My First 6 Months on Zero Carb by Mimi Brandt Anderson

Mimi Brandt

Mimi with her grandchildren.

I am a 54 year old a female who has lived an active life. I enjoy running, hiking, and gardening – both flowers and food. I began following a low carb high fat (LCHF) lifestyle in the late 1990s and was able to eat a wide variety of LCHF friendly foods.

I am a surgical nurse and I operate as part of a team specializing in open heart surgery. I work an average of 8 to 12 hours per day, 6 days per week. My work hours vary, day and night, and depend on when my skills are needed. My profession is very demanding and I need to be on the top of my game.

However, at the age of 50, I became sick. When I say sick, I mean I developed a chronic burning, stabbing pain in most of my joints. I never got a firm diagnosis, could have been Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Whatever it was, it was most probably auto-immune in nature. I was in extreme pain virtually all the time. I would rate the pain level at a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10.

I felt so bad, I just couldn’t seem to shake the pain. I was forced to stop running. I consulted with several doctors who tried to prescribe anti-depressants for me. But, these medications provided no relief. I was only depressed because my life became riddled with intense chronic pain.

A year later, a new group of doctors I consulted suggested that I try a combination of Prednisone, Lyrica, and Narcotics. But nothing worked.  The only real effect of these medications is that I gained a massive amount of weight over the next few years. I continued to follow a LCHF diet throughout all of this, but it did not prevent me from gaining excess weight. The influence of the medications on my metabolism were just too strong.

Then, approximately 6 months ago, my gall bladder began to give me serious trouble. I strongly feel a person should keep their organs whenever possible, so I opted not to have my gall bladder removed. But now, I was fat, in constant pain, and truly sad every single day. However, I am a strong person, and somehow I managed to keep going by shear will power.

Finally, out of total desperation, I did a water-only fast for 5 full days. My gall bladder quieted down and the pain I was experiencing diminished significantly. Once I felt stabilized, I slowly began to add foods back into my diet one at a time, testing each item as I went.  I meticulously journaled all the foods I ate, and as I added a food or condiment back in, I carefully observed the effect it had on my body.

What I discovered is that I did well with foods from the animal kingdom, but not so well with foods from the plant kingdom. I have been eating beef, chicken, salmon, sardines, mackerel, shrimp, and eggs. I eat about 1 lb. of meat per day. I do not eat any dairy products or spices because they make me feel unwell. The only thing I use for seasoning is pink Himalayan rock salt.

I was fascinated by the way my body responded negatively too all plant foods and so I started searching the internet for answers. I found the collections of comments that Owsley Stanley (a.k.a. The Bear) had made on a now-defunct low carb forum. And from there, I discovered the Zero Carb diet and, eventually, the Facebook group Zeroing in on Health.

After three months of eating only meat and drinking only water, I had some bloodwork done. I had lost weight and all my tests came back great. Now, after 6 months on Zero Carb, I am still losing weight by combining Zero Carb with intermittent fasting. I do not force myself to fast; rather, I fast naturally because I have no appetite. I let my hunger guide me.

My life is amazing once again…

  • I am off all medications except for an occasional guaifenesin after a long day.
  • The pain level has been significantly reduced. (3 on a scale of 1 to 10.)
  • I have no more brain fog and better mental clarity.
  • The quality of my sleep has improved substantially.
  • I am much more mentally balanced and even tempered.
  • I feel light-hearted and happy most of the time.
  • My energy has returned and I am actively keeping up with folks half my age.
  • I have lost 65 lbs since starting Zero Carb (from 228 lbs down to 162 lbs).
  • I have finally been able to start running again, too, which I love.

Zero Carb has literally saved my life!

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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