How An Animal-Based Diet Has Simplified Our Lives | The Hart of Health Podcast
Jonathan and Joané 0:03
Hi, I’m Joané Hart and I’m Jonathan Hart. This is The Hart of Health, a show where we focus mainly on health and self-optimisation. Here, we like to talk about our experiences and knowledge when it comes to health and biohacking. Hope you enjoy the show.
Hey, everyone. On today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about how an animal-based diet has simplified our lives.
Yes, it’s definitely made my life a lot easier, and in ways that I never expected.
Yeah, a lot of people sort of expect that as soon as I’m going to change my diet, I’m going to make my life more complicated. And we’re going to have to measure stuff and weigh out things and you know, it’s just going to be a pain. Yes. I suppose you can measure your own food and portions and stuff, and be animal-based. But it’s not really necessary if you’re just saying “I want to be animal based.”
Well, for me, it’s simplified my life in a way where it isn’t necessary to measure out everything all the time. I do measure sometimes because I like to keep track of my calories but if you’re cutting out so many foods from your diet that are inflammatory and can cause all sorts of negative effects, and quickly add up to your daily calories, especially if they’re not very satiating, it can get complicated very quickly. But if you’re on an animal-based diet, which is a diet that mainly consists of animal foods, and maybe the inclusion of some plant foods like fruit, it’s a very satiating diet. So it kind of reduces the need for tracking your food and stuff.
Yeah, I was basically just saying that the actual animal-based diet principles are very simple. And it’s not very complicated. And just, I’ve seen some other diets where they’ll be also very simple, but I think they are missing a lot – like the whole chicken and rice and broccoli thing (bro diet). You know, that just seems like a bad idea. It feels like you’re missing a lot there. But what’s nice about the animal-based diet is that you know that if you incorporate a small group of foods, and make it like the centrepiece of your diet, you get a lot more nutrients in a smaller package. And, yeah, I feel like if you make plants the centrepiece of your diet, it makes it very hard to get all your nutrients in there. You have to incorporate a much larger group of foods in order to try and get the same sort of nutrition from an animal-based diet.
So an animal-based diet simplifies your life because you can get all the nutrients you need from fewer foods. And you don’t have to follow this complicated diet where you have to eat some of this every day and some of that and supplement with this. Because if you’re on a standard American diet or on a vegan diet, you’re probably eating a lot of foods that don’t have that much nutritional value. But if you’re eating mostly animal foods, then you almost don’t even need to worry about that. And if you’re eating organ meats, then you don’t even need to worry about supplementing really.
Yeah, if you incorporate enough organs, they are like the ultimate supplements. So yeah, just by reducing the number of different foods you need to eat, it’s already simplifying things. And so yeah, it then has a whole knock-on effect on your shopping. It simplifies your shopping. It, you know, reduces the decision fatigue when it comes to what foods to have.
Oh, yeah, definitely. I mean, we’ve had months where we just get all of our meat from a butcher, and you hardly ever go to the store for anything else except maybe salt. But you don’t even need to go to the store on an animal-based diet. If you know: “oh, I can get it from this farmer or this butcher.” And if you have a problem going to the supermarket with all the options there, especially if you live somewhere where you have really big places like Walmart, you have so many options there and a lot of temptation. And if you struggle to resist that temptation when going to the store, only going to a store that sells meat like a butchery that will simplify things a lot, and it will reduce the chances of you giving into temptation and reduce decision fatigue.
Yeah, I mean, obviously I’d recommend the closer you can get to get your stuff from the farm, the better. So if you know there’s a person in the local area growing avos, or there’s a cattle rancher, just 10km outside from where I stay, you know, go and support those people. You also might then save yourself some money. And so as soon as something has to go through a processing warehouse and then go to the shops, it’s already, you know, incurred a lot of costs. So, like, we managed to save a lot of money by skipping the middleman of the shopping, the shops, and just go straight to the farmer. Yeah, that simplifies things as well, because they deliver. And we only have to do it like once every two weeks, maybe,
Yeah, we’re lucky that the farmer we get it from delivers. But there are also great farms that deliver to people in different areas. It depends on where you live. But I’m sure if you did a Google search for meat delivery in your area, you could find someone, so you didn’t even need to leave the house. And you could get everything you need for your animal-based diet.
