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2 Year Paleo-versary

Last month, we officially passed our two year paleo anniversary.

We’re 200lbs lighter, healthier than we ever thought possible, prospering in every aspect of our lives.

Yet, every day I fight my inner emotions to not shut the blog down and return to our “normal” suburban-ness.

Let me be clear, I’m grateful, thankful and humbled everyday by the amazing support and friendships we’ve made through this community. I’ve met some fantastic life-long friends, who I would otherwise never know. And for that alone, it is all worth it.

I’m also stupefied and shocked by the volume of praise and life changing stories arriving in our inbox, comments and Facebook wall. I don’t know how us, a pair of parents who simply loved the science some smarter people were putting out, fell into this position. But it has happened, and we seem to inspire quite a few people and somehow seem to be making a difference.

Hear me when I say, learning of the changes we’re inspiring is without a doubt the single thing that has kept us going.

Because, the past few months in the paleo-sphere of Matt & Stacy? Well, despite all the wonderful support and numerous things to be grateful for, in honesty they have also sucked. I’m emotional, to a fault. I’m a perfectionist. I’m hard on myself and frankly, I can’t take criticism if it’s not constructive.

Let’s recap what we don’t talk about, the downsides to running this blog:

  • I’ve learned that a good portion of people, even within the wonderful Paleo population, are lazy. And rude. And disrespectful.
    Do you know how many e-mails and comments we get, from people asking for information that’s out there about a thousand easy-to-find ways? Things that a simple Google search would answer. Asking us to recreate and rewrite (free) recipes for them? Telling us we’re doing so many different things wrong? Calling us names and insulting us?
  • I’ve learned that once you’re in the “inner circle” you start to find out things you never wished you knew.
    We’ve seen sides of people who we once idolized in the scene, that we wish we could un-see. You see the true side to people, their motivations and ultimate intentions. For some, this creates a wonderful, positive, life-long bond. For others, you try to figure out how to even coexist without screaming from mountain tops about your personal negative experiences with these people.
  • I’ve learned that some people seem to be in it mainly for the money and “fame”.
    Of course people putting their heart, sole, time, energy and personal money into making this their business want it to succeed for the betterment of everyone. However, the potential to make money has taken over paleo and changed it. Many uninspired people are swooping in to make a few dollars. We get offers nearly daily from businesses who want us to promote them, sell for them, advertise, etc. Between “free gifts” and book reviews, somebody always wants something and it feels gross. We spent a lot of time cultivating a trust and being sincere with our audience and now people want to turn that audience into dollar signs. I respect the trust we feel like we earned too much to allow our readers to be commodities.
  • I feel pressure to speak for a large group of people now, rather than for myself and what me or we truly believe.
    I don’t like censoring myself. I don’t like hiding certain parts of who we are. But when hundreds of thousands of people are looking, and you’re representing an entire community as parents, a certain burden is put upon you. So I find myself not being me.

Yes, I’m whining. Yes, I’ve put myself out there and this is the price I pay. But that’s why I say – well, maybe I just shouldn’t be out there anymore.

We’re fortunate. I have a great job. We don’t need income from the blog. We’re not counting on book sales (of course, we’re hoping to make back the money we invested but that’s really the extent of our expectations). I like writing. I like finding, supporting and promoting business who have philosophies I support. And most importantly, I used to love blogging.

Our one philosophy at the blog has always been to be more personal and less corporate. At every crossroads, the decision to share more has been the right one. Just the same, every time we’ve turned down an opportunity to make money from the blog it has been the right one. The few ways we’ve chosen to make money are all in line with what we believe in (the book, a few affiliates to products we actually use like Amazon, and that’s it).

We’re not looking to make this a career. I’m not a nutritionist. Matt’s not a scientist. We’re not pediatricians. We’re simply people who read some stuff other smarter people wrote, got inspired, made some life-changing discoveries and wanted to share.

We decided to write a book for our children, so that they could have something to pull off the bookshelves for themselves. The fact that people have enjoyed our work is amazing and we appreciate it, sincerely. But… I like my job, my career. There’s plenty of pressure in that daily part of my life to keep me stressed and busy. This was never supposed to be that.

It was a place to share. To spread cheer. To write down recipes we wanted to remember because they were good. And then a whirlwind of opportunity and change swept us off our feet about 12 months ago, and life hasn’t been the same since.

I stopped losing weight. Matt had to go back on his meds, because he’s not sleeping and avoiding caffeine the way he needs to. All our free time is spent with the internet, making this blog work. Our poor children don’t get deserved quality time with us.

And then now on top of it all, I’m being watched and monitored in the very way Matt’s always feared.

I had a conversation with a friend on vacation that was partially overheard by someone. I was relaying what someone else had told me they’d seen and read on the internet. Having not been on the internet for a full week, this friend and I bounced back and forth about what went down and why it possibly happened.

And passerbys heard bits and pieces of this story, and assumed, without context, that I was making hurtful statements about some people that everyone knows. And then they reported it back to the people whom I was discussing. And then I got e-mails about it.

