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Posts Tagged ‘Paleo’

Why I love Well Fed 2

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Why I love Well Fed 2

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My friend, Melissa Joulwan, has outdone herself again with her latest cookbook Well Fed 2. This follow up to 2011’s Well Fed has something for everyone. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy and I want to share my favorite parts of the book with you.

Some of my friends have already tested the delicious recipes and blogged about the experience. See NomNom’s review here. While I’m earmarking recipes to make, I wanted to get my review out there before the launch date for the book, which is October 22nd.


First, some background. Mel and I have not actually met in real life yet. I stumbled across her blog several years ago, when I first set out on my Paleo journey. I immediately fell in love with her, spending time reading through her blog and learning about how she utilized the principles of ancestral nutrition to address her thyroid issues. As many of you know, I started on my Paleo journey to address my autoimmune thyroid illness, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Over the past few years, Mel and I have exchanged emails about everything from thyroid woes (starting the #FUthyroid on Twitter) to book recommendations to a 30 day gratitude practice via email. I am so happy for Mel and proud of her for the beautiful cookbook she is ready to launch.

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The book covers everything from sauces and seasonings to protein to fruits. Each page is beautifully laid out with a photo of the recipe (taken by Mel’s husband, Dave) and complete directions for creating the recipe at home. I especially appreciate that Mel lists the prep time, marinating time, and cook time – I’m sure I’m not the only person to come home from work ready to make a recipe only to realize that it needs to marinate overnight! The directions are clear and suggestions are made for pairing each recipe with a full meal. Mel’s love of travel and international flavors is evident in the cookbook with recipes like Chinese Five-Spice Pork Ribs and West African Chicken Stew. I guarantee that you won’t get bored cooking from Well Fed 2.

While the recipes themselves are amazing, my favorite part of the book is the first 35 pages, where Mel’s personality shines. She gives a brief description of Paleo, listing compliant and non-compliant foods (all but two recipes in Well Fed 2 are Whole 30 approved). She goes on to share her story of a lifetime of yo-yo dieting followed by the diagnosis of a nodule on her thyroid (which led to removing half of her thyroid, followed by the remaining half shutting down). She explains how she has slowly integrated all of the healthy changes that have led to her current well balanced state. Anyone with an autoimmune illness or chronic health condition will resonate with Mel’s words, and hopefully see that they can make changes that will lead to feeling better.

Along with 30 reasons to do a Whole 30, Mel gives tips on “How to be a Paleo Social Butterfly” to take your show on the road in social situations, and finally she shares some of her insights on the difference between emotional appetite and true hunger. In a section on The Paleo Kitchen, Mel explains the essential kitchen tools, how to stock your Paleo pantry, and some basic cooking terminology.

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For folks with autoimmune issues who are following the AIP of a Whole 30, Mel has taken the time to list modifications for every recipe that could possibly be made compliant with the AIP. This allows folks to prepare ahead of time to make substitutions. For every patient that tells me that “eating Paleo/AIP is so boring and repetitive,” I will now direct you straight to page 231 of Well Fed 2.

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Overall, this is a great cookbook for both beginning and seasoned cooks, and is filled with stories of travel and family that will inspire you to be well fed on a daily basis.

AHS12 Poster Presentation


AHS12 Poster


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We just got back from The Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS12). For any readers who are unfamiliar with AHS, it is a three day conference which brings together scientists, healthcare providers, and lay people who share an interest in living healthier lives, based on Ancestral principals such as whole foods, movement, stress management, community, and sleep. The symposium was held on the campus of Harvard Law School.

In the fall of 2011 I submitted a proposal to present a poster at AHS12. I felt that we had some important information to share with the community regarding the use of Ancestral nutrition as an adjunct to treatment for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). As many of you know, this is an issue that hits close to home for us, as Dave (my husband) was diagnosed with T1D when he was 32 years old. We have learned so much in the past 6 years, and want to help other T1D’s navigate this journey. We were ecstatic when our proposal was accepted, and began collecting and sifting through the data. All of our hard work was worth it when we saw the finished product presenting the Effects of Ancestral Nutrition of Type 1 Diabetes.

Poster Presentation

 First, I have to say that the whole experience of AHS12 was so overwhelming and exciting that I could barely think straight! The response to our poster was really positive, and we got to talk with a number of people and answer their questions. We were also visited by some of our favorite people in the community. We met many of our online friends for the first time, and were able to spend more time with people we had met before.

Badier AKA The Lazy CavemanBadier Velji AKA The Lazy Caveman


Bill and Hayley from Primal Palate


D.C. CrewThe D.C. Area Crew including Bobby Gill AKA Ultragrassfed and Robert Morton from Power Supply

Whole 9 Life

Dallas and Melissa Hartwig of Whole 9 Life

The lectures were interesting and informative, covering topics from The Role of Play in the Development of Social and Emotional Competence to The Science and Policy of Insulin Signaling. I “live Tweeted” the sessions I attended in lieu of taking notes. It was difficult to choose between two sessions taking place simultaneously, and I am looking forward to watching the videos of every presentation again. I will most likely write more about certain lectures in the future; but, some of the highlights for me were:

  • City Zero: How Markets and Evolution Can Revolutionize Medicine by Robb Wolf
  • Health vs. Performance by Keith Norris
  • Using EvoBio to Optimize Training for Endurance Sports by Jamie Scott
  • Paleolithic Diets and Diabetes Control by Lynda Frassetto
  • Craniofacial Dystrophy by Mike Mew
  • Ubuntu: A Paleolithic Perspective on Human Community and Health by Frank Forencich

For me, the lecture on Ubuntu really drove home the importance of living as part of a community, the idea that if one of us does well, then we all do well. I really hope that as the Ancestral Health community grows, we can all support the work of others and bring the message to the people who most need to hear it. I had the sense of being part of a tribe for three days, and had fun while connecting and learning. I’m sure that many people will do re-cap posts in the next week, and there will be the inevitable criticism of presentations (this is normal and necessary for the growth of any group/profession/movement); yet, I for one feel very fortunate to have been part of this event. I’ll close with a few more photos of my tribe:


Robb and Ann

Robb Wolf, who told me multiple times throughout the 3 days “I like standing next to you…you make me feel tall!” Such a cool guy – really down to earth and easy to be around.


J. Stanton of, with whom I had the pleasure of talking during dinner one night with the Whole 9 Life Team.


Whole 9 Dinner

The remnants of our amazing dinner at The Garden at The Cellar where we had the most incredible meal crafted specifically for us by Chef Brandon Arms with input from Melissa.


Mark and Robb Q & A

Q & A with Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf

Ann and Amy

My fellow tiny Paleo Warrior Amy Kubal


Dave, Ann, Jamie and Anastasia

Our Kiwi and Aussie pals Jamie and Anastasia


 Dave, Ann and Jude

And the one and only Jude AKA SmartSexyPaleo, who is one of our favorite people on the planet!

We are already looking forward to AHS13 and hoping to present again!

Finding a way back to health after Fibromyalgia and Lyme Disease

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Today’s post is a testimonial from a client who had been dealing with chronic pain due to Lyme Disease and Fibromyalgia. She was referred to me for a consultation and has had excellent results after implementing a “Whole 30″ eating plan. I’ll let you read her story in her own words:

A lot of you are probably wondering why you should do a Whole30.  I wondered the same thing when I met with Ann in May.  As a full-time working mom, I figured it was normal to be tired, foggy, and achy all the time. Everyone can drink coffee at midnight and fall asleep a half hour later right?  (Um…if you can, I’ve been told that’s not a good sign…) 

The back story: A little over a year ago, one of my kids gently patted my head and pain ran through me like a lightning bolt. That episode was a wake up call because I realized I was in pain, foggy headed, and downing Advil and coffee like it was going out of style. After a couple of doctor visits, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and fibromyalgia. They treated the Lyme disease and started me on fibro medication. The meds helped somewhat, but were not a complete fix. Something had to give. Pain sucks! Chronic pain sucks even more! 
Enter Ann:   Ann was recommended to me not too long ago as someone who has had success in controlling autoimmune disease symptoms through dietary changes.  I reached out for a consult. She suggested two options when we met. Either try a Paleo diet, or really see what could be causing some of my issues and try the Whole30.  

Both seemed extreme. My thoughts went something like, “Whaaat?  No muffin on the run? How will I get the kids out the door? What about the Tagalongs in the pantry? Maybe I need to finish the box before I start this? Cut back on coffee? No wine? No way!“

In spite of my mind spinning with what she said, Ann made a lot of good points. I took her recommendations home with the thought of starting Paleo a few weeks down the road, slowly, by cutting out one thing, then the next, and so on.

Fast forward a week. On a business trip, I was sluggish, downing coffee like crazy, and just feeling blah. Ann’s words came back to me. No time like the present, right? I started my Whole30 that morning.

The first couple of weeks were interesting (OK – somewhat sucky) as my body adjusted to the lack of sugar and bread, and less caffeine.  I had headaches. I dragged. I thought, “Is this really worth it?  Why do I feel cruddy still? Where can I buy coconut milk in a can?”  

By the end of the 2nd week , things changed.  I was asleep by 11 most nights. I didn’t toss and turn in bed.  I woke up refreshed. Who knew this could happen?  

Add two more weeks to that, and the fibro fog lifted. Most (but not all) of my pain was gone. Tagalongs? Meh – they didn’t beckon like they once would have.  Coffee became a morning drink only because I was wired into the night otherwise. 
I am on Day 37 of my Whole30.  I can reintroduce foods that I haven’t had in over a month.  I’m not really interested in doing that because I don’t miss them, and I am pretty sure my body still has some healing to do. I am also hesitant to try (gluten especially) because of how my body may react.  These foods are now a decision instead of a craving.
All that to say, the Whole30 has made a whole lot of difference in how I feel. So, who knows, it could help you too!
If you are dealing with chronic pain, and would like to know more about changes you can implement to decrease inflammation, please contact me at 571-527-9192 to set up a consultation.
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Physical Therapy for Autoimmune Illnesses

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Greetings from balmy Northern Virginia where it’s 80 degrees at 8:40am!

I hope everyone is enjoying the start of summer. I wanted to share an article I wrote as a guest post for Sarah Ballantyne (AKA The Paleo Mom) on the role of physical therapy as part of the comprehensive treatment plan for folks with Autoimmune Illness.

It is my hope that the 23.5 million Americans with AI will seek out the expertise of a physical therapist as they strive to regain a healthy, active life. Please share this article with anyone you know who has an AI.


Be well,



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