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!

Hello 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…

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

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

Thank you so much, Mark.

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. 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
  2. loving the curly hair,people like you on real life stories drive me on.PRIMAL NORTHUMBERLAND ENGLAND i am spreading the word in my community.

    rob roy wrote on December 8th, 2012
  3. This line from your piece says it all: an hourglass, fertile, healthy, medicine-free WOMAN.

    It’s great to read about folks who aren’t looking to lose weight, necessarily, but who improve their eating and lifestyles to be healthy, period.

    Good luck in your acting career!

    Shel wrote on December 8th, 2012
  4. Love it! My hair got curly after having 4 pregnancies. Who knew I just needed to go Primal instead? You are a gorgeous lady; and now you feel great, too. Enjoy it.

    Pam wrote on December 8th, 2012
  5. You are beautiful! Thanks for sharimg your story!

    mars wrote on December 8th, 2012
  6. Hi Adina, and anyone else out there with insights,
    I’ve been paleo for a year and haven’t had my period since I started. Before that it was always totally regular. I have found I felt great on VLC too, but was afraid that was the cause on my amennorhea. I tried adding back in carbs and it was disastrous for my eating habits- I’d eat way too much dried fruit and sugars, it was like I was swinging out of control. And now, it’s exciting to see the opposite might be true, I just need to be more patient and stick with VLC. Can you think of any other things you did that might have gotten your period started? Have you heard of any resources that go into more detail about this phenomenon? Thanks so much for sharing your story!!!! :)

    Lisa wrote on December 8th, 2012
    • hey there, lisa! once my period started again, i found myself craving diary fat (of all things)– something that hadn’t been in my diet for years. i’m not sure what the correlation is, but every month right before my period i now will allow myself heavy cream, butter, and occasionally cheese (if i’m being naughty). experiement, and see what feels right. also, check out the book ‘taking charge of your fertility’ by toni weschler– it’s an incredible resource! best of luck!

      adina wrote on December 8th, 2012
      • Awesome, thanks so much Adina!!!

        Lisa wrote on December 9th, 2012
  7. Oh you are so freaking CUUUTE with the curls and the curves and your big eyes! I like and relate to the womanliness from Paleo, curves and all that goodness. May your art thrive, too.

    Joy Beer wrote on December 8th, 2012
    • ha! thank you so much!

      adina wrote on December 9th, 2012
  8. My son has become a vegetarian for what he states are ” ethical reasons”. i remember my dad hanging a deer in the garage every winter, in addition to shooting rabbits and fishing. My husband doesn’t hunt or fish. I’m wondering if early experience to “harvesting” meat influences vegetarianism. My son has an autoimmune disorder and I really wish he would go primal. I really think it would help.

    Ellen wrote on December 8th, 2012
    • oooh, that’s tricky. maybe find a nearby farm with grazing cows and show him how ethically they can be cared for? or find pictures on the internet of vegans vs. paleo men and let him decide who seems more vital? i guess you can only plant the seeds and hope they grow! best of luck.

      adina wrote on December 9th, 2012
  9. Thanks for your story, Adina. It’s always interesting to hear the stories of vegans who have come over to the Primal side. You look wonderful, healthy, and happy. And, the curls rock!

    Tina wrote on December 11th, 2012
  10. Great article. I think there is little that can make as good an impression about something than a real world testimonial.

    I have some friends who think that being vegan is the answer to everything health related, and hopefully your story can help me show them that it isn’t!


    Andrew wrote on December 12th, 2012
  11. You are one hilarious woman! I laughed so hard when you mentioned how paleo is helping you get not only healthier body but curlier hair. :) Personally, my hair is growing like weeds on this “way of living” and my hairdresser doesn’t believe me. She thinks I’m taking supplements for stronger, healthier hair!

    Lyn wrote on December 12th, 2012
  12. I loved hearing about your hair curling. Mine did the same thing several years ago. I always said it had to be hormones. Although I’ve been eating healthier the last 2 years, reading your story is definitely going to push me to go all out.

    Mel wrote on January 4th, 2013
  13. What a story, Adina! And what a WRITER you are!! Have you considered starting your own blog? You’re a riot and your spirit shines through in your writing. This was one of my favorite success stories to read. Best of luck to you in your acting career and congratulations on an incredible journey back to health….and womanhood!! All the best to you :)

    Julie wrote on March 22nd, 2013
  14. Great items from you, man. I’ve be aware your stuff previous to and you’re just too wonderful. I really like what you have bought right here, certainly like what you are saying and the way during which you are saying it. You’re making it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can’t wait to learn far more from you. That is really a great web site.|

    Cigaretter Alternative wrote on August 9th, 2013
  15. Congratulations, Adina, on regaining your health and curly hair! That last shot of dueling forks (even above French Toast) beats dueling banjos any day.

    Grok On! :)

    Darlene, San Francisco, CA wrote on December 23rd, 2013

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