(I’m thrilled to introduce you to our newest columnist here on CarbSmart – Holistic Health Coach Emily Jean Dewey! She’s a devoted fan of the whole foods approach to living and we know you’ll just love her as much as we do! Welcome to the family Emily! – Amy Dungan)
Hello low-carb cronies, Atkins admirers, Paleo pals! So happy to be joining you here at CarbSmart. I am excited to share my love of all things Paleo-tastic with you, and hopefully provide some insight into this similar, yet different approach to weight-loss and wellness gains!
Let me share a bit of my story. It goes back a long, long time ago, in a far off land… Just kidding, the juicy part starts in 2010, and I’m sure it sounds familiar.
Growing up in rural New Hampshire, I spent my yearly physicals being lectured by my (extremely overweight) pediatrician about how my BMI was “way outside of the ‘normal’ curve.” After this yearly “pep talk,” it will thoroughly shock all of you to hear that I started dieting around age 14.
You know the drill, 10 years later and the only thing I got in return for my efforts was an additional 45 pounds on the scale, from when I first started “dieting,” and a lot less money in the bank from buying every BUY-ME-NOW-AND-YOU’LL-LOOK-WICKED-HOT diet book.
In the spring of 2010 it all came to a head when I finally hit my breaking point. Yes, it was another diet program, but I was freaking out, feeling horribly uncomfortable in my own skin, and so incredibly confused as to why I never had any energy. So I dove in headfirst, hoping this was “it.”
For the first time, I actually stuck to a weight loss program and saw dramatic results. I lost 30 lbs in one summer. Now this comes with a HUGE disclaimer, and the reason I will not be mentioning the name of the program. The diet was completely unsustainable (like so many standard diets); it was very low-fat, zero salt, and very low-calorie. There is no way I would have been able to keep it up as a lifestyle. And I didn’t. The summer ended and I was completely unprepared for making food choices outside of the bubble I had been in.
I will credit this program with one very key point: I cooked whole foods. No more “low-fat, no sugar added, zero calorie” packaged diet goods that I had previously been subsisting on. While I was sticking to very lean meats, egg whites, greens, and starches like rice/quinoa/oatmeal, this was a far cry from my usual whole wheat pasta slathered in “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!”
Fast forward about 8 months post-psycho-diet, I was slowly gaining weight back and I was TERRIFIED. Thankfully the weight re-gain was much slower than any other post-diet-apocalypse I had experienced before. So I did some research, and had a conversation with a local chiropractor who introduced me to the world of The Weston A. Price Foundation (or WAPF, if you’re fancy like that), and Sarah Fragoso’s cookbook “Everyday Paleo”.
With that, a Paleofanatic was born. I consumed every book, blog post, and Paleo-cooking site I could get my hands on. To say I had a “lightbulb moment” would be an understatement. I felt like I had been shaken, nay SLAPPED, awake! This idea of going back to our roots, to a time when obesity, heart disease and chronic illnesses didn’t plague the vast majority of the population, just innately made sense to me. So I cut out all gluten, grains and dairy, and started loving me some bacon, avocado, and butter out the wazoo. And just like that, the weight gain stopped. Even better? My energy levels were OUT.OF.CONTROL. In a good way! I literally could not (or should I say cannot) contain my energy. I am the Energizer Bunny, and I.Freaking.Love.It.
This lifestyle-change had my mind on overdrive. If I could see such amazing changes by removing the kinds of “foods” that all of the diet books had told us to eat, why don’t more people know about this? I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, and all I could think was “how cool would it be to be able to do this as, like, a career?” A self-proclaimed wanderer, constantly struggling to figure out “what I am doing with my life,” something about this idea gave me a hope I had never felt before.
Eight months after “going Paleo,” I enrolled in The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in the spring of 2012 in order to become a Health Coach. I loved my year at IIN (if you are interested in becoming a Health Coach, please let me know!). It was amazing seeing so many devoted, passionate people uniting around the belief that whole foods are the cure for the current health crisis we are suffering worldwide.
So here I am, a Holistic Health Coach, certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, lover of the Paleo, whole-foods movement, and founder of my new practice, Your EVOLved Life. I am so looking forward to sharing ideas on low-carbing, and the Paleo-lifestyle, and greatly encourage you to get in touch with any questions at all!
Be sure to introduce yourself in the comments below!