Mental health – anxiety
Listen to Sandro’s interview on the Meatrx.com podcast here:
I have been carnivore for a little over a year, since 7/28/18. Although I’ve introduced some veggies (avocado, cucumber) in the past 3 months, just for taste and variety, I am still 90% carnivore, and I was 100% carnivore for 9 of the 12 months.
Here are the benefits I’ve seen (I have noticed no downsides, apart from elevated LDL, which I don’t really believe is an issue):
– 40 pounds lost; weight and BMI now within healthy range (first time in decades)
– better energy throughout the day
– better and more sustained mental clarity and brain function
– better mood, less anxiety, less bouts of melancholy, less reactive
– blood pressure down
– off 2 of the 3 meds I was taking
– HDL up, triglycerides down, HDL/tri. ratio much improved
– no more sleep apnea
– various other minor improvements (no more skin tags, no more foot pain, no more indigestion)
The carnivore diet has been a huge blessing in my life. I’m very grateful to Dr. Baker and all of the other people who have helped get the word out.
I've been eating this way for 3 weeks (I keep eating to a 6 hour window). Changes are as follows:
- Life long dandruff gone in a week
- Sleeping better then ever
- Cleanest skin I have ever had - not one zit on my body
- Tinnitus I have had for years is greatly reduced
- Endless energy
- Anxiety greatly reduced
- Overall better mood
- Teeth always feel clean
- Reduced tendinitis pain
- Zero bloating
- Require less sleep
Love the incentive and want to share my story, there are not that many who discussed autism so I want to do my part! You can share my name: Sim Van daele and all the pictures.
I was born with Autism Spectrum Disorder which in the ’90s was still kind uncharted territory. I had my mother compile some of the experiences she had with me as a baby. She noticed straight away that I was different from my siblings. I was inconsolable for long periods, so much so that one time she had to take me to the ER because I hadn’t stopped crying for hours. Throughout my entire childhood, I had sleep issues. Falling asleep was a major issue, when I did fall asleep it was either very light sleep or I had intense night terrors which ranged from 3-5 times each night. Like most autistic kids I had a very low tolerance for all external stimuli: light, sound, textiles, smell. I couldn’t wear clothes that weren’t soft, the labels had to be cut, my eyes couldn’t stand the fluorescent light at school which frequently gave me headaches, loud noises startled or scared me if there was too much noise I wouldn’t be able to concentrate. There were major gut dysbiosis issues as well that lead me to have over 12 antibiotic courses. My mother also remarked I had severe hypochondriac tendencies, which is probably due to the dysbiosis, to begin with.
There were the typical signs of the inability to cope with changes. Like a wrapper or food package changing, then I would refuse to eat it. Any type of surprise tended to overwhelm or scare me. Whenever we were going somewhere my parents had to prepare me in advance with information and explanations of what to expect. My moods were extremely volatile which mainly leaned towards depression/depressive thoughts. My thought patterns always went straight to the worst case scenarios, couldn’t sleep from worry when my parents were out. When we moved houses I was afraid of being alone in the new house following my mother around everywhere she went.
The other very common autistic traits were that I got easily overwhelmed: blocking, freezing, crying, yelling, self-harm. This could be from something that surprised me, didn’t go my way, anything that happened differently than I thought would set me off, anytime I didn’t understand something I would breakdown. On top of that, there was severe anxiety, which would make me freeze like I was glued to the floor. Which came in the form of things that overwhelmed, heights, trucks (or anything bigger than me like horses), unknown environments, fireworks. There were many instances where my anxiety was so present it caused me psychosomatic stress. In elementary school my teacher was prepping me for the fire-drill in a few days we caused me to become nauseous from the stress of fear and had to be excused from classes the rest of the day.
This was my life and the general trend of my life throughout my adolescence. There were better periods in between in regards to my mood where I had a few good days without any breakdowns or aggression. At age nine things started getting worse mentally, which lead to me being diagnosed with Major Depression Disorder. It wasn’t until they tested me for Autism in 2002 at age eleven that I got my official clinical diagnosis. By that time I had already gone through various therapies and the guidance at my disposal at high school was mental torture. It was a bulls-eye on my back that turned the bullies on to me really fast. The bullying plus my father abandoning my sister and me drove me over the edge, deeper into depression at age 12. The subsequent years of high school were the worst years of my life. The anxiety from being bullied at different schools kept me from wanting to go to sleep knowing I would have severe night terrors anyway, they became so severe I tried to escape my room and house on multiple occasions. Attempting to escape through the window or the backdoor. My only refuge for those years was books, TV shows, movies, gaming, and food. I ate my feelings away, I tried to escape reality daily.
