Elizabeth R.

After a lifetime of bad eating, I finally started to get healthy a few years ago. I and switched from the Standard American Diet to Low-Carb overnight.

I did pretty well with it and lost about thirty pounds (I was about fifty pounds overweight at that time). But I knew I couldn’t sustain it. I had to make just about everything from scratch so I could control the carb content. If I wanted a sandwich, I could have one, but I’d have to make my own bread first. It was exhausting, and the cravings I had were driving me mad.

Finally, I fell off the wagon just about as far as any can fall. I gave up trying to sustain that and went back to my old way of eating, and then some. I gained back that thirty pounds, plus another fifty. Every now and then I would try to force myself to eat “healthy” foods but, since I hate vegetables, I could never sustain that either.

Back in college, there was a short time when I became a vegetarian. That was over pretty quickly because it made me so sick and tired that I couldn’t continue.

That was it, then. I’d determined that “healthy eating” did not work on me, at least not in a way that I could keep up forever, and that I would be fat and miserable for the rest of my life.

Then, something happened that forced me to change. I started having very bad, painful reactions to food. It began with heavily spiced foods and things like that. I would eat it, and then my heart would hurt. It felt like pressure, like someone was reaching in and squeezing the crap out of my heart. It hurt like hell. Based on my own research and speaking with my doctor, it was a non-cardiac type of heart pain that was caused from gastrointestinal issues. Basically, my body could no longer handle the food I was eating, and I was given a special diet.

I wasn’t that surprised because I’ve always had digestive problems (IBS-symptoms and such), but I’d never had a reaction like that before. Still, I followed my new diet with the intention of being pain-free.

But I wasn’t. Almost overnight, I began having a bad reaction to almost every food I hate, bar none. It didn’t matter how healthy or otherwise the food was anymore. If it went into my body, it made my digestive tract flare up which sent the shooting pains and pressure to my heart.

I felt the best when I ate only meat (I’ve always been a meat lover) but I had no idea that you could sustain on that, so I always tried to force myself to have something with it.

I found out about the zero carb woe because a Youtuber I like to watch started eating it and shared her story (proof that procrastinating can sometimes be life-changing). She linked over to Kelly Williams Hogan’s blog, which I then devoured.

Holy moly. Everything that Kelly experienced resonated with me. Her extreme sensitivities to food, her constant struggle with weight, her feeling like healthy eating did not work for her.

And now, all she ate was meat. And all that was gone. That was really all I needed to hear to dive in face first. I had absolutely nothing to lose.

Now, I am still “new” to the zero carb woe compared to many people. But I don’t expect to ever go back to any other way of eating.

My gastrointestinal issues cleared up almost immediately. I could eat without any pain within the first week. There were times when I would be having such a severe attack that I couldn’t move and struggled to breathe, and my husband would be crying because he didn’t know what was wrong with me or how to fix it. That seems like ages ago now, but it really hasn’t been that long.

My weight has also gone down. I don’t know exact numbers because I’m not a scale person, but I feel lighter and I’m having to buy smaller clothes. Here is a list of all the benefits I’ve experienced thus far:

  • Depression and anxiety almost completely gone
  • No more digestive issues
  • Excess weight slowly diminishing
  • Brain fog cleared
  • Improved memory
  • Moodiness gone
  • Hair and nails grow faster and stronger
  • Acne cleared up
  • No more constantly sniffling and sneezing like I used to

I’m sure the long list of benefits will only keep growing. I would have tried this woe long ago if I’d known it was possible. I just never had any idea you could ever live on meat, and I probably would have laughed in your face if you’d told me otherwise. Boy, am I glad to be proven wrong!

T. T.

Life caught up with me in my 30’s – like it threw a rope around me and yanked me to the ground. I went from blissfully eating whatever I wanted on the SAD diet to desperately searching for the answers I hoped would save my health. I’ll explain.

Living in NYC gave me access to some of the most ‘exciting’ and tasty treats. I say exciting because eating and drinking is like a sport here and I bought right into that culture. Food became the first thought on my mind each morning as I anticipated that DOUGH Donut or Brooklyn Blackout Cake slice I was going to allow myself to indulge in. That initial excitement would quickly turn into panic, anxiety and inner pleading within myself while I desperately tried to find ways to talk myself out of making bad dietary choices, or, at least delay them as long as I could. In the end the craving always won. I was horrified and frankly scared at what was becoming my inner food landscape because it was worsening year by year and I realized I was powerless to say no to sugar.

