Metabolic Health

Real People, Real Results​

Michelle ran her first half-marathon at 61 on a low-carb diet

Michelle – 61 year old female, soon to be 62 in January

12/2021 Started carnivore – At that time, I was using a type of macro tracker which, based upon my metrics and goals, had me at adequate protein, low fat, and low carb. Since the end of 2018, I had been dealing with chronic forearm tendonitis and both lateral and medial elbow pain in my left arm. Also, I have always dealt with constipation, bloating, and lower energy. Since my early 40s, I’ve had a small eczema patch, which I affectionately began to call my barometer. Since I had a sense of how much protein to eat and my carbs were quite low, I decided to give carnivore a try to see if I could mitigate my arm pain, and address constipation, bloating, and eczema.

What I learned during my first year as a carnivore:

  • I call meat, with its requisite fat, my gate keeper. As long as I have adequate protein, with the fat it contains, my energy is stable and I have no cravings.
  • I hydrate throughout the day (water), and use electrolytes during endurance activities.
  • Constipation and bloating resolved immediately, as if I never had them. Eczema resolved, but it does present a bit when I eat eggs.
  • Arm pain is much better, but not completely resolved. Most of the time I am not in pain (prior to carnivore, I was always in pain). While I do love to lift (compound movements), they don’t always love me back (sometimes my arm hurts and sometimes not). The pain doesn’t necessarily present in real time, so I am never sure of what’s going to hurt and what won’t until after I’m done with a workout. There’s something about stepping up to a bar (regardless of the grip) or dumbbells that doesn’t always agree with my arm, regardless of the weight. However, during this year, I discovered that lifting really heavy things (sand bags, tire flips, hay bales, grain bags), close to my body, generates great blood flow, without any pain in my arm. This type of activity makes me so happy. I can work hard and I never experience pain.
  • I realized that I had forgotten to take my supplements for thyroid and adrenals, which I dutifully had taken for years, after starting carnivore. Once I realized this, I no longer felt that I needed them.
  • Initially, I didn’t take off weight, but I could tell that my body was changing because my clothes fit differently. I ditched the scales. Eventually, I took off about 8 lbs, but my clothes fit the same.
  • I no longer feel compelled to chase errant bio-markers (mostly thyroid). If I feel fine, I’m going to assume I’m fine, and as long as I stay carnivore.
  • My sleep is solid.
  • I eat when I’m hungry.
  • Favorite steak cut: chuck-eye
  • Favorite braise cut: cross-cut shank
  • When I go on longer runs (5-6 miles), my body is fine. Before carnivore, I felt like I had done work after a long run day, and I would give my body a break the next day. Now I don’t even notice the longer distance and feel that I could do it again the next day.
  • Highlight during my first year as a carnivore:
    In June, I ran a half-marathon at altitude (about 4800 feet elevation, near Glacier National Park). I neither train that distance, nor run at altitude. My energy and expenditure was fine throughout the run. Afterward, I felt like I had worked, but my recovery was rather seamless. I took the next day off, except for some light walking. The following day I was fine. No carbohydrates required!

Further background about me
I have always been very active, but struggled with weight (either over or under eating). I was constantly on the go, yet fatigued. I always assumed that I was low thyroid, based upon my symptoms. The doctor would check one thyroid marker, which would be in normal range, and tell me I was fine. I love to cook and love to eat. I’ve always been bloated and constipated. I like to do deep dives into information and many N=1 experiments.

In the early 2000s, we embraced Weston Price and Nourishing Traditions. We sourced local grass-fed meat, always tried to source organic produce, and adopted food and lifestyle as our medicine.

Between 2008 and 2018 we farmed in Oregon, raising/selling pastured/grass-fed meat. I started paleo in 2012 and Crossfit in 2013 (5 days per week). I was also active in physically-demanding equine sport and ran 3-4 days per week. I was perimenopausal/menopausal. By 2014, I was in post-menopause and in the pre-diabetic range (A1C of 5.7).

