My First 30 Days on Zero Carb by Kristie Sullivan

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Kristie today on her Zero Carb  path to Well-being.

In June 2013, I was absolutely desperate to lose weight. I decided that it was the one thing I had battled and never conquered my entire life and that I would do it or die trying. A friend in whom I had confided – after the calories in/calories out (CICO) method had failed me – suggested I read Gary Taubes book, Why We Get Fat. Within two days, I devoured that book and began a journey to health that would lead me on remarkable paths, healing physical and psychological hurts that I didn’t yet fully understand and am still discovering.

The first six or seven months of LCHF involved my following a plan of fewer than 20 grams of total carbohydrates. In addition to Taubes, I read anything and everything I could. I ordered supplements, experimented with LC flours and sweeteners and completely changed my eating and cooking habits. The first 50 lbs melted away, and I was smitten with low carb. Shortly thereafter, my weight began to stall, which is about the time I discovered a number of low carb support groups on Facebook.

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Kristie before and after losing a substantial amount of weight through a low carb high fat diet.

I spent most of the next year reading everything I could and following every hack of nearly everyone I met. My time was dedicated to tracking macros, increasing fat, increasing protein, eliminating dairy, avoiding sweeteners, executing egg fasts, following fat fasts, restricting calories, increasing calories, fasting intermittently, and ordering more supplements all while testing blood glucose, blood ketones, urine ketones, and breath ketones.

When my scales didn’t register a loss, I ordered a new scale that measured percent body fat, convinced the old one was just hopelessly broken—probably because I was weighing three or four times a day! In addition to weighing, I was taking measurements and photos to monitor progress. It took a full fourteen months to lose an additional 30 pounds, and I was still 20 or so pounds from my goal.

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Another before and after of Kristie as she slimmed down even more through a low carb high fat diet.

In short, I was obsessed. If I read a compelling argument that wearing purple underwear and holding your nose while eating underwater would guarantee weight loss, I’d try it. Between the LCHF library I collected, the journal articles, and blog posts, I spent nearly every waking moment trying to figure out how to make my body smaller. Incidentally, my husband David decided to joined me on my low carb journey, and lost 60 lbs, though he was a lot more relaxed about it all than me (and lost it more quickly and easil than me, of course!)

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Kristie’s husband David before and after losing 60 lbs. by joining her a low carb high fat diet.

In late February, I stumbled across a blog post by Kelly Williams Hogan in one of the numerous low carb Facebook forums that I frequent. She sounded like a long lost sister as she described her weight loss struggles! Kelly’s journey ultimately led her to eliminate all plant foods from her diet. Still, the idea of no veggies sounded extreme to me. Yes, a meat-based diet still seemed extreme to the woman who had continued to try everything to no avail. But, I was intrigued, and so I decided to try it.

Within three days my energy level was up and my scales were down. Both scales! And something odd happened. Me, the queen of low carb food blogging recipes, the woman who faithfully tried two new LCHF recipes per week, who even “invented” a few baked goods, found that food was no longer fascinating. Eating ground beef at each meal—the two big meals I began to eat each day—was satiating and simple.

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Kristie with her Daughter and Son.

By week two, I loved breezing into the grocery store meat department and breezing right out. I saved time shopping, and I certainly saved time cooking. Among the changes I noticed were that I was happiest eating a big meal early in the day whenever I was hungry. Some days that means eating at a traditional breakfast hour and other days it means eating at lunch time for my first meal.

Instead of eating a small meal for my first meal, I began eating like a lumberjack—two burgers, two eggs, four or five pieces of bacon and maybe a sprinkle of cheese. A meal like that leaves me satisfied for up to eight hours. For dinner, I eat a similar meal and then I don’t eat again until breakfast. At the end of week two, I also had my menstrual cycle, which didn’t bring irrational cravings or wild mood swings like it normally did. It was quite uneventful, which was remarkable.

By week three my fridge had more room in it, especially when I cleaned out the veggies that were going bad because I had neglected them. When I went to Pinterest to find a recipe for a friend, I realized I had nearly 1500 followers and thousands of LCHF recipes. I began to understand that I had made this journey incredibly complex when what seemed to work for my body was meat and water. By week four, my husband decided to join me which is the ultimate high praise.

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Kristie’s husband David taking a nap with the family dog.

Along the way, I noticed that cravings – which had plagued me over the past three months – were minimized on zero carb. I already ate very clean, but minimizing carbohydrates to what is present in animal foods like eggs and dairy – and limiting my intake even of those – simply made me feel more satisfied, more energized, and more clear headed.

After thirty days, I’m in love with my scale again. In my first 30 days of eating a meat-based diet, I’ve lost ten pounds and my goal weight finally seems attainable. Once again, I have the unspeakable thrill of stepping on the scales and seeing a new “personal best” that I’ve never in my adult life seen before looking back at me on the scales.

More than that, I’ve let go of the complicated recipes, of focusing on food for entertainment, and of treating myself like a human test subject in a never ending weight loss trial. Meat, water, an occasional egg, and a little dairy are enough, more than enough to help me finish the journey to my goal weight and to complete the healing of the hurts I still seek to understand.

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Kristie and her husband David enjoying their new Zero Carb journey together.

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

If you are interested in meeting others who practice an All-Meat diet, please feel free to join Charles Washington in his Facebook group Zeroing in on Health or Michael Frieze in his Facebook group Principia Carnivora for guidance and support. These two groups use different approaches, so if you find that one does not suit you, please check out the other one.

