Alicea lives in northern California. She’s 52 and struggled with eating disorders since she was 15 years old. While she was never obese, she still struggled with bulimia, bingeing, and purging. At one point, she got down to 107 pounds, which isn’t much for her 5’ 7” frame. Alicea often thought, “If someone could just tell me what foods I should eat, I could figure this out!”
She grew up believing fats were bad and would binge on chocolate-covered nuts and vegetables, admitting that she was a carbohydrate addict. Alicea also became addicted to exercise as a way to burn off all the extra calories. Her situation is a good example of the saying that “you can’t exercise away a bad diet.”
Alicea did try a plant-based diet but gained weight on it and did not stay with it. She experienced joint pain, anxiety, and depression over the years, and was “on a lot of diet pills, also, in my 30s. I think going off those caused depression too because I was on Phentermine forever.”
In 2014, Alicea weighed 150 pounds and wanted to stop thinking about food while losing some weight. She was “keto for a while… It was helping to some degree.” However, she found that “I was using food and sugar; I was addicted to it, so any emotion that came up, I was still eating it.”
Alicea was “in the keto space” in September 2020 and listened to the Joe Rogan podcast with Dr. Shawn Baker. She “figured I would try it, and I actually hid it from my husband for at least a week, because I thought he, or anybody, would think ‘uh oh there she goes on a crazy, you know, her eating disorders are back and this is nuts’ because I didn’t know anybody in my real life that was doing it.”
She noticed that the more she got rid of sweets, the more “the urges for all the sugar stuff goes away.” In a week or two, she thought, “Wow, there is something here!”
Alicea notes that her “recovery is so quick, it’s like ridiculous.” Her current diet is about 70% fat and 30% protein, and she maintains her weight at 145 pounds, with 18% body fat and good muscle mass. She eats two meals a day, including eggs, pork rinds, eggs, and red meat. She prefers flank steak and tri-tip over ribeye and avoids liver.
Alicea doesn’t have any more cravings and attributes that to “my insulin is really low and I don’t have the carbs coming in for my cycle and hormones to go nutty, and being in 12-step programs, talking my stuff out and not running to food for my emotional release.” She also has had “a lot of counseling in my past, and working on myself” and acknowledges that it did help.
Being carnivore is now part of Alicea’s identity, and she says she “doesn’t see other things as food anymore…the obsession and compulsion is completely gone; it’s amazing!”