My Son is Growing!

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!

My son, Gabriel, was born a bit early and was small from the start, 5lbs 14 ounces, but the doctors told us he was healthy. My wife had made the decision to nurse exclusively as she believes it is the healthiest option. My wife and I ate a normal, varied, and healthy diet consisting of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, meat, etc. She and I were both healthy and in good shape. From the start it was apparent Gabriel was a colicky baby. He spit up large amounts of breast milk and screamed for hours on end. The doctors told us that plenty of babies had colic, and although it was rough, he would grow out of it. Early on, one doctor recommended that my wife cut dairy from her diet. She did and there was some mild improvement. Later on, other doctors decided Gabriel suffered from acid reflux and prescribed medication. The medication may have helped a bit but, but my wife attributes the improvement more to propping up his crib. My wife tried soy formula for a while, but Gabriel spit most of it up after the meal.

His toddler years were not much better. Mealtime was always a battle with lots of screaming. At this time he developed digestive issues; he would go from being constipated to having bouts of diarrhea continuously.

When he turned three and started preschool his health became progressively worse. He constantly had a cold which turned into bronchitis often (four or five times that year). The doctors prescribed antibiotics every time. Everyone, including the doctors, told us that getting sick your first year in preschool is normal and with each cold defeated your body’s immune system becomes stronger. I remembered my childhood; I got bronchitis twice a year every year until I was in middle school. I figured everything happening was just part of growing up. Thankfully, my wife did not accept this.

After a year of continuous sickness mixed with antibiotics, my wife started looking for answers in his food. On Mondays, at around two in the morning, Gabriel would wake with an intense cough that many times became so bad he would vomit. We had a Sunday night tradition of pizza and movie. My wife, thinking it might be the dairy, made us cut out the pizza as well as all other dairy. Gabriel was still sick with intense coughing but the “super sickness” of Monday mornings disappeared. Soon after, she took Gabriel to see a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Hogg. In addition to telling us to watch for certain symptoms like eye-crusties, excessive earwax, and whininess, he immediately told my wife to take my son off wheat. Two weeks later we saw some improvement, but he still had the constantly runny nose, croup cough, and earwax so thick the doctor could not see his eardrum. Dr. Hogg told us to remove oats, soy, and corn from his diet as well. The results were amazing. It has been two and half years and he has not had bronchitis since, nor has he needed antibiotics for anything. He has had the occasional cold, but always beats it within three days.

My wife became very strict with his food. Determined to keep him as healthy as possible we went all organic and Gabriel’s diet consisted mostly of brown rice, quinoa, millet bread, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Animal protein was included two to three times a week. Although he didn’t get bronchitis again, mealtime continued to be hell. His appetite was nonexistent. He was already small for his age so my wife would make him sit until he finished everything, which always took well over an hour. There was lots of yelling and tears involved. He also constantly complained about stomach aches, went from being constipated for a couple days to having diarrhea, and at three years old developed hemorrhoids. The only meal that Gabriel really enjoyed (and devoured) was during our weekend trip to the diner. Every Sunday morning he would eat a large plate of scrambled eggs, bacon, and hash browns. I was always amazed at how much and quickly he would eat on those mornings, and he always begged for more bacon.

My wife and I also noticed that when we gave Gabriel meat, he devoured it. When he was in kindergarten, we made the decision that we would give him a serving of meat: beef, chicken, pork, or fish at least one meal per day. We noticed an immediate uptick in his energy level. While his energy and mood improved dramatically, he was still having serious stomach issues. Around this time my brother was really talking up the new “primal diet.” He had always had lots of colds as a child with ear infections and asthma. He spoke about his new diet like some miracle cure. I figured he was exaggerating. He sent me two books, The Paleo Solution and his favorite cookbook, Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals.

After watching Gabriel get progressively less sick with each change in his diet, I looked into the whole Primal thing. I read the two books my brother sent me and found Mark’s Daily Apple. My wife was still very concerned amount Gabriel’s symptoms: Eye-crusties, excessive earwax, and hemorrhoids. At this point the only grains left in Gabriel’s diet were brown rice and quinoa, but they made up a substantial part of his diet. My wife and I discussed the possibility of going grain free over the summer of 2011.

After a full two years of diet experimentation, Gabriel, at six years old and 32 lbs, went grain-free on September 1st 2011. In addition to going grain-free, we added eggs every morning and increased his intake of meats, avocados, nut butters, and sweet potatoes. Within the first month his stomach issues disappeared, as did his hemorrhoids. He did start to complain about his knees and ankles aching a bit. He looked taller to me so I measured him; he had grown an inch in one month! His appetite, for the first time in his life, exploded. In the morning he now eats three eggs, a salad, a banana covered in peanut or almond butter, and raisins. Some mornings he is still hungry so I keep sweet potatoes in the fridge for him to eat in the car. Lunch and dinner are both much larger with a full portion of meat and massive amounts of fruits, veggies, nuts, and sweet potatoes. Dinner still takes a long time, but only because he devours all his food and then tells us he is still hungry. It is like his body is trying to make up for six years of undereating. Five months into the new diet he has grown over two inches and put on nine pounds, a 28% increase in body weight!

We have seen a great change in his physical ability and mental state as well. He used to come home complaining about being the slowest kid in class. Now he comes home complaining there are still two boys in 1st grade faster than him. The other day he did 19 full pushups. He is still very skinny, but his musculature has noticeably increased. Emotionally, he is able to handle his emotions better and has a greater ability to concentrate on school work without becoming frustrated.

I was inspired to write to you when I woke up last Sunday morning and found him reading your cookbook, Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals, marking the pages with the recipes he would like to try next. We read to him every night before bed a book of his choice and some nights he requests your book. So far his favorite recipe is the BLTA Chicken Breast Sandwich; it is also my favorite.

As mentioned earlier, Gabriel was a colicky baby. We now have our second child, Elliott, who was exclusively nursed until six months of age. My wife Caron kept her grains to a minimum during this time and Elliott nursed without issue. Once in a while we would cheat by ordering a pizza or having bread and cheese as a late night snack. The results were immediate; Elliott would be congested and whiny the next day. Now that he is transitioning to solid foods, we have purchased a Vitamix and Caron is making his baby food from organic, real food. So far, so good; he is totally healthy with no immunizations. This past week my wife tried adding in rice cereal in the mornings to see how he would handle the grains. He spit up most of the meal within an hour each day.

Mark, I love your website and your book. You have influenced my eating and exercise habits as well, in the same way as most of the people writing to you. As I hear so much about children with health issues, I hope this story will encourage other parents whose children have health problems to consult a naturopathic doctor, experiment with nutrition, and read books like yours.

Finding this new approach to eating has changed all our lives, but especially my son’s.

Grab a Copy of The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation and Start Getting Primal Today!

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204 thoughts on “My Son is Growing!”

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  1. a beautiful, healthy-looking family! so happy to read this story 🙂

  2. What a wonderful success story. Thank you for sharing, and challenging the CW and not taking what they say as the only way of dealing with things!!!

  3. Yippee for all of you! You look so incredibly healthy and happy. This is my favorite success story so far. Truly amazing.

  4. Amazing! This story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing!!

    1. BTW, the comment about Gabriel reading the primal cookbook made me laugh. I have the “21 Day Transformation” book, which my 2-year old son has decided we need to read every night before he goes to bed. He loves looking at the pictures in it and calls it “the man book.”

      1. That’s hilarious! Sounds very similar to something my boy would say.

        This story is so inspiring! Parents need to wake up! Conventional Wisdom is making our babies sick. My daughter whose 7, has autism and we have battled with her diet for years. We cut dairy, gluten and soy when she was 3. Then over the years another myriad of additives, preservatives, dyes, etc. It still wasn’t enough. I recently removed all grains from her diet and she already seems to be doing better. I am hopeful, and looking forward to improving her digestive health. I have yet to completely go primal with my little boy, but this inspires me to bite the bullet and fully remove grains from his diet as well.
        Thanks for the inspiration!
        Any thoughts or ideas to help this transition along would be welcomed.

