How Do I Get Started?
What Is The Difference Between The Carnivore Diet And The Lion Diet?
The carnivore diet has different versions but it generally includes any food that comes from an animal. Meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs. There are also people who include coffee, tea, and spices. The Lion Diet is an elimination diet that includes ONLY ruminant meat (such as beef and lamb), salt, and water. You can think of it as a plant-free, ketogenic diet.
What Is Ruminant Meat?
Ruminant meat includes any meat from animals with rumen. Ruminant animals have multiple stomachs, hooves, and generally eat grass. They’re able to acquire nutrients from plants partly by fermenting the plants in a specialized stomach called the Rumen, through microbial action. Ruminant animals include cows, bison, deer, moose, sheep (lamb), goat, etc. Technically giraffes and camels are in there too. Humans have been eating meat for millions of years, mainly in the form of large ruminant animals.
Why Be So Strict With Diet?
People with mood disorders or autoimmune disorders or idiopathic disorders that have no other place to turn to, should think seriously about trying this, and being strict. There is evidence from thousands of anecdotal stories and a number of case studies that eating only ruminant meat can heal leaky gut. There is evidence that everything other than ruminant meat can contribute to a leaky gut, particularly if the gut is already damaged. Normally people should be fairly resilient to what they are eating. They should be able to eat plants and fruits without having a leaky gut. However, once the gut is damaged it can be difficult to heal it without removing potentially inflammatory components (plant food and meat that isn’t from a ruminant animal).
What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky gut is a term for gut damage that many North Americans unknowingly have. Processed foods, grains, alcohol, antibiotics, and medication can contribute to the formation of a leaky gut. It occurs when the connections holding the cells together in your intestines (called tight junctions) start to produce more Zonulin and allow gaps between the cells (Simplified Science Behind Gluten). When tight junctions stop holding the cells in your gut together closely, foods you ingest can make their way into your bloodstream. When/if this happens, your body responds with inflammation to fight these foreign food invaders. Your body thinks there’s a bacterial invader or some sort of pathogen because food isn’t supposed to be in blood in large particles. Your body coats these food particles with antibodies in an attempt to protect you from the potential pathogen. This is called a type 3 hypersensitivity reactions (Type III and IV Hypersensitivity Reactions). If this happens frequently and your body doesn’t have time to get rid of the immune complexes, they can start to build up in tissues. This can turn into autoimmunity. Cutting out the foods that cause a leaky gut can usually help heal the gut and eventually reduce sensitivity.
Should I Go Carnivore Or Do The Lion Diet?
If you have a serious autoimmune disease, mood disorder, or are on medication: Ease in or go straight to the Lion Diet. At this point, your body is so aggravated and inflamed it’s destroying its own tissue. These diseases can kill you, you need to heal as soon as you can. Many people with autoimmune or mood disorders react to eggs and dairy and even some forms of meat so the carnivore diet may not be appropriate. However, this diet is not forever. You’ll need at least 6 weeks eating only ruminant meat, salt, and water. That first 3 weeks are going to suck. After your symptoms are under control – usually this happens within the first 6 weeks but can take up to 5 months – you can slowly try to add in foods and see how you react. Most people need a number of months on this baseline diet to achieve gut healing and tolerate some other foods. If you don’t have an autoimmune or mood disorder and you’re not on meds: If you’re looking to lose weight, get less anxious, or optimize your health, you probably aren’t nearly as sensitive as someone with a mood disorder, on medication, or with autoimmunity. Generally speaking, you could do a diet that’s very heavy on meat and include greens and some fruit, and you’d have an extremely healthy diet. Contrary to most carnivore proponents, I do not advise eating any dairy or eggs. Dairy causes cravings and weight gain for the most part (try stopping it and feel the cravings yourself). Eggs seem to be problematic for people with GI issues. Some people do better with duck eggs. Try a meat, greens and limited fruit diet and see if that achieves your health goals. Then add in other foods one at a time and see how that goes.
How Much Do I Eat?
Eat until you’re full. Eat when you’re hungry. Same with water – drink when you’re thirsty. However, if your body is all out of sorts it’s not quite that simple. If you’re excessively thirsty you should try salting your water. Don’t drink unsalted water. You could be thirsty because your body is asking for electrolytes and drinking unsalted water can dehydrate you if you drink too much. Add salt to your water if you’re excessively thirsty. Also, remember that if you’re anxious you can get quite thirsty – monitor this because drinking too much water will dehydrate you if you don’t add salt. Think saline solution in hospitals – they use that in your blood, not water. You need the salt if you’re excessively thirsty. For food, you should be eating approximately how many calories your body height requires. I ate a lot more at the beginning of the diet. A lot of people do. People suffering from tissue damage may need more calories to heal. Try not to worry about the amount – I’d worry about under-eating more than overeating. However, if you find you’re eating 5 pounds of meat a day and you’re 5’8 then you can’t intuitively eat and you need to eat based on calories. Some people are so out of whack with their hunger cues that when they stop eating carbs they don’t understand what full feels like without bloating (hi, me). That can confuse people. So go based on calories approximately. I’m 5’6 and I eat about 1.5 lbs of meat a day if averaged over a week. Men who are 6’ should eat about 2.5 lbs. If that’s off by ½ lb that’s okay. Generally speaking, just eat how much you feel like you should.
I’ve Started The Lion Diet, Do You Have Any Immediate Advice?
