My First 3 Months on Zero Carb by Isabel

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Isabel’s Chihuahua Pup Portia.

I was on a LCHF diet for a year before I started a Zero Carb way of eating. I was eating lots of fatty cuts of meat, cheese, and fats from butter. I was also eating plenty of vegetables, especially greens and raw salads. I lost a great deal of weight over that year, about 90lbs!

However, I was still experiencing irritable bowel syndrome side effects. I experienced bloating, cramping, and abdominal pain from inflammation and irritation of my gastrointestinal tract (as explained by my doctor).

My Primary Care Physician prescribed probiotics, anti-depressants (in case it was stress causing my IBS), stomach acid pump inhibitors, and antispasmodic medications… all with little improvement.

I heard about the Zero Carb diet and I wanted to see if eating only those foods from the animal kingdom – like beef, chicken, pork and eggs – and drinking only water, would make a difference in my IBS symptoms. So, I decided to give it a whirl, and I was not disappointed.

Within 72 hours of beginning a Zero Carb diet, I quickly noticed my bloating was gone. After just 3 weeks, I was no longer experiencing any abdominal cramping and pain. By week 5, I was having regular bowel movements without bleeding. I had formerly suffered from severe constipation. I have now been on a Zero Carb diet for 12 weeks, and I have been totally off any IBS medications for a full 3 weeks. I also have lost an additional 27 lbs!

I eat all animal meats and eggs on the occasion. I usually will eat the same thing for a week, and switch it up. Maybe I’ll have beef burgers for my meals one week, then chicken or pork the next week, just to give the illusion of variety. I eat no dairy products. I also do use kosher sea salt, as well as black pepper, and once in a while I add some cajun spices on my meat.

I cannot imagine going back to my former way of eating. This is the only “therapy” I have tried that has ever worked so completely on my GI track to calm the IBS. It’s either this diet or gut wrenching pain. That makes the diet easy for me to follow. I still need to lose about 40 lbs more anyways, so i’m excited to continue on my weight loss journey as well.

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Isabel’s Pomeranian Pup Chanel

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

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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My First Two Months on Zero Carb by Anastasia Neucoon

Anastasia

One of Anastasia’s Beloved Cats

I am 47 years old, and I have two boys, ages 14 and 17 years old. I also have 4 cats, 2 chinchillas, and some quail that provide fresh eggs for us every day. I am half Danish and half Mexican, with a dash of Native American thrown in. I am a Graphics Designer and was educated as Dietitian as well.

  1. What kind of diet were you following before Zero Carb?

I was on a Ketogenic Diet for 6 months and had been experiencing really good results.

  1. Why did you decide to try Zero Carb?

I decided to try this way of eating because of arthritis. I have tried many diets before, including vegan and vegetarian, both of which made me feel worse than ever. I was told, my body had to adjust. I always missed meat which I loved dearly. But while I was following a Ketogenic diet, I realized something interesting. On some days, I forgot to eat veggies and I noticed that I felt better on those days and had much less pain.

So, I began to intentionally skip veggies. I soon discovered that when I left out the protein powder, I also felt better. Eventually, I came across information about the All-Meat, or Zero Carb, way of eating and it made so much sense to me. This was the last bit of encouragement I needed to drop the nuts I was still including in my diet. With each food elimination, I felt an improvement in my overall well-being. For my first 3 weeks on Zero Carb, I was still including dairy products. But once I let them go, I again noticed that I felt even better.

  1. What was your transition to Zero Carb like? Easy or hard?

The transition from Low Carb to Zero Carb was really easy for me. I love meat and eggs. I felt so free eating this way. I didn´t have to count any carbs, or other macros anymore. I didn´t have to measure for ketones. Best of all, I stopped having cravings for unhealthy foods. I just wonder why I didn´t realize myself years ago?

