Cognitive function

Anonymous improved anemia and digestive problems on a carnivore diet

My story is quite an extreme one.

When I was five years old my entire family became vegetarian. This would have been in 1975, when being a vegetarian was still very unusual. I gather it was after a distressing trip to an agricultural show, but of course I don’t really remember the details. Before that, I had eaten a fairly normal diet. Apparently, as a toddler in my high chair I used to repeatedly ask for ‘more meat!’

The first way that it affected me was that I became quite phobic about food. In retrospect I think that I must have been a bit traumatised by the switch, because I went from being a fairly normal eater to an incredibly fussy one. They say that children know instinctively what they need, and I think that on some level I must have known that our new bean- and grain-heavy diet was not very good for us. I hated it, anyway, and responded by being frightened of everything except Weetabix and bread. I was really nervous about the food my mother cooked, although she was a good cook and most people loved her food. 

As I grew up, I didn’t really realise that my health was being impaired by my diet, but now I look back the signs of steady deterioration were there. I had chronic earache and thrush, my nails were always really weak, and I must have had mild rickets without anyone even noticing. I say this because early photographs show me with straight legs, but by the time I was about ten I had developed bowed legs, and my ankle and knee joints had thickened – both symptoms of rickets. By the time I was ten I was chronically constipated as well, and I was definitely already anaemic. 

However, it was not until I was about 16 that my health really got a lot worse. I had been under a great deal of stress due to problems at home, and I had been eating very poorly for a few years and generally not looking after myself.  I suffered a sort of hormonal collapse – my thyroid seemed to more or less shut down and I began to struggle to keep my weight under control. I responded by massively restricting my diet, and never took any hormones for the problem. I was permanently exhausted, and really depressed.  My periods stopped completely also. In the next few years my digestive system began to be severely affected; it became more and more difficult for me to cope with more and more foods. Initially the things that I gave up were toxic foods like sugar, but as the years went by, I found myself having to cut out more and more food groups. My veganism was as much prompted by my progressive inability to digest different animals foods as it was from conviction. I had eaten a lot of yoghurt in my twenties, but then I realised that it was giving me terrible sinus and digestive problems, so the dairy had to go. I used to love eating eggs, but then they began giving me terrible skin problems and stomach aches, so they too were jettisoned.  I have since read that this is a very common phenomenon; vegetarian or vegan people find that their diet is increasingly dictated to them as their digestive systems deteriorate. I also had to cut out carbohydrates as I had a terrible problem with candida overgrowth that I simply could not get rid of.

By the time I was in my mid-forties I had been forced to cut out virtually all food groups and was basically living on vegetables and green powders. I spent a small fortune on the so-called super foods like spirulina, chlorella and barley and wheat grass powders. It was a colossal waste of money, but in retrospect they probably stopped me from suffering from even worse malnutrition than I already did. At least I was always able to digest them, which is more than I could do with most other foods. 

Apart from the terrible digestive problems, which often meant at least a few sleepless nights every week, and a great deal of pain, there was a long list of major and minor things that were wrong with me. My brain was permanently fogged up, I was a terrible yellow colour, my skin was dry, I was always cold, I had little bumps all over my body, my nails continued to not grow properly, I had a problem with water retention, particularly in my lower body, and I struggled to keep my weight down, even with a strict exercise routine. I had had a lot of problems with poor oral health, including periodontal disease. I was terribly thirsty all the time, which I now realise is a sign of severe anaemia. My liver function was impaired, so I couldn’t tolerate fried foods or alcohol. Generally, my health was lousy. I had to plan my life really carefully, because there was little wriggle room. If I didn’t keep to a certain routine, what fragile health I had could be undermined very rapidly. I was quickly emotionally overwhelmed by having too little time to myself, and had to force myself to go out and see my friends; I never really wanted to.  I generally didn’t talk about my health problems with people, and would tell myself that things weren’t so bad, because I didn’t have anything life-threatening. Nonetheless, however much I tried to kid myself, things were not great, and life was only bearable because I was fairly resigned to the situation…and thankfully, I had always had a large number of interests to distract me. In any case, I had had a long time to get used to poor health, so I didn’t really dwell on it that much. Maybe if I had, it wouldn’t have gone on for so long!  

