I’ve been on the carnivore diet for three days now and start noticing some interesting aspects of it. It’s not a very dramatic adjustment since I was already in ketosis; hence no carb-withdrawal symptoms. I’m including butter in my carnivore diet so as to stay in ketosis.
The biggest advantage so far is that all sugar cravings are gone. Not just manageable or mild, which is the case when I eat ketogenically, but absolutely eradicated. I don’t feel like eating anything except from real, clean food. I do feel like eating rib-eye steak, which is too extravagant moneywise, but apart from that, I’m very content. So far, my carnivore menü has consisted of butter, eggs, ground beef, chicken liver and chicken heart. Organ meats are important when going carnivore, because that’s how you get your vitamin C. Oranges, which have a false reputation for being high in vitamin C, don’t stand a chance compared to liver. That’s true for most fruits and vegetables. Look at this chart comparing the nutritional value of blueberries, kale, beef and beef liver:
There are probably a number of complex reasons to eat vegetables despite their relatively low nutritional value, such as conglomerate effects when food items are prepared and eaten together. I’m thinking of the kind of synergetic effects you get when pairing turmeric and black pepper, for example; you’ll absorb the curcumine of the turmeric way better because of the piperine of the pepper. Or eating vitamin C with your meat to enhance iron absorption. Meatballs and lingonberries, anyone?
I’m thinking that there may be innumerable conglomerate combinations like these behind many traditional dishes; there may be yet not charted points of cooking and eating complete meals, besides the obvious ones: it’s nice and tasty. On the other hand, there is a growing carnivore community claiming to need nothing but water and meat. If you’re curious, listen to this interview with Amber Hearn, who managed to heal from all kinds of illnesses by going carnivore. The theory is that since carnivore is an elimination diet, you’ll probably exclude some food items that you didn’t know you couldn’t eat and thus feel much better. This is why I’m planning to reintroduce vegetables one by one after my carnivore experiment.
I also have more spare time. Grocery shopping is quick and easy; I just grab some eggs, a packet of butter and the meat of the day. There is nothing else included in the diet, so there is nothing else to consider or remember. If choosing organ meats instead of rib-eye steak, it’s also quite cheap. I got 900 grams of chicken heart, 500 grams of butter and some ascorbic acid (because I do feel anxious to get enough vitamin C) for ten euros. That’s five full meals and I’ll still have half of the butter package left. If carnivore turns out to be a good idea, it’s the most minimalist way of eating I can imagine.
Cooking is equally simple. But also a bit boring; I do love to cook. And meals look a bit dull, too. This is my frugal – but very satisfying – lunch, chicken heart and butter:
I’m very excited to see if I’ll experience more advantages and disadvantages to the carnivore diet. Here is a blogpost that deals with some of the myths of calories, carbs and popular beliefs saying you should eat grains, fibre and the like. You don’t have to eat fibre – or, rather – you shouldn’t eat fibre, as the righteous carnivore- or keto-nerd would claim.