In my early teens, I was already thinking a lot about suicide but those years in high school from 12-18 made it a daily occurrence. The suffering of the overwhelming nature of autism coupled with the depression was just too much to bear and I didn’t see a way out. All the doctors and experts told me the same things that I couldn’t get rid of autism or even depression, just manage it. I resented and rebelled that because if that was really the case life wouldn’t be worth continuing. Thankfully I had a supporting mother and stepfather which kept me from making a decision that would end my life.
Confronted with my weight gain, which reflected the way I felt, I gathered my courage and determination to make an effort to turn things around. I changed my diet which was mainly cutting out all processed crap, as I was eating a lot of chips, nuts, processed cheese, bread, sugary drinks which was stress eating. I lost 16kgs over 6 months and my moods starting improving.
The real monumental and life changing improvements started happening when I went low carb alongside an Intermittent Fasting protocol of the Warrior Diet (2010, age 19). At the same time, I started doing body-weight movement outside in nature which boosted my mood and energy. By the following year, my depression was completely gone. My autistic tendencies dropped more and more each month. By the end of 2013, I was going out to musical events, clubs, social gatherings without any issues, doing some events all on my own. The years after 2013 the diet varied but it was clear that too much processed foods and carbs cause irritability, drops in mood (negativity), drops in cognition and mental stability in general. Looking back it’s notable that every time I was strict with what I ate, fasting and largely consuming animal products I felt better. All my best periods in between weight and body fat fluctuations were periods marked by those factors. As soon as I wasn’t strict the cognitive and mood ups and downs returned.
In August 2018 I went strict Paleo, which helped a lot with my cognition. It wasn’t until February 2019 that I got into ancestral/carnivore style through Dominic Rapson (@origins.nutrition) who helped my girlfriend with her psoriasis. Going carnivore really kicked my cognition into high gear. Feeling consistently better. All the stomach, digestive and intestinal issues have been getting better or resolved since. There’s still some healing to be done gut wise as I have a host of intolerances. However, I feel like now I’ve got far better control over cravings, mood, and energy than ever did before. So it’s a worthwhile trade off even if some foods will never be in the cards for me everyday consumption wise.
Listen to Sim’s interview on the Meatrx.com podcast here:
As a kid I loved meat, fish, cheese and butter. Since I am from Switzerland, I certainly had my share of good quality cheeses. In particular the goat and sheep cheeses were my favourite.
Unfortunately, Switzerland is also famous for its delicious chocolate. I stuffed my face with it daily. I was definitely a sugar junkie.
Fruits and vegetables had little appeal to me. Salad was okay, but only if it was soaked in a creamy French sauce.
What I did not know was that I was actually allergic to casein, wheat and lactose!
This was expressed in high anxiety, depression, and severe PMDD ( PMS with depression and suicidal thinking). I also had Selective Mutism and massive shyness since I was a child. That was such a struggle socially, and I missed out on a lot of things because of it.
Around 1995, age 21, I heard about the bad influence of sugar and pasteurized dairy for the first time from Dr. Max Otto Bruker. But I was addicted to both sugar as well as dairy and could not stop eating them. Dr. Bruker was possibly the first Doctor who went against the sugar and dairy industry. However, he was unaware of plant anti-nutrients and the oxalate issue at the time and recommended sprouted wholegrain.
I was gluten intolerant, so becoming a vegetarian did not improve my health issues. Around age 26 my soy consumption increased. And for about 12 years I consumed a lot.
Around 2007 I had an autistic burnout - from sensory overload, too much activity, after having run 6 marathons on the wrong fuel, too much work, too little rest and solitude. So I weaned off of sugar and dairy after a Chinese-American Natural Doctor told me to.
There was not much change really (I was still eating lots of soy and rice and vegetables) - so I took a break from all my activities and this helped somewhat. The solitude and rest was probably what my body needed most. At the time I was not aware I was an introverted autistic with C-PTSD. I tried so hard to fit in, to be like everybody else.
Around 2014 I became a vegan and in 2016 I even tried the fruitarian and raw food approach, though it was extremely difficult not to cheat with cooked vegan food. My health-issues did not go away as I had hoped. I developed very common vegan malnutrition symptoms: chronic hip pain, back pain, headaches and migraines, massive bloating and digestive issues.
I felt exhausted all the time and tired after every meal.
In the morning I woke up feeling stiff with pain in my hip. At work I had to sit down a lot, not being able to stand longer than 30min without feeling back pain. I had brain fog and it was hard for me to focus, to talk, and I had trouble with sensory overload. Depression was another issue and chronic anxiety.
Dry skin in winter was unbearable, I could not sit cross legged as my skin would start to itch. During the night I would wake up, skin itching and dry no matter how much I tried to oil it!! I had cravings for who knows what, and my hair started to fall out too. Wound healing took ages and I also felt pain in my liver and pancreas area after each meal.
