June is Lipedema Awareness Month – I’m sharing my story to help raise awareness.
PART 8 – My Lipedema Story – The Healing Diet
In my previous article, I discussed how certain health foods can cause inflammation and lead to a host of health problems, including the progression of Lipedema. Today, I want to share the incredible impact my new diet has had on my life.
Several years ago, I was firmly convinced that a plant-based diet would be my ultimate healer. However, a friend introduced me to the paleo diet, challenging my beliefs about the healthfulness of meat and fats. Although I was initially skeptical, her words planted a seed.
Over time, I experimented with various diets, eventually switching to a primarily plant-based paleo approach. Then, I transitioned to Autoimmune Paleo, followed by Keto and Low Carb. In 2022, my doctor advised me to stick to the Keto or Ketovore diet, emphasizing the inclusion of lots of greens. However, my body seemed to be sending a different message. Another doctor recommended the Anti-inflammatory diet, which I had already tried in the past.
In 2023, I came across information about oxalates, which prompted me to make a significant change. I abandoned the Ketovore diet I had adopted the previous year and embraced the Carnivore diet, eliminating vegetables, greens, and nuts from my meals. It’s worth noting that until a year ago, I used to trim the fat off my steak out of fear. Unraveling years of dietary programming has been a challenging journey.
The Healing Power of Carnivore:
Since adopting the Carnivore diet, I have experienced an unprecedented level of healing. Surprisingly, it has proven to be even more effective than the detox elimination diet I shared in Part 3 of my story. There are numerous exciting changes I’d like to share with you.
Carnivore is Satiating:
One remarkable aspect of the Carnivore diet is that it has completely eliminated my carb and sugar addictions, something no previous diet had achieved. I now feel deeply satisfied, and my perspective on food has undergone a complete transformation. Food no longer dictates my life.
Carnivore Clears Your Head:
An unexpected benefit of the Carnivore diet is the clarity and improved concentration I experience. A while back, I had been wanting to launch this website to share information about the BCHE gene variant. However, I found myself struggling to write posts, often abandoning them midway and forgetting previous attempts. Even tasks as basic as understanding web hosting seemed insurmountable. The fog has lifted since I identified and eliminated the triggers causing my brain fog, and I’ve learned that many others on the Carnivore diet have experienced similar improvements.
Carnivore Saves Me Money:
I’ve managed to cut down on my expenses by canceling numerous supplements from my Subscribe & Save subscriptions. My pantry is no longer cluttered with an array of costly supplements. Nowadays, I only require a few essentials, such as electrolytes and daily magnesium. I still keep high-dose Ascorbic Acid handy in case I get sick, as it proved invaluable in 2020. By contrast, when I was following a plant-based diet, I was spending $200 monthly on supplements and still not feeling well. Although steak can be expensive, it pales in comparison to the cost of high-quality supplements and organic plant-based foods. On the Carnivore diet, I spend $15 or less per day on food, and a mere $0.25 on supplements. While chicken and ground beef may offer even greater savings, nothing compares to the satisfaction of a juicy Ribeye.
Carnivore Helps Promote Deep Sleep:
Most nights, I now experience deep and restful sleep. Previously, I never truly understood what it meant to have nourishing sleep until this year. Sleeping difficulties have plagued me throughout my life, although removing nightshades from my diet six years ago did bring some improvement. However, the quality of my sleep has skyrocketed since embracing the Carnivore diet.
Carnivore Aids Weight Loss & Reduces Swelling:
I have had significant weight loss without exercise while following the Carnivore diet. The swelling, including the ankle cuff, has subsided substantially. Although the weight loss has been gradual, it is the only diet that has ever allowed me to shed pounds effortlessly, even without regular exercise. It’s astonishing how a few seemingly “healthy” foods can hinder weight loss. I no longer need to count calories, and I’m no longer plagued by constant hunger. Instead, I feel satiated, experience reduced pain, and enjoy improved focus. Initially, I experienced rapid weight loss, followed by a plateau that lasted a few months. However, even during the plateau, I could visibly see my body shrinking. At the age of 39, I had to stop wearing my wedding ring due to tightness. Now, it fits perfectly, and I am no longer allergic to it (white gold alloys).
Carnivore Provides Relief from Various Symptoms:
Numerous symptoms have disappeared or become more balanced since adopting the Carnivore diet. Conditions such as gout, tennis elbow, severe dry eyes, unquenchable thirst, kidney pain, dry skin, dry mouth, hypercalcemia, high DHEA and testosterone, PMS, headaches, intermittent carpal tunnel syndrome, joint pain, and depression have all improved or vanished. Additionally, symptoms triggered by nightshades or pesticides, including neurological pain, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, muscle spasms, burning lipomas, arthritis pain in hands, and overall body aches, are gone. It’s incredible to realize the extent of the pain I used to endure. Do any of these symptoms resonate with you?
