Interview with Kat
I’m Katleen (Kat) Reid. I live in the US with my husband, along with our 4 horses (2 Shires, 1 Friesian and a mini horse), our 3 dogs and 4 chickens. We run a residential remodeling business from at our 14 acre farm and also partner with our animals in life coaching and health coaching. I hold a masters in physical education and physical therapy from the University of Brussels, and I am also a certified functional medicine health coach (currently in the process of becoming National Board Certified) and a certified MeatRx Coach (animal based nutrition).
As long as I can remember I have been fascinated by the human body, health, nutrition and nature. My journey from physical education through physical therapy and personal training lead me to different routes that ultimately merged again through Health Coaching; I worked as a researcher at the University of Brussels (faculty of biometrics and biomechanics) and worked on documenting the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in boys and girls between 3 and 17 with overweight and obesity, followed by co-creating a multidisciplinary intervention program with a small group of children. Once I graduated as a physical therapist, and started my own practice combined with work in a back- and neck clinic, I started looking into ways to get to the root cause of my clients’ issues and was passionate about supporting them to return to a life in which they could thrive at all levels. Even though I loved my work as a PT, I felt that oftentimes I could not access the core issue with my chronic patients, not even through adding modalities like functional training, coaching and by working with our other specialists like ergonomists and psychologists. I felt I lacked skills and knowledge as a young PT. Little did I know at the time that nutrition – an overlooked core lifestyle factor – could have been a key factor in their healing process and overall feeling of well-being and how they perceived themselves and life in general.
My professional life and personal love for adventure did take me on a quest of exploring our natural state of health and the roots of what causes discomfort and illness and what can regenerate our natural state of well-being. Today at the age of 40, I am happy to combine my past and current experience and ever growing knowledge with a broad spectrum of health and lifestyle coaching.
How did you eat before Carnivore.
Before Carnivore, I had been keto adapted for 5 years. Over the course of those 5 years, I started out with the typical bacon, eggs and cheese approach, which quickly transitioned to a dairy-free whole foods approach in which I would eat fresh organic veggies, local organic and pasture raised meats/eggs, lots of olive oil, ghee and Bulletproof Brain Octane, coffee, and the occasional homemade almond flour cookie substitutes or homemade coconut ice cream and treats like dark chocolate 🙂 I barely ate processed foods though. I did feel great in general, but I remember I wished I would have less cravings and less ups-and downs in my mood and energy (which I blamed on my cycle at the time).
Going even further back in time, I can say that I grew up in a very health conscious family. I grew up in Belgium and we did eat an omnivorous diet. My parents kept “candy” as an occasional treat (birthday, Christmas, …) so I did not grow up eating lots of sugar or processed foods. In my teens, my parents switched to a low-fat/low sodium diet driven by their doctor and so I of course ate the same meals. I do remember that this was the onset of crazy cravings. This was also the time that I believed I was going to save the planet by becoming a vegetarian, so from my 16th through my 23rd, I ate a low fat, low sodium vegetarian diet. Once I went to University at the age of 19, I ate really unhealthy for a few years, which I believe was caused by living with my roommates and enjoying tasty food that I had missed at home (fried food, sandwiches, lots of cookies and chocolate). Once I graduated from University and started my work-life, I got back to whole foods and fresh home cooking. I then also had access to local meat and the fact that it was local and organic, I was back to eating meat again around the age of 24. Between that time and my move to the USA at 32, I felt good! Then, in my first years in the USA, I started eating with my husband and I would describe this diet as a combination of a low fat bodybuilding diet (oatmeal, protein powders, lean meats, ….3 meals and 3 snacks a day) and lots of restaurant food and prepared meals (nevermind exploring all the American food I had never seen!). I gained 16 lbs in my first year and started getting digestive issues and lots of colds. My skin started breaking out and I felt bloated almost all the time. With all this discomfort, I also experienced constant cravings for sweets, chocolate and nut butters. So this discomfort I tolerated for 2 more years until I got the flu. I did not heal from it and my doctor suggested me to take anti-biotics. It was the second time ever in my life I took an anti-biotic and I decided it was beyond time to make a change! I was active, I was happy BUT, my nutrition and overall well-being were worse than I had ever experienced. I made it a point to start homecooking again. This was also the time that the ketogenic diet was becoming popular through Jimmy Moore and the books by Phinney and Volek. It sounded too good to be true, but with my research background and both my husband’s and my own upbringing and the fear of (saturated) fat, it took us a while to feel comfortable putting the ketogenic diet into practice. So we did our research, dove in deep and the rest is history 🙂 Over the course of those 5 years, I lost those 16 pounds and felt great again. Little did I know though that another level of “great” was waiting for me …
Why did you try Carnivore to begin with.