Yeah, so obviously, the easiest one for everyone to access will be a butchery. Oh, farmers markets, farmers markets are a really good one, because then obviously, you can see where all the small farmers congregate and sell their produce. And yeah, the only thing I’d say is to watch out for your leafy greens at the farmers market.
Yeah, if you’re following an animal-based diet, and you’re aware of which plants are high in plant toxins, and you try to avoid those, I don’t think you’ll be buying the leafy green vegetables. And yeah, so we’re talking about how shopping is simplified. Even when you go to the supermarket, there are so many aisles that no longer even require your attention. Just skip them. So you don’t need to spend that much time in the supermarket browsing all the aisles, just double checking that there’s nothing that you might have needed in those aisles. Because, you know, I can go to the meat section, I can go to the dairy section if I include dairy. And then I can go to the fruit and veggie section if I include some fruits in my diet. So it’s very, very simple. Shopping is a lot more efficient for us. Our diet is pretty standard. We always buy pretty much the same things. Like you know where to go and where to get it. That has simplified it a lot.
Yeah, there is variety in the animal-based diet. If you say, “I’m just going to do ruminant animals”, you have the choice between beef and lamb. So they’re both ruminant animals. But bacon and chicken is still an option on an animal-based diet. Obviously, I’d recommend you try to get chickens that weren’t fed a ton of corn, and try and get pigs that weren’t fed a ton of corn and are pasture-raised. Yeah, if you can get the healthier raised animals, the better. But still, it’s not as bad as seed oils and other things like that. So, it really just simplifies the shopping. But as far as cooking, it’s also simple. Because normally, if you make other dishes, if you have to cook rice, or you have to cook pasta, or you’re going to make a salad or whatever, there’s a whole bunch of preparation and work and also kitchen utensils that go into the making of those things. And so, if you’re just having an avocado and a steak, all you’re doing is cooking the steak and cutting open the avocado.
Because when I used to eat most foods and most plant foods, cooking would take a lot of time. And I felt that half the time you were just chopping vegetables and prepping that. And then by eliminating that, you’re going straight to cooking the meat. And if you have something like avocado as a side dish that’s quick, you cut it up, open it. If you have olives, that’s also easy. So the prep on the side dishes is reduced drastically.
Yeah. And also you’re avoiding grains and starches. So potatoes take a long time to cook and prepare.
Yeah, so you don’t need to cook meat and some starch and vegetables and maybe a dessert. You cook your meat. You add what sides you want, but it’s not going to be this overcomplicated thing. And one thing that I’ve thought about is that a lot of people might not feel confident in their cooking skills or they never learned how to cook before thinking about: “oh, I need to learn how to cook”. There are so many dishes in the world and different combinations can be feel overwhelming, especially if you have to think about what the best spice combinations will be and what can I add to this because if you’re starting off with recipes that contain 20 ingredients, it might take a while for you to feel confident in your cooking. And, yeah, if you’re on an animal-based diet, the recipes are really simple. So for somebody who’s not necessarily experienced with cooking, or doesn’t enjoy spending a lot of time cooking and following complicated recipes, an animal-based diet is great, because you can get nutrient-dense meals that are quick to make, and not complicated at all.
And it’s amazing how just meat and salt and heat make an amazing flavour combination. Especially if you do it on an open flame. But yeah, you mentioned spices, we don’t have any spices. It’s just another thing that’s not taking up space in the cupboard. Now you don’t have to have this massive rack of all the frickin different spices. Not to say that you can’t have herbs and spices on an animal-based diet. But that’s one way that it’s simplified our lives. And I just don’t miss spices that much.
