I live in a small town in the middle of Wyoming, born and raised. A thirty year old with hunting, fishing, and the outdoors deeply ingrained in my way of life. Before this way of eating all started over a year ago, I ate a SAD (Standard American Diet) and really enjoyed my beer (what’s more American than that?!). By the age of 26, I had racked up a bill of health issues that were still lying dormant. I quit my job 5 years ago, and that’s when I had my first lipid panel pulled up for a screening for a new job. They couldn’t even wait until the results came back before they told me I had something seriously wrong with my blood, putting my head in instant fear for my life… I got to the doctor that same week and was given the balanced diet bit and got thrown on statins (again, what could be more American). My triglycerides were over 1200 mg/ dL and cholesterol not really traceable because my trigs were so high. And the newfound stress for my health. I lived this way for a couple years. The statins gave me several bout of joint pain and really made daily activity a thing of the past. I was just tired and lifeless 24/7.
I told my brother what was going on and he told me to eat meat… so… I love meat, but that can’t be good for me. That’s all he eats and always looks super healthy. He introduced me to a zero carb reddit, where I could read up on it. Within a week, I had given up all sugar and was pretty into IF (intermittent fasting), eating only once a day. I gave my beer up for vodka, and I was on my way to health! I’m feeling much better, with energy up the wall and 60 lbs lighter on the scale. Three months into the zero carb lifestyle and I wanted to see what my blood was doing so I went in and got tested. 2400 mg/ dL my trigs raised to! I’d also like to add that I quit those stinking statins without docs approval so here I am again in the same boat horrible numbers and stressed, so back to a plant based diet , fish, skinless chicken breast and everything I didn’t like eating.
Pretty much giving up over the next 6 months and gaining almost all my weight back even though I was pretty much starving myself, I didn’t understand… finally a bell rang (maybe it was the vodka!), so I did a bunch more research and decided to contact Charles Washington via a Facebook message, and a response almost immediately saying drop the vodka and my numbers would plummet! Well here I sit, 5 AM… no coffee, wide awake, and just want people to know that this way of life is really something special. No pain, no stress, tons of energy off my 7 hours of sleep and ready to make today mine!
I waited until 6 months in on this woe [ed: way of eating] and my trigs are down below 800 mg/ dL now and I’m sure still dropping, excited to see what a year of no plants does to my health! My trigs never really got below 1000 even while on statins… so it’s better. All joint pain is gone… I also forgot to add that I no longer do intermittent fasting and I usually eat between 2 and 5 pounds of meat a day, whenever I’m hungry but usually just 2 meals. I’m 6’1” and used to weigh right around 290 lbs in the beginning. I now weigh around 215 lbs and have been there since July, went from 31% body fat down to around 15% that I am completely happy with. I am never hungry like I used to be, all I used to think about was food. We’ll food and alcohol… haha. Also I don’t know if this way of life makes it easier to quit bad habits but both times I have been on it I have successfully quit my nicotine addiction! I was a chewer and a smoker as well for 10 years, feels so good to be free!
If you would have asked me before I started this way of eating where I honestly saw myself in five years I probably would have at least had the thought that I would be dead. I’m very grateful and excited to see what the rest of my life brings! I’m almost 30 years old and still got a ton of life left to live. If this gets posted anywhere, I’d like to make sure to give Charles Washington a huge thanks for being stern and believing in what you’re doing and Kelly Williams Hogan for being such a huge inspiration and getting all this helpful info out there. Also a huge thanks to you, Shawn, for trying to spread the word and make people healthy again! Our whole way of looking at nutrition as a world is so messed up.
On the first of the year, a good friend sent me a Joe Rogan podcast interview with Dr. Shawn Baker regarding the carnivore diet. As a healthcare professional and generally health conscious individual, I was intrigued with the logic and supporting clinical information. However, an important missing piece of evidence in my opinion were measurable lab results so I decided to give it a shot and see what happens.
