Alma-Jade Chanter has followed a proper vegan diet since she was 13 after watching videos made by animal rights campaigners.
However, she has now decided to give up on her plant-based diet which consists of up to2 kg of animal muscles, organs and bone marrow a day. She claimed that the change in diet has saved her life.
The Life sciences student started to eat ‘brains and bones’ when her health deteriorated. It was so bad that her teeth were snapping in two. A former vegan then introduced her to the Carnivore Diet.
Alma-Jade, now a masters student at Wageningen University in Holland, said: “I was completely sucked into the narrative of veganism and bought it all entirely.
“But it was making me so ill and eventually I realised that I couldn’t carry on because it was killing me. Within just a week of going carnivore I felt amazing, and for the first time in a long time my body was free of pain.”
She was so much into veganism that she visited raw fruit festivals in places like USA and Spain. She also ignored the fact that it was having an effect on her health.
Soon, though, she said being vegan began to have such an adverse effect on her well-being that she lost 10kg (22lbs).
Her parents were then forced to take her to a doctor, who warned that her diet was lacking vital vitamins and minerals, and insisted that it could lead to long-term implications for her body.
Despite warnings, she didn’t listen to the advice and instead tried fasting and juice diets – believing she could cure herself and remain a vegan.
She said: “I was so dogmatic and hard-headed that I didn’t listen to what anyone was telling me, just putting all my faith into the supposed health benefits of veganism.”
But, within a year of becoming a raw vegan, she had stopped menstruating – due to a lack of essential nutrients – and her nails were covered in deep ridges, because of calcium deficiency.
She continued: “My teeth were also in a terrible state, from the combination of having so much sugar from the fruit and not enough calcium. I went to the dentist and my front tooth literally snapped in half, because the enamel had been so badly worn away. He asked me, ‘Are you drinking fizzy drinks for breakfast?’.”
Eventually the acceptance that her poor health was linked to her diet came in 2013, when she was diagnosed with Graves’ disease – an autoimmune condition affecting the thyroid.
A few months later, once her body adjusted to breaking down animal muscle, Alma-Jade became an omnivore – eating meat, fish and vegetables.
“My thyroid and metabolism improved and symptoms like hair thinning and joint pain got better,” she said. “But I’d still have flare ups of my old symptoms like joint pain and fatigue, so I was still pretty unstable.”
In March 2018, she was suggested to listen to a podcast featuring the author of The Carnivore Diet, Dr Shawn Baker.
A year on, eating two meals a day, she mixes animal muscle meals – such as steak – with dishes of liver, heart and brain, as well as animal fat and bone marrow – and says she has never looked back.
Insisting that animal products provide her with all the necessary minerals needed to remain healthy, she continued: “Organ meat is very dense in nutrients and can provide you with everything you need – even vitamin C – and I get calcium from making bone broths.
“I really love brain, though, which has quite a mild and fluffy taste to it. I know people get a bit freaked out by that, but I just think if you’re going to kill an animal, you can at least be polite enough to eat the whole thing. I know it is extreme, but it is the most balanced I have ever felt.
“I totally agree with vegans that industrial farming is wrong. That’s why I never buy anything from supermarkets and get all my meat either from a butcher or from the local farmer. But just quitting meat entirely seems to me to be throwing the baby out with the bath water now.
“Spending so many years waking up in pain each morning doesn’t give you much hope in life, but this way of eating changed my life – and possibly even saved it.”