I am going to become a Carnivore for 30 Days

One of my pigs BBQed by Chef Matt

For the month of January I am going “full carnivore”.

That is to say, I am going to eat only animal products.

Okay, not only animal products — I am allowing myself a few plant-based favorites to keep life lovely: Coffee, wine, saurkraut, and salsa.

Salsa to spice things up, saurkraut to keep from getting scurvy (also for the probitics, ant-cancer fighting properties, and fiber). Wine because a couple glasses a night can help slow aging and improve cognitive functions, and coffee because of all the above.

[Note: I have gotten a lot of feedback encouraging me to eliminate the kraut and salsa, so I am seriously considering doing so. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, thanks!]

But 99% of what I eat will be meat. And cheese. And yogurt, sour cream, milk, and eggs. Lots of eggs.

Why are you doing this, you might be asking me right about now. You might also think that becoming a carnivore must be an awfully unhealthy diet.

I’m doing this for a few reasons.

  1. I put on 15 extra pounds over the course of the last year and I don’t like that. I am an active guy so the culprit is almost certainly my slow descent back into chips and snacks and bread and pizza. What happened was, I had gained weight in a similar way 2 years ago, after a stressful divorce and a move and on and on, and I used the Slow Carb diet to successfully lose those extra pounds. That worked, but I backslid. Why did I backslide? Because I got comfortable, and started to make a bunch of food exceptions until it was all exceptions. Now I understand that, to stay trim and fit, I need to be very disciplined, 80% of the time. The other 20% I need to enjoy my life and not give a shit.
  2. Slimness isn’t just about appearance. It is about heart health and digestive health and decelerating aging and mental cognition. Slimness (I use that word to describe the weight level where your body energy and happiness is optimal) helps me enjoy all the activities I do every day, and all the activities that I love to do, like hiking and yoga. It also allows me to be cheap by keeping one set of clothes for a longer period of time. Saving the world by staying trim, right?
  3. My energy levels have gotten sluggish after descending back into the SAD (Standard American Diet) menu. I know damn well that when I cut carbs way down I feel awesome. That blood sugar rollercoaster drives me crazy. I think it drives everybody crazy, but many people learn how to ride it. Not me.
  4. So, I’ve tried a bit of paleo, and a bit of keto. I don’t think either diets fit my personality or life style exactly, so I need to create my own diet. After reading up on the carnivore, zero-carb diet, I realized that was what I wanted to do. A few carbs here and there won’t kill me, but trying to figure out the best paleo or keto menu plan will kill me. I don’t want to think about it, I just want to eat meat and dairy. I am a Northman.
  5. Meat is a complete meal in itself. I’m not actually looking to complicate my life, I just want to eat delicious food and feel amazing. I can grill up a steak or roast a leg and be happy with that as a meal. I can throw in a few vegetables so my girlfriend will eat with me.
  6. A growing number of studies have shown that the saturated fats can actually be good for your health. Especially your cognitive abilities, and emotional stability. It’s no coincidence our brains are mostly made of fat.
  7. I raise pigs for a living so I have the best source of meat on the planet right outside my door.
  8. There are no vegetables to eat around me right now. Here in the Midwest, in the middle of winter, there are no vegetables growing anywhere. So I don’t want to eat vegetables from California. I simply want to sit down and eat my pork chop, the one I raised in mybackyard. What is so awful about that?

Those are my reasons. That is my thinking.

I hope to have shed those 15 pounds by the end of January, 2018.

That is about 3 1/2 pounds of loss per week, which is pretty extreme, but let’s just see how it goes! The thing is, when we cut out most of the carbs in our diet, the body begins to burn fat for fuel. Eating carbs accounts for the deposits of fat on our body that we don’t want.

Here’s how it works, as far as I understand it. When we eat carbs, the glucose level in our blood stream rises. This causes our pancreas to produce insulin, the hormone that converts glucose into a starch called glycogen. But the body only needs a bit of that for energy immediately, and all the excess is turned into body fat.

The hormone insulin doesn’t stop working then, it continues to convert more glucose into body fat, and then our blood sugar drops below normal, and we get the Hangries, as my girlfriend and I call it. Basically, that cycle is perpetuated over and over when we eat carbohydrates and sugars.

My research and self-experiments all point to the carbohydrate as the culprit of many health related issues. On a personal level, it feels like a smart move to get rid of most of the carbs in my diet and focus on what I love the most — animal products, which consist of fat and protein.

I also hope to gain back my energy, and learn how to eat like a true locavore in the middle of a Wisconsin winter!

The next few days I will start to transition my diet into a meat-focused one, and reduce the carbs down to the bare minimum. The best thing to do, I’ve noticed, is to eat your way through the last of the crap food you have around the house, and then go full bore.

If you are interested in this way of eating, and you’re healthy enough for it, join me. There is one caveat though. If you can, only eat ethically raised meat. Why make yourself look better if you are contributing to the suffering of animals in a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation)?

Thanks for reading!

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