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My First 30 Days on Zero Carb by Sarah Knight

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Sarah today on her path to well-being.

My story is no different than anyone else’s. I have been overweight most of my life. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to actually care. As a teenager and into my early twenties my thought was that I could lose it later, when I needed to. I didn’t think about losing it back then because it took time away from what I wanted to do, which was have fun. I wanted to go out drinking and eat at awesome restaurants. Buy things to make me happy. Food was something that was needed, so I told myself it was ok to eat huge meals, eat beyond feeling full. Then I’d usually go sit and watch tv or go drinking.

Now I’m 31 and my priorities have changed. It’s is more fun to focus on being my healthiest, to learn about nutrition, work hard, be responsible for myself and my own actions. One of the steps I took in my late twenties was to admit I did need anti-depressants to function like a normal successful adult. I admitted it was a problem beyond my control, so I got help and started taking a medication called Wellbutrin. And it has helped beyond my expectations.

It was after that that I started to lose a little weight without trying. Once I experienced some natural weight-loss without even trying, I decided to make an effort and help it out. I started eating less. Something in my brain clicked and said, “I don’t need to eat as much as I do,” and “I should stop eating so much sugar,” and “it’s ok to be hungry sometimes.”

One of the big realizations I had during this time that really helped me was that if I saw a piece of food, or a dessert I liked, I would just think to myself, “I’ve had that before, I’ve tasted it many times in my life. I’ll have it again, I just don’t need it right now.” I started working out at the gym at work and even went jogging. I lost about 45 lbs, going from a starting weight of 230 down to about 185. (I am 5′ 8″ and 31 years old.)

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Sarah before and after she lost 45 lbs. on a ketogenic diet.

Then I got comfortable, stopped working out, lost my health insurance because of a job change, and I went off my medication for almost a year. I gained about 15 pounds back and felt so gross. My boyfriend at the time introduced me to the ketogenic diet. I wasn’t sold at first, but becuase my carb cravings were out of control I decided to try it. I lost the 15lbs. I found a great new job and got back on my medication. I felt great.

However, I then stalled out, and I didn’t lose anymore weight. I was constantly worried about kicking myself out of ketosis, and was making too many “keto” desserts with the artificial sweetener Splenda.

Eventually my boyfriend and I broke up, and I returned to living by myself. I was still mostly sticking with the ketogenic diet, but I was allowing too many cheat meals because of my cravings. I was putting weight back on. My diet went out the window completely when I traveled to Philadelphia to work for two weeks. I came home and couldn’t fit into any pants. What was I going to do?

I was feeling more motivated than ever to find a solution to my weight problems because I have a vacation to Mexico in June coming up. I was tired of the constant struggle, but I felt that if I did not get a handle on the situation now, I never would. I am vain and I wanted a bikini body for my trip, but I also wanted to be healthy. And I was going to figure out how to do it.

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Sarah before and after she lost 45 lbs. on a ketogenic diet.

I was perusing the Keto subreddit on the Internet one day, and I saw a post asking if anyone does “Zero Carbs” and my curiosity immediately perked. Someone had linked the Zero Carb subreddit and it blew my mind. It blew my mind in the same way that first learning about keto blew my mind. Wait a second, I don’t have to eat the way I’ve been told to my whole life? So I read everything I could in about two days and then deciding to just ‘try it out’ for a while. I gave myself about two weeks. That was 36 days ago. And it has flown by.

Being on Zero Carb has been quite enjoyable. My transition was not very difficult because I had been doing a very low carb ketogenic diet for over a year before I started Zero Carb. I didn’t start doing it perfectly right away. The Zero Carb veterans recommended eliminating all artificial sweeteners, but I kept using Splenda and Half and Half in my espresso. It took me almost the whole month to listen to my body and stop using it.

After a few weeks of eating an all-meat diet, I just felt like something wasn’t quite right with my body. It has been easier to notice when I feel off and I am able to better hear what my body is telling me since I started Zero Carb. I could tell that the Splenda was not agreeing with me, so I gave it up. I am still drinking espresso, but am not using any artificial sweetener and have stopped using the Half and Half. Now I’m using Heavy Cream and that feels better for me.

Looking at my naked body daily in the mirror has been fascinating. I saw myself in the first two weeks just kind of deflating. I wasn’t necessarily losing fat, I am sure is was mostly just water, but I could see myself becoming leaner.

Other benefits I have noticed so far: My skin has cleared up. I’ve always had problems with slight acne on my back and face. It’s gone now. My nails are growing at double the speed that they have my whole life. I’ve gotten my period twice now since starting Zero Carb and I did not experi nice any menstrual cramps or lower back pain which is like a miracle. I have also had problems going to the bathroom my whole life, and now my bowels are functioning easy and regular. When I was doing a ketogenic diet, I had to take magnesium in order to prevent rapid heart rate, chest pain, achy joints, and muscle spasms. Since transitioning to Zero Carb, I have not needed to supplement with magnesium. I have also lost 8 lbs. since I started and now weigh 175 lbs. and I have a lot more energy.

Also, I don’t need as much sleep anymore which really threw me for a loop. I usually get up at five am for work, and I’m pretty physically active during it, so I had set up a 8:30 bedtime for myself these last few years. I’ve always been a big fan of sleep. Since starting Zero Carb, I just lay in bed until almost midnight sometimes with my mind running. At first, I thought maybe I was having caffeine too late in the day or something. But after a month of this I’m pretty sure its the Zero Carb way of eating and it’s taken some getting used to. I do still have trouble getting up in the morning, though not as much, and I hope to get to the point where I’m not hitting the snooze button at all.

