I’m Going Into My 40th Year Feeling Healthier Than Ever!

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!

“Affliction comes to us, not to make us sad but sober; not to make us sorry but wise.”

H. G. Wells

Since it was the Friday Success Stories that truly inspired me to go Primal, I thought I’d share my own. My journey to the Primal lifestyle started about a year after I gave birth to triplets (around January of 2012). At that point I had made multiple trips to the doctors with health complaints. I’m guessing my doctor thought I was a hypochondriac, but my body had started falling apart, and it was affecting my ability to care for my trio. I was reminded by my doctor how pregnancy (and breastfeeding) takes a toll on your body, and even more so with triplets. I just wanted to cry at the prospect that this was the new normal. I felt so blessed to have these three healthy babies, but hated feeling like I couldn’t be the mom I had imagined.

Growing up I had periods of sickness; I remember having to repeat 4th grade because I had too many sick days. Even as I child I recognized that certain foods made my stomach hurt. I remember loving the taste of fast food, but hating the way it made me feel afterwards. Around 6th grade I started participating in sports, started feeling a little better, and continued to feel relatively healthy through college. After college, I noticed some of the same feelings of sickness after eating; grumbling stomach and frequent trips to the bathroom. I knew it was probably something in my diet, but wasn’t willing to make the commitment to any type of elimination diet to figure out what was causing the issues. It wasn’t until after giving birth that I felt like I’d hit rock bottom, and wanted to get to the root of the problem.

One of the things I hated most is that people didn’t seem to take me seriously because I didn’t really look sick. On the inside I felt like I was dying. Some of the things I had been experiencing were: night sweats, racing heart, trouble sleeping, anxiety, rashes around my mouth and face, hip and chest pains, tingling feeling in my extremities, recurring symptoms of endometriosis (I had had laparoscopic surgery to remove endo and cysts in 2009), and intestinal issues that seemed to be getting worse. When I told my doctor about my symptoms, he decided to do some blood tests. The results showed that I was severely vitamin D deficient and slightly anemic, but other than that everything seemed “normal”.

 Pre-primal bloatI was given high dose vitamin D supplements to take for a month, and told to come back and repeat the blood test. He also did a mammogram and tested for peri menopause, and both were normal. I was told to take NSAIDs for the pain, and that I should cut back on caffeine. I didn’t notice much of a difference with the supplements, but followed the doctor’s advice. I decided to start doing my own research. I noticed some of my symptoms were similar to these with gluten intolerance. I gave my sister Laura a call because I knew she had gone gluten free along with her fiancé who is gluten intolerant. She suggested I try going gluten free (GF) for a few weeks and see if it helped with my symptoms. The idea of giving up bread, pasta, and beer was almost more than I could fathom. Sourdough bread slathered with butter had long been my go-to comfort food, especially when I was sick (which was a lot). Where would I find my comfort now?

I must have had the low carb flu because the first week gluten free was tough (headaches, constant hunger, extreme irritability). Then something amazing happened about a week in, I noticed some of my symptoms clearing up. I started sleeping better at night, and experiencing a little more energy. But it didn’t take long to find gluten-free replacement foods (read: high carb & processed); I was happy to have my bread (GF) and pasta (rice) back again. I found some gluten free websites to get ideas about how to go gluten free. It was great to find a place to commiserate with others who were stuck with GF beer, and finding replacement flours for their favorite cookie recipes. Around this time I noticed I was gaining a little weight (and feeling bloated), and feeling a little depressed at the prospect of never having gluten again (the GF beer *is* lacking in the taste department).

It was right around the time of my 20th high school reunion (June 2012) that I mentioned to my sister Clare that I had gone gluten free. She recommended that I check out Mark’s Daily Apple, and told me specifically about the success stories. What struck me most was how upbeat the success stories were; these people didn’t seem like they were losing out on anything by changing their lifestyles. So many of the GF (and celiac) websites I had visited focused on what you couldn’t have, so this was a breath of fresh air.

My sister loaned me her copy of The Primal Blueprint (I still need to give it back), and I started reading it at the babies’ nap time. I ended up getting the Kindle edition as well, so it traveled easily in my already cramped diaper bag. The principles of PB made a lot of sense to me. I had long been a chronic cardio junkie, but training for marathons usually left me sick and injured. As a Social Science major, the evolutionary viewpoint using the Grok analogy really struck a chord. I had been a victim of the Standard American Diet for a long time, and I think deep down I knew that my diet played a role in my symptoms.