Yeah, we don’t need a lot of space to store food in the pantry. We put our meat in the freezer, and we just take it out to defrost before cooking. And we have some things in the fridge like cheese and yoghurt and fruit. But yeah, we don’t need a lot of room. I don’t know what I would do with a walk-in pantry at this point. Probably just use it to store plates and pots and salt.
Yeah, you can maybe have a big stockpile of salt and the basics that you need.
Yeah. So if you’re into tiny-house living where you have a very small space and not a lot of storage space in your kitchen, or minimalism (if you really just like minimalism), this could be intriguing.
Yeah. So you can look at it as a challenge, not just for your health, but also for being a bit more minimalist. And so, it also feels like I’m not supporting companies that are mass producing things as much. And that’s also just by looking at our trash. I don’t see brand names and logos and stuff in my trash. Then also the trash is very minimal. Because we don’t buy a lot of boxed products or anything like that with packaging. We’re not wasting a lot. (That’s great.) And so yeah, simplicity is often less. So there’s just been a lot less time spent on food. And between the shopping and the cooking.
One thing that it’s simplified for me is my diet to help my health symptoms. Because I have PCOS and I have quite a bit of inflammation and I was also struggling to lose weight. And before, I read up on what health tips you could do. There are so many spices that people say you should have for different reasons, and have these herbs for this and these spices for this, and eat these foods. I remember listening to Dr. Rhonda Patrick and feeling so overwhelmed because it was: eat garlic, add turmeric to your smoothies or whatever. Broccoli sprouts, but you have to add mustard to them. And it was just so complicated and I felt overwhelmed. And it made me feel bad because it was so hard to stick to all these things I was supposed to stick to in order to reduce my inflammation and be the healthiest version of me that I could be. And it made me feel bad that I couldn’t follow this perfect diet that has all these antioxidants and superfoods and things that people would recommend. And then we discovered the carnivore diet and animal-based eating and I realised how simple it could be to follow a really healthy diet. And I switched to an animal-based diet and I started losing weight. I didn’t have to have any turmeric. I didn’t have to make any green smoothies. No apple cider vinegar needed, nothing like that. It’s so simple. And I saw the best results.
Exactly. And so yeah, not to say that turmeric and plant medicines aren’t beneficial; like there’s plenty of science to back up how beneficial these plants can be. But I don’t think that means you need to incorporate them into your everyday nutrition. And like you said, when you look at all the benefits you can get from plants, you feel like you get lost and it’s so complicated because there’s this massive long list of all these different things you can try and eat, and this and that. And like you said, mix in mustard with the broccoli seeds… it becomes really complicated. Yeah, but if you have a specific problem and you need a medicine, and so, just for a short time to fix that problem, you use a plant as a medicine, that’s 100% fine. And probably actually better than a lot of the store-bought pharmaceutical solutions,
Thinking you need to do that every day is unnecessary. It gets ridiculous and we used to buy a lot more supplements because you would hear: “Oh, this compound is good for you for this reason and you should take this for that.” And it just got too much. We were buying a lot of supplements. Now we hardly buy any. We buy magnesium, I have folate, and we got desiccated liver supplements.
Yeah, if you don’t like liver, it’s a very easy way to get it and it’s a very simple supplement. The ingredients list: desiccated liver. It’s like, okay, that’s the only ingredient, cool. If you look at other supplements, they’ve got buffers, and this and that, and stabilizers and whatever. And so, it’s nice to get a nice, simple thing. And that’s what I like about this whole diet: you don’t need this long list of ingredients. You don’t need a long anything. It’s very simple. It’s just like the first time we ever tried carnivore, it was just meat, salt, and water. Yes, and that was a very interesting time. Like, you go into ketosis pretty easily. Because it is ultra low carb. I just wish we didn’t focus so much on pork and chicken. But we learned our lesson. But it was a very simple month.
