About Me

About-Me-Selfie-with-Sasha

Hi there! My name is Esmée La Fleur, and this is my best friend and soulmate “Sasha” The German Shepherd Dog.

In 1986, at the age of 16, I decided to become a vegan for ethical reasons. I did not like the way commercial ranching operations treated the animals they were raising for food. I also did not like the idea of killing another living being to feed myself, especially if it wasn’t necessary for my own survival. Over the next 10 years, my health gradually deteriorated until I was forced to drop out of Mount Holyoke College where I was studying Medical Anthropology on a full academic scholarship. I was finally diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by Dr. Paul Cheney in 1996, at the age of 26.

Besides experiencing fatigue so extreme that taking a shower was a monumental effort, my main difficulties involved food. Pretty much every thing I ate made me feel terrible. I tried every conceivable way of eating from raw foods to macrobiotics to the paleolithic diet of modern hunter-gatherers. The only time I felt even half way decent was when I stopped eating all together and drank just water. As a result, I have done many water-only fasts over the past 20 years lasting anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks in length. By 2003, I hit a very low point both physically and mentally. I weighed only 87 lbs. and was pretty close to ending my earthly existence.

However, I was inspired to try Redwood Hill Farm’s goat milk yogurt and found that I could eat it without feeling like I wanted to kill myself. For the next two years, I ate only goat milk yogurt and raspberries. The raspberries were somewhat problematic, but I continued to eat them because they provided vitamin C and other nutrients considered to be essential for human health. I tried other fruits from time-to-time, but they all made me uncontrollably hungry. After two years on yogurt and raspberries, I had regained 20 lbs. and was feeling better. But, the yogurt just did not feel satisfying to me anymore. I ate every 2-3 hours, but I still felt hungry all the time.

At this point, I decided to try eating raw beef with olive oil or coconut oil. I did not think it was possible to get all the nutrients I needed only from the meat, so I also ate raw leafy greens. This diet worked well enough for me that I followed it for another two years. I still experienced unpleasant physical symptoms after eating and – over time – they gradually became more pronounced the longer I continued to eat this way. I was reacting to the olive oil and coconut oil, more than the beef or greens, but I thought the problem was “fat” in general rather than plant fats in particular. It never even occurred to me to try eating the meat with an animal fat like butter which I now regret. I tried eating the meat by itself without any add fat, but – since I was eating lean grassfed beef – that did not provide enough calories.

Frustrated, I went off in an entirely new dietary direction: fruitarianism. On one level this was a complete disaster, but on another level it was extremely clarifying. It helped me to realize just how bad fructose is for the liver, even when it comes from whole natural fruit. I discovered the works of Dr. Robert Lustig,  Dr. Richard Johnson, and Dr. Frank Lyons II which helped me to understand why fruit made me feel so incredibly awful. I was out of ideas at this point, so I decided to return to the goat milk yogurt. It was not perfect, but better than any thing else I had tried up to that point.

After another year on yogurt and raspberries, I felt like my body again needed rest from food. However, certain responsibilities made it impossible for me to do a water-only fast, so I decided to do a juice fast using only celery and lettuce. In other words, no sweet vegetables or fruits. I ended up remaining on this juice fast for a total of 63 days. I felt fantastic the entire time. While I was on this juice fast, I stumbled upon Jimmy Moore‘s book Keto Clarity which summarizes all of the most important research to date on the therapeutic aspects of a well-formulated ketogenic diet. I then read and listened to everything I could find regarding the powerful benefits of nutritional ketosis and keto-adaption.

After ending my juice fast, I transitioned to a ketogenic diet. I started with just bone broth and butter, no solid food. I had a terrible migraine headache for the first 10 days. I have been having migraines with increasing frequency over the past few years, but never have I had one that lasted for 10 days. It felt to me like I was going through some kind of withdrawal. Once the headache was gone, I began experimenting with a variety of  keto-compatible foods: cheese, eggs, meat, heavy cream, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and low carbohydrate vegetables and leafy greens, as well as fermented foods like sauerkraut and sour cream.

Even though eating the allowed foods got me into a state of nutritional ketosis, I did not feel very good after eating any of them. Needless to say, this was discouraging – but I did not give up. I kept searching for answers. Eventually, I found a blog by a young woman named Amber who eats a diet of only meat and water.  She arrived at her diet after spending a number years following a low-carb, ketogenic diet and experiencing only so-so results. When she finally made the decision to remove all plant foods from her diet, not only did she lose unwanted body fat, she also lost her Biopolar illness! It seems that something present in plant foods was actually causing her mental instability. Once she eliminated all plant foods, she no longer needed to take medication. She has shared her story on her blog Empirica: Part 1 and Part 2

As it turns out, there are many different chemical toxins that plants create to protect themselves from herbivorous predators. These chemicals change the way a plant tastes and discourage over-grazing. Salicylates are one such chemical toxin, and they are present – with few exceptions – in almost all plant foods to one degree or another. Interestingly, two vegetables with the lowest level of salicylates are celery and lettuce which I used for my juice fast. Olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado – foods traditionally included in a well-formulated ketogenic diet – all have very high levels of salicylates.

