Zero Carb Interview: Terese Covey

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

Since October 29, 2018

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

Mostly because of having so many cavities, and having to have teeth extracted. 

I was also having issues with digestion, and leaky gut. 

Weight was an issue in the back of my mind as well. But, I wasn’t willing to lose anymore teeth. That was the number one motivation for me. 

I put a question out to the Universe asking why that was happening to me. I received answers. I started coming across other vegans who were having the same issues, and resolving those issues with the Carnivore WOE. 

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

To some degree, I adapted in a few weeks both physically and psychologically. To another degree I am still adapting both physically and psychologically. 

My body is still healing physically. 

I learned that the psychological hurdle is the strongest. I noticed it was my emotions tied into my memories that causes me to think I want a particular carb food. 

I recently experimented with one bite of a piece of freshly made pita bread with freshly made hummus. It did not taste good to me at all, and the texture felt completely bizarre to me. 

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

I haven’t read the entire book yet, but what I have read of the book, The Vegetarian Myth, was very interesting. 

Daphne Rimmel’s YouTube channel, Daphne Reloaded, was the first YouTube channel I came across. That’s where my new journey began. 

From there I found other YouTube channels. Then I found carnivore groups on Facebook. Then I started subscribing to different carnivore email lists.

All of those things helped me in some way. I have felt very supported by the people in the Facebook groups. 

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

I eat beef, pork (no bacon), eggs, chicken (thighs), seafood (ahi tuna, salmon, crab, shrimp, lobster), goat milk, and goat cheese. 

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

Currently, about 50%. In the beginning it was 100%. 

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

Rare to medium rare. 

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

If it is lean, yes. If it is fatty, no. 

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

I eat until satisfied. 

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

I tried and tried to eat liver and other organs. I just couldn’t get comfortable with the taste. So, I have organs in pill form. 

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

Yes. Occasionally. Maybe a few times every other month or so. 

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

I started off with two meals a day when I was only eating meats and eggs. When I started drinking milk, I now only eat one meal a day. Milk fills me up…and I drink it alone, not with a meal. 

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

In the beginning I ate about 1.5 pounds a day. Now I eat about half that, 3 quarters of 1 pound a day because I’m only eating 1 meal. 

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


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

In the beginning it was only water that I drank. Currently, I am also drinking white tea. 

I gave up coffee long ago…it gave me heart palpitations, and I felt angry if I went too far past 24 hours without it. 

16. Do you use salt? 

Yes, and lots of it. I started with pink Himalayan salt. Now I use light grey Celtic salt. 

17. Do you use spices?

No. Spices bother me. I used freshly ground rainbow peppercorns when I first started eating eggs again. Then my grinder broke, and I realized I felt better without the pepper. 

18. Do you take any supplements?

I make my own electrolyte water with the minerals: Grey Celtic salt, baking soda, potassium, and magnesium. I drink that every morning. It keeps the muscles from cramping. 

I take Betatine HCI with Pepsin when I eat a meal. I’m about to switch to a brand that also has ox bile. 

I take grass fed organ pills. 

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

About $250. It was more like $175 until I added the dairy. 

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

Buy on sale and freeze. Don’t buy dairy. Buy ground beef. Buy less expensive cuts of beef like a roast. Chicken and pork are inexpensive, but I wouldn’t recommend eating it so much that you aren’t eating red meats like beef, lamb, and bison. I feel red meats are the most nutritious. Just use the chicken and pork in between the red meats. 

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

When I first began this way of eating I did not exercise for the first few months except for the occasional walk. There was a short period of time (about 2-3 months) that I was weight training (lifting) 3 times a week. But, I stopped when I started full time with 12 units at the junior college. I just didn’t have the time. I plan to get back into the weight training. I feel and look better when I am weight training. 

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.)

I have received so many health benefits! 

•Increased energy 

•Longer stamina 

•Better moods 

•Clearer/sharper mind

•Better sleep

•More muscle mass

•Stronger teeth

•Clear skin

•Shiny, strong hair 

•Clear airway

•No more “getting sick”

•Less body fat

•Better digestion

•Leaky gut healing 

•No more carb crashing 

•Balanced hormones

•Lighter menses

•No more aches and pains

•I think I may be healed from asthma…if not healed 100% yet, definitely 90%!

I have never felt better!

The following are the changes in measurements in 1 year:

•Weight -39 pounds

•Neck -1”

•Bust -4.75”

•Waist -6.65”

•Stomach at naval -6.5”

•Stomach at low level -4.5”

•Hips -6.25”

•L Thigh -4”

•R Thigh -4.25”

•L Calf -1.5”

•R Calf -1.75”

•L Ankle -1.15”

•R Ankle -.75”

•L Bicep -1.85”

•R Bicep -1.75”

•L Forearm -.85”

•R Forearm -1”

•Body Fat 21.8% -7.5%

•BMI 21.1% -4.1%

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

Feeling and looking great, as well as not really having to think about what I’m going to eat. Also, how easy it is to cook a meal. It’s so much faster than having to cook a bunch of different foods to have a meal. 

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

I highly recommend logging everything you eat and drink, and how you feel, as well as the changes that happen. I have been keeping track of everything this entire journey. I have also weighed myself on a scale, daily. I take body fat measurements once a month. 

Studies show that people who log/track what they are doing stick with it. Plus, it helps to figure out where there may need to be adjustments in what you are eating and/or doing. 

Also, in my opinion, it is important to feel supported. It is possible that people in your life won’t support you, and may feel scared about what you are doing. That was my experience. What helped me is the support of the people in the Facebook groups. It wouldn’t have been the same experience without their support. 

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

They are now. They were not in the beginning. They were scared and concerned. What helped me with this were a couple of things. 

1) I live alone, and most days eat alone.

2) I had mental and emotional support in the Facebook groups.

3) I gained knowledge that I was able to share to help ease their minds. 

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

I  had to learn the new ways in which my body let me know it was ready for food. For example, I may start to feel a tiny headache, or feel tired. Those are signals it is time to eat. You will not get that ravenous hungry feeling like you do when you are eating carbs. As soon as I start eating, the headache or tired feeling goes away. 

My First 3 Months on Zero Carb by Tricia Weber

tricia weber

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.