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! 🙏
My name is Mathieu. I am 25 years old and live in Québec, Canada. I started the Carnivore Diet on January 14. I first heard of Shawn by listening to the Joe Rogan podcast. At first, I was intrigued by the benefits Dr. Baker talked about, so I began exploring the Zero Carb diet lifestyle, Keto diet, and diet and nutrition for longevity.
I was constantly bloated, I had a lack of energy, I had to take a nap everyday after work, and I work at a desk in front of a computer all day. I had sleep problems such as sleep paralysis and insomnia. I also began snoring louder with the weight I had gained.
I decided to try the carnivore diet initially for 2 weeks, after which I felt great so I decided to continue. Now 5 months later, I eat steak, butter, bacon, sometimes liver, fish and rarely chicken. The diet is very easy to follow, and grocery shopping and cooking is much simpler than before.
I feel much better overall, my energy is clean and steady, and my thoughts are sharp all day for work. I never get sick anymore. Before I could keep a cold of the flu for a month twice a year. My seasonal allergies are much better, and my skin is clearer and seems to heal faster.
I was able to cut all supplements like creatine, protein shakes, BCAAs, caffeine, pre-workouts, and all those other unnecessary bodybuilding supplements. Steaks are the most potent supplements IMO.
I had been working out in the gym since last July for 6 days a week. At first I thought that without carbs I would lose strength in the gym, but it only increased week after week.
I went from barely deadlifting 225 to deadlifting 405. My cardio is also much better. I feel I can run for much longer during races (I do mostly 5k and 10k obstacle course races). I have the best cardio of my life right now.
I lost a total of 43 pounds since I started my journey and my body composition changed drastically.
Thank you Dr Baker for opening my eyes on diet, nutrition and physical performance. I really enjoy listening to your podcasts, videos and your Twitter and Instagram pages.
By the way, I really like the Human Performance Outliers podcast with you and Zach. It’s very good. The amount of information is incredible, I am glad I found you and the ZC community online.
I am talking about it to my friends and family. One of my friends started carnivore and already went from 359 pounds to 334 in about a month. He loves it. He told me that his energy is much better.
Thank you for the awareness you give to people. I see myself continuing this WOE [ed: way of eating] for a long time.
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.
Before starting an all meat diet, I had been diagnosed with PCOS a couple of years before. At the time, this diagnosis felt like a life sentence. The word “infertility” seemed to resonate in every doctor’s visit. This was probably the most painful thing I ever had to deal with. My husband and I had been together for 8 years at the time, and we both knew our chances of having a baby were slim to none. I can still see the image of my cystic ovaries on the ultrasound, and thinking… how am I supposed to fix this?
Having dealt with this for almost 10 years, we (my husband and I) had an unspoken understanding of leaving the “children” subject out of our conversations. There was a looming sense of sadness when we were around kids. Eventually, we decided to go the adoption route. We both focused on working hard to ensure this could be possible.
After accepting my diagnosis, I decided I didn’t want medication. My reality was a severe case of PCOS that would take years to fix and I was okay with that.
Two years Later:
On May of 2016 I started working for Dr. Urso. After visiting so many doctors, it was odd to me that Dr. Urso would sit and explain everything in detail to his patients. I kept thinking our patients were lucky to have a nutrition class, plus an eye check up in the same visit. He kept talking about vitamins, ketones, meat, nuts, good omegas, and all these things no one talks about. Little by little he taught me about a more primitive way of eating. He helped me understand the detrimental effect of carbohydrates in our bodies and the fact that we don’t need them. He made diet simple. I began to make small changes in my diet. Eating steak every day was enjoyable, manageable, and I was happy. Six weeks after starting my new lifestyle, I found out I was pregnant. This may be TMI, but I hadn’t had a period in five months when I found out I was pregnant. I couldn’t believe how quickly my body bounced back.
I was blessed with a baby kicking my belly and moving around inside me. I never thought I would ever experience such miracle, but I did.
Why am I sharing my story?
I wanted to share my story because I am an ordinary person with no medical background. Everything I learned in the first four months with Dr. Urso was simple and achievable. If 6 weeks of “clean” eating can help me get pregnant after 10 years of infertility. I can only imagine what it can do for people who suffer from chronic inflammation or other illnesses. It is important for others to know stories like mine to gain hope and inspiration, that with a little knowledge anything is possible.
Similar to some of y’all, I was first introduced to Dr. Baker on JRE. My first inclinations were that this guy was a complete nut job. All meat? What about healthy people 2020 and MyPlate guidelines? I shrugged it off, but began following Dr. Baker on Instagram because I wanted to see all the heat he was going to get.
