Interview with Cara
1) Introduce Yourself.
My name is Cara, and I live in the woodlands of northeast Ohio. I enjoy hiking, grilling, and photographing mushrooms.
2) How did you eat before Carnivore.
I have eaten nearly every way there is—I’ve dabbled in paleo, keto, vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, whole30, various “bro-science” diets, IIFM, calorie counting, elimination diets, and a low-FODMAP diet. With the exception of veganism, all of them were short-term attempts to figure out how to lose weight and manage my difficult-to-pin-down food intolerance’s.
3) Why did you try Carnivore to begin with.
It started with an online book called The Fiber Menace, which describes the history of dietary fiber and how it may do more harm than good for human gut health. This book completely changed my views of healthy eating. After searching for years, it provided me with the first sensible explanation of the digestive issues I struggled with over the past decade. During that time I noticed a pattern: the “healthier” I ate (ie. more whole grains, legumes, leafy greens, and fresh fruit) the more I hurt, so I would switch to eating highly processed foods, which improved my IBS symptoms, but left me susceptible to other health issues. Consequently, I would switch back to the high fiber “health foods” and the cycle began again. I now realize that processed foods improved my gut issues because they have very little fiber!
This led me to finding the carnivore diet, which eliminates all plant fiber. I was immediately drawn to it and overhauled my way of eating completely.
4) How do you personally approach the Carnivore Diet.
My carnivore diet approach in one word is local. I acquire all of my meat, dairy, and most of my supplementary foods from here in Ohio. I love getting to know the farmers in my area through farmers markets and visits to their farms and orchards. At this time, I choose not to experiment with ketosis, so I incorporate a little bit of maple syrup and apple cider into my diet. I also use non-carnivore condiments such as barbecue sauce and dried herbs.
My favorite foods are barbecue ribs and burgers on the grill and full-fat cream top yogurt with a drizzle of maple syrup.
5) What benefits have you seen since starting the Carnivore Diet.
I do not exaggerate when I say the carnivore diet has saved my life. Veganism left my body and mind damaged: I lost two jobs consecutively because I missed so many days from reoccurring illness. I have always been an energetic, optimistic person, but after three years of veganism, I had debilitating depression and anxiety. I quit veganism one year ago, and my health improved on a more balanced diet, but the depression and IBS lingered. After only one week on a carnivore diet, both disappeared completely. My pain and discomfort vanished. I felt calm and happy—I smiled a lot. People noticed a difference. But most of all, I had energy again! Energy to do the dishes without exhaustion; energy to tackle neglected projects; energy to start my longtime dream of photographing and sharing my food and hikes through Instagram.
An additional benefit is that I do not have to chop vegetables or eat vegetables, both of which were more burdensome than I realized.
6) What negatives have you found with the Carnivore Diet.
There was one incident recently where I discovered the hard way that the carnivore diet drastically changes one’s alcohol tolerance. I will not be drinking again, which does not bother me as I rarely drank before, but it was a rather negative experience.
Otherwise, it’s wonderful so far!
7) Do you exercise on the Carnivore Diet, if so how do you find it and what do you do.
My exercise primarily comes from gardening and yard work, which I do freelance and as a volunteer at a local garden, plus my own yard. I go on long walks in the woods nearly every day. More recently, I wrote myself an exercise calendar to get back into sprinting and lifting. My newfound happiness and energy makes it much easier for me to motivate myself to workout.
8) What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in trying this diet, but hasn’t taken the leap yet.
Do not worry about things you already have in your cupboard or refrigerator—give them away or throw them away—your health is more important than the money you spent on those things. Do not mourn for money or food wasted. Do not tell yourself “tomorrow” or “Monday” or “when I finish this fifty pound bag of rice”—start right now!
9) Do you think Carnivore will ever be accepted as a mainstream diet.
In the end, the proof will be in the long-term health and sustained results of individuals. If my experience as a vegan taught me one lesson, it is humility. I thought that way of eating was the healthiest for everyone, and it destroyed me. I had to swallow my pride and admit I was wrong to myself and everyone else to whom I had espoused its benefits. Many others have the same story, which is why veganism will soon fade away. Similarly, if some time from now the carnivore diet no longer benefits the majority of its adherents, it will be discarded. All I know is this way of eating works for me right now.
10) Anything you would like to add, and where can people follow your journey.
@theoutdoorcarnivore on Instagram where you can find photographs of the interesting things I find in the woods and the food I eat. My favorite thing about sharing on social media is interacting with others—so don’t be afraid to reach out to me if you have questions, comments, or think there is some way I could be of help to you.
Thanks for reading, Steven
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