There’s a lot to be thankful for in life, and for Brett Lloyd, changing his diet and switching to a carnivore diet has given him a lot to be thankful for. He lost over 100 lbs, improved the quality of his sleep, got rid of his depression symptoms, is no longer plagued by anxiety, and now gets to help others as a MeatRX Carnivore Coach.
He is 60 years old, and unlike many others his age, he does not have to take any medication.
He calls himself the Thankful Carnivore, and I’m so thankful that he agreed to do an interview with me for The Hart of Health.
What first convinced you to try the carnivore diet?
After hearing the testimonials from Dr Jordan Peterson, Dr Shawn Baker and Amber O’Hearn describing what they experienced personally from only eating meat, salt and water while recognizing these are people of great integrity and sincerity, I knew I had to give this way of eating a long-term try because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
You claim that the carnivore diet has helped you with depression and anxiety. What was your experience with anxiety and depression like before going carnivore? How quickly did you notice improvements in your mental health since going carnivore?
Depression is horrible. I felt like I had a 50lb anvil on my head 24/7! It was there when I woke up in the morning. It wore me down throughout every day making EVERYTHING I did so much more difficult than it needed to be. I became unable to perceive my environment accurately. My wife who I adore would say things to me and what I would hear would be twisted and filtered by my illness – never in my favour, creating frustration for both of us because I couldn’t understand her at all and she kept talking to me like I was sane when I was anything but sane. I was very angry all the time because of this and my quality of life was minimal. I was so sick, I was unable to work any job outside our home. I was miserable in the extreme with no hope for any future.
Anxiety is a life stealer. I lost many days to anxiety being frightened out of my mind over what I know now was nothing to be concerned about at all. If the car broke down, I would automatically start running ridiculous scenarios over and over again in my brain till my thoughts were racing uncontrollably and I would have to take an Ativan as prescribed and sleep it off. This occurred 100s of times every year.
On the 24th day of eating meat and drinking water, August 9th, 2018 I felt my depression symptoms leave me. All the rage, the fury, the infinite sadness, hopelessness and shadowy doom just went away. The depression was replaced by a waterfall of joy and happiness that has not wavered for a single moment in 1108 days (as of this writing) of eating meat and drinking water. 5 months after I started Carnivore, my anxiety symptoms were in full remission. The insomnia that I suffered from for decades gradually over 10 months just faded until it was completely gone.
You’ve lost more than 100 lbs on a LCHF and carnivore diet. Can you tell us more about what your diet was like before, which diets you tried in the past, and how you ended up losing all the weight?
Before I started low carb in Feb 2015, I ate a lot of sugary garbage along with tons of carbs – chips, ice cream, granola cereal, candy cereals like Captin’ Crunch, huge coconut cakes, coconut cream pie. I drank gallons of grape juice because I thought “this is healthy!” I ate grapes in huge quantities, bananas, nightly popcorn popped in vegetable oil and toasted sandwiches with margarine melted on them. I ate meat every lunch and dinner but meals were mostly carbs and tomatoes. I ate potatoes with nearly every meal in huge quantities.
How has the quality of your sleep changed since going carnivore?
On carnivore, my quality of sleep has improved drastically from before starting this wonderful way of eating. I’m not sleeping more hours, usually just 5, occasionally 5.5 hours a night. Yet, I wake up rested and energetic every morning.
How has your overall health changed since going on the carnivore diet?
I lost 40+ years of chronic, severe depression, anxiety and insomnia. I lost eczema from my skin. Numerous skin tags fell off. My libido is where it was when I was a MUCH younger man. My ankles and heels no longer crack and bleed from dryness. My eyesight improved to the point that Florida DMV took the eyeglass requirement off my driver’s license. I lost haemorrhoids, sour gut and all digestive issues were resolved by eating meat and drinking water! Every aspect of my life has been immensely improved via this nutritious way of eating!
What are some of the top lessons you learned while being on a zero-carb, zero-plant, and zero-sugar diet for more than 1100 days?
First thing I realised is I had been sorely misinformed about what’s actual nutrition vs garbage that is marketed and sold as “food”. I learned the absence of sugar, plants and carbs in my diet vastly lowered the inflammation in my body – more specifically, my brain! Waking up on the 10th morning without joint pain for the 1st time as an adult was staggeringly wonderful! I learned all the medical professionals I had turned to for care and relief from severe mental illnesses were woefully ignorant of the impact of diet on my illnesses.
The 2nd most profound lesson I learned was that this way of eating is LIBERATING! It is not “restrictive”. Mental illness is many orders of magnitude more restrictive than only eating meat will ever be. Living without inflammation is freeing and unlocked abilities and skills within me I have only been vaguely aware of prior to my healing.
What are you the most thankful for when it comes to the carnivore diet?
It’s a tie between losing my depression symptoms on the morning of August 9, 2018, and helping people who suffer as I once did free themselves from the chains of depression/anxiety. I thank God every day for teaching me about eating only meat and drinking only water!
As one half of a carnivore couple, what has it been like to experience the carnivore diet and its impact with your wife?
My wife eliminated painful osteoarthritis from her shoulders and hands eating meat and drinking water, which was great for her, indeed! But what both of us living this way has done for our marriage is incredible. Our level of communication is vastly better. We don’t waste time arguing about silly, meaningly nonsense anymore.
The most pleasant consequence of us both being carnivores is what it has done for our intimacy. It is difficult to articulate because it has become so amazing! We are hormonally in balance for the 1st time in our married lives and when you aren’t inflamed, everything works properly! At times, we feel like we are living in a fairy tale because our sex life has been transformed into something we never imagined was possible. It’s THAT good!
How has being on the carnivore diet affected your social lives as a couple?
When I was sick, we had no social life. I seldom wanted to go anywhere and if we did go someplace, odds were high I would say many inappropriate things and make others uncomfortable or angry.
Now we LOVE to go feast with other carnivores every chance we get. The conversations are always interesting and very pleasant!
As a carnivore coach, what are some of the top pieces of advice you give to clients?
I give all my clients the same initial advice: “You must follow the directions for every meal every day, without exception, if you want to reap the rewards you seek:
Only eat when hungry.
When hungry, only eat meat till you are not-another-bite full.
Only eat the meat you crave and can afford.
Never EVER put a sweet taste into your mouth.
Because without this foundation of carnivore for every meal every day, no one heals, in my experience.
JH: Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview, Brett. I hope this interview inspired you as much as it has inspired me. Who knows, if you try the carnivore diet or a carnivore-ish diet, you just might discover your own long list of benefits to be thankful for.