- 10+ Year Suicidal Chronic Depression = Cured
- Anxiety = Significantly Improved
- Prediabetes = Gone
- Elevated Liver Enzymes = Normalized
- Hormonal Imbalance = Balanced
- Triglycerides = nearly halved
- IBS = Gone
- Heart burn = Gone
- Sleep Apnea = Gone (after just 1 week)
- Postural Hypotension = Gone
- Bloating = Gone
- Exercise Recovery = Dramatically Improved
- Cravings = Vanished
- Mornings = Cured (lol)
- Body Fat 22.4% down to 14.4%
- Weight 211 lbs down to 174 lbs
All this with no cardio exercises, and only 3-4 hours of weight training per week. For the first time ever I feel like I’m really in control of my life.
Just another weight loss story? Maybe, maybe not. That’s the quick summary of my experience with the carnivore diet so far. I know people scrolling through social media don’t usually want to exercise their attention span and read long ass posts/stories, so I created that list for them, lol. Here is my story in detail:
Many people suffering with depression develop a public facade that render everyone around them completely clueless to the pain, despair, and suffering they experience every day. Therefore, you often hear about friends and family being blindsided by the suicide of someone they interact with on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s easy to detect, sometimes it’s not. People who have never experienced real chronic depression might think it’s just laziness or lack of discipline. I can’t blame them. Must be nearly impossible for those people to imagine being tormented mentally and emotionally to such an extreme that the thought of ending it all by way of suicide actually brings a bit of relief. Wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
There were signs from a young age, but nothing too severe until I had to deal with adulthood and the stresses that come with it. I had no idea how long the next decade would be. Until recently, I had concluded I was just born cursed with this mental illness. I figured I just had to deal with it and see how long I could last.
I’ve quit so many things in my life, but one of the few things I never gave up on was the search for a cure. I’ve tried psych meds (Paxil, Abilify, Lexapro, Seroquel), all of which submerged me into an altered reality. At times I became very hostile, very emotionally numb, very accelerated, or very slow. Insert here all the side effects you hear the narrator rattle off toward the end of those drug commercials. These meds help some people, not me.
Next phase was CD’s. I had some CD’s I would listen to that were supposed to help me train my mind to relieve depression and anxiety. This didn’t last long.
Next attempt: counseling. The counselor was cool, but it just didn’t help much at all.
Next attempt: hypnotist. Complete BS. I was very irritated by this. Wasted a few hundred bucks on this.
Next attempt: jiu jitsu and nutrition. This was by far the most effective treatment up to that point. One thing I’ve always noticed is that when I develop an obsession, my depressive symptoms take a back seat for a while. My jiu jitsu obsession lasted about a year and a half. I’ve continued on since then, but just not with the same commitment or motivation. During this time I learned a little bit about nutrition. I began making smoothies with almond milk, blueberries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, strawberry, banana, coconut oil, almond butter, kale, ginger, turmeric, etc. I cut out a lot of junk food. I ate a lot of lean chicken breast dinners with sides or potatoes, legumes, and rice. I definitely felt better, but once my jiu jitsu obsession came to an end, it was very difficult for me to stick to this way of eating. It took a lot of effort. I still had tons of craving for junk, and eventually gave up.
Next attempt: psilocybin mushrooms. My first trip was a spiritual journey unlike I’ve ever experienced. Just from this one trip, I received quite a bit of relief from my depression for a few months. Over a year later my depression was back full force. I tried another trip and didn’t receive much relief at all. Then I tried micro dosing which helped for a few months as well but not much more after that.
Next attempt: supplements. I tried many veggie powder type supplements as well as other pills. From Onnit brand, to Amway, to GNC, to generic Costco brands. I’m sure they’re all full of nurtients, but I just didn’t feel much difference at all.
Next attempt: nutrition (the same way of eating I tried during my jiu jitsu obsession) and gym + sauna. Did this for 3 months, 4-7 times a week. Lots of cardio. Lost about 4 lbs only, was constantly tired and constantly craving junk, and was not improving my work out times much. Couldn’t work out too hard otherwise I’d be very sore and fatigued for the next 2-4 days. Still had many suicidal depressed days. Then after 3 months, I hear Jordan Peterson on the Joe Rogan podcast say he significantly improved his depression eating a carnivore diet.
The carnivore diet was not a new concept to me. I had previously heard this crazy doctor named Shawn Baker talk about it on Joe Rogan’s podcast as well. I listened to the entire podcast and dismissed him completely. I didn’t even give it a second thought. Maybe he didn’t mention the diet relieving depressive symptoms, or maybe I didn’t catch it. When Jordan Peterson described the success him and his daughter Mikhaila had relieving depression, I knew I had to try this diet. I figured even if it were to shave years off my life by clogging my arteries, I’d 100% make that trade in order to live a life free of depression. So I began.
