My Journey from Vegan
From a young age, I had a predisposition to being overweight, fuelled by an extremely sweet tooth.
By the time I was eighteen, I already had fatty liver disease, and drinking alcohol was a personal disaster.
I became bulimic at 17 and for 7 years I would constantly overeat and then vomit. I didn’t know it at the time, but this severely damaged my digestive system, and it took many, many years to repair after I had stopped the self-abuse.
In my quest for health, I became vegan for a short while (I had read somewhere that even carrots scream when boiled. And I considered myself on a spiritual journey to raise my vibrations and share a seat with the Buddha. After 6 months I was experiencing heart palpitations in the evenings and my nighttime dreams were about eating fish. I gave up veganism, had some fish and felt a lot better. Still hoping to at some future time rub shoulders with the Buddha, I settled on a simple vegetarian diet but with some fish and eggs and the occasional bit of chicken, a lot of carbs, dark chocolate, and so-called ‘healthy nuts’.
I muddled my way for almost twenty years like this when in my early fifties quite suddenly I ballooned in weight – again, even though my workload and exercising had remained constant.
As an Alternative Therapist, I had known that carbohydrates were damaging to one’s health, and I used to pay lip service to my clients but, I hadn’t truly understood it until my body had said enough! After all that bread, pasta, and ice cream my body threw in the towel, became insulin resistant and I now had a new self-label “type 2 diabetic”. My body weight ballooned very quickly, and I added 5 stones in weight to 18.5 stones and over 38” waist.
My oldest boy encouraged me to give up the carbs, and I did. For the next few years, I ate mainly salads, low carb steamed veg. lots of nuts and fish. The problems began to manifest. Firstly, with nose bleeds. At the time, I was oblivious to the fact that the daily carbohydrate overload had finally damaged the function of my kidneys. This gave rise from dark sacks under my eyes, copious weeing 24/7, regular nose bleeds, and finally blood blisters in my mouth when I ate food that contained salt.
Much later I learned the buzzword “plants don’t want to be eaten, they are trying to kill you”. Mean whilst, I was to learn the hard way. I had a bit of eczema on my forehead, problems with my eyes, getting styes, grittiness, dry red eyes, black little circles as well as black floaters interfering with my vision . red, itchy recurring fungal infections in my groin, as well as athlete’s foot fungal infection in between my toes and nails, also, cold sores, and herpes-like little blisters on the arches of my feet.
What on earth was wrong with me? Well, it turns out that for many, many years, I had been eating out of aluminium utensils as well as using aluminium foil paper to wrap food in the oven.
The aluminium had damaged my intestinal membrane, leading to leaky gut syndrome. And the only obvious symptom of this, which I realized much, much later, was a red painful weal under the nail part of my left large toe. This had bothered me for years, but I had assumed that it was related to nerves in my lower back, with which I had had problems for over twenty years.
My leaky gut was allowing the lectins (these are special proteins, carried by many plants /seeds, that will bind with different types of sugars) into my bloodstream. The leaky gut damage within my digestive tract had been there for a long time. Up till now, the lectins had for a large part been bound to the sugars I ingested. However, now, the lectin proteins were entering my bloodstream unbound, binding within my body and confusing my immune system to attack parts of itself. This gave rise to eczema, fungal infections, and eye damage. Those were the obvious symptoms.
It took a couple of years before I twigged that the lectins in the fruit from the Nightshade family like red and yellow peppers, as well as the red tomatoes I was ingesting, were now particularly virulent to my body. The sugars I had previously been eating had been binding with the lectins and minimizing their damage.
By now I had many physical symptoms due to food and had read somewhere about the exclusion diet that I had heard Jordan Peterson talk about. I embarked on a diet of chicken and broccoli, supplemented with multivitamins and copious amounts of vitamin C. For the next few years, I experimented with adding different vegetables and seeds to see which ones I could add back into my diet.
By the end of it, I had come to the conclusion I was allergic to pretty much anything. Mean whilst, I had been listening to others talking about the carnivore diet, and the stories brought by Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879 – 1962 an Arctic explorer who shares his experiences of living amongst the Eskimos. He noted that existing on a restricted diet of meat, fat and bones did not suffer from scurvy and were relatively healthy.
Once more, as a result of listening to Jordan and his daughter Mikhaila Peterson, I decided to go on the total meat and fat diet to the dismay of many around me. For now, it had become a struggle to go out for a meal in a restaurant or even share a meal with the family.
