I had a recurrence of an aggressive, genetic type Breast Cancer in October 2017. I had been through conventional medicine in 2009 for my first diagnosis (which almost killed me), and was not willing to go that route a second time.
Instead I made a lot of changes, both dietary and lifestyle, between October 2017 and March of 2018.
I first came across the carnivore diet back in 2010 while trawling the internet. The Anderson family and their story really surprised me back then, and I actually thought they were insane to eat this way. How far ahead of their times they were!
Roll on 8 years and I decided take the plunge after reading a lot on Shawn Baker and his diet. I joined Meatness March 2018 and went 95% carnivore and I haven’t looked back. My latest MRI (in June 2018), without chemotherapy and radiotherapy has shown no evidence of cancer.
My mental health is better, my physical health is better, and I have resolved the tiredness I felt prior to my second diagnosis. I can honestly say, everything is better!
I must add that I am a Nutritional Therapist, Herbalist and Acupuncturist, and have gone from vegetarian to raw vegan, low carb and finally carnivore. Without my education, I don’t think I could have done it, it led me to be much more open to change and to look at every aspect of not only healing myself, but contributing to healing our planet, instead of taking from it.
Going carnivore has given me the best health of my life and made my life. Thank you!
This is a glance of my life story, particularly around my history of disordered eating. I am grateful to have found this meat heals site, and think this is the right place to share in hopes of inspiring another to give this WOE a try. As someone who suffered throughout childhood and most of my adult life with body image issues and eating disorders— at my junior prom I weighed in at 140 lbs at 5’10″… I did chronic cardio every single day, played basketball, ran hurdles, and either was restricting calories or losing complete control with food purges/binges. I became bulimic in HS and turned into an overexercising, punishing machine to get myself thinner and thinner. I grew up on processed foods, and became addicted to sugar/carbs early, and often felt alone with my struggle to find a WOE that would offer me greater hormonal balance, satiety and freedom from addiction.
From age 15 – 39 I worked to find self love, nurturing and food freedom. In 2007 I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. This painful (at the time event) PUSHED me to change and seek out true health on all fronts (mind, body and spirit). I quit a corp. job, returned to school and graduated with a MS in Physiology. I spent years working as a Personal Trainer and at the same time opened my own Corp Wellness Coaching business.
In 2012 I found Paleo WOE and made the changes overnight. Immediately I felt the benefits in my health, cravings, energy and mindset. Especially because I went to only protein, fat and veggies (low carb). But as I aged into my 30s I began to feel the pains in my joints (severe Back Facet Joint/Hip arthritis) from my overexercising habits and years of binging on garbage foods. I was tired of fighting to stay sober (for me this meant avoiding all sugar/carbs and anything not from the earth), and working so hard to avoid a relapse despite having better lifestyle practices in place and greater health.
I would go months eating big, fat ass salads and meat, then I’d binge again. Then repeat over and over. The cycle seemed impossible to break. I felt destined to never feel true food freedom. In 2016 I tried strict Keto and felt like I was desperately trying to fill myself with fat filling mini meals/snacks. I never felt true satiety (it never felt like a MEAL to me) eating a high fat diet, moderate protein and I knew it was not a good fit within a week. Esp. with a past littered with food obsessions and dieting.
This was not sustainable so I returned to LC Paleo. Last year, December 2017 I was traveling with my husband and had terrible IBS, fatigue and a flare up of joint back pain. There was one meal during our trip (eggs and bacon) that I noticed gave me no IBS symptoms and tons of energy. I vowed to go carnivore (not knowing it was a thing) when we got home, and I did. Today, I eat two things: anything with a face (No Dairy- as this is a trigger food for me and highly addictive), but mostly beef, black coffee and an occasional piece of 100% dark chocolate. The chocolate really helps me adhere to the carnivore diet for the long haul.
I really don’t feel the need to venture off because I have no more cravings, no urges to binge (also because I am eating til satiety), my hunger hormones are working correctly for the first time, and I my joint inflammation is way down, almost not noticeable. My mood is so much lighter. Im less reactive and PMS is less scary for me and everyone else. My energy is off the charts. It was good before starting this WOE, but now I almost have too much…if this is possible. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with all of it! 🙂 Luckily I am a health coach so I can share this inspiring energy with my clients. Finally my sleep is just as good as it was on Paleo.
