Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson

Going Carnivore: Using Food as Medicine

If you have been following this blog for awhile, you already know that in June of 2019 I received the news that my body was fighting Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Since then, I have tried even more pain therapies, including several months of ketamine infusions. The infusions were helpful, but expensive and when the world shut down due to COVID, so did my pain clinic. When the ketamine was no longer available, I had to get creative.

I tried multiple diets and combos of natural pain relief, but nothing was helping long term. If I’m honest, I was getting pretty depressed. Then, in January of 2020, after a particularly painful flareup, a friend of mine suggested the Carnivore diet.

“As in T-rex?” I quipped.

He laughed and said, “Well, as in you only eat meat.”

I couldn’t wrap my head around it and kinda blew him off. But, he persisted and even brought me a book called The Carnivore Diet, by Maria and Craig Emmerich.

Now, having getting excited about soooo many diets without relief, I was not about to get hopes up about this one. But, I graciously borrowed the book to look through. I flipped through it now and then for about a week. When my man saw it, he reminded me that this was the same diet that helped Jordan Peterson’s daughter get out of her deathbed. She had some similar issues that I did, so decided to try it.

The Carnivore Diet can be used to nutritionally treat weight loss and/or autoimmune disorders. The book that my friend let me borrow had two four-week meal plans. One for weight loss and one for autoimmune issues. Immediately, this gave the author some credibility with me and I decided to give it a shot. Because the autoimmune meal plan was a little too hardcore for me at the time, I chose the weight loss one and dove right in.

Y’all, it has been six months, I haven’t looked back. This diet is the best thing that has come into my life post-CRPS diagnosis. I have not had a flareup since January! Combined with specific supplements, Carnivore is also helping with some of the ancillary symptoms like tremors, inflammation, extreme fatigue, insomnia and depression.

With the help of this book, I am learning so many different recipes that keep me from eating just a slab of steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not that I have anything against that. This Texas girl has been known to throw down on a good steak!!

I eat things like eggs, chicken, lobster, shrimp, bacon, butter, cheese, and salmon. In fact, my most favorite meal right now has to be salmon with beef bone marrow. Yup. You read that right. Beef bone marrow. I was skeptical at first as well. But don’t knock the marrow ’til you try it. It tastes like everything that makes an old school, tender pot roast delicious!

I’m enjoying this Carnivore lifestyle so much that I’m adding a section to this blog to bring you recipes in case you’d like to join in with me. If not, that’s okay. They can be used to shake up your dinner rut, too! Some will be recipes from my own heart and some I will share with you from The Carnivore Diet and other places I find good ones.

Buuuuut… a slight disclaimer is necessary for the recipes I share from my heart: I was taught to cook by a good old-fashioned, southern grandmother. If you have one of those, you know that they don’t use traditional recipes. Their measurements go something like this:

A touch (a medium sized amount of anything)
A pinch (a small amount, usually for seasonings or shredded ingredients like cheese)
A shake or two (usually for seasonings)
A smidgen (pronounced like pigeon, only take a way the “p” and add “sm”, meaning small amount of anything)
A whole lotta (usually in terms of butter, lard, or other cooking fats)
A big ol’ hunk (usually for larger proteins like steak, chicken breast, salmon filets, etc.)
A little bit (usually for smaller proteins like chicken tenders, stew meat, etc.)
Keep in mind, these are just a few and can be used interchangeably.

Now, because I learned to cook like that as a child, I still cook like that. All of that to say this:

For the recipes that come from my heart, I won’t have exact measurements for you. I will, however, include as many pictures as possible so that you can compare what your prep looks like to mine. And, if you have questions beyond that, just email me on my contact page and I’ll get back to you!!

Here’s the trick catch when it comes to this diet… Absolutely no vegetables. None. Not even cooking oils. We cook in full fats like butter, lard, and tallow. I realize that there could be health concerns that come up with that kind of cooking. I want to say that I am not doctor. However, I have spent almost 16 years studying the the link between the American diet and our poor health. It comes down to one word: OVERINDULGENCE. The average diet in America consists of overindulgence in fried foods, over processed junk and soda. Butter, among other things, is just taking the heat for it and it’s a lie!

For example, when used in moderation, good, full fats like butter are great for health! From your hair to your nervous system, good fats can help with a lot of maladies. Meat is the best source of protein we can have and high fatty fish like salmon, tuna and herring are great sources of Omega 3.

I do allow myself an indulgence night. However, since my usual indulgences are allowed as a Carnivore, I treat myself to salads and sushi on those nights!!

Before starting this journey, I do encourage to research the benefits of eating this way. You would be surprised how extensive they are!

If you are unsure of where to start, check out this cookbook:

going-carnivore-using-food-as-medicine
https://www.amazon.com/Carnivore-Cookbook-Maria-Emmerich/dp/1628603941/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=carnivore+diet+cookbook&qid=1622144871&sr=8-5

This is the book that helped me in the beginning. There are so many great recipes in here, of course, but what really drew me to it was the information she shares. It’s easy to read, easy to understand and super easy to follow! I included a to Amazon in the caption below the pic to make it easy for you to find. Take a look at it. I know I’m glad that I did!

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