“That’s madness”, I slurred. I was drunk on a rooftop in Covent Garden and had just been introduced to the Carnivore diet. Little did I know that two months later, I would be starting my own carnivore journey.
What is the carnivore diet
Also known as the “Zero Carb” diet, the carnivore diet is a predominately meat diet . There are various interpretations of the diet, from exclusively beef, water and salt to others that include any type of meat (including seafood) and further approaches that include eggs and other dairy products. However, the general consensuses is that no carbs are allowed and the more meat, the better.
You may be thinking this is similar to the keto diet. The diets are different. Whereas the Keto diet has a much higher consumption of fats (often 75% fat), the carnivore diet is predominantly protein with fats coming from the meat.
There are various reasons for embracing this way of eating, including weight loss, improved physical performance, solving digestive issues or to solve chronic pains and diseases. However, the diet has been criticised with some dietitians actively warning against the diet. Against this are personal success stories (including Dr Shawn Baker and numerous stories on the Carnivore Tribe Facebook group).
It’s important to note that the carnivore diet has not been studied well enough to draw objective conclusions about it.
Why I’m doing the carnivore diet
Shortly after my rooftop introduction, I saw an increasing amount of press on the carnivore diet. I read the Guardian’s unloving and pointless one week long test and a week later the Telegraph’s more passionate, but less authentic take of this diet.
Increasingly curious, I watched the Joe Rogan experience episode with Dr Shawn Baker and instead of the nonsense I was expecting to be spouted, I heard a considered discussion of the diet (video below – but be warned it is long!)
Motivated by the experiments in the press and with a genuine sense of curiosity, I decided to undertake my own experiment and embrace the challenges that come with it.
The challenges seem clear: how will I nod off without a goodnight kiss from Maker’s Mark or the sweet embrace of Woodford Reserve? How will the corner shop owners of south London fair without my weekly drunken quest for Greenwich’s last pint of Haagen Dacz’s Belgian Chocolate ice-cream? As much as I love meat, I am a food whore and am unaccustomed to restraint.
My carnivore diet
After successfully surviving beer festivals in southern Germany, I’m now focused on going carnivore. My carnivore diet will be limited to meat (including seafood), salt and water for four weeks. I will intermittently fast (skipping breakfast) and detail my experiences frankly.
How I feel and how I perceive my diet to be going is subjective. To add some objectivity to my experiment, I’ve undertaken a baseline blood test (results at the bottom of the article) and will track my weight. Additionally, I’ll take another blood test after four weeks to see what has changed.
Eating so much meat will be costly, so I approached the Ginger Pig, (a London based butcher chain selling high quality meat from ethically raised animals) who have helped me out with a discount at their stores.
My diet starts on Sunday 21st October. This will be a tell all, no punches held, account of my experiment with the carnivore diet.
Be more carnivore
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Weight: 82.2kg (18.10.2018)
Bloods: I received my blood tests results on 18.10.2018. The test reported B12, Ferritin, Lipid profile, Liver function and Vitamin D levels. The results are normal with the exception of Lipid profile, which is “slightly raised”. Specifically, my HDL Cholestrol (good cholestrol) and Triglycerides (bad fats) levels are normal, while my LDL Cholestrol (bad cholesterol) is “slightly raised”.
If you have any questions on the test results, or anything else, feel free to ask through the comment section below