I have hesitated for some time to submit my story. I think in part because I began a very low-carb diet in May 2017, prior to hearing about the Carnivore Diet challenge. I was aware of Amber O’Hearn and others avoiding plant foods. My husband and I had been vegan for just over 5 years prior to adding animal foods back in our diet in March 2017. By May, our plant food consumption had greatly diminished. This was quite a switch for me, as I have long been an advocate of ‘eating your dark leafy greens’ and always promoted eating lots of veggies.
So that is where this story begins!
I think what most people don’t realize is that nearly every single person in the Western countries is eating a plant-based diet. The average protein consumption is only about 12-15%.
Since age 4, I developed pretty bad allergies. While still young, I had an episode of my knees buckling in while getting off the couch. We did eat meat (and potatoes) growing up, yet I was diagnosed anemic, and given iron pills.
I think I long had a sugar addiction, something I thought I had gotten over years back. Funnily enough, as a vegan, I ultimately was consuming an entirely sugar-laden diet, even if I avoided refined sugars. However, I was long led to believe the ‘complex carbs’ – whole grains and beans – were good for balancing blood sugar. Fibre too.
Needless to say, I have had pretty severe hypoglycemic blood sugar swings, which of course worsened while on an entirely ‘whole foods, plant-based’ diet – despite all that fibre. My blood pressure is low. I would have orthostatic hypotensive super dizzy spells when I would stand up from sitting. Quite often, I would have to put myself down on the ground, as I could feel the lights going out. Even then, I still had that horrid feeling of falling. I would have mini seizures right after. This occurred more and more frequently while trying to make the vegan diet work. I did it all, from high raw, fruit-based, low-fat, low-protein, low-sodium to grain and bean based, macrobiotic style. I ate tons of greens, sea veggies, and all ‘the right stuff’ (vegans still try to tell me “I didn’t do it right”).
Needless to say, I watched myself age dramatically on a vegan diet. My skin became grey ashen looking. I felt like wrinkles were showing up pretty regularly! I often looked haggard when waking up.
My hair was falling out each time I brushed. My vision was worsening. My memory, recall, and retention were not up to par and I was increasingly feeling more and more fatigued. It was very hard to get motivated in the morning.
All this was happening while being in the ‘holistic/alternative’ health care, trying to do health coaching. What a joke! I even wrote 4 books on eating a whole foods, plant-based, or macrobiotic diet, all of which I have since unpublished.
My husband and I were doing plenty of training. Meanwhile, our progress was seeming to stall. I had constant tendonitis somewhere or another. Elbows, wrists. Knee issues. In fact, I just really had stiffness and pain all the time. It really took a lot of work to loosen up, and feel okay and ready for my day.
While plant based, I ate bowls full of cooked porridge. My husband and I were clearly craving protein more and more as time went on. We were adding beans and nuts to the porridge. I kept feeling like I needed more, yet I was full. By the day’s end, I had that lovely ‘lower belly kangaroo pouch’ ~ my not so endearing term. Bloating, constipation and low moods became more constant as time went on while eating plant based.
Then there were the major sicknesses every single winter. We do treat many people who get sick with acupuncture in our clinic. Sure enough, we each would take turns getting sick as well. One year, while eating mostly raw, I actually had what looked like adult chicken pox. Major chills and fever. Major! I had chicken pox as a kid too. Another year, I had laryngitis so bad, I thought I really damaged my vocal cords. Not a sound could be made! These illnesses lingered for weeks. Once upon a time I worked in a busy tourist restaurant, in Aspen, CO, and I was the one that picked up everyone else’s shifts when they were sick!
By the time the winter illness would finally subside, I was hit with allergies that dragged on for well over another month. I basically began each year sick. I had phlegm that never went away. Sinus problems. Difficulty breathing well. (But I believed dairy caused these problems. Not sure why things were not clicking in my mind, as I had not had dairy in years!)
People may wonder why we lingered so long. It is difficult to break these mental associations, and marketers and pushers of these plant-based diets know this.
