I tested a lot of different eating styles in my life. One of the most interesting and maybe polarizing ones is the carnivore way of eating.
Carnivore is basically the opposite of vegan. Being carnivore means, you are exclusively eating animal-based food like meat, butter, eggs. No vegetables, no fruits, no bread, no vegetable oil - but salt.
There are different shades of the carnivore diet, like the lion's diet focussing on meat, salt and water or the "nose to tail" variation which is the purest way of carnivore as it includes all parts of an animal.
I heard and read so much about the carnivore way of eating and I wanted to give it a try as well: I made a 4-weeks test in March 2020. After that time, I increased my testings to 10 weeks until I had my first bite of a vegetable again.
What did I eat? All kinds of meat, cheese, butter, eggs, cream, and I was feeling great.
Meat is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet for human beings and it has the least toxins.
I find the explanation, Paul Saladino gives in his book "The Carnivore Code", logical: Animals have claws, and teeth and they can fight and run to protect their flesh. But plants can´t run, they can´t hide and they can´t fight except for being toxic and protecting themselves and their seeds from being eaten and destroyed by mammals by using chemical defense strategies.
But it is not only Paul Saladino giving good arguments to switch to an animal-based diet. Just to name a few, Shawn Baker, Mike Mutzel, and Dr. Ken Berry are pointing in the same direction.
Discovering the path to health
It looks like a lot of people are discovering their path to health in a similar way.
It starts with a wish to become healthier, leaner, and fitter.
A trending and logical starting point is going Paleo, or Primal and with this, a way of eating that is based on whole and unprocessed foods.
By this change alone, we are seeing great results like clearer skin, weight loss, and overall better health.
Some people stay there and being happily ever after.
But if you stall or if you can´t get over a specific point of benefits, you can always tweak the way of eating a bit.
And so the path is leading some of us a step further. Next stop: going Keto! Here, we are experiencing even more benefits and great results. For some reason, Keto seems to be the next logical step after Paleo. Keto can be plant- or animal-based, but in most cases, it is a mixed way of eating.
Keto is great. Y´all know I love keto very much, but also with keto, some of us can´t reach all of what we´d wished for. So we need to go down the rabbit hole even further: And here, I guess there are two possible ways to go: Carnivore or vegan.
In whatever way of eating you are happy, you are reaching your goals and feel the best: Stay there - keep the diet and enjoy your life!
I respect all vegans and think it is better to go vegan than to stay within the Standard diets. Every try of eating more healthy is better than the Standard grain and sugar-based diets.
However - for me, going vegan is not an option. Why? Because I think the proper human diet is animal-based and I think I am getting the best health results on an animal-based diet.
You are welcome to disagree and eat differently. One thing I believe in: Everyone can make their own decisions to live a healthy life while respecting others.
What to do to go carnivore?
Do you want to give the carnivore diet a try? Great to hear!
Take a month to test whether you are seeing some positive outcomes for you or to even come to the point of seeing yourself striving.
I guess it makes it less of a burden if you do not think you are changing your life forever towards animal-based food but making a time-restricted test. Like a food challenge.
After your trial, you can freely decide how to proceed. Integrating plant-based food again to a certain degree or even make another challenge and go 30 days vegan. It´s up to you.
But now let´s go carnivore.
No worries - it is easy. All you have to do is fill your plate with eggs and beef and butter and bacon and keep the following rules in mind:
Do not fear fat - enjoy the better taste of fatty food
Do not limit portion sizes - eat until you are full
Stick to max. 3 meals a day and make sure you are not snacking in between meals
Drink water (and maybe unsweetened tea, and coffee)
Do not fear salt - minerals are important. Salt your meals until you like the taste.
Forget about calories
We have been taught to fear fat our whole lives, but it has been wrong forever. The only fats to fear are vegetable oil and artificial fats like margarine.
Butter, heavy cream, tallow - these are natural fats that have been around forever and they are not bad, not evil, and not unhealthy.
Did you ever try bacon made in butter and topped with butter? The taste is amazing. You will never get tired of the taste and you can eat it daily. This is one of the magical things about the carnivore diet: You can eat the same food every day and not getting bored with it. Once you´re hungry again and you go for your next meal and cut into the juicy rib-eye or rump steak and put it into your mouth it is like heaven. Every single time.
I like my steak pepper, I like my butter with herbs. I am continuing to seasoning my meals.
If you are 100% "strict" carnivore, you would not eat herbs or pepper or even drink coffee.
It is up to you if you say you are ok with taking a few grams of herbs or plant-based food. If you want to go the super-strict way: Do so 👍 Especially if you are dealing with allergies and inflammation it might make sense to get rid of all plant-based food to give your body time to heal.
But I´ll stick to my seasonings mentioned above. By the way: Ketchup does not count as a seasoning. It is pure sugar and highly processed food. Screw it.
There are chances that you will go into ketosis during your carnivore trial. But not necessarily - if so take it as a good sign that you eat a good amount of fat and just a few carbs.
If you wonder what ketosis is, check out this article: Was ist Ketose (In German)
In general: How often do you think about food? What to eat next, what to shop, what to prepare?
One of the benefits when being a carnivore is that you can stop wasting your time with those thoughts. Especially if you include intermitting fasting into your lifestyle.
Let me give you an example:
First meal of the day
Bacon and eggs - made in butter
Second meal of the day:
Steak and Salmon made in butter
That´s it. You won´t even need a third meal, because you got all you need and you won´t be hungry. And even if you are: Have another steak or have more steak for your second meal 😉
On a budget?
Being carnivore works for also for those being on a budget. But there are plenty of food choices you can make without spending too much. Eggs, ground beef, bacon, butter - that´s not too expensive.
For sure - not everyone can afford to eat Kobe beef or veal cutlet or wild boar - but that´s also not needed. Stick to the food you can afford. And just think about the money you are saving by not buying the processed junk food, the sweets, the chips, the sodas, the cakes, and cookies.
By avoiding these foods, you free your money for real food - and give your body all s/he needs.
And with these words: Enjoy your carnivore-journey!