After 2 straight months on the carnivore diet the results are finally in. My primary care physician who has 10 years history on me told me on 3/9/18 that this is the best my lab results have ever looked. Lowest Cholesterol ever at 197 and lowest LDL ever with terrific ratios 2.47 and 3.6. As an added bonus, I haven’t had to take NSAIDS in over a month now for general joint pain. As a 54 year old avid golfer, runner and mountain biker, NSAIDS have been a normal part of every day life for the past several years.
Additionally I have lost 10 lbs and feel terrific. I haven’t seen any measurable improvements in sleep yet however my energy levels are definitely up. I’m currently training for another half marathon in late April and am experiencing continuous improvements in pace without any type of carb load. I’m still slightly skeptical how the longer 10 mile plus runs will go but so far so good at 7 miles.
I am an N of 1 however the carnivore diet has been a real success for me in just about every measurable way. For those looking for at least some evidence of lab results, I hope you find this helpful.
530lbs, IBS, pinched lumbar 3 nerve, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, no will to live.
What do all of these things have in common? No one would want to be even one of them, much less all of them. Up until recently, all of these things defined ME. This was my life, or lack thereof. My name is Jared Reagin. I’m 29 years old, a single father, and a man who has finally found success.
I have tried every diet you can think of, from vegan to paleo to the grapefruit diet. Nothing every worked. My health concerns and weight even increased. At the end of August in 2017, I saw an interview Dr Shawn Baker did with Rogue Health and Fitness that gave me hope. He was talking about a Zero Carb/Carnivore diet. It seemed simple enough and I set out to do it. I lasted two days.
Well, luck would have it that I had friends that were doing keto, which seemed to be low carb enough to maybe work. I started on September 8th, and hoped for the best. It was difficult, but I lost 11lbs my first week. When you see results like that, you start to get very determined. After my first month, I had lost 40lbs. My second month I moved to a Low Carb High Fat/Keto combined diet. On my birthday at the end of October, my doctor told me I no longer needed to take my diabetes medications. My diet was keeping my blood sugar manageable at 120.
My back pain hurt me less every day. After sustaining a pinched nerve, due to a wreck I was in at 16, my weight gain had done nothing but make my pain worse and damaged my back further over the years. Though I was improving with my diet, I was still in physical therapy as late as December 2017.
Two weeks after I started the carnivore diet at the beginning of December, my pain was miniscule. For the last two years, I had to use a cane to get around and couldn’t stand for longer than half an hour. Well, I quit physical therapy after those two weeks and have never looked back. I eat all meats, and sometimes eggs and cheese. I drink water when thirsty. I’m rarely hungry and food (and even water) tastes better than before.
After 1 month Keto, 2 months LCHF, and 3 months Carnivore, I can tell you that Carnivore is the best thing I’ve ever done. My health is so much better. As a matter of fact, do you remember the attributes that I started this testimonial with?
Here are my current updates:
After 6 months (last 3 months carnivore) I am 404lbs; a loss of 126lbs. I have no IBS, and only have pain from my pinched lumbar 3 nerve after 6-8hrs standing (working out and being active lessens pain). My BG is constantly between 95 and 105, and diabetes meds are no longer required. I have no more high blood pressure, between 118/72 and 126/78 consistently. I have only minor anxiety (it was bad enough to send me to the hospital twice), and no depression.
I still have no will to live. That makes me feel like I’m just willing to exist. Instead, I have a craving to live life to the fullest and a need to live the best life I can for my daughter. I will be the best man and dad I can be for her. I will make sure she is taught the truth about health and will make sure she never has to struggle with her weight like I have for 2/3 of my life.
My final thought? Eat meat, drink water, be healthy. It’s as simple as that.
Thank you Dr. Baker. One little video saved a life. Keep going.
