Zero Carb/Carnivore Diet – update 2 months in

Hey everyone,

I tried reintroducing olives. I was pretty skeptical about the zero carb thing. I thought maybe the reason it was working for people was because they ended up cutting out all the problematic foods at once – wheat, dairy, soy, sugar, preservatives, everything. But maybe they were also eliminating the beneficial foods.

Anyway, I reintroduced olives, just to see. I thought olives would be in the category of beneficial foods. Ones with nothing but organic olives and olive oil. I had no bloating, no digestive problems, and no weird woozy feeling after eating (a lot of) them,  but then two days later I started getting lower back pain. I get lower back pain before the reaction hits my mood. And it always hits my mood if I get that pain. So I stopped the olives (actually I ran out – I really like olives). I haven’t had any since. I probably had the equivalent of a jar of them over a period of 3 days. I may have continued eating them when my back started hurting, hoping it was nothing. But it’s never nothing.

Long story short – vegetables/fruit/etc are not in the game for me anymore. I’m having a reaction (very minor in comparison to what I’ve experienced previously with other foods – rice, soy, etc.). My muscles are tense, my ankle and my hip have stiffened up, I’m minorly arthritic in my shoulder, big toe, and knee, my lips started cracking, my face is a bit puffy, and my mood has dropped about 25%. I have lower back pain, I’m closer to tears, and my skin is irritated – minor breakouts. I’m also getting cravings again! I haven’t had cravings in months. All in all, I can’t eat olives, looks like plants are out, but the reaction is minor in comparison to most other foods

If I were reading this a number of years ago I would probably look at this and think “hypochondriac”. I don’t know what to say to that.

It looks like everything other than meat is giving me arthritis. I seem to have lost a tolerance to the few vegetables I could tolerate before the pregnancy. I’m not particularly upset, I’m still happy that I can get rid of the arthritis with diet. Just wanted to update everyone.

On the bright side, my husband is thriving on the diet I have listed, and dad is managing. He’s not quite as sensitive as me, but I feel like if we can’t figure out the underlying problem, he might end up on just meat too.

Another bright side, I am not sick of steak. I don’t think I can get sick of ribeye. At least I’m not stuck eating eggplant right?

Here’s a picture of a 6-month-old baby:

#6monthsold Scarlett 😍

A post shared by Mikhaila Peterson (@mikhailapeterson) on

20 thoughts on “Zero Carb/Carnivore Diet – update 2 months in

  1. Jasper says:

    Also, this is the most comprehensive and up-to-date article I’ve found on PubMed. I think you’d be interested in the portions on diet and in the summary at the end where they specifically say some evidence shows that a diet low in fat and sugar (carnivore diet) appears to promote growth of the gut mucosa

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4253991/

  2. Irishman says:

    Hey Mikhaila. I’m in a similar boat. I’m Irish, a man in my early 30s.

    I want to run an idea past you. You may know it already. Most plants (except fruit) have evolved all sorts of defenses to avoid being eaten. If I eat undercooked or raw vegetables, I get all kinds of nasty symptoms (brainfog, peripheral neuropathy, skin breakouts, fatigue). But if I *cook the living hell out of them* (by boiling) I’m ok.

    Have you tried this, boiling the veggies for extra long?

    My diet is pretty much.

    Protein: Beef (steak, ground beef) lamb, fish

    Everything else: spinach (cooked very well), small amounts of broccoli (also cooked very well), and squash.

    Also, for reasons I can’t fathom, I can’t handle dairy except for hard *vintage* cheese, which causes no reaction at all.

    • Sounds like the dairy problem might be lactose? Super vintage cheeses are very low in lactose (I’m assuming you’re talking about hard cheeses?)

      • Irishman says:

        Interesting, that’s probably it. Thanks. I’ve considered what you wrote elsewhere about dairy – that it’s probably not good for the system, so I only have it every now and then.

        Are you still on zero carb? There’s a physician on twitter named Ted Naiman who you might be interested in following. He’s into the low carb / high protein diet and breaks things down in a very straightforward no-bs way.

  3. Mrs B says:

    Thanks M
    I decided to quit dairy in a bid to work out if that was the cause of minor joint and major foot pain. I have stopped dairy one month and am eating coconut cream and nuts and berries for snack rather than cheese. After walking the Camino, I am going to try the Elimination Diet – and get the IgG tests.
    Sorry for #TMI, but the only change I have noticed is reduced volume of bowel movements. It could be three things: quitting dairy, partial bowel block due to post surgical adhesions or my ovarian cancer has popped in for a visit. Do any OPs want to comment on changes on output after quitting dairy?
    Thanks.

    • Honestly there’s so much opposing information out there. Even if you read a bunch of studies saying one thing, there are going to be studies saying the opposite. zerocarbzen is useful, but you can always find opposing studies. If I were you I would test it out yourself. A month isn’t going to hurt either way, and then you can kind of feel your way around after that. Your body will tell you what’s good for it.

