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.

I’m back! + 30 days of carnivore

Hi, everyone! It’s been while since I added anything to this site, but I retired 3 weeks ago (yay!) and now intend to add content more regularly.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I’m excited to embark on a personal 30-day carnivore challenge. From today through Saturday, July 17, 2021, I’m doing the carnivore diet full-on. Feel free to jump in and join me!

My “whys”:

(1) I keep trying to stick to a 100% carnivore diet and failing. Constantly being disappointed in myself is soul-destroying.

But! I remembered that according to Gretchen Rubin’s excellent book, “Better than Before“, I’m an “obliger” — someone who’s motivated by external expectations (see her “four tendencies” here — which one are you?)

In other words, I often have trouble making positive changes without external accountability. But if I tell the world I’m doing something, I can generally do it — for example, my sugar-free year in 2017, and my month of carnivore eating in 2018.

(2) One knee gets sore when I walk or run. This is getting in the way of my retirement goal to compete as a master’s runner. I suspect it may be due to general inflammation from dairy and carbs. Many people report resolving or significantly improving joint pain on the carnivore diet.

(3) I believe the carnivore diet is the most nutrient-rich diet on the planet, and that it’s the ancient ancestral diet of humans — see the recent interdisciplinary study by the University of Tel Aviv.

(4) The last time I did this, I lost weight, felt great, and (strange but true) the plaque on my teeth spontaneously flaked off. (I know, right?! So bizarre!) As well, my skin and digestion were the best they’ve ever been, and I had a much healthier relationship with food (no cravings, no overeating). I’m hoping to see the same benefits this time.

My rules for the 30 days:

  • I’ll eat beef, liver, eggs, seafood, pork, lamb, and poultry (and game if I encounter any — I LOVE venison and moose!)
  • Bone broth, collagen powder, and gelatin are also on the menu.
  • Unlike last time, no dairy (and that includes butter, cheese, and heavy whipping cream, three foods I LOVE, but which are addictive for me, make me break out, and may be stalling my weight loss).
  • No sweeteners of any kind.
  • No 100% dark chocolate! (My nemesis)
  • Unlike last time, no nuts! (Another nemesis)
  • 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.
  • Herb teas, coffee, and unflavoured mineral water are OK.
  • Herbs and spices (sweetener-free) are OK, including mustard. (If carnivore influencer Kelly Hogan eats mustard, it must be OK!)
  • Holiday exception: On Father’s Day and Canada Day (July 1) I can have my unsweetened chocolate pudding (basically just cream and cocoa powder) for dessert. Yay! I can also have red wine or champagne on those 2 days (otherwise, no alcohol).

I’m so excited for this! Wish me luck!

Fixing my sleep, Part 4: Results of the overnight sleep study

alexander-possingham-209285-unsplashMy next appointment at MedSleep would reveal the results of my overnight sleep study. In the weeks leading up to the appointment, I was worried that they’d tell me they didn’t find anything specific. I kept imagining the conversation:

MedSleep: “Your sleep wasn’t great, but we didn’t see anything in terms of a physical cause. Have you tried melatonin / warm baths / progressive relaxation?”

Me: “YES! SOOOO MANY TIMES! Arghghgh!’ (flees the building)

Fortunately, what happened was very different… Continue reading