Dr. Paul Saladino makes a great case for the carnivore diet and lifestyle in the original book. I will write a detailed review about that dense and thought-provoking eye-opener of a book at a later date.
I was really excited about the new cookbook because I was basically expecting a lot of delicious ways to cook meat and lamb and perhaps hopefully find a way not to destroy all of the Ribeye steaks that I’ve been cooking for the past two months. It did start to turn out better as of late, but my results haven’t been consistent. Unfortunately, it’s either way undercooked or way overcooked, and I’ve had to eat it burnt sometimes. Oh, it’s so frustrating to me as a new Fasting-Carnivore (it’s been 61 days today).
I had a “Duh!” moment as I was watching a Jamie Oliver steak preparation video when he mentioned that I need to tell the butcher that I need a double steak because they cut it too thin by default and the only result I’m going to get is well done no matter what I do. I was just dumbfounded by the obvious explanation. Alas, I will have to see about that the next time I raid the meat section at the supermarket or local butcher shop because my freezer is full of those thin Ribeyes.
I have been getting excellent results, however, by using the frozen Ribeye in the Airfryer method discovered by Bella, the steakandbuttergal. I am yet to try reverse sear my steaks but that is my very next experiment after I finish my current stretch of 14-day extended fast.
In the first part of the new cookbook, Dr. Saladino recaps pretty much the entire “Carnivore Code” book, and he does such an excellent job that I almost think that I can just ask everyone to read the first part of this follow up cookbook to get a great really fast summary of the original Carnivore Code book because it’s so overwhelmingly dense with scientific and medical information.
I’ll try to overview the original book real quick for some necessary background.
The basic argument is that mankind has been eating meat and animal products throughout the two million years of the evolutionary history of our species and that eating animals had a major role in the development of our biology, especially in the smaller size and composition of our digestive system and the enlargement and rapid growth of our human brains.
Animal organs and meat are the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. The original and ultimate superfoods. Our ancestors were always prioritizing animal-based foods during times of abundance and they completely disregarded plant-based food where there were plenty of animals to hunt and eat. Plants were consumed only during times of scarcity and only as a means to survive hunger and lack of animals to hunt.
There’s a lot of BS out there about early humans being herbivores eating plants which does not make any sense whatsoever. Humans have always been omnivores by necessity and they’ve always prioritized hunting and eating animals to chewing on leaves, roots and fruits. Pound for pound red meat or organ meat is vastly superior to any plant food; it’s not even close.
Apparently developing agricultural and transforming to mass consumption of grains and roots allowed the creation of the first human society and planted the first seeds of civilization, pun intended. But it came at a cost, for apparently the size of the pre-agrarian brain was 1500cc and it shrank to 1350cc after the widespread of agricultural practices. Jared Diamond, the author of “Guns, Germs, and Steel,” famously called the turn to agriculture “the worst mistake in human history.”
There’s a lot of science and research to back up all the claims Dr. Saladino makes in both of his books. The reference index in the original Carnivore Code book is almost 25-30% of the text. But he’s not alone in pointing out these now slowly unfolding truths. There’s a whole entire movement aimed at educating the public about the nutrition lies we were told all of our lives.
In today’s world, apparently, there are hords of woke global warming and environment conscious politically-correct vegans who decry the cruelty of animal-based food consumption. It’s pointless to debate these people because they are completely oblivious to the frailty of their argument and the unbelievable amount of adverse health effects they bring upon themselves.
Dr. Saladino quotes plenty of research to articulate the extent of the incurred damage to the health of modern day vegetarians and vegans. “Contemporary vegans and vegetarians are also known to have lower levels of many nutrients found in meat and organs like iron, zinc, selenium, manganese, riboflavin, creatine, carnitine, choline, carnosine, and vitamin K2, and studies show that when those who shun animal foods in their diet are supplemented with creatine, they become smarter, demonstrating improved scores on tasks of verbal memory, recall, and mathematical tasks.”