Get the food you don’t want to eat out of your house. Cravings can and will get bad. You don’t realize how addicted to sugar you are until you truly get off of it. If you start having dreams about cake and sugar (which can happen), you know how much your body is addicted to them. This can happen when the bacteria in your gut that feeds off sugar begins to die off and they send strong ‘feed me’ signals. With regards to cravings, there is a different feeling when craving sugar compared to craving meat for instance. One is more of an addiction while the other is more of what your body desires to feel healthy. A yearning. It will end up being pretty instinctive what the difference is over time. If eating a lot of fat at the start is making you feel sick, start off with leaner cuts of meat and ease your way into fattier cuts. It stops your body from suddenly being overwhelmed with the amount of fat you’re consuming. If you’re still feeling bad, change how much potassium you’re getting in, and sodium, and switch to lamb. Some people feel much better with more fat, and some with less. Play around with it. I needed more fat initially, possibly for neurological healing, and now I eat much less fat.
Unaged or Aged Beef?
When you age meat, you increase the histamine levels present in the food. The vast majority of meat that is found at grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and even local ranches, is aged. When the immune and digestive system are in good condition, histamines usually are not a problem, but if you are sick there is a high probability your body is going to have difficulty detoxifying histamines. Histamines can lead to symptoms such as headaches or migraines, nasal congestion or sinus issues, hives, digestive issues, irregular menstrual cycle, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. You do not need to eat unaged meat to begin your healing journey, but if you are sensitive to histamines it may slow down your recovery and if progress halts later down the road, this should be one of the first things you address. If you have loose stool for more than the first month on the diet, make sure to try unaged meat to see if that’s easier on your digestion. Here are some places you can find unaged meat:
What Do I Do If I Want To Ease Into The Diet?
For people who are very ill, reducing carb intake and “weaning” into the diet may be the appropriate path. Some people can jump right in. If you’re very sick I recommend weaning carbs for a few months leading into the diet. Month 1: No grains or dairy, drink only water. That’s going to be much lower in inflammatory foods right away. Sparkling water is fine. Month 2: Remove soy, and legumes, and eat only meat, vegetables, and some fruit. Eat meat first at each meal so you end up eating mostly meat. Month 3: (If your symptoms haven’t been alleviated by the Month 1 or Month 2 diet, continue to the Lion Diet)
What Are The Main Problematic Foods?
- Gluten – You know those stereotypical Californian girls who don’t eat gluten “because it makes you fat” but they don’t exactly know what it is? They had a point. Gluten is composed of two proteins; gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin is really not good for people. Yes, all people. Not just people either, mammals. The gluten molecule can be found in wheat, rye, barley, kamut, spelt, and those foods are everywhere. Twizzlers, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, any thick sauce or soup, and some chocolate bars all contain gluten. Plus all your favourite foods are made with flour (wheat) – cake, pancakes, pizza, spaghetti, etc. Sorry, it’s really gotta go. There is hard evidence it causes leaky gut in everyone. If you get an afternoon or mid-morning crash – it’s probably the gluten.
- Dairy – Cow milk is for baby cows. Sounds like a vegan slogan but it’s probably true. The dairy industry has everyone convinced that you need milk to have healthy bones. This is a blatant lie. The highest rates of osteoporosis are in countries that drink milk. Yes, unfortunately, this includes cheese. If you are completely opposed to giving up cheese, switch to goat cheese.
- Soy – Soy is everywhere. For people who have joint problems or mood problems, soy isn’t a good idea. For men, soy really isn’t a good idea.
- Grains – Filler food. They make you gain weight, and they make you tired. Rice, quinoa, oats, etc. They’re empty. They’re not like gluten-containing grains but they’re not good for you. You want meat, veggies, and fats to be healthy.
- Other legumes – Kidney beans, black beans, etc. – anything that makes you bloat you should avoid. Your body doesn’t like it, and it’s important to listen to it. Green beans don’t seem to be in the same category of gut damage as the bigger beans. Listen to your body and pay attention to your bloating.
- Sugar – Our microbiome is really important and the bacteria in our gut compete with a yeast called Candida. Sugar feeds Candida. If you suffer from yeast infections that is a sure sign you have an overgrowth of Candida. Fruit, sugar, and even plants (if you have it really badly) can feed Candida. Meat does not.
Guide to Perfect Air Fryer Steak
In this guide, we will be using the Ninja Air Fryer (any air fryer will do, but you may need to adjust cooking times)
- Purchase a steak with a thickness of about an inch or a little less than an inch (not frozen)
- Set the temperature to 400° and time for 6 minutes. Put the steak in (you can add chunks of beef fat in there if you want).
- Let the air fryer cook (you may want to turn on your air vent if you have one, there’s not a ton of smoke but there is a little bit)
- Once the 6 minutes are up, flip the steak and keep the temperature the same but change the time to 4 minutes
- Once the 4 minutes are up you can take your steak out. This temp/time amount will most likely give you a medium-rare steak, so if you want it to get to medium put it in for another 2-3 minutes
Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed
There are some extremely sensitive people that do better with grass-fed beef but for the majority of people (including me (Mikhaila) who is very sensitive), grain-fed beef is fine. Buy the highest quality meat you can afford. I’ve seen people heal themselves on a diet of pure patties from McDonald’s! Eat the best you can afford but don’t sweat quality if you can’t afford it.
Eat the best you can afford, and when you can afford the best – you can also try to eat beef from regenerative farms. I healed by eating grain-fed beef I could afford and did just fine. Try to avoid feed-lot beef but if you can’t afford anything else – it’s better than not trying the diet. You can worry about quality once you’ve healed (and don’t let any snobs tell you otherwise). (Also McDonald’s patties add pepper – but you can go to In-N-Out Burger and ask for unsalted and those are plain—their salt has pepper in it).
