Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
7 Dec

My Health Is Better Than It Has Ever Been

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

real life stories stories 1 2Hello there, Mark.

Let the storytelling begin…

At the age of 10, I decided to become a vegetarian. Despite my parent’s disapproval, I dove right in and after seven years went whole-hog vegan. Six years later, at the age of 23, I was diagnosed with an immune deficiency, had stopped menstruating, struggled with bloating and constipation, low energy, no libido, and anxiety. At 5’7″ and 135 pounds, I was by no means overweight, but I carried all of it in my belly and had very little muscular definition. The doctors I had seen (and there were many), told me the immune deficiency was incurable and they didn’t know the reason for my amenorrhea. I work as a stage actor, so the chronic infections and lack of vitality were seriously effecting my work and art. I soon gave up on Western Medicine, and started reading everything I could about “alternative healing”. I started seeing an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, and the first time I met with both of them the first thing they commented on was my diet. “Maybe you should eat meat” were the last words I wanted to hear, and I remember bursting into tears as soon as I heard them.

I spent the next few months reconsidering why I had chosen to be a vegan: primarily inhumane treatment of animals, and factory farming’s effect on the environment. Then it came to me – I don’t have to eat animals who were being treated inhumanely! I don’t have to eat animals from factory farms! And I decided it was more important to do what I had to do to be as healthy as possible in order to give myself fully to the world and my art.

I found local farms and farmers markets, and read a LOT about nutrition. Eventually I was led to The Primal Blueprint and it was exactly what I had been looking for. I started the next day.

It took two years of paleo to curb my regular upper-respiratory infections, but the past four years, I’ve only gotten sick twice! I use some herbal remedies, but no western medicine (sans one round of antibiotics). Two years ago, after seeing a kinesiologist who suggested I drop all carbohydrates and sugars to accelerate the healing process, I went zero carb. I dropped underweight, to 113 pounds, because I still wasn’t menstruating and didn’t have hormonal balance. My energy had gone through the roof, though, and my anxiety was no longer overwhelming!

Then BAM, after six months of zero carb, my hormones balanced over night – my period started, I gained 25 pounds, grew a bum, went up two cup sizes, my hair curled (seriously!), and my libido came back full-force. Suddenly I was a woman. It was terrifying!

I’ve upped the carbs since (tho not too much – under 50 grams is where I feel best for now), and my health is better than it’s ever been…

And that’s where I’m at today – an hourglass, fertile, healthy, medicine-free WOMAN. Thank you, Mark. I feel like you held my hand through my second puberty!

And here are some pictures…

This is “before” – 23, vegan, 5’7″, 135 pounds, belly bloat, sick a lot…

photo1 7

This is “during” (I’m on the left side of the photo) – 27, underweight at 113 pounds, very vital, but still not menstruating…

photo2 4

And this is “now”- 137lb, fertile, healthy, curly! (and still working on getting the boyfriend paleo:))

photo3 2

Thank you so much, Mark.
xx
Adina

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. haha love the story and the hair!!!!! Keep it up girlie! (the men will come around when they get tired of you getting all the compliments :) )

    Merky wrote on December 7th, 2012
  2. Congratulations! You look incredible! Your eyes look much brighter, too.

    Oddly enough, four-six months seems to be the marker where myself and my friends also started to see drastic improvement. That is awesome! And don’t give up the good fight; your boyfriend will be nudged to the dark side eventually.

    PS — Your hair curled, mine got straighter. Fickle genetics!

    Anju wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • My hair started growing in more. I stopped having to take propecia for hair loss after going paleo. My skin cleared up too.

      Wayne Atwell wrote on December 7th, 2012
      • Same thing here. I was getting the same receding hairline as my dad who is in the last stages of diabetes (dialysis, pacemaker, eye problems, feet problems). One thing I noticed after a while is my hair filled back in at my temples. If I binge on sugar and/or junk my hair starts coming out like crazy. When I get back on track it stops after a couple of days.

        You look amazing, girl! Love the weight loss stories but these stories show just how healthy the Primal Lifestyle is. I get blank stares from people when I try to explain how food got me healthy.

        Heather wrote on December 7th, 2012
        • thank you very much for the comment – i was desperate about my hair. now as i dropped all wheat, i hope my good hair will return!

