A. D.

I started having problems with my blood sugar right after I had my first baby, I was diagnosed as gestationally diabetic while carrying. I was given no advice or follow-up after having her. Within two to three months later, I was constantly dizzy, hot, my heart would start beating out of my chest, shaky, hyperventilating, and I’d feel like I was dying. Went to the ER twice, they told me it was just postpartum depression/anxiety. Followed up with my ob/gyn and family doctors was told the same thing, they were “just” panic attacks.

Once you’re told something enough, you start to believe it and after that any time my body felt a little bit different or off, I’d panic. This would continue on for years, leading me to 3 separate occasions of complete agoraphobia where I couldn’t even leave my bedroom, let alone my house.

One day, I got fed up with living like that and figured if this “mystery illness” was going to kill me, then it could just go ahead because I wasn’t living anyway. I got in my car and drove and drove until the panic subsided and I was calmed back down. That ended the agoraphobia, for now, but I still struggled with anxiety and panic attacks multiple times a day. Until a friend came in my life then who had diabetic children, during one of my “panic attacks”, she tested my sugar, it was a 29. After eating a whole sleeve of glucose tabs, I felt great. A 5-hour GTT test showed my blood sugar reaching 392 at its peak and a 31 at its lowest point. I was told I was “severely hypoglycemic” “insulin resistant” “late onset juvenile diabetic” and a bunch of other labels that were not helpful. I was told to go on a diabetic diet and to eat sugar when I felt bad. Ugh!!!

So, I started eating tons of carbs every hour thinking I had to keep my blood sugar up. The more carbs I ate, the more carbs I wanted/craved/HAD to have. I was able to keep the low blood sugar monster at bay by eating every hour. But, the panic and anxiety never went away. It was always there.

Fast forward a few years, and I found myself in an abusive (physically, emotionally, verbally) marriage. I finally left him, for good, in April of 2016 when he was arrested for domestic assault against me. So, now on top of the anxiety/panic, I was diagnosed with PTSD and OCD, and my agoraphobia was back with a vengeance. And, at this time, I seemed to be having major reactions to anything and everything I ate. And, I ended up in the ER on two occasions with severe anaphylactic reactions from peanuts/treenuts after eating them all my life.

Between that and the fear from how I felt after eating, I became terrified of every bite I took. I only ate as little as I could only when I absolutely had to, on top of washing my hands so much, they would crack and bleed because I was afraid of allergens on them (not germs). I weighed about 92 pounds at this time, I’m 5’4. I was a walking skeleton.

On Oct 5th, 2016, I made burgers for my kids before we went to my brother’s house for his bday, and something inside of me screamed at me to EAT THEM, and for whatever reason – I did, I ate 6 to be precise. I didn’t end up going to my bro’s, anxiety won that battle, but I did sleep all the way through the night, didn’t wake up with nightmares or drenched in sweat for the first time in two years. The next day, I ate more burgers and felt a bit better. After that day, I never touched any other food than beef, pork, chicken, turkey, cheese, eggs and bacon. They were my “safe” foods. I also did not know ZC was even a thing at this time, they were just what I felt okay on after experimenting.

On my one-year anniversary of eating this way, I sat down and literally googled “how long can I live eating just hamburger patties” because that is all I wanted and was what made me feel the best. And, lo and behold, I found Zeroing in on Health and Zero Carb Zen, and Charles Washington, Kelly Hogan, Shawn Baker, Amber O’Hearn, the Andersens, and so many others who were thriving on this diet. I felt good, but I couldn’t honestly say I was thriving, so after reading about the Salisbury protocol, I decided that day to do beef and water only for the next year. My 2 year anniversary of ZC is also my one year anniversary of beef and water only.

Now, as of today, my symptoms and issues are all healed. My blood sugar (after spreading my meals out) is now perfect. I haven’t had a panic attack in over a year. I have no more anxiety. My OCD tendencies are gone. IBS/Acid Reflux/Digestive Issues, gone. Brain fog, gone. Soul-sucking fatigue, gone. I am still probably a little too bit on the small size, but I don’t feel like a walking skeleton anymore. I have energy, I’m calm, I’m grounded, I have a life again, and I go out and travel and do things I never imagined I could a few years ago.

I plan on eating this way for life because it gave me my life back. I was a disaster, a complete mess slowly shriveling away, and now I’m a much healthier, much happier, thriving person thanks to the carnivore diet.

