An all-meat Carnivore Diet may sound extreme, but if you research the anecdotal benefits and increasing scientific evidence, you may want to give it a shot just like us. As a healthy, active couple, here’s our reasons for starting the Carnivore Diet.
A while back, my husband began telling me all about the Carnivore Diet. He inhales information about as fast as he inhales food, so after a couple weeks of his talk, my interest was piqued and I set out to research the Carnivore Diet for myself.
After initially being scared by the diehard dieters who swear by consuming uncommon organ meats, I began to settle down and realized the many benefits of this diet. I started off by consuming lots of information posted by doctors Shawn Baker, Paul Saladino and Ken Berry. Shawn Baker is a machine incarnate, Paul Saladino is wicked smart and Ken Berry is practical and personable. They earned my attention as they unearthed the many proven and anecdotal benefits to eating a meat-based diet.
As a couple heading into middle age, we’ve realized over the past couple years that we aren’t as young as we once were. With my husband now 40 years old and me not far behind, our physical fitness has changed to where it takes us longer to recover from workouts and we are more prone to injury and inflammation.
But aging can be just as hard mentally as it is physically. Thankfully, age and experience have made us more in tune with the nuances of our bodies. Most days, we are wiser in our choices—refraining from pushing our bodies to their maxes for a quick feed of the ego. But this also means that we are aware of how our little choices affect us overall. We no longer drink alcohol, my husband no longer drinks caffeine, we intentionally aim for 8 hours of sleep a night and we consider how our actions will affect our family life, which is a big priority since we have four kids ages 2 to 9.
Many people who are starting the Carnivore Diet do so for weight-loss reasons. Admittedly, we are not those people and have never had weight issues due to our high activity level, eating habits and probably genetics. Health has always been a huge priority for us and something we want to teach our kids.
But despite being healthy, active adults, we still have our issues. At this age in life, I predict that every adult has some kind of issue that is most likely a product of their environment. It’s something that we all wish we could change about ourselves, but it’s a struggle—whether it’s in our willpower to change it or not.
So that’s why we’re adopting the simple mantra: Eat meat. Repeat. Though we are healthy, active adults, we want to address some of the unseen issues we are facing as we age. And by doing so, we hope that less issues pop up as we get older.
From what we’ve researched, there are many benefits besides weight loss from a meat-centric diet. Both the anecdotal and scientific benefits include: mental clarity, resolution of digestive issues, lower inflammation, increased testosterone, simple eating strategy, elimination of food sensitivities, curing or lessening symptoms of chronic diseases and more. (If you’re interested in addressing any of these issues, be sure to do your own research before making any changes or starting the Carnivore Diet.)
His Reasons for Going Carnivore
My husband is 40 years old, athletic and lean. He owned CrossFit gyms for nearly a decade and thrives from physical activity and competition. As a couple, we are active about six days a week, between weight lifting, CrossFit-style workouts, swimming laps, playing pickleball, hiking and volleyball (just him). But a few years ago, my husband injured his back and it hasn’t been the same since. He’s tried rehabbing it and omitting back-focused exercises. He’s even seen a doctor who told him his options were surgery or cortisone shots. Unwilling to take no for an answer or go the conventional route, he’s trying the Carnivore Diet to help in healing the inflammation in his back.
Additionally, my husband has always been a hard-gainer, meaning it’s difficult for him to put on weight. When he had his resting metabolic rate and total energy expended rate tested years ago, it suggested 4,000 calories as his daily caloric intake. We’ve always known he’s had a high metabolism, but it has yet to slow with age. He’s had his bloodwork done and thyroid checked, but it all came back normal. This has recently led him to suspect the possibility of leaky gut syndrome. There’s the chance that despite all the food he’s eating in his five full meals a day, his body isn’t properly absorbing the nutrients. That may be why he is hungry in the middle of the night and even an hour or two after he eats a meal. So if the Carnivore Diet goes the way he hopes, it will not only satiate him for more than a couple hours (for the first time ever), it will also be able to address his possible gut issues and hopefully his body will repair itself.
Her Reasons for Going Carnivore
For me, I’m usually game to try whatever new thing my husband is into. It’s my way to support him and it definitely keeps life interesting. But as I thought about what I wanted to achieve through the diet, I realized my No. 1 reason to try the Carnivore Diet was to increase my energy. I have relied heavily on coffee two to three times a day to get me through four babies, especially when I had my first three in less than three years. And as much as I’ve attempted to cut back, I haven’t made much progress (possibly because parenting four kids is exhausting!). The clutch of caffeine has been an 8-year roller coaster.
A few months ago, I replaced my afternoon coffee with a high caffeine tea. So the caffeine level was still the same as a coffee, but unlike coffee, I didn’t have the crash a couple hours later. Then a few months later, I cut my regular coffee with decaf so that my two cups in the morning were closer to the caffeine level for one cup. But still, I felt my energy lacking despite trying to trick my body.
So my biggest goal for this diet is to increase my energy level naturally by increasing my fat and decreasing my carbs, which will hopefully lead to me decreasing my caffeine consumption. It will be a process, I realize, and I’m not going cold turkey. But that is the goal I’m working toward.
I had a full panel of bloodwork done a year ago when I went through a super tired slump for a couple weeks. I was so tired I wanted to take naps—and despite all my babies, I am not a napper and never have been. As it turned out, all my levels were normal, but I had recently cut my caffeine intake in half, which tells you the drug-like strength of caffeine. As far as I know, I have no glaring issues with cortisol levels, adrenal fatigue or hormones, but if something is beginning to fester, I’m hoping the Carnivore Diet resolves it before it surfaces.
Besides my overall energy levels and decrease of caffeine, the Carnivore Diet will help me curb those sugar cravings. I simply love chocolate. I do a pretty good job of keeping it in check, which basically means I eat a good bit of chocolate but my activity level keeps my weight stable. A few years ago, two months after my daughter was born and I was having all the breastfeeding cravings, I tried the 21-Day Sugar Detox and have never felt so amazing. The key with that detox was upping my fat intake.
We are starting our Carnivore Diet journey with a transition window for the first 1 to 2 weeks to make it easier for our bodies to adapt (fingers crossed!). After that, we want to go at least 4 weeks of Carnivore before assessing whether this meat-only diet is right for us. Stay tuned for our journey!
Are you considering an all-meat diet? What would be your reasons for starting the Carnivore Diet?