Thyroid, type 2, single mom. Lets paint the picture, passed out with your daughter administering honey to you. I was eating a clean diet. I had a fall that resulted in a broken rib, stress, and the fact that I work with heavy metal, and chemicals, led to my thyroid going hyper. This in turn, started my type 2 journey. I am not a ‘big’ person, but extremely athletic, and very strong. I was failing. I gained 20lbs, not noticeable to most, it was all around my organs. I took action and researched. Vegan/raw vegan/juicing,,, what! I did this.. listening to the rhetoric, and my daughter was trying to revive me with Honey….. So, my doctor mentioned Keto. It worked. 6 months of trial and error. Then, I just threw in the towel, my ancestral eating had zero vegetables, and a little berries. I did it. I’m just over a year of straight carnivore. I’m feeling great. I’ve has massive reactions to ‘quick meals’ at friends houses that contain cornstarch or dextrose, people do not know how sensitive a person who is DE-sensitized to corn sugars are .(cheap ‘drunk’ tho) Anyway, keep it simple, eat food that make you thrive. My diabetes is not healed, only handled. But I feel great listening to my body vs popular nutritional advice! Thank you Shawn for this forum! Gretchen
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This WOE works! (female, 61 yrs.) Paleo 3/4 yrs, was good but now plant free with Carni+Eggs f
ALL symptoms improved or gone: neuro (MS)100% remission, sinusitis of 30 yrs: gone, GI healed(fiber-free), old injuries/pain improved.
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.
As a kid, I had a sensitive digestive tract. I carry a lot of stress gastrointestinally, and my childhood was characterized by physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; I carried that inside in so many ways. I dealt with excruciating gas cramps, constipation that made appendicitis seem like a dream, etc. I was suicidal throughout my teenage years. Also notably, my family has a hefty and vibrant history of bipolar disorder, ADD, alcoholism, and addictions.
I went to college, and I became a vegan. This was over a decade ago, before it was “cool” to be a vegan. I was a college athlete (cross country, track). But really, I was bloated and injured all the freaking time. Somehow I managed to piece together some surprisingly decent seasons in between injuries, but I now wonder how amazingly I would have done if I at the very least had not been vegan, much less been all-meat. My complexion was total shit, my depression was intense, and I thought I was eating in a way that was good for the environment.
After college, I became an elite athlete in another endurance sport, and I thought, “F#$k it!” for veganism. It did not matter how much I supplemented with iron, B vitamins, etc., I was anemic ALL THE TIME! I began eating oysters and other fish, game meats, then beef. I also began to suspect some major sensitivities to gluten and sugar, but it was tough to remove those from my diet as I was also quite accustomed to emotional eating, food addictions, and binging.
I went to graduate school for a biomedical PhD and at the same time managed to remove gluten and grains from my diet. I got married, and early in my marriage, I became pregnant. I experienced hyperemesis gravidarum in my pregnancy (severe excessive vomiting of pregnancy). My doctors begged me to eat, and my non-gluten, non-sugar ways went out the window as I struggled to survive. Chocolate ice cream got me through pregnancy. After my daughter was born (healthy weight for her, btw!), it was a long haul to re-remove gluten and sugar. And, as a result, my mood was unstable, my hands hurt like freakin’ crazy (I was doing hand-intensive laboratory work), and I overall felt like a zombie.
My gastrointestinal health deteriorated. My doctors tried to determine whether I had Celiac disease. They weren’t in agreement, but I stopped eating gluten again anyways. It helped, though I was in a shit marriage, and my ex-husband would do things that would contaminate my food with gluten sometimes, and it was really awful.
After I was done breastfeeding, I was diagnosed with ADD. I am quite sensitive to most pharmacological agents, and most ADD medications resulted in suicidal ideation. I would take very, VERY small doses of amphetamine salts, and that helped me focus enough to finish my dissertation.
I finished my PhD, got a job, and moved to a new state to start the position. One night, I ate some pork loin that I had roasted earlier that day and asked my ex-husband to put in the fridge when I was at work. That loin sat on the counter for 9+ hours, unbeknownst to me. I ate it for dinner that night. I got food poisoning like you would not believe (15 vomits in under 12 hours, muscle aches that were paralyzing and unlike anything I have ever experienced, thank all things good in the Universe that my daughter didn’t try any of that spoiled food).
Six weeks after that food poisoning, I had gastrointestinal pain like nothing I had ever experienced before. I was in so much pain that I was delirious. At that point, I had moved forward with divorce proceedings, but I didn’t know who to turn to for help. So my ex-husband gave me a ride to an ER. I was wearing a robe and jammies and looked like shit, and they thought I was a crazy homeless lady, and they kicked me out when I couldn’t stay in a wheelchair in the lobby but instead collapsed onto the floor from the pain. I installed Uber on my phone and got a ride home (weirdest Uber ride ever, probably).
