(If you missed Part 1 of this series, click here to check it out.)
Starting the Carnivore Diet
You’ve done your research and feel it’s time to start eating Carnivore, so how would you like to start? Here are 2 options:
- Go all in meat-bonanza style and quit plants cold-turkey (pun intended).
- Transition to eating whole foods, then phase out plants.
Here’s the thing…your body is so dynamic that it will acclimate to survive on substances that resemble food. If you have consistently relied on Takis and Dr. Pepper for nourishment, transitioning to only eating meat may be extremely challenging.
The Transition Process
- Concentrate on having 3 meals a day, but start your day with dinner and end with breakfast.
-When we think of an American traditional dinner we think Protein, Carbohydrate, Vegetable. Build your plate so the largest percentage of calories come from your protein, then vegetables, then a tiny starch (preferably from a sweet potato, squash, or rice). Go ahead and completely remove all wheat and dairy products at this step.
-Lunch should be similar to the first meal.
-Last meal of the day should be your smallest but can still contain all 3 components (Protein, Veg, Carb – i.e., an omelette).
*No raw vegetables. Cook ALL vegetables in grass fed animal fats.
**No snacks. Eat slowly and intentionally to satiation at each meal.
***Do this for approximately 21 days or for however long you feel you need to. Consider your energy level, mood, digestion, satiety factor, mental clarity, etc.
- Eliminate carbs
-Continue to eat 3 meals consistently but increase your protein to compensate for the disappearance of carbs on your plate.
*Do this for 2 weeks and evaluate how you feel. When ready, go to step 3.
- 100% Carnivore
-Meat all day every day. Continue to eat consistently, but only consume meat and seafood for 7-30 days.
-Evaluate how you feel: Energy, mood, mental clarity, skin, digestion, etc.
-Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and salting your food. We love this salt! Mineral rebalancing will occur since you are not consuming foods that block or deplete them.
Carnivore: Men vs. Women
Let’s face it…a man’s body was not constructed to carry a human life and they may adapt to extreme nutritional changes more easily. Hence, men could have more success with cutting out plants cold-turkey (there’s that pun again).
Conversely, a woman’s body prepares to create human life on a monthly basis resulting in a delicate balance between survival and preservation. For women, drastic changes to diet may trigger a stress response and her body will go into preservation mode (slow metabolism to “conserve nutrients,” blood sugar dysfunction, amenorrhea, etc.). A gradual transition may work better for women as well as some nutritional flexibility around menstruation.
For example, once you’ve acclimated to whole foods by the above process and feel ready to go carnivore, look at the calendar, app, or however you track your period. Start carnivore when done menstruating and do all meat for 3 weeks. See how you feel when your period is getting close. You may require whole food carbs the week leading up to or during your period.
Big Changes, tangible results
With any big nutritional changes, we recommend laboratory testing before starting your journey, and also testing 90 days later. If markers such as the Apo B/A ratio, inflammation, homocysteine, uric acid and blood sugar look good, continue with the diet. You can test those with our comprehensive Cardiovascular Panel. If you feel good and the labs look good, continue with the Carnivore diet. I also suggest the Vibrant Micronutrient test to assess your absorption of vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins and to check glutathione levels. Order your test here.
Again, I am still The Paleo Cardiologist. Carnivore is Paleo! At least for a 7 or 30-day trial. This is a nutritional reset for your body.
Cardiovascular health impacts overall health. Lowering inflammation allows for the cardiovascular system to do its job more efficiently by reducing the risk of damage to our heart muscle and blood vessels.
The moral of the story is we are all unique beings and have different nutritional needs. Do what’s best for you. The Carnivore Diet may be a great reset for some, a long term nutritional regimen for others, or not an option at all. The key is reframing the concept of food as nourishment, not just energy or mood stabilizers. Quality, whole foods are ALWAYS a better option than pre-packaged “frankenfoods” prepared in rancid seed oils and preserved with a host of chemicals. Love your body enough to give it what it needs, not what it’s addicted to. Bare minimum, we recommend the heart-healthy Paleo diet as the baseline eating plan for everyone.
Part 3 of the Carnivore Diet series includes the impact of the diet on autoimmune concerns and how we are able to get vitamins and minerals from meat alone…#OrgansAreDelicious.
Happy Health! We are here to support you on your journey. If you have questions, please sign up for a free coach call!