1. How long have you been eating a Zero Carb (No Plant Foods) diet?
It has been a year, as of April.
2. What motivated you to try this way of eating? Weight? Health?
Because of my hypoglycemia and inability to lose weight and keep it off. I was already eating a whole foods diet, and had attempted to eliminate processed food, grains, legumes and added sugar (essentially primal/paleo). I was having trouble sticking to it, so I explored a ketogenic version of the paleo diet. What I discovered was that the more I reduced my carbs, the better I felt. Eventually I eliminated all plant matter, and felt better than I ever had.
3. How long did it take you to adapt to a Zero Carb diet, both physically and psychologically?
I think the adaptation was slightly easier since I had already been eating ketogenically, but there was still an adaptation period. I would say that the worst of it was over after a month, but my energy surged even more at the three and six months marks.
4. What books or people were most influential in guiding you to this way of eating?
Originally, I learned a lot from Gary Taubes’ writings, the information shared on Zeroing in on Health by Charles Washington and others, the writings of Stefansson and the Bear.
5. Do you eat only meat, or do you include eggs, cheese, and cream in your diet?
I sometimes include eggs and dairy, but overall I find that I do best without them, so I attempt to omit them as much as possible.
6. What percentage of your diet is beef versus other types of meats?
I eat mainly beef. I would say that it’s generally 75-90% of what I eat. I occasionally eat chicken or seafood, etc.
7. When you eat beef, do you cook it rare, medium, or well done?
I tend to like it cooked to medium-rare.
8. Do you add extra fat to your meat? (i.e. butter, lard, tallow)
I do not generally add any extra fat to my meat.
9. Do you limit your meat consumption or do you eat until satisfied?
I eat intuitively, until satisfied.
10. Do you eat liver or other organ meats? If so, how often?
I enjoy chicken liver occasionally. Sometimes I try a bit of beef tongue, and I love oxtail.
11. Do you consume bone broth? If so, how often?
I really don’t consume bone broth, no. I did at first, but found it to be unnecessary and too labor intensive.
12. How many meals do you eat per day on average?
I normally eat twice per day.
13. How much meat do you eat per day on average?
I generally eat anywhere between 1-2 lbs. a day, depending on hunger and activity level. Sometimes it’s more, but not usually.
14. Do you eat grass-fed/pasture-raised meat, or regular commercially produced meat?
No, I just eat regular commercially-produced meat. I prefer the taste and price of it. Grass fed is often too lean for me, and I don’t like they gamey taste it can sometimes have.
15. Do you drink any beverages besides water? (i.e. coffee, tea)
I mostly drink water or mineral water. I sometimes drink herbal infusions and rarely coffee or black tea.
16. Do you use salt?
I feel better without salt, so I do not generally add it to my food. If I am out and happen to eat something salty, I don’t worry about it.
17. Do you use spices?
Not generally. I don’t find them to be necessary.
18. Do you take any supplements?
I do not take any supplements.
19. How much money do you spend on food each month?
I probably spend about $400 on my own food per month.
20. Do you have any tips for making this diet more affordable?
I just look for the best prices on the meat I like. I shop at Aldi almost exclusively these days, and I buy a lot of skirt steak and 70/30 hamburger patties. Occasionally I buy ribeye if I can find it a good price. My town is getting a Costco soon, so I am contemplating getting a membership so I can save money by buying meat in uncut slabs.
21. Do you exercise regularly? If so, how often and how vigorously?
Up until recently I did not exercise regularly, or really at all, beyond occasional gentle walks. I have started to exercise a bit more, as my energy level seems to warrant it. In addition to walking, I do yoga, Pilates, and kettlebell workouts. I also got a road bike recently, so I have started to bicycle a bit.
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.)
I no longer suffer from hypoglycemia, my immune system is strong (I rarely get sick and if I do, I recover very quickly), my digestive system operates more smoothly (no stomach cramps, gas, no need for probiotics, etc.), my body feels strong and toned, I sleep more soundly and fall asleep more easily, my moods are calm and even, my pms is less severe. In general, I just feel much more balanced – mentally, physically, hormonally, metabolically, etc.
23. What do you enjoy most about eating a Zero Carb diet?
The thing I love most is the simplicity and the fact that food is no longer something I have to concern myself with really at all. I eat when I am hungry, my food is simple to shop for and prepare, and the rest of the time I really don’t even have to think about food. I love not having to worry about what or when I will eat, for fear of an imminent blood sugar crash.
24. Do you have any advice for someone who is just beginning a Zero Carb diet?
I would say to just keep it very simple and stick to it. Avoid all sweet tastes and plant matter, stay hydrated (but don’t over hydrate), rest as much as possible, and trust your body to develop the right hunger signals as you continue to nourish it well and optimally.
25. Are your friends and family supportive of your Zero Carb lifestyle? If not, how do you handle this?
Most of my close friends support me, though some at first thought it was a little strange and even possibly dangerous. As they have seen me increase my health and well-being, they are less concerned, and some have even joined me.
26. Is there anything you would like share about this way of eating that I have not already asked you?
I can’t think of anything at the moment.
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.