Category Archives: Health

Health-related subjects, products and supplements

#TBT Post: Transformation: the Part No One Tells You About… (A Piece of the Puzzle We do Not Address Enough)

What do you deserve?

A recent Mark’s Daily Apple post “Entitled to Sabotage” has got people talking about lip service vs. real, sustainable change.  He discusses the phenomenon of “treat” becoming a verb instead of a noun in one’s life, surrendering accountability for health choices to some vague power outside oneself.

Too many people pay lip service to getting healthy, and do exactly as Mark describes, sabotaging themselves and not really changing their behaviors.  I’ve been pondering this a lot lately: Why are permanent lifestyle changes are so hard – especially for women? I believe it has to do with the change in social dynamics in your circles when you make that change.

I think this change in social dynamics is the BIGGEST obstacle people face in adopting the Paleo lifestyle.  Tara Grant said it so well in an interview for PaleoNonPaleo, how people change when you do.  How you lose friends because you’re no longer convenient to be around. How they feel uncomfortable because your success brings their choices into greater focus – and they don’t like what they see.  It’s really disconcerting and something you aren’t prepared for when you start such a journey.  Jealousy and sabotage abounds. It goes on and on, and many people just don’t have the fortitude to withstand the pressure to conform. So they fall off the wagon.

Orleatha Smith had this to say in her interview for PaleoNonPaleo: “I’m really glad that you asked this question because I never imagined that anyone would have a negative reaction to my weight-loss. I went from 260lbs to 135lbs so I’ve lost 125lbs. I also lost almost every ‘close’ girlfriend I had when I was obese. I remember sitting on my couch crying because my friends had yet another girl’s night without me – of course Facebook tells all.”

It’s true that your entire circle of friends changes when you make a big lifestyle change like getting healthy, losing weight, quit smoking, drinking, or whatever.  Mine is now much, much smaller and those friends are all newly-found.  I still have a number of “frenemies” that I interact with, and I always have to remind myself that anything I say can and WILL be used against me.  Learned that one the hard way a few times. So sad, but true.  

Women have this strange reaction to others’ success or good fortune.  They see another woman and say “I hate her!” in envy, rather than recognizing they really want to BE her and do something about it.  Anything worth having takes hard work and/or hard choices.  Our health is no different.

So how do we deal with this?
By remembering why we embarked on this journey to begin with – our health and that of our closest loved ones.  Be strong.  Make conscious, intentional choices and have faith.

While I have grieved the loss of many a friend this past year, I gained so much more instead.  General contentment.  No more physical pain and suffering.  Renewed vitality in my marriage.  More energy to keep up with my child – and the knowledge that I will likely be around a lot longer to teach him and see him grow up!

The benefits of this Paleo lifestyle are worth so much more than the sacrifices.  To feel good physically and emotionally, to look good and have more confidence overall, to receive positive attention from others and have the knowledge you can give your best to your family.  It’s totally worth it.  And so are YOU.


#TBT: I will NEVER go back to “BEFORE”!

#TBT – My Story for those who have not read it.


I will NEVER go back to “BEFORE”!!

It all begins with this story...

It all begins with this story… Testimonial: BEFORE

I Will NEVER Go Back To “Before”!!

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Written by: Pamela

I developed Hashimoto’s (autoimmune) Hypothyroidism and was searching for a way to relieve the symptoms. I had suffered significant weight gain, severe fatigue, hormonal imbalance, sleep issues, and pain in my joints, muscles – essentially all over.  My doctors were of very little help beyond initial diagnosis and prescribing Levoxyl.  The medication helped, but only a little.

I read a number of success stories online and was very inspired by them.  I had incredible motivation in the form of a young child that needs me that made me determined.




So in September 2011, I decided to give Paleo a go – and WOW did it work!  And it was not nearly as difficult as I imagined it would be!

Robb’s revelation that my gallbladder removal indicated undiagnosed celiac disease (p. 81 “Full of Bile” in The Paleo Solution) was very powerful.  My surgeon told me I nearly died during that operation at the age of 27.  If I had only known!  I am not exaggerating when I say this information saved me.  I’ve had a few close calls in my life that can now be attributed to gluten/celiac issues: nearly ruptured appendix, serious complications during gallbladder surgery, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and Hashimoto’s (autoimmune) Thyroiditis.