At home, I tried to manage the pain with a hot bath. I collapsed getting out of the bathtub. My daughter called 9-1-1. My ex and I were still under the same roof, and he helped me get jammies on before the paramedics came. I was wheeled into the ER and barely had enough strength to whisper, “Someone, please, help me.” They gave me morphine, and OMG it worked and after 14+ hours of horrifying pain, I just lay there, going in and out of consciousness. A CT scan revealed that a long chunk of my intestines was so inflamed that it was totally and completely closed. No thru traffic. The surgeon came in and held my hand and told me that he was going to let me rest for 6 hours and then would be operating to remove part of my intestines. It was around 1 AM. I didn’t really care. I was glad he held my hand (all the doctors held my hand that first 24 hours. I don’t know why they did, but holy crap that was soothing).
I got wheeled up to a room in the hospital and sort of passed out (remember, the morphine). Several hours later when the surgeon came by, miracle of miracles my intestines had opened. Still, I was kept in the hospital for 3 days before being released.
The rest is a story of struggling to get reasonable or useful or any sort of information from GI docs as my new life with Crohn’s unfolded. On my own, I began eliminating entire food groups. First to go were dairy and grains, and I felt better. Then alcohol and all fruits, and I felt better. Then alliums (garlic, onions, leeks), cruciferous vegetables, and nightshades, and I felt better. Then I went keto-low-FODMAP-AIP, and I felt better (basically, meat+olives+coconut stuff+avocado). Then one day I ate hearts of palm, which are high in fiber. To say it felt like a scouring pad through my intestines is an understatement. After that flare-up, I went all-meat.
I still struggle sometimes with relapsing into a binge if I am stressed (a beloved family member died in the fall, and I ate a lot of chocolate and cheese, for example). And it’s been a process to figure out what works for me (anything from pig now gives me nocturnal diarrhea, and rendered fat and too much fat makes me feel super nauseated). I also recommend for anyone with Crohn’s NEVER trying to “re-introduce” plant foods. I ate a couple of those nut-based “Perfect bars” 6 weeks ago and had a HUGE and painful flare-up.
I am now in my mid-30s. I exercise regularly (CrossFit, yoga, hiking, running, lifting, etc). People confuse me for someone in her 20s. Here’s what has improved or been cured since going all-meat:
- Crohn’s disease (hugely improved)
- Severe carpal tunnel syndrome (cured)
- TMJ (cured)
- Hidradenitis suppurativa (cured)
- Depression (hugely improved)
- Complexion (hugely improved)
- These weird and sudden stabbing abdominal cramps that are sudden and knock me to me knees for about 30 seconds… WTF were those? (cured)
- ADD (cured, and I do also meditate daily)
I didn’t go all-meat because of you, Dr. Baker, but I sure am glad you are around to lead this and help it build momentum. And the momentum is gaining. To wit, I work in biomedical consulting, and one of my new hires for my company is a young man also with a biomedical PhD. As we got to know each other better, he said, “You should try an all-meat diet.” I freakin’ loved it.
My whole life, my health has been an enigma to me. I was always skinny as a kid and could, and did, eat pretty much anything I wanted without gaining weight. That included a lot of sugar. Sugar poured over my cereal in the morning, sugar in the juices and sodas I drank, and any candy, ice cream or cake I could get my hands on.
What could possibly go wrong? I was skinny, which means healthy, right?
But I had a variety of chronic maladies that would crop up from time to time – back pains, fatigue, OCD symptoms, infections, joint problems, digestion problems, and increasingly, anxiety. An athlete I was not.
As I got older, the problems came and went, and at times I even became athletic. But my blood tests started getting worse, and symptoms came more frequently. I gained a little weight as I grew through my 30’s into my 40’s but kept exercising and trying to eat what I thought was a healthy diet.
But my A1c, blood pressure and cholesterol climbed anyway. I was already taking statins and blood pressure pills in my early 30’s, even though I looked perfectly healthy. I was, as they say, skinny fat.
Well, my fragile world crashed down about 7 years ago following surgery to remove a non-malignant tumor from a nerve in my thigh. The surgery ‘went fine’ as the doctors told me. But 3 days later, I could not get out of bed. I was crippled by a fatigue and anxiety that left me confused and helpless. Over the following months, my symptoms got worse and worse until I could barely leave the house. It was like living with a migraine that never went away. Among the more notable symptoms:
- Hypersensitivity to light and sound – I literally wore silicon earplugs and dark glasses every time I left the house. Public places overwhelmed me with noise.
- Insomnia – I did not sleep for days and weeks at a time, leaving my waking hour a walking nightmare.
- Asthma – Never had it before, now I was taking multiple inhalers.
- Carpel Tunnel – all of sudden, I started waking, when I could fall asleep, with crippling hand and wrist pain.
- Digestion – swung in both directions.
- Sinusitis/Allergies – my nose was clogged, my eyes teared endlessly.
- Fainting – the falling over without warning and slamming my head into the floor was definitely a low point.
- And CRIPPLING Fatigue. Crippling. That was the worst – sitting almost paralyzed for hours.
I thought I was dying.
Then, a series of chance events led me towards the carnivorous diet I strive to maintain now. I visited every kind of doctor I’d heard of (and some I hadn’t), and eventually settled on the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and took more medicines and supplements that you can possibly imagine. Some helped.