No one else was worried about me. In fact, friends and family would giggle at me when I admitted I would sometimes down 3 pints of B&J’s ice cream in a week saying, “You’re tall and thin don’t even worry about it.” or “It’s okay, you deserve a treat sometimes. You work really hard. Maybe it’s stress or hormones.” But this was not okay; I knew I must be hurting my body massively with every bite of refined sugar. I actually wanted someone to flip out and humiliate me about my habits because I thought perhaps that would be some sort of catalyst to finally make me stop.

So here I was at the ‘young’ age of 32 battling a raging sugar addiction, watching my once clear complexion develop into a non-stop rotation of cystic acne and losing my youthful look as I visibly began aging more rapidly. I could no longer control myself around foods I knew were detrimental to my health. I woke up exhausted every morning no matter how many hours of sleep I got and I felt stiff and creaky. I began noticing new aches pains that seemed to come out of nowhere – just me living my normal life. Things felt bad and on top of it all, I was horrified to realize that my body just wasn’t healing at it’s normal rate – things were taking months and months to heal.

Naturally, I found myself trying to justify it, “Oh well, this is what happens as you age.” Honestly, since when is 32 considered old? I thought if this is my life now how could I possibly enjoy the rest of my life as my health continues to deteriorate?

I discovered Intermittent Fasting which led me to the Keto and LCHF diets. I jumped into fasting pumped that this would be my magic bullet – fasting just made complete sense to me. Using IF, I was finally able to steer my diet in a better direction for the first time in many years. I began enjoying eggs, dark-meat chicken and bacon drowning in olive oil, avo oil, coconut oil or butter with lots of low-carb veggies cooked in these delish Keto-approved fats.

The weight began melting off and I was ecstatic. I dropped so much weight I had to buy new clothes -”Yay!” I thought, “This is the answer I’ve been looking for!” Still my sugar addiction roared on but in a slightly muted fashion.

I was careful to only eat whole Keto foods keeping it simple with cheese, veggies and meat cooked in fat, I stayed clear of processed foods and carb-mimicking creations like cauli-pizza or Oopsie bread or fat bombs of any sort. I was fasting obsessively and fully intended to maintain this lifestyle, no problem. I convinced myself that I actually enjoyed fasting and the hungry feeling. Looking back this may not have been the healthiest thing for me but I figured it would be a short amount of time before I became fat adapted and then fasting would become easy and natural and provide the healing I was looking for.

Finally, I moved out of a stressful living situation and into my own apartment happily keeping up with Keto and daily OMAD – I was often hungry and wouldn’t allow myself to eat outside of my eating window. I did more research and decided that I simply needed to up my fats and incorporate bone broth – still I never felt as though I achieved the elusive fat adapted state everyone was writing about. I never felt truly satisfied. My skin had improved but not by much. I took another honest look at my inner food landscape and sadly admitted to myself that this wasn’t working as well as the testimonials I was reading seemed to talk about. Though I thoroughly enjoyed all the Keto foods in each and every meal I had to resort to leaving my credit cards at my apartment to stop myself from buying desserts on my way home.

As the months passed I noticed that I was still waking up exhausted, foggy, irritated, achy and full of pain in my joints. I wasn’t as enthused about fasting because, quite honestly, it did not seem to be healing me as much as I expected and I was tired of feeling hungry but forcing myself to power through. To my dismay, slowly my weight began creeping back up despite daily OMAD and strict Keto. I couldn’t motivate myself to go on the 2 to 3 day fast I knew it would require to get my weight back down again.

ZC/Carnivore tidbits would crop up in my daily search for answers. At first, I thought it was too extreme but as it continued to surface I became mildly curious. I dove in and began Googling. The research and personal testimonials slowly began to cast ZC in a new light: isn’t this what humans are supposed to eat? It seemed stupidly simple and yet completely impossible for food to be this easy. I longed for food to be simple and for my disordered eating to melt away – but come on – every single one of the females in my life struggled daily with food, dieting, weight and cravings. How could it actually be simple?

I knew I had to give it a try. Interestingly I began to feel drastic improvement immediately and it dawned on me that I hadn’t been fully aware of how bad my health actually was.I had learned to sort of push through or ignore pain because it was always there and I didn’t know what it was like to live without it.

