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.

Lauren K.

This is my daughter Lauren. We live in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia. Lauren has been with us since she was adopted at 2 1/2 years old. She was born with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and her body and mind is always very busy. Her main symptoms have been:

  • Facial features associated with FASD.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Lack of focus.
  • Delayed development and problems in thinking, speech, movement and social skills.
  • Poor judgement.
  • Problems with eyesight.

She has now been Carnivore for 5 weeks, but the changes to her life occurred within 24 hours of this WOE [ed: way of eating]. We started the day before school returned after the summer holidays, and the changes in her behaviour were immediate. She’s now calm and still, absorbing information with an open brain, rocking her times tables, and her reading ability has sky rocketed. She brought home a merit award for great attitude and diligent effort in classroom activities. She spends hours participating in constructive play, and last weekend the whole family watched a movie from start to finish with everyone glued to the couch. She knows all there is to know about her favourite subject of horses, and she is crushing her twice weekly Crossfit sessions. She struggles a bit with steak but loves a good roast chicken with lots of skin. The carnivore diet has been life changing for her and her future now seems so much brighter.

This week was Clean Up Australia Day and the whole school participated in pickibg up rubbish in the neighbourhood and all students were rewarded with a Super Dooper Ice Block. Things did not go well and she had an extreme sugar high followed by the low but it was a good learning curve for her and she has declared not to partake in treats at school anymore.

Below are some photos. The first is of her partaking is a sugar overload. The other 2 are of her partaking in her healthy lifestyle.

Thanking You,
Murray

Lauren used to overload on sugar and couldn’t focus at all.
Today on a carnivore diet, Lauren is happy and healthy and able to focus and achieve her goals.
On a carnivore diet, Lauren is crushing her Crossfit sessions.

Don Ewart

Shawn,

I’m 87 years old and have finally gotten my health back, or at least what I could. My diet now consists strictly of animal products. Beef steaks, liver, eggs, and bacon. No foods from plant sources. I have at last returned to my high school physique. Same weight, same pant and shirt sizes, namely 32-32 pants and medium shirts.

I have suffered from hearing loss, eye cataracts, slow heart rate that have been dealt with hearing aids, cataract surgery, and a pacemaker.

Prior to my dietary epiphany nearly 20 years ago, I ate lots of carbs. Pizza, pasta, doughnuts, rolls, buns, toast, cakes, potatoes, corn, beets and everything that was recommended by dietary guidelines. It was a disaster for me. My transition to avoiding all plant foods was gradual as I slowly learned how dangerous to my health they were. Fortunately I caught it before being diagnosed with diabetes. Now Zero Carb for almost 33 months.

Don Ewart

Sabine B.C.

Sabine has overcome a lifetime of allergies, eczema, and more, by going carnivore!

I was born on March 21, 1973, in Germany. Based on my parents’ accounts of my early years, I had skin issues, constant bloating and digestive problems, constipation in particular, pretty much from the start. By the age of four, I was diagnosed with severe seasonal allergies. From then on, antihistamines, wearing gloves to stop me from scratching, having my arms wrapped up in bandages because my continued scratching led to infections, and not being able to go outside to play during the spring became the new normal. I fell asleep in school because the daily dose of antihistamines knocked me out. Topical steroids in mega strength became the go-to methods of dealing with my constantly itching skin. In high school I was made fun of because my neck looked like that of an old woman.

When I was in my early 20s, I saw an alternative practitioner who told me to avoid wheat and dairy. So I went on my first elimination diet, which did not do anything but aggravate my symptoms. Lacking information and consequently not being strict enough, I was frustrated with this approach and considered her a charlatan. In retrospect, she was the first person who actually had hit the nail on the head with her diagnosis. A dermatologist scoffed at this alternative “crap”, recommended to eat whatever I wanted, and to apply more cortisone to help with the inflammation and itching. I would follow his advice for many years, almost ruining my skin in the process.

I do not recall when I first knew that I was experiencing every month is premenstrual syndrome. For a while, I just assumed it is normal to turn into this vicious hulk without any control over my temper. Breast pain, forgetfulness and mind fog, pimple outbreaks, worsened eczema, water retention, constipation, sugar cravings from hell, and mood swings comprised the collection of my symptoms. Pretty much ten days of each of my cycles were spent like this, every single month, for more than 30 years. Another hint at a serious hormone imbalance was the way I used to store body fat. I have always been lean, but whatever fat I had I predominantly stored around my hips, butt, and thighs. I could train as hard as I wanted – I was an avid step aerobics and dance aerobics instructor – and it would not shift my body composition.

