5 Painless Ways To Be A (Paleo) Social Butterfly

Once you get over the shock of not eating stuff like pasta and bread and wine and Holy sh*t! I can’t have cereal or yogurt for breakfast anymore!, the real challenge of paleo begins to emerge: socializing. I’m fortunate because many of my friends are at least paleo-aware and some of them are as committed as I am to this lifestyle. I also know and love a bunch of people who fall into the “eat whatever they want” category, as well as the “stay up late” and “enjoy adult beverages every evening” groups.

So what’s a paleo devotee to do when fun sounds fun but you want to be happy?

Through the trial-and-error of many years, I’ve learned a few tricks that take most out of the sting out of remaining true to my convictions – without becoming the weirdo who never wants to have any fun.

Bring your own food or eat before you go.

If your priority is socializing, rather than the food itself, your pre-meal doesn’t have to be the world’s greatest. It just needs to be nutritional duct tape to help you navigate the experience. Every meal need not be a sit-down feast that feeds your soul and all your senses. Sometimes you just gotta eat. If you’re going to a restaurant, investigate the menu and plan your strategy.

Unless your friends are completely cold-hearted, you can probably convince them not to choose, say, a pizza joint for dinner. (If they refuse to bend, you may have a bigger problem than “eating weird.”) At most restaurants, you can find something. It might not be the best meal ever, but you do get to hang with your friends and enjoy some very important-to-your-psyche social time. I also usually eat a snack before I go, that way if the food that lands in front of me is sub-par, I’m not starved into making poor choices.

Once, I was in the middle of a strict Whole30 when it was time to go to a friend’s wedding. I wasn’t sure what kind of sugar and gluten would be hidden in the food at the reception, so while the bridal party posed for photos, I sat on a sunny bench and ate a snack pack – chicken sausage coins, black olives, snap peas, jicama – I’d hidden inside my giant faux crocodile handbag. (I later deposited the big purse in the car and replaced with a cute little evening bag. I’m not a heathen!) I endured some good-natured teasing from my friends, but I had the last laugh. They, without exception, said the food at the wedding wasn’t very tasty and expressed some envy of my handbag snack.

At a restaurant or social occasion like a party or wedding – anywhere your friends will be drinking cocktails – head directly to the bar as soon as you arrive and…

Order club soda.

Immediately get a glass into your hand. Strut up to the bartender and request a large club soda with two slices of lime and a few olives; I like to call this a Mediterranean Fizz! Now you (a) look like everyone else in the room with a glass in your hand; (b) have a drink that appears to be a cocktail to stave off inquisitive friends who want to know why you’re not drinking; and (c) can enjoy a refreshing drink that’s not just a boring glass of water. This mocktail also allows you to dance your ass off, pose for silly photos, and remain in control of your vocabulary while the people around you potentially devolve into drunken idiots.

Enlist helpers and enjoy yourself.

When I attended that wedding, I told all my close friends that I was sticking to my Whole30 and not drinking booze. They heckled me a little, but they also encouraged me. Don’t be shy about creating an army of support. Unless the occasion is a dinner party thrown in your honor and prepared by a kickass chef, a social situation is not necessarily about the food and booze – it’s about enjoying yourself and the company of your friends. WARNING: Sometimes, when the pleasure of food and the lubrication of booze is subtracted from a social situation, it becomes dull. This is a natural step in your evolution; do not despair! Other good and healthy and valuable and fun things will emerge. Believe it.

Use your true voice.

Mostly, no one notices what you’re doing, and if they do, they don’t care. If someone is antagonizing you – the waiter, a co- worker, a “friend” – look them in the eye and say, “I’m choosing to make my health a priority right now.” It’s not a bad idea to practice saying that phrase. Also, in the right circumstances, “Mind your own f*cking business.” works like a charm.

Eat when you get home.