I’m going into my 40th year feeling healthier than ever! I have the energy to keep up with my 2 1/2 year old toddlers. And who knew playing outdoors could be so fun!? I definitely underestimated the power of play. Although I do still run for fun, I don’t push it as hard as I used to; my kids love it when I run “super-fast” (sprint). I don’t have to go far to find heavy things to lift, considering my guys still love to be carried. I’m trying to teach them to live Primal by setting a good example. We’ve started growing some of our own vegetables, and they love to help harvest.

Best of all, ALL of my health issues have improved, and then some. I had been a skeptic that diet changes would cure my deteriorating health. Those rashes around my mouth that were irritating and made me self-conscious have cleared up. No more racing heart, night sweats, or bone pain! I am no longer vitamin D deficient. I am still amazed by how many of my symptoms improved. There were so many “little” health issues that I just attributed to getting older or bad genes that improved as well. I no longer have issues with: sinus headaches, insomnia, teeth grinding, cracking joints (only after a tough workout), dry eyes, balance, mood swings, anxiety, brain fog, bloating, swollen feet, and I no longer have to take any “sick days” during my monthly cycle due to pain and cramping.

And then there’s all the things I gained: energy (oh the energy!!), clearer eyes, muscle definition, healthier hair and nails, softer skin, more vivid dreams, the best sleep I’ve had in years. Most importantly, I’m able to be the kind of mom I’d hoped to be to my energetic trio. My husband recently asked, “but don’t you miss pizza?”; I didn’t respond, instead I showed him the long list of symptoms that had improved since going Primal. I’d much rather have my health than an Ultimate Slice.

I’m definitely a work-in-progress, but it feels great to be going in the right direction. I occasionally eat a little more dark chocolate than I probably should, and I’m still warming up to sweet potatoes in lieu of white potatoes. I also need to work on getting more sleep, but I can say when I sleep now it’s a much sounder sleep than before. I actually even nap from time to time, whereas in the past it was near impossible to ever just relax enough to nap.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who loves the before and after photos. I don’t have any that are too dramatic (I did throw in a “scary” pregnancy photo for fun though), but I used to have a constant bloated look, and never had much muscle definition (skinny fat). I recently took one of my kids into the pediatrician (it had been about 6 months), and he asked how much weight I had lost. I honestly couldn’t tell him because I didn’t keep track, but it has been a nice side effect. The comments have gone from, “you look good for having triplets” to just “you look good!”; both are nice, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I prefer the latter.

I’m so grateful to have found this site and The Primal Blueprint. Thank you, Mark, and to all who have helped me along the way. And to all the naysayers, I dare you to try it for 21 days. What have you got to lose!

Grok on!!


Pre triplet belly ;)

Pre-triplet belly 😉



Post Primal


Post-primal workout

Post-primal work-out

Post-primal play

Post-primal play

Post-primal happy family :)

Post-primal happy family 🙂

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137 thoughts on “I’m Going Into My 40th Year Feeling Healthier Than Ever!”

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      1. Barb,

        Inspiring story! And now you can truly be super-mom!

        I had similar gut issues all my life and benefitted from eliminating gluten, then going paleo/primal. However I had a huge, nearly year-and-a-half backslide induced by (ill-advisedly) taking antibiotics from a mainstream doctor. This led me to question what it was that could allow such a huge improvement, but then be undone by antibiotics — even when continuing to eat paleo.

        What I discovered was that the gut injury (aka “leaky gut syndrome”) can be deep-seated, and survive THROUGH paleo, or at least, be easily re-induced by external stressors such as antibiotics.

        With further investigation (and lots of $$ testing), I discovered I was sulfation -deficient, and methylation-deficient (which leads to sulfation deficiency). This cases a variety of the body’s detox/healing processes to break down, and notably, makes the gut lining cells (GAGs) weak.

        With this knowledge in hand, I figured out how to “supplement” to remediate the methylation/sulfation deficiencies that were making me vulnerable to leaky gut. Surprisingly, chief among these therapies is soaking/applying Epsom salt dermally, daily (seems so simple!). Also super important is taking magnesium… and I’m also taking glycine to support these processes.

        The transformation has been start: within about a week I pulled out of my year-long funk and was back to the height of my symptom-free, primal/paleo status.

