I’ve written before about how I changed my diet.
A quick recap.
Back in 2009, I went Paleo. Removing grain and sugar from my diet was one of the best things I’d ever done for myself. I didn’t lose weight, but I lost four inches from my waist, half a ring size, and so on. I was so inflamed all the time and I hadn’t realized it.
But Paleo stopped working for me after a while. In 2015, I started getting massive migraines—12-15 a month. I went Keto in 2017. My migraines subsided. I now have 2-3 migraines per year. The “style” of Keto that I was following was Wahl’s Paleo Protocol, and I always was aiming for 6 cups of veggies per day.
Keto was great and I felt so good on in.
Until it stopped working as well.
I ate a big-ass salad every day for years. Last year, the salads stopped working for me. I would eat a huge salad, and a couple of hours later, my body would start screaming at me, claiming that I hadn’t eaten anything for over a week. The hunger pains were incredible. No matter what I ate after that, I was still starving.
Plus, the salads started causing horrific gas, painful for me (and for those around me! The smell was pretty awful.)
During the last Thanksgiving/Christmas season, I went out of keto. I was eating a lot of sugar and other treats. (It was a very stressful time, with bouts of no heat, no water, and no electricity.)
Starting this year, 2023, I vowed to get back into keto. However, I was having difficulty getting into, as well as maintaining, keto.
I’d been reading about the carnivore diet, and so I decided to try it for four days. Zero carb for four days wouldn’t hurt me, and was sure to put me back into ketosis, right?
Felt rather amazing those initial days. Huh. That must just be getting back into ketosis, right?
Went back and had a salad. The screaming and stomach upset returned immediately. It was ugly.
At that point, I committed to the carnivore diet for a month. Just to see what happened.
I’m now six weeks into this experiment, and WOW. While I don’t believe I’m going to stay carnivore forever, I’m now going to try it for three months, because my body is responding so well to it.
You know how you get older you start to accumulate those various aches and pains in your joints? I sure was. My hips, back, feet, hands, etc. all had their own tune of constant pain.
After two weeks of carnivore, all those aches and pains went away. All of them. My muscles still hurt when I use them too hard. But the regular aching is gone.
I believe that though I was trying to eat an anti-inflammatory diet, I must have still been consuming something that was inflaming me.
I have psoriasis of the scalp. I’d had it for years, but just thought it was some weird style of dandruff that came in two patches. Because I was eating mostly anti-inflammatory anyway, it only flared up when I ate corn or had a lot of stress in my life.
It was still there, though. Didn’t bother me, but I was still aware of it.
It also disappeared completely when I went carnivore. Not just in remission, but gone. Again, probably something in my diet that was slightly irritating/inflammatory.
Then there’s my skin. I’ve made myself bone broth for years and that has done wonders for my skin. Going carnivore has made it even softer. My heels were always dry and cracked—much worse in the summer than in the winter. But they’re completely smooth now.
I’ve read other people who talk about how their skin tags disappeared over time. Mine haven’t, but they have gotten noticeably smaller. It’s a weird side effect, but I’ll take it.
As I said, before I started this, I did a lot of research because I was worried about the effects of following this diet. I’m not going to go into that, as I’m not here to convince anyone else to follow it. Just know that I found enough studies to convince me that I’m not about to keel over due to a lack of nutrients or vitamins. (If you’re interested, I’ll provide more links.)
Part of the reason for my lack of concern is that I’ve always had a commitment to eating “snout to tail.” I wouldn’t recommend this diet to anyone who didn’t have such a commitment. In addition, I’m eating more than just beef. I’m also eating chicken, pork, fish, etc. I’m eating offal and skin. I still supplement with some things, like electrolytes.
Recently, I’ve been making my own tallow. My local Safeway butcher will save trimmed fat for me, then sell it to me for $1.20/pound. I still can’t do dairy, so instead of the vegan butter I’d been eating, I’m now using tallow. OMG. It’s so good. Even when I go back to eating something other than carnivore, I’m probably going to continue to just use homemade tallow instead of butter.
While I’m pretty committed at this point to eating zero carb, there are a few things that I added back into my diet after that first month.
First—coconut milk in my tea or coffee. I drank everything black for a month, and it just didn’t bring me joy. I don’t care that it has a few carbs in it and that it isn’t meat. I enjoy it too much.
Next—chocolate. I get two small pieces of chocolate every night after dinner. The good stuff, between 85-90% cacao. Because I have so little sugar in my diet now, it tastes really sweet.
And the last—I still either drink Spindrift or make myself a carbonated water drink, that has some fruit in it. I don’t have this every day, but maybe every other day. It isn’t that many carbs, and I get tired of straight water. I’ve been experimenting with various flavors, like almond extract, peppermint, or vanilla. Plus, I made my own stevia (dried stevia leaves and water infusion), then poured that into an ice cube tray and froze it. Now, when I want something sweet, I can just put one of those into whatever I’m drinking, like lemonade.
So here’s where I’m at in my kind of crazy food journey! When I start reintroducing food, it will be a very slow process, one at a time, to make sure that I’m not reacting to them. I suspect that I’ve grown really sensitive to ALL nightshades at this point, so will probably reintroduce them later rather than sooner.
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