        1. So if you believe in your 1st statement then why is it you are still feeding grains to your kid.

    2. To mine as well. I already send it to my girlfriend, who is joining me in Paleo (but a bit conflicted…)

    3. I thought I was the only one crying…
      Great story. Thanks for sharing.

    4. Add me to the Crying Gang! What a wonderful, wonderful story. I’m glad that Gabriel is thriving, growing, and taking names!

  5. I used to get pneumonia and horrible allergies at least once a year. I’ve been eating paleo(er)for about two and half years now and haven’t gotten sick once.

    Also, at 20 yrs old, my large frame is finally starting to fill out on account of starting to lift. My weight has only went up about five pounds in a couple of months (145lbs to 150lbs) but I can’t wear the same pants (on account of my abs popping out) and I went up a shirt size. It’s weird, i feel like a grok is growing out of my formerly scrawny bony frame.

    SAD for me = sickly, almost anorexic, and depressed.

  6. What a fantastic Friday story!
    Your family looks so happy and healthy!!

  7. Great story. I am the father of 3 boys and nothing makes you feel better than seeing them thrive. Something occurred to me when I was reading it: you may want to consider some testing for you and your wife through 23andme. Not that there is anything “wrong” with you, but the testing does predict sensitivities to foods, medications, and a host of other things (one of my most prominent markers was for gluten sensitivity). Just something to think about. It sounds like you are doing all the right things already.

    1. We have had genetic testing and it can be very enlightening and informative especially as guidance for our kids and their eating in the future when they are adults making their own choices. It was very helpful before we found PB.

      Nowadays, on a day-to-day basis, I keep it all in mind as I plan our meals but don’t stress about it. If I keep the house primal/paleo (we limit dairy substantially) we are good.

  8. What a fab story! Well done on perservering and delighted he’s making such great progress. I’m slowly introducing mu kids to a more primal diet and will keep at it.

  9. Yay! A happy Friday story about a kid! Cheers to you all for taking the time to investigate all this for your son!

  10. What a cool story.

    My sons (now 12) were premature and had many, many illnesses when they were little. That transformed into behavioral challenges in elementary school as a result of the meds they had lived with for much of their lives. Now, they are the mellowest, well-behaved (well, almost ;-)) healthy boys and we are so, so thankful.

    Congratulations on finding out about PB so early and good wishes to your lovely family. 🙂

  11. What a beautiful family and what a wonderful story! Made me teary-eyed, too. I am so happy for you all, especially Gabriel!

  12. Woot! Woot! I have a similar history with my kids, but nothing anywhere near this drastic. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    Now, to give my kids my Primal Blueprint cookbook to read 🙂

  13. That is awesome 🙂 I’ve recently been set back eating-wise since I’ve been out of work, and I immediately noticed the changes. Clogged sinuses, weight gain, fatigue. It’s amazing how quickly we can deteriorate when eating poisonous foods, and on the flip side, improve tremendously when eating good whole foods!

  14. As I mom, I think this success story got to me more then any of the previous ones 🙂 Absolutely fabulous!

  15. I am finding more and more of the kids O dp wellness coaching thrive when I can move the parents to a more primal/paleo lifestyle! My own little boy was thrilled to throw out his allergy meds and pills 2 months after we threw out the grains!! I love it when parents take the time to examine their kids diets rather than buying into the doctor’s misinformed nonsense.

  16. Huh, my oldest boy was collic, very picky eater, and has a ton of earwax. I’m forwarding this to my husband. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Excessive earwax can be a sign of omega-6/omega-3 imbalance. (Specifically omega-3 deficiency.)

      Just food for thought.

      1. You know, I never thought about earwax much, but now looking back… that was one of the things that improved tremendously with me. It went away along with my chronic ear infections.
        Yet another primal advantage…

  17. WOW. You look one prime(al) family and being a redhead myself I just love your son’s red hair. The baby looks very bonny too. I was brought up on grains and dairy and tolerated them fairly well but I was a chubby baby. As soon as I went to solids, however, my mother fed me meat and innards and I loved it from the start. Still do.

  18. We too have changed our youngest son’s diet due to reoccuring illness and behavior. I can not believe the impact it has had.

  19. Wow, great story. I think I got some dust in my eyes or something.

  20. Good work on making your son healthy. It sounds like your son may have an eosinophilic disorder (eosinophilic esophagitis/eosinophilic colitis). Treatment usually involves identifying and avoiding trigger foods. It sounds like you have things under control, but I just wanted to mention eosinophilic disorders in case you have problems in the future or are looking for the underlying medical condition that can cause symptoms similar to your sons.

    1. Sara, do you have experience with this? I was recently diagnosed and go for allergy testing soon. Really hoping it’s not beef, fish, or eggs!

  21. Thank you so much for sending this in. My heart breaks when I read/hear about kids suffering so much from their diets. We recently cut all dairy from our 5 year old’s diet and she too is much improved. She is no longer bloated, with excessive gas and–surprise!–now has very little ear wax.

    We’ve also noticed a change in our 2 year old. While she ate well, she would lack energy and every 2-3 weeks would have episodes of extended vomiting (from 2 hours up to 17). These were not from illness but, we think, diet-related. In fact, I suspect the cod liver oil we were giving her. She is a different kid since we stopped that supplement.

    I congratulate you and your wife for persevering and changing your lives to help your son grow and thrive. 🙂

  22. What a cute sweet family!! I LOVE your son’s story!!! Happy for you all!!

    1. Ditto on the great story and the reservations about not getting vaccinations.

      I’m so glad your boys are healthy now, but infectious diseases have no respect for good intentions. Your boys may be avoiding the real nasties because the majority of children today are vaccinated. People of my parents’ generation were so thankful that they could vaccinate their children and spare them the ravages of diseases that had killed for generations. Please don’t become complacent about protecting your children — those microbes are still out there and they still put kids in the hospital.

      1. This was a great story!
        Please don’t judge or criticize other parents about their right to vaccinate their own children. Every individual has a right to choose what medical procedures are right for them and not have others forcing their opinions.

  23. I’m so happy for your family!

    My daughters were very colicky and my eldest Autistic. I cured her autism and they are both the best behaved kids I’ve ever seen with amazing attention spans and appetites that never quit. All of that thanks to a paleo diet (with bone broth and probiotics galore).

    I wish all parents could be exposed to your story and help their own families thrive.

    1. I would love to hear of some strategies you used to help cure your daughter of autism.

      1. You should check out Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s GAPS diet – she is focused on autism and diet, very paleo in her approach, although she identifies more with WAPF I think

  24. This is the first child success story I have read and one of the best. Congrats to you guys for figuring it out and transforming Gabriel into a healthy person. You all look very healthy.

    I think this really proves that the primal blueprint is superior to SAD and CW. It’s a shame that our CW “experts” can’t admit they’re wrong and come clean.

  25. This is a great story that almost parallels my family. My two daughters didn’t have growth issues but since primal they pretty much never get sick any more.

    One difference though we didn’t keep trying to re-introduce grains back into the diet. Sometimes I think grains are so embedded in our psyche that we’ll do almost anything to continue using them.
    My only friendly advice is to stop trying to get grains back into the kid’s diet. You’ve found what works so stick with it.
    When we went through this I just asked myself why I would ever again feed them something that caused harm. And I never did.

  26. What a great story – my co-worker is currently pregnant with her second child and I think she’ll find this pretty interesting. Sending her the link now! 🙂

  27. What a beautiful family. Thanks for reminding us that the real food movement is not just for grown-ups!

  28. Just goes to show you kids know what they need and they react appropriately if they don’t get it.

    Great story!

  29. What a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL story!

    Bless you for not stopping until you found something that worked for your son and your family. It breaks my heart to see so many children suffering with terrible physical and psychological issues, and their parents at their wit’s end, when all it would take to turn things around is a change in diet. A *big* change, granted, but a change in food nonetheless. No meds, no therapy, no expensive gizmos and contraptions. Just good quality food, fresh air, daylight, and play.

    I hear about all the whacked-out things kids are experiencing now and I just want to bang my head against the wall. I look at people’s shopping carts in the supermarket, and all I can do is shake my head. (‘Cuz the alternative is banging my head against the wall.) Like it’s some big mystery why so many people are so ill and why so many kids can’t still.

