In my opinion, the leading guru on treating autoimmune issues via diet is Dr. Wahls, a physician afflicted with MS and author of The Wahls Protocol. There are numerous lectures and interviews of her on YouTube.
She advocates in eating 9 cups of veggies daily for their vitamins, antioxidants, and detox capabilities. In addition to consuming meats high in Omega 3, organ meats, bone broth, seaweed, and fermented foods.
I’ve tried Wahls diet. I’m hyper reactive to basically everything, the same category as Jordan Peterson and his daughter Mikhaila. Some fish I can eat but it has to be just right and very fresh, so I can’t always source it. The problem with Wahls diet is the veggies she recommends cause me inflammation. My personal interpretation is my body spends most of it’s immune energy attacking something in the gut to the point where I have little to no bacteria left to ferment plant food, and eating it causes both general and specific autoimmune reaction.
The problem with other types of meat such as fish/duck/lamb/etc so far is I don’t seem to be digesting them at all, they just mix with water and sit in my intestines…
You probably need more time for your HCL and Bile production to increase. Suggest smaller meals (3-4 oz meat) with minimal to zero liquids while eating (and stop drinking about 1/2 hour prior to meals and 1 hour after meals.
I was getting excited till you put in the caveat!
Have you added digestive enzymes to help you body process foods?
I love digestive enzymes!
Probiotics didn’t do squat for me but digestive enzymes are miracle pills.
I even tested 3 brands by opening up the capsules and mixing into a small bowl of oatmeal.
One didn’t do anything. The second one literally turned it to soup. The third (and most expensive by a LOT) turned it almost to water.
My conclusion: first one was a worthless scam, second one worked, third one worked the best but for what they cost wasn’t worth it. I use the second one now exclusively.
I can’t remember the other two I tested. The one I use I get off amazon
Thanks - I’m going to order some. I’ve been having digestive issues on keto - well actually before keto as well. I don’t do certain fats very well.
Super interested in this thread mate as I have, and kind of still am going through something similar. My first Carnivore attempt was difficult. My body just seemed to be rejecting the 0% plant food approach I was taking. Making all sorts of noises. Feeling nausea after eating. But I had the other benefits that you speak of to make me think ‘there’s something to this’. That lasted 26 days and then I messed up. Took me a month to regroup and I started again.
Carnivore Round 2 is going well. Tomorrow is Day 26 actually by chance. What I’ve learnt:
- There is an ideal fat:protein ratio. And it seems to be exactly as your appetite dictates. If you feel nauseated by one or the other whilst eating then you’ve probably had enough and need more of the other if still hungry. As others have said, perhaps mix up your cuts of beef.
- Salt, and this is probably my biggest revelation. I don’t need it. Nothing. And I mean the Pink Himalayan wonder salt that is so heavily endorsed. I had my suspicions, I was linking scenarios of fatigue with its consumption. So on Day 16 I said I’m removing it. The first week was horrific, and then… hallelujah I’m feeling great. No more midday naps. No more cramps. Less diarrhoea and better digestion. Meat tastes fantastic just the way it is. Can eat and carry on with my day. No more need to drink after meals which in turn helps with the digestion. It’s been a game changer. But it’ll take a week or so for your kidneys to recalibrate.
- Cravings. They aren’t going anywhere in a hurry. They may dampen, to certain things but you’re preprogrammed now. That stuffs hard wired so I’m trusting the process and practicing will power. And not consuming anything other than meat and water. Best way to kill them. I’m the same as you. Randomly craving weird things. But I’ve completely bought into the ‘hungry? Eat meat.’ Philosophy and it works.
- Nausea. I think this is the same. It’s an adaption thing. I’m hoping most of this is to be honest. 25 days so far. That’s nothing compared to a lifetime of being a carb burner. Every cell in my body is having to adapt. So I’m giving it its time. Mikhaila and Jordan Peterson were just Meat and green veggies for a significant time before their transition and they still report an adaption period and still now they feel better with each passing day.
- Shop bought tablets and supplements were counterproductive. Another thing I suspected. When you read all the ‘caking agents’ and what have you in them it’s no wonder your body rejects them. I was supplementing with B Vitamins, Pottassium and Magnesium. Cut them all out and the lingering depression vanished. Completely subjective but it’s vanished. Sleep improved. Don’t know if you’re doing these but a note.
I have started including bone broth which helps me. Sucks you cant have that. I think the overriding message is there’s an adaption and 30 days is just an arbitrary number plucked out of thin air because it’s a month and who can’t do something for a month. In reality it might take 47, 108 or 365. Who knows. But it’s important to notice the small wins and be patient. I’m getting better at this. My digestion is certainly getting a lot better as time goes by.
I’ll be really interested to follow your progress so I hope you stick with it and tinker to try make it work. Just tell yourself sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. Good luck man!