Remember the part where I said I don’t like criticism that’s not constructive? Yeah, I also don’t like being watched, monitored, or having my words twisted. Especially without the accusing party asking or confronting me about it (although to the party being discussed, they did respectfully confront us and we explained what happened). Apparently, we’re now “public figures” who can now be officially gossiped about.

Sometimes I feel like we gatecrashed the paleo party without an official invitation. And it upsets some people, especially because we eat waffles and cupcakes and we’re still fat.

So what the heck am I supposed to do?

Because without this thing, I would likely be happier. I would define myself to strangers as having a miraculous health improvement. I’d look at my fulfilled, joyful life full of fortune and declare our lives to be perfect. I’d say we’ve got more than most people dream of ever having, and we’ve still got years to go!

It’s two years after we found our key to happiness, and yet the more seriously I take this and try to share our story, the more it ends up upsetting me and I want to walk away.

But I know that it’s helping to save lives.
So I’m asking. Sincerely. What would you do?

We aren’t intending to quit this blog entirely, but recent conversations have made us come to realize that this is not a career for us and we need to figure out exactly what it is for us and how to manage our level of involvement. We just want to feel like this always:

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  • Elizabeth

    I am new to paleo, and to your blog, but I love it and would be horribly disappointed if you stopped blogging.  You seem like such wonderful, down to earth and genuine people.  Maybe you could look at it from your kids’ viewpoint, what lesson will they learn from what you choose?  Of course I’m being selfish and wanting you to continue posting, but I would recommend do what makes you happy, and don’t worry about what others say and do.  You can control how you feel, don’t let others have that control.  There are crappy people everywhere, don’t give them the satisfaction of driving you away from something you seemed destined to do.

  • You guys have been amazingly helpful to me, and I have felt encouraged and uplifted and *not alone*. But seriously, do what you have to for your family. That should come first. I’m grateful for the windows into your lives, and the changes in my own I’ve been able to make through watching you guys. Thank you!

  • Regarding teenage boyfriends, my mother used to say ‘when the aggravation outweighs the pleasure, it’s over’. Sounds like you’re there. You don’t need permission from critics to back away from their criticism.
    I love your recipes and I use them. I love your written voice too, but one is a commodity and the other is not. One fits with the commoditisation of the blog and the other is presenting problems. I know that the personal part is a big driver for you; could you blog without it? I find Elena Amsterdam to be very removed, personally, from her blog and it remains a quality resource.
    I’d be sad to see you disappear from my inbox, but I don’t own you and I do owe you (and anyone) respect and autonomic decisions in your own best interests. Be well.

  • Windupbird

    Keep up the fucking awesome.

     i dont know if that means just throwing us the occasional recipe and letting the blog go, but i’ve always been grateful for the HONEST look into raising a family paleo.

    And realizing that going paleo doesn’t fix everything. with out this blog i would have felt like a freak for not being 100% awesome after a year of paleo.

     thank you for being human

  • I’m not new to paleo. I’m not even new to your blog. But you know what? Without your inspiring story? I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be giving it another shot. I wouldn’t be re-starting my Whole 30 and really working at dialing everything in.

    I’m sorry that people are rude and mean. But let’s ignore them. I love reading the reasons why you’re doing this. What you’re going through. I love the fact that both of you are well, you.

    I love the fact that this blog has a passion that I rarely see in other places. That I feel like I’m reading a story about people fighting for what’s needed, instead of being a cold corporate face.

    While I appreciate all of that, I can understand it’s hard. Sometimes nice people are the exception, and not the rule. If you decide to drop off the face of the earth, I don’t blame either of you for it. I also understand that sometimes, health takes a priority over blogging. Whatever you both decide, I wish you the best of luck! 🙂

  • Becca

    Honestly, I would have a go at shutting off comments. The people who really want to communicate/ask questions will e-mail, and the blog can really be just your paleo journal and recipe file. Make it what you want it to be, not what other people might want… If they leave, fine, because at it’s core, the blog is for you, not them. If they stay and learn, good for them!

  •  Enjoy your children while they are the ages they are. You will never get back a single moment of NOW with them. Nothing can give you back a day spent on the computer instead of having a day of shared chores and meals together, a family game night, or even just watching and discussing a TV show or video and laughing. You realize then that every moment with a child is a teaching moment and too precious to put off until some more worldly business is done. It is better to be everything to someone that to be something to everyone.
    There will be others to inform and inspire. We are each unique, but others can do what you are doing in a slightly different way, but no one can be your children’s parents except you. The rest are simply babysitters and they just won’t do on a regular basis. Your time with your kids is truly all about the quantity as well as the quality.
    Someday your children will be grown and that will be so much sooner than you can imagine. You will be surprised to find that you have a lot of life to live at that time and time will be available in much greater quantities to spend on you and your outside-the-family interests. When that occurs, if you are still interested, your contributions will be even richer because of your added experiences while rearing those kids and gaining that perspective that time gives to our vision.
    Also, don’t you just need some time to be you? With family and job in and of themselves, requiring so much attention and time and effort, when do you get any time to unwind, recuperate, reflect?
    Take a decade off to rear your family. We will be here when you get back and you will have even more to contribute than you have so far (which is great, by the way!) Besides, nothing says that while you do concentrate on family and preserving self, you can’t pop on and off as life hands you the time and opportunity, is there?

