The Carnivore Diet and Food Addiction — Interview with Dr Lisa Wiedeman | The Hart of Health Podcast
In this podcast episode, we interview Dr Lisa Wiedeman. She’s an optometrist who has been on the carnivore diet for 13 years! We talk about various topics, including overcoming sugar and food addictions, preventing macular degeneration, the three foods you need to cut from your diet, eating fruit before exercise, and being your own health advocate.
Here are the timestamps from the podcast, as well as the full podcast transcript:
0:33: Spreading the word on the carnivore diet and doing the opposite of what you’re told
05:02: Living in a society with a sick-care system, not a healthcare system (and the introduction of seed oils)
07:27: Being your own health advocate
11:40: Is the carnivore diet too extreme and restrictive?
14:15: Sugar as an addictive drug
15:01: The lucky ones get fat
19:46: Clinging to foods and bad habits you most need to give up
24:14: Dealing with a fruit and food addiction
31:05: The cause of macular degeneration
34:31: The trifecta of what you need to cut from your diet
38:02: Trying a diet for longer than a month and doing a 90-day elimination diet
46:50: Getting food freedom from restricting your diet
48:25: Having a good support system when you’re on a diet
51:58: Developing bad food habits as a child
54:10: Starting to experiment with the carnivore diet
56:36: Having fruit before exercise to enhance performance
61:04: Can a carnivore diet help people with glaucoma?
Hi, everyone, on today’s episode, we’re interviewing Dr Lisa Wiedeman. She’s been a carnivore for 13 years now. And we thought it would be quite cool to do an interview with her and learn more about her thoughts and experience on the carnivore diet
And most of you are probably quite surprised to hear that she’s been doing it for 13 years. But I’d say this would be a good example of someone who’s been on this long term and see how they’re doing and hear their side of the story.
Hope you enjoy the show.
Dr Wiedeman 0:33
It’s exciting to be able to keep spreading the word because, you know, there’s so much misinformation out there. And it’s just, you know, I feel so sad for people who are caught up in that whole vegan movement and stuck in that, and, you know, don’t have the open mind to actually keep researching because they’re so set that that’s the healthy way to go. So I think, I think more and more people are, because this is so huge compared to when I started back 13 years ago, we had this little tiny group of us. And so now, it’s kind of exploded, which is really neat. But it’s still very strange, because, you know, I could pretty much go anywhere. And somehow, the topic comes up. And then even, there was a gym trainer down in Florida who never heard of carnivore. And, you know, I find that, but you know, it’s the spread of the whole keto movement, which is I think, really skyrocketed and then perpetuates into it, really kind of segues into carnivore because so many people on keto will plateau or not make further progress or not get the health benefits that they were really looking for. And sometimes, it’s that last 10% of plant material that gives you 90% more of a benefit. So, it’s great to be able to talk to as many people as I can. I’m just spreading my experience. I’m not, you know, because nobody knows what the absolute right way is. I can just say from all the years that I’ve done it and all the people I’ve coached that I’m, you know, ready to shout it from the rooftops, like I tried to do that. This is really an amazing, healthy way. And we have been so brainwashed in the opposite direction that I’m at the point now where I tell people to do the opposite of what you’re seeing. And being told, you know, they say stay out of the sun, and put on lots of sunscreen, I say, don’t put that toxic sunscreen chemical on your skin and get out in the sun as much as you can. You know, they say eat lots of fruits and vegetables and lean meat. And I say, don’t eat any fruits and vegetables and eat great fatty meat. So it’s kind of interesting, you know, it’s all these epiphanies along the way that are just really proven in, you know, my own personal experience, because, as I said, nobody’s that, you know… part of the issue is there’s really not money to be made to tell people to eat meat, seafood, and eggs, drink water, and get healthy. So nobody’s pouring millions of dollars into any studies. That’s the biggest thing people say, “well, where’s the science behind it? Where’s the evidence? Where’s the study?” Well, again, who is funding these, you know, $2 million studies? It’s really that expensive to fund a proper study. Plus dietary studies are almost impossible to do properly. But nobody’s, you know, doing that unless it’s a pharmaceutical industry, you know, or food industry or, you know, vitamin, mineral, you know, vitamin or supplement – people who are trying to get a study to say a specific thing to sell their specific product. And that’s not the kind of study we want. You know, we want the study that says, you know, “how healthy can you be with meat, seafood, eggs, and live your life?” and nobody’s making money off of that?
Hasn’t Shawn Baker been trying to get money together for a study?
Dr Wiedeman 4:32
Yeah, so I donated to that. He has a GoFundMe and I think that it is still active (that GoFundMe) to raise a specific amount of money for a specific study that he’s going to have done. And then on top of that, he’s raising capital I guess for his company, which is basically to promote wellness instead of sickness. You know, we live in a society where it’s a sick care system, our healthcare system is a sick care system. It’s, you know, go to the doctor, get your diagnosis, the doctor figures out from the symptoms what to diagnose and what prescription to write, and you walk out with, you know, going to the pharmacy and get the pills. And there’s just so much to be said for we have to get to the root cause of what is happening. And, yeah, you know, it’s crazy to think that over 100 years ago, when these seed oils were introduced into our food system is the demise of our health as a population. Obesity skyrocketed, stroke, cancer, you know, arthritis, hypertension, mental disorders, all of these things exponentially increased with the increased use of those seed oils in all these processed foods. So that’s, you know, getting the word out. Again, that kind of information isn’t put out in mainstream media. I don’t know how yours is sort of filtered there. But you know, all the advertisers that are on, you know, all these different channels are pharmaceuticals or big conglomerate food industry, and they’re not going to let this information go on there where, you know, you should not be eating any of this processed food.