My name is Chris Donohue. I am 44 years old, a Licensed Massage Therapist and Herbalist, and the healthiest I have been in decades since adopting a carnivorous diet. I am down around 120 lbs (and counting), and have had many health issues COMPLETELY clear up since going carnivore. I have tried every diet under the sun (was a vegetarian for a year and a half, low-fat, low-carb, keto, ate only cereal, even ate baby food for a few months, etc) and Meat-Only is the only diet that has really worked for me and healed my health problems.
Following a Standard Ketogenic Diet last year took me part of the way, and I was able to lose some weight. But it seemed I was always losing and gaining the same 50 lbs, had long stalls, and frequently gave in to my cravings. Cheat meals sometimes turned into cheat weeks. I was helping to coach some of my clients and friends with Keto but was not having the results I was after. Since going fully carnivore the end of 2017 I have consistently been losing 2-4 lbs a week, with some even bigger week losses! I have ZERO cravings and ZERO hunger. I eat meat when hungry and drink water when thirsty, and I don’t restrict either. My friends and coworkers are amazed my fat is melting away eating ribeye steaks, bacon cheeseburgers, and chicken wings!
Besides the weight loss the health gains have been amazing in so short at time! A Meat-Only diet has cleared up several conditions that persisted even on a standard ketogenic diet. These include:
CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH: My blood pressure is lower, shortness of breath is gone (used to huff and puff just walking short distances like across the house), and serious leg swelling (edema from venous insufficiency) for which I had to wear compression stockings is GONE!
DIGESTION: Meat-Only cleared up my diverticulitis! I would get frequent serious intestinal infections requiring antibiotics and was once hospitalized for a perforated colon. Doctors said I would one day require surgery to remove part of my colon. I now know that the recommended high-fiber diet I was following was CAUSING the inflammation, gas, bloating, and increased colonic pressure that caused the bulging and subsequent infections. All of that went away when i removed all plants from my diet. Meat is almost completely digested in the small intestine so the large intestine can heal. This is INVALUABLE for people with diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, IBS, etc.
FITNESS: Able to walk longer distances, workout often, and engage in many activities I used to not be able to do or enjoy.
MOOD/MENTAL HEALTH: My mood is greatly improved and more stable. My depression is largely gone.
RESPIRATORY: Shortness of breath gone, chronic cough and congestion gone.
SKIN: The serious rashes and infections (sometimes requiring ER visits and antibiotics) that accompanied my leg swelling is gone, as is frequent boils, athletes foot, some lipomas and skin tags.
WEIGHT LOSS: Losing 2-4 a week, down 120 lbs and counting!
UNCATEGORIZED/OTHER: Pre-diabetes gone, blood sugars normal and stable, prostate issues (pressure, urgency, etc) cleared up, and lifelong anemia resolved.
Truly… MEAT HEALS!
If anyone has any questions, or I can help in any way, please feel free to reach out to me. My passion is to share the benefits of a Carnivore Keto diet with people, especially with those struggling to lose weight. You can find me at:
I have 6 children – 6 thru 42 – and the one joke I hear all the time is about my ‘diet’: ‘So what are you eating now, dad??’ All my life, I’ve been curious to try different foods and regimens, to see what works for me and doesn’t. I’d be embarrassed to admit how much time I’ve spent reading and researching over the years; even now, at 65, it continues all the time. Fact is, there wound up being an overall direction to it (if a bit meandering), and it doesn’t change quite as frequently as perceived, but they do have a legitimate critique.
I’ve been through lots of ‘phases’: when I was in my teens I followed some of the early Atkins ideas, then in my late 20’s, early 30’s, I followed a strict vegan regimen: used to make my own bread with organic stone ground wheat. tofu and sprout sandwiches, supplemented carefully with spirulina, brewer’s yeast, etc. After (as near as I can remember) a year or so, I had some trouble with fatigue when I was 30 – I was running 5+ miles every day, and I finally started to add in some dairy. Not sure that was the issue, but things did get better, and then I followed a pretty strict vegetarian diet for several years. One of my children, born during that time, is still vegetarian.