  30. That’s so awesome that you’re all feeling better! It’s a great foundation you’re giving them too.

  31. Amazing story! Instead of “out of the mouths of babes”, we learn from what is going into them.

  32. As a former neonatal ICU nurse I have seen a dramatic increase in reflux diagnisis’ in preemies.

    Treatments went from medications like cisapride, that were later found to cause heart issues, to a horrid surgical intervention called the Nissan Wrap that basically frevented the child from vomiting. Thankfully that fell out of favor, but is still used on adults.
    At the time I couldn’t figure out if infants had always had reflux and we were now diagnosing it more, since the drug companies could benefit, or was it a new or increasingly severe phenomena ?
    Hindsight tells me a bit of both. Pregnant moms eat more problematic grains, babies are less tolerant of wheat and dairy, and don’t even get me started on soy based formula! Lol

    Congrats to this family for figuring it out, heaven knows I could not get the docs to consider this back Iin the late 90’s early 2000’s When I was intuitively so opposed to medication and surgical intervention for these fragile babies who suffered from reflux AS WELL as the treatments.

    1. Oops, sorry for the typo- diagnosis. If you find more, my apologies, typing too fast. ( not an indication of ignorance) 😉

  33. What a wonderful story. Your children are so blessed to have you and your husband as their parents.

  34. Wow. What a story! Beautiful family and Gabriel is quite an inspiration.

  35. Hello Gabriel, glad you’re feeling better! I’m impressed with your 19 push-ups; there are lots of adults that can’t do that. (Now you need to start working on pull-ups; there are even more people that can’t do those!)

  36. Gabriel’s Dad here, I am glad so many of you liked Gabriel’s story and I hope it will encourage others as well. To answer one point, we probably will keep experimenting with food. It has led us in such a healthy direction as discussed above, but also helped us with “party food” as well. 6 year olds go to parties, so when the rest of the kids have pizza, it’s nice to know he can eat hotdogs, hamburgers ( bunless) and French fries without getting sick. At Chistmas and Easter we know he can eat candy canes made from real sugar, not corn syrup, and dark chocolate Easter eggs. It is obviously not healthy or primal, but treats are a part of modern life so it has been helpful to know what we can do and not do.

  37. Wow! What a great story! I’m going through a similar situation, I’m currently exclusively breastfeeding my 4 month old and on a strict elimination diet. Right now I am dairy free and gluten/wheat free, I’ve been contemplating going completely grain free but I am concerned it will be difficult to get proper nutrition with no dairy as well as no grains. I’ve already seen an incredible improvement in my 4 month olds “fussiness” with the diet I’m on now but I think there are still things I’m eating that are bothering her. Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Toni, you might want to check the amount of broccoli you are eating…can make kids quite gassy.
      I had a mom bring some breast milk to the NICU for her preemie and it was light green! She said she had been eating alot of broccoli casserole she loved. ( baby didn’t get THAT milk! )
      Sorry if that was TMI, folks!

      1. Thank you for the tip. Fortunately I do not eat large amounts of broccoli. I probably eat it once a week, haven’t noticed it bothering her but I’ll pay close attention next time. 🙂

    2. I would think you could still get plenty of nutrients into your diet even with the complete elimination of grains. On the contrary grains contain anti-nutrients and are not the main source of nutrition in our diets. Increase your protein, fruit, and vegetable intake. It’ll be better for both of you.

      (not a doctor, just personal experience and opinion)

  38. So glad for you guys! What a gratifying story, and I wish you and your family continuing great health.

  39. Wow such a truly amazing story. It really makes you sit back and think what our bodies have gone through over our adolescent and adult life before finding the primal way. Congrats to you and your family for looking outside the box and finding a new path for the future!

  40. So glad to read this success story and hearing about another happy turnaround! Somewhat reminds me of my own childhood. I was raised on formula, grains and dairy. I ate lots & lots of homemade bread growing up… mostly because I was craving the butter on them! If I had only known then, what I know now!! In my teens, I was scrictly low or zero fat/high carb… I ate probably every 1.5-2 hours… I almost existed soley on whole grain ceral and skim milk. I just can’t remember feeling good as a young child and I always seemed to have health issues until I went primal. It’s absolutely amazing how much better I feel now that I eat lots of grass fed beef, backyard eggs, grass fed butter, pastured pork, fish, vegetables, coconut oil/milk, etc.

  41. AWESOME story! I’ll be sharing this! Thank you for sharing your (and your son’s!) success with a Primal diet!

  42. Nice family, great story! Gabriel’s transformation is amazing. Kudos to mommy and daddy for taking good care of him!

  43. Two inches in five months is puberty level growth, that is awesome!

  44. Congrats! My daughter growing up was always cranky, whiny, mood swings beyond belief. When I convince her to stay primal she has fewer mood swings, and able to concentrate etc.(peer pressure gets to her) my son was always stuck n baby fat mode even as he entered teen years. The boy has abs! School work improved too. I wish I had known about this 15 years ago. Cheers to their next 15 years and to healthy children!

  45. Thank you for sharing this excellent story! Your family is lovely. Surely I’m not the only one who’s dying to give those chubby little breast-fed baby thighs a little squeeze?? =)

    I cringe every time I hear someone say a baby has been deemed “colicky,” and that all one can do is wait it out. Smacking a label on a hurting child doesn’t make the hurt go away. Kudos to you and your wife for pushing for answers!

  46. What a beautiful family! I wonder if the solution to all cases of colic involve food choices.

  47. Thank you for sharing your story. It really hit home for me due to many similarities between Gabriel and my 18 month old daughter. I nursed her exclusively for 6 months and she was very colicky/irritable/lethargic as an infant. She screamed every time she had a bowel movement. She also had projectile vomit often. My doctor attributed these symptoms to an underdeveloped GI tract. I asked him if my diet could be causing it, ‘of course not you eat healthy’ (i.e. whole grains, dairy, legumes, veggies, fruit, small amount of meat). I had a dairy allergy as a child and continue to have difficulties digesting the stuff so I tried eliminating it from diet. It helped a bit, she wasn’t screaming anymore, just bloated and crying. When I introduced solids, we started with CW (i.e. rice cereal, barley, peas etc.). She’s definitely allergic to cows and goats milk (vomiting at 12 months). My doctor still doesn’t believe me about the allergy (thinks I’m overreacting) and recommended soy formula, thankfully I didn’t take his advice. After doing a lot of searching we came across the Paleo diet. My husband and I have started removing all grains and legumes from our family’s diets except rice, peas and peanut butter. My daughter still has eczema on her face, breaks out in hives occasionally, has loose stools or is constipated but is generally less sick. I too worry that she won’t get enough calories if we eliminate the above. Does anyone have any suggestions for green vegetables for a child with no teeth. She is no longer nursing either (she weened herself a couple of weeks ago), does anyone have any suggestions for a milk substitute. Thanks again!

    1. I use coconut milk and make it myself which I highly recommend doing if you decide coconut milk is the way to go. There are various directions on the web. The easiest is to make it from unsweetened coconut shreds which you can buy in bulk. Warning though, making coconut milk can be messy until you figure out a method.

      For the toothless one, wouldn’t any green vegetable be good zipped up in a blender? Add enough fat to your child’s diet and she should get enough calories? Coconut oil, butter, etc.

      1. Thanks for the advice! I have given her some coconut milk to try but it had guar gum in it; I’ll definitely give the homemade coconut milk recipe a try. Have you had any trouble with coconut milk acting as a laxative? Are you concerned that it doesn’t have any calcium, DHA etc. in it like Cow and Goat milk do? I’ve thought about giving her Carlson’s Cod liver oil but now I’m not so sure.

    2. Just a thought from a silly grandmother here, but my granddaughter loves quinoa (steamed with organic, gluten-free chicken broth) just like you would steam rice. And since peanuts are a legume, we’ve been giving her organic creamy almond butter in place of peanut butter. Both would be good sources of calories if you’re worried about that.

    3. Gabe’s dad here, my wife uses the Vitamix to blend up all his veggies. If it is too bitter and he won’t eat it she mixes it with sweet potatoes and he always eats it.

