Growing up I had gut issues the majority of my childhood. I would regularly get bloated and experience stomach cramps and diarrhea after meals. All the while others eating the same foods would have much less of a reaction. I saw several specialists, experienced several uncomfortable exams and tests and we never found a “cause” that was treatable in these doctors’ eyes.
By my teenage years I began suffering from terrible acne. I had such oily skin and clogged pores that in middle school it created real shame. After trying many treatments (proactive, retinol cream, differin gel) and seeing a dermatologist for years I started taking the prescription drug Accutane.
For 6 months while on this medication I had several unpleasant side effects. I had regular nose bleeds, dry throat and felt myself being dried from the inside out. It completely wrecked my sense of smell and taste. Years later I ended up having to undergo sinus surgery to clear sinus scarring, and I can only smell and taste 20-30% of what I could before going on this medication.
As my gut issues persisted, I started manifesting an anxiety disorder into sophomore year of college. While studying pre-med, I experienced my first anxiety attack in a professor’s office. I started heating up, sweating profusely, as my heart pounded rapidly. It totally freaked me out. It was not a pleasant experience and started me down the path to avoid any and all situations that could trigger my anxious symptoms of overheating.
The fear of becoming anxious trapped me from facing things I feared, being challenged. I was terrified to get “caught” in a situation where I would experience them and lose control of my feelings and body’s reaction.
Despite this I still managed to successfully graduate college, join Microsoft and then excel at Zillow for nearly a decade as I mastered a career in sales.
Fast forward going into 2014-2015. I left the corporate world to pursue my entrepreneurial dream. To build a business and generate income through my digital agency, Crushvertise. I was experiencing more responsibility and stress than I had ever learned to manage.
I began exploring diet and lifestyle changes to help build my resiliency and ability to handle more. I studied Bulletproof concepts, Tim Ferris and I was starting to practice intermittent fasting, paleo diets and incorporate more keto dieting. I began adding bulletproof coffee (butter, MCT oil) regularly and later started adding afternoon superfood smoothies. Those often consisted of kale, spinach, almond butter, blueberries, flax seeds, chia seeds, honey, cacao nibs and cinnamon.
I thought if I could fuel my body with these “powerful” “healthful” foods I would thrive and be better equipped to handle my anxiety and stress. I figured the healthy antioxidant superfoods combined with a “balanced” “healthy” diet would give me a level of resilience I truly desired.
Unfortunately my anxiety and mood continued to deteriorate. I began waking up anxious, and those feelings would climb. By 10am most mornings I was a wreck and needed to take a break simply to allow anxious feelings to calm. This continued for months until I had another panic attack in my office that ultimately left me traumatized and depressed.
All the while I just so happened to be attending a gym at the same location and time that Dr. Paul Saladino (@CarnivoreMD) went to as well. As we bumped into each other and I was able to foster a friendship we quickly became good buds. He was studying psychiatry and I was desperate to get to the source of what was going on with me.
We were both active and passionate about wellness and optimization. We didn’t have any knowledge about the Carnivore Diet at that time but that changed very quickly.
We did extensive blood panels and GI maps to look for anything and everything that might be causing my mental and gut health issues. Despite our invasive search, nothing obvious stood out. There were no pathogens or issues that came up and we didn’t see any clear reasons for why I was in the condition I was.
I chalked it up to needing to work on my thought pattern and began deeply working on studying and counseling with therapists and specialists to learn more about anxiety and mental health.
While I was making some progress in this area Paul saw Dr. Shawn Baker’s interview about the Carnivore Diet on The Joe Rogan experience and found it quite intriguing. Dr. Saladino was treating patients dealing with mental health and he kept seeing them relapse and/or simply not get well with current treatment protocols.
Paul started Carnivore and he almost immediately started encouraging me to try it when I’d see him. A few weeks after, I followed and went full on Carnivore. Almost immediately I noticed an improvement in my mood. Gut issues continued, but skin and mood started to swing up quickly and drastically.
Paul and I would share meals and experiment with different animal foods, sourcing and prep. It took us a while but we started learning more about raw fats, organ meats and sourcing from regenerative farms.
Six months after starting the diet and I was able to see my gut issues completely remiss and with that almost no anxiety anymore. I remember at one point thinking to myself I had completely forgotten what it was like to eat something and experience gut dis-ease.
Fast forward another nearly year, I’ve gone from fabio, pale frail Kurt struggling emotionally to lumberjack, vital, fit bearded me. The transformation has been incredible.
My emotional state and gut health has completely transformed and this diet has had a tremendous impact in this part of my life change. Since beginning Carnivore I’ve done several rounds of labs, testing hormones, inflammation, micronutrients and toxins. I’ve deeply documented my journey on my Youtube, Instagram and now in my book, The Carnivore Diet.
