Looking back on her dieting journey, Serena describes her past self as a “typical female that’s been taught to restrict calories.” In constant pursuit of losing those last couple pounds, she obsessively counted and measured her food for years. She vividly remembers an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show where Oprah described herself as a “carb addict.” She didn’t understand what the famous TV host meant at the time, but now realizes that she was in the exact same predicament—in an endless cycle of eating food that only made her crave more of the same.
When Serena got Covid at the end of 2020, she lost her taste and smell for several months. One day, she woke up and made herself a cup of coffee, and all of a sudden, the smell was so repulsive that it made her feel nauseous. She couldn’t drink it, and as time went on, she started to experience the same nausea when encountering other food items as well. What started off as a mild problem grew, and the list of things Serena could tolerate grew smaller and smaller. When she would go out to a restaurant with her family, she wore a face mask dabbed with essential oils to avoid the overwhelming smells around her. Where a normal person would walk in and say it smelled delicious, Serena would feel queasy at the most innocuous of foods.
She discovered that there was a name for her condition, Parosmia, and one of the only foods that didn’t make her feel ill were her beloved carbohydrates. After a birthday weekend where she ate twenty cupcakes in the span of two days, she knew she had to focus on the few remaining non-sugary foods she could eat. Funnily enough—by accident—it ended up becoming a carnivore diet. When she discovered there was a whole community of people eating this way, she pressed forward. “I was just grateful to have found something I could eat that didn’t make me nauseous all the time.”
Serena replaced the cupcakes with freshly cooked burger patties and steaks. After a while, was able to incorporate back in bacon, ribs, and light roast coffee— though she says it still doesn’t taste like coffee yet. Chicken, which previously made her feel nauseous, smells fine now, and she enjoys chicken wings cooked up in the air fryer about four times a week. “As long as it’s meat, I’m pretty happy with it.”
Along with being overjoyed to be able to give her body the nourishment it needs, Serena has been enjoying the other benefits that go along with eating carnivore, such as easy weight loss, more energy, and greater strength and agility in the gym.
The most wonderful benefit though—in Serena’s mind—is no longer being a slave to the restrictive calorie-counting that once dominated her life. Now, she simply eats when she’s hungry and stops when she’s full. “The fuel for my body is working for me…my mental health is in a much better state than it was before.”