8 Nutty Mamas, cooking paleo, staying fit.  Here are their stories:

Allison: My paleo journey began in February 2009 when I kept hearing a friend talking about the Paleo Diet on facebook. Having been in the fitness field for years and majoring in Nutrition in college, I had to give it a try. Although my understanding was limited, I dove right in with what I did know and was amazed at the difference that I saw in just the first week. More Energy? Check. Better workouts? Check. Down a few lb’s on the scale? Check…I had NO idea how bloated I was from eating all those grains! As the months and years passed, I got “better” at eating Paleo as my knowledge grew. Now, after eating this way for over 3 years, I have become an even greater advocate of eating real food not just for the weight loss but simply for the purpose of better overall health. Educating others about the benefits of the Paleo diet is a part of my everyday life now and I love it! Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who has been with me bite for bite and on board with me since the beginning. We have 2 growing kids (6 & 7) who are learning  how to make better diet choices, too. So what are you waiting for? Jump in!

Joy:   Mother to 3 hungry monkeys (6, 4, and 22 mth).
Wife to one (who likes to eat Paleo most of the time…he’s not afraid to have his way with an occasional Mt. Dew).  Southern Sojourner to the frozen tundra…Minnesota (its basically Canada, people!).  Recovering sugar addict…and bread junkie, and yo-yo dieter.

I have loved food for a long time.  All kinds of food.  I loved it so much that I was overweight before I ever hit my teens.  I was on Slim Fast by the time I was in the sixth grade.  Then in high school I bought into the whole “low-fat” fad.  And basically starved myself.  To the point of misery and self-loathing.  And ruined my thyroid along the way.

By the time I got to college I witnessed my mother debilitated by an auto-immune disorder.  After years of unsuccessful medical treatment and as a last resort, she tried a very strict whole foods diet which consisted of lean protein, lots of veggies, some fruit, and nuts and seeds.  Sound familiar?  Within a week all her symptoms had vanished. I was convinced, but still way too tied in to the “conventional wisdom” and nutrition recommendations of the day to go all in. Give up grains?  Only crazy extremists do that, right?  My fellow Nutty Mama, Allison, was the first person to give me a name for this counter-cultural way of living/eating.  “Paleo?  That’s weird.”  But I was intrigued.  I played around with it for a year or so, giving birth to my third child somewhere along the way.  By the time she was 6 months old, I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired that I decided to throw in all the cards and give it a 30 day whirl.  That was a year and 20 pounds ago!

The staying power and driving force behind the Paleo madness for me has been the health of my family.  Around the time I started my first 30 day Paleo challenge, my second born was diagnosed with asthma and had some underlying food allergies.  We started by removing dairy, then gradually grains.  Now the kids are full-fledged dinosaurs, too!  I will not lie to you and tell you that we are 100% healthy 100% of the time.  But I can tell a remarkable difference in our symptoms when we are eating “clean” and when we are not.  Try it.  You’ll see.  I am a “lifer” and a believer!

Lauren:  My road to paleo started a year ago when a few of the girls on this blog had been talking about paleo for months and how great it was.  I had always had an easy time getting the “baby weight” off after my first 2 kids, but the 3rd was another story!  I had tried calorie counting, South Beach Diet, running 15 miles a week, you name it.  Nothing seemed to work.  I decided to take the plunge and do a Whole 30 last April.  While it was not easy, but the pounds starting coming off and I felt so good!  Those afternoon sugar crashes were gone.  I was eating more vegetables than I ever had in my life.  I definitely missed some of the foods I had previously eaten, but learning to cook amazing paleo meals was the key to feeling satisfied and not feeling deprived.  I lost 8 pounds during the Whole 30 and I’ve lost a total of 20 to this date.  My husband has lost 40 pounds in the last year!  Today I try to eat clean 6 days a week and allow myself a cheat meal on the weekend.  This helps me to stay accountable majority of the time, while allowing freedom to enjoy something I’ve been craving.  But even then, I’ve learned not to get too crazy with the cheats and make it worth it!  Dominos Pizza=not worth it.  Ben & Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch=worth it.  🙂

Lindsey:  My “nutty” eating began about 4 years ago when my husband and I began thinking about starting a family. I was told Ihad polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and would probably need medication to get pregnant. I’ve always been a bit of a research junkie, so as I read more about PCOS I learned that it is mostly an issue with your body’s response to insulin and  it can be reversed by lifestyle changes. I joke that “ignorance is truly bliss” when it comes to your food. As I learned how what I put into my mouth affects my entire body, I knew there was no going back! The next 2 years brought: lots more learning about nutrition, 2 new babies, a relocation across the country (and all the stress that comes with that) and about 50 pounds of extra weight that 2 pregnancy within 18 months can leave you with! While I thought I had been eating healthy – lots of whole grains, splenda instead of sugar, plenty of dairy, and all the things that the FDA recommends – somehow I was still about 6 sizes bigger than I had ever been, and tired all the time.

I was introduced to Paleo eating through a wonderful community of people that God allowed our family to connect with. After dabbling in it for a few months my husband and I decided to take the plunge and commit to do a Whole30 in April 2010. During that month, we lost a combined 25 lbs, had more energy than we’d ever had, and saw incredible changes in our kid’s health as well. We were sold and our family has been committed to a Paleo Lifestyle since then. My husband (who was once a huge college football player) and I have lost a combined 100 lbs in the last year! Now we eat about 85-90% paleo most of the time (kids too) and really enjoy it. I’m pregnant with our 3rd child now and navigating Paleo eating during pregnancy. I love where God has me now as a wife and a mother, and am so thankful for this journey of health that He has our family on!

Lisa: My name is Lisa Sorenson and I am a mother to 3 kids Jesse (4), Eva (3) and Caleb (3 mo.) and a wife to Ryan.  I have always enjoyed learning about health, fitness, and cooking.  After moving to Birmingham and God connecting us with the women on this blog, we were introduced to Paleo eating.   Along with the other “Nutty Mamas” we decided to try Whole 30.  I had more energy, lost some extra baby weight, and felt great about feeding my family “whole” and “clean” food.

At the same time we were trying to figure out what was bothering the tummy of our littlest Eva.  After realizing that she has sensitivities to both gluten and dairy, we moved more permanently to Paleo eating.  I love having this community of  women to share ideas, encouragement, and recipes with, and I hope you do as well.

Suzanne: I have three children I often refer to as my beloved banshee’s Hudson 8, Mary Holland 6 and Owen 3. I have been married to Chris Jones “CJ”for 10 years and the Lord has been gracious in redeeming us and calling us unto Him and to each other over and over again through-out the years. We are blessed far beyond what we deserve.
My journey to Paleo did not happen over night, It has been a slow process for our family and continues to change and evolve into our way of life. Eating Paleo has given us a very clear vision on how to eat real food, overall helped us make healthier choices and we are starting to really grasp what it means to “eat to live, not live to eat”. Several years ago after my third child was born, the Lord blessed me with a group of women who became active together and really challenged me, just by conversations they were having,  to think about my choices in food and how they were affecting my health and well-being. Through changing what we put in our bodies, we have seen a radical change in how we feel and it has taken our workouts to a different level.  Eating clean, we’ve decided, has to be a way of life for us the majority of the time!


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