I have recently interviewed Linda Salant AKA The Carnitarian. As an eight-year veteran of the zero-carb carnivore diet and lifestyle, Linda has gained valuable insights and practical tips for staying pain-free on this unique diet. In this interview, she shares her inspiring journey of how she healed several health issues, including UTI, Oxalates, and Lipedema with the carnivore diet.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into Linda’s story, learn about the carnivore diet’s benefits, and discover her tried-and-tested tips for success. Whether you’re considering the carnivore diet or are already a follower, Linda’s experience and advice will undoubtedly prove valuable on your own journey towards optimal health.
A Carnivore Diet Success Story from an 8-Year Veteran: Linda Salant
Linda Salant’s transformative journey on the carnivore diet serves as a powerful testament to the potential healing and health benefits of this unique dietary approach. Through her unwavering commitment and eight years of dedication, Linda has not only experienced remarkable personal transformation but her success with carnivore diet has also become an inspiration for others seeking to improve their health or interested in exploring the carnivore diet.
Watch this interview video below to dive into the inspiring journey of Linda Salant. Join us and discover how this specific dietary paradigm has unlocked the door to vitality and renewed health for Linda, and gain valuable insights that may inspire your own path towards optimal wellness.
Grab my 30-day Carnivore Diet Challenge eBook with all the great tips and tricks that I found to help my health and get started on a carnivore diet journey.
Healing UTI, Oxalates, Lipedema and More: A Carnivore Diet Success Story and Tips from an 8-Year Veteran
How you got into the carnivore diet and what motivated you to do that?
Interestingly, my story starts way back. When I was in college, I learned about ketogenic, protein sparing, or ketogenic diets in my nutrition class, and so I did my final paper on that topic back in 1993. After graduating, I started following the Atkins diet, which puts you in a ketogenic state, and I did that for a really long time.
While doing that, I realized that I was feeling really great, but eventually, I got distracted and went back to the calories-in, calories-out track. I did some heavy cardio and crazy things like the Hollywood diet drink, but I wasn’t feeling so great. Then, after my son was born, I went back to a low carb diet and stuck with a ketogenic diet for about three months.
At some point, the stories of Kelly Hogan and Charlene Anderson popped up in my Facebook feed, and that was my introduction to the carnivore diet. These ladies had transformed, and I thought, “Wow, this is working for them!” I was pretty close to carnivore already, eating a ton of meat and all the low-carb vegetables. So, I decided to cut out the vegetables and do the carnivore diet for 30 days and see how I felt. And it’s been almost eight years now, and I’ve seen tremendous improvements just by cutting out vegetables and nuts.
One of the fantastic advantages of transitioning to a carnivore diet is being able to indulge in amazing, delicious and satisfying meals and eat all the time until you’re completely full. While some may see it as immature to not enjoy vegetables, my body simply doesn’t tolerate them well. I don’t feel great after eating those vegetables. Eliminating them and sticking to the carnivorous diet is perfect for me and I found this way great for my health.
Did you switch to the carnivore diet because you had any specific health concerns, or was it just a lifestyle choice?
Well, for me, doing the ketogenic, low-carb, high-fat diet was helpful in that I had a laundry list of health issues that I was living with and didn’t think were a big deal. These were the kind of things I just used to take painkillers for or put a cream on, and it seems to be a norm when they say, “Oh, it’s normal; you’re in your late thirties and forties.” But switching to the carnivore diet made me realize that those things are not normal and not okay to live with.
I was having major pain on a daily basis from interstitial cystitis and daily migraines, and it felt like a chronic UTI. But when I got tested, there were white blood cells, but there didn’t seem to be any bacteria, so I was inflamed. Sally Norton talks about this, and it falls right into the high-vegetable, low-carb, high-oxalic content diet that I was following with all those low-carb vegetables, spinach, kale, broccoli, etc., and nuts like almonds and peanuts, which are staples of a keto diet. She is one of the pioneers who identified the health problems associated with consuming seemingly healthy foods that contain high quantities of oxalates. This type of diet can lead to a lot of inflammation, and the oxalic content in those foods causes bladder pain, which is what I was experiencing with interstitial cystitis.