Congratulations! You stuck to your guns. Now celebrate a little. I always make sure I have one of my favorite paleo snacks waiting in the kitchen after a night out: an egg or two scrambled with some chives, or hard-boiled eggs topped with homemade mayo, or a handful of caramelized coconut chips. Then I put on my PJs, snuggle with my husband Dave and our cat Smudge, and sleep the sleep of the righteous, knowing I’m going to wake up feeling healthy and strong. (Sometimes I think of those poor suckers with hangovers, and I allow myself to gloat for just a second.)



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  • Jennifer says:

    Oh I’ve never posted a comment on this blog before. 🙂 I just wanted to say: You’r awesome and thank you for this. I’ve been having issues just simply getting rid of the gluten (goind Paleo sloooowly) due to a real actual allergy and the tips are extremely helpful. At first, I was nervous about being that chick with the snacks in her purse but I’m getting comfortable with it.

  • Ann says:

    Oh, please, please don’t encourage people to lie about allergies. Some of us and our loved ones don’t particularly want to pull out the Epi-Pen just because the rest of you have reinforced bad/careless behavior by cooks and servers. Ask any server about the person who says they’re allergic to milk in the entree but eats the creme brulee. When you lie, you make people jaded. Don’t cry wolf. It keeps the rest of us safer.

    • Mel says:

      Ann, that’s an excellent point. Sorry! I didn’t even think of that. I’m going to edit my post based on your feedback. Thank you!

      • Ann says:

        Thank you for taking my comment in the spirit it was intended. I absolutely love your blog, and am really enjoying my newer way of eating. It’s a big improvement on quinoa pasta and millet salads. And I thought I was doing well!

    • Alec says:

      Ann, I whole heartedly disagree with you. If people are sensitive to gluten, (i.e most people) then they DO have a sensitivity to gluten; and should order food accordingly. To trivialize any of our collective food choices based on the fact that you, or a family member, has a more serious reaction; is pure nonsense.

      We neither lie nor cry wolf, we are expressing our desires to have food prepared in a way that best keeps us healthy; the same as you.

      • Ann says:

        Alec, I am gluten intolerant! I haven’t had gluten in over 2 years. It makes me very sick. But. It’s not an allergy. For some, wheat is – but for most celiacs/gluten intolerants? It isn’t. It sucks for us, and it’s poison. But eating some breadcrumbs won’t cause me to go into anaphylaxis. That’s what I’m talking about. However, strawberries? Strawberries make my throat shut. Fast.

        Hmm, let’s see. A night in the bathroom that increases my cancer risks over my entire life, versus possible death, fast? I’ll take crappy symptom number one. I have a friend who is incredibly reactive to tree nuts. I do NOT want a server being sloppy with the sesame around her. Don’t get me wrong, she doesn’t eat out in sesame-rich cuisines, but she’s still careful. I don’t want someone blowing that for her in an Italian restaurant. You know? It’s a shades of gray thing. I was not, and am not, diminishing the seriousness of avoiding gluten or other foods that cause inflammation or misery. But we’re kidding ourselves if we compare most healthy celiacs to someone with a truly serious peanut allergy.

        • Cygnifier says:

          Ann, your overall point is an important one and faking excuses can have negative repercussions. Sometimes it may be the only way to cope (try telling a Japanese or a Russian host you don’t want sake or vodka without insult–“allergies” can provide a graceful out). It is also perhaps useful to consider that not all allergies cause anaphylactic shock or are deadly. Milder allergies have their impact, but the people with them may have more flexibility in choosing to eat limited amounts of that food. The price they pay is real, but not as dramatic as for others. Saying they have allergies is NOT a lie — and what they have is not just a “sensitivity.” So we have to be careful to not try to craft the vocabulary of others based on one definition of a word that really does have a broader scope.