When I started I would wake 30mins earlier than normal but that no longer happens. I sleep 7-8 hrs per night. I rarely have times that I struggle with cravings for foods. If I do it is quickly passes by eating more meat or just ignoring that person in my head. I found that I do need to eat a bit more with my high activity levels and to maintain my muscle mass. I also fall into a time restricted eating pattern most days but not necessarily purposely. If I wake hungry I would eat but usually I would rather stay fasting until Im really feeling the urge. I eat around 2.5lbs per day, and WO with weights 4x p/wk with daily long walks. I go to infrared sauna 5x week for 30-40mins to reduce DOMS and help with any joint tenderness. I am 158lb and 22% bf. Before CV I weighed 166 and 25% bf.
Overall this WOE, plus a ton of growth self exploration, drive to improve and knowledge seeking, living my purpose with total acceptance and love of self and others has healed me…FINALLY. I can be my best and thrive at my life’s work as a health coach. When stress gets worse I have tools to stay present and know the emotions will pass. Binge eating is not an attractive option. I did so much work to get here and heal, it has little appeal to ever go back.
I don’t isolate myself like I did, instead I have dedicated my life to helping others achieve their personal wellness/fitness goals. I practice and share the gifts of mediation/self love/nurturing/journaling/real food nutrition/movement/mindfulness. I only surround myself with positive, loving, inspirational people.
I eat big, train hard for a 43 year old woman, play/travel often and am living my purposes. But, most of all, I have unconditional self love, appreciation and acceptance, which makes it possible for me to circulate this out to other living beings and things! I have gained much by my struggles, more than I’ve lost.
If you would like to contact me, please feel free. I would love to see if there could be research on how this WOE could help people with binge eating and bulimia. I am also open to sharing more of my story and the ways this WOE has saved a girl from her dark passenger – a carb/sugar addiction. 😉 Thanks for offering this safe place to share. Anastacia
am 69 years old male and have been 99% carnivore for 8 months.
This is my latest MyStory/Cancer:
I am in remission from high volume aggressive metastatic prostate cancer as well as type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Summer 2011: diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer (Gleason score of 10 out of 10) at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Burlington, MA, USA. Eligard treatments were started immediately (androgen deprivation). Eligard is a trade name for the generic drug leuprolide; later I would be switched to Lupron Depot another trade name for the same drug and stay on it until February 2018.
12/6/2011: First external radiation treatment, repeated every weekday for 8.5 weeks. Prostate removal not possible because cancer had spread a little beyond the prostate – T3N1.
Summer 2016: chemo therapy because cancer had metastasized to bone sites, mostly on spine.
At this time I was following a low carbohydrate high fat diet (LCHF) that had successfully put my type 2 diabetes in remission (that story: https://www.dietdoctor.com/healing-brain-well-pancreas). The “high fats” are: animal fats and olive and coconut oils, but NO “vegetable oils”, (vegetable oils are highly industrially processed seed oils that are highly inflammatory: see Nina Teicholz – ‘Vegetable Oils: The Unknown Story’, https://youtu.be/Q2UnOryQiIY?t=1).
I experienced no nausea during chemo (b/c of LCHF?) so took no medication for it.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by too much insulin being secreted by the pancreas in response to high blood sugar (glucose); a metabolic disease. An alternate school of thought in cancer theory and research is that cancer is also a metabolic disease, not caused by genes.
So, after watching https://youtu.be/z3fO5aTD6JU?t=648, I decided to double down on my diet/lifestyle and stop eating any and all carbohydrates to drive my insulin as low as possible; so no foods from plants – like our ancestors before agriculture was invented. I mostly eat grass fed and finished: beef, tallow, and butter, and pasture raised chicken eggs (in the wild chickens would eat insects, grubs, snails, etc. – NOT plant foods); sometimes bacon and bacon grease (lard). The beef is lightly cooked to preserve nutrients. Low carb communities call my diet zero carb (ZC).
After a few months my oncologist declared my cancer in remission, saying it was “remarkable” and to “keep doing what you’re doing.”
