Zero Carb Interview: Stephanie Stride


image

Stephanie today.

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

Since December 2012

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

Primarily weight. I started on Low Carb (Atkins), then transitioned to ZC within a month.

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

Physically I felt great within a week. The carb detox headaches subsided and I felt better than I ever had. Psychologically I adapted fairly quickly once I went full ZC partly due to loss of appetite. Within a couple weeks I had zero cravings.

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

I did A LOT of reading of various websites, read people’s stories, etc. There was no one specific source…I started out learning by trial and error. It’s definitely not a one size fits all way of eating.

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

I eat meat and eggs. I also allow myself one teaspoon of HWC in my coffee daily. I don’t eat any cheese.

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

Approximately 70% beef.

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

Medium Rare

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

Butter!

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

I eat until I’m comfortably full.

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

No. I tried them but I’m too squeamish!

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

No

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

Usually one meal. I occasionally fast as well (longest fast was ten days, most recent was eight).

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

Anywhere from one-half to one pound. If I eat eggs, I eat 3-4.

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

Grass-fed pasture-raised. I buy a half cow at a time.

image

Stephanie with her beloved husband in 2014, part way through her Zeri Cab journey.

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

I drink one cup of coffee per day and occasionally an iced green tea. I also allow myself one diet coke per day, but I typically only drink three per week.

16. Do you use salt?

Yes.

17. Do you use spices?

No. I was very surprised to discover the amounts of hidden carbs in a lot of popular spices. Garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika are some of the higher carb count spices. Occasionally I’ll use one clove of fresh garlic.

18. Do you take any supplements?

No

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

400-450$ (for groceries for two people)

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

Buy in bulk and separate into single portions, hit the meat department when they’re marking down prices, and the best, but not feasible for everyone, buy fresh, locally raised meat in bulk.

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

Not regularly. I used to walk a lot. I keep busy and still walk/jog on my treadmill but not often.

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.)

Huge weight loss (appx. 100 lbs.), skin looks better, teeth appear healthier, and my blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels are all perfect, no more joint pain from a past injury, overall happier feeling, tons of energy.

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

It’s so easy. I never have to figure out what to make for dinner! I take meat out of the freezer and toss it on the grill.

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

Stick with it and measure yourself!! I regret not taking measurements at the very beginning. There are times when my scale doesn’t move but I know I’ve lost inches.

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

In the beginning they were not. They thought if I ate just meat that I would get sick. They constantly tried pushing veggies on me. Once they saw how healthy I was becoming they wanted to be a cavewoman too!

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

Give it a try. Research it. There are SO many health benefits to this WOE. Diabetics no longer being dependant on insulin, stomach issues that disappear, blood pressure lowers, etc. It’s amazing!!

image

Stephanie today.

Please visit my “Interviews” and “Testimonials” pages linked at the top of this website to read the stories of other short and long term Zero Carb veterans.

If you are interested in meeting others who practice an All-Meat diet, please feel free to join us in the Facebook group “Principia Carnivora” for support.

If you have benefited from the information offered on this website, and you would like to express your appreciation in a tangible way, you can make a donation directly to PayPal via my email: esmeelafleur@gmail.com.

Advertisements

Zero Carb Interview: Liz Spencer


image

Liz after 1 year of Zero Carb.

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

Officially my start date was April 1, 2015 but I had been eating pretty much zero carb for months before I had heard there was a word for that.

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

Both. I had a lot of weight to lose and my health was horrible. I applied for disability due to a long laundry list of health problems.

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

It was a slow process getting to Zero Carb. I started by just cutting out one thing at a time like sugar and bread, and then very slowly lowering my carbs per day so I never had any physical symptoms like Keto Flu. Psychologically it was a bit harder since I live with 5 other adults who are major carb addicts. Every time I walk into the kitchen I have to walk past a whole counter covered with candy, pastries, pies and bread. It was hard at first but once I was zero carb the cravings went away. Now I walk past them with no problem.

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

Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It by Gary Taubes was a really good book, but mostly I read a lot of websites.

My Zero Carb Life
http://myzerocarblife.jamesdhogan.com/wp/

Zero Carb Zen
https://zerocarbzen.com/

Zero Carb Health
http://www.zerocarbhealth.com/

Bad Ass Carnivore
http://badass-carnivore.com/

Empirica
http://www.empiri.ca/

These are all sites I enjoy.

