Interview with Megan
Hey there! My name is Megan I am 28 years old, I like piña colada, getting caught in the rain. Okay maybe not the first one, but it is a fun song (I feel like I just dated myself). Anywho, I am currently a health coach that specializes in a whole foods approach to keto.
I run the Thriving on Fat website and podcast. On the site, we talk a lot about the 5 pillars of health (healthy eating, movement, mindfulness, sleep, and community), and how problems in one of those areas can cause downstream effects. Our bodies are amazing machines that can compensate for our immediate benefit, regardless of what later problems may occur. Type 2 diabetes and a texting-related dowager’s hump are two examples of our bodies correcting for our immediate benefit which was can have negative effects, in most cases these two examples can be corrected. During the podcast on the Monday show we talk with my co-hosts about their journey with the ketogenic diet, and on the Friday show, we talk to experts as well as regular peeps about their health journey and how they have implemented lifestyle changes to make them better humans.
How did you eat before Carnivore.
Before I got bit by the keto and now carnivore bug, I tried many things to feel physically and mentally better. I tried cutting my calories, weight watchers, slow carb, paleo/primal (sloppy at first, then it got better) then keto, now carnivore.
As I learned more I was able to help others around me too. I am still floored thinking about what a wonderful thing the human body is; it withstood all of the garbage I used to put down my gobhole. It’s amazing how our bodies compensate to help us deal with the sugar and grain assault we give it in the Standard American Diet.
Before learning about health, my idea of a great breakfast was half of a frozen pizza, a soda or two along with a Poptart. As I started to learn more about health and nutrition I found that my body reacted differently depending upon what I ate. When I started primal/paleo and got the sugars and grains out of my diet, it made me feel like a million bucks. I didn’t realize how addicted I was to the garbage I fed myself.
After that, my basic meals would break down into a hunk of meat, veggies (mostly brussel sprouts, grilled onions, mushrooms, and broccoli) and fat, with nuts and dark chocolate.
As I learned more and as I got more in tune with my food triggers and I found that keto was amazing for my ADHD and my other nagging ailments. I was learning so much about primal, paleo, keto it was amazing. I felt like with each podcast or book I read I would both understand more, yet have 100 more questions. I love getting lost in the rabbit holes.
Why did you try Carnivore to begin with.
Well, one such rabbit hole that I came across was Carnivore. I was listening to a podcast ( I cannot remember which) and the host brought on back to back carnivores (Amber O’Hearn and Shawn Baker). Just when I thought I had a handle on Keto, a new rabbit hole appeared.
You mean I can skip the veggies, eat all the meat, and not have to worry about deficiencies… Are you sure? I was interested, yet skeptical. I then followed along with Danny Vega and Brian Williamson as they did their Surf and Turf experiment (red meat and salmon). They seemed to love it. I started to warm up to the idea. Slowly, I started dipping my toes into the water. I didn’t really dive into the pool until the Carnivore Keto Cut was released by Danny Vega and Chris Irvin. I bought the program and participated in the cut, I really liked how I felt. After the cut, I would eat plants or nuts from time to time, but nothing too crazy, especially since I did not feel as good with too much. Fast forward to the end of last year I wanted to see if I could not just cut on carnivore, but also gain muscle in the gym. So I tried that, and it worked swimmingly! Most recently, I wanted to have an event to train for. I modified my programming and I am adding in more CrossFit style workouts. My goal is to see how well I can do in the CrossFit open next year being fueled on most, if not all meat.
How do you personally approach the Carnivore Diet.
Since going carnivore I eat mostly red meat, pork with some cheese, eggs, and the occasional chicken. I want to start incorporating more fish and organs, I am looking for a good “It’s so good can’t believe it’s liver/fish” recipe. Really I need to suck it up and try it, but I will get there. Back to the food, on occasion, I do eat nuts or some veggies with my meal. But normally nothing too crazy. It is more of a weekend kind of thing because I have found that my menstrual cycle works better when I had a “carb-up” every week or two. By carb up I mean whole food based carb, it would look like a regular keto day for most people. I cap it out at about 10-25 total carbs. This is a carb-up for me since it is a larger intake of carbs than I normally have. I am not uber crazy with never eating another plant in my life, because I feel decent with them. However, if they start to negatively affect me I will take them out.
What benefits have you seen since starting the Carnivore Diet.
The biggest benefit for me is that if I do choose to eat nuts, plants what have you, I can taste the flavors so much better. When I was just keto I thought veggies had a sweetness to them, but now I can eat 88-90% chocolate, and find it sweet. If I make my own chocolate I do not use near the amount of sweetener than I used to. I also find it is super simple to compose my meals. The question is less, “What do I want today.” and more, “Do I want 2 or 3 cheeseburgers or steaks.
Another big benefit is that I can stay lean without much effort and I have very low inflammation. Right now I am building muscle, so I do not care as much about my weight, but carnivore makes it so easy to not have to worry. If I am not including cheese I find it hard to get enough food in me to not lose weight.
What negatives have you found with the Carnivore Diet.
The same thing that makes it simple, can also make it difficult. I say this not because I get bored of the food, instead, since I am the main cook of my household I make a decent bit of regular keto stuff. A lot of the time I end up tasting the food I am prepping for my wife and son to make sure it’s not too spicy, sweet, and so on. This is why I am not super crazy if I happen to not be fully carnivore all the time. I don’t mind cooking regular keto for them considering carnivore is my choice. My wife does better with a few more veggies in her diet, and with my son, he’s growing, so we don’t mind if he has some extra veggies. He doesn’t eat much different from us. It is important for me, that I don’t want to get dogmatic about carnivore. If you think it’s a good fit for you, do it; if it’s not, don’t sweat it.
Do you exercise on the Carnivore Diet, if so how do you find it and what do you do.
Yes, I do. Like I mentioned above I am building muscle on a carnivore diet, which is working. I am also preparing for the CrossFit open next year. So for right now, my training is heavy in the strength building phase, with some metcons, HIIT work, and longer steady state stuff. As I get closer to the competition date I will be ramping up the volume and intensity.
With that said, right now I find it quite easy to finish my training, and rest and recover after, as I ramp up the intensity and volume, I am not sure what that will mean for my carnivory. I may end up eating a more consistent carb intake, but I know I will still get 90% of my intake from meat. However only doing the work will help me see how my body responds to the workload, so, for now, I will keep an open mind, test and adjust as needed.
What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in trying this diet, but hasn’t taken the leap yet.
Be sure to keep on top on your electrolytes, even more so than on keto. A lot of the minerals are not available in the common cuts of meat consumed on carnivore. This is not as much of a problem if you are eating nose to tail, but you will still want to increase your electrolytes when you first start to cover your bases. Also, don’t be worried if your stool is a little loose when you first start to get used to carnivore. As your gut gets used to the lack of fiber it can still function, just give it some time. If you worry about your gut bugs, there are still carnivore probiotics you can get in yogurt and so on.
Do you think Carnivore will ever be accepted as a mainstream diet.
It’s possible, regardless, it serves as a good counterbalance to Vegan. As the inflammatory nature of this gets more publicized I know it will evolve, no matter where it goes, it will be interesting to see.
Anything you would like to add, and where can people follow your journey.
If you would like to follow along with my journey, I am most active on Instagram: @Thrivingonfat or you can email me from my site: thrivingonfat.com/contact, lastly you can catch me on my main podcast The Thriving on Fat Podcast.
Before I finish up, I would like to thank you for reading thus far, and if you take anything away from this let it be that no matter where you are on your journey; you can improve on yourself.
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