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Freddy Krueger Lives Under My Bed - Using AVRT To Wake Up From A Processed Food Nightmare

Freddie Krueger

"I'm not my thoughts. This is my house and these are my rules."

Bodies - Lucy Spraggan.

This was the hardest week I have had food-wise since starting Carnivore two months ago. I spent the last 10 days working on a different post - one about how dieting is hard but carnivore is easy, and while I believe that very strongly, it just could not find its feet. It was stuck somewhere in the inspiration pipeline.

I would write a paragraph, laugh, quietly hate on myself, and delete. Write another, add in a sarcastic joke about that one sucking even worse, and once again, delete. Delete. Delete. Moving on. Sometimes the universe is talking to you and you need to shut up for a minute, stop focusing on your own agendas, and simply listen.

I was struggling. A lot.

The carnivore diet is very healing in so many therapeutic ways and the number of people using its power to transform their lives is growing daily. But, sometimes it can have its challenges. The wonderful thing about these challenges is what they say about our bodies, how they react to what we put in them and how different foods or chemicals make us feel. They are guideposts showing us the way to ultimate truth. I found some truth this week for sure, and some well needed humility.

I made a mistake and it almost cost me. Big time. After having covid, a lingering cough has pestered me for two weeks and kept hinting it may want to escalate and cross the edge to full-on bronchitis. No thanks. I have been susceptible in the past. Not much I can do about that though. Get plenty of rest, keep eating right and hope for the best.

The Mistake

Against just about every carnivore tenet, no matter how relaxed or strict, I got sugarless cough drops. Better than sugar? Debatable for sure. They are packed with artificial sweeteners and chemicals but I was desperate. I was also just too damn lazy to seek better, healthier options. I knew the risks: possible cravings, probable cravings and oh yeah crippling cravings. Here’s the thing though, they do not simply appear like we think they will. It is not so straightforward and for this, I was unprepared.

Soldier in the weeds

Cravings of this kind hide in the mist like a soldier in tall weeds waiting to strike as an entire platoon, unaware, walks right into the trap. Bang. Dead. Dammit. Where did that come from? Even though I thought I had stashed my backpack with all the tools I would need to conquer anything that came my way, I was foolish, cocky and worse off, galactically stupid… (to share a phrase from Lt. Daniel Kaffee of the most rewatchable movie of all time.) - If you know, you know. Do you? Ok back to screwing up royally…

Day 1 - I had 5 cough drops. Ok, great, I did it. Everything seems fine. Still happy. Mind, still clear. Body - feels good. Took the edge off the cough.

Day 2 - About 7-10 cough drops. Ok. Still fine. But actually used a few drops as a treat after a big bone-in New York strip dinner…or should I say dessert? Was it kind of a dessert? I am sure it’s nothing. Totally nothing. All good. Hmmm.

Day 3 - 12-ish drops and…Holy hell!... “Boy - I am so tired. I wish I could just go home and eat pizza and totally veg out on the couch. Man, why can’t I be normal like that? Wine, pizza, an oreo or 10, more pizza then pass out in bed. Well, I could always wake up tomorrow and start carnivore over again. Right? No biggie. Hey, we all make mistakes right? Kyle, come on man… you have been kicking ass at this! Seriously. Everyone will understand. You put way too much pressure on yourself. It’s ok to let go just this once, admit your faults to everyone and then keep going. There will always be steak tomorrow. You can get back on the horse then. It’s actually been 60 days after all. You deserve a cheat day! It can be like a celebration. I mean it’s not like you were never going to eat pizza again! Right. Let’s do it. Come on now…”


Man with many thoughts inside

Seriously, whose voice just sauntered into my head and completely hijacked me for 5 minutes? And why do I feel so…awful? I mean I haven’t had a craving like that in weeks and I am not doing anything different at all …Of course I had the cough drops but they had no effect the first couple days so it must be something else…It must be right?


The Truth of Artificial Sugars

It took exactly three days for the artificial sweeteners in those cough drops to turn my once peaceful, positive carnivore mind into an absolute bloodbath of cravings, self anger, but mostly disappointment. The disappointment being that I have been doing this for two months and yet I am still being ruled by these cravings. How is that possible? I was absolutely rocking this carnivore diet.

The realization finally hit me as I was resting in a subdued, quiet depression for three straight days. There must be something… wrong with me now. Is it electrolytes? I was doing so well but why am I struggling so hard here? Do I need to eat organs? Am I going to fail? Quit carnivore? And again, what is wrong with me? Why am I struggling? This cannot continue!

