health

A beef only diet and a world-famous father: The unusual life of Mikhaila Peterson.

Mikhaila Peterson lives on a diet of beef, salt and water. 

She claims the 'Lion Diet' cured her of several illnesses and conditions and with 247,000 followers on Instagram the 28-year-old is a popular Canadian blogger, influencer, Youtuber and podcaster who makes a living spruiking her unusual lifestyle. 

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. 

Her father, Dr Jordan Peterson, is also well known for his power to influence. He fills entire auditoriums with mainly young men, who follow his theories on life religiously. 

Watch: Mikhalia giving un update on her dad in February. 


Video via Jordan B Peterson/Youtube.

The clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology was described in early 2018 as "the most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now," with his bestselling book 12 Rules For Life selling more than three million copies – a figure just about unheard of in publishing.

On the one hand, he preaches personal responsibility and seeks to empower ordinary people to do and be better. On the other, he erases the importance of class structures, advocates against political correctness, and, in 2016, famously refused to use gender-neutral pronouns. He's critical of feminism and the notion of white privilege, and is oftentimes seen as an alt-right figure, even if that isn't where he sees himself. 

But his eldest child Mikhaila is fast amassing her own loyal following, while also making headlines most recently for being in charge of her famous father's health treatment plan.

Here's everything we know about her.

Foster siblings and a hyponobirth at 24: Mikhaila's life so far.

Dr Jordan Peterson and wife Tammy Peterson met when they were children, and grew up together in Alberta, Canada, before getting married in 1989.

They had two children together, Mikhaila, 28, and Julian, 24.






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Happy mothers day! @tammyrmtpeterson

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Growing up, the siblings were often surrounded by others, with Tammy a passionate foster parent, housing many children from orphanages in and around Canada.

Their father would discuss things like mythology over dinner and negotiate with them from a young age about "why it was important to tell the truth."

"It took me until I was 24 before I realized my dad wasn’t the usual dad. I thought living in a house with over 200 paintings from the Soviet Union was fairly normal," wrote Mikhaila about her childhood. "Then the world found out about my dad and I realized he wasn’t normal."

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Both Peterson siblings have had their own children at the age of 24.

Julian welcomed a boy in May, 2020, and Mikhaila had her daughter Scarlett in August, 2017. 

She'd been with boyfriend Andrey Korikov for only eight months when she fell pregnant, writing on Instagram of that expereince: "It was terrifying for both of us."

They got married a month before their daughter was born.

"Pregnancy was really hard for me and the first year is 100 percent about the baby, which is also really hard. It’s so worth it though," she said.

She delivered Scarlett via a hypnobirthing homebirth which she described in an online blog as "amazing." Both her husband and parents were there for it. 

"Mum and dad were great to have around. Mum helped the midwife, Andrey told me he’d buy me a puppy when I was 8cm dilated," she said.






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@elliescarlettkorikova is so cool. She’s 2 years and 9 months old and can speak two languages (Russian thank you @andreykorikov and English), recognizes her ABC’s, and is starting to count. She’s sassy and has a great sense of humour. She takes care of her doll and says fooey if you tell her she’s cute. She says нет instead of no. Isn’t that weird? How’d I have a Russian kid?!?⁣ ⁣ If you’re with someone you love and you’re going to stay with, I highly recommend having a baby. ⁣ ⁣ It’s hard. Pregnancy was really hard for me and the first year is 100 percent about the baby, which is also really hard. It’s so worth it though. ⁣ ⁣ The idea nowadays that women should have a career first, wait until it’s literally biologically more dangerous to have children, and that children ruin your lives - is total malarkey. ⁣ ⁣ If you’re in your 20’s as a woman and you want kids that is NORMAL AND HEALTHY. Don’t let the morons tell you otherwise. ⁣ ⁣ The last pic is her pretending to be asleep. ⁣ ⁣ #slowlytakingoverwithpetersongenes

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Mikhaila writes candidly about her four year relationship online, writing in May: "Took me four years to trust this Russian man. That was really my problem, not his. I guess some things take time."