Two things saved me. Firstly, I had (have!) a dear friend, who was an ex-vegan. He had suffered tremendous health problems which he had mainly resolved through going back to eating meat. At first, I didn’t really want to listen to his concerns, but he was kind and respectful, and I think I knew deep down that he was right. Anyway, he talked to me about how copper toxicity can result from zinc deficiency as a result of vegetarian and vegan diets, and although I didn’t immediately act on his ideas, they had an impact. I was also beginning to listen to a lot of podcasts on the internet, which continues to be a rich source of valuable new information. I was particularly inspired by the Canadian clinical psychologist Professor Jordan Peterson and his daughter Mikhaila, who famously cured her severe auto immune condition with an all-meat diet and now blogs about her experience. Jordan Peterson also adopted the diet and experienced significant benefits. At that point this seemed impossibly extreme, but I decided that I would start eating meat again, and see what happened. 

Of course, it had been 43 years since I had eaten any meat, so I had to slowly get myself used to the idea of trying it again. Most people who go back to eating meat do so because they really miss it, but it wasn’t like that for me. I had to persuade myself to do it, and the emotional resistance was tremendous. It took three months of a calculated desensitisation process  (looking at pictures of meat online) to pluck up the courage to try some chicken. However, when I did, I loved it straight away. Initially I had thought I would just eat meat occasionally, but my body knew what it wanted. Soon I was eating it every day, and feeling better and better. I just felt stronger in every way. 

However, it was not until I went completely carnivore that I began to see the real improvements. The first thing to really change was the colour of my skin. I have already mentioned that I was very yellow – orange, really. People used to ask me sometimes why this was the case, which was very embarrassing. Anyway, when I began to eat only meat my colour initially got a lot worse. For a few weeks I was so orange I was almost a neon colour. Then it suddenly went away, and I had a normal pink-ness for the first time in decades. From what I have read subsequently, this was a sign that my liver function was beginning to return as my body readjusted. Specifically, my yellow skin probably resulted from the copper poisoning which my friend had told me about, which was being rectified as I began to assimilate the zinc from the meat, and expel copper.  Yellow skin can also result from chronic anaemia. Copper poisoning is a common problem for vegetarians and vegans, as it is extremely difficult for them to get sufficient zinc in their diets (zinc is a copper antagonist in the body, and stops bio-unavailable copper building up in the tissues). 

It would be dishonest to claim that everything has resolved itself – it hasn’t, yet. However, I am not so unrealistic to think that 43 years of malnutrition can be sorted out in one year. Apparently, it takes years for minerals to rebalance in the body, so I must be patient. However, every month is bringing improvements, so I’m more than happy with my progress. It is certainly true that over the last 14 months my emotional and physical health has radically improved. The first thing to really change was my mood. I became a great deal calmer, and more sociable. I began to look forward to seeing friends rather than dreading social occasions. My digestive problems have got a lot better and my weight is more stable. My skin started to lose the dryness and flakiness, and my hair stopped falling out. The quality of my sleep improved a great deal. I stopped needing to drink all the time. People tell me that I look about ten years younger. This is probably the most visible sign of progress. The skin on my face has lifted and tightened, as if I have had plastic surgery (I haven’t!). The nasolabial folds that run from the nose to the mouth are strongly associated with the ageing process, and mine have all but reverted to how they were in my early thirties. Long-term vegans and vegetarians often develop a characteristic ‘sunken eyed’ look. I certainly had this, but it has started to reverse itself.  Best of all, I have so much more energy and stamina. 

I mainly eat beef and salt. In the early days I was eating a lot of chicken, but I feel much better on a beef diet, and now I’m really not that interested in chicken anymore. I gather that most carnivores naturally gravitate towards grass-fed ruminants after a while; as was indicated during my childhood, the body knows what it wants when we give it a chance to find out. We eat a lot of grass-fed beef mince, but I do love really rare steak – barely cooked. Ironically, my poor digestive system, which struggled to cope with pretty much any food for years, has absolutely no problem at all digesting virtually raw steak! 

Anyway, I’m tremendously grateful for the internet, which I feel has given me back my life. I have learned so much in the last few years. Principally, I have learned that most of what we are told about diet simply isn’t true. Plants are not wholly innocent and innocuous, but contain poisonous substances that undermine the assimilation of key nutrients, and can seriously impair human health. Far from being essential for human health, all the vegetables we eat now have only existed for a few thousand years, being the result of the selective breeding of wild plants that were too dangerous to eat in their natural state.  Meat is not a toxic substance that should be eschewed in favour of a plant-based diet; it is both health-giving and absolutely essential. I ate a plant-based diet for nearly all my life, and although I started off as a healthy little girl, with every year I got weaker and weaker. We are animals, and need to stop thinking of ourselves as somehow separate from nature. It is this mentality that leads people to suppose that we can turn our backs on our ancestral diet, the diet we evolved eating, and take ourselves out of the food chain. We simply cannot. Yes, it is important that we treat animals well and farm responsibly and with compassion, but this is perfectly possible whilst still eating meat. Another myth is the notion that meat-eating is somehow bad for the environment. In reality, it is monocropping agribusiness that is the primary problem, as it destroys soil-health and natural habitats. Flying food half-way around the world (as with the food that most vegans rely on) is certainly not sustainable. Locally produced grass-fed animal products which require minimal disruption to natural habitats are better for human health, animal health, and the natural world. 