I had struggled with seasonal, then year round allergies since I was 19, and chronic (worsening) headaches in my 30’s, and 40’s. Additionally, my weight fluctuated: I would ‘buckle down’, count calories, or restrict types of food; over those years my weight ranged between about 165 and 220. And I had bad sugar cravings: chocolate, sweets, a genetic predisposition for sure, but I would work so hard to cut it out, and then one evening, I would implode and clean out every sugary treat, every half-opened, age-whitened chocolate bar, or frosted over long-forgotten reduced-to-goo ice cream from the back of the freezer. Why? I always felt helpless, and made up my mind again, till the next binge.
With a lot of reservations (shifting from years of veggie to red meat?!) , I tried the re-packaged version of the Atkins diet that was popular in the late 90’s – I was well into my late 40’s. It defied everything I had believed for decades, but sure enough, I lost weight, felt better. I shifted to South Beach (a bit hipper version with lean meats, and more ‘correct’ foods), and had the same results. I couldn’t keep my results, though – I would drift back into the weight roller coaster, gird up, lose some weight, then stumble and start again. But I noticed that on the ‘induction phase’ of both these diets – when I was eating NO grains, I always felt conspicuously better. After those initial couple of weeks, as I added back in the brown rice, whole wheat (NEVER processed), that good feeling dissipated.
A few years ago, my wife mentioned a conversation she had about the Paleo diet: no grains, no processed food. I jumped into that, researched everything I could. Dropping the grains was a positive move – can’t speak for one other person on Earth – but for me there was a palpable difference. I generally felt better, much less stomach and gut goings-on, and I was better able to control my weight and my diet. For a couple years, I was doing well.
But I continued to read and explore: I came across more and more about the ‘keto’ diet. As usual, I first thought it was ‘too radical’, and I was just plain afraid to try something that out of the norm. But I was piqued, and in September 2016, I jumped in and followed a rigorous keto diet, no more than 25-30 net carbs per day, huge leafy green salads, and of course no processed foods, no grains, no sugars, etc. I recorded my weight and every ounce of my food every day.
This was the first time, I think, that I was finally able to control my sugar cravings – I don’t think I’ve ever had a ‘cheat’ meal since then. I had started mountain biking with a friend a few years earlier, and I use an app that records every ride, my heart rate, etc. (I’m ridiculously fastidious about recording things.) My buddy is a really strong, experienced mountain biker, and 15 years younger, so I can never keep up completely, but it paces me and I managed to improve. I had started at 200/210 lbs., and with the keto diet, careful calorie counting, and meticulous supplementation (electrolytes, vitamins, etc. – about a dozen pills a night, plus electrolyte powders and regular fiber supplements), I managed to methodically drop my weight into the mid 150s by December 2017 – less than I’ve weighed since before puberty. My biking got stronger, and I also got to the gym when I could, so my upper body strength didn’t drop off too dramatically with the weight loss. Along the way I implemented intermittent fasting, which, again, improved my stamina riding, and my health, mood, etc., got better again.
But I had read about ‘zero carb’ – at first it just had a morbid fascination: here again I was looking at something that defied everything I thought I knew. This created more fear: what about scurvy, would I be painfully constipated, somehow permanently ‘ruined’? I toyed with it, looked into it, but never seriously considered taking that leap.
When I happened to watch Shawn (Dr. Baker) on the December Joe Rogan podcast, it suddenly felt down to earth, not so scary. I made up my mind to try it and started December 11, 2017. I wanted to be very clinical about it, and not confound my results, so I determined to drop, on that day, all my vitamins, supplements, psyllium husk (i.e. fiber supplement), and I also decided to drop my long time nasal spray, which I had taken for decades to address my chronic headaches (I have NEVER been able to stop that without vengeful headache repercussions). The only things I continued, at first, were my morning coffee, and my Claritin. I’d taken the Claritin for decades, year round – for headaches and allergies, and had never been able to stop it. A few days without it in the past caused severe itching all over my body, and I just assumed I’d take it till I died.