  1. What benefits have you noticed so far?
  • Overall – I feel so good.
  • Arthritis – I have no more pain.
  • Pain Killers – I no longer need them.
  • Skin – It is so much healthier.
  • Tinnitus – It has completely disappeared.
  • Asthma – I have not experienced an attack.
  • Allergies – They are almost totally gone.
  • Sex Drive – It has become stronger.
  • Hair – It is already showing improvement.
  • Teeth – They are no longer sensitive.
  • Gums – They are no longer sore.
  • Energy – It has improved significantly.
  • Sleep – the quality and quantity has improved.

I just wanted to add that prior to Zero Carb I was on daily pain medication for the arthritis for the past 4 years. I never could have imagined that removing all plant foods from my diet could make such a dramatic difference. I was also told that the tinnitus I suffered with was incurable. Also, the dairy seemed to be the main culprit in the allergies and asthma, so for me it was important and necessary to eliminate everything except meat. I did not decide to try Zero Carb for weight loss, as I am already at a healthy weight. However, I find it easy to maintain a stable weight through this way of eating.

  1. What does your daily food intake look like?

It depends on what is available at a good price. I often will buy a half pig at one time because it is less expensive that way. So, I eat a lot of pork roasts and ground pork. I do love beef, too, and eat a lot of steaks. I also enjoy ground beef patties, fish, lamb, and venison. I go through phases where I really want salmon and will eat a lot of it for a period of time. I love to make my own broth and bacon, and I have even started to make my own Pemmican which I used to eat while living in native Dinetah, Navajoland. I eat an average of 1.5 to 2.5 lbs of meat each day.

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

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.

 

The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Kieth

vegmyth cover third reviewThis book is by far one of the most powerful and important books I have every read in my entire life. It is my opinion that it should be required reading for everyone before they are allowed to graduate from high school. Everyone who eats food needs to read this book.

 

Here is the link to the free PDF version.

The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith

 

If you need more convincing, please read:

Dr. Michael Eades Book Review

 

 

Cereal Grains: Humanity’s Double-Edged Sword by Loren Cordain

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This one of the very best papers detailing why cereal grains are neither a necessary nor a desirable part of the human diet. Click on the link below to read Dr. Cordain’s article:

Cereal Grains: Humanity’s Double-Edged Sword

 

My First 6 Months on Zero Carb by Mimi Brandt Anderson

Mimi Brandt

Mimi with her grandchildren.

I am a 54 year old a female who has lived an active life. I enjoy running, hiking, and gardening – both flowers and food. I began following a low carb high fat (LCHF) lifestyle in the late 1990s and was able to eat a wide variety of LCHF friendly foods.

I am a surgical nurse and I operate as part of a team specializing in open heart surgery. I work an average of 8 to 12 hours per day, 6 days per week. My work hours vary, day and night, and depend on when my skills are needed. My profession is very demanding and I need to be on the top of my game.

However, at the age of 50, I became sick. When I say sick, I mean I developed a chronic burning, stabbing pain in most of my joints. I never got a firm diagnosis, could have been Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Whatever it was, it was most probably auto-immune in nature. I was in extreme pain virtually all the time. I would rate the pain level at a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10.

I felt so bad, I just couldn’t seem to shake the pain. I was forced to stop running. I consulted with several doctors who tried to prescribe anti-depressants for me. But, these medications provided no relief. I was only depressed because my life became riddled with intense chronic pain.

A year later, a new group of doctors I consulted suggested that I try a combination of Prednisone, Lyrica, and Narcotics. But nothing worked.  The only real effect of these medications is that I gained a massive amount of weight over the next few years. I continued to follow a LCHF diet throughout all of this, but it did not prevent me from gaining excess weight. The influence of the medications on my metabolism were just too strong.

Then, approximately 6 months ago, my gall bladder began to give me serious trouble. I strongly feel a person should keep their organs whenever possible, so I opted not to have my gall bladder removed. But now, I was fat, in constant pain, and truly sad every single day. However, I am a strong person, and somehow I managed to keep going by shear will power.