Between 2014 and 2019, I began keto paleo and intermittent fasting, often interchanging days of each. I tried low-fodmap for bloating. Sleep was not great. Adrenals were tapped. I had some low thyroid markers (mostly T3). No autoimmunity. I probably had a cortisol response from much underfeeding, intermittent fasting, and much activity. I tracked blood glucose throughout the day for several years. My A1C didn’t really lower significantly but glucose ranges were so narrow that it was assumed that I wasn’t headed for diabetes, given my food choices and activity level.

By the end of 2018, I had developed chronic forearm tendonitis and both lateral and medial elbow pain from overuse. In 2019, I began using the RP app, which gave me a breakdown of macros that were right for me. I stopped intermittent fasting and started fueling, especially on protein! Had more carbs than I previously had. Great results! Lowered weight and body fat.

In 2020 I got out of the pre-diabetic range (A1C 5.4). I assumed it was because I added back in some carbs. I now know that it was more so that I wasn’t underfueling and stressing my body out.

At the end of 2021, I started carnivore. I love vegetables but don’t miss them, as long as I eat enough protein and fat. In 2022, a few months into my carnivore journey (March), I tried the fruit/honey (small amounts) route for a few weeks. My energy wasn’t great during this time and especially with the honey, it was a slippery slope having it in the house. My lower energy resolved when I ended the short fruit/honey stint. I didn’t miss either. After the brief fruit/honey experiment, I added in some electrolytes, which my body seemed to crave. Was it the electrolytes or was it the hydration that my body was craving? Now, I use electrolytes during endurance activities or if I feel tired, but I endeavor to stay well-hydrated. Recently, I tried adding in more butter. I like the idea of it, but if I add it on top of adequate daily protein, it is just too much fuel for me. Even with increasing activity, my clothes were just getting tighter. I’d need to decrease protein, if I am going to add more fat. Right now my activities include: Functional Range Conditioning, strength training (not always with a bar), rowing, running, rucking, hiking. While I am interested in getting stronger, I no longer want to work against a clock in HIIT activities on a daily basis. It’s great fun and comradery, but too much wear and tear for me.

 

For 2023, I have plans for two more half-marathons: one near Grand Tetons and one near Yellowstone. Hope to get to more runs in other beautiful locations, as I am able.

#Carnivoreforthewin!

Alan improved training recovery and marathon time by 28.5 minutes in one year on the carnivore diet

Alan was able to improve training recovery, train longer and more often, increasing weekly run miles to 65. He also improved muscle growth, got rid of bloating and digestive issues, regained hair color, sustained energy to run 4 hours fasted, improved marathon time by 28.5 minutes in one year, and qualified for the Boston Marathon, with no carb loading for racing and not being hungry. Alan’s sweet addiction is gone, his skin does not burn, his sleep has improved, and his mood and temperament are better. For Alan, living plant-free is the fountain of youth.

Coach Evan reverses ankylosing spondylitis on low-carb diet

Ever since Evan was young, he had an insatiable hunger that caused him binge eat, in addition to his other daily struggles of ADHD, OCD, brain fog and fatigue. When he turned eleven—embarrassed by his heavy frame—he decided to go on a diet. Following the conventional wisdom at the time, he started eating a low-calorie/low-fat diet, full of lots of “healthy” whole grains, seed oils and tofu. He lost 30 pounds, but describes his body composition as “skinny fat ” at the time. He also couldn’t help noticing that he was a lot weaker than his fellow classmates. Using sheer willpower alone, Evan struggled with yo-yo dieting and calorie counting throughout high school, but it wasn’t until he entered college that the real trouble began.

“Out of nowhere,” Evan says, “I became incredibly depressed, anxious and suicidal.” He tried exercising daily to combat his negative feelings, but saw zero improvement. Exasperated, he turned his focus to his diet, and in his research experienced the cognitive dissonance that goes along with learning that animal fat is an important part of the human diet, while also simultaneously being the main driver of heart attacks and cancer. In the end, the “experts” won out, and Evan persisted in following their low-fat/high carb recommendations—to no avail. “I just felt worse and worse—I wasn’t getting better at all.”

After years of declining health, a defeated Evan began binge drinking and eating candy to deal with his frustrations. He eventually was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis—an autoimmune condition that runs in his family that affects the spine. He would go on to gain 40 pounds, and when hospitalized with bruises all over his body, nausea, diarrhea and night sweats, his doctors told him that his symptoms were most likely psychosomatic.