I am from a culture that eats plenty of plant foods and l’m personally in love with lots of my home country Egyptian dishes, but we add meat to pretty much every single one of those dishes. Even, one of the staples of Egyptian food culture “Falafel” is extremely delicious when fried with a filling of cheese or pastrami and it’s considered like next level yumminess. I look at the things vegans post online and it makes me really sad. I am not afraid to say it, but in my culture, vegetarianism and veganism are closely associated with poverty and extreme malnourishment. The information about the inadequacies of plant-based diet don’t surprise me one second.
By the way, and for the record, no one should EVER eat Falafel made like THAT… ever! It’s sacrilegious!
Sadly, our information about food and what is healthy had been distorted and manipulated by bad actors in politics, the scientific community, and the food manufacturing industries. The resulting trends of promoting low-fat, low cholesterol, high carbs, high sugar, high vegetable oil, and highly processed food intake have led to high rates of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and a host of horrible diseases.
The Fat-Heart hypothesis was started 70 years ago and the US government with the American Heart Association (AHA), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Institute of Health (NIH) convinced the American public and the rest of the world that dietary fat and elevated LDL-Cholestrol are responsible for heart disease and vilified red meat, saturated fats, full fat dairy, and salt. Based on the scientifically questionable epidemiological evidence provided by Ancel Keys and his infamous 7-country study, the food pyramid was cteated, and we were told to load up on carbs and sugar, replace saturated animal fats with polyunsaturated oils, vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils, and transfats, all while drinking tasteless skimmed milk. You can read about the entire history of this decadeslong shitshow and the powerful powers that steered the world into a doomed life of excessive consumption of sugar, carbohydrates, and vegetable oils in the extensively researched Lisa Teichols book “The Big Fat Surprise.”
Now, here is the thing. To be quite honest, I wasn’t too impressed with the cookbook. I was put off by the “less toxic fruits and vegetables” argument made in the new book. I don’t know what to do with what I consider, from my limited personal perspective, an about-face regarding incorporating fruits and vegetables into a carnivore diet.
Frankly, my initial thoughts were that it is somehow an attempt to appease critics or appeal to a wider audience that is still too apprehensive about making serious changes about their everyday diet. I thought Paul Saladino buckled under pressure from the vegan attacks or something, LOL. But, in all honesty, I do believe that Dr. Paul Saladino is coming from a place of conviction and a true mission to heal people through correct, evidence-based, and science-conscious nutritional knowledge.
I don’t personally agree with everything that he’s promoting, though. I am still not at all willing to start eating raw organs. This is going too far for me personally, at least for the time being, as I certainly do not know how my pallette will change with a sustainable carnivore diet in the future.
There was another aspect of the book that I found underwhelming. I am no stranger to organ meat at all. I am Egyptian and my Mediterranean/Middle-Eastern heritage highly values organ meat and it is a staple of the standard diet in my hometown of Alexandria, Egypt. Alexandria-style chopped liver is a famous and well-appreciated delicacy in the Middle East that many try to imitate and fail miserably for some reason. Muscle meat, Liver, Heart, Kidneys, Spleen, Brain, Intestines, Stomach, and pretty much anything nose-to-tail is being cooked and consumed in a multitude of ways fried, boiled into a stock, made into Bone Broth and Cartlidge Broth, cooked with all sorts of vegetables in signature dishes. Nit to firget, there’s the unbelievably delicious stuffing of rice, organ meat, raisins, and roasted nuts into roasted pigeons, chicken, turkey, and lamb. I was seriously astonished by how my food experience seems vastly superior to the western palette regarding how to consume ruminant animals. I think Dr. Saladino should visit Egypt, Lebanon, and Dubai and start sampling the multitudes of Middle-eastern dishes that incorporate every single piece of an animal into every possible imaginable combination with other foods. It might not be entirely carnivore-ish, and it might need to be re-adjusted to rid it of all the vegetable oils and grains and inflammatory plants, but… dude! You’re missing out!
Anyhow, back to the point of the new book advising people who are “metabolically fit” to incorporate fruits, some types of less toxic vegetables, some roots, and honey into their carnivore diet. It is part of the #Remembering of the original way human beings are supposed to eat, the real ancestral way of eating that is entirely comprised of animal-based food and the occasional incorporation of limited portions of seasonal fruits and honey. I have a problem with that!