  • Amy Roberts says:

    The drink idea is super-nova! Thanks. Love your ideas and your blog. Whole 30 – day 1 is almost under my belt:)

  • alex says:

    Great tips! I especially like the one about ordering a club soda right away. In those social situations, some friends can be quite relentless. I also find that I don’t miss the drinking as much as I miss the act of having a beverage in my hand.

    • Jessica says:

      Alex-I totally agree about the having something in your hand. I am a pelligrino/perrier drinker anyway, but getting through the whole30 challenge sans wine is much more do-able when I consume said beverage out of stemware…funny huh?

  • Michelle says:

    Awesome post and I do the club soda trick as well, but I’ve never tried the olives, you can guarantee I will be adding those to my next PaleoMocktail next time I’m out!!

    I used to catch a lot of flack from people who didn’t “get” what I was doing when I first started paleo, but now they all want to look as great as I do and I notice they indulge in their “junky” food a lot less when I’m around!!

    There’s always jerky, almonds, almond butter packet and an apple in my handbag…it’s just a habit at this point and I never feel like I’m missing out. There’s no regret when you feel fabulous!!

    keep up the inspiration!

  • Gina says:

    Excellent post. I’m definitely printing this one out and memorizing it. With 4 kids it’s HARD enough to feed them, let alone myself. I always have a lara bar or two in my purse, nuts and dried fruit as well. The sausage and olives, however, are pure GENIUS!

    Thanks for this post. As always, it’s chock full of good stuff. 🙂

  • Barbara says:

    ya know? I never thought about olives in my club soda. My weekend just got more interesting:) When I become famous…will you cook for me? Your recipes are just….to die.


    so sad I missed out on the salmon that day:(

  • Pip says:

    o man! This came at the perfect time! I went out to grab coffee with my old roommate and ended up eating a Florentine. I mean, it’s just almonds, eggs and sugar right? I have been sitting at desk in a world of discomfort, sipping on peppermint tea all afternoon. Silly self-control (or lack of it).

  • Heather says:

    I’m the sole weirdo in my social group. As I was diagnosed gluten and casein intolerant 3 years ago (with thyroid issues) I was used to being the freak when I switched to paleo a year ago. Now I just feel sorry for all my peeps eating the crap. I know how much better they could feel.

    • Jessica says:

      Another thought, hypothyroidism is a highly undiagnosed issue. There is talk that it could be due in part to all the soy that is present in the SAD. It took me over 10 years to get diagnosed. So, there may be more truth to the thyroid claim than might have been expected.

  • Alix F says:

    Thank you so much for this. One of the biggest FAILs for me is socializing. I either cocoon when I do a Whole 30 or wind up blowing it because I go someplace unprepared.

    I’m not sure how I’m going to pull off the rest of the Whole 30 in India and Malaysia on vacation, but hopefully, I can find a way!

    • Raccro says:

      A hint tackling Asia cuisines (we eat lots of the various Asian cuisines here in Australia). They often have great soups on the menu – usually based on clear broths (like the Vietnamese pho) or coconut (such as laksa). They assemble these on serving, so although these tend to be based on noodles, I order them without noodles and with extra veggies. They fill to bowl with veggies rather than noddles and then pour the soup over. Fantastic. Can’t guarantee what sort of oil they’re using, but still a great work around for resturants. Note that laksa will usually include deep fried tofu also, which you can ask them to leave out of avoid eating if you’re avoiding tofu.

  • Alisha says:

    Love this! I’ve been doing club soda with lemon since my figure competition days, and this is a great reminder before the weekend. Not having to pay for drinks let’s me spend more money on delicious food and cute workout clothes.
    Thank you for all the recipes on your blog; they’ve been a lifeline during my whole30

  • Carthey says:

    Love the drink idea! I like to ask for it with mint leaves and lime, but I think olives may be the new twist.

    Thank you for the ideas of snacks. Could not have come at a better time with family dinners, birthdays and weddings in the next two weeks.

  • sarena says:

    Thanks for being so positive and uplifting once again. I am always the weirdo is social situations. I a cool with it.