        Since you hinted that you still might have lingering issues, this info might help you. I would love to correspond and hear more details of your lab tests (did you test on anything that touched on sulfation or methylation?), and share more remedy notes.

        1. Thanks Tony! That’s interesting; I’ve never heard of Epsom salt treatments or of that type of deficiency. In talking with my doctor all that was mentioned was Vitamin D deficiency and Anemia. I should probably look to see all that was tested at that time because I’m not sure. My sister (in the medical field) told me that Vit. D deficiencies often occur with Vit. K defifiencies, so I need to find that out as well.

        2. Hi, I realize your comment is from a while ago but I am curious as to where you soak or apply the Epsom salts… soak the feet? On your abdomen? Hope you see this comment, thanks in advance for any help.

    1. I have to agree! Good job. You’re definitely an inspiration to women out there that might feel stuck in the rut!

  1. As a mom of an almost-5 year old, I am so stunned to see your awesome bikini shot… I can’t believe that stomach is the same one in the “scary” pic! Gives me hope!

    Can you share any of your childrens’ favorite snacks? I struggle with getting my son to find primal-friendly snacks “fun” enough and am always looking for ideas!

    Thanks for sharing your encouraging story, it definitely speaks to me and spurs me forward! Oh- and beautiful family! 🙂

    1. I am not Barbara but here are ours: Olives, Cheese, Berries of some sort, Nuts, a nut butter, dark chocolate, really anything I would eat. I think part of making it fun for my 4yo daughter is having the food in fun little containers (she does not really snack unless we are away from home and spending the day at the zoo or beach or something).

      1. Mine love nut butters too, and also Sunbutter. I agree about the containers. Lately I’ve been using the ziploc ones that look like bento boxes, and the love it. Not sure what it is, but the fun presentation seems to make a difference.

    2. Stop. Just stop…you run pushing three toddlers????? Hats off!! I can’t even run pushing the air in front of me lol. You are an inspiration! First…for finding the time to work out with three 2 1/2 year olds. I have one and can’t even get out of the house to get in a workout. It’s a problem. Second…because you run with three of them at once! You are a beast! Love!!!!

      Beck W: Have you tried thepaleomom.com or paleoparents.com? I use both websites extensively for cooking for my little monster. She can be a hard sell sometimes but both sites have really creative recipes for making paleo food more like “traditional” kid fare. Paleoparents have a cook book called eat like a dinosaur that is full of kid friendly recipes and steps that your little one can help you cook! Good luck!!

      1. Thanks Tiffany! They’re definitely getting more difficult to push. As long as they’re happy, and still fit, I’ll keep jogging, albeit a bit slower 😉
        Thanks to the cook book & website recommendations too! I’m always looking of new ideas.

    3. Thanks Beck! My kids love avocados, bananas, and a lot of other fruits and vegetables. Not sure how old your kids are, but mine love when I give a variety (I’ve used an ice cube to serve, so they have a lot of choices) for snacks. I’d say they are probably 70/30 primal, still eating cheese (and other dairy) and the occasional crackers (usually gluten free) and treats.
      PS – I have an public Instagram account (Primaldish), if interested, where I’ve started posted recipe ideas. Many of them are kid friendly.

  2. Your story is so similar to mine (minus the triplets!). It was only when I got rid of ALL grains, and not just the gluten, that my symptoms went away. Congratulations to you. Your children are beautiful and you look so happy!

  3. Great story! Congratulations!

    Regular sweet potatoes are too sweet for me (although I do eat some). I buy white Oriental ones that taste pretty much like white potatoes to me. (I do eat some white potatoes too, though. Maybe once a week.)

    1. Found some Japanese ones today at the market, and they even look a bit like regular potatoes. Can’t wait to try them!

  4. Nice work! I commend you for even having the determination to do the work while taking care of not one not two, but 3 infants. OMG – I can’t even imagine. You are supermom. By the way – nice tummy after have such a major expansion 😉

  5. Congratulations. I loved your story. You’re an inspiration to young moms. ‘Baby brain’ does not have to be the status quo.

    1. Thanks Judy! I definitely had much worse “baby brain” before!

  6. Great story and fabulous pics of you and the babies! They are adorable and I agree that the bikini pic is just amazing! You rock!!

  7. Despite reading all these stories every week, I never cease to be amazed at the awfulness gluten (or a SAD diet) causes for people’s health.

