Does meat heal the body? Don’t we need vegetables? I went on an experiment to find out. I ate nothing but meat for 90 days, and some exciting things happened. 

Welcome to my story about going on a carnivore diet. Hopefully, someone reading this will gain some insight into what I learned.

My First Diet

Since I was 12 years, I have been on a perpetual diet. When I started puberty, I got fatter. 

Stephanie at Age 12
Stephanie at Age 12

Like many people in the 1970s and 1980s, my family was obsessed with being thin. Like my mother, I went on my first diet at 12. 

My parents were not trying to be cruel. They thought they were doing what was best. Fat was the enemy and needed to be eliminated from the American diet.

Our family took the U.S.D.A.’s advice. We were a fat-free home. Heart disease runs in our family. We knew we were going to outrun heart disease.

I ate cereal in the morning, sandwiches at noon, and pasta at night. I never reached my goal of being thin, but I held off from obesity out of sheer will and determination. 

My whole life, I never remember feeling good. I didn’t even know what it felt like to feel good.

Stephanie with Cadet Bailey at US Army Basic Camp for ROTC Students
Stephanie with Cadet Bailey at US Army Basic Camp for ROTC Students

This trajectory continued through college. I was always watching my weight. I was on an R.O.T.C. Scholarship and in the Army National Guard. The thought of losing my scholarship was terrifying. 

After my commission, I joined the National Guard. To continue receiving the GI Bill, I needed to make weight. I was trapped in the low-fat cycle.

When I met and married my college sweetheart, I decided to leave the National Guard. When I discovered I was pregnant, I didn’t watch my weight. Years of dieting left me starved. During the pregnancy, I gained quite a bit of weight being pregnant. 

After having my son, I never got to where I was before becoming pregnant. Four years later, I had my second son. I was even heavier than after my first child.

Running Was Not The Answer

I decided to train for a marathon when my youngest son started school. I believed that running a marathon would make me thin. Life would be perfect if I could run myself lean. 

I prepared for the marathon and followed the prescribed carb-rich diet. I didn’t end up losing any weight during my marathon training.

After the marathon, I needed to do a triathlon; then, I would end up thin. Nope, I was still fat. Triathlon training made me realize that I liked riding my bike. The next step was to start cycling. 

I rode my first-century bike ride, and did great in the race, was able to cover the distance, but I was still fat. 

I enjoyed endurance training. The training allowed me to make so many friends; Every weekend was an event of hanging out, socializing, and enjoying the great outdoors. 

Of course, that must be why I was still fat. I needed to be training harder. I started training for the 70.3 distance triathlons and worked up to an Ironman. After the Ironman, I was STILL FAT…UGH! W.T.F.!

Stephanie Holbrook at the Swim Start of 2007 Ironman Arizona Triathlon
Stephanie Holbrook at the Swim Start of 2007 Ironman Arizona Triathlon

Does Calorie Counting Work

I would be thin if the calories in/calories out model worked. I was training 20 hours a week and eating less than 1500 calories daily. Not only did I not get the body composition that I was looking for, my mild asthma soon became chronic and uncontrolled asthma. 

I felt cold and exhausted all the time. I developed reactive hypoglycemia. On top of all that, I was still F.A.T.

Vegan Adventure

I was doing something wrong. The high-carb, low-fat diet wasn’t working. I started reading about Scott Jurek, an ultra-marathon runner, and vegan.

Was the vegan diet going to be better for my health and performance? It didn’t take long to notice that my health continued to decline. 

It was easy for me to get injured. The injuries became chronic and plagued me. My allergies and asthma got worse. My face erupted in boils, and I had horrible gas and bloating.


A concerned friend noticed that there was something wrong with me. She referred me to a Naturopathic Doctor (ND).

She ordered a slew of tests. After reviewing the results, she determined that there was a reason for my poor health. 

My estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone were not readable on the tests, and I had poor thyroid function. 

I was ultimately “normal,” and nothing was wrong with me. It is “normal” to have chronic asthma, a poor complexion, chronic injuries, and to be fat after doing an Ironman Triathlon

Hormones, who needs Hormones

A concerned friend referred me to a Naturopathic Doctor (ND). She ordered a slew of blood tests. It was a nervous time; I was almost afraid she would say nothing was wrong with me. 