SSRI/PSYCH Med Warnings:
If you take a low dose of a psych medication (other than a benzodiazepine) for a year or less, it doesn’t appear to cause significant withdrawal. However, if you take a psych med for 2+ years, especially at higher doses, getting off them can be extremely difficult and very scary. You can read more at rxisk.org about this. You can become sensitive to light, sound, touch, temperature, and seriously sensitive to inflammatory foods. The good news is that the Lion Diet will help this, and the neurological damage will go away with time. Once the psych med withdrawal is over you’ll be able to eat other foods without as severe depressive reactions from inflammatory foods. Doctors often do not talk about the dangers of staying on psych meds because they aren’t aware of the withdrawal and physical dependence that accompanies taking these medications. There are no studies on any psychiatric medication that has lasted more than 8 weeks. No long-term studies. Do not suddenly stop psych meds. Many people are able to very slowly wean off the medication while on the diet with minimal symptoms. There’s more information in this article.
Do I Need To Take Supplements On A Carnivore Diet Or The Lion Diet?
Organ supplements: I (Mikhaila Peterson) only ate steak for a year, and I never had any vitamin problems. In fact, my B vitamins and zinc all recovered from deficiencies I’d had for years. You can increase your consumption of organ meats, but there is no actual evidence to suggest that you need organ meats to keep up your nutrients. As the diet is so new, evidence is sparse, and anecdotes are what we have. Desiccated liver tablets are probably harmless and may help people, but if you want to try them, wait a few weeks until your body has adapted to the diet and see if you can handle normal cow/lamb liver. If your body doesn’t like it, don’t buy the tablets. Sometimes people’s bodies don’t really like organs. Perhaps they already have enough vitamins in that area. Judge it yourself. Excess liver may cause high vitamin A. May. Careful with Cod/fish Liver Oil: Most companies that sell fish oil, sell rancid oil, and you can often taste that by its horrible fishy flavour. If you’re going carnivore, it’s way safer and nutritionally beneficial to eat wild-caught sardines instead. On the Lion Diet – wild salmon and sardines can be one of the first foods to reintroduce and are generally well tolerated. The only supplement I generally recommend is electrolytes. Electrolytes are not absolutely necessary. I did not take anything other than salt on my steak for a year. However, the first month was fairly unpleasant and I did develop fairly intense muscle cramps in my calves around month five. I now know that could have been avoided by increasing my potassium intake (and possibly magnesium). My potassium serum wasn’t low but my body certainly wanted it. I find that people beginning the diet can benefit from including electrolytes to stave off headaches, muscle cramps, and fatigue while their body is adjusting to the diet. When people first go low carb or zero carb, their bodies secrete a lot of sodium. Adding in electrolytes can help replenish this. They’re also very good for adding to water to avoid dehydration (drinking so much water with no electrolytes that you deplete your electrolytes). If electrolytes don’t seem to be helping, it may be because you’re overdoing them. Unfortunately, the amount of electrolytes per person differs. I needed a lot of sodium at the beginning. Almost 4 grams. Now I’ll have electrolytes every few days but mostly just eat salt. There are rare individuals who actually stop eating salt altogether. You’re going to have to play around with it. Too much or too little sodium or potassium can cause headaches. If you drink salted water and you immediately experience a salt flush – it goes right through you – you don’t need that much salt. If you drink salted water and wait 30 minutes and you feel better, you’d probably benefit from adding in electrolytes. I certainly wish I’d found them in the first year of the diet.
Why is Fiber Not an Issue on the Lion Diet?
The Carnivore/Lion Diet has unbelievable success when it comes to constipation and bloating for many. Countless people report they now have the best digestion of their entire life… without fiber… so maybe we have made a mistake in our assumption that fiber is necessary… If we take a hard look at what is going on here, it appears that when you are eating a high-fiber diet, plants ferment inside the digestive system producing gases that move the matter along (this is why fiber is “valued”). This is not a necessary process, however, as our digestive system has peristalsis; “the involuntary constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestine or another canal, creating wave-like movements that push the contents of the canal forward.” Fiber is only needed if you’ve damaged your gut enough (overconsumption of plant/processed foods) to stop peristalsis from occurring and you need fermentation/gases to move stuff out. Ken Berry, MD Discussing Fiber
How Can I Make My Own Electrolytes?
- 2 tsp sodium chloride or Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp potassium chloride (potassium citrate is okay)
- ¼ tsp magnesium chloride or magnesium glycinate
- 1L of water or more
Why is Ruminant Meat Better Than Other Meat?
Ruminant animals have multiple stomachs to break down grass. Because their food is broken down so thoroughly, the meat they produce has fewer plant anti-nutrients. Animals like pigs and fish and chickens have one stomach so the food they eat is more likely to impact their flesh.
What About Meat Type/Quality?
I don’t do well with pork. My response to that is even worse than some plant foods. If you’re eating a lot of pork and don’t feel good, try reducing or ideally eliminating it. Ruminant meat (cows, sheep, even moose, elk) is drastically different than pig meat. Be careful of organically farmed salmon. It sounds healthy but it’s not. They can and are still commonly fed organic soy which is not a natural diet for salmon (who are carnivorous fish). Farmed salmon makes me ill but wild salmon does not. Try to go for wild-caught fish and fish like mackerel with less heavy metal buildup (the bigger fish like tuna that eat smaller fish will have more toxins built up in their flesh – that’s why they tell you to limit tuna while pregnant). Don’t force feed yourself anything if it makes you feel sick though. Although make that decision after the first month because as I wrote above, nausea can be normal for the first few weeks. After that, your body will help guide you to what you need to eat.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a natural state the body finds itself in when it is using fat as its main fuel. Body fat, or ingested sources of fat. This occurs when following a very low carb, ketogenic diet, and often during intermittent fasting as well. A healthy body should be able to switch between ketosis and carb burning easily. Ketosis is characterized by the controlled and regulated production of ketone bodies in the blood via various metabolic processes. During zero or limited carbohydrate intake, reduced insulin levels lead to a reduction in lipogenesis and fat accumulation. After several days (depending on the person) of fasting, or eating low carb, glucose reserves deplete enough that the body then switches to using fat for another source of fuel.