  • marg

    I remember finding you online many many many months ago…..I had been transitioning to paleo for myself and really wanting to get the family on board – there you were!! doing it with your whole family!! – I printed your info sheet out and showed my mom – see!!,  people are eating this way with their kids 🙂 !!!  It was a huge inspiration for me and helped me KNOW I could do it.

    That being said, I am AMAZED at the time you spend nurturing all of us on your blog.  IT IS wonderful, but I have worried about you both and the time spent doing it all.  I know it’s been a big push with the book, but if I had to make any suggestions, it would be that you just step away and check in less often.  I hope you can find a good balance.  I certainly wouldn’t take offense. Do what you need to do for yourselves.  Love and gratitude to all!

  • Becky

    Matt and Stacy – I wrote you a message awhile back asking for some almond flour substitute advice.  I had put in there that I wholeheartedly believed in Paleo, but had never been “full” Paleo…just someone who aspired to keep making it a larger percentage of her diet.  I am not a mother, a parent, or a super athlete.  Yet your blog is my FAVORITE to follow…because…it’s REAL.  You eat waffles and cupcakes, and things that are baked with chocolate and goodness.  You attempt to make each of these “indulgences” as whole, healthy, and Paleo as possible.  I do not understand how a single person out there can fault you for that.  We live in a world full of cheap options, convenience items, gluten, sugar, and dairy.  You have children who you are trying to teach to make the best decisions for their bodies…yet…they still have to grow up and learn to form their own opinions.  If you can give them better alternatives to the bad stuff, they are surely a step ahead of a lot of their peers.

    For those that live Whole30 all the time, good for them.  Based on what I’ve read, you’ve never claimed to be the inventors of Paleo, nor the poster children for the diet.  You merely took a diet and made it good for your lives.  Being a part of a community of like minded individuals helps you learn how others do it and gives you ideas for how you may want to do things differently.  It does not mean you have to be perfect to fit in.  According to your blog, you aren’t religious, and what you are referencing here sounds a lot like how many (not all) folks in religious groups act – they use their religion as a tool for judgement and exclusion…that many aren’t “good enough” or “doing what’s right” to be in that group.

    If this blog is becoming toxic to your lives…Let it go.  Your ultimate goal was to share your story to help others, but just like a relationship….if one partner is struggling themselves, it’s pretty hard to be good for the other.  I will miss your honesty, integrity, and open communication about food, child rearing, social anxiety, breast feeding and many other aspects to life.  But you need to do what’s healthy for you to stay healthy – emotionally, physically, and mentally.  And as one of the people who loves your blog out here, I surely can’t stop the gossiping, negativity, or degrading comments that you have to endure.  So just know, if you need to stop, then do it.  You will still have a lasting impact on so many people.

  • MariaMuscarella

    I love you guys!  I love that I feel like I’m a part of your family.  You guys are down to earth and real about life.  I would hate to lose you!  That being said, I know what it’s like to feel disenchanted by the things that surround you that you once believed fully in.  And being in the paleo lime-light will bring with it all the negativity that people put out when they are frustrated with their own lives, and take it out on those around them.  I don’t think there is an easy answer, but there seems to be one that feels right to your heart.  If you do decide to take a step back to reclaim you own lives, do keep the blog, even if you just do a post once a month. It would be nice to hear how you are doing!
    Love you all!

  • Emma

    Having had a question ignored (or so it felt) on several blogs, I was finally answered by someone who said that people are so busy on their blogs/tweeting/e-mailing, etc. that they probably didn’t have time to give an in-depth reply, and that some of the health issues that some of the bloggers have been publicly sharing with their readers was likely a result of that (I hope I’m remembering that correctly, but that’s the jist of the conversation).  I was shocked, and never would have guessed that, and suggested that maybe that needed to change.  I can’t imagine anyone compromising their health in their quest to help others with their health.  It just doesn’t make sense.  I’m FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR from being in the loop with all of this, so much so that I never would have guessed any of this was an issue.

    Your blog has always been one of my favorites because I’ve never gotten the feeling that you were in it for the money for “fame”.  I have never felt anything but a down-to-earth, real quality about your family, which is why I love coming here.  I’ve stopped visiting many of the other blogs because they don’t feel that way.  I would hate to see you go, but totally understand if you decide to cut back a ton, or leave altogether.  After all, family really does come first, and if family life is being compromised, it’s not worth it.  

    I don’t know if it’s realistic, but maybe you can change your public e-mail address and nobody would have access to you except through your blog, which of course, would not have an e-mail link.  That would cut down a ton on the e-mail, especially the nasty ones that people feel they have the right to send because it’s being done privately.