People with impaired mitochondrial function are unable to properly breakdown and detoxify salicylates from their body, resulting in what is known as salicylate intolerance. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome involves mitochondrial dysfunction. I finally found the common thread connecting all of my bizarre reactions to so many different foods. The only way for me to avoid salicylates is to remove all plant foods from my diet. I figured that if Amber has been successfully and safely eating a diet free of all plant foods for 5 years, it wouldn’t kill me to try it for a month.

So I quickly moved from a general very low carbohydrate ketogenic diet to what is known by some as a zero carbohydrate diet. However, zero carb is a bit of misnomer; it would really be more accurate to call is a zero plants diet. Zero carb-ers confine their food choices to the animal kingdom, while eschewing foods from the plant kingdom. They consider meat, eggs, cheese, cream, and butter to all be fair game. They do not drink milk because of it’s high sugar content. However, there is a subset of zero carb-er who eat only meat and eggs or even just meat, foregoing cheese and cream because they find it addictive and dislike the way it makes them feel.

For the first month on zero carb, I ate cheese. But I did not feel very good after eating it, and I also found it to be addictive. I always seemed to be left feeling unsatisfied and wanting more. Therefore, I removed it from my available choices. Matters were complicated by the fact that I did not feel all that well after eating meat either. I tried chicken, turkey, and beef, as well as whole eggs, but all of these foods produced negative symptoms. The only zero carb foods I could eat without too much trouble was raw egg yolks and cream. This was frustrating because I knew my body really wanted and needed meat. I found beef to be incredibly satisfying but – each time I tried it – it gave me a migraine headache and made me feel hungover.

Finally, thanks again to Amber, I discovered that some people also have a difficult time breaking down and detoxifying histamines. Histamines are present in aged and fermented foods, such as cheese, wine, meat, and sauerkraut, as well as in foods that have been cryovac’d in plastic. Most of the meats sold in the big supermarkets have been both aged and cryovac’d and – therefore – contain very high levels of histamines. Now I finally understood why the beef and other meats – as well as the cheese and sour cream – I tried were making me feel bad. Incidentally, I know from past experiments that wine and sauerkraut also affect me negatively. Finding fresh, unaged, non-cryovac’d meat is a bit of a challenge, and it took me several weeks to secure a local source.

I finally found some some unaged meat at a small independent butcher shop. However, it has been cryovac’d for shipping purposes. Nevertheless, I felt it was worth a try and the difference in how I felt after eating it – compared to it’s aged counterpart – was significant enough that I knew I discovered another piece to the puzzle of my strange food sensitivities. It turns out that healthy mitochondrial function is also needed to breakdown and detoxify the histamines present in aged and fermented foods.

Once I found a safe meat I could eat, I made the decision to follow the advice of Amber and several other long-term zero carb-ers to eat only meat and drink only water for 30 days. Essentially, it is the Zen version of the Paleolithic diet! By eliminating all other variables, it creates a clear baseline for comparison if you should decide to reintroduce dairy back into your diet. Most of those who have been practicing zero carb eating for a significant length of time say they feel best on a diet of only meat and water. Within a mere three days of making this decision, I knew there was no going back. This is not just a diet; it is a way of life.

Since I discovered the Facebook group Zeroing In On Health, founded by several long-term zero carb-ers, I have met numerous individuals who have been living entirely on meat and water for anywhere from 5 -18 years, and have even given birth to and raised children on this diet. You can read about Kelly’s personal journey on her blog My Zero Carb Life. Clearly, the importance of fruits and vegetables and even fiber in the diet has been highly over-rated. In fact, according to Dr. Georgia Ede, MEAT contains ALL of the nutrients that humans need for optimal well-being. This makes perfect sense when you remember that a diet of only meat and water is, after all, the Original Human Diet.

It has been a long and interesting journey, but it sure is nice to finally be home.

Louise Corrans Hughes interviewed me for her blog Peace of My Heart after I had been following a Zero Carb diet for a full year. You can read it here:

http://louisesheartlove.blogspot.co.za/2016/01/q-with-esmee-la-fleur.html

 

102 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Pingback: Hello Everyone! | Eat Meat. Drink Water.

  2. Love the story Esmee! Glad you figured it out. Vegetarianism and fruitarianism have always held a cozy place in my heart. But every time I convince myself that I should try one of them again, I end up feeling awful and I go running back to eating just meat. Great blog, keep up the good work.

    Like

  3. Pingback: My Meaty Adventure | Eat Meat. Drink Water.

  4. hi,
    Are there people who Zero Carb for a short period of time like 6 weeks or 6 months to alleviate an illness and re-introduce a small amount of plant matter back into the diet?
    Thanks.

    Like

    • Richard, from what I have seen, people who do this and experience health improvements generally have no desire to try adding plant foods back. Some who have tried, have found that they are affected negatively. You can read the I interviews of Rose Nunez Smith and Michael Frieze for examples of this. Click on “Interviews” at the top of my blog.

      Like

    • Katie, I have digestive issues and seem to struggle more with protein than I do with fat. I can only eat about 1 lb. of meat a day without over loading my digestive capacity. I make up the extra calories I need by adding butter or tallow or lard. However, most of the Zero Carb women I know seem to eat closer to 2 lbs. a day, and they generally do not add extra fat to their meat. I may need to supplement with HCl, and I plan to explore this in the future.

