1. How long have you been eating a Zero Carb (No Plant Foods) diet?
For exactly one year now. 🙂
2. What motivated you to try this way of eating? Weight? Health?
I was quite obese as you can see from my before picture below, and I felt bad. I had joint pains, mostly in the knees, I quickly got tired, my pulse – even when I was inactive – has always been elevated.
3. How long did it take you to adapt to a Zero Carb diet, both physically and psychologically?
Not long, about a month or so. I was motivated because I quickly felt a change for the better. It was not difficult to mainly eat meat because generally I like meat. I had no psychological problems related to following a Zero Carb diet.
4. What books or people were most influential in guiding you to this way of eating?
I learned about the diet by reading a newspaper article about the Andersen family in our newspapers (in Croatia!). I got very interested in the topic and I started researching. First, I found your blog Esmee 🙂 which led me to Principia Carnivora Group on Facebook and then Kelly Williams Hogan’s blog My Zero Carb Life. I read through a lot of helpful group files in Principia Carnivora.
5. Do you eat only meat, or do you include eggs, cheese, and cream in your diet?
I am including one egg per day for breakfast and I am eating quite a bit of hard cheeses like cheddar and gouda. Cheese became a kind of treat for me. I am not so happy about that. I think I could have lost more weight and feel better without the cheese. But I am very happy with my results so far as you can see from my “after” picture below.
6. What percentage of your diet is beef versus other types of meats?
I eat approximately equal parts of beef, lamb, goat and pork. Less beef than the other meats, as it is very expensive.
7. When you eat beef, do you cook it rare, medium, or well done?
I’m cooking it something in between rare and medium.
8. Do you add extra fat to your meat? (i.e. butter, lard, tallow)
Yes, I do, I am mostly cooking with lard and eating butter with my meat.
9. Do you limit your meat consumption or do you eat until satisfied?
No, I’m not really limiting my meat consumption. I’m eating the biggest part for lunch, between 250 – 400 g.
10. Do you eat liver or other organ meats? If so, how often?
I’m eating horse liver about two times a month.
11. Do you consume bone broth? If so, how often?
No I don’t. I would be happy if I could, as I read about all the benefits for the body, but the first time I cooked bone broth for more than 24 hours at the beginning of my Zero Carb way of life, I got obviously histamine issues, red and hot skin in the whole face.
12. How many meals do you eat per day on average?
I am still eating 3 meals a day but if the circumstances don’t allow I have no problem with skipping meals.
13. How much meat do you eat per day on average?
250-400 gm, plus salami, sausage, pork rinds, eggs and cheese.
14. Do you eat grass-fed/pasture-raised meat, or regular commercially produced meat?
I’m lucky that a lot of the meat we consume is from animals raised on local farms around here.
15. Do you drink any beverages besides water? (i.e. coffee, tea)
Yes. I’m drinking 2-3 cups of coffee per day. Perhaps some day I will be able to reduce this.
16. Do you use salt?
Yes, mainly sea salt and himalayan rock salt.
17. Do you use spices?
Almost nothing, some pepper and garlic.
18. Do you take any supplements?
At the beginning of Zero Carb, I supplemented with magnesium because I had leg cramps. but now I don’t use any.
19. How much money do you spend on food each month?
I can’t tell you. We’re a big family with four children and I don’t know how much my diet costs in comparison with the other food, I don’t think that it is much more expensive than standard diet.
20. Do you have any tips for making this diet more affordable?
Consuming more affordable meat for those who can eat other meats than beef. Me, I have no problem with pork, lamb or goat, so I’m combining all of it.
21. Do you exercise regularly? If so, how often and how vigorously?
I didn’t exercise at all for the first six months on Zero Carb. Then after the first 45-50 pounds the weight loss slowed down. As I wanted to lose a lot more, I began to exercise at my multigym I have at home and added video cardio and strength exercises. I had to do something for the excess loose skin after losing all the lbs., too:-) I’m working out 3-4 times a week for 60-90 min. It’s not only for the reason of further weight loss, but because I love to move now.
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 have lost a total of 66 lbs. to date. I am convinced that my whole body enjoys this way of eating. I have cravings under control. I don’t crave anything sweet anymore, that’s a great experience. I actually don’t even like the taste of sweet anymore. When I try a little peace of cake that I made for the family – only testing taste purposes – I have to eat something fatty immediately afterwards as I don’t like the taste of sweet in the mouth.
23. What do you enjoy most about eating a Zero Carb diet?
I enjoy the simplicity of eating this way. I love that I don’t have to be hungry for having my weight under control. I love the steady level of energy throughout the day without all the ups and downs when eating carbs. I think I’m emotionally more stable and calmer now.
24. Do you have any advice for someone who is just beginning a Zero Carb diet?
I think this woe is a great chance for many people with weight and health issues. It takes time and patience to adapt and see the first results, but it’s absolutely worth a try!
25. Are your friends and family supportive of your Zero Carb lifestyle? If not, how do you handle this?
My family was and is absolutely supportive. At the beginning they laughed a lot telling me that it is impossible to lose weight eating that amount of fat. But with the time going by they saw that it worked for me and are fully on my side.
26. Is there anything you would like share about this way of eating that I have not already asked you?
Perhaps that I have no intention of ever going back to a “normal” diet. I’m going to continue with Zero Carb indefinitely, as I now feel better then ever before.
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.
Wonderful testimonial!! Thanks so much for sharing your experience 🙂
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I just read your story Susanne, very inspirational I really love your story! keep up the great work! Esmee, another great interview! I truly love these amazing stories of people changing their lives for the better, they are all very inspirational!
I have a question. Never in this interviewes can i find any data about these people’s keto status.
They eat high protein moderate fat zero carb food, so this is possible, they are NOT keto adapted at all. Maybe i wrong, but it woul’d be a good plus question in the standard.
A think ketosis is much more important for our health, than a “no plant” restriction in the diet.
I had this exact same question and so I got a blood ketone meter and started testing myself. Not many in the ZC community are interested in testing themselves though. What I discovered is that the more protein I ate, the lower my ketones would be, often falling below the 0.5 cut off set by Phinney and Volek for nutritional ketosis. However, this is something that changes with time as the metabolism heals. For example, if you read the interview with Sebastien Fortier, you will see that his initial threshold for protein was only 50 gm a day, but now he can eat asking as 200 gm a day and still remain in nutritional ketosis. Ketones do not need to be super high unless a person has a therapeutic need, line epilepsy or cancer. In that case, you would need to keep protein lower and fat higher. I wrote an article exploring this issue here: https://zerocarbzen.com/2015/09/14/is-a-zero-carb-diet-a-ketogenic-diet/