In the preview clip at left from the new season of The Secret Lives of Women, chef Gabrielle Brick explains how discovering the raw-foods lifestyle instantly cured her alcohol and cocaine addiction. But has she traded one addiction for another?

Though in general following a raw food diet is not an eating disorder, Brick's story (which will air in its entirety when the WE series returns on August 18), raises questions about the connection between addiction and extremely restrictive diets. Numerous studies have found eating disorders and alcohol and drug addictions frequently co-occur, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and Psychiatric Times reports some researchers have even claimed eating disorders are a form of addiction.

Brick's description of her new lifestyle, from organizing her life around her raw foods diet, to getting extreme bursts of energy, to limiting her social life to those who share her habits, sounds similar to the way an addict might describe their life. It's possible the impulses that led her to become an addict have been channeled into another extreme lifestyle, though clearly following a raw foods diet has left her much happier, and probably healthier, than most of us.


Eating Disorders And Alcohol Use Disorders [National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism]
Addiction And The Eating Disorders [Psychiatric Times]