Lex Rooker: The Unique Healing Power of an All-Raw Zero Carb Diet

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Editor’s note: This testimonial was originally published on a raw paleo forum website. However, it has since been removed for unknown reasons. I contacted Lex via email and asked him if I could please re-publish it on my blog, and he gave me his permission to do so. As someone who only benefits by eating his meat and other animal foods raw, I feel his story is simply too valuable to get lost in the ethers.

Health Problems From the Start & Conventional Treatments

It seems I’ve always had some sort of health problem. I was born in 1951. My mother had no breast milk so I had to be bottle fed. I was prone to colic and my thymus gland (a baby’s 1st defense against infection), didn’t shrink at the rate the doctors thought it should so they decided to intervene. At that time the doctors thought that radiation would cure everything so they gave radiation treatments to my lower throat area. This did cause the thymus gland to shrink, however, it also caused tumors to grow on my thyroid gland by the time I was age six. The tumors were removed, they were said to be benign so everyone thought that was that. Unfortunately, the tumors returned when I was 10 and they had to be removed again – this time they took half the thyroid too. Problem apparently solved.

By age 15 I had cystic acne, which again was treated with radiation. It did seem to help the acne, but 20 years later I started developing skin cancer lesions on the areas of my face that had been exposed to the radiation. To this day I see a dermatologist every six months to have the lesions frozen off. And I now refuse all forms of “preventive diagnostic radiation” like annual dental X-rays.

I was a heavy milk drinker as I was told by parents and doctors that milk was important for health. The more dairy products I ate the worse my acne and I had constant post nasal drip and phlegm. This got remarkably better when I gave up dairy, but I digress…

As a teenager I started getting migraine headaches. I would get at least 3 headaches a month, and the pain was so bad that at times I just wanted to die. The doctors couldn’t find anything wrong, and just prescribed heavy duty pain killers. I started reading everything I could find about health at that time in hopes of finding something that would take the headaches away.

Alternative Health Options

I read Sheldon, Bragg, Carrington, Professor Hotima, Victoris Kulvinskas, Norman Walker, Wigmore, Pritikin – you name the guru, I tried the cure. I did a 31 day distilled water fast (Bragg), and went from 180 lbs to about 96 lbs – almost died, but was convinced that it would be worth it if the headaches went away, and they did for almost 2 years. The problem was that I was so weakened by the fast that it took those 2 years to recover, and then the headaches returned.

I juiced carrots, celery, parsley, beats, and turnip greens and drank the juice by the quart until my skin turned orange (Walker). I raised wheat grass and drank 8 oz of wheat grass juice per day (Wigmore). I sprouted soybeans, wheat, millet, buckwheat, and sunflower seeds, and made ‘rejuvilac’ (Kulvinskasv). I made ‘Essene’ bread from sprouted grains and lentils. I ate cherries by the bushel basket when they were in season (Sheldon), and drank a quart of a tonic made from apple cider vinegar and honey every day (Bragg). None of this did any good. My headaches were as bad as ever, and I felt terrible most of the time.

By then we had the vegetarian movement so I went totally vegan from about 1978 until 1989. My health became so bad that it was painful to get up in the morning. My joints hurt and my teeth were losing their enamel. Not only did I have the killer headaches that would send me to bed in the dark with a heating pad over my face, but my muscles would go into hard painful cramps and spasms that would send me to the emergency room for a shot of muscle relaxant and pain killer.

The interesting part is, I was eating large amounts of whole grains and avoided all those bad “fats” like the plague. I tried the fruitarian route and only lasted a couple of weeks before I was so weak that I could hardly move.
About this time I discovered Pritikin, and that probably saved my life. I went back to eating meat in small amounts but held to the low fat theory because of all those “studies” that showed that animal fat was the cause of heart disease and cancer. At least life was somewhat normal and I felt OK (but not great) most of the time. Still had the headaches but they were once a month or so.

Paleolithic Transition

It was in late 1999 that I ran across Ray Audette’s book Neanderthin. This is also about the time that this wonderful world of the Internet really started to become useful. I started researching the Paleo type diets and began to slowly move in that direction. I still cooked everything, but cut out grains, dairy, and the like but was convinced that my diet still needed to be predominately fruits and vegetables with just small amounts of meat – sort of a super Pritikin without the grains, dairy, and potatoes. I would eat large salads (2 gallon bowl) of mixed greens and veggies with about 8 oz of meat at a meal.