Nathan Carter

I am 38 years of age, live in the UK and have always been involved in sports and fitness. I have been fortunate enough to run my own business for the past 15 years, training both members of the public and potential/elite sportsmen at my own small facility. During this time I have also been able to enjoy my chosen sport of surfing along with the support of international companies. For the past ten years my surfing has very much moved in the direction of searching for and riding larger sized waves in cold water locations around remote parts of my local coastline. I have always trained for my health as well as my sport and I’ve always taken pride in “eating well” and avoiding the foods commonly considered bad for us. Although the sport certainly offers up it’s fair share of minor injuries, my knowledge of sports therapy and rehabilitation methods always meant I could recover appropriately and move forward without long lasting effects and I always implemented training approaches to promote injury prevention.

This all seemed to turn a corner around three years ago. My body basically felt like it was rebelling against everything I attempted. Even the lowest level training sessions resulted in days of muscle soreness, particularly in the Hip Adductors and Rotators and muscles of the Thoracic area. Surfing in any conditions above completely benign also caused intense soreness but more frustratingly severe joint immobility. This soreness would not alleviate with any conventional approaches, the only slight relief I would get was from heavy doses of transdermal magnesium, oral iodine supplementation and trigger point release, but I emphasise the word slight. I also found that despite my very best efforts my weight and body fat were slowly increasing. One interesting dynamic that occurred was that every bit of exercise I undertook resulted in intense hunger, particularly for high carbohydrate food.

I put most of this down to the fact that I was an athlete in my mid-thirties and this was essentially the start of the end as far as my pursuit of a decent level of human performance. It didn’t feel right as I genuinely felt that so many facets of my performance were still improving, my endurance seemed to get stronger every year but over the past few years I had pretty much resigned myself to surfing less and training at a reduced workload.

It was around 18 months ago that I discovered the Maffetone method and the premise of “Carbohydrate Intolerance”. So much of what Phil Maffetone said made sense to me and echoed my experiences. I implemented both the training approach as well as the recommended eating programme and I have to admit the initial results were pretty good. However I attribute most of this to the extremely low level of intensity and the associated low impact on the body. I also found that the prescribed re introduction of carbs really messed me up and affected both my muscular integrity as well as my gut health.

I also continued to suffer from a very strange phenomenon that was both frustrating and also a bit worrying. Every time I attempted to stretch, regardless of the methodology I adopted (from yoga to PNF) it actually caused my hips, glutes, hamstrings and upper back to effectively lock up. I couldn’t get any sensation of relief or mobilisation despite spending hours on foam rollers and stretching. The postures actually felt like they were damaging and shortening my range of motion. I was surfing so infrequently it was shocking, even the act of sitting astride my surfboard would result in cramping in the water and days of discomfort. Not exactly the best of situations when amongst icy water and fairly severe ocean conditions.

Because I felt a positive effect on the very low carb Maff test I began researching different approaches to food. The Keto approach made sense but something prevented me from giving it a go. It was during this time that I first discovered Dr Shawn Baker and his advocation of the carnivore way of eating. I initially though this was crazy, but I have always had a pretty open mind when it comes to essentially waving a middle finger at conventional “medicine” and the fact that Dr Baker was coming from a traditional medical background really intrigued me. The further I researched, the more I nodded in agreement. After a lot of reading and listening I took the plunge around three months ago and adopted a true carnivore approach, eating when I am hungry and not being restricted by traditional meal times.

I had almost immediate success. Within three weeks my weight and body fat levels were back to the levels I would consider my optimum. I also found that my sleep patterns and energy levels improved dramatically. This actually coincided with me relocating my business premises and undertaking both demolition and construction work on top of my usual workload, which I anticipated would result in high levels of fatigue.

My first couple of training sessions were pretty humbling experiences, I suffered intense muscle cramps while performing low intensity movements on the Skierg and light barbell work. Interestingly though these weren’t in the normal hips/glutes/mid back but felt more like deep in the bellies of the quads, hamstrings and the abdominals. Since those sessions however I have experienced a really positive step forward. My strength levels and lean muscle mass have improved and functional exercises have become so much easier. I feel like I am still enduring the adaptation phase regarding cardiovascular training however I am now feeling real progress.