The signs were certainly adding up. But, we had watched all the propaganda films (Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, et al.) and read all the plant-based doctor books, and believed these guys. I even took T. Colin Campbell’s Plant-Based Nutrition certification course!
The reason we actually switched from a paleo diet prior to vegan to begin with was because Don’s first wife developed breast cancer. She and he had been paleo for 10 years, the length of time it takes for cancer cells to multiply enough to be palpable. She passed away just shy of turning 50.
I developed excruciatingly tender, fatty, and uneven sized breasts shortly after her diagnosis. This put the fear in me. Don also had prostate issues. His dad has prostate cancer. We were sure that the only thing that could be a problem was the meat and saturated fat. Of course, that is what is pushed, especially by those plant-based doctors. The fact that eating grains and beans again, including soy, after a year or more of abstaining helped my condition to totally subside caused me to be certain we were on the right path once we were vegan. His prostate symptoms also cleared.
Interestingly, while high raw, fruit-based, my fibrocystic tenderness returned, albeit without the enlarged, clearly fatty and unevenness as they were prior. That ended that way of eating.
In addition to the fibrocystic breast condition, I had also reached my lifetime highest weight at 127#. I am only 5 feet tall! We also attributed that to the paleo diet, esp. meat + fat. I mean, how could it be the vegetables and berries, after all! (I get it now, just didn’t then. Carbs + fat = big insulin problem!)
It takes some time to experience the deficiencies, depending on previous diet. So much of these symptoms I had either always had, and hoped to see an improvement, or just kept thinking required more time to resolve.
Despite all the fiber, I also had constipation. Irritable bowel is probably better description. I was actually beginning to develop hemorrhoids as well.
I am sure once I submit this, I’ll think of even more issues experienced while plant-based, but this was probably excruciating enough to read!
The good news? Since eating a high protein, nearly carnivorous diet, I have regained a sense of myself again. I regained lost vitality. I am developing lean muscle and strength while training, whereas progress seemed hard to notice previously.
I immediately had clients tell me how much better I looked. My skin brightened up. My hair no longer falls out. I don’t have constipation, although I do take magnesium, nearly my only supplement, other than getting adequate sodium. My body composition has definitely changed. I feel like a new person. I now steadily weigh 102#. I essentially lost 1/5 of my body weight. Nobody believes me tho! My excess fat has always been in my lower body.
I have regained my confidence, lost while feeling so bad about myself for feeling so bad, especially when I’m supposed to be reflecting health as part of my profession. I no longer have cravings, mood swings, or lack of focus. My entire outlook and ability to function as a human has so greatly improved, it is truly like getting my life back. The life I was meant to live.
I am regretful for sure of lost vitality. I get nasty comments from vegans on my YT channel. This has all been quite a journey. I now have a new book out, and I know with 100% certainty having been there, done that, that meat + fat is where it is at. I am now bullet-proof to the misleading information and propaganda.
If you’ve read this far, all I can say is don’t go vegan! As we age, we need all the more protein. It’s not as easy to recover either. But, the body is super resilient. I began to feel so much better immediately upon eating meat again. It has only gotten better since. I would say I am still wanting to see certain areas improve, but there are other factors impacting our health besides diet. I trust this process, and I am in it for the long haul. Animal foods are nutrient dense, and there is no doubt that my symptoms were from major micro and macronutrient deficiencies.
Thank the Gods for people like Dr. Shawn Baker who calls it as it is, despite this crazy PC world we live in with a seemingly clear agenda to push veganism. Nearly every one of our clients believes that eating plant foods is healthy. We did too once. It’s a hard belief to break.
I hope my story might help someone else, who might be in a similar situation, or give some insight to what a low fat high carbohydrate diet can do to ones body over 30 years.
I’m 6’4″, and 5 years ago I weighed about 112kg, with a measurement around the stomach of about 112cm – I was getting big, but I honestly thought that I wasn’t eating so bad. I’ve never been a vegan or vegetarian, but I used to eat a low fat, high carb diet – I was generally anti-fat on meat (if I could see it), and simply didn’t really know it. I ate bread with reckless abandon, and loved potatoes – generally cooked in vegetable fats. I would say I was indoctrinated to despise animal fat (as that’s what makes you fat right?!).
