Hey! I’m Ciarra (pronounced see-ARE-uh). I’m a food lover and a wannabe yogi. I can’t stand shopping — unless it’s for food — and I learned how to cook by watching the Food Network religiously in my early 20’s. No joke. I had a lot of time on my hands… I found Paleo in 2012 and currently live in Tacoma, WA with my rock star family.
If you’re skeptical of this whole Paleo thing, which most people are so no offense taken, you’re probably wondering why on earth a normal person would convert to such a crazy way of living? Are you thinking of all the things on the “no” list that you couldn’t live without? It’s OK. Everyone does at first. I know I did! I’m a Chinese-Italian cooking fool, so if you think ditching grains, soy, dairy and sugar was easy then I want my unicorn back!
Here’s why I did it.
Like Jack & Rose, Paleo and I found each other by chance on a cold dark evening when I was at my wit’s end. Frustrated with the daily battles of a hypothyroid, I was commiserating with a friend who suggested I read The Thyroid Diet Revolution by Mary J. Shomon. Sounds hokey, right? Well, I bought it off Amazon as soon as she left my house and it was one of the best items I’ve ever put in my cart… second to a $5 gadget that peels and cores a pineapple in seconds! Summers have never been the same.
I had actually considered Paleo a year prior to that, but was turned off by the idea of fish and greens sautéed in coconut oil for breakfast, organ meats for snacks, and this strange obsession with bone broth. Who’d eat such things?? After a year of still feeling like crap and struggling to manage any kind of meaningful weight loss (outside of the hCG Diet, craaazay), I finally made my leap. The Thyroid Diet Revolution shed light on why that was the case and made a compelling argument for why the Standard American Diet (also known as “SAD”) was working against my body, despite everything I thought I knew.
The years prior to Paleo consisted of strenuous cardio sessions that burned up to 1,500 calories a shot and meals that the usual American dieter would follow to drop a few pounds. like soy-based shakes and low-fat everything. It didn’t work or didn’t last. And I was always tired. Folks with thyroid issues know where I’m coming from on this. Turns out that what I was eating mattered more than those long workouts. It was time to put down the sugar-free, low-fat yogurt and grab a slice of bacon and an avocado. What quickly followed blew my expectations out of the water. A whole world of alternative health opened up, and despite the ridiculous amount of time I spend reading labels and the number of times I’ve said the word “gluten” in the last three years, this change has improved my life and health in ways that I’m still discovering.
Now that it’s been a few years, surprisingly the most valuable lesson I’ve learned since practicing and exploring this lifestyle has been grace. Yes, grace. The effect that stress and worry has on our bodies is nearly as significant as consuming foods with adverse ramifications. So now I pursue knowledge, apply it the best I am able, dismiss the excuses that got me nowhere and breathe grace to myself and those around me. Eating for hormone stability and gut health is nothing like winging a crash diet for instant weight loss or a temporary “cleanse” or detox. This is a life-long pursuit of nutritional truths and a practice of whole-health nourishment. It’s incredible fulfilling.
When I’m not trying to keep up with my kids or sneaking into a late hot yoga class, I’m in the kitchen cooking up new recipes, reading the latest book on health and marketing or working with my clients in the non-profit world.
I’m grateful you’ve found me here and hope that you are able to take away something useful.