Mental health – depression

Real People, Real Results​

Coach Evan reverses ankylosing spondylitis on low-carb diet

Evan grew up in Alberta, Canada, and holds a BA in Psychology, and a BEd in Secondary Education. He has previously lived in northern Sweden, and briefly in Norway.

 

He has been eating a primarily carnivore diet for over 2 years, which has largely improved/put his depression, anxiety, ADHD, autoimmune issues, GI problems, and many other ailments into remission. After being unable to perform strenuous physical activity for a long period of time, Evan’s performance capacity has dramatically increased, allowing him to get back into weightlifting and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Victoria improves health on low-carb diet

Since 1975, Victoria has divided her time between her native Paraguay and the United States. Coming from a long line of family members who were active and healthy well into their late nineties, Victoria became concerned last year when—at 66 years old—she felt she was losing energy and generally not feeling her best. Not keen to go on medication, she decided to do some research to see what else she could try, and when she came across the carnivore diet—it was advice that sounded vaguely familiar. “My God,” she said, “My grandfather and my father used to eat basically meat. A lot of meat in the morning…beef with a lot of eggs. My father passed away this year in January and he was 100 years old, and he could do everything by himself. He was a little slow, but he could bathe and eat by himself, walk—and his mind was so clear!”

Victoria decided to take the plunge and go fully carnivore. The result? Her psoriasis disappeared and she ended up losing 32 pounds! Her son, who was considering a plant-based diet at the time, saw his mother’s transformation and decided to give it a go. An avid athlete and fighter, he was able to heal many of his past injuries and is feeling fantastic. Her daughter was a bit more wary, but as Victoria was doing the cooking, she inadvertently signed up to do the carnivore diet too! Initially, her daughter experienced terrible hives, but after a few days her body calmed down and she has since experienced the same life-changing results as her mother. They both believe that it was her body releasing years of toxins, which surprised Victoria considering her family always ate high quality organic food in the past. Victoria says to people who are transitioning from a standard western diet to expect some detox symptoms when going carnivore, but encourages them to press through and keep going.

Another family member that experienced relief on the carnivore diet was Victoria’s 84 year old aunt, who was able to go from using a walker, to using a cane, to not needing any mobility aids whatsoever. A great reminder that you’re never too old to try something new, or to give your body the opportunity to heal.

Now, Victoria’s meals take 10-15 minutes to create, and she’s delighted with all of the extra time she has to do other things. At 67, she is on no medication, and has recaptured the boundless energy that she had been seeking just 9 months before.

Victoria’s story reminds us that the carnivore diet isn’t a new way of eating, but a return to what people in many different countries considered perfectly normal not so long ago. Whether she’s taking part in barbecues in Paraguay or eating ribeye steaks in the United States, Victoria feels amazing and is happily spreading the word far and wide. “Try it for 90 days—it won’t kill you—but it can change your life!”

Gene sees improvements in gout, depression, ADHD, anxiety, and recovery from exercise

Hi, my name is Gene. As a kid I had real struggle with ADHD, emotional regulation, and depression. It was bad enough that I was often placed in a room by myself, and at one school, a closet because I was so disruptive. I found ways to cope as I moved into adulthood, but not in ways that good call healthy.

By 40 I was over 200lbs at a modest 5′ 7.5″ and going though at least a bottle of wine a night (2x on weekends) with gout and ever-increasing liver enzyme numbers and blood pressure (none of which my Docs ever commented on) and a 39in waist.

I quit drinking in November 2017, and quickly went through the typical paleo- keto- carnivore path, and by July 2018 I was fully carnivore, almost by accident.

I can’t really say how long it took, but sometime in fall 2018 I suddenly realized I hadn’t felt like dying in maybe the longest stretch of my life ever. It was amazing. I’ve held on to that since. I still struggle from time to time, but it’s nothing like it was.

I’m also gout free, with good numbers for everything but LDL, 30lbs lighter, with a 32in waist. Finally, I’ve set PRs for every lift I’ve kept track of and 10k, 10 mile, and half-marathon runs in 2022 at age 45.

Tracy manages her weight and cancer treatment on keto and carnivore

Keto and carnivore have changed my life beyond anything in my wildest/hopeful dreams. I was introduced to Keto, or should I say re-introduced to Atkins, by a coworker who had lost a noticeable amount of weight. Because it came from a woman’s magazine I really wasn’t on board with it and felt the need to research it. Keto has benefited my life way beyond weight loss: I have a few auto immune diseases, I’m insulin resistant, and I’m obese.

After about three months research I started keto in January 2018. I stayed below 20 total carbs. Weight loss was slow, but weight loss was not my number one priority after having done the research to learn how to manage my auto immune without meds and lower my A1c and my fasting insulin. In August 2018, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and went back to YouTube and the books to learn about keto and cancer. The most valuable thing that I learned was sugar is cancers favorite fuel. I oncologist does not agree with me on this but I don’t need his blessing. Not throwing him under the bus, he is very open minded and one of the few MDs on board with me and Keto.

