My Goal

November 4, 2011 in Categories: by

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My ambition is to improve not only my health, but the health of my whole family (nuclear and natal).  The personalities that I have to deal with necessitate baby steps (and some serious covert ops), but more on that later.  First, I’d like to explain WHY I have set the lofty goal of paleolithic nutrition and active lifestyle for my family.

Not that long ago, I was 120 pounds heavier than I am now, and I could still stand to lose 10-20 pounds (I am vague here because I’ve never been thin, so I don’t really know at what weight my body would be thin… Plus I’m not sure how much of what’s left on my body is fat or just extra skin.  Geez, I’m sorry, that was totally TMI and we just met.  I’ll try and stick to the salient points).  I was a chunky kid, but probably not medically overweight until sometime in middle school.  I wasn’t athletic, I was addicted to junk food, and I had a metabolism that didn’t let me get away with that.

So I grew up (as kids tend to do) and somewhere in early twenties, I reached TWICE my ideal weight.  I eventually got it together and lost 100 pounds following various forms of low carb diets (I actually lost all that weight twice, but that’s a long story and best saved for another blog post). But then, nothing worked to lose the rest of the weight; and, I was suffering a variety of health issues. Ultimately, I was drawn to try a paleolithic diet, which has radically improved my health in just two short months.  I am also an enthusiastic yoga practitioner and can now claim to be the healthiest (and thinnest) I’ve ever been.

I guess finally being truly healthy should be good enough.  But for me, it isn’t.  As my focus turns more to long-term health and longevity and breaking (for good!) the bad habits I had for about two decades, I also want to ensure that my husband lives a long, healthy life with me and that our two young daughters grow up mentally and physically healthy without developing all those bad habits that got me to such an unhealthy place to begin with.  I want to break the cycle.

Why this blog?  I’m guessing that if you are reading this, you are interested in paleolithic nutrition for yourself and for your family (or you’re related to me… Hi Mom!).  As I set out to improve my family’s health, I hope that my stories might inspire some other person (or better yet, persons) to attempt the same.


Hello Sarah, I just found your blog via blog references and lots of recent research into the Paleo way. I am finding many similarities you did in my health improving since going Paleo. #1 is the IBS symptoms are gone! #2 I have that pep back that I had lost in my step.
The one difference between you and I is that I am 48 and going through pre-menopause and am finding I am struggling with 15lbs of weight gain that is really, really bothering me.
I’m not good at starving myself and have a pretty healthy appetite. I find if I stick with meat/fat and a small portion of vegetables I am satisfied. Question is do I need to be really aware of portion control of the meat/fat or can I eat until satisfied? I’ve only been following the Paleo for a couple of weeks now and haven’t noticed any weight change.
Also, I will confess, on weekends my husband brings out wine … and I have had a few glasses. Will that block any weight loss success if I go Paleo the rest of the time? Is there a different alcohol beverage that would be a wiser choice? I know alcohol in itself isn’t the best to have in any lifestyle … but … reality is he’s a grape grower and wine maker and really pushes to have me participate somewhat.
Any info or direction you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Jacqueline,

Hormones can make it tough to lose those last 10-15 pounds, so be patient. I would try a few months without worrying about portion control and just making sure you are eating good quality foods (and fairly low on fruit and starchy vegetables). If the scale is still not budging, you can try and slightly reduce your food intake (think 10%). A good way to do this is up your green vegetables and slightly decrease your meat and fat. Give that a few months and if that still isn’t working, you can try another 10%. If that still isn’t working, I would consult with a doctor and make sure there isn’t something else making it hard to lose weight. I wouldn’t worry about a few glasses of wine on weekends, especially if they are fairly dry wines. Also, check out my post

Hi Jacqueline—-I’ll share this in case it helps. It may not apply. If you’re going too low carb and not losing weight, it could be fungal candida. I was doing low carb paleo for a year – a ketogenic diet. Ketones feed fungus. I’m sure I had candida (fungal form) before low carb, but low carb made it worse for me BIG TIME!!!! Right now I’m following a paleo, higher carb (400-600 calories), Mc Comb plan using undecenoic acid to treat candida and using digestive enzymes with meals. That and using more coconut oil has helped me kick that final stubborn 10. I know many things play a role as Paleo Mom here addresses so many of the variables involved in optimal health….like eating foods that don’t create inflammation for you, supporting your hormones which are affected by sufficient carb intake and mineral/vitamin status, like iodine, circadian rhythms, reducing stress, etc……(thank you paleo mom. I’m not a scientist, and I really appreciate how easy you make it for everyone! What a service!!!!