          Malina wrote on December 8th, 2012
      • I noticed the same thing, I had given up on my hair. My hair was thinning from years of bleaching and processing. After a year on paleo it has really filled back in and is much thicker. Crazy what we accept as just a normal part of getting older before we learn differently.

        Team Oberg wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • thanks for the 4-6 month comment, i started strong with results and have tapered. so i look forward to that 4-6 month spot :)

      melissa wrote on December 7th, 2012
  3. Congrats on improving your health. Good luck with converting you boyfriend to paleo. A few weeks ago my lady friend switched over to paleo without me even asking. It is nice because now there is less temptation for me to cheat on paleo when I see her. I think her deciding to go paleo was a combo of her tasting all of the delicious paleo food I cooked (better tasting than her non-paleo food) and her starting to read my website every day and realizing how much healthier she could be if she switched to paleo.

    Wayne Atwell wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • I feel fortunate that my husband was 100% on board with paleo from the start. No fighting and no akward meals fo us, we both dove in head first

      Team Oberg wrote on December 7th, 2012
      • I tortured my husband with vegetarian fare before going low carb (and then sliding over to Paleo. When I told him kale and brown rice was off the menu and steak was back on he was ecstatic! (Poor guy. What a keeper)

        Amy wrote on December 7th, 2012
        • Kale is great! Fry it in ghee or duck fat with bacon, add a bit of full fat cream and onion powder (and salt / pepper).

          DO wrote on December 8th, 2012
        • DO – LOL – what sounds great is the bacon fat and the ghee. I’ll grant that kale might a great way to eat more of that. :)

          Amy wrote on December 8th, 2012
  4. Adina,

    Congrats on your success! Glad to hear your heathy. Focus on health and the physique follows! I still find it amazing that docs say they don’t know what’s wrong without even considering what we eat. Congrats again. Ps curly hair looks great!

    Luke DePron wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • Agreed! It’s astonishing to me that people pay more attention to putting quality gas (I.e. fuel) in their cars but none whatsoever to how they fuel their bodies… Food is fuel.

      Ara wrote on December 8th, 2012
  5. I can’t believe your hair got so curly, it’s beautiful! I didn’t know zero-carb was even possible, never thought about it! That must’ve been a trying 6 months.

    Kathleen wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • No such thing as zero-carb, maybe low carb. Every food we eat has carb in it: vegetables ,fruits and meat.
      I think she meant low-carb.

      junbay wrote on December 7th, 2012
      • If I recall correctly, the carb in meat has so little it’s not really counted. Zero carb would be an all meat diet. I’ve read of people eating just steak and eggs and staying reasonably health on it.

        At any rate, an all meat diet would certainly be an antidote to years of none. :)

        Amy wrote on December 7th, 2012
      • I typed too soon – she replies later on what she actually ate.

        Amy wrote on December 7th, 2012
  6. My hair went back to seriously curly too – like when I was going through puberty – must be a hormonal thing. :-) Congratulations!

    Alison Golden wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • First of all, congrats!! Second of all, I wonder if it’s the addition of all the fat and protein to our diets, that makes our hair improve, once we go Primal/Paleo? I just realized my wavy/messy hair’s change to curly/messy coincides with my adoption of this lifestyle too. Huh! Who knew!!?

      AustinGirl wrote on December 7th, 2012
      • It’s the sulfur bonds in the hair proteins which create the curl. I imagine that if you are not eating enough sulfur containting foods (eggs, hello?) then you will not be creating as many sulfur bonds when your hair grows. When your diet changes to more nutrient-dense, I guess your hair would change its growth pattern too?

        Laura wrote on December 7th, 2012
        • interesting! i had also started eating soft bones and cartilidge, and had heard somewhere that it was good for hair structure. thank you!

          adina wrote on December 7th, 2012
      • My previously pin-straight hair has also gotten very wavy/messy–like the beach hair that everyone tries to emulate. I thought I was just imagining it or it was just a fluke, but now I’m thinking otherwise. Cool! Adina, you look so happy, healthy, and vibrant! So glad for you!

        Tina wrote on December 7th, 2012
      • My hair has also gotten seriously curly after 1 year of eating primal as well! I love it! And just a suggestion- when I went primal I also tried to go as chemical-free as possible, so I stopped chemical coloring my dark brown/gray hair and started using 100% dried henna & indigo powder. I mix it with warm water & olive oil, and now I have the most beautiful soft healthy brunette hair imaginable without marinating my head in chemicals every month!

