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imageMy name is Emily. I’m a total foodie and always have been! I definitely live to eat and (luckily) love cooking! My other passion is fitness and I work as a personal trainer and fitness instructor. I love to work out really hard (my personal workout ethos is “go hard or go home”). I love that my job allows me to help people and make a difference to their lives in terms of their health and well-being. I always try to encourage my clients to adopt a grain-free, sugar-free whole foods diet where possible.

I have been eating ‘Primally’/grain-free for over 6 months and have never felt better! I have completely cured my hypoglycaemia (I was a slave to my blood sugar my entire life until I cut grains and refined sugars from my diet), reduced my PMS symptoms, changed my body composition  and significantly boosted my immune system. For me, there’s no going back! I don’t miss grains and I actually enjoy the challenge of making dishes or baked goods which taste even better than the original carb-laden or sugary versions, but which are free from processed and refined ingredients. I love the fact that my diet allows me to have treats without feeling like crap afterwards!

Believe it or not, I was vegetarian for about 13 years, then ‘pescatarian’ (that’s a fish-eater) for about 4 years before deciding to go back to being a carnivore! I totally respect people’s choice in whether to eat meat or not, but for me, it was a no-brainer. My health deteriorated dramatically during my veggie years – luckily nothing life threatening, but I was always sick. Every 3 or 4 weeks I would get a chest infection, a cold or even flu, despite eating what I thought was a ‘healthy’ vegetarian diet (lots of vegetables, fruits, tofu, whole grains and legumes). If I only knew then what I know now! The big turning point for me was when I was in Lebanon for work. A friend’s teenage son asked why I didn’t eat meat or fish (vegetarianism is not common in the Middle East) and wasn’t my immune system rubbish as a result. I’m fairly smart, but I had never put two and two together (I blamed it on working nights in smoky environments etc etc). Shortly after, I began eating fish again and not only did my health do a complete 180, but I lost weight too! I started eating meat again nearly 4 years ago, just after I qualified as a personal trainer. My interest in nutrition was reignited by becoming part of the fitness industry and I realised that my performance in the gym would be enhanced by eating meat. My first bite of meat after 17 years was not weird or creepy, but absolutely delicious. I could barely stop shoving the organic burger into my mouth long enough to utter the words “What have I been missing all these years?”

Over those four years, I kept coming across the “Paloe Diet”. I read the original version by Loren Cordain, and although I thought it sounded like a good idea, I knew it wasn’t something I could commit to. It wasn’t until 2012 that I began to do more research on optimal nutrition for health (before then all I was interested in was nutrition for weight-loss). I began listening to the Fat-Burning Man podcast by Abel James (awesome, by the way), which opened the door to a whole new world for me – PRIMAL! I read Mark Sisson’s “The Primal Blueprint” and implemented it’s principles the very next day. I have never felt or looked better! I have more energy, muscle and better body composition now at 36 than I did at 26! My blood sugar is no longer the boss, I am! I can go for hours without getting cranky through lack of food, I can control my weight much better, PMS symptoms are reduced (although sadly not gone!) and the digestive problems I used to suffer from which I thought were just part of life (i.e. bloating and indigestion) happen rarely if ever. I only wish I had been introduced to this way of eating earlier in my life!

My sister and I went Primal around the same time and felt so good that we badgered our parents to give up wheat if nothing else. Eventually they came on board and have cut out processed foods, wheat, sugar and potatoes. Occasionally they will have oats or rice, but that is not the norm. Both have lost astounding amounts of weight and it’s still slowly coming off! The only person I haven’t managed to get completely on board is my boyfriend! Still, we live together, so when he’s at home, he eats Primal and loves it!

7 responses »

  1. Carol Rittenhouse

    Hi Emily … greetings from sunny Florida! Your father forwarded your and Juliette’s blog addresses to me back in January, but I am only now catching up on my “Saved” file, as things have been pretty hectic since the holidays. I just finished going through your recipe list — it’s awesome! I knew you were committed to a healthy diet, but I had no idea you were sooooo into it! Your recipes come at a perfect time for us, as I am currently reading “Wheat Belly,” and Tom and I are planning to go glutten-free as soon as we finish up the Cheerios and crackers. 😉 I’m forwarding your blog address to our son, Tom, who wants to get into organic gardening and enjoys cooking; also, to our daughter, Tracy, who just started “wheat-free” cooking for her family. Emily, I’m so impressed with this wonderful site and wish you all the best. Hopefully, the next time you see us, we will have more energy and less FAT! I’ll be trying your mouth-watering recipes — as soon as I convert measurements and find out what courgettes are! Luv, Carol

    • Carol Rittenhouse

      Oops! Left wrong email address — this one is correct. –Carol

    • Hi Carol. Great to hear from you. I am so glad you like the site and I do hope you enjoy making the recipes as much as I do. It is great that you are getting the whole family involved – it certainly makes life easier when you have family meals together. I am sure you will see a big difference when you do go wheat-free. My mum and dad have both lost about 20lbs each now! My mum says she feels more energetic and has less joint pain than she has for years! I look forward to hearing from you how it goes! Hopefully I will see you in Florida later in the year. Oh, and courgettes are zucchini! Happy cooking. 🙂

  2. This is excellent, Emily! Thanks for sharing your story. I have had a very similar experience with Primal over the past 3 years and am so much healthier than I ever was before.

  3. thanks for telling your story…I hope more vegetarians read it. I struggle with the health of my daughter, and it is heartbreaking how bad her health is. I love animals too, so I can understand the reasons, but now that I have been hardcore paleo for five months, I cannot imagine feeling any other way. Would love to get your updates and recipes, etc. I am a foodie myself, add me on facebook or whatever else you can think of, thanks!

    • Kirsten, I am sorry to hear your daughter’s health is suffering so much as a result of her diet. Unfortunately you can tell other people until you are blue in the face just how much better they would feel, but they have to want to change for themselves. I hope you can eventually convince her that eating responsibly sourced, organic animals isn’t as morally wrong as she may think. After all, if we as a species were supposed to be vegetarian, we would have evolved that way, probably with multiple stomachs like most other herbivores on the planet. There’s a nice thought…multiple stomachs! Good luck, I wish you all the best with sorting out her health and wellbeing.


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