Read Sally Norton’s compelling story and discover how she found relief by avoiding these so-called superfoods that are high in oxalate and adopting carnivore diet here.
Another life-changing thing for me was the shift in the amount of swelling I had, especially in my legs. Edema runs in my family, and I had chronic venous insufficiency, where typically people will have varicose veins, and they’ll go have their veins removed. I had both my saphenous veins in both my legs removed because of the heavy legs, pain, swelling and smell that came from my leg. People sometimes call this painful back syndrome because it makes it hard to sit for a long period or even roll over in bed. You bruise easily, and your legs just hurt. This pain was not just muscle soreness, but a deep and constant ache that made it difficult for me to do everyday activities like taking the stairs. This pain was further exacerbated by my condition of interstitial cystitis and other sources of inflammation in my body.
However, since adopting a carnivore diet and incorporating fasting into my routine, the pain in my legs has been minimized in ways that have truly been life-changing. I can now do things like take the stairs without experiencing that deep and constant ache, which is something that I couldn’t do in my 20s when I was always opting for elevators.
Carnivore diet has also helped to reduce inflammation in my body, which was contributing to my leg pain and other health issues. Inflammation is a common problem for those with interstitial cystitis, and it can also lead to issues like varicose veins and faulty bowels so your veins are having a hard time getting blood back to your heart and that causes fluid buildup in your leg varicose vein and tons of smelling. But the carnivore diet combined with fasting have made a tremendous difference in my life, and I’m grateful for the relief they’ve brought me from the pain and inflammation that had been holding me back.
Have you ever been overweight?
No, I was never overweight. However, I did gain a significant amount of weight during my first pregnancy. The weight gain exacerbated my vein issues and drove me to seek treatment. Before my pregnancy, I had a structural issue with my body where I was a size 2 on top and a size 10 on the bottom. This disproportionate distribution of weight, along with the edema and bruising, made me feel uncomfortable and unattractive. It was also depressing and made me not want to participate in activities like going to the beach or being active with friends. My go-to outfit was a long skirt and tank top, which made me feel more confident from the waist up, but my lower body looked like a different person. However, the carnivore diet and fasting have helped tremendously, and now I am able to enjoy the pool with my kids in shorts. It’s been very helpful. I am definitely more proportional now, the dress’s hips fit nicely. I no longer have to buy a size 8 dress and alter it to fit my body shape. It’s a significant improvement from before, where I had to deal with the discomfort and frustration of not finding clothes that fit my body shape properly.
Could you share with us what a typical day of eating looks like for you? What is your eating routine and what foods do you typically consume?
I naturally fell into an intermittent fasting pattern because of my workout schedule. So, I usually start eating around 1:00 p.m. after my morning yoga and workout routine. My typical breakfast consists of a ribeye steak, and later in the day, I’ll have eggs, bacon, a hamburger, or some other type of meat. I try to vary the foods I eat daily to make my diet interesting and it also makes for good Instagram content.
I have been incorporating more nose-to-tail eating, which includes delicious parts of animals I hadn’t been consuming before, such as suet, salmon roe, oxtail, short ribs, heart, liver, and pate. On average, I eat about a pound and a half of meat a day, along with some eggs and extras like suet. I will add in like some suet if I think my steak is too lean. Great things that I love to add are salmon roe and oxtail. Oxtail is like a huge new favorite for me along with short ribs. I particularly love lamb and salmon, and I eat steak almost every day.
Have you ever tried a strict all-beef version of a carnivore diet?
I have never gone that much hardline with my carnivore diet. Although I did try a 30 day beef and water experiment, it wasn’t working out for me. I found out that I can also incorporate cheese and eggs along with meat, which made me more comfortable with the diet. While there are benefits to doing only meat and water, there are times when I cut out cheese or salami to keep the inflammation down. I usually continue to incorporate dairy, eggs, coffee, and tea into my routine as I do not find them to be problematic for me. Sometimes I do notice some minimal inflammation however when I eat too much cheese which lets me know that okay that’s enough with cheese sticks and it’s time to cut back.
It’s great to hear that you are into ballroom dancing, is that something you enjoy doing regularly?
