paLEO 2013. Inspired by the birth of my son LEO.

By Emily Hecker, CNC, DC


My journey has begun…again.

I started eating paleo January 2012 and fell in love with it. I felt great, I lost baby weight from my first son and I unexpectedly got pregnant again! Whoops! I worked with Autoimmune patients at my office EVERYDAY and I encountered people (women and mothers especially) who were struggling with items that you and I take for granted because their autoimmune condition was overtaking their life. My reason for choosing the Paleo Lifestyle was reinforced everyday just by talking to my patients.  I knew it was the right way to eat,  and even more so knowing autoimmunity runs in my family.

After I got pregnant with baby #2, I continued to eat paleo and I hardly gained ANY baby weight until the end. I had a DELIGHTFUL unmedicated homebirth December 2012 and then all hell broke lose.

I was breastfeeding and craved sugar like it was going out of style. My 18month old was extremely needy and wanted me to hold him every minute he was awake. My husband was traveling for weeks at a time. For the first 5 months of my new baby’s life, he needed to nurse (or so I thought) every two hours of the night. I was not sleeping at all. I did not go back to work and became a FULL TIME stay at home mom. Everytime a child cried, (which was a lot) I ATE. It turned into a stress management tool. I became an addict and was NOT living a lifestyle that I was endorsing. Doughnut runs became weekly adventures on Wednesday mornings as I embraced a new found love of garage sailing to add to my infatuation with all things Montessori.

Something had to change. I noticed when I drank red wine now, I went to bed with stiff fingers and woke up with headaches. The sulfates. When I ate a large amount of gluten now, the back of my head itched and my fingers became stiff.  I am having more loose BMs in the morning. My moods are fluctuating more than ever! I am gaining a TON of weight.


I am turning into one of my own patients!!! I am a gluten-loving sugar-addicted mom with no sleep, two screaming kids who has no time for herself and her health.

So here I am. New paleo cookbooks adorning my counter, expensive coconut products decorating my kitchen. I am ready to start my new paLEO journey…again.  Inspired by the birth of my son LEO and the many women I meet who are struggling with autoimmune issues. Here we go.


GO (Grain-Free, Raw) DOG, GO!

by Emily Hecker, DC, CNC

Walk in to any boutique, pet store and you will find all kinds of novelty food for your four-legged love of your life. Most all of them are grain free and now there are more and more raw food products coming available to the consumer. Most dog lovers who frequent these boutique stores know that the best food for your pets are these premium raw dog foods without grain. They know that for dogs who have more allergies, skin irritations, and other symptoms, this food is highly recommended.

Fillers such as wheat, corn, potatoes and rice are all carbohydrates. They break down into glucose and can cause unnatural swings in the your pet’s blood sugar, when it was designed to metabolize fat, not carbohydrates, for energy!

Dr. James Coghlan, DVM states that most of the diseases veterinarians treat on a daily basis are the result of feeding diets that utilize starch carbohydrates as an energy source for metabolism that also results in excessive amount of sugars to metabolize.  Diabetes and Cushings disease is a starch carbohydrate disease that does not at all exist among dogs and cats in the wild.1

These premium dog foods come with a high pricetag as well, about $70.00 for a 30-pound bag. Watch this video for an easy way to make your own dog-food.

Homemade Paleo Pet Food

So why a post about dogs on a mother-focused health blog? Because to realize the damage we do to our human-selves, we need a different perspective to really get the point. If the pet food industry recognizes the immune response that grains are negatively impacting the health of animals, why doesn’t the human food industry recognize it?

Well, it slowly is gaining more acceptance and when people experiment with their diet, they are finding the “paleo” way of eating eliminates potential allergenic food triggers.

Nutrition is extremely important and maybe we can learn a lesson from our pets. To find out more about the paleo diet and lifestyle check out my new favorite (cook)book, Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo.

My point is simple. If we love our animals so much to create a market demand for these premium grain-free foods, why don’t we eat that way too?


Dr. James Coghlan, DVM