Zero Carb Interview: Rustik Johnson

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1. How long have you been eating a Zero Carb (No Plant Foods) diet?

A little less than 2 years.

Prior to discovering the all-meat Zero Carb, I tried the Gerson Therapy (juices and coffee enemas) and Orthomolecular Therapy (high dose vitamins and minerals), Fecal Transplant (I was desperate!), Chelation Therapy. I tried many different food therapies and diets, in addition to many other alternative therapies like Reiki and Crystals, but none of them healed me.

2. What motivated you to try this way of eating? Weight? Health?

Health. I started having weird symptoms around age 21. At the age of 26, I was finally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis through MRI which showed demyelination of my nerves. I am now 32 and, thanks to eating a Zero Carb diet and doing alternate day dry fasting, I am like a whole new person.

Prior to getting sick, I used to drink 6 cups of coffee, 8 Red Bull, 8 liters of diet soda, 40 cigarettes, lots of Jack Daniels, and many different steroids from the age of 18. I would stay up for 3 days in a row, I was with a different girl every night, I felt like the King of the World!

I am so clean now that if I have even one cup of coffee, it will keep me awake for two days straight!

3. How long did it take you to adapt to a Zero Carb diet, both physically and psychologically?

About 2 months for Zero Carb and fasting together.

4. What books or people were most influential in guiding you to this way of eating? 

I read many authors and books: Rob Woff, Loren Cordain, The Walhs Protocol, GAPS, Primal Blue Print, etc. I developed an eczema on my right foot and by reading zero carb forums I learned that vegetables had toxins and antinutrients in them and so I figured out that this is what was causing the eczema. I also discovered that certain plant foods caused my pain to flare up and come back.

5. Do you eat only meat, or do you include eggs, cheese, and cream in your diet?

Only meat. The whole animal: brain, heart, intestines, liver, kidney, everything. It is is my medicine. No dairy. No eggs.

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6. What percentage of your diet is beef versus other types of meats?

I try to eat 100% lamb because I know for sure that is grass feed. When I eat meat from animals fed grains, I don’t feel good at all.

7. When you eat beef, do you cook it rare, medium, or well done?

My preference is well done. I like my meat roasted.
I believe this is the way our ancestors cooked it over a fire. I did try raw meat and fermented meat in the beginning, but I did not feel good eating my meat that way.

8. Do you add extra fat to your meat? (i.e. butter, lard, tallow)

No, I eat only the fat that comes with the meat. I don’t eat any of the liquid fat that melts out of the meat because I think this fat has been damaged by oxidation.

9. Do you limit your meat consumption or do you eat until satisfied?

I let my appetite guide me and eat until satisfied.

10. Do you eat liver or other organ meats? If so, how often?

When I kill a lamb the first two meals are just the organ meats, then I only have the muscle meat.

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11. Do you consume bone broth? If so, how often?

No, I don’t consume it. I think that our ancestors didn’t consume it… but i bought a pressure cooker and so I may try it. I bought it because i am a compulsive buyer! Jajajaja

12. How many meals do you eat per day on average?

I eat one meal every two days and I dry fast in between. So, I eat and drink to satiety during a 4 hour window, then I dry fast for 44 hours and then drink water and eat again during another 4 hour window. This is called alternate day fasting and it has been shown to reduce inflammation.

13. How much meat do you eat per day on average?

3 kg (6.5 lbs) – weight includes bones – or so for each meal, once every other day. For reference, I am 6’2” and weigh 165 lbs today.

14. Do you eat grass-fed/pasture-raised meat, or regular commercially produced meat?

Only Grassfed! When I eat meat from grain fed animals, I do not feel well at all.

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15. Do you drink any beverages besides water? (i.e. coffee, tea)

No, only water. I drink about 4-5 liters during my 4 hour eating/drinking window every other day.

16. Do you use salt?

No, because I don’t believe our ancestors ate it.

17. Do you use spices?

No, again, because I don’t believe our ancestors ate them.

18. Do you take any supplements?

No. I took a ton of supplements as part of some of the other therapies I tried, but I could feel no discernible benefits from any of them really.

19. How much money do you spend on food each month?

I eat 3 lambs per months which totals $200.

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20. Do you have any tips for making this diet more affordable?

Yeah… live like our ancestors! I think that they ate only once every 2-3 days…. and rested in between…. but a person can’t do that so easily today, so you must adapt our life in this time period to mimic how we used to eat.

21. Do you exercise regularly? If so, how often and how vigorously?

10 km every shining day: a combination of sprint, run, walk, and 15 min weight training.

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.)

Zero carbs and dry fasting together have put the Multiple Sclerosis into complete remission… it has given me extreme health, like being a kid again. I haven’t needed to return to my neurologist for any reason. And I never get sick with viruses since I started eating this way. Also, I have lost over 100 lbs since my diagnosis and changing my diet.