One side effect of hormone therapy is bone loss, osteopenia to osteoporosis, because of the extremely low sex hormones (testosterone in men). Lately my osteopenia has gotten worse. So, since I was in remission, I asked my oncologist if we could stop the Lupron injections. He wrote,
“Certainly we could consider intermittent therapy. You do have a very aggressive cancer, successfully controlled, so we would have to be very careful. … Note: it may take 6 – 12 months for testosterone to rise.”
So my last Lupron injection was on 2/21/2018, ending the use of any and all medications, except diet/lifestyle.
My 5/31/2018 PET bone scan showed that all the metastasized sites had disappeared!
All cells express appropriate hormone receptors on their surface membranes. Prostate cells express testosterone receptors and hormone/androgen deprivation therapy drives testosterone levels very low. But all cells express insulin receptors and cancer cells express an over abundance of insulin receptors because they need to collect a huge amount of glucose to drive their growth. (See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356071/, The Insulin Receptor: A New Target for Cancer Therapy)
That’s what I’m now targeting with my no-plant (zero carb) diet, an extremely low insulin level to deprive cancer cells of glucose. You could call it “Insulin Deprivation Therapy”.
Meanwhile, normal cells can get their energy requirements from fatty acids and ketones (which cancer cells can’t use because of their uniquely deranged / damaged metabolism).
Oh, I also have been doing light to moderate exercise every since my oncologist recommended it in 2011. It lowers insulin and glycogen stores, among other things. I walk 2-3 miles / day and take a couple of cardio and strength training classes at my local senior center. I’ve recently read and am starting to follow recommendations in this book: https://amzn.to/2Ogmavg
Remember, though, “you can’t outrun a bad diet”. So both are important for optimal health.
I hope others will be encouraged enough by my (highly successful) n=1 experiment to try it themselves. As with any n=1 experiment, if you experience any adverse effects STOP.
BUT, even if it works for you expect only negative reactions, sometimes very emotional, from doctors and dietitians. The best you will probably get, as did I, is “keep doing what you’re doing.”
Also, some people who reduce their carbs to keto or ZC levels find their cholesterol levels rise, as did I. But I’m not worried because World Health Data shows people with higher cholesterol LIVE LONGER; see https://youtu.be/wdznfiWvGq0?t=1026. Dave Feldman’s research is revealing the possible mechanisms for this lower mortality; see http://cholesterolcode.com/, esp. http://cholesterolcode.com/hyper-responder-faq/.
I shared my testimony with you a while ago but I have an even better testimony from my hubby. Back in November he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. If you don’t know much about this it’s a very curable cancer but the chemo drugs and regimen is one of the worst there is.
He wasn’t on the carnivore diet prior so the day he was diagnosed I forced him into it. He was to start chemo after thanksgiving. 4 rounds of 3week intervals so 12 weeks in total. Week one he went Monday-Friday for 4 hours each day.
The second and third week was only once each week. The first week in I asked the nurse when he would start feeling crappy. She said next week, then he would feel “normal” for a few days before it started over again. Well, It never happened. He honestly thought he was just taking the chemo well and decided he was going to eat “normally” at our family’s Christmas on a Saturday.
That next Monday after chemo he got to feel what everybody else feels like during chemotherapy. He even threw up. Throughout that week even though he was back on the diet he also developed mouth sores associated with the chemotherapy. After being back on the diet for the remainder of the chemo he never experienced any of the other side effects.
No nausea and he didn’t even take all of his nausea meds. His oncologist said and I quote “in my 35 years of oncology, I’ve never seen anyone handle chemotherapy physical as well as you, you’re the best I’ve ever seen.” He’s now in remission.
At the age of 27 I was diagnosed with a highly vascular, high-grade Anaplastic Astrocytoma brain tumour after a brain haemorrhage on a busy train. I underwent surgery to remove most of the tumour, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy in an attempt to ‘zap’ the rest of the remaining cells. I decided to abandon my chemoradiotherapy after realising this wasn’t working for me and that the area of concern on scans still looked suspicious and was picking up high signalling activity.
