Interview with Sonja
1) Introduce Yourself.
My name is Sonja Graff. I am a 52-year-old yoga instructor and writer.
2) How did you eat before Carnivore.
I came to carnivore via the S.A.D diet. And it was very sad indeed. I quit drinking alcohol nearly 5 years ago, which helped me shed some pounds, but my eating habits ranged from vegan to see food. As in: I would eat anything and load up on it! I was a carbohydrate addict! Desserts were more important to me than actual food. I snacked all day and ate meals every 2 – 3 hours (Old School.) 🙂 I figured as long as I was also incorporating enough fruits and veggies, supplements and green drinks I was doing great! I used to brag that I was able to eat whatever I wanted without putting on too much weight, but I wasn’t paying very close attention to what my choices were doing to me.
3) Why did you try Carnivore to begin with.
Here within lies the problem. About seven years ago, on my 45th birthday actually, I noticed a tiny little balding spot on my scalp. I was going through a stressful time and just wrote it off, hoping it would just work itself out. It didn’t. It got bigger, to the tune of a fifty-cent piece! I went to several doctors who said it was alopecia and that it had no cure but could be managed with cortisone shots…in my scalp…every 3 weeks! Once a spot would fill in, another would appear. I chased it for SEVEN YEARS! I even had six PRP treatments at $650 a pop. Nothing worked. In addition to styling my hair like Donald Trump to cover the bald spots, I started to notice my energy levels were dropping. I was sleeping in and napping every day. Then the lower back pain set in, it was more of a nuisance at first, but over time became debilitating. Then my fingers started to ache so badly that I couldn’t even tie my shoes as the movements were too intricate. Some days I couldn’t get out of bed because my body hurt so badly. So…at 51 I was suffering from chronic fatigue, chronic joint pain, migraines, insomnia, inflammation, bloating and gas after every meal, and severe hair loss! I started to realize it was not just old age. I was getting sicker by the day. My husband is in medical sales and knows every kind of specialist, so I saw them all. And do you know what every single one of them said after ruling out thyroid trouble, arthritis, cancer, bone deterioration etc. etc. etc….most said it was all in my head! It was stress! Then an endocrinologist suggested fibromyalgia, which has no cure other than Big Pharma. I was at my wits end! I started researching like my life depended on it because…it did! At first, I believed it to be breast implant illness. So, I suggested we take a look at my 20-year-old implants. What do ya know…they had leaked and my lymph nodes were filled with silicone! I immediately had them removed and replaced with new, shiny implants. I was overjoyed that I was able to find what was killing me, all by myself and heal my body. Except that aside from having perky new boobs, my other symptoms persisted. That’s when I found Nicole Carter on Instagram. She went through yoga teacher training with me, has a Masters in Health Promotion and was suffering from similar issues as me. She had been a vegan for 15 years and suddenly she was only eating meat, and she was thriving! I started researching the carnivore WOE and decided to give it a 30 go to see if it could help alleviate my suffering. What do you know…I say results in as little as 5 days! Within 2 weeks I could see my abs! I never knew they existed! By day 75 I was energetic, lean, strong and my hair was actually growing back in and staying put! By day 120, I had never felt better! I was doing yoga like I was 20, all of my pain and fatigue had disappeared and my body was better than it had ever, and I mean ever, looked! So, what started off as a 30 experiment has lasted over 6 months and I am not going back to my old WOE! But, I have added in the occasional dessert…I have cheated while on vacation from time to time, but I usually feel so crappy that I abstain.
4) How do you personally approach the Carnivore Diet.
I started off by eliminating any and all plant-based foods, all carbs, sugars, artificial sweeteners, grains…I only ate beef, seafood, eggs, and chicken (wings) 🙂 I also ate a lot of cheese because I don’t think I want to live in a world where I can’t eat cheese! I never graduated to organs, I don’t like the taste and can get the dense nutrients from an ancestral supplement. I also never graduated to beef, water, salt only. I feel so great that I don’t want to remove anything like the occasional heavy whipping cream from my coffee (if I’m not fasting) or the occasional scoop of ice cream. I intermittently fast daily for a minimum of 18-24 hours and I only eat once or twice a day. I consume 1.5 to 2 lbs of meat, fish or poultry (one or in combination) each day. I cook everything in ghee, use real salt, drink only water, electrolytes and black coffee.
5) What benefits have you seen since starting the Carnivore Diet.
I have completely healed all of my symptoms. Although admittedly, when I indulge in dessert, my stomach gets very upset with me!
6) What negatives have you found with the Carnivore Diet.
None. I primarily eat rib-eye steaks, burger patties, eggs. I can always find something to eat when I go out and I never get bored with the foods I do eat. I can assure you, feeling healthier than ever in my life is so wonderful, I can’t find any negatives!
7) Do you exercise on the Carnivore Diet, if so how do you find it and what do you do.
I exercise considerably less than I used to. I no longer go for runs! I do yoga, barre, weights or take a spin class. I work out 2 – 3 times a week instead of the 5 to 6 I used to think I needed!
8) What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in trying this diet, but hasn’t taken the leap yet.
Just do it! Give yourself a small goal, like 30 days. What’s the worst that can happen? You feel better? If you don’ t like it, stop. Pretty simple. But definitely give it a go. It can be the best decision you have ever made!
9) Do you think Carnivore will ever be accepted as a mainstream diet.
I do. I think as more and more people try it and reap the benefits, the science will be indisputable. We definitely need more research, but we also need more people who have incorporated this into their everyday lives for a significant amount of time.
10) Anything you would like to add, and where can people follow your journey
When you tell people that you have decided to eat only animal products, they lose their minds! My doctors thought me completely insane. Outside of my social media support, I didn’t get much support from anyone who knew me well. People fear what they don’t understand. Do not be swayed by anyone’s opinion! Commit to getting healthy! Have a thick skin! Do the research! And, I highly suggest anyone looking to heal their bodies get their blood work done beforehand so they have a marker. Also…take before pics! What a hoot! 🙂
Oh, and you can find me on Instagram @sonjagraff
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