I tried Carnivore on January 1st, 2019 out of pure curiosity. This was the result of a few YouTube videos my husband and I watched the month before. We looked up Dr. Shawn Baker, the interviews of Jordan Peterson and Michaela Peterson and Dr. Shawn Baker on the Joe Rogan show and we were hooked. My husband felt excited about the clarity and simplicity of this way of eating. I was intrigued by the results I heard about, but felt a bit sceptical … I was feeling so good and was afraid of loosing this … Also, I was halfway my Functional Medicine Coaching curriculum and was convinced I needed my colorful veggies (phytonutrients, anti-oxidants), fiber and very balanced diet. I was also taking about 10 supplements to “optimize” my health. So at first I decided I would support my husband and eat my first meal of the day “carnivore” with him, and have my big colorful salad as my second meal. On the third day, I had also digested all the available videos by Dr. Paul Saladino and his info gave me more confidence to go all in and try it for a month. I thought: I can easily adhere to this way of eating for a month and not get in too much trouble 🙂 Let’s go for it and decide at the end.
And I haven’t looked back since!
How do you personally approach the Carnivore Diet.
I chose to follow a nose-to-tail way of eating. My staples are any cut of beef (we invested in a local regeneratively raised 1/2 steer), either raw liver/raw kidney/heart, whole eggs or just raw egg yolks (we have our own chickens and access to local pasture raised eggs when needed), suet, and Redmond Real Salt. Occasionally I have raw Iberico Pork fat (from White Oak Pastures) or heritage pork (from our local farmer or White Oak Pastures) and salmon roe (we source it from Vital Choice). I also make broth weekly from the bones we have/leftover bones and chicken feet. And I do supplement with glycine to balance out methionine and with bone meal (weekly) as a calcium source. I certainly want to add that – when eating keto before – I was taking at least 6 supplements constantly. Since going carnivore, I only take glycine and calcium (bone meal) on days I don’t eat any tendinous tissue or egg shells or soft bones and will occasionally use collagen powder too.
I have experimented with coffee (been coffee-free from August through December) and added back some decaffeinated coffee in the morning – which does not seem to impact me negatively. I used to drink red wine occasionally when going out, so I also left out wine fully for the same amount of time as the coffee, and allow myself now to have a glass when eating out or occasionally during a movie night. I don’t feel a negative impact when I consume 1 glass maybe once every 2 weeks or spread out more.
As for water, I seem to drink about 1.5L-2L a day, and this can be a mix of our own well water and San Pellegrino/Gerolsteiner.
I give myself free choice before every meal, yet so far I keep gravitating toward eating 100% animal based because it makes me feel so good. If I would get in a situation where I have no choice over what to eat, I do have non-negociables like: fried foods, vegetable oils, processed foods, grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds. I refuse airplane food entirely and choose to fast during traveling.
If I really want something different or a treat, I would choose between Rebel Ice cream, full fat Greek Yogurt, red organic wine or bacon 🙂 Not a bad line-up of treats if you ask me. However, looking back at the past 13+ months, I had only 3 days that I chose either the ice cream or yoghurt and all three times they left me with inflammation, digestive discomfort and I haven’t included these items any more since. I like feeling great too much.
What benefits have you seen since starting the Carnivore Diet.
A stable mood, a solid energy and a complete lack of cravings and an overall positivity. A clearer skin and a natural desire to eat only one to two meals a day; I gravitate towards eating early, so for me that means between sunrise and noon-ish. This pattern has also improved my sleep and mental focus in the afternoon! I also love the simplicity of this way of eating. The limited amount of choices is incredibly freeing and I spend so much less time planning, shopping, preparing and actually eating. Don’t get me wrong I am a foodie at heart and still love being creative in the kitchen. BUT, it is so freeing to work with less ingredients and need less food, have no waste and still create beautiful and tasteful plates.
Another beneficial side-effect has been being involved a growing community of friends who live a similar lifestyle and experience a shared joy, love respect and awe for life.
What negatives have you found with the Carnivore Diet.
None so far. I don’t miss anything. Also, where I hear some people finding it challenging in social situations, I personally don’t sense this being an issue for me. Also, going out to restaurants (we are very picky and go out to mostly just one, maybe twice a month) is a non-issue as the chef is always happy to adjust the plate. And this is something I notice being really common in the US: restaurants easily adjust according to dietary preferences.
We don’t have vegan or vegetarian friends or family members, so when we are hosting and food is part of it, everyone is happy with ribeyes or a roast. And we always suggest to BYOV (bring your own veggies).
Do you exercise on the Carnivore Diet, if so how do you find it and what do you do.
Yes I do! And I have been active my whole life.
In my first year of eating nose-to-tail carnivore, I did keep my activities and exercise the same, meaning I did my regular daily farm chores, seasonal farm chores and a daily average of 20,000 steps and lifting heavy things (read: functional farm fitness). With that, I did notice my body composition change to getting leaner and a little more muscular.