      1. Thanks everyone. We’ll definitely give the suggestions a shot.

    4. I don’t think your child needs green vegetables at her age. She’s very young to be eating vegetables.

      Instead, try homemade broth made from beef soup bones. The broth will heal her damaged gut.
      Raw pastured yolks (not whites) would also be good for her, as many as she will eat.

      If you are afraid to give her raw egg yolks, save the marrow from the soup bones when you make beef broth, and cook the yolks in the marrow only a little.

      To the homemade beef broth and egg yolks, add a big pinch of good quality salt.

      If you cook bacon, give her a *whole* strip and let her lick or suck the fat from the strip of bacon.

      If she weaned and you want breast-milk substitute, look into homemade formulas, Weston A. Price foundation has a couple good recipes that are much more nutritious than commercial formula:

      I don’t think giving green vegetables to your little girl is the way to go. Too much fiber. It will probably make her constipation worse. Also, vegetables don’t have many calories, but fat does! Perfect for a growing child! She needs fat, not vegetables.

      Hope this helps and that your child grows nice and strong!

      1. My reply is awaiting moderation because I posted a link, so wait for it to show up.

        I just wanted to add something to my reply: you asked about calcium; beef broth will have lots of calcium, so no worries!
        Egg yolk has lots of DHA, so there you have it!

        Sardines have LOTS of DHA *and* calcium. If your daughter won’t eat sardines (pan fried or broiled is really tasty), then try other fish.

        It’s a lot easier than you think to get calcium and DHA from non-dairy sources.


    5. I guess it’s technically a fruit, but we’ve had great success with avocados with our toothless toddlers – great source of fat, too. Also, very well-steamed green beans and asparagus with plenty of butter (or in your case, maybe coconut oil!) are easy to gnaw on with toothless gums.
      Our 2nd kid was grain free until about 15 months (when we added rice), and we got a ton of helpful info from the WAPF (Weston A.Price Foundation) website. It’s not “paleo,” but it’s “ancestral health” based, and it has a ton of grain-free recipes and ideas for kids/toddlers under the children’s health section. Maybe it would be helpful to you.
      It sounds like she’s allergic to cows/goat’s milk (I assume pasteurized?), but have you tried them raw and fermented? My kids get eczema from pasteurized milk, but yogurt/kefir/raw milk are totally fine. She may need to heal her gut with a non-allergen/healing diet like GAPS for a while before she’s ready for any dairy, though!
      Way to go on listening to your better judgement and discarding some of your doctor’s advice – it sounds like you have really helped your little girl improve her health!

  48. We have been trying to move our girls towards a Primal diet for the last year. This article convinces me that we need to go hardcore for our youngest, who has more symptoms from wheat and sugar. Now to convince her…:-)

    1. I found that when I simply made the old food unavailable and replaced it with delicious meats (read: fats) that my own daughter’s protests didn’t even happen. I anticipated a big fuss but what I gave instead is just so darn good she doesn’t miss cereal AT ALL. It’s amazing what they’ll accept when you aren’t trying to convince them, but are just deeply convinced yourself.

  49. Amazing story. Congrats to you and you wife for listening to your gut and helping your whole family.

  50. So awesome! I have done the same with all three of my little ones. My eldest cried for a solid year and was always sick. She was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at 15 months of age and the same week I was told I had symptoms related to MS. The whole family is grain-free, gluten-free, soy-free and out must-have food is bacon! Thanks for sharing your story! Love to see healing, especially in little ones and their family.

  51. So awesome to read these sorts of stories!

    I have to say that I get very frustrated when parents won’t go outside of their doctors for information (like this family did!).

    I often recommend these things to families, but very few want to hear it. I wish more doctors would recommend these natural cures to common problems!

    Good on you guys for going against the grain.

    Hey, that was a pun!

    1. You need to create a t-shirt at Cafepress ASAP! That’s a good one!

  52. While I’m thrilled that your family is thriving and that eating primal is working well for you, I’m concerned that you said Elliot has not been immunized. Immunization, contrary to what many anti-vax folks will tell you, has been proven to be sound, safe, and critical for our health. Recent outbreaks of whooping cough, measles, and even polio have been linked directly to anti-vaccination fears. Our generation is incredibly fortunate-we haven’t seen the devastation that measles, whooping cough or polio can wreak, precisely because we were vaccinated as children. And the reason that vaccination works is that we’ve achieved a significant proportion of the population who are vaccinated. When you refuse to vaccinate your children, you not only put them at risk, but you put the rest of us and our children at risk as well. When I hear the anti-vax claims, I was concerned, so I did quite a bit of research, on both sides of the issue, and the science is pretty clear-vaccinations are far, far safer than the anti-vax crowd claims, and while there are (very rarely) side-effects in some people, those side-effects are far less dangerous than actually contracting the diseases being vaccinated for. I encourage anyone who is concerned about it to do your own research, and don’t buy into irrational arguments-look for the science behind the claims of both sides.

    1. I have done research, a lot of research…. I will not be vaccinating my children; kudos for this family for thinking outside the box on SO many issues. How great of them for living a life that is controversial in more areas than one 🙂 Thankfully we live in a country where it can still (for how much longer who knows) be our choice. There are informed natural doctors who know “alternative” choices for vaccines too.

    2. Knowing what vaccines are MADE of and doing months and months of research I chose NOT to vaccinate my children either. Not as one who was swept away with anti/fear of anything but of solid research and a desire/understanding of the human body. We looked into and put our children on the GAPS diet, and hold to the belief that health starts and ends in the gut. I agree with Kk, there are natural doctors out there with alternatives. It is great to still have a choice in that matter, though I too am not sure how long it will last in our country with the government needing to control everything in ours and our children’s lives, because they *know* what’s right for every individual. Vaccines hold so much financial and political power I was wary of them from that! Looking into how they make them and with WHAT they make them I shudder to think of the poor child’s body that has to receive them. There are many people (I know some personally) who have “naturally” cured whooping cough and polio. It is good to be informed, I agree.

    3. Matt,

      I promised my grandfather, who had polio as a child (a mild case, luckily, he regained the ability to walk), that we would have our children vaccinated for it. Many states, including ours, have laws about children not being admitted to school without certain vaccinations — I think other states are more liberal about exemptions, but here you are not allowed to opt out unless you are part of a short list of religious sects. Since we are not yet decided on homeschooling or not, our daughter will probably be vaccinated. There is no law I am aware of, however, that says you have to do it on the pediatrician’s schedule. Some vaccinations require fewer or no boosters if administered later, in fact. Our daughter is ten months old, and has received the polio and whooping cough (there was an epidemic in our area around the time of her birth) vaccines, and will not receive any more until she is 4 or 5. It is often more helpful to try to find common ground with people of different opinions than to threaten them with consequences — they are doing what they think is best for their children, as are you, and as am I, and as you said, research is best. I don’t think the way the pediatricians tell us to do it is right, but I’m not willing to completely abandon medical advances, either.

      1. Every state allows for exemptions with vaccines. Every state. Just google your state and there are lots of helpful sitess.

        1. Diane,

          You are right. New York State, however, is notoriously impossible to get exemptions from. Although NYS law has liberalized in the past few years from what it was, many of the sites that come up when you Google “New York vaccination exemptions” describe in great detail the difficulties experienced by people trying to get waived. Other states, I hear, are much more lenient.

      2. I was going to comment on this as well. My older son had all of the vaccines on schedule, and has terrible digestive issues and the accompanying neurological issues. I have had not one, but two MD’s tell me that his issues are in part related to how he was vaccinated using the aggressive new vaccine schedule, as well as an overuse of anti-biotics and Tylenol. We spaced vaccines out with my younger son and avoided antibiotics and tylenol and he has no neurological issues, but still has some digestive issues that are puzzling for someone who has only ever eaten primally his entire life and was breastfed for two years.