I firmly believe that humanity will one day look back on veganism as a dangerous and misguided fad. After all, my story is far from being unique; already there are numerous instances of ex-vegans speaking out about how their diets wrecked their lives, until they recovered their health eating meat again. Anyone who is in any doubt only has to watch YouTube for a few hours!  The quicker we work together to quash the anti-meat propaganda, the better – for all our sakes. 




Sim improved autism, depression and anxiety on a carnivore diet

Hey! 

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:

Corina eliminates depression and anxiety on carnivore diet

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.

Michal improved digestion, fitness, hair, mood, skin on carnivore diet

I was vegan for about 4 years. In a very short period of time, I developed mouth ulcers and lost a lot of weight that I later gained back. I got into cleansing, raw food, and juicing. I spent thousands of £££ on supplements and superfoods, thinking that they were the next magic thing and that another superfood hype would save me, while my health was getting worse. After 2 years on being vegan diet, I developed chronic fatigue, severe mouth ulcers, mild depression, skin problems, IBS, infections, shingles (I got scares on forehead and was close to losing sight in right eye, the doctor said). My immune system was non-existent by that time and chronic fatigue was getting worse and worse. My brain was “drying out,” screaming for oily fish! Gradually I started adding fish, butter, raw kefir, and bone broth that helped me survive last winter. I stared feeling better and stronger. I had my first piece of meat after 5 years in October last year, and it felt amazing. It digested better than green smoothie (now I now why), and I started eating more and more meat. From beginning of 2018, I am mostly carnivore! After only few days on it, IBS and inflammation was gone, and I felt like getting new life. My energy levels are great, my skin looks amazing, my hair is growing like crazy, and the wrinkles and gray hair I developed on vegan diet are disappearing. I have enough energy to train between 2 to 6 hours a day, 6 times a weeks, and I did my first Ironman 70.3 last week. I'm so grateful for this journey to well-being. Meat truly heals. Thank you, Shawn Baker!

Adam improved digestion, fitness, mood, mental health on carnivore diet

My name is Adam and this is my carnivore story… MEAT HEALS!

May 12, 2018

Background:

46 year old male slowly became 30 pounds overweight from eating and drinking too much and not exercising. Decided I wanted to get back in shape but despite increasingly strenuous workouts (from 30 to 45 to 60 to 90 to even 120 minutes over 6 months, mostly weight training), only lost 5 pounds and did put on some muscle but couldn’t see it well thru the middle-aged tire/fat. Sore constantly, injured myself 3 times in 6 months pushing too hard to improve my physique. Avoided sugar and processed carbs but still drank too much beer and had too many binge attacks where I would polish off insane amounts of bad food because of intense cravings.

My carnivore story:

Started reading bodybuilding articles trying to figure out where I was going wrong and stumbled onto Vince Gironda’s “steak and eggs” diet for bodybuilders to cut fat and get ripped. He was a trainer decades ago (reportedly once worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger). Just eat steak and eggs at every meal and have a cheat day once a week to replenish body carbohydrate stores. I was frustrated (and sore) and decided to give it a go.

Felt absolutely terrible the whole first week. Never looked forward to a day more than my first cheat day at the end of that week. Low energy, brain fog, diarrhea, aches and pains (more than usual), cold sore on my lip (only get when physical and/or mental stress) – basically felt like I had a bad flu. But I read a lot that week and learned that this was a temporary thing according to the crazy carnivores before me. On the morning my cheat day was to start, I had lost 5 pounds. I also didn’t really feel that hungry.

Ate like a maniac on my cheat day but vowed to try one more week, as many said after two weeks is when things start getting easier. Second week sucked. Felt terrible and told myself if I didn’t feel better by the end of the week, screw it. It wasn’t worth it to feel sick all the time! I still wasn’t very hungry and ate only twice a day (lunch and dinner) and drank black coffee for breakfast and water rest of day. By day 9, I noticed I didn’t really feel like having beers after work anymore (a 20 year habit suddenly gone?!).

When I woke up around day 11, the “keto flu” (as some call it; e.g., carbohydrate withdrawal) was gone. I had higher energy levels than I had felt in months. I felt fantastic! By this time, I stumbled onto this crazy (like a fox) carnivore doctor named Shawn Baker, Amber O’Hearn, the Inuit and others within the internet rabbit hole of forbidden dietary knowledge. I still had a cheat meal at the end of the 2nd week, but I didn’t really need it like I did the first week and I thought of it more as a reward than as a necessity.