Facebook groups are also great for daily support.

Principia Carnivora https://www.facebook.com/groups/PrincipiaCarnivora/

Zeroing in on Health
https://www.facebook.com/groups/zioh2/

No Carbs LCHF
https://www.facebook.com/groups/NoCarbsLCHF/

Principia Fibromyalgia (for Zero Carbers with Fibromyalgia) https://www.facebook.com/groups/645650578871443/

Liz before beginning her Low to Zero Carb journey.


image

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

I started with meat, eggs, chicken, fish, butter, cheese, and cream. I had a serious sour cream addiction! Slowly I started eating more meat and less chicken and fish. I cut out the dairy after about 5 months. Now I’m down to meat, eggs and butter.

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

I eat about a pound of beef a day, 4 eggs and about 8 slices of bacon. So about half.

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

I would like to eat it rare but I don’t trust the cheap Walmart ground beef I have to buy due to budget constraints so I cook it well done.

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

Sometimes I’ll add butter if I have an urge, but not often. I do like my eggs dripping in butter though.

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

I eat till I’m full, no limit, though I really can’t eat much at once.

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

I like liver so I’ll sneak it in once a week. I only limit it because one of the people I live with hates the smell of it.

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

Nope, too much trouble to make.

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

I usually eat 3 since I can’t eat much at once. Otherwise I wouldn’t get enough food per day.

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

About pound of beef and about 8 slices of bacon per day.

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

I really wish I could afford to eat grass-fed/pasture-raised meat but I’m on a really tight budget so its Walmart Ground beef for me.

Liz before beginning her Low to Zero Carb journey with her parents and sisters. Liz is on the far left in red.

image

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

I drink a lot of herbal tea and I am slowly weaning myself off coffee, so within a month no coffee.

15. Do you use salt?

Oh yes! It’s my last addiction. I tried to quit salt, but nope, I just can’t right now.

16. Do you use spices?

Pepper on my eggs and some steak seasoning on my ground beef.

17. Do you take any supplements?

Only when I have been exposed to someone sick. I’ll take vit. D, C, K and zinc.

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

Just under $200.

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

I use high fat ground beef instead of steaks, and I eat eggs every day.

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

No. When I started I could hardly walk 1/8 of a mile and I had to use the electric carts in the grocery stores to shop. Even without exercising I’m getting stronger and my stamina is increasing. I am trying to move around more though. Since I’ve lost 50 pounds it has gotten much easier to move my body. I’m pushing myself to do a little more each day.

21. What benefits have you experienced since beginning a Zero Carb diet? (i.e. recovery from illness, overall health, body composition, exercise performance, hormonal, mental or psychological, etc.)

I guess I should tell you I was a complete mess in 2013. I was 100 pounds overweight. I had Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, Peripheral edema, Depression and Anxiety, Severe PMS, Migraines, Restless Leg Syndrome, and Irritable bowel syndrome. Basically, I felt like Crap!

I did a long, slow transition from low carb to very low carb to zero carb, so it’s hard to remember exactly what happened when.

I started low carb in early 2013. My focus was just weight loss since I never thought I could heal all my issues. I lost weight pretty quick at first, going from 225 down to 200 in early 2014. (Ya, that’s fast for me.)

Then the weight loss slowed down, but I noticed other things happening like my High Blood Pressure normalized and I was able to go off HBP meds. Additionally, the Migraines, Restless Leg Syndrome, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome slowly Improved and went away.

I freely admit that I fell off the wagon frequently those first couple of years. I was going through a divorce after 28 years of marriage, and I had to move in with my parents. So, I was a tad bit stressed.

Then menopause hit, the weight loss slowed even more, and – oh boy! – the hot flashes, but at least there was no more PMS!

By the beginning 2015 I had transitioned to very low carb. I noticed that I wasn’t as tired as usual, but I was still having problems with Fibromyalgia, Peripheral Edema, Depression and Anxiety.

In Late March of 2015, I found the Facebook group “Zeroing In On Health.” I was pretty much already Zero Carb with rare exceptions, so I decided that I might as well go the whole distance.

I officially started Zero Carb on April 1, 2015. That’s when I really noticed the big changes. Over the first 6 months my Fibromyalgia pain, Depression and Anxiety slowly faded and I was able to move more easily.

In the last 3 months, I have been able to go shopping without using the electric carts that they have in the stores. I feel human again!