But it was an encounter with an acupuncturist that started my shifting paradigm on food and diet. He asked me about how I ate. I said I eat pretty well. He smiled and said, “what do you consider pretty well?” Hmmm. What did I consider well and why?
I expected a lecture on plant-based diets and fiber, but was quite shocked when he told me I needed to eat more meat. Meat? Seriously? Last thing I expected from someone I thought of us very spiritual.
Now his diet recommendations were based upon the Weston Price work and foundation. Naturally raised meats, raw dairy, and traditionally prepared plant foods – ferments, soaking/sprouting, stewing, etc. Not carnivorous, but certainly not vegetarian.
In the coming years, I found, researched and tried all the usual lower carb suspects – paleo, primal, bulletproof, keto, intermittent fasting, etc. I read the books and blogs – all of them taught me things. They made me rethink all I thought that I knew. And not just about which foods to eat, but when, how much and why.
And then the fateful day I stumbled upon the story of the Andersens, the family happily raising a family of 4 on nothing but ribeyes. I was stunned. It seemed impossible. What about a balanced plate with lots of colors and macros and such? What about disease and cholesterol and heart attacks?
A bigger challenge was trying to explain to my wife, who had quietly suffered through my illness and countless doctors, pills and potions, that I was now going to eat steak for breakfast, lamb burgers for lunch and more steak for dinner. Now she was convinced I was going to die, and while I thought she might be right, I felt better than I had in a long time. Digestion was simpler. I slept better. I stopped wearing ear plugs and could go in the sun without bursting into flames. I cut back on medications, I started doing more around the house, I was increasingly productive at work.
I know I don’t have all the answers. I still have health challenges and take some medications. But the simplicity and consistency of carnivory is a huge help. I don’t know if it will change my life expectancy in the long run, but it has increased my quality of life tremendously right now.
I’ll sum it up simply by saying I am blessed.
I am blessed that I am not dead.
I am blessed that I can work full time and even travel.
I am blessed that I can still learn new things.
And I am blessed that I get to eat a ribeye any time I damn well please.
In 2002 I was diagnosed with a grade 4 spondylolisthesis. I saw a specialist and surgery was discussed. I decided against surgery since I found the prospect quite scary, I had 3 children to look after and didn’t fancy taking the risk. It was agreed that I be put on medication, 1600mg of brufen retard daily along with 150mg of ranitidine daily to protect me from side effects of the brufen.
So that was my life, for the past 16 years I have taken the brufen and ranitidine daily. The brufen helped with my inflammation, I was able to get up out of bed in the morning without too much pain anymore and so long as I didn’t lift anything or stay on my feet for too long, or sit for too long, or lay flat on my back or try to exercise then I was ok, the pain was manageable. I was basically the sort of person that wouldn’t do ANYTHING for fear of setting off the pain.
When I hit 30 I decided that I wanted to exercise, so I began experimenting with what I could do. I bought a crosstrainer & I joined a boot camp, I found that so long as I performed exercises correctly and controlled with little weight then I could cope with the back pain afterwards, sometimes I would take extra brufen to help me to get over working out.
Upon being diagnosed with spondylolisthesis I was also advised to ‘not get fat’ in case this added more pressure to my already weakened spine. So over the past 16 years my eating habits have changed a lot from a junk food diet to basically starving myself and ‘surviving’ on diet pills to then eventually following a low fat diet with lots of veggies and quorn. I’ve never been vegetarian but I did believe that steering away from animal protein was the healthiest option. Mixed in with this was my insatiable appetite for sweet food, especially chocolate, along with the belief that all calories are equal… I would often substitute a day of eating meals for a day of eating absolute junk. These days would be followed by days of guilt and self loathing in which I’d starve myself or stick to ‘healthy’ low fat food.
In January 2018 I began looking into keto and through my research I came across Danny Vega who spoke about the idea of eating an all meat diet, straight off I thought it was crazy but after trying keto for a month or so Carnivore became more and more appealing, I didn’t enjoy counting macros, I found that my binge and emotional eating did not change and I would feel so guilty and down on myself when I went over my calories… plus, who really likes eating veg when you can eat as much meat as you’d like and not worry…?!
I decided to go for it and on 28 February 2018 my life changed for good!! I ate all the meat, I didn’t count a thing and I’ve been feeling more amazing every day. Within 10 days I was completely off the 1600mg of brufen retard (and the ranitidine) I’d been taking daily for the past 16 years! Since then I have not needed to take the medication despite increasing the amount of weight lifting and general exercise I now do, I quite literally never get back pain anymore!! It’s been 5 months so far and I know this is it, I will never go back. Aside from the miracle of no longer suffering the back pain I’ve had to medicate for the past 16 years I also feel so amazing mentally, calm, happy. I’m leaner, my body composition has changed, I feel so healthy. Another absolutely awesome thing about being on this diet is the overwhelming feeling of freedom.. I love that I no longer feel guilty about what I eat or how much I eat… when I’m hungry I eat, when I’m full I stop.
I can’t believe it’s taken me until I’m 41 to find a diet that works for my entire body & mind… Carnivore quite clearly is THE diet we should all follow.
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