Hot Healthy Paleo Girl Reveals Secrets of 115lb Weight Loss

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I came across Tara Grant last fall when she was featured in Mark Sisson’s then-new book ‘The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Transformation’ She is featured as one of the success stories. I liked her look (I love retro fashion) and she’d experienced endometriosis, IVF and had twin boys. My story and hers were almost identical in many ways…except for the little matter of the fact she’s achieved a weight loss of 115lbs. And kept it off.

She’s outspoken, feisty and passionate about spreading the primal/paleo word. She writes about her experiences over on her blog Primal Girl. She also has tons of energy and doesn’t seem to sit still for a minute!

I thought you’d be interested in hearing her paleo weight loss secrets so I asked her if she’d be kind enough to agree to answer a few (okay, a zillion) questions and she said yes! Her replies were charming and sassy and thoughtful – it was like having her over for coffee so grab a beverage of your choice and read her story…

When did your health problems start?
Looking back, I think problems started when I was around 9 years old. That was the year I put on a couple of pounds and my eyesight started deteriorating. We didn’t think anything of it at the time as my dad also needed glasses, but after reading Loren Cordain’s work, I found out that nearsightedness in childhood can be caused by insulin resistance. My eyesight has actually improved since going Primal.

What were your symptoms and how did they affect your life?

March 2009: 250lbs March 2009: 250lbs

It started with a little weight gain and the glasses. Then, when I hit puberty my hormones were out of control. I had irregular periods, which we were told would “figure themselves out.” The pendulum-like mood swings were the worst. I also experienced depression. Again, we thought all these things were a normal part of being a teenaged girl. Hidradenitis suppurativa started right around my 14th birthday. I was put on the pill when I was 15, so that masked a lot of the symptoms I would have been experiencing otherwise.

How do you feel about the sick, unhealthy years you had?
I didn’t realize I was sick when I was growing up. I didn’t realize how bad things were until I went Primal and found out how good they could be. I thought I was healthy and normal.

When you decided to lose weight did you expect to resolve your health issues at the same time? What was your primary focus – health or weight loss?
Honestly, it was both. I wanted to be a healthy, vibrant example for my kids of what a woman should be. I wanted to be able to play with them and get down on the floor. I also wanted to look good and turn heads. As I started to feel better, I started to look better and vice versa.

What was the trigger that finally set you off on losing the weight and not looking back?
After I had my kids, I started to lose a little of the baby weight. I went down to 245. Then, the scale started moving in the opposite direction. THAT was when I got scared.

May 2009: 235lbs

How did you go about losing 115lbs? Cold turkey? Gradually phasing certain foods out?
I simply went primal the day I received Mark Sisson’s book, The Primal Blueprint. At first I had a lot of fruit and nuts to help with the transition and when I eventually plateaued I tweaked my diet and ate less of those things. It took almost three years to get to where I am now. I just put one foot in front of the other and didn’t look back.

What changes in your family have you seen since you’ve changed your diets?
We all had autoimmune skin issues and IBS before we went paleo. Those are gone. We feel better and have more energy.

What do you do now that you couldn’t do before you lost the weight and resolved your health issues?
Drive on the freeway. I know it sounds weird, but I was so anxious before that I couldn’t drive on the freeway without having panic attacks. When I went to PrimalCon, I actually drove down a day early to stay with Orleatha and Chris Smith, an amazing couple I met at PaleoFX. I had had a ride all lined up for the following day, but I decided to leave early and go all the way to LA by myself. As I was merging from one LA freeway to another, singing along to the radio and changing lanes, I realized I was like, “WHAT’S UP, LA?! WOTCHA GOT?! BRING IT ON!!!!” It was incredibly empowering.

How did people around you react to your huge weight loss?
Aah. Good question. No one ever talks about this one. Honestly, I lost a lot of friends. I’m sure my mother-in-law thought I had an eating disorder at the time and I know some of my girlfriends were talking about me behind my back, saying that I was compulsively exercising and anorexic. Since they had never been able to sustain any type of healthy weight loss themselves, I had to be doing something illicit. When someone has amazing success in an area that you yourself have not, it can highlight your failures and make you feel bad about yourself. A lot of people – okay a lot of women (let’s be honest) – will revert to subversive measures, i.e. gossip and backstabbing, to make themselves feel better about themselves. It was hard, but I lost a lot of friends. Also, those people who were happy for me now found me to be a huge pain in the ass when it came to outings, like going out for dinner. I can’t just grab a burger anymore. There needs to be attention paid to what restaurants I frequent and that requires planning. A lot of people stopped calling and asking me out places because I was no longer convenient to be around.