    I hope you can find a way to make it work for you; to continue blogging without compromising your family time.   {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

  • Kari

    First, let me state that reading your blog inspired me to make changes in our family’s diet.  At a very basic, personal, and selfish level I’d love to continue to read whatever you’re willing to share.  That said, we’d (the public at large) get along well enough if you guys decided that your own peace was more important than sharing what you’ve learned.  Your voice is unique in the Paleo world, though, and you have the ability to inspire ordinary folks to make healthy changes in their lives.  Your honesty, reality, and yes, fat 🙂 are things that make you unique and inspiring.  Let’s face it, the super athletes who make Paleo dietary changes aren’t someone the average Joe can identify with.  He or she isn’t going to help an American housewife understand that feeding her kids crap in a box isn’t the way to parent.  Only real people like you two can do that.  Only real families with real results (even if they aren’t good enough for the Paleo Gods) can have the influence you’ve had.  Thank you.  Thank you for sharing and thank you for your honesty.

    I wish I had a magic wand to make the envious and jealous people disappear.  I’m sorry that there are mean folks out there hating on you.  I’m sorry that they’re in such pain that they transfer it to you.

  • Sorry, this is completely unrelated to the post (well, mostly), but in the picture at the bottom, Matt looks kinda like a young Rene Auberjonois.

    Now, regarding the post:

    You did crash the paleo party without an invitation. All of us did. Except maybe Loren Cordain, Staffan Lindeberg, and a handful of others. 

    Some people in the “community” (I don’t like scare quotes, but they seem to fit, given how crotchety people get about what other people eat) take themselves far too seriously. 

    IMO, there are three distinct areas on the paleo spectrum:

    1) The running-their-own-crossfit-box, kale-and-coconut-oil-mainlining, grok-didn’t-eat-it-so-neither-will-I, self-proclaimed  “elite”  (I’ve referred to them in the past as the Loincloth Mafia. I like to reiterate how clever I am from time to time, so I’ll use that term again here)

    2) Not paleo at all. Those eating a typical western diet, either through not knowing about paleo, not caring about paleo, or not believing the paleo ideas.

    3) The most important area, IMO, is where the vast majority of us live: the gray area. We’re the ones that *get* paleo, and understand the effects that various foods have our on health, but *don’t let it dictate our lives*. We don’t have anything to prove, and we’re more concerned with living and enjoying our life than trying to figure out what macronutrient ratio is optimal, or what meat has the best fatty acid profile. This is the “real world” of paleo. 

    If people like being in #1, they should. That’s great. When they start trying to break down those of us in #3 to make themselves feel better, though, that’s when they just need to be ignored. Regardless of what they think, the #1’s aren’t special, and don’t have any claim to the word “paleo”. 

    To me, the #1’s that get bent out of shape over us #3’s are like the anti-gay-marriage movement. They think they’re special and even better than the rest of us (more disciplined, stronger, more fit, whatever), so when we call what we do “paleo”, they get offended by the association.

    It’s elitist bullshit. You don’t do this blog for them. Never forget that. You do it for the silent (overwhelming) majority. They’re the ones that matter.

    • Laura Oliva

       I love that: the “Loincloth Mafia”.  I need to find a way to work that into my everyday conversations 🙂  Whole-heartedly agree with everything you wrote!

  • Ouidalampert

    Hi you two,

    I don’t comment – anywhere – very much because I am not one of those “in the know” and I am far from where I want to be in this quest for health.  So, I usually think that I have nothing of value to add.  Having said that, though, I think that this is important.  You began this journey, this Paleo lifestyle, for health.  That is your mission.  When something happens that derails your quest (better health), it’s time to change how you operate, to rethink your goals.  We, your readers, have all learned so much from you and appreciate your efforts – but you are not doing this for us.  We are not, nor should we be, your focus.  You and your family come first.  Always.  Remember why you started, and you will know what to do.  Namaste.

  • Iskascholl

    You need to look out for number 1 because no one else will do it for you. Just like you are raising your children the way that you think is best, do that with this baby as well. In order to be healthy, it helps to be happy. What is happening to you through your blog isn’t doing anymore what you originally intended. There is loads of other Paleo info out there and people need to stop being lazy and look for it. Do what you feel is right and best for you and your family and perhaps move on to life’s next adventure, of which just enjoying your family and blogging the way you want could be one. Your family and health are more important than the faceless ethernet. I thank for what you have given us.

  • This is very timely. I have been thinking about some of these same things. Our blog is totally less popular and we have not written a book, but keeping up on everything and trying to think of new recipes etc takes up time. Between the blog and my other activities like softball, freelance design work and working out, that is a lot of time away from the wife and kids.

    The thing I have done is I just blog a lot less. I almost never go on twitter anymore. I just can’t keep up. I don’t care how popular the blog gets. I just want to put my info out there for people. I feel like a mainly just write it for family and friends. Honestly I don’t know how you guys find the time. With that being said, I love your blog and my son loves your book. We both know that the kids are our world so we need to make time for them. At the same time we still need to do things we love. If you love the blog keep it up.

    I have also been telling myself lately that Paleo is not a miracle. It seems like it sometimes and it is for some people. I might post about this soon. We have had amazing results with eating this way, but after 3 years we still have some minor issues and new issues that I feel like we can fix with food. Its always changing for us and we are tweaking our diets.

    Keep up the amazing work. You will figure out what will work best for you and your family. You have already done this once bu finding Paleo.

