Interview with Shauna
1) Introduce Yourself.
My name is Shauna Vanderpool. I’m 36 years old, and a mother of two beautiful twin girls. I’m a certified yoga instructor, Pilates instructor, and personal trainer. I studied Nutrition and Dietetics in college, as well as Kinesiology.
2) How did you eat before Carnivore.
I realized the Standard American Diet (SAD) was not for me when I was 25 years old.
I spent the next 11 years searching for the right way of eating for me. I slowly transitioned from SAD, to 4 years of Veganism, to 3 years of the Paleo diet, to 4 years of a Ketogenic diet, to the Carnivore way of eating.
3) Why did you try Carnivore to begin with.
My Keto journey started 4 years ago when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my pregnancy. I went low carb and kept my blood sugar in a healthy range through diet alone. After my twins were born, I took low carb to the next level and went full on ketogenic. 6 months after having twins I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I had more energy than ever before, and my skin looked great. I loved Keto and kept with it for 4 years. However, I still struggled with abdominal bloating and distention, and a laundry list of gut health issues, that eventually started to drain all my energy. In December 2018, I started experimenting with the Carnivore way of eating. In January 2019 I began my Carnivore journey.
4) How do you personally approach the Carnivore Diet.
I’ve embraced the Carnivore way of eating with a gentle approach that honors my individual needs. Some people would call my approach “relaxed carnivore,” “dirty carnivore,” or even “Keto-Carnivore.”
95% of what I eat is just animal muscle meats and animal fats. Currently, I still drink coffee because I enjoy it, and consuming coffee doesn’t seem to have any negative consequences for me. To be honest, ice cream has been my favorite food since I was 2 years old. I feel it would be completely unrealistic for me to think that I can sustain never eating my favorite food again. If I feel like eating some keto ice cream, I eat it on occasion…and then go right back to eating Carnivore.
Personally, I don’t like the taste of organ meats, so I don’t eat them.
5) What benefits have you seen since starting the Carnivore Diet.
When I first started eating Carnivore, the first thing I noticed was the improvement in my digestion. After about a month, the second thing I noticed was a major increase in libido. After two months, I started wanting to go back to the gym again, after almost a year of not having the energy to exercise. Four months into my Carnivore journey I started accompanying my boyfriend to Crossfit, and I started kickboxing classes in addition to my regular gym workouts. I cannot wait to see what happens next!
6) What negatives have you found with the Carnivore Diet.
The biggest negative with eating Carnivore is that most people don’t understand why I don’t eat any vegetables. Fortunately for me, the people closest to me do understand because they have witnessed the great improvement in my health.
7) Do you exercise on the Carnivore Diet, if so how do you find it and what do you do.
At first, I did not exercise at all on Carnivore. As I explained before, the desire to exercise gradually increased the longer I continued the Carnivore way of eating.
8) What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in trying this diet, but hasn’t taken the leap yet.
Do your own research, so can feel confident in the way you are eating. I started experimenting with a keto-carnivore hybrid diet before I went full Carnivore. I would eliminate plant-based foods for a few days, and then start eating them again for a few days. It did not take long for me to notice the difference between the uncomfortable bloated feeling that any food containing fiber left me with, vs. the full, yet still flat and comfortable belly after eating only meat.
9) Do you think Carnivore will ever be accepted as a mainstream diet.
I don’t look at Carnivore as being a trendy diet for the purpose of weight loss. I view the Carnivore way of eating as a lifestyle choice.
Could the Carnivore diet be the next mainstream diet trend? It’s very possible. Will the Carnivore way of eating as a lifestyle become accepted by the mainstream? Probably not. The concept of fruits and vegetables being a healthy and a necessary part of the human diet is just too deeply ingrained into our minds.
10) Anything you would like to add, and where can people follow your journey.
Please keep in mind that I’m not an M.D. I’ve never conducted any randomized double-blind placebo control studies on this topic. I have not researched any medical journals or physicians articles for this interview. My evidence is purely anecdotal. All of my evidence comes from my personal experience, and that is enough for me in making dietary decisions for myself.
The Carnivore way of eating is not a religion, so I’m not here to try to convert anyone. However, if you think that going Carnivore might be beneficial for you and you have any questions or concerns, I’m more than happy to help you to the best of my knowledge.
You can find me on Instagram @Petitecarnivore.
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