Wondering about your exercise component? This is a balance. It includes exercise. I’ve been basically following the diet for 3 1/2 months. I’ve dropped 24 lbs going from a size 14 p to an 8p. I enjoy a gluten free vodka martini on the weekend (or 2). I’m still eating some cheese as I was more concerned with sugar. Personally, I don’t have gut issues beyond flabby abs. However, I exercise 6 days a week on average: cycling or walking my dogs with some weight or Pilates

Hi Sarah,

I was googling for a specific paleolithic blog and ran into yours. I quickly went through every post you have up. I should say I most definitely have learned a thing or two. I’m not in the paleo lifestyle just yet, but this is something I most definitely will be achieving this year. Thanks to your blog, this will be easier than I thought. (The transitioning tips were great!)

Thanks for all the info!

Hi Sarah, just found your blog this morning as I am sulking in my “frustrated with all-things-food” mindset. I discovered Paleo about 5 months ago, to help with gluten/bowel & weight issues. I immediately tried going all-out for about 3 weeks. I lost 5 lbs of water weight, gained tons of energy, had mental clarity & felt that spring in my step that I lost 5 yrs ago. Then, we went on vacation, I got the flu and I gave up. I’m married to a skeptical meat & potatoes guy and have 3 & 5 yr old boys. Finances are tight & I get easily overwhelmed. Needless to say, I took the easy road and gave into the “quick” noodle/bread meals & snacks. However, I gained about 8 lbs back, got gassy again (TMI) and feel like a lump on a log. I’ve tried a few other things over the past months but keep coming back to Paleo as the only thing that made me feel good. Anyway, now I’m struggling to put together meal plans, grocery lists, and come up with Man & boy friendly meals/snacks that they won’t complain about. All This to say…”HI! I’m so glad I found you! This is a great blog! Thank you for the ideas and encouragement!” -Frannie

Am so happy to find your blog…just pinned a recipe so I could find you if my computer broke or something…I am looking to put my family on a paleo diet. My problems are somewhat complicated, but I like that one of your goals is turn your daughters from what I imagine is a typical american diet. Hiding liver in meatloaf sold me!! I am a married almost 50 year old with 11 adopted children between the ages of 5 and 18. All born to addicted moms and sometimes dads…we have problems. I have MS…I believe caused from inflamation exacerbated by drinking in college (of my 4 roommates, 1 died 17 years ago at 30 of colon cancer 🙁 and the rest suffer from an autoimmune disease). We lived on beer and junk food. I believe that and Monsanto all contributed to my problems which are legend. One month ago, frustrated by my inability to move, I demanded something to give me energy and my neurologist prescribed some type of speed. It was a one month trial. I am over the top excited. Yes, some of that is from said speed, but we started breaking the pills in half to temper it a little ;o)and make them last longer. In the ensuing clarity and energy they have given me, I am trying to do better to help myself without drugs. I moved my family to a whole food diet last summer after reading Robyn Obrien’s book about the food industry and that alone helped so much, I really want to take us to the next level. Thanks for sharing your recipes!

Hi Sarah,
What a fun writer you are! I’ve been paleo since January, after trying pescatarian eating for about a year. Oh my. I feel so much better eating grass-fed beef and lamb, etc. I can’t remember the last time I had a depression outburst, but I’m pretty sure it was after eating way too many GF grains. So now I’m mostly grain-free, and my life is better for it. I do suspect I’ve been eating a few too many paleo truffles, and that the extra coconut oil has caused a perpetual outbreak under my nose for four months now. Think I will try to forgo coconut oil for a while to find out.

