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Carnivore Challenge- The Egg’s Best Friend

I recently embarked on either one of the best, or worst dietary journeys of my life- the Carnivore Challenge. Some of you may know what it is. For those that don’t, it’s basically a month long war on carbs eating nothing but stuff that has previously spent its life walking, running, flying or swimming. Nothing else. 

The hardcore version of the diet is really supposed to be red meat, with fattier cuts preferred. The diet itself is a controversial one. Without getting too far into the weeds, supporters say that it’s basically how humans evolved and it brings with it numerous health and performance advantages. Those against argue that we can’t possibly get all the needed nutrition from just eating meat. 

So why did I choose to do it? I wish I had some wonderfully deep explanation here, but that’s just not reality. Every new year I usually try to do something to really shake things up in life. I had heard about carnivore eating and a number of people embarking on the challenge, so I figured it would be a great way to challenge myself for a month or 2. Plus, I’ve got a couple eggs and a freezer that is due for a clean out. I’ve coupled the diet with what is essentially a moratorium on drinking as well. I’m not shutting it off completely, but so far I’ve limited myself to about 4 drinks on the weekends only. 

I started on Monday, so this is day 7 and I’ve got some carnivore chili going in the Dutch oven and a rack of spares going for dinner tonight. The wife made her version of ABT’s and tucked them on there with the other goods. 


The fun part so far has been egging every night. I had slowed down the last quarter of the year due to my travel schedule so it’s nice to be back at it consistently. I did a 9 lb prime brisket last night, some of which is in the chili. A nice bottom round Thursday night. 


This week’s meal lineup includes ground bison, some wild game (probably duck or venison) from the freezer, a salmon or halibut night, a prime tri-tip or 2, and a 2.5 lb prime picahna. I’ll also be adding some organ meat of some sort due to the high nutrient density. 

As far as how I feel after 7 days- pretty damn good actually. I’m down 13 lbs for the week. Which was wayyyy more than I expected considering I’m taking in 2-3 lbs of meat per day. I have good energy and seem to be over most of the “flu” type symptoms that come with switching to a fat and protein based diet. I’ve had some headaches and uhhhh “digestive distress” but nothing too over the top. I have noticed that my recovery time from workouts isn’t great yet, but that is supposed to improve after the first couple of weeks. 

If there’s interest in the thread, I’ll keep posting pics of the cooks and updates on how I feel as I get further down this crazy road. Anyone else out there make a major diet change to start the year?? 
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Comments

  • GulfcoastguyGulfcoastguy Posts: 2,742
    Doesn’t the rub contain plant matter? Same with the ABTs?
  • 4 for the whole weekend?!!!!
  • CornfedMACornfedMA Posts: 256
    I’m not eating the ABT’s,  those are for the wife. From what I’ve seen about going carnivore, there’s really 2 paths. The hardcore route- red meat with salt & pepper. The less stringent version is to eat all manner of meat and fish while seasoning it to taste, within reason. I’m not using brown sugar based rubs or anything that’s heavy on sugar/carbs. In this case, I went with dizzy dust on the ribs, which has like .5 g of carbs or less per serving. 
  • CornfedMACornfedMA Posts: 256
    @JethroBodeen you got it. It’s a very steep decrease from my intake in November and December. Truth be told, I haven’t really missed the booze. I’m sure there will be weekends where I’ll go beyond that (road trip with another couple next weekend), but the booze reduction was really secondary to the challenge. 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 20,551
    Good for you.  Much more aggressive than I could take on.  Congrats on the progress.  
    While not on a full up protein diet, I pretty much only eat proteins, all of which come off one of my cookers.  My source of carbos is primarily leaded beers and brown water.  Been on this kick for 3 plus years.  The only green I eat is jalapenos, as ABT's or armadillo eggs.  Annual blood-work numbers are good all around.  (I keep waiting for the liver to start objecting... B) )
    Louisville;  "indeterminate Jim" here; L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 13,297
    4 for the whole weekend?!!!!
    That's the part I couldn't wrap my head around either. Worst element of this diet plan. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • BotchBotch Posts: 8,941
    I half-heartedly tried a similar diet (keto?) a year ago, but giving up the big five: potatoes, rice, beer, bread, and my beloved pasta.... couldn't do it.
     
