Carnivore month is complete! Results + what’s next

A delicious carnivore meal from Legendary John’s Spud Truck

I did it! I completed the 30 days, and I feel GREAT! It felt so satisfying to succeed at this; thank YOU for helping keep me accountable! Every time I considered cheating (and there were lots of such times), I said to myself, “No, I told them I wouldn’t!”

Results in a nutshell:

  • I lost 3.7 pounds – yay! I had been stuck around 142 for a while, and this morning I was exactly 138.0
  • My body composition also changed a bit – I feel leaner and stronger (BUT I also started weightlifting again part way through the month #NotVeryScientific.)
  • I have more energy than on a mixed diet.
  • My annoying and persistent scalp acne has completely cleared up, and my skin is less oily.
  • Food cravings and evening snacking are almost 100% gone, with zero effort or moral fiber required on my part.
  • My joints are less sore.
  • My digestion is happy, and for those of you who might be wondering about fiber, elimination is problem-free and effortless.
  • I seem to recover more quickly from weightlifting; I’m currently doing a full-body workout 2 days out of 3, and sometimes 3 days out of 4, and I feel GREAT!
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo right before I started the carnivore diet. The “before” photo on the left is me in November 2020 at 148.1 lb, on a low-carb diet with a lot of cheats. The photo on the right was a few days ago.

Below are the rules I set myself for the past 30 days – how did I do?:

  • Eating beef, liver, eggs, seafood, pork, lamb, poultry, and game:
    • Success! I ate all of the above, with the exception of game, which I wasn’t lucky enough to encounter. (Any hunters out there wanting to trade meat in exchange for editing?)
  • Bone broth, collagen powder, and gelatin are also on the menu:
    • Success! I often added unsweetened collagen and gelatin to hot drinks as a satisfying way to increase my protein.
  • Avoiding dairy
    • Haha! MAJOR FAIL! Or, as I prefer to think of it, major learning experience :). I had butter, heavy whipping cream, and cheese almost every day during the past month. I’m glad I broke this rule, because I learned that I can still enjoy small amounts of dairy without stalling my weight loss, or impacting my skin. Yay! Reasons I ate dairy:
      • It’s hard to deny my Dutch heritage; one of the first picture books I remember my mum reading to me was “The Cow Who Fell in the Canal,” in which gouda cheese plays a starring role.
      • The carnivore diet is restrictive; it was great to have something that I perceived as a “naughty treat.”
      • When I eat dairy fats, I hear the angels sing!
  • No sweeteners of any kind.
    • Success, except the artificial sweetener in Pepto-Bismol when I had a bit of stomach acid on two occasions after eating TOO much dairy.
  • No 100% dark chocolate! (My nemesis)
    • Almost! Over the course of a couple of days when I was feeling stressed about wildfires and smoke here in BC, I ate 10 g of 100% unsweetened chocolate that was hiding in the baking cupboard. It helped. Oh! And I also included cocoa powder in an unsweetened homemade ice-cream recipe.
  • Unlike last time, no nuts! (Another nemesis)
    • Success!
  • No vegetable oils. Did you know our consumption of these has increased massively since the 19th century? They’re a hugely novel food for humans, and very pro-inflammatory.
    • Not bad: I ate hot-dog wieners (no bun) twice; not sure what kind of scary fat is in those. Also, I had commercially cooked hamburger patties two or three times; I’m sure they use vegetable oil to grease the grills. And, I had some store-bought mayonnaise a couple of times.
  • Herb teas, coffee, and unflavoured mineral water are OK.
    • I drank all of these, plus a bit of WINE (oops — see below).
  • Herbs and spices (sweetener-free).
    • Success! I ate tons of mustard, and no sweetened spices/sauces.
  • Holiday exception: At the outset of the challenge, I had given myself permission to have wine and unsweetened chocolate pudding on Father’s Day and Canada Day (July 1), but otherwise, my goal was to avoid alcohol.
    • For the alcohol, a fail! Due to (1) a beloved out-of-town visitor and (2) wildfire stress, I ended up drinking dry red wine on about 1/2 the days of the month-long challenge; however, a small amount satisfied me (about 100 ml (1/2 a cup) over the course of an evening; this is about 2/3 the size of a standard 5-oz glass of wine). It didn’t seem to affect my success, and I enjoyed it. Still, I think that after this I’ll restrict it to social occasions — it felt like too much.
    • For the puddings/treats, I had these more often than planned, but I’m OK with that. About once a week, I had an egg-and-cream based unsweetened pudding or ice cream (all homemade, with no carbs or sweeteners of any kind, not even stevia, allulose, or xylitol). It felt great to enjoy treats with my husband and son (they got the stevia versions).

What’s next?

First, a PRIZE for myself! I may order a new book. I’d like to reread the excellent young adult book, A Bone From a Dry Sea. (Spoiler – one of the characters is carnivore!) Plus, I’m going to enjoy a piece of fruit this evening for a special treat. And, I had some delicious smoked sardines for breakfast, rather than my usual plain kind.

Above: Treats!

And after that? I feel so great, so energetic and happy, that I’m going to keep doing this. This time, I’m committing to three months of carnivore, which will bring us to October 18, 2021.

Thank you for your support — just knowing that people are reading this helps me stay on track and makes me feel so grateful! I’ll keep you posted with more progress photos and updates.

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