Does anyone here do "zero carb"/dirty carnivore/meat&egg?

It seems like these are all compatible with Bernstein’s diet principles, although a bit more restrictive.

I decided giving up all carbs (well, mostly, I am around 6-9 a day) because my b/s was all over the place even following the 6 - 12 - 12. I thought maybe I could get rid of carbs, figure out my insulin dosing for my protein/fat diet and then add in veggies again. But today is my third day of this and I’m feeling so great that I’m starting to wonder if it’s not a viable lifestyle. I could see doing this but adding in one or two salads a week, mostly for social reasons.

My b/s is still crazy but I’m reserving judgment on that till at leas tomorrow night. I screwed up my lantus two days in a row (so frustrating!!!), so I’m going lantus free for the day and I’ll do my lantus before bed, as it seems like the only time I can reliably remember it.

I guess I’m going to sound like the anti low carb folks, but I wonder about getting the full range of vitamins and minerals on a no veggies diet. I did a web search a while ago to see if grain supplied nutrients you couldn’t get any where else. I found if you ate an assortment of meats, fish, nuts, and veggies especially the green leafy ones you’d be OK.

Having said that there were cultures, the Inuit come to mind, who made it basically on meat alone. They did consume the entire animal including organ meats. I’m not on insulin but the idea of holding the variable of amount of carbs to a minimum sounds logical. After achieving stable sugars you could add back a little at a time.

Have you read the book “Using Insulin”, lots of people seem to swear by it.

When I first started I had every intention of adding veggies, nuts, etc back, and I still may do that. I’m a little worried that after like five days of nothing but meat (I don’t love eggs), I may feel a real need for a salad. lol So, we’ll see…

I read on one of the no carb forums that the Inuit didn’t actually eat organs. Of course, that was just posted by somebody on a forum, so I wouldn’t want to rely on it. But there have been examples of long happy lives lived with no consumption of plant foods for many decades. Sadly, there was a guy who was, oddly enough, a sound man for The Greatful Dead, who went for over fifty years eating this way and was just killed at the age of 71 in a car accident a couple of months ago. And there are many people who have been doing it for a much shorter period and appear to be doing well. They claim that you don’t actually need anything from veggies.

I don’t know if it is “healthy” or even “healthier” than the standard american diet, or the ADA diet, or Bernstein’s, but I don’t want to discount it just because it doesn’t sound right not to eat vegetables. It took me a long time to consider doing Atkins (which quickly led me to Berntein’s) because it sounded so wrong to eat a lot of meat and cheese. But I am certain that that is better for me than was the diet I previously ate.

I am interested in hearing opinions. Even the negative ones. :slight_smile: I’m also waiting on Good Calories, Bad Calories from Amazon, which I think will shed some light on issues like what the Inuit actually ate. The zero carbers and dirty carnivores talk a lot about GCBC on their forums, so I think the book may be helpful. But I’m doing a lot of research into what the naysayers are saying. So, bring it on! lol I am a little bit afraid that eating this way for too long and then stopping might have consequences.

Well, Hjalmur Stefansson’s 1903 paper on his life with the Inuit, talked about eating everything, including the head, and even the fat behind the eyes, and his subsequent 2-person, year-long experiment with eating nothing but meat came out showing no harm to the health of the 2 men. Sorry I don’t have a link, but maybe you can google it.

If your BGs are still all over the place, you may be extremely insulin-sensitive, and you might do better on a pump, because you can vary your insulin doses by tiny increments – 0.05 in most pumps, I think. You still have to do the experimentation to find the right ratios for you, but it seems that whole unit doses are too much for you.

I don’t think vegetables hurt you in the least, but I don’t think they are as necessary as dietitians seem to believe. On the picky-eaters’ list, almost everyone hates and avoids vegetables and many fruits, and some of them are old, and DON’T have any more health problems than the general public. Their only real problem is that they love carbs, particularly french fries, and many are obese.

I do force myself to eat vegetables, simply because I don’t think all the facts are in, but it could really go either way.

I read Taubes’ new book “Why we Get Fat” recently and was quit impressed. It’s supposed to be shorter and written more for a popular audience than GCBC. He references lots of studies instead of presenting just anecdotal evidence, which I liked.