I thought if she said I was healthy like my primary care doctor, I would have lost my mind. I didn’t know it was customary to feel as bad as I did.

The ND didn’t think I was healthy or normal. She measured my hormones and informed me that I didn’t have any. 

My hormone levels were so low that they were not readable on the test. I hadn’t had a period in about a year, and I thought that was from my birth control. But it was more likely from my poor diet and excessive training.

Time to Learn

Through this process, I became obsessed with learning how the body works. I became an A.C.E. Personal Trainer and read everything I could on health and nutrition.

I gave up on endurance sports and tried Crossfit. That is where I learned about the Paleo Diet and Robb Wolf. I figured out that Crossfit was doing nothing for my health. My hormones were still a mess. After 18 months, I still felt like crap and decided to ditch Crossfit.

How could I feel better? I started listening to podcasts and found Ben Greenfield’s podcast. He talked about following a low-carbohydrate diet with endurance training.  

Finally Success – Found Meat Heals

I joined Ben Greenfield’s Become Superhuman Coaching program. Courses and certifications with the C.H.E.K. Institute differed significantly from the U.S.D.A. advice. 

Superhuman Coach Program. Stephanie with Ben Greenfield.
Superhuman Coach Program. Stephanie with Ben Greenfield.

Time to ditch the U.S.D.A. recommendations; hello, Paleo diet. Something strange happened. My body started to heal. Next step low carb Paleo. I started seeing better results. My gas subsided, and my face cleared up. Over time my allergies went away, and then my asthma disappeared. 

On the Paleo diet, I went from a size 16 to 12. It was nice to start shrinking, dropped from a size 12 – a ten following a low-carb Paleo diet.

I met Peter Defty from Vespa Power at the Become Superhuman Conference. We soon became great friends because we were obsessed with nutrition research. 

Peter thought Esmee La Fleur might have the answer. Her website Zero Carb Zen talks about the fantastic benefits of a carnivore diet and how meat heals so many people.

I was baffled that an all-meat diet could be the answer to looking and feeling better. But that is what happened. I started looking and feeling better.

Steph and Peter Defty
Steph and Peter Defty

Bumps in the road with the Meat Heals Program

Even though I had good results with a zero-carb diet, I had problems sticking to it. 

Social events were challenging for me. It was difficult to say ‘NO .’I felt like I was being rude. 

When I saw information about a Carnivore Study on Twitter, I knew this was for me.

The Carnivore Study empowered me to speak up and say “no.” I dropped from a size 8 to a size six during the 90 days Carnivore Study. I also felt WONDERFUL!!!

Meat Heals and Makes Life Look Pretty Good.

Feeling good, I trained again for Tour de Tucson. Most of my bike race was done during the Tour de Tucson Training

Because I wanted to help the study have accurate results. I stuck to it the whole 90 days. 

Zero carbs didn’t hurt my performance. I set a PR for the event. My average pace in 2017 for 54 miles as a Carnivore was 18:45 mph. In 2012 for 60 miles was 10:06 mph.

Meat Heals for Life

Finally, I got the results that I was looking for. I went from a lifetime of struggling with my health and weight to feeling good every day. 

Stephanie Before and After a Carnivore Diet
Meat Heals – Stephanie Before and After a Carnivore Diet


The world pandemic was stressful. I focused on spending time outside and training.

First, we did this by training for a Rim to Rim Hike in the Grand Canyon. After the Grand Canyon, next, we followed the adventure by training for and racing in Arizona Ironman 70.3 race.

Even though the world seemed to be falling apart, my life was good. However, all that changed when I slipped on a rock and slipped a disk in my back. After that, I was in constant pain.

Because of my injury, my pandemic therapy was gone. Combining the pain, stress, and menopause, I gained all the weight back plus some. 

After many hours of physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, strength training, and seeing a chiropractor, I was able to mend.

I am back, eating all meat and training again. My following events are the Steamboat Springs Gravel event and the Santa Cruz 70.3. 

Want to Know More about How Meat Can Heal You?

Check out these other excellent results at the Carnivore Diet website. If you do not see the desired results, try an all-meat diet.

Need Help? Work with me.

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