        I have looked into the links between vaccines and IBD or Crohn’s, and have decided (with the full support of our doctor) to not vaccinate any future children at all due to our genetic vulnerabilities. I have spent the last three years working hard to help my son heal with food (VLC GAPS/Primal) and so I particularly loved your success story with your young son’s digestive issues, and the line about your new baby being healthy as can be with no immunizations jumped out at me. Lots of parents (and kids) learn the hard way that vaccines are not as safe for everyone as the CDC claims they are, which is why I was wondering if your older child had all of his vaccines, and if that played a part in your reluctance to vaccinate your younger child?
        Just eating the way we do sets us apart, so I am sure you are okay with having a really counter-culture opinion about the risk-benefit of vaccines as well. I know I am, but too bad for my older son, I learned a little too late.
        You are doing a great job. I know how tough it can be. Be well!

  53. This is so great.

    I really admire how you kept an open mind and tried new things – until you found what really worked. What a beautiful (grain free) family you are!

    How interesting that Gabriel devoured meat when you gave it to him. It seems that his body knew exactly what it needed. Being able to recognize/feel the need for protein is key, and I’m glad I can. Mark wrote in a post that when our diets are carb-laden, our recognition gets thrown off course, and we can think we’re craving carbs when we’re actually needing protein.

    I wish I had been Primal when my daughter was very young, so I could have raised her Primal. Her grain and dairy intake have never been substantial, but I’d prefer she had none.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  54. Good read. My toddler niece consumes too much sugars and grains and goes bonkers.

    Side note: I am always amazed and confused regarding people who cry from reading these posts. I cannot comprehend it.

    1. I think, for my part, I got a powerful visual as I read it of him suffering, and then a visual of him happily eating a great meal, and the mother in me felt a huge swelling in my heart at the mental image. It made me so happy the tears came. When we express the effect of tears, we’re just trying to explain how happy we are for them. You don’t relate to anything like this? Then don’t worry about it.

      1. I guess I should explain that tears in my eyes is not quite the same as crying and choking in tears. Are you puzzled by tears in the eyes, or are you picturing people just breaking down into hysterics? I don’t think that THAT is what people describe when they mention their own lachrymosity… 🙂

    2. We are the same bunch who cry at dog movies, baby movies, weddings, and Hallmark commercials. Especially when pregnant. Don’t worry, we don’t understand it, either. 🙂 Although in this case, I’d agree with Joy Beer that it has a lot to do with envisioning a suffering child who was finally able to experience comfort and happiness, and the relief his mother must have felt.

  55. I loved this story because it could have been mine. Our youngest is only 10 months, but he began his life screaming! At 24 hours old, a nurse asked what was wrong with him; turns out he needed to pass his first bowel movement. He screamed for 2 hours, passed it, then was calm and happy (until the next one). He was colicky, didn’t sleep (I know every parent says that…he slept in 45-90 minute stretches for 6 MONTHS, then “improved” to 2-4 hour stretches), screamed as though in agony every time he woke, and spent months 6-9 with chronic ear infections (and, therefore, CW-prescribed antibiotics).

    I cut grains from my diet 2 months ago (he’s breastfed). A month later, as I held my screaming infant and waited for the antibiotics to kick in for the newest ear infection, I realized that they began shortly after I began giving him solids at 6 months.

    Immediately, I cut grains and dairy out of his diet (and dairy from mine). It’s been a month since the last ear infection (and 3.5 weeks since discontinuing the last prescription) despite fighting a nasty cold for the last week. He’s sleeping 4-8 hour stretches and he wakes up cooing! He’s a new child. I am so thankful to have discovered this at only 10 months!

  56. Great story. Organic food helps. I was colicky also as baby and they fed me goat;s milk which helped

  57. I think this is the best story yet! Not because the others aren’t inspiring, but because children are so precious.

  58. We have a similar story over here. However, unfortunately, because we have not got a medical certificate for any allergies we cannot do the 100% shift. Certificates are required for daycare special diets. I am quite frustrated about the situation because I see so many issues (particularly the growing and the apetite) that I am convinced could be fixed if daycare was working with us on this one….

    1. Not sure where you’re located, but I always had a lot of luck with family daycares where a parent stayed home with their kids and also opened up a daycare. If you find a good one, they tend to be more flexible and are not held to the same specific regulations. Good luck!

    2. Have you asked your doctor to write a certificate for gluten-free at least? How about an accredited naturopathic doctor?

      I’ve heard that celiacs will score negative on the test unless they make themselves sick by eating the trigger foods beforehand.

  59. great story! the comment about excessive ear wax was interesting. when I was in grade school, quite a few times my ear would hurt and when we went to the doctor, it turned out I had this huge plug of ear wax blocking my whole canal. he would then use warm to hot water to flush it out. wondering if it was the grains I was eating back then. very interesting.

  60. Beautiful story. Has the whole family been tested for celiac/grain allergies yet?

  61. This story is inspiring. I have a 2 year old that is a picky eater and we struggle with eczema. She had some rice cereal when she was 8-10 months old before I knew about the primal/paleo diet. Cutting the rice cereal wasn’t hard at all but getting her to eat meat or eggs is a different story. I made all her baby food and she always ate everything except the meat purees. Now she learned to like bacon, smoked oysters,grilled salmon, sardines and sausage and she always liked vegetables and fruit. It sounds like quite the variety but sh doesn’t always want to eat these.When she refuses to eat any protein my last resort is making some humus or letting her eat some full fat yogurt. The grandparents and my husband feel that she is not eating much (and there are indeed days when she barely eats anything) so they give her rice crackers with peant butter. It is a constant debate between me and my husband: he thinks that even if it’s not the best food, it’s better than going to bed with an empty stomach. I would much rather choose the empty stomach versus the crackers.

    1. Sometimes as a snack/treat I’ll give my daughter banana or pumpkin pancakes (I think Mark has a recipe for them on this site), she loves them!

  62. Thank you for this! I almost could have written it myself. From birth we struggled with our daughter’s health and every MD we saw was completely unhelpful. As a “last ditch” effort when she was 7 months we reached out to a homeopath and ever since, things have gotten progressively better and our daughter is now a happy and healthy 17mo on a primal diet with homeopathic treatments and my husband and I are on our way to a similar diet as well.

  63. Each week I think these stories can’t get any better – and then they do.

    What a beautiful story to illustrate how the body can sort itself out just given a change in diet.

    But more importantly what an amazing gift you have given your family. I can’t wait to read the update in 15 years time!

  64. What great parents! I learned very early in my son’s life that even when surrounded by the leading surgeons, doctors and other healthcare professionals, the best advocates our children have are their parents. We care the most about them and will not stop until all of our concerns are put to rest. Your perserverence is a great example to other parents. Thank-you.

  65. Thank you so much for sharing your story. We have a 2 year old who has always been underweight and under-sized (but has relatively small parents). We have been told by doctors to feed him starches and sugars to get his weight up. None of that felt right to me – why should we feed him unhealthy food just to make him gain weight? We did give him ice cream every night but more to satiate him since he never ate much at dinner and if we didn’t, he was up every hour nursing.

    Every pound has been hard won for him.

    My husband and I were both in tears at reading your story. I know we may not experience the same thing, but it’s just so nice to have this hope. Thank you for sharing.

  66. EPIC! Reminds me of my little half-bro, borderline aspie. Unfortunately his parents aren’t as enlightened and proactive… Major primal kudos to you guys, what a vibrant looking clan you are!

  67. Oh, so, familiar, I remain traumatized by my two sons and their first two years of life. I am so glad your second mothering experience has been better than your first in terms of your child’s health. My babies were as bad as each other, though one had ear problems and the other has eczema. We have been checked for eosinophilic disorder and we don’t’ have it, sometimes these wee babes just have problems in processing foods. It really really sucks when you can’t help your kids and they are in agony and ill. Thanks for sharing.

  68. “…and he always begged for more bacon.”
    Hehehe Way to go Gabriel!!!

    Wonderful, uplifting story!

  69. I love this story, as well as the other success stories I have read! My only complaint is that these stories aren’t penetrating the masses of people who NEED to read and learn more about the benefits of Paleo / Primal living.

  70. Such a wonderful change for all of you!

    The healthy glow on the little ones faces is just precious. In my head keeps repeating the song verse about “the rosy red cheeks of the little children.” It fits them so well!

  71. Wonderful story and extremely cute kids! As a lactation consultant I am continually encouraging families to cut out grains and dairy. It usually helps tremendously in families that are willing to try it!

