Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Carnivore II : Day 13 - Pick An Animal, Any Animal...

I love the days where, as I sit down to share my eats with you all, I realise that I've devoured an entire farm.

Breakfast: Lamb and pig

Dinner: Chicken & cow, twice each!

Mmmmm.... Nothing more to say, especially since today was hellishly long and cold and boring. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!


mellie said...

I've been doing Paleo since April, and I'm interested in trying going Carnivore. I've read through your blog and enjoyed your story! So I tried my first basically meat-only day yesterday. However, I had a gnarly toe cramp in the middle of the night, followed by a calf cramp. I follow my nutrition in Cron-o-meter, and realized I was deficient in a lot of nutrients.

Do you ever have muscle cramping or problems due to nutrient deficiencies? I really liked how I felt on my basically meat-only day. I had a great energy level all day, and felt nice and slim and my belly was great and flat this morning instead of bloated and distended as it often is. Plus the cooking was so easy! So I'd like to continue this way, but I don't like that I had the muscle cramping and deficiencies...You can see my day here with the deficiency listing:

Can you offer any suggestions? Thanks for your awesome blog!

Jezwyn said...

Hey Mellie,

If you are eating conventional meats from a supermarket, meat that has been factory-farmed and grain- or corn-fed, the meat will be devoid of much of the nutritional value that we require. And even if you are eating grass-fed/pastured meat, most of the nutritional information you will find online refers to conventional meats, so will not be accurate. So don't rely on average figures presented online, but watch your own response to your way of eating.

Muscle cramping can indicate a deficiency in magnesium and/or potassium - ultimately it is an electrolyte issue. Make sure your fluids are high, and I would encourage you to think about supplementing with magnesium if you don't have access to highly nutritious meats. I have supplements which I use if I have not reached what my body tells me is my necessary intake of organic, grass-fed red meat.

Don't forget that many experts assert that the RDA of many nutrients is wildly incorrect in some cases - for instance, we probably need much more Vitamin D than we're currently told. RDA is also a one-size-fits-all proposal, which we know is more than a little ignorant. From your day, you only consume <1200kcal, suggesting you're a teeny person! Your carb count is also quite high, so when you cut that back to almost zero, you'll obviously be upping your meat intake, which will change your nutrition balance.

Don't panic too much - we evolved on a meat-only diet, supplemented with organ meat and lots of natural fat (which is where the nutrition is found!). So if you have excellent meat/fat access, you'll be covered, and otherwise grab a great multivitamin or magnesium/potassium supplement to cover all based.

mellie said...

Thanks for your feedback! I am eating only locally raised grass-fed and pastured meats, so hopefully I'm doing well there nutritionally! I'll try to cut the carbs out completely, too, as you've done. I'm totally lovin' how I feel!

mellie said...

P.S. I am a teeny person, just 5' 2"....also a poor, teeny person, so I don't have a whole lot of money. I'm thinking of eating more eggs possibly too since they're so much cheaper than grass-fed meat!

I was wondering, about the fats, when you have a pork chop with some fat on it, should I just go ahead and eat that fat instead of cutting it off?

Jezwyn said...

If the pig was raised without the assistance of chemicals/hormones, than HECK YEAH eat all that fat! I buy big pork roasts just so I can eat all the crackling myself (it helps to have a boyfriend who is disturbed by eating skin... Weirdo!). Pork fat is fantastic since it is very similar to our own fat, so our bodies LOVE to use it as fuel!

However, if you are eating conventional meats at any point, it's better to cut off the fat since that's where the majority of the chemical junk is stored. Just add some organic butter :D

Eggs are fantastic - my first carnivore experiment didn't involve eggs, but I have used them every couple of days, sometimes more often, this time around and haven't noticed any problems. I have also included dairy, which may be hindering my progress a little so I should cut back... But again, no digestive issues, no skin issues, no hunger/craving issues... Sweet!

mellie said...

Thanks so much - you have really inspired me! Yesterday I did my first official NO fruits/veggies whatsover day! And I feel sooo awesome!! I can't believe it!

Here's my food log for yesterday if you want to see it:

On the pork fat thing; how do you get your pork fat so nice and crispy? I'd love to eat that fat if it was crispy like yours! :-)

And yes, the locally pastured pork I've been buying is completely chemical/hormone free, so I guess I definitely should be eating that fat!

Speaking about eggs; in addition to pastured chicken eggs, I also have access to duck and quail eggs too! Have you ever had them? They are expensive so I'm wondering if it's worth the money to try it.

I am so super happy with this way of eating, BTW! I really do feel like a million bucks. My tummy is so nice and flat, even my face seems to be a little slimmer! And as you said, no digestive issues, no skin issues, no hunger, and good solid sharp focus all day too! Heck yeah!

mellie said...

Oh - and I forgot to mention! I had NO nighttime foot or calf cramps whatsoever last night after my first meat-only day! I slept better than I have in a long, long time!!!! Awesome!

Jezwyn said...

