My Story

How I Healed My Painful Feet: The Role of Oxalates and the Carnivore Diet

Today, I want to share how I healed my incredibly painful feet – plantar fasciitis, thin foot pad, and gout.

Early Years and Love for Walking

I have always loved walking. If you went on a trip with me to San Francisco, you better plan on walking everywhere with me—up the hills, down the hills, from Union Square to Maritime Park and back. Then, put your dancing shoes on and come dance with me at Ruby Skye. In New York, we’d walk from Times Square to Battery Park, and back, then put on our dancing shoes.

The Importance of Good Shoes

Around age 27, the soles of my feet started hurting. I learned the importance of good shoes. I ditched the Payless shoes I grew up buying and started finding my shoes at Nordstrom, Macy’s, and specialty shoe stores.

Onset of Pain and Initial Struggles

By age 30, I started to struggle on my walks. On a trip to Playa Del Carmen, I walked the full length of the beach, and before I could reach the end, my foot was in excruciating pain. It may have been plantar fasciitis. A month later, I did a massive diet overhaul, a detox diet, and I got better without any other interventions.

Increasing Pain and Limited Mobility

At age 39, after an HSG procedure, I found myself unable to go for walks due to pain in my hips. My daily walks became a thing of the past. By age 41, I put on a good pair of hiking boots and tried to go on a hike. I was in tears towards the end. Later that week, I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.

By age 45, I was using crutches to get around, as both my feet and hips hurt so much. I had been in physical therapy for over a year with no sign of improvement.

Hip Replacement and Continued Foot Pain

A few months later, I had a left hip replacement due to hip dysplasia. I was bone on bone on my left side, with complex labral tears, glute tendinosis, and osteoarthritis, with only a little cartilage left in my right hip. Honestly, most of the time, my feet hurt more than my hips.

After my hip replacement, I wasn’t allowed to put any weight on my left hip for five weeks and had to put all the weight on the right. It was excruciating.

Attempts to Fix Plantar Fasciitis (PF)

I tried everything to fix my plantar fasciitis: PF compression ankle socks, contraptions to keep my foot stretched all night, rolling on a golf ball, incline boards, manual therapy, taping, inserts, Vionics, massage, stretches, physical therapy, etc.

When I first cut nightshades out of my diet, it brought some relief and turned the pain volume down. I still couldn’t go barefoot at all, and if I accidentally ate nightshades, I couldn’t walk at all without pain, even with inserts and Vionics.

Then I saw a foot surgeon. In addition to plantar fasciitis, he said I had very little padding in my feet. Due to being diagnosed with hEDS, he said he couldn’t help me. When he turned me down, I wanted to cry. I needed some relief. It had been four years without any relief.

Developing Gout

Then at age 46, I was wearing the plantar fasciitis compression socks to bed. I woke in the middle of the night with a feeling of razor blades in my right big toe. I ripped off the sock and the pain started to diminish.

I ended up developing gout in my right foot. My big toe was swollen, red, and it felt like razor blades. I was even more limited with shoes. All my cute Vionics with a heel, I couldn’t wear. I couldn’t have any lift at all, I could only wear flats. I couldn’t wear the Plantar Fasciitis compression socks, because they always flared the pain.

Exploring the Carnivore Diet, Castor Oil, and Healing

Later that year, someone in a Facebook group mentioned that they healed their PF with castor oil on their feet every night. I figured this was woo-woo and likely wouldn’t work, but I had a whole bottle of it from making the Midwives Brew. I figured I had nothing to lose if I tried it.

During the same week, someone mentioned getting Oofos. My PF got better that week, and I could put weight on my foot without pain. I figured it must be the Oofos.

Then six months later, I developed PF in my left foot. I was confused because I didn’t understand how it could develop in my left foot while wearing Oofos all day, every day.

Then I discovered oxalates. They are tiny crystals in plant foods that can settle in our tissue and cause pain over time. I realized that I had many of the symptoms of oxalate poisoning. My diet was very high in oxalate. I often consumed spinach, chard, beets, almonds, raspberries, chia, chocolate, and more.

I decided to try the Carnivore diet, which happens to be a type of diet that is low oxalate diet. When you stop, or reduce oxalate, the body may start to purge oxalate. This can be a problem for some people who try Carnivore, but the symptoms pass. It’s recommended to taper down your oxalate consumption first.

After nine months on the Carnivore diet, most of the pain in my body had gone away, except my feet and hips—but it had improved and I could go for walks again. I developed severe pain in my heels, and my heels cracked. I decided to use castor oil on my feet. The light bulb went off—maybe it was the castor oil that helped! The heels cracking could also be oxalate purging from the body. Within a week, the plantar fasciitis in the left foot was gone and my heels healed.

By the time I was 16 months on Carnivore, all the pain in my feet was completely gone. I could wear those cute kitten heel boots without an insert. The test was going barefoot on our hard floors. It worked! All day without Oofos, and my feet are fine.

Occasional Gout Flares

While the severe gout flares are gone, I do occasionally get mild gout flares. What I mean by that is my toe is no longer red and swollen, but I still get that razor blade feeling in my toe, briefly. This happens if I drink our tap water, if I’m dehydrated, or the day after I drink alcohol. I feel like the gout pain is my kidneys telling me to drink good water.

I have to make sure I’m drinking spring water. We have soft water in our home and I’ve found our tap water is the problem. Our bodies need minerals to clear oxalates, our soft water is lacking in minerals my body needs. I may also flare if I consume too many oxalates.

The funny thing is, when my doctor told me I had gout, she told me to stop eating red meat. I didn’t feel like the pain had anything to do with red meat. At the time, I really didn’t eat that much. Well, now on the Carnivore diet, I eat red meat almost every day. As long as I’m drinking my spring water, I have no gout pain. If I eat steak with a potato, that will flare gout. If I eat steak with a spring mix salad, that will flare gout too. If I eat a peppercorn steak and red onion or mushrooms, that will flare it. Why? Because all these things people typically eat with steak are high in oxalate. The steak is not.

Final Thoughts

I didn’t think it was possible to get rid of the pain in my feet. I spent six years with plantar fasciitis, then I got hit with gout pain. The whole time, I had been eating all the healthy diets: Mediterranean, Paleo, Low-Carb, Keto, and everything in between. I just kept getting worse, year after year.

All that has changed. My feet are reverse aging, and so is my whole body. On the Carnivore diet, I mostly just eat animal-based foods. It’s a Proper Human Diet. I didn’t start healing until I removed all the plant foods.

Here are links to come of the products that helped me when I was in pain:

I am an Amazon Affiliate, and I may earn from qualifying purchases. This doesn’t increase the price, and it helps me pay for my hosting fees. I would never recommend anything I don’t love.

  • Oofos are amazing and they are washable! They have slides, which I love using around the house. They work well with sock in the winter, and work fine without them in the summer. I did not like them in a humid environment. I LOVE Oofos shoes, especially when I’m out and about. The shoes are washable as well.
  • Sollbeam flip flops are much more affordable and work well for plantar fasciitis. They have fun colors and are a bit more stylish than Oofos. However, the sole is firmer than Oofos. In the summer, I spend most of my time in these shoes when I’m out and about.
  • Castor Oil is worth a try. It worked for my PF, twice. Look for organic Castor oil in a glass bottle, not plastic.

Learning and understanding about oxalates, what they do to our body, and how to reduce them, was an important step on my journey to healing my feet. You can wear Oofos, or put castor oil on your feet, but if you’re still ingesting oxalates, you’re not allowing your feet to heal. Oxalate crystals need to get out of of the body. Anything else is just a band-aid. Get started now, because it can take years to purge your body of oxalates.

I highly recommend reading Sally’s book, “Toxic Superfoods.” This will help you understand what oxalate does to the body. For me, it wasn’t just my feet, but symptoms throughout my body. I write more about that here in my Lipedema story:

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  1. Nadia Mallit says:

    Ever since I went carnivore and my husband went mostly carnivore, we have both started getting holes in ALL of our socks! So weird! I’m thinking it must be the oxalate crystals coming out of our feet that are creating the holes.

    1. Oh that’s interesting! Hmmm, I just bought all new socks this last year. Oxalates cause so many problems with our body; I wouldn’t be surprised if they can destroy socks too!

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