My whole life, my health has been an enigma to me. I was always skinny as a kid and could, and did, eat pretty much anything I wanted without gaining weight. That included a lot of sugar. Sugar poured over my cereal in the morning, sugar in the juices and sodas I drank, and any candy, ice cream or cake I could get my hands on.
What could possibly go wrong? I was skinny, which means healthy, right?
But I had a variety of chronic maladies that would crop up from time to time – back pains, fatigue, OCD symptoms, infections, joint problems, digestion problems, and increasingly, anxiety. An athlete I was not.
As I got older, the problems came and went, and at times I even became athletic. But my blood tests started getting worse, and symptoms came more frequently. I gained a little weight as I grew through my 30’s into my 40’s but kept exercising and trying to eat what I thought was a healthy diet.
But my A1c, blood pressure and cholesterol climbed anyway. I was already taking statins and blood pressure pills in my early 30’s, even though I looked perfectly healthy. I was, as they say, skinny fat.
Well, my fragile world crashed down about 7 years ago following surgery to remove a non-malignant tumor from a nerve in my thigh. The surgery ‘went fine’ as the doctors told me. But 3 days later, I could not get out of bed. I was crippled by a fatigue and anxiety that left me confused and helpless. Over the following months, my symptoms got worse and worse until I could barely leave the house. It was like living with a migraine that never went away. Among the more notable symptoms:
Hypersensitivity to light and sound – I literally wore silicon earplugs and dark glasses every time I left the house. Public places overwhelmed me with noise.
Insomnia – I did not sleep for days and weeks at a time, leaving my waking hour a walking nightmare.
Asthma – Never had it before, now I was taking multiple inhalers.
Carpel Tunnel – all of sudden, I started waking, when I could fall asleep, with crippling hand and wrist pain.
Digestion – swung in both directions.
Sinusitis/Allergies – my nose was clogged, my eyes teared endlessly.
Fainting – the falling over without warning and slamming my head into the floor was definitely a low point.
And CRIPPLING Fatigue. Crippling. That was the worst – sitting almost paralyzed for hours.
I thought I was dying.
Then, a series of chance events led me towards the carnivorous diet I strive to maintain now. I visited every kind of doctor I’d heard of (and some I hadn’t), and eventually settled on the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and took more medicines and supplements that you can possibly imagine. Some helped.
But it was an encounter with an acupuncturist that started my shifting paradigm on food and diet. He asked me about how I ate. I said I eat pretty well. He smiled and said, “what do you consider pretty well?” Hmmm. What did I consider well and why?
I expected a lecture on plant-based diets and fiber, but was quite shocked when he told me I needed to eat more meat. Meat? Seriously? Last thing I expected from someone I thought of us very spiritual.
Now his diet recommendations were based upon the Weston Price work and foundation. Naturally raised meats, raw dairy, and traditionally prepared plant foods – ferments, soaking/sprouting, stewing, etc. Not carnivorous, but certainly not vegetarian.
In the coming years, I found, researched and tried all the usual lower carb suspects – paleo, primal, bulletproof, keto, intermittent fasting, etc. I read the books and blogs – all of them taught me things. They made me rethink all I thought that I knew. And not just about which foods to eat, but when, how much and why.
And then the fateful day I stumbled upon the story of the Andersens, the family happily raising a family of 4 on nothing but ribeyes. I was stunned. It seemed impossible. What about a balanced plate with lots of colors and macros and such? What about disease and cholesterol and heart attacks?
A bigger challenge was trying to explain to my wife, who had quietly suffered through my illness and countless doctors, pills and potions, that I was now going to eat steak for breakfast, lamb burgers for lunch and more steak for dinner. Now she was convinced I was going to die, and while I thought she might be right, I felt better than I had in a long time. Digestion was simpler. I slept better. I stopped wearing ear plugs and could go in the sun without bursting into flames. I cut back on medications, I started doing more around the house, I was increasingly productive at work.
I know I don’t have all the answers. I still have health challenges and take some medications. But the simplicity and consistency of carnivory is a huge help. I don’t know if it will change my life expectancy in the long run, but it has increased my quality of life tremendously right now.