In South Africa, they’re not allowed to advertise for over-the-counter medications but off-the-shelf medications, they can advertise. So in South Africa, they won’t advertise for prescription medication but they will advertise for other things. And we do get a lot of adverts for margarine and that kind of stuff.
Yeah. And there’s been a big plant-based push as well in the stores, with all the plant-based alternatives. And like, Tim Noakes comes from South Africa. And years ago, he started with the whole keto thing, and he’s also been telling people to eat more meat. And there was actually this big court case he had to go through and things are still way old-school here.
Dr Wiedeman 7:27
That court case is very well known here. And, you know, people follow that closely. And it’s so interesting, you know, money rules the world. It’s sad, and I tell people, “you have to be your own health advocate”. And you really, really do. You can’t rely on the information that you’re receiving. I mean, I feel badly for my parents’ generation. You know, there’s some that are computer and internet savvy, but a lot from my parents generally, like people in their 80s, they’re sitting there watching mainstream media, Dr Oz and Good Morning America, and, you know, the standard shows that are just kind of feeding “No, you got to have lots of fibre.” And then I say to my parents, I go “Really, I haven’t had fibre in 13 years.” And, you know, have lots and lots of fruits and vegetables. And you need the antioxidants and you need this and that. And I’m like (polyphenols). Yeah, you know, there’s a lot of toxins, you know, there are salicylates, oxalates. You know, there’s just so much to be said for doing your own homework. But honestly, without the internet, I don’t know where people… you know, you could go on Amazon and buy a book, like Dr Ken Berry’s “Lies My Doctor Told Me”, you could start off with that kind of thing, but you really need it. And then, of course, you need the internet to get on Amazon to make that order. So, you know, I keep trying to encourage my parents to go on to YouTube. There’s just so much information. Now, of course, you can get a lot of opposite information in the vegetarian and vegan and plant movement, and that’s really big here too. But you know, it’s meat for the masters and mush is for the masses. That’s really kind of one of the sayings. They’re gonna push cereal and grains and you know, fake meat on the majority of the population, and I’m afraid of, you know, a potential scenario where what’s going to happen if they actually start limiting or taxing me or, you know, really pushing that, you know, the propaganda of that way of eating. It’s a scary thought, you know, people think about buying land and, you know, raising animals. It’s getting to that point, which is really, you know, mind-boggling that we’re at this point that could actually be even in my thought process of like “How am I going to get my meat? Because that’s all I eat.” Yeah, there’s a great movie “Beyond Impossible”, that Vinnie Tortorich did about the whole, you know, fallacy behind that whole plant-based fake food kind of garbage that they’re pushing.
Where can we find that?
Dr Wiedeman 10:35
I believe that is on Netflix. Okay Netflix or maybe it’s on Amazon Prime, or Apple, you know, it’s one of those things where you can get…He’s got a great two others “FAT” and “FAT2” are really, really good documentary kind of movies about this whole, you know, the misinformation that we’ve all been incorrectly informed way back when Ancel Keys was trying to prove his hypothesis that fat caused heart disease, and you know, how that’s just really so wrong. And, you know, I tell people, people say to me, “Oh, my God, you might feel good, but you’re gonna die of a heart attack, you know,” and I go, now, you know, actually, I can name right now, four cardiologists that are eating this way. So that doesn’t say a heck of a lot. And then some people come back and say, “well, that doesn’t really say anything. Where are the studies?” So again, we’re back to “where are the studies?”
But, you know, it’s looked at as such an extreme way of eating. But in reality, this is the normal natural, proper, ancestral human diet. And is it restrictive? Yeah, it’s restrictive in today’s day and age, because I’m not eating the 10,000 other products that are in the grocery store. And I’m eating meat, seafood and eggs, but is it restrictive in what’s natural to what I should be putting in my body? No,. And there’s so much variety in so many different types of, you know, meat and seafood, that you can eat, that it doesn’t feel restrictive, it feels healthy, and it feels just, it feels optimal to me. You know, I would say that to anybody who has any diagnosis, is on any medication, you know, look into this, because I know people who don’t have their “why”. And I always say you have to have your “why” to come to this. For whatever reason, it could be, you know, it pretty much usually has to be significant enough, where you turn to trying to seek out and because nobody’s just going to on a whim, just say: “Oh, wow, that sounds cool. I think I’ll just eat meat, seafood and eggs. That sounds great. Let’s try it.” Like, nobody does that just randomly because there are so many great things to eat. And sugar is so addictive, I don’t know how it is where you are, as far as, you know, processed foods. And, you know, these companies absolutely hire addiction specialists who really helped formulate their foods to be as addictive as possible and get just the right combination of sugar, fat, and salt. And get this together. So it’s just a taste explosion. And it does, it does definitely hit the dopamine centres in your brain and cause you to overeat it and want to eat it over and over. And I have people who fall back into it, you know, they do great eating a carnivore way of eating. And then next thing you know, they’re at a party, they’re at a family gathering, they’re at work and food is ordered in and next thing, you know, they’re eating it again. And I get that it’s not easy to navigate this on a day-to-day basis unless you have a very strong motivating “why”.
No one believes me when I tell them that I think that sugar is a drug. And then I always draw the comparison to cocaine, you know, they’re both white powders and they’re both processed from plants. But no one seems to take that seriously because cocaine is in its own category, and sugar is in its own category, even though I see them as pretty much slight alterations of the same thing.