    Way to rock that bikini, Mama of Three. 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiration. Signed, a mama of four

    1. Thanks Anne! Never in a million years would I have thought gluten was at the root of my issues, I’m so thankful to have figured it out.
      Guessing you’re a busy woman with 4! 🙂

  8. “Lift heavy things,” you can’t not do it with little kids around. “Uppy.” I remember it so well and yours is “uppy, uppy, uppy!” Wonderful post.

  9. Fabulous – you looked great (but scary) pregnant and you now look like you’ve just borrowed someone else’s children for the photo!! Just amazing! That’s how I want to look!

  10. Barbara, you are totally amazing, SuperMom for sure!! What beautiful children 🙂 How lucky they are to have you start them out with the right kind of food. And a bikini after triplets??? –I am in awe. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story!

  11. Great story. Now to get the hubby off the CW pizza (paleo pizza is awesome)…
    Barb, for sweet potatos/yams:cut them into fries and drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper. Bake until starting to carmelize and then make a sour cream or yoghurt dip with spices. It rocks! Grok on.

    1. Yeah, he loves his pan pizza, but he did agree to do a 21 day trial, so we’re making progress 🙂 Funny how your taste buds change, paleo pizza sounds so much better now.
      I do love sweet potato fries! I’ll have to try your recipe – sounds great! Thank you!

  12. great story of better health. and you look fabulous! you look amazing in a bikini at age 40, after TRIPLETS! glad you feel SO much better. wow, you figured out how to feed 3 babies at once.

    1. Thank you!! Yeah, it’s so much easier now that they’re feeding themselves! 🙂

  13. That scary belly photo makes me glad I’m a man, I can’t imagine carrying that! But you got a complete family in one term, pretty economical. Seriously, you and the kids are awesome, congrats!

  14. Wow!! Great Story!! I can relate to the “Warming up to Sweet Potatoes” comment… I have a gag reflex towards them along with Butternut & Acorn Squash (Grok weeps) that I am having a HARD time getting past. Any ideas on how to make them palatable??

    1. Thanks! I like sweet potatoes best in the French fry form because it helps with the texture for me. I usually just slice up the sweet potato and cook them on a skillet in coconut oil and add a little salt, but I’m going to try Nocona’s recipe above. I love butternut chopped up in cubes mixed with sausage (I like Mulay’s breakfast), and a little crushed sage on top (bake for about an hour at 375).

    2. Bob, I’m with you on the gag reflex…… Growing up my mom and dad LOVED squash, we grew it all over our yard much to my disappointment. She would serve it with butter, some with brown sugar and butter, gag every time. My dad was a firm believer that I could “develop” a taste for it by eating a little each time, gag….. so I was REALLY friendly to our dog, giving her some choice morsels every dinner so she’d sit by me. Apparently she loved squash as much as my parents, no more gagging!
      My husband now bakes his sweet potatoes (cuts them in half to make it go faster) and then slathers them with butter and salt and pepper. He seems to enjoy them. I keep thinking I’m going to make the ones Nocona mentions above as well as the white ones that we also mentioned in another post. Sorry this isn’t much help, just nice to see someone else who gags like me.
      OH, and I tasted some spaghetti squash cooked, rinsed and tossed with some sort of vinegar and oil into a salad of other veggies that sound good together. I didn’t like it hot for spaghetti but in the salad it wasn’t squash-y tasting.

    3. Bob, I was like you until I decided to do what all men do with vegetables they don’t care for – char them on the grill! Cut them up, slather with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, garlic and herb spices. Pair them with a NY Strip or a Ribeye and you will learn to love them, done right they are some of my favorite and heartiest vegetables. These aren’t your sissy steamed veggies.

      A grill wok is really great for grilling cut up vegetables:


    4. A favorite way we eat sweet potatoes is dicing one sweet potato and one onion and “frying” both in coconut oil. It’s much like home fries. Cook until both sweet potatoes and onions are carmelized. Add a tbsp butter and enjoy.

      1. Yes, and I think the key whether you do it in the skillet or baked as fries, the key word is CARMELIZED. They get chewy tasty, with a completely different taste. Not as mushy.

      2. Yum! Those sound delicious! I’m definitely trying it that way. Thanks!

    5. Maybe check out white sweet potatoes? I dislike orange sweet potatoes for their pumpkin flavor but the white ones taste fine to me.

