Kim’s story of inspiration was originally featured in the June/July 2012 issue of Paleo Magazine.

After finding Crossfit and the Paleo diet, inspiration struck and Kim ditched the grains and legumes and hasn’t looked back since. She credits the Paleo lifestyle for giving her the ability to perform better than ever before and giving her a boost in body image, energy and focus.

PM: What were you eating prior to Paleo? How has that affected what you have your clients eat?

KL: I spent years trying various diets like South Beach, no sugar, low carb, low fat, and blood type. About six months before Paleo, I had begun cutting out dairy and sugar because of how it made me feel. Reading books like Wheat Belly and Eating for Your Blood Type gave me the inspiration to also cut out grains. The Blood Type Diet, for me, being O+ is actually the same thing as Paleo! So, the transition to Paleo was really easy for me and very natural.

I can’t say it enough…I love Paleo! I had the worst stomach pains and gas for so long! For years, I went to doctors and no one ever questioned what I was eating. Not only has Paleo given me physical freedom from pain and discomfort, but it’s also provided the freedom from “restriction”. That may sound weird since Paleo does have restrictions, but I love how it makes me feel, and for me, not focusing on calories has brought a lot of emotional freedom. I love to eat (big time) and I feel like I can eat anything that I want to because of Paleo.

My clients log everything they eat. From there, we limit the sweets to one a day and eventually just to fruit. I also make sure they get protein and vegetables at every meal and I discourage late night snacking. While I used to have them eat five to six “mini meals” a day, but since learning about Paleo and how fats play an integral part in satiety, I now have them eat three to four times a day with more of a focus on how they’re feeling instead of counting calories.

PM: Has doing CrossFit changed how you train your own clients?

KL: Definitely! Shorter, more intense workouts, are what get results. I have never told my clients to do long workouts or long bouts of cardio, which has been weird for a lot of them. When I tell them the actual workout is 10-20 minutes, they are shocked.

Since I don’t use weight equipment to train my clients, I use Tabata a lot, as well as twenty minute AMRAPs to achieve fatigue. I have incorporated moves like double unders and wall walks too. It has definitely stepped up the level of intensity for a lot of my clients.

PM: You mentioned the transition was natural for you. Did you have any sort of “detox” period when you first started Paleo? What was the roughest part of changing your diet?

KL: Great question! Like a lot of people, I did a lot of detoxing. A lot of mornings, I would wake up at 3 am, ready to go for ten days straight! I would have dreamless sleep too, and felt really tired for the first week as well. This was accompanied by intense hunger, since I was used to grazing and not big meals.

For me, the hardest part of changing my diet was giving up bread, soy and peanut butter, even though I know they hurt my stomach. I miss peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on hikes. Dave’s Killer Bread was a favorite of mine – I loved their Robust Raisin!

PM: While you eat Paleo 90% of the time, what do you eat the other 10%?

KL: One day a week I have a soy latte – that’s my little vice. I’ll also sometimes have a Think Thin bar once a month or so. Maybe that makes me more like 97%? I always strive to eat Paleo 100% of the time, but I do allow for those two things to help keep me sane.

PM: Have you lost weight or has the scale stayed the same and the clothing sizes have changed?

KL: Ah yes, body changes. There has definitely been a difference in my clothes, which is awesome. Not wanting to focus on the numbers, I don’t weigh myself or do body fat testing. I want to stay focused on using how I feel, perform and how my clothes fit as markers of success. The cool thing is that I have gained a lot of muscle, so I am sure the scale hasn’t moved much in either direction. No 6-pack yet, but I’m working on it!

PM: Has Paleo changed your energy levels?

KL: My energy is like that of a kid! I don’t seem to get tired at all during the day and can function well on 7 hours of sleep, which before, I would need closer to 8 or 9. Energy during workouts has really improved too. My energy and focus have both increased, and I don’t have a “brain cloud” anymore.

PM: As a female, do you think eating Paleo has affected your hormones at all?

KL: Definitely. Not sure if this is TMI, but the combo of Paleo and Crossfit caused me to lose my cycle for 6 months. While I have never been “regular”, that was a long stretch. My PMS symptoms are drastically reduced – cravings are not bad like they used to be, my mood is more stable and I don’t even get cramps anymore. Emotionally, I have not noticed a big difference other than feeling more stable with moods.

Note: Kim would love to hear from anyone who has a story to share or has any questions about her journey. You can contact her via her website, Captivatingly Confident. You can also follow her on Instagram.