      Like

  5. Thank you for sharing. I have been interested in this recently and am starting to explore. For someone new to this, do you know if there are any recommended ways for transitioning to this that might reduce transition symptoms?

    Like

    • It is really easiest to go on just meat and water in my opinion and forget everything else.mthis will give you a very clear baseline from which to test other foods like eggs and cheese if you choose to do so. It is important to eat enough food. Eat when hungry and eat as much meat as you need to to feel satisfied. Most women who do Zero Carb consume about 2 lbs. of meat per day on average. Including sea salt in the beginning really helps reduce some of the unpleasant symptoms, like headache and lethargy. But, the body will need to adapt. The worst is usually over by the end of the first week, however, full adaption can take 2-6 weeks. Engaging in strenuous or vigorous exercise before you are fully adapted may be difficult and is not recommended. It is best to allow your body to become an efficient fat burner before trying to resume heavy activities. If you are tired during the transition, it is very important to rest. You are likely to be very thirsty in the beginning as well, so drink lots of water or bone broth. I added a small amount of sea salt to my water and broth during my transition and it really helped.

      Like

  6. we are apparently closeby in Mesa; where is your local meat source? My daughter is Michelle Mulhern. She showed me your page. She has been trying to convince me for at least two years that we dont need vegetables….I have been trying the meat diet half heartedly for awhile ,but was not convinced to give up the dairy or other foods that “call” to me too often. I have been continually researching and searching but generally, it only confuses me because there is a lot of contrary information out there;so I have yet to reach a conclusion; and my kids are at war with me because I need to drop a substantial amt. of weight to get rid of type 2 diabetes , which is stealing my health. I have always had food allergies, asthma, and I’m hungry and all the time, even after just eating,’cause my blood sugar is unstable; for one or two years I practically lived on Starbucks coffee and wore out my adrenal glands. I do not trust doctors….especially the ones in the pockets of Big Pharmaceutical companies,so Ive been studying to see what I could do on my own. the drugs they gave me didn’t do anything to regulate my blood sugar But the truth is, I haven’t really wanted change to give up comfort foods and cooking shows and cookbooks with their pretty pictures of food I cant have. I don’t want to be hungry….ever. probably because they were always putting me on a restrictive diet

    Like

  7. Thank you for your blog. It is very insightful and helpful to read of other people on the zero carb lifestyle. I only wish, for those of us who choose not to be on Facebook, had access somehow to the materials on Zeroing in on health. That would be so helpful to us. You, however, have given us some window into others who have chosen to walk this path, which is invaluable!

    Like

  8. Yes Esmee this is a great blog. I can’t believe you had to go thru so much to find out your food issues. But then again, people spend a lifetime searching for their perfect way of eating (as I am in the process of even after 53 yrs.) You truly are strong willed to be able to go through 30 day trials off and on with so many different food choices. I have been meat only since March 10 , 2015. It’s been strangely easy, since there’s no meal decisions to make anymore. I don’t feel much different yet and have not lost a single pound….though I am over 100 lbs. overweight. I also wish I had access to Zeroing in on health as I do not engage in Facebook for personal reasons. Thanks for the chance to communicate here on your forum/ blog. Us zero carbers need to reach out to each other.

    Like

  9. LOVED YOUR STORY AND YOUR HEALING JOURNEY. I AM INTERESTED IN THIS WAY OF EATING , BUT FIRST I WANT TO KNOW WHAT BLOOD TYPE YOU ARE?

    Like

  10. Type O’s can eat all the meat they want, It is best for their blood type. I am an A+ and from a gene pool of diabetics (although I’m not diabetic). Type A’s are the most compromised of all blood types when it comes to weight, food, and health, etc.

    I am going to try this protocol anyway, just to see how it goes. I have noticed in my past eating, that when I do meat and salad, it works really well for me. I will now do away with the salad part. Wish me luck.

    Like

      • I am relieved to hear that you know of a type A+ who this is working for. Thanks for sharing. When I did the Atkins diet, it did feel good at first, but that good feeling did not last. I was craving carbs and felt a little irritable and panicky. Does that urging pass and if so, how long does it take?

        I would do best when I do 2 free range eggs cooked in coconut oil, and 2 strips of clean bacon for breakfast, then ribeye for dinner. Hoping that is doable. My goal is to heal the eczema, rosacea, occasional hives, thinning hair, swelled tissue, stiff sore joints, and of course the large amount of weight I carry over my already mesomorph type (muscular) body.

        Like

  11. Thank you so much for your blog and your story! I have been LCHF for 3 months and barely lost any weight. This way of eating seems so simple to me! I do have a question. How has this “diet” effected your cycle?

    Like

  12. Hi Esmee, I don’t typically comment but I wanted to let you know how amazing and inspirational your blog and journey have been to me. I have only recently started this ‘zen’ lifestyle and I literally check your blog daily for the interviews & tips. Thanks so much for making this information available! I could go on and on about what led me to the lifestyle … but I think it will be best to just send in a story of my own after a few months🙂

    Like

  13. Pingback: My First Four Months on Zero Carb by Esmée La Fleur | Eat Meat. Drink Water.

  14. Esmee thank you so much for all your work and inspiration. I jumped in to the meat and water diet on Monday, at first I was eating like three times a day on meat, then on wednesday I decided to just eat once a day, in the evening. Also I have one cup of coffee with full-fat cream in the morning. I am starting my fourth day and am very weak and my stomach aches. Not worried, but do you think it might be the coffee/cream? I can not eat quite one pound of meat before I am satiated and can’t eat any more.