Finally, in 2020, one of his friends—who happened to be on the carnivore diet—invited him over for a steak. After eating it, Evan was surprised by how satiated he felt, and ended up not eating for the rest of the day. He woke up the next morning still feeling full, so he decided to give the carnivore diet a try. After the first week, Evan had lost ten pounds, and while he didn’t feel great—he didn’t feel terrible either. “Within the next two weeks, all of a sudden my depression and my anxiety had vanished, my Ankylosing Spondylitis had gotten 90% better, the numbness in my hands was gone, my bruising started going away, my asthma went away, my heartburn went away, my digestive issues went away…my libido came back—pretty much everything you can think of went away within two or three weeks.” He also noticed a remarkable improvement in his ADHD and OCD symptoms. “My whole outlook on life is a lot different: I’m a lot more motivated, a lot more friendly, outgoing, happy. So, pretty much, everything for me has changed.” His friends and family all agree. “I’m not the same beaten down person that I was before.”

Alex manages type 1 diabetes, retinopathy, and gastroparesis on a carnivore diet

Alex was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes at the tender age of 3, and although her diet growing up was low in sugar, it still contained the pastas and potatoes that graced the average household at the time. As she got older, she had to navigate the severe blood sugar lows that go along with being Type-1, regularly combatting symptoms of confusion, irritability, and general weakness. By the time she entered her teenage years, Alex was experiencing feelings of burnout and depression regarding her condition—but little did she know—things were about to get even more serious.

In her mid-twenties, Alex was diagnosed with Retinopathy and Gastroparesis. Both conditions bring misery; Retinopathy slowly steals your vision and Gastroparesis is a condition that effectively paralyzes the stomach, making it difficult to digest food or go to the bathroom. Alex describes her daily symptoms as hellish, and after a particularly upsetting eye doctor’s appointment, she found herself desperately searching for answers. Her uncle had passed away as a young man from Type-1 Diabetes, and she had no interest in suffering the same fate as well.

“I was home from work one day after having gotten a treatment for retinopathy, and I’m not going to go into the gruesome details on that one—but it involves injections into your eyeball—and I was not having a great time…I was on the computer and I was like, ‘I need to know what to do—I have to figure out how to stop going blind and how to stop puking every day! Something needs to change.’”

Laughed at by her endocrinologist, Alex feverishly searched the internet and ended up coming across the work of Dr. Richard Bernstein, a Type-1 Diabetic like herself who—now in his late 80’s—was still practicing medicine and treating diabetic patients by utilizing a low-carb diet approach. She got his book and read it in two days. Initially wanting to dive right in, Alex had to backtrack and wean off carbs slowly, a process that eventually took 2 years. Even though the transition took time, by the end of it she was experiencing predictable blood sugar, with the ability to go to the bathroom regularly too.

Still, she had some lingering issues, and that’s when she came across the carnivore diet. “I was like, ‘What! This is a concept?’” Alex approached it as an elimination diet, and after a year, she saw even more improvement in her overall health. Thirty years after being diagnosed with diabetes—at 33 years old—she has been able to drastically reduce her insulin usage, her gastroparesis is 90% in remission, and her eyesight is improving with every passing day. On top of that, the neuropathy in her toes is completely gone and she’s down 8 pant sizes as well! Alex feels like her entire body has undergone a healing. “Everything works better. I’m healthier than I ever have been in my entire life…I can’t speak enough good on all the progress that I’ve seen from making the changes that I have—and that’s what I wanted when I started!”

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Coach George C loses fat, builds muscle, and heals from gut disorders on a carnivore diet

After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in engineering, George’s job took him to China. For ten years he traveled all throughout Asia, and as he entered his thirties, he decided to leave the corporate world and go into business for himself. After a few entrepreneurial missteps, he founded several food and fitness companies, and has been successfully running them for the past 20 years. Always fascinated by health and wellness, he regularly went to the gym and followed a low fat/high protein diet for 15 years. Around the age of 46, however, his body started to fall apart. At that time, he was starting a new project in Beijing when he developed a cough that lasted for six months. He also noticed that his usual health routine was no longer working. “Even though I worked out, I wasn’t able to recover. I had all kinds of little issues, like skin lesions and intestinal disorders, and all these things—to me—didn’t feel right.”