I did a blood test in July 2014, but it was all fucked – my lipds were way off, I was told cut back on fats, otherwise we’ll have to put you on statins – I read a book by David Gillespie, and a book by Yudkin, and I resolved to get better, and I cut back on fats more, and I gave up all refined or added sugars about 4 years ago – as a consequence,
– I stopped getting hayfever (had it since I was 10 years old, 200 tablets per year, now zero)
– stopped getting nosebleeds (hadn’t ever had one up until 3 years prior
– stopped getting colds, and sick
– stopped having inflamed glands on my neck and back of head
– stopped feeling like shit when I woke up, not sleeping very well at this point still though
– stopped getting plantar fasciitis, it cleared up
– lost about 20kg
– lost 15cm off the waist (awesome!)
I was eating ethically, buying local produce, ethically raised animals, and organic or self-grown vegetables .. I truly thought I was doing really good and had found the key with cutting out all added fructose and sugars – surely it would help my bloods. In August last year I did another blood test. Again, the bloods are still all fucked up – “But I’m eating bloody good right?! This is completely fucked up, what the!” .. I should be getting better in these lipid tests, wtf! But I was still eating bread, potato, minimal fish, etc etc ..
Then I started reading more, and fell across Tim Noakes, Nina Teicholz, Zoe Harcombe, and I was starting to feel my mind going, foggy and cloudy .. then about 10 weeks ago I gave up all refined carbohydrates – no bread, no potatoes, and cut my net carb instake back to about 30-35g per day. I jumped in ..
I did another blood test and got my results back on Friday, and while the doc was a bit concerned with my overall cholesterol level and my LDL, knowing what I know now I’m really not concerned at all with these .. these are my key stats past to now:
Total Chol: 6.8
VLDL (trig/2.2): 1.32
Total Chol: 6.4
VLDL (trig/2.2): 1.41
Total Chol: 6.7
VLDL (trig/2.2): 0.54
So .. although I was eating as they wanted me to, and trying my hardest, my VLDL and triglicerides were heading in the completely wrong direction that I wanted them to, in the worst possible way!
Apart from the improved blood results
– my mind has cleared, and while I never thought I was heading that way I reckon my memory, my clarity has improved massively. I feel smarter, not because I think I know any better but my mind is faster
– stopped having bad nights sleep insomnia
– stopped getting itchy skin on trunk and neck
– I have 20/20 vision but I think my vision improved massively
– the awake/asleep switch (as in being awake or asleep is faster, and clearer – if that makes sense).
– lost another 10kg, down to 79-80kg
– lost another 6cm on the waist, down to 86cm
I did struggle through the keto flu for about 4-5 weeks, with some lethargy, and sleep issues, and a headache here or there, I now think I’m beyond that, and feel 100%.
I’ve not been this size, or weight since I was 19 years old. I’m eating better food, feeling full, really only eating twice per day but never hungry.
I truly believe my body was saying “you’ve had enough carbs mate, back the fuck off them or we’re going to fuck you up permanently”.
Anyway, lchf, saved my life.
My story is pretty intense and spans practically my entire life. I am a c-section baby and for as long as I can remember I have been sick. As a young child my autoimmune issues weren’t so severe. Minor eczema, canker sores. But I did showcase autistic tendenciess and always had severe anxiety and mood problems. When I was eight years old I started noticing stomach pains and was frequently going to the bathroom. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 10 years old and for four years struggled greatly with it. I was eventually put on Remicade and was declared in remission. I tried eating healthy but had a horrible relationship with food. I ate like crap and partied a ton during my 20s. I became very interested in sustainability and when I was 26 decided to do a high carb vegetarian diet. I lost a ton of weight. But then things started getting weird.