Finally, out of total desperation, I did a water-only fast for 5 full days. My gall bladder quieted down and the pain I was experiencing diminished significantly. Once I felt stabilized, I slowly began to add foods back into my diet one at a time, testing each item as I went.  I meticulously journaled all the foods I ate, and as I added a food or condiment back in, I carefully observed the effect it had on my body.

What I discovered is that I did well with foods from the animal kingdom, but not so well with foods from the plant kingdom. I have been eating beef, chicken, salmon, sardines, mackerel, shrimp, and eggs. I eat about 1 lb. of meat per day. I do not eat any dairy products or spices because they make me feel unwell. The only thing I use for seasoning is pink Himalayan rock salt.

I was fascinated by the way my body responded negatively too all plant foods and so I started searching the internet for answers. I found the collections of comments that Owsley Stanley (a.k.a. The Bear) had made on a now-defunct low carb forum. And from there, I discovered the Zero Carb diet and, eventually, the Facebook group Zeroing in on Health.

After three months of eating only meat and drinking only water, I had some bloodwork done. I had lost weight and all my tests came back great. Now, after 6 months on Zero Carb, I am still losing weight by combining Zero Carb with intermittent fasting. I do not force myself to fast; rather, I fast naturally because I have no appetite. I let my hunger guide me.

My life is amazing once again…

  • I am off all medications except for an occasional guaifenesin after a long day.
  • The pain level has been significantly reduced. (3 on a scale of 1 to 10.)
  • I have no more brain fog and better mental clarity.
  • The quality of my sleep has improved substantially.
  • I am much more mentally balanced and even tempered.
  • I feel light-hearted and happy most of the time.
  • My energy has returned and I am actively keeping up with folks half my age.
  • I have lost 65 lbs since starting Zero Carb (from 228 lbs down to 162 lbs).
  • I have finally been able to start running again, too, which I love.

Zero Carb has literally saved my life!

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

If you are interested in meeting others who practice an All-Meat diet, please feel free to join Charles Washington in his Facebook group Zeroing in on Health or Michael Frieze in his Facebook group Principia Carnivora for guidance and support. These two groups use different approaches, so if you find that one does not suit you, please check out the other one.

 

My First 3 Months on Zero Carb by Tricia Weber

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Tricia’s Beloved Scottie.

I wanted to share with you that I have now been PAIN-FREE for over 30 days in a row.

Being pain free is hard to describe, as I have been in chronic severe pain for almost as long as I can remember. I have had 17 major surgeries so far, 3 of the last 5 were back surgeries. It has not been fun.

The spine surgeries were for a condition known as spondylolisthesis, a forward displacement of a vertebrae which puts pressure on the spinal cord that results in severe nerve pain. Since the first event in 1998, I have not been able to stand in one place – such as fixing a meal or simply waiting in line somewhere – because it quickly creates an astonishing degree of pain, extending from my lower spine all the way to the bottom of my feet. I would rate the level of pain as an 8 on a scale of 1-10. Once the pain was triggered, there was little relief for days, even with strong pain medications.  I stopped all pain meds in April 2014 and was pretty much housebound.

I started Zero Carb on December 26th after reading blog posts by long time Zero Carb practitioners Kelly Williams Hogan and Amber Wilcox-O’Hearn. Then, I joined the Facebook group Zeroing in on Health and read everything I could.  I love the support from other Zero Carb veterans like Dana Spencer Shute, Caitlin Tilton, and Charles Washington. I began eating ground beef, ribeye steaks, other cuts of beef, bacon, and roasted chicken, and drink beef bone broth after each meal. I eat no dairy and few eggs because they do not agree with me. I eat an average of about 2 pounds of meat per day. My transition to an all-meat diet was relatively uneventful. I did not experience any unpleasant symptoms, other than some nausea when I ate more fat than my body was accustomed to metabolizing.