    Like

  15. Pingback: Healing Brain Cancer with a Zero Carb Ketogenic Diet by Andrew Scarborough | Eat Meat. Drink Water.

  16. Pingback: Healing Brain Cancer with a Zero Carb Ketogenic Diet by Andrew Scarborough | Zero Carb Health

  17. Hi Esmee,

    Thank you so much for providing all this information. I am underweight, so I am not interested in losing weight at all. I find it very encouraging that you gained weight on this diet.

    Like

  18. You’ve heard this before, but I’ll say it, too. Thank you so much, Esmee, for this wonderful blog. It’s so packed with knowledge and wisdom and counter-intelligence. I’ve gotten much inspiration from reading just about everything you’ve got! My one regret is not having read the interview with the Andersen family before you had to take it down.

    Like

  19. Esmee, thank you so much for this wonderful blog. I greatly appreciate the time and effort you put into sharing this information with everyone🙂

    I am unfortunately a long-time sufferer of Lyme disease and find that anything with salicylates makes me extremely ill. I wanted to ask you about salicylates in common household cleaners as it seems nearly everything gives me severe migraines. Do you have any suggestions/experience with this? I’ve noticed that pretty much all of the “green” and nontoxic cleaners are plant-based and I wonder about inhaling the salicylates…feeling overwhelmed, and tired of reacting to everything!

    Like

    • Kat, I’ve been cleaning with NO products other than white vinegar and baking soda for around five years now. Works for me. For washing dishes/laundry, I use Seventh Generation dish liquid.
      Esmee, I know you hear this all the time, but – I love you! I’m transitioning from five years paleo to carnivore, and — like some have mentioned, I no longer participate in Facebook – -so your website is my connection and my bible. On my fifth day today, and in spite of the fact that I’m still in the adjustment period, I feel specatular. It took just one day for me to understand that this is right for me. I feel like I suddenly came home to my own body. Thanks for being there for us all.

      Like

  20. I personally do not seem to react to “green” household cleaners. I still react to many commercial cleaners, air fresheners, scented candles, etc. Our lifestyles are very dependent on cleaning agents unfortunately. I just try to minimize my exposure as much as possible. I think that eliminately plant foods from the diet also helps reduce the burden considerably. Sorry I do not have any better ideas for you.

    Like

  21. I would like to know how much fat/butter or whatever to consume. If one eats a pound of beef…it is say 30% fat…then, to make up the 75% fat reccomended, does one eat say…a cup of butter? Or what amount. No one ever addresses this and it’s always been confusing to me.

    Like

    • The percentage of fat in beef varies by cut. If you eat ribeye steak with all stitched fat, it will be at least 70% fat by calories. The same is true for 80/20 ground beef. Chuck roast is also very fatty. Leaner cuts might require addition fat to be eaten with it and grassfed butter is often a good choice. The main thin is to go by how you feel. I have actually found that I feel better on leaner meat, but that is not true for everyone.

      Like

  22. Thanks Esme, 70%…is that the right amount of fat? I think I heard that it is…I’ve been adding butter to the top of the ground chuck half pound burgers I’ve been eating. Cooked on the outside one minute each side, so it’s essentially raw inside. Somehow the butter seems so satisfying to me but I get that it’s not necessary if 70% fat is the right amount to have. Why do I do it? A reaction to the years of “fat is bad” propaganda? I’m also not loosing weight. I’m also feeling very full. Full is good because I’m not tempted by carb/veg/plant foods. On the other hand, I don’t feel like eating till noon I’m so full from the day before.
    Last night I was at an event with tempting snacks and that’s the only reason I ate at 7, I wasn’t really hungry. Should I cut down the size of the meal? Maybe I’ll try a .3 pound burger. Don’t want to give up the bacon! Do I stop putting butter on top? Ouch, I just bought another pound of raw butter. How much more fat by calorie % am I adding by putting one oz of butter on top? How much fat is in bacon by percent?
    I love butter and if I don’t put it on top of meat, how do I eat it? By the spoonful as a snack? Some other group leader chastised me for eating butter in a bowl as a snack. LOL She said we don’t eat fat without meat. Is that true?
    Thanks, for your expertise and kindness and support.
    Christine

    Like

    • There is nothing wrong with adding butter to your meat, but it might prevent you from losing weight. If you want to figure out the percentage of protein and fat you are eating, a good program is Cron-o-meter. You can enter all your food into it and it will tell you the nutritional content.

      Like

  23. Great blog, thanks! I’m a Type 1 diabetic and I’m contemplating meat and water diet. It is very tricky because my injected insulin can drop my blood sugar suddenly for many reasons. But it is inspiring to read about the difficult journeys that many have shared on this site. It puts my troubles into prospective.

    BTW, I love the picture of the four bared footed carnivores in your main picture!