It has now been 60 days since the end of that 2nd week. It is my lifestyle now, not a “lose fat” diet. I have already lost all the fat I need to and am now at what I feel is a healthy weight for me. I feel and look great and don’t ever plan on going back. This way of eating has changed my life!

Positive impacts on my life of this diet:

  • Lost 30 pounds in 45 days and now at desired body weight. All while eating until full and snacking when needed. No attempt to restrict calories at all. Most effortless weight loss ever (and I have tried many fad diets over the years).
  • No longer sore for more than a few hours after working out. Ready to go the next day. Seems easier to get stronger and bigger, too. Working out less and seeing better muscle gains.
  • Feel and look 20 years younger. Mentally and physically improved in so many ways.
  • No more heartburn. Ever. Used to pop Pepcid pills like candy.
  • Don’t feel like drinking alcohol any more, after drinking too much for about 25 years or so. Wasn’t part of the plan, but I’ll take it!
  • Don’t get intense cravings for food and no longer miss the foods I don’t eat. Doesn’t feel like I’m “on a diet”.
  • Don’t usually get hungry between meals any more, but happy to have some bacon if I do.
  • Energy levels more steady and still have energy left to spare after hard day at work. Don’t get sleepy after eating any more.

Negatives:

  • The first 10 days totally sucked for me. I almost quit twice. Glad I stuck with it. I feel like I now understand what a heroin addict goes thru during withdrawal!
  • Going to eat outside the home is trickier. Let’s just say Brazilian steakhouses are my new favorite.
  • Getting weird muscle cramps sometimes, especially when running. Been trying to up my salt intake.

Thanks!
Adam

Ryan improved his mental health and joint pain on a carnivore diet

Hi Doctor Shawn and to everyone out there,

I have been somewhat of a diet elitist and have been lifting weights for 15 years now. As science would tell you my diet begun with a high protein, high carb, low fat diet.

Whilst being at that time in my 20s it worked, but calories wise, I had to eat around 1800 to get to the body fat I wanted along with going through the motions of constant hunger, irritability and still struggling to lose that last bit around my waist.

Then about 7 years ago I stumbled on intermittent fasting and began eating in an 8 hour feeding window. This way of eating freed me from food and eating every 3 hours as we are told as bodybuilders. I had never felt better and mentally and physically had made significant improvements. As I dived deeper I realised my body was inducing a state of ketosis so about 5 years or so ago I began a keto diet and had noticed even greater physique and mental benefits. These benefits included reduces waist size and body fat whilst getting stronger, with almost super cognitive function and a greater sense of well-being.

One thing I had always felt in my keto travels, however, was in my day of eating when I would only have fatty cuts of meat with no other oils, butter or added fat, I would wake up the next day with more energy and actually look and perform much better. I now fast from 20 to 24 hours a day depending on my schedule and have been following your carnivore diet for 3 months now.

I just wanted to thank you Dr Shawn Baker for your words of wisdom. My body has transformed before my eyes and my performance is on another level. People are consistently commenting, and I now train full body every day with a ton of volume. I am strong and have a crazy amount of work capacity. I have made more improvements in the last 3 months than I have in the last 3 years, all due to this way of eating. I am never sore and even my little aches and pains have completely disappeared. I can actually get by now with less sleep and feel almost superhuman. I now eat anywhere from 5000 to 6000 kcals a day which consists of usually 2.5 kg of meat, usually in one sitting (with pink salt added). My taste buds and body make me crave this way of eating, and I now believe I have found the most optimal way of eating.

Thank you for listening 🙂

Dominic improved fitness, immune system, mood, skin on carnivore diet

I have been working with ketosis for 4 years.

Carnivore since middle of December, not looking back now.

Growing muscle mass, while staying incredibly shredded at 82kg at the moment. Deadlifting over triple my bodyweight and going for the 80kg-85kg British deadlift record. Prior to carnivore, my lifts were not going up and only slowly when improving. Mental energy and focus for the lifts has sky rocketed since meat only.

Skin is completely clear, immune system is optimum, recovery every night from training 2-3 times a day and energy has never been higher.

Warren improved his mental health and addiction on a carnivore diet

I am extremely happy with my results while eating the Carnivore Diet. I’ve been a health conscious individual with a pretty heavy sugar addiction for the most of my adult life. I’ve tried different diets and supplements over the years, with the goal always being the same: to rid myself any depression, anxiety, or brain fog, and to just feel comfortable in my own skin.