Have you changed your circle of friends or the types of people you hang out with since then?
Most definitely. I can’t stand people who play the victim or who feel that they have no power over their own decisions. At first I try to empower them. If it’s an abject failure, I cut my losses and move on.

How did your husband react to your dieting changes – was he supportive, is he paleo?
Of course he’s happy that I am no longer anxious and depressed, and it really helps when your wife is hot and you can be proud to show her off. But, honestly, he came kicking and screaming. At first, he was happy to eat whatever I cooked at home but he would eat whatever he wanted when he went out for lunch. He started feeling sick after he did this and came to the conclusion that he was intolerant to wheat. But that was a realization he needed to make on his own. Me nagging him and talking incessantly about nutrition makes his eyes glaze over. He’s now mostly paleo but as a family we still eat dairy, rice and on occasion, corn.

Who were your supporters when you were losing the weight and who are your support team now?
My immediate family: my Mom and Dad, my brother and my husband. It’s still the same.

What does a typical day look like for you and how to you prep food for yourself and your family?
I’m not going to lie. I spend a hell of a lot of time in the kitchen. So much so that I have set my laptop up on the kitchen counter so I can watch episodes of The Voice while I cook. I try to do as much work ahead of time as possible, for example, when I make dinner I usually make enough for 4 meals. Then I freeze the rest and can pull it out and defrost it another time.

What exercise do you do?

October 2010: 155lbs

Not much really. When I first went Primal, I walked everywhere. I just strapped the kids in the stroller and hit the road. I did CrossFit for about a year, and that was a lot of fun. Frankly, I exercised more before I went Primal, when I thought it was the key to weight loss. Now that I know it isn’t, going to the gym for the sheer fun of it doesn’t happen very often.

What are your food demons? Which foods set you off and you fall off the paleo wagon?
I’ve always loved sweets. I’ve come up with paleo versions of my favorites and will make things like gluten-free shortbread cookies from scratch, using rice flour and tapioca. I still have sugar occasionally. I just don’t buy prepackaged garbage or chocolate bars anymore. I eat 85% Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate almost every day and on days I’m feeling indulgent, I’ll have some 70%. I even ate some milk chocolate over Christmas and Easter. I don’t consider it falling off the paleo wagon. My treats are planned out. I indulge.

What do you do to beat your food demons – when they are calling your name?
The trick is to just buy enough so that you indulge and it’s gone. If you buy enough to feed a small village, it will be there when you wake up the next day, and you’re going to have trouble saying no. If you have some left over, throw it out before you go to bed. Put it underneath something slimy and disgusting in the garbage can so you’re not tempted to dig it out. Trust me, this is important.

What is your treat philosophy?
For the love of God, if you are going to have a treat, enjoy every freakin’ bite. Look at it when you eat it. Eat slowly. Don’t unconsciously shovel it into your mouth. And don’t consider it “falling off the wagon.” Just because you ate something that isn’t paleo, doesn’t mean you are no longer paleo. It’s all about what you do over the long haul, not something you did last Wednesday, that is going to determine your health.

How do you stay on the wagon? What tips and strategies do you use?
If I eat wheat or an overload of fructose, I get anxious and depressed. I don’t want to be anxious and depressed. It’s as easy as that. That being said, with the exception of wheat products, if there is crap in the house, I will eat it. So, I go grocery shopping first thing in the morning when my “willpower” is at its highest and I don’t buy any junk food or treats. That way it’s not in the house. Makes things so much easier. I’m also lucky that my kids are young enough that they aren’t buying things yet and my husband also has a wheat intolerance, so he doesn’t bring stuff into the house either.

What three things do you do, no matter what?
I never eat wheat. Ever. Or anything with wheat in it. I don’t care if it’s sprouted, fermented, fried in tallow or surrounded by cheese. That is the only hard and fast rule I have. You’d be amazed at how many unhealthy options are off the table if I stick to this. I don’t need to have any other rules.