I continued and participated in the January study on Track-Well.com, and then just kept going. I tapered the coffee completely, as well as the Claritin. As of today (2/19/2018), I have been free of the Claritin for about 4 weeks. I tentatively planned to go back to my keto diet – I still have fat bombs and low carb, homemade bread patiently waiting for me in the freezer (which my family probably won’t eat) – but as of now I have no plans to stop the carnivore WOE (way of eating).
I eat mostly beef, occasional pork, a little chicken, eggs every few days, occasional cheese, but I’ve felt better when I drop the cheese entirely. Aside from that: water. I eat when hungry, surprisingly never get tired of the steak (or hamburger for economy), and it usually happens about twice a day.
I realized that, generally speaking, as I cut out carbs at every ‘phase’, I just felt better. Suddenly it didn’t seem unreasonable to cut them out entirely, and just see what might happen. Of the three ‘macros’ (carbohydrate, protein and fat), only protein and fat are ‘necessary’. Hey – tomorrow I may decide on a different route, but as long as it goes this well, I’m staying on track.
Here’s what I’ve noticed:
Weight: my weight dropped in the first couple weeks from 153 to 147, but since then it’s slowly built back up to 162. Most is muscle weight, not fat – my waist, etc., hasn’t really changed.
Joints: I’ve had some chronic problems with neck/shoulder pains since my 40’s, but those really disappeared almost immediately after I started keto. I’ve had occasional twinges in knees and joints since, nothing to complain about, but since starting carnivore, these are rare and temporary.
Headaches: these diminished pretty quickly, and the minor ones I’ve had seem now to be associated with dairy, especially cheese. This is a kind of ‘elimination diet’, and as such, it becomes easy to isolate ‘trouble’ foods. (I’ve had multiple MRI’s and CAT scans, as well as several types of doctors working on this issue for me over the years. If this diet eliminates that lifetime issue, it’s really huge for me. Allergy season could be an issue, but I’m going into this spring sans meds and willing to see what happens.)
Stamina/strength: Within the first few days, my energy jumped considerably, even over the keto diet – I just wanted to go work out. When I could make the time I was sometimes working out in the gym, followed by a pretty strenuous kettlebell or rowing workout, and then, in the evening, a couple hard hours of mountain biking. Since then the energy has settled somewhat, and I realized I was doing TOO much for an old man, but I still feel as good as ever, and my biking and workouts are all improved. I track all my weights in the gym, and they’ve steadily improved since I started, and much faster than any time since college. My recovery time seems shorter as well. In terms of cardio shape and stamina, I can climb familiar hills, gulleys, etc., that I sometimes couldn’t climb before. ‘Burst’ (anaerobic) energy is just as good or better, not just aerobic exertions.
Intestinal: whereas I had been supplementing with psyllium husk to get a consistent 30 grams of fiber a day and a daily bowel movement, I suddenly cut this out entirely. Now I am very regular, though less frequent, and the bloating, rumbling, and gas I always had before is pretty much gone. I never feel constipated – I’m never aware of my digestive track at all, really. It just works. I spend a fraction of the time I used to in the bathroom (stopped even bringing my phone in…. 🙁 ).
Coffee: In the past I had given up coffee for stretches, but I had to taper over a few weeks because I’m very sensitive to caffeine withdrawal. It seemed much easier on this diet, and just took a few days.
Skin: I notice I usually don’t need deodorant now (could change as summer approaches, I’m open to friendly feedback), and I also notice my skin is generally just a little better hydrated. I rarely use (or need) soap on my skin anymore. I have always had some chronic skin breakouts on my chest and back, dermatologists had tried to address over the years, but early on I noticed this was entirely gone. Some things happen that you aren’t expecting, and it’s a pleasant surprise.
Mood: I noticed that I generally had become a good bit calmer and less reactive (my family’s observations may vary..), even on the keto diet, and that continued on the zero carb regimen.