During the first month and a half I was on Zero Carb, there was a gradual reduction in pain levels, so gradual that I hardly noticed it until I noticed that I didn’t notice it! Then, on February 16th, I fell and triggered a severe pain event. I had a few martinis as needed to take the edge off but stuck to the diet and continued eating only meat.  It was not perfect solution of course, just the best I could do in this situation (fired the pain doc) and I gained weight quickly. I was not in the mood to tangle with doctors.

On March 11th, while standing in line at an event, I suddenly realized that I had been standing for almost 30 minutes with no pain. I was floored. I remained standing there in the same place for another 15 minutes just to see if the intense burning was going to begin, but it never did. I have tested it almost every day since, and still there is no pain.  It was so amazing that I was afraid to believe it. I finally told my husband about it on March 22nd and he is just as astonished as I am. He decided to jump on the Zero Carb path with me on April 12th.

I am not sure why this way of eating has made such a dramatic difference in the pain, but I suspect it has something to do with the increased saturated fat and its effect on chronic inflammation. I will discuss this with the surgeon in June. There is such need for clinical studies regarding a Zero Carb way of eating and the benefits that are possible. I would love to be involved in further research.

What I do know, however, is that I am thrilled. The benefits are truly amazing. While there isn’t much I can do about the structural damage that already occurred, finding a way to alleviate the pain, the inflammation, has been critical to my overall physical and emotional well-being.  My husband and I are simply over the moon about all the positive changes. Zero Carb has literally given me back my life.

I have known for a long time that carbohydrates were not my friend. I have had trouble with hypoglycemia since my teens and will experience severe blood sugar swings whenever I eat any significant amount of carbohydrates. I began following a low carb/low fat diet in 1972 and eventually moved into a very low carb/low fat diet. I found through trial and error that the less carbohydrates I ate, the better I felt. However, even with the small amount of carbohydrates I was eating, I was still experiencing episodes of low blood sugar. Since I have completely eliminated all plant foods from my diet via Zero Carb, I have not experienced anymore low blood sugar episodes. This too is huge for me.

Prior to Zero Carb, I ate a very clean low to very low carb/low fat diet. All real food. About 8-10 ounces of chicken or lean meat per day with unlimited vegetables. Some olive oil and butter, but nowhere near as much fat as I am eating now on Zero Carb. From 2001 – 2006, I ate a raw vegan diet with lots of juicing. I was able to maintain a healthy weight eating that way, but it was hard to follow, and it did absolutely nothing to mitigate the pain. I kept dreaming about prime rib.

I have had IBS since my teens, it has improved significantly with the removal of all plant foods from my diet. I have to be careful with how much fat I eat early in the day, so I eat lean in the morning and save the ribeyes for dinner. If I overeat fat, the food will move through me a bit too quickly. I am still experimenting with this and fine-tuning to find the right balance and am confident that it will improve.

Weight is not an issue for me. I am 5’ 7” tall and have always weighed between 125-140 lbs. I have always been physically active, skiing is my love and I plan to continue it (skiing did not cause the spine problems). My reason for embarking on the Zero Carb path was to see if it would improve my overall general health, the alleviation of the pain was a completely unexpected outcome.

I cannot stress strongly enough how important it has been to do just meat and water for those first full 30 days. The longer I do this, the better it gets.  I do not believe that there is only one path that will work for everyone, but for anyone feeling inspired to give Zero Carb a try – I encourage you to give it a fair try.

I have learned that the most important factor in my well-being is how I feel emotionally. I know how important it is to not let my inner happiness be dependent on conditions like physical pain. After about 2 weeks on ZC, my energy levels zoomed and I just felt wonderful, it is truly amazing. I am so glad to have found ZC and that I stuck with it.

ADDENDUM (05-19-15):

22 years or so ago I was diagnosed with Reynaud’s Disease, which is a royal pita but not life threatening unless ignored (in which case my fingers will be amputated). But I like to snow ski (a lot!). Usually, when the temps get below 70, I am indoors and drinking hot water or coffee to keep warm. I live in Southern California, so its a pretty temperate climate.