I’ll sum it up simply by saying I am blessed.
I am blessed that I am not dead.
I am blessed that I can work full time and even travel.
I am blessed that I can still learn new things.
And I am blessed that I get to eat a ribeye any time I damn well please.
Our oldest son has asthma. He is 10. This year he spent several days in the ICU with a severe bout. This experience was horrendous as any parent with a child suffering from asthma knows.
My wife and I are both Paleo, Ketogenic dieters. I actually had a biochemistry teacher in 1999 mention an all meat diet as “possible”. He wasn’t advocating it for health, just suggesting it was possible. So when I heard Dr Baker on the JRE, I was intrigued.
Our son and his younger brother both went full Carnivore with us, three months ago. We logged his pharmaceutical use. We took ketone measurements with a ketonix and sat back baffled and elated as his body seemed to begin a natural renaissance.
Day two his night coughing, was gone. A dry, persistent, 7 year cough. Gone. It has never returned.
Eight days out of the ICU he went to districts for wrestling and placed fourth, giving him his first birth into State. His breathing on the mat, almost night and day. Not perfect. But better. He used his rescue inhaler fifty percent less during districts.
3 weeks into Carnivore and he was able to go entire matches at State without gasping for air, very little secondary breathing muscle engagement, which was amazing.
He can now sprint an entire 2 miles without a pre-exercise rescue inhaler. Running of any kind, was a massive trigger for him. He sometimes will wheeze after hard cardio, but is almost always able to self regulate. This would have been impossible three months ago.
He is developing “normally” for a wrestler now. His body is responding to weights and grappling like never before. In three short months.
He does not use Advair.
His allergies are nearly nonexistent, and as we have spent time traveling to the East coast, just a nasal rinse every few days has been perfect.
It is my opinion that our LACK of animal fat in diets may be triggering the alarming uptick in childhood asthmatics. There is some actually data on this which can be found in some of the research out there. Our son was VERY picky in his terrible twos and into his threes. I do not think this was an accident as to his manifestation of the disease.
Carnivore has completely changed the trajectory of our boys life.
Like so many others here I watched Dr. Shawn Baker on the Joe Rogan Podcast.
After two months on this woe [ed: way of eating] I have lost 8kg of fat, gained a little muscle, but gained a lot more strength. My asthma and hay fever issues are almost totally gone, and I’m feeling great.
The ability to get away from the old cravings/crash cycle of my former woe to a now steady level of energy for the whole day is so calming.
Loved your podcast with Rogan! I decided to try out the carnivore diet for one month to see how my body would react. Let’s just say my body loves it and I will be sticking with this diet forever! I feel amazing, I have seen a change in my body fat percentage and my over all health has improved. I suffer from asthma and have gluten and dairy intolerance. My gut & lungs have never felt better taking those products out of my life! Thank you!
I took some before and after pics of my one month experiment. I went from 194 to 180lbs.
I hope someone reading this will learn from my trials. I will have succeeded if one person takes action. I don’t want anyone to experience the pain and struggles that I have gone through. Since I was 12 years I have been on a perpetual diet. I hit puberty and plumped up. My family had an obsession with being thin and my mom was always on a perpetual diet. At 12 I started that rollercoaster too.
My parents thought they were being helpful when they told me that they didn’t want me to get fat. According to the 80’s nutrition advice that meant I needed to cut the fat from my diet. I took the USDA’s advice and avoided ALL FAT. I have a family history of heart disease, so I avoided red meat and especially saturated fat. I ate cereal in the morning, sandwiches at noon, and pasta at night. I never reached my goal of being thin but I held of being super fat out of sheer will and determination. My whole life I never remember feeling good. I didn’t even know what feeling good felt like.
I stayed on that trajectory through college. I was always watching my weight. I was on a ROTC Scholarship and in the Army National Guard. The thought of of losing my scholarship was terrifying. After my commission I joined the National Guard. I didn’t want to lose the GI Bill that was paying part of my tuition. I stuck to the low fat diet and counted calories.