I had a bilateral mastectomy and 27 lymph nodes removed on the right side. The chemo protocol was Taxol and Adriamycin + Cytoxin. Pretty mean shit. Of course, I had all the side effects that go with chemotherapy from hair loss to vomiting and loss of appetite, but my overall health was far better because I existed on a diet of pastured eggs, olives, avocado, liverwurst and Swiss cheese. I know that sounds like pregnancy kind of food but it kept me in really good shape. My plan was to eat two meals a day for the three days leading up to chemo and then I would fast for 2 to 3 days following chemo. I did use an electrolyte replacement. LMNT had some really good flavors that agreed with me or I would just have sea salt in water.

Unfortunately, I could not finish the second chemo protocol because I developed bilateral pulmonary embolisms and was 80% on room air. So, I missed the last two treatments of Adriamycin Cytoxan. My oncologist was confident that I would do well even though I had also opted to skip radiation. I was taking an aromatase inhibitor from July 2019 through August 2022.

In July 2019 I was told that my cancer was gone. I would have to do 10 years of the aromatase inhibitor which prohibits the body from making estrogen from testosterone. My cancer was HER++. Estrogen loves fat and now I became more focused on getting rid of my excess body weight. Visceral fat secretes all sorts of things that also make you sick. I was sarcopenia & post menopausal and could not even do curls with a 2 1/2 pound weight!

Luckily, I live alone and I’m not tempted by other foods and I started to learn more about the carnivore diet as the extreme elimination diet. As a sidenote, I have suffered from depression since childhood and was hopeful that this would help manage depression. I knew I was low in protein and wanted to get my protein only from food: I do not eat shakes or snacks or bars. I might try Ben Bikman’s Hlth Shake (more to come on that.)

At any rate, I did not gain weight during Covid and I am probably down around 80 pounds. I weigh in Measure once a month but I just have a simple bathroom scale so I don’t live and die by that number. My A1c is 5.1 and my endogenous insulin is down to 11. My goal is to get my A1c into the high 4s and get my endogenous insulin below 5. My endocrinologist is not on board with any of this; therefore, I simply lie to her. I did ask for Metformin though during chemo because my A1c shot up to 6–insulin was sky-high, too.

This spring I enrolled in a breast cancer study for patients with metastasis. I learned that my cancer has metastasized beyond the lymph nodes. I was gutted. It is liver Mets and obviously there’s nothing that can be done except to take the oral chemo and a shot (IM) as long as I can tolerate it.

I’m having a very hard time eating anything. This is where I think I’m going to consider Ben’s shake. My blood glucose is fine and I still have ~30 pounds to go and could certainly fast, but I miss eating something besides the electrolyte. I’m very strict with the diet it’s more than lifestyle now because it’s part of my medical protocol.

Shawn, thank-you so much for being on YT & cutting through all of the BS. You may not know how much we, or at least I, rely on you for guidance because it just can’t be found in the local community and these doctors have their head so far up their arses. One doctor asked me if I were challenging her medical degree with my Google degree. WTF?! I told her I am with the patient 24/7 and am the one who ensures compliance. I won’t do anything that I don’t understand, and I’m sorry I don’t have some type of a medical degree.

Thanks for going against the grain.

Kat heals from ulcerative colitis, asthma, and Lyme disease on the carnivore diet

Kat’s battle for her health has been a fierce one, and she has fought bravely her whole life to find relief from the crippling asthma and ulcerative colitis that has plagued her since she was a baby. “I had ulcerative colitis from day one, ear infections, and asthma. Back in the day—they just really didn’t know any better—they gave me round after round of antibiotics, and then they gave my mother access to steroid injections; so she gave me an injection every month for the first couple years of my life.”

At the same time, Kat says she was born to be an athlete, and by the time they invented rescue inhalers, you could find her running happily on the track—inhaler in hand. Still, the years were filled with trips back and forth to the hospital for both her ulcerative colitis and asthma. “I just remember—from the time I can remember—being on the toilet in tears… just all by myself and my parents are helpless…they don’t know what to do. It was really hard—but I persevered and I just kept going. I was very much into sports. I had a horse; I rode. I played tennis, I rode my bike and I just relied on the medications to keep me going.”

In her 30’s, Kat discovered that if she took enough supplements, she could mitigate some of her symptoms without as many drugs, but that came with the hefty price tag of $500 dollars a month. In her 40’s she came across the keto diet which helped her successfully lose 30 pounds, but flare ups and rescue inhalers were still the norm.

On top of all of this, she received a Lyme’s Disease diagnosis in 2008, which complicated matters even further. Throughout all of this time, she never stopped searching—regularly listening to health podcasts and reading the latest books. When she started to hear about the carnivore diet, she mentioned it to her functional medical doctor at the time, and he said she should give it a shot.

