I Tried 30 Days On The Carnivore Diet And It Had Its Ups And Downs

I Tried 30 Days On The Carnivore Diet And It Had Its Ups And Downs

Diet: Eat JUST meat.

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"That doesn't sound too bad!" declared several friends when discovering I was starting the Carnivore diet. "You get to eat steak every day!"

Nope--it was JUST that bad. I mean, think about what makes steak good. Seasoning it—cooking it in oils and butter—eating it with mashed potatoes or rice. And maybe—not eating it EVERY DAY.

The Carnivore diet is just what it sounds: MEAT. The strictest version is only meat and salt. More relaxed versions allow any animal products, including eggs, cheese, dairy products, spices, tea, and coffee (not an animal product but apparently accepted out of necessity). I blended the versions by doing only beef, salt, Gatorade, supplements (magnesium, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin D) and tea* for 2.5 weeks (essentially eliminating all dietary variables) and then added all types meat for the remainder.

*Tea is NOT technically Carnivore, and I made it precisely 1 day before realizing that I, quite literally, COULD NOT cut out every single source of food-related joy in my life. I had to leave myself one thing. Tea is accepted on the relaxed Carnivore diet, and it's spiritually, emotionally, and physically a very strong part of my routine; so I decided my one thing would be tea.

Why Carnivore? Purely out of desperation. For seven years I've had a variety of health issues, including: constant GI distress; respiratory issues (asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis—I've literally displaced ribs by chronic coughs); weakened immune system; psoriasis/frequent mystery skin rashes; insomnia and fatigue; etc.

A quick google search into the Carnivore diet shows hundreds of people claiming the Carnivore diet made a miraculous difference in all these areas and many more—some even claimed it cured (or put into remission) their autoimmune disorder.

This is all anecdotal, and that's the problem with the Carnivore diet—there isn't much scientific information on it. It's mostly people sharing their stories. But I've spent thousands of dollars on doctors and specialists, tried naturopathic doctors and chiropractors, tried Pinterest-esque folk remedies like apple cider vinegar, essential oils, eating raw cloves of garlic, supplements, etc, and stuck to vegetarian, dairy, and gluten-free diets, with no results—I was desperate. When a friend of mine did Carnivore and loved their results, I decided it was time to try.

1. Week One 

A couple weeks before starting the Carnivore diet!

Week 1: Only beef, salt, water, and tea. I started the Carnivore diet weighing around 115lbs (I'm 5'2" and in pretty good shape).

I felt mentally foggy this entire week. GI issues WORSENED significantly: no stomach pain, but NOTHING solid came out on the other end. I ate steak, hamburger patties, ground beef (used ghee to cook), and bone broth, but I was sick of beef after the second day--which isn't great, if you're on a diet of exclusively beef. My mother saved me by loaning me a crockpot and I did roasts in a bone broth which was the yummiest I could make beef taste.

I added Gatorade (zero sugar) on the 3rd day because I had such brain fog and keto flu but still needed to go to work and classes. The moment I took a sip of Gatorade, I felt every single cell in my body light up and the fog lift from my eyes and that was enough to persuade me to accept Gatorade.

It's not technically a part of the Carnivore diet, but I also needed to be able to function on this diet—and so I was mindful of my salt intake and only used Gatorade as needed--but, I used it as needed.

2. Day seven.

Day #8 on Carnivore.

By the 7th day, I was thoroughly sick of beef and had lost 5lbs. (Some of that is water weight, no longer needed because I'm not eating carbs and sugar.) I was also never hungry. Even when I didn't eat my first meal till 5 pm, I experienced 0 hunger pangs this entire week.

The meat did not sit well in my stomach. I ate pot roast and broth at 7 pm, went dancing at 9:30 pm, and had to leave because the meat was not happy in staying down. Part of being never hungry was surely because the meat just sat like a lump in my stomach for hours.

3. Week two

Day 13 of Carnivore.

Week 2: It's encouraged to water-fast (drink only water) for a couple days on the Carnivore diet. I was thrilled. A couple days where I don't have to eat beef? Yes please!

