Interview with Ruibo
1) Introduce Yourself.
My name is Ruibo and I am New York City based actor and artist. I’m deeply passionate about nutrition, biohacking, and mental and spiritual wellness.
2) How did you eat before Carnivore
I have celiac and had been gluten free for about a decade. Apart from that, I’d tried about every way of eating and supplementation out there in an attempt to hack my way to relief from lifelong depression, anxiety, and ADHD. From paleo to primal to plant-based and raw vegan, even a brief stupid stint as a fruitarian, I seriously tried it all. Right before I went full carnivore, I had been experimenting again with vegan/plant based, to my detriment.
3) Why did you try Carnivore to begin with.
I’ve always believed in the power of nutrition, biohacking, and energy healing for optimal health. In 2010 I successfully weaned myself off a cocktail of pharmaceutical antidepressants and anxiolytics and transitioned to a Paleo/Primal diet which sustained me for a number of years. Around 2016/17 I started to experience a whole slew of troubling new health issues. In the end it was a cocktail of gut permeability, autoimmune issues, hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue, and a growing list of food intolerances that sent me down a major decline that impacted not only my body but also my mental health in a really severe way. I was exhausted, suicidal, battling agoraphobia, and experiencing recurrent debilitating panic attacks all of which is nightmare fuel for anyone, but as a performer it felt insurmountable and potentially career-killing.
I was too afraid and embarrassed to reach out to anyone for help, terrified it would affect my work or that I’d be shunned, perceived as weak, or make myself a burden, so I essentially isolated and did my best to push through and maintain a facade of put-togetherness. Of course that approach never pans out well. From the outside I think it just seemed like I was volatile or erratic, standoffish, rude, insensitive. It was a spiral for me, the desire to be healthy, to connect with others, the fear of being misunderstood or perceived a certain way, my own perfectionism in my work and the ensuing anxiety, all made me feel powerless to stop any of it. Self loathing was at an all time high.
Long story short, eventually the stress caused my entire body to give out and I spent all of my (few) waking hours in bed researching how to “fix” myself. I had come across Carnivore years prior and at the time it felt too extreme, but at the end of my rope I did my research and finally decided I really had nothing to lose.
4) How do you personally approach the Carnivore Diet.
Nose to tail. Organs and ruminant meat are the backbone of my diet, 50/50 raw to cooked. Pork and seafood a few times a week, poultry only on occasion; though I enjoy it, I don’t find it as satiating. Suet, tallow, lard, and butter liberally. Coffee, mostly decaf these days. I’m (tragically) allergic to both egg whites and yolks and intolerant to dairy, but working on a gut healing protocol and hope to reintroduce in the future. Limited supplementation to assist with methylation issues for now.
Most days I naturally fast 20:4 unless I’m on my cycle, in which case it’s pretty no holds barred. Filtered electrolyte water all day. And plenty of sea salt.
5) What benefits have you seen since starting the Carnivore Diet.
Countless, the most prominent being mental clarity and the lifting of depression and anxiety. It cannot be overstated, it truly saved my life. Most miraculously, the immediate effects were apparent within 10 days.
Other benefits include improved hormonal balance and cycle regulation, massively improved gut function (I’d always half-believed bloating and stomach pain were normal after eating), improved blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, and improvement in body composition, strength, skin tone and texture. Chronic fatigue is gone, fibroid symptoms are gone, back pain is gone. I’m remembering what real joy feels like for the first time in many many years; this is probably the closest to “normal” I’ve ever felt in my adult life, like I finally understand how humans are meant to feel.
6) What negatives have you found with the Carnivore Diet.
Really the negatives are so minor for everything I’ve gained. If I had to name my two, they’d be 1) I’m a foodie and I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen, so I’ve had to shift my way of thinking about food and cooking. 2) Explaining or defending the how and why to others can sometimes be uncomfortable.
7) Do you exercise on the Carnivore Diet, if so how do you find it and what do you do.
Yeah, I don’t have a set routine. I rotate between yoga, kettlebells, and bodyweight workouts depending on what my body feels like doing.
8) What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in trying this diet, but hasn’t taken the leap yet.
Give yourself one month, and assess how you feel. There’s really nothing to lose. Beyond that, read and watch as much as you can from veterans and resources like Judy Cho, Paul Saladino, Shawn Baker, Ken Berry, etc. Join the forums, ask lots of questions, reach out for support, soak up the success stories! That’s what finally got me on board, diving into the research and science and overcoming any negatively planted beliefs about “fad diets” and trends.
When I first came across this concept years back, there weren’t as many prominent resources available which made the whole undertaking seem extreme and unwise. But the more I read and understood about human physiology and the more I learned about how my own individual genetic makeup and polymorphisms affect my nutrient absorption, gut microbiome, and overall health, the more this approach quickly became the only viable approach for me.
That said, if you’re not as skeptical as I am, it can really all just be as simple as eat meat, drink water.
9) Do you think Carnivore will ever be accepted as a mainstream diet.
I do think it’s possible. As more people lean toward an ancestral and holistic approach to health and share their experiences of dramatic improvement (in all the myriad ways this diet offers), I think it will be inevitable that others follow suit. But right now it really is a lead-by-example undertaking. It’s going to take people individually doing their own research and releasing themselves from dietary dogma, but I think (hope) we’re heading there.
10) Anything you would like to add, and where can people follow you.
In the end I think we have to remember that we’re all bio individual, and even within Carnivore there are a lot of different approaches. It’s all about figuring out what works best for you, and being aware that your trajectory and specific diet will not (and should not) look like anyone else’s. So while I do encourage soaking in as much as you can, remember that progress is all going to depend on what needs healing within you, and as you learn to listen to your body, you’ll figure out how to tailor your diet to your individual goals.
My Instagram is @carnivaura. I hope this encourages others to share their experience, and to reach out to me or someone else if they need support. Mental health concerns can be incredibly isolating, particularly if you’re someone who others expect or demand to be in a state of “on”. I never want anyone to go through what I went through, and I want to spread the message that we are not alone, and there can really and truly be relief.
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.