Things got considerably better on my interpretation of the Neanderthin diet, but by this time I’m getting older. I hit 50 in 2001. I was still getting the occasion headache but now it was once every couple of months. I have also suffered from Prostatitis (inflamed prostate gland) since about age 25. I’d get flair-ups every couple of years that would send me to the hospital and I’d be on antibiotics for 6 – 8 weeks. One of these bouts hit in 2003 and this is when they discovered that my blood pressure was rising (147/90 at the time), blood sugar was elevated (fasting level 140), and triglycerides were about 500. All of this was attributed by the medical profession to just normal aging. This was also about the time that the dentist determined that I had advanced gum disease would need to see a specialist as both gums and bone holding the teeth were receding.

I was told that I would need to start taking blood pressure medication, diabetic pills, and cholesterol reducing drugs. The doctors said, “Of course there will be side effects like impotence, nausea, headaches, etc., but we should be able to control most of those by rotating through different drugs” As you can imagine, I was not thrilled.

It was back to the Internet where my next revelation was that I got the “hunter/gatherer” thing backwards. Hunter is first and so diet should be mostly meat. Gathering is for lean times when meat is not available. I had been doing almost the exact opposite. So now I moved to eating a large serving of meat or eggs at each meal but was sure to supplement with a salad and fruit to get all those necessary vitamins and minerals that you just couldn’t get from meat (you know, like vitamin C). I still cooked the meat to at least medium well and I just couldn’t eat fat, it would make me gag. I did notice an immediate improvement in digestion with the change to a higher protein way of eating. Much less gas and indigestion.

About this time a friend gave me a book on the Lewis and Clarke expedition where many of their journal entries were reproduced. I found it amazing to read that each man would often eat 9 lbs of meat after a day of heavy labor. Lewis also recounted that when they would kill a large animal, that the Indians would eat the organs raw. There were times when they subsisted on nothing but Pemmican (mostly dried raw meat and fat) yet remained in perfect health. This helped me to better understand just how much meat I really needed to eat as well as the importance of fat.

A year or so ago I ran across Geoff’s Raw Paleo Diet Yahoo! group and read every post with relish. It is this group and the links that Geoff provided that gave me the courage to try eating meat raw and ultimately doing away with fruits and veggies altogether. I figured that if Vilhjalmur Stefansson could do it then I could too. It was not easy but I did do it almost over night. I think the transition took about 3 months total. I’ve recounted some of the milestones of my return to health in that forum. In the beginning I would have killed for a Pepsi or cookie or a piece of fruit. Now I don’t miss the carbs at all, and seldom think about food. I eat once a day, about 2 lbs of mixed raw organ and muscle meat from grass fed beef – that’s it.

At this time my blood pressure is 102/67, my blood sugar stays right around 95 – 100, pulse has dropped from a resting rate of 78 to a resting rate of 60, and the dentist is amazed at the return of bone density and solid pink gums. Pain from arthritis in hands and knees is completely gone. Cancerous lesions on my face have all but disappeared (I used to have at least a dozen every 6 months and last month there were none). Still have prostate issues but I do see improvement there also. I used to get up every 2 hours at night, and after a year on this diet it is every 3 – 4 hours depending on how much water I drink before going to bed. I will be going to the doctor for a physical in a few weeks and will report cholesterol, triglycerides, and anything else of interest to the group when I get the results.

Lex Rooker’s journal is still publically available on-line and may be read here:

htstp://www.rawpaleodietforum.com/journals/lex’s-journal/

 

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My First 30 Days on Zero Carb by Karen Kelbell

Karen Kelbell

Karen Kelbell on her Path to Well-Being

I came to Zero Carb from a low carb background. I’m 57 years old and I’ve been low carbing for the last 30 years, gaining and losing the same weight over and over. I’ve found that the older I get the harder it’s been to lose. I’m 5’2 and was at an all time high weight of 273 pounds when I started keto. It took 6 weeks before I became keto-adapted and the next month was great. I had lots of energy and lost 18 pounds. Then, I hit a brick wall. For the next 18 months my weight would go up and down a couple of pounds, but I was never able to get under 255.

I know that my biggest problem was embracing what I call the “new keto.” My goal every day was to fit in as many substitute “junk” foods (many with Zero Carb sweeteners) as I could without exceeding 20 grams of carbs. Net carbs were the rule for all of my high fiber substitute foods which meant I subtracted the fiber grams from the total carbohydrate grams.

In addition to not being able to lose weight, I began to suffer from chronic fatigue. I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue by a naturopath, due to my low cortisol levels and other symptoms. I can’t really describe the tiredness of chronic fatigue. Every movement was a challenge and some days even speaking was too difficult. I was suffering from depression and had an extremely negative attitude. I really believe I was causing everyone around me to suffer right along with me. It’s hard to deal with an illness that some in the medical field won’t even acknowledge.

