If you’re into the first days of a carnivore experiment and you’re experiencing acid reflux (heartburn), or low appetite for protein―like the idea of steak sounds totally gross and makes you want to gag―this can be indicative of low stomach acid.
Stomach acid is really important. It breaks down the protein in the food that we eat. It’s extremely acidic―a drop of it on your living room floor would burn right through the carpet―and it’s supposed to be that way!
Without enough of it, instead of moving further down the digestive track, food just kind of sits in the stomach, rotting (gross, I know), then expands and begins to push back up into the esophagus. That’s what causes acid reflux.
Here are 5 things you can do to help support your body’s ability to digest protein and get you over the low-appetite hump.
Chewing 30 times each bite, until the food is liquid in your mouth, will help relieve the burden on your stomach acid to do the breakdown of food.
Limit how much you drink at mealtime.
Liquid dilutes stomach acid, so keep any liquids with meals to less than 8 ounces.
Supplement to boost stomach acid.
You can take an HCl supplement with the first few bites of your meal, especially in the first few days. I took 10-15 of the Biotics Research HydroZyme with each meal, and it definitely helped a lot.
PS. I used my knowledge as a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner to put together a little “Carnivore Starter Kit” of supplements, including the HydroZyme, that helped make my transition way easier with better digestion and lessened sugar cravings & carb flu― email me if you want to get in on this. 😘
Eat easier-to-digest meats.
Meats that have been slow-cooked or pre-broken down are easier for the body to digest. When you cut into a meat that flakes apart easily, you can see how the heat and water has gone in and partially broken down the meat.
You can try: ① A roast cooked at 220 for 5-6 hours, ② Drinking bone broth, rich in amino acids, and ③ (sounds weird, but) cooking ground beef and pulsing it a few times in the food processor so it’s minced very finely.
Consider adding in spices.
If the idea of steak is making you gag, consider instead making meatballs out of ground beef, turkey, or pork, and seasoning it with plenty of salt and spices. While it’s not pure carnivore, as entrepreneur Tim Ferriss says:
The imperfect plan you stick to is better than the perfect plan you don’t.
Eventually, as your appetite increases, you’ll be able to phase out the spices if you decide to do that.
And, remember that this is temporary! Your body will adjust with time and your appetite for meat will get better, I promise. 😊