In early January of 2016, I didn’t take my HCTZ for my Peripheral Edema for a couple of days, and my feet and ankles didn’t swell up into huge sausages! I’m slowly weaning off of it now too.

I’m currently down to 172 pounds, and I actually feel some muscles under that last 50 pounds of fat I want to lose. I feel so much stronger now and I’m actually looking for a job! I’m have been helping my parents out at their office for free. It’s quite a work out filing and lifting boxes. But I can work!!!!

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

It’s so filling that I never feel hungry. I can also go longer between meals if I have to without feeling hungry and weak.

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

Read everything you can get your hands on about it. Start slow. Don’t give up. If you fall off the wagon, just jump back on. Don’t tell anyone unless you have to. They will just look at you like your crazy then lecture you about health. You can tell people once you have been doing it for a while and have results you can show them.

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

They are now. At first they thought I was crazy, but they can see how much weight I’ve lost and how much healthier I am now. Unfortunately I still have to walk past their junk food constantly.

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

Nope.

Liz today!

image
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.

If you have benefited from the information offered on this website, and you would like to express your appreciation in a tangible way, you can make a donation directly to PayPal via my email: esmeelafleur@gmail.com.

Zero Carb Interview: Debra Caldwell

image

Debra today.

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

I first began Zero Carb around 5-6 years ago. I had good weight loss success on Very Low Carb following the original Atkins Induction phase of his diet, only I stayed on the Induction. I mostly ate meat and an occasional salad, no fruit. I did get hooked on some Low Carb Franken Foods. LOTS of cravings once I started the Franken Foods.

While visiting a Low Carb forum, I came across a Low Carb member that was saying her goodbyes, as she was leaving the Low Carb forum to join a Zero Carb forum called Zeroing in on Health (ZIOH), as she felt that was the way for her to go. She was not losing weight, had cravings, had a hard time keeping weight off, didn’t feel energized, etc.…EXACTLY what I was experiencing! I immediately emailed her and asked for the Zero Carb web address and joined that very day.

I was committed for almost a year, then for whatever dumb reasons, I started eating carbs again and began gaining weight. I was so mad at myself! I lost that good Zen feeling of Zero Carb and all the excellent support and friendship of my Zero Carb  family, because I was too ashamed of myself to go back to ZIOH and tell them that I had slipped big time.

Thank goodness I came to my senses! I have been back for almost 2.5 years. BEST DECISION I EVER MADE!!

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

I guess I kinda covered some of that above, but my main motivation at first was for weight loss. Now the older I get and I see the devastating effects of a lifetime of SAD on the elderly – my mom has horrible RA and my husband’s dad just died recently from Alzhemier’s – my health is as important to me as my weight, yes I am VAIN!

The Low Carb member that inspired me to make the jump was named Sharon I think; she was a chef for a restaurant in England at the time. Many of the Zero Carb forum members may remember her. She worked with food all day and I was and still am a cake decorator. We both had to face tempting foods/baked goods, all day while being Zero Carb.

During the couple of years before I went back to Zero Carb, I gained and lost many times, always craving carbs. I KNEW in my heart the way to go was Zero Carb, so I finally went back home to ZIOH, where I was welcomed back with open arms. Charles, Caitlin, Kelly, Dana, Lise, and MANY more have been so inspirational and motivating.

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

My first time around I was coming from Very Low Carb, so not too much adjustment. I did have several weeks of queasiness from the fatty ground beef, but it did go away. I do remember my primary focus at that time was for weight loss. I got a firm, but gentle reminder from ZIOH Veterans (Iron Fists in Velvet Gloves) that it is about HEALTH first; the loss of weight is a bonus. Boy, did I need that reminder! I was Zero Carb for about 6-8 months, maybe a year. Can’t remember for sure.

Then I was “gone” for about 2 years riding the “carb on, carb off” roller coaster, gaining and gaining, sometimes losing, but always overwhelmed with the cravings. I knew Zero Carb was the answer and would go Zero Carb for a couple of weeks, then back to my bad carby crap. I think now if I had rejoined ZIOH during that time I might have stayed Zero Carb.