I joined an online health community at the same time as starting Zero Carb. I workout in the privacy of my own home four nights a week and I can see a difference in my body. I am gaining muscle for the first time ever and its awesome. My legs are starting to look like solid tree trunks. I have upper arm strength I didn’t have before. I can do actual push ups now. Not knee push-ups – real, full body push-ups. I can feel my hip bones through my skin, I couldn’t before this. And I can see what my body is supposed to look like under the fat I still have.

I’ve spent less of my life planning meals, or going on shopping trips, since starting Zero Carb. I also go out socially way less, but I don’t miss it. I don’t want to be tempted and give in, or feel unsatisfied. Plus, I save money by not eating out as well.

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Sarah shortly after starting her Zero Carb journey.

There are times that I want other foods besides meat. I’ve gave in once during this first month. I went on a date, I chose to drink alcohol, and later – because we had been drinking and it’s easier to make bad decisions at that point – I chose to eat carbs. I didn’t want to explain to my date my food lifestyle. And I didn’t plan ahead. It tasted great while eating it. Those sweet sweet carbs… However, it didn’t taste great when my body threw it all up later that night! Ah well, live and learn. They say experience is the best teacher. So, not wanting to go through that again, I’ve been good ever since.

I’m still over weight, and am still making up for 30 years of bad choices, but I look and feel so much better now after only 30+ days of eating only meat. I already know there is no going back. This is such a fun journey. Anything else before this wasn’t fun. I am fascinated and excited. What a wonderful way to feel all the time. So like I said, my story isn’t any different than most, but maybe – precisely because it IS similar to most – it can be of help to others who read it.

My Typical a Daily Menu

BREAKFAST
1 cup of Espresso with 3 oz Heavy Whipping Cream
3 eggs with butter

LUNCH
Chicken

DINNER
Beef or Pork

My hunger has been all over the place, so I can’t really provide an average amount of meat for lunch or dinner. It varies quite a bit at this point depending on my appetite. I try to eat until I feel satisfied though. I do add salt to my food for flavor.

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

If you are interested in meeting others who practice an All-Meat diet, please feel free to join Charles Washington in his Facebook group Zeroing in on Health or Michael Frieze in his Facebook group Principia Carnivora for guidance and support. These two groups use different approaches, so if you find that one does not suit you, please check out the other one.

My Meaty Adventure

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As I have explained on my About Me page, I have histamine intolerance. This makes eating an all meat diet a bit more challenging for me than for the average person. Once an animal is slaughtered, histamines begin forming in its tissues almost immediately. Therefore, people who are histamine intolerant can only eat meat that is fresh or fresh-frozen.

Some meat – like beef – is usually intentionally aged for 21 days or longer. It can be either dry-aged or wet-aged, but wet-aging is far more common because less meat is lost during the process. However, wet-aging does create more histamines than dry aging. After aging, the meat is cryovac’d in plastic for shipping purposes. All of this is convenient, cost effective, and efficient, but it also creates a high level of histamines in the meat. All of the beef I have tried from supermarkets like Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Safeway has caused very strong histamine reactions in me.

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Other meats – like pork, lamb, chicken, and fish – are not intentionally aged, but they are cryovac’d to help preserve them longer and make shipping them easier. Many commercially produced meats can be in cryovac’d packaging for weeks or months before reaching a retail market. Consequently, they are almost all very high in histamines and also not an option for me.

Once I understood what I needed in order to successfully practice Zero Carb, it took me about a month to secure a source of grass-fed, free-raised veal that was not aged. This was a wonderful find, but the butcher shop where I found it only orders from Strauss twice a year. So, once I bought what they had on hand, that was the end of their supply until they placed their next order (which is still pending). Also, at $10 a pound, this veal is a little pricey for me. I definitely like to support humane animal husbandry practices, and I am very willing to pay extra for this, but my financial situation is a bit tight right at the moment.

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This situation encouraged me to search out another source of histamine-free meat. My efforts we rewarded when I discovered The Meat Shop located in Phoenix about 20 miles from where I live. This little “hole in the wall” is a perfect example of why you can never judge a book by its cover. It is an absolute gem!

All of the meat they sell has been raised in humane growing conditions by local ranchers. Even more amazingly, they own their own slaughterhouse which uses the most humane slaughter practices known and is one of the largest privately owned slaughterhouses in the country.

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The chicken and pork they sell is not aged. The chicken is fresh-frozen because there is less demand for it, but the pork is brought in fresh once a week. So, if I buy the pork on the day is comes in, it is as close to histamine-free as possible.

The beef is dry aged for one week prior to arriving in their shop. As mentioned earlier, dry aging creates fewer histamines than wet aging. The beef is brought in less often than pork, about once every 10 days or so, but if I can arrange to get it as soon as it arrives, then the level of histamines will still be quite low.

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I bought a 10 day old steak to try last week, and I did not experience any negative reaction to it. They received a new beef on Thursday, and I had them make me 30 lbs. of 75/25 ground beef from it on Friday. Grinding meat also accelerates histamine production, so it is vital to process it and freeze it in an expeditious manner.

Dave – the butcher who did my order for me – used to work for Whole Foods, and he was very understanding and sensitive to my unique needs. I truly appreciated the way he listened to me (without looking at me like I was a pain-in-the-ass nut case!) and eagerly carried out my request. Once he was finished grinding my meat and putting it into to individual 1 pound packages, he put it in the freezer. Then, I went and picked it up today (Saturday).

