Interview with Kelly Hogan, chatting about my biggest fear with the carnivore diet, benefits experienced on a zero carb diet, bowel movements when you don’t eat plants, pregnancy and the carnivore diet, and so much more.
I’ve noticed that a lot of you have questions about going carnivore: eating only meat (with minimal dairy and eggs) and absolutely no plant matter. While my initial reaction to that style of eating is “NOPE!” … I have to admit, I am intrigued. Don’t panic, I’m not breaking up with kale any time soon!
I try to feature people from different walks of life on The Keto Diet Podcast because I want listeners to know that there is more to keto than just bacon. Keto is about supporting your body and making choices that make you feel good. My healthy choices might look different from your healthy choices and I appreciate that diversity because it reflects the diversity of our individual bodies and unique needs.
That’s why I’m sharing this carnivore experience episode. I have a lot to learn about the subject, and I can’t recommend a carnivore diet for anyone until I research it a bit further. That being said, I appreciate anyone who is willing to make their health a priority and listen to their body.
In today’s podcast, I chat with our guest Kelly Hogan, zero carber, wife, mom, blogger, elementary school teacher, and meat eater.
This episode is an experience-based overview of the carnivore diet, and we’re chatting about my personal biggest fears surrounding the diet, possible benefits experienced on a zero carb diet, bowel movements on carnivore, zero carb pregnancies, and more.
Let’s get to the interview!
For podcast transcript, scroll down.
Show Notes + Links
- A doctor-approved 12-week journey to a customized keto lifestyle for women. Eliminate frustrations, get fat adapted and stay fat fueled for life. Includes videos, coaching calls and an exclusive online community. Register for Happy Keto Body today
- Subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast app
- Check out Kelly’s blog for more of her story — she’ll be posting her blood work results soon!
- Check out Kelly’s previous blood work
- Benefits experienced on a zero carb diet (14:35)
- Bowel movements when you don’t eat plants (18:27)
- Pregnancy and the carnivore diet (25:10)
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Transcript for This Episode
Leanne Vogel: You’re listening to Episode Number 81 of The Keto Diet Podcast. Today, we’re chatting about my biggest fear with the carnivore diet, benefits experienced on a zero carb diet, bowel movements when you don’t eat plants, and so much more. So stay tuned.
You’re listening to The Keto Diet Podcast. In case you missed it, my 12-week ketogenic video training program for women, Happy Keto Body, is now open for registration, but only for a few days. You can get more details at HappyKetoBody.com.
If you’ve been watching what I’ve been sharing over the last few weeks, you may already realize just how valuable this opportunity is and that it will only be available for a very short time. This is your chance to finally take the guesswork out of the ketogenic diet and end your frustrations to master wholistic keto, balance your hormones, lose weight, and feel awesome.
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You get a bunch of free guides with your membership including high-carb to keto food swaps, how to calculate your macros, traveling with keto, un-planning your keto meals, customizing fat intake for optimal weight loss, learning how to eat intuitively, and so much more.
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Hey everyone. Happy Sunday. The show notes and full transcript for today’s episode can be found at HealthfulPursuit.com/podcast/e81, and let’s hear from one of our awesome partners.
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Okay, we got one announcement today, and that is that Happy Keto Body closes registration on April 22nd, at 11:59 PM Pacific. That’s not a lot of time from today. Like, this time next week, it’s going to be closed, and I don’t know when it’s going to open up again. You can get in on the action before it’s too late by going to HappyKetoBody.com.
You can join your keto sisters in making keto last a lifetime, and my goal with Happy Keto Body is to deliver all the information to you that you need in order to facilitate your own changes to your eating style over time so that you can make keto last a lifetime, and you can heal your body and understand what it’s saying and listen and get intuitive with your body so that when adjustments need to be made, you don’t need to see a book or a video or anything. You have the tools inside to be able to make the change that you want to see in your body. Super great stuff. I’m really excited about it. Again, that’s HappyKetoBody.com.
Okay, today’s guest, her name is Kelly Hogan. And 13 years ago, she weighed over 260 pounds and suffered from repeated staph infections, infertility, and lack of energy. Kelly’s doctor advised her to dramatically lower her carbs, which eventually led her to eat a zero carb diet. She’s eaten only meat and eggs and very limited dairy for the past eight years, and has lost over 130 pounds, had three zero carb pregnancies, and now enjoys excellent health and energy. Kelly advocates for the zero carb community via social media, has written articles for Good Housekeeping, Women’s World magazines, helps administer the Facebook page Zeroing in on Health, and writes her own blog, MyZeroCarbLife.com.