  72. Very similar story over here, too, with my sick baby (he’s now 6). What a horrible experience for us first time moms. You brought me to tears. I wish I could hug all of you right now, especially your wife. What a woman. God bless you all and keep up the good work! If you’re ever in Northern Cali, let’s have a primal playdate!!

  73. Great story… I could see it all coming together the more I read!

    My mom is a grammar Natzi… Gotta love her though haha. Christina you just got worked!

  74. Wow, great story and like all the other mums and dads here I teared up a bit as well. My 3 boys are now late teens, and I really wish I knew what I know now. Ear wax is interesting. As soon as I gave up grains, my wax problem was gone (along with a whole host of other complaints).

  75. What an amazing story, thank you for sharing!
    This shows what can happen when you take your health into your own hands and listen to your bodies. Great work!


  76. No immunizations makes me VERY uncomfortable. Adults and older kids now need pertussis boosters b/c of outbreaks. Measles are now killing children. I personally don’t want kids without their vaccines children NEAR my child, or myself since my childhood vaccines re weak now. Childhood disabilities and disease driven fatalities have been largely eradicated because of vaccines. If you choose to not vaccinate your child you should home school your child and not expose the rest of us to your irresponsibility.

    1. I was always a believer in vaccines until my child reacted to his and became very ill. Some children, for various reasons, are more sensitive than others. These kids typically have asthma, allergies, gut issues or autism spectrum disorders. While I know many healthy kids and adults who do just fine with vaccines, caution is warranted for those who may be in that sensitive group or have siblings who suffered from vaccine injury. Just as some experience negative side effects from certain medications, there are some who react similarly to vaccines. I don’t understand how anyone could possibly say that all vaccines are safe for everyone. You would be hard pressed to find even find a pediatrician who
      would support that statement. And lastly, we do need to clean up our vaccines. At this point, they contain a number of harmful adjuvants that are known carcinogens and toxins. And I am not just talkng about thimerasol.

    2. If vaccines work so well why are you afraid of he unvaxed? You will find most of those in the pertussis outbreaks were vaccinated. The best defense for a baby against pertussis and rotavirus is breastfeeding. And in today’s world doctors don’t test adults for pertussis. They just diagnose it as bronchitis.

  77. I have just given up my last grain (rice) and am surprised at how much better I feel – I felt good before but . . . And I was only eating small amounts. Conventional Wisdom eating & the big agricultural hornswoggling of two generations have a lot to answer for

  78. lol at all of the people commenting about the person pointing out the typos. don’t you have something better to do? LOL!

  79. What a beautiful, healthy family! You guys are amazing parents and your children have benefitted immensely from your desire to educate yourselves and implement positive changes. Don’t pay attention to the negative comments regarding your choice not to vaccinate. You have made a prudent and informed choice and your children will be healthier for it. We have chosen not to vaccinate our three children either after noticing how terribly our first born reacted to his shots.

  80. This sounds so much like my son it is uncanny… and pretty eerie in that my son is also almost 6, very slight build and has flaming orange red hair and blue eyes. Very colicky baby, underweight, breastfed… tubes in the ears and constant antibiotics as an infant/toddler. We went to gluten free and it helped his temperment and focus emmensely but our family wasn’t supportive and had a new baby to add to the mix. Now, I’m transitioning them both to primal/paleo from gluten-free. (Just have to convince their sitter that “even just a little bit” of animal crackers are NOT allowed to be given to them for snacks.

    thanks so much for sharing, it makes me feel like i AM doing the right thing for my kids by going against CW.

    1. If it works for your son, you better take a look at yourself or partner – you are likely at higher risk for the chronic diseases associated with all of this – arthritis, cardio problems, bipolar/schizo, metabolic syndrome, auto-immune, etc. Just look around your family tree. We had a son severely reacting to gluten, but we *all* benefited immensely from the whole house getting off wheat (and now all grains).

  81. Great story. I wish I could get my wife to read it and give it a shot. My oldest boy has ADHD and due to medication has a very low appitite and refuses to eat lunch, most days, and very little supper. When the medicine wears off in the middle of the night he’s up gorging himself on cereal and poptarts. I’ve got HB eggs in the fridge for him to eat along with left over meats but as long as the crap is in the house he pigs out on it. Can’t get it through to her! I have refused to buy both items but she goes and purchases them and stocks the house. She is VERY resistant!!! She also suffers from Migraines and she still refuses to “TRY” and change her eating!! VERY FRUSTRATING!!! By the time I get home from work 6-630am he has already had 1-2 more bowls of cereal or oatmeal so unable to give him a good nutritious meal before school.
    Thanks for posting this and I’ll keep sharing it on Facebook and hopefully someday she will read it and a light will go off.

    1. What is wrong with the woman? You would think she would be eager to try ANYTHING that might help her child! I find this stubbornness absolutely infuriating.

    2. Sounds like one of those situations where the more you push, the more bricks she adds to the wall shutting out your message. You have to take another approach – maybe based on hearing what she thinks, what are her fears, what does she hope will happen, rather than pushing your answer at her. Your goal is to understand her thinking (no offense, purely based on the words you have used here)

  82. Wonderful and such great timing as I have a child who won’t eat. My issue is a bit different tho, as she’s 15. I will head straight to the forum I think and see if some of you wonderful people can help me come up with ideas?

  83. I read on one of these blogs something that makes perfect sense – our bodies are not by default  broken. If you have an issue that is chronic, then it might be caused by something else you do chronically. 

  84. I am glad the paleo/primal diet is working out for you guys- congrats on a beautiful and healthy family!

    HOWEVER, please please PLEASE look into giving your children the vaccinations they need to keep themselves and other children healthy. I know it is a big push among some Whole-Foods-Types against immunization, but there is NO RELIABLE SCIENTIFIC DATA showing that it causes autism or other problems. These ideas are based on rumors, baleful anecdotes and pseudo-science.

    But, if the only reason you haven’t given your son immunizations yet is because he’s not old enough, sorry for the rant.

    1. This is truly a remarkable story. I am so happy for you all – what strength you demonstrate to educate yourselves and provide for your children.

      As a speech language pathologist I have noticed a correlation between SAD and a rise in a number of development problems. I respect there is no one single etiology; however, I believe diet plays a huge role in ADHD, auditory processing, middle ear infections, learning and physical growth. I do caution speculation of “curing” autism based on diet alone. Perhaps it was misdiagnosed, as symptoms overlap and many good intentioned professionals may be over

      I do believe immunizations are warranted; however, respect personal choice. Being a parent myself, it is hard to live with absolutes. I do feel modern science / medicine has it’s place; like you – we do our leg work and pick medical professionals we can work with and consult. For example, we separated out the MMR immunization when it was in question. We felt there are some risks we’d rather not face.

      Your children seem to be in very strong hands. God Bless.

    2. Go look at the government VAERS database whee reported vaccine injuries are stored. Even the government admits that less than 10 percent of all reactions get reported. You will find that there are very real side effects from vaccInes including death. Also read the pamphlet inserts for each vaccine. Then ask why there have never been any studies on giving a kid 68 vaccines in their infant/childhood years?
      Then research the ingrediants including formaldehyde and peanut oil… And look at the “diseases” we are vaccinating against: mumps. Chicken pox.

  85. Such an inspiring and powerful story. Thank you. Almost unbelievable results and such a healthy, happy- looking family.

  86. This could have been my story!! As in me personally. I was that kid, the small for their age, no appetite, constantly complaining of stomach aches and going from constipation to diarrhea.
    I’m so glad you figured out what works for your son.

    I discovered in college my intolerance to milk (sudden disappearance of severe stomach aches when I stopped having a daily glass of milk), and more recently that my constant bloat is actually from grains. I love the primal diet.

  87. I wish every new parent could be handed a copy of this story.
    Checking a child’s diet first is always better than giving them a handful of pills and a poptart.
    I wish I had been informed before my kids turned into chubby, acne riddled teenagers.
    We are turning them around now, but it is hard to keep them from the dark side of sweet coffees and ihop pancakes.