I personally don’t have a problem eating limited amounts of fruits and vegetables from the permitted non-toxic list provided by Dr. Saladino (and perhaps a few on the toxic list as well) on special occasions, like birthdays and anniversaries, which will be handled during the following recovery fasting period. But those events are seasonal and few and far between. As an example, I took my wife to the Texas De Brazil all-you-eat meat open buffet on her birthday to celebrate. We’ve stuffed ourselves silly with succulent delicious meats and a few salads, fruit juices, and desserts that I can’t at all call carnivore. We had our fun, and the following day I was back on track with intermittent fasting and eating strict carnivore. But this by no means should be construed that I am willing to eat “limited portions” of honey and pineapples every day because I am certain that I will not be able to stop. That is literally impossible for me.
The keywords Dr. Saladino used as a caveat are “metabolically healthy individuals,” and I do think that this is a serious minority in the carnivore community. The vast majority of the people that I find in the Carnivore community online are people who are either morbidly obese, like myself, or who suffered from debilitating autoimmune conditions. Even though I do have a problem with autoimmune skin conditions, I identify the most with the morbidly-obese crowd.
I am not metabolically healthy at all. As a matter of fact, I am a Carbohydrates addict. That is at the core of my metabolic syndrome, my Insulin Resistance, and my obesity. My brain has deeply ingrained pathways that will take a very long time to lose their power over my behavioral patterns. Water by default runs in the deepest grooves and the brain will default to the path of least resistance strengthened by long-established habits.
My mind loves, craves, and responds in torrents of blissful pleasure to the taste of sugar. I am addicted to sugar and complex carbohydrates. It’s worthy to note that I quit using table sugar “sucrose” in any beverages a long time ago, since 2004 actually, but I nonetheless was able to get sugar to sneak into my system and cause permanent insulin resistance through refined carbohydrates like pasta and bread, and fruits.
I have been to this dance before and I KNOW that if I even touch honey or apples I will immediately slip back into old habits. I just can’t stop eating them Iranian Apples they’re insanely delicious, and I will keep eating them as long as they’re in the house, and that won’t be deterred by my so-called willpower. Willpower is bullshit when it comes to addictions and the only way is to avert and avoid temptation at all cost.
I might be inclined to think about incorporating fruits and the less toxic variety of vegetables that Dr. Saladino mentions in his book when I’ve finally reached my target goal in weight loss and body composition and during my maintenance phase, but not sooner.
Dr. Saladino broke my heart with his call to quit coffee. This is where I draw the line. No one touches my coffee. Alas, it’s not doing me any favors, and I do think that I overindulge in my coffee consumption that I’m seriously considering completely quitting coffee somewhere down the line.
The cookbook includes plenty of information about the types of foods that a true carnivore should eat. There’s red meat, of course, liver, kidneys, tongue, spleen, bone marrow, dairy, and honey.
There’s a special section in the book where Dr. Saladino basically nukes one of my most favorite family of vegetables in the entire world: nightshades. That’s basically the entire family of vegetables that gave us heavenly things like tomatoes, eggplant, white potatoes, chili peppers, and bell peppers. Except for white potatoes, which I don’t care for, the rest were until recently my favorite things to cook and eat in the entire world, especially eggplant. I know half a dozen ways to make a delicious meal with eggplant. Peppers are something I relish and cherish in a multitude of ways as well, fried with freshly skinned and chopped tomatoes and a hearty amount of finely chopped garlic. But, Paul Saladino also destroyed garlic for me.
On the bright side, I still get to keep olives, because Olives! He also says avocados, coconut, pineapple, cucumber and zucchini and a few other things are ok as well.
I am willing to make the tradeoff and sacrifice just as long as it helps me get to my health goals. I’m not really sure if I’m going to stay a strict carnivore forever. Maybe I’ll just switch to a Ketogenic diet and swing between the two diets in cycles. Maybe I will keep doing it as long as it works.
