3 weeks paleo

Exactly 3 weeks since I began the paleo lifestyle. Here's my overview:

Lupus symptoms - haven't had any in the past couple of days and have only had some minor stiffness and pain which I have mentioned in past posts. I have been able to pick my daughter up out of her crib everyday! As I said, no symptoms the past few days, totally amazing. I hope this continues and if does, will discuss with my doctor the possibility of weaning me off the last drug. I really hope I'm not getting ahead of myself. I'm trying to remain relatively neutral here, trying not to get my hopes up too high in case this is just a little honeymoon from symptoms but exuding positivity is so easy when I'm feeling so good!

Overall well-being -  totally positive and feeling really great. I have a ton of energy! It's been a long time since I have been so "unfuzzy", clear or present. I am happier and hell, my house is clean and every bit of laundry is done (something that seemed impossible with 2 babes). My stress level is pretty low, just the normal amount associated with being a stay at home mom with a 3 and 1 year old. I'm so glad I'm no longer in corporate america. I quit my incredibly stressful job when my baby was born (14mths ago). She was 3 months premature and I just needed to be with her full time. It's relatively easy to control my stress now, with a few exceptions (kiddos!).

Weight loss - weight loss seems to be slow and steady. I have lost 7.8lbs in 3 weeks. I made a goal for myself of 3lbs per week and I'm a little shy of that. I'm a pound heavier than my goal for this week but I'm not sweating it.

Exercise - I have been following the primal blueprint fitness regime to the letter and I'm getting stronger slowly but surely. I'm on level 2 for 2 of the exercises but the squats and overhead press are slow going. I'm walking a lot and even getting back to doing things I love like some major gardening. Instead of hiring someone, I dug a great big hole yesterday (in clay I might add) and planted a tree in my yard. I finally have a magnolia tree in my front yard, something I've always wanted. I'm planning on a few more trees so lots of lifting heavy things in my future!

I'll do total updates on a weekly basis. I can't believe next week will be 4 weeks since I started this! Time seems to be flying by.

UPDATE: I did a blood pressure reading at the pharmacy last night. Normally my blood pressure is normal hovering around 120/80. It is now 107/70!! I did 2 readings just to be sure and they came out exactly the same. There is one negative thing about losing some weight, lowering blood pressure and reducing most of my inflammation and swelling...my wedding and engagement rings are sliding off! My fingers have never been so skinny! I do believe they might be about 3 sizes too big now. I'll wait until I'm down to my ideal weight to get them sized but in the mean time, I'm going to have to figure out a solution so I don't lose them!

À Bientôt!



I have to say, is there anything better than bacon? Seriously, is there anything that bacon doesn't make taste better? After being vegan for 7 months, I am so happy that I can eat this everyday and remain healthy. This is so against every nutritional piece of information I grew up with. My mom is coming down for a visit next month and she is going to freak out over what I'm eating! She was so impressed with me going vegan and cheered me on but this may make her lose her mind. Lucky for me, she lives in a different country. I will give her reading materials like De Vany's, Cordain's and Sisson's books but I don't even think those could possibly convince her. Hopefully when she sees how well I'm feeling, she'll relax a bit. How could she argue with results? Trust me, she can!

Now, back to my bacon and eggs!


Vitamin supplements

I am feeling fantastic today!! No stiffness, pain or fatigue. I think I really like the effects of IFing and possibly the effects of taking vitamin D3. I'm going to do IF once per week.

I take a few supplements that I think have really benefited me overall and I thought I would share. I'm still on one lupus medication but if I have a steady 2-3 months of feeling like this I am going to try weaning myself off a bit to see how I fare (rheumy's ok of course). These are the supplements that I take on a daily basis and have been working for me:

Nature Made Fish Oil Omega-3 1200mg, 300 Softgels 

Fish oil - I take 4000mg per day. Two capsules in the morning and 2 at night before bed. Fish oil lowers triglycerides, increases HDL cholesterol, reduces inflammation thereby reducing arthritis, helps in anti-ageing and reduces age related macular degeneration. It's wonderful stuff.

Vitamin Shoppe - Astaxanthin, 4 mg, 60 softgels 

Astaxanthin - I take 4mg per day. Once in the morning. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant and supports eye health and is considered an anti-inflammatory.


Now Foods Spirulina 500mg, Tablets, 500-Count 

Spirulina - I take 1000mg per day. Once in the morning and once in the evening. Spirulina is a blue-green algae (in tablet form!) and is chalk full of protein, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.

