I used to be “healthy”
Hey there! I'm Michele Spring – a mom of two boys and a dog and cat.
After spending much of my life thinking I was super healthy I came to the realization that the constant tiredness, brain fog, adult acne, hair falling out, inability to lose weight, irregular heavy menstrual cycles, and constant coldness were just not normal.
I mean, they're “normal” for so many people, and something that we've all come to accept as part of everyday life. But I knew there had to be a better way.
After working with a functional medicine practitioner, eating a strict Paleo diet, and changing some aspects of my lifestyle I completely turned my life around and now suffer no more of those symptoms.
I feel better in my 40's than I did in my 20's!
I started this blog to share everything I have learned along the way so that you can avoid the pitfalls and reap the benefits of what I have gone through. I share recipes so you aren't bored with bland food. I share inspiration so you don't feel defeated. I share lifestyle tips that you can easily incorporate into your life so you can feel better. And most of all, I just want you to feel fantastic too!!
(read below if you want MORE of the details about my story)
Before kids, I had been an avid athlete, training for crazy Ironman triathlons, marathons, etc, plus I thought I had been eating pretty healthy with my steamed broccoli, heart-healthy whole grains, and boring plain chicken breasts.
But even though I would take days, sometimes even weeks off of training, I couldn't stop feeling tired all the time.
I would come home from work sometimes and have to take naps, and even though I'd sleep for 13-15 hours on the weekends, it just didn't seem to get any better. Plus I had cold hands and feet all the time, and I remember being in Hawaii in 80-degree temps and needing a sweater because I couldn't get warm.
My monthly cycles were all over the place (varying cycle lengths and HEAVY periods), I had adult acne, I could never quite lose all the weight I wanted to, and my hair would always be falling out. Like a lot.
And the brain fog… I consider myself to be an intelligent person, but I'd have the hardest time reading documents at work or even having conversations with people. I think I sounded pretty idiotic sometimes.
I finally went to my doctor and he tested me for mono and some other things.
Turned out I didn't have mono, but I had something called “hypothyroid”. I asked what the heck that was (I mean, up until that point I had been healthy – or so I thought), and he said it was some sort of autoimmune disease and that there was absolutely nothing we could do about it. I just had to take a pill – he prescribed Levothyroxine (generic Synthroid) and told me to come back in a month to get tested again to make sure my medication levels were ok.
This went on for years, where my medication levels bounced up and down almost monthly, and while I initially had more energy, I never quite felt like I was rid of all my symptoms.
Then kids happened.
If you've ever had kids, especially babies, you know they rob you of every minute of sleep that they can. I love them so much, but man, sleep deprivation sucks.
Anyway – after my youngest was born I was having such a hard time keeping up with my kids. Every day I'd come home from work and it was all I could do to make it to the couch. I couldn't play with them. I couldn't chase them around. It was such an effort just to even move from the couch to the floor to play. It was the worst because I knew I wasn't the mom I wanted to be.
I finally found a functional medicine practitioner in the hopes that he would help me figure out the root cause of what was wrong with me. With his help, I found that I was Celiac (an autoimmune disease caused by being allergic to gluten), and that instead of “hypothyroid”, I had an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.
The best part though was that he said I could put both of these autoimmune diseases into remission, stop the diseases from progressing further, and stop suffering from the symptoms that I had been for years.
I went onto a strict Paleo diet (specifically, Autoimmune Paleo or AIP at first), made some lifestyle changes, replenished many mineral and nutrient deficiencies that the Celiac disease had ravaged upon me, and sure enough, within a few months, I was feeling SO much better.
Within a year I was feeling better than I had been in over 15 years! It was an incredible transformation. I successfully put my Hashi's and Celiac into remission and suffer no more of the symptoms.
Has it been all unicorns and rainbows? Heck no. But it's still so much better than it had been, and I'd do it all over again if I had to.
We're all very lucky to be living in this time of health awareness and healthy food that actually looks and tastes good. 15-20 years ago we would have been relegated to the weird fringe. But these days we can join so many others in getting healthy in a much more fun, satisfying way.
What Thriving On Paleo Is About
After I learned how much better I could feel, I realized I couldn't just keep this to myself. I started this site to share my knowledge and experiences with you.
I share things like the following. Click on any to find out more:
• Experiences doing a Whole30 (for a Hashimoto's flare)
• Experiences doing AIP (for a Hashimoto's flare)
• Tips and showing how I live with autoimmune disease on my YouTube channel
• A whole series on what Autoimmune Disease is, things you can do to feel better, and how what you eat and how you live affect it
If you're struggling with autoimmune disease symptoms and want to use diet and lifestyle to get your quality of life back, you've come to the right place.
Over 14 Paleo Diet Resources to Help You Feel Fantastic
Interested in learning how you can easily start Paleo to see if it will help you too?
My Paleo Freebie Library has tons of resources to make the Paleo diet (and subsets like Whole30 and AIP) faster, easier, and more delicious. Cookbooks, meal plans, quick start guides, grocery and budget-eating guides, trainings, etc – tons of stuff that I've made in the 4+ years I've been blogging. Get the password here.
Wanna get in touch?