Real People, Real Paleo: Angela of

June 5, 2013 in Categories: by

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 “Real People, Real Paleo” is a series of posts written by real people who were inspired to share their paleo story with you.  There is such diversity in the challenges that bring us to a paleo diet and lifestyle and in what we hope to achieve by adopting them.  These stories are intended to be a place of inspiration, written by real people, showing the diversity of our needs and our approaches to this way of eating and living, and explaining how each individual’s implementation of paleo meets their needs.  By sharing these people’s stories with you on my blog, I hope to redefine what paleo success is.  I do not believe that eating paleo is purely about losing weight, gaining muscle, and having 6-pack abs.  I believe that paleo is about being healthy enough to thoroughly enjoy life, whatever that means for you, and about sustainability for our entire lives.  If you are interested in writing up your story, use the form on this page to contact me. 

My Path to Paleo

I’ve never been a person who could stick to a diet. When I know I can’t have something I want it more. But then my digestive health went into the toilet. Pardon the pun. I was diagnosed with IBS over a decade ago, and my doctors said they couldn’t help me heal.

Eating became a nightmare instead of a pleasure.  Everything caused pain and bloating and my bowels refused to move.  Fiber didn’t help.

I intuitively knew I had to change my diet, but I didn’t know what to eat. So my trial and error healing experiment began, using “Dr. Google” for guidance.

First I tried the Candida cleanse diet for 6 weeks. I lost lots of weight but my bowels remained stubborn.

Next I worked with a naturopath who prescribed an very protein-heavy diet. It wasn’t Paleo, because it included soy and other beans. It also didn’t’ work. I tried it for 8 months, with minimal improvement.

However, I was getting closer, but didn’t know it. And because of that I quit the protein rich diet and tried the opposite.

After lots of research I decided to try the raw food diet. I read that it helped heal IBS. I was willing to try anything for relief.

I was a raw foodist for close to a year, despite the fact that I felt worse on it. Why did I do it for that long? I thought maybe I was experiencing prolonged detoxification symptoms. Also I was stuck because I didn’t know what to do next.

If you told me then about the Paleo diet I would not have bought in. My digestion grew too weak to digest meat. And I was burnt out on diets after choosing  the wrong ones.

Then an amazing thing happened. When I was on vacation, at a raw food retreat center, I met a nutritionist who told me she would heal me. Her solution was a modified version of the Paleo diet, but she never called it that.

She told me that I was sensitive to nuts, which was a big part of the raw food diet. She told me to cut out the nuts, gave me hydrochloric acid and some digestive enzymes and suggested I go eat a steak.

And I did. I went from living on nuts and avocados to eating cooked veggies, fruit and red meat.  She said the zinc in red meat would heal my liver.

And she was right.

My IBS was healed after one year of eating this way.

My immune system also improved dramatically. I’ve gotten sick twice in the last 8 years. Also, the diet reversed my sensitivity to nuts and other foods. Now I can eat anything in moderation with no digestive backlash. I choose however to eat Paleo-style.

A few years later, when I became a digestive health coach I couldn’t believe how popular my healing diet had become. And as much as I love Paleo, I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all eating plans. Just because something is allowed on Paleo doesn’t mean it’s good for everyone.

If my nutritionist hadn’t tweaked my diet to take out nuts, I wouldn’t have found relief. I would have written Paleo off as just another failure.

That’s why I use Paleo as a foundation, not a religion, in my practice. A gut-healing diet is a trial and error game of customization. You have to make up your own rules about what to eat based on how your body reacts.

What I love about the popularity of Paleo is the community of support around it. Plugging into the online Paleo community is a great antidote to feelings of isolation brought on by eating a “strange” diet.

I tell my clients to use Paleo as a foundation, but to find their own rules. For example, I eat quinoa. Not because it’s technically a seed, not a grain, but because my body likes it and it’s packed with worthwhile nutrition. It also satisfies my carb cravings.

I still consider myself  Paleo. I believe what my fellow Paleo peeps believe. Mostly. But I’ve just customized it to fit my body, life and belief system. That way I feel like I’m NOT following a “diet”. It’s just the way I choose to eat!




Angela Privin dispenses free digestive health advice and Superhealer inspiration at She is a dog lover, wife, step mom, avid cook, digestive health coach, blogger and nature lover. When Angela healed herself forever from IBS it changed her life. She knew she had to help others heal themselves from a condition that doctors call incurable! Angela believes that food and rest are the best medicine.


You can connect with Angela on Facebook here.


Thanks for your inspiration!! I too was having difficulty, and had an anaphylactic reaction in December 2012 to almonds, which I have been eating and had no trouble with for my whole life. I had allergy testing done, and found out that I have more food allergies than I care to count. Being in my 30’s, I was not happy with the answer of “you cant eat these foods any longer.” So I went to a chiropracter, who specializes in alternative medicine and nutrition. She put me on a very strict Paleo diet, and now I am on a modified Paleo diet. I do eat non GMO corn, and beans. I still have life threatening seed and nut allergies, but now I feel so much better, and can start to re-introduce fruits and veggies back into my diet. I am gluten, nut/seed, dairy, sugar,and soy free, and feel GREAT!! She diagnosed me with candida, and leaky gut syndrome. I am off all of my stomach meds!! Who new just by changing what we eat, can make us feel so much better. I am now on a life plan, not just a diet.

So glad to hear you are off you meds. That is a big deal. Once you heal there is a good chance that your nut issues will go away. I can eat nuts now, even though they were off limits for a year or two.

Thanks for sharing your story! I’m curious, how did the nutritionist know you were reacting to nuts? Did she do a test of some kind, or was it like an intuitive thing? I too was diagnosed with IBS-C by my gastroenterologist. But my naturopath called it Leaky Gut Syndrome/Candida and my MD says Fibromyalgia/CFS (take your pick of diagnoses!) I take magnesium for going to the bathroom and try to also eat some flax meal every day, when I remember that is! I’m trying to stick with the autoimmune protocol here – it is hard, especially when my roommate buys nice cheeses that tempt me from the fridge! But feeling better is more important than a fleeting bite of something that might set me back several days! I know what you mean about eating this way being awesome for the immune system – normally every single winter I would come down with a bad cold, usually towards Jan/Feb. This year I didn’t, and I haven’t even been eating this way for long! My roommate however had a 2-week long cold and I was worried I’d catch it, but I didn’t even get a sniffle!

That is amazing Tanya. The best motivation to stick with this way of eating are results and noticing how you don’t get sick any longer. Good luck with your healing journey. Sounds like you are taking good care of yourself. And cheese is probably my biggest temptation too.

Oh and the answer your questions about nut, she never formerly tested me. It was just an intuitive diagnosis. Nuts are actually high in lectins, which makes them tough on an imbalanced digestive system. I believe that nuts should be eaten in very small amounts while healing digestion for that reason.

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