At this time in my life, I was eating a light breakfast and 2 solid meals consisting of 3-4 cups of vegetables (high variety, mixed organic/non-organic), 1 cup complex carbohydrate, and either baked chicken breast, fish, or pork. Hardly any red meat. I did this all throughout undergrad, very methodical and didn’t miss a beat. My fitness goals at the time were to be as functional as possible (running, swimming, biking, lifting weights). I just cared about vitality and health. I wrestled growing up and never had any problem putting on mass, so my goal was not to put on size, although I felt emaciated on the diets coaches had me on.
I was diagnosed with IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) when I was a senior in high school (2011). Had a colonoscopy and was put on a low-dose Lialda (Mesalamine) to control the inflammation. For those of you that know about IBD, you know that there are certain “trigger” foods – spicy, fried, large amounts of alcohol, fresh vegetables (if in acute stage). Diet became everything for me. So much that I cut out all meat for 6 months. (There are articles/literature relating processed meats to higher incidences of colon cancer and this was the logic I used – true or not, I was desperate – I just wanted vitality and I already had risk factors). I had labs performed around the same time (insurance does yearly panels) and they showed I was anemic and had high LDL. I remember being very weak and tired all of the time. I concluded that I was taking steps backwards and not forwards – listening to my body holistically. I got back on my meal prep spread and started feeling better. All of this time I was rehabbing a back injury I got in college and was severely depressed because I was in pain every day – doing lots of rehab, diving into regenerative medicine as well. Was back on track for about 4 months until I heard about the carnivore diet.
I began straight carnivore mid-January 2018, about the same time I started a fast-bacc 1 year nursing program down in Houston. Everything was new for me. New city, new curriculum, less time, no social life, less sleep. In my mind, I needed optimal nutrition in order to function at my peak levels and make the grades I wanted in such a fast program. I considered all factors – I knew I was going to be sitting a lot (8-10 hours per day), getting less sunlight, not getting social interaction. At this time I stopped taking my Lialda because the cost went from $10 a month to $250 a month.
It’s been approximately 4 months on carnivore and I haven’t had an IBD flare, I sleep throughout the night, my mental and cognitive functioning have increased (I know this is subjective, but I’m able to sit through 12 hour lectures 2x a week, study 8-10 hours per day on the weekends and do 12 hour clinicals every week as well). I only have time to work out 1-2x per week and when I do, I just get my legs moving as much as I can, lift heavy, and work on mobility. Since I’m in school, I haven’t been able to afford all grass fed, so I just go to HEB or Kroger and pick up steaks, hamburger patties, eggs, and butter. I have not had labs performed, but I plan to do that in June, 2018, but I feel better than I ever have.
Nathaniel Champion, SN University of Houston College of Nursing ’18
I’m a 55 year old father of a 12 year old and 4 year old. My wife and I have been on a journey for several years. About 10 years ago we started doing a paleo diet followed by a successful keto diet. I lost 65 pounds myself, and my wife lost 70. I kept researching and experimenting. I even unfortunately went vegan for a year, because when I try something I try to follow through. Well, I gained back 45 pounds, got very sick, joint pain and all. Just godawful. Then I was in and out of low carb. I kept falling back on sugary treats and late night snacks and gained back a little bit. Then I found zero carb and have since gotten back to the size I was in high school. While I’m still having some extreme issues with this autoimmune garbage and still having a lot of weakness and pain, my skin and my diabetes are all cured. I’ve been watching your videos and the people that follow this way and seeing what it’s done for them. I’ve been zero carb a few months and things are just getting better and better.
I can’t thank you enough for what you do and others in the zero carb and carnivore community. Thank you, you’re really doing a service for a lot of folks.
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:
20 pound maintained fat loss and overhaul of body composition.
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.
My name is Adam and this is my carnivore story… MEAT HEALS!
May 12, 2018
46 year old male slowly became 30 pounds overweight from eating and drinking too much and not exercising. Decided I wanted to get back in shape but despite increasingly strenuous workouts (from 30 to 45 to 60 to 90 to even 120 minutes over 6 months, mostly weight training), only lost 5 pounds and did put on some muscle but couldn’t see it well thru the middle-aged tire/fat. Sore constantly, injured myself 3 times in 6 months pushing too hard to improve my physique. Avoided sugar and processed carbs but still drank too much beer and had too many binge attacks where I would polish off insane amounts of bad food because of intense cravings.
My carnivore story:
Started reading bodybuilding articles trying to figure out where I was going wrong and stumbled onto Vince Gironda’s “steak and eggs” diet for bodybuilders to cut fat and get ripped. He was a trainer decades ago (reportedly once worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger). Just eat steak and eggs at every meal and have a cheat day once a week to replenish body carbohydrate stores. I was frustrated (and sore) and decided to give it a go.