  88. you are very wise and compassionate parents. thank you for setting such a good example for others. i see how our 4 year old daughter is thriving on a primal diet, her lean muscle tone and strength is unreal. i see a real difference between her and many of her preschool classmates. i.e. colds, moodiness, energy levels, school performance and overall appearance.
    she is proud of her diet and never asks for a sandwich or crackers that other children routinely pull out of their lunch boxes. it’s amazing.
    great work and thanks for sharing your positive experience.

  89. Wonderful story of success. I wish I had known all this when my son, now 30, was always sick and didn’t sleep through the night even once until he was four. I’m so glad this family found out about primal.

  90. first time ive read an article and had my jaw drop med read…very amazing..yet unsurprising results. i have forwarded this on to every parent i know. congrats on finding natures way.

  91. One of the best stories so far! So touching and encouraging 🙂

  92. really… that was what you got from the story. and you even suggested to change the story.

  93. Thank you Thank you- I am a grain free minimal dairy nursing mum and yep breast is best but breast could be better!!! I have now watched several “healthy” friends nurse their babies through colic and GI hell, they all knew instinctively it was something in the breast milk and out of desperation resorted to formula- only to find it did not work either. I watched from the side lines as i was not a mum at the time and could not bring experience to the table, but now!! My bub has very little gas, burping, vomit, eye or ear productivity, she has not been sick and people regularly comment on how alert and smart she is- which is lovely but- i cant help but think ‘my kid is normal, what is happening for most of our kids is abnormal’ – Just cause its common does not mean its normal!!!

  94. Thank you for sharing your family story. We have been discusssing to get our kids on a similar diet for over a year now, since me and my husband started ‘the 4 hour body’, with great progress both physically and mentally. Our 8yo daughter has had physical and mental problems for a couple of years now. Reading your story really helps us convince to start her on a raw food/grain free diet. And her twin sister and little brother as well:-) Thank you so much!

  95. Amazing story. As a parent myself, I want to commend these parents for never giving up on looking for an answer. Your hard work and willing to look “outside the conventional wisdom box” has turned your son’s health and life around. GREAT job and congrats to your little boy. Inspiring!

  96. As a veterinarian involved in infectious disease research for over 20 years, I feel compelled to add to the discussion concerning immunization. Generational memory is lamentably short, and those who do not vaccinate their children are trusting in “herd immunity” to continue to protect them.

    Lamentably, “herd protection” is becoming increasingly permeable and no longer offers a guarantee of protection. In 2009, 10 unvaccinated children died during a whooping cough outbreak. Some were infants too young to be vaccinated. They were infected by children whose parents CHOSE not to vaccinate their kids.

    There is currently an ongoing outbreak of whooping cough in British Columbia. Three children have been hospitalized. One infant spent five weeks in the ICU. Again, some of the sick children were too young to be vaccinated, and were exposed (directly or indirectly) to other children who were ill because their parents chose not to vaccinate.

    When parents declare that they have done research and chosen not to vaccinate because of the remote chance of complications, they are forgetting that their “personal” choice can have a direct impact on the health of young, not-yet-vaccinated infants their child may come into contact with. Not to mention that there are more outbreaks of measles, mumps and whooping cough every year in some areas of North America where the anti-vaccination movement has taken hold.

    Here’s another way of thinking about it. If your child got bitten by your neighbour’s rabid dog, would you be very sympathetic about their “personal choice” not to vaccinate? There are laws about rabies for a reason. And schools and colleges have vaccination policies for the same reason: public health. Every unvaccinated person walking around gives the pathogens another vehicle to get to the most vulnerable among us: the very young and the very old. Don’t let these killer microbes loose again on your community. Please, please vaccinate!

    1. Herd immunity happens in nature. Vaccinations are not natural thus no herd immunity. It was a hypothesis espoused by Big Pharma but never tested. So please don’t rely on defying nature. Nature has a way of letting us know we are part of her and not better than her

      1. Diane (and anyone tempted to think this is a BigPharma conspiracy):
        Herd immunity can occur naturally if a population is exposed to a pathogen on a regular basis AND if the immune response is durable AND if the pathogen does not “drift” (like flu viruses). That is a lot of ifs.

        Unfortunately, highly virulent organisms tend infect everyone in a population, wipe out a certain number of them, and then move on to other susceptible populations or regress to their carrier species. When the same pathogen comes back around in 20 or 30 years, there are plenty of members of the population who never saw that pathogen before and have no immunity. The same thing recurs: lots of people sick and lots of deaths.

        That’s where vaccinations come in: they work best when enough people (or animals) are vaccinated to stop the chain of transmission of the pathogen from one host/victim to another. But if some are immunized and/or naturally immune and others are not, the pathogen will be transmitted for as long as it finds hosts to propagate in. Every unvaccinated child presents an opportunity for the most lethal pathogens we know — that is why we have developed vaccines to them.

        Herd immunity created through vaccination is what eradicated smallpox. Herd immunity created through vaccination is what eradicated polio throughout much of the world. Herd immunity is what got my generation through school without measles or rubella. To think that people are willing to put their own and other people’s children at risk of these diseases again bewilders me. I cannot stay silent on these issues.

  97. This story made me cry – not only for what Gabriel had to go through, but for how he’s blossomed since going Primal. Congratulations to your family and I hope Gabriel continues to Grok it!

  98. We struggled with our youngest child in much the same manner and finally found relief via a naturopathic doctor as well. The journey to finding a solution was so frustrating for us and sad for our son. He was certainly colicky and had digestive issues, as well as asthmatic type symptoms. His diaper rashes were so bad they would bleed! And we would change him IMMEDIATELY after a bm.

    At any rate, removing dairy and wheat marked the biggest improvements. At that same time we noticed the dramatic physical improvements, he also took a dramatic leap forward developmentally! Awesome!

    It should be noted that our “regular” doctor was NOT helpful. He treated me like a hysterical parent and told me my kid, with bleeding diaper rashes, had “sensitive skin.” (Insert growling noise here.)

    Kudos to these parents for continuing to search for solutions…and keep that protein coming!

    Best regards,

  99. This is a great story that touched me!!! My son, while not having any of those medical issues, was never gaining any weight and was VERY picky at mealtimes. He only ever wanted nuggets, peanut butter sandwiches, or mashed potatoes. In the last 6 months he has begun to eat eggs regularly, and veggies and fruits just a little bit more, and has already gone from being 32lbs for the longest while, he is finally almost 40lbs!! (He is also 6yrs old) I need to work on him some more with meat, he doesn’t eat any at all right now 🙁
    But thank you for sharing this story!!

  100. Loved that you shared your experience. So inspiring. After 6 months of not gaining a pound, my “failure to thrive” 2.5 year old gained 5 pounds!! in 4 months on paleo. And even better, we were coming to terms that she could be on the autism spectrum with her behavioral and digestive issues. Now she is happy, healthy and exceeding milestones. All of this in less than 8 months.

  101. I am back on Primal, and this story has inspired me to try to convince my 10-year-old son, who struggles desperately to gain weight, to join me.

    We have done everything to put pounds on him — he eats like a horse, but if he doesn’t get his morning strawberry and banana and whey protein shake (which I sneak coconut oil and spinach into), he doesn’t grow.

    We also feed him eggs, bacon, meat, butter, olive oil, veggies and fruit — but he loves bread and cereal and other grains, and I keep wondering what would happen if he ditched them.

    Gabriel, way to go!!!!

  102. We had a very similar experience with our older son – always in the 10th percentile on growth charts, always sick with mysterious nighttime coughing, horrible bouts of asthma and eczema – after a year of eating primal he has moved to the 75th percentile for both height and weight at the age of 12, off all allergy meds, and totally mellowing out. IT WORKS!

  103. What an awesome story. Beautiful family. I am so happy for your son, and your family, that he is well and growing like a weed now. Many blessings.

  104. Lovely happy family picture, it’s great that you’ve been pro-active in finding the solution to good health for your family – you should be proud!

    May I ask though (and being on a paleo site, I wonder if I’ll get flamed for this…) – “no immunizations” – this is something I’m personally not really a fan of, but each to his own. Can I ask why you made this decision?

