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.
and another story to prove that how powerful the ZC diet and lifestyle can be. The cure to tons of health issues. Love it.
Thank you so much for this interview, Keidren and Esmee!!! I can relate so much to your story, Keidren! Can you tell me what kind of Gelatin Powder you recommend? I have been trying to make bone broth – but I have to admit, it’s a lot more work than I can handle right now to make it taste any good. I would LOVE to just take it in a capsule or even with water instead. Do you think the benefits are the same for a gelatin supplement vs. bone broth? (Esmee – you can weigh in here, too!) Thank you!!!!!
Yes I get the Great Lakes brand unflavored geletin from Amazon. I would say you definitely are getting more nutrients in boiling bones. But it is nice to have the simplicity of pure geletin on hand.
I’m 82 years old and i started using the Aajonus Vonderplanitz Primal Diet so what’s your feeling on this john
On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 4:11 PM, Eat Meat. Drink Water. wrote:
> esmeelafleur posted: ” 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 ” >
Aajonus includes a lot of carbohydrates in his diet, such as honey. In my opinion, that is very unhealthy. However, I do subscribe to his recommendation to eat meat raw. I find that it digest much better when I do and creates less inflammation.
Great interview. Thank you ! (I think so many people have been down the SAD, vegetarian, vegan path. I really want to explore VLCHF, and ZC as soon as I am able.)
Great to hear! I highly recommend it, it’s a life changer!
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Do you still take thyroid hormone? If not, what did you do to get off of them?
No I do not take any medications anymore, I simply eliminated grains added broth and meat and slowly eliminated sugar/ carbs and my body balanced itself
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Thank you for your response. I think adding bone broth will be my next step.
Fascinating interview. Thanks.
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I was interested in trying out zero carb after hearing about the good it did for a couple of friends. I often think about animal cruelty, but it didn’t really stand in my way, just made me feel… guilt I guess.
However, since I watched the film “cowspiracy” I can no longer make sense of eating much meat (if at all).
How do you deal with the conflict between the positive effect zero carbs has on your body, and the disastrous effect it has on our earth?
There are a lot of falacies in Cowspiracy. I was a vegan for 15 years for ethical reasons. Eating that way completely destroyed my body. You can read my story here:
The book that helped me the most was The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith. You will find a link to it here:
The real cowspiracy is all the media propaganda against red-meat, clearly a conspiracy against Human health.
The health benefits that a Zero Carb diet provides to SOME people is undeniable, for me. At the same time, it seems that SOME other people benefit greatly from a vegan diet.
I would say that people are different, and not everyone needs the same nutrition (food/information/experiences…).
Imagine how it angres a vegan, who benefits from his diet, to hear about those who eat a Zero Carb diet, and kill so many cows “for no good reason… because they could be vegan, like me”.
I’m not here and not there right now, but I do learn deliberately about nutrition, and it takes me to realizations that are very different from the way I used to think about nutrition.
See documentary The Perfect Human Diet, as we are all humans the differences need are slight. Vegan diets over time are not healthy especially for women who have to childbear and has no history for humans.
I totally agree. Deep Nutrition by Dr. Cate Shanahan explains this better than any other book I have read.
Thank You for rec. I will read it, Jan
Another great interview. You weren’t exaggerating when you said people take you for being 25; you look terrific and glowing with health.
How long did it take you to stop your sugar cravings?
The sugar withdrawal took about 4 days, after that since I was getting high amounts of fat and protein I did not crave sugar.
The key is taking in enough fat and protein, if you crave sugar eat more fat.
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Hey Keidren, you mentioned GAPS in the interview. I’m suffering from Fibromyalgia as a result of severe gut dysbiosis and am thus also following the GAPS protocol right now (a ZC version of it to be precise). I was wondering if you could give me your opinion on probiotics? I do know they’re considered an integral part of the protocol, but I get extremely debilitating dieoff symptoms from ingesting even extremely small amounts. Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Luca, nice to hear from you.
I for one never followed the GAPS protocol, I just read about it and incorporated a few things, like bone broth daily and probiotics
You may want to try bentonite clay and Diatamaceous Earth as well.
Both are good at getting rid of yeast, bacteria, heavy metals, etc and to binding the toxins and eliminating them safely, take at a separate time then your probiotics.
Hope this helps!
Good luck to you!
Hi Keiden, thanks a lot for your kind reply! 🙂
What would you suggest taking first – probiotics, earth or clay? I’m very sensitive to dieoff reactions due to my fibromyalgia, so I think no matter with which I start, I need to build it up from a very low dose in order not to overburden my weakened detox system. I’m considering starting a very low-dose probiotic (like 1/30 of one capsule of Bio-Kult, which GAPS recommends, per day).
I’m also eating ZC, lots of meat stock every day.
Thanks again! 🙂
Hi Luca, That would be hard for me to answer, I did not have severe die off like you.
You might want to take a dose of DE or clay and see how it effects you..
Have you shared your story with Principia Carnivora?
You may get some good advice there as well~
Hi Keidren! I also thought you were 25 and my mouth dropped when I read your actual age!!!
I was just curious, why do you just use gelatin?
I’m relatively new to zero carb but loosely (off and on) followed keto for 2 years. I’m doing zero carb for a 30 day experiment- bc even though keep made me feel great, I still had some digestion issues and cravings. But the one thing I’ve find, already by day 5, is like you said- my sugar cravings had ceased!!! I even served some ice cream which is usually my favorite and I had NO desire for it! Thanks for sharing your story:o)