When Nick and I met, I didn’t really have a way of eating that I followed. If I had to name it, it was most likely paleo. I had oatmeal every morning for breakfast, coffee (duh), fruit, chicken and rice, maybe a hamburger every now and again, gluten free pasta. Stuff like that.
He ate carnivore. And informed me that if he was going to cook for us, he wasn’t going to make separate meals (lol). So I started eating more red meat, but still had my oatmeal, fruit, and veggies. But I was having issues post-workout… like, feeling nauseous and as if I was going to puke or poop. It wasn’t super fun.
Fast forward years of Nick talking to me about carnivore and I finally decided to try it. I’m not going to lie, I was against it for awhile. For a long while.
I mean, how was I supposed to survive only eating animal-based food? I mean, no veggies, super minimal fruit, nothing really but meats and eggs and cheese (I mean, who doesn’t love cheese?!).
But… hear me out. I loved it. I was actually fuller longer throughout the day. I didn’t feel like I needed to eat every five seconds (I’m being dramatic but that’s what it felt like). I lost weight and toned up without even thinking about it. My stomach felt better. I wasn’t bloated all the time.
It was a nice change to how I had been feeling.
And then I got pregnant. And I swore I would stay as carnivore as I could, but man oh man, did I crave some carbs. Mexican was my jam. Even thinking about eggs made me nauseous. Sometimes hamburgers and steaks sounded good. Other times, just the thought of it made my stomach turn.
So I went back more paleo and stayed that way for a long while after Gabriel was born. I’m not sure how old he was when I went back to carnivore but he was having massive eczema breakouts so I knew I needed to change my way of eating.
And back to carnivore I went.
Whew, it’s been a journey! Back and forth, back and forth, over and over again.
I had to cut dairy out this time around. But I was happy with my results and how I was feeling. I toned back up and felt like I lost the last little bit of weight I was holding onto (I can’t say for sure because I didn’t weigh myself, but my clothes definitely felt looser and I just overall felt better).
And then we came across a nutrition coaching program that we wanted to implement at CFC. And we all knew we had to experiment once again with it.
So back in came the carbs. But my macros were much higher than last time. I’m working out, I’m over 40, and I’m nursing. So I knew I would need to change some things around.
I ate 155g protein/225g carbs/80g fat. And it wasn’t hard to do. I mean, I hit my protein and my fat pretty consistently. I had to force myself to eat that amount of carbs, but once I figured it out, it was all good.
I had oatmeal in the morning with fruit and cinnamon in it with a couple of pieces of bacon on the side. I would have a banana around my workout, pulled pork with hummus for lunch, and usually 90/10 burgers with rice or potatoes with dinner.
At first, I absolutely loved it. I was able to eat some of the sweet fruits and potatoes I wasn’t eating before. And I lost 4 pounds in the first week – crazy what tracking will actually do for you! I didn’t feel a whole lot of difference in the first week. I had more issues with my bowel movements (aka, it was harder for me to go… no pun intended), but for the most part, I felt great. My workouts felt great, I was sleeping great, my energy felt great. The one big change is that I was hungry more often and pretty much had to eat every two hours.
But then came week 2… I noticed my face and neck were super itchy. Like wake me up in the middle of the night itchy. So I asked our nutrition coaching group about it and someone told me mango could cause it. And I had been eating mango every day in my oatmeal.
So alas… I thought I’d figured it out. No more mango.
I waited about a week or so knowing it would take a bit for it to get out my system. But my face never stopped itching. In fact, I would scratch it so hard that it would burn when I put lotion on the next day.
I was miserable. It was waking me up overnight. I couldn’t control the itching, even with medicine and creams.
So then I stopped having rice. My mom told me some people have really bad issues with rice.
But nope. Nothing. No changes.
We were coming up on the end of our 30 day experiment and I couldn’t take it anymore. The itching was miserable and wasn’t stopping.
Within two days back on carnivore, the itching was subsiding. I wasn’t waking up in the middle of the night scratching my face and neck. It was crazy how night and day it was.
Clearly, my body was reacting to the carbs I was eating. Could I function with them and workout with high intensity and output? Yes. Did I want to continue scratching the crap out of my face and neck? Heck no!
Honestly, looking back, I should’ve gone about it a little differently. Maybe introduced carbs a little at a time instead of all in, all at once. Because when I have carbs every now and again on carnivore, my body doesn’t react that way.
What I can tell you though, is that knowing how my body reacted, knowing how that felt, helps me to make better choices when I’m eating. I don’t want to go back to that. I wish I could adequately explain how itchy I was… all around my face, my chin, my scalp, and my neck. It was like little insects crawling around inside my skin constantly. And it was always there. It just got worse… or felt worse overnight.
I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.
So yes, I am someone who can function eating carbs for my fuel source. I have done it the majority of my life. But as I’ve gotten older, I can tell it’s not the same. I know autoimmune disorders run in my family and high carbs can sometimes agitate them and make them worse.
So for me, keto/carnivore is what works for now. I’ll enjoy my carbs every now and again, but I know what works best for my body, how I’m supposed to feel, and how I WANT to feel.
It’s taken me years of experimentation but I’m happy with where I am. And now I’m ready to help others feel that way too… in much less time!!
So… are you ready? Because Nick, Sam, and I are here to help! Let’s kickstart your nutrition and get you results!
Have a fantastic week!