So this episode is more of a carnivore experience-based episode. If you’d like to have an episode on the podcast more on the science behind carnivore, please let me know by emailing email@example.com. Also, because I don’t know enough about this eating style yet, please know that this episode is exploratory, and I do not support this way of eating as I don’t know enough about it yet.
Many of you, including myself, were super interested in carnivore and zero carb, and we wanted to have this conversation, which is why we booked Kelly on the show. But again, I am sitting here not advocating carnivore. I don’t know enough about it. This is an experience-based episode where I am just as clueless about carnivore as probably you are, and I had just a lot of legit questions about how it all works. But again, if you want more of the science behind it, we will find a guest. We will make it happen, and we will talk more of the details behind that.
Also, in this episode, we chat a little bit about blood work, and I really wanted to understand Kelly’s blood work. I’m hoping that she’ll send me some so that we can look at her blood work and have it posted to the show notes of today’s episode. So if we’re able to facilitate that, they’ll be over at HealthfulPursuit.com/podcast/e81, because really at the end of the day, we can feel totally great and that’s awesome, and feeling great is 99% of the battle, but I always like to see blood work. That’s just the way I am, so hopefully we can get that so we can come full circle with this conversation and see what’s really going on. So without further ado, let’s cut over to this chat.
The Keto Diet Podcast, including show notes and links provides information in respect to healthy living, recipes, nutrition, and diet and is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor is it to be construed as such. We cannot guarantee that the information provided on The Keto Diet Podcast reflects the most up-to-date medical research. Information is provided without any representations or warranties of any kind. Please consult a qualified physician for medical advice and always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your health and nutrition program.
Hey, Kelly. What’s up?
Kelly Hogan: Hey. Not much. How are you doing this morning?
Leanne Vogel: I’m doing so good. Thanks for coming on the show.
Kelly Hogan: I am really excited to be here. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since we first touched base several weeks ago now.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, I have too, because carnivore is such a huge thing right now, and lots of people are doing it, and I don’t know if I could like actually do it. So I wanted to have somebody on the show to chat about their experience with it. So I’m happy to have you on.
Kelly Hogan: Thanks. Well, I’m kind of happy to be able to reach out and say if you ever did decide to try it, it wouldn’t actually kill you. You might think it would, but I am here as evidence that it really wouldn’t. It’s been a really great thing for me.
Leanne Vogel: That’s amazing. I feel like I’m just going to dive right in and say I think a lot of people, like before even get into what a … Well, maybe we should talk first about what a carnivore diet is, and then I’m going to tell you what my biggest fear of it is. So why don’t you tell us what a carnivore diet is?
Kelly Hogan: Sometimes we refer to ourselves as it’s a zero carb diet, but we all know that’s just a name, because you cannot technically eat zero carbs. All food, even meat, has trace amounts of carbs. But we are a carnivore diet in that we eat exclusively from the animal family. No plants. So almost exclusively meat, but most carnivores also include eggs, and some include dairy as well. That just depends on how your body can tolerate it. My body can tolerate a small amount of dairy, but not a lot, so I typically eat meat with eggs once or twice a week. And that’s it. Literally, that’s it.
Leanne Vogel: Okay wait, did you see meat or eggs once or twice a week, so there are days where you just don’t eat?
Kelly Hogan: No, no …
Leanne Vogel: Okay, I was like …
Kelly Hogan: I eat every day, all day long. The eggs are only a couple times a week. But carnivores can eat meat and eggs, dairy if they prefer it, unlimited amounts. There’s no restriction on amounts that you eat. Just if you’re hungry, you eat it.
We basically say think like a lion. A lion, if it’s hungry, it catches an animal and it eats it. Whatever parts of the animal look appealing to it. If you’re feeling lean that day and want your lean meat, eat the lean parts. If you’re wanting the fattier parts of the critter that day, eat the fattier parts. But there’s no … The lion doesn’t pull out a calculator afterwards. The lion doesn’t pee on a stick. The lion doesn’t care, he just eats. If it’s hungry, it eats. And if it’s not feeling like an antelope that day, then it’s probably not hungry and just rests, drinks water is thirsty, and gets on with life.
Leanne Vogel: Wow.
Kelly Hogan: Yeah.
