I have to start from 12 years old. That was the first time I had random sharp knee pain for no reason. I was diagnosed with Osgood Schlatter’s disease. Fast forward to my time in the Army. The doctors would always go back forth on whether it was Chronic Osgood Schlatter’s, or tendinitis caused from the earlier Osgood Schlatter’s. Who knows? What I do know is that they never offered anything that would actually help.
Physical therapy, cortisone shots, plasma therapy, etc. Nothing worked. Eventually, I had knee surgery, because the patellar tendon had pulled bone fragments away from tibia.Oh yeah, a month before that, I had my first bout with diverticulitis. Again, throughout the years during my struggle with knee pain and diverticulitis, there wasn’t any solid medical advice to help me with these issues. My gastroenterologist actually suggested more fiber.
So, here I am in 2016 (left side in the photo), I’ve gained weight (180 lbs. here), bloated, chronic GERD, chronic knee pain, fluctuating mood and energy levels daily. I don’t know what to do. I’m lost. So, I start my diet journey. I tried lowering calories. 1800k/day. No change. Stick with the same calorie count, switch to whole foods plant based (I still had chicken and eggs). I’m doing it, but it sucks. Energy in the dumps, and I can’t stay away from Mountain Dew and Monster. I just couldn’t shake those cravings.
I imagine about 1200kcal/day came from carbs. Well, my GERD gets worse, my knee gets worse, my shoulder gets hurt, my back gets hurt, and now I’ve just given up. I just relegated myself to being weak-willed. Lazy. Fat. Incompetent. All of the worst things you can think about yourself, and figured whatever happens, happens.
Then, I started listening to Joe Rogan in late 2017. On March 21st, 2018 I found JRE episode 1050 with Dr. Shawn Baker. This guy was telling stories of not only himself, but a whole underground of people improving every issue I had on an all meat diet. I thought it was insane, and this guy was the best snake oil salesman I’d ever heard.
However, there was thing he said that nagged at me. Something along the lines of, “no such thing as an essential carbohydrate.” I thought carbohydrates were essential, because fiber and all that heart healthy whole grain stuff. So, I do some digging, and am astonished to find the truth! Carbohydrates are not essential.
I still wasn’t quite ready to make the leap, though. But, on March 23, 2018 I went to my doctor, and weighed in at 190 lbs. This was not acceptable. If for no other reason than I was in the Army, and that wasn’t within Army’s height and weight appearance standards. So, I went home that day, picked only the meat out of what my wife had made. Told her from now on I was eating nothing, but and drinking water.
The next night, GERD and bloating was gone. Just like that. My appetite came back, and I was eating ravenously! Within three days, my mood, and energy levels improved! Within 30 days, I was down to 175 and within the Army’s height and weight standard. Within 90 days, I was down to what I consider to be my natural body weight for my height: 157 lbs. Now, I bounce between 150 and 160. Within 8 months I was running again, and within 12 months I ran a full Army Physical Fitness Test, and passed!
It’s been a year and eight months now, and I can’t thank Dr. Shawn Baker enough for getting the word out there! And, can’t think the carnivore community enough for sticking to this thing that goes against all of the just plain wrong nutrition advice one receives from medical professionals nowadays. I know this was long, but I am so grateful that I found this way of eating! If you need anything to help illustrate this more, let me know. I’ll do whatever I can to help.
Carnivore 1 yr 8 mos
Staff Sergeant, US Army
I am 33 years old. For a long time I consumed a lot of bad things on a regular basis: Mountain Dew, Monster, all kinda of carbs (especially rice; my wife is Asian). I wasn’t taking good care of myself.