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Because the beef is 100% grass-fed, grass-finished – and grown by small local ranchers – it is more expensive than commercial supermarket beef. It is about $7.50 per pound which is still less less expensive than the Strauss veal I was getting. Plus, I am supporting my local growers which I like to do whenever possible.

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Along with the piece of beef I tried a few days ago, I have also tried their pork. I am not a huge pork fan, but I wanted to try it and see how I reacted to it. I experienced no histamine reaction after eating it. So, now I have two more options of histamine-free meat to eat.

The pork is neither organic, nor pasture-raised, but the animals have a large space to move around in with both sun and shade available to them. The pork is considerably less expensive than the beef for this reason, and it provides an alternative choice for me in case I need it. I even got a whole box of pork necks at $0.75 a pound for my dog which is an awesome deal. These might be a good, affordable option for bone broth too.

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All in all, I am thrilled with my new find and I feel extremely blessed to have such an excellent source of safe, high-quality meat so near to where I live.

THINGS ARE ALWAYS WORKING OUT FOR ME!

Zero Carb Interview: Ultra-Marathoner Ana Teixeira

Ana Teixeira

A Happy Healthy Ana Teixeira!

1. How long have you been eating a Zero Carb (No Plant Foods) diet?

I have been eating a Zero Carb – No Plant Foods – diet for 5 years now.

2. What motivated you to try this way of eating? Weight? Health?

My motivation was for both health and endurance. I am an Ultra-marathoner, and I wanted to improve my performance, and a Zero Carb diet is the best way I have found to achieve this. I run 4 ultras a year. Two of them are 100 km and the other two are 215 km each. My personal best time for the 100 km is 9 hours and 30 minutes.

3. How long did it take you to adapt to a Zero Carb diet, both physically and psychologically?

I took several months for me to transition to a fully adapted state. I started eating a low carbohydrate diet 3 years earlier (which included fruits, vegetables, eggs, and dairy products), but it did not give me the results I was seeking. I wanted more independence and freedom from food. I wanted to be able to go for hours without eating. I was still hungry too often on just a Low Carb diet. It takes mental strength to make the transition to Zero Carb, but with determination and discipline everyone can do it. And the benefits are awesome.

Ana Teixeira

Ana Warming Up For a Long Training Run.

4. What books or people were most influential in guiding you to this way of eating?

The person who influenced me the most was Charles Washington from the Zeroing in on Health internet forum. He – and other group members – shared many references, articles, links, etc. that I read which convinced me that this way of eating was definitely worth trying. Also, I’ve a biochemistry degree and read a lot papers on this subject, especially those of Dr. Robert Lustig. (He is the author of the book Fat Chance and a lecture he gave titled Sugar: The Bitter Truth – about the dangers of fructose – went viral on YouTube a few years ago.)

5. Do you eat only meat, or do you include eggs, cheese, and cream in your diet?

I eat only meat. I consume mostly beef and pork, choosing the fattiest cuts, but I also like chicken wings. The meat and fat from pork head is one of my favorites, but I do not eating brain. I do not eat turkey or duck or rabbit meat because I find it to be too lean. I need lots of fat to fuel my body and provide the energy necessary for my long runs. I enjoy bacon, too, but it is difficult to find it without sugar.

News paper article about Ana Teixeira

A Newspaper Article Written About Ana in the Portuguese Publication “Imediato”

(Please note: An English translation of this article is provided at the end of this interview.)

6. What percentage of your diet is beef verses other types of meats?

About 50% of my diet is fresh beef, and the others 50% is pork and chicken wings.

7. When you eat beef, do you cook it rare, medium, or well done?

I prefer my meat cooked medium.

8. Do you add extra fat to your meat? (i.e. butter, lard, tallow)

If I feel I need extra fat, I will add ghee (lactose-free butter) which is easy to find where I live.

9. Do you limit your meat consumption or do you eat until satisfied?

I do not limit the quantity of meat I eat. I eat until I feel my needs have been fulfilled. I eat two meals a day. I have my first meal about mid-day after my morning run, and my second meal in the evening. That’s enough for me.

Ana Teixeira

Ana During One of Her Long Runs.

10. Do you eat liver or other organ meats? If so, how often?

No, no organ meats at all.

11. Do you consume bone broth? If so, how often?

I do not drink bone broth on a daily basis, but I do use it during a competition. During the ultra-marathons, we must carry our own food, so that’s when the bone broth is good for me. Sometimes during ultras that last for several days, my support car will give it to me to drink. This is really helpful because then I don’t have to carry it, and I can continue to run while drinking it.

12. How many meals do you eat per day on average?

I generally eat 2 meals per day, but I listen to my body and sometimes I don’t need that much and will only eat one. I let my hunger dictate.

13. How much meat do you eat per day on average?

I eat 750 – 1000 gms. of chicken wings and then 500 gms. of other meat on average per day. (or between 2 – 3 lbs.)

14. Do you eat grass-fed/pasture-raised meat, or regular commercially-produced meat?

I live in a big city and buy most of my meat from the large supermarkets. However, I recently found a smaller shop that sells nice pieces of grass-fed beef and I will buy from them on occasion.

Ana Teixeira

Ana Competing in an Ultra-Marathon Race.

15. Do you drink any beverages besides water? (i.e. coffee, tea)

I drink mostly water, but I will sometimes have a cup of coffee with ghee (lactose-free butter) in it.