    Like

  24. Hi Esmee. Good to read your story. I have problems with parasites, ropeworms, toxo, candida, thrush and nail fungus. Also family and behavioral and relationships problems read some people healed nail fungus on zero carb. Are you aware of other issues resolving on this diet? Do you know about anyone using parasite cleanses also?

    Like

  25. I’ve really enjoyed this site over the 3 months I’ve been doing ZC, so thank you so much for doing it and providing all the resources you have. One thing I’ve never found an answer to is if plain yellow mustard is acceptable on ZC? It’s the one condiment I’d like to use and am actually missing nowadays. Thanks for any help you can give and again for the website, it’s great and I’ve shared it with a few friends.

    Like

    • As long as there is no sugar in it and you do not have any negative reaction to it, then it should be fine. I personally do not eat condiments because they all have salicylates in them. But that is not an issue for everyone. Thank you for your comments. Esmée

      Like

  26. Thank you for your blog!

    I too was a vegetarian sometimes vegan for 10 years.

    My ultimate lowest weight was at 5’3″ 76 lbs. Last year I was back down to 91 lbs at 5’5″.

    This past year has been a complete mess. From the inability to move from bone and joint pain then complete and total mental insanity from trying different diets I have lost most of my support system.
    It got to the point where I tried nonconventional means in an attempt to cure myself (detoxes, fruitarianism, what everyone else are and medical marijuana for a few months). All diets failed, and marijuana was by far the biggest mistake I have ever made. I had a massive schizophrenic episode, and prior to it I had never had any symptoms of schizophrenia.
    Needless to say out of desperation I tried beef. I cried. It was amazing, but I felt awful for Betsy. I still do, tbh, but I can never go back to how I was as a vegetarian.
    Flash forward a few months…
    I’ve been slowly switching to an all meat diet, and I too am feeling better than I have ever felt. I’m still having the weird heart issues, but I’ll say this much, all the symptoms that I experience are similar to what an anorexic experiences when they start the refeeding process. I think after being poisoned for soo long out heart’s get week, and have a rough time pushing that amount of nutrients through our body.
    I think the hardest part is now that my head is cleaning up dealing with the fact that I was responding to poison and not emotionally unstable like I had been diagnosed time after time since adopting vegetarianism.
    I still crave apples with peanut butter and oranges, but I become too emotional when I do eat them so I am doing my best to avoid them.
    Its been about 4 months now and even though I’m still a size 0-3 I put on 31lbs! I think at this point it is mostly bone weight, as I grew up to 5’6-7″. At 121 I’m still skin and bones mostly bust with some hints of muscle and a smidge of fat.
    Your blog is what had kept me going. Before trying meat I was suicidal, thought I could never be clear headed and refused to take another pill. I stumbled across your blog afterwards and I keep coming back to it.
    After thinking the world was ending and I was dieing (from reefer madness) to homelessness, to moving back in to my mothers house at 25, and finally back in school the saying you are what you eat holds true.
    If I can get on 10-20 more pounds, and get my skin to be less dry I will be pleased. I too have been having weird itchiness, and I’m wondring if it’s the histamines from the meat or the hemp still making it’s way out of my system…
    Anywho thank you, I walked your food path, and you’ve helped me overcome what was hopefully my worst.
    Cheers to healthy bodies and clear heads!

    Oh yah n p.s. I started going to the gym with a guy who has been going for years and I kick ass in the gym!
    I can go for well over two hours and still have to energy to keep going while he is crying of exhaustion.
    Thank you again. This site has helped me get my life back🙂

    Like

    • Wow Shawna! Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I am thrilled to know that my story and this information has been helpful to you. May your health continue to improve. Blessings, Esmée

      Like

      • Shawna, I appreciated reading your comments about fruit and peanut butter causing you to feel emotional, because I’m now starting to realize the negative effect carbs (even a low-carb diet of “good” carbs) have on emotions – and for heavens sake, even on character! I transitioned from paleo to carnivore just 2-3 weeks ago. I love the calm and strong way i feel now. I’ve got nothing to prove. Another thing is the clarity. It amazes me now to think how hard people struggle (many or most of them vegans and vegetarians) using meditation techniques to quiet the “internal dialogue” or the “mental chatter” or whatever you want to call it. When I cut all the carbs, the mind chatter just stopped! I noticed that within 2 or 3 days. Anyway, the best to you on your life adventure, Shawna, and I hope you soon find yourself with a great new support system. On Jan 19, 2016 6:40 PM, “Eat Meat. Drink Water.” wrote:

        > esmeelafleur commented: “Wow Shawna! Thank you so much for sharing your > story with me. I am thrilled to know that my story and this information has > been helpful to you. May your health continue to improve. Blessings, Esmée” >

        Like

  27. Hi Esmée! I really like you website and i have read all of it. Stories are incredible!
    I have eaten zero carb way 2,5 months. Before that 2 months of LCHF for about 20g of carbs.
    (i chanced to zero carb because LCHF didn’t work)
    My goal is to lose weight but i have gained about 50 pounds in this time. I can’t remember exactly but i quess before zerocarb i was ~85kg and now im 99kg. And sure enough its not muscle.
    Reason i’m still with this diet is probably Kelly’s comment that she gained weight for first 6 months.
    But have you guys heard anything like this before? Should i just quit?
    I guess i just don’t ketoadapt. i can’t say i would have more energy than i had.
    I know caloric restriction works for me (in low fat) even if i now think its not optimal way, like 1600kcal/day. With this diet and its energy dense foods. i cant eat so little, or at least its harder to do than normal caloric restriction for me.
    Only comment i have seen that zero carb didn’t work was “adwred” comment in activenocarber forum, said she gained 8(?) pounds in 20 months. (cant remember was 8 a number but something small).
    I have ordered fatty cryovac beef cuts and goose fat, i mainly eat those. Some eggs too.
    No sweeteners and i dumbed salt too more than month ago (no effect).