      1. I just got some white Japanese sweet potatoes yesterday. Can’t wait to try them!

  15. “My husband recently asked, “but don’t you miss pizza?”; I didn’t respond, instead I showed him the long list of symptoms that had improved since going Primal. I’d much rather have my health than an Ultimate Slice.”

    Exactly. I have been paleo/primal for nearly fours years. My health and body composition has improved drastically as a result of this lifestyle. Who cares about pizza.

    1. Yep! It’s one of the things I missed most in the beginning (along with sourdough), but now I much rather have a meaty salad… or bacon. 🙂

  16. It has to feel great to look and feel so wonderful after having triplets! Nice to hear you found an answer to some of your previous health problems/symptoms. Enjoy those precious children of yours! They grow SO fast!! (Especially on a primal diet) 😉

    1. Thank you! And thanks for the reminder, these first couple years have already flown by!

  17. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the inspiration! I’m a mother of 2 little ones and definitely need to clean up my diet so I can have the energy you have now.

    1. Aww, thank you! It really has helped so much with the energy – you’ll see 🙂

  18. Thank you for your Friday Success Story! You look fantastic and healthy now.

  19. What a great story, Barb. You look fantastic and I’m glad you found Primal and a fix for all the health issues. So many people just continue to suffer with all those symptoms. I love Fridays!

    1. Sometimes I wonder how much longer I would have suffered if I didn’t find MDA; my drs didn’t seem to have the answers. So thankful! And thank you!!

  20. Awesome job, you look great!

    Have you tried any regular beer? I find a little doesn’t derail me, especially after a good workout.

    1. Thank you! I did have a regular beer after a 10K on SuperBowl Sunday, and didn’t seem to have a problem. Then I tried a couple again while we were camping a few months back, and it worked me. Maybe I can handle in small quantities; I’ll probably do another experiment for my 40th. If not, I’m always ok with a little wine instead. 🙂

  21. Hi, and what an amazing journey! I also am a M.O.Multiples, carrying 15 lbs 7 oz of twin boy babies to term. I can see so many similarities with the feelings of wanting to be right for my children ( an older son also) after the births. You did have a great bikini recovery! Did you have any abdominal wall issues after your babies were born? Any suggestions on recovery of abs and skin? My twins are almost 3 and I have that Bassett hound look that I’m considering surgery for, as my abdominal muscles have also separated. Thank you for any pointers!

    1. I think if your abdominal wall muscles have separated then surgery is the only answer. No amount of exercise will put them back together.

      I too am impressed with Barb’s post triplets bikini photo. Also impressed with the photo of her feeding three babies at once. Awesome!

    2. Thanks Kati! I’ve also heard that surgery is needed if your muscle has separated. I didn’t have any separation, but I do have some loose skin on my lower abs; it’s less noticeable when I do regular abdominal and core strengthening workouts (I need to get back on the wagon). Congratulations on carrying your boys to term! I carried mine to 36 weeks, but they were “only” about 15 lbs combined.

      1. Thank you, Barb! I guess I’ll be checking out surgeons next summer. Congrats on carrying your sweet ones to 36 weeks! That is amazing for triplets! You look great and your story really struck a chord with me. Thank you for sharing 🙂

        1. Kati, you won’t necessarily need surgery. I had twins, gained nearly half again my weight ( I was pretty skinny at the time) & had quite a bit of separation. It took several years of ab exercises to knit them back together, but eventually it worked! Planks, reverse curls & double leg lifts seemed to help the most. Listen to your body & go gently at first, but don’t give up hope! If you have access to a Pilates class it would probably help. (I didn’t though.)

  22. Wonderful story and very happy for you. Triplets … my mind won’t accept it LOL. Yeah, just think how much healthier everyone would be if they were on a GF diet … GRAIN free.

  23. Barbara, first of all, you look GREAT!! Secondly, there IS a really good gluten free beer out there – it’s called Omission. They’ve got a lager and an IPA. I would drink it even if I wasn’t gluten free. Here is the link to their website where you can find out where to buy it near you:

    1. Thanks! I’ll check out the link, and hopefully they have it locally.

  24. Thank you for the input, Sandra. 🙂

    I forgot about the feeding picture. It is pretty great!

  25. Not primal – but try the beers at Brewery Rickoli in Wheat Ridge if you’re ever in town. They are brewed with actual beer ingredients, but use clarity firm to remove the gluten by breaking up the peptides down to 5ppm. It tastes like real beer because it is real beer.