If you’ve dealt with chronic anxiety or gut issues, I highly encourage you to learn more from my content. This doesn’t have to be a life sentence, you can heal and recover. I know what it’s like to feel “stuck” and not make progress in these areas, but it is possible to recover. I’ve worked hard to get to the root cause and now feel as though I have it handled. The Carnivore Diet done well can be a powerful tool to assist you on the road to recovery.
All the best,
AKA Karnivore Kurt
Andrew Davies, sent me a message t o say to submit my story.
Basically I was a Raw Vegan and pioneer of the lifestyle in Australia some 20 years ago. I opened the first Raw and living foods cafe, way ahead of its time, then went on to teach classes, programs and run retreats. I have a background in digestive health, prior to opening my own raw food cafe, lectured at Hippocrates Health Food Institute on cleansing, detoxing and was also resident colonic therapist for a period of time. In 1974 I had a vegetarian bf and at that time the only vegetarian ‘fake meats on the market were Sanitarium soy based dried kibble, and canned products.
I had periods of vegetarian and veganism before going raw vegan in 2000.
Throughout the first 12 months, I felt and looked fantastic.
I began to get mildly anxious for no reason well into the third year,
The anemia progressed into the 3rd year until I had to see a doctor. II was so pale, lost weight, had shortness of brerath on walking a few metres, was so fatigued and weak..
I finally had to go to a doctor. .My iron levels were under 7. The doctor was shocked. and adamant I eat meat. I had to have immediate iron injections, as I refused to eat meat. . so I ate eggs for periods of time, and then went back to eating raw vegan as if it never happened.
Then superoods’ came to the rescue promoted by David Wolfe. AFA, green barley powder, spirulina. I thought that would solve all my iron problems as the labels said it was high in iron.. unfortunately not bio avaialble heme iron’
I began to get more pin hole cavities. Lots of them. I would get them filled and more would come. Towards the end of fruitarianism, my teeth were so sensitive it hurt when I ate food, I lost two upper molars, as they had become weak and slightly looser in my gums and infections set in.
It was a nightmare, as I refused root canals and had them extracted instead.
In 2015 gut and sleep problems began to happen, leaky gut, continual bloating, then more anxiety, brain fog and finally an auto immune disorder – fibromyalgia.
Two months short of of 62, after 20 plus years identifying and immersing myself in the world of raw veganism, I really hit the wall.
I was still looking good on the outside, yet what was taking place on the inside could no longer be ignored.
The signs became more obvious, pointing to a deterioration of my skeleton, a breaking down of my kidneys, my immune system, my nervous system, my digestion, and my blood sugar regulation. I was almost Type 2 diabetic.
I never went into raw veganism for an ‘ethical’ belief I held.
In fact, initially, health issues weren’t my driving force either
For me, rejuvenation was the fuel firing the search and exploration of protocols, which repaired, renewed and rejuvenated the body, mind and spirit.
I ignored many red flags during my vegan years, yet I was successfully programmed and veganism had become my identity. Towards the end stage of veganism, I began salivating at the smell of roast chickens in clear plastic roteserie bags at the supermarkets. Yet my vegan brainswashed mind would tell me. ” Its a body bag, dont pick it up.” I shut down my body’s intelligent feedback system to eat animal foods. I had ignored it/over rode the signals for years, the intense vegan programming had taken over and I suffered the consequences I craving eggs more frequently every few weeks. Finally I had a dark night of the soul, at 62. A complete breakdown. My immune system crashed. I had 3 bouts of food poisoning within 6 months. and it was horrendous. During the period of heaving over the toilet bowl, crying and crying out in desperation for help, I heard loud and clear to “Go Eat Fish” so I did. and then after a few days. the message came to eat more fish, every day. Immediate improvement. I then went on to chicken. Yet the brainwashing was the hardest to unravel. I was convinced raw veganism was the healthiest diet on the planet, even with the health problems I was suffering with, I put it down to stress or detoxing… It took me 15 months before I could eat red meat. and then things really started to improve. I took out all high oxalate plants, and went low carb, then zero carb, while my body reset itself. It was hard, as I went through a few months of intense oxalate dumping. But I pushed through and now have reversed many of the health problems I had. My teeth are strong and firmly anchored in my gums. I have no plaque on my teeth, or sensitivity. After the incredible improvement in my dental health, just from eating meat based, I was angry for a couple of months about losing two upper molars, unnecessarily, however I’ve accepted it and am grateful that I had divine intervention to stop veganism and to change my diet. My gut is healing wonderfully, I have reversed joint pain, I have reversed sarcopenia. Finally I am gaining weight without real exercise, just from consuming lots of fatty meats. I sleep much better, deeply. Before I was waking every to hours, with my heart racing, mind racing. Now that has stopped
I am happier and cope with stress more easily.My body doesnt go into fight flight so easily. My physical strength has improved. No longer teetering on Type 2 diabetes. Bladder pain, kidney pain improved Less trips to the bathroom at night,.
