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The lion diet, a subset of the carnivore diet, is skyrocketing in popularity.
This diet was created by Mikhaila Peterson to deal with her severe autoimmune issues.
Like the carnivore diet, it’s helped people reverse issues such as:
- Crohn’s disease
Read on to learn more.
Mikhaila Peterson’s Story
You’ve probably heard of her. She’s the daughter of speaker and psychologist Jordan Peterson and one of the biggest advocates of the carnivore diet.
She’s an absolute badass and the embodiment of what I preach.
Her symptom list as a child was long and her medicine list was longer. She was diagnosed with idiopathic arthritis, hypersomnia, depression and anxiety. She was on amphetamines just to stay awake and immunosuppressants for the arthritis. She walked around in a haze and felt like she was constantly in a pit of doom.
But instead of playing victim for her unfortunate lot in life, she took back control through her diet. And now, she’s completely symptom free.
If someone represents chapter one of her father’s book 12 Rules For Life, it’s Mikhaila.
How did Mikhaila cure her issues?
What Did Mikhaila Try?
In the 5th grade she was put on antidepressants, which was her first foray into the pharmaceutical merry go round. Of course they didn’t cure her issues.
To add insult to injury, she became chronically fatigued. Her joints began to deteriorate. And her depression only got worse. By the age of 17 she lost both her hip and ankle joints.
At many points she was literally and metaphorically on her death beath.
Like so many other carnivores, the traditional medical route failed Mikhaila. She circled the healthcare system like a motion-sick kid on a merry-go-round. One doctor after another tried to numb her symptoms with pills, draining her energy and bank account along the way.
Instead of figuring out the root cause of her issues, doctors papered over the symptoms. When one drug didn’t work, they whipped out their prescription pads and tried another. This is the height of ineptitude — like a babysitter who gives a kid matches to play with.
Frankly, this is an absolute disgrace. The medical industry is a firehouse that takes in pharmaceutical money on one end and shoots out toxic, addictive, sewage on the other end.
Mikhaila Took Health Into Her Own Hands
Like Mikhaila, so many of us carnivore diet and Keto diet advocates hit rock bottom health. We tried everything: medication, homeopathy, and online forums.
To be honest, I was close to even trying bloodletting if it would work. Desperation kicks in when you’re told you have poor genetics and meds are the only way out.
What we finally all realized — and what mainstream doctors still don’t seem to understand — is that all of these health issues are caused by the same things.
Instead of an array of pills, Mikhaila realized that she needed to change her diet if she wanted to improve her health.
Two years into University she tried an elimination diet by cutting out most gluten containing foods. Her symptoms began to subside, which was surprising at the time. As sad as it is, most doctors have less than 15 hours of nutrition training and don’t understand the myriad links of diet to disease.
Diet is the biggest lever when it comes to health. Each and every day you ingest kilograms of chemicals in the form of food products that either help your health or hurt it. There is no neutral food. Mikhaila’s elimination diet made this clear.
As her issues improved, Mikhaila began to experiment with eliminating more foods. Finally after years of experimentation she landed on the lion diet, which eviscerated most of her lingering complications.
Years later she’s completely off of meds and has revitalized her life.
This is what doctors and pharmaceutical companies won’t tell you. Because unfortunately you can’t patent a diet.
Listen to Mikhaila discuss her lion diet and results here:
What is the Lion Diet
The lion diet is a more restrictive version of the carnivore diet.
If you’re not familiar with the carnivore diet it centers around a simple equation: nose to tail eating + water = health.
The carnivore diet is a high-fat, high-protein diet, centering around animal products. Yes, that’s right. No more grains. No more sugar. No more vegetables. And no more bitching.
Wait, vegetables? The healthiest foods in the world? The foods God put on our beautiful earth so Karen from yoga could have her green smoothies?
It’s surprising, but you should be happy. After all, don’t we only eat salads for the dressing and the bacon bits? Let’s be honest.
The carnivore diet is a more restrictive variation of the ketogenic diet. It’s very low in carbs and will put you into ketosis, which has tremendous health benefits. It’s also sometimes referred to as the all-meat diet or the zero carb diet.
And the lion diet is an even more restrictive version of this.
How does it differ from a standard carnivore diet?