Getting dressed and going anywhere took every ounce of my energy and usually left me wiped out for the rest of the day. I would wake up after a sleepless night and wish the day were already over. Some days I despaired of life and wished it would end. There are no words for how terrible I was feeling, both physically and mentally.

It was at this time that a friend suggested I try doing a high protein moderate fat keto diet. Supposedly this was the way to health and weight loss. I ended up gaining 8 pounds in 3 days! I was having trouble maneuvering the stairs in my home and would find myself out of breath once I reached the top. I was feeling scared at how out of shape I was, but didn’t know what to do. I started doing a beginner body building workout, but could barely get past the basics.

I was full of despair and – to add to my already stressed out life – my daughter had announced she would be getting married in 5 months. I was so tired and so overweight and so overwhelmed, I couldn’t even feel joy for her happiness. I didn’t know what to do. The 8 pounds I’d gained, putting me at 265, weren’t budging. I went back to my LCHF keto diet.

A couple of days later an interesting story came across my news feed in a keto group I was in. It was the story of Kelly Williams Hogan and her Zero Carb journey. I was intrigued, but I thought it was too much of an extreme. Meat and water? Who could live on that?! I honestly don’t know if I would have tried Zero Carb if I hadn’t been absolutely desperate. I HAD to lose some weight. So, I decided to give it a try.

I found the Facebook group Zeroing In On Health and started reading everything I could, both there and elsewhere on the internet about this unique diet. At first, I desperately hung on to my coffee replacement drink with heavy cream and a tiny scoop of stevia. It was so small; it couldn’t be that bad! Things went well and I lost 5 pounds in 5 days. So far, so good.

Then something astounding happened. I woke up on Day 6 and my life had changed. I felt rested, peaceful, and happy. Getting up didn’t seem to be a chore. As the day went on, I realized my new found energy was staying with me. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I was doing Zero Carb to lose weight, never dreaming it would make me well. The next day was the same.

I realized the hip and knee pain that had been waking me up at night (when – by some miracle – I was able to get some sleep) was now gone. My mood continued to improve, even when I didn’t think it could get any better. I’ve seen this described by some people on Zero Carb as “euphoria.” I would say that’s a good description. Then I had a setback.

I took my sleeping pill one night and didn’t go immediately to bed. I was then able to convince myself that eating a couple of mini low carb chocolate bars made perfect sense. After all, I was still using the stevia in my coffee replacement drink without any visible problems, but now I realize this “carb-free” sweetener was perpetuating my desire for sweet things. They say experience is the best teacher. I’d have to agree.

The next morning I woke up and the tiredness was back. I felt nervous and edgy all day and had gained 3 pounds. So, I decided I was going to give Zero Carb my all. I wanted that good feeling back! That day I gave up my stevia for good. I also gave up the coffee replacement drink. I did start having a cup of coffee in the morning with heavy cream. I just felt like I needed it.

After 3 days I was back to feeling great again, although my weight at that point was bouncing around. I read that dairy could stall weight loss, so I decided to give it up. (I probably should have given up the scale, as well.) I wasn’t eating much cheese, maybe an ounce or less every few days, so that wasn’t hard. I tried drinking a cup of coffee black, but found it tasted so bad without cream there was no point in drinking it.

I’ve now fallen into an easy basic Zero Carb routine. Eat meat (and eggs). Drink water. Live (and enjoy!) my life. I love the simplicity of it. No more counting carbs or worrying about whether I’ve eaten the proper ratios. It’s like everything is built into Zero Carb eating. I get hungry, I eat. I eat until I’m full. When I’m full, I stop. At first I felt hungry a lot and worried about eating too much. But I was trusting what I’d read on Zeroing in on Health and ate if I was hungry.

After about a week or so, I found I was only able to eat 2 meals a day. That was so amazing to me. I wanted to try eating only one meal a day, but I knew that I would be playing head games if I tried to manipulate my hunger. So, I just let my body lead me.

At first I thought eating meat would be the most boring thing ever and wasn’t sure I would be able to stick to it. It hasn’t been that way at all. I wait until I am truly hungry and then every piece of fatty meat I eat tastes wonderful. I feel like I’m eating a King’s diet. After only 30 days, it is clear to me that this way of eating is not only the way out of my obesity nightmare, but it is also the path to restoring my health. I am sold on it for life.

To date, I have lost a total of 9 pounds. My clothes are also fitting much better and I’m sure if I had measured inches in the beginning I’d be amazed at the results. Zero Carb is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I’m thankful every day for the opportunity to live life to its fullest. I am actually looking forward to each day now, and I am even feeling excited about my daughters upcoming wedding!

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.