Hi, I’m Mark Hannigan and I’m a 1:1 diet consultant. After spending over 20 years fighting my weight & health issues I changed my life and career to help others.
2) How did you eat before Carnivore.
I grew up eating homemade foods as a child which quickly progressed into processed convenience foods as my brother and sister were born and it was easier for my mum. I carried on this way with bouts of ‘healthy’ eating throughout my life until I completely changed everything in 2015. After following a medically proven plan I lost 9 stone and reversed my Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnoea and then chose a ketogenic lifestyle to maintain my weight and health. I’ve now been carnivore for 14 months.
3) Why did you try Carnivore to begin with.
I was reading about carnivore more and more online through the keto communities and I was personally experiencing severe constipation several times a week and symptoms of inflammation with psoriasis on my scalp and face whenever I was eating fibrous greens and other plants. The more I read about people being relieved of these kinds of symptoms the more I was inclined to try carnivore. I always loved steak anyway, veggies not so much!
4) How do you personally approach the Carnivore Diet.
I keep it simple and eat meat, fish & eggs though predominantly beef when hungry and I don’t eat until I’m hungry again (usually once a day). Mostly rib-eye and sirloin steaks. I drink only water to thirst.
5) What benefits have you seen since starting the Carnivore Diet.
I’ve seen many benefits and constant improvements in my health as well as bodily functions etc
I was diagnosed as a child with a Neutrophil disorder which meant I had a very weakened immune system and almost died on several occasions because of a simple cold sore on my hand. I often experienced sepsis and secondary infections during hospital visits from what most people would fight off with a basic dose of antibiotics.
Improved physiology by gaining lean mass without training at all as well as perfect bowel movements and generally feel very energetic and massively increased libido. Here’s a list of all the illnesses and ailments I no longer suffer from:
Type 2 diabetes
Constant abscesses in the groin and underarms
6) What negatives have you found with the Carnivore Diet.
Really none. I love eating meat and not having to count calories etc
7) Do you exercise on the Carnivore Diet, if so how do you find it and what do you do.
I now do a High Intensity (HIT) Strength training session every 5 to 7 days and find it great for keeping my lean tissue strong as well as improving my bone mass and overall strength. I carry out 1 set to failure and stick to compound exercises. This means my training is over within less than 15 minutes or so and I can get on with my life. Recovery with carnivore is amazing.
8) What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in trying this diet, but hasn’t taken the leap yet.
Try it for 30 days, it’s only 30 days of your life and you may find that like so many others you keep adding another 30 days.
9) Do you think Carnivore will ever be accepted as a mainstream diet.
Ideally, it is I believe the way were are meant to live but I doubt it becoming the norm because sadly people are so addicted to their carbs and convenience foods, although what could be more convenient than cooking a steak in 5 minutes?
From a selfish point of view, I hope not because the cost of meat will soar!!
10) Anything you would like to add, and where can people follow your journey.
I can’t recommend this lifestyle enough to anyone who’s open to trying it out. It’s simplicity and freedom from the mental battle with food and the constant question of what, when and where to eat.
I am one of the admin in the Zero Carb UK Facebook group or you can follow me on Instagram @carnivorous.scot
My name is Don Matesz. I am 57 years old and have been fitness and health oriented for more than 40 years. I have Master’s degrees in philosophy and Oriental medicine and a nutritionist certification from the American Academy of Nutrition. I practice acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutrition counselling in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was one of the presenters at the first Ancestral Health Symposium in August 2011.
How did you eat before carnivore?
Over 40 years of experimenting with diet, I have eaten many variations of plant based diets, including lacto-ovo vegetarian, whole foods omnivore, macrobiotic, paleo, and strictly whole foods vegan. In 2011 I adopted a whole foods plant-based vegan diet and continued that for more than 5.5 years, during which my health and vitality declined along with my serum cholesterol. In late 2016, while still on that diet, I had a blood test which showed I had low globulin, a sign of protein deficiency, and low phosphorus, indicating dietary phosphorus and vitamin D deficiency. I started adding small amounts of animal products back to my diet in March of 2017. I continued eating a whole foods plant based diet, but with some animal products added, until May of 2017, when I adopted a hypercarnivore diet.
