Listen to Matthew’s interview on the MeatRx.com podcast below:
Vegan & vegetarian recovery
Krissy’s Background: I always had an interest in health from the time I was young when I worked as a lifeguard, swam, and was very active. I originally wanted to become a doctor to help others with their health so my first degree was in Biology.
I discovered the importance of nutrition for health in my last year of my biology degree and took a nutrition course. I fell in love with nutrition science and physiology and decided to go back to school to study nutrition. I got my Bachelors of Science in Applied Human Nutrition and became registered as a Dietitian in 2009. I was also a certified personal trainer and started my own private practice/private training studio after this where I worked with clients looking for fat loss and building muscle, as well as fitness athletes.
Why Vegan: I was always considered healthy, fit, and active. I followed the recommended “balanced diet” with lots of variety and the common nutritious foods but had to make modifications due to having IBS such as cutting out dairy and gluten. I was very conscious of making healthy choices based on the nutrition guidelines I learned in school.
My husband Dwayne and I love learning about health so one day he started watching the documentary “Forks Over Knives” and decided he wanted to give a plant-based diet a try. I was not convinced at first because a plant-based diet was not a common practice when I studied nutrition and I wanted to be objective. Then we watched “Vegucated” and “Earthlings” and like many others I was terrified into believing animal products were bad for long-term health. I did some research at that time based on the resources provided in these documentaries and decided to join Dwayne. I didn’t realize at the time how one sided this research was however. I took a course in plant-based nutrition and was determined to prove it was possible to thrive on a vegan diet.
The health decline: I felt great in my first year as a vegan. We now know this as the “vegan honeymoon phase”. Maybe it’s because I thought I was doing the best thing for my health, the environment and the animals. But it was after my first year that my health started to decline.
I discovered I had low iron and vitamin D. I also developed chronic fatigue and chronic pain, was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis started to get skin issues and eczema patches for the first time in my life, my hormones were out of whack which was affecting my mood and cycles, my digestion was awful even though I wasn’t consuming gluten and I soaked everything, and I developed anxiety and mild depression. I also slowly started to gain weight when I had never struggled with my weight in the past.
I started to see a naturopath who prescribed me natural supplements in addition to the iron and vitamin D I was now taking. I also took B12, a multivitamin, and plant-based omega-3 oil all while following a balanced whole foods plant-based diet. Of course all of the vegans tell me “I didn’t do it right” but if anyone researched hard enough on how to it was me! After-all I was determined to make it work because I also coaching vegan clients and made a whole business around plant-based diets and challenges. I was known as an expert in the industry and has a big social media following so of course I wanted to make this work.
I didn’t eat processed vegan foods or junk. I ate a lot of avocados, chickpeas, lentils, vegetables, low sugar fruits, nuts and seeds, gluten-free whole grains, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, and drank only water and tea. I did not restrict calories and I prepared all of my meals at home. I also tried a variety of different eating protocols including high carb low fat, lower carb higher fat, I tried supplementing with pea and rice protein in my green smoothie. I even used a vegan coach to help me. I felt like I was constantly eating in order to make sure I was meeting my needs.
Yes to meat: It was after my 2nd year as a vegan my naturopath suggested I add in some animal products so I tried adding eggs back in and did this for another year, then tried adding fish back in a did this for another year, and finally dairy back in for my 3rd year as a vegetarian. So just to be clear I was vegan for 2 years and vegetarian for 3 more for 5 years total. At this point I was still supplementing and ate vegan meals weekly because I still believed it was the healthiest choice and I was determined to go back to veganism after my deficiencies resolved.
Unfortunately they did not and my symptoms kept getting worse and worse to the point I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I couldn’t work out anymore and I had to stop coaching clients during this time because I didn’t know how I was going to help others if I couldn’t help myself. One summer evening 2 years ago Dwayne was grilling burgers (he only lasted 6 weeks as a vegan by the way) and I had the overwhelming feeling to eat one for the first time in years, so I did. I felt so amazing afterwards and had so much energy I decided to add meat back into my diet because I knew my body was telling me something. It only took a few months for my iron levels to shoot up and I stopped supplementing. My digestion also got a lot better.
Why carnivore: While many of my symptoms had improved once I added meat back into my diet I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and interstitial cystitis after seeking answers and treatment from literally every alternative health practitioner out there. I did several elimination diets after getting my diagnosis and kept discovering more and more triggers that would flare up my symptoms. We have done keto diets in the past and I was determined to lose the 30lbs I had slowly put on over the past few years so in January last year I decided to try a clean keto diet with intermittent fasting (basically fatty meat & veggies). After 3 months my symptoms started to get better (mainly my energy) and I lost 20 lbs.
