The story, in pictures: 1. I’m six years old. My father is starting to put on weight, started to feel sick. He was a physician’s assistant. Didn’t he know how to be healthy? Mother wants to do something about it.
She started cooking low fat, adding swiss chard and spinach, ordering organic vegetables, potatoes, and tofu instead of beef. She ground wheat at home and made all our bread from fresh whole grains. Basically a leptin, oxalate, and phytate nightmare.
As a growing child I was often so hungry that I learned to forage for food. In-season fruit trees, sneaking out to the icecream truck, whatever. I was a sugar junkie, sneaking candy just like my father.
By 11 years old my knees hurt so badly that some days I could hardly stand. I was pale, with dark shadows under my eyes, and easily exhausted. My father’s diet wasn’t working for him or for the family.
Ironically my health improved when I was old enough to run to McDonald’s for burgers. My sisters and I competed for who could eat the most meat, but it wasn’t enough to counteract the milkshakes and french fries.
When I got my period, it hurt. Every month was pure torture that I can say was worse than having a nail stabbed straight through my foot. It seemed like every year added more problems.
Asthma, bad eyesight, iron deficiency, low vitamin D, burning easily in the sun, painful walking, restless legs and muscle spasms.
I had ear infections and yeast infections in highschool, where I prepared to go to medical school. I wanted to find answers. I wanted to fix my body. I felt so terrible going into college that I didn’t care about my diet and ate whatever I wanted, still mostly bread, cheese, and potatoes but also salads, chicken, and some beef. Then I had a stroke at the college and couldn’t pass tests anymore. My brain just would not work. My dreams of becoming a doctor died that day. And my father died shortly after. He was 43 years old. We learned that he ate a candybar and had a 20oz Coke every day, in spite of my mother trying to restrict his calories. Diets don’t work.
I went to work at McDonald’s, but that didn’t last long. Soon the pain in my legs became so bad I couldn’t stand. I suffered from gut pain, gallbladder pain, migraines, dizzy spells and depression. I thought the answer was to go vegetarian and start working a desk job, since eating fat triggered gall bladder attacks of intense pain. I was low-oil vegan for 2 years, then lacto-ovo vegetarian. This at first made me feel better, but the honeymoon phase didn’t last long.
Soon enough for the first time, I started putting on weight. Until then I was a fairly thin girl, but lack of exercise due to the pain packed the pounds on. I avoided red meat for 15 years.
When I turned 35 the leg pain came back with a vengeance. It was so bad that this time, I got a walker, a scooter, and a permanent disability certificate. I quit dancing. I became even more depressed. I got asthma, arthritis, and severe allergies. Nobody could figure out why I was in so much pain. My oldest sister died. She was 43. I realized that I had 8 years left to live, and I did not want to live any longer. I was suffering, and I wanted it to stop. Every moment, pain. I needed a larger chart and colored pencils to show my therapist all the pain spots. I even had social problems because of the gas and burping that my slow gallbladder fomented. It was bad. I even started to experience heartburn after eating. I tried fermenting, kombucha, sauerkraut, beet kvass, greens, juicing, CICO, etc. I took a DNA test and started towards a more Paleo approach to eating that reflected my Scandinavian heritage.
Finally, I turned 43. I weighed 183 lbs, 5’7″ and I was a size 16/18. Well, I thought, this is the year that I die.
But then a co-worker told me about Dr Ken Berry. Just watch the videos, she said. Just watch. The revelations started coming fast. I started with the Low-oxalate diet, to start healing my gut and give my gallbladder a chance to come out of it’s coma. I took ox bile pills so that I could eat fat without having painful spasms. Eventually my gallbladder woke up and ejected a large amount of sandy particles. Now I’m proud to own a fully functional carnivore gut, but it was a long and slow journey.
When I felt ready, I moved slowly into the keto diet. And I do mean slowly. It took 90 days of ramping down carbs and ramping up fat to get all the way into the low-carb macros. My husband did it with me, every step of the way.
I was still doing a vegetable heavy keto when I discovered Dr. Shawn Baker and Mikhaila Peterson and I knew, this was the answer.
My husband and I switched to carnivore after 4 months of slow ramp-down keto. By then, I had already lost 30lbs. He’d lost 40. We never cheated. Not even once. We knew what was at stake. It was life or death. From then on, the story reads in reverse. I started being in less pain. Less migraines, less depression, less allergies, less asthma, less medicine, less leg pain…More life. It’s just that simple. I started dancing again. It’s not a miracle. It’s meat.
Listen to Ren’s interview on the MeatRx.com podcast below: