January is that time when many of us plan to do better. It’s a convenient time to mark beginnings and endings since the culture around us is focused in the same way.
For me, a time like the beginning and ending of the CrossFit Open is even better. After the Open ended in November, I restarted carnivore. Then I dipped into some sugar and beer around the holidays, and the day after, I was back to carnivore. I’m not one to wait on things. But my husband is.
My husband is a “I’ll start that on Monday” person. I bought him a 3-month online coach this year. I bought it in early December, thinking he might want to access the accountability through the holidays. Nope…he’s starting with the coach AFTER the holidays. Why ruin the celebration? LOL.
We each walk our own path.
You, too, might be a waiter. You might also be a gradual changer or a 80-percenter. For some, allowing some “treat” days makes the other days easier. For others, the “treat” days just never end, so complete withdrawal works better. Changing habits takes time and a lot of experimentation until you find what works for you.
I’m an all-or-nothing, do-it-now kind of person. Still, I’ll be participating in World Carnivore Month this January, even though I pretty much participate every month. I’ve been eating carnivore for over two years with some off time during the holidays and the CrossFit Open.
If you’re ready to try carnivore dieting, visit meatrx.com for help and research. This is Shawn Baker’s site, which is gathering everything in one place, but there are many animal food diet sources on the web that have been around for years:
- Georgia Ede, MD – Diagnosis Diet – Nutritional psychiatry and wonderful videos on the actual science (not politics) of nutrition. As with many of us, she moved from paleo to keto to carnivore.
- Esmée La Fleur – Zero Carb Zen – Former vegan, now carnivore after many years of many diets.
- Mark Sisson – Marks Daily Apple – Premier site for Paleo, Primal, Keto that includes analysis, forum, and links to the science.
Carnivore is not a complicated diet.
- There are no supplements you need.
- There are no special times to eat.
- There are no portions to measure.
Eat animal foods (mostly whole not processed with sugar and sauces that stimulate hunger) when you are hungry, until you are full. Add salt, because you’re probably used to getting a lot without ever having to think about adding any. The transition from high-carbohydrate days may be tough, leaving you sluggish or foggy until your body increases the enzymes that let you utilize fat for fuel.
Meat contains all of the nutrients that humans need for optimal well-being. A diet of only meat and water is, after all, the original human diet that we evolved on for millions of years. Not my conjecture, but evidence from bone analysis of ancient remains. After all, our ancestors made the mammoth go extinct and this was a time we hunted with spears. (The claptrap about fiber comes from cereal manufacturers and we can get enough vitamin C from meat.)
After that, you may find preferences for higher or lower fat meats or for ruminants vs seafood, etc. You may even want to add back in some plants. I still like plant water (coffee and tea) and I prefer lots of beef and eggs. That’s me.
There is a tremendous amount of anecdotal evidence for how well the diet heals people. Research is starting to come in on the value of animal foods, saturated fats in particular. But people eat what feels right and what people around them are eating. It’s rarely a rational decision, despite any shoulds people have in their minds. People can make eating nothing but twinkies sound rational only because that’s what they want to do (which is essentially what you’re doing if you eat a grain-based diet).
For me, I love the simplicity of mealtime and how good I feel — always nicely full, good energy, don’t have to think about if I’m getting enough protein or gaining weight. The only issue for me is my high-intensity work outs and how quickly (or not) my body recovers its glycogen. But I’ve told my training clients that high-intensity 4-5 days a week isn’t truly the healthiest choice anyway. But I love it, so I do it.