1. How long have you been eating a Zero Carb (No Plant Foods) diet?
I’ve been eating zero carb since Jan 2016, so 18 months.
2. What motivated you to try this way of eating? Weight? Health?
I decided to try ZC after years of researching many diets. I was born with chronic Asthma and Allergies that had me in the ICU multiple times a year. Most years I was in every month, sometimes for weeks at a time. I was actually hooked up to life support at age 8 for a severe attack. For many years the doctor told my mother I wouldn’t live long and may need a heart/lung transplant. I’ve also had digestive issues, abdominal pain, vomiting and loose bowels for many years. In my early teens I had severe migraine, anxiety, anger outburst and multiple leg cramps daily. On top of all of this I had nasal polyps that were removed multiple times through surgery.
For years I followed the doctors advice that didn’t help. Following their orders I went down to 100lbs standing at 5’9. I started paying attention to foods I could tolerate and survived for years on white rice, chicken and frozen veggies. I would spend all of my free time reading and researching, until I found vegetarianism, paleo, then keto/lchf, and then ZC. I’ve tried all of these diets. Some helped and some didn’t. Going low carb Paleo seemed to help the best, but I was still feeling my asthma and had gone up to 165lbs being fat for me (I’m naturally a small guy). So long story short, health was my primary motivation.
3. How long did it take you to adapt to a Zero Carb diet, both physically and psychologically?
Physically, it took me 2-3 months. The transition was not fun for me. I felt unwell for weeks and my energy was low for months. Mentally it was easier because I had decided it was for my health and this was going to happen. For the first year…. maybe longer, I was tempted to add in carbs after workouts, because I wanted to get bigger. But I’ve come to realize that bigger isn’t better. Healthier is best!
4. What books or people were most influential in guiding you to this way of eating?
I would have to say, Gary Taubes books; I’ve read all of his nutrition work. And Nina Teicholz’s book The Big Fat Surprise.
5. Do you eat only meat, or do you include eggs, cheese, and cream in your diet?
Now I only eat meat. The first year I would have eggs and some dairy, but noticed that I feel better without them.
6. What percentage of your diet is beef versus other types of meats?
90% of my diet is beef. I also eat chicken and Duck sometimes.
7. When you eat beef, do you cook it rare, medium, or well done?
I always have my beef cooked blue rare-rare. The closer to raw the better!!!
8. Do you add extra fat to your meat? (i.e. butter, lard, tallow)
If I’m eating a leaner cut of meat I will melt butter over it.
9. Do you limit your meat consumption or do you eat until satisfied?
I always eat until satisfied. I should add that most days, I follow a 16/8 fasting/eating window.
10. Do you eat liver or other organ meats? If so, how often?
I eat beef and lambs liver. Sometimes I eat it raw, straight from the animal. I also eat heart, kidneys, lungs, and sometimes lambs brains. I usually have a small piece of liver every day. Heart once a week, and the others I eat once a month or so.
11. Do you consume bone broth? If so, how often?
No, I don’t drink broth. I have a hard time with rendered fats.
12. How many meals do you eat per day on average?
I usually eat 2-3 meals a day during my 8 hour eating window.
13. How much meat do you eat per day on average?
Lots!!! LoL. On average, I eat 3-4lbs a day. Sometimes more. I am very active though.
14. Do you eat grass-fed/pasture-raised meat, or regular commercially produced meat?
I eat a mixture of both. Luckily, I’m a butcher for a local farmer, so I have access to both kinds of meat at all times.
15. Do you drink any beverages besides water? (i.e. coffee, tea)
Yes. I drink water mostly, but have a coffee before a workout for boosted performance. I did drink coffee daily, but have recently stopped that.
16. Do you use salt?
I use salt on everything! I love the stuff! But I make sure it’s Himylayan Pink Salts, or Sea Salt. Never table salt. That stuff is horrible!
17. Do you use spices?
I use a bit of black pepper, but nothing else. The longer I’m ZC, the more I realize what I can and can’t tolerate and spices are a no.
18. Do you take any supplements?
19. How much money do you spend on food each month?
don’t spend that much money on meat. Maybe $100 (Canadian) a month. Like I said earlier, I’m a butcher, so I get a weekly allowance of meats….. and I get to eat the miss cuts or ugly steaks!
20. Do you have any tips for making this diet more affordable?
Move to the country and become a butcher! Just joking. Truthfully, shop the sales, and buy the cheaper fatty cuts, or organs. They tend to be least expensive. Some places will give away the fatty trimmings.
21. Do you exercise regularly? If so, how often and how vigorously?
Yes! I lift weights (full body) 2-3 times a week. I have a heavy labour job that I work 8.5-9 hours daily. Lots of lifting there… Nothing like carrying around a 1/4 beef at 200lbs! I walk 5km to and from work daily, in all weather. And I have three kids ages 6,4, and 1.
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.)
Since going ZC, almost all of my health issues have disappeared. Polyps, bad digestion, bowel pain, headaches, anxiety, muscle cramps, all gone!!! And my asthma is 95% better. I haven’t had to use my rescue inhaler since I started ZC, I’ve been taken off of steroids, and only take my Advair puffer if I get a bad chest cold. My mood has stabilized and I’ve become physically stronger. I’ve also lost 25 lbs. of excess body fat, even though that wasn’t a goal.
23. What do you enjoy most about eating a Zero Carb diet?
I get to eat meat all the time! I seriously enjoy every meal, and never get bored of eating the same things Over and over.
24. Do you have any advice for someone who is just beginning a Zero Carb diet?
Just buckle down, find what you like and eat that! At first it may be hard, but it’s worth it. Don’t listen to all of the little tweaks that people use or make it more complicated than it needs to be; listen to your body and be patient.
25. Are your friends and family supportive of your Zero Carb lifestyle? If not, how do you handle this?
My wife is used to my dietary experiments over the years, so she is ok with it. At first she was a little worried, but after receiving my blood tests… which were perfect, she’s supportive. Other parts of my family aren’t as accepting, but they are all eating SAD and have issues, so I just let them be, and stick to what works for me.
26. Is there anything you would like share about this way of eating that I have not already asked you?
Listen to your body! Your body will change, so be aware and be patient. Some foods you can’t eat upfront, but your body might adjust and accept them. It could also go the other way. Don’t force feed what doesn’t work for you. Learn to love yourself and your body. This WOE may change your shape or size, but you’ll become the real (healthy) you, and you’re beautiful!!!
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 Carbers.
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.