Leanne Vogel: Okay, my biggest fear, because I come from like whole food based nutrition, and eating vegetables, and gut health, and I crave vegetables. Like there are days where I eat a ton of vegetables and I feel so good, and my bowel movements are on point. Did you come from this diet from like a Standard American Diet? Or were you eating a lot of vegetables? How did that go? Because I feel like if I tried carnivore, I’d be like, “Okay, well one day down. I need some kale.”
Kelly Hogan: Well, I was definitely eating the Standard American Diet. And not a lot of vegetables, just … I mean, I was not a health freak. When I first came to this diet, I weighed over 260 pounds. I was about 25 years old, and I went to my doctor. I got married young, so I had been married for a couple of years, and my doctor said, “If you don’t lose at least 100 pounds, you are going to continue having the same problems that you’re having.” And I was really struggling with inflammation. I didn’t know that’s what it was.
It was rearing its ugly head by producing boils, that’s the old school name for like an abscess. And it was staph infections, repeated. I would have to go to the doctor. I know this is sexy talk, but I would have to have places lanced because I just had so much inflammation. And I didn’t know what it was coming from.
I kept changing body washes. I didn’t know. And my doctor said, “It’s inflammation coming from sugar.” I said, “Well, I try not to eat that much sugar,” and I just thought sugar was like cake. I didn’t understand that so many other foods can turn into sugar. Depending on how well you tolerate carbs, even vegetables, the small amount of carbs can raise your blood sugar and act as a sugar.
And as it turns out, I am extremely sensitive to carbs. At that point, I didn’t even know what a carb was. I literally ask him when he said, “You need to cut out the carbs,” I had to ask, “What is that?” Because I didn’t know anything at that point. And he have me a sheet of paper, and on one side it had like meats, all kinds of meats, fats were on there. There were some low-carb vegetables on that side, eggs and cheeses. And he said, “You can eat as much as you want of these things, as long as you don’t eat anything on the other side.” I turned it over and saw everything I normally ate.
Fat-free cereals was a staple of my diet back then with skim milk, because I didn’t know. I wanted to be skinny my whole life, but I was always heavy. And when I was a child, the low fat diet was a big thing. So I assumed fat was the problem, and I’d been cutting out fat, fat, fat my whole life and just kept getting fat, fat, fat. And so once he told me to do that, he said, “You don’t have to limit what you eat, as long as …” I mean, limit the amount, “Stay full, just don’t eat anything from the other side of the paper.”
And I came back. He said, “I want to see you in one year to see how you’ve done.” And when I came in one year later, I’d lost 80 pounds, and he didn’t even know who I was. It was great. And I have not had a single abscess since that very first appointment. That was 13 years ago, almost 14. I’m 39 now.
I was also having fertility issues. My cycle had stopped for a couple of years. I went to a fertility specialist and she had said that if I wanted to have babies, we’d have to go through some extensive medicines. Well, I’ve now had three babies, and without help. Well, except for my husband. And so he was right, it was the carbs. It was the carbs. My life is so different.
Leanne Vogel: Okay, so first, I have a question. Were you carnivore when you were pregnant?
Kelly Hogan: Yes I was, all three times.
Leanne Vogel: What?
Kelly Hogan: I didn’t get pregnant until I was already carnivore for a year I guess. About a year before my first pregnancy.
Leanne Vogel: You’re blowing my mind right now.
Kelly Hogan: And I had awesome pregnancies. I didn’t have … I didn’t throw up once. I didn’t have any of the … Typically you hear about constipation and hemorrhoids and just some really nasty pregnancy problems. I had none of that. And yes, it was carnivore through all three.
Leanne Vogel: Wow. Okay, this is crazy. So I feel like when I first found the ketogenic diet, and I was looking online researching about it, I feel like the feeling I’m having right now is the feeling I had when I was introduced to keto. Of like, “No, no, this is impossible. Like that’s just not a thing. No, you can’t. No that’s not … Really? You do that?” Like that’s totally how it feels.
Okay, so the benefits of carnivore, do you experience mental clarity, alertness, regulated blood sugar, mood? Like those are sort of the benefits of keto, so I’m just wondering, even though you don’t test because you’re a lion, and lions don’t have testing things. Do you experience the mental clarity, alertness, regulated blood sugar? Can we talk a little bit about those benefits?