My decision was further validated when I realised from the histopathology report that my tumour would not be chemosensitive (IDH1 wild type, unmethylated for MGMT, loss of 1p but not 19q). A mixed bag with the 19q, but it didn’t appear so promising overall. Around this time I was transitioning onto a ketogenic diet but to help manage the debilitating epilepsy I had acquired from all the brain damage I had sustained (which was quite significant). Initially the 4:1 Ketogenic Diet I had attempted actually made me feel worse and I found I was incredibly sensitive to foods I had no problems with before going on the diet. I was informed that the diet was supposed to be anti-inflammatory but I had experienced these horrible flare ups whenever I tried common ‘ketogenic’ foods- avocado, broccoli, coconut oil, olive oil, cheese etc.
This really confused me and I didn’t want to give up so I started to write down my symptoms in a diary to look for any patterns. This wasn’t as simple as it might sound, I was still on the maximum dose of two different anti-epileptic drugs and I was still having horrible seizures. The drugs and seizures were making me severely depressed and it felt too dangerous to leave the house on my own. My mother had recently been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer after taking a drug for osteoporosis that damaged the oesophageal lining, causing a malignancy. We had this confirmed by a number of researchers and doctors and the anger that raged inside me probably didn’t help as my depression worsened and the diet appeared to be failing me, whatever I tried. There was no cancer, let alone any disease in my family before I was diagnosed, so ‘why me?’ I thought. At the time I was a personal trainer studying for a masters degree in Nutritional Therapy and scoffed at the idea of the ketogenic diet before reluctantly trying it myself post diagnosis. It was new at the time and I believed in an organic plant based ‘rainbow’ diet at the time. That was the cool thing, and we were told to reduce animal proteins to ‘no more than a palm size’ a few times a week.
One day, when I was at my lowest after suffering horrific migraines after eating avocado I decided I was going to give up completely on the diet, but something happened. I woke up late one day, forgot to take my meds, had some mackerel, and just sat looking out the window. A few hours past and I noticed I didn’t have any flare-ups. I looked back at my diary where I had a scale of how bad my symptoms were and I noticed patterns after eating foods high in salicylates, so I made a radical decision to cut out all plant foods and dairy and to see what would happen. It worked and it was immediately pretty miraculous! Later I found I actually did just fine adding back the unpasteurised high fat dairy on an occasional basis and realised the problem was actually the plants. This was very difficult to accept because I always though that plants were necessary for a healthy gut microbiome, but I realised this wasn’t the case at all after reading ‘Deep Nutrition’ and ‘Primal Body, Primal Mind’.
That last book actually had the biggest influence on me and made the most sense. It introduced me to the idea of the ‘Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet’ before I even knew it was a ‘thing’ and before I knew anything about the work of Paleomedicina, who actually use the diet as a treatment protocol for patients with a number of conditions, including cancer. I was concerned about eating just oily fish, eggs, and meat, so I decided to add organ meats (brain, pancreas, fatty lamb hearts, liver), bone marrow, various edible insects, etc. all from my local butcher.
The meat is all grass fed and I know the farm where it comes from. Once I had transitioned from a standard ketogenic diet that was failing me to a carnivorous ketogenic diet I noticed my depression had been lifted, I gradually came off all my drugs, I no longer had any seizures (seldomly, only if I slipped up on the diet or encountered other triggers), and even my scans started to show improvement.
After I combined the diet with periods of fasting, long walks, a positive mindset, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, I appear to have achieved complete remission of my cancer when observed via MR Spectroscopy (a type of MRI scan that looks at the bioenergetics of the tumour site). At this time I was also taking exogenous ketones (not with caffeine or sweeteners as these were triggers for me), as this stopped me having seizure activity from exercise- I have ‘reflex epilepsy’- there is always a known cause and the major one is diet.
This whole time I had been following Professor Thomas Seyfried’s ‘Glucose Ketone Index’ as a way to monitor efficacy of the ketogenic diet for brain cancer management. My type of epilepsy is incredibly sensitive, quite different to most brain cancer patients, and interestingly I noticed that I have a clear therapeutic zone for optimal seizure activity control on the diet (typically within the range of 3-5mmol/l). The other thing I noticed is that I am clearly metabolically quite flexible, and as an individual I appear to have naturally high ketones (relatively speaking) without much effort. A focus on quality sleep, spending time in nature, and my breathing techniques probably help that, as well as the fact I am quite lean. Stress raises blood glucose and I became very aware of that the hard way, but I successfully adapted strategies to deal with that.