And I feel like a lot of people who aren’t actively trying to follow a healthy diet aren’t because what they see online are these complicated diets where they have to make smoothies with a bunch of ingredients in the morning and have salads and all sorts of things. And it might feel overwhelming for them. And it makes them feel paralyzed. And then, they don’t try to be healthier, just because it seems like it’s going to be too hard and overcomplicated. But if you can tell people: “Hey, there’s this really simple diet you can follow, an animal-based diet, you’ll get all the nutrients you need, you’ll probably feel a lot better, and you’ll get results, and it will be super easy.” I think more people might be drawn to that.
Yeah, and that’s the thing: it’s something you can do your own experimenting on. And like I said, it’s not a long list of things that you can include. I mean, it’s animal meat and organs, fruits, dairy, maybe eggs, and honey. And so, obviously, the eggs and the dairy are dependent on the individual.
Some people eat that, some people don’t.
Yes, but most fruits are pretty good for most people, but you should still sort of watch and see, as some fruits might cause allergic reactions. Like citrus fruits can cause problems for some people. But your non-sweet foods like your avocados and your squashes and your pumpkins and stuff like that are generally good for most people. And that’s a very small list of foods. Yes, you know, there’s not a lot, but just within that, you can play around with it. And one of the ways I think (when it gets a bit warmer here) that will be very simple is to make a big fire, and then (we call that a braai) and then you barbecue a lot of meat in one go. And then that kind of meal preps your food. It gives a really nice flavour and sort of gets it ready to preserve in your fridge for the rest of the next three days or four days or whatever, depending on how you want to meal prep. And you can have eggs, that’s super easy. Eggs are always very easy to cook and prepare.
How much easier is frying a few eggs in the morning in some beef tallow than making a smoothie where you have to add flaxseed powder and almond butter. It’s 10 times easier. Leave the spinach. You just fry an egg. You’re good. Like it all depends on the person.
For me, it’d have to be like six eggs.
Yeah, not just one. Please get more protein. But for some people, bacon and eggs are good. Well, you can do beef patties and egg, but it’ll be a lot easier and quicker. You don’t have to clean a blender.
I don’t have to clean a blender. Frying pans are easier to clean than a blender with all those blades.
I always dreaded cleaning the blender when we made a lot of smoothies. And it was funny because I used to make these really complicated smoothies and I just see purple in my head because they had beetroot in them. I was trying to make this a really nutrient-dense meal, and it wasn’t that enjoyable. But egg yolks are so nutrient-dense. And then also liver. Like you eat a piece of liver, and that’s pretty much the value of two of those smoothies in my mind.
Yeah, so there are plenty of ways. And we can probably go on for another 30 minutes just saying like: “Oh, yeah, this is a cool idea.” It’s really good to make it your own. And like, try your own things. Use the animal-based umbrella: least toxic plant foods and make animals and their organs the centrepiece of your diet and play around. Try liver. Try new things and try different combinations.
But if you try an animal-based diet, whether you go on a strict carnivore diet, or like we said, you include fruits and stuff, you will see how much simpler life can be. Like you will definitely see for yourself. Those are the main points that we could think of. But yeah, if you’re looking for a simpler life, if you’re into minimalism, this could be good for you.
Yeah. And obviously, everyone will be able to find a way to simplify things. I just found it very difficult to try and simplify what, you know, like what Rhonda Patrick was recommending. Oh, yeah, how do you simplify that? It’s like even trying to just boil it down to the simplest points, a select list of 10 points that you should do, and it’s too much.
Yeah, you don’t need to sprout broccoli seeds, and then crush them and then add mustard on an animal base.
Yeah, please don’t do that. Rather get some cold shock therapy, which is also simpler because that just means you turn off the hot water in your shower. Yeah, instead of sprouting seeds and adding mustard.
Yeah, the sprouted broccoli seeds are like a hormetic stressor on your body. So the whole idea is that it’s a beneficial type of stress. But if you’re looking for a beneficial type of stress, go exercise, get some cold shock therapy, you don’t have to sprout and crush broccoli seeds.
Yeah, so hopefully, if you guys who are listening want life to be a bit simpler, I definitely recommend trying an animal-based diet.