CARNIVORE CHRONICLES

Carnivore Chronicles 

    1. Why Carnivore
    2. October 2022
    3. November 2022
    4. RECIPES

    Why Carnivore

    It all started with a 4-week trip to Goa over a decade ago.

    We thought it would be nice to have an elephant shower experience, so we went along and climbed on the gorgeous sitting animal, who proceeded to stand up and ‘shower’ us with his proboscis, prompted by his keeper. It was fun and we smiled a lot for the photos.

    Sadly, as we were drying ourselves we noticed the whip used by the keeper, and the heavy chains attached to each foot of the elephant. Which made us instantly regret taking part in a tourist attraction that was clearly causing suffering to an innocent animal. We also watched the keeper use massive nets to fish out gigantic balls of dung from the pond that the elephant (and we) were in. During the long drive back to our beach lodge, we reflected on our poor choice of tourist activity and joked that we must have swallowed loads of poo water.

    Little did we know that there was nothing to laugh about. The very next day I became seriously ill. Initially with vomiting. And then with explosive diarrhoea. I literally couldn’t leave the toilet for more than 5 minutes at a time. After 10 whole days of this, and unable to keep any water or food down, I was so unwell, drained and weak that I honestly thought I was going to die.

    Fortunately, as the days passed, the time between toilet visits gradually stretched. Then, much to our relief, I had enough respite from toilet slavery to feel that I could travel back to the airport and get on the flight back to the UK.

    Eventually, and very slowly, things got better. It took 9 months for me to feel OK. Not back to my previous health. Just OK.

    Despite probiotics and different cleansing attempts, my immune system and gut health never returned to pre-India health.

    I have no doubt that the keto lifestyle helped with my recovery. But the battering I received from that awful bacterial infection had a long-lasting impact on my digestive system. I would get regular peptic ulcer flare-ups, and short episodes of diarrhoea after even the tiniest diversion from my day-to-day foods.

    A while later, a psoriatic plaque appeared on one knee. This remained small and contained for about 2 years, after which it suddenly spread over most of my lower leg, then over my other lower leg, followed by new plaques on my scalp, eyebrows and ears. None the less, it was all very mild and I kept my skin in check with tallow – which I rendered myself from pasture-raised ox kidney fat.

    I was managing just fine, with zero prescription meds or treatments. Until…

    carnivore chronicles - psoriasis

    Holiday 

    My psoriasis jumped from 1st to 6th gear during a relaxing beach holiday in late summer 2022. No stress, no food variation (keto every day), lots of sun and laziness. And yet, the damn thing went crazy. For no apparent or logical reason. Thick plaques on my legs, chunky bumps all over my scalp, crusty ears and eyebrows. And if that weren’t enough, I developed a new inflamed area: one eyelid – swollen, red, sore, and with constantly peeling skin.  I wondered what would be next…

    The Great Reset

    That’s when I decided that enough was enough. I needed to restore my gut health and immune system once and for all. And there was only one way that might achieve that: by going carnivore.

    Over the years, I had seen plenty of videos by Dr Berry and many others in the keto community who had turned to carnivore to address a multitude of medical problems, including immune system disorders.  They were fascinating, and I watched them with interest and curiosity, thankful that I didn’t need to be so drastic with my food choices. But now it was my time to give carnivore a go.

     

    So, ladies and gentlemen, starting on 22 September 2022, my keto lifestyle is going to be set aside, for a while at least, to experiment with a strict + clean carnivore diet. Obviously, going from a clean keto lifestyle has its advantages, as I’m already primed for low carb foods. However, I’ve never been a steak lover, and I don’t buy burgers and sausages form supermarkets because they’re not ‘clean’ enough for me. The challenge, therefore, will be finding sufficient variety of grass-fed/pasture raised meat and wild fish, plus different meat cuts and offal. And also figure out different ways of cooking them, to keep me unwavering for as long as it takes to achieve the reset I’m aiming for. Luckily, I absolutely love eggs, so they’ll feature very highly in my new carnivore lifestyle.

    As time goes on, I’ll be sharing how I get on in my Carnivore Chronicles. So do subscribe to my Newsletter if you’re interested in learning about my progress (or lack of). I will be publishing monthly updates as well as recipes.

    Antya x

    October 2022

    My first Carnivore Chronicles update.

    No ulcer flare-ups thus far. Very happy about that.

    In terms of psoriasis, progress hasn’t been great. However, on some days my legs aren’t as ‘crusty’. The eyelid soreness has diminished a bit, with less redness and less peeling. My ears haven’t improved yet – lots of skin shedding on the pinna, lobe and even the concha. My scalp doesn’t seem any different either – I can feel bumps from scabs pretty much all over.

    I had great hopes that I would see everything improve by now, given the quick success stories described on YouTube by others. But I guess everyone’s different and the ‘reset’ takes longer in some people compared to others.

    My Experience So Far

    The big positive is that what they say is absolutely true! No cravings at all! I truly thought I wouldn’t be able to do carnivore for more than a few days, since I love veggies, fruit, pasta, bread-types and sweet treats so much. Since day one I haven’t felt that I’m denying myself any of my favourite keto foods, so I don’t miss them one bit. Amazing! Let’s hope it lasts.

    The first negative (but for some people this would be a welcome achievement), is that 4 kg (almost 9lb) of weight melted away in the first 3 weeks, so I now weigh just 51kg (8st/112lb). But I am eating to full capacity, never hungry, and full of energy, so I’m OK with that.