  • Mel says:

    Thank you, everyone, for all your comments. I’d like to raise a frosty glass of club soda (with limes, mint leaves, and olives) in your honor.

    Here’s to all of us weirdos… the ones who eat lots of coconut, like our meat at every meal, value vegetables almost above all else, and are going outlive just about everyone who’s ‘normal’ in both quality and quantity of life. Carry on, dino-chow-ers!

    • Molly says:

      This post and this comment in particular make me straight up happy. Know that feeling when you think you’re the ONLY weirdo in the world, and then you find other weirdos? Bliss!

    • Molly says:

      Oh, and question….what do you say when someone asks what you’re drinking?? The truth, or something like “It’s a gin and tonic”? The latter could prove tricky if they want a sip.

      • Mel says:

        YAY for the weirdo club! I don’t know if anyone has ever asked me what I was drinking… but if they did, I might say “Mediterranean Fizz” and then if they asked what’s in it, I’d tell the truth.

        • Molly says:

          Brilliant! The social aspect of changing my lifestyle has been a million times harder than cutting any foods; Thanks for all the great tips!

  • Raccro says:

    My usual drink these days is a glass of mineral water with a slice of lemon or lime – it looks a lot ike a gin and tonic to anyone who cares to notice. I love olives though, so will definately try that one too.

    Mind you, a number of my friends got over my not drinking really quickly after they realised it means I’m usually happy to drive.

  • Walker says:

    If you participate in really classy outings like me–such as party-buses, river float trips, or BYOB trailor-food dinner–that typically require a cooler full of beer cans, I recommend LaCroix sparkling water instead(ingredients: cabonated water, natural flavors). Most grocery stores carry it, as does Target, for a about $3 for a 12-pack. Slip a can in a koozie and you are good to go!

    Ps. Grapefruit is my favorite flavor!

  • Matt says:

    I like the “chilly voice”… I don’t think its always painless to use, but yeah if you’re really getting hassled its awesome to lower your eyes and seriously say “Mind your own f*cking business.” Makes me feel like Liam Neeson after some Albanians take my daughter.

    • Mel says:

      I use my chilly voice INSIDE my head a lot. One of the things that I enjoy about the ‘newer’ me is that I speak the chilly voice out loud more often — when it’s really needed. So liberating!

      And hell, yeah to Liam Neeson. Super badass.

  • Phocion Timon says:

    Heh, I keep it simple: I don’t socialize.


  • Michael says:

    I am with Phocion Timon…socializing??? 😀
    otherwise, I just fast.

  • Kimberly says:

    Ah! This was such a fantastic post; thank you so much for sharing. I’ve been doing Paleo, fairly strict, for a few months now. It’s amazing how many people don’t get it. Just sit there blinking their eyes at me like I’m lying about my food allergies. I have actually thought to describe, in detail, what my body actually goes through after consuming grains or dairy, to total strangers. I like your feisty, unwielding, kickass spirit. You’re cool, totally committed AND healthy. Inspirational.

    • Mel says:

      You are so sweet with the compliments — thanks! Congrats on switching to paleo — and yeah, it can be rough talking about it to ‘civilians.’ I try to avoid nutrition discussions most of the time because people can be so closed to the ideas. But sometimes I feel like I gotta go down swinging, too ’cause I’d really love for others to learn how to take better care of themselves.

      Glad you’re enjoying my posts!

  • Kelly says:

    My friends gave me a lot of flack last weekend when I sat down at the bar and ordered water. I am halfway through my Whole30 and was not about to ruin my progress.

    Of course, all of the harassment stopped when I drove all of them home after the festivities.

    I will admit that it wasn’t the most fun I have ever had. But, I am sure I can manage to create more fun next time!

    • Mel says:

      Good for you, Kelly! And trust me, it gets easier. I rarely drink when I go out with friends now, and it’s not so bad. The biggest challenge, honestly, is that after a while, hanging out with tipsy or drunk people is boring. But when everyone is just having one or two, and I have club soda, it’s great.

