Time to Read: 10-12 mins
In December 2018 I composed a long complaint about how I felt one year after Infusio. I deleted it. Long story short, I was nowhere near where I wished to be. During the holidays I had massive histamine reactions to EVERYTHING and was miserable. My entire body ached, and I was having a hard time justifying that I’d waited a full fucking year and didn’t feel much better. Truth? I felt a bit better. Not enough to live a normal life. I spent most of my days on the couch, my hormones were whacked, my periods were unusually heavy, and I was becoming increasingly discouraged. I was already on a restricted diet and everything I ate upset my stomach. I had diarrhea that wouldn’t quit. I was angry. An entire year and I didn’t have much to show for it. On rare days, I only spent 50% of my day on the couch, but I didn’t have good quality energy when I was up. I began thinking about next steps. It was clear I wasn’t one of the lucky ones. I would now have to delve into the complicated world of mast cell reactions, rare intolerances, genetics, autoimmune encephalitis, etc. And then I heard about the next, new phase of Infusio treatment called Exomes. When I saw the word posted on the Facebook stem boards I was like: No. Fuck no. Hell no. Don’t even! I could not entertain yet another Infusio treatment. I didn’t bother to read about it and still don’t even know what it is. There were plenty of people who improved with Infusio, didn’t do the home protocol, didn’t do ACT, and did not do Exomes. What the hell changed? Get it out of my face. No more.
At the end of 2018 I was feeling hopeless. It was time to deal with reality: Infusio only got me so far and it wasn’t far enough. Not by a mile. I did not want to live my life with only a quarter of my normal energy, hypersensitive to everything, in chronic pain, and unable to eat.
enter THE CARNIVORE DIET
Around January 2019, my sister talked about “The Carnivore Diet.” I listened to her tell me about it, but it made no sense. How can you survive on only meat and water? It sounded like a boring death sentence. Around the holidays I upped my meat intake anyway - not because I wanted to become a carnivore. I realized it was the only thing not upsetting my stomach. I had one hamburger patty a day besides my normal grain-free, sugar-free, processed-free diet. After the patty, I didn’t feel sick or bloated. I wasn’t tired. The next week I had two plain meat meals a day. After two weeks I went all the way. Three meat meals a day.
My pain subsided. My energy skyrocketed. Holy shit! I tried it for another week. No histamine reactions, great energy, no pain, brain fog lifted, my mood was amazing. It was like a miracle. I couldn’t believe it. I researched the diet and found an abundance of anecdotal evidence. It’s helping people! There were stories of people with Lyme and how they’d overcome it by switching to meat. It all sounded too good to be true.
SNAGS (some of which may be lyme and not the diet)
The adapting phase is like Keto-Flu - people are saying it can last anywhere from 3-6 months
The initial high has worn off, but I still have more energy than I did before Infusio
Digestion is wonky while my body gets used to it
Odd vibrations in head (once)
I don’t know how to cook meat and it’s sometimes frustrating
Buying meat. It’s gross.
Period fluctuating. 1st was great (less heavy, no cramps), 2nd was heavy, had big Lyme flare: Joint pain, lightheaded, mild anxiety, digestion pain, long emotional PMS, brain fog, vision static, very dry skin, return of costochondritis. This has been my normal for years.
It seems I can’t handle spices other than salt and pepper. Anything else and I get diarrhea.
30 day IMPROVEMENTS
More premium quality energy
Haven’t had a migraine in over a month
Less susceptible to barometric pressure
No more bloating
Very little gas (TMI)
Sinuses are clear both sides
Feel satisfied when I eat
Lost 3 pounds (goes up and down)
No more insomnia. I go right to sleep at night
Overall Lyme symptoms have decreased (see list below)
My husband is cooking more!
No longer have to worry which ingredient in a meal is causing me issues. Was it the oil? The arugula? The olives? Pumpkin seeds? No more. If something upsets my stomach, I have a small list to check. It’s usually the spices.
The Massive List of Lyme Symptoms Post Carnivore
The majority of these symptoms were constant over the past five years.
*Asterisks indicate symptoms that had already improved before starting Carnivore.
