The 5 Stages Of Grief When Starting The Carnivore Diet

The 5 Stages Of Grief When Starting The Carnivore Diet

"Do you remember the taste of strawberries?" "No. I can't recall the taste of food."


Over two weeks ago I took on a 30 day carnivore diet experiment. There are various methods of the carnivore diet, from strict (only meat, organs, salt, and water) to relaxed (any animal products including milk and cheese, herbs, spices, coffee, and tea). I'm doing only beef for the first half, and adding fish and chicken for the second half, and clearly saw myself going through the classic five stages of grief.

1. Denial.

Going from a part-time vegetarian to the carnivore diet was an extreme transition. I did a lot of research and felt relatively prepared, but I was in denial over the way the diet would affect my social interactions. I could no longer go out with friends for food (sure, I could order a steak, but it had to be cooked in ghee without any seasonings, and this really cuts into already-limited options) or drinks (there's a huge social element you're cut out of if everyone's enjoying a drink and you're sitting there with…water. Can't even spritz it up with a lemon).

I ended up not going out at all because it bothered me too much to be "that person"—having all the crazy diet restrictions and annoying the server.

I was also enthusiastic that I would see results pretty quickly—and when this did not happen, I didn't accept it. "Surely tomorrow results will kick in!"

2. Anger.

Ohhhhh, there were days when I needed comfort food—and I could not have it. Who chows down on a fricken hunk of beef for comfort? No, I wanted ice cream or candy or chips—I'd have settled for blueberries for crying out loud.

I became angry I couldn't be like a normal person. Why is my body broken? Why does it have so many health issues? Why can't I just be like everyone else? Other people seem to be able to eat bread and cheese and garlic and potatoes and corn and soy—heck I'd settle for kale at this point—and be just fine!

3. Bargaining. 


"Do you remember the taste of strawberries?"

"No. I can't recall the taste of food."

Okay so I know I shouldn't eat dairy, but how bad would it be to have just one piece of cheddar cheese? Aged cheddar has low lactose. Hey, it's even a part of the relaxed carnivore diet. I wouldn't even be breaking the diet if I just had one piece of cheese.

4. Depression.

I unwillingly accepted that I had a lot of unresolved and undiagnosed health issues, and nothing the doctors have recommended so far (diet or medicine related) has fixed anything. I did have constant health issues, I wasn't like everyone else, things did make me sick—and I didn't even know what they were. My best bet (since doctors have been so unhelpful) is to focus on diet and do the best I can to help my body, and that might not even be enough.

And to try to help myself—I've cut all food-related goodness and joy from my life. To try to be well, I have to be miserable. This is definitely a depressive state.

5. Acceptance.

Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

Here I began owning the choices I was making, rather than whining about losing all joy in my life to try to not be sick. I can do anything for 30 days, and after that, I get to add back in yummy fruits and veggies and stuff again. I've tried vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free, and that didn't improve anything—this was an active choice I could make to try something totally new and see if it would help me.

And if not—no harm done! I've done a fascinating and incredibly difficult experiment for 30 days, broken any chemical addictions to sugar or carbs, and exercised an absurd amount of self-control.

When anything drastic and difficult happens, the five stages of grief (in part, or in mixed order) can totally come into play. Starting a dramatic new diet is no different.

Popular Right Now

Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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How To Avoid Getting Sick Your  Freshman Year

It's going to take a little more than an apple a day.


College is the prime time and place to catch a cold... or worse. Although, somehow I managed to crack the code to health and not get sick my whole first year of college. This is surprising considering I was living in the close (and very unsanitary) quarters of a dorm room.

1. Keep your diet somewhat healthy

I know how hard it is to eat healthy in college, especially on a low budget. But with the dining hall foods, you can at least include some vegetables and fruits into your everyday consumption. The vitamins in these foods will help keep your immune system up and it will be worth the effort.

2. Try to exercise a few times per week

Even if you're just getting out of the dorm for a thirty minute walk, it will benefit your body. If you decide to up your routine from that, even better! The more endorphins, the more you will feel better inside and out.

3. Cut back on the drinking if you feel a cold coming on

Surprisingly, many college students don't seem to know that alcohol lowers your immune system. Of course, for some people theres no way of avoiding drinking. But if you can at least give your body rest days, it will be extremely beneficial.

4. Invest in a dehumidifier for your dorm room

I believe this was a very big player in helping me not get sick. The dehumidifier helps reduce dust and other particles in the air. This will help not agitate your allergies and you will feel more clear headed.

5. Try not to share personal products

Sharing things like towels, makeup, unwashed cups, etc. can all be causes of a sickness being passed around you and your friends. Of course sharing is caring, just make sure it's sanitary.

6. Be conscientious of who you kiss!

Make sure that your girlfriend, boyfriend, or "its complicated" person is not sick before you're getting cozy with them.

7. Drink lots of green tea!

Personally, I credit green tea and its anti-oxidants for keeping the flu away and even getting rid of bugs that might be forming in your system. So if you feel like you might be developing a cold, chug that tea!

I know how annoying these tips may be. But I promise, if you implement at least a few it could reduce your chances of feeling horrible during midterms in the winter, and sneezing all over your finals in the fall.

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