Zero Carb – The Carnivore Diet

So I’m onto the next stage of food weirdness.

I’m on day 5 of only eating meat.

What is the Zero Carb Diet?
Literally, it’s people who only eat meat and animal products (this can include dairy). Obviously, it won’t include dairy for me. I still think dairy is evil. Some people have been doing this diet for 20 years. There are tribes that only eat meat as well (Inuit, Massai, etc.)

How do they not get scurvy and vitamin deficiencies?
It’s possible that some of the vitamins we need are actually vitamins we use for metabolizing glucose. For instance, vitamin c competes with glucose, so it’s possible that people who don’t eat anything with glucose need far less vitamin c. There also is small amounts of vitamin C in meat

There are a lot of questions about this diet, but people seem to thrive on it.

I’m going to try it out for a month and see what happens.

I have a couple of theories/questions:
1. People who thrive only eating meat have extremely damaged microbiomes and can’t tolerate plants. Meat doesn’t need a microbiome to be digested, so eating meat eliminates the microbiome problem. Plants need to be broken down partly with a functioning microbiome (especially carb-y plants). I don’t believe people are carnivores. I do believe that you need a good microbiome to help you digest plants. Antibiotic use, birth control use, C-sections (among many other things), over generations, is BAD. It’s cumulative too, which concerns me. I obviously have a microbiome problem (I can’t take probiotics is a big clue). I was born C-section so my microbiome is going to be a little funky. Or a lot funky. Then my baby, born naturally, breastfed, is still going to have a funky microbiome because she inherits it from me! Generationally, through antibiotic use and whatever else, we’re screwing over our children. It’s terrible. Anyway, I think maybe that’s the reason for this new microbiome-less diet. If anyone has any info on the microbiomes of carnivorous people, comment below, that’d be really interesting.
2. Maybe people on the zero carb diet haven’t tried the safe foods. A lot of the stories I’ve read are people trying to reintroduce fruit and nuts and then declaring all plants are harmful to them. What happens if you reintroduce coconut oil? Lettuce? Is that still going to bother you?

Why am I doing this?
1. I haven’t been able to get as well as I felt before the pregnancy. I’m at an 8/10. I was able to get to a 9.5-10/10 before the pregnancy. I was able to tolerate more and now I can’t without a reaction. I feel good but not AS good as I did before. This is probably from a microbiome change. There’s evidence that your microbiome gets less diverse during pregnancy. This is something I REALLY didn’t need. (See this article for more info: “The first trimester gut microbiota is similar in many aspects to that of healthy non-pregnant male and female controls, but by the third trimester, the structure and composition of the community resembles a disease-associated dysbiosis that differs among women”… GR8)
2. Every time I try to reintroduce probiotics it fails miserably. Even baby amounts. There’s something really wrong if you can’t tolerate probiotics in any form in any amount. I can’t even do homemade sauerkraut (and I don’t have a problem with red cabbage so it’s not the cabbage).
3. I don’t seem to be getting less sensitive, which makes me think I’m not healing, I’m just not irritating myself. I need to move onto the healing stage.

Plan of action:
1. Meat for a month, see if I feel any better/different.
2. Eat lettuce after a month and see if that irritates me. (Arthritis, digestive problems)
3. If it turns out (my limited) plants are bothering me, I’ll continue with the all meat diet and theoretically allow my gut to heal. Bone broth, and meat. THEN I’ll attempt to add in probiotics and some plants once I’m healed.

I know that when I have a reaction I can’t digest plants properly. I also know that almost all plants give me an autoimmune disorder and severe depression and skin issues and makes my life literally not worth living. I wanted to try all meat a while ago but was unsure about the vitamin thing. After some research though I feel a bit better and am more than willing to give it a try:

http://www.jbc.org/content/87/3/651.full.pdf+html

https://zerocarbzen.com/resources/ – This guy really knows his stuff

Vegetables

https://thenortheasttoday.com/anderson-family-on-meat-diet-for-17-years/#

Nobody else is doing this that I know (dad seems to be tolerating his foods excellently, and so is my husband). So I’ll give it a try and let you all know how it goes. Next month I’ll either feel 100% or I’ll go back to what I’m eating now. I’m also going to do stool testing for my family to see if that’ll show me anything of use.

