By Rebecca Drew
THIS PREGNANT mum-of-two says a MEAT ONLY diet has left her body looking ‘AMAZING’ and slams people who say it’s bad for her baby – admitting she would be ‘CONCERNED’ if any of her children went VEGETARIAN.
Stay at home mum and former nurse, Sara Zielke (26) from Monroe, Wisconsin, USA, grew up with a big appetite eating the standard American diet which was rich in processed foods, junk and sweets but as she was very active and played lots of sports she never struggled with her weight until she had children.
Sara, who is currently 17-weeks pregnant with her third child, noticed that after having her children, Zane (3) and Madisyn (1) that she no longer felt like herself, she struggled to lose weight and fat from her tummy area despite eating healthily and exercising. As well as this Sara was always hungry, moody and tired and suffered from acne, dull skin and knee and ankle pain after working out which is something she never experienced before becoming a mother.
Unhappy with herself, Sara started to research diets that could help her feel rejuvenated and shift the pounds, and the carnivore or meat only diet seemed to fit her needs as she could eat as much as she liked, until she felt full, and still lose weight.
Since going carnivore in October last year, Sara noticed that her acne had disappeared, she regained her abs, had a calmer mood, improved energy levels and no pain in her body. Before falling pregnant again this year her weight went from 11st 4lb to 9st 2lb.
Misconceptions surrounding this diet are that it causes high cholesterol, but Sara says that this isn’t true and at 17-weeks pregnant with her third child says she feels better than ever with more energy than when she was pregnant with Zane and Madisyn.
Sara has reaped so many benefits from eating in this way she admits that she would be ‘concerned’ if her children decided to go vegetarian.
“As far as diet, I grew up eating the standard American diet and I never much struggled with weight as a kid. I have always been very active growing up and loved sports and playing them. I never struggled with my weight until I had children,” said Sara.
“I would eat a lot of pasta, bread, cereal, a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, and a lot of sweets and treats. I always had a very big appetite
“Well after having kids it was hard for me to look at my body in the mirror. I felt like I was holding on to so much weight and fat even though I was trying to tighten up on my diet, eat healthier, and consistently exercise.
“I was always hungry and felt moody and tired all the time. I had horrible acne and dull skin. Also, I would get knee and ankle pain after exercising which I never had before until after having children.
“This is a diet that consists of someone only eating meat and animal products. There is strict carnivore where some people will only eat beef, salt, and water or there is more relaxed carnivore, which is what I do myself, where you can eat a variety of meats, spices, and animal products such as eggs and dairy.
“I have always had a huge appetite and hearing stories of others eating this way, getting to eat as much meat as they wanted and still losing weight and seeing so many health benefits; that was very enticing to me.
“The benefits that I personally have experienced is a satiated appetite, amazing body composition, cleared up and brighter skin, calmer mood, greatly improved energy levels, and absolutely no pain in my body.
“There are many other testimonials that this diet can help with mental health disorders, and many other illnesses and diseases such as: Crohn’s disease, diabetes mellitus, and rheumatoid arthritis, just to name a few.
“I have on very rare occasion eaten some nuts while on this diet. That is the only food that I have tried to incorporate back in at certain times and let’s just say my body did not thank me for it. Typically, my diet consists of a variety of meats, some eggs, and some dairy products.
“I honestly think that my quality of life would be greatly diminished if I was not eating this way. I never imagined that my diet would look like this, but I also never imagined that it was possible to feel this good and for that reason I think I will always eat this way.
“I can’t believe how much energy I have during this third pregnancy of mine. Being pregnant and still taking care of two toddlers you think I would be more tired and low in energy than ever but this is just not the case. The difference cannot be ignored, and I feel very grateful for my body to feel this way.
“I truly believe that eating large amounts of meat, as I have currently been doing, is truly making me feel my best and so I have nothing but high expectations for how I’m going to feel, as a continue through the rest of this pregnancy.