Finally I got off the rollercoaster and got serious. My weight was high for me, pushing 155-160 for my 5’3” medium frame. My blood pressure had gone up and I had never had high blood pressure before. That scared me. I went very low carb, practically zero carb and lost about 20 pounds. By the time I hit 135 or so I was eating zero carb. I rejoined ZIOH and continued my Zero Carb journey. There have been a few blips along the way, but very few. I am now 117-120 and feel fantastic. My blood pressure is normal. At 62, I run circles around folks half my age. My hormones must be good now or I would not have been able to lose the weight and keep it off.

Menopause was mostly hot flashes for me. I did not take any hormone supplements or medications for menopause. I might have been extra moody, as I was eating carbs during part of my menopause, but I never felt like killing anyone or have crying fits.

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

Atkins original book was my bible for years. I lost lots of weight on his induction phase and loved all the fatty meat, butter and cream.

Good Calorie Bad Calorie – though more scientific than I can digest – is great!

The Bear, which I have read several times, is just amazing!

Charles, Caitlin, Kelly, Margo, Dana, Lise, Dave, Margo and MANY other Zero Carb Veterans from the ZIOH forum have been/are the BEST! The enthusiastic new folks now joining our Facebook Zero Carb (also called Zeroing in on Health) group also continually motivate me.

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

I eat mostly 73/27 ground beef. I eat eggs every now and then. My husband eats about 6 -8 eggs every day along with his ground beef. I also eat rib eye and T-bone on occasion. If I am lucky enough to spot Chuck Eye steaks, I will grab several packages. I do not eat cheese, too salty, bloats me and causes weight gain. I love cream, but it loves me too much! I go from a couple of teaspoons to ½ cup, so I ditched it. Post nasal drip and constant clearing of my throat went away after I ditched it.

I do not eat pork, not because I dislike it, but for some reason it always tastes salty and my weight will shoot up 2 or 3 pounds. On occasion I will eat bacon, but again, really too salty, and I am talking about the low sodium version!

I also eat beef spareribs, love them, and CHICKEN WINGS, LOVE THEM THE MOST!! I bake them to almost chicken jerky and will devour them all, hot or cold. SO, I only eat chicken wings once a month or so. I do not eat fish.

image

Debra before adopting a Zero Carb diet.

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

Easily 95%.

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

Medium, sometimes medium rare. I used to eat it well done. Now I like it with just a little bit of pink.

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

In the beginning, I added fat – usually butter or beef fat. Now I just eat whatever is in/on my meat. 73/27 produces a lot of yummy fat drippings and I pour a small amount over my burger patty to dip my bites of burger into. Sometimes I will fry eggs in bacon grease, but usually I fry them in beef fat. Delicious!

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

I eat until satisfied. Some days I may eat 2-3 pounds, but most days around 2 pounds.

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

NO and NEVER.

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

I made bone broth once. It was ok. I probably won’t make it again.

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

I eat an hour after I get up and an hour after I get home from work, so twice a day. Yesterday I ate 3 times. Most days it is 2 times a day.

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

I eat around 2 pounds, sometimes 2.5 pounds. Now steak, I will eat until it is gone, be it 1 pound or 2! I will also eat an entire family size package of chicken wings in one sitting!

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

I eat regular commercially produced meat.

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

I now drink just water. I have been off coffee for over a month and do not miss it. Believe me, I was a coffee addict! I LOVED my coffee, drank it all day. I feel coffee was not good for me, it disguised my hunger, over stimulated my bladder, I kept clearing my throat all the time and honestly did not feel any more energized drinking it. For me, it was a good thing to eliminate it from my diet.

I found both caffinated and decaf coffee suppresses my appetite. I did not know that the coffee was suppressing my appetite until I quit drinking it. I initially ate more meat for several weeks, gained a couple pounds, then found myself not very hungry anymore and now I easily eating one meal a day. I have also dropped the 2 pounds I gained.

16. Do you use salt?

No. I prefer the natural taste of meat.

17. Do you use spices?

No. I prefer the natural taste of meat.

18. Do you take any supplements?

No.

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

My husband does the meat shopping and a 10 pound chub of 73/27 ground beef has been running around $32.00. We go through about 2 – 2.5 chubs a week. I easily eat over 10 pounds myself and my husband uses a 1 roll for his meals. I don’t know what eggs are running, but we get about three to four 18 count cartons a week. Then there are the occasional chicken wings, beef spareribs, and steak. My Hubs is still drinking coffee, he wants to finish the can. So after the can is gone, no more buying coffee. I don’t think he knows that yet!

image

Debra’s Zero Carb husband.