Due to the quick succession of events in their relationship, Mikhaila found herself a year in negotiating a separated family, but says she managed to sort through issues "majority of which were hers" through daily intense conversations.

According to his LinkedIn, Andrey is a "business process architect and multi-disciplinary consultant gone rogue," who now runs the business side of Dr Jordan Petersons' enterprises. 

His family moved from Russia to Canada when he was young.






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fam pic ❤️

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The Peterson family wasn't thrust into the spotlight until a few years ago, with Jordan Peterson, now 58, reaching notoriety in his mid-fifties.

Since around 2016, Peterson has gathered millions of avid fans of his work, and has since travelled the world promoting his book and propagating his controversial debates through podcasts and on YouTube.

Near death experiences and COVID-19: The Petersons' year from hell.

In April 2019, Tammy was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and had a total kidney removal which resulted in a surgical complication. 

The surgeon nicked a lymph node and lymph fluids started fill up her abdomen, nearly killing her. 

As Mikhaila explained on her YouTube, her dad was put on antidepressants and an anti anxiety medication by his GP during this time so that "dad could tolerate the stress."


"We didn't think much of it at the time," she said. But when Peterson tried to get off of the medication he'd been prescribed, Mikhaila says he experienced "horrific physical withdrawal and anxiety."

By November 2019, Peterson entered a rehabilitation centre in New York. He was said to be suffering from a disorder called akathisia, which causes restlessness and an inability to sit still. Eventually, this led him to thoughts of suicide. 

According to Mikhaila, the rehabilitation in New York didn't work. Peterson "nearly died several times" in hospital in North America, before the decision was made in January to fly him to Russia for emergency treatment. He was unable to speak or write, and took anti-seizure medicine. Upon arrival, Peterson was also diagnosed with pneumonia. Eventually, he was placed in a medically induced coma for eight days. 

During this entire ordeal, Mikhaila has been her family's point person, updating the media and Peterson's followers via both his and her own social media accounts.

In February 2020, Mikhaila told the National Post that Peterson "has neurological damage, and a long way to go to full recovery."

She added: "He is taking anti-seizure medication and cannot type or walk unaided, but is 'on the mend' and his sense of humour has returned."

After Peterson completed his treatment in Russia, he is believed to have returned to the United States, before travelling to Serbia. 

There, Peterson was diagnosed with COVID-19, along with Mikhaila and her daughter. 

"During that two-week period I had symptoms like nausea, bloating, diarrhea, stuffy nose, puffy face, skin breakouts, muscle weakness, a few days of a slight temperature and a very, very slight wheeze for two days. Not the worst virus I’ve had in the last year, although the symptoms lasted longer – off and on for 18 days and there’s still lingering bloating," she wrote on Instagram.

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I had covid-19. This is what I looked like during it (although there we’re definitely rougher looking puffier days). ⁣ ⁣ As if this year couldn’t get any weirder, my family caught coronavirus in Belgrade. ⁣ ⁣ Long story short, we got to Belgrade and the country was COMPLETELY open, no masks necessary. A month later everything shut down again after elections. Politics... We all went back into quarantine because we’re with my dad and he’s high risk. He already had pneumonia this year. 10 days into the strict quarantine - and I mean strict, we didn’t go outside of the property - my toddler got symptoms of a flu - swiftly followed by the rest of us. Turns out a lot of people in Belgrade caught it, she must have caught it at the playground.⁣ ⁣ Dad’s doctor immediately told us it was covid and I full on didn’t believe him for 2 weeks. It was too mild for me, I thought. During that two week period I had symptoms like nausea, bloating, diarrhea, stuffy nose, puffy face, skin breakouts, muscle weakness, a few days of a slight temperature and a very very slight wheeze for two days. Not the worst virus I’ve had in the last year, although the symptoms lasted longer - off and on for 18 days and there’s still lingering bloating. ⁣ ⁣ My dad caught it too and he didn’t have many symptoms either. When they did a CT scan they said 40 percent of his lungs were affected, however his breathing was fine. They treated him just incase. The meds dad was put on to treat it seemed to be harsher than the actual virus, he’s okay now too.⁣ ⁣ I used to be an “at risk person”. I was on immune suppressants, I’ve had bronchitis at least 12 times, pneumonia 3x and I’ve been hospitalized for it once. I still stand by my previous complaints about locking down countries.⁣ ⁣ I’m sorry to anyone who has experienced a worse case of the virus or who has lost anyone to it. That’s miserable. So is suicide from lockdown anxiety and lifelong neuroticism from children growing up in a lockdown though 🙃. ⁣ ⁣ Perhaps if we focused on making people healthier the world wouldn’t be so screwed up by a virus that doesn’t really kill healthy people... yikes, I went there. Video of the experience on YouTube.