In 2018 I had a massive debate with meat eaters, and it left a big impact but it took me a whole year to decide that I wanted to go back to meat eating myself.
December 2018 I started with eggs. Carefully, not knowing how my body would react. Next was salmon. I always loved salmon. I still felt unsure if this was the right way to go. I felt guilty and when I read the labels on the sausages in the meat section I expected to be jumped on any second by a militant vegan, war hammer swinging!
So I "confessed" my new way of eating to my Somatic Experience Practitioner. She actually congratulated me, saying that she herself had left veganism behind many years ago as well. For nervous system health veganism simply is not beneficial.
So I tried the paleo and autoimmune paleo protocol, at first. I watched many Ex-Vegan videos and Lierre Keith's book The Vegetarian Myth was a true eye opener. I realized how similar my symptoms were, which helped me tremendously and gave me the confirmation I needed.
But somehow I just did not feel as good as I thought I would feel with the autoimmune paleo diet. Then an ex-vegan friend told me about the carnivore approach. She reversed her fibromyalgia and many other issues and said she felt amazing.
So after trying autoimmune paleo for 3 months I decided it could not hurt to go carnivore and see if it would heal my body. I also started to watch many youtube videos and read many books about the topic.
To my amazement, my body started to heal. After only 4 months Carnivore (April - August 2019):
- back pain gone
- more energy
- I can stand for hours now
- hip pain gone
- morning stiffness gone
- more mental clarity
- better cognitive function
- better stress resilience
- sensory overload less pronounced
- better verbal interaction
- brain fog gone
- digestive issues completely gone
- no more gas
- depression gone
- PMDD gone, menstruation is regular and very mild
- less anxiety in particular from Omega 3 intake
- migraines are less often
I highly recommend the carnivore way of eating. It is amazing. Give it a try! But do it gradually. Give the body enough time to adapt. Don't go cold turkey. Do a baby steps approach. No need to rush.
In October of last year, I heard the Joe Rogan podcast with Shawn Baker. Shawn was talking about just eating meat. It sounded crazy, but I was willing to try it. At the time, I was close to 260-275 pounds, borderline diabetic, my cholesterol was over 250, my LDL 205, and my blood sugar and blood pressure were both high.
I was on the path to a heart attack and diabetes. So I started eating meat and slowly working out. I dropped 20 pounds in the first two months. Currently I’m down almost 50 pounds, my cholesterol is 205, my LDL 148, and both my blood sugar and blood pressure are normal. I’ve never felt better in my life. I even stopped taking sleep meds and anxiety meds. Who would have thought eating meat and not being lazy would do the trick? Shawn Baker is dead on and I have no doubt about being a meat eater now.
I am a 59 year old female.
Diet: Standard American Diet
Weight: 230 lbs
- Atherosclerotic coronary disease (CAC score: 99)
- Gout: right great toe
- Autoimmune Inflammatory conditions
- Neuropathy due to peroneal nerve entrapment after left knee replacement
- 3 Anti-hypertension medications
- 1 thyroid medication
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Anxiety medication
- Limited ability to walk any distance due to arthritis.
- Limited ability to stand longer than 5 minutes due to neuropathy.
I started my carnivore eating in the 90 day Carnivore Challenge in August 2017.
My weight after 90 days: 192 lbs
I have tried so many ways of eating. From Weight Watchers to Nutrisystem to Jenny Craig to Low Fat. I just got fatter and fatter. I was put on more and more blood pressure medication. I had more and more arthritis, swelling and pains. One knee joint was so bad, I had a knee replacement. That set off another series of inflammatory issues and more health issue. Sad indeed.
I followed the Autoimmune Protocol diet to resolve my AI Hepatitis after my knee replacement. I also tried the ketogenic way of eating, but it wasnu2019t until I only ate meat did my issues start to change. And wow, did they change dramatically! I am no longer on any antihypertensive medications. I take 1/2 of my thyroid medication every other day. No more joint pain in knees, fingers, hips, or great toe, so I am no longer take any anti-inflammatory medications. My anxiety dramatically improved. I can walk long distances again. My left lower leg no longer goes numb. I can actually stand without worrying of falling or stumbling when I walk. My post Carnivore 90 Day blood work showed some improvements in a few of the lipids.
- 7/17/2017 – 5.9
- 11/17/2017 – 5.1
I am no longer pre-diabetic. I am tracking the dyslipidemia and coronary calcification. I will have additional testing for both next August.
I will continue to eat meats, drink water, coffee and an occasional wine.
My health journey continues and I will keep you updated as to my cardiac improvements!
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