Kelly Hogan: Yes. After I started … After about the first year of seeing, “Wow, okay, so I’m losing weight.” That’s awesome. Now I kind of wanted to figure out the why. “Can I keep this up forever? Is that even a thing?” I didn’t know either, kind of like you said when you first discovered keto, you didn’t know before that that people live this way. And I found a zero carb forum back then called Zeroing in on Health. And it’s now a Facebook page with over 17,000 people by the way. So you’re right, there is a lot of interest right now in a carnivore diet.
And I started testing my own blood sugar, just out of curiosity. I knew I was losing weight, but I wanted to find out what else … What would different foods do to my literal blood sugar numbers. And this was back when I was almost carnivore, still eating just a few vegetables. And I thought, “Are the vegetables necessary? I mean, do I have to eat these?” I was losing interest in them, but we’ve all heard our whole lives, “Eat your vegetables.” There has to be a reason, right? Or is there?
And my blood sugar would actually go up, even with foods that we all know for sure couldn’t possibly make it go up. And maybe for you, it wouldn’t. Some people are more insulin resistant than others. And their blood sugar numbers will go up at the drop of a hat. And mine really did. There is a reason that I was very overweight my whole life. I am extremely sensitive to it. And so then the question was, “Well, what’s going to happen to me if I never eat vegetables again?” And it turns out, of course, that there were people that throughout history that didn’t eat vegetables because they couldn’t grow them.
There was no shipping, and they couldn’t grow vegetables. And they were healthy, and they were fine. So as I started lowering them more, and more, and more, I discovered I had more mental clarity, and more energy, and I just kept feeling better. So I knew something was right. I knew that what I was reading agreed with what I was doing and what I was feeling agreed with what I was doing. And I continued, I’ve continued to have blood work done through these 13 years, with that same doctor who was obviously supportive, since it was his idea. And he keeps saying, “Don’t change a thing. Your blood work is …” He says it’s textbook. It’s just, it’s perfect. And so everything I’ve felt and read and tested just keeps pointing towards, “Yeah, this is how I’m meant to eat.”
Leanne Vogel: More of my interview with Kelly Hogan after this message from one of our podcast partners.
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Okay, I got to ask you, bowel movements. Do you have a daily bowel movement? Like, have they … Can we talk about poo?
Kelly Hogan: So when you put less foliage and plants into your body, you do have less waste, because your body can completely, almost completely utilize meat. You really don’t have to … Your body doesn’t have to work very hard about getting rid of things, because there’s not much to get rid of.
But most zero carbers, and I know a lot of them now personally, so I can speak not just from my own experience, do tend to go once a day, sometimes once every two days. Never any … There’s no struggle. Constipation is not even a thing on a zero carb diet. There is no junk to clog up the tubes basically. There’s not a lot of waste to get rid of. And anybody that does have an issue with bathrooming with the zero carb diet, the recommendation is always to just eat fattier meats and that clears it up. That’s the ticket.
So if you’re eating really lean, because we’ve kind of been trained to do that, most of us for our lives have been trained to eat leaner than we really should. If you’re purposefully eating lean, you really can get constipated on any diet. But just up the fat, and that is not a problem for zero carbers. Like I said, even through pregnancy, I never struggled with that. Not for a day.
Leanne Vogel: And what about supplements? Like do you take … Are you concerned or is the carnivore community concerned about lack of nutrients in certain areas? Like do you guys supplement with electrolytes, or multivitamins, or kind of what’s the jam there?
Kelly Hogan: I do not know a single long-term, zero carber, that supplements with anything, myself included. We don’t take supplements.
The only concern that I’ve ever heard is if someone is not eating fresh meat. So if there was somebody that was trying to do zero carb with a lot of cured meats, or dried meats, or preserved meats, that could be an issue. But fresh meat is nutrient packed. It’s very rich. All of my blood work, nutritionally, there was nothing out of the realm, low or high. Everything was perfect. And I just had mine tested, it’s only been probably six weeks.
Leanne Vogel: Let’s dive in. Can you talk a little bit more about your blood work? Like everyone’s wondering what is your hsCRP look like, like inflammation? Are you getting that tested?
Kelly Hogan: Well, let me see. I’m looking at sort of the blood work summary right now. I really don’t know if I am having that tested to tell you the truth.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, cool. Next time you chat with your doctor you should ask, because hsCRP is such a great indicator of like overall inflammation, and it’d be really cool to see, even now, like what your inflammation is at.
Kelly Hogan: Yes, I’m sure that would be cool. I have not even gone to ask. That’s the truth. I mean, I go to the doctor and I tell him, “Let’s have blood work done.” And of course everybody agrees, every year, so go ahead and get that done. But I’ve had zero problems, zero issues.