Dr Wiedeman 14:38
Exactly, and you know, I don’t know if you’ve ever looked up… there’s actually a study that was done with mice and cocaine and show that the cocaine ended up… they left it to continue to go at the sugar and they determined that sugar was eight times more addictive than cocaine. And, you know, part of, I think, the problem of really understanding the addictive component of it is that it’s so accepted and widespread and abused and misused, with no immediate penalty. So you’re not overdosing on this. You’re not, you know, I’m gonna say that’s the problem. But the issue is that there isn’t an immediate penalty, but I tell people, I say, “Yeah, but 10 years from now, when you’ve got a little dementia starting, or you’ve got diabetes, or you have hypertension, or you have, you know, depression and anxiety, I mean, these things, unfortunately, it’s a long, slow progression.” And it would be nice if there was a more immediate penalty to, you know, have people understand the seriousness of it, but it’s not. It’s not one of those things. That is, like you said, accepted as an actual addiction. But, you know, from everything, you know, and believe me, I have looked into it, and pretty extensively because I suffered for about 30 years of, you know, carb addiction, sugar addiction, binge eating disorder, eating disorders, it was a misery, I couldn’t get out of it. I couldn’t figure out what the heck and at that time, I had no clue that I was actually dealing with addiction and that this stuff was addictive. And that’s why I didn’t have control over it. It’s very, very, very difficult. And that’s why it’s interesting, Charles Washington, who was one of the original zero carbers, back when I found his group on the internet 13 years ago, he has such an interesting saying that “the lucky ones get fat”, because that those are the people who will, typically because they’re at their wit’s end trying to lose weight, they don’t want to be obese, they don’t want to be at… they just want to look good, they don’t want to be in this predicament, so they’re the ones that have been seeking out and finding paleo and keto and carnivore, right, the unlucky ones are not showing that outward sign and their bodies are inflamed inside. They’re getting, you know, melanomas, they’re getting psoriasis, eczema, they’re getting these, you know, maybe little things along the way, but they’re not connecting it and then it’s not until you’re decades in that something serious like you know, cancer, Alzheimer’s, stroke, heart attack happens. So that’s the awesome saying “the lucky ones get fat” because usually sooner than way later down the road, are they the ones that have kind of awakened to figuring out that this is really what has to be done to, you know, nourish your body and heal and not get into a disease state? Because I get so tired when I hear people say, “Well, you know, oh, yeah, my mom and my grandmother have arthritis. So, you know, my knees are really aching.” And I’m like, “No, well, you know what your mom and your grandmother ate? Crap food too because it’s been around since 1910.” Okay, so don’t look at that and then you’re brought up in that family and are eating the same types of foods. It’s like you’re cultured to, you know, like the Italians with the pasta and the bread and, you know, so you keep doing what your elders do and get similar diseases. So it’s really kind of crazy to think that that, you know, I don’t see it turning around anytime in the near future as far as it being just like tobacco originally was not touted as you know.
it was advertised and it was like, “oh, you know, this is great. Smoke away.” And it took a long time before that got actually out as far as the addiction and cancer and all that but I just don’t see it happening with sugar and processed foods because there’s just so much money in it. And there’s so many you know, lobbyists and you know, Coca Cola is paying off scientists to come up with studies that sugar is not bad. It’s just that you’re not exercising enough and eating too many calories, but it’s not the sugar you know, they’re trying so hard to just keep the food the way it is because we just keep buying it.
And people don’t want their favourite junk foods to be bad for them. So they’re really like: “No, this food is fine for us.” Because they want to keep eating it. They’re addicted to it.
Dr Wiedeman 19:58
Absolutely. And I find people hold on so, so tightly to the thing they really need to give up. And, you know, in the people that I talk with, you know, because I see the problem and the predicament they’re in, and I want them to get healthy and they want to get healthy. But then when I’m talking with them, and I’m telling them “Oh, yeah, well, oops, two, three packs of gum a day, throw the gum in the trash” “Oh, Diet Coke, you have a Diet Coke habit? Well, you’re gonna throw that in the trash too, and not buy that.” And then “Oh, you put Splenda in your coffee, and it’s chemical after chemical?” I go, “You have to understand you are purchasing a chemical process from a company. They have manipulated chemicals.” You look at the package, and there are 18 different ingredients, and they get it to be tasty, sweet and addictive. And you keep buying it and you keep putting it in your body. And it’s so not healthy. And I say “suck it up, buttercup. I know you don’t want to do it, but suck it up and do it. If you want to make the change, you have to make a change.” You know, if you want things to change, you have to be willing to make the change and not just keep saying, you know, I actually had somebody who wrote to me seeking my help and then was asking me some questions like, you know, their weight loss plateau, they haven’t lost any in a long time. And I said, Well, you know, try giving up dairy, like cut the cheese and the heavy cream, because that can be a big problem. It also has its own addictive components with the casomorphins that are in cheese, and I found from my own personal experience, I can definitely overeat cheese, I like to fry cheese, I like to… you name it. So I said, you know, give that up. And then when the question went further, she’s got a stevia in the coffee problem, and then I said, “Yeah, you know, try give that up for 90 days.” And she’s like, “Well, I’m just going to have to find a different diet then because I can’t live without my coffee and stevia.” And I said, “okay, good luck, find that next diet that’s going to be the answer for you.” That’s not to say, you know, there can be some people who can do keto, or, you know, what they call whatever, ketovore or carna… Yeah, I don’t know if there are all sorts of middle-of-the-road versions and names and some people can still drink coffee and have stevia in it. Those are the people though, in my mind, nowhere ever near what kind of addiction I had to and I can’t have sweeteners, because then it ends up triggering the cravings to want… Then it’d be “okay, we’ll have just fruit”, well, then it just keeps sliding. And it’s not good. It’s just, you know, again, I tell people to think about this, “this is a substance that is not necessary in anybody’s diet, there’s no not a single requirement for carbohydrates.” And for many people, for many, many people this stuff is addictive. And, you know, and a lot of people come to me and until I was listening to you talking, I never really thought about it as an actual addiction. But you know what, I keep going the yo yo…” You know, you lose 25 pounds, and then kind of start slipping. You go down that slippery slope. Next thing you know, you’re up 30. And then you decide, all right, it’s, you know, New Years and get back on the diet, and you lose it again. And I say, Well, you know, you realise you keep going back into the addiction and you know, getting yourself right back where you are and the fact that you know what will keep you healthy and at your lower weight and staying away from it. And the fact that you go back, that’s like, you know, an epitome of the definition of addiction – you know, doing what you should not be doing so.