23. What do you enjoy most about eating a Zero Carb diet?

The food! That is my greatest joy… and extreme health too obviously.

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24. Do you have any advice for someone who is just beginning a Zero Carb diet?

Yeah that don’t let the adaptation process scare you. At first, you may experience unpleasant and weird symptoms like fatigue, constipation, tremors, fever, and a lot of other things. This is normal. Don’t worry; you will be okay. It took my body about 2 months to fully adapt to this way of eating. Now I feel fantastic!

25. Are your friends and family supportive of your Zero Carb lifestyle? If not, how do you handle this?

I don’t care! Jajajaja

26. Is there anything you would like share about this way of eating that I have not already asked you?

This eating and fasting regimen is very difficult to do at first, but it gets easier and the end results are so worth it. It has given me my life back!

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You can read more about Rustik’s healing journey on his new blog: Healing Multiple Sclerosis Naturally

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Please visit my “Interviews” page linked at the top of this website to read the stories of other long time 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.

 

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31 thoughts on “Zero Carb Interview: Rustik Johnson

  1. Very interesting story. Thank you for sharing! How do you prepare the organs to eat? I eat liver, heart, and lamb kidneys and would like to try brains and other organs, but do not know how to prepare. Also, do you consume the blood from your lambs?

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    • From Rustik…

      “I am cooking all the meat or organs in a gas oven…. the food is frozen to start with, so i heat it slowly and cook it about 4 hours, in order to allow the excess fat to melt out, and then I turn up the heat and brown/roast the outside! I have never eaten the blood, but i have thought of doing it…. perhaps in the future.”

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  2. In all earnestness I would like the following questions added to the interview format:
    Q How many hours do you work on this diet?
    Q What is your social life like?

    These are important metrics of an individual’s ability to thrive.

    I do not like to disparage the above story, I think it is wonderful, but at the same time I wonder how a person butchers themselves three lambs a month and runs 10k everyday, in the modern world.

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    • Hello my friend! I don’t know if understand you … the questions: how much time the diet take? Its only alternate dry fasting And an all-meat diet; it’s not a diet but a style of life. And i dont run 10 km. I walk, sprint, and run barefoot during this 10 km, it takes me 1 hr 45 min… and the trick is that i don’t work i don’t need to. But my personal life is another history…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was searching for ways to help me improve my health as well..I’ve been vegetarian.then I developed insulin r3sistance and I gain weight everytime I ate carb..then I tried keto and that’s when I notice my midbelly fat just disappeared. ..I was always afraid of eating meat due to so many doctors and health people saying it’s badm.until I see your result..your and inspiration. .thanks for sharing ur life..

        Liked by 1 person

      • Three lambs is not the problem, but quite a lot of labour and time I imagine. I’m glad it works for you, but many might find the intensity of sustaining your lifestyle interfered with their work and social life. That’s not the case for you, great to have free time.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am not “zero-carb” (there is no such thing because eating that great amount of meat would mean some of the excess would convert to glucose and any that wasn’t burned off would be stored as fat) I have been on a keto-genic diet (high fat, moderate protein and less than 50 grams of carbs from spinach, broccoli etc. – no grain or starches and 100 percent fat from butter. cream. pasture raised only also eggs. I am 5’9″ 153 pounds. I will be 68 in April and my fitness has never been better. I also intermittent fast 12-18 hours every other day.

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    • If you read my page https://zerocarbzen.com/zero-carb/ you will see the definition of a “zero carb” diet. Zero carb is a bit of a misnomer, but we use it because it has stuck. What it really means is a zero plant foods diet. So, anything from an animal is considered to be part of a zero carb diet. A better and more accurate term is probably all-meat or carnivory, but not many people from the low carb or ketogenic world would find us if we called it that. Congratulations on your own success!

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    • Ok …. yes perhaps all that protein converts in glucose and stops the ketosis… maybe yes or maybe no…. i don’t know … but i don’t care… the important thing for me is the extreme health! And that i feel like a kid… i think that my next step is to eat less…. but perhaps the dry fast helps the ketosis start faster…. I think that staying in dry fast and doing exercise causes the ketosis start extra fast… so the 6 lb of meat (part of which is bones I don’t eat) every 48 hours perhaps doesn’t cause a problem to the ketosis…. but i repeat i don’t care…. the most important thing here is extreme health and how antinutrients of vegetables makes a bad health in people with bad illness like autoinmune problems such as Multiple Sclerosis like I had.

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      • It is a common misconception among low carb people that “excess” protein gets converted to glucose. The body is quite capable of burning amino acids for energy directly, without converting to glucose first. If you look into it you will find that in order to manufacture glucose from amino acids, they are first converted to pyruvate, then the pyruvate is converted to glucose. On the other hand, when you burn glucose, the by-product of the first stage of combustion is pyruvate, the pyruvate then gets burned in the second stage, and so on through all 20 stages until you get to ATP.

