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My 10 Year Journey from Atkins to Paleo… Finding Health by Going Against the Grain of Standard Dietary Advice: Laurie’s Health Story

Laurie ~ Before

Laurie ~ Before

The Start

Laurie ~ During her health journey

Laurie ~ During her health journey

At one point I started Atkins but couldn’t get through the switch from burning sugar to burning fat because of the extreme headaches involved.  I realize that if I had just stuck with it the first time I would’ve felt amazing and saved myself a couple more years of health problems.  By a miracle and desperation for trying everything else, I explored it again.  The Atkins diet sounded just crazy enough to work.  I quickly started losing weight and felt amazing.  I lost 100 pounds within a year and a half, my health improved, and I got off all my medications except Premarin, which is necessary and not related to diet or lifestyle.  I am thankful to Atkins for getting me started on my journey to health and weight loss.

I have learned a lot of things along the way, have become a health and nutrition geek and I have been fortunate enough to have met many new friends on my journey that I am thrilled to have in my life, including Carol.  I have attended Jimmy’s low carb/paleo cruise every year for about 4 years in a row now (Carol’s note: that’s how I met Laurie).  They have many great speakers that we listen to on “at sea” days and we do fun activities together while on shore.

The Switch from Atkins to Paleo

A couple years ago my roommate on the cruise was “Paleo” and, although I had heard of it I never considered making the leap from Atkins to Paleo.  I’m so fortunate to have roomed with her because it opened my eyes to new possibilities in my lifestyle.  At the time I was in a weight loss stall (on any lifestyle no matter what you have to work at it!) & limiting or cutting out dairy seemed too extreme.  She convinced me to try it when I got home and I was surprised how much better I felt.  I reintroduced dairy and felt worse.  I now limit dairy and eat goat cheese (non-bovine dairy) occasionally.  Paleo is about eating non-processed foods and getting away from prepackaged meals, shakes and bars.  Paleo has forced me to take a good look at what I’m putting in my body.

Laurie on the Low Carb Cruise 2013 with Jimmy Moore's wife Christine and Kent Altena in the background.

Laurie on the Low Carb Cruise 2013 with Jimmy Moore’s wife Christine and Kent Altena in the background.

On Atkins I used to eat low carb wraps, made with wheat.  I have now gone completely gluten-free.  I don’t even cheat with cheap chicken wings because every time I do, I feel awful; achy joints, digestive distress & brain fog.  Not only do they have wheat but they are cooked in bad oils (i.e. canola oil).  Paleo is also about environmental stressors and stress reduction as well.  I now only use natural deodorants which I either buy from trusted companies or I make my own.  I am careful of what body products I use now too.  I try not to stress about the small things.  Paleo is about living as close to nature as possible in our modern world while still enjoying modern conveniences.  I don’t think anyone thinks we should go back to hunting wild animals and living in a cave!

Laurie, myself and our friend Catherine (also from the Low Carb Cruise) at our Canadian Day Weekend Celebration Party.

Laurie, myself and our friend Catherine (also from the Low Carb Cruise) at our Canadian Day Weekend Celebration Party.

Sharing the Message

I have helped a few people along the way including my best friend who has seen improvements in his health.  He has diabetes in his family so it thrilled me that he has asked me to help improve his diet and lifestyle.  He has lost a bit of weight, feels better and doesn’t fear good dietary fat anymore (i.e. lard, extra virgin coconut oil, tallow).  I have another friend I have helped coach that has improved her eczema, lost some weight and even gotten her family onboard with healthy eating!  If you are considering a sustainable & enjoyable lifestyle full of amazing foods for weight control and good health I encourage you to look into Paleo.

Laurie ~ Currently

Laurie ~ Currently

My Doctor is Impressed by My Cholesterol Numbers

Even my doctor is amazed at my awesome blood cholesterol numbers, although she says I should be eating “healthy whole grains“.  Ha!  I think the tide will turn on the traditionally trained medical system and they will realize our traditional diet doesn’t include grains, especially our modern wheat, which is nothing like that of our grandparents.  I encourage people to read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis & “Grain Brain” by Dr. David Perlmutter.

Starting on your own journey may be difficult at first but I guarantee it is totally worth it.  You only get one body in this lifetime and you want to thrive, not just live.  I wish you well in your journey of health and self discovery.

Laurie

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