Congrats on your first day as a carnivore!! The more you push towards fresh meats and away from processed/cured meats, the better you will feel too. The added salt might trigger water retention, although you can flush that out if you swig as much water/tea as I do ;)

Crisping the skin (not the fat) of the pork roast is easy - dry the skin thoroughly (I pat with paper towel and then blast it with a hair dryer under absolutely dry), then rub the skin with oil (I use lard) and a bit of salt. Make sure you preheat your oven to its maximum temperature, then pop the roast in for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the roast through, then increase the temperature to max again if the skin still needs more crisping. Remove roast when crisp, and allow the meat to rest for a good 15 minutes. That's how it works best in my current oven, but every oven is slightly different...

I LOVE pork fat! However, a lot of zero-carbers don't like pork so much since you have to cook it through, whereas many argue that we should only be cooking the edges of our meat an eating the rest as rare as possible. Beef and lamb obviously meet this criterion best, and fish. I'd assume bison would work, too, as does kangaroo. So anyway, I try to make pork a once-a-week thing, since I do tend to eat chicken, the other 'naughty' food, quite often. :)

I've had duck and quail eggs before, they don't taste any different to chicken eggs, in my opinion. The birds themselves, however.... Yum!

Yay for no cramps!! These days I only get cramps if I abuse my feet in high-heeled boots (I wear them all winter, and if I have to do a lot of walking (as in walking around the city on concrete for an hour or more) I make sure to supplement with magnesium and a massage :)

mellie said...

Thanks Jezwyn! I'll have to try that method to get the crispy skin - sounds so tasty!!! :-)

And I hear you on the trying to eat less processed meats like the franks and bacon....it's hard though since I'm trying to buy the grassfed stuff and the real cuts of grassfed meat are so expensive, you know? But I'll work towards that!

Yes, the bison does work really well to cook rare - medium. Dang it's good too!

I should see if I can get duck or quail meat then instead of the eggs...oooh that sounds good!

BTW, I do a lot of walking around the city too! I walk about 2 miles every day, to and from work (plus walking up and down stairs at work as well). So I totally know what you mean about the heels. They really do a number on my feet and almost surely cause cramping that night. Too bad they look so darn awesome! :-)

Also - I didn't have any cramping again last night, my 2nd fully meat-only day!! Woo-hoo! I'm totally excited! I feel so great, like finally I am actually digesting my food properly!! I've been sleeping so well, too! And I love that I've gotten rid of the bloating, my tummy is so nice and flat now, and even my face is a little thinner now too (I always felt it was too round - and I think it was just bloating from those darn fruits and veggies they keep telling us to eat!).

I am so happy to have found your blog - I had been curious about trying meat-only for a while, but it was your blog that really inspired me to do it!!

Jezwyn said...

Your comments make me so smiley :) And not just because I'm reading them when I should really be marking senior Literature essays on a Saturday night while my boyfriend is out at a party...

I wonder what is "worse" - processed meat, or conventional fresh meat? Well, I guess if your processed meat is made from conventionally farmed fresh meat, then fresh is best... I still cave to conventional fresh meat once in a while, since my organic beef/chicken man only delivers once a month, and the organic butcher down the road only opens on the weekend for a few hours on Saturday morning, and I'm never awake on Saturday morning! (He's open on weekdays, just to be clear, but usually closed by the time I can get there unless I walk up to him on my way home, which isn't really on my way... And then I end up walking the rest of the way home with my shoulder bag PACKED with fresh meat... At least I get my 'lifting heavy things' quota filled, but I won't be doing that in summer!) Anyway, I don't feel too bad about the occasional conventionally farmed lamb forequarter chops since sheep in Victoria are all grass-fed and rarely pumped full of hormones, although they are routinely dipped to counter fly infestations, etc, and having grown up on a farm, I'm okay with that! I've seen poor fly-blown sheep suffer and have to be put down, and I figure that the odd chemical dip isn't that much worse than the chemicals in my shampoo/moisturisers, and I use them every day!

I don't have to go into the city much these days, and although I'm on my feet all day at work, at least classrooms are carpeted, and the walks to and from lessons aren't too long. I walk to and from work along a concrete path though, interspersed with a couple of length bush track sections (aw yeah!), so I have always worn runners to minimise abuse. And now that I wear Vibram KSOs, my feet have never been happier! I used to ask the boy for foot massages almost every night, and now I can't think of when I last begged him for one. He can probably tell me though, since I used to make sure to pay him back for them... ;)

I know it's still early days, but do you think you'll stick with carnivorism long-term? It's hard to imagine breaking from this way of eating when you are enjoying the incredible benefits. Have you found yourself in awkward social situations at all, or do you have solid steakhouse access? Are you missing the flavour of fruit & veg yet? I remember longing to taste zucchini again in my first few days the first time around. It passes though - just wanted to give you a heads up! :)

mellie said...