        Lora wrote on December 8th, 2012
  7. It’s amazing how people turn eating into a religion. I know someone who desperately needs to eat meat and reduce the carbs but rather than accept that they would rather end up on the floor with unstable blood sugar and runaway diarrhea. If going vegan worked for me I’d sign up today!

    Groktimus Primal wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • The most natural thing in the world is to eat, and yet we super-advanced humans have to put so much effort into it.

      As for your friend who won’t eat meat: infidel!

      The Bishop of Bacon wrote on December 7th, 2012
  8. Wow, Adina, that’s so awesome that you found your path to good health! Further proof that so much of our health is tied to what we eat.

    NJ Paleo wrote on December 7th, 2012
  9. Wowee on the hair Adina! That is amazing. I think curls have something to do with hormones and the curls make sense if yours are shifting around. Honestly I’d be happy if mine would just thicken up a bit. By the way, although it’s not your personal barometer, you look great in all of the pictures. Health is more important than looks, however.

    Vanessa wrote on December 7th, 2012
  10. Congrats Adina! You look happy and healthy now. Also, liked the picture at the reflecting pool.. it’s where I spend most of my lunch breaks in Boston :)

    Alex wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • Ha, I noticed that too. Love seeing Paleo representation in Boston.

      Nicely done!

      Anders wrote on December 7th, 2012
      • FYI: There is a Boston Paleo MeetUp group. Good amount of members.

        Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on December 7th, 2012
        • i’m actually live in nyc now, but had gone to undergrad in boston. represent!

          adina wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • I lived right across the street from that reflecting pool for many years. I miss Boston!

      Sabrina wrote on December 7th, 2012
  11. I can definitely relate to this story! Thanks so much for sharing. I’d love to hear more ladies like this share their story!

    Meagan wrote on December 7th, 2012
  12. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Adina! It’s especially helpful to read the stories of those whose transformation was a long process, and not an overnight success!

    That french toast in the after pic is cracking me up!

    Anne wrote on December 7th, 2012
  13. The curly hair thing may very well be tied to hormones. As a kid I had stick straight hair and with every baby I’ve had my hair has gotten curlier. After three kids I have a most distinct wave now.

    Ingvildr wrote on December 7th, 2012
  14. Loved your story and transformation. Thanks for sharing!

    Jessica wrote on December 7th, 2012
  15. Congratulations, Adina!

    I am most impressed that you understand that health and fertility are important, not some number on a scale!

    Janknitz wrote on December 7th, 2012
  16. I’m jealous of the curly hair. Nice to see the dark circles under your eyes are gone, too!

    Diane wrote on December 7th, 2012
  17. I’m assuming that 0 carb doesn’t include vegetables? If not how does one go 0 carb without veggies???

    Phil J wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • I second this question! Did you go veggie free and only eat meat/protein? I can imagine that would be extremely challenging to do for 6 months – 0 carbs, and lacking in nutrients also!

      Nicole wrote on December 7th, 2012
      • i ate primarily grassfed beef, fish, and eggs, but also allowed myself leafy greens and green peppers (these are the veggies that seemed to be the least allergenic/FODMAPy). very low in carbs, but some nutrients in there. i also used evoo and coconut oil, and salt. thanks for asking!

        adina wrote on December 7th, 2012
        • Did you eat any dairy on the no-carb diet (i.e. cheese)?

          Siobhan wrote on December 7th, 2012
  18. Wonderful! I’m so happy for you! I love these stories, and how this community is so supportive and celebratory for each other.

    Scratch wrote on December 7th, 2012
  19. My husband and both of my children’s hair became curly when they reached puberty.

    Great inspiring story. You deserve tons of credit for solving your health problems.

    Love the “dueling forks” photo. Hee, hee.

    Sharon wrote on December 7th, 2012
  20. Smiling at “Suddenly I was a woman. It was terrifying!” That must be true whether you are 23 or 12 when it happens. I wish my hair had curled when I went primal. Good for you. You look great, and I’m glad you’re feeling better.