Yeah, well, I can definitely relate to the addiction part. Because the first time I remember binge eating, I was six years old. And my whole life, I thought, “Oh, it’s just a willpower thing.” And I just kept trying to limit my portions and how much I ate but I always just seem to lose control. And then when I was diagnosed with PCOS quite a few years ago, I said, “Okay, I’m stopping the processed sugar, processed carbs”, and that helped. And over time, I transitioned more to keto. And then like animal-based. We’ve done carnivore months here and there. And then I actually naturally started binging less and less as we went more animal-based. Currently, I think I have a bit of a fruit addiction. It’s that sweet… Like I was listening to you talking about like if you have a mango, you know, you’ll want more fruit. That’s kind of where I am. Currently, I’m trying to limit it. But I’m also pregnant. So I don’t want to just cut it cold turkey completely and have a shock to my body. So I’m trying to taper down the carbs and the fruit every day. But it’s hard every day. It’s a battle to just limit myself to like only 100 grams of carbs. Because I was going on what Paul Saladino recommended the maximum be in one of his videos, and I’m like, “Okay, we’ll start with that, and then go down a little.” He’s smiling because he knows I’m addicted to it. But that’s the whole thing, when you start eating, you just want more and more of it. But it was just fascinating, like the months when we did full carnivore, I didn’t have the urge to binge. And then as soon as I add the fruit back or any type of sugar…
Dr Wiedeman 25:52
So listen to yourself right there. You said, “Oh, it was so awesome. The months we did carnivore.” And then, okay, then we didn’t do carnivore. Why? Because we were doing so awesome and feeling so awesome. But okay, there it is that, you know, I’ve said that, you know… I would notice, like, when my kids were little, I’d have, you know, the big quart of strawberries and I’d, you know, be taking the stem out and rinse them, and every other one went in my mouth, you know. It was just like, the aroma of it was coming off, the sight of it, the firing up in my brain of wanting to chew and taste that strawberry sweet taste. And, you know, same thing with a mango, I’d be like, “Alright, I’m gonna have half a mango.” And then the other half is sitting there. And I’m like, “might as well just finish it”. So I don’t think about it anymore. And that’s like, let’s say the healthy aspect of the addiction. We’re talking about fruit, but it’s like I tell people, I was like “I can’t eat half of a cupcake. I’m not moderating cupcakes.” And I also, for me, “I cannot moderate nuts. I can’t moderate dried apricots, they’re like candy. I can’t moderate anything.” I just, I can’t moderate anything where the taste is sweet. Because it just keeps firing to eat more. And, you know, you feel great without it, then don’t eat it. You know, and once you stop it, the cravings eventually go away. And that’s a beautiful thing. At least the physical cravings go away, there’s still that memory and that mental, you know, thought process of “oh my gosh, boy I love nectarines”, and you know that that kind of thing. But, you know, it’s just not in my life. And I don’t even go into the produce section of the store at all. You know, really the temptation is the hard part, and I tell people this with you know, there are people who are addicted to chocolate candy, you know, that whole thing. And it is in our faces everywhere. I mean, you go to a hardware store to buy a hammer, and there’s you know, M&Ms and you know all sorts of stuff in front of you at the cash register all the time, like everywhere you go, so that’s why I say this is such a difficult thing to overcome like if you know it’s not healthy you know, you feel better without it, you know, you don’t want to eat it anymore. But it’s so hard because it’s always in your face like, you know, you go to a party or you go to a family holiday event or you go to buy a hammer or you’re in the grocery store, the first thing, you know, you walk in and from floor to ceiling, they’ve got potato chip displays and they’ve got, you know, whatever cool drinks yeah and their house-baked goods, the cinnamon crumb cake right there. And you know that here, you walk into a mall and here we have this thing that’s called an Auntie AM’S or something and I swear they pipe the aroma of this yeast pretzel these big large pretzels that they’ll either you know have in cinnamon sugar or all different types of them but the aroma of this yeast pretzel is like literally in you. You walk in and it just hits you like, it instantly starts triggering the thoughts, so it’s everywhere. So that’s why this is really one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. Because with alcohol, you know, you can literally avoid it, you know, you don’t go in a bar. You don’t hang out with your friends and drink anymore. You don’t have it in your house and it’s not at every checkout counter, you know, where you are. But if somebody knows that you’re a recovered alcoholic, nobody walks up to you at a family event or a party or at work and says, “Oh my God, you got to try this. This is the most awesome Cabernet, you’ll ever try”, you know, like, nobody’s pushing it on you like they are with food. It’s like, “oh, I just baked this just for you”, or, “oh my gosh, you’ve gotta try this” You know, and it’s pushed on you because people don’t actually (just like you said), they don’t realize that it is an actual addiction. So I say it would be similar to a recovering alcoholic being a bartender as a job. That’s kind of like an equivalent… you’re always in it, surrounded by it, bombarded, you know, with it. And it’s really so important to get it out of your life, because it will lead to gestational diabetes, you know, you gotta be careful about this stuff. Because this is really, you know, serious stuff. Fructose is not meant to, you know… glucose, sucrose, fructose, it’s all not ideal in our bodies.