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

My husband and I eat ground beef almost exclusively. My husband does eat lots of eggs as well. I eat eggs maybe a couple times a month. I find ground beef the cheapest and most satisfying. If I find markdown meat on sale, I will sometimes splurge and get some sale packages.

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

Many years ago I was a competitive body builder. I was an exercise maniac! In preparation for body building competitions I would do 3 hours a day of aerobics plus my lifting, all while on a low fat diet. Talk about HUNGRY and the CRAVINGS!! UGH! So glad I am off that hamster wheel!

Now a days, my job requires me to be on my feet and moving about to accomplish my work. In the Summer, Spring and Fall I ride my horses. I do not do any formal exercise.

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.)

My doctor told me several years ago that I had low thyroid. I knew NOTHING about thyroid at the time. He described some of the physical symptoms of low thyroid, none of which I had, but nonetheless, he prescribed meds for me to take. I took them. I did have a brief spurt of energy at the beginning, but then I couldn’t tell any difference. I detest taking meds and after being on ZC for a while, I dropped them all together. That has been over 2 years ago and I feel great.

I am Post Menopausal and frequently read that women say they cannot lose weight after menopause. With Very Low Carb and then Zero Carb, I had no problem losing weight and keeping it off.

I hardly ever get sick. Several weeks ago I got a touch of the flu. It was gone in less than 2 days. Before that, I cannot remember when I was last sick.

I feel more mentally sharp and don’t fly off the handle like I used to. I still have a temper, but it takes more to set me off and my degree of anger isn’t as deep as it once was.

My nails are actually hard now, in fact, too hard! I can’t bite them any more!

This may sound weird, but the other day I thought my vision was actually better, more sharp.

I speak my mind, sometimes in a very blunt manner. Not rude, just blunt. Before I would beat around the bush, try to phrase things just so, but now I just say it. With a smile!

image

Debra after adopting a Zero Carb diet.

23. Have you conceived, given birth, or breastfed while on a Zero Carb diet? If so, what was your experience?

No. I wish I had known about ZC way back then. Hopefully someday my daughter will give it a try. The health benefits are so great!

24. Have you raised children on a Zero Carb diet? If so, what has been their experience? How difficult is it to keep carbs out of their diet in today’s world?

No. My daughter is now an adult. Hopefully she will give this a try one day.

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

The simplicity of it all! I feel that I am ahead of the aging game by eating ZC and look forward to being vital and active in my senior years, which is still a LONG way off.

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

KEEP IT SIMPLE. GIVE IT TIME. If I can do it, ANYONE can. Read and learn from the ZC veterans, they have much to offer. Find meat that your enjoy, guzzle down your water and live your life free from food hang-ups.

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

My family and friends are used to me eating “weird”! They know I eat only meat and “its just how Debbie eats”. It is no big deal to go to family functions and not eat or to show up with my own food. I have one very dear friend that knows I eat totally Zero Carb and she doesn’t say yay or nay about it. People at work, those than know from many years ago, think I am still Very Low Carb and always comment on how “Debbie never eats anything, she is so good”! Good has nothing to do with it! I do not hide how I eat, nor to do I preach about how I eat. If anyone is interested, I will share information with them.

I had one coworker/friend that announced that she was going to go “ZERO CARB like Debbie”. At lunch time (for her, I do not eat lunch), she said she was going to have some roast beef from the deli, a carton of yogurt (sweetened) and I believe a fruit or veggie, can’t remember. I told her the beef might be ok, but did she know that yogurt was full of carbs, same with her veggie/fruit? I said Zero Carb meant Zero Carb. I suggested she go around the store and read some labels on a variety of foods that she felt would fall under her definition of Zero Carb. She came back a better carb-educated woman! “Everything has carbs!” she said. Sorry to say, she only lasted maybe a week…. Oh well, maybe someday she will try again.

Men are amused that I eat only meat, never any problems eating just meat in public with men around. They actually find it cool. As stated above, I have no problem carrying my own food with me to a function or dinner. I have sneeked food into restaurants and if it is not condoned by the establishment, I excuse myself and eat in the restroom. Doesn’t bother me in the least. When someone comments on me eating JUST meat, I respond with a big smile and say: “A Vegetarian eats veggies, a Carnivore eats meat! Got it?”. They seem to get it then.

