Carnivore Dreams – Diet Ponderings

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Sean Baker is the doctor who essentially started the Carnivore Diet movement. I don’t remember his reasons for moving to this diet, but most people seem to make a journey from Paleo, to Keto, to Carnivore, probably because they can almost feel the rightness of it. I did not feel much better on Paleo and actually gained weight. Way too many carbs. Yet there was something about cutting out at least grains and glutens and many problem foods that struck home.

Once I moved to Keto, I lost some weight and felt quite a bit better, though I was still constipated a lot and suffered a lot of gut issues and other pain. There were still anti-nutrients, oxalates and other problems with plants. But it felt better.

I think I tried Carnivore just to see after reading both Mikhaila Peterson and Sean Baker. No harm trying any diet a month, right? And the change was incredible. Mikhaila has auto-immune problems as do I, hers much more severe, but that seemed to indicate I should give it a try.

I have not been 100% faithful to the diet the last year due to stress, but really, basically, that’s how I eat now. And I’ve been working into just what diet I can maintain full time and how much I can deviate from this eating protocol. Strict carnivores eat beef and water. I always ate all meats and drank coffee. I simply will not give up coffee because I know I can’t be successful on any long term plan that doesn’t include it. Yet I’ve cut back on it some. Down to two cups/day instead of more like 4-5.

I always ate some cheese, though I do know I do better limiting that, but some grated cheese on shirred eggs is a must, and a cheeseburger also seems requisite to a happy life for me.

Where do I really deviate? Small amounts of chardonnay or a heavy cream after dinner drink with rum or whiskey or brandy. But I limit drinking a full glass (and a half sometimes) to no more than once/week or two, and if I have it besides that, I splash the tiniest bit into some sparkling water. It’s more an emotional treat than anything. Everybody will feel better keeping that to a minimum, but if you enjoyed wine with a nice meal, I am sure it’s another thing that cannot be permanently eliminated. And I’m fairly sure most carnivores use both coffee and alcohol on occasion. Mikhaila does.

I will eat a mushroom or two here and there, some lettuce or tomato out of the gardens in summer, and I do use herbs and spices, though I try to stick to salt and pepper a lot. I use a touch of olive oil, but mostly grass fed unsalted butter to sear steaks in or bacon grease, lard.

And the last thing is artificial sweeteners like monkfruit or zylitol which are fine on Keto. I would say they should be kept to a minimum because they cause cravings and I am sure do something to glucose levels, insulin levels. But every few weeks/months, a carnivore cheesecake with monkfruit is an amazing treat. You can make a home made ice cream and/or spruce up that cream after dinner drink (I usually don’t add sugar to mine–heavy cream is naturally sweet).

I do pretty well right now on this. It IS true, I feel the best when I eat beef, water, coffee, eggs, and bacon. Just that. No booze. And when I’m feeling emotionally strong, I do that. Plus exercise. But I think the point is: what can you maintain when you’re not at the top of your game. So that it isn’t this all or nothing thing that made up a good chunk of my life–a total disaster. And this has been it. Even over the holidays, I still stuck to cheesecake. I had just one day of cookies, ate next to no potatoes, a bite, a few bites of goat cheese popovers that are mostly egg, milk, cream, cheese, and herbs. Flour is in there, but not much. And I’m wondering if I could cut back a touch on that, too. So I was able to do pretty well.

I gained weight, but didn’t feel out of control as I used to a couple years ago.

I’ve eaten this way close to two years now.

Oh, weight gain is not just fat, folks. Or maybe it isn’t fat at all. It’s inflammation. I can feel it. A combo of a little fat, inflammation, water due to inflammation, and that comes off fairly fast when you get back to a good diet, once you are mostly fat adapted. And sometimes can leave you with more muscle weight when the inflammation goes.

I do some intermittent fasting. Many days I eat just between 6 and 9. And once in a while I fast a whole day. I wish I could stop eating closer to 7, but I can’t sleep if my stomach hurts at all, so it’s necessary to eat at least something between 9 and 10. But I keep my eating to about a four hour window many days, which I think is important so you don’t stay in growth mode all the time. Autophagy and fasting prevents cancer–the one thing we really don’t know much about in relation to Carnivore.

I’m focusing more on body composition and muscle building and overall feelings of health than weight right now.

So those are my thoughts. But I do plan to exercise today after our evaluation call, and hose down.

Happy Monday.

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