I’ve probably spent thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of green powders, supplements, therapy, and everything else that you could think of to better my performance. Most of these things I have tried, and they seemed to have worked for a short duration, but then after a few months, I would be back at the start line again, face down in a pile of candy bar wrappers. It seems that I might have a powerful placebo reaction to things, because I believe so intensely in what I am currently trying (I’ve finally realized this about myself, lol).

I’m 39 years old now, and have been eating like a carnivore for approximately 2.5 months. My plan was to add other foods back in after 1 month of eating like this, but when the end of the month came to a close, I felt so good that I really didn’t want anything to change. I’m still working on analyzing my results, but here’s what I’ve noticed so far:

  • Improved confidence
  • Improved mood
  • General feeling of happiness throughout the day
  • More energy, both mental and physical
  • More resilience against cold and flue
  • Less anxiety
  • Ability to stay calm in hectic situations
  • Physical strength is improved
  • Digestion is great

One of the best things I’ve noticed about this diet, is that my sugar cravings are gone!! I am so happy about that. It actually feels fairly easy to avoid sugar on this diet! This alone is a major benefit for my health as falling asleep in a sugar coma night after night can’t be good, lol.

Warren

Filip improved back and joint pain on a carnivore diet

These are my health improvements after 1 year of cutting out all plants and dairy from my diet:

  1. Healed knee: I had a bike accident as a kid and have always felt a slight pain in my knee since then. My knee is now completely healed. The healing process took 6 month and my body performed something akin to surgery on it self: my knee got really swollen during the healing process and I felt something (which I believe was a tiny piece of gravel left from the bike accident) was being pulled out of my knee.
  2. No more back pain: I would wake up every morning with cramp in my back muscles. it’s all gone now.
  3. No more stiff muscles: most of my muscles used to be really stiff.
  4. Better bowel movements, no more diarrhea, no more bloody stool.
  5. Better digestion.
  6. No more night sweats. I would occasionally wake up during the night and my pillow would be soaked in sweat. No more.
  7. Not tired when I wake up in the morning. I’ve become a morning person.
  8. Not tired after eating.
  9. Better eyesight: everything is much sharper and colors are really vivid. I used to have to squint on sunny days before. Not anymore.
  10. Ocular migraine is gone: I think this is due to quitting coffee.
  11. Cleansed sinuses: my sinuses always used to be clogged up. now they have been cleansed. I have felt my pulse in my sinuses for the last 12 months.
  12. Regained sense of smell: directly after starting zero carb I noticed that I could smell the perfume of people on the streets. This had never happened before.
  13. No more anxiety: I used to get stressed out over stupid things. Now I’m the calmest I’ve ever been. I think this is due to quitting coffee.
  14. Better memory.
  15. Better cognitive functions.
  16. Constantly high energy levels.
  17. Better sleep and better dreams. I have not had a nightmare since I started with this diet.
  18. No more dry skin.
  19. No physical fatigue: I feel stronger than I’ve ever felt before.
  20. No winter cold: this is the first year in +10 years that I haven’t had a cold.
  21. No more nosebleed: I used to get nosebleeds on a regular basis. It’s all gone now.
  22. Happier: I’ve never felt this happy in my life before. Now I get sudden bursts of euphoria from time to time. 🙂
  23. Better fine motor skills: playing the piano has never been this easy.
  24. No more red hands: my hands used to occasionally turn red. Not anymore.
  25. No more white fingers (Raynaud syndrome): I think this is due to quitting coffee.
  26. No cravings for food: I used to get cravings for e.g. ice cream and chocolate. Now I only feel hunger.
  27. No more pain between toes (Morton’s neuroma).
  28. Gaining weight: I’ve always been tall and skinny and has never been able to gain either muscle mass or body fat. Now I’m starting to gain weight as my body is absorbing the food I eat.
  29. Quick recovery after physical exercise. I play squash, do TRX, and ride racing bike and recovery has never been this quick. Hardly any muscle soreness.
  30. More stuff has happened that I cannot put into words: I just know that my body feels better and that something has healed that I don’t know what it is. I just feel that I have increased my life expectancy by many years.

All of this happened just because I stopped eating plants and dairy! Better yet, I haven’t paid a penny for it and haven’t been to an MD 🙂 The Internet has been my only resource.

That being said, the healing process was quite intense. I certainly got the keto flu and was many time questioning if I was doing the right thing. I want to thank everyone who has gone through this process and has shared their stories on the Internet. Without having access to all these personal stories I don’t think I would have continued all the way through. Heck, I wouldn’t have come across this diet to start with if it wasn’t for the Internet! This is why I want to share my experience with everyone.