    There is one good thing tho. I was a smoker, i have quit many times before. but usually it effects to my sleep negatively. Sleep in no carb is better, and when i stopped smoking i didn’t have problems to sleep.
    Few things are different from many of people:
    I didn’t really have carb cravings in any point.
    I don’t have more energy. sleep is better tho (before it was ~6hours/day, now 8-9h/day)
    My blood sugar is about 4-5 (72-90) and i have tested just couble of times ketone readings on blood meter (from LCHF days) that is usually like 0,7. I have never registered more than 1.
    And when i started i didn’t turn strips purple, just “mildly in ketosis”.
    Its like i haven’t ketoadapt i quess?
    And i do get hungry.
    Any ideas what to try before quitting? fat/water fast?
    Thanks

    Like

    • Hi Tommy,

      I have not heard of anyone gaining as much weight as you are reporting. The thing that jumps out at me the most from what you have shared here is that you quit smoking. That alone can cause weight gain. Smoking tends to suppress the appetite, causing a person to under eat. So, that is one possibility.

      Can you please give me more details of what you are eating, along with the fat to protein ratios, and what your estimated calorie intake is per day on average, how many times per day you eat, and what times of day you eat?

      If you are on Facebook, please join us in the group Principia Carnivore. There are a lot of there with a wide range of experiences and we might collectively be able to help you figure what is going on here, to a greater degree than just me by myself.

      Esmée

      Like

  28. Hello Esmee,
    I am a Nigerian living in Nigeria.
    I came across Anne’s publication on Daily Mail sometime last year and decided to follow suit and i have had no regrets, but ive got a question….i drink coffee but add honey as a sweetner, i need to know if this is in line cause i figured since honey is animal by product, it doesnt pose any risks. or does it?
    Thanking you in anticipation that you reply.
    theodora.

    Like

    • Hi Theodora – No, honey is not included in a Zero Carb, all animal foods diet. The reason is because it is pure sugar. Hunter-gatherers would eat honey if they could get their hands on it, but it was usually only available for 1 month out of every year. We are inundated with sugar in our modern world, and this has wreaked havoc on our metabolism. We also do not recommend artificial sweeteners because they have been shown to raise both cortisol, insulin and blood sugar. It seems that anything that tastes sweet can have a profound effect on our hormonal system. I hope this helps. Esmée

      Like

  29. So I’m new here and just starting to poke around and have a very odd question.

    Since as far back as I could remember, I’ve loved the smell of veggies fresh or cooked, loved making them, loved the taste of them, but as soon as I ate them (or about 15 minutes later) they came back up, sometimes violently. I always thought it was a texture thing, and my parents always thought I was ‘being difficult’ however….does this sound like something involving the plant toxins?

    Thanks,

    Jade

    Like

  30. Esmee,
    You haven’t posted anything – that I found – on eggs, although I noticed in some of the personal stories there are carnivores who mention that they eat them. I just today checked the nutrient content and found out they have sugars! Not as much per serving as, for example, broccoli), but I typically eat 2-6 eggs a day, some of them raw, which could put me up there in the 2 gm a day bracket. What’s your take on eggs?
    Thanks!
    BTW, I’m in my 4th month as a carnivore now.

    Like

  31. Esmee, my apologies. I just went back and reread your post on beef – that does address the issue of eggs. I guess there’s just so much information on your website, I wasn’t able to absorb it all the first time.

    Like

  32. Hi. I try to diet 2 weeks, I eat raw beef and pork, sometimes I, too, is a migraine. But I have difficulty on the toilet. Today I used the enema. It is normal at the initial stage? Or I should add fiber to the diet?

    Like

  33. Fascinating. I dip into your sections for more information on different topics. You certainly have done some very interesting research using your own body as a laboratory. Bravo! And you chronicle your journey very well. I found what held true for my body twenty years ago, ten years ago, even as recently as two years is no longer and I needed to test and adapt to change. I also discovered that when I quit smoking I became a sugar junkie. I could literally SMELL the sugar on discarded candy wrappers. That was not good! For about two months I eat LCHF without feeling deprived or unhappy and it helped get me over the sugar addiction. Keep up the good work with your blog and all the best.

    Like

  34. Pingback: Cancer: témoignage d’une guérison presque miraculeuse – guerirmincir

  35. What about a french translation of your site, Esmée ? The ZC diet is absolutely unknown in France and it would be nice to let more people know about it.

    My written – and spoken – english is limited but I am quite confident in my ability to understanding it and translating it to a perfect french.

    Do not hesitate to contact me

    Like

    • You are more than welcome to translate anything from my website into French. All I ask is that you state where the articles were originally posted. I want as many people to have access to this information as possible. If you decide to do something, please let me know so I can share it with others.

