1. How long have you been eating a Zero Carb (No Plant Foods) diet?
Almost a year now.
2. What motivated you to try this way of eating? Weight? Health?
I remember as a child I was very sensitive and from an early age I had eczema, a plethora of environmental allergies and asthma, all of which I was on multiple medications for. I also had an extremely compromised immune system and always had seasonal bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia; it seemed I was always on antibiotics and at the doctor’s office. When I look back it’s a wonder I survived my childhood at all!
As a teenager I ate the common SAD and suffered from fatigue, weight gain, anxiety and depression…If only I had known at that time what I do now about healing the gut and eliminating carbs and sugar…my life experiences within the world would have been so very different!
Then onto college and the whole fat free trend had just started! So I jumped on that bandwagon, eating all the processed and fat free foods, basically a 100% full-on sugar diet.
Then I transferred out to the west coast, and I quickly realized there was another way to eat other than the SAD diet. I began to read about alternatives, I started eliminating processed foods, started eating whole foods learning about a macro diet and began working at a health store and learning about supplements and alternative ways of healing…this was a very pivotal time in my life and my health did get a little better, way better than it was on a SAD diet!
I started fasting, doing different cleanses, losing weight, etc. My quest in life had begun and that was to feel good, and since I have never felt good I was always seeking to feel better. I then became a vegetarian, then a vegan, with these new ways of eating I suffered from fatigue, feeling cold all the time, depression, anxiety, very low blood sugar, sugar cravings. I ate this way on up to when I had my first child at age 24.
The actual birth was fine, but my body would not produce milk (low serotonin as I know now) and I dealt with postpartum depression, etc. My second birth a year and a half later was the same.
I then became a single mom of two, suffering from stress, severe chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, super low immunity, low blood sugar, low basal body temp, getting a different virus every other week, and an aching body that hurt so bad it was hard for me to function (fibromyalgia). I did somehow function though and no one really knew the inside hell that I was in fact dealing with and feeling.
In my 30’s, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and low adrenals, I began to take thyroid meds for awhile and saw numerous natural doctors and tried so many natural remedies, as well as diving into my own studies, discovering and learning as much as I could about low thyroid, hypothalamus function, adrenal exhaustion, etc.
I then began working for a naturopath who was really into the Raw Food movement, so I decided to try this and ate a raw food diet for almost two years. My ailments did not go away really though, and I can see now that I was just under a constant sugar high, but I felt stuck and did not want to ever go back to the other ways that I had been eating.
I started then to have a lot of digestive issues and pain in my gut in the morning and fatigue after I ate breakfast. So I began researching healing the gut and things like the GAPS diet, etc. I will never forget the day a friend of mine offered me some bone broth, this was such a profound moment in my recovery. With the first sip, I could literally feel the nutrients filling my body from within, warming me and relieving my aches and pains instantly.
I then started researching bone broth and began drinking it daily, and started learning about the Paleo and Primal diets, and began the shift of incorporating some meat and cheese and eliminated grain, and began to eat low carb. I started feeling so much better, my body became warm, my energy increased, joint pain was diminished, my digestion improved, my blood sugar and mood swings improved dramatically. My immune system was still very low though and I still didn’t feel completely at my optimum.
Looking back I was still at this point a sugar addict, having small bits of dark chocolate at night and I was still eating veggies. Into about my ninth month of low carb/Paleo/Keto, my dear friend Sondra Rose who had been coaching me and who also was on the same way of eating, told me she was eliminating all carbs including veggies from her diet and was only eating meat and occasional cheese, and lots of fat.
My first reaction was no way could I do that! How could that even be healthy…but I quickly caught myself remembering that I still wasn’t feeling at my optimum and was just lately pondering what I needed to shift next. So with Sondra’s encouragement, I decided the next day to give it a try. If you want personal one-on-one assistance in making the transition to a Zero Carb diet, you can contact Sondra through her website: http://www.sondrarose.com
3. How long did it take you to adapt to a Zero Carb diet, both physically and psychologically?
In the beginning during the adaptation period, I increased my fat intake, sodium and drank bone broth daily and that really helped ease my symptoms of sugar withdrawal. I experienced some mild fatigue, headaches, and muscle cramps mostly.