“In all honesty I just eat a wide variety of meats because I love food and I love how it tastes and it makes me feel really good. I would say the only meat that I try to specifically make sure I am getting is beef or chicken liver, while I am pregnant. This organ meat is very high in vitamin A, vitamin B12, as well as folate and iron, which I believe can only benefit my baby and myself as I prepare for labour. Liver is honestly my prenatal vitamin during this pregnancy.
“In all honesty, if my children decided to go vegetarian, I would be a little concerned, knowing what I know now about food. I feel confident though that they would soon realise that eating heavy amounts of vegetables with little or no meat would soon make them not feel very well.
“We as a family, currently eat a very meat heavy diet and my children are thriving. Sometimes experiencing different types of food and how they make our bodies feel is the best sort of education and so I feel like my kids will have some solid ground to start and fall back on when they feel the need to experiment with their diet.”
A typical day of food for Sara looks like three or four eggs for breakfast with cheese or steak, a pound of beef or two to three pounds of chicken or pork for lunch, she will eat dinner if she is hungry but otherwise, she’ll skip this meal. Throughout the day, Sara snacks on pork scratchings and sparkling water.
Her favourite meat to eat is steak as it leaves her feeling fuller for longer, her favourites are; ribeye, chuck eye, sirloin and T-bone.
“One of the hardest things for me about following this diet was giving up all of my favourite sweet treats and eating enough meat. When I first started this diet I was really good about sticking to meat and animal products for two weeks and then it was like all the carb cravings hit me at once and I had several binges eating all the sweet things that I was trying to cut out,” she said.
“It was bad, but after the binges, I just picked myself back up and started again. I found out that if I completed satiated myself with eating meat and ate until I was truly full, then I really had no desire to eat the sweets.
“I would tell anyone who criticises this diet to actually research this diet for themselves. See what is actually in meat and animal products and then tell me if it is bad for our bodies. Meat and specifically beef liver, is the most nutrient dense food that we have on the planet.
“Our bodies are specifically designed to consume large amounts of this food group and many find that they feel the best doing so. The biggest misconception that I have seen about this way of eating is regarding saturated fats and cholesterol.
“We are told that these are harmful to our health when in all reality that is so far from the truth. But don’t take my word for it. Research it all for yourself.
“I want others to see that this way of eating is not strange, unnatural, or crazy strict. It may seem that way to a lot of people who have never experience this way of eating but if you actually tried this diet for yourself you may just find it very liberating and freeing.
“My time is spent so much less in the kitchen yet my body feels better than ever. Traditional human diets, I believe, looked a lot like a carnivore’s diet and so I truly think our bodies will thank us for eating in the end.
“The best advice that I could give for someone wanting to eat this way would be to just eat meat, salt, and water for 30 days and see how you feel.
“Also, make sure that you are never leaving the table still feeling hungry; eat until satiated and that will really close the door on any temptations or cravings. Lastly, give yourself grace, because it’s not always easy to give up things that we love in order to better our health but I promise that if you stick to it, it will be worth it in the end.
“Now on carnivore I eat a wide variety of meats throughout my week such as: steak, ground beef, pork, chicken (usually thighs, leg quarters, or drumsticks). I also like to incorporate about a pound of liver (usually beef liver but sometimes I get chicken liver to change it up).
“As of yet I have not been able to get my hands on anything too unusual as far as meats. The only other type of organ meat that I have tried, besides liver, is heart, which is absolutely delicious to me. In the future I would love to experience eating brain and I also hear that beef tongue is super delicious, so those are on my checklist.
“I supplement my meat with eggs or dairy products (such as cheese curds, cheese sticks, heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, sour cream).
“Exercise is never forced or something that I specifically put aside time for. I still like to run when I am able to take a break from my kiddos and if it’s still warm outside.
“But, for the most part, I just go on stroller walks with my family and lift my kids up and down every day playing and doing things around the house. That’s it! And I honestly feel stronger and more fit than ever! It’s crazy! When I’m not pregnant I also like to do ab work outs. Also, I plan to get back into lifting weights for fun!”