    Sarah wrote on December 7th, 2012
  21. About the curly hair–curls also need moisture. I wonder if maybe your body is digesting oils and using water differently than before, and your hair is getting more of them. (I got this notion from the first paragraph here:

    http://www.woodherbs.com/Burdock.html)

    Generally, the further apart the sulfur molecules in your hair, the more the hair bends to join them:

    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem99/chem99328.htm

    Hormones and mineral/vitamins that help metabolize sulfur could also play a part, I imagine.

    *Great* transformation. So glad to hear that you’re feeling better than ever!

    JR wrote on December 7th, 2012
  22. Congratulations! I am so glad you had that insight about the meat! You rock.

    Alana wrote on December 7th, 2012
  23. Your curly hair is beautiful. So happy for you that you’ve discovered the benefits of being a healthy woman! And don’t worry about the boyfriend. It may take months of years but S.O. usually see their partner’s transformation and switch to the dark side.

    Jen wrote on December 7th, 2012
  24. thank you so much, everybody, for the comments and support! i love this community.

    adina wrote on December 7th, 2012
  25. Great story. And you will eventually get your boyfriend to cave. It took a few months, but once my girlfriend saw the results, she was hooked. :)

    James wrote on December 7th, 2012
  26. Adina, sounds like you’ve had quite a journey! I really empathize with your situation because I too went vegan, albeit for only 6 months. I lost a lot of weight and had zero energy, and then when Mr. Happy stopped functioning properly, I knew it was time to meat it up again.

    As horrible as it is to see animals mistreated (we’ve all seen the documentaries), the human animal needs quality meat to thrive.

    I feel like veganism is a political/moral position, rather than one that’s looking out for the health of humans, which makes it in my view immoral.

    Anyway…you look great! Keep it up :-)

    Victor Dorfman wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • I haven’t see the documentaries, but I have seen Dirty Jobs, who visit factory farms quite a bit. The conditions were not ideal (and I’m willing to concede that any factory farm that will let a camera in is going to be a well run farm) but they were reasonable.

      The thing is, documentaries can be faked, just like the movies. (None of us think the movies are real right??? ;))

      In real life a farmer – conventional or not – has exactly zero moral or economic incentive to mistreat their animals.

      Think about: Let’s say you’re a dairy farmer – sloppy, lazy and don’t care. You feed a several calves neglectfully – never bothering with even a semblance of cleanliness. A few months later, they all catch an illness. You call in the vet expensive) but the antibotics don’t take because the heifers are malnourished. They die and now must be deposed of. Calves don’t go on trees (ha ha) – you’ve just lost months of investment into feed, money out to the vet, and now you’ll need to buy new heifers just to get back to where you were.

      See where I’m going with this? A farmer interested in making a profit will not stand idly by while their animals are mistreated or malnurished. Antibiotics may create some slop, but they aren’t cure-alls. They’ll be bankrupt in just a few seasons from wasting feed and vet calls. Dead and sick (mistreated) animals are not profitable.

      Another point, most farmers these days are in it because they like working with the animals. We live an era of choices and noone has to be a farmer. It’s highly unlikely that a farmer in touch with the conditions of his farm is going to be all about seeing animals suffer.

      All that said, I do still understand the objections to factory farming. Wanting better nutrition for yourself and to see the animals live in more idealized conditions makes sense to me. I just can’t help but wonder if the “well, of course most/all factory farmers abuse their animals” is entirely true.

      Amy wrote on December 7th, 2012
      • Well written Amy,
        As a small scale farmer we invest a lot of energy in keeping our animals happy, trying to maintain a life that reflects what they are: grazers of grass. There are times when we need to intervene with additional feed when grass is scarce and we vaccinate as our genetics are precious.
        Large scale farmers see animals more as units and dollars per hectare but the basic premis that the animal needs to be healthy to be profitable still applies. Most graziers I know love working with animals and the lifestyle. A bit off topic.
        Well done Adina, balancing hormones is something not all of us get close to, and it’s great to see you become the complete package isn’t it a relief to find that the answer is so simple?
        Cheers

        Heather wrote on December 7th, 2012
        • Heather – I’m sold on small scale farming and treating the animals less as units. :)

          Basically, in my poorly written post (I should have pulled some lines), I was wondering aloud about the real conditions of factory farming. When I hear it repeated, it’s almost always from a vegan/vegetarian who has grown up far away from their food supply. It seems like in that community, it’s taken for granted that there’s all sorts evil do-ers out there mistreating animals for profit.