Brain fog continued. GI issues same as above. Apparently diarrhea is not uncommon when first acclimating to the Carnivore diet, but that doesn't make it any more fun. I ended up water fasting for 70hrs because I was so unmotivated to eat beef and only broke the fast because I decided I should. I was literally not hungry.

By day 13, I weighed 104lbs. I wasn't sleeping any better, I noticed no difference in skin or sniffly allergies, nothing.

4. Week three.

Day 18 of Carnivore.

After 2.5 weeks, I added chicken to my diet, and then fish and sashimi. My body instantly responded. My brain fog lifted, and I felt good and alive.

Day 15 I weighed 101lbs, day 18 (2 days after adding other meat) I weighed 103lbs. I was both happy to have the best abs I've ever had, and unhappy that I'd lost so much weight—I knew this wasn't a healthy weight for me, it was literally because I wasn't able to eat enough calories, and that I'd need to gain it back. (Note that on the Carnivore diet, you're supposed to eat whenever you're hungry, and as much as you want. I was just never hungry, and didn't want meat. Just a regular serving of steak completely filled me up.)

This is also 100% diet. I didn't add any exercise to my routine during this time. I'm fairly active and eat fairly well--my weakness is ice cream and sweets, but my regular diet includes intermittent fasting, veggies, fruits, and healthy grains multiple times a day--and I've always wondered what the difference in my body would be if I cut out my almost-daily ice cream (or treats) habit. Well, now I know! 100% great abs, 0% food-related happiness.

Day 18.

I had a couple tiny pimples, so there goes the Carnivore diet's reputed magical clearing-up-of skin. Bowel movements improved but only barrrrrely. I also started experiencing hunger again—it could be because fish and chicken isn't as filling as beef, but it also could be because I was so excited about eating anything but beef. Before Carnivore, my hunger would often manifest as pain—even intense pain—in my stomach, eventually making me feel faint if I didn't eat; but this hunger was more a desire to eat rather than a pain compelling me to eat.

6. Week four

Last couple days!

Definitely starting to eat more regularly and be hungry. I was also traveling with friends for five days, and missing out on the social aspect of food was really difficult, so the hunger was possibly predominantly socially triggered.

My weight stayed around 102 for the remainder of the 30 days. Toward the end of the diet I felt so snackable: I was wanting to eat all the time. Again, not because of hunger pain, but just because I wanted to eat. I would go through unreasonable amounts of jerky because I didn't pack enough fish/burgers/ chicken for work.

7. Breaking the Carnivore diet. 

Day 1 off Carnivore.

My original plan after the 30 days was to ease back in to normal foods: add one food or food group at a time, with four day intervals.

However, my blood tests came back at the end of my 30 days, resulting in me needing to schedule a procedure to test for celiac disease and other allergens in three weeks—which meant I needed to add back in gluten and all those other foods right away in order for those tests to be accurate. So I did not ease back in to normal foods: my first day off, I ate carrots and broccoli and cake; the second day, fried eggs with rice, sautéed garlic and onion—and after this, gained 5lbs. I know cake's not great, but I definitely didn't eat five pounds' worth of it. Water weight's a bitch.

8. Having a REAL meal at TeaHaus.

My 2nd day dinner with my mother to celebrate being able to eat real food again. Yes, I did NOT ease back in.

My body's reaction to regular food (fruits, veggies, grains, ice cream, bread) was fascinating. Although I could tell that a part of my digestive system was overloaded by the shock of all this food after just meat and feeling weighted down, other parts of my body were thrilled. My cells felt alive, my heart was so happy to have back food that brought me joy, my energy levels—even with adding back in sugar and refined foods—significantly improved. My GI system also notably improved: there was no longer lumps of meat just sitting in my stomach for hours, and my bowel movements returned to normal.

9. Would I do the Carnivore diet again?

Day 4 off Carnivore. Baaaaack to normal!

Many people have had amazing success with the Carnivore diet. I did not. I experienced nothing extraordinary health-wise, or even anything incrementally better; on the contrary, I was in more GI distress and brain fog than usual.

