Paleo….Focusing on HEALTH!!

*Note from Sarah: Lisa is back with another great blog post as she chronicles her paleo journey.  Click here to catch up on Lisa’s story and be sure to find her on Facebook!

Paleo…. Focusing on HEALTH!!

It’s funny, when I began this Paleo journey I never really gave thought to where it was going to go. I just knew I needed to feel better and that I was not willing to spend one more day, losing to my autoimmune issues.

I wanted to lose weight and find some part of the old me again. I needed to get out from the black hole that I was in, and that’s all that mattered.

I never really gave thought to how others around me might feel, or how they would react to what I was doing.

I was trying to better myself, get healthy, feel good again, and win the autoimmune battle. Why would anyone not cheer that on??

Boy was I naive; because let me tell you that was not necessarily the response I got. Oh sure, my hubby, kids, and my mom all thought it was great. They wanted the wife, mother and daughter back they knew pre-autoimmune; so they were totally on board. (Well at least till my kids and hubby, realized that meant no junk food in the house, except maybe for the rare special occasions)…. But the reactions from others usually went a bit more like this….”You eat what? You eat how? What about the grains?  You can’t be healthy without oatmeal!!!” Blah, Blah, Blah. Hmmm all the fresh fruit, veggies and protein you want equals not healthy, OK!?!?

It IS weird to have people looking at your plate; to see what you are, or aren’t eating, and then judge smirk and snicker about you. They try to push food on you they KNOW you don’t want. “Have some bread” they say, as they try to shove it on your plate. “No thanks”,”Oh come on Aunt Betty made it; you don’t want to make her mad do you?” “Well, I don’t know about Aunt Betty, but I know you are pissing me off!”

I have come to think this strange aggressive behavior by people comes from their own anxieties, insecurities, and thoughts; as you make them, think, look and address what they might be putting in their mouths, and doing to their own health.

And yes, I understand we are a society brainwashed by advertising and those pretty colored boxed foods. Hey I was one of them, I get it, and believe me, I still have days I want to be that person again. It was just easier, more accepted and comes with much less talk about yourself. You just blend in, instead of stick out.

But on this journey, the pros definitely out weight the cons. My last blood tests showed autoimmune antibody numbers, gone. Not down but GONE!! Yes they can bounce back up, but hey I will take what I have for now.

My celiac symptoms, GONE. Weight loss is not moving as fast due to the hashimoto’s, but I sure can kick butt in the gym again. My butt could probably crack a walnut (might not look like it and can’t say I have ever tried it) but it sure feels like it! I can hold a plank while doing a cross over hand slap with my gym partner (I am pretty sure that is not the technical term, but that’s my version!!! 😉 and I can do sit ups till the cows come home.

So in my eyes. I have beaten this autoimmune thing, gotten back in the gym, I am back in school for nutritional coaching, I no longer have fatigue and now I LOVE telling everyone that will listen, what and how I eat to beat Autoimmune Disease. Heck, stare at my plate all you want!!!……

To me, all of that is worth more than all the weight loss in the world; and I know that that will come too!!

Until next time,

Hugs and Happiness



  1. KingCam says

    Loved the article! I have to same experience, everyone is always analyzing and making comments about my food choices. It bugs the hell out of me, why should anyone else be SO concerned about what I’m putting into my own body? “BE LIKE US OR SUFFER THE SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES!!”

  2. nemo says

    Amazing! I gave up wheat 5 years ago, and the rest of the glutinous grains a year later to beat my autoimmune reaction that gave me arthritis, I would never go back! To all those people who try to force it on me saying, “a little bite won’t hurt”, I just smile at them now, and calmly say “would you eat that for a sore stomach and 2 months worth of sciatica?” It’s such a small step from gluten-free to paleo, I’m definitely considering it. I love hearing all the success stories, and look forward to further improving my life and my fitness with an even more healthy diet. Congratulations on your success :)

    • courtney lynn says

      awesome! i love reading this, ive been GF for a year to manage my sever RA and psoraisis. im on day 3 on paleo! i didnt know corn aggrivates inflamation and ive been eating it like a mad woman to sub for bread…geeze.

    • Val says

      Hi Nemo, I was diagnosed with celiac disease Aug. 2011 and have been doing a paleo diet for 12 days. I’m interested in your comment re your sore stomach and sciatica. I’ve had sciatica issues on & off for years. Does diet have something to do with causing the sciatic nerve to act up? I’ve exercised for years & am pretty fit, but it still causes problems sometimes. I now know why I’ve had so many stomach issues over the years….celiac disease explained that one.
      Thanks for any advice!