  • Jaylen says:

    Hi Melissa! Just wanted to let you know that I love reading your blog and your sense of humor always seems to be on point with mine. I just recently discovered my gluten intolerance and having someone like you guide me on my path of eating and cooking is very encouraging (especially since you don’t HAVE to follow it…you go girl!). The crossfit gym I belong to introduced me to your site and my life feels more complete knowing there are like minds in this ever expanding world!

    • Mel says:

      Hey, Jaylen! Thanks for the sweet words and taking the time to let me know you like my blog! Sorry to hear about your gluten intolerance; I’m sure that is no fun — and yes, I know I’m very fortunate that I have a choice. Good luck to you with CrossFit and gluten-free eating. Stay in touch!

  • Sabrina says:

    is a lil straight vodka ok to partake of??

    • Mel says:

      It’s a totally personal choice. If you’re in a period of time when you’re being as health conscious as possible, all alcohol is out. If you’re more of an 80/20 person, then vodka is as OK a choice as anything else. Would definitely steer clear of anything with gluten, like beer.

  • Pingback: Well Fed For 2012
  • Allie says:

    This post is SO wonderfully timed. I always screw myself in social situations because people ask questions and they comment on how delicious the cake is and I cave. Either that, or I hole in my apartment during a whole30. Alas, no more. I shall be The GIrl With Snacks in Her Purse!

  • Erika says:

    Love this post! LOVE your book!! Made the Citrus Carnitas last night! Simply Divine! Thanks for all the great stuff!!

    • Mel says:

      Hey, Erika! Glad you liked the Citrus Carnitas! I’m testing that technique on other cuts of meat with different spices — should have some new recipes to share soon. Happy New Year!

  • Yes! I use all these strategies and they really help. We are strictly gluten-free, and also on the GAPS diet. The cross-contamination issues alone make it impossible to eat the food that is served at most parties. Remembering it is about the *people* pre-eating, bringing something safe, and keeping a drink in hand all really help.

    If folks need more tips on navigating shared meals and the social world with dietary restrictions I have a several posts on the subject, too. Here are a couple of them:


  • Grahame says:

    My wife and I changed to a Whole 30 type diet on 8th Dec,2010 and we have learnt lots over 12 months. Our 1 st month was a challenge with all those Xmas party’s etc.They were at people’s homes,so Ros would cook up some delights for us to put out with the othe food.We found that was the first food eaten and some nights I was so hungry when I got home at 1am I would cook up a storm .Last night we went out to a New Year Party and we did what we always do now when it is not sit down meal, we ate dinner before we went,so there are no temptations.If you stick to your guns I promise eventually people ( on the quiet) ask why are you looking so good.Thanks Mel,this topic of what do I do when I am not home is a real challenge,Restraunts well there is a whole other topic.Happy Healthy 2012 everyone.

  • Tali says:

    Hi Mel – I just stumbled on your blog from one of your devoted fans on the sarahwilson.com.au site and you totally rock! I am slowly shedding bad habits but the first to go was alcohol 6 years ago and I very rarely look back! Soda water, lime, mint and ginger became my new best friends, and I have been known to be in a bar and order a mug of tea. Some friends did put up resistance, but didn’t seem to mind so much when I offered to drive them home. Plus, sometimes they throw a little cash my way for petrol purposes (not that I make money out of my friends!) And then I just think of all the cash I saved on taxis home…. thank you so much for all of these tips – you’ve totally inspired me to keep going and eventually get to paleo levels!

  • Mel says:

    Ooooo! I love Sarah Wilson — so nice to know people over there pointed you here. YAY!

    Congrats on your healthy habits. It’s a hard transition, but once you’re there, it’s golden, right?!