My left side of my body started becoming increasingly numb. An MRI determined I had a brain stem Cavernoma. It was not related to my diet, the doctors said. My symptoms got progressively worse and in the summer of 2017 I had a hemmorrhagic stroke. An emergency surgery removed half of the cavernoma. I found the Keto diet during my recovery and lost 60 pounds. But symptoms returned. My surgeon told me a 2nd surgery would be required. It was a success and the cavernoma was removed.
I read The Plant Paradox 10 months ago and decided not to continue with my Remicade treatments. I followed the diet well, even consuming a litre of olive oil a week. At first I felt great. Then the rashes showed up. Then I couldn’t muster up the energy to get out of bed. I was depressed. When a big rash that smelled like cheese appeared on my left armpit, I knew something was up. It was Candida. I was also experiencing horrible SIBO. I was worried my Crohn’s would soon rear it’s ugly head again. I had heard about the carnivore diet but thought it couldn’t be legit.
It was only after listening to Paul Saladino that I decided to give the diet a shot. Within a week the candida, rashes, and horrible digestion were gone. The depression went after that. And the anxiety and mood issues ? Wow! I can’t explain the difference. I’m just a happier person overall.
But here is where it gets interesting. I am starting to notice neurological improvements. I still have some nerve damage post brain surgeries. I’ve been on the diet for 8 months but have only started to notice real significant changes after switching to a steak , liver, and raw fat diet. I’m really curious to see how I progress as I continue with this diet.
I wake up every morning with a smile on my face knowing I’m the healthiest I have ever been. And who doesn’t love to crush steaks!! I’m so grateful and looking forward to seeing how things change moving forward.
In 2017 I was pre-diabetic. I was suffering greatly with vasculitis, had tendon problems in my feet, and I had piriformis syndrome. My whole body was inflamed.
I was in bad shape, crippled really, and none of my doctors we’re able to help me except to put me on steroids which only helped temporarily. I knew I could not stay on them very long.
I found the low carb community online and started down that path at 245 lbs. 9 months later my weight had gone to a 190 lbs and I was nearly symptom free. My diet gradually evolved and since I have gone to about 90% carnivore. My weight is 178 lbs, my waist-to-height ratio is less than 1/2, my cholesterol is 187 HDL 92 LDL 86 triglycerides 44. My CAC score is a zero!
I feel fantastic! I’m 57 years old and feel 35 again.
I grew up in a family where the dad ate protein, and the family ate potatoes, vegetables, and bread, and drank dehydrated nonfat milk. As a child I was chubby, had digestion and elimination problems, and was always taking medication for ear infections, sore throat, or hay fever.
In 1992, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, later changed to psoriatic arthritis. In 1998, I discovered Atkins (low carb) and learned that if I ate carbs, I woke up the next morning feeling like I had been run over by a road paver. After about six months, I realized that my hay fever was gone. Seemed strange but didn’t ring any bells. I spent years living on Ibuprofen while my hands and feet turned into weird gnarled sticks that hurt a lot and were unusable.
On February 14, 2017 I got the best Valentines gift ever when a Joe Rogan interview with Dr. Shawn Baker appeared on my iPad. I listened to it, and it made sense. My son was in the room, and he heard it too. At the end, I said I wanted to try it, and my son said he would also. He went and got us steak for dinner that night and we haven’t looked back.
Bacon & eggs for breakfast and steaks for lunch and dinner every day. Six days in, I had more energy, no swollen joints, and my feet didn’t feel like someone was holding a flame thrower on them. I started wearing shoes again. At 22 days, I realized that psoriasis had disappeared from my shins and forearms, and I could move the fingers on my left hand individually. At 30 days, my right fingers and toes were showing signs of life. We’re currently 34 days carnivore. The other day my son asked me if I remember what it was like to feel good (not sure I remember, if I ever did), and my answer was that I didnu2019t know, but that I am happy feeling nothing. I sleep well and wake refreshed. I have no digestion or elimination problems, no aches, pains, headaches or gut issues. Meat heals. I am perfectly happy feeling nothing, and I plan to be a carnivore as long as possible. By the way, I am a seventy year old female stroke survivor.