In addition to the Paleo dietary recommendations, I also avoid dairy and nightshades due to my autoimmunity.  I also follow(ed) recommendations from GAPS (bone broth, probiotics, etc) in the healing process.  My exercise consists of walking my dog and house/yard work.

I no longer suffer.  I look and feel great at 60+ lbs less than my heaviest/sickest point.  I went from a size 16 to an 8 in one year; I look 10 years younger with my hair color/texture returning.  Additional benefits:  no body odor (I now use magnesium oil as my “deodorant”) and dramatic improvement in my mood, hormonal balance, and marriage!  I am 45 years old, 5’10” tall, size 6/8, and weigh just under 160 lbs.

I will NEVER go back to “before”!!

Many, many thanks and much love to Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, Tara Grant and the online Paleo community for showing me the way to heal(th)!!  I truly owe them my life.





Christopher Williams (a.k.a. Squatchy) is a paleo aficionado, educator, personal trainer, wellness coach, and hobbyist chef. He also works as part of the Robb Wolf team.


November 8, 2012 at 8:08 am
Thanks, Everyone!

I submitted this story in hopes that it will help others – both by inspiring some to try Paleo, and to encourage others to keep on. One day at a time – it all starts somewhere!

I am incredibly grateful to Robb for sharing his work with us! His insights about autoimmunity were key to my recovery. At one point before diagnosis, I was so sick I could barely eat. I knew I was in big trouble, but had no idea what was happening. I hate to think where I would be if I hadn’t discovered Paleo. A very scary thought, indeed.

So, kudos to all of you living the lifestyle – and pass it on! There are far too many people suffering needlessly.

🙂 Pamela

Spring Cleaning Time! (Part 1: the Bathroom)

It’s once again time for Spring Cleaning!

Let’s begin in the same place as our day usually starts – the Bathroom:
EWG’s Skin Deep database  rates personal care products for safety and their website also has a guide to safe household cleaners to get you started.

I personally love products from the Honest Company  in addition to vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide for cleaning, and Red Apple Lipstick far amazing safe, beautiful makeup.

personal care products


Window Shades and Sleep Hygiene

With longer days and Daylight Savings Time comes more sunlight – and with it, the challenge of getting enough quality sleep for my child with an “early” bedtime.  One key factor is darkness.  I have used sleep masks with great success, but my family refuses to try it.

What to do?  Well, I wasn’t ready to try taping foil or newspaper over my windows as some people have (how unattractive would THAT be here in the ‘burbs?!) and I wanted to be able to open the blinds/windows occasionally, so I went to my local Home Depot in search of window treatment solutions.  I was on the hunt for some form of room-darkening shades that would not bankrupt me – or require replacing the 2″ blinds already in place.

et voila!


Temporary pleated paper shades: hung with adhesive strip and held open with small clips

I found just what I needed – a temporary pleated shade that fit against the window behind the existing blinds.  And the price was right – less than $5 each.  We’re in business!

They have been in our windows for two nights and we all slept better immediately.  Our bedroom windows face East, but there is still significant outdoor ambient light that comes in through the blinds at night – even when cloudy or moonless.

My son was up early the very next morning – and I normally have to NAG him to get out of bed at the last possible minute!  I didn’t expect such dramatic results so soon.  I am amazed.

Why didn’t I try this sooner?!  (And why do I end up asking myself this question so often?  Oy.)
I am definitely hanging these shades in the baby’s West-facing window this Fall!


2013 in Review: Rollercoaster Year


Happy New Year, Everyone!  Sad to say I didn’t make it to midnight.  So close!
This was the first year Alex tried to stay up until midnight, but by 11pm or so we were both teetering – and NOT from alcohol! We collapsed into our beds without seeing the sparkly ball drop.  Oh well, maybe next year.  Wait… what did I say last year about practicing what I preach about healthy sleep habits?  We’re both in a sleep-deprived fog this morning.  No energy to take down the tree and decorations yet.  Maybe later…after our movie marathon.

We did celebrate by roasting the turkey that was intended for Christmas – the one that arrived frozen solid (unlike the one we ordered at Thanksgiving, which was fresh).  Served with sweet potatoes, cucumber-avocado-salmon roe appetizer and vanilla-honey-cinnamon coconut butter candy.  And let’s not forget the sparkling apple juice to toast the New Year!