NOW Foods Vitamin D3 5000 Iu, 240 Softgels, 

Vitamin D3 - I take 10,000IU per day. Once in the morning. I have just been introduced to B3 supplements so the jury is still out, I'll need to test it a bit longer but so far I have had noticably higher energy levels. B3 is necessary for bone health and proper immune function to name a few. 

Acidophilus 250 Caps 

Acidophilus - I take this for a bit if my tummy is giving me some trouble. I haven't had a need since I've been paleo. Acidophilus are bacteria that aid in digestion, it's found naturally in the body and are one of those "good" bacteria.

These supplements seem to be really working for me now. I am interested in hearing about other recommendations that you may have. I'm always interested in learning more!


Only IF - Intermittent Fasting

Yesterday I decided to try my first IF, intermittent fast. I went 20 hours with no eating, just drinking water and 2 cups of green tea. I stopped eating by 7pm the night before and didn't eat until 3pm yesterday. It was easier than I thought it would be, I didn't even feel hungry until 3pm. CRAZY!!

The experts say that IF can be done safely once or a few times per week. It has many benefits including: allowing the body to detox a bit and improving insulin resistance. Both of these enable disease prevention, weight loss, muscle gain, body performance and recovery.

So I ate my meal at 3pm (yummy pork shoulder slow cooked in the crock pot and huge salad). I was rooting around in the fridge and came across a diet pepsi (left over from my daughters birthday party). I never drink pop! And I haven't been able to handle a full punch of caffeine since before I got pregnant with my baby (she's now 14 months). I don't know why but I really wanted that pepsi, so I drank it. It was fantastic going down but I felt terribly bloated afterwards. Yuck! Now, I've been feeling really well lately with just minor pain and stiffness in my hands late at night. Last night I had a lot pain in my right hand (I could barely close my hand to make a fist), could it have been all the chemical crap I ingested with the soda? Could it have been the IF? I don't know but I'm going to try an IF next week, eat strictly paleo and see how it goes.

The IF seemed to jump start my weight loss a little as I lost a pound. The most exciting thing however, is that I have lost 1 and a half inches off my waist in a little less than 3 weeks!!! I don't quite know how to explain it but my body is just feeling "tighter".



Some paleo goodness for the sweet tooth

For some reason I have been craving something sugary, so I had a look at the MDA blog and sure enough there was a recipe for primal chocolate chip cookies. I made them and I have to say, they are pretty amazing!! No sugar or flour, can't believe it!

Here is the recipe: (I substituted the pecans with almonds because I didn't have any in the pantry)

  • 4 dates, pits removed
  • 1 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut 
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grind dates in the food processor until a paste forms, about 40 seconds. Add walnuts and pecans and blend until very finely chopped, about 35 seconds. Add baking soda and salt and pulse a few more times.

Warm the coconut oil so it is in liquid form. With the food processor running, drizzle it into the batter with the egg and vanilla. Stop mixing as soon as the egg and oil are blended in.
Scrape the batter into a bowl and stir in coconut and chocolate chips by hand. The dough will be sticky and wet. Drop 12 portions of the dough onto a cookie sheet, then flatten slightly with your fingers.
Bake 15 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Even my husband, who has an incredible sweet tooth, loves these.

Five finger heaven

New Vibram FiveFingers Sprint Black/Black 38 Womens Shoes I received my new Vibram Five Fingers a few days ago and I can't tell you how much I LOVE them! I've been wearing them jogging and it is the first time that I haven't had any shin splint type pain. I don't know if they just corrected my posture, running gait/position or the way my feet hit the ground but I have never been pain free after a run and now I am! I have been wearing these everywhere as they are so incredibly comfortable. I ordered the Sprints and I'm starting to save up for some KSO's. I read a lot that they tend to get pretty stinky. I've had them over a week and have been wearing them constantly and still no smellyness. I guess I'll have to wait and see but apparently you can put them in the washer and hang to dry and it fixes them right up.


Do you D3?

So, I joined Mark Sisson’s MDA blog today. I started a thread summing up my experiment and my goals and got some interesting feedback. Two people suggested that my vitamin D (specifically D3) levels were most likely low. I started looking for research about D deficiency and was quite surprised at the current literature. Sure, I knew that D is created by sun exposure and aids in calcium absorption but apparently it has many other functions that are still being identified. It’s importance has been relatively overlooked and is now being studied further. Some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include: muscle pain, weak bones/fractures, low energy and fatigue, lowered immunity, symptoms of depression and mood swings, and sleep irregularities.