    I totally encourage you to try a Whole30. It will make you feel like a million bucks (eventually 😉

    Glad you found me — hope you’ll comment again and keep us posted on how you’re doing!

  • CJ says:

    I have recently been researching the whole 30 and one of my coworkers LOVES your recipes and tips and she sent me your way. AMAZING recipes. I am really looking forward to making some major changes but due to my crazy schedule (I know, we all have crazy schedules!) I wanted to really educate and prepare myself before implementing the changes so as not to set myself up for failure! I am adding this site to my definite FAVORITES tab…. especially since you obviously love mediterranean food as much as I do but I have never tried making it at home! I think the first on my list is going to be the beautiful mediterreanean plate that you posted on the onion salad recipe!! I don’t care if its not hot yet.. I need to practice it for the summer! haha

    • Mel says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment, CJ. Sounds like you’re off to a really great start. Hope you try that onion salad — it really is SO good… and so easy. I encourage you to try a Whole30. It really will change your life! Best wishes to you.

  • QLew says:

    You are a total rockstar!!!!! I’m geeked out after stumbling upon your site, and NOW you have become my hero re: social drinking. Going to shows n bars with friends just got a whole lot more do-able (I was in super avoidance mode).

    • Mel says:

      Really glad to know you feel like this will help make socializing easier. I got REALLY sick of always saying no and staying home, so club soda with limes and olives are like a “Get Out of Good Health Jail” FREE card. Have fun!

  • Chrishaun Keller-Hanna says:

    One thing that I found really works when you bring your own food is a beautiful, fun and/or funky container. My friend got me a Hello Kitty bento box and I also have several painted bento boxes that allow you to carry just the right portion size and it looks loads better than pulling out Gladwear!!

  • Kim Phillips says:

    I am ready! I have been doing crossfit for a year now and have lost 66 lbs, but I am stuck now. I find there are so many social engagements that I was “making exceptions” to my diet to often. I am going 100% Paleo and am planning on winning the Paleo challenge at the gym in the next 6 weeks. I have 5 social engagements coming up and was not sure how I was going to approach them. Thank you so much!

    • Mel says:

      You can do it! It’s really not so bad, especially if you prepare and if you have a good talk with yourself ahead of time. Keep your focus on what you REALLY want and enjoy the people. Good luck to you!

  • Nichole says:

    I found this extremely helpful! It is just what I needed as I am struggling being social on my paleo diet. I have Hashimotos and I have several problem foods. Thank you for sharing these tips!

  • Judy says:

    Just stumbled across your website and love it! I bought Well Fed last week and have just cracked it open tonite. I look forward to making some great recipes. I have celiac disease and decided that there must be something else I’m reacting to so I just jumped in and decided to do the 30 day thing. I’m at day 20 and while I’ve had some snickers hallucinations (yea a cellphone can look like one during a boring business meeting) I’m really liking it! I have more energy and feel great. One question…is La Croix sparkling water considered Paleo?

    • Mel says:

      Thanks for buying Well Fed — I hope you like the recipes and that it makes the rest of your 30 days of eating really clean as painless — and tasty — as possible. Congrats on 20 days!

      The La Croix web site is down right now, and the only nutrition label I could find was for the plain flavor. Their site says “no sodium, no sweeteners, no calories” but then I wonder what the devil they’re using to make the flavors… which makes me suspicious. If you want to be really, super clean, I’d say no to the flavored kind because if they’re using “natural flavors” but don’t specify what they are, they could be anything.

  • I am getting a little tired of folks saying you can’t have an allergy to gluten or gluten foods. I tested and had a reaction to every gluten food and many more. I am straight up being honest when I tell them that I have an allergy to gluten.
    I have been gluten-free for 12 1/2 years and it has made all the difference in the world.

  • Sue says:

    First I just want to say I find this blog great, and I have no problems with anyone eating however they want to.

    However if people have such a problem with people criticising their paleo food choices, why stoop to their level and criticise anyone elses choices?

