Growing up I had gut issues the majority of my childhood. I would regularly get bloated and experience stomach cramps and diarrhea after meals. All the while others eating the same foods would have much less of a reaction. I saw several specialists, experienced several uncomfortable exams and tests and we never found a “cause” that was treatable in these doctors’ eyes.
By my teenage years I began suffering from terrible acne. I had such oily skin and clogged pores that in middle school it created real shame. After trying many treatments (proactive, retinol cream, differin gel) and seeing a dermatologist for years I started taking the prescription drug Accutane.
For 6 months while on this medication I had several unpleasant side effects. I had regular nose bleeds, dry throat and felt myself being dried from the inside out. It completely wrecked my sense of smell and taste. Years later I ended up having to undergo sinus surgery to clear sinus scarring, and I can only smell and taste 20-30% of what I could before going on this medication.
As my gut issues persisted, I started manifesting an anxiety disorder into sophomore year of college. While studying pre-med, I experienced my first anxiety attack in a professor’s office. I started heating up, sweating profusely, as my heart pounded rapidly. It totally freaked me out. It was not a pleasant experience and started me down the path to avoid any and all situations that could trigger my anxious symptoms of overheating.
The fear of becoming anxious trapped me from facing things I feared, being challenged. I was terrified to get “caught” in a situation where I would experience them and lose control of my feelings and body’s reaction.
Despite this I still managed to successfully graduate college, join Microsoft and then excel at Zillow for nearly a decade as I mastered a career in sales.
Fast forward going into 2014-2015. I left the corporate world to pursue my entrepreneurial dream. To build a business and generate income through my digital agency, Crushvertise. I was experiencing more responsibility and stress than I had ever learned to manage.
I began exploring diet and lifestyle changes to help build my resiliency and ability to handle more. I studied Bulletproof concepts, Tim Ferris and I was starting to practice intermittent fasting, paleo diets and incorporate more keto dieting. I began adding bulletproof coffee (butter, MCT oil) regularly and later started adding afternoon superfood smoothies. Those often consisted of kale, spinach, almond butter, blueberries, flax seeds, chia seeds, honey, cacao nibs and cinnamon.
I thought if I could fuel my body with these “powerful” “healthful” foods I would thrive and be better equipped to handle my anxiety and stress. I figured the healthy antioxidant superfoods combined with a “balanced” “healthy” diet would give me a level of resilience I truly desired.
Unfortunately my anxiety and mood continued to deteriorate. I began waking up anxious, and those feelings would climb. By 10am most mornings I was a wreck and needed to take a break simply to allow anxious feelings to calm. This continued for months until I had another panic attack in my office that ultimately left me traumatized and depressed.
All the while I just so happened to be attending a gym at the same location and time that Dr. Paul Saladino (@CarnivoreMD) went to as well. As we bumped into each other and I was able to foster a friendship we quickly became good buds. He was studying psychiatry and I was desperate to get to the source of what was going on with me.
We were both active and passionate about wellness and optimization. We didn’t have any knowledge about the Carnivore Diet at that time but that changed very quickly.
We did extensive blood panels and GI maps to look for anything and everything that might be causing my mental and gut health issues. Despite our invasive search, nothing obvious stood out. There were no pathogens or issues that came up and we didn’t see any clear reasons for why I was in the condition I was.
I chalked it up to needing to work on my thought pattern and began deeply working on studying and counseling with therapists and specialists to learn more about anxiety and mental health.
While I was making some progress in this area Paul saw Dr. Shawn Baker’s interview about the Carnivore Diet on The Joe Rogan experience and found it quite intriguing. Dr. Saladino was treating patients dealing with mental health and he kept seeing them relapse and/or simply not get well with current treatment protocols.
Paul started Carnivore and he almost immediately started encouraging me to try it when I’d see him. A few weeks after, I followed and went full on Carnivore. Almost immediately I noticed an improvement in my mood. Gut issues continued, but skin and mood started to swing up quickly and drastically.
Paul and I would share meals and experiment with different animal foods, sourcing and prep. It took us a while but we started learning more about raw fats, organ meats and sourcing from regenerative farms.
Six months after starting the diet and I was able to see my gut issues completely remiss and with that almost no anxiety anymore. I remember at one point thinking to myself I had completely forgotten what it was like to eat something and experience gut dis-ease.
Fast forward another nearly year, I’ve gone from fabio, pale frail Kurt struggling emotionally to lumberjack, vital, fit bearded me. The transformation has been incredible.
My emotional state and gut health has completely transformed and this diet has had a tremendous impact in this part of my life change. Since beginning Carnivore I’ve done several rounds of labs, testing hormones, inflammation, micronutrients and toxins. I’ve deeply documented my journey on my Youtube, Instagram and now in my book, The Carnivore Diet.
If you’ve dealt with chronic anxiety or gut issues, I highly encourage you to learn more from my content. This doesn’t have to be a life sentence, you can heal and recover. I know what it’s like to feel “stuck” and not make progress in these areas, but it is possible to recover. I’ve worked hard to get to the root cause and now feel as though I have it handled. The Carnivore Diet done well can be a powerful tool to assist you on the road to recovery.
All the best,
AKA Karnivore Kurt