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

When I mentioned above that anyone can do this if I can, here is why: I work in a bakery, yes a CARB FACTORY! I am a 5 star Cake Decorator. I am CONSTANTLY inhaling, touching, making cakes, cookies, etc. I have been in bakery work for 30+ years. With ZC I view what I do as art, which it is, and artists don’t eat their mediums! HAHA! I honestly do not want to eat any of the items made in the bakery. I do like the smells and aromas and that is about it. Sometimes I do get tempted, but it goes away quickly. And I really love my job!

image

Debra with her beloved horse and grandson.

Please visit my Interviews page 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 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.

If you have benefited from the information offered on this website, and you would like to express your appreciation in a tangible way, you can make a donation directly to PayPal via my email: esmeelafleur@gmail.com.

Zero Carb Interview: Charles Washington

image

Charles with the baby of a Zero Carb friend – taken during a Zero Carb get together in Los Angeles.

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

August makes 8 years of ZC. I actually began the Atkins Induction Diet in January of 2007 but I never “climbed the carb ladder.” In the interim, I discovered that I didn’t need vegetables and in August, I discarded them altogether. I went on to lose about 32 more lbs., in addition to the 46 lbs. I had already lost on a low carb Atkins-style diet.

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

Prior to carbohydrate restriction, I was obese and diagnosed as pre-diabetic and my doctor threatened medication. I asked for three months to work it out and I went on a low-fat, portion-controlled plan. I began at 221 pounds and went down to 178. I was looking rather “skinny-fat”. I was skinny, non-muscular-looking, and I had love handles. I began lifting weights. The more I worked, out the hungrier I got and the bigger I got. I was gaining about 2 pounds per week. At first, I was told it was all muscle and I did indeed gain muscle, but I still got bigger and bigger. In my initial diagnosis, my doctor said that I ate too much starch but his words didn’t resonate. I traded white starch for brown starch and that helped, but it wasn’t enough. His words came back to me when the scale returned to 208 pounds. I stopped all starches and the weight gain stopped and started going the other way. The workouts stayed the same. I started to look into a starch-less diet and found “low carb” and Atkins. It was very successful beyond my wildest dreams.

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

I took to carbohydrate restriction like a fish to water. I didn’t miss the things I was giving up because most of them made me feel bad after eating them anyway. I was never much of a soda drinker but I tried Diet Coke and became addicted to it. I didn’t like the way I pined after that drink so I gave it up and focused entirely on water. Best thing I ever did. I felt better almost instantly but in terms of running performance, that probably took a couple of weeks to feel comfortable.

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

Two articles changed my life along with two books. The first, was a Men’s Health articled entitled, “The Cure to Diabetes” describing Dr. Mary Vernon and the way she treated her diabetic patients. The second was, “What if it’s all been a big fat lie?” by Taubes. For books, it was “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Taubes and “Not by Bread Alone: The Fat of the Land” by Stefannson. I read many other books, but none had as much impact as those two. I also have credit Jimmy Moore. He made the statement once that if a person follows a particular diet, they should read the book and do exactly what it says. I took that advice and learned as much as I could about Dr. Atkins. That lead to learning about Dr. Blake Donaldson and, eventually, Stefansson.

I was a moderator on Jimmy Moore’s site for the Atkins Diet. There was a man named, Dave who was the moderator of the Zero Carb thread, which was very empty. By the time I understood that his group was not crazy, he kind of disappeared and I never got to really have the conversation with him I wanted to have. No one was particularly interested at the time. I took over that group and we had a single thread on that forum that went on to dominate all the traffic on the board. It wasn’t long before we were kicked out of that forum. That event spurred me to create a group called Zeroing In On Health where our way of eating (i.e. zero plant foods) would be the rule rather than the exception.

I was basically called out by all the low-carb experts of the day who said they did not support my way of eating. It was called “dangerous” and other adjectives. They were fearful because I held the opinion that a healthy woman who was adapted to a Zero Carb diet should have no trouble carrying a healthy baby to term. I was ridiculed and criticized by many. Over the past six years, we have seen several healthy Zero Carb babies born by members of our community. That has been very gratifying to witness.

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

I eat meat. I have cheese very occasionally and I might taste something or other at my wife’s insistence but mostly, I eat meat exclusively and I drink water.

image

Charles with his son Meir after a run on Biloxi Beach in Mississippi.