      • Lisa says

        Courtney, corn is crazy bad for RA….pull it out and I am pretty sure you will feel the difference in a matter of days….I would love for you to keep me posted on your success…

      • Lisa says

        Hey Val, hope you dont mind me peeking in on your conversation…:) its been my experience that the grains will bother your sciatica because the grains are causeing inflammation and your sciatic nerve just happens to be the spot of weakness…someone else might be their joints or a migraine ect… hope this helps some

  3. sofia says

    Hey Lisa! I’m new to this Paleo thing and let me tell you, I know it’s not easy and YES people do stare a lot, and they think that I might not be getting all the “nutrients” and “energy” that I need for not eating bread or pasta. I’m a triathlete and let me tell you, it has NOT been easy to try to stick to this diet, specially because my parents won’t even listen to what I say and don’t understand why I’m doing this. Some people think that I don’t eat bread because I want to be thin, or that I’m afraid of getting fat… They just don’t understand that I’m trying to be healthy in every aspect, I’m not doing it for my weight. Anyway, just wanted to say thank you, I love your website 😉

    Keep up the good work and don’t let anyone bring you down…
    PS. sorry for my english (I’m mexican)


  4. Deann says

    First of, good for you! Loved the article. My family and I are very new (30 days) into Paleo and we get the stares, the giggles, and some down right rudeness from people telling me I’m crazy. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see anything crazy about eating real food and my hubby only needing half of the meds he was on mere weeks ago.
    Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing your story!

    • Lisa says

      Thank you Deann, that is great news about your husband….as long as you stay true to what feels right for you, you cant loose..

  5. says

    That’s great! Congratulations! I have been wondering about longer-term effects of paleo for awhile. I am really excited that you have found respite from your auto immune battle!

  6. Stephanie Bartsch says

    I have been eating paleo for about 4 months now due to trying to lose weight. Not only have I lost almost 40 pounds, I also have been healed from my fibromialgia I have had since I was 18 (now 39)! No more painful muscles or horrible joint pain! No more fatigue! So happy and healthy now! Yeah Paleo!

    • Lisa says

      Stephanie, that is awesome….keep up the wonderful job…hope you contiunue to share your journey with us…

    • Lisa says

      Penny, Penny,
      I cant thank you enough for your on going support…..big hugs!!! I look forward to the day we can meet. :)

  7. Kim says

    Ok, so I’ve been eating this way for over a month now because I’ve been fighting fatigue for several years now and I kept hearing that this way of eating gave people so much energy. But nothing happened. I don’t necessarily mind eating this way, but it’s really not worth the effort when I’m still fatigued and I’m still fighting the same 10 pounds I was trying to lose when I started this. I don’t understand why nothing changed. Any ideas?

    • Sarah Bea says

      Hi Kim:
      What do you mean by “this way”? There are lots of variations of low-carb, gluten-free, Primal, Paleo, etc. and different people react differently to the variations. I was low-carb for years and wondered why I didn’t feel as fantastic as everyone said I should. Turns out I had to give up most grains and all dairy products too, and up my intake of good fats (lots of fatty meats, egg yolks, avocado oil, etc.). Some folks can’t eat eggs, even though they are supposed to be ok for Paleo. Some folks react badly to nightshades so no tomatoes for them. Try to be really mindful about what you eat and how you feel afterwards (and for days afterwards, not just immediately afterwards). I’ve been high-fat Paleo for about 4 years now (10 years since I started low-carb) and I’m still tweaking my diet looking for the best mix for me personally.

      • Kim says

        I’ve been eating meats, vegs, fruits, nuts, oil (olive and coconut) and eggs for the past month and now I’m slowly adding in new foods to see how my body responds. I didn’t restrict fat and was getting quite a few carbs through the fruits and vegs. Brown rice and beans seem to be working back in just fine. Oatmeal might have made me more tired; I’ll try it again soon and see how I respond again. I did try cheese yesterday and I’m feeling rotten…which is why I’m up at 5am. :) I tried this experiment with a group of friends and everyone else is feeling so much better and I can’t figure out why I’m still so tired.

        • Penny D says

          If you wan to lean out, you have to go light on the fruit and heavy on the veggies. Plan your meals with meat (mostly beef and some fish, occasional chicken/pork) and veggies and a little fat. Get rid of ALL grains (did you do that for 4 weeks? It will work if you do it for 3 weeks also) and you know dairy doesn’t agree. Reset your system, then add ONE thing back in at a time. If you do chronic cardio (see Jason’s Seib’s article on this site), you may not lose that last 10lb because of cortisol problems. It is all a process.

