It's always a little jarring when someone or something flip-flops on you. Like when a great celeb couple breaks up seemingly out of nowhere. Or when Best Buy announced they were going to stop selling CDs. Or when everyone found out that hot yoga guru Bikram Choudhury was actually a jerk (to put it lightly).
Or when your favorite vegan influencer suddenly announces that she'll be eating meat. Not like, some meat. But all meat, all the time.
With that last one, we're talking about Alyse Parker, a plant-based social media star who rose to fame posting vegan and exercise content. This week, the former veggie-head announced that she'd just spent 30 days eating only meat. And her comments section blew up.
"The Carnivore Diet first came into my awareness when a close friend shared with me all of the benefits that he was experiencing by eating this way," Parker wrote in the caption of her controversial post. "Coming from being vegan 4.5 years, I was hella resistant to the concept of eating ONLY animal foods (aka only meat, seafood, + eggs)."
Yes, that's right. This all-meat thing is apparently an actual diet that other people follow too. And it sounds insane: On it, you eat only meat, fish, and animal products like eggs and milk, Healthline reports.
Parker claims that she's been a strict vegan for almost five years years — something that helped grow her following to 203,000 Instagram followers and 730,000 Youtube influencers. She quit veganism in March 2019 and posted a video about why to her YouTube channel. But still, this dramatic leap in the other direction entirely came as a bit of a shock to her loyal fans, to put it mildly.
"I'm so sorry that you changed your mind about veganism," one commenter wrote. "You were my inspiration at first and now you support the exact opposite."
The vegan influencer knows that this was a controversial lifestyle choice, but she claims after eating only meat, she "woke up the next morning feeling more mentally clear, focused, wholesome, and healthy than [she] had felt in years."
Controversial self-help guru Jordan Peterson's daughter, Mikhaila Peterson, commented words of praise on Parker's post. Back in 2018, Peterson — who has no educational background in nutrition — went viral for her all-beef diet, which she claimed cured her depression and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Although she said that the beginning of her diet was "terrifying" and tough on her digestive system, Peterson has allegedly been eating only beef since January 2018. She calls this the "lion diet".
As you might suspect, there's no research supporting that an all-meat diet would benefit your health in any way, Alyssa Pike, RD, a registered dietitian and nutrition communications manager at the International Food Council Foundation, previously told Refinery29. But there are plenty of potential downsides.
"If you’re only eating meat, your diet will lack the nutrients found in the fruits, vegetables, legumes, or whole grains that you’ve omitted from your diet," Pike says. "These foods all provide essential vitamins and minerals."
Fad diets may come and go, but the quality of your health should always be put first. If you're thinking of trying out an extreme diet (like only eating meat) you may want to consult your doctor or a licensed nutritionist first.
If you're interested in hearing more about Parker's experience, she goes into the details in her video "I Tried The CARNIVORE DIET For 30 Days [ex-vegan]". Spoiler: At the end of the challenge, Parker admits she's not going to stick to the strict diet forever. But she liked it enough to say she wants "to continue eating mostly animal foods" going forward. Good luck!