Filip

DISCLAIMER: I’m not an MD and have no training or education in nutrition whatsoever. This is purely anecdotal information. As such, I do not give any dietary recommendations. You will have to decide yourself what diet you chose to have. I’m an engineer and academic researcher, and as such the only thing I recommend is that you experiment with different diets and listen to your own body and how it reacts to the food you eat.

Udo lost weight and improved mental health on a carnivore diet

12 months a carnivore

Nothing but this

If you are like most people out there, you may clutch your pearls at the thought of somebody eating nothing but or mostly meat. And when it’s not meat it is exclusively from the animal kingdom. And NO fruits and vegetables!

Turns out there are lots of people like this. Not only are they doing fine — they’re thriving on it!

I am one of these freaky weirdos and here is why and what it is like.

My story — how I became a carnivore

My low carb “career” started, when pants I had bought for a trip to Argentina started to not fit any more. Although I would explain it away, or tuck in my tummy, I knew that this was not ok.

Everybody has a certain self-image. And mine was definitely not that of a fat and lazy arse. I clearly remember one day when I went to the supermarket that I could feel the fat dribble around my belly.

It’s not to say that I was obese, not even remote. I was rather slim by the standards of most people but I could feel I was drifting slowly away from my self-image. Unless I did something about it.

I had remotely heard something about carbohydrates being responsible for growing fat. I thought that low carb was just one of many diet crazes that regularly swash across the pond.

I was heavily influenced by certain Joe Weider bodybuilding magazines from the early 1990s which advocated for eating lots of carbohydrates, especially pasta and stuff. Which I did. In hindsight it is really a wonder I did not grow fat — although I could never really get rid of my belly fat. Despite running and all.

With this background, reducing carbohydrates striked me as odd. Until I stumbled upon Gary Taubes’ “Good calories, bad calories”, that is (thanks Gary for that! Someday I will translate your book into German — promised.).

We all know this quote which is attributed to Einstein that the definition of madness is that you do the same over and over again always expecting different results.

I had also come across a book by a German cancer-researcher who advocated for low-carb in the treatment of cancer, Dr. Johannes Coy. The book I read was “Die neue Anti-Krebs Ernährung” (The new anti-cancer diet).

I thought: “What the heck? — let’s give it a try!”. I followed Coy’s rule of thumb to reduce carbohydrates to 1g per kg of bodyweight per day.

Results of my low carb journey

I dropped weight and reduced belly fat. I remember losing 5 kg bodyweight within the first week or so. That shocked me. Until I found out that there is a lot of water lost — carbohydrates drive inflammation. Inflammation drives water retention. Reducing inflammation means losing water. This explains most of the rapid weight loss in the beginning and is actually a good sign.

It was not long until I re-fitted into my pants bought for the Argentina-trip again. It is to this day my favorite measure of body-composition.

As most low carbers I first tried to stay as close as possible to “normal eating” — i.e. also eating low carb cakes and stuff. Although I never bought franken-food and always did it myself (I am a hobby-cook so not problem here) I believe that this way of eating does do no service.

For one thing it is hard to get away from your sweet tooth this way. This automatically leads at some point to “Ah, what the heck … let’s eat this chocolate — it’s dark and healthy” or “Come on, one potatoe is not much, is it?”.

So after a while I noticed that belly-fat was creeping in again — then again I had to reduce carbs.

One day — somewhere around my birthday on a hot summer day in August — I believe it was 2012 — I came across a long thread in a low carber forum entitled “The real human diet is a totally carnivorous one”.

In this thread Owsley Stanley, soundman of the Greatful Dead, known as “The Bear” talked about his carnivorous lifestyle he had been on for 47 years! This long thread with lots of interesting (and sometimes hostile) comments took me a few days to read. And I read every single page.

For some reason this idea of a totally carnivorous diet stuck in my head.

A year later I read the whole thread again. It again stuck. I started to eat my steak rare (or “bleu” —fried just one minute from each side).

It was only in 2017 that I stumbled upon Shawn Baker on Twitter who just had started a meat-only diet and posted regularly about it. Meanwhile he has turned into a kind of social-media celebrity with, at the time of this writing, more than 16,000 followers (it was less than a 10th of this when I started following him. Unbelievable!).

At this point I had pondered an all-meat diet for quite a while — and thought that I could try it too.

I also discovered certain carnivore websites which recommend to try an all-meat diet for 30 days (meat and water). I thought I could try it for 30 days.

Damn! I believe the authors of these website know exactly that once you start out on a zero-carb carnivorous journey, you won’t go back.