I don’t get sick. I mean, everybody I guess once in a while. I’m an elementary school teacher and I teach 900 students. So every once in awhile I’ll pick up a sniffle or something. But that’s pretty rare even. Indications of inflammation I guess would be a lowered immune system, which I clearly don’t have. And the boil issue is faint memory by now. I feel really good. I don’t know. But I would be curious to see that. I don’t think he tests for that.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, I would ask him for hsCRP and also IgG, because that’ll tell you like allergen specific, like what’s going on sensitivity-wise. I find that they kind of go hand in hand, so like if your hsCRP is high, then it tells you that you have inflammation, and sometimes it can be nice to know, “Well is it inflammation from my food?” And then IgG will kind of say, “Yes.” Or, “No, it’s not food related.”
So it’d be really cool to see. Because I would think most IgG foods and inflammation foods are your plant-based things, but some people have sensitivities to certain protein. Like some people can handle chicken better than fish, better than beef, better than pork. So it’d be really cool to geek out on that, because I love blood work.
Kelly Hogan: I will do that. I really will. Next time I go.
Leanne Vogel: What do you get tested for your blood work and how have you seen that change? Like your HbA1c I’m guessing, because you had blood sugar issues. What other things do you get tested?
Kelly Hogan: I think he runs a fairly standard, two page blood work panel to tell you the truth. I could not tell you. Because I’ve had no issues. I have not specifically asked for anything to be tested. Everybody’s always just keeping an eye on your HDL and LDL and triglycerides. That kind of thing.
Leanne Vogel: Do you have your triglyceride number?
Kelly Hogan: Yes. It is 60.
Leanne Vogel: Okay.
Kelly Hogan: So last time it was tested was 60.
Leanne Vogel: And HDL?
Kelly Hogan: It is 62.
Leanne Vogel: Cool.
Kelly Hogan: Total cholesterol, 168.
Leanne Vogel: Cool. And any hormone testing that you had done because of your pregnancy and things like that?
Kelly Hogan: Not that I know of. Everything, I got pregnant really quickly and everything went well. And it ended up in three healthy babies. So if they tested anything, they just called and said, “Normal.” I am not a blood work geek. I am one where if I’m having problems, let’s test and figure it out. But if I’m feeling awesome, I kind of just …
Leanne Vogel: Winning.
Kelly Hogan: Yeah. I don’t need any … I don’t need a lot of tests for that. I feel really good. But I don’t have a lot of reason to go have hormones tested.
Leanne Vogel: Mm-hmm (affirmative), totally.
Kelly Hogan: I feel really balanced. My cycles now are still very regular. I breastfed all three babies forever. In fact, my youngest is still nursing.
Leanne Vogel: Good for you. Best decision ever.
Kelly Hogan: Thanks. So you know, when you’re not struggling with something, I haven’t gone back to him a lot to ask a lot of questions.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, of course. And what about your sleep? How do you find your sleep just overall? Like are you able to fall asleep quite nicely? Do you toss and turn? A lot of people, like myself included, when I eat too much meat, I get like meat sweats and I can’t sleep and I’m just miserable. Does that go away? Or did you experience that? What’s the deal?
Kelly Hogan: I don’t remember that I ever did, tell you the truth. I eat a lot of meat, but typically about a pound for lunch and a pound for dinner. And if I’m still hungry, I eat more than that. But I could say, “I don’t measure.” But I know what a pound of meat is, and that’s about what I eat, twice a day. That does not give me any meat sweats. Yes, if my children are asleep and it’s quiet, I can easily fall asleep. Children aside, I sleep awesome. If I can just get them quiet, I have no trouble with sleeping.
Leanne Vogel: And we chatted about your energy being great. Your pregnancy kind of went off without a hitch. And you didn’t have any cravings during your pregnancy at all? Like, “Oh my gosh, I just need mint chocolate chip ice cream and pickles.”
Kelly Hogan: I did have some pickle craving. I did not … I don’t have cravings for sweet at all, which I always did. I had a very big sweet tooth my first 25 years of life. But once it’s completely out of your diet, zero carb is extremely anti-sweet. So even though there are sweeteners that obviously have no carbs, we don’t eat any of those, because the actual taste of sweet keeps that craving alive. And once it’s gone, the cravings really do disappear. I have no cravings now for sweets. But when I was pregnant, I actually did crave vinegar. And it was more the vinegar than the pickle I think. So sometimes I would just literally sip vinegar, and that’s what I wanted. Not like a cup, but just the taste of vinegar was appealing.