    It’s been awesome to have beer that I can drink without it making me feel like hell (unless I drink too much…)

    1. That sounds great! Wish more brewers would do that; it’d be nice to have a real beer from time to time.

  26. Your scary belly is hilarious! Thanks for posting that pic. And, of course it is great you have found a good path to health.

    1. Thanks Sharon! My husband had fun decorating my belly for Halloween (they’re Nov. babies).

  27. There is a recipe for caulliflower pizza crust somewhere on the web (detoxinista, maybe?) that is great. We can definitely fit primal principles in with the type of food people are sure they would miss.

    I too started going downhill healthwise after having my kids. I only had 2 singletons. It was gradual too but I can identify with the rashes, the racing heart, the anxiety, the insomnia and the upset stomach. I have only been primal for a little over thirty days and I have noticed improvement in all areas though I am not optimal yet. I can’t wait to see where I am in 6 months or so. I hope I look half as good as you do and feel just as good!

    1. Thanks Jeanne! I’ll have to look for that recipe; I haven’t tried a cauliflower crust. I’ve been amazed at the versatility of vegetables when replacing them for processed (and gluten) foods. I’m finding I like the replacements even better.
      So glad you’ve had improvements as well! I’m betting you will continue to feel better over time. It’s been a little over a year for me, and I still continue to notice improvements (most recently I’ve noticed the spider veins on my legs are less noticeable).

  28. Awesome Barb. Have to agree with so many of the previous comments, and particularly with Grokesque – you do look like you borrowed someone elses children on the beach!

    Thanks for sharing your story, and your wonderful family photos.

    PS: I know it is winter here in the southern hemisphere, but sweet potato is awesome in the slow cooker as a thickener. I add small cubes of sweet potato to the slow cook mix, and after 6 hours or so it just breaks down and thickens whatever juices you have in there! mmmmmm!

    1. Thank you HillyM!
      I love using the crockpot (especially in winter); thanks for the tip! Sweet potatoes may just become a favorite after all. 🙂

  29. Thanks so much for sharing this encouraging story. I have yet to give up beer even though I’ve gladly given up everything else wheat. And today I’ve noticed a definite bloat going on. Meaning a skinny girl with a basketball belly. I think this is what I needed to read.
    Also, is your husband GF? Didn’t sound like it from the pizza comment.
    How do you deal with a spouse who refuses to go GF because he misses it too much?
    My husband refuses to take care of his body in multiple ways…..
    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    1. My husband’s not gluten free, but does probably eat primally about 60% of the time because I do the majority of the shopping for the family. He still eats the occasional pizza and pasta when we go out to eat, and he really likes his beer (though he drinks less these days).
      He did agree to do a 21 day trial (detox) in Sept, so maybe that turn him into a believer 🙂 Although I’d love it if he was, I don’t think it’s something you can force. Maybe you could suggest doing a 21 day challenge with him? And maybe share some of the success stories that he could relate to. I know those really helped me. Good luck!

  30. Wonderful story and beautiful family! Congratulations! All the best to you…Grok on!

  31. Thanks for sharing your story! It’s amazing what dietary changes can bring, and you’re yet another inspiration. If you feel as great as you look, you’ll be set for life 🙂

  32. I really love the pictures of the kids!
    Never a boring day, I assume. Please keep on doing what you are doing, it works!


  33. Congratulations, Barbara! I am wondering about your vitamin D deficiency. We’re the supplements a quick cure? Are your levels correct now with more sunshine? Thanks and grok on!

    1. Thanks! Yes, the idea was to boost my Vit D levels. I really believe that I was having some absorption issues due to my diet and leaky gut. I live in California so I get plenty of sunshine year round which makes me think I just wasn’t absorbing some nutrients.
      My levels have gone back up, but I didn’t have them tested until a few months after taking the high dose supplements. I probably should get my levels tested again to make sure I’m still in the normal range.

  34. Your kids are beyond adorable! What a lovely family 🙂 I have been on the fence for a long time but all these success stories and yours, because I have some of the same symptoms and thought the same way about them (It’s the age – I am 40) resonated.more. Thanks for sharing! You look great!

