I didn't do the seven days properly. By which, I mean, I didn't only eat meat and drink water. I still have coffee, and I have some cream now and then, and little bits of cheese. I found that cutting out all plant foods was extreme enough, without going so strict. Small steps.
I have been largely successful in not having any plant foods - I haven't had nuts at all, I had one tiny seed cracker only, and I added tomatoe paste to my stewed meat, with a bit of garlic because just meat stewed in water was a bit yuck. I tried it, and the family did NOT like it.
Also, in the seven days (which I am continuing now and seeing how it goes) I ate a few spoons of yoghurt, and a few bites of fruit. My son eats fruit and sometimes asks me to have. He loves to share.
I won't beat myself up for the small slip-ups because overall, I did seven days of almost exclusively animal-kingdom foods. Almost exclusively no plants. Around 90% success. Good enough.
And that short amount of almost zero carbs has taught me A LOT. (Which is why I am happy to continue on for a bit longer and see how I go).
- Dairy is REALLY addictive. I didn't think it was until I tried to cut it out. I failed to cut it out. I will try again. I just can't seem to eliminate cream, it's too heavenly. And I found that I was lusting after my son's yoghurt. Also, I realised how sweet cream can taste.
- I thought I was doing high fat, low carb before this, but I was wrong. Meaning, when I cut my food options down to only meat and fat (and the teeniest bit of dairy) I had to up my fat intake in order to feel satisfied. I quickly realised how many nuts, seeds, veg and other things I was consuming in the place of simple fat. And how much dairy too, which is often actually moderate fat (50%, say, or less.)
- I am not actually yet adapted to high fat. My bowel movements told me this very quickly. I got the runs, really bad.
- I am still addicted to cake. Oh boy, even on the meat and high fat, I caved in and had a good few bites of chocolate cake. It was like a force took over my body and made me eat it. Addiction!!!
- I feel very good and clear-headed on higher levels of fat. I was even able to cut my coffee down to two or three cups some days (I usually drink about four or five). Cutting back, for me, is a good thing as I want to cut my coffee down. I don't like being addicted to anything, and I am clearly addicted to coffee. Even the decaf.
- Most meats in the supermarkets are way, way too lean. I never, ever, in a million years thought I'd say that. But when your options are meat and fat, you quickly start to crave fat. I craved fat! Animal fat. Also never thought I'd say that, as I used to be one of those people who felt revolted by the taste and texture of fat on meat. And yet...now I am eating it up with relish because it's satisfying.
- My head burned and was hot and itchy the first five days. I have no idea why that is, but there you have it.
- Preparing vegetables is VERY time-consuming and it's liberating not to HAVE to do it. I don't say that I won't ever eat vegetables again. I like them, and they certainly do add interest and flavour, especially to stews. Onion, garlic and celery for sure. But the freedom of not having to prepare them just because I believe our family needs to eat them...well...it's very freeing to say the least. And cheaper. And makes shopping much easier. I certainly hope the zero-carbers are correct when they say we can be healthy without vegetables.
So, in summary, I liked zero carb enough to continue on. I don't know if I will stick with it, only time will tell. But I feel healthy, I feel good, and my cramping is far less, for some reason, with this way of eating. I will give it another while and let you know. But at least I have proven that I can survive short term without vegetables, and I am going to gym again and my performance is not hampered by the extreme low carbs.