I Have No Appetite for Meat? What Should I Do?
The first thing you should address is the cooking of your meat. If you undercook or overcook the meat it will be harder to digest. Most people do not know how to properly cook meat even after doing all throughout their lives. Here is the Ultimate Steak Cooking Hack:
- Take the meat out of the fridge about an hour before to let it come down to room temperature (the cooking is more even throughout the meat)
- Put the meat on the grill
- Wait for the juices to rise through the meat
- When juices begin puddling on top, flip the meat over
- And then when the juices puddle for the second time on the other side, take the meat off the grill
What Kitchen Equipment Do I Need To Buy?
Nothing extra is necessary, but there are a few items that can make your life WAY easier. These appliances have changed my life. Hell, if you aren’t going to change your diet you should still buy them. Here’s a link to see more. Serious life hacks:
- An air fryer – the brand ‘Ninja’ is phenomenal. (https://amzn.to/3zIh97v)
- An instant pot (https://amzn.to/3zI84vp)
- If you want to combine those, buy the instant pot duo crisp (https://amzn.to/3zMo7bM) – it’s an air fryer, pressure cooker, and magic machine all in one.
- Dehydrator (https://amzn.to/3cZV2Q5)
If You Are Not Feeling Well and You’re a Week or Two Into the Diet and You’re Having Serious Reactions to Going Low Carb
- This is very rare but does happen with extremely sick people
- You may need to wean down to meat and green or even meat and honey and do that for a month or two before you get to the Lion Diet. I didn’t jump all in at one time because I didn’t know the diet was an option. I went low carb for a year, then meat and greens for a year, then to the Lion Diet – the transition for me was still rough but not that rough and that was two years of weaning carbs. I would NOT have done this if I had known the Lion Diet was an option because those two years sucked. Sometimes people need to wean off carbs instead to avoid plummeting sodium or experiencing other symptoms. The vast majority of people can just fight through the symptoms and end up on the other side. If you need to wean off carbs I would suggest going grain-free and eating whole foods for a month. Then going dairy-free as well and prioritizing meat at every meal. After 3 months, switch over to the Lion Diet if reducing carbs didn’t help your symptoms enough.
I am Constipated on the Lion Diet? Help!
Although the Carnivore/Lion Diet often improves digestion for most people, there are some who experience constipation. The cause of constipation on the Lion Diet is usually experienced by those who have a severely damaged gut. The natural process of peristalsis (the involuntary contraction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestines or digestive canal, creating wave-like movements that push the contents of in canal forward) is no longer functioning due to the abuse done by overconsuming plant foods and processed foods. When this happens, it is best to increase your fat consumption to help things move along. As your digestive system heals, you won’t necessarily have to worry about eating high fat and will be able to eat leaner meats with no problem. Over time your digestion should improve and constipation vanishes. Also, it is important to note that once on the Carnivore/Lion Diet, you won’t have as much waste (because your body is actually digesting/using what you eat) so expect less frequent and smaller bowel movements as well. Ken Berry, MD Discussing this Subject
The Diet Isn’t Working. Why?
- Are you only ingesting ruminant meat, salt, and water? If not, you have to get to that for 6 weeks to accurately judge. That means no coffee too. No medication.
- Make sure you’ve been on the diet for at least 6 weeks. If you have a mood disorder and you have been on medication and are newly off them, or withdrawing, extend that timeframe for up to 2 years. It should NOT take that long to recover from drugs, but it can. Usually, people on medications feel better around the 6-week mark and then again at the 5-month range. Many people are able to slowly wean off the medication while on the diet with minimal symptoms.
- If your symptoms are mainly in your gut, and you can’t seem to digest beef properly – it could be a histamine intolerance or an aged beef fat issue. Aged cuts can be difficult to digest for people. Switch to lamb for a few days and monitor your digestion. If that works then eat lean cuts of beef, dried beef, and lamb, all un-aged. Veal can be easier on the gut too. Avoid bone broths or anything slow-cooked. Ideally, buy un-aged meat, freeze it, and cook it right after you thaw it. Or better yet, put it straight into an air-fryer (Ninja Air Fryer) frozen and cook it that way.
- If you still have symptoms check on your sleep. An Oura ring (add link) can help. If you’re not sleeping properly this can raise levels of inflammation and seriously impact mood and energy.
- If you’ve checked all the above, make sure you’re not incredibly stressed out about something. Don’t underestimate stress. Do you have a sick family member? Is your relationship a problem? Are you worried about your job? Identify those problems and work on them. They could easily be impacting your health.
- If #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5 are not the problem, then you could have an active infection or something promoting inflammation in your body that is not diet related. Mold, contaminated water, a viral or bacterial infection, lead or other toxic compounds, etc.
Should I Be Worried About Ketoacidosis?
Doctors may tell you to worry about something called ketoacidosis if you go on a ketogenic diet. You only need to worry about ketoacidosis if your ketones are high and your glucose is ALSO high. This is not good and can sometimes occur in diabetics on high-sugar diets. This is very unlikely to occur on a carnivore diet because you don’t eat enough carbohydrates or sugar to raise your glucose. It really doesn’t appear possible to go into ketoacidosis if you aren’t consuming carbs and sugar. If you’re concerned about this anyways, you can buy a ketone and glucose monitor to monitor your levels of both.