    1. Thank you! It doesn’t feel right to say “I’m glad it resonated with you” because that means you haven’t been feeling well. But I do hope you find your path to health, it really is worth the effort. Now that my tastes have changed, I can’t imagine going back to the SAD. Good luck to you! Hope to read our success story in the future. 🙂

  35. Amazing work and congrats on your lovely family! Can you share a bit about your workouts? Thanks 🙂

    1. Thank you! I’ve been pretty varied in my workouts, but some of my favorites are: yoga that is usually in the form of DVDs at nap time (Rodney Yi and Bryan Kest are my favorites); running a few miles a couple times a week; walking and hiking; MDA WOW (found on this site) or other WODs; and sets of planks, lunges, sit-ups, and push-ups before bedtime.

  36. Thanks for sharing this. I love the pictures of you and the triplets so much! Our stories have a lot in common. I had health and digestive issues since childhood, but having babies really kicked them up a notch each time (I have three, but did it one at a time). I remember being so stubborn about not wanting to give up gluten. And then eating soooooo much sugar (in the form of gf foods) when I first went gf. It was not until going primal that my hormones, sleep, vitamin levels, weight, mood—nearly everything improved like magic! I had been anemic and vitamin D deficient for so many years that it never occurred to me this could be reversed so quickly, so I continued my vitamin D supplements after going primal and by the time I had blood work done, my levels were triple the normal range! I am still amazed by this because no amount of supplementation was ever able toget my levels up. Now to Google “paleo pizza.” I am so intrigued. . .

    1. Thanks Deana! So glad to hear your health has improved since going primal. That is amazing how your levels improved so drastically! Congratulations! Grok on!

  37. Thanks to Barb, Nocona, Cindy, Bayrider, and 2Rae for your suggestions for Sweet Potatoes!!! I will give them a try.
    I have a similar grill pan for grillin’ them – Thanks Bayrider!!
    2Rae – I love Spaghetti squash!! NO more pasta for me!! I also eat Zucchini and Summer squash, so all is not lost… Try Spaghetti squash with some Tomato Sauce and primal meatballs. Or toss it with butter, garlic, basil, oregano, and parsley.
    Dang, I just ate breakfast and I want some ^^^^!! 😉

    Oh yeah, Barb – My wife is a painter and has painted several of her friends tummies when they were pregnant. In 2 of 3 cases, the baby was born the next day.

    1. Yes! So many great recipes and ideas – thank you! I recently got one of those spiral slicers, and have been having fun making squashes into pasta (or fausta).
      How cool that your wife has used her skills in belly painting! Sounds like she’s the person to go to when ready to induce! 😉

  38. Your toned flat beach stomach after having given birth to triplets is JUST AMAZING!!! You look fabulous and healthy. Inspiring to Moms that give birth to single children and have every excuse not to get back into shape.

    1. Aww, thank you! I hope others can find something useful in my story!

  39. Wow, incredible and inspiring! ! My one toddler keeps me busy! You’re amazing!!
    I wanted to ask: I read Wheat Belly in February and decided to go grain free at that time. Then I read Primal Blueprint and I’ve tried so hard to be strict. I have some good days and then I find myself indulging in corn chips or a little too much dark chocolate and dairy (cheese). What helped you stay on track?! Did you or do you eat dairy? My daughter is 21 months and my tummy looks nothing like yours! I still suffer from the bloating, endometriosis and joint pain. I’m young and i cant believe how old i feel sometimes!! I appreciate any and all feedback!
    Thank you!

    1. Thanks Heather! You’re indulgences sound very similar to mine! I do very little dairy, and when I do I notice it upsets my stomach. I would suggest trying a Whole30 or another trial elimination to find out what foods are causing your issues. It was the Whole30 that made me realize I do better without dairy. A lot of endometriosis diets also suggest eliminating dairy, so you may want to try it and see how you feel.
      For Dark Chocolate I find the darker it is, the less I need to satisfy my craving (if that makes sense). I do overindulge from time to time, but it’s less when it’s with 75+ cocao.
      I’m still on the mission to find a food that goes better with guacamole than tortilla chips. I try not to even purchase chips anymore because if they’re around I’ll eat them. Recently I’ve found a few other foods that satisfy my need for crunch ( but don’t nesseccarily go with guacamole): jicama, sea tangles with almonds, and some chunchy veggies.
      Good for you that you’re trying to figure these things out while you’re young! It’s truly worth it!

  40. I love fridays!!!!
    I missed what sparked all the sweet potato discussion (I love the stew thickener idea!), but here’s my variation:
    I use the white “Jersey” sweet potatoes. I peel & boil or roast them with turnips & sometimes parnips also, maybe even some cauliflower?. Mash with gobs o’ butter. Makes a nice mashed potato substitute for a side dish or as a casserole topping (cottage or shepherd’s pie)
    Go Barb! you’re awesome!