A few main ways:
- It only includes ruminant meat, thus removing non ruminant animals, dairy and eggs (I’ll discuss why below)
- High fat
- Encourages fasting
If you’re interested in learning more about the carnivore diet, sign up below for access to my 14 day guide to getting started with the carnivore diet.
6 Reasons Why the Lion Diet Works?
The lion diet works for many of the same reasons the carnivore diet works. But extends it further by being even more restrictive.
For those with severe autoimmune issues, a lion diet may be a better alternative.
#1 Cuts Out Everything Inflammatory
We live in the age of inflammation. Almost everybody walking around is inflamed, like a walking mosquito bite.
It’s not just superficial either — inflammation is related to almost every disease. Almost every health problem has some immune, inflammatory component. Especially autoimmune disease, of course.
One hypothesis why autoimmune disorders develop is because of leaky gut. Leaky gut — two of the grosser sounding words together — is when the tight junctions of your gut separate and allow foreign substances into your bloodstream.
This puts your immune system on higher alert. Leaky gut has now been linked to 33% of all autoimmune conditions — and I won’t be surprised when it gets officially linked to the rest.
So why would the lion diet help with this? If you’re not familiar with the carnivore world this may be shocking…brace yourself..
Red meat is not bad for you. You’ve been lied to. Misled. Manipulated. In fact it’s one of the healthiest foods in the world.
The lion diet attacks the pervasive, meat fearing paradigm head on. How?
First, instead of cutting out red meat like most diets, it instead removes the poison that causes insulin resistance and inflammation.
The most common culprits are the vegetable oils, carbohydrates and grains…a literal bowl of bullshit, that has destroyed your health. But it doesn’t stop there. It also removes the vegetables that most people consider healthy.
Let’s take a step back. Why is it necessary to cut out so much?
It may seem radical, but that’s because almost every single thing you’ve been told to eat is junk.
Almost everything you eat is NEW to the human immune and digestive system. Your immune system, which protects you from foreign objects and entities, can’t even begin to recognize many of these strange foods.
Thus, the safe assumption is for your immune system to react as if something new can kill you – the result is inflammation. And if you have autoimmune issues, the worst possible thing to do is activate your immune system.
And yes, even vegetables can irritate people.
A 1990 study identified 27 rodent carcinogens that plants produce for self defense [*]
The table below summarizes some of the toxins you can find in plants.
Studies show that red meat tends to activate the immune system the least out of any food . In fact, this study showed that a diet high in animal protein reduced inflammatory markers, while a diet rich in plant proteins increased calprotectin — a measure of gut inflammation
Humans are carnivores, and you’ve physiologically adapted to red meat consumption. Centering your diet around foods that humans have adapted to eat for millions of years calms the immune system and inflammation that underlies almost every disease.
Where Mikhaila takes the lion diet even further than most is that she restricts the diet to ruminant animal products only.
Ruminants are four stomached machines that convert cellulose, which is indigestible by humans, into energy and nutrient dense and TASTY food for humans.
The diet is centered around these four legged magical creatures.
This digestive process results in the best combination of nutrients and energy for humans to eat. Unlike pigs, fish and fowl which do not have a rumen (they’re “simple stomached”), ruminants are better suited to handling the plant waste. Non ruminants are also higher in omega 6 fatty acids, which can trigger inflammation.
Mikhaila also eliminates dairy and eggs — two foods that are known to trigger allergies and the immune system.
All in all, this yields the least inflammatory diet in the world.
#2 The Lion Diet Increases Nutrient Density
Nutrients are vital for all cellular function. They play a role in everything from growth to immune support, to brain function. Many also have antioxidant properties that can protect against diseases like cancer and Alzheimers. .
But most people are extremely deficient in vitamins. Some common ones are below:
- Vitamin D: 77% of American’s are deficient in Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12: 3% of adults over 50 have extremely low vitamin D levels. 20% have borderline deficiencies. . Amongst Vegan’s and Vegetarians vitamin b12 deficiency is much more common
- Iron: 25% of the world is deficient in iron . Anaemia is even more common amongst vegan
- Zinc: 1.1 billion people are deficient worldwide
This paints a disturbing picture. No wonder chronic disease is so prevalent. Adequate vitamin intake is necessary for optimal function.
The brain is a micronutrient hungry organ and deficiencies tend to make their mark there.