Absolutely, I practice ballroom dance regularly as a dance sport. I do that for about an hour and a half each time at the studio. I also participate in competitions once or twice a year. It’s not only fun but also a fantastic way to relieve stress and stay fit without having to run on a treadmill, which I think is not my cup of tea.
Do people at the ballroom dancing competitions think your diet is strange?
Yes, it becomes funny at times. For example, during the buffet lunch break, I see a huge proportion of raw vegetables on the table and struggle to find something that fits my diet. I load up on grilled chicken and salmon instead of salad and veggies, which surprises others. At dinner, I leave the vegetables on my plate and just eat the meat. When people ask how long I’ve been eating this way, I tell them, and they are usually surprised but supportive.
I don’t share my diet with everyone because it can be socially awkward, especially with the rising concerns about climate change and the impact of meat-eating. Vegetarians and vegans can be passionate about their beliefs and they all believe that they’re doing the right thing. I have also observed that strict veganism can be challenging to sustain over the long term. Lifelong veganism is not even possible and you start falling apart unless you’re cheating on the diet. In my opinion, a carnivorous diet is a great way to eat.
Do you worry about sourcing grass-fed beef and other similar products?
While I’m a proponent of regenerative agriculture and the consumption of grass-fed products, I personally don’t stress about it. In my opinion, people should focus on switching to a meat-based diet for their health benefits and to avoid being part of the prescription society. If you can afford grass-fed products, it’s great, and there are incremental benefits to consuming them. However, conventionally raised meat and eggs can also provide similar benefits, so there’s no need to stress if you can’t always afford the grass-fed option. For me, I consume a pound and a half of meat a day, and buying grass-fed ribeye from a specialty market would be too expensive. So, I purchase my favorite ribeye from my local supermarket, which is conventionally raised, and I don’t stress about the grass finishing or carbon footprint. Ultimately, I think people should do the best they can and not worry too much about perfection in their sourcing.
It’s fascinating to hear from someone who has been a long-term carnivore like you. Have you seen any ongoing improvements in your health after the initial benefits that people typically experience when starting a carnivore diet? Or have the benefits leveled off over time?
Surprisingly, I have been experiencing cumulative benefits, and it’s getting better every year. When I first started, I would occasionally snack on things like peanuts or pistachios, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized they were causing an allergic reaction. Cutting them out completely has made a big difference. I noticed improvements right away with my menstrual cycle, as my PCOS symptoms resolved within three months of starting the diet. And over time, I have seen improvements in things like painful fat swelling and strength gains. I am now in the b22223eetujhest shape I have been in since my 20s, and I no longer experience daily anxiety or social anxiety. As more people learn about the carnivore diet, I feel more comfortable sharing it with my friends. It can be difficult to suspend everything we’ve been taught about the importance of vegetables, but understanding the science behind the carnivore diet has helped me feel more confident in my choices. It’s reassuring to know that my high cholesterol levels won’t kill me, and that I’m not harming the planet by eating meat.
How do you manage the keto flu and cravings during the transition period? What are your useful tips for managing electrolyte levels and avoiding keto flu symptoms?
Since I was already on a low carb diet, I did not experience severe keto flu symptoms. However, I empathize with those who struggle with the transition, especially those who have a sweet tooth and are diabetic or pre-diabetic. The first few weeks can be tough as the body goes through withdrawal from sugar.
To manage the symptoms, I make sure to consume enough electrolytes such as potassium, and magnesium, which can help alleviate some of the symptoms. I heavily salt my food, and use potassium salt as a substitute for regular salt. it’s potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride so you can buy it in a supermarket right next to the salt. It tastes better than that regular one. I also eat buttered eggs with potassium salt as a topping, which is one of my favorite dishes.
Sometimes, I take magnesium supplements occasionally. If I experience any leg cramps or headaches, I take magnesium supplements such as Mega Mag, which is a liquid magnesium supplement. If I am fasting, I mix potassium to my water and drink it throughout the day to maintain my electrolyte balance.
Is it a common misconception that transitioning from the ketogenic diet to carnivore diet is seamless, and that being fat-adapted from keto means you can immediately start fasting without any challenges. What do you recommend?
