This is the final chapter of a 5-part narrative where I revisit my search of optimum health through diet, and how I found it in animal foods. It’s not meant to abide to a particular group or “movement”, nor is it meant to preach.
What it does emphasize is the value of good quality meat for hormonal health and strength, and how deliberate food/calorie restriction is counter productive to happiness and fitness.
In this final chapter, I describe what my routine looks like now, and a few pointers for you to improve the quality of your meat consumption.
Last Six Months
I believe what the combination of dialing down the exercise and introduction of starchy carbs did, more than anything, is normalize my excess hormones and toxicity as Vonderplanitz suggested.
- I only need two meals a day now – breakfast and lunch. I eat anywhere from 500 G – 1 KG of fatty meat in those meals, and don’t feel hungry till 5 AM the next morning. When having lunch with friends or organizing parties, I’ll order some cooked grilled meat (mostly fish) without being dogmatic, although raw still digests best.
- My meat is eaten predominantly raw, warmed in a pan for a minute in some melted raw butter; my body doesn’t extract as much nutrition or energy from cold raw meat straight from the fridge. Cooked meat on the other hand dehydrates me and gives me the odd blood sugar related issue.
- More importantly, my body is no longer holding on to an excess of water or flab in my midsection. I see increased vascularity all over.
- I have more energy than ever before; the increased walking and switch from carbs/fat has improved the way my body utilizes fat for energy. My day starts at 5 A.M and ends at 11 P.M – I don’t need much sleep to get by, and certainly am too hyperactive for a nap.
- I’m able to hold on to my muscle mass with just bodyweight exercises (I’ve got a weighted vest now).
- I no longer feel the urge to drink alcohol excessively; I drink once a week, on a Friday, and even then, it will be a reasonable amount just to unwind.
- I still smoke because I enjoy it, but feel fine (both in terms of cardiovascular health and energy) as long as I’m smoking natural tobacco cigarettes.
What I do feel the urge for is a lot of walking; walking feels good, keeps me lean, and improves digestion several fold. It’s the most effective and underrated forms of exercise, I’m convinced – I average 15k – 25k steps a day.
Around New Year’s last year, friends of mine suggested that I should give modelling and nutritional coaching another serious try, given my “being in shape”, the uniqueness of my “diet”, my experiences, and sense of fashion.
I’d already been considering the same for a while.
- As of this year I’ve begun collaborating with other freelance photographers and applying to modelling agencies in and outside Germany; I’m currently represented by Elli Gilgal models in Frankfurt.
- As for the “spiritual” side of things — when I’m eating raw fatty meat, I feel an unnatural sense of bliss and calm; there’s no worrying about the future or brooding in the past. It’s a heightened level of consciousness that’s hard to explain or believe unless you’ve experienced it.
- Through the last 6 months I’ve continued to provide nutritional and fitness advice to people in my circle. I’ll mostly emphasize the importance of fatty meat and make suggestions to their diets to accommodate more meat and improve its digestion. When I can and if they’d like, I’ll prep them a steak. I also get them to walk more, especially if they’re stuck at a desk job.
- There’s not a day I wake up feeling like I don’t want to do anything or head out the door; on the contrary, I now feel time is too short for the things I want to do. I still sleep my best sleep on the floor.
As things change in my environment, food items might be added or removed; I might eat some unripe fruit and drink vegetable juices in the summer, or sip on raw milk if I’m travelling to a farm.
Regardless, what would be stupid to let go on my part is the fact that animal meat and fat should be the foundation of any lifestyle. That is our natural diet; everything else is secondary.
To wrap up, I won’t explicitly list the benefits I’ve experienced eating fatty meat as those are not only apparent through the story, but is also common with the benefits others have experienced on a carnivore, raw meat or ketogenic diet for that matter.