A couple of days ago I went outside to watch the sunrise at 5 am, its a special treat for me when night temps moderate to 65-70. It was 53 degrees. It took a while to sink in that my fingers were warm and doing just fine. So I did it again yesterday, same result. I did it again today…52 degrees at 5 am, and my fingers were warm and fine. I am befuddled! …and feeling so blessed to have found this woe. I have no clue why, unless this woe naturally raises and sustains a higher body temp.

If ya’all have not heard of Reynaud’s… when my internal temp drops too low the blood veins in my fingers (and other appendages) collapse and my fingers turn white from lack of proper blood supply. It is very painful. Then when I warm them, its excruciating pain for 2 hours when the blood starts to flow back into them. My fingers turn blackish-blue, it is not pretty.

I will be 6 months zc on May 25. I know its not a “big” thing when compared to some of the situations that some of our other members on this board have to deal with on a daily basis, but for me its just incredible.

 

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

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.

 

My First 45 Days on Zero Carb by Lynn Marie Miller

lynn marie1

From the time I was a little girl, I can remember looking around and seeing so much physical pain and suffering around me.  I was so young and healthy and carefree, and I just couldn’t imagine having to live a life like this when I got older.  As a young child, it frightened me.  My Grandmother told me, “This is what happens when you get older and things just start breaking down.“  Then, I was 12 years old when my Grandmother suffered a stroke and passed away at the age of 57.  I also never forgot her nightly eating habits of frozen TV dinners and canned fruit.  I made the connection then, that food must play a very important part of how we feel and thrive, or not! I was only 12 when I made up my mind that I was not going to end up like my Grandma!

Fast forward to 40 years later and taking a very serious inventory of my own health, I could now understand what my Grandmother was talking about.  Although I was a total “health nut” and I was eating all of my “wonderful” whole grains, fruits and vegetables and taking my supplements, I didn’t feel as well as I knew that I could.  I was also overweight. This is when my journey began.  I lived and I breathed my research on anti-aging and longevity.  I was ready for a new lifestyle and I was determined that I would not end up in declining, poor health, like so many other of my family and friends were experiencing!  I would be the change that I wanted to see in a world of sickness and disease.

I joined a gym and I hired a Personal Trainer and I also began consuming more healthy fats, plenty of protein and fewer grains.  I also became a student of Aikido and fell in love with this very graceful, martial art.  After four months, it was while being thrown and doing a roll, that I tore my meniscus.  A short time later, I was training for a 5K race and my meniscus gave out and I fell and suffered two severe sprains to my right foot and ankle. Determined not to give up, I went to the gym with my foot wrapped and in a boot and with my crutches.  I trained as best as I could, 5-6 days a week and I never looked back.  I also began to learn about the many detrimental health effects of consuming grains in the diet and I stopped consuming them.  I became strictly, Low Carb High Fat and consumed only the healthy fats, protein and vegetables.  I would have some wild blueberries on occasion.  I lived this lifestyle for at least six months and my weight loss stalled, and by this time, I was now training and prepping for my first Figure Competition.

Then one day, while I was online doing my usual research on health and fitness, I ran across the amazing interview with Kelly Williams Hogan. The transformation she experienced as a result of the Zero Carb diet captured my attention.  I was blown away that she was living a lifestyle of consuming just meat and drinking only water. Huh? I had never heard of such a thing, at least not in today’s society.  However, I was aware of this in the past with the Eskimos, Inuit peoples, etc. Intrigued, I began doing more research.  I also joined the Zeroing in on Health Facebook group for support and that’s when things really took off for me. I quickly decided to the recommended 30-day trial of eliminating all plant foods from my diet and consuming only those foods from the animal kingdom.

Not even one week into my challenge, I began to lose inches. However, I also began to notice that I was experiencing many overall positive health changes as well.  I was sleeping better, any anxiety that I had was gone, my cognitive function was improving, my vision was improving, and my energy was through the roof! I had zero carbohydrate cravings. All I desired was my animal kingdom foods. WOW!  I was sold and there was no turning back now.  I was totally in the Zen!