Our stories are so similar – I say I saw 5 different doctors on three different continents during my endo journey – how did you get to see so many doctors in different countries?
My father and husband are military and we were stationed overseas in Germany, right on the border of Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. I am Canadian and I grew up there. Now I live in the States. I’ve seen American, Canadian, German and Dutch doctors. None were of any help. I think I’ve seen over 50 doctors for all the different symptoms I’ve had over the years.

What would you say to young women suffering from endometriosis, PCOS or other hormonal imbalance health issues?
Don’t believe the conventional wisdom that says you will have to suffer from this for your entire life OR that these issues can be solved by taking a pill. There is a very simple solution to these medical issues and that is get your hormones in balance. And you do that by changing your diet. If the issue is severe enough or impacts your life in a negative way, for instance not being able to get pregnant or being in constant pain, you will be fairly motivated to do something about it. A nutritional intervention is going to work way better than any pill. Plus it’s free and doesn’t have any negative side effects. I tried all the pills, trust me. They just don’t work. There is no easy way out of this one, you’re going to have to take a long, hard look at your diet and your life and make some changes.

Was IVF successful right away or did you go through the painful journey of IF first?
I tried to get pregnant for almost 10 years. It wasn’t until they finally referred me to a fertility specialist that anyone considered testing to see if my fallopian tubes were viable. Which they were not. Before I saw the fertility specialist, they tried to get me to ovulate by using Metformin. When that didn’t work, they tried Clomid. The Clomid made me so hormonal that my husband and I almost got divorced. Oh, it made me ovulate, but since no one had checked to see if my fallopian tubes were clear, it was fucking useless. The doctors instantly turned to pharmaceuticals to try and get me pregnant instead of looking at why I wasn’t getting pregnant. Thankfully, Dr. Zeringue at the Davis Fertility Clinic in Davis, California knows what he’s doing. Since my tubes were 100% filled with scar tissue, IVF was my only option. It worked the first time.

How did you feel about having twins?
I didn’t care. I was just ecstatic about finally being pregnant. It wasn’t until I was about 4 months pregnant that the reality of being pregnant with twins hit me. I was on bedrest most of the pregnancy and experienced every single problem you can have while you’re pregnant, with the exception of miscarriage.

How did you feel about having them preemie?
No mother wants to have her children prematurely. No mother wants to have to visit her newborn in the hospital, in an incubator, connected to tubes. It was devastating not being able to hold them or breastfeed. It was horrible seeing their eyes, which were still black when they were born, being exposed to light that they shouldn’t be. Seeing their skin hanging off them in folds as they hadn’t filled out with fat yet. Their nipples hadn’t formed yet, either. I thought they were going to be reproductively damaged. The nurses fed them formula through tubes. It was a horrible, horrible time. I know I still have some anger I’m harboring over the incompetence of the hospital staff and we also went through all the physical therapy madness you did with your preemie twins; thankfully I realized my boys were “normal” early on and I could relax and just let them develop at their own pace. I know a lot of guilt I feel at not being able to produce enough milk and having to feed them formula they were allergic to is something that will take me years to get over, but knowing I’m doing the right thing now and feeding them properly makes me feel better.

Your boys are now three. How do you plan on giving your boys the paleo vibe? How will you bring them up paleo? What is your family paleo philosophy – are you strict or flexible?
We all have autoimmune issues with our skin and digestive tracts, so being flexible with the paleo diet really isn’t an option, unless we all want to be sick. We eat rice daily and dairy and corn on occasion, but we stick to a very strict no wheat policy and no nightshades. The kids are too young to understand that they can’t eat certain things, so things like birthday parties and celebrations at their daycare haven’t really been an option. As they get older, we’ll tell them that certain foods are going to cause a reaction in them and leave it up to them to decide, but we won’t have those foods in the house. We also don’t eat out at restaurants at all. It’s incredibly difficult not having the luxury of just ordering pizza on nights when I’m exhausted, but we feel so much better having gluten-free pizza that we make ourselves once every couple of months and it becomes a celebration for us.