This past year has had some tremendous ups and downs for me.

I started Pamela’s Paleo Life just over a year ago after Thanksgiving.

Completed a 21-Day Sugar Detox, during which I discovered I was pregnant at the age of 45.

Addressed a critical issue for those undergoing radical transformation.

Cooked a LOT.  Ate a lot.

Suffered a miscarriage with complications requiring antibiotics at Easter time and lingering adrenal fatigue throughout the summer.

Son turned 9.  Pets turned 12 and 14 years old respectively.

Son had orthodontic palate expander and braces.

Met my hero, Tara Grant at the Minneapolis Primal Blueprint seminar.

Completed a course in Behavioral Economics from Duke University (fascinating!)

Celebrated turning 29 with 17 years experience (that’s 46 for the math-challenged.)

Posted lots of pet photos for cuteness and laughs.

Discovered Paleo Dough!  Used it lots.

Rediscovered archery.

Attended a family reunion, lost two more members thereof.

Did an interview with Alison Golden of PaleoNonPaleo.

Enjoyed playing with the ever-expanding line of colors and products at Red Apple Lipstick!

Continued to educate myself about autoimmune disorders, especially celiac disease and ways to heal and stay healthy.

Celebrated our 1st Blog Birthday!

Whew!  That’s a lot of ups and downs.
Here’s wishing all of us a Happy, Healthy, Wealthy, SMOOTH and STEADY 2014!

My Secret Weapon


My secret weapon in the battle against candida albicans (aka the “Yeastie Beasties”) is caprylic acid.  This is the anti-fungal component of coconut oil.  I first learned about its ability to kill yeast and other fungi in the book The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife.

These capsules were the helping hand I needed to kick my lifelong sugar addiction 3+ years ago.  I had tried repeatedly to stop but just couldn’t.  I’d learned that my sugar cravings were likely due to candida overgrowth, but until I read that book I had no idea what to do about it. When I asked my doctors about medication to control yeast overgrowth, they looked at me like I was from another planet!  (Sound familiar?)

Those first two days of withdrawal were still a beast, but I made it – and the change set me free at last.  Free from the cravings and effects of sugar consumption.  I lost 20 lbs within that first year just from eliminating sugar – not even grains at that point.  It was a year after I kicked the sugar habit that I discovered Paleo and eliminated the grains and legumes too.

So now if I start feeling the “Sugar Love” again, I take some caprylic acid in the form of capsules or my new favorites: Bulletproof MCT Oil and Brain Octane Oil.   These oils are super-concentrated forms of carpylic and capric acids and as the name suggests, fuel the brain with “high-octane”!

Brain Octane

I use both the MCT Oil and Brain Octane Oil regularly

The Holidays brought with them all kinds of tasty sweet treat temptations, and I succumbed – my resolve weakened by the dreaded “Yeastie Beasties” resulting from antibiotic treatment for an infection in late Fall.  I really hate the power sugar has over me in that state, knowing the damage it does to me with my autoimmune conditions.  I know it’s the candida sending “feed me” messages to my brain…but it’s difficult to fight off such strong cravings, even with strong willpower.  It takes much more than willpower.  It takes a strong weapon.

It’s definitely a war, and I am determined to win it.

Dogs Are Gluten-Intolerant!

Jingle Dog 4

This is Delenn being a good sport.

Veterinary science is rapidly catching up with human medical research and studies are revealing pets having similar health issues associated with gluten consumption.

Humans aren’t the only ones in the family that shouldn’t eat gluten.  Dogs (and cats!) evolved as carnivores and should eat a diet consisting of primarily meat with an occasional bite of vegetation.  BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods) is best, but not always feasible.

Luckily, there are both raw and grain-free pet foods on the market.  We feed our girls Wellness Core grain-free kibbles accompanied by Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried raw foods.  I would love to feed raw exclusively, but with a 60 lb. Labrador it’s a bit cost-prohibitive.

Unfortunately, we only learned this information about two years ago when we discovered Paleo and its benefits.  So for most of their lives, our 14-year old dog and 12-year old cats ate SAD pet food. As a result, the dog developed arthritis as well as a heart murmur and one of the cats is hyperthyroid.  However, the change in diet halted the progression of these conditions.  Diet matters just as much for our beloved pets as ourselves!