Welcome to Episode 9 of The Road to Carnivore Podcast!
In this 11-minute episode I share what I eat on a typical day of carnivore, so you can get a better idea of how this looks day to day.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what meats to eat, when to eat, are spices okay, and what about dairy, and this episode explains all of this and more.
Sugar Free Pastured Bacon: https://grasslandbeef.com/sugar-free-pork-bacon-slices
Intestinal Lipid–derived Signals that Sense Dietary Fat: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4362267/
Autophagy: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2990190/
I’m Joanne Ozug and you’re listening to the Road to Carnivore episode 9. In this episode I’m going to talk about what I eat on a typical day of carnivore. Even though carnivore is a pretty specific way of eating, there are many different ways that people do it, and I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what meats to eat, when to eat, are spices okay, what about dairy, and you’ll get a better picture of all that and then some in this episode.
Okay so I wake up around 7, and because I’m fat adapted, I basically never feel like eating first thing. There’s no compelling reason to eat non-hyperpalatable foods when you’re not hungry, that’s part of the beauty of food your body understands, and a lot of days I’m not hungry until at least 11 or so.
My most typical breakfast is eggs and bacon. This is just about the best breakfast I could ever imagine. I was actually thinking recently about how when I was a kid and my grandma came to visit, she would ALWAYS make eggs and bacon for me and my brothers. Every single time. And I just think now, grandma knew what’s up. She lived a long life, late into her 80s and I think she probably knew that cereal was a nonsense way to start the day.
I rotate through all of the cooking styles for eggs: scrambled, fried with a runny yolk, omelettes, soft boiled, steamed. But my favorite is a crispy fried egg in tallow where the edges of the egg white get all frizzled and crisp but with a warm runny yolk in the center. I dip my bacon into the yolk, that’s some glorious fat-on-fat richness right there, and then I break the egg up into bite-sized pieces with a fork and toss it all around so that the egg white is coated in the yolk. And then I finish the meal by licking any leftover yolk off the plate, can’t waste all that good fat and nutrients.
For the bacon, I order a pasture raised uncured bacon that I love and linked to in the show notes. I roast a couple trays at a time in the oven, that way I’m set for the whole week and also have bacon on hand for snacking.
As far as lunch goes, sometimes I eat it, sometimes I don’t. Yesterday I didn’t have breakfast until noon, so I didn’t eat again until dinner because I wasn’t hungry. That was a 2-meal day, not really on purpose, but because it worked out that way. Other days I’ll have lunch at maybe 2:30 or 3.
Now dinner, I do eat at a consistent time because of my kids, we eat at 5:30 or 6, and that’s it! I’m done eating for the day. My eating window is pretty condensed.
I actually don’t try to force a certain eating window, but it works out that way by following my holy grail rule of thumb for eating, which is if I’m hungry, I eat! I’m just not hungry most of the day because I’m fat adapted, and the extra bonus of this is that I get to reap all the benefits of this time restricted eating and intermittent fasting. This is all the rage in the health space, and a few of the benefits are touted to be weight loss, mental clarity, and autophagy, which, I will try not to nerd out too much on this episode, but to me is one of the most fascinating areas of health right now. It literally translates to eating of self and it’s our body’s way of cleaning up damaged cells, and it’s known to play a major role in preventing diseases like cancer, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases.
Before carnivore, I actually tried intermittent fasting many times so I could get this autophagy and weight loss, and it always went horribly for me, which, of course it did, what was I thinking? I was a sugar burner and could not tap into my own fat for energy. I’d get the worst headaches, and I remember being so dizzy, and I never lost any weight long term anyway because my body couldn’t handle it. And now I do it not really on purpose and without trying. Thank you carnivore!
As far as what I eat for lunch or dinner, I usually have steak once a day. It is the greatest food of all time, and never gets old. All I do is season it with salt, and sear it in the pan in grass-fed tallow, and I usually buy whatever steak is on sale at the grocery store, ribeye, strip, sirloin, porterhouse, whatever looks good.
Another lunch or dinner I do a lot is grilled burger patties. Ground beef is cheap and easy to make, so I buy a lot of it and I grill 6 pounds at a time. That is how much my grill fits, I would probably make more if I had a bigger grill because burgers are a lifesaver for reheat and eat food that you can have at the ready. Even though it only takes 10 minutes to make a steak, some days that’s too much to ask. Burger patties are sooo reliably convenient, a lot of carnivores lovingly call them Meat Cookies. It’s good stuff.
Steaks and burger patties are my beef mainstays, but sometimes I’ll do a roasted tri-tip, cook it medium rare and slice it thin. I do short ribs a lot, just throw them in the slow cooker or smoke them. Chuck roast is great, it’s cheap and all you have to do is throw it in the slow cooker overnight and it shreds like a dream. If I see brisket on sale, that’s an automatic put it in my cart and get it on the smoker. Even just beef alone, there are so many different cuts to play with and I haven’t even named them all.