  4. Ville says:

    Hey Mikhaila! I’d firstly like to thank you so so much for bringing up the relation between (found the video ‘Digesting Depression’) diet and depression. I probably would have never found out otherwise, as dumb as it might seem now. I’ve been on an elimination diet (to treat my depression) for 2 and a half weeks now and I’m almost certain that gluten caused the issues for me since I’m feeling so much better already, but to be certain, I’m only eating greasy meat/chicken/fish, green veggies and a small amount of oil for now. The problem is that for many years along with the depression I’ve also been affected by this enormous fatigue. At first I thought it was the depression that made me unable to get out of bed (partly maybe, yes) but now that my mood has clearly increased positively, I still lack the energy to wake up and I feel exhausted all day every day even though I would force myself up after a normal amount of sleep or sleep as long as I feel like. So my questions are:

    How long did it take for you to get rid of the fatigue after giving up gluten?
    Would you say that your body is in ketosis? (because I think that would somewhat explain your energy level increase, MAYBE)
    What are your quick thoughts on ketogenic diet?

    I’ve been thinking of reducing my protein intake (it’s really high at the moment) and increase fat intake so that my body would go into ketosis, since that just might do the trick, but it’s hard to find studies on the safety of it.

    Again, a MASSIVE thank you – you have truly aided me a great deal and I believe that many others as well. Best of luck to you and your family! 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words 🙂 You can buy keto urine strips on amazon to test whether or not you’re in ketosis. I wouldn’t worry too much about protein determining whether or not you’re in ketosis. Increasing fat intake is always a good idea though. I cut out gluten in May 2015 and my fatigue didn’t lift until January 2016. It was the last symptom to go. I don’t think it would have left if gluten was the only thing I removed either, I needed to remove a number of other things. I don’t know whether or not I was in ketosis when it lifted… I wasn’t even aware of the keto diet at that point.

  5. Jay says:

    Hi mikhaila, are you eating cheese or eggs as well, or just meat? I am carnivore for about a month and feel great so far. Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. Charlene says:

    I love to see consistency! I had similar responses to reintroduction of (fill in the blank). Ribeye is best, and never, ever tiresome, even after all these years! So glad you found relief, Mikhaila!!

  7. Hanny says:

    It is no wonder that your gut bacteria is a mess when taking shocking amounts of antibiotics and immune suppressants your whole life. I think it is a plausible assumption that many of your health issues are caused by candida, especially as you reported feeling drunk after eating sugar which I have heard before. However, meat is very bad for the bacteria as it creates an environment in which candida can take over even more. It might help in the short run but as you mentioned your sensitivities increase as your gut is getting worse over time. I don‘t really know how to fix this but you NEED plants and fiber to repair your gut and avoid antibiotics like the plague. I rely a lot on Dr. Michael Greger when it comes to nutritional advice and yes, he is vegan, but that shouldn‘t stop you from having a look into his impressive collection of studies he and his team reviewed. You can find him on Youtube and he even wrote a book lately called „How Not To Die“. He is all about general health advice so I don‘t know whether it will help you specifically but the science seems legit.

    • This information isn’t correct. A meat diet does NOT encourage candida growth. Dr Michael Greger has an agenda and the advice he gives is harmful if anything. If you’re getting information that meat causes candida from him, that’s so wrong its shocking. The vegan diet is extremely harmful. I do see the benefit of cutting dairy but the idea that humans shouldn’t eat meat is idiotic at best. If you just compare him to Dr. Shawn Baker (meat only) in looks you can tell who is healthier. Your gut doesn’t need plants. Your information is faulty.

      • Mrs B says:

        I was vegan for 4 years and got very ill. I am grateful that I was able to recover from low B-12.
        Vegan groups gave me wrong information about where I could get B-12.
        Some people can cope with a vegan diet. Not me.
        I still suffer balance problems from my disastrous vegan experience.

      • Sorry, Hanny. Vegans have no credibility when it comes to dietary advise. Their primary concern is animals (I have no problem with that), but then they make up stuff to justify being a vegan. There is absolutely no reason why you can’t indulge in other foods. And in the case of Mikhaila, eating just meat turned her entire life around. A vegan/plant based diet would have resulted in little or no improvement.

        And the title of his book, “How Not to Die,” implies that you will die if you are not a vegan. In reality, we have so many more people living past 90 and 100, and I doubt more than 1% of them were or are vegans.

      • Michele Craig says:

        I would love to hear why you think Greger is wrong as he always cites the scientific studies to back his arguments. Are there other studies he leaves out? I have found a lot of relief for my RA symptoms when I eliminate the dairy, wheat and meat.

        • Have you tried just eliminating the dairy and wheat though? Sometimes people end up eliminating meat and the reason it helps is because of the other things they’ve eliminated. I’m going to start summarizing scientific articles, I’ll look into some of his studies and definitely post them.

  8. Greger is a vegan first, and a plant-based diet advocate second.

    He does not want to use animals for food. That’s fine. But then he makes up bogus “science,” and write a book called How Not to Die. Like eating steak once a month or eggs once a week is going to kill you.

    Never trust a vegan providing nutritional advise. Nothing wrong with a plant-based diet. But it is unrealistic for 99% of the population.

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