My name is Kendra, so nice to meat you! I LOVE food, can you tell? While I love to blog about real food, it isn’t my full time Job. I run my own computer consulting company, so this is my creative outlet. I have an amazing husband, Matt, who lives a paleo lifestyle as well and is the cofounder of Paleo Paparazzi! He helps me run this fun little corner on the internet I like to call home!
My story may sound similar in a lot of ways to so many who come to paleo.
I grew up in a family that loves to bake on my father’s side. My grandfather and father owned several bakeries in southern and northern California. So I grew up eating lots of desserts, many times dessert was first before any meal. My father was an amazing cake decorater and made many of mine for birthdays. Growing up my diet was very unhealthy! I was addicted to sugar and junk food! In high school my lunch usually consisted of pizza, donuts and Doritos. Eating this way caused my body a lot of pain but I just ignored it.
It wasn’t until 2010 that I started to think more seriously about what I was putting Into my body when my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer. I started adding more vegetables to my diet, but I was still eating lots of processed foods. Then in 2011, when I started blacking out from excruciating pain in my left side, I realized my body was very sick and went to see my doctor. A few months later, I had surgery and was diagnosed with an auto immune disease, endometriosis. During surgery they removed a lot of the endometrial growths on my internal organs and a large cyst in my ovary. I had suspected from a young age that something was really wrong with my body, yet no doctor could put their finger on it. I was fed up and needed real answers. Could my illness be related to what I was putting into my body?
After surgery my doctor started throwing medications at me left and right telling me they were the only answer to keep my disease under control. I didn’t want to be taking pills the rest of my life and felt like there was another way, so I refused them and began my own research on nutrition and natural healing. I found that a lot of people with my disease were feeling better doing gluten free, soy free and dairy free diets and healing with food instead of medication. I did this for awhile and started to feel better, but just felt like something was missing.
A few years later, my sister in law introduced me to paleo. She and my nieces were starting a Whole 30 to see if it would help at all with their juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. They wanted me and my husband to join them. Shortly after starting I felt a lot less pain, less bloating, I had less digestive issues, less inflammation and more energy! Many women with endometriosis continue to have multiple surgeries almost yearly, and I had only had one! I was slowing my illness with real food and healing my body.
But this story isn’t just about how paleo changed my life. My husband is a big part of this story! Matt suffered a stroke in 2008 after only 1 year of marriage. The stroke affected the left side of his body. He had to re-learn how to do everything all over again. My husband has a rare benign brain tumor that cannot be completely removed, and grows back slowly. During his second brain surgery, the doctor accidentally severed a blood vessel causing the stroke. It wasn’t until we started paleo that I started to see the most progress in Matt’s recovery. He started riding a bike, running and swimming again. I believe this has much to do with the anti-inflammatory nature of paleo. He is my recipe taste tester and partner in the kitchen. He is also nothing short of amazing!
I hope that our story will leave you inspired and on a health journey of your very own. Illness has not stopped us, it fuels us!
Before you go:
While I have read many books and done years of research, I am not a doctor, nutritionist or professional chef. With that being said, I cannot give you health advice, only share what has worked for me and my husband’s journey. I am here to share my recipes, my health tips, love for life and support along the way. May you find joy in the journey!