  • Nothing is more important than right now…and that includes your kids (right now), your family (right now), your physical health (right now), and your mental health (right now). This blog has great resources and information just as it is right now. Why not take some time off and just be in the moment? Live your life as an example to yourself, your family, your kids, your community, etc. I think your blog will continue to give those who search a great resource.

    You are indeed a great inspiration, but I feel that you came along when I needed your “expertise” and reality. Had it been a different time (a time when you weren’t this involved in your blog) then I think the Universe would have provided other experts. I’m thankful you were there when I needed you, but I think you also need to make sure you are there for yourself.I wish you the best in whatever decision….our oldest is moving into her first apartment, so, in looking back on those 21 years, I suggest you enjoy the 24 hours of each day with your kids and your family each and every day. It can disappear in the blink of an eye…..-Rayne

  • Tamikko

    I just found your site a couple of months ago and I’ve enjoyed the recipes and looking back at your story.  I do hope you don’t shut down the site especially now that you’ve been so honest I appreciate that so much and like you even more for it.  I do think you should shut down the comments.  You probably should be secretive as to where you live and kids info but I hope you share your story and everyday with us too because your children are adorable and I just love to see them with their food or gardening.  I completely understand if you just disappear all together though.  Please try it for awhile without the comments, and see if you can fit it in, if only one post a week.  If it is giving you added stress and taking time away from your kids, then walk away. You, your health and time with your family comes first.  Please don’t take the site away entirely though because I’d like to come back for recipes and will keep it in my Google Reader just in case you come back with some updates and recipes one day.   

  • Jennie Harrell

    My heart hurts for you… What would I do?  I would do whatever is best for my family, and that’s what I would encourage you to do!  Frankly, I see more bravery in going against expectations to do what’s most HEALTHY for you (that’s what this is all about, right?), than in toughing it out, and sacrificing your health and memories with your family.  I would have EVEN MORE respect for you guys (is it even possible?) if you put everything else aside to focus on what’s important.

    I would probably start by shutting down the FB page (or at least turning off the commenting feature, if possible), turn off comments for the blog, and just have fun blogging whenever you want to do it, or whenever you have the time!  People will still keep up with you, and you will still be helping people… just without all the selfish backlash, and without so much to which you must respond. 

    I am so sorry that you’ve had to deal with all that… you should be REWARDED for the amazing things you guys have accomplished; not punished.  But please realize… by setting the example of putting your health and your family first, you are doing an AMAZING thing for this community.  A few others need to get on board with that mentality as well.

    -Jennie

  • Karen

    Well Boo. I will never quite understand why the internet makes people feel so viscous and mean!!!!!  I would sincerely miss you if you were gone….. like someone said below, you have made my Paleo journey feel So SO Much less lonely. I have absolutely no support or friends here in Texas, other than my husband, who believe in this way of life, and just logging on and seeing you on facebook makes me FEEL comforted and sane, and normal in MY world.   And the best part is I LOVE sharing your site with my non paleo clients who are desperate for answers….. and always happy to see them “Like” your page later!  Im a photographer and see many children and parents all year long who are looking for some help in nutrition and I think sharing your story is the best part of Paleo blogsphere!  You are human and relate-able!  And between you and Paleo mom… the most approachable with questions!   I hope you can figure out a way to stay here for us… Im whining now myself……….because I will sincerely miss you soooo much if you go. But I do know how vicious and mean people can be.  Everyone always trys to ruin a good thing. *sigh.

  • Modbotany

    Take back your life.  It’s what it was all about to begin with.  Enjoy your children.  Love your life again, without the intrusion.  Gracefully bow out, because what you say above…speaks mountains.  And those with the best intentions will want what’s best for your young family.   

    • Annalise

       I couldn’t agree more.  Your emotional and mental health is just as important as your physical health and it sounds like you have both been pushing yourselves to the limit.  If it were me I would bow out gracefully from the blog for awhile.  You don’t need anyone’s permission to do it.  Of course you will be missed and you might even decide to come back after a break, but you don’t have to make any of those decisions right now.  Do what’s best for your family….THAT is what really matters. 

      Wishing you nothing but the best!

  • Martha

    I’d say you’ve got your priorities identified above (your family, your health, your career, your blog).  If your fourth priority has become your first priority (unintentionally through the time its taking) and it isn’t even fun anymore, then I’d say refocus the time you spend on each priority to reflect where they should fall in line.  Keep the blog at some level if you still enjoy it, but only contribute the amount of time that a 4th priority level should warrant.  You have to find peace and fulfillment, and if it isn’t through this forum, then time to move on 🙂  I like the idea someone else suggested below that you can still journal/update/keep your blog, but just reduce the amount of time you spend posting. 

    There are always going to be haters, but constructive criticism is far more fruitful than people just being jerks!  So focus on those cute little boys of yours and the rest will fall into place.

    My two cents.

  • I love you guys! I hope you keep blogging, and am really glad you’re not into engaging in all that drama or setting yourselves up as “gurus.” I wouldn’t say I’m exactly in the “inner circle,” but even at this level I feel the same way you do sometimes.

    My blog has a much smaller reach than yours and I do need the money I earn from it and from helping others. I just can’t put this much time and energy into helping people with no monetary compensation! 