UPDATE (March 2018): Carnivore diet still going strong. Only beef and salt and water at this point. Feeling good.

31 thoughts on “Zero Carb – The Carnivore Diet

  1. Janet says:

    Hi Mikhaila
    Here is a website re-histamine intolerance https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11175/everything-you-need-to-know-about-histamine-intolerance.html
    and a website re-probiotics and histamine
    I emailed you a year ago and you were very supportive re- my diet and depression. I haven’t done the full elimination diet but will in the new year because like you I am convinced it is food related. You may already know about the histamine thing but wanted to pass on info. Take care

  2. Lori Gustafson says:

    After pregnancy, it takes a while for your body to get back to before, if it ever does. Anything you can do to get it augmented and replenished will help. Making a baby takes its toll. I lost a total of an inch of height from carrying both of my babies. Don’t forget that taking care of baby means you have less energy for taking care of you. Ask for help whenever you can get it. Good luck and feel better.

  3. Mahsa says:

    How interesting and inspiring. Good luck!

    I’ve been eliminating a lot of foods too, but even broccoli makes me gassy, and I’m itchy all the time (I eat occasional carrots & potato). I’m gonna go zero carb too or only leafy greens. I’m also allergic to asparagus although they are low carb. Plants are weird!

    • Plants are weird. I found the easiest plants to digest were lettuce and arugula, cilanto, etc. But recently (like I said) I’ve had issues with those too. I’ll keep everyone updated on this diet though!

  4. David says:

    Hi Mikhaila,
    It’s worth mentioning that traditional meat eaters tend to eat the whole animal, organs included. Organs are full of vitamins and minerals, much more than the muscle/skeletal meat. Liver is the best source of Vitamin A, and it’s not a precursor like Beta Carotene found in veggies, so it’s absorbed more easily. They’re hard to take but if you can stomach them, they might be a good addition.

    On an unrelated note, I contributed to your Patreon and wasn’t sure if you’ve sent out emails yet because I didn’t get one. I’m hoping it didn’t go to spam :/ If you haven’t gotten to it yet, no worries! Hope you and the baby are doing well!

  5. g.sartor says:

    Very interesting. I’m wondering if all the antibiotics, steroids and painkillers I’ve had over many years have severely damaged my microbiota, and am willing to try this nothing but meat thing too. Have you ever looked into a flora transplant from healthy human microbiota? It saved my mother’s life after the hospital gave her C-diff because they had an outbreak, but you can’t get it in Canada unless you have C-diff. Of course it is readily available in the United States for those who want one.

  6. Hi Mikaila, sorry to hear you are still suffering. My wife has prescribed and managed zero carb diets for extremely reactive patients using a protocol exactly as you are suggesting. Where a patient can tolerate it (if they can afford to lose weight) she puts them on a day of fasting, then bone broth only, then meat/fish for a month. Then foods are gradually reintroduced, one additional food is introduced for a day then back to the meat only for a couple of days to watch for effects. If OK then eat it regularly. Simple vegetables are the starting point – as you say not nuts and seeds until way later! Crohn’s, autistic and autoimmune patients have all recovered/very significant improvements on this protocol. So give it a go! Good luck.

  7. Florian says:

    fantastic. was wondering if i should recommend this diet here anywhere.
    Check out justmeat.co for a great rabbithole of information.
    I’m not on this diet myself but i’ve been toying with testing it out.

    Other than that. Have a look into fecal transplants.

    Wish you well on these 30 days.

  8. Peter says:

    Having a baby takes a lot nutrients out of your body. You build a baby out of your own flesh after all. I was wondering if you can tolerate liver as it is natures multi-vitamin and a virtual superfood. Other organ meats are very nutritious as well; more so that muscle meat. Incorporating the into your diet, if you haven’t already, might help you get back to your old self.

      • Grace says:

        Not eating organ meats is a very western prejudice. As a kid in Poland, I ate liver every week, mainly chicken liver. The same I did for my son since we moved to Canada. Liver has plenty of iron and it is very tasty if done properly. Must be salted AFTER it is cooked, to remain soft..

