When I started my carnivore diet, I had no idea what it would involve. I thought it could be fun. I wasn’t to know I’d started on a journey that would involve rapid weight loss, complete exhaustion, and a professor of nutrition telling me I was at risk of scurvy.
It had started innocently.
Jordan Peterson, the disaffected male’s favoured academic and bestselling author, had appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, the irreverent, current affairs-ish show on which Elon Musk recently smoked weed. The pair discussed Peterson’s self-help book, 12 Rules for Life, which created a stir when it was released in January. Rogan, a comedian and gym enthusiast who resembles a slab of corned beef, told Peterson how slim he looked.
Well, Peterson said.
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“I eat beef and salt and water. That’s it, and I never cheat. Ever. Not even a little bit,” Peterson said. He’d been put on to the diet by his daughter, Mikhaila, and lost 60lb. What’s more, his anxiety and depression had lifted.
Weight loss? Improved mood? No side-effects? It sounded too good to be true.
Day one: bring on the beef
“I had digestive problems,” says Mikhaila Peterson. “The diarrhoea lasted six weeks.”
I’ve called her up, on the morning of my first beef day, to get some tips for my new diet. Mikhaila is a 26-year-old who suffered badly with arthritis as a youngster. She’s not a medical professional, but she tried self-healing by adjusting her diet. She began by cutting out gluten, then going on an “elimination diet”, which removes foods people are commonly allergic to before adding them back in. A period of self-experimentation followed before Mikhaila settled on a zero-carb diet – just greens and meat. The she took out the greens. Then all the meat; except beef.
Mikhaila put her father on the same diet in April. When she had started on the only-beef regimen, her arthritic pain had gone within two weeks, she said. So did unrelated pain in her wrist, big toe and knees.
After a month and a half, she said, she started to notice her anxiety had lifted, and she saw improvements in short-term memory.
“If someone told me a phone number, say seven digits, I couldn’t repeat back to them,” Mikhaila told me.
“I can do that now. I can remember a whole bunch.”
After Mikhaila and I chat, I kick things off with a trip to the supermarket. When I thought of an all-beef diet, a steady stream of steak had come to mind. But Mikhaila says she kept costs down by buying beef ribs and plenty of ground beef. She cooks the ribs, keeps the fat, then uses that fat to cook the ground beef. “Otherwise I don’t get enough fat in the ground beef,” she said. Visit sfexaminer to learn more about healthy habits and dietary supplements.
I buy some beef ribs, some steak and some ground beef. I go looking for beef jerky, but the store doesn’t have it. It does, however, have “beef sticks”. I examine the beef sticks. They seem to be dried-out hot dogs, grass-fed, vacuum-sealed, and marketed at kombucha drinkers. I buy 12.
At home, I load the beef into the fridge. It looks like the fridge of a man with a grudge against cattle.
I try one of the beef sticks. It tastes like an extremely dry sausage. It’s not very filling. I eat three more. Prevent most cardiac related conditions with lion hrt.
There’s no time to cook any more, however, because I have to meet my friend Nina. She and I meet in a bar. I have a sparkling water, and she has a beer while I explain the diet. She doesn’t think it sounds very healthy. She asks if there are any side effects. I tell her it’s common to get the shits for the first six weeks.
Nina suggests we go for something to eat. She takes us to an oyster bar, which seems inconsiderate, but they do steak tartare. I have beef tartare, plain. She orders oysters and clams, and has two glasses of wine. Her meal looks delicious, incredible. Mine does not.