A mum-of-two claims she is feeling healthier than ever after ditching veganism in favour of a raw meat diet – washed down with 12 egg yolks a day.
Jo Tyler, 28, was suffering with a long list of ailments, including fatigue, acne and panic attacks.
She tried to alleviate her symptoms by becoming a vegan, after reading about it on social media – often eating nothing but fruit and vegetables.
But, when she saw no signs of her health improving after 18 months, at the beginning of 2020, the full-time mum had a drastic change of heart.
She adopted a ‘primal diet,’ consisting of raw or minimally processed foods – and claims she has never felt better.
Jo, who has two children, son Alexander, eight, and daughter Rae, two, with her husband, gas and electrical engineer Matt, 30, said: “Within four months of following the raw meat diet, I was completely back to normal.
“My acne disappeared, and my skin seemed plump and hydrated for the first time in years.
“All of my allergic reactions went away and my anxiety disappeared.
“I felt calm and well balanced for the first time in a long time and had bags more energy.”
Jo previously followed a healthy, balanced diet, but admits that her eating habits deteriorated soon after she moved out of her family home aged 18.
Busy working full time as a waitress, she would rely on quick fixes, like takeaway burgers or fried chicken.
In early 2018, she suddenly began to struggle with fatigue, panic attacks, depression and anxiety, acne breakouts and mysterious allergic reactions.
Even the smell of a candle of perfume would make her ill, and she suffered with rashes and numb hands and feet.
Visiting her doctor in March 2018, Jo was given a blood test to check her thyroid and liver function, as well as her vitamin levels – but the results came back clear.
Medics suggested that her issues could be linked to her hormones and she was offered antidepressants to lift her low mood.
Adamant she did not want to take medication, she started researching alternative treatment – and found a social media page promoting veganism.
Turning vegan overnight, Jo started her days with an entire melon, followed by a salad for both lunch and dinner.
Between meals, she grazed on fruit, eating six apples and a bunch of bananas a day.
She said: “I would go to the grocery store every other day and fill up a whole trolley with nothing but fruit and vegetables.”
“The rest of my family’s diet stayed the same, though. I was very conscious of making sure that what I ate didn’t impact them.
“My husband tried to join me in going vegan a few times, but after a few days he just needed some meat.”
After two months, Jo began to feel as if her health was improving.
But then, six months later, her symptoms returned with a vengeance and she was losing weight.
Things came to a head for Jo in November 2019, when her hair began to fall out in clumps.
No longer able to ignore what was happening to her body, she took to the internet once again to research alternative remedies.
“I noticed an influx of people following a carnivorous diet, eating raw meat and untreated animal products,” she said.
“I thought the meat eaters looked so healthy. They glowed.
“I figured there was nothing to lose. I already felt so awful, what was the harm in experimenting?”
So, at the beginning of the year, as a record 400,000 people worldwide took part in Veganuary, Jo did the complete opposite, ditching her plant-based diet in favour of meaty meals.
Within just a few months, she claims to have seen a huge transformation in her health.
Estimating that she easily eats 4,000 calories a day – double the recommended intake for women by the NHS –Jo claims that going primal has even saved on the weekly shopping bill.
The family used to spend around £339 a week, which has now been cut to £264.
Jo said: “There are a lot of local farms in the area that we use – it’s the most humane way to eat meat.
“People say saturated fat and cholesterol is bad for your heart, but I don’t believe that.
“It’s cherry picked science and I’m a firm believer that the primal diet has only been beneficial.
“I’m a healthy 135lb (9st 6lb) and I look and feel better than ever. You can’t argue with that.”
While Jo, of Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, is happy to extol the virtues of her extreme diet, she does not think her children will follow in her footsteps.
She said: “Alex will look at my plate and say, ‘That’s disgusting.’
“I’d never put pressure on either of the children to go primal. It’s their choice.
“Everyone who sees me says how much healthier I look now and how worried they were about me before.
“They’re shocked when they hear about my diet, but they’re more impressed with how much better I look.”
Jo’s new diet
On an average day, Jo has raw oysters for breakfast, followed by uncooked chicken for lunch, and liver for dinner – wolfing down a whopping 12 raw eggs between meals.
Jo loves raw chicken hearts – served with “lots of delicious yellow fat”.
She also indulges in what she calls a raw smoothie – with raw milk, eggs and honey – throughout the day.
Every two or three hours she also cracks open two eggs and swallows them whole, eating up to 12 a day.
She admits it was hard to get used to eating some of the raw foods she now loves.
She said: “I’ve always enjoyed rare steak, so it was really just like that without the cooked outside.
“Other things, like raw chicken, were harder because it’s so ingrained in our mind not to eat it.”
“It tastes just like it smells. I call it land sushi as it’s a similar flavour and texture to regular sushi.
“I was a bit nervous about food poisoning, but I’ve never had one case of being sick from the raw food.”
What experts say about eating raw meat
Dietician Dr Frankie Phillips, of the British Dietetic Association, has stressed that, while some cuts of meat may be safe to eat raw, chicken poses too high a risk of food poisoning.
She said: “Eating some cuts of meat raw or lightly cooked poses a health risk, but provided it has been butchered, handled and stored correctly – with proper hygienic conditions – it may be low risk.
“A ‘blue’ steak, or steak tartare, may be safe to eat but it can’t be guaranteed free of harmful pathogens. Conversely, cooking meat to a high temperature for long enough reduces the risk of food poisoning as harmful bacteria are killed, or denatured.”
Dr Phillips continued: “If eggs have a UK lion stamp, they are salmonella free and so, should be safe to eat runny or raw
“Raw milk is less clear and pregnant women, infants and elderly people shouldn’t have unpasteurised milk.
“However, raw chicken is a definite no and food hygiene practices should be strictly followed when handling raw chicken. We would never recommend people eat chicken that is not cooked thoroughly as there is too great a risk of food poisoning.”