I am Dealing With Stomach Ulcers, Can this Diet Help?
All meat diets have had great success in healing stomach ulcers. Considering the Lion Diet is the strictest version of all the meat diets, it should have no problem aiding in your recovery from stomach ulcers. One woman who had stomach ulcers since she was 18, rid herself of them entirely at 53 using a fairly “unstrict” version of the carnivore diet. Listen to her story below: Lisa Treats Fatigue, Poor Sleep, Joint Pain, Digestive Issues, Stomach Ulcers
What About High Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure?
What About High Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure?
These two come up a lot when it comes to apprehension about all meat diets. Funny enough, these are two of the most reported testimonial results. Today the medical community warns of the dangers red meat poses to the health of the heart. The mechanism by which the Carnivore/Lion diet resolves these things is unclear due to the age of the diets, but the all meat diets eliminate all of these factors that are generally associated with poor cardiovascular health: -Being overweight or obese -Excessive consumption of sodium -Low sodium intake -Low interest in physical activities and physical fitness -Excessive alcohol consumption -Kidney diseases -Hormone problems -Obstructive sleep apnoea -Inability to lessen or remove alcohol, caffeine, and drugs Read the Incredible Carnivore Diet Cardiovascular Health Testimonials
How Long Does It Take Until Depression And Anxiety Begin To Subside?
It depends. If you haven’t taken medication it should subside within the first 6 weeks of the Lion Diet. Sometimes within the first few weeks. If you’ve taken medications for it (e.g. SSRIs), it might take a bit longer. It’s hard to say with the other less restrictive diets – sometimes people feel massively better cutting gluten and dairy, but sometimes their depression doesn’t change by doing that. My (Mikhaila Peterson’s) depression began lifting on a very low-carb diet (meat and greens). After I stopped taking SSRIs (I’d taken them for 11 years) I had SSRI withdrawal and was sensitive and depressed with any carbs. The only thing that lessened the neurological damage and withdrawal I was having from SSRIs was the Lion Diet. After 2 weeks on the Lion Diet, I stopped crying in the morning. After 6 weeks, my depression lifted. It took about 5 months for the anxiety to lift. With serious withdrawal/damage this can take a few years. My SSRI withdrawal lifted after 2.5 years (but after 5 months on the diet). Do not suddenly stop psych meds. Many people are able to very slowly wean off the medication while on the diet with minimal symptoms.
How Long Does It Take Until Joint Pain Begins To Subside?
With the Lion Diet, it depends. If your joint pain is caused by active inflammation then maybe about a month, maybe less. If you do the diet for 3 months and don’t feel any less pain, it’s possible it is joint damage. Perhaps your cartilage is damaged as opposed to just inflammation. If this is the case, you can go a few ways. People have success with PRP injections, and sometimes strengthening exercises can help. If you’re in pain and you don’t seem to have active inflammation in other parts of your body, that joint might be inflamed from the actual damage. I was lucky enough that all my joints got better, and I had arthritis everywhere except my spine, even my jaw. My wrist was the worst and it’s asymptomatic now. However, my ankle and hip were too damaged and were replaced. I believe I would’ve saved my ankle if I had known about this diet and leaky gut before surgery. If you’ve exhausted all your options including diet, sometimes surgery is the best option and can save you a lot of pain and suffering. If someone is treating your joint pain with some diet and they tell you it takes 2 years to maybe have an impact, there’s something wrong with the diet. Relief should come sooner.
Can the Lion Diet Help With Environmental Allergies?
The jury is still out in regards to how exactly the carnivore/Lion Diet is aiding people in reducing or eliminating their environmental allergies, but it likely has to do with the healing of the immune system. It appears that allergies are caused by an overreactive immune system and since the Lion Diet heals the gut (reason for overreactive immune system) things “calm down” for numerous people. Many people report finally being able to breathe out both of their nostrils for the first time in their entire life! What makes the most sense is to eat the foods that make you feel the best, because those foods will then be what is best for your own child as well. There are numerous tribal societies throughout human history that have lived on an all meat diet and had no problems having healthy children. Ken Berry, MD on Pregnancy and the Carnivore Diet
Can the Lion Diet Help With Gout?
Countless people have relieved themselves of their gout symptoms by eating an all meat diet. Some worry about their uric levels and the connection to meat but when in a healthy state (not chronically inflamed and sick from a diet high in plant foods and processed foods) any excess uric acid will simply be excreted by the kidneys. Watch the video and testimonials linked below so you can better wrap your head around the subject: Ken Berry, MD Discussing Gout Gout Testimonials
I Have Bloating/Diarrhea, What Do I Do?
If you have loose stool or constant bloating for more than the first month on the diet, make sure to try unaged beef to see if that’s easier on your digestion. Often times diarrhea and bloating are the result of histamine intolerance. Histamines accompany aged meat. 99% of the meat you buy will be aged to some degree unless you put in a special order from your butcher or buy from the few ranches that offer unaged meat. Linked below is more information on the subject. And if you are looking to buy unaged meat, visit the sites linked in the FAQ at the top of the page titled “Unaged or Aged Beef?” LOW-HISTAMINE MEAT AND FISH: A COMPLETE GUIDE Are You Raising Your Histamine Levels With These Meat Handling Mistakes? – What to know if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance What is Low Histamine Beef?
I Have H Pylori, Can the Lion Diet Help?
In order to rid yourself of strong cases of bad bacteria like H Pylori or C Diff, you are going to not only want to get yourself on the carnivore/Lion Diet, but you’re also going to want to find a trustworthy naturopath who can work with you to get it taken care of. Sometimes this calls for antibiotics. Ken Berry, MD Discussing How to Improve Your Gut Health
What If I Am Vitamin Deficient?