However, the weight loss results were amazing—not necessarily because I lost 5+ pounds a week, but because I wasn't hungry the entire time. The worst parts about diets and trying to lose weight is that you're often hungry during these diets. On the Carnivore diet, you're encouraged to eat whenever you're hungry—and I ate as much meat as I wanted (granted, that's not saying a lot), never experienced hunger, and still lost 15lbs total. I didn't have 15lbs to safely lose, so that ended up being a con for me. But if I'm ever in a space where I want or need to lose weight, I would totally do the Carnivore diet again as a way to efficiently lose weight and not deal with hunger during it.

I also appreciated that I completely eliminated any chemical addiction I had to carbs and sugar. Granted, I happily went right back to them again. But breaking totally free for 30 days--and realizing I could--was a good experience.

Interested in checking out the Carnivore diet? I'm not a doctor, and neither are most of the people talking online about it—so talk to your doctor, evaluate what your body needs, and proceed with caution! I firmly believe I feel most alive when I'm eating fruits and veggies, and going Carnivore confirmed this. However, I knew trying the Carnivore diet wasn't going to kill me. I wasn't going to develop scurvy or experience organ failure in 30 days, and I researched the vitamins that meat didn't have and took supplements to make extra sure I wasn't nutrient deficient.

Some people have reported miraculous results. I didn't. However, the Carnivore diet was an interesting experience and I'm glad I experimented with it!

And it makes me appreciate my kale and blueberries and ice cream even more.



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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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The Truth About Narcan, Insulin, And Who Pays For What

"Stupid junkies, I have to pay for my Insulin but they get Narcan FOR FREE. Can you believe that?"

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Naloxone.

Let's talk about it. Naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan or Evzio is a "medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose." According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Naloxone basically reverses the effects of an overdose.

As you see on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every other social media platform in the world, "junkies" get indirectly bashed, undermined, and in a nutshell, told that they don't deserve a place on earth.

The most common argument used by "non-addicts" is "I have to pay for my Insulin for my diabetes, but they get Narcan for free? Wow, our government sucks and the system is a joke."

For those of you that don't know, diabetes is a disease in which the body's ability to produce or respond to the hormone, insulin, is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine.

There are two types of this disease: Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes that result from a variety of different factors. Diabetes can be acquired through genetics but can also be personally obtained through lifestyle, depending on the type. Aside from genetics and being born into a diabetic family, you may also be diagnosed with diabetes as a result of physical inactivity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and being overweight. In other words, if you let your body go, don't work out or do some type of physical activity, let your high blood pressure go untreated, and eat unhealthy foods; you have a chance of developing diabetes.

Next, let's talk about prices.

On average, Insulin costs $200 monthly. This depends on the brand, personal insurance, coupons, and other factors such as organizations that help people get cheaper insulin.

Narcan nasal spray costs $130 for a two-time use. You can buy it at CVS Pharmacy (and other pharmacies) in states such as Ohio, Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin. Some of these states may require a prescription.

Now that you know that Narcan/Evzio isn't free, it's time to talk about other charges that are brought upon addicts when they overdose. If an ambulance is called, they have to pay for it. If they are sent to the emergency room, they also have to pay for that.

The idea that "junkies" get Narcan for free is something society has made up to make drug users feel even more guilt than they already do from having an addiction alone.

Believe it or not, most of us are addicted to something that can be fatal or cause illness/injury. If you eat processed foods or sugar ridden foods every day, chances are you have an addiction to sugar. The withdrawal that someone has from quitting sugar is similar to the withdrawal that one goes through from quitting heroin. You get a splitting headache, you have cold sweats, you are moody, and it makes you sick. If you drink coffee all day on most days and you try to quit, it results in an awful headache for a few days. The addiction to cigarettes and the withdrawal that people go through for that speaks for itself; we all know a smoker or an ex-smoker.

Instead of following social norms, degrading drug users and putting ourselves on a pedestal because we don't use heroin or another "hard drug," we should advocate for the health and stand up for each other. If you see someone on the street that you know is a drug user, pull them aside and pray with them. Help them find a better life. Recommend church, rehab, or any other ideas that may be at your fingertips to mention.

The moral of the story is this: we all have an addiction, hypocrisy is at it's finest thanks to social media, and we are all human. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you judge them. It doesn't cost a dime to shed light on someone's life, especially when they are in need.

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