It won’t save you.
I spend a lot of time touting the benefits of a meat-heavy diet. I really, really believe in the carnivore and keto way of life! I believe in it so much that I’m spending what little free time I have coaching others on how to change their own dietary habits. While I try to respect other people’s food choices, I’m not at all shy about sharing information with people who appear to be open to it. You might even say I’m a carnivore evangelist. Being a preacher’s daughter, I guess that’s a role I can feel comfortable with.
I haven’t been coaching people on diet for very long at all, but I have spent some time informally helping people in my real life and online figure out how to get to a healthier place with their food. A friend of mine wanted to try carnivore, and I was curious as to what specific issues he was dealing with.
“What do you hope to get out of a carnivore diet?”
“I just want to be happy and well-adjusted like the Petersons.”
Oh, dear. Oh, dearie me.
I often hear names like Jordan B. Peterson and Joe Rogan brought up by carnivores– usually secular ones–as the luminaries who brought them to the Meat Side. Now, I don’t care how a person finds out about carnivore. It’s the best thing to do, no matter why you’re doing it. But I do worry that people who listen to these sources are not just expecting health, but an entire shift in their spiritual condition, just by eating meat. After all, would they even be listening to JBP if they had any discernment at all?
There is a great deal of mental help in carnivore! Let there be no doubt about that. I honestly doubt that Jordan Peterson has adhered very strictly to the diet at all, but perhaps he has. He’s still a basket-case. No well-adjusted man cries as freely as he does. And his daughter has certainly healed her auto-immune disease and her mental state, as well, by eating beef, and only beef. She’s doing very well, but she’s still a hot mess in some other ways, to put it in as non-gossipy a way as possible. Joe Rogan has toyed with the diet and interviewed some carnivore guests, and I’m told he attests to the value of the diet even though he’s not a strict adherent. But he’s literally consorting with demons, OK?
I have myself resolved all sorts of internal angst, the kind that is physically triggered by food, through first keto, then carnivore eating. I highly recommend Dr. Chris Palmer’s book Brain Energy, which gives as good an explanation as I’ve seen for why so many who suffer from mental illness find relief with a ketogenic diet. I think there’s probably more to be said about the gut micro-biome, gut permeability, and the vagus nerve, which communicates between the gut and the brain. Brain Energy is nevertheless a ground-breaking book. It focuses more on the ketones than a lot of other things that I think are going on, but explains a great deal. Whatever the reason, keto works. Carnivore works.
I want to say this loud and clear, lest I be found wanting on Judgment Day for failing to give the real credit where it is due:
If you cure all of your irrational fears, all of your anxieties, all of your mental and social dysfunctions, but you still don’t have Jesus, you still have nothing. You might even act like a nicer person, mistreat others less often, or harm yourself less often, but you’re still in your sin.
Conversely, when I had OCD, social phobia, depression, and general anxiety, but I had Jesus, I had everything already.
Now, I know what a skeptic would say here: If Jesus was so great for you, why did it take a dietary change to fix all these things?
If I ascend up into the heavens, you are there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there psalm 139: 8
I don’t know the mind of God, of course, but His word gives me a clue. He let me make my bed in Hell so that he could show His power to come to me there. Through my weakness I can say right along with the Apostle Paul that:
…there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
–2 Corinthians 12:-8
You can read my testimony here, if you care for more background.
While I was having a difficult time with some aspects of life, I was learning to lean on Jesus. I asked for healing, but to no avail. Or so I thought. Looking back, I can see that what looked like a dark, gloomy pit was really a quiet nest in which a baby Christian could develop, sheltered from many of the assaults of the world which I likely would not have been proof against, had I found out about the carnivore diet while I was still spiritually weak.
To an unbeliever, this must certainly sound foolish, but I wouldn’t trade my years of mental difficulty for all the meat-induced calm in the world, because Jesus shone into my darkness in a way that I think few have experienced. Could God have made me all better all at once? Sure! But I needed to be where I was.
For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Not only does it not bother me that I didn’t find a path to health for so long, I am grateful for it.
There’s a lot I would never have learned, had my life been immediately made as anxiety-free as it now is. I wouldn’t have been as useful to the work He had for me to do, then or now, had I not gone through a crucible suited to my particular metal. I am undoubtedly a more relaxed person with carnivore, but I am not more joyful. I am not a better person because I eat meat.
I just wanted to take a minute from my meat-boosting to praise the One who really saves. I get uncomfortable if I go too long between reminders that it’s all Jesus.
Submit to the One who created you. Give thanks to Him and bless His name.
Have Thine own way, Lord,
Have Thine own way;
Thou art the Potter,
I am the clay.
Mould me and make me
After Thy will,
While I am waiting,
Yielded and still.