Hello Shapers!

Here you will read about the Shaped By Sherri Lifestyle:

I want to share with you the story behind why my recipes lean towards a “Paleo Diet”.

Paleo Diet (as defined by Gale Encyclopedia of Diets, 2nd ed., Detroit: Gale, 2013, pp. 902-907):The Paleo diet is an eating plan that is intended to mimic as closely as possible the way that the ancestors of humans ate more than 10,000 years ago. It is also known as the Paleolithic or caveman diet. Supporters of this eating plan maintain that Paleolithic people did not suffer from contemporary conditions such as heart disease, cancer , and diabetes; others point out, however, that Paleolithic people had a much shorter lifespan than humans today and so did not live long enough to develop these conditions.  The Paleo diet includes only foods that could have been hunted or gathered during the Paleolithic era . (Kent Lacin LLC/agefotostock)

Let me start by saying I am NOT a certified Nutritionist in any way.  My lifestyle choice is a reflection of my personal feelings.  I have read a lot about nutrition and encourage you to read what I have by checking out my book list.

However, I feel that the main theme that seems to be a constant throughout all the various authorities in the world of health and wellness is that if you nourish the body properly it runs properly.

Additionally, if you reduce or eliminate inflammation in the body it is less likely to be susceptible to disease.  If there is nothing in your body clogging up your organs and slowing down the way it runs, then there is nothing to become the root of sickness or disease.

All the processes of the body work together as they should to naturally eliminate toxins the way they were intended to.  First, your digestive system, then your skin, respiratory, etc.  If one system can’t eliminate the toxins, another tries to.  (Think about when your body tries to sweat out a fever.)

Also, if you think about the metaphor of clogged pipes polluted with “garbage”.  Nothing can smoothly pass through them and therefore does not get efficiently or successfully passed.  This is what happens when your body is inflamed.  It can’t work efficiently because it is working at 50 percent of its potential when its fighting inflammation.

Where does all that stuff that can’t pass through go?  Well, if we assume the pipes are your intestines, it stays in your body to fester.  It can settle in one spot or be pushed to other systems in your body.  It will continue to build up over time and this build up will become apparent years down the line when you end up with some sort of disease.  It can manifest as simple struggles like constipation from intestinal swelling that keeps fecal matter stuck, acne, as the body tries to eliminate the toxins through the skin, or worse.  It can lead to much more serious disease if not rectified.

In an effort to reduce inflammation, you have to try to live a less stressful life, avoid foods that cause inflammation, include foods that encourage toxin elimination, get enough rest, and move your body to encourage it to work optimally.

This is what I’ve learned as I’ve read and have seen in my own family as well as myself.  Again, these are my personal views.

You are probably aware of the countless cases of cancer, autoimmune disease and food intolerances/allergies in the world and that they are growing daily.  I have expereienced this myself.  My grandfather, cousin, and mother all have celiac disease and my father, brother and I are lactose intolerant.  Additionally, my mother and I are severely reactive to soy and its products.  This is not uncommon, and it’s a part of the reason my recipes avoid dairy and soy.  Now we could get into the GMO discussion about soy, but that’s a different topic for a different post.

With that said, most people tend to be reactive to gluten containing products, dairy, and soy and just don’t know it and so they go a lifetime eating these foods and “poisoning” themselves and don’t find out about it until they have an ideopathic disease.  Now this may not be true for everyone, but it’s worth finding out now before it becomes serious.  That is why what I propose it a lifestyle change and that is why I personally follow a “Paleo” style diet.

I try to avoid any products that will inflame my body and keep it from running optimally.  These include the aformentioned, gluten (wheat, barley, rye, contaminated oats and their by products), dairy and soy. I will add to this list refined sugar (or really sugar in general) and anything that is processed.  (However, I am human and find the sugar habit a hard one to break myself).

Additionally, I try to avoid any food that is hard to digest or yeast feeding.  This may surprise you, but my avoid list includes beans and nuts.  Although, I will have nuts or nut butter occasionally if they are soaked and/or sprouted as this is the easiest way to digest them.  I will admit that it was a tough transition for me as a former vegetarian who loved her black bean burgers.

Please know that I do not expect you to go out and eat like I do.  I’d just like it to be an inspiration on your wellness journey and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not perfect at it every day myself.

What I try to do is eat organic (nonGMO) greens at every meal, mostly eat like a vegetarian, with the occasional meat (always grass fed, pasture raised, organic, antibiotic free), or wild caught fish, and of course CHOCOLATE.  Of course, if you are battling an autoimmune disease, please consult your doctor as you will likely have stricter guidelines that you’ll  learn to appreciate, as they will keep you well.  And if you have additional food allergies to items like corn or berries, you will obviously need to avoid those foods too.  My recipes are just a general idea of how I eat and live to give you some inspiration and get you started.

This all may sound very harsh, but I found that when I hit my 30s I started to feel tired all the time and my skin started to explode with acne, and I started to have concerns about my fertility.  My body was clearly not running optimally and needed a change.  I surely had a taxed endocrine system and was stressed all the time with little sleep and I was eating a purely vegetarian diet.  It included eggs occasionally and lots of grains like oatmeal, quinoa, gluten free pizza crust, tortilla chips and I had an incurable sweet tooth (something I’m still working on).  I was eating a lot of vegeatables so I thought I was “healthy”.  I was also eating a lot of soy thinking it was  a great vegeatarian protein choice and was getting sick all the time.  It was a great relief when I realized my soy allergy.

As you can see, I was trying to make healthy choices, but was somehow still not at my full potential.  My cells were taxed and overworked.  I needed to heal my body.  So, I started  a yeast starving diet, you may have heard it called a “Candida” diet.  I elmininated all the foods that could tax my body and paid attention to the time it took for things to digest so they were not festering in my intestines.  My body was cleansing itself and had years of damage to undo.  Well, what do you know, my skin really cleared up, I felt happier, my body wasn’t as fatigued, and I could think more clearly.  I was living proof of what I’d really known all along, when you clean up what you eat, your body works properly and you can have a much fuller life.  I haven’t gotten sick at all since starting to cleanse my body by eating this way and I’ve even gotten my husband on board eating a little green now.  I’m patient with him as I know it’s hard and will take baby steps.

It’s not always easy, but if you think this type of eating will work for you, I want to make it easier for you to get started.  I have tips here that have helped me to get through the tough spots.

Additionally, I want you to feel like you are on the right track, so I will be posting spotlight interviews with leaders in the health and wellness field to inspire you.  There are countless stories of folks who have healed themselves through diet and lifestyle changes.  There is really an underground movement happening of people reversing autoimmune symptoms and even cancer from this type of lifestyle and I’m excited to be a part of the message.

If you are interested in hearing some of these stories and learning more, please follow Dr. Mark Hyman on social media as well as Dr. Terry Wahls.  Learn about functional medicine and what that means.  Additionally, take a look at Danielle Walker’s story on www.againstallgrain.com and Natalia Rose’s work. Many of these resources can be found on my book list.

Let’s be a part of this health and wellness movement together and get well so we can live our fullest life!

I hope you find my recipes and tips helpful on your journey and let me know if you need any help.

Let’s get Shaped together!