I really never tire of beef, and it’s the food I eat most often. From all I’ve learned about beef theoretically, it is the most nourishing, healthy meat of all, but what I’ve learned from my body is that I need its nutrients and fats to feel satiated. Last night I made a couple roasted chickens for dinner, and I just kept eating and eating because I felt unsatisfied. And something in my brain was like BEEF! So I went to the fridge and grabbed a short rib and that finally gave me satiety. I like chicken, but it can’t hold a candle to the nutrient and fat profile of beef. Remember from episode 5, that true satiety, that feeling of being satisfied and comfortably full actually comes from fat detected in our gut. We need fat for so many reasons, and there is something so primally instinctual about this. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that for 2 million years humans ate fatty meat and little else.
Okay, other meats. Lamb is great too, though I have to be in the mood for its funk, and that comes and goes. But when I am into lamb, I love doing a roasted rack of lamb, leg of lamb I’ll roast to medium rare and slice it thin, or put it in the slow cooker until it shreds. You already know that I’ll roast a whole chicken for my family sometimes, usually once a week, and sometimes bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. Drumsticks are great, so are wings.
Pork I eat more than chicken but less than beef. Bacon, bacon, bacon, but also pulled pork made in the slow cooker or on the smoker. St Louis style ribs on the smoker. Basically all of the fatty and tender cuts of meat, and usually on the smoker! I have a Traeger which is a pellet grill, and you literally put anything in it and it makes it taste good because smoke tastes good. Actually when I grill and my hair smells like hickory or maplewood, I can’t say I don’t like it a little.
In addition to meat, I do eat seafood occasionally. It’s great for variation, but it’s expensive so I usually only splurge for special occasions. Carnivore doesn’t have to be expensive, I’m going to do an episode later on cost, but you can totally make it expensive if you’re buying a lot of seafood, but I love clams, shrimp, salmon, octopus, I mean, really anything in the seafood case…except oysters.
Snacks: If I’m hungry, I eat. It doesn’t matter if it’s meal time. Protein and fat don’t really raise insulin in a meaningful way so I see no issue with it. If I’m home I try to first eat a leftover beef patty or leftover ribs or something really satiating. Or if I’m not in the mood for that, I’ll have a few slices of prosciutto or maybe fry up an egg or eat some salami. So long as I’m home, I try to eat something that comes out of the fridge and not the pantry.
If I’m not home, I often bring my own homemade jerky, stash it in my purse or bag. My husband got me a dehydrator for Christmas and it’s so easy. You literally just slice the beef up and season it with whatever you want, so we do that once a week.
If I’m out for a longer period of time, I’ll bring a bag of biltong which is a type of air dried beef that’s getting really popular right now, or maybe I’ll bring a bag of pork rinds.
Cooking fats – I cook exclusively with grass fed tallow and ghee, I would do butter if I tolerated it but right now I don’t. But, animal fats only. No olive oil. Olive oil isn’t bad, but tallow and ghee are way healthier in my opinion and promote weight loss. That’s a huge rabbit hole, but we will discuss that later in the animal fats episode.
Spices. I generally don’t do a lot of spices because I think I do better without them and don’t really need them. A lot of spices are nightshades, and contain toxins in varying degrees, but this is more of a theoretical thing than something I’ve actually tested with a proper 30-day elimination protocol. In the beginning I used spices freely because I needed that flavor variation, but at this point a lot of times I’m just eating meat with salt because I don’t think foods like steaks or whatever need more than that. I do go out to eat sometimes with friends or family and of course there are spices in those dishes but it’s pretty small amounts. If you’re just starting a transition to carnivore and eating more meat, I don’t think it makes sense for most people to limit spices. Maybe if you’ve been carnivore for a while and are still having gut problems or gum problems or other issues, then sure, that’s a good time to test out spices, but otherwise no. Or maybe as a compromise, you can prioritize dried herbs over spices, which tend to have less toxins.
For Salt – I always salt to taste, and I use Redmond’s real salt. It’s an unrefined ancient pink salt mined in Utah that has lots of trace minerals in it and no microplastics.
I also make my own bone broth from time to time. Anytime I cut the backbone out of a whole chicken or if I make short ribs, I always save the bones in a bag in the freezer and when it’s full, I make a batch.
One last piece I’ll mention that’s big in carnivore is the whole organ debate. Some people say you should absolutely eat organs, some say it’s not necessary. I would like to eat them sometimes, but I’ve given up for now. I’ve tried all the tricks for making things like liver more palatable, and I just can’t get past that flavor. I think some people in the carnivore space overstate the importance of organs, there seems to be evidence that you can definitely overdo it, and many carnivores don’t eat organs ever and are thriving, but I’m still feeling this one out. I do take organ supplements occasionally, maybe once every one or two weeks, but nothing significant.
When I was doing carnivore-ish, I was basically eating everything I just told you about, but with some low toxicity plant foods added.
So I said I eat bacon and eggs for breakfast, carnivore-ish for me would’ve included avocado and some berries. Lunch might’ve been a steak with some roasted zucchini and some olives.
Dinner might’ve been burger patties with sliced cucumber or roasted butternut squash or pumpkin and more fruit.
Snacks, I would nibble on a few dates, or eat some plantain chips, and dried mango. And of course, all the meat snacks like jerky or pork rinds.
So that’s about it! I hope you got a better idea of how this looks day to day. If you have more questions, feel free to contact me via my website theroadtocarnivore.com, otherwise, I will see you next time.