A vegan-turned-carnivore has defended not giving her toddler son any vegetables, feeding him instead the same diet of steak, organs and bone marrow that she now swears by.

Converting to vegetarianism at just 12 for moral reasons, Gloria Zasso, 30, who has a two-year-old son Isaac with her IT consultant husband Thomas, also 30, later became a vegan, shunning all animal products entirely.

But then, after Isaac was born in 2017, she suddenly developed rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune disease, causing pain and stiffness in the joints – which left her hands and feet in so much agony that she would struggle to even brush her teeth.

Doctors offered to put her on a course of immune suppressant drugs – but stay-at-home-mum Gloria, of Munich, Germany, was determined to treat herself naturally and, after conducting her own research, arrived at the theory that it could be her eating regime that was to blame, owing to a deficiency in certain nutrients contained in animal products.

Explaining how she then made the radical swap from a plant-based diet to consuming nothing but meat, she said:

“I did lots of research and decided I would give eating meat another go. Even though the idea made me feel disgusted, I was in so much pain I'd try anything."

And so, in September 2018 Gloria decided to incorporate meat into her diet, starting by eating a portion of raw liver.

Gloria and IsaacPA Real Life/Collect

She said:

“The first time I did it, I really had to force it down and hold my nose while I ate it – but after that I began to feel better."

Then the following month, October, she made the decision to go full carnivore, eating only animal products.

“Now, Isaac and Thomas eat almost the same as I do, and they seem to both enjoy it," she said.

A meal of raw chopped liver and beef fatPA Real Life/Collect

She continued:

“Of course, I get a lot of criticism from people I know, and people on social media, particularly with regards to Isaac, telling me that it's irresponsible not to give a child vegetables."
“As a mother, you are always questioning your choices, and I do worry about what he eats – but so far he is healthy and active, and you have to listen to what the body is telling you."

Having never enjoyed eating meat because she disliked the taste, and feeling it was “obnoxious" to kill and consume animals, Gloria decided to go vegetarian when she was 12 – despite her family doctor warning her of the risk of iron deficiency.

Thomas and IsaacPA Real Life/Collect

At first, she felt perfectly healthy.

But then, when she reached her early 20s, she began getting ill on a regular basis with flu, urinary tract infections and bronchitis.

So, aged 24, in a bid to bolster her immune system, which doctors told her was weak, she decided to adopt a vegan diet instead.

Isaac eats the same carnivore diet as his motherPA Real Life/Collect

She explained:

“It was at a time when lots of people were talking about veganism as a way to improve your health, and so I thought I'd give it a go."
“I'd been on antibiotics two or three times a year and I didn't want to do that anymore."
“And it worked. I didn't get sick as much, and just generally felt much more energized. I was happy and thriving."

Gloria and IsaacPA Real Life/Collect

But that was all to change following the birth of Isaac, when, at three weeks postpartum, Gloria was struck by crippling pain in the joints of her hands and feet.

She said:

“The condition came out of nowhere and was incredibly painful, to the extent that I often couldn't walk, brush my teeth or lift my newborn son up, which made me feel horrible."

Consulting medics, she was diagnosed in March 2017 with rheumatoid arthritis, a long-term condition that occurs when the immune system attacks the cells which line the joints.

Isaac eats the same carnivore diet as his motherPA Real Life/Collect

They offered to put Gloria on a course of tablets including methotrexate, which is also used as a chemotherapy drug – but she turned it down.

“I refused to take them – I didn't want to poison my body," she explained.

Desperate to cure herself through natural means, the new mum began researching her condition intensively, eventually becoming convinced her strict vegan diet was not helping matters.

Isaac eats the same carnivore diet as his motherPA Real Life/Collect

Slowly reintroducing herself to animal products in August 2017, Gloria started supplementing her diet with eggs, dairy and bone broths – a move which she said immediately saw a slight improvement in her health.

Then, in 2018, with her pain almost unbearable, she ate meat again for the first time since she was a child – and claims that is when improvements really began to show.

“The thought of eating a steak made me feel like vomiting but I knew I had to try everything to get better, so I went for it," she said.

Gloria's typical daily diet

  • Breakfast - Rib-eye steak seared lightly on the outside; raw bone marrow; raw beef fat, eaten in chunks.
  • Dinner - Slow-cooked oxtail; raw liver (chopped finely), raw brains, raw kidney.
  • No snacks.

But still with some residual aches in her joints, her drive to discover a complete and lasting 'cure' persisted.

Then one day while searching the internet, she came across the “raw carnivore" diet.

Intrigued, she delved further and read accounts of others claiming to have had similar autoimmune illnesses eased by it.

Isaac eats the same carnivore diet as his motherPA Real Life/Collect

She explained:

“It didn't sound particularly pleasant, but I wasn't eating meat for pleasure anyway, so I thought I might as well try it."

Now, still refusing to take prescribed medication, she eats raw steak or raw offal for breakfast, followed by a cooked meat dish such as slow cooked lamb shoulder for dinner.

And, joining her for every gory meal are Thomas and Isaac, although the toddler does occasionally also eat fruit on top of the carnivorous diet.

Isaac eats the same carnivore diet as his motherPA Real Life/Collect

But the beef steak, kidney, liver, heart and lamb brain – which she buys from local butchers – do not come cheap, and Gloria as she only eats responsibly sourced food.

“I am still against the mistreatment of animals, but I don't hold the philosophy still that we shouldn't eat animals at all," she said.

“I make sure that everything we consume has been treated well and killed humanely, and on top of that try to eat 'nose to tail' so that there is as little wastage as possible. And I'm at peace with that."

She continued:

“I still don't love the taste of eating meat – I still see it as a kind of medicine, but one day it might be one I enjoy."
“I feel so much better now. I can live my life again and am able to function, which for a while I could not."

Daniel O'Shaughnessy, a nutritionist for The Naked Nutritionist clinic in Harley Street, London, warned of the risks of eating raw meat.

Isaac eats the same carnivore diet as his motherPA Real Life/Collect

He said:

“In a diet such as this there is no fibre which is not considered healthy at all, especially for a child in early days of development."
“Children need nutrients from plants to thrive and grow and ward off deficiencies."
“I would not recommend this diet be mimicked if someone is suffering pain from rheumatoid arthritis. I would suggest someone seeks advice from a health professional before changing their diet to support a diagnosis."

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