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Real Life Changes – Emma’s Story: A yoga teacher gone Paleo

Posted By Diane Sanfilippo On February 6, 2013 @ 10:25 AM In Featured,Gluten and Gluten Free,real life changes | 6 Comments

photo by Robert Sturman

This is a recent testimonial from one of my readers and a yoga teacher of my mother’s, Emma, who lives in New Jersey and runs a fantastic studio called South Mountain Yoga.

I’ve had digestive problems for years.

I remember leaving the dinner table when I was a kid, using the excuse of going to the bathroom, and then just hanging out waiting for dinner to be over. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the food at my house – my parents are great cooks. It was more that after many rounds of antibiotics in my childhood and teen years, my digestive system was shot. I had trouble digesting meals, very sensitive blood sugar, and I frequently felt tired after meals. In an effort to manage these issues, I have flirted with vegetarianism, a gluten-free diet, the GAPS diet, and allergen-free diets.

Finally this year, at 35, I’ve finally found a way of eating that makes me FEEL good. Surprise… it’s Paleo!

The thing that turned me on to the Paleo diet was this: despite, or maybe because of, many years of digestive problems, I’ve always been satisfied with my weight. After my 35th birthday… that was no longer true. So I went on a diet. I have been gluten-free (more or less) for several years, and I simply kept my usual diet, but restricted the calories. The problem was that after eating my allotted 1,500 calories a day I was still starving, and not losing weight.

I’m a yoga teacher, and it seems like every day, another one of my colleagues is touting the benefits of green juice, green smoothies, green cleanses, or raw food.

I understand the benefits of those foods, and I’m sure they work for some people. But with my compromised digestion and very sensitive blood sugar, I was unable to really digest raw food, and felt jittery when I drank green smoothies.

I don’t remember how or when I first learned about the Paleo eating plan, but I know when I really made the switch: it was after I got Diane’s book.

Diane’s mother is one of my yoga students and she brought it to me. I came home and read it cover to cover. The information was extremely well-presented, clear, and engaging. I instinctively knew that this was a way of eating that would work for me. On some level I had noticed over the years that I did better when I ate meat and a combination of cooked and raw vegetables.

I knew I didn’t do well with only vegetables, and certainly not with only raw vegetables.

I knew that I needed to avoid gluten, but I also knew that I many gluten-free replacements made me feel lousy.

I knew that starting my day with green juice or a green smoothie was a recipe for disaster.

Know what breakfast really makes me feel good? A turkey burger and kale cooked in butter.

These days I feel fantastic. I’m not jittery or exhausted after meals. I eat three meals a day and feel full and satiated.

I’m happier with how I look.

One really delightful side effect of going Paleo is that with the help of Diane’s book, I’ve really learned how to plan meals for myself and my husband. I do all my food shopping one day a week and have home-cooked meals three times a day. I can’t even tell you how satisfying it is to feed myself and my husband home cooking! We eat dinner together every night at the table and have a little ritual where we tell each other our favorite things about our day.

Diane, your book really helped me learn how to take care of myself so that I can be my best. I can’t thank you enough. 


About the author

Diane Sanfilippo BS, Certified Nutrition Consultant, C.H.E.K. Holistic Lifestyle Coach. Diane is a New Jersey-based Holistic & Paleo Nutritionist and The New York Times Bestselling author of “Practical Paleo” and The 21-Day Sugar Detox, – a program designed to help you bust sugar and carb cravings in 21 days with the help and support of a community who is all in it together! Diane co-hosts The Balanced Bites Podcast, a top-rated weekly radio show about all things health and nutrition.




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