The thing that has truly blown my mind however is the progress related to the muscle/joint pain phenomenon I was experiencing. I no longer wake up with hips that refuse to articulate properly and a thoracic spine that I could only describe as an iron bar. I now find trigger point therapy and stretching bring such a feeling of relief and release that it is euphoric! My ROM after a good session feels incredible and my brain/body connection seems to be re-learning movements I have been incapable of for a long time. I am now so optimistic that I can restore correct movement patterns with a combination of hard work and the carnivore diet.

They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating and there was definitely some pudding consumed this past Friday. The perfect combination of swell, wind and tide combined for one of my favourite surf spots to light up for a few hours of good sized waves in the cold Atlantic Ocean. The spot demands a substantial cliff descent and long paddle out through masses of white water and currents and even the first move off the beach is a test of strength and endurance. The wave itself requires you to be on top of your game as the conditions are testing at the best of times with very little let up. Medical/nutritional experts would advise that a person consuming a 100% meat diet would potentially have compromised their wellbeing by attempting this. Well, not only did I get through it, I felt amazing! My strength and endurance were great and most importantly my body remained supple and responsive throughout, resulting in an awesome session. My post surf experience was phenomenal. No soreness, no fatigue, I just felt energised and strong. A hot bath, a plate of steak and a light stretch that evening felt incredible and the feeling of recovery was such a welcome sensation!

It was after this session that I felt inclined to contact Dr Baker and say thank you for tuning me into this Way of Life.

All the best,
Nathan Carter
Instagram: @n4t3c4rt3r

Kelly Roberts

Today makes 60 days since I went on a Zero Carb diet!

You know those thin people who can always decline their favorite desserts, or not eat the free samples at the grocery store? I know people, but I most certainly was never one of them- until now!

Food no longer rules my life!

I seriously no longer think about my next meal all day long! I just eat (meat and eggs only) until I’m satisfied or full, then I don’t eat anything at all for many hours (often 8-12 hours) because I’m satisfied from my last meal.

I no longer care about recipes, having to list and buy ingredients for some food concoction I want to make, counting points or calories, entering my macros, nor do I longingly think of the next gathering or party I’m going to because of the food I’ll eat (Cake, anyone?)

I believe I have broken my food addiction!

My skin looks better than ever. My joints no longer ache with arthritis, the bloated belly, tummy aches, constant gas, constipation and pain are all gone!

My weight is steadily decreasing while my body is reshaping and putting on muscle and bone mass. My body is definitely restructuring and the fat parts are shrinking! Gone from an 18 to a 12 so far!

Before you ask, I did do labs as a plant based (vegan) dieter, and compared them to just one month of ZC and yes, there were marked favorable improvements in important things like Triglyceride/Hdl ratio and HgbA1C!

And I have discovered that “zero carb Zen” is a real thing! My normally anxious ADHD mind feels calm and settled and it is a new feeling for me.

I don’t think about food anymore. The thought comes along, “do I have meat at home to eat for the next few days?” And if the answer is, “yes.” I move on to thinking about other things and then just have a steak when I get home.

I know I used to think that plants were the source of ALL good health, but now I believe that plants are medicine, and just like one can be allergic to some medicines, one can be allergic/sensitive to plant foods and never do a full elimination diet to see how good it could feel to be plant free.

Hey, with all the science coming out today, it may be worth a shot to try something seemingly unconventional for once and just see what you think and how you truly FEEL physically.

People should realize that the arrowheads that are found throughout the world from tribal civilizations were used to hunt for food. They certainly weren’t used for shooting at root vegetables! Agriculture and farming as we know it is a relatively new idea. Humans haven’t always had access to plant foods, but we all know and accept that they were all big-game hunters!

I can’t even explain what it feels like to have the food monkey off my back!

Thank you to people who have encouraged and supported us these past 60 days!

#meatheals

Tony Simpson

I’m a 57 year old male who is physically active. Until three months ago, I would eat anything I wanted A quart of ice cream or a dozen cookies in a sitting? Full steam ahead. Problem was, I had reached 280lbs and began to have knee pain and sciatic trouble, in addition to the sleep apnea, heartburn, diarrhea, and general lethargy I had grown accustomed to.

I decided to ignore the nay-sayers and accept myself for what I am, a carnivore. I am the product of a million years of evolution – the bulk of which time my species ate virtually only meat. It’s only intuitive that we should be awash in type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity when we glut our diet with things we were never designed to metabolize.

I’ve dropped to 254lbs, apnea is much better, heartburn and etc. are gone, and my energy level seems elevated.