At least that’s what happened in my case. I have sticked to this all-meat regime since. With the only exception of a piece of low-carb cake on my birthday.

What I eat and drink

  • Ribeye or entrecote
  • ground beef
  • ground beef/pork (50:50)
  • chicken (especially chicken wings)
  • all kinds of pork
  • eggs
  • liver every now and then

I drink water, raw milk, and kefir. Also homemade bone broth. Meanwhile only occasionally coffee — mostly on weekends.

It seems that a carnivorous diet somehow reduces your tolerance for alcohol. Even small amounts may give you a slight hangover. Automatically this leads to a reduction in alcohol consumption. I consider this to be a positive effect. I still consume an occasional glas of dry red wine or carb-reduced beer (for you German guys out there: Freiberger Schankbier or Köstritzer Spezial — only 4–5 grams of carbs per 500ml).

I eat my steaks fried 3 minutes from each side, so basically rare to medium rare. I season with smoked sea-salt and pepper or red pepper.

I consume plant-matter only in terms of condiments: pepper, basil, garlic, onions, lemon.

My current favorite “protein-shake”:

  • 200ml raw milk
  • vanilla powder
  • 2–3 raw eggs
  • put in blender and mix well
  • drink

Recently I have bought my first crock-pot. I love it. It has opened a whole new culinary realm for me.

I have also come to love “smashed burgers”. Which I had never come across before my carnivore way of eating. But they are incredibly tasty.

Butsch’s recipe for smashed burgers:

  • 500g of ground beef and ground pork (50:50). You can also use beef-only — but this way the burgers will be even jucier.
  • A handful of chopped, fresh basil.
  • 1–2 garlic cloves — chopped.
  • Teaspoon dried italian seasoning
  • Teaspoon of salt (I prefer smoked sea salt)
  • Pepper
  1. Mix well until you have a nice meat dough.
  2. Take a steel pan and make it really hot. Form a meat ball the size of somewhere between a golf ball and a tennis ball.
  3. Put meatball in pan and press it flat. I use the downside of a pot. You do not have to use extra fat.
  4. Fry for 1–2 minutes then turn around and fry again 1–2 minutes.
  5. Take out the burger and start with the next one
  6. Enjoy

Funny thing about carnivory is that you start to want to eat the same over and over again. I could it ribeye, smashed burgers, and chicken wings every single day and not get tired of it.

Recently find myself gravitating towards experimenting with raw meats — but “pssst!” don’t tell my wife!

My carnivore results

I am 46 and am now have the lowest bodyfat percentage since my early 20s. I feel the urge to workout more than I used to (what I do is intensive kettlebell workouts for 15 minutes and 2 x 20 seconds sprints every now and then).

I am essentially free of pain. Not that I was in pain before — but I somehow feel that my overall connective tissue quality has improved. Which is no wonder given that 15% of your body’s dry mass is collagen. Eating meat means consuming collagen which then can be used by your body to repair any tissue lesions. I believe that lots of pain-patients could relieve most of their issues by simply adopting this way of eating. This is also reflected in lots of anecdotes by people on a carnivore diet (see e.g. meatheals.comzerocarbzen.com).

Mental clarity. Many people note a certain mental clarity when on very low carb or ketogenic diets. Carnivory, at least in my case, pushes that by a margin. I see clear pictures and am even more outspoken than before.

Clean teeth all the time. I have virtually no plaque on my teeth. They are so clear I sometimes even forget to brush them. Really. Makes me think that dentists are totally superfluous (well honestly: I believe that doctors are in general totally unnecessary — unless in an emergency. Surgeons are probably the only medical “species” of any use.).

I have lost any urge to eat sweet stuff. It simply is not appealing to me any more. Even if it is right in front on me I have no problem ignoring it. To me it is simply no human-appropriate food.

I have lost any left trust whatsoever in any “health” authorities — be it doctors, nutritionists or scientists. All of them have no fricking idea what they are talking about. I can see it from their body composition and also from their body structure. No doctor with a pot-belly is going to tell me what healthy eating is — because he himself is proof that he has no clue.

And , no(!), I have not developed scurvy!

The poop question

One question that seems to really concern people is “Can you poop without fibre?”.

People seem to be kind of obessed with their poop (what would Freud say?).

I normally am reluctant to discuss my poop or poop frequency in public.

But as this is apparently so important to most people I have to cover this here sigh.

Basically not only is fibre not necessary for regular stool — it might even hinder frequent stool and also cause constipation.

As a carnivore for the last 12 months I can definitely say that fibre is not necessary for frequent stool.

