Erik is 33 years old and has enjoyed various health benefits since starting the carnivore diet, including losing 50 pounds, finding focus at work, preventing gout flare-ups, and finally being able to retire his asthma inhaler.
Erik has struggled with his weight as long as he can remember, and had been on asthma medication since age 12. An avid wrestler in middle and high school, Erik bounced between different weight classes from 135 pounds and up to 220 pounds during those years. “There was a lot of weight cutting to try to get down to a certain level. It’s always been a struggle for me.”
Following high school, Erik signed up for the U.S. Marine Corp, but was medically discharged due to his worsening asthmatic symptoms and failing lung capacity. “The doctors had to do the lung capacity test four times in order for my results to register. It was still below the normal line, so I was sent home. It was devastating!”
Soon after, however, Erik had the opportunity to be his sister’s hero and donate one of his kidneys to her as she suffered from lupus and had been unable to find a match. After donating his kidney, Erik continued eating the standard American diet and his weight increased up to 280 pounds (on his 5’7” frame.) “My mood wasn’t good at all. I was married with two kids and my mental clarity at work just wasn’t there. I came back from a trip to Amsterdam and realized I had become a ‘fat American’. I knew things had to change!” he recalls.
After trying several different approaches to eating, Erik struggled to find one that worked for him. “I still believed that fat was the problem and needed to be avoided, so the low carb approach didn’t work for me,” Erik explains. “My sister had since gone vegan to help with her health issues, but I knew personally I enjoyed meat way too much.” Erik and his wife had invested in a local cow share, so that saved them money as he transitioned to a meat-based diet.
Erik discovered the carnivore diet through Dr. Shawn Baker’s podcast as well as interviews with Jordan and Mikhaila Peterson, who follow and promote the Lion Diet. “My asthma had gotten so bad that I was using a rescue inhaler after eating to combat the inflammation.
I figured I’d give it a shot even though it sounded like the craziest thing!” Within his first ten days on the carnivore diet, Erik was able to completely come off his steroid inhalers.
The carnivore diet has been especially helpful for Erik because he discovered that avocados and green leafy vegetables actually caused him skin irritation. After fully adapting to the carnivore diet, his gout flare ups went away once he found ways to balance his electrolyte intake.
Erik’s asthma symptoms are 90% resolved in the months he’s been following the carnivore diet, and he now enjoys participating in Spartan race challenges. “This is the first time in nearly two decades that I’ve been able to push myself physically to see what I’m capable of, and not have to worry about my asthma symptoms. That kind of relief is probably unexplainable to anyone who hasn’t had an autoimmune issue.” Erik believes the fact that his life-long struggle with asthma has been resolved is the biggest proof that the carnivore diet works well for him.