This study shows that folate deficiency is linked to depression. A number of other nutrients predominantly found in animal products are critical for brain function: zinc, selenium, creatine and carnitine are examples.
Meat and animal products have the most and most bioavailable form of every nutrient.
The lion diet is high in ruminant animal products which increase nutrient density. Mikhaila also will occasionally eat organ meats, which are the most nutrient dense foods in the world.
#3 The Lion Diet Gets You Into Ketosis
Your body can use two types of fuels: glucose (from carbs) and ketones (from fat).
The lion diet increases fat intake, cuts carbohydrates and will get you into ketosis.
Triglycerides (fat molecules) cannot be used as fuel for all cells, so the liver converts some to ketones to be used instead. Beta-hydroxybutyrate is the most prevalent one, making up 70-80% of ketones in the blood .
Choosing between glucose and ketones is like deciding between rocket fuel and sludge that produces a massive amount of toxic waste.
Beta-hydroxybutyrate is a much better fuel than glucose. It has major benefits :
- Upregulates FOXO genes which regulate oxidative stress, insulin sensitivity and influence longevity.
- Ketones improve mood and have antidepressant like effects
- BHB reduces oxidative stress in the brain and may be beneficial in preventing neurodegenerative disease
- BHB lowers inflammation and blocks NLPR3 inflammasome
- Increases endogenous antioxidant production
- Ketones improve insulin sensitivity
- Increased fat loss while preserving lean muscle mass and performance
- Ketones can slow tumor growth by starving them of their preferred fuel, glucose, and lowering IGF-1
On the lion diet your ketones will usually be around 0.5 millimolar and higher.
#4 Fasting May Improve Health
One of the most disastrous health recommendations was not just what we eat, but how frequently we eat. Early in the 1900s, people ate at most 3 meals. By 2020, one study showed that the average person is eating almost 6 times a day.
Fasting is the ultimate FU to a society that preaches mindless consumption. Eating mindfully. Paying attention to your body and everything you put into it.
What are some of the main benefits of fasting?
Fasting Burns Body Fat
In a fasted state, you finally unlock your body fat as fuel. Remember, that’s why it’s there in the first place (not just as a fashion statement).
In this study, participants were encouraged to intermittent fast for 18-20 hours. They were allowed to eat whatever they chose. After just two weeks, the mean fat loss was 3lbs . 6/10 stated they’d continue fasting after the study
Instead of just wearing your body fat as a fashion statement like a dad bod, you actually use it for energy. Fasting is the most effortless way to eviscerate body fat.
Fasting Reduces inflammation
Fasting has been shown to reduce inflammation . Inflammation is a key process in aging and chronic disease. Persistent inflammation has been shown to contribute to a number of diseases such as heart disease, autoimmune disorders and cancer .
Additionally, obesity is often characterized by high fasting states of pro inflammatory cytokines.
Fasting has been shown to reduce all inflammation factors such as CRP and TNF-alpha.
Fasting Increases Insulin Sensitivity
Fasting has been shown to decrease insulin and glucose levels. This study revealed that fasting improved insulin sensitivity even when calories were held constant /
Fasting Increases Cognition, Memory and Focus
When you fast, you’re signaling to your body that there’s no food available. Contrary to what most people believe, your body does not shut down in response. It doesn’t start playing the victim card. “Oh, woe is me! I have no food!”
It does the exact opposite. It goes into overdrive mode to find it. “The Obstacle Is the Way”. Fasting increases norepinephrine and increases metabolic rate to ensure you have enough energy to go after food .
Additionally, fasting increases BDNF which not only maintains cognitive function but improves it
Fasting Increases Autophagy, the Natural Cellular Cleansing Process
Fasting activates autophagy, the natural cellular cleansing process. This is one of the biggest benefits of fasting. And many people hypothesize that it only begins once you fast beyond 16 hours.
Over time, your body accumulates damaged proteins and mitochondria (energy power houses).
Many studies suggest that this is why we age. Over time, your bodies become cluttered with junk and start to break down. You lose the ability to generate new mitochondria and clear out old ones. And the old, damaged mitochondria don’t function properly and release free radicals. That creates a downward spiral where you get even more ill.
If you want to live longer, this may be one of the most important things you can do for your health.
If you’re interested in the carnivore diet, a slightly less restrictive version of the lion diet, sign up below for my 14 day guide to getting started.