It sounds like it may be the next “oatbran” but I would rather be safe than sorry. Many sources suggest an RDA of 5000-10,000 IU per day. This is a staggering amount compared the FDA’s RDA of 200 IU per day for those under 50 years of age. The FDA’s recommendation was established as the minimum amount to prevent rickets. So, if in fact the vitamin (which is actually a hormone) is necessary for more processes than just calcium absorption, I’m betting that the current RDA is way too low. There is a lot of anecdotal information about the benefits of taking the higher suggested RDA.

I am positive that I am D deficient. Your body makes D by sun exposure and eating certain foods like fatty fish. Winter is finally over and I was vegan the last 7 months (eating no fish or animal products). So needless to say, I’m sure my level is extremely low. As for the symptoms, I do suffer from fatigue (which I have just chalked up to lupus symptoms and starting the paleo diet) and sleep irregularities. My sleeping has been super erratic over the past year because I have a 1 year old, but she’s been sleeping through the night for months now and I still have problems.

So, I’ve ordered my vitamin D3 supplement and it should be arriving today. I’ll keep you up to date with how it makes me feel, if in fact there is a noticeable difference. These are the ones I ordered. They are a large dosage per softgel (5000IU!!), they are teeny, tiny to take and pretty cheap.

NOW Foods Vitamin D3 5000 Iu, 240 Softgels,

Until then,

Had myself some cow

Okay, I did it. After much deliberation, I finally did it. I ate some cow. I had a steak. A new york strip. And I have to say that it was delicious. And I ate all 8-10 oz. of it!

Now, it’s definitely something I’m only going to be able to do once in a blue moon. I think I’ve had my fill for about 6 months. But I have to say, I cannot believe how good it was! I thought I would be grossed out, maybe even a little nauseous but nope, after one bite that steak was as good as gone. I have no idea where I put all that meat! I also don’t feel all bloated and sleepy and dopey – I think the carbs are what really make you feel like that (ok tryptophan in turkey). I couldn’t go out for a run right now but I don’t feel like a stuffed pig either.

I’ve been finding that all food is starting to taste better. I love salad and always have but it’s starting to taste sweeter to me. I often eat a mesculin mix which is more bitter than a straight romaine but not so much anymore. Can salad greens really be tasting sweeter?

On another note, I did the primal blueprint resistance training again yesterday and I’m a little sore today. It is definitely getting a lot harder as you move up the levels (and I’m only on level 2 for 2 exercises). I don’t think you really understand how out of shape you are until you are asked to lift, push and pull your own body around. I can go to the gym and do a pretty good weight circuit but I can’t do a pull up to save my life! I really want to be stronger and more limber. I love this workout routine and can’t wait to get there!

2 and a half weeks

It’s late so a quick post…

After 2 1/2 weeks, I’m down 6.5 lbs. After researching online, this is far less than a lot of people lose on this diet especially right in the beginning. I think it’s because I’m an avid fruit eater. I love it so it’s hard for me to give up. I mean, come on, I’ve already given up sugar, processed food and all grains! I swear, if I lived 40,000 years ago and there was a famine where everyone starved to death, I would be the last one standing!! My body just doesn’t give up weight or fat at all! I’ve been keeping a food journal on fitday and I’ve been consuming roughly 1100 calories per day, which is insane (btw, I don’t feel deprived, I actually feel fairly stuffed all the time so I’m finding myself having to make myself eat). So, I either have the slowest metabolism ever, or possibly my body is still adjusting and I’m in for some pound meltage soon.

Lupus symptoms are at a minimum. I’m having a bit of right hand stiffness late at night but again, it’s gone by morning. Oh yeah, I stubbed my baby toe yesterday really hard and I think I probably broke it. It’s very painful and there is nothing really that I can do besides tape it up. The unfortunate thing is that I can’t currently wear my Vibram’s. They are fantastic. They are the only shoe that does not give me shin splints after running.

Okay, I’m off to bed – the in-laws are coming for a week long visit on Saturday and I have to do the deep cleaning before they get here and I’d like to enjoy Friday without running around trying to get last minute things done. Really – I’m the biggest procrastinator so we’ll see!

Exercise smexercise

So, I’m finally over my 3 week chest cold/plague and one week into the paleo diet. AND, I really, really feel fantastic today! I have tons of energy and I just feel more alert and ‘here’. By ‘here’ I mean more clear and focused. I have a real problem with mind fog or mind fuzziness and I haven’t had that in the past few days. I do have to admit that every once in a while my stomach will hurt a bit. Kind of like mild cramping but then it just goes away after a minute or 2.