Why did you try carnivore to begin with?
Almost all of my dietary experimentation was aimed at reducing, reversing and recovering from seasonal allergies, dermatitis and psoriasis, which I have had in some form for as long as I can remember. So long as I ate plant based diets, the conditions did not improve or got worse, unless I used medication (either pharmaceutical or herbal). During the last year or so of the 5+ years that I ate a whole foods plant based vegan diet my psoriasis and dermatitis got markedly worse and started spreading. In Spring of 2017 I read a post on ZeroCarbZen.com by Candi Leftwich, who reported obtaining almost complete relief from Crohn’s disease and psoriasis by eating only meat, fat and water for 3 months. At that point I realized that I had tried to heal my condition by restricting amounts or types of animal foods and eating whole plant foods for long periods many time over nearly 40 years, but I had never tried severely restricting plant foods for any length of time. Even when “paleo” I had eaten a “produce dominant diet” with plenty of fruits and vegetables. So I decided I needed to try a highly carnivorous diet to heal my skin.
How do you personally approach the Carnivore Diet?
In biology and general language, the word “carnivore” means meat-eater, but does not specify how much meat is eaten. Biologists distinguish three main types of carnivores: hypocarnivores, which obtain less than 30% of their food from meat; mesocarnivores, which obtain 50-70% of their food from meat; and hypercarnivores, which obtain more than 70% – i.e. 71-100% – of their food from meat. In Nature, most hypercarnivores eat some minor amounts of plants.
I eat a hypercarnivore diet. I eat meat, eggs and dairy products, including milk and yogurt. I eat 1-2 pounds of meat daily, usually 4 or more eggs, 1-2 quarts of whole milk or whole milk yogurt, some cheese, butter, and cream, bone broth and eggshell powder. I have experimented with excluding dairy products, but I have gotten the best results in healing my skin by including whole milk yogurt and whole milk, generally 1-2 quarts per day, along with bone broth and eggshell powder to obtain a calcium intake ranging from 1500-2500 mg daily. I use salt and also supplement with magnesium because my water supply is low in magnesium. I generally avoid plants – especially all nuts, seeds, beans and grains – but I drink tea and coffee and sometimes eat some small amount of low sugar fruit (like berries or melon), cooking herbs or cooked or fermented vegetables that I know I tolerate.
What benefits have you seen since starting the Carnivore Diet?
No more bloating, flatulence, or loose, explosive stools. Although it took almost 6 months for my bowels to adapt to the elimination of fiber, now my bowel function is better than ever; so far as I can remember.
Healing of psoriasis. This has been a gradual process over more than a year, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the 40 years during which I have had this disease.
Healing of a knee injury that would not fully heal when plant based.
Improved overall skin quality (better moisture without needing to apply lotion). For example, for as long as I can remember before carnviore my elbows were always dry and rough. Now they are smooth and soft.
Reduced fat mass. Reduced my waist circumference to what it was when I was in high school. This had been impossible on every plant based diet I tried.
Improved muscle mass and strength compared to highly plant based diets.
Far more satisfied with meals. No longer looking for “something” after stuffing myself full of plants.
Greater tolerance for heavy labor/training and quicker recovery.
Less frequent need to eat. Almost never need to eat more than two meals in a day, and some days can eat just one large meal a day and be done.
Meal preparation is easier and less time consuming.
Shopping for food is easier and less time consuming.
What negative have you found with the Carnivore Diet?
Muscle cramps. Due to the drop in insulin levels, one loses more salts in the urine than if eating a plant-based carbohydrate-rich diet. Presently I live in Arizona so I lose a lot of fluids and salts in sweating. If I don’t get enough salt I get cramps. I have had to learn to use more salt on my food than I did when plant-based. I also take salt in water when cramps occur, or before, during and after heavy sweating.