Yeah, it’s not at all.
So I was having a debate with some of my family the other day. And they were talking about macular degeneration. And I was sort of saying to people that “No, I don’t think it’s, you know, more screen time and these sorts of things”, because it started picking up much earlier than there were fluorescent lights and screens. And so, they were blaming the more modern influences, like people are being on their phones too much, and that we have too much bright light as the reason for the increase in macular degeneration. So I want to know what your thoughts on that were.
What are the causes?
Dr Wiedeman 31:46
Yeah, so absolutely not a minuscule thought in my mind that it’s caused by screen time. 0 inclination to think that there’s any truth to that. If any of your listeners are interested, truly about macular degeneration, and the causes and how to prevent it, or halt the progression, if you currently have it, put it in your show notes, cureamd.org. So it’s C.U.R.E.A.M.D.org. And Dr Chris A. Knobbe, just has an incredible website. And he pretty much has done like eight years of research. And he is 100% sure, as I also feel that that’s my opinion, 200% sure that it all comes down to our diet, the food we eat, and that in 1900, macular degeneration was rare. Like one in 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of people. Now it’s one in three for people over 80, you know, and one in 11 people over 50. I mean, it’s huge, and what has changed, and he lays it all out in that website, he’s got some great embedded videos you can click on and actually look at the science and the studies and showing that Procter and Gamble pretty much came out with trans fats in 1911. And, you know, prior to that, heart disease was extremely rare. And macular degeneration, there were like a couple of cases. And now it’s like exploded, and it has to do with processed foods and all of the seed oils, canola oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, you know. I tell people “don’t put a speck of oil in your body, avoid it like the plague, and you will prevent macular degeneration.” And there are 20,000 people every day diagnosed with macular degeneration. I mean, it’s really at epidemic levels. And I was wrong with one in three people over the age of 75, not over the age of 80, 1 in three over 75 have a diagnosis of macular degeneration. I mean, when you think about it, that’s crazy numbers.
Dr Wiedeman 34:31
And I really, I say that the trifecta of what you need to avoid is sugar, grains, and seed oils and I feel if people just did that… I know this whole thing of carnivore seems ridiculously crazy and restrictive to so many people with no vegetables and no fruit. But you know, the fruit is a whole thing as far as the addiction side of it, but that’s another story but you know, realistically if those three categories were eliminated from a diet, then there would be so much improvement in health, you know, without feeling like you have to go to the extreme. But, again, nobody wants to do that, unless you have your “why”, you know, nobody. But you know, I just think, year by year, decade by decade, people are sick. I mean, I have patients that come in, and they’re sitting there in my chair, and they’re like, “Ah, don’t get old, everything started falling apart when I turned…” whatever they say, “65 When I turned 60 to 70.” And I’m like, I’m thinking to myself, well, unfortunately, we as a population are just going along our, you know, our way through these decades, your 30s, your 40s, your 50s, and then all of a sudden, it catches up because there’s so much inflammation. Those seed oils, they absorb into the walls of our cells. We have a lipid membrane, and they absorb and they stay there for a long time. There’s about a 600-day half-life. So what you eat, you eat french fries, you eat potato chips, you eat mayonnaise, and salad dressing, right? That seed oil stays in there, if you stop right now, and don’t have another speck of it, 600 days from now, half of that is still in your body of what you’ve been putting in. I mean, it’s so, you know, and I feel like if people actually watched those videos or watched Chris Knobbe videos that are on that website, and it’s not just for macular degeneration, that translates into everything: diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer… It’s just how your body happens to express the damage from inflammation, and you know, some people it’s, you know, their eyes and some people it’s their heart. So, but you know, it’s so difficult getting the word out and getting anybody to pay attention who isn’t at that point yet in their life where they have their why.
That makes sense. To some people, it shows up in their skin, like I have skin problems, and even though I’ve cut out seed oils and stuff, it’s like, what, three years now. And I even like cut out pork and like mostly chicken because of the higher Omega-6 in there. I think it’s still going to take a while for everything to get out of my system, and how to really see all the benefits from cutting it out. Because people always want it to be a quick fix. Like “Oh, you’ve given it up for a month, and I don’t see a difference.” So it wasn’t that. But as you said, you know, 600 days, just the half-life, you have to give things time, especially seed oils.
Dr Wiedeman 38:02
Yeah, and I say to people, it’s so funny, like just what you said, people say “Well, I’ve done it for a month and I don’t notice a change.” Well, you know what, you’ve done the other thing for 30 years and now you expect 30 days to, you know, flip it around like that. Now, I say that at a minimum, you’ve got to do it for 90 days. You gotta get through the transition period, you gotta get through adaptation and your body is going to figure out “oh, we’re not getting that garbage anymore. Let me figure out what to do with this really good nutritious food and start healing”. Because, you know, the body is remarkable in its ability to heal, but it’s only in the presence of proper nutrition and I know there’s so much conflicting noise out there and you know, I’m sure most of the people that are listening to your podcast aren’t people who are vegans and vegetarians but you know there’s probably plenty of people who couldn’t imagine being at the extreme where I am. I mean, I’m just, you know, a little over 13 years now of eating meat, seafood, and eggs. I did and do and sometimes in and out include cheese and heavy cream and sour cream, they’re all, you know, still animal products but, for me, I’m at the next level where I’m like, I realised that’s gotta go too, and it’s funny because there’s a saying where “the one thing that you most don’t want to give up is the one thing you most need to give up.”