When business came to a screeching halt at the end of 2019 due to Covid-19, George made the most of his extra time by doing a deep dive into nutrition. In his research, he came across Shawn Baker on YouTube, who he initially thought was a little bit crazy. Still, after reading his book and following him for a few years, the carnivore diet started to make sense.

After finally taking the plunge, George initially found that he had trouble eating a lot of meat in one sitting, so he gradually increased the amount over time. Now, he enjoys a dozen eggs for breakfast, as well as 2 ½ pounds of meat before the day is over. At 51 years old, the symptoms he was suffering from a few years ago are completely gone, and he currently is able to train in the gym every single day—something he was unable to do even in his twenties and thirties. This sits in stark contrast to the norm in China, where George says that (due to immense stress and lifestyle choices) businessmen have an average life expectancy of 50 years.

In China, meat is still regarded as one of the healthiest things you can eat, but the idea of a meat-only diet is still considered unusual. He currently lives in the western city of Chengdu, where one of the most popular dishes is a traditional hotpot; a soup rich in bone broth and fatty beef.

George still lives on the other side of the world, and happily helps others transition to a carnivore diet as an online coach for the Revero community. He acknowledges that there is a mental obstacle when it comes to giving up vegetables—but because of his incredible results, he encourages people who worry about it give it try for one month. “See how it goes, and then you can decide for yourself whether or not it’s for you.”

Christina Manages Hypoglycemia And Is Headed To The World Masters Athletics Championships

An avid athlete, Christina grew up on red meat and casseroles. When she got to college, however, she swapped out the red meat for a “healthier” diet of grilled chicken, salad, protein shakes and Special K cereal—the low-fat / high-carb diet recommended to athletes the world over.

Initially a soccer player, she got recruited to run track her sophomore year of college, when the track coach attended a game and noticed her speed. Happy to avoid future injury on the soccer field, Christina agreed to try out—the coach suggesting she run the 400 meter dash. “The first time I ran it collegiately—I didn’t even know how to come out of blocks—I ran 58 seconds. So, he was like, ‘Oh, we’re keeping you in track!’”

Christina would go on to become a two-time All-American, but behind the scenes of her athletic success, she was struggling to manage severe hypoglycemia. Even though she would make sure to load up on carbs before every race, it still wasn’t enough to help her avoid a crash—sometimes leading to her passing out. As she neared graduation, she started to experience painful gut issues as well, and although she had Olympic dreams—with her health problems persisting—she decided to hang up her cleats.

After college, Christina became a teacher and track coach in rural Nebraska. She also went on to get married and start a family, and was blessed with two beautiful daughters. On her 30th birthday, she came down with a terrible case of the flu. While miserable and sick in bed, she discovered Dr. Ken Berry’s book, Lies My Doctor Told Me. After reading it, she decided to incorporate red meat back into her diet, and within a month—she felt drastically different.

Christina’s bloating and stomach distress completely disappeared. Her hypoglycemia went away, and since going on the carnivore diet, she hasn’t had a single hypoglycemic episode in four and a half years! Her passion for running was also reignited, and she began training with a coach again, who encouraged her to compete at the Masters level. She also has a six-pack and more muscle now in her mid-thirties than she had in her twenties.

Christina’s athletic goals took a slight detour after she became pregnant with her son. She continued to eat a carnivore diet throughout all 9 months of her pregnancy, joking, “I built this child on steak and eggs!” She observed that she experienced much less fatigued with her third pregnancy than her previous two—and her body bounced back so quickly—she was able to return to training only seven weeks giving the birth!

A little over a decade after she kissed her athletic aspirations goodbye, Christina is now an 800 meter specialist running world class times. Over the last two years, she has won 4 National Titles in the 800m and the 1500m, and is currently training for her first World Team event in Toruń, Poland in March of 2023. She beams with joy as she says, “I’m super excited—it’ll be my first Team USA uniform.”

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.

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%. 

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