Interview with Ericka
1) Introduce Yourself.
My name is Ericka aka Dr. Carnivorkian. I adopted that alias when I told a friend of mine I had started eating a strict carnivore diet. He then told me I was going to kill myself and others by telling them to eat that way. I found it totally appropriate to call myself Dr. Carnivorkian, as a hilarious play on words I could relate to. If you’re old enough to get it, bravo you! Other than that, I am an overly verbose, married, working mother of 3, living a very busy, yet optimal, primal life! I’ll bet you’re already sorry you asked.
2) How did you eat before Carnivore.
I went from growing up on the SAD, and then transitioning to “keto” around late 2017. I was raised by my Dad who basically let me do all the grocery shopping, and I’m sure you can guess, it was all sugar & starch. I came to keto after debilitating migraines that kept me from performing my best at work. The prescription med’s I started taking for the migraines were even worse. Luckily, I found #NSNG through Vinnie Tortorich and haven’t had 1 headache since!
3) Why did you try Carnivore to begin with.
Honestly, it was a dare. Unlike most people in this community, I have no autoimmune issues, weight problems, or anything really outside of a family history of Alzheimer’s/dementia, and headaches. It was simply a dare. I was remotely familiar with Dr. Shawn Baker after seeing him on Joe Rogan… and one night we were watching Jordan Peterson on the Joe Rogan show. He said something to the matter of feeling “impending doom” when he re-introduced anything outside of beef into his diet. My husband and I got a kick out of that, and as you can imagine, certainly couldn’t fathom what he was talking about. So my husband dared me to see if I could eat only meat just for one week. I said I could do it if you do it with me. And honestly, it was the most amazing I had ever felt. I did not intend to keep it up, as I was traveling for work (which normally has me so very anxious)… I noticed I didn’t have as much anxiety and I felt very present and energetic. I made this assumption before I had an Instagram page for the carnivore diet and before I knew anyone else was feeling that way. I feel so lucky to have found this way of living and so proud of the things I’ve learned and enforced into my daily living. I feel like I’m going to live forever!
4) How do you personally approach the Carnivore Diet.
After about a week of only meat and then another week following where I incorporated eggs and dairy, I knew there was no turning back. Honestly, it’s like achieving the highest of highs mentally and physically. I noticed while I traveled that it was so simple. I could grab some hard-boiled eggs or a cheese stick or just order some plain meat and I was good to go. There was no longer this planning out this keto meal, or to re-create this bread that takes forever to make, or this excessive creating in the kitchen. I have recently started practicing intermittent fasting and have completed two prolonged fasts as well.
This has further simplified the carnivore diet for me, as I now do two hearty meals a day. I’m not a strict “carnivore”, per say. Ever since completing the carnivore 75 challenge, I’ve reintroduced the occasional mushrooms, bite of avocado, seaweed, and a few chomps of Dark chocolate.
5) What benefits have you seen since starting the Carnivore Diet.
The benefits are endless, really. Immediately I noticed I rose above the workout plateau that I had in dealing with endurance and strength. That first week, my boxing game was up and felt so much endurance. Then it was time to move up a level from the beginning Pilates class I had done for the last three years. I finally felt so strong and capable. It was almost embarrassing how much energy I had in the beginning, yeah I felt so focused. That is the complete 1-80 from my normal self… Sluggish and attention deficit. I didn’t lose weight per say, but changed my body composition. And the best part, it was SO easy! Oh, and who can forget the “glow”. Everyone and their mom asked me why my skin looks younger than ever and they laugh when I tell them, “it’s the meat”. Lol! Another huge benefit from finding carnivore is the Instagram community, and the wonderful people I’ve met along the way!
6) What negatives have you found with the Carnivore Diet.
In the beginning, the negatives for me we’re navigating the social waters. My friends already think I’m a freak and expect weird things from me, but this was just over the top. I found myself super defensive over peoples misconceptions of this diet, and dove knee-deep in to every podcast and book I could get my hands on. For me, I was learning a lot but having a really hard time regurgitating the information for people. I knew that I knew, but that wasn’t enough. And then I just let it go. People are people and they do what they do. When people now ask me who what where when why and how, I simply ask if they seriously want to know. And then, if I trust this is not a vegan VS carnivore argument, I point them in the direction of the pro’s.
7) Do you exercise on the Carnivore Diet, if so how do you find it and what do you do.
So, exercise for me has never been a love affair, to say the least. I’m the type who doesn’t like to know that I’m working out and I was that way in my entire life. I had to be tricked into it, which is why I took to reformer Pilates immediately. Honestly, it just felt like a wonderful break from my hectic work schedule, where I could just tune out, lay on my back and stretch/strengthen at the same time. I work with a lot of models so I’m constantly asking them what they do to stay in shape, especially because they are always traveling to different places around the world. The majority ruled: BOXING. I wasn’t doing too much cardiovascular exercise other than I stand all day at work, and walked the dog, so I decided I would give it a go! I LOVED it. It’s also something I can do with my husband and children, who also took to it immediately! Tell me that’s not like winning the lottery?! So to sum it up, pre-quarantine I was doing Pilates 2 to 3 times a week, and Boxing once a week. So to sum it up, pre-quarantine I was doing Pilates 2 to 3 times a week, and Boxing once a week. During lockdown, I’ve had to adjust my workouts which was hard at first because I’ve been telling myself for years that I’m not a self motivator I need to pay somebody to tell me what to do. Turns out that’s not true. Lol! I got a free stationary bike from a friend and my husband found an elliptical trainer & some dumbbells at a thrift store. I just kind of bounce back-and-forth between the two, and try to stay in zone 2 cardio… cause remember, I don’t like to know I’m working out!!!
8) What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in trying this diet, but hasn’t taken the leap yet.
I guess it depends on the person. Are they someone who just dives into things headfirst? If so, go for it. You can do it! Maybe get a support group online to keep you interested and inspired? If you’re someone who’s a little more hesitant, by all means, take your time. Get online, listen to some podcasts, watch some videos, make a meal plan, and then slow your way into it. Perhaps try keto first? But whatever type of person you are, just make sure to answer to yourself. You really have to be truthful when you say you gave it your all and went for something. Anything. If you can hold yourself accountable, and show up for yourself, of course you’re going to be successful! What are you waiting for?! That would be my advice.
9) Do you think Carnivore will ever be accepted as a mainstream diet.
I don’t really know. I mean, if Atkins sort of had a more refined comeback (ketovore), after being plagued the heart attack diet years ago, I don’t see why not. It wasn’t very cool to be a vegan back in the 90s, and now look what’s happened. You never know! Fingers crossed
10) Anything you would like to add, and where can people follow you.
I think if you’re going to try it, give it a week. And after that week, give it a month. After that, you’ll truly know if this way of living is for you. And who’s to say you can’t have the occasional treat here or there or the occasional veggie. To each his own. And that ownership is up to the individual.
Ketogenic Endurance – I hoped you enjoyed this post.
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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.
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