Corey Haines
June 17, 2024

The animal based diet: One year later

In June of 2023 I finally tried an experiment I’d wanted to do for a long time: the carnivore diet.

The first two weeks were a piece of cake. I enjoyed what I ate, felt good, and started to lean out.

But then I had the worst constipation I’ve ever had in my entire life. After a strenuous but successful couple of hours, I bolted straight to grocery store to buy some items that would help guarantee I’d never have that experience ever again.

Dates, bananas, and kefir. All things I googled were good for fiber and digestion.

I continued eating meat and worked in these other items daily. A few weeks later I’m recounting my constipation horror story and solution to some friends and my friends wife says, “Oh, so you’re doing the animal based diet.” I asked what that was and she showed me Paul’s instagram.

“I guess I am! I’ll have to look more into this.”

That’s when I found the food list:

Heart & Soil Animal-Based Food List

And that’s when I learned about what the diet was all about. Toxic vegetables, gut imbalance, the whole 9.

A properly constructed, nose-to-tail, animal-based diet consists of high-quality meat, organs, fruit, honey, raw dairy (if tolerated) and eggs.

People are always taken aback a bit when I tell them I only eat chicken, bananas, dates, and kefir 90% of the time.

Interestingly, my parents were kind of health nuts growing up, and we mostly ate a plant based diet. Pretty much the exact opposite of animal based. And to be honest, I never much cared for it.

Now, my experience is anecdotal. I’m a firm believer in what works for you works for you. Everyone has different sensitivities and preferences and ailments.

We can all agree that some things are universally bad: chocolate, processed fast food, high fructose corn syrup.

But it’s the things that are good that we seem to have a harder time agreeing on.

Is meat good or bad? Is fat good or bad? Is gluten good or bad?

Until recently, 99% of people would agree that vegetables are good. But are they?

That’s what’s so interesting about the animal based diet.

I’m not going to try to argue it one way or another. The truth is, I’m still very much treating this like an experiment.

Here's a more detailed guide to the animal-based diet.

But here’s what I do know for myself so far:

  • Not consuming as much carbs has made it drastically easier to consume much more protein, which has been the key to actually building muscle
  • Not consuming nearly any vegetables or legumes has resulted in being much less gassy and never having any stomach aches or discomfort
  • I don’t feel heavy, bloated, or drowsy after meals (especially after lunch) which has unlocked way more energy, especially in the mid afternoon when I used to feel an energy crash and struggle to be productive
  • I don’t have nearly any cravings and feel very satisfied after meals, the point where, strangely enough, I don’t have time for dessert (crazy I know)
  • I’m able to quickly cook up meals from home that end up being much cheaper to make. Turns out that when your meal mainly consists of meat, grocery shopping becomes much simpler and cost effective.
  • I don’t get tired of eating mostly meat or similar meals. In fact, I look forward to every single meal. Chicken breast and fried eggs for lunch for the 10th time in a row? Hell yeah.

Consuming ~120+ grams of protein per day has finally made it easy to build muscle. Minimal carbs while still in a caloric surplus has made it easy to stay lean. And the fact that I enjoy the diet has made it sustainable.

I do cheat, occasionally. I still love pizza. I still love ice cream (though now I much prefer homemade ice cream with raw ingredients). I still love french fries. And if I’m eating out with friends or family, I’ll get a normal dish.

But what’s been interesting is that it doesn’t feel like cheating. I don’t enjoy the mushiness of “normal” meals anymore. If I get a burger, I’ll ask for it without the buns. If it comes with a salad or soup, I’ll give it to someone else. If it comes with mashed potatoes or noodles or sautéed vegetables, I’ll skip it. And I don’t miss it. I only eat what I enjoy, and what I enjoy is animal based, with just a few exceptions.

So… the experiment continues.

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