Healing with a Carnivore Diet — Interview with Ribeye Rach
Changing your diet has the power to change your life. Don’t believe me? You will after reading Rachael Elizabeth, aka Ribeye Rach’s story.
She is a bright-eyed young woman who has had quite an inspiring journey. She went from travelling the world and being an active rock climber and athlete to falling ill to the point of being bedbound. She experienced a seemingly endless list of symptoms.But now, thanks to the carnivore diet and other treatments, she is no longer bedbound and is able to go on adventures, do things she loves, and live her life to the fullest.
I was able to interview Rachel about her health journey and experience following a carnivore diet.
Here is what she had to say:
1. What Conditions Were You Diagnosed with and How Did They Affect Your Life?
Growing up, I was pretty healthy and active, though looking back, I did show some early signs of illness. When I was a teenager, I was pretty sick for about a year and was diagnosed with celiac disease. After going on a strict gluten-free diet, my symptoms improved for several years. When I was 20 years old (in 2016), I started getting bad migraines and dizzy spells. At the time, I was exercising about 3-4 hours a day, and really pushing my body to its limits. I thought that the symptoms would eventually just go away, but it got to a point where I couldn’t exercise and was barely able to take care of myself.
Over the course of several years, we went to dozens of doctors searching for answers and help. I was diagnosed with dysautonomia, ehlers-danlos syndrome, Chiari malformation, craniocervical instability, tethered cord syndrome, intracranial hypertension, gastroparesis, adrenal insufficiency, chronic Lyme disease, etc. (the list goes on). We tried many treatments and surgeries, but none brought me lasting improvements. My condition and symptoms continued to progress, and it impacted my life in every way. I went from being an avid rock climber and world traveller to being bedbound.
These are some of the symptoms I experienced:
Pain/pressure behind eyes
Dystonias / non-epileptic seizures
Weakness in legs
Tingling in heels/feet/legs
Nerve pain in heels/feet/legs
Ringing in ears
At my worst, I started a Lyme disease treatment protocol, which I actually believe may have saved my life. It brought me out of the bed-bound phase. But I was still very severely ill, and after 1.5 years of treatment, I felt like I wasn’t making much progress. So, I started to look for alternative methods of healing, and that’s how I eventually came across carnivore.
2. How Did You Discover The Carnivore Diet?
Several years ago, a family member brought up Mikhaila Peterson and how she put her rheumatoid arthritis into remission through only eating beef. At the time, I thought that was really interesting, but assumed it didn’t apply to me (as I didn’t have arthritis). In early 2021, one of my friends with Lyme disease shared that all her chronic pain went away with the carnivore diet and that inspired me to look into it more.
3. What Made You Decide To Start The Carnivore Diet?
Before I started the carnivore diet, I did a lot of research. To me, the diet sounded totally crazy. But as I learned more and more, the nutritional aspect of carnivore started to make much more sense. I was encouraged by reading thousands of anecdotal stories of people seeing healing through carnivore (with such a variety of chronic and mental illnesses). I was so sick at the time that my only concern with trying it was the possibility of getting worse, so I spent a lot of time making sure I knew what I was getting myself into. After about a month of research, I knew I had to give it a try—and I’m so glad I did.
4. How Long Have You Been Carnivore?
I started the carnivore diet at the beginning of August in 2021, so over a year!
5. How Has The Carnivore Diet Changed Your Life?
One of the biggest ways carnivore has changed my life is with severe chronic fatigue. When I started carnivore, I was typically only able to be out of bed for about 1-2 hours a day (and this wasn’t even at the worst of my chronic illness journey). As time went on, my capacity gradually increased, and my fatigue “crashes” were not as severe. Now, over a year later, I hardly have to spend any time in bed during the day.
Other benefits have been improvements in joint pain, joint subluxations, muscle aches, sound/noise sensitivity, and blood sugar issues. I’ve also been able to gain 20lbs of healthy weight! It’s crazy to look back at where I used to be and I’m so thankful for the progress I’ve made. I’m starting to actually live again, rather than just survive!
6. What Other Things Besides The Carnivore Diet Have Helped You Heal?
Aside from carnivore, something that has really brought me significant progress is doing neuroplastic work through a brain-retraining program called DNRS. With chronic illness, people are often stuck in a constant state of “fight or flight”—making it almost impossible to heal. This causes a dysfunction in the nervous system, which governs almost every system of the body, including the digestive system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, etc. The brain retraining I’ve been doing focuses on using visualization and somatic practices to signal safety to the brain. This helps guide you back to the parasympathetic state (or “rest and digest”) where healing can take place. For me, DNRS has been equally as important and helpful in my healing journey as changing my diet has been.
Other things that have really helped me are: prolotherapy injections (for instability in my neck), acupuncture, sunlight exposure, grounding, meditation, mindset work, reduced blue light exposure, and working to improve my sleep. I’ve become very passionate about natural methods of healing, and am truly amazed at our bodies’ innate capacity and capability to heal. The way we eat makes a huge impact on our health, but there are so many other factors to consider!
7. How Has The Way You’ve Been Eating On A Carnivore Diet Changed Over Time?
The majority of my time eating carnivore was on the more strict “Lion Diet”, where I only ate ruminant meat and salt. In the past 2-3 months, I have started to introduce corn- and soy-free pork, chicken, and eggs. Introducing those things has helped me so much. I’ve also introduced raw A2 dairy and have done really well with that. Most of what I eat is ruminant meat, but I try to get a variety of other carnivore foods in and actually feel my best that way. I’ve gotten pretty adventurous about trying all sorts of organs and unusual cuts, which I never imagined I’d be doing.
8. What Are Some Of Your Favourite Things To Eat On A Carnivore Diet?
Ribeye, brisket, and pork belly. But believe it or not, I actually don’t eat ribeye very much (it’s more of a special treat).
9. What Have Been Some Of Your Biggest Victories Along The Way?
Walking a mile for the first time in over 5 years, walking through the airport without a wheelchair, starting to drive again, and going for my first hike! The ability to move is such a gift that I hope to never take for granted.
10. What Are Some Goals You Want To Achieve Now That Your Health Has Improved So Much And Is Still Improving?
Now that my health has improved so much, I am so excited and grateful to just be able to start living life again. Some goals I have are to travel to all seven continents, start rock climbing again, and become physically stronger than I was before I got sick. I also really want to become a mother. For so many years, I didn’t know if that would ever be a possibility due to my health, but now I really believe it will happen.
It may sound silly, but I really just want to make the most out of each day and live life to the fullest! And I want to continue to share the message that healing from chronic illness is possible.