How do you handle food outside your family?
I’m really lucky that both my parents and my husband’s parents have switched to a primal diet. They all ate real whole foods before the switch, so it wasn’t too hard for them. Learning that those “healthy whole grains” they had been eating weren’t so healthy after all was really the only thing they had to contend with. They all respect our dietary choices, which is something that I’m coming to realize I’m incredibly lucky to have. Until now, we’ve been skipping things like birthday parties, but the kids are at an age now where we don’t want to do that anymore. We’ll bring something for them to eat and talk to the parents before we go to see what they’re going to have there. So many kids have allergies to foods these days that we don’t really stand out as “the weirdos” if I phrase it properly. I just tell people the kids and I are allergic to certain things and it seems to placate them. As for restaurants, well, we don’t eat out. If we have to (and we’re leaving on a 3-day road trip to New Mexico tomorrow morning, so we’ll have to) I tell the waiters that we’re allergic as well. I honestly don’t care about spreading the word of our wonderful diet and lifestyle during those occasions, because 1) the waiter doesn’t give a shit and 2) they won’t take us seriously. However, if I say that I have a raging wheat allergy, they will make sure to clean the grill before cooking my meat. We also pack a lot of food to take with us on occasions such as these. It’s cheaper and the boys enjoy having a picnic much more than going to a restaurant.

How do you manage to be a military wife, SAHM mom to twin boys, Etsy store owner, model, blogger, speaker?

With Mark Sisson of Marks Daily Apple

How do you juggle it all? Do you like juggling or does it cause you stress?
I’ve had to give up a few things. I own an ETSY store, but I don’t have anything listed on it. Friends know that they can commission me to make things for them, but sewing is a hobby of mine. I like to make clothes for myself. I don’t blog very often but I do enjoy it. I have priorities, and right now they are my family. I find if I am stressed out, I am juggling too much. Then I let something go. Like modelling. It was getting too time consuming and I was on the road a lot. I’m going to take some of the time I spend blogging and concentrate on writing a book instead. I have a lot of juicy things to share, some of which I can’t go into here, you’ll have to read the book when it comes out. I also may become a speaker for Mark Sisson’s company, doing Primal Transformation Seminars. We’ll see how that pans out. It’s definitely something I’m interested in and willing to spend time on. It’s all about priorites. Some things are more important than others.

What did you learn from attending Paleo F(x) and PrimalCon that those who didn’t attend might like to know?
Most of what I learned can also be found on the Internet. Being paleo or primal is such a personal thing – it’s different for every single person out there. I can’t eat potatoes, you might be able to tolerate wheat, others have severe soy issues. We all exercise differently, and different things work for different people. You have to find your own path. The experts are there to help guide you, but it is up to you to find it. It’s the sense of community and meeting others like you at events like PrimalCon and PaleoFX that you won’t find online. A lot of us feel alone and isolated.

I saw you went to the AGT Auditions – are your family fans? (We are – huge!)
A friend of mine is a producer for the show and got us tickets for the San Francisco auditions. We went to see how different these shows are in reality, as opposed to what you see in the final, edited show. Best part of that was having Sharon Osborne tell me that she liked my outfit. I was wearing something I had made myself, so I was incredibly proud.

——

Cool, huh? I love how Tara’s physical transformation made her whole world open up and she’s now juggling so many exciting balls. I was particularly interested in her ‘secrets:’

  • She had a goal: she wanted to be a great role model for her kids and too look hot and turn heads.
  • She didn’t look back: she simply kept putting one step in front of the other towards her goal.
  • She took a long term view: it took her three years to look and feel the way she wanted.
  • She put her needs first: Tara lost a lot of friends in the process but carried on regardless knowing that this was best for her.
  • She got her husband on board: looking hot helped a lot with that. ;-)
  • She focused on the benefits: losing her anxiety and depression and gaining confidence.
  • She collected a support team around her: in her case, this was her family but it can comprise of anyone.
  • She was a smart paleo cookie: cooking in batches and shopping in the morning are great practical tips.
  • She indulges regularly and savors every bite to keep the sugar demons away.
  • She found her own way to health and weight-loss: Tara’s story shows how far experimentation and consistency can get us.

What were your take-aways from her story? What can you apply to your own? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out Tara’s blog: Primal Girl for more expansion on the above topics.

If you enjoyed this interview, please pay it forward and inspire others. Share this post on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Google +. Please. There are buttons in the floating sidebar to your left.

