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Zero Carb/Carnivore Diet – update 2 months in

By Mikhaila

Hey everyone,

I tried reintroducing olives. I was pretty skeptical about the zero carb thing. I thought maybe the reason it was working for people was because they ended up cutting out all the problematic foods at once – wheat, dairy, soy, sugar, preservatives, everything. But maybe they were also eliminating the beneficial foods.

Anyway, I reintroduced olives, just to see. I thought olives would be in the category of beneficial foods. Ones with nothing but organic olives and olive oil. I had no bloating, no digestive problems, and no weird woozy feeling after eating (a lot of) them,  but then two days later I started getting lower back pain. I get lower back pain before the reaction hits my mood. And it always hits my mood if I get that pain. So I stopped the olives (actually I ran out – I really like olives). I haven’t had any since. I probably had the equivalent of a jar of them over a period of 3 days. I may have continued eating them when my back started hurting, hoping it was nothing. But it’s never nothing.

Long story short – vegetables/fruit/etc are not in the game for me anymore. I’m having a reaction (very minor in comparison to what I’ve experienced previously with other foods – rice, soy, etc.). My muscles are tense, my ankle and my hip have stiffened up, I’m minorly arthritic in my shoulder, big toe, and knee, my lips started cracking, my face is a bit puffy, and my mood has dropped about 25%. I have lower back pain, I’m closer to tears, and my skin is irritated – minor breakouts. I’m also getting cravings again! I haven’t had cravings in months. All in all, I can’t eat olives, looks like plants are out, but the reaction is minor in comparison to most other foods

If I were reading this a number of years ago I would probably look at this and think “hypochondriac”. I don’t know what to say to that.

It looks like everything other than meat is giving me arthritis. I seem to have lost a tolerance to the few vegetables I could tolerate before the pregnancy. I’m not particularly upset, I’m still happy that I can get rid of the arthritis with diet. Just wanted to update everyone.

On the bright side, my husband is thriving on the diet I have listed, and dad is managing. He’s not quite as sensitive as me, but I feel like if we can’t figure out the underlying problem, he might end up on just meat too.

Another bright side, I am not sick of steak. I don’t think I can get sick of ribeye. At least I’m not stuck eating eggplant right?

Here’s a picture of a 6-month-old baby:


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  1. Also, this is the most comprehensive and up-to-date article I’ve found on PubMed. I think you’d be interested in the portions on diet and in the summary at the end where they specifically say some evidence shows that a diet low in fat and sugar (carnivore diet) appears to promote growth of the gut mucosa


    1. **a diet low in fat and sugar (carnivore diet)**

      That’s not carnivore. Carnivore is best described as High Fat/Moderate Protein/Zero Carb.

      It is not low in fat, in fact fat is the biggest macronutrient that is consumed on the carnivore way of eating.

  2. Hey Mikhaila. I’m in a similar boat. I’m Irish, a man in my early 30s.

    I want to run an idea past you. You may know it already. Most plants (except fruit) have evolved all sorts of defenses to avoid being eaten. If I eat undercooked or raw vegetables, I get all kinds of nasty symptoms (brainfog, peripheral neuropathy, skin breakouts, fatigue). But if I *cook the living hell out of them* (by boiling) I’m ok.

    Have you tried this, boiling the veggies for extra long?

    My diet is pretty much.

    Protein: Beef (steak, ground beef) lamb, fish

    Everything else: spinach (cooked very well), small amounts of broccoli (also cooked very well), and squash.

    Also, for reasons I can’t fathom, I can’t handle dairy except for hard *vintage* cheese, which causes no reaction at all.

    1. Interesting, that’s probably it. Thanks. I’ve considered what you wrote elsewhere about dairy – that it’s probably not good for the system, so I only have it every now and then.

      Are you still on zero carb? There’s a physician on twitter named Ted Naiman who you might be interested in following. He’s into the low carb / high protein diet and breaks things down in a very straightforward no-bs way.

  3. Thanks M
    I decided to quit dairy in a bid to work out if that was the cause of minor joint and major foot pain. I have stopped dairy one month and am eating coconut cream and nuts and berries for snack rather than cheese. After walking the Camino, I am going to try the Elimination Diet – and get the IgG tests.
    Sorry for #TMI, but the only change I have noticed is reduced volume of bowel movements. It could be three things: quitting dairy, partial bowel block due to post surgical adhesions or my ovarian cancer has popped in for a visit. Do any OPs want to comment on changes on output after quitting dairy?

  4. What should I read to learn about the healthiness of carnivorous and vegetarian diets? https://zerocarbzen.com/ has been enlightening. I’ve read some studies, and they seem to contradict each other.

    1. Honestly there’s so much opposing information out there. Even if you read a bunch of studies saying one thing, there are going to be studies saying the opposite. zerocarbzen is useful, but you can always find opposing studies. If I were you I would test it out yourself. A month isn’t going to hurt either way, and then you can kind of feel your way around after that. Your body will tell you what’s good for it.

  5. Hey Mikhaila! I’d firstly like to thank you so so much for bringing up the relation between (found the video ‘Digesting Depression’) diet and depression. I probably would have never found out otherwise, as dumb as it might seem now. I’ve been on an elimination diet (to treat my depression) for 2 and a half weeks now and I’m almost certain that gluten caused the issues for me since I’m feeling so much better already, but to be certain, I’m only eating greasy meat/chicken/fish, green veggies and a small amount of oil for now. The problem is that for many years along with the depression I’ve also been affected by this enormous fatigue. At first I thought it was the depression that made me unable to get out of bed (partly maybe, yes) but now that my mood has clearly increased positively, I still lack the energy to wake up and I feel exhausted all day every day even though I would force myself up after a normal amount of sleep or sleep as long as I feel like. So my questions are:

    How long did it take for you to get rid of the fatigue after giving up gluten?
    Would you say that your body is in ketosis? (because I think that would somewhat explain your energy level increase, MAYBE)
    What are your quick thoughts on ketogenic diet?

    I’ve been thinking of reducing my protein intake (it’s really high at the moment) and increase fat intake so that my body would go into ketosis, since that just might do the trick, but it’s hard to find studies on the safety of it.

    Again, a MASSIVE thank you – you have truly aided me a great deal and I believe that many others as well. Best of luck to you and your family! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the kind words 🙂 You can buy keto urine strips on amazon to test whether or not you’re in ketosis. I wouldn’t worry too much about protein determining whether or not you’re in ketosis. Increasing fat intake is always a good idea though. I cut out gluten in May 2015 and my fatigue didn’t lift until January 2016. It was the last symptom to go. I don’t think it would have left if gluten was the only thing I removed either, I needed to remove a number of other things. I don’t know whether or not I was in ketosis when it lifted… I wasn’t even aware of the keto diet at that point.

  6. Hi mikhaila, are you eating cheese or eggs as well, or just meat? I am carnivore for about a month and feel great so far. Thanks for sharing your story.

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