- Rendered Fat. I’m the same. Can’t digest it. Would love to swim in the stuff and guzzle from tankards but hell no. Not right now at least.
- Wild game, Fish, Pork and other non red meats don’t give me the same nutrition and or feeling of well being that fatty beef and lamb do.
- Liver doesn’t work for me. Actually makes me feel quite bad. Don’t know why. I’ve read it might be it’s Vitamin A content. Seem to do just fine on beef and lamb heart though.
- Daily Journals and a wall calendar help me work through this initial period whilst I fine tune ‘My’ optimal diet.
Trying to think of everything else. In constant dialogue with my body at the minute. Married to it. Hoping it’ll soon become lifestyle and not challenge.
An that’s the one I use as well!
I have tried 5-6 digestive enzymes, I went through a bunch of them with a naturopath. I adapt to them within a couple days. If I continue to take them it’s just like I’ve never taken them, they supplant my native enzymes. When I go off them, it takes a month to get production back up.
I’m not drinking water before or after eating for an hour, in order to maximize my digestive enzymes and bile production.
Thanks for the detailed post oward12!
I’m now 2 weeks in and have lost 6.25% of my bodyweight, and I feel weak to the point I’m spending the best days of summer inside. I do have a reduction in inflammation, which is very notable in my vision, however my skin and eyes are showing some signs of inflammation again, and my joints are less padded than they were before, likely due to reduced water content in the body. My nerves are also shot the last 3 days to the point where loud noises disturb me more than they should and I’ve had some migraines. Unfortunately I cannot work, study, or really spend time with the family like this, and I’ve got some big events happening in the next 5-6 weeks.
For food I switched to beef back ribs and short ribs, and have been able to eat without nausea but the cravings for high carb foods have increased. I suspect the connective tissue in the ribs may be causing the inflammation in my skin and eyes, but I’m not sure. I’m going to try supplementing with some smoked salmon to see if fish oils help.
I’m trying to find the best fat/protein ratio. The ribs are quite fatty, and I bought beef fat to fry and eat (better than bacon). I also bought a bunch of marrow bones for meals. So I’m going to play with these for the next couple day. The cravings I’m having are bizarre, I’ve had a really clean diet for a long time, basically broccoli, steak, apples, and dates. Now I cut out those 3 and I’m craving cake/cookie type bullshit I haven’t eaten in many, many years.
OK, salt is a big one for me. I crave salt to the point where I buy the expensive french sea salt and eat it by the pinch during the day. I’ve always drank an excessive amount of water and feel short on electrolytes. As I mentioned, I’m taking the “no more muscle cramps” electrolyte drops, but only in very small quantites (a drop a day). It does have sulfate though, so I may drop that for a bit just in case. Did you have salt cravings like I do? Or get dehydrated or consume a lot of water, more than a gallon on an average day?
I haven’t been taking vitamins for this time on the diet. About 3 years ago when I was having a severe autoimmune reaction I did some serious testing and started compounding my own specialized-ratio B vitamins without caking agents or other fillers, with ingredients sourced from top manufacturing places in the USA. They kept my inflammation at bay enough to live day to day, but I didn’t find them to be a complete cure, though I know others have.
It does suck to not be able to eat bone broth. I think that’s part of my problem, my autoimmune condition is to attack my joints, and it turns out that when I eat connective tissue or collagen my body starts attacking itself in the same areas.
Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement, I’ll keep updating.
Hi Tommy, I’m in my 5th week of keto, and find I need some salt at times. I pour some into the palm of my hand and lick it off! And then follow it w/ some water. I cannot eat beef every day; pre-keto I didn’t eat it much at all, except for hamburgers and the rare filet mignon. I don’t like ribeye much, although I’ve cooked some porterhouse that was good. So I am mixing it up w/ salmon, tuna, other fish, pork, chicken, duck etc. Had some pork ribs yesterday that were delicious!
I have this one (digestive enzymes by source essentials) too and some raw refrigerated probiotics (garden of life) certified organic (the only probiotic that was USDA CO out of all the ones they had…lol).
The reason I do this is my suspicion about macronutrients and how the fat, protein and carbohydrate are digested and synthesized by the digestive enzymes and how it interacts with the gut flora biome ratios and the presence of mucus in the small intestines (with a ketogenic metabolism) and how my body is going to process glucose (what little I get) which determines whether or not what I am eating is going to be stored as fat or used for fuel?
…And the reason for the ‘stall’ or ‘plateau’ when people are gradually losing weight or trying to burn the fat! And may explain why the ketogenic diet does not work for some people in the way of losing weight or burning the fat long-term; as soon as they start upping the carbs and sugars for a period of time they are not resistant enough to withstand it because the gut flora biome ratios are out of whack, then the bodies metabolism does a threefold slam dunk on them and puts the fat right back where it was?