I’ve learned, over the years, that ‘conventional wisdom’ is often 99% convention, and 1% wisdom. The money and resources spent these days on persuasion, the stakes being high as they are – it’s more important than ever to avoid confirmation bias and the emotional sort of ‘cult’ identification (‘I’m a CARNIVORE!’ ‘I’m a VEGAN!’). I try to avoid ‘us-against-them’, whether it’s carnivory, or veganism, or any labeling that artificially divides us by point of view, or way of eating, etc. And there is SO much conflicting ‘research’: I can support any view now by simply Googling the results I want, and the ‘debate’ is endless. I don’t have the time to spend or interest in researching why that’s so (I have theories ;-), but I responsibility for my own personal health rests with me, and I’m reluctant to cede that authority blindly to another person or institution. When possible, I test for myself; I prefer ‘evidence-based’ knowledge over authoritarian-certified dogma. Trust, but verify – rather than trust alone. If one option makes sense, but the other is based on a ‘study’ I opt for the one that makes sense – and when possible, test. I trust implicitly the true scientific method, but I don’t automatically trust every claim paraded noisily about as ‘science’. Sadly, I know so many people who could possibly be helped by changes in diet – with joint issues or autoimmune conditions, but who are intimidated by the shrill, alarmist voices out there, scaring them off. There’s a treasure chest of good information supporting the carnivorous and LCHF diets out there now, enough to help a reasonable person ask good questions, if they have a true interest in open minded learning.
Thanks to Shawn and Matt and everyone else who’s made this interesting, and a bit humorous at times, but mostly for giving people confidence – without arm-twisting – to experiment for themselves and share. It’s all fun to try new things, and learn.
At 28, I was diagnosed with arthritis in my hands.
At 29, I had my first colonoscopy and diagnosis with diverticulitis.
At 32, I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.
I powerlifted through my 20’s, but at 35, I couldn’t run or push hard for fear of a-fib.
I got fat. At 27, I had man boobs and love handles. I couldn’t walk flight of stairs and had very few solid bowel movements.
I began cutting stuff out and realized that every time I cut a grain or veggie, I felt better and got leaner. Exactly 18 months later, I am approaching 37 years old and have 8.5% body fat and run 3.5 miles/day. I have lower blood pressure, higher good cholesterol. Zero a-fib issues. Zero diverticulitis issues. I require less sleep (4.5 hours), and I get more done during day.
And, I’ll tell ya, the benefits in the bedroom with the wife are off the charts.
As per interest and requests I thought I would sit down and talk about my story of approaching and reaching my carnivore diet. Even though I like to never look back or put any focus on my previous ill health, I know that by doing so it may help others. Warning… I’m a number of things, but not a writer. So, read on at your own risk!🤪
I was born March 22, 1973 to an engineer and a physical therapist. My mom’s dad was an M.D. with an emphasis on OB/GYN. He was a great man, but followed the norm of doctoring. He suggested the healthy diet of “cereal and low-fat milk” to snack on in between the standard low fat meals. She was a good little girl and gained just the right amount of weight, ate her “good foods” and prepared for her new baby in a “June Cleaver” kind of way.
I was born quickly without any complications. Things went the way they typically do with hospital births. She nursed me, with the intention of weaning me off breastmilk completely by the 3 month mark so she and my dad could go to FL and leave me with my grandparents. I reacted to every formula and every food they gave me. I guess they ended with the least reactive combination for me.
Growing up, I always had rashes, asthma and allergies. I was allergy tested at 4 after having a scary breathing situation at nursery school. I was sensitive to almost everything. But my diet was never looked at as an option to cure it all. Instead, I got shots for years. I hated every single one. Never got used it. It always seemed wrong to me.
Because I was an only child, my parents wanted me to have opportunities to do things with other kids as much as possible. So, I went to a lot of camps – which I absolutely loved. However, one of the many camp trips is most likely when I was bitten by a deer tick. I remember tick checks every night and removing them with tweezers when found. I don’t remember having a specific rash or period of flu-like symptoms. I had my share of colds, strep and flu every year and would always catch whatever was “going around”, so nothing stood out when I contracted Lyme.
