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back to school, but friends around me realized I wasn’t myself— my energy was gone, I was becoming more irritable and withdrawn, I had panic attacks and my stomach constantly hurt all day long.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.