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Written by

Alison Golden writes on the topic of paleo over at Paleo/NonPaleo. She aims to share ideas, inspire and motivate readers by teaching them how to live paleo in a non-paleo world. She is also the author of the bestselling book, The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo, a unique tool that gives the reader hundreds of strategies to navigate the learning process to successful paleo living.

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Ana May 15, 2012 at 8:02 am

I loved Tara’s story. I recently changed my life to paleo and the benefits have been amazing. I would like your advice on how to break the plateau effect. I have lost 10 lbrs but dropped any more in the last 2 weeks. Help!!!!

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Alison Golden May 15, 2012 at 9:03 am

Ana, I would look at your consumption of dairy, nuts, fruit, treats (paleo or not) and I’m sad to say…bacon. I had 10lbs to lose, so not a lot, but I only lost a couple of pounds when I went primal. When I went paleo and dropped the above items, then the weight fell off me easily. Depending on your situation you may just need to be patient as you body adjusts and makes some changes or you could look at doing some sprinting (whatever that means for you – can be a fast walk) if you aren’t already. HTH.
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Erin D. May 15, 2012 at 8:28 am

Great interview. Some incredibly helpful and wise words and philosophies. I have had to, for my own sanity, scale back on how many and what types of blogs I read. Just focus on what works for you and your family.
I love how she covered her new found freedom to feel empowered to drive on the freeway. Depression and anxiety can affect all parts of one’s well being and sense of abilities.
Liked it, pinned it, shared it!
Thank you for such useful material!

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Alison Golden May 15, 2012 at 8:57 am

Yes, that was an interesting insight, wasn’t it, Erin? It’s the little things that surprise us the most. And good for you on scaling back on the blog reading. I have to do that periodically, too.
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Ameena Falchetto May 15, 2012 at 11:47 am

I needed to read this today – really inspiring. WOW.

Love the fact that I can indulge on occasion once I get to where I want to be … having a baby threw my diet out the window for 2 years and 9 months – who knows what I was waiting for … back on paleo finally and after a week of detox mayhem I am feeling better – now just waiting for the physical results to balance out …
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Alison Golden May 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Ah yes, the detox mayhem, I know all about that. Getting through it is huge. And once through it, things get soooo much easier. Good luck, Ameena!
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christina May 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I LOVE THIS INTERVIEW!!!

I have lived so much of this story – from the poor eyesight, highly irregular periods, becoming pregnant with twins who suffered from TTTS in the womb…

My paleo lifestyle began on January 2nd of this year, and I can already see so many amazing improvements. My girls are mostly on board & so is my husband. Hooray!

Thank you both for taking the time to put this interview together!!
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Alison Golden May 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I’m so glad you’re seeing improvements. You’ve done a great thing for your health and that of your family. I think Tara’s story is one we can all relate to at one level or another – that’s why I think it was so great. Thanks for commenting, Christina!
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Monique DiCarlo May 15, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Thanks, great story, feels good to be(come) part of this great community!
Namaste, Mo

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Alison Golden May 22, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Mo. :-)
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Cathy May 16, 2012 at 6:16 am

I think what I enjoyed most about this interview is Tara’s laid back attitude about this lifestyle. I know for myself that when I take it too seriously, I really stress myself out worried about every piece of food that enters my body. It isn’t healthy. I have finally come to the conclusion that a few rules like Tara’s are good – gluten is a no-no always and when I do indulge, enjoy it. Very motivating story. Thanks for sharing Tara with us.
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Lauren May 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I’m putting a “like” under this comment (metaphorically) because I totally agree. The balance of geeking out on the science and chilling out in real life is always a tightrope for me, made harder when it feels like only CW sources are on the “chill” side and all the real food voices are talking strict. Until you realise that, as Tara says, each person has their own version of strict to match their personal situation.
Plus she has calves I’d kill for!
(I was prepared to be strong when I clicked through on the HS photos, but they’re not heinous [at least the first page] and I agree that I totally know people with that but have never heard of it.)
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Lauren May 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm

…and yay for Canadians in Germany :) Sorry, totally irrelevant. Ahem.
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Tara May 18, 2012 at 9:07 am

LOL @Lauren, my calves are the things I used to I like least about my body. The trick is HEELS. ;)
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Tara May 18, 2012 at 9:04 am

Thanks for this Cathy, I don’t usually think of myself as “laid back,” since the chronic anxiety I used to experience made me one of the most uptight people I know. It’s nice to know that’s changed enough that others notice it! :)
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Sean May 16, 2012 at 11:40 am

What a great interview!