So what changed? Well it’s only been around 3 months of a 90% carnivorous diet and I have blown my health out of the water, so to speak:

  • Cravings – Mostly gone; if I do have cravings they are now manageable and I walk right past the sweets that used to control me every day. Oh! And I no longer have to leave my credit card at home to keep myself on the straight and narrow. I haven’t touched B&J’s, DOUGH Donuts or Brooklyn Blackout slices since I started ZC. I leave the fries untouched while I dive into my bunless burger at restaurants. This still blows my mind.
  • Eyesight – My eyesight was getting more blurry each year. It has now improved and as an added bonus, my eyes no longer tire after a full day of staring at a screen.
  • Energy – Steady and stable; I don’t feel tired, depleted or exhausted.
  • Hair – Growing more quickly. My stylist recently commented (unprompted) on how soft my hair felt. I have been going to her for over two years.
  • Skin – Complete 360! I barely even break out around my cycle. Not only have my breakouts diminished but the quality and color of my skin is beautiful now – I feel radiant.
  • Nails – I used to have endless hangnails and painful cuticles that would not heal. My nails barely grew before and if they did, they inevitably broke. Since ZC, my nails have been growing so quickly that I have to file them every few days. I haven’t had a single broken nail and my cuticles are 100% healthy – no more pain.
  • Digestion – Perfect – no gas, pain or bloating! #happytummy
  • Food Stress – Let’s see I went from 24/7 food obsession and fear of calories to complete ease. Grocery shopping is a cinch: I complete my shopping in one 3-minute swoop through the meat department and I’m done. Cooking is a breazy 10 minute routine and I enjoy every single meal.
  • Sprained Ankle – I sprained my ankle at least 8 months ago doing yoga and it simply would not heal. I thought Keto or Fasting would give my body the break it needed to heal-nope. Three months of ZC, and my ankle is completely healed.
  • Joint Pain – 95% improved – especially my knees which were bugging me walking up and down the subways steps.
  • Foot Pain – I actually forgot I had foot pain until I read my notes because it’s now completely gone.
  • Hand Numbness – I used to have pain and numbness in my left hand whenever things would get really stressful at work. Not only is that gone but it doesn’t flare past a dull throb when I’m super stressed. It is noticeably improving still.
  • Brain Fog – I went from being easily stressed out and lacking confidence to kicking ass and taking names. I’m now more enthusiastic, clear-headed and productive at work. I’m no longer leaving the office feeling like the life was drained out of me.
  • Anxiety and Depression – Literally gone. I always thought my daily struggle with that down-in-the-dumps feeling was just my personality. With ZC the anxiety disappeared and the depression melted away. People keep complimenting me randomly and I know it’s because I’m in a fabulous, chill, happy mood bouncing around and enjoying everyday life. I’ve noticed the direct connection to my diet as this is the first thing to go if I eat sugary treats. Now that I know what affects me there is no going back, is there?

The only (temporary) downside I have had is a bit of initial weight gain, however, I think this will work itself out in time. Looking back on my life knowing what I now know, I realize that I have starved myself of anything nutrient dense for years. I was completely prepared for the possibility of weight gain after reading Kelly Hogan’s story and I was willing to chance the weight gain because I feel so dang good – you can’t bottle this feeling.

Happily – Healthily,
T.

Michal Gniewek

I was vegan for about 4 years. In a very short period of time, I developed mouth ulcers and lost a lot of weight that I later gained back. I got into cleansing, raw food, and juicing. I spent thousands of £££ on supplements and superfoods, thinking that they were the next magic thing and that another superfood hype would save me, while my health was getting worse.

After 2 years on being vegan diet, I developed chronic fatigue, severe mouth ulcers, mild depression, skin problems, IBS, infections, shingles (I got scares on forehead and was close to losing sight in right eye, the doctor said). My immune system was non-existent by that time and chronic fatigue was getting worse and worse. My brain was “drying out,” screaming for oily fish!

Gradually I started adding fish, butter, raw kefir, and bone broth that helped me survive last winter. I stared feeling better and stronger. I had my first piece of meat after 5 years in October last year, and it felt amazing. It digested better than green smoothie (now I now why), and I started eating more and more meat. From beginning of 2018, I am mostly carnivore!

After only few days on it, IBS and inflammation was gone, and I felt like getting new life. My energy levels are great, my skin looks amazing, my hair is growing like crazy, and the wrinkles and gray hair I developed on vegan diet are disappearing. I have enough energy to train between 2 to 6 hours a day, 6 times a weeks, and I did my first Ironman 70.3 last week.

I’m so grateful for this journey to well-being. Meat truly heals. Thank you, Shawn Baker! 🙏