If you have bloodwork done and it shows you are lacking a vitamin or nutrient, either before or while on the diet, supplementing is probably be a good idea. Be careful of supplements that have a cellulose coating or any fillers that can cause a reaction (as they did with me), there are versions of supplements without fillers but they can be more expensive. You can try to buy the pure powders, or better yet – hit up a naturopath (or even a Botox clinic/beauty salon) and get their Meyers cocktail IV vitamin infusion. This can boost you up while your body recovers and won’t cause an autoimmune reaction like pills with fillers can.
Does A Carnivore Diet/The Lion Diet Help With Acne?
Yes. It may get a bit worse initially when your body is ridding itself of toxins or when you’re losing weight. Some of the weight you’re losing is sweated and breathed out. After that you should be good to go. If you find your acne isn’t improving on a carnivore diet, get rid of eggs and pork and see what happens. Try the Lion Diet. You should notice acne clearing up after about 3 weeks. If you’ve been taking medication, it can take a little longer to clear up. If you’ve taken Accutane or steroids, it can take longer.
Can I Include Caffeine In The Diet?
If you’re suffering from a mood or sleep disorder, I would seriously recommend cutting caffeine out completely. I would recommend cutting caffeine for anyone regardless of health problems. It’s a drug and it gives people an up but it’ll also give you a comedown, and can impact mood, energy, and sleep quality. If you feel you absolutely need caffeine and you’ve recovered from your illness, caffeine pills are recommended over coffee or tea.
Losing Weight vs. Gaining Weight?
Generally speaking, people lose weight on this diet. Especially if they’re seriously overweight. If you have hit a plateau and aren’t losing any more weight, and you aren’t on the Lion Diet, I highly recommend getting rid of dairy and eggs (and obviously grains and processed food if you haven’t done that). If you are eating ridiculous amounts of meat, try to be more reasonable. Calories do matter, you don’t really need to track them, just keep it in mind if you’re gaining weight. If you want to lose weight fast – look up the Snake Diet (www.snakediet.com). Prolonged fasting can help with weight loss. I’ve done a lot of it. 12 days just salt water, 7 days, 5 days. It’s interesting but it’s hard on the body. I find 72 hours is the sweet spot for rapid weight loss, but make sure you build up to that carefully. Jumping in can really make you feel sick initially. I don’t recommend doing fasts in the first couple of months while your body is adapting, especially if you’re quite injured from being ill. Some people with autoimmune problems need to gain weight and heal before they should concern themselves with being thin. It’ll happen naturally as you heal. To gain weight, I recommend eating more than you need and eating more frequently, to prevent intermittent fasting which can happen quite naturally on this diet. Most people naturally eat twice a day unless they force themselves to eat more. You can build muscle on this diet – many people do without working out just because they’ve optimized their protein intake. If you’re seriously underweight, you may still lose water weight at the beginning but then you’ll gain weight. This diet allows you to go to whatever weight is natural. Quite often people feel too skinny on the diet and sometimes weight will dip 2-3 lbs below what’s comfortable and that will be gained back over the next month or two.
Will the Lion Diet Cause Kidney Stones?
No. Through the testimonials, we have seen, the carnivore and Lion Diet have increased the health of people’s kidneys. When you are eating a diet high in processed or plant foods, inflammation results and the more inflamed your kidneys are, the higher likelihood they will precipitate a stone in your urine. All meat diets are king when it comes to eliminating inflammation (remember, inflammation is primarily originating from a leaky gut). Ken Berry, MD on Kidney Stones
Can the Lion Diet Help With Autoimmune Related Alopecia?
Absolutely. Alopecia is an autoimmune illness and the Lion Diet’s specialty is helping those with autoimmune issues. Just like any other autoimmune illness, once the gut is healed and the leakiness ceases, the body returns to its natural state. Many have recovered lost hair (and even color) on all meat diets. Paul Saladino, MD Discussing Alopecia
What Diet Should I Do If I Have A Neurodegenerative Disease?
Lion Diet. When you’re dealing with something serious, you have to be more strict. I have only seen the diet not work for a handful of people. One of them had fairly advanced Alzheimer’s, one was getting off of benzodiazepines and needed to wait for the neurological recovery to pass (horribly painful), and a few had active infections. Obviously it’s going to depend on the neurodegenerative disease you have, but I’ve seen dramatic improvements in Parkinsons and definitely MS. I think it’s worth a try in whatever stage of disease you have. Terry Walls MD reversed her MS and she was in a wheelchair. She didn’t even have to go to all ruminant meat to achieve it. It is the case that some people are too far gone though (like some joints are too damaged, or some intestines are too damaged and require surgery), but don’t even let that enter your head. Assume diet will help and try that before getting all doom-y.
I’m Breastfeeding And I’m Worried About My Baby’s Health And My Own, What Should I Do?
All I can say is I did strict Lion Diet 4 months into breastfeeding and my baby’s cradle cap went away and she stopped getting stomach aches. There have been people who have done this diet pregnant and breastfeeding and in my opinion, it’s safer than a high sugar high carb diet. Hello, diabetes. So this is what I suggest. Ignore everyone who says ‘you need certain foods to make you healthy’ if those foods are making you sick. Do whatever diet makes you feel the healthiest. If that’s all meat – keep at it. If that’s paleo or keto, keep at it. Trust your gut, not the people around you. If you’re getting morning sickness (Morning Sickness Cure) – start looking at what you’re eating carefully because it’s probably caused by what you’re eating. Your doctor probably isn’t going to be happy with an all-meat diet but if you’re happy, I’m happy. Ken Berry, MD on Pregnancy and the Carnivore Diet
Can the Lion Diet Help Me Conceive?
