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Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Uncategorized | 11 comments

My Journey To Paleo



My Journey to Health with the Paleo Diet on fresh4five

Today I am not sharing a recipe with you. Instead I am going to get a little personal and share a bit about myself and my journey to Paleo.

Being an introverted person, I don’t often “open up”. I am much more comfortable behind the keyboard, but here goes nothing!

Several years ago, I started a journey towards better health. I wanted to completely change the way my family was eating. I wanted to change the way I was living. I gained A LOT of weight after having my children, my health declined, I developed many food allergies and intolerances, was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and I suffered from severe eczema my entire life.

In 2010 I weaned my last babe (Grady). When we switched him to dairy, it was instantly clear he had an allergy. We switched him to soy and I actually think that allergy was even worse! He developed asthma and eczema and was subject to severe diarrhea and vomiting. It was terrible! Because of Grady’s intolerances, we made a lot of changes to our food out of necessity. I also realized a lot of the issues Grady had, I had as well, so I removed dairy from my diet too. I then decided to embark on an elimination diet.

The elimination diet focused a lot on rice and beans, but took out many other irritating foods in addition to dairy and soy; like nuts and gluten. I was feeling GREAT! I lost 40lbs on this somewhat vegan/vegetarian approach to eating. After a while though, things took a turn for the worse. I gained that weight back. My thyroid was not under control; I had to increase my medication a couple times. My immune system went bananas! I was suddenly allergic to EVERYTHING! I went to see an allergist who diagnosed me with Oral Allergy Syndrome. It was a very difficult and depressing time in my life. I was so limited on what I could eat without it causing me to have a severe gastro reaction, or without it causing me to experience heart issues such as tachycardia and body flushing.

In 2011 I went through a rebellion. I just gave up. I can’t eat anything, so I am just going to eat everything! Who cares about my health!? McDonald’s is so overly processed I didn’t react to it, so I ate it and any other processed crap I could tolerate. I was miserable, depressed and grieving. I just wanted to be normal. It took some time, but in 2012 I had come full circle and began to accept my situation, and I started to focus on being positive.  I declared that 2012 would be the year that I just focused on eating food I could tolerate and worry about weight loss later. I really started looking at the Paleo approach to eating and removing all grains and legumes from my diet. Finding the Paleo diet was so inspiring. I didn’t feel like such a food freak anymore. There is a whole group of people who have to, or choose to eat this way!

By 2013 I was seeing really amazing improvements in my health by eating the Paleo Diet and following the Autoimmune Protocol. I no longer suffer from Oral Allergy Syndrome. I can actually eat fruits and vegetables again without worrying about them cross reacting with my seasonal allergies to Ragweed and Grass. In fact I didn’t suffer from seasonal allergies this year AT ALL! I didn’t shove a steroid spray up my nose 2 times a day or take an anti-histamine. My ENT had told me I was one more infection away from needing surgery on my sinus’. I have not had a sinus infection this entire year! I was able to LOWER my thyroid medication, and I lost 55lbs!  My eczema is GONE! Completely!

So a few weeks ago I felt brave enough to share a Before and Current picture of myself on instagram. It wasn’t an easy thing to do because my before picture is so terrible, do I really have to relive being that obese person?


I call it my “Current” picture and not my “After” picture because I am also still overweight… I haven’t talked about my weight loss before because I have always thought I should wait until I achieve this perfect “After” image of myself before I share my journey…. Well I am happy to say that I have decided to STOP living for that Future *perfect* me and instead celebrate the person that I am right now! I think it is going to be helpful for me and my journey to start celebrating my success today. To be happy and live in this moment right now. I have lost 55lbs and I have seen a complete turn around in my health. That is something to be proud of!

photo (11)

I know I need to step things up to lose my last 35lbs. I need to exercise more, get active. I am looking forward to sharing the rest of my journey with you :)


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  1. Thanks for sharing! What an inspiration. It’s hard to open up, but I think a lot more people respond to ‘real’ even more with facebook and all social media painting this ‘perfect’ picture. You look amazing!

    PS – Love your bangs!

  2. Congrats to you and your new health, Danielle! You look fantastic! My only issue with so many of our journeys to health, personal stories, etc. is the use of the terms obese and obesity. I hate those words more than I can convey and while I know they are the “correct” terms, I think that all they do is make people turn away and not want to do better/find answers. I’ve heard others say they same. But, again, kudos to you and thanks for being willing to share your story. I’m sure it will help others. I personally appreciate it very much!


    • Thank you Shirley! It is true, the word is harsh, hard to hear. Maybe that is me still going through the process. It was really hard for me to post that before picture, I look at it and think UGH. I was in such a bad place. I am certain I am still Obese now *technically* speaking…however I choose to describe myself now as *overweight* instead…I hope I can look back at my old pictures one day with more love for myself.

  3. I LOVE that you’re celebrating the person you are TODAY!!! Everything should adopt this type of mind set :) You look great and I am so very happy for you.

  4. Thank you for sharing your life journey. My oldest son has the same problem like yours and i will introduce your website to him. As for me, and like you, I gained weight after I had my two boys 37 and 33 years ago. I have been working on losing my excess weight for health reasons. I like your food and I will try them. Can I buy your book. I do not particulary care for ebooks.I will update you. Thank you.

    • Thank you Emma! I do not have a book at this time :)

  5. Thank you for sharing! You an inspiration to me personally as someone who is trying to change their eating habits to change their health. Keep on being amazing!

  6. Thanks so much for opening up about this! The online Paleo world needs more stories like this – about reclaiming health, reversing “irreversible” conditions/allergies, and learning to love food even on a “restricted” diet! I’ll never have the crossfit 6-pack, but I’m hoping – like you – to improve my autoimmune disease, my thyroid function, and my quality of life!

  7. One thing I think you might want to look at is fermentation. We have too much fear of bacteria in the modern world. We need micro flora and fauna in our gut. One name will get you going in this direction “Sandor Katz”. Congrats, keep it up and keep passing on the lovely foods! Peace -Jeffrey

  8. I loved reading your success story this morning. It was just the encouragement I needed to start the day! I am suffering horrible reactions from a lot of food and it seems to be getting worse. Your story sounds a lot like mine and gives me hope that I may be able to heal and eat many of the foods I cannot one day!

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