    We live in a society where we are lucky enough to be able to choose how we want to eat and have that food available to us. Eat how you want, but dont force it on others/criticise others for making their own choices, regardless if they are different to yours.

  • Julia says:

    Great article. I have been telling people lately I insist on brining a salad then make one that has everything you need in a meal – like spinach, pumpkin, bacon and pine nuts. I have been pretty lucky though they all know I am gluten free and make sure there is something I can eat. The hardest bit has been training my husband to tell his friends/ work mates for functions.

    We went to a Work Christmas party recently and everyone was jealous of my gluten free salad because they where all getting served deep fried crap. It is amazing how many parties I have gone too in the last 2 years and there has been nothing not in pastry. I am getting used to taking home-made jerky and salad.

  • Mike Tsocaris says:


  • Mike Tsocaris says:


    Just bought your book. I’m a newbee to Paleo. Before Paleo I recognized I am a sugar addict and it was going to take a few years off my life.

    I understod the Paleo life style principles by reading Codain’s book. I also read the recipes in his book which tended to be a bit on the gourmet side.

    I love to cook and since I’m Greek you’ve provided recipes that have ingredients I frequently use. You also introduce ingredients I’ve never used so this new way of food prep is going to be exciting.

    I especially love your humor it’s like your part of our family.

    Kali Orexi “Good appetite”

    • Mel says:

      Oh, man! Greek food. So good — and so much of it is easily made paleo. (Pastistio is a challenge but moussaka can be manipulated!)

      I’m so glad you found me and are enjoying Well Fed! Thanks for letting me know, and please keep in touch and let me know how you’re doing!

  • NannyD says:

    I just learned about you, and the 30 whole yesterday. I started today. I have papillary thyroid carcinoma, with a surgery scheduled for Dec 18.13 You have given me hope and I can see a light. I will not settle for anything than feeling great. I am hypo now, and so sad to see my energy and other things gone. I am a runner. Just wanted to thank you for being so informative and encouraging. First Sofia Vergara was my model, now you are. Blessings!

    • Mel says:

      Best wishes for smooth sailing with your surgery! It can be a long, tedious journey to getting back to optimal health, but it’s totally worth it — and we’re all in this together. Keep me posted on how you’re doing. Sofia Vergara and I are cheering you on!

      • NannyD says:

        Hil Mel,

        This has been quite a journey. When they found my thyroid cancer, other organs were messed up already and I only found about it after my thyroid surgery. Long story short, I had my gallbladder and uterus removed this year, finally, feeling better but having skin allergies, and B complex allergy, amen of all the bad allergies I had to the pain meds and the anesthetics.

        I did a whole 30 this year, and now, I switched endocrine doctor, and this new one put me on a lower dose of the Synthroid (150 mg) and 2 doses of 5 mcg of Cytomel, one in the morning and other mid day, and that made a HUGE difference in how I feel. To celebrate, I did a turkey trot this Thanksgiving and I could sustain my energy levels until 6 pm yayyy progress, slow, but progress.

        I am eating mostly paleo, still fighting the cheese monster, but limit my consumption, and the sugar monster is there to scare me if I don’t pay attention to it. I am passing this holiday season the best I can, and Jan 2, 2015 starts a Whole 30 AIP looking to improve my skin condition, loose some weight and beat the cheese and sugar.

        Thanks again for your inspiration. I lost in my house my Well Fed book, and I think that it may be on the printer, I put it there to make a copy of a recipe for a friend and forgot about it. I have the Well Fed 2. I organized and cleaned my kitchen library this weekend, your books and the Against All Grains books are my favorites these days, ah and another called My Kitchen Cure, How I cooked my way out of chronic autoimmune disease with whole foods and healing recipes.

        Those books, my kitchen appliances, and essential oils had been my battle guns. Today I feel much better than I did a year ago, when I wrote you the first time.

        Thank you so much, did I say thank you already?