      Like

        • Blandine – I love your enthusiasm. I wish I had time for that, but I don’t right now. If you wish to translate them for a website or blog of your own, you are free to do so. I use WordPress and it is very easy to set up and costs nothing. Maybe you can do something similar?

          Like

  36. Dear Esmee! I re-reád your story several times, it really is fascinating. I wonder how much juice you drank while on your lettuce and celery fast? Thanks.

    Like

  37. Hello Esmee, I just wanted to drop in and say thank you for opening my eyes to something new. I have went through vegetarian (horrible feeling) primal and paleo, but even the lower carb (50-80 grams) leave me cloudy headed. This Monday will be two weeks on meat and water only, with salt and a magnesium supplement to help with migraine control. I did have a slip last Sunday and drank black coffee, which quickly turned into a full blown ocular migraine. However, that was the first migraine that I’ve ever recovered from in less than 8 hours, so that was interesting.

    So far my largest struggle is that I don’t like large chunks of fat while eating steak. I grabbed some great ribeyes, but the thick pockets of fat texturally bother me. I may see something like stripe steak will be better and just add ghee or butter if the fat content is too low.

    Like

    • If you can find a way to stick with beef fat, I strongly recommend it. Butter and ghee both give me horrible migraines. I also do not do well with cooked meat, so I eat my beef totally raw and freshly ground just prior to eating. I prefer the taste of raw beef over cooked and I can handle a much higher percentage of fat this way which raises ketones and also helps to prevent migraines. Also, your taste for fat on the beef will likely change the longer you ate on the diet. Many people have reported not liking the fat in the beginning, but after several months consider it to be the best part.

      https://zerocarbzen.com/2016/10/01/why-do-you-eat-your-meat-raw/

      Like

      • Hrm, I haven’t really tried raw meat. I normally eat steaks medium rare, but don’t really have a source that I trust for quality meat to grind myself and try raw. I will keep the beef fat suggestion handy though. I have some tallow somewhere so I’ll dig that out and try it. Hopefully this will help me kick these migraines once and for all.

        Thank you again for the wealth of information. It has been difficult to find zero plant information that wasn’t the common “zero carb” label which seems to specify that only net carbs count. Can’t wait for week 4 to add bone broth and see if that will fit in with this way of life.

        Like

        • I buy my meat in bulk from Costco. It is very good quality. I have never gotten sick from eating raw beef. I cannot tolerate any render fats either, like tallow, as they make me sick too. It is much better to eat the fatty pieces attached to the meat itself.

          Like

  38. Jacob,
    According to USDA, red meat (and fish, by the way) that has been frozen for two weeks is safe to eat raw. I get 75/25 pre-formed hamburger patties at Whole Foods (about $4/#) and I eat them frozen, because I don’t particularly like the texture of raw ground meat. Like Esmee, I’ve gotten to where I prefer them to cooked meat, and when I do eat cooked meat, I don’t feel satisfied until I eat one of my raw frozen patties.

    Like

  39. Hi, I noticed your recent post about all raw, and migraines being a problem.

    I have similar issues. I would love to hear your thoughts on this theory of mine. That is an ominous opening, I know, but hopefully you have time to read, and no great aversion to amateur biochemistry…. (still ominous? yeah I guess.)

    The reason being, I’v made attempts to go zero carb, roughly half a dozen times in the previous 24 months since finding this webpage and your incredible, beautiful, unexpected resources.

    Longest zerocarb stint was a couple of weeks. I find that my migraines fluctuate according to menstrual cycle. A couple of times, I felt that eating animals, even raw, was NOT protecting me from the migraines, the opposite even.

    Here is my conjecture. Migraines are “like” epilepsy in that once sensitized to them, by a neurotoxin/cytotoxin, your threshold drops. (I wouldn’t discount an underlying AVM as a sensitizer, perhaps causing metabolic changes, or occasional micro-bleed induced cytotoxicity.)
    Other possible neurosensitizers include arachidonic acid, certain amino acids, as I say, theory and conjecture!)

    With a lowered threshold, abrupt shifts in your hormonal status can trigger a migraine. Either by vascular, or metabolic, or NT effects, in combination with other factors. In addition, aldehydes and other breakdown products, including those from histamine, could also bump you over this threshold.

    The issue with sex hormones is that they may be over abundant at times, and under abundant at others, thus the abrupt shifts. Eating high animal cholesterol, the sex steroid precursor, at one time of the month may be protective, eating it at another time of the month may sensitize the brain via hormone oversecretion. (if gonadal tissues have undergone some hypertrophy, or PCOS or cancer, or some issue in glands involved with hormonal control, then secretory levels will not automatically return to normal through improved diet, presumably.)

    Anyway, I am not suggesting exogenous hormones to you.
    My point is that although fasting clears certain types of neurotoxin, and lowers migraine threshold, it produces lipolysis, which maintains cholesterol levels for hormone synthesis. I’m aware that energetic deficit during fasting will downregulate hormone synthesis too. But this may in fact exacerbate the “flux” issue, of oversecretion followed by undersecretion, or vice versa, and overly steep shifts in hormone status throughout the month.

    I guess my question to you is this: has your migraine frequency ever clustered according to menstrual cycle?

