Daniel uses a meat-based carnivore diet with minimal herbs and spices to sustain his fat loss and manage addictive tendencies.
Daniel’s life is an example of personal transformation that can come from taking action into your own hands and dedicating your self to making positive changes.
It takes time and consistency but you can do it!
I hope you as inspired as I am after reading Daniel’s story!
Please introduce yourself briefly with your name, general location, age, height, and current weight.
Hello, my name is Daniel Gilliland and I live in northern California. I am 35 years old, 5”6’ and currently 150 lbs.
How long have you followed a carnivore diet?
I have been 99% carnivore for 9 months, and heavily animal-based keto for 1 year prior to that.
How did you hear about carnivory and the zero fiber approach?
I first heard of the carnivore diet from Dr. Jordan Peterson and his daughter Mikhaila.
What was your first impression about eating animal foods exclusively?
My first impression of this diet was that it was too extreme, too restrictive, and wondered why anyone would want to give up sweet treats.
What made you want to try this WOE for yourself? Where were you coming from at the time?
I found myself becoming more and more animal based as my journey through keto dragged on.
Counting macros, net carbs, and calories was getting old and it made sense to not worry about carbs at all by just eating zero carb foods, while occasionally adding some carbs with dairy or liver.
Was the beginning hard? Was there any unexpected flare-ups or side effects?
The beginning was not difficult for me as I had been doing keto for a while prior to starting carnivore.
I did experience sweet tooth withdrawals for the first 2 months, I was accustomed to low carb candy bars (Quest), mug bread, and other foods sweetened with erythritol, monk fruit or stevia.
Did any symptoms get worse before they got better?
Digestive issues in the beginning were interesting. Joe Rogan described it best on his YouTube channel, saying “Rocketing diarrhea” was a real thing. I agree.
Where did your motivation to keep going come from?
My motivation to continue was from the success I’ve seen in others.
My weight is easily managed and I do not get cranky hunger emotions.
My bank account has also thanked me as this is the most affordable diet I’ve ever been on. I shop at my local wholesale store and purchase whatever I can that’s on sale and in bulk. Usually whole primal cuts of top sirloin, ribeye, chuck roll, and occasionally some pork.
How long until you saw results? What is your marker of “healing”?
I have suffered from gout for my entire adult life starting at the age of 17 until 34. It was common for me to experience gout flare ups 6-12 times per year, lasting from several days to a few weeks depending on the severity.
Switching to carnivore has alleviated all of my gout problems and I remain flare up free for over 9 months now. This is foreign to me but very welcomed.
Were your family and friends supportive of your choices?
My family was skeptical, but impressed with the results. They were aware of how much I suffered from gout, as well as obesity in the past.
I’ve had a few vegan friends raise an eyebrow to my way of eating, but in the end, they are true friends and are supportive of me and my choices for health.
What other diets have you followed, how long were you on them, and what were the results?
I’ve done the keto diet as mentioned previously with great success. My failed diets were calorie counting, weight watchers, juice cleanses and going vegetarian for a brief week.
I have not been able to stick to a diet that wasn’t fat based for more than a month. I always failed.
What did you use to eat before turning to animal-based nutrition?
I was a heavy drinker and an alcoholic following the Standard American Diet (SAD) for most of my adult life. I got sober from alcohol through Alcoholics Anonymous and then began my keto diet to effect real change in my life. New me, new diet, new everything.
What do you eat now? Are you strict meat only? Do you eat poultry, pork, or seafood? Do you eat eggs or dairy (raw or pasteurized)?
I eat mostly meat consisting primarily of Beef, Pork and Lamb. Occasionally I will eat cold water fish like Sardines, Herring or Salmon (fresh caught by me or friends only). Organ meats (liver + kidney) are consumed twice a month, fried in homemade pork lard with plenty of salt. I like meat still pink in the middle.
I raise hens for their eggs and employ a movable chicken tractor that allows them to have fresh grass daily along with supplemental laying feed.
As time has gone on, I have moved further away from dairy and do not eat it as much as when first starting. I don’t care if it is raw or pasteurized, cheese is cheese.
Do you ever use culinary herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, etc) or spices (cinnamon, ginger, hot peppers)? Do you ever add a plant-based condiment like mustard or salad dressing, etc?
I use herbs sparingly. I have an herb garden that I will take from but not often.
Usually, salt only, but sometimes it’s nice to fry up a few sage leaves in oil to add on top of a steak or I’ll sauté fresh garlic. I don’t enjoy herbs as much as I used to.
Do you track macros or calories?
Never. I used to do that while on keto, but now that I am on carnivore my macro tracking has been eliminated.
I follow the hunger signals that my body gives me.
Do you supplement with anything?
No, they are a waste of money in my opinion. Get your nutrition from food. Nose to tail eating is the path to success.
What is your current view on vegetables and plant foods?
I see them as foods that I do not need to eat. I will occasionally eat a piece of fruit from my orchard, or perhaps have some kind of plant in the form of herbs but they are not essential to me.
Do you ever think of reintroducing plant material to your diet? Would you perhaps do so in the future? (Could be anything from herbs to white rice to mushrooms to berries, etc) If you have reintroduced something, what was it and what happened?
I do not see myself eating plants in any significant quantity other than what I mentioned earlier. I am not against plant foods, but I do not look at them as essential food anymore which therefore changes my thoughts about including them in my diet. Perhaps only once or twice a year I might consider having them, and to me that is plenty enough.
Do you ever miss a specific food, meal, or texture?
I don’t necessarily miss specific foods, but I do miss the social aspect of food. To go out and order tacos, or a burger with friends is more than just sustenance to the body. It’s an act of social behavior that I am purposely not participating in. I miss grabbing a bite with people without having to ask to go to a steak house, or look at their menu prior to visiting.
What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
A typical day is steak or slow cooked meat. Pork belly is a close 2nd option.
Do you practice fasting or OMAD?
Yes, I have been fasting long before starting this diet. I think that fasting is great for healing, and is essential to teach real discipline to addicts.
I do not fast as much these days, but I make time for a 72 hour fast at least twice a month, more if I am feeling motivated.
Would you recommend a carnivore diet to someone else and why?
Yes, I suggest it to anyone who asks me for advice. I do not push it without being asked first.
What would you say to someone 2 weeks into a carnivore diet who is having a hard time?
Best tips I can give:
- Eat when hungry.
- Don’t be concerned about digestive issues, they will resolve within 4 weeks.
- Seriously, it’s ok if you didn’t have a bowel movement for 3 days.
- Salt your food more than you think is necessary. You will urinate out any extra sodium.
If someone wants to learn more about your health journey or contact you, where is the best place for them to go?
My Instagram @daniel_gilliland_jr is the best place.
Are you ready to try animal-based nutrition for yourself?