But I did have meat aversions. I don’t want to give the impression that a zero carb pregnancy is all super easy, because the first trimester, as I think most women, even on a Standard American Diet, experience. During the first trimester, a lot of meat is not very appealing. And it wasn’t. I couldn’t even look at raw meat. It was quite a turnoff. So I ate mostly eggs, bacon and sausage tasted great to me for all three pregnancies the first trimester. And I focused a lot on that and let my husband do the cooking, because I couldn’t stand the sight of raw meat. But I didn’t like crave donuts or anything, no.
Leanne Vogel: Okay, so we chatted a little bit about food quality, and you mentioned not going for jerkies and stuff like that because it can affect your ability to go to the bathroom, but what sort of quality of meat do you eat? Do you look for grass-fed and grass-finished? Is that important to you? Where do you purchase your meat? How do you prepare it?
Kelly Hogan: Yeah. So in the carnivore community, we typically say eat whatever meat that you can afford, and that makes you feel your best. And for some people, that is grass-fed. They say it makes them feel better, and that’s what they prefer, some prefer the taste. I personally do not prefer the taste. I like … Now obviously all animals out in fields eat grass until the very end when some are fattened up on grain, and I actually like the ones that are fattened up on grain. I like my meat to have a little extra fat to it. And I actually prefer store-bought, standard beef.
But for those that prefer something else, we try to never … Like there’s no meat shaming. We try to never do that. It’s just whatever you can afford and whatever makes you feel great. If it’s meat, and you’re not eating carbs. Good for you. We support you. And so for me it’s typically just ground beef, I feel great eating ground beef. If there’s a steak there, oh, I am going to kill it. Eat it. I love steak. But I just can’t afford to eat rib-eyes all day, every day, so ground beef still makes me feel awesome.
Leanne Vogel: And do you cook with certain fats, or is it kind of like faux pas, you got to like whatever fat is on the meat is what you eat, or are you allowed to have … Or not allowed, but is it practice that you could have coconut oil or olive oil or no?
Kelly Hogan: Well, there’s not much use for meat to have to add any … The meat that I’m eating already has plenty of fat in it. Like, if you’re going to cook a steak, I don’t need to put coconut oil on it, it already has fat. If I needed fat for something, I tend to prefer bacon grease. Honestly, just the fat off of bacon. So I don’t use any coconut oil or any other oils. Honestly, there’s not much reason.
Leanne Vogel: And what about raw meat? I know that there … I think that there’s some carnivores that do that.
Kelly Hogan: There are some, but I’m not really sure why. Now, some honestly say they crave raw meat, but it is not a large portion of us that do that. There are some outskirters that prefer raw meat. But for the most part, we are cooking our meat over in the zero carb world.
Leanne Vogel: What about organ meat? Like liver, heart? Do you guys do that kind of thing? Is that your jam or not so much?
Kelly Hogan: It’s not my jam. It’s a personal preference. There are some that say that it makes them feel so much better. And most of us, if it were cooked and prepared and tasted great, I would not turn my nose up at it. I would eat anything that somebody cooked. But I don’t personally go out and purchase it and cook it for myself. I have no issues with those that do. But I’m not eating organs on a regular basis, no.
Leanne Vogel: So I’m sure, or maybe not, but I’m sure when you adapted this lifestyle, probably everyone in your life was like, “What are you doing?” I would assume.
Kelly Hogan: That’s right.
Leanne Vogel: How did you deal with that and what kind of misconceptions came up when you were like, “No, I just eat meat. No, no, I don’t … No, I just … I like legit just eat meat.”
Kelly Hogan: The question of, “Well, how are you ever going to poop?” Definitely came up a lot. And I had started off very low carb. Like I told you, the doctor had some low carb vegetables on that front side of the sheet. And it was through my own experimenting that I eliminated those, but I started off with those. So in the beginning, everybody’s fine with that as long as you eat a few green beans once in awhile. They just want you to … As long as you’ve got a green bean on your plate, everybody’s happy. When the green beans disappear, that’s when eyebrows raised.
And especially my parents, like, “So you eat no vegetables?” I said, “I am going to try and see how I feel eating this way for awhile.” Well, 13 years later, we’re still doing that. And they are now very fine because they see how good I feel.