          It’s not an attitude I find with people who are closer to their food supply (for whatever reason.) Even for farmers like yourself, for whom large scale farming is direct competition, feel no need to assume that the conditions are inhumane. Instead, (which is totally awesome by the way) your focus seems to be – “Yes, but I can farm in way that’s better for the animals and for humans. And I can find a market for that food.” It’s a very positive attitude.

          Amy wrote on December 8th, 2012
      • Hey Amy,

        Your basic sense is correct, although you make a few inaccurate assumptions. I grew up on a factory farm, so in case you are interested, I’m going to give you the facts from observation. :)

        My dad had broiler chickens (the kind for eatin). They arrived as chicks to large windowless barns, and settled into fresh straw covering the concrete floors. They were nourished through an automatic system of metal nipple-like water drippers, and plastic bowls with tubes attached for the feed.

        The feed contained antibiotics at all times. Yes, for years the feed has contained antibiotics, no question. This is not something chicken farmers give at random, or when there is an illness. It is a regular part of the diet. (Dunno how it is with cows.)

        The lights turned off for the night early, creating a sleep cycle under 24 hours, so there would be more days for the birds to eat and fatten. Fans pumped fresh air into the building constantly, but it still stunk, and by the time the birds were shipped to the slaughterhouse, the floor was mucky with excrement.

        My neighbors kept their laying hens stacked in rows of metal cadges. Each hen lived in a individual cadge. She could not walk around, for it was barely bigger than her. She could only sit and lay. This is how all conventional laying operations are run.

        We buy our eggs from people who have backyard chickens. I think of all the factory farms, the egg ones are the worst. :P And also, with eggs, you can really taste and see the difference in those from outdoor chickens (outdoor chicken yolks are deep orange, pale yellow are from factories).

        Anyhow, I think that “abuse” is kind of a subjective term when talking about this subject. The vegan propaganda is over the top, but at the same time, factory farms can be kind of gross for sure, and maybe even abusive by some definitions. However they produce enormous amounts of food for hungry people.

        It’s up to the consumers what goes on, really. How important is this to us? If someone wants to know what’s going on at the farms he or she buys from, he or she can just visit. That’s not hard to do. There are farms all around, and most are happy to do tours.

        Oh right, so about the idea that farmers are in the business because they love animals, I would say I’m sure there are many that do, but animal lovers would probably be more likely to go into veterinary medicine. Haha. Of all the careers, farming is highly influenced by birth, and rarely by pure choice.

        Say I’m eighteen, and want to run a farm, but I’m from the city. I can take agriculture for four years in university, but then to get to the real work I would have to actually buy a farm in a community where all the land is already owned by other farmers (who are looking to expand their own businesses if the opportunity arises), and have enough money to do that.

        It’s not like I can just decide to go to school and suddenly own a multimillion dollar farm. There are hectares and hectares of land involved in this, expensive equipment, and barns. It costs a fortune to get into factory farming.

        As a result, most farmers inherit their farms. My dad did. My uncle did. And their fathers did before them. Usually farms are passed down from one generation to the next, at least in Canada where I live. Because it’s a good living, no kidding there. Why wouldn’t one of the sons take up the opportunity? Especially seeing as the son grew up on the farm, and is familiar with how everything works.

        So yeah… I really admire people who get into farming out of love, but you’d really have to love it to start out from scratch in as risky and difficult a career. :) And even then, failure isn’t out of the question.

        Hope this was enlightening.

        kait wrote on December 17th, 2012
        • I have to agree on the egg taste with backyard farms. I raised chickens and goats on our little farming expedition. The eggs were so good they would make you cry. I had to give that up due to extenuating circumstances. We eat store bought eggs as of late, which means we pretty much don’t eat eggs anymore. The store bought eggs are flavorless.

          I think all the good taste stems from the love that small farms put into their animals. It’s surprising how much that really helps.

          Jennifer wrote on December 26th, 2012
        • Mhmm. Not much love happening in the cadges.

          kait wrote on December 28th, 2012
  27. Adina –

    Congrats! That’s so awesome! It pains me to hear young women especially, jump on the vegan/vegatarian diets for the best of reasons but without the understanding that they need the nutrients that come from animals. As a midwife once told me – “You can’t just shove the meat off your plate and expect good results”.

