My name is Nell Stephenson.
A warm welcome to my site.
My intention is to create a resource for anyone who is in that uncomfortable place where you’re simply not feeling well but no one is asking you the right questions.
I know that space all too well and my hope is that the mess I was in for so long can be turned into a message for you.
Perhaps some of the mistakes I made and bad advice I took can be prevented for you or your loved ones.
I learned about a Paleo approach to eating in 2004 and for me, and it’s been the single most important thing I’ve done that’s changed my life.
After a lifetime of being plagued with mysterious GI issues, endless visits to doctors and hospitals and every test in the book, I learned how to heal myself simply by omitting certain foods and focusing on the natural balance of eating real, clean food: local, seasonal vegetables, wild proteins and natural fats.
For me, the last straw occurred when I was in my early twenties.
I had gone to the nth gastroenterologist, who tested me for Celiac disease (after I’d already been ‘diagnosed’ with colitis, IBS, ‘possibly Crohn’s and my favorite ‘a sensitive stomach’) and when the results came back negative, told me not to omit gluten as it would create an inability to eat enough fiber, as many gluten-containing foods are marketed as the best source, and then handed me a prescription for Prozac, since there was nothing physically wrong with me, so I must have been imagining it!
I decided to take matters into my own hands and began researching online.
I wasn’t about to settle for a lifetime of illness. It was compromising my training, my racing and day to day living.
I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I was convinced that despite eating what was considered a ‘healthy athlete’s diet’, to support my ironman racing, there must be something I was eating that was making me sick, or at least contributing to it.
I stumbled across The Paleo Diet, by Dr. Loren Cordain, PhD, read it, and began following it straight away.
I felt better in three days.
I wrote to Dr. Cordain to simply thank him for his work and tell him what a gift it had been to me to discover it, and to share with my clients.
He wrote back, and invited me to contribute to his newsletter. We then developed an implementation program the following year and in 2010, we co-wrote The Paleo Diet Cookbook, along with his lovely wife, Lorrie.
Professionally, I began adding bits and pieces of my nutritional regime to my private training clients’ routines.
Regardless of what their health concerns were, everyone began to get healthier, leaner and feel better overall.
My training and recovery time improved and I was able to transition from being a very average participant in triathlon to being quite competitive and have earned a slot to World Championships in Kona eight times.
I started my blog in 2007 and began the gradual segue from a small business consisting of local private training clientele to one which enabled me to begin to reach people in greater numbers.
I now work with clients globally to help them learn how to implement a Paleo-Inspired eating blueprint into their daily regime.
Providing the education on food first and being able to be a part of the empowerment that clients feel when we are able to figure out which foods work, which do not and witnessing the moment when that seemingly endless puzzle of subclinical illness/ mysterious health concerns finally begins to have a light at the end of the tunnel is magical and one which I’m honored to be a part of.
I’ve had the opportunity to be featured on the Dr. Oz show as a Paleo expert and visit incredible cities around the world to educate about the impact food has on our health.
Over the years, I have also come to change my approach just a tad. While I do believe in the efficacy of a true ancestral approach, it’s not one size fits all.
In 2015, I began integrating higher fat approach, which I cycle into my week two days back to back weekly. It’s a matter of continuing to peel away the layers of the onion to continue to reach that next level of optimal health!
We are all unique, we come from different backgrounds and we each have a different set of goals and objectives.
I invite you to reach out if you’d like to work together on your personal journey.
After all, we should thrive; not just survive!
All my best,
BS Exercise Physiology, USC
ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor
360 Wellness Coach