Hi Trucha, I hope whatever way of eating you choose to stick to gives you some good results. Pain and limited mobility can be a real pain to deal with (pun intended). I live with a lot of chronic pain and I believe chronic inflammation is the culprit. It is with many disease processes and pain in our bodies. My 1st reason for starting keto, and then moving very quickly to carnivore, is to lose weight. A very close 2nd is to reduce inflammation and support my body to do a ton of healing - reversing insulin resistance, rebalancing hormones, tissue repair etc etc. This is a toxic world we live in, a lot of stress, chemicals everywhere, and a lot of very unhealthy damaging food.
Decide what way you are going to go - very low carb keto, with carbs coming primarily from green leafy veg and cruciferous veg, or carnivore. It sounds like you are leaning towards carnivore. Next step is to give it time. More time than you probably think. Your body needs to go through a big adjustment and detoxification, it’s not going to be done in a month. Give it at least 3 months, in my opinion, and keep track of how you are feeling - energy levels, pain, sleep, mental clarity or lack thereof etc. As the months go on I’m hoping you start to see some real improvements in these things.
If you are going to eat carnivore, I think you need to be all in. This means no plant products, only animal ones. Take as many weeks as you need to remove the plant products, then go all in and give it 3 months. A carnivore way of eating is not eating only animal products most days, with a bit of plant based food some days. In order to experience the health benefits I have heard and read you need to eliminate plant products completely. Having said this, some people following a carnivore way of eating tolerate black pepper and some spices fine.
If you change your mind at any point and wish to eat a ketogenic diet instead, get very good at reading packaging - especially the carbohydrate content. Forms of sugar and starches are put in so many different foods! The same goes for the processed meats you were asking about. Many many people experience huge benefits from eating a ketogenic diet. Both choices are excellent experiments.
I think one of the most important things about eating ketogenically, apart from keeping carbohydrates very low (I kept mine under 20 net grams a day) is to limit the amount of processed food by as much as you can. If an ingredient list isn’t short, or if it has a bunch of numbers in it, or words you don’t recognize, I encourage you not to eat it. Same goes for highly processed seed oils - canola, sunflower, vegetable oil, safflower oil etc. Choose a good quality cold pressed olive oil instead, or avocado or coconut oil. Man made polyunsaturated oils (largely our seed oils) are best to be avoided as they are strongly linked with being pro-inflammatory.
All the best and keep us posted!