Eating has become a source of pleasurable pastime a ritual where we partake of our addiction with others. We no longer eat to live, on the contrary, we live to eat, and there is nothing more discomforting than being the odd one out. To realize that our families and friends are eating foods injurious to their health and being powerless to interfere is an uncomfortable place indeed.
My change of diet to the exclusion of carbs. had brought quite a few changes within my system, for one I was racked with muscle spasms that would wake me up throughout the night. I decided to add Epsom salt to my baths for magnesium, as well as salt, electrolytes were supposed to be good for the muscle spasms. I made a big mistake that would take a few years for me to find out I was having 3 baths a week, and I would soak for at least an hour regularly.
For the next few yrs I added Epsom salt to my baths but got no relief, partly because my muscle spasms were due to structural imbalances within my spine that in the wrong positions would pinch nerves, and in turn, lead to spasms and partly – I would learn this much much later, because my cells and liver were damaged and my muscles needed a little bit of glucose to get me by.
Little did I know that I was poisoning myself with the Epsom salts and my muscles were firing ten to a dozen, I would look down at my calf muscles and it would be like looking at twenty young eels swimming down my calf muscle. Eventually, I worked it out and stopped the magnesium. It took me even longer to realise that the salt was playing havoc with my kidneys.
I was also suffering from a lack of energy, which has been described as the keto flu. And going to the CrossFit gym in the early morning was a nightmare I invariably felt dazed, energy-less and befuddled in my brain.
Many people will try to lose weight by going on to a meat and fat diet. But if they are a type two diabetic they have to make the transition slowly for there are many pitfalls.
What are the clues to find out if one is type 2 diabetic?
Overt signs: Tags anywhere on the body, a darkening discolouration of the skin, fat deposit in the lower abdomen- a sure sign of Fatty liver disease from too much carbohydrate. Needing to wee a lot possibly getting up 2 or 3 times a night to pass water. Sleepy after eating a meal.
One of the knock-on effects of too much carb leading to insulin resistance is that the Kidneys as well as the liver get compromised. So pockets under the eyes as well as darkening, and leg swelling are all very early signs. And in my case the difficulty of processing too much salt lead to nose bleeds and blood blisters in my mouth. Something that took me a long time to understand, for in my desperation to deal with the incessant cramps I would have too much salt and my kidneys were threatening to throw in the towel!
There are a lot of competing theories as to how much salt we need to consume each day. Some say at least 3 grams others none at all, that there is enough salt on the meats we eat. Today, I have a minuscule pinch of salt once a day with my bone broth and it is more than sufficient.
Initial pitfalls of going on to a carnivore diet when type 2 diabetic
If we have developed tags and/or skin-darkening discolouration. Then, as a result of ingesting seed oils commonly referred to as vegetable oils, as well as long-term insulin flooding of the cell that is then termed insulin resistance, as in, the cells can’t take it anymore, we will have created severe damage to the mitochondria or energy motors within cells.
The other day I put petrol in my diesel engine. After 5 miles my car engine refused to work. The human cells work best with animal saturated fats, and instead, we give them carbohydrates. Yes, it can burn it for energy but unfortunately for the past 100 years have been increasingly seduced into consuming seed oil fats which are highly oxidised and damaging to the mitochondria, the energy cells are nobbled and when we go keto there is a long period of adjustment especially if we already have damaged mitochondria.
When I decided to go full carnivore I also stopped taking Vit C because the literature and others said you don’t need it. That is not the whole picture!
I became very moody and impossible to be with, I then noticed I was getting weird little white lights in my vision when I looked sideways in the dusk lighting. Followed by blood in my semen. As soon as I noticed this I started to take large doses of Vit C and the scurvy symptoms went away.
This happened once more sometime later, and once more I had to resort to ViT. C.
Vitamin C is one of those Vitamins that Herbivores create in profusion. Up to 12 to 13, 000 mg. a day if you are a goat. Humans lost the ability / need to create Vit C a long time ago. In case it is not obvious- because we are NOT herbivores any more. However, for 100 years we have increasingly turned our diet upside down to the point that we consume so many poisons especially seeds and vegetable oils that Vit C as a powerful antioxidant becomes a necessary medicine.
What about the muscle spasms?
