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Let’s Start Over


So much going on around here, I’m finding it very hard to get my writing mojo concentrated on GK. Harlow (our little pitty) is still sick, the lump won’t go away, and after another ultrasound this week, it looks like surgery is in the cards for her. Probably mid way through the month. There seems to be a foreign object lodged in her body that needs to come out ASAP. I have an inkling it is a piece of metal suture from her spaying. When we got her, she had been spayed in California by god knows who and it looked terrible. The rescue people who brought her to us were supposed to take her stitches out ASAP but it didn’t happen for whatever reason. Her sutures remained in for 21 days more than they were supposed to. By the time the rescue organization got around to it, they were so jammed in her flesh, they couldn’t get them out. I took her to a vet who removed what she could, but I think a piece got stuck in there…

So surgery it is.

On top of all that, our landlords are moving back into their house as of January 1st and we have to be out of here by then. That means moving AGAIN (fourth time in four years) to a new place. Our problem, besides hauling all our stuff, plus two dogs, two kids, eleven chickens, two chicken coops, two cars, a small old boat filled with water and leaves, camping equipment, photography equipment, CrossFit equipment, etc….is finding somewhere that will take all of that, plus be in the neighbourhood that we are in now, plus be accommodating to our love of 30″ box jumps and overhead barbell pressing plus be within our budget. Come on universe!

We don’t want to leave this neighbourhood at all. We LOVE our neighbours and their kids, we love the road we are on, we love everything about this place. But we’ve got a couple prospects, so I will keep you posted on that one.

On top of the sick dog, the moving, the money flying in every direction but into the bank, the freelancing jobs, the earlier darkness, the endless rain and just being too busy to do anything right, I feel a little stressed out these days.

So I wanted to chat a little bit about stress. Here’s something you probably didn’t know about me: from spring 2011 until about two months ago, I was suffering from terrible alopecia areata. For those that may not know, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease affecting the hair follicles. Basically my body was seeing my hair as the enemy and killing it. I was losing hair all around the sides and back of my head, plus my hair was falling out all over and thinning it out. This is a condition that can come and go (and I’d had small outbreaks of it a couple of times with small patches), but this time I was losing a lot of hair. I couldn’t wear my hair up for months, because you could see all the bald spots. I’ll tell you, this does nothing for one’s self esteem. We put so much power into out hair as women, it’s hard to watch it fall out and not be able to anything about it.

I went to many doctors, they all said it was because of hormones and stress because I’d recently had a baby (more than two years ago) and things would eventually settle. But things just got worse (as you know, I didn’t have a very stress free beginning to the year either). I started taking Minoxidil (Rogaine) in prescription strength and went to see a skin specialist in Vancouver who told me they could to Cortisone shots as well. I had read that the Paleo diet could help with autoimmune diseases and I wondered if it would help mine? When I saw the doctor in Vancouver, I had already been doing it for about two months. Having been told that hormonal changes can take six to eight weeks to make an impact, I was still waiting.

But now here we are in November. I’ve been Paleo since July (though I do eat some dairy, so it’s a bit more on the Primal side). My hair has completely grown back in all over my head, and the hair is at least two to three inches long since August. So there you have it.

Some of my friends keep asking me if I’m still “doing that diet thing…?” and I just have to laugh. I WILL NEVER go back to eating the other way again. For the rest of my life, I will eat this way. Once you feel how good your body can feel and look with just removing a few foods from your diet, you can never go back. Even when I see food I LOVE (Cake, cookies, candy, etc.) I have no desire to eat it. I just hate the way it makes me feel. You can’t forget that. Besides, now that I know my body was reacting to one of the food groups I removed, how could I ever risk having that happen again? I have A HUGE amount of awesome, curly, long red hair and nobody will take that away from me. Except me, and the hairdresser…:)

So eat for your health, eat for fuel, eat for celebration, just don’t eat shit food. Your body is screaming for you to stop, so take a second and try to listen to it.