16. Do you use salt?

Yes, because of the long distance running, I find that my body requires more sodium than the meat alone provides. If I do not use it, I will experience electrolyte imbalances. I add extra salt to both my water and my food. I have about 5 gms. (1 tsp.) on average per day.

17. Do you use spices?

I do not use any spices.

18. Do you take any supplements?

I do not take any supplements besides the salt.

19. How much money do you spend on food each month?

I spend about 250 Euros (equivalent to $275 USD).

20. Do you have any tips for making this diet more affordable?

I recommend trying to find a place where you can become a regular customer. In my place, they know me and offer me special discounts for shopping there on a regular basis. I cook all of my own food and I never eat out. If I have to be away from home for a meal, I prepare it ahead of time and take it with me. Always.

Ana Teixeira

Ana Visiting with a Nun at the Convento do Clarissas Do Desagravo Louriçal.

21. Do you exercise regularly? If so, how often and how vigorously?

I am a high school biology teacher. I have loved to run since my youth, and I decided to start participating in ultra-marathons for several years ago. I’m 49 years old now and I have done several ultra-marathons around Europe. I began running marathons in 2009, and ultra-marathons in 2012. I run 150 km (93 miles) a week when I am training for a competition.

22. What benefits have you experienced since beginning a Zero Carb diet? (i.e. recovery from illness, overall health, body composition, exercise performance, hormonal, mental or psychological, etc.)

The biggest benefits for me are related to my running performance and recover. I have excellent endurance and I have never experienced and injury. Carbohydrates are the primary cause inflammation, and – since I do not eat them – my muscles recover quickly and are never sore. This diet also gives me a very stable heart rate while running. Once you are fully adapted to a Zero Carb diet and burning fat for energy instead of glucose, you do not need to eat much during a long run because your body has access to an abundance of fat for fuel. (Dr. Stephen Phinney, author of The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance, has stated that even most thin people have at least 20,000 calories of fat stored in their cells to tap into once they have become keto-adapted.)

Ana Teixeira

Ana with Her Running Gear, Ready to Role.

23. Have you conceived, given birth, or breastfed while on a Zero Carb diet? If so, what was your experience?

No, I was not aware of Zero Carb when I conceived and gave birth to my two sons. I was a carbohydrate addict back then, unfortunately.

24. Have you raised children on a Zero Carb diet? If so, what has been their experience? How difficult is it to keep carbs out of their diet in today’s world?

I do all of the cooking for my family daily. I have three men to feed, my husband and two sons. I also have 5 cats and a dog. I am the only one eating a Zero Carb diet, but I keep their meals fairly low in carbohydrates. I continue to encourage them to eat Zero Carb, but so far they have not joined me. I allow them to choose for themselves, it is an individual choice and one must want to do it. They observe me and can see how happy I am with this way of eating. I am hopeful that – with my own consistency – I can inspire them to choose this path. Cats and dog are already eating a Zero Carb diet like me.

25. What do you enjoy most about eating a Zero Carb diet?

The taste of the food. The feeling of freedom. The calmness of my mind. The knowledge of what my body needs. The deeper understanding of who I am as a member of the Homo sapiens species.

Ana Teixeira

Ana After Finishing a Long Training Run.

26. Do you have any advice for someone who is just beginning a Zero Carb diet?

Consistency and determination are needed to succeed. It takes time for the body to adapt. Do not give up. Be patient. Once you are adapted, you will experiences lots of energy and you will feel great both physically and mentally. Your memory will improve, your skin will improve, your physique will improve. You will grow younger. I am 49, but all of my students tell me I look like I am in my mid-30s.

27. Are your friends and family supportive of your Zero Carb lifestyle? If not, how do you handle this?

I receive totally respect and support from my family. Not so much support from colleagues and students at the school where I work. But with my example, they are beginning to think and contemplate this way of eating more seriously. I have far too many obese students in my classes. And some of my solidarity competitions is for the purpose of raising money for poor students. That also makes them reflect more on what I am doing. To follow this path, it is important to have a knowledge and understanding of it, but it is also important to see others who are living it successfully. I try to be the best example I can be for others.

28. Is there anything you would like share about this way of eating that I have not already asked you?

It is truly an honor for me to be able to share my experience in this way with all of you. Any additional questions are most welcome.

Ana Teixeira

Ana Relaxed and in the Zone During a Long Run.

Here is an English translation of the Portuguese language newspaper article about her. It was translated by Bing, and I had to do some guess work editing to make it flow. I am sure it is not totally accurate, but hopefully it is close enough to the original meaning…

Original Article Written by Monica Feirrera

Ana Cristina Teixeira is a biology teacher in Penafiel. And a runner. And a woman of faith. She kicks off a race this Saturday morning at the port, running to get to Fatima before the Sundayfinish. But the expectation is not the performance, time, challenge, or accomplishment. The expectation of Ana – a woman of faith – is to bring awareness about the reality behind the rosy faces of students who attend the school Joaquim de Araújo.

Many live in conditions of “extreme poverty,” she told us earlier. Ana wants to be able to help them with scholarships that prevent them from having to quit school and will allow them to continue with their educational studies. So, this race will run 215 km and will help to raise money for this cause through donations. It is the second time this particular race has been organized and run for this purpose.

In May 2012, another race to Fatima managed to raise EUR 1700 delivered to students in need of scholarships for school, but it also provided funds to help with vision and dental care. Now, with the support of the Rotary Club of Penafiel and the city of Penafiel (in Portugal), another 1500 EUR has already been raised this year. This money will go to the students with the most need.