Thanks Jezwyn! It's been so helpful to chat with you as I venture into becoming a full-fledged Carnivorina! :D

Re: will I stick with it long-term; so far I am so excited by the awesome benefits, that I am definitely interested in seeing where this takes me! And heck, I never so much looked forward to my meals before! I never did like fruit and veggies much. When I was vegan, I hated eating my veggies and would try to stick with just beans and rice/millet/etc. When Paleo, I used to only eat my veggies if they were smothered in lard or cheese. So the heck with veggies, if I don't need 'em! I've been reading a lot of the Zeroing in on Health forum, and it seems that meat-only really does work for the long term! And you are a wonderful example of that too! :-)

I haven't had any awkward social situations yet, I'm sure they will come up eventually. DH thinks I'm a bit crazy. He said yesterday as we were shopping, "Well I'M getting some greens - don't take me along with you on your crazy diet!" Haha, that's fine! I don't miss the fruits and veggies at all (well maybe bananas - DH had one yesterday and it smelled good, but I was strong and withstood the urge!).

I know what you mean on the chemicals in shampoo, toiletries, etc. Hey, do you find that you still need moisturizers? I noticed a significant change in my skin when I went Paleo in April, that I didn't need any moisturizers or lotion anymore! I can just wash my face with water only now, which was unheard of before, my skin used to get crazy dry all the time - with oily spots, too, of course, gotta love combination skin! I had keratosis pilaris ("chicken skin") on my upper arms and thighs, and it is getting much softer and improved since April. I'm curious to see what meat-only will do!

Speaking on that, do you notice any difference in your skin between the different fats you are eating? Lately I've been having bacon, and saving the bacon fat for cooking. However, my skin seems a bit more dry from it, and also I notice my foods stick to my skillet more so than when I use my good old pastured pork lard. I have a theory that the lard might be better - and for my skin too. I notice you use coconut oil sometimes? I used to use it, but then I realized that coconut products do a number on my digestion, sadly. The lard, however, is really, really nice. And the pans clean up so easily, too! What have you noticed between the various fats?

On shoes: I've seen the KSOs, they seem fun! But I don't know if I could pull those off at work. I have found some cute, comfy dressy flats though (the brand is "Softspots") and those are working really well for my tons of walking every day. They have a memory foam insole which is really comfy, and are all leather uppers and insole so they breathe well.

Oh - you'll enjoy this: yesterday DH and I went to the farmers market to buy all of our meat, with our canvas bags loaded up with meat. Then we stopped at the health food co-op for a few other things of meat that we couldn't get at the market. The cashier ringing us up saw all of our heavy bags of meat, and said "I'm guessing you guys aren't vegan then?" :D

Jezwyn said...

Oooh, I always adored fruit, I used to live on it as a child, and as an adult I've always made the most of grape & cherry seasons - they're the one thing I miss! I do tend to gaze longingly at the fresh grapes that are popping up in the supermarket... I'm sure I wouldn't be able to handle the sweetness now though! Some of my colleagues eat a couple of bananas a day - I'm so sick of the smell! :) They're also the ones complaining that they're 'starving' by the end of the day, despite breakfast, banana, lunch and another banana... Can you believe we used to think eating and feeling that way was normal?!

I give my skin a pretty hard time, I must admit. I'm a Drama queen, so I like the theatricality of make-up, and adore the art of subtle application. So I have always used a moisturiser to combat the cleansing products used to wipe the makeup away. Since resuming my BCP, my chin has been back to its old break-out habits, which is devastating, meaning I'm using even more make-up, using more chemicals to try and counter pore issues, and relying on moisturiser to regain balance. At least I don't use anything with sunscreen in it anymore.

I've always had pretty dry/combination skin all over my body, although when I was cooking with a lot of coconut oil my hands felt pretty good. Using lard is good too. But on carnivore I don't tend to handle much food except raw meat, so I have to wash my hands thoroughly, and they're back to being a bit dry. Might go back to using coconut oil directly on my hands - I'm not using it for cooking much anymore, since I don't think my system likes it either...

I have awesome pans - cast iron and ceramic-coated - so I don't ever have an issue with sticking so long as I use a little fat. Actually, the only food that ever sticks is bacon if I try to fry at a high temperature. Heating the fat in the pan before adding other food tends to solve most sticking problems, and cooking on lower heat is the next best bet. I don't think it really matters which saturated fat you use.

Gotta put up today's eats, then off to bed! I've been marking papers for 5 hours, my hands and shoulders are aching!!

mellie said...

Yes, heating the fat before putting the meat in does sure help a lot, good suggestion!

I'm still feeling really superb, it's totally wonderful! I did have some muscle cramping this morning as I was waking, I don't know what's up with that. I think maybe my body actually likes the salty meats more? I don't know. It's no deal-breaker though. I felt so amazingly awesome yesterday it was well worth it! :D

Anyway, thanks so much for being such an inspiration! Your blog is so great! Have a wonderful day! :D

Jezwyn said...

Glad it worked out!

I've ha a couple of muscle twinges upon waking lately, which I account to the fact that the Spring weather has me walking to and from work every day, in my Vibram FiveFingers, so those muscles are getting back into shape. I spent hours walking around today in my boots, too , so there's a good chance of soreness... I consumed more salt today than usual (no meat available for breakfast except bacon), so I'll let you know if I 'mysteriously' don't have any cramps despite the other cause, cos that may well suggest salt playing a role.

Keep in touch, lovely mellie!