I can relate with the dairy. I stopped dairy at the beginning of the year and now being pregnant. One of my biggest pregnancy cravings is cheese but I’m a little stubborn at this point because it’s been four months already. And I just don’t want to give in because I know that I can easily lose control when it comes to dairy products and I quit it to see if it would help my skin.
Dr Wiedeman 40:06
Yeah, dairy does tend to be inflammatory for many and also cause skin issues for many, you know. Ultimately, you know, once you’re through pregnancy and nursing, you should, you know, seriously do a total like 90-day elimination. And you know, some people say, “do beef, salt and water for 90 days and see what happens and see what clears up and then see what you can add back in”, then add in eggs and say, “Okay, this is still good, I’m not reactive or allergic to eggs”, and then say, “alright, let me you know, add in other types of meat, and let me add in seafood.” And then at that point, if everything’s still awesome, you could say, “alright, let me see if I can add in avocado.” You know, there are very limited things that I would, you know, from what I know, and from how I feel, and from all of the different pretty much scientists and physicians that are out here talking about this topic about, you know, the toxins in plants, and they’ve got toxins that are meant to protect themselves from being eaten by us. So why am I putting that in my body? It’s like, you know, and I don’t really crave vegetables. I mean, I really only like vegetables if it had melted butter or cheese on it. You know, I’m not thinking like Brussels sprouts is really not this thing that I crave. But man when I’m hungry, uh, grilled ribeyes, that’s amazing. You know, I mean, you know, pretty much ribeye New York strips, and ground beef. I don’t know if you call it mince there. But yeah, that’s the majority. And it’s, every time, I don’t get bored. People say, “Oh, my God, it is so boring, I could never do that.” Well, you know? Yeah, compared to the way the standard diet is, it could seem like it could be repetitive and boring, but repetitive is amazing. I mean, it really is when you’re repeating something that makes you feel good and keeps you at a real nice lean, you know, healthy body weight. And you’re on no meds and really your skin issues are gone. How boring is it to eat delicious beef when you get hungry, you know? I say: “You know what’s boring? It’s boring to go stand in line at the pharmacy, it’s boring to wait in the waiting room at the doctor. It’s boring to sit there for hours trying to research on the internet how to solve my problem.” To me, there’s just no trade-off to saying it is boring and, and I tell people, you have to change your relationship with food, it’s no longer entertainment, you don’t do it out of boredom, out of stress out of, you know, any other reason other than “wow, I am really hungry. And boy does that steak sound good right now.” Because if it doesn’t, then you’re not hungry enough. And if you’re getting up to eat for any other reason, then it’s wrong, you know, it’s not going to lead you to, you know, because I tell people you can overeat on carnivore, for sure. You know, if you’re in the same habits of, you know, eating when you watch TV, eating when you’re bored, eating when you’re stressed. I mean, you could, you know, people go to town on the pork rinds and the bacon and, you know, you could just really keep going and you know, gain weight. You can, because you’re not changing your actual relationship with food. And that’s really part of it, aside from the first hurdle of, you know, getting all those foods out of your diet. And then the next one is really kind of just figuring out that food is no longer… It’s not entertainment. It’s, you know, and then sometimes, like, if I’m going to a social event, and I’m not so sure what’s going to be there, I just eat ahead of time. And then when I’m there, if there is something that I can pick at that is meat or seafood or eggs, then fine, but other than that, I can just go and enjoy, you know, the people and the laughs and the fun and the talks and, you know, it doesn’t have to be about putting food in my body that I know is not making me feel great. And it’s hard, though. It’s hard. It’s hard because these situations happen over and over. And they’re triggers. You know, I call them triggers because people get triggered. You know, you’re at a wedding, huh? Look at that wedding cake. Everybody’s raving. It’s the best wedding cake they’ve ever had and it’s now in front of me. You know, and that’s a trigger, but I tell people you gotta look at that. You know, it’s not that I can’t have it, I choose not to have it. I know what it does to my, you know, insulin and my glucose and inflammation. I know sugar feeds cancer cells because cancer cells are so metabolically active and the most medical, you know, their favoured source of energy is sugar. And you just get that in your head that you know what, even though this appears normal in our society, eating that big block of wedding cake is totally not normal. You know, it’s just not it. And that’s where I say it has to be the change in really a whole change in your relationship with the food. You have to look at it as a drug and because it’s very difficult to get on. And then the same thing with the fruit, I’m telling you, it’s like it will perpetuate you craving the sugar and wanting more fruit and you’re in the store and like, “Oh, look these are on sale.” And oh, well, I can’t limit my carbs too much, I better get them and you can convince yourself, you know, but, you know, there’s plenty of people, you know, Kelly Hogan went through three pregnancies, totally carnivore.You don’t need the single gram of carbohydrates, you just don’t, you know. Ancestrally, you know, that’s the way it was, we don’t need it. So. But again, you know, it’s very, very difficult. I’m not here to say that, you know, “oh, just do this and everything’s great.” It’s very, very difficult.