Couple notes:

I hit some major PRs this week in my CrossFit training! Made the 30″ box jump (being that I’m only 5’4″, that’s almost half my height!) and I made a successful 95lb clean! Yup, I’m pretty proud of that. I only fell on my ass once.  I then proceeded to do way too many hand release push ups, air squats and more cleans. Yesterday was another major training session with Ian, where he put us through a tabata of air squats (20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest for eight rounds…ow), then a 6 minute WOD with an approximately 600m run followed by rowing for the remaining 6 minutes. I think I made it about 530m after the (very rainy) run. THEN we did the “Sasquatch” which was a brutal WOD of 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 sumo deadlift high pulls and push press. I started with 55lbs, but after the first two rounds I just about died, so I used the empty bar after. That was a burner!

On a side note…I’m featured again today on Diets in Review with our FitFluential Head honcho, Kelly Olexa! #BOOM Just spreading the healthy vibes as far as the eye can see!


So as you can see there are no recipes…sad face.

I kinda make the same thing a lot…so now I’m looking to you guys. What would you like to see recipes for? 

Desserts? Make ahead meals? Lunches? Breakfast? Snacks? I do have an ice cream recipe coming your way..but the moving thing has me a little off lately. Give me your ideas! 


Here’s a week of Paleo meals in review:

Breakfast: Bacon, backyard eggs, sauteed veg (spinach, sweet potatoes, leeks, Swiss chard, zucchini), cheese and avocado. Coffee with stevia (SUE ME) and heavy organic cream.

Lunch: Leftovers from the previous night’s dinner OR sardines (in spring water) with fresh veggies and dip (Dijon, extra virgin olive oil, organic full fat plain yogurt, aged balsamic vinegar)

Dinners: Monday was primal chili, Tuesday was pork butt steaks with dry rub with coconut oil fried plantains and steamed cauliflower and broccoli, Wednesday was Roasted chickenbeef stew with rutabagas, parsnips and other veg, Thursday was Roasted chicken with the same sides as Tuesday, Friday was grass fed beef ribs with plantains and steamed veg with organic ghee.

Snacks: Dark Chocolate, smoothies with fruit, whey isolate, casein, cocoa and nut butter.

21 comments to Let’s Start Over

  • Liz I just love everything about these check-ins. Glad your hair is growing back: eating the diet that’s right for you can do such powerful things! Keep spreading the good word 😉 ps sorry the pup is going to need surgery. My dog is going in for a surgical biopsy tomorrow in order to check out a lump, too 🙁
    Winnie recently posted..Silent Sunday 11/4/2012: Mohonk Hike ViewMy Profile

    • Elizabeth

      Aw, so sorry to hear that Winnie. It is never fun to have to deal with these situations, especially with the young kids…they just don’t get it. 🙁 I hope your pup is okay too!

  • Also, I hope you find a suitable place to live soon…moving sucks.
    Winnie recently posted..Silent Sunday 11/4/2012: Mohonk Hike ViewMy Profile

  • Rebecca

    So glad to hear all is going well, Elizabeth! Paleo/Primal has totally won me over as well, though I am still in the fine tuning stages of elimination/re-intro to see what’s working and what isn’t. (wheat is a 100% no, jury is still out on dairy). Like you, I cannot imagine going back! Now, it’s on to the exercise stage of it all.
    If you ever want to recipe swap, I’ve got tons of ideas with more to come…thanks for the inspiration!

  • I lost about half the hair on my head (luckily it was even, no big patches, but my hair is fine and thin to begin with) in 1998, and the doctor told me it was stress from starting college and told me to eat extra flax and gave me a relaxation tape. It was actually a delayed result from my allergic reaction to amoxycillian a few months before (rash all over and my whole body peeled) but I’ll never forget how pissed I was at that doctor.

    Sorry to hear about your dog; rescue animals already have it so rough. I hope things turn around soon!

  • New reader/follower here! I really enjoy your posts. Very real, down to earth.

    Primal/paleo has helped me immensely with my digestive problems. I don’t ever want to go back to the old way of eating!

