People’s Reactions to the Carnivore Diet
I’ve been on this animal foods only diet for over four months now, and I thought I’d share my experience when it comes to other people finding out about it. I’ve been keen to try not to allow it to define me. It irks me when vegan’s feel the need to share it as a key point in their life at every opportunity, so I don’t want to full into the same trap. I will say, on the subject of vegans, that as of yet, I haven’t had any death threats or insults, and more often than not, most are interested to hear more about it and the thought process.
When I am talking about it to people, I never try and tell anyone they should do it. I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, so it’s not my place to give diet advice. All I can do is give my own personal account and share my experiences, which is what I aim to do.
Most people are in disbelief when they do hear about the carnivore diet. I’ve had a couple of people tell me I’m going to die from high cholesterol due to all the saturated fat. Sadly that’s a myth that refuses to die now it’s been so entrenched in our guidelines since the 1960s. Most think I’m just completely crazy for trying this, and I was actually at a party, and a friend spent the night introducing me as ‘this is Jay, he only eats meat’, so that was amusing!
The next two most asked questions are always about scurvy and fibre. Well supposedly it takes 3 weeks for scurvy to set in, so clearly I’m getting enough vitamin C from meat to keep that at bay. As for fibre, I have zero issues in that department compared to when I was eating like a normal person, so also not an issue.
The next question is always ‘how do you feel?’ to which I can only answer ‘amazing!’. Of course, amazing is my new normal, so come Christmas, when I plan to take a break (Mum would be upset if I didn’t eat all her food), it’s going to be interesting to see if things are different. I’ll be paying close attention to both my digestion and mood, so expect a post Christmas carnivore update on that!
Eating out is where things get interesting (or complicated). Milan was easier than I expected, although quite limited. I had a lot of cured meat and cheese, but we did find a restaurant that did give me some more options. I chose the steak tartare, and the waiter came over with a trolly to do a presentation and add in loads of random seasonings… he looked both distraught and confused when I said I just wanted the meat and egg yolk with a touch of salt and pepper. I will admit that it looked pretty sorry on the plate, but then I’m not sure it would have been much better with the other bits added in anyway.
Most restaurants simply ignore my requests for just steak on it’s own. I’ve wasted quite a few chips over the past few months, which annoys me. Of course depending on who I’m with, they don’t always go to waste, but still… if I ask for just the steak, why is that so hard to do right?
One of the most interesting dinner experiences I had was a couple of weeks ago at the Jessops Conference gala dinner. I’d been speaking there all day, and was relatively hungry. Everyone was asked to pre-order their food about a month in advance from the menu, along with any dietary requirements, which I did. I thought ‘Protein Only. No Carbs/Starch’ was fairly catch all in it’s description, so nothing to worry about. The fact that it was printed on the name card, became useful, and before the food came around, one of the staff asked each table if there were any dietary requirements, so I showed it to her.
As the food came out, the waiting staff tried to give me the same salad as everyone else 4 times, and each time I said no, and pointed to my name card with the dietary requirements on it, and each time they came back with the same plate of green stuff. Eventually one of the waitresses said to me ‘there’s no carbs in there’. I enlightened her that salad is carbohydrate, and she then took it back to the kitchen. Finally, I got my plate of bacon and eggs, along with a very confused looking waitress who said that both her, and the kitchen staff had no idea that salad was carbohydrate! This is the state of the food industry… they don’t know what food is!
Many people would have got frustrated, but I’m fully aware of how weird it sounds to most people, so I just don’t even stress about it. What was interesting, was that the woman sat next to me, after seeing my awkwardness, asked me what my diet was, and then said her husband is doing the same thing, so maybe this isn’t as uncommon as I thought anymore!
After the amusement of the starter, I figured the main course was going to be a much smoother affair, which it was… just! It took about 3 refusals before I got a plate of lamb on it’s own, and you know what? It tasted really good! Only issue was that it was way too small, but I wasn't going to ask for more.
Due to how awkward this way of eating is, I am now cooking my own food far more, which is probably a good thing, both for knowing exactly what you’re eating, but also for the wallet. There’s pretty much nothing I can order to be delivered, as it all has some sort of sauce or carbs, plus in reality, it’s about as easy to shove a joint of beef in the oven for 45mins, and you get way more for your money.
For the most part, when people hear about this diet, they more intrigued than anything. For those that take the time to really listen, they even find it appealing, although giving up bread, pizza, and potatoes is just a stretch too far for most people.
I’d be interested to hear from anyone else who’s trying the carnivore diet, about the reactions you’ve had from people, and how you deal with them. Leave a comment below!
Related Carnivore Diet Posts
Carnivore Diet Week One
Carnivore Diet Week Two
Carnivore Diet Week Three
Carnivore Diet Week Four
Carnivore Diet Week Five
Carnivore Diet Week Six
Carnivore Diet Week Seven
Carnivore Diet Week Eight
Carnivore Diet Week Nine
Carnivore Diet Week Ten