Because my grandpa was a doctor, medications were easy to access and antibiotics were FREELY given to me. I was destined for constant, health failure.
Because of my tendency toward asthma, my parents didn’t enroll me in what I would have loved the most – dance. Instead, homework and optimal grades were pushed (especially by my mom).
And I did succeed in that. I was always top of my class, getting straight A’s and extra credit whenever it was available.
In the meantime, my health kept deteriorating. Beginning at age 8 I developed trichotillomania. Sores on my eyelids and eyebrow lines made me want to rub/pull at the lashes. I had times when I had no eyelashes or eyebrows. My parents saw it as a bad habit that I wasn’t “strong enough” to overcome. This lasted all the way through grade school, middle school, high school, college and my first couple years working.
Whenever I went over to my friends’ houses (everyone had pets), it wasn’t long before my parents would get a call to come and get me because I was wheezing or developing hives.
Once I started to mature around age 13, the acne I developed was cyst-like and extremely ugly and painful. They would look like craters. I had them all over my face, neck, inside my ears, shoulders, back, chest and arms. Between hardly having eyelashes/eyebrows and having this acne, I was very self-conscious. I was not obese as a kid, but I was always heavier than the norm and carried my weight in a weird sort of way in my hips and butt. I remember having cellulite at age 12.
By age 16 my periods slowed and stopped completely. None of the OB/GYN doctors had any answers. My diet was the typical low fat, high complex carbs, high vegetation and low sugar. So, OBVIOUSLY my diet wasn’t causing it.
College days were fun (time away from my parents), but continued my downward health spiral. The extreme fatigue really set in at this point. I started out having a double major of Mathematics (to please my dad) and Studio Art (to please me). My mom didn’t care as long as my grades were as perfect as possible. What kept me from successfully majoring in Mathematics is I could not stay awake in class. I would fall asleep after a couple minutes of class starting and wake up when it was over. I needed naps throughout the day and I would always be the first one to sleep in the dorm by hours. Depression and darkness started overcoming me. I pushed friends away more and more due to my fatigue and depression.
I started working out hoping that would make me feel better about myself (and my floppy physique), but it just made me more tired and angry. I didn’t give up working out until years later. (I even became a PT on the side of my professional job.)
I ended up graduating cum laude with math and psychology minors, and studio art major.
After graduating college, I got a job working in the Industrial Design department at Navistar, which was a dream as an Art major, loving automotive design and working at the same company as my dad, cousin and uncles.
The most dramatic downturn in my health happened next. The stress of working and being around clay modeling, paint spraying and all sorts of chemicals quickly sent me downhill fast. Honestly, at this point life is a blur to me still.
My lifesaver was Joe. Wonderful, talented, funny, interesting, 100% compatible with me, Joe!❤ It’s almost as if I was waiting to meet him before my life which was heading downhill fast would make a turn for the better. But it was going to get worse before getting better.
My list of health conditions grew: eczema all over my hands (to the point of second degree burns), tinnitus, worsening depression, worsening fatigue (fell asleep at work all the time, at meetings, at church, and driving a car), lower back/pelvic and sciatic nerve pain (couldn’t sit at all, worked standing up, constant pain with occasional howling-pain spasms; MRI revealed degenerative disc disease in 3 areas), systemic edema, blurry vision (eyeglasses were worn beginning in high school, worsening every year), paralyzation at times in hands and feet working its way into my torso (Joe had to be called to carry me out of work several times), allergies/sensitivities to all things (food, pollens, chemicals), continued amenhorrea, weight gain (at my heaviest 50 pounds overweight), inability to concentrate (couldn’t understand a sentence spoken to me in time to hear the next in a conversation), diagnosed with cervical dysplasia (treated with cryotherapy), migraines, heart pains, indigestion/reflux, bingeing (and at the end, vomiting – luckily only a few times), muscle twitching (over 100 twitches in 1-minute’s time), lumps in my breasts I was too afraid to have checked out, and one of the last but most difficult for everyone around me was my irritation and rage (a complete reversal of my laid back and sweet nature everyone knew me to have growing up).
