Meat for the Mind? – Experimenting with the Carnivore Diet for Mental Health
Wednesday, September 26th to Monday, September 30th, 2019
*** If you would like to read about my rationale for starting this diet, my first post about this is available here.
I haven’t posted because I have been a bit of a wreck the past few days. When I was switching over my birth control prescription, I accidentally skipped a couple of days of pills and ended up randomly getting my period, which has wreaked havoc on my hormones. Despite introducing new foods, I am fairly certain that this has been the primary factor causing this downswing into further depression and anxiety.
Today, as a treat and to try to limit my obsessing over food restriction, I decided to give baking a shot. I made a modified Keto Pumpkin Loaf, using coconut flour, butter, a fresh pie pumpkin (pureed), a bunch of spices, 4 eggs, some baking powder and the tiniest splash of maple syrup. I even allowed myself some honey on the first few small pieces.
It tasted wonderful. However, I may have enjoyed the pumpkin, fresh out of the oven, just as much by itself.
Had a very difficult time trying to regulate my emotions, catastrophizing and negative self-assessments in the afternoon. Jared was a wonderful support and we got our burpees (12 x 10 at 60 secs/rep for me) and ab workout in. By evening, I was able to go visit some friends to watch Labyrinth for a small birthday gathering. There, I managed to avoid giving in to fresh pizza, booze and homemade turtle cheesecake.
I’ve been introducing foods a little quicker than I intended to, due to my eagerness for some variety. However, I have also been a little obsessive about it – scouring the internet for details of anti-nutrients in any substance I’m considering trying, and constantly worrying about my macros. The more I look up, the more lost I feel and the less I feel I have a plan.
Jared suggested today that I try alternating days where I eat carnivore one day, then, every second day, eat at least one solid meat meal and consume whatever I like afterwards within reason (excluding anything I know is bad for me), without paying attention to my macro ratios.
Although it’s certainly helpful start, I am struggling with this idea a bit too. What is “within reason”, especially without measuring macros? If I want to stay in ketosis, shouldn’t I still be limiting my carb intake on my ‘days off’? If I just do the carnivore thing every second day, then won’t I lose all the benefits of ketosis? Isn’t the ketosis the most advantageous part of the carnivore diet? Will eating more carbs make it difficult for my body to process fats again?
|Foods I can tolerate so far:||Foods I suspect don’t like me back:|
|– Meat (grass-fed, pasture raised is better)|
– Peanut butter (consume in moderation due to oxalates)
– Romaine lettuce
– Coconut (wonderful – re-opens the possibility of baking)
– Honey (to be limited due to sugar)
|– Most dairy (though the higher the fat, the easier to handle): reaction = MILD|
– Processed sugar: reaction = STRONG
– Wheat: reaction = STRONG
– Broccoli: reaction = STRONG (though I have yet to try it again post-carnivore)
– Grapefruit? – (only tried a bit of juice in something and got a headache – want to test eating the fruit itself)
– Apples: MEDIUM (Spartan, straight from the farm, eaten fried with butter – strange heartburn for the rest of the day)