          • Lisa says

            Hey Kim, also pull out the beans, keep a food journal for a few weeks and see what foods keep showing up when you make note that you feel tired…Penny and Sarah gave great advice…. for me until I pulled out all the grains even gluten free ones and sugar the fatigue did not go away…PS it is not easy I know, but in the end you should see some results….I would love if you kept me posted….also feel free to visit my facebook page (sarah has a link at top of post) and PM me I can help you a little more indepth if you would like…

    • Michelle says

      Kim I had the same problem and turned out I have adrenal fatigue. So I had to cut all fruit and dairy as well. I also added a bunch of supplements as I was low on B vitamins and magnesium etc. It took about 2 weeks with the supplements and diet change for me to be able to stay awake the whole day and start losing weight. I’m not saying it’s your adrenal glands (I only have one so that was my problem) however it is possible. I would seek out a naturopath to help you pinpoint your problem. I bet food is just 1 piece of the puzzle. Don’t give up!

  8. Marla says

    Totally new to Paleo, but with all of my food intolerances, I think this is the lifestyle for me. Happy to read on your Hashimoto’s (well sorta, you know what I mean… ; ), age factors (nicely experienced) as well as my other hormones being completely whack as well, this seems to be the panacea to my health issues. Been researching and studying and would appreciate any pointers and/or assistance. Honestly, would rather pay for the ‘good’ ‘real’ food now, then for health costs later…

    Do you supplement for your Hashimoto’s? If so, with what? Iodine? And do you take thyroid hormone supplements?

    Hey, we all have to do what works for us as individuals, right? The status quo doesn’t know all it thinks it does.

    • Lisa says

      Hey Marla, I do not take any meds or suppliments…iodine and hashi do not go very well together in my opinion….it can throw you into hyper and then tail spin you into hypo…believe me when I say have been can chuckle about it now,…I did take vit d for a while to up my levels but with the sun out now I make a point to get min 30mins of sun on me a day then will go back on vit d in the fall…always feel free to visit us on our FB pg autoimmune, paleo and YOU… and keep in touch. I would love to hear how it goes for you.

  9. CG says

    Great piece and so true. People seem to rationalize my Paleo choice or feel the need to make sense by saying, “well I understand you have to do this you have MS.” Sometimes I correct them and say, not exactly it’s one way I’ve chosen to fight it, but most of the time I just smile and say I feel better than I’ve felt in years (even though diagnosis was only 6 months ago).

  10. says

    Right on! I always say to the critics “Do whatever you want to do to get your desired results. No one’s preventing you.” It’s a conversation stopper – usually these are people who are unhappy with their bodies to begin with, so what they are doing is clearly not working, and more importantly, not contributing to their happiness or satisfying life, yet they have chosen it of free will, as we all do. Every adult has choices…

  11. Jenilyn says

    I could not agree with you more. The holidays are always the hardest for me, when it comes to the temptations and people’s discomfort on what I choose to put on my plate. I’m always amazed that people can’t see how much more clam and happier I am when I’m eating a healthy diet then when I’m eating things that irritate my body. Maybe they like me when I’m sad, anxious and irritable more? You’re story is empowering. Thanks for being a great role model of taking good care of the body.

    • Lisa says

      Jenilyn, what kind words thank you so much…please stay in touch, I look forward to hearing how awesome you do….

  12. Annette Deardurff says

    Good for you!! I just started following Paleo ten days ago and have dropped twelve pounds – have a LONG way to go weight wise but already can tell a difference in how I feel. Was diagnosed with fibromyalgia years ago and have dealt with chronic pain – for months and months I have had sometimes debilitating pain in my right hip – that pain has almost disappeared which tells me that my diet has been a lot of the problem. Thanks for sharing your journey!!

  13. Lauren says

    Thanks for the story! I’ve been totally Paleo for about 2 1/2 weeks now and have dropped 7 lbs thanks to your inspiration! Long way to go weight loss wise, but I FEEL GOOD FOR ONCE!!! My joints don’t hurt, my feet don’t hurt! I’m totally renewed!! Thanks so much for your blog and books…the recipes are awesome! So I just wanted to thank you!!

  14. Kimberly says

    I have been doing Paleo research for approx a month. I haven’t yet started eating Paleo, but your article struck a chord with me because my best friend is so against me eating the Paleo way. She sat me down to discuss her objections to it, mostly all were selfish reasons (You won’t eat pizza with me, you can’t have beer with me, what are you going to eat when we go to the movies?) I am aghast that people wouldn’t be happy that I am going to choose to eat and be healthy. Wow.

    • Lisa says

      Kimberly, remember it is your lifes journey and you have to live it in the way that makes you feel YOUR best!! Keep at it girl, you will do great!!

      • Kimberly says

        I’m on day 2 of Paleo and so far so good! Looking forward to all the health benefits, including fat loss.