Many women on the Carnivore/Lion Diet restored their body’s ability to have a normal menstrual cycle, conceive, experience a healthy pregnancy, and have no issues breastfeeding the baby once born. Remember, if you feel the best you have ever felt in your life on this diet and have rid yourself of various diseases/ailments, how would this diet not be great for the creation of new life if that baby is literally a product of you? Also, there have been plenty of meat-eating societies throughout history and they wouldn’t have existed if babies weren’t born. Listen to Kelly Hogan’s Experience with the Carnivore Diet and Pregnancy
Food Introduction For Babies
Watch how your baby seems to be feeling (monitor their digestion, rashes, crankiness, screaming, colic, etc.) after giving them certain foods. Monitor them for that day and the next few, sometimes rashes are delayed. I found my daughter, Scarlett, digested sweet potato terribly yet had no problems at all with animal fat, likely due to breast milk being primarily made up of fat so introducing meat fat was her first food. When she was 13 months old, we slowly started giving her little bits of plant foods like cooked carrots and parsnip, while carefully monitoring any reaction to either her digestion, mood, or skin. We don’t give Scarlett any dairy, gluten, legumes, or sugar but obviously, it’s up to you what’s best for your child. Although gluten is a bad idea regardless of what you think. She loves eating fruit as treats but her main food is meat. She has no signs of any problems and she’s almost 4. She’s at 50th percentile height and weight and super happy, super bright, and super calm. Starting with meat is the right thing to do after breast milk. Check these out: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16456417/ https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/107/5/734/4979676
Where Can I Find Good Carnivore Research?
Shawn Baker, MD just recently spearheaded a study that examined the Carnivore diet experience for over 2,000 people over a 6-month time span. 95% of the participants reported significant improvements in their health. This is a peer-review study by Harvard University. There is also a book by Judy Cho called ‘The Carnivore Cure’ which is an easy way to start the diet – although I’d stick with her initial ruminant meat diet for at least 6 weeks instead of the 2 she suggests. It’s a great book though. Click here to go to the resources page for many more sources.
I’m Going to Cheat What to I Do?
Binge-eat honey. I’m not kidding. FUCK those sugar cravings and do not give in to cookies, cake, or whatever beautiful dessert is floating through your mind. Don’t even go to fruit. Eat honey. Eat a jar of it if you need to. And then slowly wean off of that. This is going to be pretty gentle on your immune system compared to plants and in the greater scheme of things if it helps you along, just go for it.
Enzymes and supplements didn’t really do a lot for me but some people swear by them. Play around. Make sure they help and aren’t just adding to your problems. For HCl, you can follow the instructions on the bottle. If you take it and feel a burning in your stomach – you don’t need it.
I Want to Go Out to a Restaurant, What Should I Do?
Your best option is going to a steakhouse. It is more pricey, but you’re not going to have an autoimmune flareup after you eat so… choices are limited. You have to be clear about what you want when you order. Don’t stress/worry about it, just own it. Specify that all you want is the meat, as you have allergies. “I’ll have the bone-in ribeye. No butter, no oil, no seasonings, no sides, no garnish, nothing. I would like meat and salt on a plate. Thanks! It’s because of allergies.” Add salt yourself once it has arrived. It’s less confusing when you just tell them to make it bare. Make it CLEAR. If you don’t mention what I said, the likelihood of them tossing some dried parsley or pepper on there is 100%. Worst case scenario you get a steak cooked in soybean oil. So be clear. Usually, places can make steaks completely bare, and usually, you can get lamb racks – although sometimes those are marinated so be sure to ask. People who are less sensitive and are eating plants and some spices have less to worry about. Wild salmon can also be made with nothing on it usually. Make sure to ask whether or not it’s wild. Traveling Europe is much easier for steak and meat than for North America.
Do I Need To Eat Bone Broth?
No. In fact a ton of people have issues with bone broth. It doesn’t have magical ingredients you need that you can’t get from steak. It can also make some people feel nauseous and bloated (like me). This could be due to the histamine content if it’s been slow cooked for too long, or fat, or the fact that sometimes bones are aged, who knows it’s all guesses. My advice would be to pressure cook broth if you want to make it. Use meat without bones and pressure cook it for 2-3 hours in that instant pot you bought rather than slow cooking it. Or you can just not eat the broth. It’s up to you.
Can I Take Painkillers Or Medications?
I’m not a doctor. If you’re on medications, do plenty of research, talk to your doctor. Some medication you can’t stop taking suddenly without suffering greatly. If you’re in pain and you have just started the diet, keep taking your medications. I (Mikhaila Peterson) only stopped mine when I felt better and even then I came off SSRIs way too fast and it screwed me up for years. The rare individual will react to their meds and it will stop them from getting better. Psych meds can do this – they can stop you from feeling positive emotions you should feel naturally and can dull your emotional range. If you stay on those it’ll stop you from getting better. However, you can’t stop them quickly. With pain medication, I generally suggest continuing until you feel like you don’t need them. However, if you have been on the diet for a few months, don’t have something physical like a joint deformity that’s causing the pain, and you’re still not feeling great, I wouldn’t rule out the pills contributing to the problem.
What Do You Eat?
For two years I ate two steaks a day, and I’m a big fan of ribeye. I recommend befriending a butcher who can help provide you with your fresh meat. However, over that period of time, I had bloating and loose stool somewhat frequently – especially after a very aged cut of steak. I eat leaner cuts and a lot of lamb. I would ask your local butcher to make you lamb, beef, fat and salt sausages in lamb casings. These are delicious. It’s also cheap compared to steaks. I dehydrate round roast and cover it in salt to make jerky weekly, and occasionally I’ll have hamburger or wild salmon. Now I eat mainly lamb though.