Some people believe that transitioning from keto to carnivore is an easy step. They say that you can immediately start fasting because you’re already used to being on a low-carb diet. But that’s not entirely true, and the main issue is the addiction to keto sweets, such as fat bombs and mug cakes that often contain artificial sweeteners. Even if you’re fat-adapted, you’re still addicted to the sweetness, making fasting more challenging. So I recommend to anyone wanting to fast is to first become fat-adapted through the keto diet and then eliminate all sweeteners from their diet first, which can be the most challenging part. Eliminating diet soda and artificial sweeteners can significantly improve fasting success.
Can a carnivore diet be an effective way to eliminate sugar cravings and sweet tooth?
Yes, absolutely. Carnivore diet is like the ultimate elimination diet. By eliminating everything except meat and water, you can get rid of all your cravings. Later on, you can gradually reintroduce different foods to see what you can tolerate and identify any potential issues. This way, you can figure out whether it’s the asparagus, peanuts, or chocolate that triggers your cravings by adding them back one at a time.
How do you balance your carnivore diet with your family?
Well, I have two kids – a teenage daughter and a six-year-old son. My daughter is not really interested in my diet, but she doesn’t criticize me for it either. She thinks it’s strange, but that’s about it. My son, on the other hand, is very interested in eating “strong” foods, as he calls them. He loves meat, and he even asked for shrimp for dinner last night because it’s a “strong” food. My husband tried carnivore with me for a while, but he’s a big fan of salads, and he didn’t tolerate too much fat very well. So, now he’ll eat a big salad before dinner and then have the same carnivore meal as me. Overall, I just stick to eating meat, and my family knows that’s what I like to eat. When we have friends over, they’ve been accepting my meat-based diet, and I love cooking for them. It’s been working out well for me both socially and with my family.
Do you find it difficult to control your kids’ diet, especially when they are exposed to junk food outside of home?
Yes, it’s quite challenging. If you’re homeschooling, it’s easier to have control over what your kids eat. But in my case, I try to pack healthy lunches for my son, but he sees other kids at school eating snacks, gummies, and quesadillas. It’s a constant battle to resist those temptations every day. Also, there are many birthday parties on weekends where sugar seems to be the main attraction, and it’s hard to say no to cake and candy when it’s part of the celebration. I don’t keep sugar in the house, but I can’t control what he eats outside. Sometimes he has fruit snacks or applesauce at school, and I can’t do much about it. However, I set an example at home by keeping meals low carb, but I still make macaroni and cheese for my son to maintain some normalcy. Eventually, when he grows up, he can make his own choices.
What are your long-term goals with this diet and what do you plan to try next?
For me, I feel like I have found my sweet spot, and I plan on continuing this diet for the foreseeable future. My goal is to remain as healthy and strong as possible, with the aim of being as strong as a 20-year-old even in my retirement years. I want to be able to surf, dance, and enjoy life without being held back by age-related health issues. I want to set an example for my children that painful aging and disease are not normal or acceptable.
I am aware that following the carnivore diet can be socially awkward, but I am willing to stick with it because it works so well for me. I hope to enjoy enduring strength and longevity and live a life free from frequent hospital visits and prescriptions. I plan to continue with seasonal experimentation, expanding my palate with different cuts of meat and fish. I find that intermittent fasting is also great for my energy levels, and I can work out better in the mornings if I stick with it.
I am happy to continue with what works for me and hope to inspire others to give this diet a try, especially those with gastrointestinal issues or leaky gut. Eating a meat-based diet has been beneficial for my health, and I believe it can benefit others as well. I hope to reach out and inspire more people to give it a try.
From Caitlin Weeks: Linda Salant’s incredible carnivore diet journey shows us the amazing potential for healing and improved health. Her story is an inspiration for anyone looking to transform their health. As we wrap up this remarkable journey, take a moment to think about your own health goals. What dietary changes have you considered? What transformations do you want to achieve? Are you ready to explore new possibilities for a healthier life? It’s never too late to start your own path towards wellness. Let Linda Salant’s wellness journey spark your desire for a happier, healthier future.
Are you considering experimenting with a carnivore diet?
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Try it to be amazed and see how it affects your health and weight loss goals. Get it here.
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