I’m free and out of the closet, and all I can say to the flower children who advocate vegetarianism is, don’t let your cat out at night, because if the time ever comes when I cannot lay my hands on a beautifully marbled rib steak, all bets are off.

David S.

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.

Elizabeth R.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emily Duvall

I began a low carb diet after having my first child 7 years ago. Then after the birth of my second I switched to keto. I am a scientific-minded person with a master’s degree, and spent a lot of time working in the medical field and military. I was in love with the science, the benefits, and the results. I always noticed small symptoms of inflammation when I ate large amounts of veggies (even low carb). I cut them out.

Once I went carnivore, I not only got leaner, I also completely cured life long anxiety and depression. I’ve put my 5 year old son who is autistic on this diet, and he is now speaking (previously non-verbal) and is social and may lose his diagnosis. There is something significant to this and while I understand there is no money in it, more research needs to be done.

Mitch A.

I tried it for 90 days and based on the positive results, I’ve decided to keep going. I ate 99% beef for the majority of this time, a little chicken, lamb, pork, fish. I failed a few times before getting the hang of it and have been strict for 90 days.

List of health issues:
* IBS (Mostly fixed)
* Depressions and Anxiety (virtually gone)
* Circulation (about the same)
* Dry Skin / pimples (lessened but variable)
* Fatigue (variable to IBS flare ups. Improved recently with D3 supplementation)
* Inflammation or general body pains (variable but improved)

Performance

It took me 6 weeks to adapt properly. Before that I would feel worn out halfway through my workout or shift. It was like I had a smaller gas tank and once I hit a point my body just wanted to rest.

I lost roughly 3-4kgs eating as much as I like. Caloric intake varied between 2,500 and 3,500 depending on how I felt. I would mostly eat two meals a day within an 8-10 hour window. After week 2 food cravings had subsided, what I used to think was hunger was really carbohydrate cravings. It’s no wonder your mood stabilizes on zero-carb/keto.

My strength in the gym has not been impacted. As long as my energy is ok then performance is good as ever. The weight-loss has lowered my body-fat % and I’m at my leanest (69-70kg). I’m very happy about my physique.

I feel more focused and driven as long as I’m not in a fatigued state. Fatigue had been ruling me some of the time but supplementing D3 has helped tremendously. I work evenings and we’ve just come into Spring, so it only makes sense. The mental clarity and lack of depression/anxiety is enough to keep me going with this diet. I don’t know whether to accredit that to ketogenesis, low inflammation, low allergy, nutrient dense animal foods or all of it.

Key Lessons

  • Adaptation takes 100% commitment.
  • You will fail. Try again.
  • 6 weeks strict is a minimum to test results.
  • Never make more than one change at a time. Stick to the foods you set.
  • Be cautious of rendered fat. Too much results in diarrhea for some people.
  • Be cautious of eating too close to bed time.
  • Keep a diary. Track your symptoms and food consumption every day.

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.

Grant Manhart

I kept asking my orthopedist “What did thousands of years of wrecked knees do before total replacement in the 1960’s?” His and everyone else’s answer was “Men died younger then.” Comforting. A total knee replacement surgery after 4 years of toughing it out was scheduled for fall if I could make it through summer. In May I agreed to a cortisone injection into the knee to maybe get me through an active summer. It helped 20-30%, but pain returned full bore by mid-July. Surgery was waiting. Icepacks and ibuprofen and a heavy limp all summer got me to August. I heard Jordan Peterson’s video on his total meat switch. I was interested in the losing weight part, so I took nothing but meat and water and a little vodka (and ibuprofen, ice packs and ace bandages) on a solo 3 day fishing trip on August 1.

It’s funny but sometimes you don’t notice when chronic pain slowly leaves. No ice packs no ibuprofen since August 3 when I returned from fishing. The pain went away so gradually I did not notice! Today I walk absolutely normally and pain free… Still bone on bone, no “healing” a 60 yr old cartilage that is gone… but the pain is gone except for a shadowy “dang this used to really hurt when I did this” feeling… I can even jog a bit, ride a bike! I am an old hockey player and skating was the last exercise my failing knee could do, but the pain would stop me after 10 mins last winter on the pond. I have not run a step or biked in 4 years. I stopped pheasant hunting on opening day with friends all due to dread of pain, for at least 4 years, where due to immobility I gained 20 lbs. Already lost 12 of them… and it is still August!

Note I only tried the meat to lose weight… the knee was completely unexpected.