The Simplicity Of Carnivore: A Beginners Guide To Not Over Thinking
Congratulations! You have started a carnivorous diet! You are off to a new start in life. A life with less pain, less inflammation, weight loss, and more emotional stability. Many people have found success using meat based diets to overcome long term emotional and health issues. I started eating a meat based diet around two years ago. Back then ( a blip in time realistically, but an eternity in the world of the internet and social media) there was not nearly as much information – it was really just about jumping into eating animal products full time, then seeing where I landed. At the beginning I included dairy, and ate as much as I wanted whenever I was hungry. Over months, I lost weight and reversed a long standing chronic pain issue that threatened to take away my ability to walk. I am actually still eat as much as I want, whenever I want…and am known to include dairy! I came to carnivore from IF, so I have had experience with fasting but it isn’t useful for me on carnivore, in fact it makes me feel really sick. Your miles may vary. Some of you will do great with it.
I want to share what I have learned over the past two years, especially as it comes to over thinking the most simple of diets. I hope it helps you, and I hope more than anything that it inspires you to not worry to much and to enjoy the journey! We don’t have to micro manage every aspect of our diets, and we don’t need a thousand supplements, or hundreds of new books, we only need to eat foods from the animal kingdom and adjust as needed.
1) Diet is not everything.
Diet is important. Diet changes our lives, our health, our mental health. But I don’t think it is the only thing to focus on. As much as you want to read every new carnivore book and delve into hundreds of hours of youtube videos, what you eat is rarely a satisfying topic to spend your life on. The best evidence that this works will be the health changes you feel directly. You are not joining a religion where you need to memorize the sacred texts. I became carnivore so I could regain my ability to walk and hike and move without pain. Not so I could argue about who needs to eat organ meat and who doesn’t. I eat meat and some raw dairy, and I focus on the adventures I want to have in my healthy body! Right now, it is preparing to sail the world. I really caution against getting caught up in carnivore politics. Keep it simple, eat animal products. If you need to tweak something, then tweak it. But think about what you eat as little as possible. You know you have reached success when you can focus on the life you want to live, not what you put in your face to fuel yourself.
Also, diet can’t fix chronic stress, negative self talk, unhealthy relationships, or other similar issues. If you are taking the time to consider changing your diet, I really suggest taking the time to do a lifestyle inventory. Take a deep inventory of the people, places, things, and influences in your world; then consider if they are helping you meet your goals or not. Sometimes diet is not the only thing we need to change in order to attain our goals.
2) Give it 30 days before you mess with it.
Try at least 30 days of eating animal products before you complicate things. Include dairy if you tolerate it. Eat the bacon. Enjoy the smoked chicken or omelettes. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eat snacks! Just eat animal based foods. Don’t jump in restricting more than you need to. No one wins a prize for making their dietary world smaller or for restricting more. If you can tolerate things other people can’t, don’t worry about it! I say this as someone who can’t eat eggs, is eating mostly raw meat, and has had dairy struggles over the years ( except in France where I live now). I would never, ever, suggest anyone give up something that is working for them. Eat the animal foods, and if it doesn’t work, take it from there.
3) If it is not working, don’t be afraid to change it.
If you are eating a wide range of animal products, and you are not getting results, it is time to try something new. The first thing to try is cutting out dairy. If there is no change after being dairy free for 30 days, you can take out eggs. You may need to play with lean to fat ratios. You may need to add organ meats. You may be sensitive to histamines. You may thrive with a fasting lifestyle. If you are 30 days in and not feeling any difference, now is the time to dive in and do a bit of research. However, if you are seeing gains in one area ( chronic pain, weight, inflammation) than it might just mean that you need more time. Rome was not built in a day! And neither was your new carnivore bod! Look for the positive results. If you are having them in one area, stay the course. If you are not, try something new.
4) It is ok to ask for help.
This is where Carnivore.Diet comes in. Lean on your new community to make friends, to cry if your cravings get crazy, and to feel less alone. Everyone, trying anything big, needs a community to be successful. You might find that support on social media, on Carnivore.Diet, in your friend group ( if you are REALLY lucky and have some irl carnivore buddies)…however you find this community, never feel bad for leaning on it. I had some good friends I would message complaining about how I REALLY wanted ice cream when I started. They were a blessing for just listening to me. It helped me to say it out loud to someone. Don’t be afraid to lean on others when you need help sticking to your goals. No one is an island.
5) Have a vision for yourself.
How do you want to feel? How do you want to look? I am not saying to create an unrealistic dogma that is throwing yourself a pass you can never catch. I am saying, do you want to hike a certain path? Do you have an adventure you want to go on? Are you looking for the energy to play with your grandkids or go to grad school? What do you want in your life? What is a realistic goal? Eating meat for the sake of eating meat is….well….not really satisfying. But eating meat to get healthy to meet that goal you have for yourself is very satisfying. Do you want to learn country line dancing? Do you want to take your dog for a long walk? Set manageable, meaningful, goals. We are not vegans. Our diet is not an means to an ends. We are doing this because we want to feel good, have good lives, and forget about worrying about what we eat! Make a goal and stick to it! See how this way of eating can help you get there.
If you are willing to try this diet, pat yourself on the back! Because that is a brave step, and something a lot of people are not willing to even consider. I remember what a leap of faith it was for myself. We are going against mainstream nutritional dogma, and we are not doing it to be perfect, we are doing it to get some healing. We are doing it for results. The proof is in the pudding. Go slow, be patient with yourself and with your body, don’t remove foods that aren’t bothering you, and most of all focus on your progress. The biggest advice I have for beginners is to think about food as little as possible. Just eat the meat and drink water. Life isn’t about food, but eating the right food can make life a lot more enjoyable.