Felt absolutely terrible the whole first week. Never looked forward to a day more than my first cheat day at the end of that week. Low energy, brain fog, diarrhea, aches and pains (more than usual), cold sore on my lip (only get when physical and/or mental stress) – basically felt like I had a bad flu. But I read a lot that week and learned that this was a temporary thing according to the crazy carnivores before me. On the morning my cheat day was to start, I had lost 5 pounds. I also didn’t really feel that hungry.
Ate like a maniac on my cheat day but vowed to try one more week, as many said after two weeks is when things start getting easier. Second week sucked. Felt terrible and told myself if I didn’t feel better by the end of the week, screw it. It wasn’t worth it to feel sick all the time! I still wasn’t very hungry and ate only twice a day (lunch and dinner) and drank black coffee for breakfast and water rest of day. By day 9, I noticed I didn’t really feel like having beers after work anymore (a 20 year habit suddenly gone?!).
When I woke up around day 11, the “keto flu” (as some call it; e.g., carbohydrate withdrawal) was gone. I had higher energy levels than I had felt in months. I felt fantastic! By this time, I stumbled onto this crazy (like a fox) carnivore doctor named Shawn Baker, Amber O’Hearn, the Inuit and others within the internet rabbit hole of forbidden dietary knowledge. I still had a cheat meal at the end of the 2nd week, but I didn’t really need it like I did the first week and I thought of it more as a reward than as a necessity.
It has now been 60 days since the end of that 2nd week. It is my lifestyle now, not a “lose fat” diet. I have already lost all the fat I need to and am now at what I feel is a healthy weight for me. I feel and look great and don’t ever plan on going back. This way of eating has changed my life!
Positive impacts on my life of this diet:
Lost 30 pounds in 45 days and now at desired body weight. All while eating until full and snacking when needed. No attempt to restrict calories at all. Most effortless weight loss ever (and I have tried many fad diets over the years).
No longer sore for more than a few hours after working out. Ready to go the next day. Seems easier to get stronger and bigger, too. Working out less and seeing better muscle gains.
Feel and look 20 years younger. Mentally and physically improved in so many ways.
No more heartburn. Ever. Used to pop Pepcid pills like candy.
Don’t feel like drinking alcohol any more, after drinking too much for about 25 years or so. Wasn’t part of the plan, but I’ll take it!
Don’t get intense cravings for food and no longer miss the foods I don’t eat. Doesn’t feel like I’m “on a diet”.
Don’t usually get hungry between meals any more, but happy to have some bacon if I do.
Energy levels more steady and still have energy left to spare after hard day at work. Don’t get sleepy after eating any more.
The first 10 days totally sucked for me. I almost quit twice. Glad I stuck with it. I feel like I now understand what a heroin addict goes thru during withdrawal!
Going to eat outside the home is trickier. Let’s just say Brazilian steakhouses are my new favorite.
Getting weird muscle cramps sometimes, especially when running. Been trying to up my salt intake.
A big thank you to Joe Rogan for having Shawn Baker on this podcast. This was a massive on my decision to change my diet and hopefully my life.
I have tried all kinds of diets and treatments and I wish I knew then what I know now and I might have avoided surgery.
I’ve had Ulcerative Colitis since 18 years old in 2005, and after medications all failed, that caused me to lose my colon.
I now have an ileostomy and I was told to avoid meat and fat throughout my entire life of this disease. Even after the ileostomy I was told to avoid too much meat and eat a balanced diet, but the interesting part of this, was I also should avoid roughage due to its difficulty to pass through the small intestines and out the ostomy. (This should have been a red flag right away.) If it’s so difficult to digest, why are we eating it at all? Especially in my case with an inflamed colon which brought me here to this ileostomy.
After eating poorly with an ileostomy, I decided to take control of my weight and diet. I attempted the keto diet and lost 70 lbs or so, but that diet consists of a lot of dairy, and allows for some nuts and insoluble fiber. This fiber tends to be a problem for people with an ileostomy due to the fact that it doesn’t really break down at all. I now only animal fat and meat and it’s a delight. The output of the ileostomy is simple to manage. It’s all liquid with little to no by products from the food I’ve eaten. I do not eat any dairy either. This is mostly due to the excess cravings that dairy tends to cause in me. Anyone that wishes to debate how red meat doesn’t digest well, can come with me to the restroom and I’ll show them that the only output I have is bile and water. The meat and fat are fully absorbed by the time it reaches the end of my small intestines.
The biggest change I’ve experienced on a diet of this restrictive nature, is the freedom, not the shackles. I control my appetite, I have no cravings for poor food choices, and I don’t find myself yearning for the next snack or meat.
I also think that this diet has revealed that I am a food addict, and I was chained to the drug of sugar. With most studies on addiction complete removal is usually the best medicine.
I plan to keep this up for the foreseeable future, and I hope to see how low I can go in terms of body fat, waist size, and weight. I’d like to maintain strength, but I want to know my limits.