I met and married my college sweetheart. When I found out I was pregnant I decided to leave the National Guard. I didn’t have to watch my weight. I ended up gaining quite a bit of weight being pregnant. After having my son I never got down to where I was before becoming pregnant. Four years later I had my second son. I was even heavier than after my first child.
When my youngest started school I decided to train for a marathon. I believed that running a marathon would make me thin. Life would be perfect if I could run myself thin. I trained for the marathon and followed the prescribed carb rich diet. I didn’t end up losing any weight during my marathon training.
After the marathon I thought that I needed to do a triathlon, then I would end up thin. Nope, I was still fat. The triathlon training made me realize that I liked riding my bike. I took up cycling. I rode my first century bike ride. I was able to cover the distance but I was still fat.
I enjoyed endurance training. I made many friends and loved training with them. I figured that I needed to ramp up my training. Of course, that must by why I was still fat. I wasn’t training hard enough. I started training for the 70.3 distance triathlons, then I worked up to an Ironman. After the Ironman I was STILL FAT… UGH! WTF!
If the calories in/calories out model worked, I would be super thin. I was training 20 hours a week and eating less than 1500 calories per day. I had mild asthma that soon became chronic and uncontrolled asthma. I felt cold and exhausted all the time. I developed reactive hypoglycemia. On top of all that I still FAT.
It became clear to me that I was doing something wrong. Hours and hours of endurance training and eating a low fat, high carbohydrate diet was not making me thin. I must be doing something wrong. I started reading about Scott Jurek, and ultra-marathon runner and vegan.
I thought that was the answer, I needed to eat a vegan diet and train for ultra-marathons. The vegan diet was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. The vegan diet made my health worse. My asthma and allergies were worse. I added to my health issues horrible gas, injuries, and giant boils started erupting on my face. The one thing that stayed the… I was STILL FAT!
At that point, I sought alternative medical help. According to my regular doctor I was completely “normal” and nothing was nothing wrong with me. It is “normal” to have chronic asthma, a poor complexion, chronic injuries, and to be fat after doing an Ironman.
A concerned friend referred me to Naturopathic Doctor (ND). She order a slew of blood tests. I was almost afraid she would say that there was nothing wrong with me. I thought if she said that I was healthy like my primary care doctor, then I must be crazy. I didn’t think it was normal to feel as bad as I did.
The ND didn’t think I was healthy or normal. She measured my hormones, and informed me that I didn’t have any. My hormone levels were so low that they were not readable in the test. I hadn’t had a period in about year, and I thought that was from my birth control. But it was more likely from my poor diet and excessive training.
Thought this process I became obsessed with learning how the body works. I became a ACE Personal Trainer, and read everything I could on health and nutrition.
I gave up on endurance sports and tried Crossfit. That is where I learned about about the Paleo Diet and Robb Wolf. I also learned that Crossfit was doing nothing for my health. My hormones were still a mess. After 18 months I still felt like crap and decided to ditch Crossfit.
I wanted to figure out how to feel better. I started listening to podcast. I found Ben Greenfield’s podcast. He talked following a low carbohydrate diet with endurance training.
I joined Ben Greenfield’s Become Superhuman Coaching program. I took courses and certifications with the C.H.E.K. Institute. The C.H.E.K. Institute and Ben Greenfield’s message was quite a bit different from the USDA advice. I switched to a Paleo Diet, then a low carb Paleo Diet. My body started to heal. My gas subsided, my face cleared up. Over time my allergies went away and then my asthma disappeared. I went from a size 16 to a size 12 with the Paleo diet. I dropped from a size 12 – a 10 following a low carb Paleo diet.
At the Become Superhuman Conference and met Peter Defty from Vespa Power. We soon became great friends because of our obsession with nutrition research. Peter referred me to Esmee La Fleur’s website Zero Carb Zen. I started an on again/off again Zero Carb/Carnivore Diet. I started to feel better and dropped to a size 8.