4. What books or people were most influential in guiding you to this way of eating?
A good friend of mine who is a nutritional coach and on this WOE. Also the Facebook group Principia Carnivora and this website Zero Carb Zen.
5. Do you eat only meat, or do you include eggs, cheese, and cream in your diet?
My daily intake consists of mostly ground beef, ribeye, tri tip steak, salmon, lots of eggs, small amounts of cheese/lard/chicken and LOADS of butter and occasionally bacon.
I drink only water, and I will occasionally mix gelatin with hot water to make a warm drink.
I keep it simple with protein and fat consistent.
6. What percentage of your diet is beef versus other types of meats?
7. When you eat beef, do you cook it rare, medium, or well done?
Ground Beef I cook well done, but steaks I cook blue rare.
8. Do you add extra fat to your meat? (i.e. butter, lard, tallow)
Sometimes I add extra butter or lactose free sour cream.
9. Do you limit your meat consumption or do you eat until satisfied?
Both, I measured my daily intake for a few weeks, and now I just eye ball it.
10. Do you eat liver or other organ meats? If so, how often?
No liver, just don’t like the taste, but I will eat hearts when I can get them fresh and local.
11. Do you consume bone broth? If so, how often?
No, just Geletin powder now.
12. How many meals do you eat per day on average?
13. How much meat do you eat per day on average?
14 to 20 ounces
14. Do you eat grass-fed/pasture-raised meat, or regular commercially produced meat?
15. Do you drink any beverages besides water? (i.e. coffee, tea)
Just Gelatin powder in hot water.
16. Do you use salt?
Yes, in my ground beef and salted butter.
17. Do you use spices?
Some in my ground beef only. Garlic powder and pepper.
18. Do you take any supplements?
Magnesium at night every other day, 10,000UI of Vit D daily.
19. How much money do you spend on food each month?
20. Do you have any tips for making this diet more affordable?
Eat your ground beef and shop sales and stock up.
21. Do you exercise regularly? If so, how often and how vigorously?
My work is physical and also yoga, and plank twice daily
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.)
Literally after only ONE DAY of eliminating ALL veggies and all plant material, my whole being felt better. I was calm, peaceful, strong, and energized. I instantly lost 10 pounds of water retention, all inflammation vanished, and I began to witness my body becoming muscular and strong. My energy is completely even throughout the day and it doesn’t seem like a day goes by that someone doesn’t comment on how I look like I am 25 when in fact I am 41! My Immune system has never been stronger, and my body, mind and spirit have never felt this strong!
The biggest “Ah-Ha!” moment for me was realizing how sensitive I really was to sugar, all carbs, and the plant kingdom in general. I realized that this is what had been aggravating my health all those years. Any amount of plant foods is just too much for my system, plain and simple.
For the first time in my life I feel FREE, ALIVE, and full of LIFE! This way of eating has absolutely by far been a lifesaver and a life regained for me. I have been able to really reflect the last few months on how I used to be and feel, and cannot believe I made it through. I am so thankful to have discovered a Zero Carb, All-Meat Diet.
23. What do you enjoy most about eating a Zero Carb diet?
Simplicity and how I feel!
24. Do you have any advice for someone who is just beginning a Zero Carb diet?
Yes, take it slow, trust your body. Increase your water, fat and sodium intake in the beginning. Read and ask questions for support and wisdom from the folks in the Principia Carnivora group.
25. Are your friends and family supportive of your Zero Carb lifestyle? If not, how do you handle this?
Yes, my kids know to set the table for me always with a steak knife!
26. Is there anything you would like share about this way of eating that I have not already asked you?
Yes, I have just recently had the opportunity to be of assistance and lend my guidance and wisdom to two beautiful women who were suffering from very similar health ailments from years of eating a plant based diet. They too felt stuck like I had and did not know how to move forward.
It felt so good to share with them all that has healed for myself since shifting my diet to ZC. It also gave me an opportunity to reflect and see how far I have come and remember all the ways I used to feel.
They were in fact the catalysts for helping me realize how important it is to share my health story to help others on their journey to optimal health!
Please visit my “Interviews” and “Testimonials” pages linked at the top of this website to read the stories of other short and long term 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.