On aborting the carnivore experiment early
Despite my earlier commitment to stick with the carnivore diet for a full three months, I reluctantly started adding plants back in to my diet a few weeks ago. I got a spot/zit, and as that is a novel experience for me (I rarely get them, not even when I was a teen), I behaved like I was twelve and picked it. This resulted in a strange hypertrophic scar which persisted for a couple of weeks, something I have never experienced before. This suggested to me that I was deficient in something, likely the vitamins E and/or C. So, I reluctantly started adding in some plants to my diet.
I genuinely felt incredible eating only animal-based foods. To recap, my mood was significantly improved (to the point that people asked me if I was high, to which I replied: HIGH ON MEAT!), my tendonitis, joint stiffness, and muscle tension went away so I become significantly more supple, and I slept incredibly deeply and restoratively. In addition, I had no IBS symptoms and all the other weird histamine related responses disappeared. Finally, I got significantly stronger and can now do 6 chin ups from standing. (At the beginning of the year, I could only manage 6 negatives, so this is a huge improvement for me. Especially when you bear in mind that I’m a 48 yr old woman with a formerly dislocated shoulder.)
Alas, whilst reintroducing plants (and a vitamin E supplement) did result in my weird scar finally falling off ten days later, I genuinely feel worse, especially in terms of my mood. In addition, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since reintroducing them, and I’m only eating about 10% of my calories via plants.
I have found it quite interesting to reintroduce foods from such an extreme exclusion diet, as the re-emergence of symptoms as a consequence of particular foods is so obvious. So far, I have only introduced fruits (including vegetable fruits like peppers) because I am utterly swayed by the argument that fruits are the only part of a plant designed to be eaten, and that the rest of the plant contains compounds harmful to human health. That said, I did try walnuts and almonds because I love them.
I think I have an issue with oxalates as, so far, blueberries, walnuts, almonds, and figs all cause muscle tension and joint pain, and dried figs have the added benefit of making me super sneezy, allergic, and sinus stuffy. Pineapple, bananas, apples, peppers, apricots, and avocado have no obvious physical symptoms, but as I say, my mood is trash and I am not sleeping well. Maybe it’s just because I’m pissed off that my beloved bloobs, figs, and walnuts are not good for me. 😩
Anyway, on the up side, it is easier to eat a few plants, calories-wise. I nearly ate my spa pal’s arm off a few weeks ago, as I had stayed too long and was beyond hungry. At least last week I could protect him with a banana. 🤷🏻♀️
February 2024 Update:
I actually went ‘ketovore’ again in August 2023 and have remained such since. By ‘ketovore’ I mean animal foods based: some days carnivore, some days up to a maximum of 10g of carbohydrate. I have found that I get negative mental and physical symptoms if I go above 10g of carbs, so I think I am going to stay ketovore for a good long while.
FWIW, I now believe that the strange ‘hypertrophic scar’ I got was actually a symptom of oxalate clearance. In fact, I think all the negative symptoms I got during the trial period, were actually due to radically shifting from an oxalate-heavy diet to one without any. I strongly recommend reading Sally Norton’s Toxic Superfoods for more on this.
Finally, I now know that my issues with calories and feeling hungry all the time was because I had major issues transitioning from a carb heavy diet (even though I ate almost no cereals and grains, I still ate a lot of fruit and vegetables) to a fat heavy diet. As in, I struggled to switch my metabolism from burning glucose to burning fat for fuel. I solved it the next time I tried by supplementing with MCT oil. See this post for more.