Blogger Spotlight – Danielle Gagnon
1. What got you interested in the Paleo lifestyle?
I spent most of my college and post-grad years trying a variety of diets without much success. All I ever got for it was minimal weight loss combined with extreme hunger and blood sugar regulation issues. That all changed when 18 months ago, after starting a job with a very long commute, I starting listening to a lot of podcasts. During that time I came across the Balanced Bites podcast with Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe. After one episode, I was hooked. I listened to dozens of episodes and immediately began changing my diet. The principles of a paleo lifestyle just clicked with me.. I realized that the factory-made, fat-free and fiber-filled food I had been eating, which I thought would make me healthy, was actually making me sick. Just a few months after going paleo, I had lost weight and the constant headaches, body aches and stomach issues that had plagued my college years were gone. I felt amazing.
2. What excites you most about writing/blogging and helping people get healthier?
I started my blog because I wanted other people to feel the way I did when I started following a real food diet. My life truly changed, and I was finally able to prioritize my health over my pants size. Being able to share my thoughts on health and share delicious recipes readers can make in their own homes has been so fun! I absolutely love hearing from people who have started to make changes in their diets as a result. Their stories make me so happy and are what inspire me to keep building up the blog.
3. What is the top question asked by your readers?
People always want to know if following a paleo diet is expensive. I love this question because I truly believe that you can actually save money on a paleo diet. Sure, you may spend more if you’re buying organic produce and high-quality meats, but you’ll save money when you stop buying pre-packaged foods, sugary drinks and fast food. It balances out. And if you plan out your meals in advance, you can really find ways to make the best use of your ingredients and reduce your food waste.
4. How do your family and friends feel about your Paleo life?
My family and friends have been so supportive. I think many of them initially thought it was just another diet I was going to try for a few months and then give up on. None of them think that now! I certainly hear concerns from time to time about the amount of dietary fat I eat or the “healthy whole grains” I don’t eat, but for the most part my friends and family are happy to see me so happy! My husband is completely on board (and has lost a lot of weight himself!), and it’s been great to see some of my friends start thinking more about food quality and even trying paleo themselves.
5. What are three things you’ve told yourself that kept you going during your weakest moment?
1. My health is more important than any treat. While paleo has helped me lose weight and look my best, my favorite thing about it is that I’ve finally started thinking about food as a means to my best health. Now, when I’m craving a donut or a bowl of mac n’ cheese, I ask myself whether it will make me healthier. The answer is always no.
2. You can inspire others. Writing a food blog and sharing my experiences on social media has been great motivation for me. It still amazes me that people turn to me for health advice and inspiration, but they do. And the fact that I could inspire someone to change their life helps me keep my own health on track.
3. Think of the future. My husband and I are planning on having children in the next several years, and I know I want our kids to grow up following a paleo lifestyle. I want to work now to build the life I want my children to have.
6. If you had a list of ‘best-kept secrets’ [websites, books, coaches] you’d recommend, which would you include and why?
1. Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe. This is my absolute favorite book to recommend to others interested in paleo. Not only does it explain complex nutritional science and food industry history in an easy-to-understand format, Liz is just so genuinely entertaining. Who can resist Mean Girls quotes mixed into information on the importance of micronutrients and food quality?!
2. The Calorie Myth podcast. The Calorie Myth, named for a book by the same name, is hosted by Jonathan Bailor. While he does not follow a perfectly paleo diet, he is passionate about educating people on the way our bodies react to real food (and to the processed junk!). It’s a great resource for someone trying to break free from calorie-counting and restriction.
3. Fit & Funky (Danielle Natoni). Danielle Natoni is a trainer, Elite Beachbody Coach and entrepreneur. Danielle is a powerful force on Instagram, and is launching a brand new website, www.iamfitandfunky.com, very soon. She offers fantastic fitness tips and daily strength-building moves, and follows a paleo diet. She offers unstoppable inspiration for those looking to improve their health and fitness!
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