It really does sound completely crazy.
How could someone eat a carnivore diet? We all know that you need a good balanced diet of fruits and vegetable in order to be healthy right? Well there are people out there who live on a plant based diet, so why couldn’t someone live on an animal based diet? Which is better for you? or is a balanced diet the best thing for you? I’m going to explore this in a series of articles on the subject.
If you aren’t aware there is a growing segment of the population that is moving towards what they call a “Carnivore” diet. I myself have been exploring this in recent weeks and I’ve learned some fairly interesting things about the subject. I’ve been taught my entire life that fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet. I haven’t always been the best about incorporating those things into my every day eating habits but I always knew that I should. Recently I was listening to the Joe Rogan Podcast and I happened to pick the episode featuring doctor Paul Saladino. In this episode doctor Saladino made his pitch during a 3 hour conversation where he made some pretty bold claims about the benefits of eating a purely animal based diet. This idea was intriguing to me because as I said I have never enjoyed vegetables very much but this diet is much more than just cutting out vegetables. It’s about cutting out everything, this means carbs, vegetables, fruits, and sugars. It takes more than just simple elimination though, there are some additions that your average person would need to make. Those additions come in the form of organ meats. Doctor Saladino calls this a “nose to tail diet”, which means you have to eat more than just muscle meats that your average American is used to. You have to commit to eating things that some of us might think are gross like liver, pancreas, kidney, heart, and tongue. Not only that, but fats are an extremely important part of a “balanced” carnivore diet.
Ok, so let’s back up a little bit. If you haven’t listened to the podcast already I highly recommend you check it out on youtube or spotify as this will give you much more specific information than I will be providing in this article. So after hearing all of this I decided to give it a try, and if I’m going to do it I’m going to do as much as I can to do it the right way. So the first thing I did was order doctor Saladino’s book The Carnivore Code and started reading it to gather as much information as I could. It’s important to note here that doctor Saladino is not simply suggestiong that you can subsist on a diet of only animal products, he is suggesting that each and every one of us would greatly benefit from ditching plants from our diets. He suggests that we could live a much more “radical” life. So like I said the claims are pretty bold but if they are anywhere close to true than this could truly be a game changer.
Now I think I know myself pretty well. I know that eating organ meats like heart and liver is not going to be the easiest transition for me. I, like most people, get the “wiggins” to a certain degree when I think about eating a liver. So my next step was to order some “organ” pills. Doctor Saladino has a website where he sells pills containing dried organ meats for those who are leery of eating organs right away, you can find them at heartandsoil.co. I have been taking the recommended dose of them daily since I got them. I have also made an effort to incorporate liver into my diet as a starting point. It has gone well at some points and terribly poorly at others.
So what do I eat?
Good question, at times I have found this diet extremely odd. Though the longer I have been on it I find it easier and easier. It’s very odd to make dinner and not make a side dish, or multiple side dishes for that matter. It feels…..wrong. The more I do it though I find that it has greatly simplified my life. It makes it so much easier to cook dinner every day rather than settling for take out. I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to make or whether I have the right ingredients. The meat goes in the pan. I make it hot and then I eat it. It really is that simple. I make it a point to vary the types of meats I eat, I try to eat at least chicken, beef, and pork throughout the week. I also find myself eating a lot of eggs. It is a great side to go along with a chicken breast or the classic steak and eggs. It may sound boring but you would be surprised what you can do with just a few simple ingredients. Eating like this also makes eating out difficult at times but it can be fun looking through a menu and creating a carnivore friendly meal. I have incorporated liver to a degree which brings up some of the funny things that have happened as a result of this new lifestyle. I tried to find a local butcher near me as I am also trying to eat more grass fed beef as doctor Saladino recommends. Well it turns out that the butcher I went to was an Indian butcher so obviously they had no beef products. In my defense though there was nothing in the name of the butcher shop that would have told me that it was an Indian butcher shop when I looked them up on google maps. However the Indian market next door might have been a tip off. So since they didn’t have beef I decided to try some lamb liver. Bad call. I was not fully prepared for the “gameiness” of the lamb liver. After pan frying it in ghee (clarified butter from grass-fed cows) I tried eating it with some scrambled eggs. The first thing I tasted was not bad, it was like super concentrated sirloin steak. So I was initially excited that it tasted so good. Then the next flavor hit me, it’s very hard for me to describe. It had a bit of a metallic flavor, some gaminess. What I can say is it hit me right in the gag reflex. I pushed through and ate about half of what I had prepared but I couldn’t make it through the rest. I think I am going to try beef liver next and I hope that makes a difference because I really am enjoying this lifestyle change. I am not one to let food go to waste though so I took the remaining lamb liver and put it through a meat grinder and then mixed it at about a 1/3 ratio with some regular ground beef. This turned out pretty well and I was able to eat an entire serving this way. So in general I have found it pretty easy to transition over to this diet from an eating perspective.
How am I feeling?
Ok, so I have been eating this way for about three weeks now so do I feel like I am living a more “radical” life? Well lets get some hard numbers laid out first. When I started this process I weighed about 230 pounds and at my most recent weigh in I was 219 pounds. So since I started this about 3 weeks ago I have lost 11 pounds. Losing weight is great but the bigger question for me was how do I feel? I can’t say that I feel radically different on a minute by minute basis, but what I can say is that on a day to day basis I feel less bloated and I feel like I have more energy throughout the day. I also don’t feel hungry as often anymore and when I do feel hungry it’s not to the same degree. One difficult part I have found is that I have a ravenous monster inside me that desires carbs. The first week of this diet I wanted to eat an entire trash can full of french fries. I wanted to float down a gravy river to mashed potato paradise. If someone walked by with a donut I was ready to go clear out a Krispy Kream franchise. I have never done drugs of any kind but I imagine this was as close as I could get to experiencing withdrawal symptoms. It was bad. That feeling slowly went away over the next two weeks but it still rears it’s ugly head if I smell fries or donuts. I have absolutely slipped at times, I allowed myself to eat some mashed potatoes and a dinner roll while visiting my parents. I regretted that the next day as the bloated heavy feeling returned with a vengeance. The same thing happened after I had pizza that same week, almost immediately I felt terrible. Since then I have been more disciplined and found that I feel great most of the time.
Where am I going from here?
I plan to continue on with this for the long term. Eventually I plan to expand my diet out a little bit and include the occasional cheat meal but I really believe that eating close to a carnivore diet will be healthier for me in the long run. The fact is you can get all the nutrients you need from eating animal products and there seems to be no need to consume plant products. If you listen to doctor Saladino or read his book he goes into much greater detail about why plants can cause more harm than good. I’m not a chemist or a scientist of any kind so I’m not going to try and go through all of that here. What I will tell you is that the evidence doctor Saladino presents in his book is very compelling and is what made me decide to embark on this journey. I will continue to post new articles about my experiences with this new lifestyle going forward. If you have any questions or want to know more you can send a question on our contact page or check out Doctor Paul Saladino.