    I too stopped menstruating about 23 or so because I had been eating low fat and had gone and then off the pill. The Western doctors scratched their head at why I’d even want my period. (Really – even the woman Doc.) I went to a Chinese practitioner and was having normal periods within 3 months.

    Anyway, I’m sooo glad to hear about your return to health and finding a way to eat meat that satisfied your conscience. Good luck with the boyfriend and your career!!

    Amy wrote on December 7th, 2012
  28. My hair got much curlier when I went through puberty. It has to do with hormone changes. I hear when some curly haired women have children their hair curl changes as well. More proof that Paleo/Primal eating regulates your hormones. I love your hair!

    Beth wrote on December 7th, 2012
  29. Adina, I loved hearing the story of how you regained your health. You look lovely. Thank you for sharing your journey!

    Sabrina wrote on December 7th, 2012
  30. WOW! Beautiful woman!my 13 yr old daughter who is a vegetarian really enjoyed this real life story so did I.Thank you for sharing and congratulations.

    alexandra wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • that’s so wonderful to hear! i truly believe you can be healthy without compromising your values. best of luck! xx

      adina wrote on December 8th, 2012
  31. I really enjoy reading these real life stories. It is interesting to hear how it works for different people. Thanks for sharing!

    Sue wrote on December 7th, 2012
  32. Adina, how many times a day were you eating and about how much protein on your no carb plan? I cant seem to go really/low/no carb unless I just want to be on the couch all day all lethargic. I need to find a way to keep my energy levels up to live a normal life.

    Every time I cut back on the carbs, I feel pretty lifeless. (Been eating primal since July) Also I find it easy for my body fat % to go up to quickly from healthy fats. I feel like I need to do some light cardio regularly to decrease the body fat but its hard when you dont feel like you have lot of energy to do so. ??

    Should I just go on all eat meat diet too? I’m so confused.

    dennis p wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • hello there! i want to be clear that i went on a vlc diet in order to heal a disease and hormonal imbalance, not to lose weight. i did lose a lot of body fat, but mainly because my hormones were out of wack. once they regulated, i gained body fat without changing my diet. i now eat much more fat than i had been, because that’s what my body wants in order to sustain energy, fertility and health.

      adina wrote on December 7th, 2012
      • Hi Adina – I don’t know if you are still reading this, but I am extremely interested on VLC for similar hormone issues, and reading everything I can on the subject. Just wondering if, after being a vegan for so many years, it took your digestion time to adjust to eating meat again? I feel like I am cravings want a nearly-all-meat diet, but my stomach is not so keen. It’s a weird dissonance!

        Mia wrote on February 19th, 2013
  33. Hi Adina,

    It was very enlightening to read about the hair changes so many people are experiencing. That explains why I’ve had to change my hair style. I was vegan for over ten years and always wore my hair in a sleek bob. After being paleo for about a year it was way to wavy/curly for that so I grew it out and it’s now a wavy, tousled beachy style. With my slimmer, firmer body it makes me look at least ten years younger than I used to. I guess hormonal adjustments aren’t just for younger women. I’m 65!

    Island Girl wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • Same styles and hair history as me! Ain’t 65 yet.. should be there in 25yrs. Can’t wait.
      I thought it was stopping the shampoo and using baking soda, but this makes sense too.
      You look strong now Adina, with enough extra energy for random bouts of silly-buggery. Nice one. : )

      Madama Butterfry wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • i had a sleek bob, too! maybe *that’s* the trick…

      adina wrote on December 9th, 2012
  34. Been pretty strict paleo for almost a year, dropped about 20 lbs, eating more safe carbs now and maintaining weight for several months but the only downside I have seen is that my hair seems to be falling out more than ever before. It is everywhere and I dread washing it as afterwards there are pretty big threads coming out. Am I the only one expereineing this? Any ideas as to cause?

    ninjan wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • I would start an account with cronometer and start analyzing your diet.

      My weight loss stalled, my hair started thinning and I started getting nosebleeds — several a day. I entered my diet into cronometer and turned out that I had a folate deficiency. Started incorporating more spinach in my diet and the systems disappeared and weight loss resumed.

      :-P wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • I’ve been VLC since April, lost 25 lbs April-October (now maintaining), and since September, I’ve lost half my hair.

      I also have thyroiditis and am 45 (and may be perimenopausal). Both can be hair loss causes.

