The Carnivore’s Dilemma – A Diet of Just Meats and Fats?

Pemmican, grassfed beef and liver, pastured eggs, lime, shrimp, chicken

I eat a diet of meat, seafood, eggs, and animal fats. I don’t eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, or vegetable oils. I don’t eat grains. I am able to throw in some coffee, limes, and cane sugar with little problem. I have tried every possible version of a Primal type diet over the last six years until finally, in about 2009, I settled on a carnivorous diet.

I didn’t come about this decision intellectually, though I did read just about everything I could get my hands on about nutrition. I ended up here after years of experimentation in an effort to feel excellent.

In 2007, after having been Paleo for two years, I still had a good long list of symptoms I wanted to overcome, so I decided to try an elimination diet. Since I did’t eat grains, of course my base could not be rice, so I chose fermented raw dairy. I had eliminated dairy two years before, after going primal, but since I had never tried raw dairy and, being infatuated with Weston Price’s work, I thought I’d give it a shot.

For about six months or so I drank only raw dairy which I soured, unrefrigerated on the counter. I stayed on just that one food for so long because each time I tried adding something else, I didn’t feel as good. I was also reading the most underground, alternative nutrition info could find – all meat diets, raw meat diets, raw juice diets, raw dairy and blood diets. I had had enough of feeling like crap my whole life and so I explored everything.

At some point I added raw beef. No problems there so I’d found another food. I added other raw meats and sea foods and even included a little white rice and eventually eliminated dairy again. For the next year or so I ate a raw Primal diet and felt amazing! I was able to maintain the discipline to eat a strict diet of raw meat, raw seafood, raw eggs, and white rice because I felt so great. It just didn’t make any sense to add other foods which altered my mood, impaired my delicate digestion, and fired up my joint pain.

It was getting practically impossible to get back to a “normal” diet because I was feeling so spectacular. I took long hikes every day carrying my daughter on my back for miles. I slept only 6 hours a night and always felt rested. I was happy and smiling all the time. I was busy and productive. My skin was clear for the first time in 12 years. I quit needing lotion or deodorant. Why would I ever go back?

I probably wouldn’t have had I remained a single mom, but I met my boyfriend who ate cooked food and who thought it was kind of weird that I didn’t have a stove or oven in my apartment. He brought over a single burner for the counter and little by little I started eating cooked meat again. Temptations eventually won and I began trying other Primal based foods as well.

Very slowly I started to discover which particular foods bother me and why. While people are generally ready to accept that food affects our physical health, people often balk at the idea that our attitudes, intelligence, and motivation are affected by the same.

After years of careful observation I am certain that the food we put in our bodies is largely responsible for our moods, our mental disorders, our productivity, and satisfaction.

It really is this big.

Interestingly, I have determined that at least for myself a carnivorous diet is not perfect either.  A carnivorous diet comes with its own set of emotional complications, namely no emotions.

A carnivorous diet makes me kind of Vulcan.

Just about the only emotion I would feel is annoyance with all of the emotional people around me! But for me, life was interesting, exciting, and busy.

So I had a dilemma then: To sympathize or to roll my eyes.

But one particularly hot summer week I stumbled upon a solution to this dilemma: cane sugar does not bring about any of the symptoms I mention below and, in fact, makes me somewhat caring, silly, and mildly emotional. Sugar cured my apathy! (Not that I believe apathy is a thing to be cured. Weston Price noted repeatedly that primitive peoples did not “suffer” from a whole lot of emotion. When people died, loved ones did not dwell or freak out.)

Laugh all you want it won’t bother me too much and if it does I’ll just remove sugar for a couple of days and return to my usual poker face.

UPDATE, APRIL 2013: IN PLACE OF SUGAR I NOW EAT STARCH. I DO EVEN BETTER WITH STARCHES THAN I DID ON EITHER A LOW CARB DIET OR WITH A SUGAR. I HAVE BEEN EATING THIS WAY FOR THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF AND AM VERY PLEASED WITH THE RESULTS.