    Do you spontaneously fast at a certain phase of your cycle?

    Do you have any thoughts on this?!

    I formed a personalized trial diet for the “sensitive” part of my cycle, wherein I decided to try to not promote lipolysis, i.e. not to engage in spontaneous intermittent fasting, which tends to be my inclination, but instead to keep insulin slightly up. I did this by regular ingestion of plant foods, and complete avoidance of animal cholesterol. This did seem to quell the headaches. When I had ovulated, I considered myself homornally “protected” enough to consume animals again, so I switched back, with success. Not very scientific, I know, but an interesting experiment to do.

    I know zerocarb probably won’t (do you think so?) WORK WELL FOR EVERYONE, ALL THE TIMES.
    I just don’t feel comfortable with my plantbased cycling long term.

    Please take care of yourself, and keep us posted.

    Like

    • All really fascinating ideas! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I have heard that migraines are akin to seizures, and what you say about that does make sense. This is why Keto is so effective at controlling or eliminating migraines for some people. I do think hormonal changes throughout the month play a huge part in my own struggle with this issue. Dr. Georgia Ede has a blog post explaining how women are more sensitive to histamines during certain times of the month. I seem to be most susceptible during ovulation and menstruation. And I feel tgatvtwo biggest outside triggers are foods high in salicylates or histamines. While ZC eliminates salicylates by eliminating plant foods, it does not entirely eliminate histamines. All meat is aged and thus has some level of histamines. I believe that this is where I have encountered my greatest obstacle on this diet. I is very difficult for me to get the exact kind of meat I do best with, both logistically and financially. As far as tastings impact on hormonal swings, that is a great question! My experience has been that I will have long periods without a headache after a longish fast. I have been attributing this to the idea that fasting empties my histamine “bucket” and gives me a higher tolerance for them in the meat I eat. But you have given me some new info to explore and think about.

      Like

  40. Hey I know you answerd the question about Vitamin C but I can’t find any information about Vitamin K. It seems to only come from vegetables. So can you get it with an all meat diet? Thanks

    Like

    • Many people eat only beef and have no health problems, so they must be getting what they need. But grassfed butter and eggs, as well as liver, are good sources of vitamin K if you are concerned.

      Like

      • Hi Esmée, thanks for the reply. What about calcium? According to scans, I have a low bone density and I definitely need to be getting enough calcium per day to prevent osteoporosis. Is bone broth the only source for a zerocarb diet and does it really have enough calcium to meet daily needs?

        Like

        • We don’t need as much calcium as we have been led to believe. Many ZCers eat only meat and are doing just fine. Bone broth is not rich in calcium at all. If you are concerned, whole eggs are decent source. One whole egg has 25 mg of calcium. Minerals in animal foods are much more bioavailabke than minerals in plant foods, and they do not have things like phytates that prevent mineral absorption.

          Like

  41. Esmee, I realize this is not a forum, but your personal website, so I hope you don’t mind me jumping into some of your conversations, but Najeeb’s questions, in particular, are thought-provoking.🙂

    First of all, Najeeb, I think it’s awesome that you are looking for information so that you can take charge of your own health. Along those lines, I’d like to throw some “food for thought” out there.

    About the daily recommended vitamin and mineral requirements, there are three important points to consider here. 1) The “authorities” of the FDA who establish these standards frankly admit that it is just their “best guess!” 2)They are addressing a population that eats a diet primarily based on grains and staples, which destroy our natural health, so they are always scrambling to fix the problems caused by these plant foods…with other plant foods (Vitamin C, antioxidants, phytonutrients, etc.) 3) Try, just try, to eat enough food in the course of one day to meet 100% of all the recommended vitamins and minerals, lol. No, these are not guidelines for health, but a handy marketing tool. And I’m sure it goes without saying that marketing is about the health of somebody’s corporate profits, not the health of your body and mine
    .
    In regards to your loss of bone density: There is a fascinating field of inquiry called paleopathology, the study of ancient disease. (The below information comes from the blog of Dr. Micheal Eades, the author of Protein Power. I think it may also appear in Lierre Keith’s The Vegetarian Myth). You can take two ancient bones, one belonging to a hunter and one belonging to a grain-eater (agriculturist), show them to a paleopathologist, and he can tell at a glance which one is which. The bone of the hunter is stronger, denser, larger, never malformed and always disease-free! Did you know the anthropological record shows that the human race actually shrunk a foot in stature when we started eating the food of the cultivated fields? May I suggest that you don’t have weak bones because you need more calcium; you have weak bones because of all the years you’ve eaten grains/potatoes/legumes. It’s the curse of the human race, in more ways than one. The diseases of civilization– that is, all the degenerative diseases–are caused by the foods of civilization.
    The ancestral humans of the ice age – and nearly up until to the present time, the traditional Inuit of Alaska as well — ate a diet which scientists assert was more carnivorous than that of wolves. Everything we need to have strength, physical and mental health, emotional balance, clarity of reasoning and keenness of senses is in meat.
    There is no authority in the world which should ever have the power to tell you what to eat— except for your own body. And your body will never lie to you. Once you learn to listen to what it’s telling you, you will never regret it.
    Happy adventures in health to you, Najeeb.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s