I absolutely LOVE her style. That “retro” look is amazing.
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Alison Golden May 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Isn’t it, Sean? That’s a lot of running you do, man!
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La Cucina Di Kait May 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

Great Blog Post, I am so happy you asked all those questions, I love reading through all her answers very inspiring!
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Stormy @Maoomba May 25, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Great interview, Alison and Tara! This is the type of story that motivates me to stay true to my goals and needs. Several years ago, I found out I HAD to remove a number of foods from my diet because of allergies. It can cause incredible resentment to feel forced to change the way you eat. Shifting the way I think about what I eat (abundance, not loss) and finding support among others with similar goals and practices has been a saving grace. Thank you for sharing such great tips and inspiration!
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Alison Golden May 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm

You make a very good point, Stormy, about resentment. I think that resentment sabotages us more than we know and can drive bingeing and us going back to our old ways when things get tough.
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Michelle June 18, 2012 at 8:24 am

Great interview and so inspirational! I keep trying to go paleo and failing. Well, at least I eat mostly paleo. For me the problem is two fold 1. I have yet to feel better but the longest I’ve been able to go with no cheats is two weeks and 2. I have a vegetarian kid so I always have pasta and grains and bread, sweet bread, starring at me! But I’m not giving up. Slow and steady wins the race right!

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Kathleen July 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Amazing story that truly inspires!

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S. September 22, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Great interview, great story. Very inspiring.

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Maria September 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Terrific article, and so inspiring for anyone who has battled autoimmune diseases.

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Michael October 14, 2012 at 5:27 am

Fuck it. I’ll do it too. :)

Great interview. I’ll update in 1 month.

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Regine November 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I enjoyed reading this interview and reading about Tara was very inspiring!!

I tried the paleo diet before – and still do it “kind-of” but know that I need to do it wholeheartedly. I had gotten my guidelines for eating the paleo-way from various websites on the internet but would love a good book to use as my guide. There are sooo many out there. Are there any you (Tara) can recommend?

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Alison Golden November 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Regine, I would recommend The Primal Blueprint 21 Day Transformation, Everyday Paleo and Practical Paleo as a first paleo book. :-)
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Tara July 6, 2013 at 9:24 am

I think it’s important to first know WHY you shouldn’t and should eat certain foods so reading a book like The Primal Blueprint, The Paleo Solution or Practical Paleo is a great place to start. Then you’ll be able to make choices based on knowledge rather than guessing or deferring to someone else for the information. I’m all about empowerment. ;)
And of course, I’m partial to the 21 Day Transformation book, since I’m in it. ;)

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Allison December 17, 2012 at 11:15 am

Such a GREAT story! I loved it. Great motivator.
I began my Paloe journey about a month ago. I am alright doing without dairy (which i have an allergy to) and grains.. but the sweets call me. So i keep quite a bit of fruit around. Now, I have a question. I have not lost a pound on this and i have 15 more to go. I feel better and have no more daily bloating. My energy level is higher than normal since starting the Paleo Lifestyle.
I do lift weights 3 days a week and do cardio 4 days a week.
Any words of advice?
Thanks: Ali

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Alison Golden December 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm

You cut out the fruit (Jason Seib once said ‘fruit is for children.’) I.e. will stall weight-loss, and you also might think about replacing some of that cardio with walking. You’re doing a lot of exercise.
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Otilia December 25, 2012 at 10:58 pm

I absolutely love Primal Girl blog which I discovered some time ago, not only for the inpirational lifestyle and weight loss story which Tara shares, but also for her contribution to create awareness on the topic of sending hidradenitis suppurativa into remission through Paleo. This silent incurable disease need icons like Tara to spread the word about lifelong management of this condition, where traditional medicine and doctors are still looking for answers.
Thanks Alison for the great interview.
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Tara July 6, 2013 at 9:26 am

Thanks Otilia! I hope you’ve been able to slam your HS into remission. My book is coming out soon! :)
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Disa Walker January 4, 2013 at 11:16 am

I loved the interview. I am just now finding out about the paleo lifestyle and find myself struggling with how to incorporate it into our family daily life. My husband is sensitive to gluten and dairy, I am sensitive to nightshade and my husband and daughter are VERY picky eaters. The biggest challenge is moving away from gluten in our lives and adopting healthy eating habits. I find also that we have little support with our friends and family and feel alone. This interview gives me hope that I can change it all. I am hoping that 2013 will bring a new family into the paleo lifestyle. Thanks!