        Blessings and cheers to you! 🙂
        p.s. my hubby loves and cooks your recipes 🙂 too.

  • Bella says:

    I really loved this post and have recently become a loyal fan! I received Well Fed as a Christmas present and have enjoyed reading every page. I can’t rave enough about Sunshine Sauce and the Paleo Pad Thai (among your other recipes). By the way, I would know a good Pad Thai too because I’m half Thai and my dad is an incredible chef of all things Thai. No lie, I wanted to eat the Sunshine Sauce out of the blender with a spoon!
    So with all of that out of the way, I must say in the beginning when I converted to paleo, I felt trapped by social events. I’m extremely family oriented and love every opportunity where I can gather with family and friends but my commitment made it difficult at first. Family members didn’t understand- “What do you mean hold the cheese? Don’t you want bread with that? You don’t have any potatoes on your plate?” I think the chilly voice (in my own head!) helped immensely while knowing that I made the right choices and I was reaping the benefits.
    I can’t speak much for the no alcohol rule because as a girl who formerly was able to down cases of beer in a couple days, I quit drinking beer altogether thanks to Chantix. That’s right- I quit smoking too! So the craving for lots of things died and also beer tasted disgusting to me after I started the drug. I recently ate a meal at a restaurant for a gathering celebrating a friend’s birthday and a few had chosen to comment on my dinner choice of grilled chicken breast and steamed vegetables. In a way, it almost makes me feel good because I remind myself of the strength I have to stay true to myself and my lifestyle. Our immediate reaction is to think that people perceive us to be weird or picky, but honestly I always sense just a bit of jealousy in there and it’s something that should actually make all of us “weirdos” just a little bit happy 🙂

  • Mel says:

    Congratulations to you on all of the healthy changes you’ve made with your eating and your mental processes. YAY for you!

    Thank you for the kind words about the Pad Thai and Sunshine Sauce. I’m really glad you like them!

    Oh! Congrats on quitting smoking, too. THAT IS AWESOME.

  • Holly says:

    Hello All-

    Just want to share a little story, awhile back I decided to get healthy, I started juicing, the more I juiced the “sicker” I became, I went to the MD and said it was just the change in what I was doing. I stayed loyal and wasn’t losing any weight and feeling worse. A friend mentioned a naturopath, one blood test later I found out I had a fruit allergy, I love fruit, (f@&k). I would have fruit but always with sugar, carbs etc. I didn’t even make the connection. Having an apple or pear never made a huge impact, but I felt like shit all the time. So finding out dairy was my friend didn’t make me happy, I hate milk! Hate is a strong word, I reiterate I hate milk and country music but that’s another story, I digress:(. I can have “night vine” fruits- melons, so I have decided tonight to freezing melon pieces packing them in my purse and throwing them in my water or club soda, looks fancy, and the melon is yummy. Hope this works- I would appreciate any other ideas! Oooooh I feel so much better now that I ranted. I love the whole 30 and even though I just am starting I feel great! Thanks and love the support!

  • April says:

    You are awesome! And you make me laugh!
    Hi from North-East Texas!

  • Joan Westaway says:

    Melissa, you’re such a treasure! Fun too!
    I’m back on Whole30 second time, Day 6. Really, in the time since January 14 it has become a wonderful lifestyle, except for the 3 creme brulees (counted em) and going back to real cream in my coffee. The occasional 85-90% dark choc was seducing me too much and my fatloss had slowed… so I am back here! The most amazing thing has been that my appetite switch is working brilliantly after at least 30yrs of malfunction!
    I love the idea of “Mediterranean Fizz” with the olives! Can’t wait to try it!
    Here’s to glorious wellness! Cheers! 🙂

  • Amanda says:

    I think you are going to get me thru this whole30 thing. Cooked my butt off today using your week 1 meal plan. Thank you for your great recipes and wisdom! You have got me excited to eat real nuritioning food.