    But, WOW, 13 lbs in one week!  Please keep this updated, even if you go beyond one month.  
     
    Regarding nutrients, there are species (cats for instance) that only eat meat, and seem to live okay (mild schizophrenia notwithstanding).  So it can be done...
    _____________________________________________
     
    "There are pre-grated cheeses, and there are great cheeses, but there are no great grated cheeses."    - Chef John 
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • CornfedMACornfedMA Posts: 256
    @caliking It really hasn’t been bad. Going into this my booze intake was way up over the previous 2-3 months. So it feels good to dry out for a bit. I only had 2 drinks this weekend. Both when the wife and I went to dinner Friday night. 

    @Botch I thought I would crave that stuff this week, but so far, so good. I’m not much of a beer drinker. I used to be but the lion’s share of my intake the last year or 2 has been bourbon and some gin. 

    I will say, it’s pretty funny to see the look on a waitress’ face when you order the shrimp appetizer, scallops appetizer, and tomahawk pork chop all at once, and then ask for them all plain on the same plate. 
  • sumoconnellsumoconnell Posts: 1,585
    edited January 12
     Well the Texans/Chiefs is now a game, wild ride. 

    So, somehow this is on the wrong thread. 

    Good luck on your journey! :)

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 13,297
    just busting your chops a bit, @CornfedMA. I could do with some detox myself, after the booze intake with the fam visiting over the holidays. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • TN_EggerTN_Egger Posts: 914
    Guess you better change your handle now

    A BGE chiminea, a small and a 17" BS in Las Cruces, NM

  • That's awesome!! I'm doing a two month Keto diet and drying out for the second time. (I'm not stealing your thunder) I don't know if I could do the full carnivore. The eggs, cheese, nuts and greens make Keto pretty easy. I salute your resolve, sir, and wish you the best of luck!! Keep posting. I'll keep cheering.
    Formerly @dharley prior to some password bs.

    LBGE, 36" Blackstone, bad liver & a broken heart

    Three Rivers, MI
  • CornfedMACornfedMA Posts: 256
    @TrippleRipple I hear ya. I was almost sold on keto but I wasn’t sure that it would work well with my job. I travel a ton for work and wasn’t sure how well I would do keeping track of macros and such while eating out a lot and spending a lot of time in airports. I like the simplicity of carnivore. 2 meals a day, eat meat till you’re satisfied. Intermittent fasting 5-6 days a week. Good news is that eggs and a little cheese are ok, which helps if hunger hits hard between meals and I need a little snack. 
  • TrippleRippleTrippleRipple Posts: 46
    edited January 12
    That sounds even more doable than what I'm doing. I'm going to try it. I have a freezer that needs thinning as well.

    As for traveling for your work, that's my entire gig. I cook on the egg on Sunday for the week (my week is three twelve hour days). I pack a cooler and stay at Air B&B's. I eat breakfast and dinner there, take snacks (cheese and hard boiled eggs, avocados) and avoid the hospital cafeterias like political posts here.   
    Formerly @dharley prior to some password bs.

    LBGE, 36" Blackstone, bad liver & a broken heart

    Three Rivers, MI
  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 3,082
    Wow- great looking cook. Wish I could find the Tri-tip near me. Going to break down and order some online. 
    Greensboro, NC
  • CornfedMACornfedMA Posts: 256
    @Wolfpack Finding it in New England isn’t easy. There’s a great butcher about an hour from my house that also does an online business. I bought a meat package that included a 9 lb prime brisket, a 2.5 lb prime picahna and about 1.5 lbs of prime tri-tip. Shipped to my door with “free” freight for $99. Worked out to under $8/lb for all that prime beef. Which is a killer price in Massachusetts. Place is called Alpine Butcher if you want to check them out. 
  • AcnAcn Posts: 3,054
    Wolfpack said:
    Wow- great looking cook. Wish I could find the Tri-tip near me. Going to break down and order some online. 
    I have the best luck at Trader Joe’s, although they don’t always have it.  I load up when I see it there.