While most of my symptoms have subsided, it’s important to note that my genetic disorders remain active. However, I have successfully managed them through these dietary changes and do not currently need walking aids. Without this shift, I would likely be reliant on multiple medications to alleviate pain, along with antidepressants, sleep aids, and other unknown remedies. I still experience occasional fatigue and some pain due to hip dysplasia and plantar fasciitis – but both are improving.
Regaining Strength and Exploring Options:
Although my energy levels have not fully returned to what they were years ago, I have made significant progress compared to one year ago. Currently, I am able to take approximately 4,000 to 7,000 steps per day, a milestone I’m incredibly grateful for. I am aware that many women with Lipedema have lost their mobility, and while I don’t know if my limitation is solely due to Lipedema or other factors, I am actively working with a new doctor to determine the cause. Since my battle with Covid, I have faced some challenges and uncertainties, which may explain my lower energy levels. It is possible that regaining all my energy will be a gradual process, or there may be additional factors at play. My current focus is on regaining strength through physical therapy while managing the remaining pain.
I always knew that food could help heal me, I just never knew that it was the opposite of what we were taught!
What do I EAT?
I often receive questions about my diet, with many assuming that accommodating my needs is complex. However, I have found the Carnivore way of eating to be incredibly simple. If it were just me, I would likely eat steak and eggs every day. Most days, I practice intermittent fasting, breaking my fast with eggs cooked in ghee or tallow, often accompanied by bacon or leftover steak from the previous night. It’s a straightforward and satisfying start to the day.
For dinner, my favorite is Ribeye! My children also enjoy it. Additionally, I regularly prepare salmon dishes. Occasionally, I incorporate chicken, but I usually opt for keto casseroles that omit high oxalate foods and focus on animal products. On some occasions, I get a little creative and make burgers with chaffle buns or even tacos with egg or cheese wraps, complemented by sour cream and avocado. However, I try not to deviate too much from the family menu, as children can be quite picky.
Eating out can be a bit more challenging due to the presence of nightshades in many dishes. Seasoning salts often contain nightshades, added starch, and seed oils. Therefore, I prefer establishments that can accommodate my preferences by preparing a delicious bun-less burger or serving à la carte steak. It’s worth noting that the cost of steaks at some places can be exorbitant. While dining out may require a slightly larger investment, I save a significant amount of money on groceries since I don’t need to buy snacks, sides, or treats.
I’m confident that I’ve found a sustainable diet to keep Lipedema from progressing. I wish I found it sooner instead of believing that plant foods would heal me. I wish I could go back to my young self and tell her, “EAT AN ANCESTRAL DIET – DON’T BE AFRAID OF EGGS, MEAT, BUTTER, OR BACON. STAY AWAY FROM SUGAR, CARBS, AND SEED OILS.” I believe I would not have struggled like I have and my Lipedema would be better managed.
Don’t Knock it Until You Try it!
Those who are quick to criticize my diet, have never tried it. Now, if you thrive on a plant-based diet, that’s fantastic. However, for those of us dealing with chronic diseases, mental health issues, and difficulties with weight loss, it’s important to take the time to understand how our symptoms might be linked to foods that are commonly considered healthy. It’s crucial to be open to this information, especially if someone is considering medications or surgeries to solve the problem. Sometimes these things are necessary, and sometimes if we find the right diet, we can resolve them.
If you are interested in starting on the Carnivore diet, I highly recommend learning more about it first. Sometimes it’s better to start with Keto, then Ketovore and then try Carnivore. It’s extremely important to use electrolytes on all of these diets. Most electrolyte products flare my pain because of all the extra ingredients. I really like this brand from Nutribiotic because it’s clean with no colorings, flavors or sweeteners. Just plain capsules and they are super inexpensive.
Next is magnesium – but I found magnesium to be beneficial on all of my diets. When I was eating high oxalate, I often felt like I needed a lot more magnesium. After learning about oxalates in my food, they were preventing me from absorbing magnesium. This is one of the brands I like to use.
Next you need an excellent mineral salt to season your food. After tasting this salt, you’ll never want to go back to your old salt.
Check out this video from Dr. Ken Berry, he explains more about the Carnivore Diet Basics.
You’ll also want to be aware of oxalate dumping. You’ll need Sally’s Toxic Superfoods book for that. You can click on the book to order from Amazon.
I want to thank the Keto & Carnivore women in the Lipedema groups & Carnivore groups – THANK YOU for sharing your success stories! Women sharing their stories is how I figured all this out. It’s how I found out about Lipedema, EDS, and more.
In my upcoming article, I will discuss options for managing Lipedema and delve further into the changes I have experienced. I hope that by sharing my journey, I can offer support and guidance to those who may be struggling with similar conditions. Stay tuned for updates on my progress and exploration of exercise-related challenges.