Ana Cristina Teixeira is a 48 year old life-long athlete. The race starts at 5 AM and will follow the coast. She will be accompanied by her husband Arthur who will drive near her in in a car and provide support such as hydration and changes of clothes. She will stop only 9 times throughout the entire race, and will likely eat during only 1 or two of these stops. Last year, Ana completed the race in 48 hours, with only one 3-hour stop to rest.

Please note: You can find Ana under the Facebook page Corrida Peregrina, the name of her Ultra Running organization dedicated to raising money for students in need.

Please visit my Interviews page to read the stories of other long time Zero Carb veterans.

If you are interested in meeting others who practice an All-Meat diet, please feel free to join us in the Facebook group Principia Carnivora for support

My First 30 Days on Zero Carb by Karen Kelbell

Karen Kelbell

Karen Kelbell on her Path to Well-Being

I came to Zero Carb from a low carb background. I’m 57 years old and I’ve been low carbing for the last 30 years, gaining and losing the same weight over and over. I’ve found that the older I get the harder it’s been to lose. I’m 5’2 and was at an all time high weight of 273 pounds when I started keto. It took 6 weeks before I became keto-adapted and the next month was great. I had lots of energy and lost 18 pounds. Then, I hit a brick wall. For the next 18 months my weight would go up and down a couple of pounds, but I was never able to get under 255.

I know that my biggest problem was embracing what I call the “new keto.” My goal every day was to fit in as many substitute “junk” foods (many with Zero Carb sweeteners) as I could without exceeding 20 grams of carbs. Net carbs were the rule for all of my high fiber substitute foods which meant I subtracted the fiber grams from the total carbohydrate grams.

In addition to not being able to lose weight, I began to suffer from chronic fatigue. I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue by a naturopath, due to my low cortisol levels and other symptoms. I can’t really describe the tiredness of chronic fatigue. Every movement was a challenge and some days even speaking was too difficult. I was suffering from depression and had an extremely negative attitude. I really believe I was causing everyone around me to suffer right along with me. It’s hard to deal with an illness that some in the medical field won’t even acknowledge.

Getting dressed and going anywhere took every ounce of my energy and usually left me wiped out for the rest of the day. I would wake up after a sleepless night and wish the day were already over. Some days I despaired of life and wished it would end. There are no words for how terrible I was feeling, both physically and mentally.

It was at this time that a friend suggested I try doing a high protein moderate fat keto diet. Supposedly this was the way to health and weight loss. I ended up gaining 8 pounds in 3 days! I was having trouble maneuvering the stairs in my home and would find myself out of breath once I reached the top. I was feeling scared at how out of shape I was, but didn’t know what to do. I started doing a beginner body building workout, but could barely get past the basics.

I was full of despair and – to add to my already stressed out life – my daughter had announced she would be getting married in 5 months. I was so tired and so overweight and so overwhelmed, I couldn’t even feel joy for her happiness. I didn’t know what to do. The 8 pounds I’d gained, putting me at 265, weren’t budging. I went back to my LCHF keto diet.

A couple of days later an interesting story came across my news feed in a keto group I was in. It was the story of Kelly Williams Hogan and her Zero Carb journey. I was intrigued, but I thought it was too much of an extreme. Meat and water? Who could live on that?! I honestly don’t know if I would have tried Zero Carb if I hadn’t been absolutely desperate. I HAD to lose some weight. So, I decided to give it a try.

I found the Facebook group Zeroing In On Health and started reading everything I could, both there and elsewhere on the internet about this unique diet. At first, I desperately hung on to my coffee replacement drink with heavy cream and a tiny scoop of stevia. It was so small; it couldn’t be that bad! Things went well and I lost 5 pounds in 5 days. So far, so good.

Then something astounding happened. I woke up on Day 6 and my life had changed. I felt rested, peaceful, and happy. Getting up didn’t seem to be a chore. As the day went on, I realized my new found energy was staying with me. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I was doing Zero Carb to lose weight, never dreaming it would make me well. The next day was the same.

I realized the hip and knee pain that had been waking me up at night (when – by some miracle – I was able to get some sleep) was now gone. My mood continued to improve, even when I didn’t think it could get any better. I’ve seen this described by some people on Zero Carb as “euphoria.” I would say that’s a good description. Then I had a setback.

I took my sleeping pill one night and didn’t go immediately to bed. I was then able to convince myself that eating a couple of mini low carb chocolate bars made perfect sense. After all, I was still using the stevia in my coffee replacement drink without any visible problems, but now I realize this “carb-free” sweetener was perpetuating my desire for sweet things. They say experience is the best teacher. I’d have to agree.

The next morning I woke up and the tiredness was back. I felt nervous and edgy all day and had gained 3 pounds. So, I decided I was going to give Zero Carb my all. I wanted that good feeling back! That day I gave up my stevia for good. I also gave up the coffee replacement drink. I did start having a cup of coffee in the morning with heavy cream. I just felt like I needed it.

After 3 days I was back to feeling great again, although my weight at that point was bouncing around. I read that dairy could stall weight loss, so I decided to give it up. (I probably should have given up the scale, as well.) I wasn’t eating much cheese, maybe an ounce or less every few days, so that wasn’t hard. I tried drinking a cup of coffee black, but found it tasted so bad without cream there was no point in drinking it.