    LBGE

    Pikesville, MD

  • BattlebornBattleborn Posts: 1,311
    I've heard good things about the diet. I listen to Joe Rogan often. He is doing it for the month. He said that he has a ton more energy, but feels like he is going to sh!t himself constantly. Pros and cons I suppose.
    Las Vegas, NV
    LG BGE, off-set smoker & various Weber's 
  • Matt86mMatt86m Posts: 362
    Keep posting! I tend to lean towards the Paleo - a lot like Keto. I don't follow it to the T, pretty much stay with nothing processed. Protein, Veg, little fruit to stay low sugar. I do miss bread, rice (Japanese wife) and pasta though not too hard. Also heard it referred to Caveman diet. Now that I type this It reminds me I need to get back on it! 

    There are some sugar free bbq sauces out there. Haven't tried any yet but its on the list.
    XL aka Senior, Mini Max aka Junior, Weber Q's, Blackstone 22, Traeger Silverton, Lion built in, RecTec Mini 300, Lodge Hibachi, wife says I have too many grills,,,,how many shoes do you have?
     
    IG -->  matt_86m
  • littlerascal56littlerascal56 Posts: 1,173
    The “BlueZone” diet is what you want to follow if you want to live to 100!

    KANSAS+++Land of OZ

    BGE XL++Flameboss 300 WiFi++Blackstone 36"++Weber 26" kettle

  • CornfedMACornfedMA Posts: 256
    edited January 14
    I've heard good things about the diet. I listen to Joe Rogan often. He is doing it for the month. He said that he has a ton more energy, but feels like he is going to sh!t himself constantly. Pros and cons I suppose.
    Ya. I was worried about that, but I haven’t had it as bad as Rogan. His description was hilarious though. He said he trusts his “system” as much “as a shifty neighbor with a Russian accent that asks a lot of personal questions”

    Yesterday seems to be the first day where my GI system really seems to be settling in and getting used to it. So it took about 8 days. 
  • JohnH12JohnH12 Posts: 211
    So the old Adkins diet has morphed into the Carnivore diet?
  • CornfedMACornfedMA Posts: 256
    @JohnH12 No, they really aren’t related at all. Atkins was keto before keto was considered a good thing. It includes veggies, carbs, plant based oils etc. Carnivore is exactly what it sounds like- Meat. 
  • bucky925bucky925 Posts: 1,654
    edited January 19
    Wolfpack said:
    Wow- great looking cook. Wish I could find the Tri-tip near me. Going to break down and order some online. 
    Triad meat company carries that cut. 
    triadmeat.com

    Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.

  • CornfedMACornfedMA Posts: 256
    So a bit of an update. I’m still at it, starting week 3 today. Down 22 lbs. The wife and I took a road trip with another couple this past weekend and aside from my increased booze intake, I did pretty well staying with the diet. Probably a little too much cheese, but all in all I walked away from the weekend losing a couple more lbs. 

    I did a lousy job documenting cooks for the week but they did not suck. In addition to the prime tri-tip, I did a sous vide chuckie, prime picahna and an outstanding London broil. The London broil was most surprising. I’ve never done one without marinading it first, and this first go round with just heavy SPOG was excellent. 

    This whole thing has got me thinking though, and I’m fairly certain I need another cooking apparatus. Firing up the XL every night, sometimes only for a steak or burger or whatever, is kind of a PIA. Even when I only use one side filled with lump. So I’m looking for suggestions- my first instinct is either a small or mini max. But I’m not sure if they’re the best for the job if all I’m looking for is a charcoal cooker that lights fast and will
    be used almost exclusively for fast, direct cooks. This got me thinking about a Weber kettle. So what’s the consensus among the forum? Stay green or get something metal? 
  • StillH2OEggerStillH2OEgger Posts: 2,503
    Congrats on the results thus far. Awesome to see you making this work.

    I might be one of the few on here willing to admit that I use a gas grill for quick cooks during the week. It's not the same or as good as charcoal grilling and certainly not smoking, but it's good enough for burgers, brats, etc. I have also reverse seared steaks with good results.

    Having confessed that, if I could squeeze it into my outdoor space I think I'd want my next cooker to be blackstone.
    Stillwater, MN
  • GulfcoastguyGulfcoastguy Posts: 2,742
    A medium is a great cooker.
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 15,629
    Sounds keto-friendly!
    "A generation of the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses." - George Orwell 

    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike

    Living large in the 919


  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 9,463
    Good luck and I’ll be following. 
    =======================================
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16
    Tampa Bay, FL
    EIB 6 Oct 95
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