    I had some really negative experiences with sharing my life on forums a long time ago. In one case, it went as far as some random person from the internet contacting government agencies about me. On another blog (about raising our own meat), my family has received death threats. So when I started my blog, I was aware of the risks. It can be really hard to keep that drama at bay.

    The key is to minimize the effect it has on you. It sounds like you are doing a great job of keeping other people’s agendas from taking over what you are doing, and I appreciate that.

    Do what brings you joy and the rest will fall into place. Selfishly, I hope that includes you continuing to blog 🙂 If it doesn’t, it was a good run. For every person who talks sh*t about you, there are many more who were helped.

  • Meghan

    Family first. That’s it 🙂 

  • Lori

    matt and stacy, you were my first online into to the paleo world and I was drawn in because my boys had similar health issues as your boys.  you were the reason I went gluten and dairy free with my kids and strict paleo myself.  your advice is realistic, you are relatable people, and I can honestly say I would never have even tried it if it wasn’t for you.  and because I did find you my son hasn’t had an asthma attack in three months, he didn’t have any spring allergy symptoms and his teacher reported a better attention span at his parent teacher conference…just know you did somebody some good…and do whatever makes you happy

  • Brandy

    I love your blog and honesty. I hope you do what’s best for you and your family. We will miss your updates if you stop, but if this blog isn’t something you enjoy and you don’t need it for financial reasons, then why do it if it isn’t bringing you joy?

  • As always, I just love your openness and honesty. What a great blog post — telling us like it is, wearing your heart on your sleeve, and asking US — your readers — our opinions. That’s what makes your blog great… You include your readers in your personal lives. It makes us feel like we’re your buddies! 
    That’s one reason I reached out to you with my book, which you so kindly reviewed. I *love you* for your help and support… I was amazed and humbled when I got a response from you! So… 1) I certainly hope that I wasn’t one of the folks that made you feel drained by requests for book reviews, etc., and 2) Please know, that even if you stop doing EVERYTHING you’re doing today, you have already touched many, many lives (including my own). You guys are wonderful. 
    Keep up the good work… Or don’t! Either way, you’ve already won. 

  • Kristin Danenberger

    i think you guys should just blog whenever you WANT to, but don’t feel the pressure to make a blog post or respond to comments or emails if it isn’t something that fits in your day/week/month. your health and your family and your real job are the most important things! if there is time after all of those things are taken care of, then post a new recipe for everyone to enjoy! please do not feel like you owe it to anyone to respond to their emails or to post x number of posts a week. not to say that people don’t enjoy your blog a ton, but you have to do what is right for you and your family and you can’t let helping others (via your blog, responding to questions, etc) take higher priority than taking care of yourselves. also, maybe it would help to step back from the “community” a bit, which seems to be highly negative at times. it sounds like you know who your real friends are in this paleo world, so that is a great blessing. just stick with them and ignore the rest! also, don’t forget that you already created a wonderful resource for families in both your blog recipes thus far and your cookbook. be proud of what you have done! you don’t owe it to anyone to keep up at the same pace. go enjoy your life and be proud of your accomplishments 🙂 best of luck to you guys!! 

  • Bevaboo

    I think you guys are great, but I understand where you’re coming from.  Think long and hard about what you’re proposing.  You’re not giving up the lifestyle if you choose to walk away from the blog, so it’s really a very personal choice.  Maybe announce that someone (real or fake) is taking over the blog if you want the blog to continue, but step down from being the face of Paleo Parents.  I’m amazed that you were recognized, even.  No offense intended, but I’ve paid more attention to what you guys have said than what you look like.

    I’m a very thick-skinned person, but I don’t know if even I could put myself out there the way you do.  You reveal a lot about your lives, and I imagine it would be hard not to take the criticism personally.  A criticism of what you say on your blog is a criticism of the way you live your lives.  It would be hard to separate the two for anyone.  And if you feel it’s interfering with your relationship with each other or with your children, then that’s that.  Put your family first!  They are way more important than anyone or anything else.

  • AmyT

    I would say step away.  I don’t know how all you blogger folks do it!  The time that I spend looking at the internet, reading your wonderful site and the numerous others is overwhelming.  I can’t imagine operating one!!  You need to do it for your family, you need to do it for yourselves.  It is totally ok to step back and reorganize and re prioritize.  As my mom says, focus on number one.  The rest doesn’t really matter.  I have had to do that with myself, too many volunteer board positions, saying yes to too many things, and being obligated to do social things.  I have had to cut the ties, but now I am so much more relaxed, my family is so much more relaxed and I am sleeping better too!  I am sure many bloggers feel the same way as you.  Thank you for your honesty!!  Do it!  

  • Ginny

    Run away! I say that with a great deal of respect and appreciation for all the energy, information, and sacrifice you have put into what you have shared. You owe us nothing. You owe each other and your precious children everything. You have blessed us with tools – your wonderful book and recipes and ideas- and now it is time to let go and set yourselves free. Don’t let this suck you dry. I like the notion of eliminating comments if you truly wish to keep blogging.
    Thanks for everything.