Now that I’ve got a week under my belt, I started exercising again. I’m following the regime put together by Mark Sisson. It’s his Primal Blueprint Fitness routine. You can get it at his blog: http://www.marksdailyapple.com. It consists of a day of sprint intervals, 2 days of resistance training and 4 days where you can rest, play or do some other slow, steady exercise like walking. I like it because I don’t have to go to a gym and the resistance training is broken up into levels so you build up your strength gradually. He has how-to videos on youtube that show you exactly how to do an exercise and the appropriate form necessary to do the moves properly. I’ve done the sprinting and loved it. It’s been a while since I’ve worked up that amount of sweat! If you haven't read his book, it is an absolute must have in order to fully understand the science behind this WOE.
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy
This evening my right hand is a bit stiff but that’s the only complaint I have, and I’m really not complaining, it’s actually fantastic that that’s the only thing that hurts – yay!!

Sweet dreams!

Survived St. Paddy's day!!

Okay, I’m originally from Nova Scotia so St. Patrick’s day is a huge holiday for me and for some of my friends here in the states, it is as well. This year I did not have a drink and did not partake in any of the sweet gluttony that occurred with all the insanely delicious sweets and breads and goodies. I had a wonderful time at the party but didn’t even have to conger up any will power. I just had no interest in eating any of the junk. Is that weird? I thought that by almost 2 weeks into this diet that I would be dying for something sweet but it’s the complete opposite!

My lupus symptoms seem to be diminishing as well. I generally have no pain or stiffness in the mornings anymore. Which is huge because it usually took me a little while to get out of bed and now, nothing! Yay! I’ve been having pain in my ankles towards the end of the night but it seems like sleep takes care of it. And no steroids! I’m still taking hydroxychloroquine but no prednisone is a true blessing. I can’t wait for my “moonface” to disappear.

Received my Vibram’s yesterday and I love them! I went for a walk with the girls yesterday and my feet have never felt better. I still can’t believe that people are running marathons in them but they’ll be perfect for my 5ks and resistance training.

Off to take my 3 year old to dance class.


One week in

So it’s been a week since I started eating paleo cold turkey. I’m definitely feeling better than I was 2 days ago. This “carb flu” is pretty awful and a little scary. I can see why people fall off the wagon about a week in. As I said, I’m feeling pretty good, I haven’t been very stiff or sore at all, which is a great improvement – especially in the mornings!

I stepped on the scale this morning and I’ve lost 4lbs this week. Strange – I lost the 4lbs within the first 2 days and leveled out. I guess the fluid dropped off and now maybe I’ll average about a pound per week.

I made a roast chicken dinner last night and managed to have the will power to avoid the mashed potatoes. I’ve always made this dinner with stuffing and mashed potatoes. I avoided the stuffing altogther (it’s my absolute favourite!) but made the mash for my family and everyone was happy.

Now that I’m over most of this “flu” I’m going to start working out again beginning with some interval running and then resistance training once I adjust to that. I just feel so tired all the time.

Can’t wait for this to pass!



First for the sweet:

Today was a gorgeous day. The temperature was around 58F with blue skies and a warm sun. My family and I spent a few hours at the zoo. My 3 year old had fantastic fun on the carousel, it’s perhaps one of her most favourite things.

Now for the bitter:

I have been feeling rather terrible all day. I’ve been really tired and generally crappy. I’m sluggish, lethargic, so much so, that when I returned from the zoo I had a 3 hour nap. And, I’m still not revived. I also had some bad stomach cramping for a little while – which seemed to just go away (and not the way you’d think or I hoped! ;P). I don’t know what’s the matter. I’ve been looking online and some people have mentioned the same thing happening to them around the 5-8 day mark. Responses have been: the body detoxing and should pass in a couple of days, not eating enough good fats, not drinking enough water and finally, stop the diet – there’s something wrong with your digestive system.

So, I think I could be detoxing but a little hesitant as the only thing different about my diet is that I added meat and got rid of grains. Is it possible to detox from grains???? Also, I have been eating very lean cuts of meat, fish and seafood. I’m going to try to add more avocado and add in more fatty meats (like dark chicken and turkey meat). I still haven’t had any beef. I haven’t been able to bring myself to eat it – baby steps but right now I just can’t see myself eating it!

I’ll give it a couple of days to see if I start to feel better, I hope so!

If anyone has any insight I’d love to hear it!