Oh… crap. Stupid. It WAS the cough drops. It IS the cough drops!

It might seem ludicrous that my psyche can be so fragile that after 60 days of eating primarily meat, eggs and full fat dairy that something as simple as some artificial sugars can throw a complete wrench into the system, but that is exactly what it does and what it did this past week. It is actually less mental, and more physical.

The elements of a carnivore diet

When adopting a carnivore diet, our bodies get ultra sensitive to just about everything, in a good way. The processed carbohydrates are no longer weighing us down, fluctuating our blood sugars like a roller coaster and making us feel like crap. Most carnivores either cut way back on caffeine or even eliminate it because our bodies are running so much cleaner that just a little bit is all we need if any at all. The same goes for alcohol. Less is more. I have cut my alcohol consumption by about 20% the past 2 months simply due to the fact that I don’t require as much to get to the same place. The mind also becomes sharper - brain fog is a thing of the past. In short, I like to think of it as, “living” for real. More tuned into the present moment. Not bad for a diet hey?

Listen To The Voice

But what about that voice I heard, the one who took over my mind? If you are unfamiliar with the concept, that was my addictive voice and mine is affectionately named, Freddy. Yes, that Freddy. He is a true bastard. As you might recall, Freddy Krueger was a child killer who was hunted down by the parents of his victims and burned alive. While his body died his spirit was able to continue living but only within the dreams of the other kids living on Elm Street. Dreams? Nightmares.

Freddy was stealing the souls of those teenagers one at a time as they slept and similarly, as I slept through this past week in an aspartame haze (and did not pay attention to the lessons I had previously learned), he started to come for me too. Whether he was coming for my soul, my mind, my sanity, is tough to tell but it is amazing what that little voice can do. It is so subtle. It is calm. It is so - tough to hear….because that voice is me. Or maybe you. It sounds just like us from the inside but if we lose focus for even a brief moment - bam. It takes over and sends us into a spiral.

There are a lot of names for this, some people call the voice the beast, the pig, the alter ego, or the id. I was first introduced to the concept by Jack Trimpey and his technique, AVRT: Addictive Voice Recognition Technique. It is used mostly for alcohol addiction but can be used to conquer almost any addiction or at least aid in the efforts of those trying. I have found for me, it is very powerful but mainly in conjunction with other focused efforts.

Freddy Krueger

The Best Part? - Name your addictive voice whatever you want.

I originally started calling mine the beast as Jack did but then, after reading some accounts of success, I discovered that personalizing the name can be even more powerful. So who is someone ruthless, terrible, haunting, & sort of funny too? That’s right. So now, whenever I can get my head out of my butt long enough to connect the dots, I realize he is the one talking to me.

Freddy has been with me for a long time but not always in the back of my mind. When I was 13 or so I actually fabricated a razor glove for a Krueger Halloween costume out of hard plastic, hinges, spray paint, epoxy and some serious patience. After about 2 weeks, it looked badass if I do say so myself, and even my mother was floored by it. I will have to dig up a pic of that somewhere. It was a good Halloween that year for sure.

Freddy Krueger Glove

Unfortunately, Freddy is no longer a playful fictional villain in a horror movie slicing and dicing some silly secondary teenager characters and spitting out one liners like “welcome to prime time, bitch.” For me, now, he is real. This past week, I lost myself and fell victim to the voice. He was coming for me. I failed to recognize just exactly what was causing it or who or what was doing the talking.

Addictive Voice Recognition Technique

AVRT works like this: Any sentence, feelings, thoughts,or pictures in the mind that encourage “using” or in my case “indulging” in processed foods are simply the addictive voice, not me. It is an entirely different entity. Simple right? There is magic in disassociating these thoughts from ourselves. For instance, as I sit down to watch football and am cue’d by familiar surroundings or even a commercial (very powerful triggers) the thought may pop into my head “man - I would love a beer and a slice of pizza”. So if I am hopefully paying attention…I listen, lean into the voice, the thought, and the subsequent feelings and simply let it all be, without judgment. Just rest in the experience.

We are an innocent bystander, just an impartial onlooker as if we are outside a liquor store and witnessing a robbery. If we resist the thoughts and feelings they will quickly grow in intensity until they force anxiety, anger, guilt, pretty much any emotion that will lead to the inevitable: a binge. So we can listen to our voice, even laugh at it and talk back to it if we wish. But we must ALWAYS maintain the separation. That voice is not me. That voice is constantly craving, wanting, scheming but for what?