      1. I’ll add my voice to the chorus of those exclaiming over how great you look! I had two kids two years apart, and 6 years after the second one, my belly is nowhere near as flat as yours is. 🙂 Well done!

        For snack foods that go with guacamole: Pork rinds have a good crunch to them. And CostCo has some “Artisan Rice Crackers” that are GF, although they are (obviously) made of rice; they’re crunchy and delicious — too delicious! Curse you, Artisan Rice Crackers!

        For pizza crust: The new “Primal Cravings” book has a great recipe for paleo pizza crust that never would have occurred to me while experimenting in the kitchen on my own. It holds together really well — so well I can pick up a slice and eat it by hand, unlike other paleo pizza crusts that are so crumbly they have to be eaten with a knife and fork. And it’s not a yeast crust, so it doesn’t require rising time, although it does need to be pre-baked.

        What does a typical day’s food intake look like for you? Do you eat breakfast every day?

        1. Thanks Catherine! I’ve tried those crackers from Costco; they are really good! The Primal Cravings is on my “to buy” list. Can’t wait to try some of the recipes, including that pizza.
          Today’s menu was: Breafast was 2 eggs, 3 slices of bacon and some berries. Lunch was half an avocado, and a smoothie (kale, figs, frozen dragon fruit, some frozen berries, coconut milk, and some chia seeds. Dinner’s going to be pork chops, and some grilled summer squash, and a salad.
          I usually eat breakfast every morning. Most days it’s eggs with bacon or sausage, and avocados or berries. Other things I’ll eat in the morning: smoothies, hard boiled eggs, and sometimes I’ll just eat leftovers from dinner. Occasionally I’ll do intermittent fasting, but not nesseccarily on purpose (just not hungry). 😉

  41. You look amazing, I love your pumpkin belly lol
    Congrats and well done

  42. Barb —

    My wife is expecting #2. Great, inspiring after-pics: what was the exercise you did, you mentioned sprinting, was that running with the kids or a separate routine?

    The challenge we have had (I have been on paleo/primal longer than my wife) is something we can eat easily given the lack of time and that the baby can eat now that she eats solids. We ended up adding her food to rice to make it more palatable, which means we eat it with her.

    What’s your go-to Primal meal that’s easy and fast and appetizing for the babies?

    1. Thank Tim! Congratulations on #2!!
      For exercise it varies, but some favorietes are: run, do yoga, some weights, walk with the kids, and find WOD (on this site or others to do a few times a week). I was meeting my husband after work, and I’d run or sprint while he walked with the kids in the stroller. These days I’ll take the kids to the park and I’ll do some short burst sprints chasing the ball, and kicking it around with them.
      My kids current favorite foods include: avocado, grilled or baked zucchini (or other squash), sausage (lately I’ve been getting the Mulay’s brand), sweet potatoes, berries, and grilled or baked salmon (they love salmon!). I try to do something I know they’ll eat, but also introduce some new foods… but toddlers (and babies) can be picky. 🙂 They’ve started eating some nuts (and nut butters) and bacon, but I’m guessing your little one isn’t quite ready for that.

  43. Hi

    Quite amazed by how similar my symptoms and blood results are to yours I can add restless leg syndrome to the list which used to drive me mad but I rarely suffer from now Im Paleo. Ive resently found Im sulphite intollerant too which if I eat I get ashma type symptoms and throat gets very sore and swollen. Its nice to know Im not alone with this I have felt very isolated at times. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. So glad your health has improved from going Primal! You’re definitely not alone here 🙂

  44. Thanks for sharing your amazing story with us Barb. Your pictures are truly inspiring. I especially got a kick out of the feeding 3-at-one-time shot. I’ve heard that “necessity is the mother of invention” and you prove it! Good job.

    1. Thank you Darlene! It was a beautiful day when I figured out how to feed them all at once! ????

  45. Barb, awesome story! Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your health.

    I had to comment bc I have twins and am wondering if you ended up having surgery to remove access skin after having your babies? Even with significant weight loss, my belly looks no where near yours! You look amazing! 🙂

  46. Hi Barbara! I’ve been feeling tired and listless, unpoopular and I pop out at parties. Would you recommend vetavitavegimin as cute all “medicine show” type of elixir to solve all known human maladies?