*Hashimoto's - Resolved with thyroid meds pre-carnivore
HHV6 - IDK
Gluten intolerance - Who cares?
Dairy Intolerance - Still very active with milk and cheese. Eggs OK.
Eczema - Had disappeared pre-Lyme and returned a bit in December 2018, has improved and isn't bad
Candida - IDK, feels mostly gone
SIBO - Feels like it's improved
Inflammation - Way down
Constant health anxiety - Gone
Low cortisol - IDK
Low pregnenolone - IDK
Joint pain - Less
*Tongue tingling (kind of numb) - Gone
Throat feels tight - Gone
Puffy white tongue - Gone
Stomach pain (center, below ribs) - Gone
Pain in kidneys - Gone
Cold feet - Active
Pain in shoulders and left arm, elbow - Active, but less
Eye fatigue - Comes and goes as opposed to constant
Ringing in ears constantly - Active, less noticeable
Sweaty palms - Comes and goes
Dry skin - Active
*Shortness of breath, air hunger - Gone
60. Body shaking/vibrating - Mostly gone, had a bunch of this in the first few weeks of diet change - felt like out of whack vagus nerve
Central serous retinopathy - Has not progressed
Seeing stars - Occasional, rare
Bags under eyes - Getting better
Ridges on nails - Unchanged
Bacterial Vaginosis - Resolved and then appears to be making a come back. Not sure why. Perhaps experimental introduction to dairy set if off. I'm off milk again.
Poor circulation - Improving
Hot flashes - Gone
Insomnia - Gone
Brain fog - Some days I'm a genius, others I can't remember basic shit. Definitely not as bad as it was. I'm having more "on" days where I can grasp new concepts and can remember my to do lists.
Body odor - Something ticked when I started lyme killing herbs in 2016 and my body chemistry went whack. Got a bit worse with carnivore. Gross, but improving.
*Shoulder acne - Don't ask me why I had acne only on my shoulders, but that's mostly gone
Bruise easily - Better
Lightheaded/dizzy - Mostly gone. No more episodes of vertigo.
Barometric pressure headaches - Improved
Digestive issues (diarrhea, constipation, dull and sharp pain) - Sharp pains are gone, others remain
Occasional (horrible) sharp pain in colon area - Gone
Daily headaches - Gone
Migraines (1-2 per month) - Haven't had one in a month
Sinus pressure - Mostly gone, discovered after 20 years I still CANNOT eat dairy
Bleeding gums - Mostly gone, gums are improving and are looking (dare I say) healthy. Before, felt like my teeth were loose
Jaw pain (Mostly on left side) - Gone
Heart palpitations - Improved
Muscle twitching - Very infrequent
*Mild to severe anxiety - Gone
*Mild to severe panic attacks - Gone
Doom and gloom - Gone
Lyme Rage - Gone gone gone!
*Mild to severe fatigue - Mostly gone. I spent 95% of my pre-Infusio days laying down. Post Infusio, I got to 50% of the day laying down.
Neck and scalp pain, tightness - Mostly gone
Sciatica pain (both sides) - Eh, comes and goes
*Tinea versicolor (back, torso) - Gone (that went with meds)
Abnormal periods - Recent Period was lighter
*Costochondritis - Gone
*Pressure in sternum - Gone
Gas, bloating - Mostly gone
Everything I eat seems to upset my stomach - Gone
Dry sinuses - Mostly gone
Blocked sinuses - Mostly gone, I can now breathe through both sides of my nostrils
*Sore throat left side (two weeks and counting) - Gone
Feeling as though food isn't going down fast enough, difficulty swallowing - Totally gone
Pressure in ears, a feeling of fluid - Mostly gone - dairy didn't help
Occasional pressure in head, a feeling of fluid - Gone
Depression - Gone
Eye floaters - Mostly gone
Occasional odd smell in sinuses (sour) - Gone!
Babesia - IDK
Bartonella - IDK
Epstein Barr - IDK
Burning feet - Mostly gone
TL/DR: This list demonstrates how the majority of my symptoms disappeared after switching to a carnivore diet.