I literally could go on, but I don’t want to waste any more time or bleed my heart out anymore than I have.
I went the conventional doctor route, with absolutely NO success. Each one made me sicker, weaker and with more symptoms. Most concluded it was all in my head and I was crazy!
Joe was always interested in body building and happened on Vince Gironda. His way of eating to be as strong and sharp as possible intrigued Joe. Almost as soon as he researched this and similar diets (many authors delving into the low/carb free approach to health long, long ago) he started eating low carb/high fat. Instantly it appealed to me and I tried experimenting with low carb foods and recipes (I loved to cook and bake). It was not an immediate win for me, but certain things instantly started to turn around (allergies and asthma in particular as soon as I removed grains). I also started unmasking the low carb foods (vegetation especially), which would send me into terrible fatigue spells.
When Joe and I married August 8, 1998 (this is part of my love of the number 8), it was one of the best days of my life (other than the days of giving birth to my two sons). It was bittersweet though. I felt bad despite the adrenaline. We were the first ones to leave our own reception, not because we couldn’t wait to be together, but because I was so wiped out from the whole thing.
On with the positive turn!
Soon after I was diagnosed with Lyme disease by an alternative M.D. At least that gave us something to focus on and be able to look at as reasons behind some of my issues. I decided to quit my job to focus on getting well and reducing my stress level (I was working, taking MBA classes, finished my PT and nutritionist licenses).
More research quickly led us from looking at low carb to virtually no carbs. We experimented so much in such little amount of time that we realized we’d better start journals of everything we ate, how we felt, what worked and what didn’t. All we wanted was consistency.
The fish and oil diet was the first diet I can remember being the first try at a zero carb diet. It relieved a lot of my symptoms, but not all (still had amenhorrea, edema, trichotillomania, acne, eczema and excess weight). We probably spent about a year experimenting beginning with the fish and oil diet, quickly switching to free range eggs and poultry, and occasional lamb and beef.
As SOON as I switched to animal fat as my fat source instead of “healthy” oils, I ovulated and had a period two weeks later. I couldn’t believe it!!! Why in the WORLD didn’t someone tell me years ago about the importance of animal fat?!?😤 I’ve been more regular since then than I ever was as a young teenager. I’ve had two healthy boys (no complications for me; home births too; mid-wife with Charlie and unassisted with George)! ❤😀
We experimented with pork only to find that it activated symptoms. Ground meats, no matter what type also did.
We continued researching and looked at our wins and fails. It led us to Blake Donaldson who suggested a steak and water diet for his patients. That made a lot of sense to Joe and I. We started with pemmican only for some time, introducing steak eventually. Sure enough, as soon as I decided to go all beef, EVERY SINGLE ONE of my symptoms vanished!!! I couldn’t believe it. Whenever I tried to share my success and happiness about this, it was met with more questionable stares, anger, fear, and rolled eyes than you would ever imagine. So, it was our little secret. And that’s how we kept it until we found others with our point of view.
Also, I quickly found the more I ate meat only, my face shape changed and especially my body. I went from needing to work out religiously and strenuously when eating poorly to giving up exercise completely in order to not become too muscular or masculine-looking.
Even when others put our interview out a few years ago, it was met (by some) with so much anger, that we pulled it. It was slated to be run in National Examiner magazine. Boy, would that have been a disaster in many respects.
These days we eat ribeye steak, since it’s the fattiest. And we drink spring water. That’s what we do. We don’t think about it. We don’t really even talk about it. To us it’s like talking about why the sky is blue. Yes, there is scientific reasoning behind it. It’s nice to understand, but it’s beauty is really all it comes down to appreciating!