It’s definitely very difficult. But what I found is, with the restrictions, with everything we’ve cut out so far, it actually gives you freedom in a lot of ways. Because for me, when I look at the slice of cake, I just think that’s just not worth it, it’s not worth my skin breaking out. It’s not worth the digestive discomfort I’m gonna feel and any other negative side effects. So that quite helps. Um, it makes me think, there’s this book by Jocko Willink, called “Discipline Equals Freedom.” And for me, I found the most food freedom when I cut out the most foods. So when I cut out the seed oils and the grains, because you walk in the store, and those foods aren’t options anymore, I don’t look at the chocolates or the chips and think, “oh, I want that.” I just walk past them, because it doesn’t even count as food anymore. Or even nuts and things like that. And that actually gives a lot of freedom. Like when we go shopping, it’s quick. We go to the meat section and the fruit section, but hopefully one day also just the meat section, and you go pay and you’re out. You don’t have to look at all the stuff and consider everything. It’s quick. And the other night, we went out to a restaurant with friends. And one of our friends was taking like 20 to 30 minutes trying to decide what to eat. And it was so frustrating for him. And we were just laughing because, for us, it was easy, we got a steak and asked for it rare and we could enjoy the rest of the night. And we didn’t have to spend so much time worrying about what we were going to eat. It was actually quite freeing for me.
Dr Wiedeman 48:25
Yeah, and you know, you’re fortunate I’ll bring this up too that you have each other on board with this because I have so many situations where people are, you know, feeling very alone in their family with this scenario that, you know, and are surrounded still by the foods that everybody else is still choosing to eat. And I tell people “you have to get that stuff out of your house if you have a really strong addiction. You can’t have that stuff in your house.” I was in a similar situation. And I did not want to dictate what anybody else ate. I was hoping I could lead by example. I did with my kids, they were young at the time, like, instead of making pancakes anymore, I was trying to do like the almond flour or the coconut flour thing, trying to get rid of the wheat and I was trying to make changes but they were so engrossed in you know, pasta and pizza and you know, the standard ice cream at night and all that that it made it very difficult for me and that’s part of the reasons why I run groups, it is to bring a community together. Right now, twice a week, I have a great big Zoom room of people who have become their own support community and you know, it’s just great to talk with other people, like-minded people, all who have come to this, and especially people who are feeling rather alone. Let’s say they have no friends that are even keto or carnivore, they have no family. And not only do they not have family that’s eating this way, but I call them all naysayers. They’re actually kind of trying to sabotage. And even though you’re looking better, you’re feeling better, they’re so eager to say, “you can’t possibly do that the rest of your life”, “you can’t possibly think that’s healthy”, “you can’t possibly think you’re not gonna get a heart attack, eating all that beef and bacon and eggs”. You know, it’s like, you’re constantly getting barraged by that kind of noise, that it’s so helpful having a community and to talk to and work through these issues and just, you know, be each other’s support group because addiction is very isolating. And addictions love solitude. And that’s why I try to, as best I can, just tell people “just get involved in a group and talk and be active”. It ends up that most of the people that have come to my groups are people that have realised through their lives that this is a total problem. This sugar taste is a sweet addiction, and they want out, they want to be done because it’s so freeing once you’re truly done with it. For me, it’s like, hmm, “should I have a steak? Or should I have some ground beef? You know, and then the next meal, to open the fridge, what do I have? What do I need to defrost? That’s it, and cook it. And really, I cook it within a maximum of 10 minutes, you eat, you clean one plate. And, you know, a lot of times I grill and that’s it, it’s so freeing, it’s so easy, and it’s so healthy.
Dr Wiedeman 51:58
And, you know, until you actually experience it, you can’t imagine it because I know for me, back when I just kind of was starting to get in my head like, you know, there was Atkins and then there was, you know, the low-carb movement, but just to not eat my toast with my eggs, I was like “Oh, no toast? No toasted bagel? I don’t know if you have bagels there, but we have these amazing bagels here. I had such a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that this stuff that I’ve been eating all my life as a kid like make toast, have toast, bread, sandwich, all of a sudden is like “nope, not healthy.” Not only is it not healthy, it’s actually really addictive. Because bread turns to sugar, it breaks apart carbohydrates that all break down into sugar. So it doesn’t matter whether it’s a piece of bread or a piece of chocolate, it still kind of hits you the same, but it’s hard. It’s hard because we’re so you know, it’s a culture. Part of who we are is what we eat as we grow up from the time we’re little kids. And you know, unfortunately for me, I grew up you know, riding my bike to the, you know, the little 5 and 10 candy store with my little girlfriends, you know, probably 6,7,8 years old, you know, a few blocks down, and going to get the Pixy Stix and the gum and it’s like that, you know, I know that that’s where it all starts. And you know, then it’s Halloween and Easter and you know, Christmas and candy, candy, candy and cookies and you know, crap that just gets you fired up and keeps going. And then well, of course, fruit is good for you, so you know, you try to say “I’m gonna have fruit for dessert and I’m not going to have ice cream” and that’s all well and good except it still perpetuates that craving and just doesn’t work well for people who have any sort of problems they want to heal from or addictions to it.
Dr Wiedeman 54:05
Yeah, not that I want to harp on your fruit issue but…
Yeah, I’m quite lucky because I’m very good at moderating and I’ve never really had an emotional connection to food… never. So even before I discovered this way of eating, I’d eat the same thing over and over again every day and it didn’t really matter to me and it was sort of just the thing that would be the least effort for me to get through.
Dr Wiedeman 54:33
So you’re coming from an angle where you’ve never had a weight problem and never had a health issue diagnosed with arthritis or anything like that, right? So, have you come on board because she was kind of… and you’re like “alright, I don’t need to eat these green beans anyway, who cares?” Like
I was kind of the frontier on carnivore.