What The Addictive Voice Wants

My dear Freddy wants one thing from me and one thing only: to eat processed foods with reckless abandon along with the side benefit of demeaning me and sticking his knives into the most vulnerable and insecure parts of my mind. Here’s the thing, Freddy is a sneaky son of a bitch. Unlike his cinematic persona who wields his bladed fingers to thrash people, for me he is much more subtle. He will use all sorts of under-the-radar tactics to state his case but remain in the shadows so I do not notice him.

He loves tiny, insignificant thoughts that may pass through my mind with little or no notice “hmmm, doesn’t the smell of that toast bring back memories of Saturday mornings as a kid, It tasted sooooo good”…or it can be simply planting a seed of doubt about a current eating plan like, “you really need more variety in your diet Kyle - Just a sandwich would actually help your mental outlook.” But the one thought that seems to be the most sinister and is at the heart of nearly every break I have had is simply:

“F#*% it.”

(Sorry, my mom won’t let me write that word out for real but I think you get the point.)

Those two words have probably taken down more recovering addicts than any other words in the English language. If I am excessively tired, hungry, or even just angry… those two words can relinquish all perceived responsibility and all of a sudden all is lost. They offer a release. A port in the storm. A dream within a nightmare but they are just false promises. Lies.

I Must Be A Vigilant, I Must Be A Warrior

Warriors on horses

This past week has been difficult but it has also been enlightening, even empowering. Embarking on a challenge such as 365 days of a carnivore diet will surely bring plenty of opportunity for self reflection, growth and understanding but most of all I realize I need to be vigilant. I must be a warrior.

Freddy keeps still for long periods but he is there, hiding under my bed, waiting for me to fall asleep. Waiting for his opportunity. I gave him a tremendous one this week as I strayed off my plan just enough for the physical triggers for sugar to cause havoc in my brain. When we adopt a carnivore diet we give up all sugars, all processed food, all crap. Just having a small amount of artificial sweeteners got my brain seeking out real sugar - real processed carbs - anything. Dopamine please. It is a powerful phenomenon that many people experience. Carnivore IS easy when you stick to it right but adding in diet cokes, sugar free gum, or even cough drops can keep the craving cycle alive and well and make it more of a tortuous experience rather than the actual panacea it can be.

A Lesson learned.

I have been given a gift this week: a reprieve, a stay of execution. Hopefully the knowledge I have gained will transcend to wisdom and help sustain me farther down my road to true health and wellness. Thank you to everyone for all of your messages of support. They have buoyed me through this challenge.

Moving forward, I must keep my ears out for that slippery voice crawling around the inside of my mind who wants nothing more than to tear me down to the studs and steal my soul.


He knows that if I break, that is exactly what he will have. One thing is for sure, it would be even harder trying to steal it back.

Dear Reader,

Thank you so much for joining me here. I truly appreciate it. If you have enjoyed this post or found some value in it, I would humbly ask that you consider sharing it in any way that you are comfortable with. My best to you and yours for optimal health.

Many thanks.

T. Kyle Tucker


Sep 27, 2023

Again if it helps you Kyle Tucker I have to watch my sodium and stay away from processed foods. I have had to resist. I could potentially be bad when food from Rye, NY eateries you may know (Sunrise or Watermoon) are the evening's menu when at my family's house. I do not know the sodium count. On my own I am good about keeping sodium low in things. I use the sodium reduction trick on some things so I can eat them or make them better for me. (Sit pork and poultry in hot water and it removes 50% of the sodium. Repeat, which I only sometimes do, and another 25% is removed.) I have had to resist buying…

Oct 07, 2023
Replying to

I am sorry I somehow missed this comment. Thank you so much! So glad you have found some things that work well for you.


Susan Sapp
Susan Sapp
Sep 23, 2023

Think "things with proteins". Wifey may know more about this, but that includes meats, cheese, dairy products, nuts and some other land-grown items. Some of those even help you expel the fats you've already stored somewhere. When working and on the whole system, I used to carry cheese with me or stop into a store and buy string cheese to eat while waiting for a bus. At that time, that was my breakfast and it did well.

Kyle Tucker
Kyle Tucker
Sep 24, 2023
Replying to

Thx for reaching out Susan. I love hearing from you. Definitely protein and fat make up the vast majority of my food these days. I do not eat nuts though. They have too many defense chemicals like lectins and do not want to be eaten. I used to eat lots of almonds and walnuts but I just never felt good afterwards and later on learned why.

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