In 2013, my body started rejecting the abuse. I knew this would be coming, but I didn’t expect it at that age. I was very active (military). Vigorous exercise for at least an hour every day. Then, I started gaining weight, and my knee got real bad. I had chronic tendinitis in my knee caused by Osgood-Schlatter (misdiagnosed many times as Chronic Osgood-Schlatter). I started getting stomach issues; diarrhea, inconsistent BMs, bloating, gas, heartburn (I never had heartburn!), trouble sleeping, hip pain, shoulder pain, and back pain. It all came to a head when I got diverticulitis.
My diverticulitis was actually on the lower right side. So, everyone (including me, I did my research before going to the ER) thought it was appendicitis. It was like, u201cOh. It’s appendicitis. No big deal. We’ll prep you for surgery. Meanwhile, we’ll take this CT just to confirm.u201d Well, that CT showed diverticulitis, not appendicitis.
And, the doctor’s were freaked! They made me think that was way worse than anything else. Why? My age. They concerned about the pockets that form to create the diverticula, or if I had other issues. Scared the crap out of me. I had a colonoscopy on my birthday in 2014. Some minor polyps were discovered. I had surgery on my knee a month later to do a patellar tendon cadaver graft. I felt horrible. I felt like my body was giving up on me, and my knee never recovered.
So, started my journey towards trying become healthier. At the end of 2014 I started a calorie restrictive diet. Whole foods, low fat, lean meats, plenty of veggies and fruits…and, more resistance training. Yes, I lost a little bit of weight. I started feeling a little better, but I couldn’t sustain it. It was too expensive, and cravings started to kill me. And, I started feeling bloated all the time, gassy, and heartburn. Then, I started a high protein diet, and restricted my carbs.
The advice at the time was like 20% carb, 30% fat, and 50% protein. Not exact, but basically stick with low carb intake and only whole grain products. I continued exercise as well. My knee had a brief period where it felt a lot better (but, still about 60%). Again, not sustainable. Same feeling with my gut, still too expensive, and my energy levels started dropping. I just couldn’t stop the cravings for Mountain Dew and energy drinks. I wouldn’t last a day without them.
So, I tried going back to calorie restriction again, but extreme this time. No more than 1,200 calories a day. Still didn’t work. Unsustainable. This was over the course of 3 years. I had been back to the doctor with another case of diverticulitis, my knee had gotten worse again, my hip got worse, and I had some serious BM issues. I gave up. Just figured my body was breaking down and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
So, since January of 2018, I’ve been listening to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. I heard him speak about keto several times. High fat, when it was broken down seemed like it was a good idea. I looked into some things to get started, and realized it was a lot of counting macros. And, I just didn’t have the money to ensure I was on that kind of level.
Then, a little over a month ago he brought up the Carnivore Diet briefly, and mentioned Dr. Shawn Baker. So, on Wednesday, March 21st, I listened to the episode with Dr. Shawn Baker. I was blown away. I started doing my research into evolution, brain size, digestive systems, and cholesterol. I realized what was Dr. Baker said wasn’t crazy.
Finally, that Friday, I came home from work, and said no more carbs! Only meat and water. I ate just the meat of what my wife had cooked that night. Ended up getting hungry before bed. Ate some hamburger and eggs. The next morning I woke up starving! I hadn’t had an appetite like that in years! I had been eating for two reasons: random cravings, and I knew I had to. That day it continued. I was ravenous! I wasn’t bloated, I didn’t have heartburn, and I felt good!
I could not believe that in just a few hours I was feeling that much better. I said to myself, I need to slow down, and not get too excited. Some of that had to be attributed to a placebo effect, right? Maybe. I don’t know. What I do know is the feeling continued for the last month. Also, that day, I drove almost 10 hours. Got out of my vehicle when I got to my destination, and my knee was fine! It wasn’t stiff, or painful at all!
Maybe it’s too soon to know everything. I’m only a month in. But, this is what I know: down 14 lbs., no bloating, no heartburn, I have an appetite, knee pain way less than before, no hip pain, no back pain, no shoulder pain, sleeping better, waking up easier, more energy, and I can afford it! It’s just so simple.
Results are not typical. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.