I convinced him to quit sugar. He was eating so much sugar when we met. It was convenient. You know, he was living with his parents. That’s what his mom bought. And it was just what was the easiest. I’ve been obsessed with health ever since I was a little kid. Unfortunately for a while, I was listening to the low fat, eat six meals a day, that kind of thing. But then when I was officially diagnosed with PCOS, we were already dating, and then I said, “Okay, now I’m quitting sugar”, and he quit with me. And so, then he started running with it. And then he came home one day, and he’s like, “Well, I heard about this carnivore diet thing, I’m gonna give it a try.” So the day after our wedding, we started the carnivore diet, our first month of doing that, because I had some problems with my period, like, it wouldn’t stop for a year and a half, I didn’t stop bleeding for a year and a half, quite weird. And then we did the month of carnivore and it stopped, which was wonderful. Um, so he kind of got me into the whole carnivore thing. I got him interested in how diet affects your health. And now, you pretty much know more than me at this point. That’s been cool, he’s helped me a lot.
Yeah, so I’ve done a six-month period with just meat and salt. Red meat, basically. Maybe bacon here and there. So yeah, I definitely know what it feels like to go for long periods of time with just meat and it does feel really good. Yeah, and then fruit, for me, I like having it before I’m about to do something really anaerobically intense. So I’ll play ultimate frisbee or hockey. And so, I’ll normally try and time that for right before that. But other than that, yeah, as soon as I make a decision, then the decision is made, you know. It’s not like I can feel the draw so I can feel how fruit has that pull on you. So I can experience the, like desire. I’m very good at like sort of removing myself from that desire and sort of controlling it. But yeah, in July, I want to go back to just meat and salt and water.
Dr Wiedeman 57:19
So prior to you doing that, you know, whatever the intense aerobic activity that you’re about to do, and you have the bit of fruit, right, so you’ve done it also without having the fruit?
Yeah, I have done it.
Dr Wiedeman 57:35
I’m only asking because, for me, I ended up running for half marathons powered pretty much by ribeye, and all on carnivore, and you know, everyone’s like, “Oh, you got to carb load and you got to this, you got to that, now I trained for four half marathons just not eating a speck of fruit, you know, nothing. And would my time have been better had I had fruit right before the race? I don’t think my body would know what to do with it at this point. But yeah, I felt like there was no necessity for it. But you know, I see Saladino who’s out there and he’s surfing for three hours and then working out and he can evidently, I guess his body tolerates the amount of fruit and honey he eats. I just, you know, for the average person and for anybody who has any sort of predilection for sweets, I think it’s the worst advice to have anything with the tastes of sweet… no fruit, no honey, no artificial sweeteners, just get it out. It’s not necessary. It’s not a requirement for health. And, you know, again, you’re fortunate you’re able to moderate and you’re healthy and you have no diagnosis. So it’s working well for you. And, you know, I don’t see there’s any reason why you should need to absolutely change from that. Especially, it seems like you’re mainly carnivore, but just a little fruit before you do some intense exercise.
Yeah, so it’s when I’m doing something like cycling or running or something that’s a very long-distance activity that’s going to be very like repetitive and rhythmic, then I don’t feel the need for any fruit because your body kind of gets into that zone and you can use your aerobic energy systems and you sort of fire on that the whole time very easily. Like I can do that with no food basically. I can cycle like 40 kilometres with no food eaten that day. It’s very easy. But as soon as I have to do the sprints like these maximal output, sprint repeats, so you’re not sort of in this rhythm, you’re always stopping and starting and sprinting and it’s changing directions, sprinting again. I just noticed that I could get a few more kilometres out of a frisbee session. Because I’ll track on my GPS, I’ll see how far I run in a Frisbee session or in a hockey session, and I notice I could get one or two kilometres more in a session if I just had a little bit of fruit before.
Dr Wiedeman 60:18
Yeah, so I think for somebody doing some intense activity like that, that’s totally fine. You know, because your body’s burning it up. Well, thanks for having me on. This has been great. I appreciate the opportunity to talk and spread my word of, you know, a lot of it for me is the macular degeneration. It makes me so sad when, you know, just last week, I diagnosed another person with macular degeneration, showed them the picture of the back of their eye, and they’re like, “oh, my gosh, what can I do?” And yeah, get ready for this. Go to this website and start going down the rabbit hole.
Do you think a carnivore-type diet can help with glaucoma as well? Because I have people in my family that have glaucoma, and they’ve been worried about it.
Dr Wiedeman 61:13
Yeah, I’ve had people report to me that, you know, as a side effect, they went carnivore, let’s say, for PCOS or for whatever reason, and then they’ll write to me because they know I’m an eye doctor. And they’ll say, “Wow, so awesome. I was also borderline, you know, a glaucoma suspect. And now when I’ve been going to the doctor, my pressure is normal, and they’re not going to put me on meds” or some people have gotten off meds. So I just think, you know, to me, I just say it has the opportunity to heal everything. I don’t feel it’s going to reverse somebody who has scarred visual damage from end-stage macular degeneration, I’m not saying that this is a miracle. This is just something for everybody to understand and know that you can help the progression or prevent things and you know, the same thing with glaucoma, there’s a certain amount of nerve damage that is sometimes done and vision loss that happens and I’m not thinking you know, going carnivore is going to reverse that. But I do feel like it will potentially halt the progression of it. You know that and that’s the key and especially, you know, people who have a family history of any of this stuff, you know, cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, get on board with this healthy ancestral way of eating that removes all the toxins out of our food system, and just live a very fun, healthy, active life.
All right, thank you so much. Thank you for coming on to our podcast.
Dr Wiedeman 62:46
Send me the link when you’re when you get it and I’ll promote it on my Instagram. If anybody wants to get in touch with me, it’s @carnivoredoctor on Instagram with the word spelt out. And my YouTube channel is “CarnivoreDoctor” And also, my email is carnivoreDoctor2020@gmail, if anybody wants to get in touch as far as doing group coaching, I have people around the world. I have people in Italy, the UK and Singapore. And so, it’s really kind of interesting. It’s so fun having so many different people join together with the mission to get healthy.