I’ve now fallen into an easy basic Zero Carb routine. Eat meat (and eggs). Drink water. Live (and enjoy!) my life. I love the simplicity of it. No more counting carbs or worrying about whether I’ve eaten the proper ratios. It’s like everything is built into Zero Carb eating. I get hungry, I eat. I eat until I’m full. When I’m full, I stop. At first I felt hungry a lot and worried about eating too much. But I was trusting what I’d read on Zeroing in on Health and ate if I was hungry.

After about a week or so, I found I was only able to eat 2 meals a day. That was so amazing to me. I wanted to try eating only one meal a day, but I knew that I would be playing head games if I tried to manipulate my hunger. So, I just let my body lead me.

At first I thought eating meat would be the most boring thing ever and wasn’t sure I would be able to stick to it. It hasn’t been that way at all. I wait until I am truly hungry and then every piece of fatty meat I eat tastes wonderful. I feel like I’m eating a King’s diet. After only 30 days, it is clear to me that this way of eating is not only the way out of my obesity nightmare, but it is also the path to restoring my health. I am sold on it for life.

To date, I have lost a total of 9 pounds. My clothes are also fitting much better and I’m sure if I had measured inches in the beginning I’d be amazed at the results. Zero Carb is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I’m thankful every day for the opportunity to live life to its fullest. I am actually looking forward to each day now, and I am even feeling excited about my daughters upcoming wedding!

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

If you are interested in meeting others who practice an All-Meat diet, please feel free to join us in the Facebook group Principia Carnivora for support.

My First 30 Days on Zero Carb by Nkem Alozie

Nkem Alozie

A Happy Nkem Alozie

What was my diet like before Zero Carb?

A whole food Very Low Carb, Ketogenic (20g of carbs per day) diet. I consumed no frankenfoods with the exception of a packet or two of splenda in my coffee and coke zero.

What I am eating on Zero Carb?

Eggs, Bacon, Butter, Coffee, Heavy Whipping Cream, Beef, Organ Meats, Goat, Chicken, and African Giant Snails.

What I am I drinking on Zero Carb?

Water

How much did I workout on Zero Carb?

Not a single second.

Day 1 – 10:

I experienced common symptoms of adaptation and transition such as lethargy, headaches, etc. I went from working out 5-6 times a week to zero workouts. My mood was up and down, but cravings were minimal. The adaptation and transition symptoms were identical to when I went from a SAD (Standard American Diet) to a Ketogenic diet.Because I was only consuming 20 gms or less of carbohydrates per day on Keto, I thought the transition would not be a big deal. I was wrong. There is a big difference between ANY grams of Carbs and ZERO Carbs.

Day 11 – 21:

I began ti experience a Zen Like Mood and my energy returned. I had no more cravings and began to experience a natural high 24/7.

Day 22 – 30:

I decided to give up coffee and heavy whipping cream and went through adaptation and transition symptoms a second time. The symptoms were almost identical to my first week of Zero Carb. The reason I quit coffee was because I was using it to suppress my appetite in order to eat only one meal a day. It was a holdover from my Keto (Bullet Proof Coffee) days and I wasn’t truly giving Zero Carb an honest effort because of it. Once I stopped drinking coffee, my appetite returned and I started eating like a piglet. I ate myself into a stupor for a couple of days before my body had enough and my appetite started regulating itself. I began eating less and less, and now I’m at the point where I just eat when I’m hungry. It’s coming down to about twice a day a present, but I can easily see it going back to once a day with time…or maybe not. I don’t really care.

What I learnt?

If YOU want change, YOU have to change. I strongly encourage newbies to listen to the Zero Carb veterans who have been eating this way for years in order to prevent needless suffering for yourself. Based on my 30 day experience, what they say is true and is the only relevant thing that people need to listen to.

I had to go through the 5 stages of grief (anger, denial, bargaining, depression and then, finally, acceptance) with some of the things these veterans (like Charles, Caitlin, and Dana) were saying, but it was for my own good. For newbies like me, getting to the acceptance stage of true Zero Carb as quickly as your acculturation will allow is critical for success. Suffer now (temporarily) and live the rest of your life in complete freedom and great health.

How much Weight & Inches did I lose?

Though I initially gained a few pounds, I ended up losing a total of 11.2 pounds over these first 30 days. I didn’t take measurements when I started, but I’ve gone down one or two notches on my belt. I also look much smaller than what 11 pounds could ever really depict, so I have probably gained some lean body mass as well.

In summary

It’s so much easier to just eat meat, drink water, and live my life. No worrying about macros, no counting calories, no trickery to suppress appetite. Just meat and water.

Cheers Everyone!

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

If you are interested in meeting others who practice an All-Meat diet, please feel free to join Charles Washington in his Facebook group Zeroing in on Health or Michael Frieze in his Facebook group Principia Carnivora for guidance and support. These two groups use different approaches, so if you find that one does not suit you, please check out the other one.

My First 8 Months on Zero Carb by Kevin Fenderson

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Kevin today after 10 months on Low Carb and 8 months on Zero Carb and weighing 155 lbs.

Kevin is an acquaintance of mine that I met through the Facebook forum Zeroing in on Health. He started his weight loss journey on a general low carb, ketogenic diet around October of 2013.  His top weight was approximate 230 lbs., but he preferred not to know the exact number. Prior to beginning a ketogenic diet, Kevin ran and biked daily, but he continued to gain weight anyway. After 10 months on a low carb, ketogenic diet, Kevin was down to 165 lbs. which he considered to be quite an achievement.