Here’s an interesting link about the Inuit diet. It starts by discussing the Inuit Paradox which is that European explorers in the far north inevitably got scurvy from vitamin C deficiency where as the Inuit didn’t. Their source of C is raw caribou liver and seal brains as well as kelp. I didn’t realize it but apparently there is a percentage of the Inuit still following the traditional diet and their levels of diabetes and heart disease are far lower. The second part of the article talks about the importance of fat and the right kind of fat in their diet. Whale blubber consists of 70 percent monounsaturated fat and close to 30 percent omega-3s.

I ran across another interesting fact recently and that is that another food high in monounsaturated fat is lard of all things. I was ready to go out and buy some but found out that the lard you buy in the grocery is hydrogenated and thus a good source of unhealthy trans fat. Oh well :slight_smile:

Well, I am not eating the offal. lol I have got to draw the line somewhere!

I have been on a pump for about five of the last ten years, but I’m not now because my little one is just over two and would be impossible with a pump. He is super mischievous and I have no doubt he’d think it was a hoot to wrap himself up in my tubing and such. With my older son, I put my pump back on when he was about three, and I think I can probably get away with that with Augie, too, I hope. I think where the pump would really help me is with basals. At 12 units of lantus, I wake up with great b/s but it’s not enough in the late afternoon. I think I am going to have to figure out how to give myself a little extra humalog to cover that, especially because I am tending to eat only twice a day now that I’m only eating meat.

One thing about eating vegetables that is not healthy for me is that when I eat them I want to eat more carbs. I have eaten pretty cleanly for periods of time in terms of just having meat, eggs, dairy, veggies, all whole supposedly good for me foods, but this is the first time I have ever felt free of cravings. It’s also the first time that I haven’t been thinking about my next meal or snack or treat at all. Last night I went with my husband and boys to Panera where they got yummy looking sandwiches, chips, and cookies (including my favorite shortbread) and I didn’t have any problem sitting through it. Then today after my older son’s soccer game we stopped for doughnuts and it was not a struggle at all to watch them and not have one. It was almost erie! lol I have gone for periods without eating any crap, but it has always always been painful for me. So, this is a new and exciting feeling.

I think there are people who make their own lard. I don’t know if I’ll get that hard core. But I may have to start a jar of bacon grease like my mother always had on the back of the stove. I also might start making my own mayonnaise because I guess the normal stuff is routinely made from vegetable oils that aren’t so good for you. Even the jar of Trader Joe’s organic mayo that I’m working on right now is soybean or canola or something not so great. I’m thinking maybe coconut oil and olive oil may (apparently coconut alone will be too hard if refrigerated).

I’ll check out the article. And I may have to look into some rosehips tea to make sure I don’t get scurvy. I haven’t heard of anyone getting it within the zero carb community, but I don’t want to rely too much on what I see online.

I have flirted with so called zero carb, but I found that it did nothing more for me above Bernstein. In fact, I found little difference in my blood sugar levels for being any tighter than 50-75 g/day of carbs. In the end, since you are eating protein, it provides a substrate for glucose and if you are like me and ate 150-200 g/day of protein, then Dr. B’s 30 g/day of carbs was nothing. My blood sugar was amply supported by protein through gluconeogenesis.

rubidoux, you completely rock if you can pull this off, I just think it’s going to be hard to sustain. bernstinian low carb is hard enough to maintain, especially if you eat anywhere other than your own kitchen, so I just wonder how sustainable it is. the only other thing I would say is that aerobic exericise might be harder to maintain on your diet. Unlike high intensity, low duration exercise (weight training) where your muscles use more stored glycogen (which is made from glucose, which can be made from protein via gluconeogenesis, like bsc noted), aerobic exercise uses free blood glucose as the preferred source for energy. I know on days that I have eaten just meat and almost zero carbs and then tried to aerobically exercise, I feel very lethargic and tired. Then there are the GI issues…if you just eat meat, you are getting pretty next to zero fiber; fiber is so good for digestive health and “regularity”.