  9. Shane says:

    I’m going to be going full carnivore as well starting January. It’s awesome to know you’re doing it too; that I may coming to similar conclusions as someone who has done as much research as yourself is heartening. I’ve approached the nutrition from an allergy angle, and going carnivore is extremely consistent in terms of avoiding all the classes of food to which humans seem to develop allergies.

  10. Theresa says:

    I’ve been doing this (with a few small exceptions) for a couple of years and I have found it works quite well. One piece of advice though, if you’re going to concentrate on meat – get yourself a sous vide cooker. It perfectly preserves and retains all of the vitamins, tenderness and flavour of any meat you cook. It also preserves the valuable meat fats that are part of the building blocks for vitamin c. Literally the best kitchen appliance I own. Look it up and put it on your Christmas list if it’s not too late. Merry Christmas to you and your family! Xo

  11. David Galloway says:

    I’m curious to hear if you’re mainly eating steaks and chicken wings or if you are using a wider variety of meat? I saw another person on a carnivore diet that eats a single mean of 2lb of sirloin steak in a single sitting each day.

    As much as I love sirloin, I’m not sure if I could handle that regimen or not.

  12. Christopher Duncan says:

    Hi Mikhaila,

    Here is some info that is highly likely you are already familiar with:

    http://myzerocarblife.jamesdhogan.com/wp/

    http://www.zerocarbhealth.com/index.php/zc-blogs/science/

    There is a HUGE amount of info out there — probably too much info. Not sure which figure of speech to use…chew the meat, spit out the bones. Boil down the cabbage (though probably don’t eat the cabbage) to something practical, pragmatic, utilitarian, manageable, and simple. Roughly speaking.

    The Kelly Hogan one is interesting since ate in a “boring” and “weird” way during her pregnancy.

  13. Digby says:

    I’m starting on meat diet Dec 31 when I get home from vacation. I’ve been mostly keto for a while, but developed major lower back issues on vacation eating a little bit mors veg-fruit. Hoping to see overall joint improvement.
    Glad to stumble onto your site.

  14. This is interesting. Have you ever heard of Dr. Steven Gundry? He has a lot of theories and useful information regarding plant consumption and the way our bodies react to it, he really opened my eyes to some of the harm. Good luck and I hope you start feeling better! I am currently pregnant and look forward to going through your past blogs to see some of your dieting during your pregnancy.

  15. Hi, not trying to be antagonistic here, but please look at the actual scientific evidence on the INNUIT AND MASAI. They all end up with heart disease and clogged arteries, and in the case of the Innuit, often have strokes. The healthy carnivore diet is mostly a myth and will lead to terrible long-term health outcomes for the average sedentary western individual.

    See these links:

    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/omega-3s-and-the-eskimo-fish-tale/

    https://nutritionstudies.org/masai-and-inuit-high-protein-diets-a-closer-look/

    In contrast, if you read “The Blue Zones” by Dan Buetnner, and “Healthy at 100” by John Robbins, you will see that all of the well-studied populations of people around the world, who live the longest and have the lowest incidence of disease, eat a diet of 85-99% plants, with only small amounts of meat and dairy.

    I just couldn’t help but share this info after watching the above video and seeing that this Dr. is recommending a carnivore diet in part, because he does not have accurate information on the Innuit and Masai…

    If anyone wants more info you can comment and I will give you my website, as well as some other resources that can help you understand what the root of most health issues are, why sometimes a diet of plants can make you feel worse before you feel better, and also why some degree of fasting is often necessary in order to restore your health.

    • I’d like you to give me ANY study linking MEAT consumption to ill health. ANY study. We can go through it and I’ll point out where it goes wrong. Most of these studies either don’t look at external factors (vegetarians often drink and smoke less), or they look at dairy and meat consumption linked to ill health. I am not a fan of dairy, I don’t think we should be eating it and there is evidence it leads to health problems. I’m a huge proponent of eating meat. And linking to nutritionstudies.org… That is a terrible place to go for scientific research. They have such a bias.

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