Your Questions Answered: Hidradenitis suppurativa and Autoimmune Conditions

the-hidden-plague-cover320

For the last three years, I have received (on average) about 30 emails a week with questions regarding Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), how to treat it, what foods are safe, what medications people should be taking, even questions on how to quit smoking and deal with the stress of in-laws. In fact, I’ve received so many questions that I wrote a book to try to answer them all at once. Unfortunately, since everyone’s personal situation is unique (and there’s no way I could cover everything in one book. And I have no idea how to deal with your mother-in-law) I’m still receiving tons of questions. In order to try to help everyone who needs help, we’re going to answer your questions here once a week. If you have any questions regarding your HS, achieving remission, taking supplements, or need information to take to your doctor, ask us! Just use the “Ask A Question” tab on the right hand side of the screen. We’ll try to answer them all in the coming weeks. Question 1 Hello Tara, I have been diagnosed with HS and for the last 18 months I have been prescribed antibiotics (doxycycline, clyndamycin and minocycine). They worked to clear … Continue reading

Cooking With Coconut Oil: A Review

coconutcover

Maybe I’m strange, but my favorite books to read have always been cookbooks. Even as a small child, I would spend rainy Saturday afternoons curled up on the couch with a stack of my mother’s cookbooks in front of me. I would devour them, page by page, using little strips of torn notebook paper to bookmark the ones that I wanted to make. Few of them rarely made it to the actual kitchen, but I loved reading the recipe descriptions and soaking up the pictures of the finished products. I’ve carried my love of reading cookbooks into adulthood, except now, almost all of them make it into the production stage. So, it was no surprise when I sat down one day last week with Elizabeth Nyland’s (of Guilty Kitchen fame) new cookbook, Cooking With Coconut Oil: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Recipes For Good Living. As I thumbed through the pages of the book, it became apparent that I had a growing problem on my hands. It wasn’t which recipe that I wanted to try that was causing my dilemma, but which recipe I didn’t want to try. From baked salmon with blueberry sauce, dark chocolate cherry muffins, and salt-roasted beet salad with … Continue reading

Living With HS: The Hidden Plague Giveaway Part 3

the-hidden-plague-cover320

It isn’t easy living with a disease like Hidradenitis suppurativa, but it’s even harder when you have children to take care of. Most of us with HS are frightened to death that we’ll pass our HS on to our kids. We’re also overwhelmed with medical bills, depression, and pain, which makes it harder to care for others. Our two winners today are mothers. Tara has received many emails from desperate moms, who are only hanging on because of their children. We hope that the information in The Hidden Plague will help them–and mothers everywhere–to overcome this disease and to regain their power. After all, we can’t properly care and give to others when we can’t properly care or give to ourselves. Submission #5: My dear friend (whose husband is dying in the hospital right now), just emailed me this link to your site and told me about your book, of which I was previously unaware.  I almost cried when I read the description of your book: “Have you been plagued with boils, cysts, ingrown hairs, and acne-like bumps that take months to resolve, leave embarrassing scars, and cause considerable pain? Have you been to the doctor, only to leave with … Continue reading

Living With HS: The Hidden Plague Giveaway Part 2

the-hidden-plague-cover320

Today we hear from two women who have been struggling with HS since the onset of puberty. Although 23 is the average age that autoimmune conditions strike, it’s becoming more common to see symptoms appear earlier. Tara’s HS first showed up when she was fourteen. The onset of puberty is a tumultuous time at best; imagine adding a skin condition like HS into the mix. The first story especially resonated with Tara–her connection to the military and her failure with military doctors (and their prescription-happy attitude) is mentioned in The Hidden Plague. We’re happy to be able to help these two women gain the tools they need in order to regain control of their lives. Submission #3: Where to begin… I was 14 and going through puberty the first time I had a boil flare in my armpit. My pediatrician gave me some antibiotic ointment and sent me home with mom. We had noticed a slight darkening of the skin in both armpits shortly thereafter. I’m not sure if that was a precursor of what was to come or not. Eventually my disease spread into other areas of my body like my groin, inner thighs and buttocks. I didn’t have too … Continue reading

Food Is Not The Enemy

cheat

Sarah forwarded me this Huffington Post article recently, entitled “23 Things Every Woman Should Stop Doing”. I started to read down the list, and some of the items really resounded with me. Then I got to number four: “Viewing Food as the Enemy”…. We all have different relationships with the food we put into our bodies. Sometimes, that relationship is a healthy one. However, more often than not, that connection is unfortunately an unhealthy one. It bothers me when people call eating in a Primal or Paleo way a “diet”. Although it does not have to, the word “diet” can carry so many negative connotations. When I think of a diet, I think of cabbage soup diets, the grapefruit diet, the Hollywood diet,  the cayenne lemonade diet — all of which have at least one thing in common — they’re all restrictive. And when a person constantly restricts and prohibits a wide range of foods, they run the risk of beginning to view food as the ‘enemy’. Many people struggle to view food as an enjoyable way to fuel their bodies, rather they wonder, “How many calories is in that?” or “I’m not allowed to eat that!” True, eating a … Continue reading