What changes on a carnivorous diet is the amount of poop and probably the frequency. When there is no more fibre left in your diet which sucks up lots of water and thus increases in size up to 5 times its original size, then it is logical that the amount of stool is reduced.

A reduction in size may also lead to different frequency of defecation. In the beginning it was in my case only every 2–3 days. Which did not bother me at all.

There have been times on my journey where I infrequently had runny stool. THAT bothered me. And this is how I fixed it:

  1. I reduced my intake of fluids, i.e. drank LESS. Thing is that it might well be that we need far less water than usually recommended (hey, nutrition “scientists” and medical docs are wrong on practically every single nutritional advice — why would they be right here?). There are two sources I got the idea from: The chapter on “water” in the book “Fiber Menace” by Konstantin Monastyrsky and also from Tim Noakes’ extensive book “Water logged” — if marathon runners just need 1 liter of water when running in warm weather (or can even drink nothing at all) and do fine, even improve performance, then why would Average Joe (or Jane) drink 2–3 Liters per day? Does not make sense to me.
  2. I reduced coffee intake. Not that I have been much of a coffee drinker. Compared to standard folks I am (was) a moderate coffee-drinker. But nonetheless I felt that this is somehow interfering with my digestion. We do not know much about coffee healthwise. All we have is some epidemiological data linking coffee to a number of health benefits. On the other hand we have alarmists like Stephen Cherniske warning of coffee in “Caffeine Blues”. Caffeine raises cortisol levels — which means putting your body under constant stress. Also caffeine messes with regulatory processes in your cell. Reducing coffee intake, almost abandoning it, feels good in my case. As coffee is also comparatively unnatural it is probably a good idea to reduce intake.
    My personal impression is that some advocates on coffee being soooo healthy try somehow to rationalise their own caffeine addiction, citing shitty epidemiological data they would otherwise laugh about.
  3. I added raw milk and kefir. I was lucky to find a source of raw milk just a 10 minute drive from my home. At 1€ per liter it is rather cheap (ok, adding fuel for getting there it is more like double the price — but that’s ok for me). As raw milk is packed with minerals, enzymes, vitamins and good bacteria I thought this could be a good idea. Same goes for kefir — we have some russian-style kefir in our local supermarket. It’s sour, thick and creamy and incredibly tasty.

This fixed the poop-thingy for me.

I am regular, i.e. I poop almost every day. There might be 2–3 days still without pooping. I don’t care much about this. I trust my body to do what’s right. (Butsch’s first axiom: Your body never does anything wrong!). My stool is consistently Type 4 according to the Bristol Stool Scale. I do not need much toilet paper and it is rarely smelly.

Ok, enough embarassing poop stories for now!

What does it all prove?

James DiNicolantonio, the author of the book “The salt fix”, once asked on Twitter what it is that some people are so keen on restricting their diet in such a way.

Well, James, here is the answer:

It’s fun to prove to yourself that practically everything you have been told about nutrition is complete bullshit.

As there are:

  • Eat lots of carbs.
    Wrong! Carbs are not essential. They cause obesity and diabetes, destroy your complete metabolism and hormonal balance.
  • Meat is bad.
    Wrong! If there is anything like a superfood — it’s meat. Full of proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins. Try compare mineral or vitamin content of any plant with meat. Meat will always be way superior.
  • Avoid the sun.
    Wrong! Sun is essential for producing Vitamin D — which is extremely important to your health. Your body knows best. There is surely a reason why everybody exposes himself to the sun after a long winter, don’t you think?
  • Avoid salt.
    Wrong! Salt is essential for your body. And it does not raise blood pressure.
  • Saturated fat is bad.
    Wrong! Saturated fat is essential for your body to function normally. On the other hand vegetable oils — touted as “healthy” — are highly inflammatory and bad for your health.
  • Veggies are healthy and neccessary.
    Wrong! If 12 months of meat-only showed anything then that veggies are not (again: not) essential in any way. And how could they be? In terms of vitamins or minerals they are inferiour to meat in any respect. They also contain anti-nutrients which hinder mineral and vitamin absorption. In addition they contain phyto-chemicals which are potentially harmful to your cells ( I mean, hey: When these chemicals can kill cancer cells in a petri dish — they could kill healthy cells, too, right?). Read more about this here.
  • Drink lots of water.
    Hmmm … maybe wrong. The more you drink, the more you pee. The more you pee, there more minerals you are washing out of your body. The more you have to drink. The more you pee … and so on. Not only does drinking lots of water deplete your body of minerals — it also stresses your kidneys.

The simplest dietary advice ever?

  • Eat meat when hungry
  • Drink water when thirsty

Could it be that simple?

Originally published on Medium

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