I am now free of muscle spasms, however, I got here not because of magnesium or electrolytes, but by taking a little bit of carbohydrates. It is important to realize that once our mitochondria have been damaged it will work imperfectly at using fat as a fuel source, and the liver seems to struggle in delivering glycogen to the muscles.
I found that by taking a little bit of honey in the evening it stopped the muscle spasms. Sally Norton Found that a 1/4 cup of cooked rice twice a week helped her. I have also had clients who found that 1/2 teaspoon of honey helped them with their muscle spasms.
Today I no longer require the carbohydrate, my system has made the transition to full fat burning. So we need to appreciate that years of damaging diet has taken its toll on our bodies, and it will take a little bit of time to work our way back to health.
Oxalic acid and Vit. B12
As a carnivore for 5 yrs. Eating only beef, liver, heart and fat (beef dripping) my body has settled down and I no longer need to supplement with Vit C, I have a tiny amount of salt not even one milligram a day and I do supplement with B12. I consume only water room temp. and as a hot drink.
Vit. B12 is an important topic and is related to oxalic acid. During all the years I was a Vegetarian and up to my exclusion of vegetables, I was unintentionally overloading my body with oxalates.
The human body via the liver can on average process approx.. 150 mg. a day according to Sally Norton who has done incredible research into this issue. The human body creates a little oxalic acid in its own right and Vitamin C if unused by the body can also be degraded to Oxalic acid.
To put this topic into perspective ½ a cup of cooked spinach is approx. 670 mg of Oxalic acid. One sweet potato approx. 200mg. 3.5 oz. of boiled beetroot is over 600 mg, and a small handful of almonds is over 400mg. most of the other nuts will be over 200mg., one cup of tea approx. 60 mg. here is a list to give you some idea .pdf oxalate content 2003
As you will appreciate the average person will be overloading their body with thousands of milligrams per week of oxalic acid. True, some of the oxalates, will bind with calcium and other nutrients and be disposed of as waste, some will get through into the bloodstream and bind with calcium, iron, or other minerals, and hopefully get expelled via the kidneys.
The oxalates can also move to joints, organs, and tissues where they will readily crystallise from microscopic to larger shards and rosettes, to generate wear and tear damage in the body. for example Vaginal pain, fibromyalgia, bruising easily, Thyroid issues, leaky gut, and much more.
Once we have given up the eating of oxalates we still have the problem that the body has a huge store of oxalates to dispose of. The body is a highly intelligent machine. When we stop ingesting and forcing the body to store the crystals it begins to release or ‘dump’ increasing quantities of oxalates back into the bloodstream.
It is very important to make the transition very slowly, we don’t want the body to start dumping oxalates for they will bind to calcium and other minerals, deplete us of Vit B12 and, if you are unlucky you could get kidney stones.
What I found was that even though there is B12 in grass-fed beef and even though I am eating liver, I still have an insufficiency of B12 in my diet, because the liver will use B12 to process the oxalic acid. I know this because I become light-headed when deficient in B12. I should share here that the vegetable kingdom does not contain Vit. B12, cows generate B12 via bacteria fermentation in their guts, and we can create B12 by fermenting cabbage, and soy.
Today I am still expelling oxalic acid via the eyes. If you go online and ask google about morning sleep crust it is put down to bacterial conjunctivitis. I have a different theory I believe that it is mainly due to oxalic acid being expelled via the tear glands and solidifying into crystals. Hence my need for extra Vit. B12 probably for a few more years.
- Vegetables are highly damaging to our bodies but giving them up has to be done slowly. The cabbage family and squashes are a low source of oxalates and a good intermediate stage. Take Citrate supplements to bind with the released oxalates.
- If you are ready to give up the Carbohydrates you must also give up the lectins in seeds or they will play havoc with your immune system.
- You will need to keep taking Vit C even after you have gone full Carnivore if you have leaky gut damage until you are healed, quite apart from the other supplements you will require.
- If you have ingested a lot of oxalates in your life you may well need to supplement with Vit B 12 for quite a few years after going full carnivore.
- If plagued by muscle spasms consider taking a little bit of honey or rice as a temporary stopgap.
- Seed oils -known as Vegetable oils are behind most of the damage to our cells via oxidation and free radical damage. They are in pretty much all manufactured products for it is a cheap source of fat. Have a rummage through your cupboards, rape seed and soy are the most common, sunflower, sesame and many others – they are all bad.