In 2006, I moved from Germany to Los Angeles for my postdoctoral studies, met my husband, and stayed here. I still shudder when I think about all the crap I used to eat after I got here: cookies, fast food, soda; free food was always available on campus and it still is. Over the years, I had times where I paid a bit more attention to my eating habits, but mostly, I just did what everybody else did, until the fall of 2013. Around that time a friend of mine told me about LCHF and her success with it, which led me to start the classic journey from the standard American diet via low carb and keto to eventually zero carb. Over the course of this almost 5-year dietary experiment, I cut out the usual suspects like flour, grains, sugar, and in conjunction seed oils. I of course baked all sorts of low carb bread, cookies, cakes, and other sweet goods and used dairy, coconut oil and low carb sweeteners in abundance.

Over time, I had been able to weed out serious offenders, while still clinging to almond and coconut flour, sweeteners, and dairy. After reading that dairy could be a culprit for chronic coughs, runny nose, and weepy eyes, I performed a dairy elimination experiment. After an entire month of dairy abstinence, I started coughing immediately upon reintroduction. My runny nose and weepy eyes returned as well, putting the nail in the coffin for diary. The following year, I experienced my first spring without seasonal allergies!

With dairy gone and my base line much lower, it was easier to track my skin condition and bloating. Over the course of another 1.5 years, I learned that sweeteners, coconut flour or any kind of coconut products, and almond flour either bloated me or made my skin itch like hell. I also learned that PMS causes eczema flares, especially around my eyes. The next natural step was to eat meat and veggies. At this point, I suspected as much but still did not want to face the fact that all the yummy low carb veggies I liked hated my guts, literally.

When I came across Shawn’s tweets about eating only meat I was at the same time intrigued and disturbed, but mostly intrigued. Following him on Twitter was probably the best thing I could do. Not only was he documenting his progress, but other people who tried it out chimed in with their successes and improvements. Rationally, it all made sense to me. Taking the leap and trying it for myself took until the first 90-day carnivore challenge with Nequalsmany. I knew I did not want to compromise my data collection, so the challenge was a good incentive to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Coincidentally, my period started on Aug 15, 2017, the first day of the challenge. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to observe how my PMS issues would behave. I was blown away with the almost complete lack of any symptoms during the first cycle. Barely noticeable breast tenderness and some eczema around my eyes were the remainder of my symptoms. My hope for reproducibility was not disappointed. Now, six months into zero carb, I have zero PMS. Zero! In addition, I can observe my body composition changing; my thighs are getting more defined, my quads getting visible, and my hips and bum are getting slimmer. I hypothesize that my hormone imbalance has been resolved.

Bloating after eating is a thing of the past, as is chronic constipation. I seem to be more resilient toward colds. In the past, I used to catch everything that was going around. I am observing no sunburns (in SoCal) and easy and quick tanning, just like when I was a kid. My mood has been even keel; zero carb serenity is truly a thing and keeps the hulk in check. I get less or not sore at all after workouts. My training is more intense. I have explosive speed for kickboxing despite the lack of carbs. My eyesight has been improving recently. I had to start using my previous pair of glasses (-3/-3) because my most current one had become too strong (-3.5/-3.25).

The most recent success is the remission of eczema. As of today, I have no visible signs anymore after 44 years of constant itchiness and severe discomfort. Even my scarred neck is healing, something I had thought not possible (see attached picture, no make-up, no photoshop, no moisturizers). It took about six months to get to this point, with sometimes going one step forward, two steps back. This feels new and fragile. I am fully aware that any kind of missteps, may it be food (chicken is a suspect) or the fabric of new clothes, can trigger a flare; however, I now have the opportunity to really figure out all my triggers and to fight habitual scratching.

Sabine’s 44 years of suffering with eczema… gone!

Thinking back how I had, unknowingly, mistreated my body over the years, I realize a couple of things that might be of help for others who are at the cusp of starting their journey. First off, I wish I had taken the alternative practitioner seriously. I was out for instant gratification, but that is not how resolving decades of health issues works unfortunately, in most cases anyway. Secondly, the human body is an amazing machine that can withstand a lot of dietary abuse, for a while at least. It has incredible repair capabilities if one lets it and gives it time to do what is has been evolved to do with the right nourishment. I am looking forward to discovering what other health benefits this way of eating will bring.