“When I met you guys for the first time, it was my 60th birthday—it was May 7th of 2020. I’ll never forget it—that [membership to Revero] was the gift I gave myself for my birthday. Oh my gosh… it’s unbelievable what happened to me.” After a day or two on the carnivore diet, Kat says she was able to take what she considers to be the first full breath of her entire life. “Literally within the first week of eliminating plants, I was breathing and it was remarkable…the colitis cleared up—it still leaves me speechless sometimes to think about what happened just by getting rid of foods!” In the past, mosquito bites would leave painful welts that lasted for weeks, and would also activate her Lyme’s symptoms. A month and a half after going carnivore, she was swarmed with bites. They cleared up after a few days, and there was no adverse Lyme’s reaction. Now off all medications, Kat is incandescently happy to be free from the health problems of the past.“I honestly can say right now I have nothing wrong—and I cannot believe I’m saying that—it’s nothing short of miraculous!”

Coach Danny’s heart is doing well on a carnivore diet

An avid athlete, firefighter Danny Smith would work out twice—sometimes even three times—a day. In 2016, after a few bouts of what he thought was gastritis, he went to the hospital on a day he was experiencing particularly acute symptoms. He was admitted right away, and while the nurse was asking him about the situation, Danny passed out. The next thing he remembers is being jolted awake by an electric shock to the chest. Looking up at a room now full of people, he realized he had just been defibrillated. His heart had stopped for seven whole minutes. The doctor informed him that he had suffered a major heart attack at only 39 years old.

Diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolemia, Danny suspected another culprit as well—his diet. It was most certainly a wake-up call, and he was willing to do or try anything to make sure it didn’t happen again. Encountering only vague dietary advice from his primary doctor, he decided to give veganism a try. It lasted only a year—Danny never feeling well due to achey joints and a lack of energy—and culminated in the painful tearing of his ACL.

As he started doing research on his own, Danny observed that the guys at the firehouse on the keto diet were looking and feeling pretty good, so he jumped on the bandwagon too. As he continued searching for answers, he kept seeing carnivore pop up, and since he gravitated towards meat while eating keto anyway, he decided to take the plunge and give it a try. “I went on the carnivore diet, I was like—‘I’m never looking back. I feel so great.’ Everything was getting better!”

Now 45, Danny has been doing carnivore for two years and feels fantastic. His cholesterol numbers are all in a healthy range, he enjoys better stamina and muscle gains at the gym, and his heart doctor says he’s in such great shape that he only needs a yearly checkup. His diet consists mostly of beef, with Danny regularly enjoying ribeye steaks, beef ribs, burgers, bacon, eggs and the occasional piece of cheese. He was also able to shed some extra weight he had been carrying around—dropping from 245 pounds to a healthy 180 pounds.

On top of all of this, Danny has experienced extraordinary mental health benefits as well. The shock of the heart attack left Danny reeling with PTSD and major depression, so he started seeing a therapist. “Two weeks into the carnivore diet, I told my therapist, ‘I don’t think I need you anymore, because I’m not thinking the same way as I was.’ And I didn’t need him anymore—and that was only 2 weeks into the diet! The depression really got better—the PTSD…was totally gone.”

Now, Danny enjoy plenty of energy to train, spend time with his family, and play the bagpipes at firefighter events. He may enjoy the odd piece of cake at his children’s birthday parties, or an occasional beer with friends, but he says he really doesn’t crave those things anymore—and is happy to share his story with the hopes that it will help others too.

Paul Manages Type 1 Diabetes As An “Accidental Carnivore”

I was diagnosed 5 years ago with type 1 diabetes in a pretty severe crisis. Through very low carb (less than 30 TOTAL carbs per day), often zero, I have managed my blood glucose in the normal range. Last 3 A1cs have been right around 5.0%. 

Lily healed from inflammation and digestive and skin issues on a strict carnivore diet

I practiced strict carnivore for almost 2 years, with about 6 months of the lion diet to deal with inflammation, nervous system inflammation, chronic digestive issues, and horrible skin issues. This was from about mid-2018 to early 2020, which was during the filming of the HBO series The Anarchists. (Visible change in me can be witnessed from the episodes from 2018, at my worst right before carnivore, to now) Nothing was officially diagnosed but I had constant nausea, headaches, bone and joint pain, histamine reactions often, extreme fatigue, and more. Most foods made me feel sick.

I have been slowly reintroducing things but still don’t consume gluten, soy, or any of those things with no plans to because they cause inflammation. I still don’t eat most vegetables, no legumes. Currently on a simple whole foods, meat-heavy diet but feel as good as I did on carnivore. I quit carnivore because of different digestive issues that were helped by certain simple carbs. Still very much a believer in carnivore being good for healing the body and for determining specific trigger foods.

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