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Lee Whitehouse January 12, 2013 at 11:54 am

Wow thats a great motivational story, so impressed Tara :). I’m just about to start my Paleo life and conjuring up some recipes as to form a great base from. Hence I found this awesome blog, cheers Alison!

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Alison Golden January 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm

You’re very welcome, Lee. :-)
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Stacy January 23, 2013 at 7:16 am

Love this.

I’m another who went through the whole infertility gamut — miscarriage triggered ovulation dysfunction, 4 rounds of clomid, a self-referral to the RE where we found out that a) our primary problem was severe male-factor, and b) I had a uterine septum which probably caused my initial miscarriage. IVF #1 worked for us, and we have one daughter.

I’m on the downhill side of a Whole30 right now, and liking it so far. It makes eating out complicated and getting lunch at work difficult, but I can already see some changes. For one, weight loss. Also, the eczema on my legs has cleared up a LOT. And my skin, which was already good, looks better too. I’m pleased.

I haven’t been able to convince my husband yet, although he eats mostly paleo at home because it’s what I cook. My daughter, well, I haven’t figured out how to move her that way yet since two staples of her diet are string cheese and Kashi cereal bars, and she eats lunch at daycare. A veggie averse toddler makes it hard.

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Tara July 6, 2013 at 9:31 am

Hiding veggies and stuff like liver in meatloaf is the way I do it. Also, kale and spinach in morning smoothies plus some probiotics. I just tell them we’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day when they ask they it’s green. We’ve also adopted the attitude of “Well, this is what’s for dinner. If you don’t like it, I guess you’ll be hungry.” We’ve NEVER wavered from this, so the kids know we’re serious. They’ve skipped a couple meals, I’m not going to lie, but it hasn’t hurt them. If I can’t get them to eat what I want when they’re still too young to make food themselves, then I’m utterly screwed when they’re teenagers. :)
As for daycare, I packed them off with a lunch and snacks everyday until I could find a provider that cooks and honors our lifestyle.
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Kirsten Thomas February 16, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Thank you so much Tara for sharing, and thank you so much for this post and interview. I was able to conceive, and actually had child number one ok, but after that I lost a couple. My adrenals and sugars and everything were out of whack, and my chiropractor was actually the one who suggested I get my hormones checked. Sure enough, those health issues were causing progesterone problems. Fast forward, now have three wonderful kids, but wasn’t taking care of those initial problems: the sugars and carbs. Now, having been paleo for 3 months, have already lost 27 pounds, but like Tara, I have a long way to go…it was so good to hear that it wasn’t a sprint, but a long distance with her, and perseverance is key. I have to care for myself just as I care for my family, and that means taking care to eat the right stuff. I only have a half piece of fruit a day, and not too many nuts, no dairy at all, no grains at all, just good quality vegetables and pasture-raised proteins, and I feel clean and energetic. I hope to see more stories like this, as they give me the fuel to keep on track!

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Nicole March 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Reading these stories keeps me motivated! Thanks! I really get discouraged. I have been “mostly” primal for just over 2 years. (I have corn tortillas chips once a week, beer once every couple weeks, and wine a couple nights per week- other than that- primal). I really haven’t lost any weight at all! It’s very frustrating! I’ve experimented with IF, been more strict/less strict with carbs and nothing seems to change! I’m 5’8″ 148. I’ve been between 147-154 for 4 years (since my son -second child- was born), my diet doesn’t seem to affect my weight. After my first daughter was born my weight went down to 130. That’s where I’d love to get back to, gained the weight after my kids weaned :( Oh well- I’ll just keep trying- glad to have found your blog!!