  • Jacquie

    Family First!!! After all this is why you are here in the first place.I think your amazing and I’ve read a lot on all the Paleo sites and for the most part a lot of them are overwhelming and don’t seem attainable to the average every day person! When we reach your site were inspired and feel as though we can actually do this !!!  Some people do a Paleo lifestyle to get healthy and improve there quality of life and the life of there family members in the best way that they can!  I too make treats for my child and as long as there homemade and with healthy ingredients I’m a happy Mom. I remember reading on one of the Paleo sites and it said that if your going to have any treats it must be made from home,makes perfect sense as then no worry of what’s in it! You need to be here because “You” want to be,I believe negative comments should not be tolerated  as in most public places you would be asked to leave the premises, just in this case ‘DELETE” because they do not deserve your time,energy or emotion…they need to get a life!!! Take some time off of this and think about what  “You” want to do or how you could turn it around to where you could enjoy it again,a fit in after Family! Thank you for all you’ve shared with us and what ever you decide to do I believe you have a great amount of support and understanding to do as you feel is right in your heart. Best wishes to you and your family.Take Care.

  • Susan

    Hi Matt and Stacy, I have to say when I think of REAL paleo people I think of you.  I have very little interest in the perfect example of paleo perfection and fitness.  I like your voice, I like your advice and you never appear to be anyone other than who you are.  I read posts on FB, but I rarely follow blogs – no time – but I do read yours.  Why?  Because again, you are real people, people I’d like to sit down with, share a “rat on a stick” with and maybe a chocolate shake!  I admire anyone who is real enough to share their heart and soul and hope that someone will benefit from it.  Perfection is BORING and TEDIOUS!

    That being said, you sound miserable.  I hate that – makes me so sad that you have given so much to a community and there are those out there who are just mean.  Maybe an old-fashioned word, but it fits.  If people don’t like what you have to say, then they shouldn’t be reading it. (they can make their own hateful blog have have their own readers flame them!)

    I hope and pray you don’t give up.  However, I do think changes should be made.  IMHO – you don’t need to respond to every post, you don’t need to post every day. Put up a recipe if and when you feel like it.  There’s plenty to read and come back to as far as advice and recipes without you stressing about adding to it.  It’s YOUR post/blog – stay true to the reason you started it in the first place – to document your journey and to help others.  Ask yourselves the reasons you started it and make some rules for yourself – what do you want to get out of it, what do you want to give of yourself, how much time can you allot to it and still feel like you aren’t cheating your family or your readers!  Then come back to us and say something like “Hey friends! We are a family first and foremost.  If you have been following our blog, you know how important our family is to us.  If not, take a tour around and see for yourself.  In order to stay true to our family first and yet keep in touch with our friends and fans, we’ll post a blog once a week (more if we want, or less if we’re busy)  Best thing to do is check back, or sign up for email notification.  When we post, you’ll get a notice!  Simple as that.  If you have a question about instructions in a recipe in the book, drop us a line or post on FB.  We’ll try to answer as best we can, or if others have the answer, feel free to chime in.” (I put that part in selfishly b/c I cook out of your book a LOT and sometimes I do have questions about technique or something like that)

    If someone tries to flame or insult you and you can tell within the first line or two, IGNORE IT!  Do NOT allow yourself to read further.  Write that down and make it a hard-and-fast-rule. You don’t need that poison in your lives – no one does.  Don’t give them the benefit of a response.  Ignore them and they will go away.  What you do have have done is so valuable to so many of us.  Don’t let the nasty people get even a fraction of your time and energy.

    Blessings to you in whatever you do.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Ebee333

       I agree with Susan. I know that this is easier said than done, but I say post a recipe when you want, post an update when you want, but don’t respond to people.

  • Maybe you should consider backing off to updating like, 6 or 7 times a month?  I love reading your blog, and would hate to see you go completely, but . . . you’ll never get this time with your kids back.  And you’ll NEVER regret spending more time with them. 
    No matter what you decide, GOOD FOR YOU!!  You’ve already proven to the world (though you never set out to) that positive changes get positive results.  
    Nay-sayers can go jump in the lake. 

  • Carrie Dadey

    You have pretty much hit the nail on the head of why I am afraid to start a blog in the first place.  We have done and seen some miraculous healing for our son with food and some alternative therapies, and while I do feel like people could use the information, and it has the potential to help people, I have also felt very attacked even within my own family for doing some unconventional things and swimming upstream.  I am nervous about opening myself up for that kind of criticism to the whole internet, especially when I am currently pregnant and struggled with PPD before.  

    I think you have answered your own question by asking it…I personally would hate to see you go, but it seems like perhaps a break is in order.  How about a compromise for a bit? One post a week, perhaps one written following Elena’s example – keeping it about the food and not personal, and shutting down the comments section for a while?  If that does not give you the balance you need, then maybe it is time to walk away for a while.  