During this time Dwayne started doing the carnivore diet and I thought he was nuts. He kept sending me videos and research though and told me it was basically the most extreme (and accurate) elimination diet out there. I watched him do it for a few months while I kept eating my veggies and he was seeing amazing results. I decided I couldn’t say anything against it until I tried it myself and had the goal of doing it for 1 month as an elimination diet and adding foods back in.
Within a few weeks my brain fog totally went away, my stomach was no longer bloated, and I had amazing energy. After the month my chronic pain was 95% gone and my eczema disappeared. I did try to add foods back in one at a time starting with avocados and then sauerkraut and my homemade sugar-free coconut yogurt but all of my symptoms came back. I was feeling so good on carnivore I decided to keep doing it until I felt like it was time to play around again. I lost 10 more lbs by the time summer came and looked and felt 10 years younger.
I’ve tried playing around with adding some things back in like blueberries and some other low-sugar fruits and vegetables here and there but symptoms always come back. I’ve now been carnivore since May 2019 and feel like it’s the easiest WOE I’ve ever followed. I have zero cravings and am happy with eating fatty ribeyes every night.
Dwayne and I have joined forces and started a social media account called @ourinfinitehealth dedicated to helping others interested in the carnivore WOE. Follow us for free content for us and other successful carnivores.
Benefits Krissy’s seen from the Carnivore WOE:
– Fibromyalgia and chronic pain symptoms 95% gone (still have a little chronic neck pain)
– Chronic fatigue gone
– Interstitial cystitis gone
– Eczema gone
– IBS gone
– Anxiety & depression gone
– Stress levels and mood stabilized
– Hormones (cycles) balanced
– Food cravings & addictions gone
– Body weight & fat stabilized (lost 20 lbs and at my happy spot)
– Able to workout again
Why I resigned as a dietitian: In our extensive research of the keto and carnivore WOE we’ve learned a lot about anti-nutrients and their role in chronic inflammation and autoimmune conditions. I was also shocked to learn about the history of nutrition recommendations by following the research of Nina Teicolz & Gary Taubes, and how there is a huge plant-based agenda behind our current recommendations from listening to the experience of Gary Fettke and Tim Noakes. As someone who saw the negative effects of making more plant-based choices first hand I just could not recommend the new food guide that prioritized carbohydrates and does not emphasize the importance of fat or animal foods.
I also felt very limited in sharing my story as a dietitian in fear of getting reprimanded even though a high saturated fat keto and carnivore diet has literally changed my and Dwayne’s lives and reversed disease in many others. I wasn’t currently practicing as a dietitian anyway and didn’t feel like my registration was serving me anymore so I decided to resign. Afterall I’ve still had 10 years of nutritional coaching experience with clients and all of my knowledge or my nutrition degree couldn’t be taken away.
Looking back there were so many things I didn’t understand. I remember doing a clinical case study in school and I was marked down for the meal plan I made for my patient because it was “too healthy” in fear that he wouldn’t comply. This patient was sick and in the hospital with a serious condition clearly caused by a poor diet. Of course I didn’t want to question my instructor though because she was the “expert”. My father, a type 2 diabetic, was in the hospital for a month recently and they kept serving his juice and high carbohydrate foods even though he expressed his concern. I understand that we can’t expect people to change overnight but it doesn’t help when we mislead people into believing their comfort foods are healthy and even serve them in the hospital. Instead “a balanced diet” is always promoted and everything is moderation but that is the most confusing term for people. It basically teaches people they can have anything they want as long as it’s not all the time. But does that mean you can still have it daily?
What if some of us need to be a little more extreme with our diets because we have extreme conditions and don’t want to resort to something even more extreme like taking medication long-term, surgery, or suffering in misery.
If you look at Health Canada’s guidelines even artificial sweeteners are still considered safe and we are still taught to limit saturated fats even though the new research shows there actually isn’t enough science to prove this. Nutrition science is largely based on epidemiological studies (food records) which we know are unreliable, but Dieticians cannot recommend anything that does not have any studies backing it, so it’s very difficult to go against the grain. I’ve always been very objective in my beliefs and would rather experience for myself then wait for new guidelines to come out that I now know are driven by a corporate agenda or for research years later.
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
Listen to Katya’s interview on the MeatRx.com podcast here:
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