Nevada Gray

What Happened to Me:

In January 2016 I was diagnosed with Cauda Equina Syndrome after suffering a massive central disc herniation at L5-S1. This is a rare syndrome caused by compression of the cauda equina which is the horse tail of nerves connected to the spinal cord in the lumbar spine. Prior to this event I suffered 2 years of severe back pain and headaches after being misdiagnosed and undergoing a very unnecessary spinal tap and subsequent blood patch for a CSF leak in 2014. Prior to this the only time I ever went to a Doctor was for a yearly check-up.

During this time I experienced a decline in my neurologic function from the waist down until I ultimately woke up one morning paralyzed from the waist down, unable to move my feet or legs and with complete loss of bladder control. I was also in suicidal level pain. Rather than go to the hospital network I was dealing with for 2 years, I had a friend drive me to another hospital Emergency Dept where I underwent an Emergency MRI, my first one and was transported to a state of the art spine center for emergency neurosurgery to decompress my cauda equina.

After surgery my pain and chronic 2 year headache was gone. I was left barely able to walk, my legs very weak and with right foot drop. I was unable to feel most of my right leg and right foot. My injury was incomplete and a combination of sensory and motor dysfunction. Although my neurosurgeon and the spine center were amazing and restored my faith in the Medical system, there was little research about Cauda Equina Syndrome, and they were not quite sure what to do with me.

Having a background in healthcare myself (I am a nurse and a pharmacist), I took massive drastic action because I had nothing to lose by trying. The first of which was getting myself discharged from the spine center with home services and this is where my experiment began.

My Full Recovery 2.5 years later:

After reading PubMed daily and over 500 papers and books during my 2 year recovery, I started implementing the science I was reading. I started a ketogenic diet 80/15/5, hydrating with a gallon of water a day so my discs were getting the raw materials they needed to heal via diffusion during restorative sleep. The next thing I did was start training everyday with the rehab exercises to correct my gait, muscle imbalances and build my endurance. Everyday I spent time visualizing my nerves regenerating and using what I learned about epigenetics from Bruce Lipton. I kept my mindset strong and positive at all times in a state of unwavering faith and determination.

The strange thing I noticed myself doing was intuitively gravitating towards eating a more meat based diet. The past 5 months my carbs have reduced dramatically and I have more carnivore days. I truly believe providing my nerves with an alternative fuel source in the form of ketones is the reason they recovered and for the full recovery I was fortunate to have. I also believe this way of eating generated the stem cells in my body I needed to repair L5-S1. My injury was a peripheral nerve injury which is more forgiving than a spinal cord injury. There is no way anyone can tell me that nerves can not regenerate or recover. It is possible and it is a slow process.

The final result of my recovery experiment:

  • Pain Free
  • Medication Free
  • 20 pound maintained fat loss and overhaul of body composition.
  • Increased flexibility
  • Complete resolution of right foot drop
  • Complete return of motor and sensory function in my legs and feet minus 2 toes on my right foot (still have hope) and my saddle.
  • Complete return of bladder and resolution of saddle anesthesia.
  • Correction of gait and able to walk normal
  • Ran a 5k in under 35 minutes
  • Able to train like Arnold in the gym with weights again
  • More endurance in training
  • Return to my full-time pharmacy job
  • As a side benefit cured from PCOS, eczema resolved and glowing wrinkle free skin.
  • A spine that my neurosurgeon said looks better than the general population
  • Resolution of hypertrophy and inflammation at L5-S1 facet joint
  • Improved glute and core strength resulting in increased lumbar spine stabilization.
  • In the best shape of my life at 40 years old

I shared my story in the hope it will add value and be of help to someone dealing with a neurological condition. Don’t be afraid to empower yourself and work outside the healthcare system to find your cure. Thank you Dr Baker for the knowledge you have shared on your platforms and for your role in my continued recovery and health transformation.

Nevada found herself suffering from cauda equina syndrome, which required unnecessary medical interventions that did not help her.
Today, Nevada eats a mostly carnivore diet and has not only restored her health and fitness, but is in the best shape of her life.

Sly Tbr

This is something I have never shared publicly. In the past I would mention I’ve struggled with an eating disorder but never in detail because of the shame associated with it. But I figured my story might help others so here it is.

During my early college years I decided to go vegan (thanks to some very persuasive vegan documentaries), and from there I wanted to “step up my game” so I went raw vegan. My diet prior to that wasn’t the standard American diet, it was very clean paleo – whole fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken, raw nuts and seeds. Switching to vegan didn’t benefit my physiology in any shape or form, it only made me feel good about “saving the planet” which is total BS, vegans do more harm to the planet than anyone else.

Few years of veganism and my bones weakened to a point where I was breaking my ribs by simply carrying a heavier box against my rib-cage. At that point I knew veganism wasn’t healthy, my hair was falling out, my skin had ash tone to it, I was looking anorexic but still felt fat (serious body dysmorphia), my anemia worsened. Despite all those issues I was encouraged by all the vegans to keep going, that I just needed to double down on spirulina and everything would balance. Well, things never balanced. I started craving meat and my cravings would get worse when my mom would grill some juicy steaks. One day I gave in to those cravings and felt so horrified. I was brainwashed into believing that by eating animal flesh I would “absorb” all the horror and emotional trauma the animal went through when it was being slaughtered and that my body would be infested with parasites and what not. I went into panic mode and wanted that meat out of me ASAP so I made myself throw up. From there I went back to “being vegan,” I was told to eat more to diminish cravings so I did. Meals turned into severe binges that made me feel uncomfortable and that led to purging which turned into 6 years of severe bulimia that almost ended my life.

I tried many things to end the vicious cycle of bingeing and purging. Every day I kept telling myself this is the last day but last day would never come. I’ve read many books on the brain and behavior and would try many different approaches. Every book said when you get the ‘urge’ go do something else instead of binging, but I guess none of those authors went through this because when you get that “urge” there’s nothing you can do to turn around, it’s almost like something takes over your brain and dictates to you what to do, while the other you – the rational you – is paralyzed. There was nothing in those books on “HOW NOT TO GET THE URGE” in the first place.

It wasn’t until I came across Dr Jack Kruse and his leptin prescription diet blog, which was basically keto/carnivore way of eating, that I was able to break the habit. It took me two weeks on carnivore to get rid of the “other voice” in my head that let to my binges. After six years of my severe bulimia I was finally free and all thanks to carnivore diet. After about a month of eating that way my eating disorder brain seemed to have fixed so I figured I “needed” vegetables and other plant material to stay healthy plus all the research pointed how unhealthy high protein diets were so I started playing around with the traditional ketogenic diet – lots of green veggies, lots of healthy fats, little fish and meats here and there. Despite all that I would still have binge days, severe binge days, I wouldn’t purge anymore but the binges made me feel really shitty emotionally.

Fast forward to now, what started as a 30 day experiment early this year is now month three on carnivore and I finally feel free, I mean TRULY free! No binges, no counting calories, no portion control, no counting macros or other bs! I eat when I’m hungry and no need for snacking. My bones are getting stronger, my anemia is gone, I finally got my period and libido back, my skin is better than ever, and my gut is finally healing. The longer I go on carnivore the more benefits I’m noticing. The only side effect (as I have mentioned in the past) is that damn high libido and being single 😉 , other than that no complaints.

Thank you Dr Baker for everything you do. All the knowledge you provided made me confident that carnivore diet is the way to go as well as it encouraged me to do more of my own research. Now that I have finally healed my mind and body I’m able to focus on coaching others into health and inspire others through posts on IG. Thank you again, let’s heal this world one steak at a time! 🙂

@biohacking.keto.chick