**This is the first of a two part series where we will be sharing with you what has motivated us to the grain free lifestyle our families follow and how that has helped us to achieve healthy living. You can read Katie and Tom’s story here.**
Shaun and Michelle
If you asked us over 3 years ago if my family and I would be following a strict primal/grain free lifestyle, I would have said you were crazy. But that is exactly where we are today, Primal and Proud. My wife, Michelle, introduced me to a primal lifestyle only after having sat in on an Eat by Design seminar with Dr. Jamie & Joel Richards at The Café of Life. We had recently begun receiving chiropractic care at The Café of Life and wholeheartedly swear by preventative health care and the Life by Design Model. I admit I was a huge skeptic at first. One of my groomsman, now Dr. Michael Egan (Chiropractor), was always discussing with me the benefits of chiropractic care although he went to Australia to finish school and open practice before I got started with adjustments. It was a few years of procrastination before I considered actually pursuing chiropractic care. I am so grateful we did because it didn’t only help us achieve better health but it led us to where we are today—Healthy Connections.
Let’s rewind a bit and go back about 4 short years ago; married for a couple of years, we felt that we wanted to start eating better- not an uncommon goal of a fairly new married couple. As we approached our 30th birthdays we noticed our waistline was reflecting a slower metabolism or so we thought. As we tried to incorporate healthy eating habits the more confusing eating healthy became. A trip to the grocery store started to take twice as long as we read labels on packages of food, bewildered by the lengthy lists of ingredients. It became time consuming and we could barely pronounce the words in the ingredient list, let alone identify what they were and the effect on our health. The most rational way for us to make sense of ingredients and labels was to just either ignore them or instead look to Health Check symbols or Blue Label stickers for guidance to determine if it was a healthy choice or not. If we ventured outside of this “healthy food” box label, we would look to sodium content and fat content to determine its worthiness to hit our microwave oven. We were a young married couple then and always on the go, so quick convenience was of most importance, and we trusted the “Health Check” labels. Eating out consisted of choosing a sub over a burger joint, and sometimes holding off or cutting down on the sauces in effort to make it even healthier. Despite all our efforts to eat what we thought was healthy we saw little to no results. I personally packed on 25 pounds of “sympathy weight” by the time our first daughter arrived. Things got busier and so did our microwave and the need for an upright freezer to store our ‘healthy’ boxed food. Not only did family life get busy but our excuses for not exercising came easy. It always came down to not enough sleep as the justification for everything – extra pounds, feeling fatigued all the time, lack of motivation, sluggish or head fog, frequent headaches, not enough time/ too tired to cook at home, and so on. Little did we know…
Fast track to the present, with a beautiful family of 3 young children, we have redefined health and healthy eating in our lives. With less time than ever before, we manage to make all our meals at home with only an occasional dining out and “cheat.” We had a slow transition to this primal lifestyle, remember I wasn’t convinced initially. Michelle started primal eating full tilt and I joined her for the ride—sometimes. Over the course of 6 months we did rid our cupboards of any processed food or food with a label on it. The easiest way to think of what is healthy eating as opposed to unhealthy is how Dr. Jamie Richards describes it, “it isn’t food if it has a label.” We agree, and so we put these words to action. Being a type A personality I began my own research on Paleo/grain free lifestyles and this only solidified why we needed to stick to it. We started out with an 80/ 20 rule, cutting grains and processed foods out of our cupboards and bellies. Why grain free for us? We will continue to answer this more indepth in future blogs, although the “Why questions” became easily answered once we experienced it for ourselves. A reduction in my weight was evident fairly quickly even without added exercise. Other lifestyle changes emerged when I began popular home workout programs with my business partner Tom. Eating real whole foods became the new norm and looking and feeling better didn’t have to be a difficult goal to achieve, especially when so many results came naturally. A primal lifestyle isn’t a difficult choice for us given all the benefits and it’s a choice we choose every day now for both of us and our children.
When we started to put true health above all else and focus on eating as the means of being and staying healthy, we not only just saw physical health benefits but it began to enrich other areas of our lives…. But that too is for future blogs, till next time,
-Shaun & Michelle