If Dr. Bernstein were in on this discussion, I bet he truly would want you to examine closer the foods (veggies) that you are eating that are making your blood sugars go haywire. Maybe you are eating veggies that have more carb in them? Or maybe too much in one sitting? I’m with you, it’s so frustrating that sometimes I just think, “Forget it! I’m never eating anything with carbs in it again!” Keep us posted…

Rose hips sounds a little more appealing than raw caribou liver.

I once made some great wine out of rose hips. I bottled it a little too soon because I didn’t know what I was doing and the final fermentation carbonated it. Tasted and fizzed like champagne. Don’t know what the fermentation did to the vitamin C content though.

Lard is actually easy to make, but like you I’m probably not that hard core. Here’s a link to an article titled Lard the New Health Food that extols it’s cooking qualities and claims it’s good for you too boot.

I’ve been eating about 8-12 grams of carbs per day for over two years now and it feels fantastic. I am type 1 on injections. I have a small serving of veggies with dinner, but stick to meat and fat the rest of the day. I walk my dogs every morning, as well as do the crossfit football workouts 3x week. My appetite does grow the day after I workout (or sometimes that evening if I workout earlier in the day) and I do great just having an extra bit of meat and fat. My energy levels are great and I sleep really well too. We cook just about everything with our bacon grease saved from the best-sourced bacon we can find. My sugars are great and easy to maintain - at least once I figured out my correct insulin doses. So, you’ll get there. I agree that eating out at restaurants does make the 8-12 grams more difficult to maintain, but I can usually find a salad that isn’t over 30 grams and that doesn’t throw my sugars off too badly, so while I do limit eating out, it’s not impossible. I’m a big fan of the super low carb, not only for diabetes control, but for overall health and longevity as well. Best of luck.

Actually, my experience doing aerobic exercise is that as long as you are not attempting the highest levels of performance, your body can actually do quite well fueled with ketones. I found that if you are doing a moderate workout 60-70% of max heart rate, you will be fine, and in fact you can just go forever. I had no problem doing 45minutes to an hour of exercise at moderate intensity, 5 miles, putting in perhaps 25 miles a week. I’ve since backed off on the cardio and focused more on weight training. Now I do a lot more walking and I am never constrained by low carbs.

I think I could have gotten much better control doing 6 - 12 - 12, but I am just not willing to obsess over my b/s like I have in the past to get it really tightly controlled. I have so much else going on right now, and I don’t want that to be the focus of my life. But I may go back to something more like Bernstein’s at some point.

type1, phd, this was a response to your post but it’s in the wrong place and I can’t move it! Oops…

I think this might be easier to maintain that Bernstein’s. The big problem is going out, but that can be done, too. My husband is pretty pushy about wanting Chinese food, though, and I don’t see that happening. But last night we went to this place bc it has a great play area for kids. They do gourmet-ish burgers and fries and tater tots (the garlic tater tots are to die for), and I was skeptical. I thought I was going to feel awfully deprived with my patty of beef. But I got a small salad (only ate the baby greens and 3 thin slices of cuke), with a hamburger, cheddar, and bacon plopped on it with blue cheese dressing on the side. It was soooo good! It’s the only veg I’ve had so far, but I don’t think it’s hurt me. I didn’t gain any weight and it hasn’t triggered any cravings. So, I’m thinking when we go out I will allow myself a minimal-ish salad, but try to keep it to once a week or less.

I found your blog early in my reading on this and it’s so inspiring! Your pictures are just gorgeous and make me want to come over for dinner!

What kind of insulin do you use? I’m using Lantus and Humalog, which is a little bit of a challenge with all this meat. Today I did a small shot when I ate and then again about two hours after. I don’t really have my ratios down yet, but it was a pretty good b/s day. I’ve been running higher than I normally do when I’m getting serious because I really don’t want to have lows. I’ve actually been managing to avoid them – haven’t had a single one that required eating carby/sugary stuff since I started low carbing over three weeks ago. I have to say, I am really surprised that I need as much Humalog as I do for just meat. I’m eating two meals a day and will probably be using 4 units per meal tomorrow. I don’t think it’ll get much above that. But those are for meals with only 2-4 grams of cho. My daily total would be 20 units/day which is 3 less than a strict 6 - 12 - 12 day, which I guess makes sense.