Even though I had good results with a zero carb diet I had problems sticking to it. I had such a hard time saying ‘NO’ to food in social settings. I felt like I was being rude. It wasn’t until I participated in the Carnivore Study that I felt empowered to say no. I dropped from a size 8 to a size 6 during the 90 day Carnivore Study. I also felt WONDERFUL!!!
I returned to my my love of cycling. I train every year with a group for Tour de Tucson. The bulk of my training this year was during the Carnivore Study. I didn’t want to mess up the study results so I stuck to Zero Carb. I used meat sticks during the longer ride. I added Sports Legs, electrolytes, and salt to combat leg cramps.
The lack of carbohydrates didn’t hurt me. I had a personal record at the last Tour de Tucson. My average pace in 2017 for 54 miles as a Carnivore was 18.45 mph. My average pace while still using carbs in 2012 for 60 miles was 10.06 mph.
Over the holidays I had a relapse. I ate too many chips, salsa and margaritas on a trip to Mexico. My size climbed back to a size 8. But what was most pronounced was how horrible I felt after my trip. I couldn’t believe how fast I went from feeling amazing to feeling like crap.
I am back to a Carnivore/Zero Carb way of eating since January 2nd. Since then I continue to get faster on my bike. My functional threshold power (FTP) when I was low-carb/Paleo was 135, now my FTP is 201. My FTP keeps going up!
The carnivore diet is a miracle for my health. I went from wearing a size 16 to now wearing a size 6. I had no readable hormones and no menstrual cycle to having a regular 28 day cycle. As a high carbohydrate athlete I was spending $80 a month on asthma medications. I am not on any medications now.
I am 48 years old. I don’t have six pack abs… yet. I have never felt better in my life. I still have extra fat to lose and more healing to do. I went from a lifetime of struggling with my health and weight to feeling good each and everyday. Soon, I expect to see those six pack muscles to show up. MEAT HEALS no matter how old you are or where you start.
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.
I’m healthy, happy, lean, and strong, but that wasn’t always the case! This is my story on why I’m a carnivore, and the amazing benefits this way of life has given me and could give you, too.
I was a C-section baby to very young parents. Mom was 21, and my dad was only 17. They didn’t know much about nutrition or how to be healthy, but they tried. I was formula fed, and given low fat yogurt and grains by 6 months. I was a sickly baby and child. As an infant, I would never sleep through the night, projectile vomit multiple times a day and was colicky. I had many ear infections and antibiotics through my childhood, as well. At the age of 2, I was diagnosed with Asthma and Allergies. From that point on I was on daily rescue inhalers, prednisone, respiratory machine, and steroid puffers. I was also admitted into the ICU multiple times a year.
By the age of 4 I started vomiting in my sleep and having bowel pain. It turned out that I had to have abdominal surgery to fix a hernia, that my bowels were starting to pass through. (Not sure if that was diet related) so they patched up my hernia, and that healed well, but I continued to have random bowel pain, that would leave me incapacitated for hours. This plus my asthma, and constant colds or ear infections left my parents at a loss.
For a few years we just got by, until one day, I had a little brother come along. Luckily he was much healthier than me. Soon after that my parents split and my mother had 2 young boys and little income.
She was trying her best on a budget, as she couldn’t work because I was to sick. She turned to the food pyramid and made sure that we got lots of grains, breads and pasta, and some frozen veggies, bananas, low fat yogurts,and the little red meat we did have was lean.
At this point, my health started declining again, and I wound up in the ICU even more. 6-10 times a year, for up to 2 weeks at a time. This is when my family doctor told my mother that I was the worst case he’s ever dealt with and informed her that I was going to need to be put on the transplant list for lungs and heart, if my asthma persisted. This was the same year I was put on life support over the Christmas break. I was so sick at this point, 8 years old, that I excepted I was sick, and I made piece with the the fact that I was about to leave this life. 3 times, I can still remember that year, leading up to this, I would think that there was nothing we could do and I was working my way to coming to terms with death.
At this point, my parents decided to move me to my fathers where the climate was much drier, and I moved from the east coast of Canada to the plains of Alberta!