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

If I had my way, my diet would be 100% beef. However, I also cook for my wife so I have to mix it up. My diet consists of beef, pork, chicken in equal shares – and occasionally seafood.

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

I prefer my beef cooked to medium.

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

I do not add extra fat to meat as a general rule. However, there are times when it is appealing to eat from the pan drippings or have a little butter on a steak.

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

I always eat until I’m full. That varies depending on my appetite, but I typically clean my plate regardless of the amount.

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

I eat no organ meats.

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

I don’t consume bone broth. Not because I have anything against it, it’s just not something I waste time with. I like short visits to the kitchen. I might make my wife something exotic but I keep my own eating extremely simple.

image

Charles enjoying himself at a running event.

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

I typically eat three times during the work week and once or twice daily on weekends and holidays.

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

I consume about 2 pounds of meat per day, maybe a little more, sometimes a little less.

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

I eat regular, commercially-available meat one would find at a local, American supermarket.

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

I drink water exclusively.

16. Do you use salt?

I use salt occasionally.

17. Do you use spices?

I use spices mostly because my wife likes them. If I’m cooking for us, I will use spices. If I’m cooking for myself, then the odds are about 20 percent that I would.

18. Do you take any supplements?

I take no supplements.

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

For myself, my food bill would probably be about $50 per month, but because I have to buy other things for my wife, it’s higher. She tends to eat out half the time so it’s tough to know what our bill for food really looks like.

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

I like to think of ZC as a way of eating for life. It can be as simple as ground beef and water. One could conceivably spend $20 or $30 and eat three times per day for an entire month.

image

Charles dressed up for a night on the town.

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

I enjoy running but I approach it as a boxer. A boxer sits idle until he has a fight planned. He enters training camp for about six weeks and he runs, lifts weight and focuses on his conditioning. Then, a few weeks out, the trainer comes and they begin to work on the technical aspects of the fight focusing on the opponent and the strategy they will employ. They participate in the fight and then they go back to idle, resting and recuperating until another fight. That is the way I believe exercise should be approached. Find an event, train for it, participate, and go back to life. Exercise is the function of a healthy body. One does not get healthy by exercising.

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 Carb changed my life. I lost some 78 pounds (unfortunately, I did not keep any “before” pictures of myself), my blood pressure normalized, my lipid profile recovered, my skin cleared up, my libido returned, my hair loss slowed, my lazy eye straitened up considerably, my feet no longer smell, my bowel regularity returned, my strength returned, my abdominal muscles returned, and I can run faster than men half my age. I’m sure I’m skipping many things, but that’s how much of a change this was for me. Zero Carb for Life!

image

A mantra Charles often repeats to Zero Carb “newbies” in his Zeroing in on Health Facebook group.

23. Have you raised children on a Zero Carb diet? If so, what has been their experience? How difficult is it to keep carbs out of their diet in today’s world?

My children were raised to eat a low carb diet. They went through the various diet stages with me and adapted very well when meat was their primary option. They noticed how they were no longer hungry and craving snacks all the time. I no longer live with them, but they still report eating a low carb diet. By watching my own transformation, they have the knowledge they need to stay healthy.  If they ever run into trouble with their health, they have told me they would switch to meat-only diet without hesitation.

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

That’s hard to say, but the most rewarding thing has been the interaction with other people who eat like me. They are some of the sharpest, most intelligent, and deep-thinking people I’ve ever encountered. Zero Carb is responsible for many psychological changes as well. Zero Carb people tend to have a better outlook, a more critical eye and they tend to be very direct. I have come to value their opinions more than anyone else in life. If I want a straight-forward, unbiased opinion, I ask a Zero Carb person. I am very thankful for all of my Zero Carb friends I’ve had the pleasure of knowing over the past 7 years. I have eaten at their homes, at restaurants, etc. I have traveled the country meeting these people and I will forever be grateful to them for their counsel.

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

Find a piece of meat you enjoy and eat it until you’re full. Don’t eat again until you’re hungry. Drink water.

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

ZC is not the easiest thing for most people to do. However, there is great reward for the effort.

Charles has a Facebook group called Zeroing in on Health where he and other Zero Carb veterans provide support and information to others who are interested in this lifestyle.

image

Charles dressed for the office.

Please visit my Interviews page 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 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.

If you have benefited from the information offered on this website, and you would like to express your appreciation in a tangible way, you can make a donation directly to PayPal via my email: esmeelafleur@gmail.com.