The other route (band-aid approach?) is to have the biome tested (fecal sample) and eat according to what a biome transcription database (biome ratio actuarial profile analysis compared to the general populous e.g. obese vs. non-obese, cancer potential etc.) tells you to eat?
This is all pure speculation on my part and could be placebo without the “proper isolation of variables” as Tim Ferris puts it, but just thought I would share my ideas and thoughts about this and how I do this!
Sounds like you’ve got it rough Tommy. Don’t give up though man. Keep searching.
Regarding Salt. So when I started I found it helped for say the first week or so. Because I dropped so much water weight and I was rebalancing. Then over week 3 I noticed my body stabilise. But I was getting this weird lethargy and depression after meals and I heavily suspected salt to be the cause.
So on Day 16 I said I’d drop it and go 2 weeks without, expecting an adaption period after reading about how the kidneys need time to readjust and see how I felt. So todays Day 27 and things are great. I won’t be reintroducing salt, I have no requirement for it. There’s adequate sodium in the meat I eat. Initially meat tasted bland and I craved salt for the first 7 Days. Then everything changed. Meat tasted perfect. I slept better. I woke up easier. Joint and muscle pain disappeared. My morning press ups became easier and my reps are increasing. I’ve got better satiety. I’m eating one meal a day unintentionally. I eat and the hunger doesn’t return until the next day. I can run 10km fasted without drinking. The weirdest thing was the sores and scabs in my nose cleared. They never clear. They always linger. They’ve gone. And with that my tooth sensitivity went as well. That’s not something I suspect. It’s clear as day to me. I don’t fall asleep after eating any longer and even after a 90 minute hard football game for my local team I have zero cramps. Nothing. I’d always be cramping up with my foot on the accelerator pedal driving home after the game. No longer. My whole body feels so much better. I’m so much more productive. I was a slouch for the first 16 days.
I think salt is massively overused on these diets. People over consume it, then they drink because they are excessively thirsty, which then flushes out their electrolytes beyond replenishment, which then leaves a bit of a problem. As ‘The Bear’ Owlsey implied it is a chemical and a poison to the body. He didn’t consume any for 50 years except in the hard cheeses he consumed. I’ve recently listened to 2 ‘Human Performance Outliers’ podcasts. One with Charles Washington who is a long term carnivore. He doesn’t consume salt. He runs marathons fasted and doesn’t drink for the whole 26.2 miles with no problem. Secondly with Professor Tim Noakes who is highly regarded in this field. He implied it is impossible to have an electrolyte imbalance eating meat and drinking to thirst. Impossible. He said that he suspects everyone’s craving for salt and use of it is more down to it having a stimulant effect very much like coffee etc and people never break that cycle. So they keep craving. There’s plenty enough sodium in the meat to reach your requirements. I would highly recommend giving them a listen but anecdotally for myself I feel much better without. Perform better and inflammation has disappeared.
I never understood the salt fantasy on this diet. For a group of people so self aware and open minded enough to say we evolved to eat meat and that’s all I’m eating. And yet they think there is a heavy requirement for these far away salts that we wouldn’t of had during evolution. I certainly don’t think we would of been covering our food in it. A lot of long time Carnivores like the Andersons and Amber O’Hearn, people who are the true examples of success eating this way don’t consume salt. So that’s pretty strong evidence for me.
So that’s my musings on the subject. I wish you the very best man. Sounds like you deserve a bit of a break and a few answers. Maybe worth a little trial salt free. Just allow for adaption in all areas.
Oh and regarding the cravings. I’m not sure. I’m still getting them. Sometimes I wonder if the brain just wants that small amount of exogenous carbohydrates just to run a little more efficiently. But I’m sticking with it and riding them out. I know Mark Bell (another proponent of the diet) adds in half an apple a day and he says this helps him. Not something I’ve tried.
Try other beef cuts and lower your fat. Also, don’t drink water for at least an hour before and after eating to limit watery stools.
I decided to try 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli last night to see how I responded. I got instant inflammation and arthritis symptoms within 2 hours. What was really interesting, or puzzling, is how my visual acuity decreased and I got inflammatory response within one minute of the first bite of broccoli entering my mouth. This has got to be some sort of immune reaction obviously connected to the nervous system. Bizarre. I’m back on carnivore today, no real cravings but it’s easier to eat meat and I had a lot more energy last night and today, despite decreased visual acuity and inflammation. I’m also quite certain that the connective tissue even in the ribs is bothering me, so I’m looking to avoid it now.
Have you had genetic testing like MTHFR?
Yes, I believe I indicated using a custom formula of methylated b vitamins above. I have one mutation on MTHFR, however I cannot supplement with methylfolate or methylb12. MTHFL causes a weak voice and methylB12 causes severe headaches. I left out folate as I couldn’t find one that worked and use hydroxyB12. I’m taking very small amounts of the custom formula sporadically on the carnivore diet.