My ride or die chick, Dalia, dove straight in and joined me. She has stuck by me throughout this entire depression filled adulthood. Couldn’t ask for a more supportive wife. I decided to keep it a secret to prevent anyone from discouraging me. I knew what I was about to do was ridiculous. My first two weeks eating only beef, eggs, bacon, and cheese were absolute hell. Easily one of the top 3 worst experiences in my life. The cravings for sugar and carbs were out of this world. Sugar is not a drug, right? Well, my body definitely acted like it was. My depression worsened. Fatigue was as bad as ever. Had a few days of extreme light headedness. Had nausea for a few days as well. Exercise was not possible. My business partners had to have a meeting with me to discuss my recent lack of communication and effectiveness. I didn’t realize my body was adapting to ketosis and pretty much detoxing from all the crap I’ve put in my body my entire life. For some people this transition is easy, for others it’s rough. It was damn near unbearable for me. Then on the 13th day, something happened. I had a normal day. This was not unusual for me. I often had a few normal, non-depressed days per week. The unusual thing was that it was followed by another normal day, then another, then another until I reached an entire week of normal days.
This was my first depression-free week since I was obsessed with jiu jitsu about 6 years prior. Three months later I had yet to experience even one single suicidal depressed day. I did have some down days, but nothing like before. I was down 24.4 lbs despite having reduced my workouts to 3-4 total hours per week and eliminating cardio completely. I continued with this for another 3 months. January 27th ,2019 I reached my 6 month mark. I am now down 37 lbs. Down 8% bodyfat. Besides depression, I have also completely cured or dramatically improved anxiety, prediabetes, elevated liver enzymes, low testosterone, high estrogen, all stomach/IBS issues, heart burn, sleep apnea, postural hypotension (self diagnosed), bloating, exercise recovery time, cravings, lack of energy in the morning, and I’m sure I’m skipping a few other things.
I’ll keep an eye out for any long term deficiencies I may develop, but from researching others who have done this for decades, it doesn’t seem to merit much concern. My blood work has improved in pretty much every area. My testosterone jumped 231 points, my estrogen lowered to normal levels, my minerals/electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium) stayed consistent and didn’t change at all, vitamin D improved even with less supplementation than usual, triglycerides went from 133 to 73 (not sure of the significance of this if any), and hdl went up 10 points to 53. Ldl did increase a lot from 99 to 154 but I’ll take that trade off anyday to experience all these other improvements. I will keep an eye on that by doing coronary artery calcium scans of my heart every 3 years or so and if the scans show plaque build up over time, I’ll make whatever adjustments I need to. I won’t wait until I’m 60 years old to scan my heart like most people do lol. At that point it’s too late. I will continue to get bloodwork every 6 months to a year. This is something I never used to care to monitor at all even though I was very unhealthy. I think everyone should get checked routinely. I’m open to supplementation if I see a need for it.
I did have some concerns as to the longevity of this depression cure because all other “solutions” to my depression have never lasted. I was very anxious to see how I’d feel a few months down the line. Now, having passed my 6 month mark, I have no fear of my depression returning. This has changed my entire life unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I am now controlling my life for, what seems like, the first time ever. Each month I feel better mentally and physically. The difference between this nutritional attempt to cure my depression and the one from years prior is the absence of an obsession like jiu jitsu as the driving force. Also, the complete lack of cravings for sugar and carbs makes it very easy to keep away from junk.
My average day I eat about 1 to 1.5 lbs beef, 6 eggs, 8 slices of bacon, cheese, pork rinds, and water. The beef is usually ground beef from the store or 8-10 meat patties from In N Out accompanied by 4-6 slices of cheese. No buns, no ketchup, no dressing, no soda. How crazy is that, right?
Eventually I will experiment adding in some other foods like sweet potato or berries or even supplements. I’ll do this slowly to be able to isolate any negative effects I may experience. Overall, I can’t ever see myself being less than 85% carnivore. This diet is a great way to figure out which foods affect you negatively as you experiment adding them back in one at a time.
I’m in control of my life now. I look forward to life. Zero carb/Carnivore has given me the solid foundation to keep depression away (permanently IMO) so that I can now further my mental well-being by consistently implementing things like meditation, sauna, resistance training, jiu jitsu, occasional psilocybin micro dosing, etc., that the pull of depression never let me to stick to before. I’m very grateful for that.
In conclusion, this works for me. I urge anyone dealing with depression/anxiety to be open minded enough to try every option possible to find a cure, no matter how crazy it might sound. You may or may not see the same results as I and many others have on the zerocarb/carnivore diet, but you have to keep searching for an answer. At some point, anything is worth a try before suicide.
Some might not believe in a higher power, but that’s the only thing that kept me from ending it all and departing this world. I thank God my prayers have been answered. I guess I wasn’t born cursed after all.