Becoming a Carnivore
by Kelly Hamilton, C.H.N.
I’d like to start off by saying that I am by no means a doctor, therefore I am incapable of diagnosing anyone with anything, nor recommending any sort of diet protocol to help fix anyone thats dealing with… anything. I am merely a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, who knows a thing or two about quality food, and has done years of experimenting with nutrition.
This is my personal account of how a zero-carb, meat-based, full-on-carnivore diet has changed my life. In less than a month.
WHY I STARTED.
To really get things going, I will list the myriad of symptoms that I have been dealing with over the last five or six years or so. Some intermittent, and some persisting the entire time, or even my entire life.
- Bloating – like legit “6-month pregnant” style after every meal
- Intestinal bleeding (that showed up in my stool on and off for a few years)
- Itchy skin
- Chronically dry and very itchy, scabby scalp that resembled psoriasis
- Fatigue/low energy
- Seasonal allergies (these babies came on around 5 years ago or so, bad enough to make me HATE the spring)
- Hormonal issues that included: amenorrhea (no menstrual cycle for two years) and then severe dysmenorrhea (extremely painful, VERY long, and awful menstrual periods – safe to say I made up for the lost time, and more)
- Cystic back acne
- Weight fluctuations and a particularly hard time losing weight despite efforts
- Mood imbalance
- Mild depression/anxiety symptoms
Basically, I felt as though I was a train wreck. I tried a host of different approaches to solve many of the problems. I followed a strict ketogenic (high fat low carb) diet, a cyclic ketogenic diet, a simply high fat diet, water fasting, bone broth fasting, taking ALL of the supplements, playing around with different shampoos, cutting out random food groups, a strict elimination diet free of all allergens – each trial with very little success to be perfectly honest. (Although, the high saturated fat, which remained a staple throughout the last 4 years brought my period back initially, so I will give credit here where credit is due.)
And then a coworker told me about a podcast they had listened to with a girl who had cured some far more serious chronic health problems by going full carnivore. It sounded crazy enough, thus, I decided to give it a go.
I concluded that my diet would now consist of: quality, locally sourced meat, cooked in only butter, and Himalayan pink salt. Oh, also herbal tea, and organic coffee.
The following is a chronology of what took place next. It’s not all nice, but it’s all real. 😐
I had been doing a ketogenic diet prior to this for about two months, with less than 30g of carbs, so I suspected the adjustment would be seamless. Let me tell you, it was not.
The first two days, I felt pretty ok other than my still prevalent seasonal allergies. My bowel movements were weird and less “together” than usual but I was feeling alright.
By the third day, I was dragging my butt. My bowel movements were now (*disclaimer* TMI) straight water and bile, needed the bathroom ASAP, and there were multiple per day. #fun On top of this, my entire body felt as though I had the flu – deeply achy muscles, and my lower back/sacral area hurt so bad I could barely walk. My head was foggy and I felt like concentrating on anything was impossible. I was sweating so bad at night that I had to get up and change a couple times. I started napping a lot, which is very unlike me.
These symptoms persisted for a few more days, which sounds like enough to make a person up and quit. However, what also happened by day 4 is that my severe seasonal allergy symptoms mostly cleared up. My back that had been riddled with zits, was clear for the first time in, like, years. My joints felt much more mobile, like they’d been so inflamed for so long I hadn’t known the difference. My mood felt more stable, and I had less anxious thoughts. I also dropped almost 5lbs by day six (likely water retention and inflammation, but still, it felt good). The itchy scalp “psoriasis” had vanished, which might very well be the best part since I’d had that for my whole life.
Once the chronic diarrhea cleared up 😐 , which took another couple of days, I had ZERO bloating. I also now had the flattest stomach I can remember having.
The energy took an additional week or so to come back, but by day 14, I was feeling like a new person entirely.
It has been just shy of thirty days, and I am still feeling so much sharper in my thought processes, I have zero bloating, and all of the symptoms that had subsided have stayed away! There have been a total of 3 sporadic days where I fell slightly or completely off the wagon, and I have paid in symptoms the next days, including: itchy scalp, depressed mood, seasonal allergies, and some slight acne.
My hormonal system will probably take some more time to level out, it’s really too soon to know, but I feel hopeful that this might be the key to that, too.
I plan to continue with this “miracle” diet without cheating for at least two more weeks solid, at which point I will slowly grow my repertoire of foods one item at a time. #startingwithchocolate #justkidding #butimissit
I by no means feel (or know) that this diet could or should be used as a full time, forever protocol. To me it feels like a healing protocol. I will heal whatever gut related issues that I am dealing with by sticking to a meat-based, allergen and all plant-food-free diet, with the hopes that I’ll repair the potentially leaky gut I have, or whatever else is going on, and eventually be able to eat a “healthy” and balanced again.
WHAT A TYPICAL DAILY MEAL PLAN LOOKS LIKE FOR ME NOW:
For now, I am honestly loving the foods I get to eat. I also feel like I rejoice in the lack of decision fatigue on where and what to eat. I have saved a ton of money on food already, despite what you might think since it’s all meat, and I have basically retired my bad snacking habit.
I really try to vary the types of meat that I consume, but so far my preference is for red meat. I also regularly consume cod liver (weirdly enough, I love it now), salmon, sardines, and pork/boar sausages. Among some others here and there.
– Coffee blended with 2 tbsp of salted grass-fed butter
– Herbal tea blended with 2 tbsp of salted grass-fed butter
– 2 boar sausages
– 1/2 lb of beef meatballs, doused in butter and salt
– 1 medium sized steak
– 1/2 can of cod liver, 1/2 can of salted salmon mixed together
– another herbal tea or bone broth with 1-2 tbsp of butter
And voila, only about 100-150g of fat, 60-70g of protein, and <1g carbs later.
Again, I am not a doctor, I am simply a short term success story of this awesome diet protocol. If you’d like to read some more amazing testimonies check out meatheals.com. Or, read the story that convinced me, by Mikhaila Peterson, here.
For some legit doctor advice, check out the work of Dr. Shawn Baker, MD. He’s been following the protocol himself for an extended period of time, and he’s acquired some really promising insights. He was on “The Joe Rogan Experience”, which you can check out either on the Podcast app, or online here.
Best Steak Recipe, Ever.
I named this as spontaneous, because that’s how it usually happens for me. I LOVE steak, but I typically stock up on all my meat once a week and freeze it, planning to save the sirloin steaks for days where I’m really treating myself to help keep myself on a budget. This usually results in me wanting a delicious, juicy steak like, right now – spontaneously. So, I have developed this steak cooking protocol, and now I rarely pre-plan because it’s so much better than any other steak cooking recipe I have ever tried.