By the time my 30-day trial was up, there were so many positive changes from eating this way that I only wished that I would have discovered this lifestyle years ago.  I would love to have raised my three daughters on a Zero Carb diet!

lynn marie2

This is day number 47 of my new meaty lifestyle. For me, the transition was easy. I had no problem, whatsoever, going from Low Carb High Fat to Zero Carb.  In the beginning, I was consuming beef, chicken, pork, organ meats, salmon, sardines, eggs, raw milk and raw milk cheese, bone broth, one cup of coffee per day and some heavy whipping cream included in that. I have been experimenting and I have figured out what works best for me.  I have let go of the pork, raw milk and cheese and eggs.  I will continue to consume beef, chicken, organ meats, bone broth and one cup of coffee per day, with a dab of heavy whipping cream.  I also just recently ordered some crickets and larvets (yes, insects! Thanks to Andrew Scarborough for this inspiration). I plan to try these on top of a nice juicy steak.  We’ll see how that goes.

I have also been facing some health challenges over the past year or so for which I have been under a doctor’s care.  I was diagnosed with anemia, vitamin C deficiency, parasites, candida, black mold, liver stress, mild colon and adrenal stress, and red blood cells stacking.  One of my concerns with going Zero Carb was the fact that I was vitamin C deficient.  However, after doing my research, I learned that I had no reason to be concerned, as I would get plenty from the meat I was consuming. None of the long term Zero Carb Veterans that Esmee has interviewed have needed to take supplemental vitamin C. She explores some of the reason why it is not needed on an all-meat diet in her article titled Vitamin C.

On day 45, I had a live blood cell analysis done and I am pleased to say that I am no longer anemic, no longer vitamin C deficient, there are no more parasites visible, my liver, adrenal, or, colon are no longer stressed, and my red blood cells are no longer stacking.  However, I still face the challenges with the candida and the black mold.  My Naturopath and I have worked on a protocol for those two things and we do know that with my new Zero Carb lifestyle, the candida should naturally be eliminated over time.  My Naturopath fully supports my new lifestyle as well and would like to learn even more about it, especially after seeing my blood test results.

Also, the list of overall positive changes is pretty extensive.  So, let me share them with you…

  • Weight loss of 8 pounds
  • I have lost several inches
  • Anxiety is totally gone
  • Vision has improved
  • Sleep quality has improved
  • No more abdominal bloating
  • Cognitive function has improved
  • Energy has improved
  • Weight training performance has improved
  • Recover after workouts has improved
  • I no longer get sore after weight training.
  • Chronic pain from old injuries has vanished. (This is HUGE for me!)
  • My hair is getting thicker
  • My nails are now unbreakable
  • My skin is softer
  • There are fewer lines on my face
  • I feel much calmer and relaxed overall
  • I have a happier state of mind

I love no longer having to spend my time planning meals and running to various shops for different food items.  I prepare my bone broth only once for the week, and I shop for my meat only once for the week.  This frees up my time to live my life and enjoy the things that mean so much to me.  I now have more time to enjoy my children and grandchildren, to spend time in nature, to climb trees, and to enjoy working out at the gym.  In just a few short months, I will be celebrating my 55th Birthday.  But I know that one’s “age” is just a number!  With the Zero Carb diet, I am no longer worried about falling apart as I grow “older.”  Instead, I am confident that I will age gracefully.  I’m living life and I’m living young!

Thanks for letting me share my story with you.

Lynn Marie posted this update after 60 days on Zero Carb:

I just wanted to share that, I had a Training session and evaluation with my PT and competition coach today and instead of Figure competition, she has suggested that perhaps I compete in Physique now. Almost two months of eating ZC and training with heavy weights has really increased my gains/lean mass. So much for what the critics have to say about not being able to make gains on no carbs… LOL… And also, the recovery from lifting on this lifestyle, simply cannot be beat! There is no pain anymore. Speaking from experience here.

lynn marie5

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

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.