Now, in my second year I added weight lifting again. I have always put on muscle with ease on any type of diet, so I am curious how my body composition will adapt. I feel strong, I have plenty of energy in the gym and I recover really well. If one thing, I would say I recover better than I can remember from before Carnivore. Now, while increasing my strength workouts, I am already blown away by how easily I can play with my macros and my workout intensity. There is a very clear and clean action/response as long as I respect my recovery and sleep.
What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in trying this diet, but hasn’t taken the leap yet.
If you are simply curious: Go for it, try it for a month!
A part of me would love someone interested to try it “all in” for a month and then decide what’s next. Depending on what diet the individual comes from, it may be a pretty radical change and mean a week to two weeks of feeling “weird” – things like the keto-flu, diarrhoea or constipation may occur during the transition. However I believe that anyone can stick to something new for at least 21 to 30 days and ultimately feel the difference. I would advice to write down how you feel at the start. Go in detail from head to toe! And take note of any and all changes along the way.
If you need healing, take it slow.
When someone is looking to heal issues and maybe looking to make a long term lifestyle change, I would recommend a different approach. I would ease into it more, and look at “long term” success and compliance and look at all areas that contribute to someone’s feeling of well-being. I would also recommend to consult with a doctor experienced in this way of eating to help with establishing and understanding one’s baseline profile (and follow up quarterly or a few times a year) and possibly a coach to help with the transitions and adherence. Aside from professional support, joining a carnivore community is extremely powerful and fun!
Do you think Carnivore will ever be accepted as a mainstream diet.
I believe so. It has already proven to be a very powerful therapeutic diet, temporary elimination diet and more and more people are showing up who have followed a type of either strict or carnivore-ish diet for 5 or more years. I believe that the current lack of large studies keeps us a bit hesitant when considering this diet as a long term lifestyle. Meat has still a “scary” taste and we need more data within a carnivore context to show all benefits. Our bodies simply operate differently in an “animal-based-nutrition” context. But I have hope for the future!
Also, I wonder how the term “carnivore” will evolve over the next years. Will it be defined as “only” animal products or will it become more “animal based” with the occasional inclusion of certain plants? I would already be elated if the current carnivore movement results in expanding research, debunking myths, raising awareness around healthy food choices among the public, and showing consumers honest data to then make their personal choices. We may always be on a quest about what is best to optimize our individual health, but I believe a certain amount of variables are known and many are very close to be proven.
As for myself, I am also curious if I will keep feeling this great or if I need to make seasonal changes at some point. As for taste and satiety however, it is the easiest and most satisfying way of eating I have ever experienced.
Anything you would like to add, and where can people follow you.
I love our carnivore community. I am mostly active on Instagram, and I am blown away by the support and inspiration people offer and share. Everyone seems to want to help because this diet has helped them so much in the first place. I believe there is something to feeling good and the gratitude that comes with regenerating ones own health. You can not NOT share it!
I don’t know if a 100% carnivore diet will ultimately be for everyone, at any time, or forever. I think this is what personal experiments and future research will reveal. What I do believe is that it is the purest, most nutrient dense and bioavailable way of eating. It offers a way of experiencing oneself and life in a very grounded and very connected way, without all the “noise”. And I wish for everyone to – at least once in their lifetime – get to experience this.
Following my personal values I am also an advocate for regenerative farming, and when it comes to choosing my animal based food sources, I support my local resources first and look beyond when needed.
While I am building my personal brand, for now you can find me and connect with me on Instagram (koach.kat). In the very near future I will add a YouTube channel and a Podcast and a Website/Blog to it 🙂 People can work with me as a health coach, which can cover any and all of the areas that make up our lifestyle. In my coaching and facilitating the personal growth of my clients, I do focus on reconnecting with nature and living life in line with one’s own nature.
Within the carnivore context, I am contributing as a coach to the MeatRx.com community. I am also part of Dr. Paul Saladino’s team as a health coach, empowering clients on their journey into carnivory.
And for those who love conferences: I hope to see you in person at White Oakchella, at KetoCon or at CarnivoryCon this year!
Ketogenic Endurance – I hoped you enjoyed this post.
If you like what I am about, check out the below.
Carnivore Fit Expanded edition – my eBook and Paperback looking at why meat is good for you, why plants are bad, and how to exercise on zero carbs.
Low Content Books – Carnivore & Keto inspired Journals, Notebooks, Diaries, and Planners.
- The majority of my personal journey is documented on Instagram.
- Carnivore Diet Success Stories Facebook group.
- Carnivore Diet Success Stories Newsletter.
- I am an ambassador for the lifestyle brand Descended From Odin, have a look at their apparel and accessories: Click here and get 10% off with the code “ketogenicendurance”
Etsy – Unique Carnivore