In this success story, we learn how Robin lost weight on Paleo, but even more importantly, learned how to properly feed her son to relieve his digestive issues.
Today we have Robin’s story for you. For years Robin suffered from allergies but had no idea they were largely caused by her diet. She soon noticed her son had similar allergies. After reading about Paleo, she lost 30 lbs, but more importantly learned how to properly feed her son to relieve his intestinal discomfort. Robin’s now committed to feeding her family with the best foods and spreading the word on Paleo through her Facebook page. Check out her story below:
1. Tell us your Paleo story.
If you had asked me 5 years ago if I were healthy, I would have emphatically said, “YES”! Even though I was 40 lbs overweight and felt about 10 years older I was eating the SAD (Standard American Diet-love that acronym) assuming that I was doing the best that I could for my health and the health of my family. Since birth I have had a serious food allergy to fish and nuts and a number environmental allergies. However, I never considered that maybe there was something that I was doing to contribute to my constant condition.
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Fast forward 5 years; I was pregnant with my son. After his birth he began to show signs of intestinal distress every time I nursed him. Literally writhing in pain after every feeding, which we learned was a reaction to dairy. I eventually had to completely refrain from eating/drinking dairy products while I was nursing, to relieve his pain. As he aged it became more evident that he was suffering from a lot of the same symptoms that I experienced as a child; including allergies to almost everything. During this same time, my father, who also suffered with digestive issues, was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis. A pattern began to emerge of what seemed to be a genetic predisposition.
In April of 2011 I started reading Mark Sisson’s book, Primal Blueprint, Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, and The Good Fat by Fran McCullough. These helped me realize what foods we should eat to enable our bodies to work optimally. It was truly a paradigm shift to accept that what I had previously learned about nutrition may have been contributing to all of our conditions. To wipe the slate clean and “reset” my body I started with what is essentially a Whole 30.
I focused on quality proteins, fruit, vegetables, healthy fats, and occasionally a little dark chocolate. I ate a wheat-free and grain-free diet and I focused on eating as many nutrient dense foods as I could. My daily goal was to make sure to eat vegetables at every meal. I became obsessed with coming up with alternatives for my family so they never felt deprived. In 18 months I shed 30 lbs. but more importantly, I gained invaluable insight about how to feed our bodies and to listen to cues that are meant to protect us. My son is now a healthy 11year old who rarely suffers intestinal stress the way he used to. My dad is currently doing well and manages his symptoms with a diet tailor made for him.
2. How long have you been Paleo?
2 and 1/2 years. Since April 2011
3. Why did you start? What did you want to change?
I have a family history of intestinal issues, allergies, lactose intolerance. My son started to exhibit painful symptoms that I had also dealt with as a child. At the same time my father was continuing to deal with symptoms from Ulcerative Colitis which affirmed my desire to find the answer to all of our problems. I thought that there could be a link, a common problem, sensitivity, or predisposition.
4. Was it hard to incorporate into your lifestyle?
YES! Although I LOVE to cook, it was a complete paradigm shift. I had to spend so much more time planning and preparing meals for my family. Getting my kids to try new veggies, which I required they add for lunches as well. Getting my hubby to try new dishes with unfamiliar ingredients was not easy. I had to find a way to make sure that they at least, tasted good. Also it was initially more expensive. Without wheat or grains its hard to have enough filling foods for a hungry family. Buying enough fresh fruits and veggies to round out a meal was new for us.
5. Give us an example of a typical day (workout/meal plans etc)
Currently I ride my stationary bike In the mornings for 45 minutes. If I have a change in my schedule I will walk on the evening instead. I used to be OBSESSED with kettle bell workouts. However a recent 3 months ago) hernia surgery requires that I find other ways to stay in shape. I use light weights (no more than 10 lbs) to stay toned until I can safely lift heavier weights.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day however I usually don’t eat it till about 11:00. I love hash, meaning any random leftovers from the previous day sautéed with 3 scrambled (local, farm fresh) eggs and yucca. It could be pot roast, pulled pork, flank steak, chicken, etc. I typically don’t have lunch, since I’m not hungry and dinner something grilled by my hubby (chicken, brisket, pork shoulder) and veggies (zucchini and onions, brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli). I usually want something sweet after dinner so we usually have a fruit/veggie smoothie. We all LOVE it.
6. What are the biggest changes you’ve experienced?
The biggest change is losing 30 lbs effortlessly. My cycles, which were always very heavy and extremely painful, are barely noticeable now. I have an overall feeling of clarity and focus that I didn’t have before. When I do eat refined sugar I notice that the fogginess and headaches return. My skin is clear! I had begun to have problems with acne and as my diet changed, so did my skin.
7. How has this changed your outlook on life?
I have become passionate about having respect for my body. Feeding it the right things so that it will work the way that it is designed to. I feel a responsibility to teach my children how to do the same and to listen to their bodies. Whether we immediately feel it or not the foods eat are either building up our bodies to work optimally, or its destroying us slowly.
8. What words of encouragement do you have for the Paleo community?
Don’t be overwhelmed by what you “CAN’T” eat anymore. Think of the big picture. There are so many things you can have. Think of how wonderful you’ll feel about feeding your body quality foods. You’ll see the pounds drop effortlessly and you’ll feel better than you have in years. Setting you up for optimal health for a lifetime.
Have YOU transformed your life with Paleo? Help us inspire the Paleo community with your journey! Email your story and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org… we’d love to hear it!