May 1st, 2018.
My Four Month N=1 (Self-)Experiment on going Zero Carb 100% Carnivore.
This is a lengthy article. So for just the Highlights:
- Meat-only way of eating healed my Rheumatoid Arthritis in weeks.
- No veggies, fruits, fiber, grains, nuts & etc.
- Just meat & water only. I have done a very limited amount of cheese. Tried eggs at about 6 weeks into my experiment, and it did not affect the RA, but they did not work well for me.
- My eating consist of about 90% beef, non-organ meats and the rest pork. High fat ribeyes & high fat ground beef are my mainstay. I only season with salt, pepper & rosemary.
- I feel GREAT!!!! Improvement in all areas of life too!!!! Nothing negative at all. PTL 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
- No more outbreak of kidney stones.
- Yes I am sticking with it!!!! Not because I need to but because I love this way of eating.
Here is a little background on why I chose to go Zero Carb 100% Carnivore(ZC). The reason I shifted from a Ketogenic way of eating is I wanted to see they effects on my Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). I’ve kept it managed well for over 10 years but I had flare ups from over use & cold weather. Keto greatly helped my RA when I changed back to it in a strict fashion a few years ago. I was already about 85% to 95% Zero Carb Carnivore (ZC) while Ketogenic. Curcumin & Hemp/CBD Oil had helped my RA but it did not cure it or put it in remission and it was steadily progressing. After much research & talking to people with RA that had successfully done ZC with great success I decided to give it a N=1 (self-)experiment.
My thumb on my right hand was affected the most. I had lost most use of it, and the pain was horrible at times. I needed to address this soon because it is a progressive, crippling & very painful condition that will worsen with age. I had never taken any prescription or OTC medicines for RA & I did not plan to. My prognosis was not good long term under standard medical care & plus the many horrible side effects from the medicine used to treat RA. My joints all through my body was rapidly becoming less & less functioning and causing more and more discomfort. I had inflammation all throughout my body. I was feeling it everywhere. I tried to hide it & stay as positive as I could but I was feeling like a very old person. I was upset with myself because I am a person very knowledgeable on living healthy & treating issues with natural therapies, but I could not help myself very much with this condition. I knew so many were much worse than I were but I saw where my future was heading & it was bleak. I want to be able to enjoy life to the fullest with my wife & four kids.
I had done so much research on everything for RA. I tried many different things but nothing made a significant difference. I kept reading about a meat only way of eating for autoimmune issues such as Rheumatoid Arthritis & many other conditions.
I had done a Carnivore way of eating years before, twice and loved it. However, I did not do it for RA then, it was before I knew I had RA & before I had any noticeable symptoms. I did it for building muscularity & strength. Since the 1990’s I have been a HIT (High Intensity Trainer). Arthur Jones was the founder of this method. I learned of strength training in the early 1980’s from old magazines of Peary Rader, especially Articles written by or about Arthur Jones, Vic Tanney, Steve Reeves, Larry Scott, Mike Mentzer & Vince Gironda. Vince’s Steak & Eggs Diet really caught my attention. It made sense & I personally was wired to eat that way. I was born a Carnivore I think. So I greatly gravitated to his way of eating and I loved it. It worked for me and I felt great, performed great & looked pretty good. I did this until my Lifting Coaches convinced me I would die from eating that way. By the way Mr. Gironda looked great & lived very healthily in to his 80’s.
I also was exposed to ZC from of all things The Grateful Dead, actually their sound man, Owsley “Bear” Stanley, from the Grateful Dead so that was in the mid-1980’s. I was a Grateful Dead Fan. He was a huge advocate of ZC Carnivore Eating & had been doing it since the 1950’s. A true pioneer in the ZC Carnivore movement.