    I would like to see more snacks, breakfasts, and lunches. Those are the meals that I like to switch up, but rarely do because I get stuck in ruts and habits.
    Kate recently posted..Let’s Be RealisticMy Profile

  • Love ya lady. This whole post broke my heart but made me so happy at the same time because I know what it’s like to see someone be so devastated by an autoimmune condition — and losing your hair is something I would never want to see anyone go through, ever again. But this is such a huge testament to how AWESOME food can be for you, and that food truly is medicine.

    On that note, keep me updated with house-finding and CrossFit!! I love our chats. My love to you and your family as you relocate and find somewhere new. Remember that as much as it is stressful, it is equally as exciting 🙂

    YAY FOR PALEO! And I wish I could have breakfast at your house every day because backyard eggs sound unreal good. xo

  • DeJana

    Holy crap is all i can say. I’m overwhelmed with all that is on my plate and everything else that’s thrown my way, then I see this posting…you are up to soooo much Liz! I seriously don’t know how you do it, and dealing with the hair loss..wow. The universe will provide your requests, it’s just the fear of the unknown setting in. I just have to ask though…are you guys due for a date night? 😉

  • Vicki Borycki

    Thank you! Another inspiring post!! i am in “transition” to the Paleo way. I, too, have had hair loss that I suspected was diet related. Your experience inspires me to carry on with the food transitions.

    Regarding the recipe request: I have recently made a pumpkin granola (nuts, dates, coconut, pumpkin puree. and spices) that “wants” to be a breakfast/snack/desert bar. Any suggestions??

    And thank you again!

  • You have incredible biceps – beautiful and feminine. Keep up the curls. 95lb clean! Got to work towards that one.. Crazy how foods you can spend a life time struggling with can, over time, become to unappealing with a mindshift towards food and lifestyle. Your primal diet is inspiring. Not sure if it is something my husband and I would completely switch to but wonderful to see the changes in you guys. Your blog has taken a complete turn. I used to read it (from 3 years ago) for the indulgent treats, the buttercream icings, the hearty lasagnes, the chili chocolate brownie cookies. I must have taken your journey too as I no longer desire these things to the extreme that I once did. So… recipes? Nutritious snacks for before/after workout, and portable lunch ideas for taking to work, please!
    Christina recently posted..coconut raspberry cake & woollen snowflakesMy Profile

  • Auto-immune diseases are the pits – sorry to hear about yours 🙁 I have read a fair bit about anti-inflammatory eating and it sounds like some of your eating habits fall in line with that too. Whatever you want to label it, eating a low sugar diet full of health fats, fruits and veggies, fish etc always makes me feel my best too…..and I can relate to what you’re saying about junk. Once you are aware of way it makes your body freak out, it is pretty hard to justify…..for some reason I just don’t have that problem when it comes to cheese though!
    Christine @ The Savoury Traveller recently posted..Less Sugar, More MusselMy Profile

  • sally

    Hi from New Zealand, I have just come across you pancakes and made them this morning, beautiful the kids love them. I have been a paleo convert for about 6 weeks so a real newbie but am loving it. Have had health issues in the past so keeping my diet natural and clean is very important to me.I am a busy mother of four, work part time and am studying to do secondary teaching. I really hope the moving works out for you and your beautiful family, I look forward to reading more of your posts and using more of your recipes.

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Sally,

      I appreciate you taking the time to let me know! I hope you love paleo as much as we do! Even the kids are rethinking their old ways…:)

  • Christian Rene Friborg

    This entry is very inspiring. I just want you to know that.

  • I always find stories like yours to be inspiring. They help keep me on my path to clean eating. I too have suffered from hormonal imbalance issues and have found that a primal diet works wonders! It’s amazing and not so suprising that we can heal ourselves simply through the food we eat and lifestyle that we maintain.
    Alissa recently posted..Carrot, Walnut, Cranberry Bread with Almond FlourMy Profile

  • Of course, what a magnificent blog and informative posts, I will bookmark your blog.All the Best!

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