Coconut Ghee Egg Spiced Chai Lattes

Coffee-Love

I’ve always loved coffee with cream. Going Paleo meant I had to ditch it and get used to the taste of black coffee. To be honest, I never could. Should I have stopped drinking coffee altogether at that point? Probably—but I didn’t. I soldiered on, so great was my addiction, and began experimenting instead. I tried Bulletproof Coffee, Egg Coffee, coconut oil, and different spices. The results were pretty good but it was just missing one key ingredient, which I couldn’t put my finger on. Thankfully I found it at AHS13 in Atlanta. The vendors at events like these are incredible. There was everything from tallow lip balm to kombucha starters—a veritable cornucopia of Paleo delights. One table that really caught my eye was the Pure Indian Food’s Ghee display. I’ve always loved and used ghee, but it’s hard to find good sources of it. Here, starring me in the face, was organic, grass-fed ghee—gallons of it. Not only that, there was coffee too, with a little sign saying “try some ghee in me!” And so I did. Deciding between the different types of ghee was difficult—they had cultured or plain, coconut mixed with ghee, and different flavors, including a … Continue reading

How My Family Ate at McDonald’s and Still Stayed Primal

Believe it or not, these are double Quarter Pounders with Cheese from McDonald's. Or a Royale with Cheese for you Europeans.

The other day, it was 115 degrees here in Phoenix and my family and I were planning to head over to a friend’s house to go swimming. As luck would have it, we were going to be at their house over the dinner hour. These friends are awesome people but if there was an opposite of Primal, that’s what they’d be. Almost everything they eat comes from a box. They don’t care about ingredients, or gluten, or sugar. They have bowls of Hallowe’en candy out on their kitchen counter all year long. There is nothing in their house that I can eat in good conscience. Before we went over, they suggested that we order pizza in for dinner, completely forgetting that we don’t eat restaurant pizza. The only stuff I had in the fridge were chicken dinner leftovers. I tried to imagine my children being asked to eat chicken and spinach while their peers chowed down on delivery pizza. Not happening. My Primal brain went into survival mode. What restaurant could we get food from that our friends would eat, our children could eat and that wouldn’t make us sick? Somewhere where we could all make our own choices, instead … Continue reading

Primalgirl Reads: Paleo Fitness by Darryl Edwards

Paleo_Fitness

I had the pleasure of meeting Darryl Edwards at PaleoFX last year. I was very impressed with his enthusiasm and love for Primal movement. Darryl made a huge impression on me. He was so motivated to help other people that he offered free workshops at PaleoFX without being compensated. (Click here to see the fun I had — the only fun I had — at PaleoFX last year.) Darryl also flew all the way from England to hold free workshops at PrimalCon Austin this year. He was such a hit that rumor has it he’ll be attending both PrimalCon events next year as a presenter. A short video from my friend Bryan Barksdale sums it up pretty nicely: Darryl loves to share information with others, as you can tell from his website and his YouTube channel. That’s why I was so pleased to receive a copy of his new book, Paleo Fitness, a few weeks ago. It was just as I hoped it would be: jam packed full of great information to help anyone get out of a chronic-cardio, globo-gym mindset and back into the fun, carefree way we used to play when we were kids. Each exercise is carefully … Continue reading

Saving Money Living a Primal Lifestyle

savemoney_grow

One of the complaints I hear most from people thinking about adopting a Primal or Paleo lifestyle is that it’s too expensive. Meat costs money. Coconut flour is expensive and hard to find. Organic fruits and vegetables cost more than their conventional counterparts. How do you make this type of lifestyle work on a restricted budget? I believe that if anyone can answer this question, I can. We are a single income family with two kids. Technically, we’re below the poverty line, since my husband is enlisted in the Air Force. However, we own our own 4000 sq ft home and have two beautiful (working) cars in the driveway. I have enough handbags and shoes to wear different ones every day for six months and we eat grass fed beef, pastured eggs, organic produce, coconut oil, pastured butter and bacon on a daily basis. I shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Sprouts. We have savings accounts with money in them and while the balance on our credit card is a little higher than I’d like it to be, we don’t have any debt that isn’t manageable. How am I making it work? It seems like an impossible task, doesn’t … Continue reading

Slim Is Simple and Grass-Fed Beef

Angus_Ranch2

Primal Transformation Seminars I’ll be doing Primal Transformation Seminars in Austin, Houston, Minneapolis and Portland this spring together with Tracy and Matthew from True Nature Training, so if you’re close to one of those areas, sign up! You can find all the information you need right here. If you’d like us to hold a seminar in your area, leave a comment with the city that you live in and we’ll see what we can do. These full-day seminars include a 2.5 hour lecture/discussion with me on the Primal way of eating and lifestyle, followed by a 3-hour training session with Tracy and Matthew. True Nature Training is based on Primal fitness and includes elements of natural movement, parkour and gymnastics. It’s perfect for beginners! Participants will receive copies of The Primal Blueprint 21-day Transformation, the 90-day Journal, a gift bag with goodies and samples from Primal Blueprint, a t-shirt from True Nature Training and the chance to win a copy of the Primal Connection, Mark Sisson’s latest book. It’s going to be an amazing day so make sure you grab your ticket soon. Slim IS simple I have a couple of interesting links to share with you this week. The … Continue reading