Blood sugar regulation has improved Jaw tension improved. Inflammatory allergic reactions greatly improved. the auto immune Right now I eat a meat based ancestral nose to tail diet, and now that my gut has healed dramatically, I can have the occasional small inclusions of avocado, sauerkraut, or cucmber. This is just a general overview of what happened through 2 decades of almost all raw vegan. Happy to speak with you about my experiences and how a meat based diet healed me. Kind Regards Katya
- It is easier than ever to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously without tracking how much I eat. For the first time I trust my appetite and there are no issues. In the picture where I look fatter I was eating paleo OMAD and was continuing to gain weight. In the picture where I am leaner I eat carnivore meals as frequently as I feel like.
- Minor acne has disappeared.
- My breathe no longer smells and my severe gum inflammation has healed.
- I have no joint pain even though I exercise quite recklessly. My knee pain continued eating carnivore until I eliminated dairy and then my knee healed very rapidly.
- My energy levels are stable throughout the entire day and I feel well rested after less sleep.
- This one is potentially biased but my hair has become darker and fuller
I am 25, 175lbs, stronger, happier, with better skin and digestion, than I’ve had since I was 17. Growing up, my family, in an attempt to chastise me or tease me, gave me a sort of nickname regarding food: “cookies, cakes and candies.” I loved sweets, and was known to eat all my brothers’ winter oreos or popsicles, cereal, or what have you. In high school and college I would legitimately have cereal as 1/3 of my diet (or more), along with bagels, bread, ice cream, etc. In high school some of my best friends made fun of me because I would sometimes even come prepared with a bagel in my pocket.
Then in college, everything started hitting the fan and my world started spinning: I began to have constant, I mean constant, stomach pain all day long, from the morning I awoke to going to sleep. Some friends in college persuaded me, along ethical lines (not nutritional) to try vegetarianism and veganism, so I was the former for a year and a half and the latter for 8-10 months— it was horrible. I ate tons of fruit, granola, cereal, soy ice cream, cider— I was rail thin, weak, tired, and eventually became very sick.
In Summer 2014, after a year of veg/anism, I went abroad and returned with a fever that stayed and left me almost bedridden for over a month; the apartment I was living in had black mold, and I didn’t have much energy each day. I brushed it off and got back to school, but friends around me realized I wasn’t myself— my energy was gone, I was becoming more irritable and withdrawn, I had panic attacks and my stomach constantly hurt all day long.
It eventually got so bad that I needed an ice pack strapped to my chest just to sleep, had various GI tests, got my gallbladder removed, and had constant searing back pain as well (which I also needed an ice pack just to sleep too). It was the worst couple years of my life, and I felt like there was no way out— praying and meditating alone and with friends, celebrating Eucharist at Church, being with friends, playing music, hiking and reading poetry were the only things that gave me solace as I became sort of a recluse.
- Hypoglycemia (probably pre-diabetic)
- brain fog, poor memory, low mental acuity
- low energy, chronic fatigue
- intense anxiety, panic attacks (was medicated) for years
- depression and mood swings
- diarrhea for years
- chronic stomach pain
- failed gallbladder
- Skin eczema/rashes (sometimes bled)
- low libido (hormonal imbalance)
- chronic back pain
- lip sores
- eye inflammation
- easy sunburn
- some random tumors/cysts
- poor dental health
My mom and brother had been off of gluten and sugar for years by the time I was in college, they were nominally following Robb Wolf and the Paleo movement, but they did not know or practice a Keto or Carnivore Way of Eating. By 2017 I started eliminating foods and keeping a food journal, starting with gluten, then all grain, then cruciferous veggies, then nightshades, legumes, and on and on.
By December 2017, I was in shambles, and my roommate told me about one of his best friends who had Crohn’s and reversed it with the ketogenic diet. I was desperate, and had been addictively reading about nutrition, fasting, and ketosis (I did just barely come across carnivore at this time, but I brushed it off because it seemed too intimidating, I loved sugar).