I have gone on two walks since cutting out the veggies, but I’m a little scared to do too much more than that until I’ve really figured out the insulin. I really don’t want to go low.

Anyway, I’m still feeling great and raring to go!

Actually, you may find that R provides a better match when your glucose load is mostly from protein. I figure 50% of the protein converts to glucose. I like meat, so if you eat a steak, an 8 oz portion can easily be 50-60 g of protein which is basically the same as eating 25g of carbs. Taking two injections of Humalog is like an extended bolus and will result in a similar profile to a single injection of R.

Thanks for the compliment! I use the same insulins as you. After going off the pump, it took me awhile to figure out my right Lantus dosing. My doc had me started on 6/evening and 6/morning, and after weeks of adjustments, I came to eliminate the evening dose and only take an AM dose of anywhere from 11-16 units depending upon my sensitivity.

I hear that lots of type 1s have to bolus for protein, but I’m not one of those - I hear there is a group called TAG here that offers lots of support for those who bolus for protein.

I also do two main meals a day, with a small protein/fat snack around 2:30pm. I love eating this way. It’s so satiating and I feel so solid.

I do also need to bolus in the AM for my dawn phenomenon, as well as if I do a workout of anything more than a walk. It took me lots of studying my sugars on a super consistent basis to work these out, but now that I have, my sugars are much more stable.

My advice is to tackle one thing at a time. Keep your eating consistent as you figure out the insulin dosing. Then, add in your workouts so you know the effects of that, etc. The fat and protein stay in your system so long that it really affects the Lantus dose, from my findings at least. I make sure to eat the same amounts at the same time of day, otherwise everything gets thrown off.

I am so surprised how much insulin I need just for protein! Jeez. But I was also using quite a bit of insulin for carbs, so I guess I’m probably a little resistant. I wonder if that will get better eating this way. I was thinking, also, that it might help to up my lantus a little to pick up some of the protein to glucose conversion but I have been tending to be a little low in the morning. What I need is more lantus just during the day. I tried a split dose but couldn’t remember it to save my life, so I’m sticking to my once a day.

I think I am going to hold off on really working out. I’m taking my 2 yo to the beach in a little while and I’m hoping to get a good walk in, but you never know what a 2 yo will be willing to do. lol But only relaxed low key exercise for a while. If I continue to do 2 shots per meal, I’m thinking I could probably get away with skipping the second shot and exercising that glucose off.

I’d like to try to eat at 11 am and 7 pm, but my husband and older son are likely to throw that off pretty often. Dh promised Milo a trip to toys r us after soccer tonight and I doubt we’ll be home before 7:30, or eating before 8. Sigh… I am trying to imagine a way that I could get out of going to soccer/tru and have that time to myself, but I don’t see it happening.

You are younger and stronger than I am, but I just want to chime in here and add that lifting little ones just in the course of one hour should be considered exercise. When I watch my active one year old grandson, I feel like I have been lifting weights at the gym, as opposed to doing an aerobic exercise class. Resistance training is harder for me to regulate. I can’t remember where I read the phrase, “perceived effort,” but my opinion is the seemingly negliable tasks like lifting the stroller out of the car, llifting children into car seats, and carrying heavy diaper bags with purse and child in arms figure into the glucose burned.

There is a rise in cortisol with exercise that is blunted by a very complex cascade, and the whole event is not exactly the same for areobic and weight training. I’m just wondering if the variation in your bg is affected by the physical demands of your ordinary life.

After a year of doing Bernstein, my gums started to bleed, but it went away as soon as I started on vitamin C that wasn’t produced from Corn, which I cannot tolerate. I second the fiber comment. The flaxseed muffin gives a lot of fiber - celery and bok choi, too. I also use hemp seed and chia seeds in yogurt along with sunflower seeds.

I get lard at the Farmer’s Market.



To help me remember my split doses, I simply have my lantus pen next to my bed and glucose meter. Since I have to check my blood sugar upon waking anyway, I remember the lantus too. Would you be taking more lantus in the morning than at night if you were to split it? I still have mine evenly split. Seems to me that it would be logical that more injected in the morning = more available during the day…but nothing is ever logical with diabetes and insulin, so…yeah. :slight_smile: