Interview with Sarah
1) Introduce Yourself.
Hi! I’m Sarah, a personal trainer from New Zealand. I’m 30 years old – soon to be 31 in a week!
2) How did you eat before Carnivore.
I came to the carnivore lifestyle in a very natural way – although I did kind of get my mind blown a few times! Before carnivore, I ate very much a standard diet – with maybe a bodybuilder twist. I loved eating oats with protein powder in the morning. Things like egg whites, chicken breast with broccoli, chicken breast and rice, chicken rice and broccoli, haha you get the idea. There was a lot of chicken breast in my diet. And every now and then I would eat something completely off plan like a chocolate bar or bag of lollies, because as much as I told myself I loved my diet, it wasn’t that satisfying. I gulped down like a protein bar a day and loved Diet Coke. Just all things I wouldn’t even look at now!
3) Why did you try Carnivore to begin with.
For a long time, the body builder style way of eating worked very well at keeping a lean physique. But after a few years it stopped working. I was eating the same things, but just gaining weight this time. I started increasing output, decreasing input, to get a small result, and then weight gain again. I was so tired – all the time. I decided to push harder – much more output in the gym, less input food wise – no more treats and more dry chicken breast, more diet cokes. I was running myself into the ground. I felt the sickest I had ever felt. I couldn’t work as much, I would get home and collapse into bed with a very strong pulsing sensation in my neck. My psoriasis was at the point where it was cracking and bleeding. I felt at breaking point. I started seeing the doctor, where he suspected I had a thyroid condition – I was referred to a clinic. Whilst waiting to be seen by the clinic, I told my boyfriend that maybe I should try fasting. I didn’t believe in it, I’ll admit that. I just saw it as an easy way to get my calories down. It was a cry for help. My boyfriend is very much into researching things, so one night he pulls up YouTube on our telly and just starts playing a Jason Fung video on fasting. I remember mildly being interested as we were packing for a trip away. The video was an hour long. By the end of it, I was hooked on the science. I told my partner I was going to commence a 5 day fast – right then and there – with my limited knowledge of fasting, I began. We went on holiday and I stuck to my guns. I fasted the whole 5 days, although I struggled one day and cried. Of those 5 days, I immersed myself in study. I read and I read and I read. I dropped a large amount of weight. I felt a strange sense of energy. That was when my mind started to open. Jason Fung had mentioned about keto – I previously was a hater of anything that mentioned ‘low carb’ – I would get mad and say it was such a dangerous diet and you needed carbs – THAT person. But because my fast had worked so well, and I had been researching keto on my 5 day holiday, I then instantly launched into keto. I was definitely laughed at by a few of my colleagues. But I kept on. It was the first time I ever felt a shift in the right direction health wise. I continued this for maybe a year, where I met an amazing woman Theresa, who competed in a bodybuilding show – on keto. I was so intrigued, I asked if I could have coffee with her. I remember telling her how my mind was blown about keto and I couldn’t believe this information was not more mainstream. I told her what I was doing was safe – I was getting enough fibre, and having healthy fats like coconut oil. I remember her laughing and saying ‘you know you don’t have to do that, right?’ And I will always remember her words ‘that whole fibre argument is a myth.’ So mind blown number 1: fasting is actually healthy. Mind blown number 2: keto is actually healthy, so long as you eat vegetables. Mind blown number 3: vegetables may not actually be that good for you, in fact, they’re kinda harmful – and there are people who go without them altogether! I remember saying to her – ‘wow that’s amazing, but I couldn’t do that. That would be too hard. Where is the variety?’ But as you know, I went home and researched my little heart out. And the next thing I knew, I was dipping my toes in the water to carnivore. That was where I saw the most increases in my health. It made me realise that I might actually live one day symptom free – of my thyroid condition, of my skin condition, of depression even – which I had never considered would improve!
4) How do you personally approach the Carnivore Diet.
My way of approaching the carnivore diet changes all the time. When I first began, I needed to vary meats a lot, to keep myself interested. Nowadays I have mostly beef, and supplement with other meats. I have now say I have popped my raw beef cherry, as well as lambs liver (still working on enjoying the lambs liver). I tend to eat once a day, at the end of the day. With how far I have come so far, I can only hope that I will grow more into eating this way as time goes by!
5) What benefits have you seen since starting the Carnivore Diet.
The benefits that carnivore has provided for me are immense. My thyroid condition only appears now when I stray from diet. Psoriasis has cleared. Joint pain is almost non existent. I now fall asleep quickly – coming from previous struggles with insomnia. My hair grows so fast and my eyes are brighter. I have struggled my entire adult life with depression, with multiple bouts of feeling suicidal – this is now completely gone and I’m 100% unmedicated – in fact, I take no medications at all now – for anything. I don’t even get headaches anymore, whereas I used to get insane migraines. My weight has now balanced out, and I don’t have to work hard to keep it that way. My training in the gym has improved. My period has returned – from 8 years without one. It is crazy how many benefits I’ve had, in fact I could go on and on with this one! But you get the idea.
6) What negatives have you found with the Carnivore Diet.
As for the cons, I don’t know if there are any cons – when adjusting to the diet, for sure there are some digestive issues in the first few days. Also my electrolytes fell out a lot in the first few days – this has all panned out now. The main con would be not being able to talk to everyone about this. People are not very open at all to this idea, and I constantly get people asking me to ‘prove it’ to them – I’m lucky that I don’t feel the need to prove it. I don’t mind what other people do, I don’t take it upon myself to convert everyone to eating meat. It is too tiring, and the old saying goes – you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink!
7) Do you exercise on the Carnivore Diet, if so how do you find it and what do you do.
I do exercise regularly on this diet – being that it is my job, but also a big hobby of mine. I exercise fasted, always. I have no issues with this and find I can push really hard in my sessions! My sessions are not about weight loss anymore, more about building muscle and just enjoying what my body can do. I probably train anywhere from 3-6 times a week.
8) What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in trying this diet, but hasn’t taken the leap yet.
My best piece of advice to someone looking to try this lifestyle, is to do research. Find people with experience, ask them questions. Find out your ‘why’ – why are you doing this? This will make it easier to stick to, as you get more used to it.
9) Do you think Carnivore will ever be accepted as a mainstream diet.
Unfortunately I don’t feel carnivore will ever be accepted as a main stream diet. I think it will become more accepted, but never mainstream. There’s not a lot of money to be made from it (same with fasting actually!) and also – sugar addicted people who prefer to stay in denial, will never want this to be true that this is a healthy way of eating – it threatens their sugar addiction after all! I do find it very sad that a lot of people are still addicted to these fake foods – I was one of them!
10) Anything you would like to add, and where can people follow your journey.
Thanks for asking me about my journey! It’s been fun reflecting on it.
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