The climate there was much drier and it did help with my breathing. I was still taking all of the same meds, but managed to stay out of the hospital for a few years. I felt a lot better, but still had breathing and bowel problems. I also gained a lot of weight from all of the medications I was on. At this point I started taking allergy shots. Getting them weekly for a couple of years. I don’t think they worked, but at least we were trying something new. This continued until my teenage years.
Once those awkward, interesting, and fun teenage years started, new problems arose. I started having migraines, muscle cramps, anxiety and anger issues. My bowels and asthma were still constant, too. By the time I was 17, I began having GERD, stomach pain, and loose stools. Standing at 5’9″, I weighed only 109lbs. I was diagnosed with IBS and an Ulcer and I was put on drugs, low fat, limited diet, and was sent to a shrink for my anxiety and anger.
For years I followed this new limited diet, and continued with my asthma regiment. This kept things tolerable, and livable for years. But I realized that non of this was right, and I must be doing something wrong. So I started reading as much as I could on diet and health… let the research begin!!!
For the next few years I studied everything I could on diet, exercise and health. I would make tweaks here and there and started doing some cardio and calisthenics. This helped a bit, but I still didn’t feel right. I was still feeling pain and having breathing problems.
By my early 20’s I found body building, and adopted that way of eating and training. One thing I quickly noticed about this way of life was the amount of time spent in the gym, the large amount of food prep and the crazy amount of small meals to eat (6 a day!).
I soon found I was having energy problems and getting colds every other week! I was also getting flabbier. But I continued, because it’s what we are told is healthy.
Gladly a year or so later, I found the paleo and ketogenic diets. I did my research and moved to a paleo way of eating and a more paleo style lifting regime. I continued this for years, while experimenting with keto, low carb paleo, and at one point vegetarianism (bad idea).
While doing all of this, most of my bowel and migraine issues went away. My asthma was still there, and so was my energy issues and random bouts of anxiety. I was also gaining weight for some reason.
This continued for years.
In my early 30’s I decided to buckle down and do strict ketogenic eating with intermittent fasting and a healthy carb up once or twice a week (CKD). This helped even more, and I got down to a healthy weight, with decent muscle mass. It’s funny though, I looked good, but I wasn’t that strong. During this keto phase I felt better, but still not great. I remember almost every day on my walks home, thinking about asthma and wondering why I was still using my inhalers so much… I was also wondering why my bowels would hurt and why I would have bathroom problems after my carb ups? I also noticed that I had toenail fungus in a both of my big toes!
Around this time, I found Vince Gironda workouts and his steak and eggs diet. It instantly made sense to me and I dove in to the meat and dairy research! I read anything I could on this subject for about a year, until I found Zero Carb Zen, then Principia Carnivora and Zeroing In On Health. Read all of the testimonies and talked to a few people online, then decided to jump in cold turkey.
I was a rough 2-3 months of adaption, I felt horrible, but pushed through. The first year or so was a little rough for me as my body adapted, and healed. I also had to figure out how much food I needed and when to eat it. Once I worked all of that out, it’s been amazing!! My bowels no longer have any issues, as long as I stick mostly to beef and avoid teas and coffee. No more headaches, my energy is good, my anger has subsided, and I haven’t taken my asthma meds in 2 years! I stopped my puffers the week I started eating just fatty meat!!!!
It’s amazing what can happen when you figure out the proper human diet! I am now stronger, I’m a butcher and can carry around 100+ sides of pork, and lift/carry side of beef at 220+lbs, and I weigh 140lbs. I can run, keep up with my 3 beautiful children, workout 2-3 times a week and walk 5km to and from work daily, in all weather, while maintaining 8-10% body fat, eating 3+ lbs of fatty beef a day! I’m not supposed to be alive today, and since going strict carnivore, I now use no medications, my lungs function at 92% of a healthy adult male, have the energy I need and the body I want with little to no effort.
All I can say is thank you to everyone who put the zc info out there. I might not be alive without that and I hope my story can help someone else get better!!