I WAS A VEGETARIAN FOR 26 YEARS
When I was fifteen I became a vegetarian. I cut out all red meat. I was a bonafide member of Morrissey’s “Meat is Murder” club. In my early ‘20s I cut out poultry and dairy. I was devoted. I never cheated, and I accepted what I was doing was the best thing for me and the earth. I argued that vegetarianism was the best diet. I endured mockery and disdain. My Mexican family had a hard time coming to terms with my not eating chicharrones or carne asada. I held firm to my beliefs. I was right, they were wrong. Not to brag, but I was a vegetarian in the days before Garden Burgers. Most grocery stores didn’t even carry tofu.
Over the years I’ve had several doctors tell me I needed to eat meat. How dare they tell me what to do? They don’t know me! I should have listened. To be fair, I was a young kid with high ideals and an over-inflated sense of morality. I love animals and eating them was sickening. “Nothing with a face,” I used to say. I didn’t understand that consuming large quantities of (fruit and vegetable) FIBER was tearing up my gut or that carbs were sending me on a path toward diabetes. Why did I have stomach pain after eating kale? Why did alfalfa sprouts give me indigestion? The list of pain inducing vegetables was extensive. I could not eat soy or plant based products. The Impossible Burger made me bloated and gave me stomach pain for days.
Vegetarianism/veganism/plant-based diets may work for some people. They don’t work for me. I have twenty-five years of personal experience on the matter. For me, vegetarianism was a blind chase down the wrong rabbit hole. Always pursuing “something else” to make the diet work. Always tweaking and hunting. I felt bad, but it couldn’t be the diet. Looking back, I feel like I was in a cult. If you told one of the Branch Davidians that David Koresh was a demented maniac, they could not (would not) believe you. They could not make the mental connection. Or telling a believer that God doesn’t exist. It’s not an option. God exists, and that’s that. I’m not saying people who believe in God are a cult, by the way. Vegetarianism was the same with me. I believed in a plant-based diet the way Branch Davidians believed in David Koresh. There was nothing anyone could say to sway me.
In over two decades, I never could understand why I didn’t feel good on a vegetarian diet. I felt like shit all the time, couldn’t lose weight, had low energy, was moody and irritated (sorry to all my former boyfriends), and physically fragile. In fact, my not being able to lift heavy things was a joke. I spent a lot of time researching herbs and supplements to make me feel better. I was one of the first people I know using tinctures and essential oils. Nothing worked. I thought, I have to keep looking. Something will turn up. Instead of dealing with the most obvious answer, I closed my eyes to the hard truth. I blamed my doctors or not taking high enough quality supplements. I needed to do more! So I spent the money. I saw naturopaths, bought expensive supplements, acupuncture, reiki, yoga, Pilates, hikes in nature, chiropractors, medical professionals, allergists. I blamed wheat, so I cut out wheat. I blamed all grains, so I cut out all grains. I blamed sugar and cut out sugar. I blamed fruit, so I cut out fruit. And all of this was before Lyme! After Lyme, I ran through the same ring-around-the-rosy and still ended up empty handed. So by the time I got to Carnivore, I’d tried everything, and I was desperate.
My Current Diet
Coffee, Eggs and bacon (or 1/4 lb ribeye)
Hamburger or lamb burger patty with butter
1/2 lb fatty ribeye or lamb chops - sometimes another patty if we’re strapped for time.
I went from taking upwards of 25-40 supplements a day to now taking potassium, magnesium, and cod liver oil
This is NOT perfect. It is ever-changing as I figure out what works for me.
Also known as “Zero Carb,” some call this “the ultimate elimination diet.” Most Lyme Literate doctors agree that sugar and carbs feed Lyme bacteria. Fruit is sugar. Quinoa is carbs. There is, if you’re interested, science on all this, but I don’t want to bore you or force it down your throat. For me, this has been my holy grail. It’s a complete turnaround and I feel like I am getting my life back. As you can see from the list above, it’s not 100% perfect, but I’m only a month in and I can function like a normal human being. I’m thinking about travelling. I’ve started physical therapy to regain my strength and rebuild the muscles that have atrophied in my back.