If you are vocal on social media, you will be attacked by vegans.
Sometimes hard to get other people to understand why I eat almost exclusively meat, eggs and dairy. So many people believe these are the most toxic foods.
Do you exercise on the Carnivore Diet, if so how do you find it and what do you do?
I do strength training including bodyweight training and gymnastic strength training. I had immediate improvements in training when I adopted the hypercarnivore diet. Only have a drop of energy or stamina if I neglect my salt intake.
What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in trying this diet, but hasn’t taken the leap yet?
Be patient. The carnivore diet is about eating the most nutrient dense foods in alignment with your biology. Realize that if you have been eating any form of plant-based or plant-rich diet for many years, it will take some weeks or even months to fully adapt to an animal based diet.
Focus on health, not weight loss. This diet is for restoring health, and a healthy body composition is a side effect of establishing health by eating a nutrient-dense diet.
Focus on eating enough meat, eggs, and dairy to feel satisfied. If you focus on eating enough meat and fat to reach satisfaction, rather than focusing on restricting other foods, your body will experience what it feels like to be properly nourished, and you will gradually lose your desire for what doesn’t really satisfy your nutritional needs.
Focus on whole foods, not added fats, and don’t fear protein.
The point is that this diet is not about controlling your food intake with your will power according to ideas and beliefs you have about what is good or not good to eat. It is about properly satisfying your body’s nutritional requirements with the most nutrient dense foods – animal products. When you achieve this proper nourishment, the desire or need to eat lower quality foods will diminish and eventually disappear.
I think most people are best served by these steps:
Start by increasing your intake of red meat, eggs and, if you tolerate them, fermented dairy products, aiming for at least 70% of your diet from those foods. Eat as much as you enjoy, to satisfaction. Don’t limit your portion size by ideology.
Eliminate starches (bread, pasta, potatoes, cereals, etc.), nuts and seeds, and all plant-based oils. If you are hungry, eat more meat, eggs or dairy products.
Continue to eat any low-sugar fresh fruits and cooked vegetables you enjoy.
From there, let your senses of hunger, taste and satisfaction determine what and how much of any fruits or vegetables you want to eat in addition to eating animal products. When in doubt, increase the nutrient density.
Do you think Carnivore will ever be accepted as a mainstream diet?
No, not in our current culture. Too many special interests depend on sales and consumption of plant products for profit. Most likely those interests will do their best to demonize this “unbalanced” diet.
Anything you would like to add, and where can people follow your journey
I wrote a book on my experience and the science that supports this way of eating. It is titled The Hypercarnivore Diet and is available on Amazon. https://amzn.to/2NWnyYB
My wife is experiencing similar benefits to me, that is N=2.
This series of Carnivore Diet Success Stories, shows it could be N=Many.
If you have a Carnivore Diet success story you would like to share. Please get in touch with me or join the Facebook group Carnivore Diet Success Stories for inspiration, support and a meat loving community.
I have recently had issues with being #shadowbanned on Instagram for promoting Carnivore Diet Success Stories. I do not know if similar things will happen with Twitter, Facebook, and google in the future. So if you like these stories, please consider following this blog through WordPress, or sign up for my newsletter. This means you will be notified when each story is published. I do not use the newsletter for marketing or anything like that, it will simply send out Carnivore Diet Success Stories.
Now for the marketing bit haha.
You can read my newest book Carnivore Fit which is available on Amazon.
I have a range of apparel on Amazon US/UK/DE, with Amazon Prime delivery. Includes T-Shirts & hoodies. There is a greater range than pictured here.
I have an even wider range of Apparel and Accessories on Etsy. As a thank you for reading this article, you can use the Discount Code KETOGENICENDURANCE10 for 10% off on my Etsy Store.
I am also a fan of Softstar Shoes for minimalist footwear, Quad Lock for sporting mobile phone accessories, Skulpt to measure body fat, and Cheesies for a Carnivore appropriate snack. I use these companies myself and recommend them.
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”