How To Wean Off Things Like Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine, Drugs, etc.
First off, get on the Lion Diet. This strict all-meat diet is going to provide your body with the things that are most beneficial while removing all that which is harmful. This diet is going to give you the best chance at tackling any addictions you may have. For many people, after only a short time on the diet their addictions fade. Some quit cold turkey but the general advice when it comes to handling addictions is to wean off the substances. Here is what you would do for caffeine for example: Getting off caffeine cold turkey can be extremely unpleasant and cause caffeine withdrawal. If you’re used to drinking coffee or tea all the time, figure out what amount of caffeine you’re consuming. 1 cup of coffee/ 1 espresso = approx. 64mg caffeine, 1 cup of tea = approx. 26mg caffeine. Switch from coffee/espresso/tea to caffeine pills. Caffeine pills generally have 200mg of caffeine so you’ll need get a pill cutter and cut them in half or a quarter to get the dose right. Start with the same amount of caffeine in pill form and then over the next few weeks wean down and off them, comfortably. The caffeine pills are available at most pharmacies or on Amazon. Pills are much less likely to cause an autoimmune response than coffee and are much easier to get off of. Here are some more resources: How We Cured/Treated Suicidal Akathisia Can I Take Painkillers and Medications? Alcohol and Drug Use Testimonials
What Do I Fry Steaks In?
Tallow is the best! Tallow is rendered beef fat. It is hard to get a hold any ruminant fats besides beef. Many natural grocery stores have beef tallow, duck fat, lard, chicken fat, etc. but not fats from bison, mutton, elk, goat, etc. Be careful with frying. The cooked fats can sometimes be difficult to digest and cause trouble for some people. Also, if you have a problem with fats consider getting your hands on unaged meat. On this same page there is a section dedicated to unaged meat and where to find it.
Why Should I Avoid Citric Acid?
The primary reason to avoid citric acid while on the Lion Diet is to avoid adverse reactions. When you are in good health and your gut is working as it should (no leakiness) citric acid becomes less of an issue. But if you are in recovery mode something as seemingly insignificant as citric acid can wipe some people out— lack of energy, back pain, insomnia, etc. Citric acid is one among many little ingredients that can cause a large amount of trouble.
Where Can I Find Liver?
What About Wild Ruminants? Can I Eat Those?
Yes! Beef is often going to be the best for most people due to availability, but all ruminant animals like bison, elk, deer, lamb, goat, mutton, antelope, etc. are great options! (one animal: rabbit, often comes up but generally the meat from larger animals digest better and aids in recovery more) These other ruminant animals may be more expensive (unless hunted of course). If you have a sensitivity to histamines, these other ruminant animals may be a good option as they’re usually not aged like beef.
Do You Have Any ‘Go To’ Snacks?
Jerky! Sliced round roast from the butcher. Make sure it’s sliced really thin, cover it in way more salt than you think you need, and then dehydrate it (air fryers sometimes also have that option) and then you have some delicious jerky! Crunchy beef shreds are also great and simple. Pressure cook some cheap meat cuts with water to make some shredded beef, then shred it, air fry that in beef fat (tallow), and voilà, crunchy beef shreds. If you want to give yourself something as a ‘sweet treat’ to help curb your cravings in the short term, and you don’t have an autoimmune disorder you’re trying to get under control initially – get some electrolytes flavored with stevia, it’s like a healthy pop drink. I used to react to flavorings though so I wouldn’t recommend everyone to make this a regular thing if you’re sickly like me. However, now I can drink these with no problem.
Can I Drink Alcohol?
I didn’t drink alcohol for the first 8 months because I was trying to rule out all possible triggers for my autoimmune and mood disorder. I now know I do not react to vodka or bourbon or silver tequila (other than the obvious hangover and potential GABA crash which can impact mood). Any type of spirit that has no ingredients added after distillation shouldn’t trigger autoimmunity or mood symptoms. Vodka generally has nothing added after distillation unless you’re in Russia or somewhere where they add flavors or herbs after. Bourbon is only distilled and then aged. Gin has botanicals added, gold tequila and scotch have caramel flavoring/coloring. Vodka and bourbon are generally safe. Excellent if drank with sparkling water. Obviously, alcohol is not a health food so be smart. Warning: hangovers with no carbs are significantly worse than those with carbs. Dihydromyricetin can massively help. Along with electrolytes and water.
How Do I Get Off Coffee/Caffeine?
Getting off caffeine cold turkey can be extremely unpleasant and cause caffeine withdrawal. If you’re used to drinking coffee or tea all the time, figure out what amount of caffeine you’re consuming. 1 cup of coffee/ 1 espresso = approx. 64mg caffeine, 1 cup of tea = approx. 26mg caffeine. Switch from coffee/espresso/tea to caffeine pills. Caffeine pills generally have 200mg of caffeine so you’ll need get a pill cutter and cut them in half or a quarter to get the dose right. Start with the same amount of caffeine in pill form and then over the next few weeks wean down and off them, comfortably. The caffeine pills are available at most pharmacies or on Amazon. Pills are much less likely to cause an autoimmune response than coffee and are much easier to get off of.
Does a High Protein Diet cause Kidney Disease?
This is a health myth. There were a couple studies long ago that seemed to suggest that high protein could be related to kidney problems, but have since been proven to be inaccurate. Protein can elevate your Urea levels but this is not an indicator of kidney damage. Your Urea is simply a breakdown product of protein. We have seen countless people recover their kidney health an all meat diets. Check out Ken Berry's in depth breakdown of the subject: Ken Berry on Protein and Kidney Disease