They knew me the first 25 years, and they’ve known me now the last 13, and they wouldn’t trade me back for anything. Mood wise, I’m so much more even-keel. Obviously … Well, I lost 130 pounds. I don’t think I’ve said that yet. So in the first year, I lost 80, but I went on to lose 130 all together. And they wouldn’t wish that back on me. They see how much better my life is and how much more I just enjoy life. And anybody that loves you, if you make a positive change for yourself, they’re going to support that.
And my parents have even experimented some with eliminating carbs, especially my dad. He really has eliminated most all carbs, and he feels so much better. He still eats vegetables some, those green beans. But for the most part, he’s pretty low carb, and he feels great. So that makes it a lot easier for them to support me.
Leanne Vogel: And does the rest of your family eat … Do your children eat this way? Or how are you raising your kids on this?
Kelly Hogan: Yeah, so my husband eats pretty much anything he wants to. And he knows that if he ever gained several pounds and wants to knock them off, he knows it’s the carbs. But for the most part, he’s never had a weight problem, so he just eats how he wants to.
And my children, they have never had grains or added sugar. And they do eat plenty of meat, but they do also eat vegetables and limited amounts of fruit. I don’t just hand them a giant fruit bowl, but they do eat some fruit every day if they want it. But that’s the extent of their sugar. They’ve literally never had it, and have no sweet tooth at all. In fact, if the fruit is too sweet, they will say, “Ugh, this is way too sweet.” They just … They don’t have a sweet tooth. I know that’s …
Leanne Vogel: What a blessing for them.
Kelly Hogan: And I’ve heard, I don’t know if it’s true, we’ll find out. My oldest just turned seven. But I have heard that if you can keep it out of their diets for the first several years, that it never develops, that sweet tooth.
But when babies are little in America, we kind of force that on them at that first birthday party. A lot of babies cry when they first taste icing. You’ve been to first birthday parties, and babies, the first taste is a turn off. But we encourage that, and then they’re little addicts too. And before long, they’re crying in the aisle for candy. But if they don’t have it, they … My kids don’t feel like they’re missing out because they have no desire for it. They really do enjoy blueberries and strawberries very much.
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And so I’m thinking of like all the other things that meat products are made with and all the stuff. So would you do like bone broth or collagen? Or like no?
Kelly Hogan: Oh, I would. I don’t, But I would. Now, if I’m sick, yes. But that has … I have been sick a few years ago. When I first got pregnant with my third, bone broth was very appealing to me, and I’ve heard other zero carbers say when they get sick, broth is a nice alternative. But for the most part, I don’t have any need for broth because I just want a meal.
If I’m hungry, I want to eat. I don’t do a lot of snacking either because I just want a big meal. I want to leave stuffed and be happy for several hours, until I get hungry and repeat. It’s a very simple, simple lifestyle.
Leanne Vogel: Wow. Just wow. I couldn’t even imagine. It’d be so simple. I mean, I’m thinking of like our grocery bills, and preparing food. Nothing would go bad because you would just make it and eat it. So you’d have very little waste.
Kelly Hogan: Yeah. I’m very easy.
Leanne Vogel: It’s nuts.
Kelly Hogan: Yes. I am very easy. Now, of course, I am still buying some of those vegetables and fruits at the store for my kids, but as far as for myself, it’s simple.
Leanne Vogel: That’s amazing. And so if you could speak to your previous self when you first started on this diet, was there anything that you wish you would have known sooner that took you awhile to figure out and that kind of made all the difference when you were eating carnivore?
Kelly Hogan: I went through withdrawal. And some people would say, “Well maybe you should sort of taper off your sugar intake to make it easier.” And I didn’t. For the most part, I mostly just ripped off the bandaid, and I’m really glad I did.
I see this happen a lot. People say, “Oh, well I’m going to slowly cut out the carbs, dwindle down.” That’s incredibly hard, because the longer it’s in your system, the more you’re going to want it. It drags that process out. The first two weeks were awful for me, because I did eat a very standard diet. All of the bread, all of the cereal. I was eating it all. And for two weeks, when you cut that out, you’ve got the shakes. I mean, it’s incredibly hard.
But thankfully, after two weeks, I wish I could have known for sure what I was hoping. I was hoping, “If I can just make it through this,” but now, I know. Yeah, if you can make it through that, you are golden. Cravings, gone. You just got to get through that first couple weeks of withdrawals, and then you won’t have to sweat it. I don’t have to … I have no willpower. People are like, “Wow, you have so much willpower.” But I don’t. I used to have to exercise so much more willpower. “I’m not going to go back for that fourth donut, oh but I really want the donut.”