Kevin’s next goal was to figure out how to maintain this weight loss and that is how he happened upon Zero Carb. On a low carb, ketogenic diet, Kevin was eating vegetables 3-4 times a week as well as diet soda and some other low carb Keto junk foods, and he still suffered from cravings. Now, the only thing he consumes besides meat, eggs, and cheese, is coffee. Although it was not Kevin’s goal to lose more weight, he has none the less shed an extra 10 lbs during his first 8 months on a Zero Carb diet.

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Kevin prior to adopting a Low Carb, Ketogenic diet and weighing 230 lbs.

Kevin posted his reflections in Zeroing in on Health today after 8 months of eating Zero Carb and he has kindly given me permission to share them with the readers of my blog. Kevin’s sense of freedom – from the bondage to food – is the most powerful message his words convey…

“When it comes to cholesterol, the numbers that matter are excellent. My triglycerides are down in the 70s. My HDL (the good stuff) is up into the 60s. Those are the only two numbers I pay much attention to. My total cholesterol is higher than my doctor would like. It means only one thing to me, a free test sooner than I would normally get one. LOL. The rest of the changes are harder to describe. I am leaner than I was 8 months ago. But, I am not massively so. I was pretty close to my goal weight when I started. I am slowly trending downwards. My fitness is better.”

“The biggest change is probably mental. I just have no real stress when it comes to health, food, or anything like that. I don’t count carbs. I don’t count calories. I don’t worry about macros. I have lost all the cravings for sweets. I have stopped drinking diet soda. That’s a mental thing, not a physical thing. I can see, now, how deeply I was addicted to the sweetness of it. I have learned to trust my body. I don’t know if many here will understand how deep that really is. My whole adult-life, I had been constantly betrayed by my body when I didn’t strictly monitor what I ate and my activity level. When I ate because I was hungry, I got fatter. I would know I was eating too much, but I couldn’t stop myself. I knew my body was wrong.”

“Now, I can trust my body is right. If I am hungry, I eat. I don’t worry if it’s 5,000 calories in a day (and sometimes it is). I know my body is asking because it needs it. If I am not hungry, I don’t worry about it. I know I don’t need it. If I am feeling like going out for a walk or a run, I do. If I am feeling like sitting in the yard and enjoying the sun without moving except to reach for my iced coffee, I do that instead. No guilt about being lazy. No concern about getting fat and losing my muscle. I am no longer a slave to my appetite. I would be ravenous sometimes. I couldn’t stop myself from eating. I would just eat everything I could get my hands on, trying to stop the hunger. Now, I can be hungry and wait until there’s food I want to eat (if I am out). It’s no longer an “emergency” when I get hungry.”

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Kevin buys beef chuck in bulk and cuts his own steaks.

“My digestion (the whole process from eating to elimination) is massively better. I burp less, I fart less, I have no more of those stinky tonsil stones, I don’t “gurgle” as I digest, I don’t get cramps, I don’t get plugged up. Hell, I don’t even think about it. I didn’t realize how messed up my gut was until it wasn’t messed up any more. I remember an ex-girlfriend who could tell, over the phone, if I had eaten pizza because she could hear my gut complaining. The one time my wife begged me to cheat (and I foolishly agreed), she was soon urging me to get back on the diet. She had forgotten how much she appreciated the fact that I almost never fart.”

“My wallet is fatter. It would seem odd, considering what I eat. But, I usually spend less than $50 a week feeding myself. That’s less than $215 a month (often under $200/month). Back when I was addicted to carbs, I once spent $300 one month just on pizza. Just pizza. I lived alone. That month I probably spent a total of $600-$700 on food. Even eating just “low-carb” was harder on my wallet because of the vegetables which provided little in the way of calories and nutrition compared to their cost. I also was spending money on faux-foods like quest bars, artificial sweeteners, nuts, nut flours, low-carb breads, etc.”

“I spend very little mental energy on food and diet. I cook my meat to my liking when I am hungry and usually pre-cook some burgers to have for when I am hungry and don’t want to cook. I don’t worry about recipes. I don’t think of ingredients or food shopping. I don’t worry that things will go bad. I know how much I normally eat, and I buy only what I eat in amounts that are gone long before it would go bad. I just have a lot of peace. I am calm, relaxed, and things are easy. The only stressful things I have left are unrelated to my diet or fitness. There’s probably more. But, this is what I’ve thought of off the top of my head.”

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A chuck steak, seared on the outside and raw on the inside.

I asked Kevin to describe his daily menu…

“Average day: Usually some eggs (4-6) with bacon (1/5 – 1/4 pound). Lunch is usually pre-cooked burgers (1/2 – 3/4 lbs. of 75/25) or leftover steak from the night before. Dinner is usually a chuck steak cut from a chuck roll and the size varies heavily depending upon how hungry I am. Dinner could be half a pound or might be 3-4 times that. It’s probably closer to a pound most of the time. Dairy is very rare for me, but it’s not something I won’t eat. I put it in the same class as other “variety” foods, like liver, seafood, chicken, etc. They’re not bad foods. They just don’t make it onto my regular menu because I rarely think to buy them. Oh, and coffee. According to my doctor, far too much coffee. Of all the things, that’s what she wants me to cut back on. I tend to drink a pot a day, sometimes more. Usually, it’s poured over ice and watered down a bit. I just like the taste. No cream, no butter, no sweetener, just black coffee.”

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

If you are interested in meeting others who practice an All-Meat diet, please feel free to join Charles Washington in his Facebook group Zeroing in on Health or Michael Frieze in his Facebook group Principia Carnivora for guidance and support. These two groups use different approaches, so if you find that one does not suit you, please check out the other one.