The Carnivore Diet weeks 2&3

Greetings from the end of the internet!  If you'd like to find my first week write up, click HERE.  Or to find out why I'm attempting this diet, click HERE.

If you're reading this, I'll assume you are probably in the bathroom.  And, if you're on the carnivore diet, this probably happens once a week, and lasts for two hours, or happens every two hours (turns out constipation, and diarrhea are both side effects...who knew?).  I'll keep this quick.

After week one, I felt okay. I was on a rest week from training, and the lack of energy could pass and I'd be fine.  I also didn't need that much energy to continue at real life without any serious running.  Then......my big training block week hit.  It would be a 200km week of running.  I knew I'd have to increase calorie consumption.  I'd bought a lot of rib eye and pork chops.  I was ready, or so I thought.

The Sunday began with a 12.5km hill repeat workout.  I felt good, and it wasn't going to be a long workout.  I ate some cheese and eggs to get going, and after the run polished off some leftover striploin.  Bigger dinner, with a ribeye steak and more eggs.  I wasn't super hungry, but had no issue eating more meat.

Monday started with the usual egg and cheese fry up (in butter) followed by a half marathon faster run.  It took me an 1:35:00 to run my 21km, and I felt super tired after.  I had some more cheese, and a bit of steak, and went to work.  I did a 10km hike after work, followed by a massive two steak dinner.  I was super full, and fairly tired.  Definitely not feeling my perky self.

Tuesday was a morning 36km slow run.  I struggled with energy hard at the end.  It's difficult to try and take a run break to eat a hard boiled egg.  I finished the day off with a 14km hill run to get 50Km of running in the day......This is where it all fell apart. 

I always feel the need to mention that I didn't coming into this from the SAD diet.  I was keto light.  I'm familiar with the peaks and valleys of fat adaptation.  On Wednesday I couldn't get out of bed.  I tried to eat, but nothing appealed or tasted good.  I'd be adding salt to everything, and drinking more water than I ever have.  My body hurt all over, and was just generally exhausted.  Usually this is where I would eat some trail mix or something to get the motor going.  No luck.  I had my lowest step count since I began tracking.  I got around 3000 steps in the whole day.  I couldn't get off the couch, so I didn't.  I rested, ate more beef, beef fat, and pork, and hoped my body would recover.

Thursday was worse.  I death marched my 10 mile run.  Eggs and cheese, with some pork for lunch.  I was no longer enjoying food.  I was glad for my air fryer.  I could toss in some meat, and ignore it until it was done.  Then salt the living hell out of it, and eat some more.  I was also taking some potassium tablets as well in hopes of recovery.  I was out for the count.

Friday through Sunday was rough.  I was glad that I had friends looking for running partners, as it kept my legs turning.  I was eating everything in sight, but my body was not recovering from my higher intensity running.  I really had to pull it back.  I weighed in at 155.0lbs on the Sunday with a sub 5% body fat.

Monday to Thursday was a work trip.  It was a good chance to recover and focus on low intensity running.  I was in meetings all day as well, so energy wasn't needed as much for movement, and with any fat adapted diet, your mind feels sharp all day.  I was getting my 10-15 miles of running in, and just keeping it chill.  I was adding in a lot of body weight work, and keeping my heart rate in the fat burn zone didn't seem to hurt me. 

Friday to Sunday was crazy busy at my job, I was working some nights and early mornings to get work done.  I also ran about 20 miles on the Saturday up and down several mountains for my final training 'long run' before my goal race of the Javalina Jundred 100 mile.  My body still wasn't recovering, and I was physically tired all the time while training.  I was sitting at 153.2lbs on the Sunday with somewhere below 5.0% body fat (my scale doesn't measure below 5.0%).

 It was a struggle to get sodium and potassium pills on time.  I am really not used to supplementing my diet so much.  I'd eating over 30lbs of meat each week for the last three weeks.  I didn't feel like my guts were full of rotting meat, but I wasn't feeling super perky either.  On Tuesday I decided to pull the plug, and begin to prepare for my race (I'm writing about that at the same time as this).

 After a week away, I think I learned a few things about this diet.

This diet would work well if you were doing lower heart rate (80% of max) workouts.  Weight lifting, or preparing for a 10km run.  It would be very beneficial if you were coming off the SAD diet, or looking to lose weight.  It gives you a lot of control over your diet, and a solid 'out' when people try to offer you crap to eat, or sabotage your diet so you can be as unhappy as they are.  It would also be good if you were trying to get ripped.  You could see all the veins in my legs and abdomen by the end of three weeks.  That said, as an ultrarunner, I looked more like a cancer patient than a body builder.
 

I also learned diets are a lot like religions.  People tend to put their entire stock into them.  A diet that works well for me, will probably not work well for you.  Currently the best ultra marathon trail runner eats nachos, uses beer as her electrolyte, and has a terrible race diet.  This would kill me.  My body has by far the most success on a paleo type diet.  When I raced Javalina, I was running at peak heart rate for 10.5 hours straight.  My body responds differently than yours does.  I also think this diet has issues for people with very low body fat.  I'm on holidays now that I affectionately refer to as 'fat camp', where I eat good food, drink craft beer, climb mountains, and gain some weight.

On Keto, I had a lot of success.  I went from 185lb to 155lbs.  It was probably the best diet I'd ever found to drop body fat.  Once I hit the 140's though, my performance took a huge nose dive.  I had to add some good carbs back in.  Potatoes, brown rice, 80% dark chocolate. I also enjoy pooping daily.  It's mental I'm sure, but the 3 days between poops was a little weird.  It was also like giving birth to a small being.  I also hate taking pills, and worrying about supplementing.  My wife and I cook at home, and rarely go out.  For a diet to work for me, long term, I need it to be whole without worrying about supplementing. This is not true for everyone.  I will always tell people to find what works for them in their life.  I run about 7000km so far this year, and will average close to 160km a week (100 miles) for the entire year.  This requires slightly different nutrition than someone getting healthy.  Also, it hurts to sit on chairs and benches with a boney ass.

So there is my 2 cents.  Not worth much, but I enjoyed doing it, and the carnivore community is excellent.  I'll have a recap of my Javalina race shortly.  It super fun.

Keep it weird people,

Canadian Ghost Runner

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