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Tara July 6, 2013 at 9:37 am

130lbs for someone who is 5’8″ sounds a little low for me. I’m 5’9″ and I weigh 153. I got down to under 140 last year without trying and found out I was sick. I utterly and completely lost my boobs and my bones were sticking out. Once I remedied that (SIBO and fructose intolerance), the weight came back on and I’m happy with where I am now.
I think that the “cheats” you mention might be enough to affect weight loss, especially if you’re intolerant to wheat or corn. If you really want to lose some weight, doing a Whole 30 or a Fat Fast can be pretty helpful.
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Tara July 6, 2013 at 9:53 am

I have this stupid “rule” that I never read, listen to or watch anything with me in it. Actually, it’s not so much a rule as a defense mechanism. I read something once about a famous actor never watching his movies because he didn’t like to watch himself and I guess it stuck. So, I’ve never read through this interview. Until now. It’s been over a year and I had forgotten what I had written. I have to say, it’s a pretty good interview! :) Good questions, Alison!
I’m glad to report that I’m still on track with everything, my kids and husband are still on board and in fact, we’ve cut corn completely out of our diets (it was a “cheat” before). I suffered from SIBO, yeast intolerance and fructose malabsorption last year (thank you Kombucha) and my weight got pretty low. I managed to correct it on my own with probiotics and a kombucha/fructose/fructan free diet for several months and am now doing very, very well. I’m back up to the weight I was in the photographs in this post, and my boobs are back!!! :)
I’ll be 40 next year and I’m enjoying looking 10 years younger. I’m hoping that will continue with a Primal diet and lifestyle, I’d love to look 50 when I’m 70. ;) I went on the road this year for the Primal Blueprint and did seminars in Phoenix, Austin, Houston, Minneapolis and Portland and may add some more dates to the roster later on this fall. My book on HS will be published early this fall by Primal Blueprint Publishing. I’ve given up on the Etsy Store, I never DID list anything. But I made my entire summer wardrobe this year and have tons of cute aprons to wear. :)
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Alison Golden July 6, 2013 at 10:02 am

Thanks for the update, Tara! Interesting about the fructose malabsorption. I don’t eat any fruit except a few berries now and again with whipped cream. Can’t handle it. I also can’t handle any fermented food – they all affect me one way or another, sauerkraut gives me sensitive teeth!

Yeah, I want to look 50 when I’m 70 too. And I want one of those aprons. Thanks for being featured. You can see from the shares, it has been a super popular post! :-)
Alison Golden recently posted..Paleo Recipes: Zucchini Pasta with Avocado, Roasted Tomato & Bacon Plus a Giveaway of Beyond Bacon!My Profile

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Tara July 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Alison, are you coming to AHS this year? If you are, I will bring you an apron. :) Just let me know what colors you like best or patterns, etc.

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Alison Golden July 8, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Thank you for the offer, Tara, that would have been lovely, but no, no AHS for me. They are gorgeous, your pinnies, though. :-)
Alison Golden recently posted..Paleo Recipes: Zucchini Pasta with Avocado, Roasted Tomato & Bacon Plus a Giveaway of Beyond Bacon!My Profile

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60's Girl December 7, 2013 at 6:45 am

Thanks Tara and Alison, what a fantastic motivational story you gave me. I feel even better about starting to go primal now. First week and already a 4 kg loss and I feel so much better. My kids are a bit ‘ew, do we have to’, but I’ll talk them around and hopefully my youngest son’s health problems will start to clear up a bit, too. I wish there were Paleo conventions in Australia that I could go to, the ones over there look like they would be really useful and fun.

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Alison Golden December 9, 2013 at 10:50 am

Thank you! Suz is a great networker: http://paleo.com.au/whats-on/.
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Reeni December 16, 2013 at 8:45 am

Alison, you advised a person to give up on bacon because her weight loss had plateaued..really??oh no!

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Alison Golden December 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I am not a huge fan of bacon except on special occasions, like a treat. Sorry!
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Dee February 4, 2014 at 10:08 am

Paleo is amazing. I made a choice last year to eat Paleo due to putting on weight and having a lot of problems with gastro-oesophageal reflux. Never would I have imagined my health and energy would increase so much. I went from almost 100kg to 76kg. I simply began to eat Paleo (thanks to a good friends advice) and then only 4 weeks ago began to do some gym work. I can now say at 30yo that I am well on my way to being the healthiest I’ve been all my life. :)

*addition*
On top of all of this. My self confidence, anxiety issues etc. have severely depleted. I feel amazing :)

[IMG]http://i61.tinypic.com/xlgzuv.jpg[/IMG]

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