Hi all,

I've been reading this site with great interest for a while, and thought I'd introduce myself. I'm a 34-year-old woman. I've always been a bit of a health nut, and very much in touch with my body and its needs. As a result, I do not embrace the "conventional wisdom" on healthnuttery, but follow my own brand of healthnuttery instead.

I realized that conventional healthnuttery may be flawed when I went vegetarian. I read a lot about vegetarianism, the studies I saw were very convincing, there's heart disease in my family, so I thought I'd try it. I live in Northern California, so it wasn't hard to find delicious vegetarian fare. I studied the relevant nutritional info, made sure I got all the requisite nutrients, and gave it a good solid try. I was hungry a lot, and it felt like I was eating all the time, but I adjusted eventually.

After about a month, I noticed an interesting effect - my eidetic memory disappeared. The rest of my memory was functioning normally, my mind was working fine, but I no longer had perfect recall of text I read. I was curious enough to go get a complete blood workup, and it was completely normal - I was getting all the nutrients that contemporary medical science said I needed. But a part of me wasn't working anymore. I read all the medical literature on the subject and found nothing. I went back to eating meat, and my eidetic memory came back.

That experience made me more aware that conventional health wisdom may be seriously flawed - or at least, that what my own, individual body needs may be different from what other people's bodies need. Other experiences with other "healthy" lifestyle changes have convinced me that what I need to do to live a healthy life is to listen to my own body and its needs and signals, and give it what it needs.

Listening to my body led me to a rather Primal lifestyle, curiously enough. I've been exercising Primally (short intense bursts rather than chronic cardio) for years now; I lift weights and play with kettlebells, and I notice that I am much happier and more energetic when I do that regularly. I eat lots of meat, eggs, veggies, and no processed foods. I've been reducing my bread consumption ever since I realized that bread gives me acne. My caffeine consumption is limited to one cup of coffee a day; any more and I start getting weird mental side effects. I have always been militant about getting enough sleep - and I need 9 hours a night.

I'm not following the Primal diet completely, and I will always choose my own body's signals over anyone's eating plan, no matter how well designed (sorry Mark!) For example, coconut milk disagrees with me, and real milk does not. I love coconut milk in my coffee, but I get a stomachache from it. Milk and cheese don't give me any problems that I know of.

In any case, I look forward to participating here, and learning more.