Keep up the great blogs, and I’ll keep reading them! -Ciao, Diana

I have to say, yours is the most real blog I’ve come across in the last few weeks. I have spent WAY too much time today reading, laughing & giving the general head nod of “Yep, I understand that sister”.
I have MS (diagnosed in 1993) that is progressing. I’m on drug therapy (since 1999), one of my nurses recommended a change in diet.After much searching, I am leaning towards the Paleo.
Originally in 1993 I was given a list of restricted foods that made a prisoners Bread & water diet look exciting! I love foods WAY too much to survive on such restrictions, in the end, I never modified a thing. However, as I approach the age of 25 (for the second time) & my balance makes me appear drunk or like a child taking her fist steps, i realize it is time to get serious about changing what I eat. I have spent the last few weeks on a elimination diet (gluten, soy & processed foods) and I have more energy, sleep better & see a slight improvement in my balance. I just bought the Paleo diet book & planning to take this eating change to the next step when I found your blog. It’s a gift from the Great Spirit! Finally a place to explain things, get ideas & shares the human side of the challenges behind eating right. Like your husband, mine is a skeptic, while he fully supports my dietary changes, he still wants to eat his ice-cream every night & have the fridge stocked with Pepsi. My teenage daughter’s comment “Ok mom, you can cut all that out of YOUR diet but don’t expect me to eat that weird way!” Hmm who does the cooking in this house….
I will visit often, Thanks for keeping it real
Peace ~ B

Hello Beverly….I am passing this along – something I’d want to know if I were you. My dear friend has MS. She went to the Mayo Clinic last month. There, she was told that they do not hold with the theory of auto immune disease causing MS. They have been doing an extensive study and are thinking that it is probably caused by a virus. I’m passing this on so that if you are taking chemo to subdue your immune system, (which could possibly harm your immune response permanently) you may want to look at the Mayo Clinic. I wish you all the best — I’ve recovered from Rheumatoid Arthritis – supposedly not possible- so here’s to you regaining your health too.


I have RA and thinking about the paleo diet. I am curious how you “recovered from RA” and how severe was your RA”

I had RA for about 12 years. How bad was it? I had synovial cysts on both wrists, involvement in my fingers, knees, & other joints. I also developed Reynaud’s. I was on several medications, cortisone shots, etc. As an artist & art teacher, the involvement in my hands was the most troublesome and worrying.
This dis-ease first showed up in the year following my mother’s death. We loved each other, but we had a relationship that was unresolved. I feel strongly (in my bones, so to speak), that my grief and unresolved feelings led to my body’s auto immune disease. On an unconscious level, I didn’t feel right about living after she died. Strange, but that’s the unconscious for you!
I began exploring my relationship with my mother in therapy. It was painful…it took a huge amount of emotional energy, as a new way of looking at myself and my family began to take form. I credit therapy for my remission from RA. I’ve known several women whose RA developed soon after a major loss in their lives.
To answer your question, I did try several food plans- the one that seemed to help the most was extremely low in fats, so the Paleo diet may be beneficial.
I’m sending you wishes for the very best of health!

Hi, My son needs to gain weight. Our Chiropractor is into this diet now. She gets into many things and we follow along.
My son is 18 and he is trying to grow taller for waterpolo next year in college. According to the chiropractor and the MD, we saw for back aches, heneeds to “bulk up”as well to strengthen his core and this not get back aches from his heavy workouts. I fear he is not getting all he needs when me and my husband prepare meals for him. I fear that at times when he is out he may go hungry to stay on this diet. Any tips for the goal of gaining weight as a growing teen?


Lots of everything, fat, protein, carbohydrates. The more nutrient dense the better (so meat, fish, eggs, veggies, fruit–nuts and seeds are okay but meat and veggies and fruit are better). Also include some bone broth or other glycine-rich foods. Eating a snack about 2 hours before bed can help too. LOTS of sleep.

