and I need to enjoy my food, in case you did not notice I am a foodie 🙂
So I included all the animal products all the way. My main source of nutrition was beef steaks, chicken, fish and eggs.
So what meat did I have?
Beef – Steak diced or minced
Lamb – different cuts
Pork – Bacon rarely, only 2/3 times, not a fan
Chicken – the roasted chicken was my go-to 🙂
Salmon – preferred smoked, as I couldn’t find any good not farmed in the Gold Coast.
Tuna – canned in very rare occasions when I was super hungry and did not have anything else.
Sardines – lifesavers, always bringing some tins with me in case I got hungry!
Kangaroo – best lean meat, made some very good Roo patties
Liver – chicken or beef, I learnt how to cook it in a way that does not taste disgusting! big win! Best multivitamin you can get.
OBVIOUSLY, all I bought was organic/free-range / wild-caught. Eating carnivore on conventional meat is the recipe for disaster.
AAAAND no alcohol, but I am not much of a drinker, so that was ok.
The fat allowed was:
Butter – Organic, daily in everyday cooking
Ghee – great to put with livers recipes
I drizzled a couple of times some olive oil on some smoked salmon because as an Italian I just HAD to.
Normally I am not a fan of dairy as it gives me the sniffles, HOWEVER, I was able to have fermented cheese (gorgonzola) and not have any reaction. Also had some kefir but I was not a fan.
Other foods included I had eggs in many ways, my favourite way was soft boiled eggs 🙂 Especially making 5-6 of them and having them as a snack post-gym or ready to go for a quick lunch.
Made also lots of bone broths too with the remaining bones.
I made sure I still had some herbs like basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley for some extra flavour as they don’t have much fibre at all, and added the occasional spice to my burger patties or fish like turmeric, paprika, curry or chilli flakes.
Also lemons for lemon juice on the fish or smoked salmon, and salt and pepper.
In the end, I kept it interesting and not boring, with a touch of nice and healthy spices, and my digestive tract was not bothered by this at all.
As I was saying, I felt a HUGE improvement from week 2, the bloat was gone very quickly and I had no troubles digesting any meat. My digestion was improved instantly. It’s all about food combination, and if you limit the foods you have the digestion is way smoother 😉
I never had sugar cravings, not even in my PMS, instead, I was craving.. steak. Some Fat, Juicy steak! Amazing. Craving good food instead of sugar made me realise that my body and my health was going in the right direction.
I did not lose 1 kg, but with training, I can feel that I put some decent muscle on and lost quite some fat. I definitely lost one size, which was pleasant!
The main thing for me was going to the toilet so little, and (honestly) struggle a little bit. I was not ready or used to it and I was very glad to finish it off and have more fire to feel normal again! This was probably the main struggle of the carnivore experience.
As well as, it’s the most antisocial thing you could do. Smoking is more social! You are so limited going out or going to friend’s places! I got used to bringing my own food in a little cooler bag.. but yes not fun at any party!
The only few times I went out I had sashimi only, grilled fish, poached eggs and bacon, that’s it, nothing on the side.
Overall it was a great experience as it gave me so much discipline in portion size, listen to my hunger and not eat because the clock told me to. Also, I really appreciated enjoying more animal products and trying new recipes, and now I have a good taste for them!
Finally, I completely re-framed my beliefs in meat and animal products. I will keep eating keto/paleo but definitely keep meat portion as the main meal, whilst before I had more veggies or grains than meat.
To conclude the experiment and use it as a great gut-health protocol I am using a modbiotic compound to eradicate bad bacteria and then probiotics to repopulate with the good guys. Very proud of how I tailored this!
I am going to this every year I think, It’s a great reset! But long term I would struggle financially first (quite an expensive way of eating for a student!) and then my creativity in recipes and foodie being would feel a little lost!!!
Let me know if you have any questions below or connect with me on IG: salusvera
and let me know what you think if you tried it or would love to or if it’s something out of discussion for you!!
A very happy and debloated Maddy X