Today's Making the Switch story comes from Stacy. Some of you may know Stacy and her husband. They are the duo behind the blog Paleo Parents. This is a story about a beautiful family that committed to making the switch to a simpler, cleaner way of eating. Prepare to be inspired! Thank you Stacy and Matthew for sharing your story.
"Paleo" refers to Paleolithic (sometimes called Primal or Caveman). The “diet” is really a lifestyle which proponents say gets your body back to what it was evolved to thrive on; non-processed, whole, real foods dense in nutrients.
Back in the spring of 2010, Stacy, one half of the Paleo Parents, left the hospital with her 3rd baby boy, 3 caesarean scars and missing a gall bladder. At 336 pounds she felt miserable, exhausted and defeated. She’d been obese for most of her life and had no lasting success with any weight loss plan she tried. She decided she needed to make a change, and did a quick internet search on “dairy free diets” since, as a nursing mother, she always gave up cow’s milk to avoid newborns having colic. There, in the depths of Google she discovered the word “Paleo diet.” Finally a dietary system that made sense to her! Foods based on evolution, biology and what our bodies really want.
The weight immediately started melting off—friends, family and the doctor’s office really couldn’t believe it. Best of all though, was an improved attitude with more energy and a desire to get up and do things; no post-partum depression! The intestinal problems she once faced since having her gall bladder out were gone. Heart-burn, sleep irregularities and utter exhaustion (even though she had 3 boys aged 5 and under) disappeared. After a year, her cholesterol, blood pressure, and thyroid were at a normal level. Even a seriously concerning white cell count, which made her blood work look like someone with a severe infectious disease, miraculously resolved itself. By the time the next spring rolled around, she was down more than 120 pounds.
Meanwhile, Matthew, her other half was so impressed with her success that he lugged his own 233 pound internet jockey’s body to the starting line as well. He too experienced immediate changes. He went from being a sack of lard to a leaned out near-athlete, down over 60lbs of fat in the same year. His own severe anxiety and depression resolved themselves, as did seasonal and pet allergies. The now Paleo-fied parents looked down at their three kids munching on their pizza slices and thought, “Well, if it’s good for us…”
Cole, the oldest at 5 years, had always had behavioral, self-control issues that led to him nearly being expelled from preschool for repeated incidents of hurting children. Always a wonderfully nice boy with never any malice intent, his brain and body just weren’t connecting for him to be able to find self control. Hugs became tackles and playful games of superheroes on the playground led to choke holds in the mulch. The dietary changes put him in control of his body immediately. He became a renewed person, the one we knew was there all along, almost overnight. By the end of kindergarten he was praised as being not only the best behaved child in class but the “healthiest eater” as well. The facts that his asthma disappeared and his weight is no longer “off the chart” were cherries on the Paleo sundae.
Finian, 3, has had a myriad of skin and allergy sensitivities. His ailments ranged from eczema to severe pet allergies. Since initiating a Paleo diet, he hasn’t had so much as a patch of dry skin and was able to visit his grandmother’s house with two 150lbs hairy dogs without a fever, let alone a sneeze or runny eyes. Finian was also showing early signs of ADD which both preschool and his doctor worried may lead to a need medication in order to succeed in school. Fortunately, with the Paleo diet, his ability to focus and pay attention immediately resolved and he’s now integrated into preschool and summer camp with no problems at all. He, too, stopped growing wide and has shot upwards like a weed.
Which brings us to our now one year old Wesley, the Paleo baby. Wes proves how drastically we can all benefit from Paleo foods as he is the happiest child you’d ever hope to see. A magnetic, smart and ear to ear grin at all times. The lucky kid’s never had to struggle with colic, gas, a diaper rash or even a rough night’s sleep. He’s a happy sleeper, through the night since near birth. Additionally, where the other boys had frequent fevers (a symptom which would have perhaps led them to their mother’s white blood cell count abnormalities) Wes has never even been sick. He’d much rather happily put away 3 whole hamburger patties and smile for more.
With all these successes, the Paleo Parents were inspired to carve out a little piece of the internet to spread the good news over at PaleoParents.com. As of today they’ve experienced health changes they never thought were even possible, as well as lost over 200lbs total since going Paleo. They feel their dietary changes have saved their family and hope the gains continue, the losses keep on and the word spreads like wild fire. To learn more about the Paleo way of eating download a copy of Paleo Parents Pamphlet or read any of the number of books they recommend on their site.
Always consult your doctor or nutritionist before making dietary changes.
Making the Switch, spotlights everyday people journeying on to better health and well-being by choosing pure food over processed. For some, it has been gradual. For others it was a complete about-face.
Putting the modified diet focus of this blog aside, Making the Switch is open to all. The point being to bring personal stories to light that encourage young and old to get back into the kitchen to cook real food. As Jamie Oliver puts it, “make only a few small changes and magical things will happen.” Whether it’s weight loss, improvements in a child's behavior or the regaining of health, magical things will happen.
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