It was so much more willpower. And now, my desires have completely changed. And I don’t have to exercise willpower. If I want the fourth burger, I eat the fourth burger. So there’s no holding back. I just no longer want any of the stuff that made me feel bad. How cool is that?
Leanne Vogel: It’s so … Yeah, I mean it sounds very similar to the experience that you have on a ketogenic diet. I feel like if I didn’t love vegetables, I could probably try it. I know my husband, when we were prepping for this episode and I was telling Kevin, my husband, who loves meat. Like he says, “If you come back from Costco without meat sticks, you’re not allowed in the house.” He loves meat. When we were preparing for this episode, he’s like, “That’s a thing? I can actually just eat meat for the rest of my life?”
Kelly Hogan: Yes you can!
Leanne Vogel: So I think there are … Yeah, there are people that it really resonates with and I think with anything it’s like you said, it’s like as long as you feel good, the goal is to feel good. And if this makes you feel good, and you’re happy, power to ya, because that’s 99% of the battle’s just finding something that makes you feel good and you can be your best in a weight that feels best for your body and all those things. So I’m really happy for you that you found something that works really good for your body and I’m excited to learn more as time goes on and more people try it. And maybe I’ll dabble. I’m not sure yet.
But definitely when you get your blood work again, I’d love to see what your hsCRP is. And that’s really interesting to me to kind of see inflammation and what’s happening there because I think one of the largest misconceptions that people have with you eating meat all of the time is the inflammation that’s in your body. And also probably kidney health. Do you deal with people saying, “But what about your kidneys?”
Kelly Hogan: Oh yes. So the kidney issue, if I were to just eat straight up skinless, boneless chicken breasts all day long, I would have a lot of the issues that people associate with a carnivore diet. I would have mental fogginess because it’s what they call rabbit starvation. You don’t have enough fat in your body. Then I would have bathroom issues because without the fat, it is harder to move things along. Kidneys have a harder time processing the meat without any fat. But I’m definitely not living on skinless, boneless chicken breast. As long as you have fresh meat with plenty of fat on it, my kidneys are great.
There was a test on there … I wish I had the full-blown … I know I’ve been digging around in here looking for it. The full blood work. I posted on my blog, that’s what I’m actually looking at. But it was more like … It was a blog post about cholesterol, so it more just had all the cholesterol stuff on there. And the full readings. Some of these numbers you’re asking for might actually be on there. And I just didn’t even take all that much note because I didn’t put it on the blog.
Leanne Vogel: I bet you they are.
Kelly Hogan: I mean, it was two pages worth of numbers, and I just basically went through and looked at the low, normal, and high to make sure there was nothing out of range with my doctor. We looked over it. And there was nothing low or high. Everything was at normal. I’m sorry. That’s what it …
Leanne Vogel: No that’s great. No, totally. We’ll make sure to include the URLs in the blog post rather in the show notes for today’s episode, which everyone can find at HealthfulPursuit.com/podcast/e81. We’ll include some of those blog posts that you put together, Kelly, so people can take a look and look at your numbers. And if you ever want to send me your blood work so I can look at it, I’d be happy to see to kind of get a sense, because it’s very rare that you can connect with somebody who’s been on an eating style for so long, and also getting blood work. So I find that so fascinating.
Because I think that’s the number one thing, especially for like a health-infused community like the podcast. The Keto Diet Podcast is all of us, get our blood work, and we understand things, and we’re thinking like, “Sorry, what? You’re eating meat all the time?” So it’s nice to geek out on the numbers and see what your body’s actually doing, because it’s really cool.
Kelly Hogan: All right. I will find it and I can definitely email that to you.
Leanne Vogel: I love it. Okay cool. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I really appreciate you sharing your story.
Kelly Hogan: And I enjoyed talking with you. And I appreciate you having me.
Leanne Vogel: Cool. Again, the show notes can be found at HealthfulPursuit.com/podcast/e81. And we’ll see you guys next week.
And that does it for another episode of The Keto Diet podcast. Thanks for listening in. You can follow me on Instagram by searching Healthful Pursuit, where you’ll find daily keto eats and other fun things. And check out all of my keto supportive programs, bundles, guides, and other cool things over at HealthfulPursuit.com/shop and I’ll see you next Sunday. Bye.