this wasn’t an easy decision
I’ve been afraid to talk about this for a few weeks. As a former vegetarian, I know how people are. I know the dogma and I know all the arguments about saving the planet, animal cruelty, and industrial farming. Now that the brain fog has lifted, I realize just how much diet plays a role in our health. I don’t just realize it. I know it. That’s the difference. I once believed that vegetarianism was the way to go. How could it not be? Vegetables are fucking healthy. Right? Aside from the fact that vegan/vegetarian/plant-based is overly complicated, it’s filled with foods made to replicate meat. I now see it’s not for me and never was. If I retrace my lifelong health issues, most started in my teens and got worse right around the time I cut out all animal products. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I ask you to respect my journey. This was not an easy decision. The first time I ate meat I cried. I still have a hard time eating organ meats and if I think about the animal that died so I can live, I get kind of depressed. I only buy grass-fed meat from good sources. It costs more, but it’s worth it. I have to know the meat I consume had a nice life. Each meal is a gift. A gift of life. I was suffering, and I ended my suffering. I can no longer ignore that I need animal products in my diet. The extent of my recovery in just one month is obvious.
EATING TO LIVE
I know a lot of Carnivores face scorn at consuming the rotted flesh of our Earth’s precious creatures. I get it. When I think about cows and lambs I get fuzzy feelings. So how can I eat them? I decided I didn’t want to die, that’s how. I was tired of hurting. I wanted to end my sickness. The more I thought about it, the more I investigated, the clearer it became. Humans have long survived on meat. My ancestors ate meat. It’s how they survived so I could be born. The trouble with eating meat isn’t the murder of animals. Animals eat animals and humans are animals. If you were out in the forest and you came across a hungry animal, you better believe it would eat you. Maybe not chipmunks, but definitely bears and wolves. For me, eating meat is a basic survival. The issue is industrial farming. The problem is abuse and chemicals and genetic engineering. But we’re evolved, right? We can elect not to eat meat. I chose for twenty-five years. I ate cardboard flavored Tofurkey every Thanksgiving for two-and-a-half decades. If I missed some magical trick to vegetarianism, then I’ll be the first to admit I was mistaken. Believe me when I say, I tried everything. I don’t want to go into how *monoculture plant-foods wreck the ground, leads to pesticide runoff, fertilizer runoff, desertification and kills many animals. Or how properly managed cattle actually builds topsoil, increases biodiversity, water retention and more. It’s a much longer conversation.
THE EFFECTS OF A RAW meat DIET ON MY 13 YEAR OLD CAT
Around the same time I went Carnivore, I started making homemade raw food for my thirteen-year-old cat, Matilda. It involves chicken skins, thighs, hearts, livers, and grinding bones in a meat grinder. It’s revolting. However, she saw almost immediate results. Her coat is shiny, she has more vitality; she plays (she hasn’t played in years), and the white parts of her coat are white again. She RUNS up the stairs instead of moving slow like an old lady like she used to. Her mood has improved. She’s suffered with anxiety since she was a kitten and she’s more or less calm now. Canned cat food is shit and my baby deserves to eat her natural food. I should not ignore I now have stamina to prepare raw food for my cat.
Let me end by saying, I’m not trying to convince YOU to go carnivore. I’m sharing what’s worked for me. I feel like a god-damn viking. A middle-aged viking who has just come back from a long sea voyage.
A special note to staunch Vegans:
I made the commitment to full veganism for around six months in 2010. You might think that’s not long enough. I was already more than halfway there. The final items I gave up to achieve full veganness were honey, gelatin, and cheese. I know and love many vegans. I understand and feel your empathic devotion. I know you love animals and the planet. I do too. We both have different ways of showing it. This is not your way, but it’s my way. I am not interested in being yelled at or engaged. Please respect that this is my journey. Imagine how hard it would be for you to eat meat. That’s what I went through out of sheer desperation. I hope you understand. You do you. Me do me. Thank you. 🖤
If you’re interested in learning more:
Reddit Thread: Questions regarding Zerocarb's contribution to climate change (good place to start)
There are countless videos on YouTube of people sharing how Carnivore saved their lives. Search Carnivore Diet Saved My Life.
*Gleaned from Reddit Questions regarding Zerocarb's contribution to climate change