Your website is an amazing wealth of information! I did a battery of tests 5 years ago and after nothing came back positive, was given the label IBS. I’ve been on prilosec ever since (for 2 years, it was twice a day, and since, once a day) I’ve gone paleo in an attempt to get off medications and get my life back. I’m off dairy (except butter), have a severe nut allergy so don’t mess with any of those, and have been doing paleo for the last 2 months. I’m seeing great results, but wonder, if all that time on prilosec has created any deficiencies? Besides eating the good diet, does my gut need more? Am I deficient in digestive enzymes? Magnesium? How would I know? I’m taking a probiotic currently, and seeing good success with it, and have a tablespoon of coconut oil in my tea each morning, otherwise I’m not supplementing with anything. I’m struggling with having a foggy brain and feel like I’m lacking clarity of thought.
Any help is appreciated!

The prilosec may be hindering digestion, which means you are probably not absorbing all the nutrition from your food. That’s because the acidity of the contents of your stomach as it empties into the small intestine is a critical signal for digestive enzyme release from the pancreas and for bile release from the gallbladder. If you still don’t feel ready to go off priolosec, you could add digestive enzymes (I’d suggest both plant enzymes and pancreatin) and ox bile to help digest fats (sometime pancreatin supplements also contain ox bile and sometimes hydrochloric acid too, so read the ingredients).

Foggy brain could mean that your gut is still leaky (you could also try L-glutamine supplements to help), or that you are still eating something that you are intolerant to (common culprits would be eggs, nightshades, citrus, shellfish, fish), that you aren’t getting enough sleep (maybe cortisol is dysregulation which also means working on stress management), too few carbs or too much sugar. Magnesium can helpful for cortisol regulation and there really isn’t a downside to magnesium, so that’s worth trying.

Morning, or it is here in the UK! A massive amount of long term pain, immobility and frustration has forced me to lay for hours in bed, searching for an answer as to why, since my late teens, ( I’m 40 this year), I go from one day having such severe sciatica I’m incontinent, unable to walk and reliant in my children, to normality, to having such stiffness everywhere I feel like an old woman. Every mri, blood test and hospital visit has only manifested in me feeling like a frustrated hypochondriac!!
I’ve had enough and determined to turn a corner in my 40th year with so much to live for I’m in desperate need to make changes. After coming across your blog and other supporting pages I believe I have found the answer to my increasingly degenerative health.
My God it will be a challenge. I have 3 teenagers and a partner who won’t look beyond meat and potatoes, vegatables is a dirty word! We are on a tight budget and to make it even worse I own a beautiful cafe that since opening it 18 months ago has just added to the weight gain and distroyed any willpower I did have! I’m sure I’m not the only one who agrees that when yr feeling poorly there’s nothing better than a good coffee and a wedge of caramel shortcake!
however, this is it!
It says something when my wrists and fingers hurt from holding my phone for the length of time it has taken to write this message.
What I need from you guys as it will have to be a step by step process to change to a paleo lifestyle, what should be the first thing I eliminate and as far as supplementing my diet where do I begin?
Why I say gradual as both financially and commitment going into this 100% from day 1 I’m just setting myself up to fail.
I will receive very little help from others!

Thank you for informing me on what I hope leads to a pain free and more mobile future!

Tracey- 6 months ago I would have been totally in agreement with you that there’s nothing nicer than a cuppa and a sweet treat but today I can honestly say it’s the furtherest thing from my mind.
My own love affair was with cuppacinnos and chocolate cake. Today I don’t drink coffee at all and I walk past chocolate cake knowing I don’t want it.
How did this happen?
I did Whole30 and I read Paleo Mom and studied recipes and made the decision that I did not want to be sick and fat any more.
I’ve actually done Whole30 three times now and it’s basically become a lifestyle for me.
Go for it. It will take perseverance and a commitment to staying the course over the long haul but you will feel so amazing once you’ve made the transition and you’ll know, for sure, that eating this way is better and sweeter than any sweet treat ever could.
Best of luck!

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