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Composed: Jun 20, 2023

Author: Autumn

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What and How I Eat - How It Began, How It's Changed, How It's Going Now

I meet a lot of people who are hesitant to try keto, or carnivore, or low carb, or whatever because they're not sure if it's sustainable. What and how I eat has changed vastly over the years. Having been at different places in my life where I ate plant-based, Mediterranean, standard Western, and vegetarian, I completely understand the hesitation to make a big leap into something unknown.

Let me share how I found myself, a former vegetarian, following a carnivore diet and what I do now.

How it began

For a few years, I followed a ketogenic way of eating. When I started, I brought with me the same diet dogma I had learned throughout my life; eat less move more, calories, calories, calories, exercise, exercise, exercise. I had some success. I lost a lot of inflammation by removing inflammatory foods. My once "bad" right ankle turned a new leaf and decided to be more like the left ankle and stop swelling every time I got a little exercise. My "bad" knees stopped creaking and cracking every time I stood up, sat down, walked across the room, or sneezed too hard.

My energy levels stabilized, and I no longer experienced the lightheadedness that accompanies a sudden drop in blood sugar. I no longer felt like I needed a nap ALL DAY LONG. My brain fog started to clear up and it happened less often that I walked into a room trying to remember why I went in there in the first place. My digestion was vastly improved.

My struggles

But I still had some struggles. Next, I decided, after much research and reading, to let go of the diet dogma. I started to eat more. I started to exercise less. I still exercised but I was no longer doing some form of exercise 3 times a day, 5-7 days a week. You can read about how I ate more in my blog post, I can't eat more. Spoiler Alert, yes you can!.

I felt better. I had more energy. I was able to get in better workouts and I saw better results from my efforts. Things were better. And I wanted more. I wanted to get rid of the things I had left that were ailing me. I wanted my psoriasis gone! It had gotten about 80% better without wheat and other grains in my diet. But I wanted it gone.

I was still holding weight in my lower half and I wasn't sure why. I wanted to find something that would make that move. At this point, I was pretty convinced from the evidence I'd already seen in my own body, that food was a huge factor in my overall health and wellness, and I had reluctantly accepted the fact that the old "heart-healthy whole grains", "eat less move more", "low fat" dogma was not ever going to serve me well.

How it changed

I learned about the carnivore way of eating and decided to do some research on it. I found that there really wasn't much research on it. In fact, there really isn't a lot of research on any dietary strategies in the long term. There are plenty of anecdotes of people having success with all sorts of dietary interventions.

Some people seem to do well on a vegetarian diet. Some have great success eating plant-based. Some are really happy on a calorie-restricted diet. Some people follow keto with great success. Some people seem to maintain their health without putting forth much thought into what they eat. I'd already tried all of those and I knew which yielded success for me and which did not.


I decided to try a carnivore way of eating for 30 days, with the caveat that if I felt unwell or noticed any negative health effects I would stop immediately. After about 5 days I noticed that the postnasal drip I'd suffered with all my adult life was gone. I was in shock. What plants had I been eating that caused that reaction in my body? I wasn't sure yet, but it was such a huge relief to have that permanent annoyance gone.

I don't remember when I noticed, but at some time in those first 30 days, I noticed my psoriasis was all but gone. The areas of my body where I once had scaly, red, itchy irritated skin were nothing more than a little bit of dry skin I could easily treat with lotion or cream. It was no longer red, it was no longer itchy, and the scales were gone. I no longer use steroid creams and my skin is clear. I was in shock.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition. There is no known cure. The cause is not known. What plants had I been eating that caused that reaction in my body? I wasn't sure yet, but it was such a huge relief to have that permanent annoyance gone, too.

How did I do it?

There are many different ways to follow a carnivore way of eating and there isn't an agreed-upon definition, so let me define how I ate. I ate all types of meat including ruminants (beef, lamb, etc.), poultry, fish, seafood, and pork. I ate eggs. I ate all types of full-fat, low-carb, low-sugar dairy including hard and soft cheeses, sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurt, and heavy whipping cream. I drank coffee. And I included spices.

I ate pretty strictly and cleanly according to my definition of carnivore for a couple of years. Then, I decided to try adding back in a few plant foods that I enjoy. I wanted to take a measured approach to this so I could gauge what was going to work for me and what was not.

How it's going now

I eat mostly meat, eggs, and dairy. I incorporate small amounts of onion, pepper, tomato, summer squash, coconut milk, avocado oil, or coconut oil.

I love avocado but it doesn't serve me well.

Cauliflower, the amazing vegetable that can be anything it wants, including pizza, doesn't serve me well. I don't digest dietary fiber well and the more fibrous a food is, the less I can eat of it without major digestive upset.

Broccoli is a no as are Brussels sprouts. Cabbage raw or cooked causes bloating and cramping but fermented (kimchi or sauerkraut) is OK in limited quantities. A few olives have never caused any discernable negative effects. A couple of pickle slices on a burger are just fine.

What I eat

Most of what I eat is still meat, eggs, and dairy. If I'm adding any plants at all, it is a minuscule amount. A couple of bites, enough to enjoy the flavor, but not enough fiber to cause digestive upset or other issues. Many of my meals are still 100% animal foods. And as I've discussed before in my blog post titled, Basically You're Not Carnvore, Insert Eye Roll Here, there are no animals in nature that eat absolutely no plants, so I still consider this to be a carnivore diet. If all you eat is meat, that's great! My goal is not to win a prize for being THE MOST carnivore. If yours is, you win. I'm not competing with you. I'm focused on my health and managing my health conditions. I also have lipedema and I've found a carnivore diet to be hugely helpful for managing lipedema.

What I've learned

Over the years, I've learned a lot of things through experience. I also learned some things through researching subjects.

The most important lessons

I think the most important thing I learned was to let go of dogma.

I learned to evaluate research on its merits and not just take things at face value. Unfortunately, not all research is structured in a way that yields honest results. That's not to say that research isn't important. In fact, quite the opposite.

I learned that nutritional needs seem to be highly individualized and that what works for most will not work for all. I learned how to formulate my own diet to meet my own unique nutritional needs.

I'm not stuck in dogma

I will continue learning. I will continue evaluating the research based on its merits. I will continue experimenting with foods to see which may work best for my state of health at the moment. My diet may change. And in fact, it probably will.

I am not stuck in dogma.