      Just had my annual check up. My doctor (and the internet) said hair loss with weight change is not unusual, and it will grow back. My hairdresser reports seeing hair coming in — that made me feel better — you might look for that.

      My doc did check my iron (good call :-P), and it’s normal. I did track my nutrition daily while losing weight and I do eat a lot of spinach :).

      All this “hair and hormones” stuff is highly relevant to what I see going on with a lot of women. Really great, substantive story Adina, thank you for sharing. Diet is about so much more than weight!

      p.s. My hair dries in half the time which I am taking as a perk of this otherwise disconcerting phenomenon.

      Juli wrote on December 8th, 2012
  35. Way to go! I too was vegan for 4 years and then went Paleo overnight, literally. I found it hilarious that you said that you were “whole hog vegan”! Lol on the choice of words there : )

    Debbie wrote on December 7th, 2012
  36. Congratulations on your health improvements! I have a friend who is reading all about the evils of meat in America and who eats hardly any meat. To top it off, she struggles with depression and anxiety. You’re a smart girl. Good job!

    TruckerLady wrote on December 7th, 2012
  37. Wow, I’m really inspired by this story! I decided to go off of birth control in July and haven’t menstruated since, and this last week or so I just keep coming across blogs and sites talking about eating more proteins and fats, eating oysters, eating liver, eating egg yolks, etc. That it took you six months to heal gives me hope to wait it out, but I haven’t gone zero carb yet. I’m also curious how many times a day you ate, because right now I’m having a really hard time figuring out hunger, mood, and energy. Did you need to eat more often? I seem to be getting lethargic and crabby some days, and other days I have plenty of energy. Also, what do you do for exercise, if anything?

    Deanna wrote on December 7th, 2012
    • Deanna – That happened to me, as well, when I got off the pill. I went to a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine on a referral. They used herbs and I got my period back within 3 months. It was a very good experience.

      Amy wrote on December 8th, 2012
    • hey there! i actually didn’t menstruate for about 5 years (yikes!), but it took 6 months of zero carb at the end of that to help heal faster (i think). when i started zc i had also gotten interested in intermittent fasting, which helped me learn to only eat when i was really hungry. combined with the lack of food variety, it was a pretty easy transition. nowadays i still practice IF and have great energy while fasting, but once i get hungry now i get CRANKY if i don’t eat within the hour. not sure what made the difference there. as far as exercise goes, i was barefoot running a little bit while zc, and now i do tabata sprints (with burpees or jumping squats) at home, and yoga. i also have a very active profession. hope this helps!

      adina wrote on December 8th, 2012
      • Hi Adina. Great story. You captured my attentien right at the beginning because I have suffered hormonal imbalance for many years. I have hyperprolactinemia (produce too much prolactin). This causes amenorrhea. Was your amenorrhea caused by excess prolactin?
        Thank your for your story:-)
        Tanja

        Tanja Tr. wrote on December 10th, 2012
        • unfortunately, the doctors i went to at the time weren’t specific with me, they just kept pushing birth control. the naturopath i went to had me using progesteron cream. so i’m not sure we had the same imbalance, but regardless i think that paleo will help! best of luck, tanja. xx

          adina wrote on December 10th, 2012
  38. This is a classic case of personal ethics clashing with our DNA. I have been a vegetarian for many years, but I’m NOT vegan. I eat a lot of eggs and drink whey protein shakes in addition to eating veggies, salads, fruit (mainly berries) and nuts. I do functional fitness training and have a job that keeps me mentally sharp (software engineer). People cannot believe how young I look for my age and my bio-markers. I’ve been studying health and fitness for 40 years and counting. Much of what Mark presents is great IMO and well-thought out, I have tweaked my lifestyle some based on some of his suggestions.

    George wrote on December 7th, 2012
  39. Sadly, zero carb gave me hypothyroid symptoms. Now I love me some bananas slathered in coconut oil!

    Marisa wrote on December 8th, 2012
  40. Absolutely LOVE the last photo…You both look so cool!..Your eyes look so bright and “with it” and I imagine there is a great deal of humor in your lives…You mention your guy as being in the “Paleo Bath” as well…but is it me or does he have his fork positioned dangerously close to a plate of French Toast?? Paleo Bread French Toast?..Hee..Thanks for sharing your amazing story..and keep up the great work and health!!

    Donna wrote on December 8th, 2012

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