    The thing is, your children are likely to be fine. They are benefitting from “herd immunity”, the fact that all the other kids at school have been vaccinated means there isn’t much of the disease around so they are unlikely to encounter it. But if more and more people opt out, this effect will be diminished. With all due respect, this is why not having children immunized annoys me slightly – not only do I think there is no good evidence not to have it done, but your children are being protected by the actions of others.

    We have a wonderful immune system with clever memories and many, many different pathways; all we have to do is effective introduce it to a broken piece of bacteria and it will produce antibodies against it, preventing us from ever needing to risk contact with the live version. Some aspects of conventional wisdom are out-dated and harmful as we all know, but some are fairly straight-forward and life/health saving. Personally I feel vaccinations fall into this category.

  105. Please, please immunize your child. The risks may or may not be real–but the risks of childhood diseases are real. And not just for your own healthy, primal child, but for the weaker kids he could infect. Group immunity is key!

  106. SUCH a great story, I’m really happy for you. You got me crying too. It was the 19 push ups that did it.

  107. This is so inspiring! My husband and I just went Primal this month. While we are new to the lifestyle and are still doing tons of reading and research, we agreed that even after 2 weeks this is instinctively RIGHT and already feel better every day.

    We are in the “planning on wanting kids” stage of our marriage, but if we hit that point, I know we will be raising a Primal Kid from day 1.

    Thank you for this story.

  108. Your story moved me to tears! I’m so happy to read how this lifestyle impacted the well-being of a small child. My own son is nine, with high-functioning autism. We have not eliminated *all* grains yet, but we’ve been off wheat for about a month. Waiting to see where things go! Thank you for your story.

  109. We also have children who don’t do as well with grain in their diets. Our one son was especially ill for 3 years and no doctors (western, homeopathic, chiropractic, etc.) could figure out why. He grew only 1/2 of what he should have and was virally a mess that no doctor could seem to remedy. (He had every test in the book: lung, heart, cf, etc. to no avail.)

    We came upon the diet answer due to one doctor who had a suspicion but no clue how to deal with it… and no other doctors would support her.

    Finally, I made my own rather extreme elimination diet… and in four days had a new child. For the first time ever, he was unreservedly happy. If he hurt himself, it was a quick kiss and he was off again, as opposed to the previous 40 minute ordeal of trying to make it better and still feel like I was failing as a mother.

    By virtue of this, we learned that their father and I are also better of without grains as a staple.

    Over the years, we have allowed some grain (gluten free only) back in and are now taking them back out again as his best growth period occurred when we were grain free. (Largely dairy free, largely sugar free.)

    I am glad to see other families who are in the same situation.

  110. I’m glad to hear that your sons are doing so well! My niece is allergic to almost everything, and maintaining a strict diet is the only thing keeping us from using steroids to stop her coughing and open her lungs! It’s wonderful how kids instinctively realize this is what they have to do to live, whereas the unhealthy adults see nothing wrong with their path (ex: diet scams. Gag). The doctors prescribe drug after drug to mask the problem, but modifying your diet SOLVES the it. Way to go, and I’m hoping you’re spreading the word; I know I am. Someday they’ll listen to us!

  111. This was the ultimate inspiration for me. Thank you so much for sharing Gabriel’s story. I clicked on this because I have the exact same picture of my 7 year old son. He is also a small redhead, and he loves his bow. On his 7th birthday, he was a perfect square – 44#, 44 inches (10-15 percentile). He doesn’t have digestive problems, but he was dx with ADHD right after he turned 6. I’ve been looking into the diet for my own inflammation issues, but intuitively, I know Pop Tarts for breakfast aren’t helping him. I’m encouraged by the progress your son has made and happy to hear that he’s been able to stick with the new food choices. Thanks again!

  112. Wow. My first daughter had terrible colic for 6 months. We tried everything, but were pretty much eating SAD at the time with lots of grains. we went primal/paleo when she was 2.5 and she started sleeping more than 3 hours straight for the first time in years.

    Now that we are pregnant with number 2, I can’t wait to see how our diet changes will impact the new baby’s sleep.

    Thanks for sharing,

  113. This story is also very close to mine and my hubbys heart! Our son also had ‘cholic’, was in hospital twice by the age of 6 months, hardly putting weight on and as he was growing he always was needing sleeps frequently, dark circles under his eyes, he would eat but he didn’t seem to put the weight on like our other daughters. June 2011 I took him to the Dr’s to ask for him to be checked for anemia. She didn’t think he was (by looking at him), i pushed for tests to be done and yes he was. On the iron drops made a difference but after a short while of finishing them he was back to the same tired, unhappy little boy.

    Hubby decided to follow Peter Attia / Mark Sissons way of eating / life and it had a huge impact on his health and weight. He then said that maybe we should do this for our family too. So after seeing a specialist and more blood tests done on our son to check for everything under the son we decided to go Primal. And within the first week of him eating Primal he was a completely different boy. He has put on 2kgs in 1 month!!! That is the MOST he has EVER put on in his entire 5.5 years of living on this planet. The blood tests came back nothing to worry about but we told the Dr what we had done and he said to continue with what we are doing (well we would have done so even if he had said don’t)…..because we can see the HUGE difference in him already. It is the only way forward for us as a family and I cannot even contemplate going back to all the starches/grains/sugars etc EVER!!!!!!!!!! I love having a happy boy in my house who is full of life, happiness, smiles and cheeky!

    Best of luck to all of you out there who have been in this situation and are finding great success with eating the Primal way!!!!!

  114. This is PURELY anecdotal. I notice that the boy is a red head. In my experience, as the mother of four red heads, the ex-wife of a redhead and the stepwife of a redhead (my husband’s ex-wife, mother of two of my redheads), redheads NEED MEAT! There is rumor that redheads are often anemic, etc… I find that those rumors are quite true! My ex-husband naturally gravitates to a paleo diet. My stepwife went gluten free to solve her serious Crohn’s issues. My little kids (the two redheads that I gave birth to) are serious carnivores. The big redheads (my stepkids) don’t think much about their diet, but they prefer meat to carbs. And the oldest really doesn’t dig on fruit too much. I am a “strawberry blonde” often called a redhead by others…I’m NOT a ginger, darnit! lol And I am definitely sated more by meat than other foods. I’ve not made the paleo/primal plunge yet, but I’ve flirted and do SO much better with it. I’m also a registered nurse, and all the literature about paleo/primal/wheat and gluten free makes TOTAL sense to me. I work in geriatrics and the diet presented to those folks just about KILLS me.

  115. I LOVED this story. I know how hard it is to go against CW with your child. I had to do the same with my youngest due to horrendous asthma and eczema. The worst thing was dealing with everybody poking there noses in telling me “He needs carbs!!” Its amazing how so many people don’t think vegetables are carbs! A year on he has boundless energy, no asthma, a teeny tiny amount of eczema still remains but he is sporting a 6 pack and he’s only 6!! It always amazes me too how light he is compared to other children, yet he is a bundle of muscle and action! X

  116. This story actually made me cry!! Its one of the main reasons why my family went Primal. The health of my kids is so important! They all have great focus and energy now that we have been Primal for a couple years!! Its amazing!!

  117. I love this story! However, as someone who works with a ton of kids and in a hospital, get your child immunizations. You ARE better able to fight off diseases if you are healthy, but many diseases (like tetanus, part of the DTaP vaccine you receive in your first year of life) will kill you even if you are healthy. It’s a biological fact. Keep your sons healthy and happy by getting them vaccinated!

    (and if you’re worried about mercury in vaccines, there is more in one can of tuna than in all of your vaccines from your entire life.)

  118. Good looking family. Glad you were able to get the answers you were looking for. 🙂

  119. I LOVE sites like this! Did you ever wonder why the medical science/business industry tries so very hard to deny anecdotal evidence AS evidence? It’s because, as little more than politician-friendly hawkers of “patent medicine”, they have so very little OF it to support their own ridiculous claims. When was the last time you heard someone say “OMG! Chemotherapy is AWESOME!!”…I’m just saying…there’s a reason for that.

  120. Congratulations on finding a diet that works for your beautiful family! As a fellow parent, I ask you to please immunize your children.