What I will do is list observations made through my experience, that could possibly help you on your journey. It isn’t gospel, so choose to accept or ignore them as you see fit:
- The brain fog that I struggled with was predominantly a blood sugar issue; I was clearly dipping around lunch time, either because of too many carbs or not eating anything at all. Interestingly, I’ll still get it if I’m eating lean meat with insufficient fat.
- The intense diarrhea I developed when switching to all meat lasted a good 3 months. It was mostly green and caused by overconsumption of leafy greens and spinach. Till today, my body and mind reject the sight of raw vergetables.
- Not eating sufficient animal fat results in cravings for savory and sweet food. Those who are mostly plant based can be observed eating or mimicking savory and creamy food items.
- Quality, raw animal fat is the most nourishing and healing macronutrient — in combination with animal protein of course. Vegetable fats and proteins are inflammatory and incomplete.
- Human bodies are not meant to be extremely “lean” and “shredded”; this is a false image that’s been propagated by the media, Instagram, movies and the fitness community. Women are healthiest around 18 – 20%, while men at 12% – 15%. Eating a diet predominant in minimally cooked meat will automatically set your body to its healthiest body fat percentage.
- Sometimes it’s necessary to put on weight and fat before you can get healthy.
- The body fat level that is the healthiest for you is the one that lets you stay energized all day, without eating too frequently or obsessing over/restricting food. If you find yourself hungry, you just aren’t feeding it enough. Period.
- Calories aren’t everything and forced calorie restriction is never healthy. Fat loss and health gain is mostly hormonal; calorie restriction on a meat-only or low carb diet can even be counter productive.
- Exercise shouldn’t be done strictly for fat loss. More importantly, you shouldn’t be forcing your body to exercise. When your body is healthy and nourished, it will force you to exercise.
- The best exercises are those that improve your strength (push, pull and squat heavy weights), and also let you burn fat without stressing out your hormones. Intense cardio ages you, and burns you out long term – walking is the best in this case.
- Walking after a meal (carnivore or not) helps in its digestion and prevents any erratic blood sugar spikes/dips after (within reason; you can’t outwalk a terrible diet). Walking before bed induces restful sleep. 10k steps a day is easy to achieve and maintain.
- If you are having trouble digesting meat, there are other things that need to be addressed – the degree of cooking (minimal/raw is best), the amount of fat (fat helps in digestion and protein absorption), and what you’re combining your meat with (best eaten by itself, or with acidic fruits).
- Both overcooking and freezing meat destroys the availability and quality of its nutrients. Meat, when stored, should be left to air in the fridge and not wrapped in plastic; meat left to age in plastic is toxic.
- Vegetables shouldn’t be combined with meat. Not only do both require different biochemical environments to digest, but vegetables, nuts and seeds are extremely high in anti-nutrients that impair digestion and nutrient absorption. Salads. if at all, should be eaten by themselves.
- Intermittently fasting is not healthy if you are forcing your body to. You should be eating sufficiently in each meal, at the right times, so that your body automatically doesn’t feel hungry for dinner.
- Eating your first meal after waking up around sunrise is essential; this normalizes hormones, makes you less hungry during the day, and lets you sleep more restfully at night. If you say eating breakfast makes you ravenous for the rest of the day, consider if you’re eating only animal fat and protein in that first meal. Anything else (especially carbs) will only confuse blood sugar.
- There’s no need to worry about others judging you, nor is it necessary to preach; I eat raw meat out in the open and tell people about it only if they are genuinely curious.
- Water shouldn’t be overconsumed; water can be dehydrating and when consumed in large amounts in one go, tends to affect your natural fluid/mineral balance. Sip every 20 minutes, do not gulp, and drink to thirst. If you’re abnormally thirsty before or after a meal – you’re most likely hungry, stressed, or have eaten something that’s playing havoc with your blood sugar/insulin.
- Once you have your health in check, spend the rest of your life doing the things you love. Get off the internet, stop feeding the panic/fear/narcissism/depression, and connect with nature.
Thanks for reading.