After college I gravitated back to my Zero Carb Carnivore roots. I loved it because I was single at the time & working long hours and it was simple to eat just meat. I can cook hamburger patties. I can order a McDouble & eat only the patties. I had less Decision Fatigue. This worked great until I met & married my future wife, Lori. She also “knew” I would die without veggies, fruits, whole grains, fiber & etc. So by 1997 I was back to large amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole grains & not near the amount of meat. Within a few years from then I started feeling the affects from my Rheumatoid Arthritis. It was getting worse and worse. I tried many natural herbs & therapies and some did help but only limitedly.
Around 2013 my right thumb had become almost totally non-functioning. The pain was horrible and getting worse every day. I was now having trouble doing one of my favorite hobbies, Combat Pistol Shooting. I was having an incredibly hard time loading bullets into my magazines & to press the magazine release button on the gun to be able to quickly drop a mag & replace it.
I was also having a very difficult time buttoning my shirts, holding anything, twisting caps off, practicing Martial Arts, playing guitar and etc.
As a Personal Trainer it was harder & harder to load plates, change weights & to assist my clients. It was even harder not to show the pain to my clients. My own training was incredibly difficult because of the high levels of inflammation I had & the excessive pain I had to go through to achieve Full Momentary Muscular Failure that I needed to get the proper intensity level for an effective session. My recovery post workout was horrible. I had to keep extending my time between workouts to be able to recover and to be able to function post workout. Most that do a HIT protocol workout one to two times per week. Some with less recovery ability or circumstances workout once every 10 days to 14 days. I went from a couple of sessions per week to once a week to eventually every third week. That extreme infrequency worked by far the best for my optimal strength levels, body composition & how I could function at my other activities. I also had to start using gripping aids such as straps & hooks to do my lifting especially with the Deadlift, Shrugs Rows & Pull Downs. My fingers would not allow me to grip effectively. As a person schooled in Old School Powerlifting I was ashamed I had to use these grip aids. Because of my experiences I had Confirmation Bias that everyone needed gripping aids when they did not. I am correcting this now with my clients that I inadvertently hampered them in full development of their grip & forearm development.
So my results have been beyond stellar and way beyond all my expectations!!!!! My Rheumatoid Arthritis is what I would classify in full 100% remission. My pain is totally gone. My movement is back to normal. My inflammation is gone throughout my body & in particular my hands & elbows. My long term Tendonitis (Tennis Elbow)is gone. My Hip pain is gone. My knee pain is gone. My energy levels are incredible. I am sleeping better than ever, except when I have too much energy. My cognition is vastly improved. My recovery rate is better than it has been since I was in my late 20’s and I am 49 years old. My strength numbers have increased. My body composition has gotten better. My digestion is perfect. My bowel movements are the best ever. My dry eyes are not a problem. My allergies have been so much better than in years past. I have not had any sickness since 2013 so I have a great immune system & since going ZC still no problems. I avoided the dreaded cold & Flu this season that was going around this winter. No outbreak of Kidney Stones which have been plagued with especially when eating plants containing Oxalates such as Collard Greens & Spinach. I’m now almost supplement-free. I will continue to supplement with Vitamin D & some minerals if I need them. My Super Supplement is called Ribeye 🥩 & Water!!!! Nothing got worse from this way of eating. It has all been positive!!!! I look forward to continuing this way of eating indefinitely. I truly enjoy this way of eating. PTL 🙏🏻🙏🏻
I want to thank the people & groups who have helped me in doing this way of eating the right way through advice, insight, testimonials, education & support.
Thanks to Vince Gironda, Owsley “Bear” Stanley, Joe & Charlene Andersen, Dr. Shawn Baker, Dr. Paul Mabry, Lawrence Neal, Corporate Warrior Podcast, Zeroing in on Health, Zero Carb UK, Zero Carb Doc, World Carnivore Tribe, and Zero Carb Zen. Especially grateful for my wife, Lori, in supporting this decision and trying it herself with amazing results too and being a great steak maker!!!!!!
To Everyone’s Healthspan,
Mark W. Strough