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Her daughter and father also experienced relatively mild cases of the virus. 

This week, Mikhaila wrote on Instagram the family was finally at home to celebrate Canadian thanksgiving together. 

"We made it through 2019 and 2020 by the skin of our teeth," she captioned a photo sitting around the dinner table. 

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A lifetime of illness and a controversial 'Lion Diet': Inside Mikhaila's influence.

On her website Mikhaila describes herself as being an "incredibly ill individual," showing signs of joint pain aged two, and severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis aged seven.

By 12 she was diagnosed with severe depression, experienced hypomanic episodes (bipolar type II), and suffered from fairly severe OCD tendencies.

Mikhalia aged seven. Image: YouTube. 

At age 14, the chronic fatigue and a severe body itch set in, and when she was 17-years-old she had her hip and ankle joints replaced. 

As she left school and went to university, Mikhaila says her health problems only increased, and she experienced mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, thinning hair and eventually, aged 22, her skin simply stopped healing.

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In 2015 she went on a paleo diet which "miraculously resolved all of my symptoms," by 2016 she was eating a dairy-free keto-style diet, and in 2017 she progressed to an all-ruminant meat diet, aka, 'Lion Diet.'

She eats beef three times a day. She fries or roasts it, adds some salt, and washes it down with sparkling water — and that’s it. Just meat.

Last year, she was dubbed the "queen of carnivore" by followers and some media, and while sharing her story at a 2019 'carnivore' conference she told the audience the lifestyle was "hard, socially unacceptable, but completely worth it."

"I got my life back, I got a life I didn't know existed," she said.

She now helps others transition to the 'ultimate elimination diet' and regularly shares transformation pictures on her Instagram, offering one-on-one counselling to people who want to learn how to adopt the lifestyle. 

Both of her parents have also started to eat a somewhat Lion Diet.

In 2018 during an appearance on the comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast, Jordan Peterson explained how Mikhaila’s experience had convinced him to eliminate everything but meat from his diet as well.

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The same year, Mikhaila posted her mum's transformation online after "almost a year of carnivore (beef and chicken. Mainly beef.)"

In an interview with The Atlantic, Jack Gilbert, the faculty director at the University of Chicago’s Microbiome Center, said that a beef-salt diet was "a terribly bad idea."

"Physiologically, it would just be an immensely bad idea. Your body would start to have severe dysregulation, within six months, of the majority of the processes that deal with metabolism; you would have no short-chain fatty acids in your cells; most of the by-products of gastrointestinal polysaccharide fermentation would shut down, so you wouldn’t be able to regulate your hormone levels; you’d enter into cardiac issues due to alterations in cell receptors; your microbiota would just be devastated," he told the publication. 

But Mikhaila is still happily practicing the diet three years later, writing last week that she'd accidently had some pepperoni sticks that "turned out not to be all beef (even though they were sold that way) and now my arthritis is back with a terrible vengeance."

Feature image: Instagram @mikhaliapeterson.


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