My life focus has now shifted entirely, I am a cancer researcher specialising in brain cancer and I am in the penultimate year of my studies about to complete my thesis, which I hope to be published if it is deemed good enough. I will be pursuing a PhD soon and aim to study these metabolic therapies in more depth as a researcher in the lab as well as continuing to be a human guinea pig and pushing for more clinical trials with similar approaches. I am now even able to add back some of the offending plant matter back into my diet with no issues, but most days I stick to my purely carnivorous ‘Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet’, as I just feel much better and genuinely thrive with this approach. My scar tissue has even started to heal and I am hoping this continues so that I can better manage the invisible disabilities that still irritate me.
I still don’t believe this approach is a ‘cure’ and I’m not recommending it for everyone, but it has done wonders for me in terms of helping me to get my life back and to help my brain heal. I also believe that if I were to relax my approach that the tumour would come back, or I would at least start having grand mal seizures again, so I won’t be abandoning the diet any time soon! There is a lot to be said for feeling good, and I feel best eating this way. Also, I believe that any anti-cancer diet that mimics a fasted state in this way, that prevents the hypersecretion of insulin and maintains low and stable blood glucose, with a favourable ratio of omega 3 and 6, is a pretty smart idea in my book. It made sense for me personally to do this on a carnivorous way of eating not only because I felt better, but because I understood animal foods could be incredibly nutrient dense, with more bioavailable nutrients compared to plant foods. They are also much easier for me to digest.
I am thankful that more people are sharing their stories because this is still seen as very controversial. People don’t like the idea of cancer patients eating meat (especially red meat!), and fruit and vegetable juicing is still all the rage for some reason I still don’t quite understand.
I hope to encourage people to be more subjective rather than objective, and to always question the prevailing dogma.
I have quite a history with food and diets. Since Junior High I have maintained a 30 lb weight range (118-148 lbs) which fell into the “normal” range for my 5’5″ height. I struggled with anorexia in my early teens, and then in the 80-90’s, I ate low fat/low calorie, exercised, and was bulimic. Through 7 pregnancies and nursing I would eat “normal low fat SAD” and then return to calorie restriction and bulimia & over the counter diet pills/supplements.
In 2003 I tried Atkins, eating mostly low fat/low carb/low calorie and was able to maintain my weight without bulimia, but I still exercised regularly. Being hypoglycemic I had times I would pass out or even have seizures from blood sugar drops. In 2007 I turned to Paleo, but I was at my highest weight and didn’t feel comfortable/confident. In 2012 diagnosed with breast cancer & had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. I then began Keto/HFLC and chased ketones for several years!
In 2013 a rash developed on my shins, I saw numerous doctors and specialists with no answers (family doctor diagnosed scabies :/, dermatologist tried numerous topical creams and I ended up with the strongest steroid cream and living on Benadryl for itch). After some research, in 2015 I did a 21 day water fast – my skin began to clear after a week and by the end of 3 weeks I was free of rash & inflammation. I returned to eating Keto, and the rash returned. A naturopath ordered several tests & discovered I was gluten/dairy/nut/corn intolerant, my hormones were all over the place, thyroid wasn’t functioning optimally, and I had developed an autoimmune disorder. I then began AIP, which was very difficult as most of the veggies I liked were nightshades or on the “no” list. The rash and incredibly itchy, inflamed, red, alligator like skin was consuming me again – even the cream (could only be used 2 weeks then off 2 weeks) wasn’t working.
I listened to Dr. Shawn Baker on a podcast and decided to join the N=many experiment. I began carnivore 9/15/17 and within a week my rash was gone, and inflammation was greatly reduced. After 3 months I had no rash/achy joints/headaches/sniffles/inflammation, and my blood glucose is much more level. I would love to have dairy again someday, but at this point I’m just hoping to heal my body of the years of mistreatment. If only I had discovered Carnivore 35 years ago!!! I’ve continued to run half and full marathons and Pikes Peak since Carnivore, practice Yoga & feel fabulous and confident with Carnivore.