        So if you want to burn protein for energy, you convert it to pyruvate – then you burn the pyruvate. Why would you convert the pyruvate to glucose (which is going “uphill” and TAKES energy) only to immediately turn round and burn the glucose, with pyruvate as the first stage by-product?

        Gluconeogenesis is a process that CONSUMES energy, which is why it only occurs to the extent necessary to provide glucose for the brain, and to top up glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. More protein does not equal more gluconeogenesis. Why would your body waste energy on unnecessary gluconeogenesis when it can just burn the pyruvate directly?

        It is also worth noting only half of the amino acids in protein can be turned into glucose. The other half cannot be turned into glucose under ANY circumstances, no matter how desperate your brain is for glucose, as they don’t have the right structure. They get converted to fatty acids rather than pyruvate, then burned as fatty acids.

        As an aside, gluconeogenesis can also manufacture glucose from glycerol, which binds fat molecules together in solid fat, such as you would find on a steak or around your waist. You get 1 gram of glucose for every 10 grams of fat you consume. So in a fasting situation, if you burn 250 grams of body fat during the day (2250 calories) while out hunting, you will get the 25 grams of glucose you need to keep your brain running without having to strip protein from your muscles, which would weaken you and reduce your survival prospects. So you see in a hunter/gather type situation, you will be active enough on a fast day to get your glucose from the glycerol in fat, and gluconeogenesis will never need to switch to protein at all.

        Of course once you make the kill and gorge on meat, gluconeogenesis would switch to protein, using the generous amounts in the meat you have just eaten, and produce enough glucose to top up the glycogen stores in your muscle and liver. Once the glycogen was topped up, gluconeogenesis would slow to the trickle needed to supply the brain from glucose, using a mix of glycerol & protein as a substrate depending on the fat content of your diet. Excess protein gets burned for energy directly.

        ————————————
        About me:
        Zero carb, raw beef, intermittent fasting.
        I eat excess calories 6 days per week in a 6 hour window, then don’t eat on the seventh day for a weekly 44 hour fast.

        Liked by 2 people

          • Hi Esmee,

            I’ve been eating an all-meat diet for 15 months, but I was high-fat low-carb for years before that, basically just meat and salad. I’ve been eating some raw meat for 18 months, all raw (with occasional exceptions) for 9 months, daily intermittent fasting for 9 months. I’ve been doing the weekly long fast for the last 5 months (skipped a couple of weeks).

            I’ve found the interviews on your blog very interesting, it’s always good to hear about people trying similar things and to know that your experience isn’t isolated.

            I’ve thought about maybe doing an interview with your blog at some stage in the future but I don’t feel that I’ve got all the bugs out of my routine yet. I’m comfortable eating meat raw, and the daily fasts are easy, but the weekly fast is still a bit of a challenge and it’s sometimes a struggle to eat enough during the week to maintain bodyweight – and then other times I get ravenously hungry and have an extra meal outside my six hour window. I’m thinking this happens when my body-fat gets super-low. I do seem to be gradually increasing the amount of meat and fat I can handle in my six-hour windows, so I’m thinking I will be in balance soon enough.

            Maybe towards the end of the year when I’m confident that my body has fully adapted to the weekly fast I’ll write about my experiences in detail. I don’t really want to be giving advice at the moment because I’m still working it out myself.

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  4. Hi all
    Im about 1months in doets highcats 0carbs but for me eating raw meats its like eating nothing so bad…
    But i hear that raw meat is healthy and alkaline but cooked meats its hard to digest and acidic
    I want to know even cooked meats its healthy?

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  5. Hi Rustik,

    I find your way of eating fasinating and want to give it a try to resolve some of my own ongoing health problems. I was wondering how you transitioned into the diet? For example…Did you go straight into the routine or extend the dry fast slowly? Did you struggle to eat that much in one sitting at first? And what time do you have your eating and drinking window?

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    • I try to have a 44 hs of dry fasting but when i cook …. i cook my all meat in oven… and if i cooked 3 kilos… in one sit i eat 2 perhaps… and i eat the rest (1kilo) hours after…. so the windows get shortter….its ridiculus, and unhealthy the total food that i eat…. i will get this amount shorter… like 1 kilo every 48 hs…. bye bye

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  6. Hi Rustik
    How do you drink your water? Do eat all of your meat first than drink all of your water in whatever is left of your window? I,m on day 5 and I’m starting to get a bit of energy back. Your previous lifestyle matched mine to a T except I continued for another 10 years…now 42. I already went from a 2 to a 3. Thanks for sharing all the details
    Cheers

    Like

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