  15. Amanda says


    I started gluten-free two months ago because my auto-immune antibodies were through the roof (3500+). I am now progressing to Paleo in an effort to simply feel better!

    In your post, you mentioned that your antibodies are now zero. (Awesome, BTW!) How long were you on paleo before you started to notice a different in your antibody count? In addition, were you on Syntroid and Cytomel for your Hashimoto’s? I’m currently on both to treat Hashi, but can’t find out if the med contain gluten. I’ve contacted both manufacturers and haven’t been able to get a good answer. Did you experience of any this?

    I appreciate any insight you can share.

    Thank you!

    • Lisa says

      Hi Amanda, I am on no meds and have never have been. Since my thyroid numbers are in normal range together my GP and I decided there was no need since I was doing well via diet and keeping my numbers down…Please keep in mind my antibody numbers could climb at any given time and I am not sure on this, but probably could fluctuate between testing times too…my numbers dropped just going gluten, dairy and legume free, But my symptoms and my energy only shifted once Paleo….as for your meds your pharmacy should have or at least be able to get that info for you….hope this helps….lisa

  16. TheCaliKid says

    Great writeup.

    I get this all the time. The two worst insults yet, were: “Red meat will kill you, didn’t you know that?” (condescending voice) and (from anther person) “That is just like the Atkins Diet.”

    Don’t you just love it when people “educate” you on something they know nothing about, yet it is clearly your passion and hobby? (so you should know, right?)

    • Lisa says

      “Don’t you just love it when people “educate” you on something they know nothing about, yet it is clearly your passion and hobby? (so you should know, right?)”
      Calikid…love this!!

  17. Pat Noonan says

    Paleo…..lets look a little further. A diet based on the past and what people ate because that’s all they could get their hands on, not what was available at the grocery store…Meat. Here is the problem, has anyone ever smiled at themselves in the mirror, notice anything? How about the structure of human teeth…don’t really look like meat shredding tools do they. In fact the way humans can tell what animals of the past ate is their teeth. The truth is staring you in the face, humans aren’t meant to eat meat at all! All the nutrients needed for human health and wellness can be accomplished through a plant based diet. Not to mention, through agriculture we have been able to grow more potent nutrient rich foods. People need to know the truth about eating meat! Here is a little peice of the “meat eating” world you are a part of.
    Rendering Plants
    When an animal is killed for food, about half of its weight is not sold to the human food industry. The intestines (and their contents!), the head, hooves, and horns, the bones and blood are deposited into huge grinders at “rendering” plants. Also entire carcasses that are diseased are added to the rendering mix. Rendering is a multi billion-a-year industry, dealing with fifty billion pounds of animal parts and sick animals a year. No animal is too ill, too cancerous, or too decomposed to be included in the raw product of a rendering plant.
    House Pets
    Six or seven million house pets that are euthanized in animal shelters every year also end up at the renders. A large city like Los Angeles sends about three hundred tons of euthanized dogs and cats to the rendering plant on a monthly basis. Animals caught and culled by control agencies, and road kill, are also taken to the rendering plants.
    Protein Concentrates
    At the rendering plant these horrid ingredients are then ground and steam-cooked, the lighter, fatty materials float up to the top, get refined and used in products such as lubricants, cosmetics, soaps, candles, and waxes (!) The rest, heavier protein stuff is dried and made into a brown powder that includes fecal material. This brown powder is added to almost all pet food as well as to livestock feed. It is called “protein concentrates”.

    Now, I understand that people want to be healthy, that’s being smart! But lets try being smart about being healthy…!

  18. Amy says

    This is awesome!! I just started eating Paleo 3 weeks ago and doing Crossfit and am feeling awesome! I to am trying to beat my auto immune disease-lupus! I also suffer from Chrons, migraines, GERD to name a few others. All of these are pretty much non existent right now and I can’t wait to go back to the doctors for blood work!

  19. says

    This really rings true for me with all the negative attitudes I get when people look over their shoulder at what I’m eating. I cannot tell you how many people have said things like “Oh I could never do that” or “I love bread too much.” I have found that until people start to really ask about Paleo, it is best to keep quiet and act as a role model with my funny lunches : ). However, I am very thankful our CF gym (I’m in Germany) over here does multiple Paleo Challenges, with online support and recipe sharing. We even have Paleo cookouts!

    Also, love your posts Lisa, keep ’em coming!


  20. Michele says

    Thank you so much for this!!!! Living it and loved reading your perspective. Found Paleo six months ago when my MS symptoms had become so debilitating and I went searching for ways to reclaim my life. It has changed my life and I’m never going back!

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