Over the past 21 months (hard to think it’s been that long!), I’ve seen many successes and failures and had my own chance to get started in a positive way. I wanted to share this with you, in case you’re just starting out or planning to start, and are not quite sure if you should move forward or continue.
My 10 tips for success on Carnivore:
1. Meat, salt, and water for 90 days, minimum. When I say meat, I mean ruminants (cow, goat, sheep, deer, elk, moose, buffalo, bison, gazelle, mammoth), and organs if you wish to include them. If you haven’t resolved all of your issues in 90 days and want to quit, I urge you to keep going and experiment with different animal foods, fat ratios, organs, what-have-you.
2. You have a list of health problems that you are hoping to resolve, and most people have a single most important issue they want to deal with. Most often, they will quit if this one major issue is not resolved in a set amount of time. THIS IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE. You didn’t put yourself in this situation in 30, 60, or 90 days, so stop having too high of expectations for immediate relief!
3. Organs if you wish, or if you are actually deficient, or if you like organs. Bone marrow is nice. Liver is great, too, but mind the carbs if deeper ketosis is your goal.
4. Don’t fear fat; in fact, eat more of it. Best bet in my opinion, when dealing with say, a ribeye (a nice fatty one), cut the fat off and eat that first until you feel full-ish, then finish off the lean. This will ensure adequate energy and micronutrient substrate is put to the forefront.
5. AVOID DAIRY at first. Unless you’re one of the lucky 1% (made-up number), dairy may make you fatter and inflamed and may stall your progress and slow your digestion of the important food: meat.
6. Eggs are a great superfood, if you tolerate them. For some people, they can cause digestive issues. Get pastured eggs if you can afford them. These are the highest quality eggs. If you can buy direct from the producer locally, that’s your best and cheapest option. There’s also Vital Farms sold in some grocery stores, they are the next-best but sometimes pricey. Pastured eggs are characterized by a dark orange yolk. These are extremely high in vitamins compared to commercial, cage-free and free range eggs. If you can’t get local or Vital Farms, omega 3 eggs are the next logical step. These are from flax-fed chickens and at least get you the benefit of higher omega 3.
7. Grass finished vs. Grain finished – All cows in the US are grass-fed. The difference is in the finishing. Grass-finished cows spend their life on pasture, whereas grain-finished spend a few months at the end of life on feedlot for faster fattening. As far as nutrition goes, there is very little difference. My advice is to eat what you like and can afford!
8. 90 DAYS DOES NOT MEAN ADAPTATION. Adaptation can take over a year for some people, it depends on how metabolically deranged you’ve managed to get yourself by eating foods that you are poorly-adapted to (plants).
9. KETO-ADAPTATION DOES NOT MEAN CARNIVORE-ADAPTATION. There’s a big difference between simply being fat-adapted (burning fatty acids preferentially over glucose for energy) and being carnivore-adapted. Adaptation to carnivore is further beyond that. You’ve killed off harmful fiber-fermenting bacteria in the gut and replaced it with more diverse and putrefactive bacteria instead. I’ll say again, adaptation can take over a year.
10. BE PATIENT AND STICK WITH IT.