After fasting all day Christmas Day 2017 and feeling much relieved, and then jumped into keto, hands to the plow no looking back. I starting feeling better and better, every week, month, and quarter I would keep saying, “Man, I haven’t felt this good since I was 18!” By around October 2018, after reading about Carnivore for a couple months, I was yearning for something more streamlined, easier, nutritious, and satiating, to get me to the next place (still had some residual anxiety, tiredness, skin issues, etc)— so I went to Carnivore and it just got better and better. My strength, mental acuity, and skin got even better. (Before keto- 2 pull ups, on Keto- 7 pull ups, on carnivore- 18 pull ups).
- No digestive issues whatsoever
- Best mental focus, attention, and mood since high school
- no brain fog or headaches
- best strength I’ve maybe ever had
- much improved dental health
- anxiety and depression are gone!
- normal libido (hormonal balance)
- little to no sunburn after hours in direct sunlight (first time in my life)
- tumors/cysts disappeared
- no back pain
- no eye inflammation
- clear and really smooth skin
- steady energy all day
I am now absolutely loving this WOE and I don’t really see ever leaving it— although I am like 95% carnivore, I have some onions, garlic, mushrooms sometimes, and once a month or two I’ll split a sweet potato or make avocado pudding with friends. Meat does continue to taste better and better (I am soon going to get a quarter of beef!).
I am eternally grateful for the work of Shawn Baker, especially Joe Rogan hosting Mikhaila Peterson (my first major exposure to Carnivore), the Zero Carb subreddit, Dr. Darren Schmidt, and countless others for making this possible, as well as friends and family, who have supported me through this hard time and brought immense healing. I’ve now been on keto for a year and a half and on zero carb for 9 months and am so filled with awe and so thankful.
Hi Dr. Baker,
Thank you for your work. Since hearing you speak on Rogan in 2017 about how meat is healing people, I took the leap from Keto to Carnivore and am so glad I did! My details are down below but basically, my benefits are amazing: My skin is flawless! My belly is flat! My body is strong!!! My cravings are gone! I experience an even mood and have great mental focus. I share my thoughts on the movement on my Youtube Channel and love to spread this message.
My favorite part of Carnivore, is that I am not wasting money and energy anymore with supplements and baking alternative desserts and breads- I don’t even think about that stuff. It’s a wonderful change.
My story: I was a C-section, breast fed baby. I suffered child abuse from ages 5-7. My mental health and physical health began to deteriorate at 5 years old. I had major constipation, stomach aches and hallucinations at night. I ate a low cholesterol/low fat Standard American Diet. At 12 years old, I had a permanently distended belly had my tonsils removed, was diagnosed lactose intolerant, bipolar and given meds for allergies and depression at that time.
My weight increased rapidly at age 15 and was diagnosed ADHD later that year. Soon after, cystic acne began showing up uncontrollably. I was so depressed. My parents believed the meds were the only thing that kept me going. Switching dosages and brands was a common thing every month or so. At 17, I started binging, purging and restricting food all together. It was a desperate attempt to control uncontrollable gas which turned into a full on eating disorder. I started over exercising at this time as well. My left hip began to click all the time and my teeth were translucent from purging. So messed up. I smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol to ease my disturbing social anxiety.
At 25 I sought help for the eating disorder, stopped smoking and drinking and went gluten free. I was accepted as a kidney donor and given a clean bill of health although I looked and felt terrible so I started doubting my doctors and began looking into alternative lifestyles…how to get off of meds and to fix my skin. I began chasing the vegan lifestyles (fruitarian mono-meals, raw fruits, sprouting nuts and seeds, supplements, tons of bottled waters and kombuchas, organic standards, etc.) During this time, I was able to stop taking meds (probably from better moods from tons of sugar) but I destroyed my teeth, still had my IBS, my skin wasn’t healing and I developed insulin resistance. I attended IIN for a Health Coaching education but I didn’t learn anything that actually helped me heal. I was devastated.
In 2014, I befriended someone very into science! I finally learned for the first time that humans don’t have the same digestive tract as herbivores. I started looking into this and began understanding sugar’s role in digestion, leptin and cortisol. I started eating meat regularly then and started Intermittent Fasting as well. I then added Keto to the regimen. I added some exogenous ketones for energy in 2017 and was able to work out in the gym again but those cravings really messed me up sometimes and the acne and mood stuff would come back and derail me. I listened to you on Rogan, then listened to the Plant Paradox Audiobook, and everything made sense when Amber O’Hearn talked about her mental health transformation on Carnivore. I cut back the spinach, mushrooms and kale more and more until I was down to steak, beef, bacon and duck eggs. I’m still Carnivore today and my skin is healed 100%!!!!!!!!! My belly and mood are both controlled!!!
I have really loved this change and couldn’t be happier to know about your work. Thanks forever!