Both kiddos have been napping at the same time today (hallelujah!!). This only happens once in a blue moon. So, I’ve been able to do a lot more research on the paleo diet and take a look at the crossfit workouts, etc. My motive for starting this way of eating is first and foremost, to alleviate my lupus symptoms and second, to take off the baby weight. I didn’t realize the following that this regime has. I mean there are gyms dedicated to the paleo lifestyle. There are 3 in my city but with 2 young children, new house, I’m not prepared to dish out over $100/month to join a crossfit gym. Besides, I can act like a monkey at the playground down the street (at 5am when no one is watching of course!).

For now, I’m going to stick with free weights at home, interval running, and the playground when it gets a bit warmer.

My cold (read: plague) is just about gone. I still have a bit of chest congestion and sinus-y yuckiness but I’m going to try to get back outside running tomorrow morning. Besides, it has been a week and a half since I last ran and I’m supposed to be training for a 5k that happens on May 1st! Yikes that is not that far off.


Good morning!!

I woke up this morning and I’m feeling really good. I’m not sore or stiff and I haven’t even had any medication yet. That said, last night about an hour before heading to bed, my left knee became really inflamed and really sore. But the pain is gone this morning. This is quite an instance because I’ve never had pain and stiffness that bad that just remedied itself overnight without medication!

As I said, feeling really good. One kiddo is down for a nap, just getting my green tea. And yes, I know that the Cro-magnon of yore probably didn’t sit down and have high tea but I’m keeping my tea. It’s full of antioxidants and I need the heat (I hate winter). Besides, a lot of paleo-ers drink coffee including the great Art De Vany. So, I think it’s safe to stick with my tea!

Off to join my 3 year old in an episode of Mickey Mouse Club, yes!

Until then,


Let the experiment begin…

This past year I’ve been experimenting with many different diets in an attempt to control my lupus (SLE) through diet. So a little background first since this is my first post and the stepping off point on my paleo journey.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is one where the body’s own immune system mistakes its own organs and tissues as foreign and attacks them. This creates inflammation that can cause joint stiffness and pain, skin lesions and fatigue . Sometimes the inflammation becomes so severe that entire organs or systems are compromised. In my case, I have been on the brink of kidney failure. Other autoimmune diseases include: MS, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, type 1 diabetes, addison’s disease, etc., etc.

Lupus has periods of inactivity (remission) and activity, called a “flare up”. I have been in a flare since November 2008. I started a new job that was extremely stressful and within 2 weeks my 11 year remission was over! My treatment – without hesitation my docs put me on corticosteroids (prednisone), anti-malarials (plaqinil) and immunosuppressants meant for organ transplant recipients (Imuran). Some pretty strong, intense, side effect laden meds. These side effects included weight gain, nausea, hair loss (on my head), hair growth (on my face and arms), extreme fatigue, moon face, bloating – all of which made me feel pretty defeated and a little depressed.

So, I began my diet odyssey in order to find some sustainable way of life that would essentially quiet my lupus flare (enough to get off the meds) and eventually put me into remission.

I began with vegetarianism because vegetarians are all really healthy right? Didn’t work, I didn’t have any reduction in symptoms.

So then I went fully vegan, for 7 months in fact. I did have less joint swelling and pain but was unable to come off the meds completely. I’m still taking a full dose of plaquinil.

So my last ditch effort is the paleo diet. If this doesn’t work I’ll go back to vegan, swallow my meds and call it a day. I’ve read many instances where this approach has helped with autoimmune diseases. Let’s hope it helps me!

This diet is indicative of eating like our ancestors did 10,000 years ago (as much as possible in this modern world of GMOs, etc.). So I’ll eat lean meats, fish, shellfish, eggs, veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds. That’s it! No dairy, no grains – which means no rice, corn, wheat, bread, ice cream and chocolate :(

But I’ll get over it!

So, I started the diet on Monday (March 6, 2011). It’s been about 3 1/2 days and I have to say that I had a little stiffness in my left hand which kind of comes and goes but my hands and joints are not swollen and are, in fact, the most un-swollen i’ve seen them in a very long time. As, for fatigue, I’m going to give myself a couple of weeks before I comment on that because I am just getting over a nasty chest cold that has lasted 2 weeks. As for my weight – it’s been 3 1/2 days and I’ve lost 4lbs!! I haven’t even started back to running since my cold and I cannot believe the loss! So I’m saying with NO exercise I’ve lost 4lbs! I also have no delusions here, I know it is all fluid but it still makes me feel good!

Week one is going pretty well, no cravings and easily staying on track.

Until then,