    The second negative is that my blood pressure has dropped, causing me to feel dizzy and unbalanced when standing up or turning quickly. I continue to take 450mg daily magnesium glycinate and extra salt every day, so I don’t understand what’s going on. It remains to be seen whether this is temporary or not.

    The last negative is poo. I thought that consuming zero fibre would lead to constipation, so I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t need the toilet for the first 5 days. But since then, I’ve had diarrhoea most mornings. Not the painful or continuous type like the horror I experienced in India. Just stools that are mostly liquid and splatter. And only once. In the morning. After a cup of tea. That’s it. No discomfort at all. Again, I have no idea if this is a temporary gut adjustment, or a permanent toilet affair. We’ll see.

    The Foods I Eat

    My carnivore diet consists of meat (including organs), fish and eggs. No dairy whatsoever. I know some carnivores find dairy acceptable. But it can be inflammatory, so I’m leaving it out. For now.

    I have been cooking all sorts of delicious carnivore meals, using grass-fed, pasture raised animal protein, and wild fish whenever possible. Variety was always prominent in both my high-carb and keto dietary habits, and I need that to continue in order to stay focused. Trust me on this, carnivore life is way more exciting when you introduce different animal parts, including offal. You just need to know how to cook them to create interesting textures and lovely flavours.

    Eggsbeef, lambchicken and oily fish have been my staples, with some pork – mainly as bacon and pancetta, which add a welcome crunch to any meal. Steak is only a once or twice a week affair, because a) I’ve never liked it, and b) I find it utterly boring. Nutritionally, eating nose-to-tail is considered best, so I’m experimenting with all sorts. So far, beef liver and oxtail take the crown. Heart – not so much, as the texture is a bit weird, but by cooking it together with liver – which I love – it isn’t so bad. Beef tongue and kidneys are in the freezer ready for testing.

    I definitely prefer slow-cooked, tender meat that falls off the bone. My new Ninja Foodi Max Multi Cooker (no affiliation, just my honest opinion) , purchased specifically for my carnivore journey, has consistently delivered beautifully cooked food.

             

    This amazing piece of kit isn’t just convenient thanks to its plethora of cooking modes. Forget fat splatters all over the hob area, say hello to reduced smells, and welcome the savings made from not having to replace the grease filter in the extractor fan above your hob as often. Granted, it’s pricey and a bit bulky. But it’s easy to clean and replaces a multitude of machines, since it does so much and so conveniently. I’m a happy cook and whole-heartedly recommend it. In fact, I wish I hadn’t waited to go carnivore before buying it.

    As for drinks, it’s just purified water, lots of it, occasionally with a slice of lemon. Oh and I also have one cup of organic white tea and one-two coffees a day, all barely sweetened with a pinch of stevia.

    NOVEMBER 2022

    Happy to report no ulcer flare ups. Great!

    My psoriasis hasn’t improved one bit. Scalp, ears, eye area and calves all seem the same. Some days are better than others, but overall, quite disappointing.

    The dizziness and abnormal bowel movements have both gone. Thank goodness! It was clearly down to transitioning and therefore temporary. If you’ve just started carnivore and you’re experiencing the same, don’t worry, it won’t persist. Keep taking your electrolytes and drink plenty of water.

  1.  

    The weight loss continued for a while, but seems to have finally settled. My weight now hovers around 48kg (7.5st/106lb). My starting weight was 55kg (8.6st/121lb). According to my height of 167cm (5’5″), I’m now classed as ‘underweight’. Whatever. Yes my bones are sticking out everywhere, but I feel great. Plus it gives me a good excuse to get new clothes, since nothing fits me anymore.

    Still no cravings, which is unbelievable. The only thing I miss, occasionally, is a little crunch. Pork scratchings aren’t my thing, which is a shame because you can pretty much buy them everywhere. Adding crispy chicken skinbacon or pancetta, alongside the main protein I cook, has helped. And I’ve been making delicious prosciutto and bresaola crisps, which are super easy and very simple. I will add the recipe soon, but essentially, you just bake them on low temperature until they’ve dried out.

    I’ve also been experimenting with ‘bread’, just to have more food options. So far, the results have been rubbish. I’ve either produced memory foam, or a weird eggy thing, or something dry and impossible to swallow. I’ll keep testing and maybe one of these days the magic will happen…

    In terms of protein choices, I’ve been cooking all sorts in an effort to eat nose-to-tail as much as possible. Liver, heart and kidneys remain firm favourites. Ox tongue is very fatty and definitely an acquired taste. Beef lung was a disaster: spongy texture and very unpleasant to chew on – one for the dustbin. Offal is a great way to ensure a variety of nutrients, especially the all-important B Vitamins.

    Organ meat aside, there are myriad food choices when it comes to carnivore. I’ve been cooking pork belly, beef short ribs, lamb shanks, lamb’s neck, lamb’s shoulderchicken, duck legs, pig cheeks… and my least favourite: steak.

    Salmon, scallops and monkfish are a weekly feature on the menu.

    I’ve also been eating tons of eggs, whether scrambled or soft boiled or whatever, mainly functioning as a ‘side’ to my main protein meals.

    This journey is turning out quite interesting and far from boring and repetitive.

    Antya x

    RECIPES

    Stracciatella

    Oxtail Stew