My other main problem with the book, and with Dr. Saladino’s approach is his puritan style of Carnivore. He wants everything organic, grass fed grass finished pure authentic non gmo non bullshit through and through, which is not practical or affordable to everyone. His approach actually excludes and antagonizes a lot of people who would have been sold on trying the Carnivore diet.
I prefer Dr. Shawn Baker‘s approach to get what is available to you in the store, get the cheapest cuts of meat on offer you can afford and just get started. Many strict Carnivores actually advocate this and say that the alleviation of autoimmune symptoms, the reversal of insulin resistance, and the significant rapid weight loss happen all the same on the grain fed antibiotics injected nonorganic non consciously sourced cuts of beef.
I can personally attest to that. It doesn’t really matter. You can’t sterilize the entire planet.
I believe that I speak for a lot of people who are trying to reclaim their health when I say that results are the only thing that matters. This kind of puritan approach to food is the main reason I didn’t attempt to go Carnivore two years ago when I first learned about it. I thought it was way too difficult, way too demanding, and way too expensive. I had no problem with it being a restrictive diet whatsoever. I was put off by such argument to source everything from the organic section and grass fed free range everything.
Do not put roadblocks in front of the very people you are trying to help. You can help a whole lot more if you just tell them to make due with what they can get.
When I first started my Carnivore experiment I was not sure I can keep it for long. I just said I’ll try it for a few days and see what happens and then get back to the version of restricted Ketogenic diet I was doing which incorporated OMAD intermittent fasting.
No one told me that I will get instant results after one day.
No one told me that I will be satisfied and satiated with meat on its own that all my cravings will disappear and I will feel completely, utterly, and unquestionably full and satiated on a relatively small portion of meat probably for the very first time in my life.
I was worried the Carnivore diet was going to be prohibitively expensive because I thought I was going to eat the same amounts on my regular way of eating or even on a keto diet, but it was absolutely not the case. Food laden with carbs and sugar costs more on the long run because you eat so much more of it every single day.
(A little caveat. I know that for some people on Carnivore their appetite for meat is insatiable at the beginning until their bodies stabilize and are no longer nutrients deficient they regress to a baseline of normal sustainable appetite.)
I was able to effortlessly transition from 24 hours fasting to doing multiple 3-day fasts, to multiple 5-day fasts, and now I’m doing 14-day fasts. Carnivore diet made it easy, effortless and effective. I feel like I’m cheating sometimes. Losing body fat accumulated over decades by morbid obesity is not supposed to be this fast and efficient. I thought it was going to take me 2 to 3 years, but now even though I’m not entirely sure how long it’s going to take me but I know it’s going to be a hell of a lot sooner.
I maintain that Dr. Saladino’s first book “The Carnivore Code” is a must-read to anyone who wants to reverse their life-long dietary habits to rid themselves of all chronic symptoms and conditions, especially, autoimmune conditions, obesity, insulin resistance, and type-2 diabetes. The Carnivore diet is at its maximum potency when incorporated with a consistent habit of periodic intermittent fasting and extended fasting. You should educate yourself about Intermittent Fasting by reading Dr. Jason Fung‘s “The Complete Guide to Fasting.”
I’m not a huge fan of the Paul Saladino cookbook and despite being a fan I would just advise people to skip it and just read the first book.
I keep thinking of the poor souls who suffer unnecessarily under the torment of chronic conditions that are being treated with a laundry list of medications to treat their condition and other medications to treat the side-effects of the primary set of medications under the supervision of their doctors who are not trained to consider nutrition as the underlying cause of these ailments.
Anecdotal evidence of people completely reversing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and autoimmune conditions like psoriasis by adopting a carnivore diet and intermittent fasting is abounding.
A lot of diseases are possibly managed and even reversed by the conscious switch to ancestral sources of nutrition that prioritize animal-based food, periodic fasting, high-intensity interval training, and exposure to the sun and nature.
Educating yourself in proper health-promoting nutrition and practices is a superior form of knowledge that trumps all others.
You can have all the wealth, power, and resources in the world, but if you don’t have your health, it doesn’t even matter.
Prioritize your health now. It’s the best thing you could ever do to have the strength and stamina to achieve your life goals.
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