  • amy

    I don’t read your blog often. I don’t need to be convinced. But because of what I have read, I bought your book for my mom because yours is the only book written by what looks like real people. Don’t get me wrong, I think skinny and well-muscled people and scientists are real people but they sometimes seem unapproachable and their bodies seem to be an unachievable goal. I don’t want to feel like I have to be a cross-fit trainer on top of eating a restricted diet to improve my health and that’s not what I want my mom to feel pressured into doing.  I get that its an ongoing process and an individual process and so do your true supporters. Diet along won’t make a completely healthy person-it does take some muscle training, and proper sleep, and low stress, and general well-being. We’re all at different stages of improving our lives and I like that people can see an example of a family in the journey and not so close to ideal. YOU need to do what you need to do to bring health and happiness  into your lives. But I don’t want you to let the blog go completely because there’s large part of the population that can better relate to you.

  • I think you guys are awesome.  I love seeing people who aren’t physical gods and had a struggle to lose weight, because that’s me.  I appreciate your honesty and think you should do what is best for your family!  Stress and unhappiness lend themselves to being unhealthy, just as eating non-paleo does.  Good luck!

  • I am not new to paleo, or to your blog, but this is my first comment here. I actually have a blog myself and used to devote quite a bit more time to recipes and nutritional info. As soon as I started getting negative comments and and rude emails, I started to back off and focus more on my personal stuff with a recipe here and there. I have alot of respect for you guys and what you have done… I gave up long before I could have ever gotten to the point that you are at and I can’t even imagine having to deal with all of the negativity. It must be so exhausting! 

    I think it’s wonderful, the lives you have touched and the people you have helped, and I think if you did choose to walk away or back off somewhat you can hold your head up high and know that you have really accomplished something! You have to always put yourselves and your family first though (in my opinion). When your children are grown and you are older and looking back on your lives, I think the memories and the fulfillment that we get through our interactions with our family are the most important ones. I don’t think you will regret stepping away from the blog and focusing more on your family’s happiness, but you could regret putting this blog before your family. I love your recipes and also bought your book. I refer people starting out to your blog, as I think it is an easy gateway into the paleo lifestyle for many, as opposed to the hard core paleo bloggers. But all of the information is out there, and there are many other bloggers and websites with recipes and others doing the same. Even if their information and sites are not as easily accesible, the info is still there, readily available. 

    It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea of helping others and the importance of it, but the info is still out there whether you put it there or not, and people are capable of helping themselves and doing some research on their own (even though a vast majority would rather let someone else do it for them). If your family’s happiness is suffering in any way, I would start making some changes and figure out some sort of compromise that puts your family back in the #1 spot.

  • I hope you don’t quit entirely, because I think what you do is really useful for people. But I would definitely try to take a step back and maybe reduce your intensity. I’ve also noticed that there is a dark side of blogging where you open yourself up for a whole lot of criticism from anonymous internet creeps who have nothing better to do than to try and prove you wrong. Figure out why you’re blogging in the first place, and maybe cut down on the number of posts you do and the amount of time you spend on it. It’s not worth it if it’s making you unhappy and stressed. You don’t owe anybody anything.

  • Ginger

    I really appreciate your honesty.  You must do what is right for you and your family.  Thank you for putting yourself “out there” and helping families get healthy.  Your book will continue to do that.  As for your blog and protecting yourselves from mean people, maybe you could turn off the comments?  Or just post once a week?  Whatever you decide to do, know that the time and energy you have put into your blog and book has been appreciated. 

  • Melissa

    You and Matt have forever changed my life and the lives of my family, without this blog I would of felt like I could never do it, after all I am almost 45 years old with 9 children and 9 grandchildren, have sjogrens and have battled health issues for years, the typical paleo person doesnt seem like anything I can or want to be, but you and Matt are REAL!!
    You two need to enjoy your lives and enjoy your babies, if this is taking away from that or causing anything other than joy give it up!!
    That or nothing else can ever change the fantastic things you have done for me :0)

    Melissa

  • Bekbud

    I’m not really a Paleo person but because of health problems I live a grain-free life so I do dip my toes into the paleo blogger waters from time to time. And I really enjoy your blog! I think your family’s approach to the “paleo lifestyle” seems authentic and sincere. It has improved your health, your happiness…. that would be all the motivation I would need to change my approach to food! And I also think its wonderful that you’ve shared it with so many people. I bought 2 copies of your book! 1 for my future family and 1 for a friend some day who doesn’t roll their eyes when I suggest that changes in diet might help their kid’s health problems.

    Ok, back to your “what would I do question?”. If I were you, I would feel proud of everything I’ve accomplished. Getting healthy for ME… and for my family. Being awesome at my job. Writing an incredible book. Creating an incredible blog. Helping people!

    Secondly, I would do what is best for my well being and for my family. Stress is not good. I would tell myself to live fully and love deeply. I would tell myself not to get pulled down by a BLOG I must maintain and least of all by the criticism of unkind strangers. I mean seriously, who needs that?

    I might take a step back, re-evaluate, do some letting go, some scaling back, and take several big breaths. And then I’d ask my husband and kids to cuddle with me.

  • I am among the many that would miss your wit and voice and honesty, but you sound unhappy. You sound stressed and sad, and I hate thinking that putting yourselves out “there” is making you feel this way. Update sporadically if you want to continue, but focus on your family and your happiness and know that you have touched many, many people.

  • Claudia

    I appreciate your candor and support you all the way.  I think whatever you chose will be the right choice, go with you heart, you can never go wrong that way.  You have made an indelible mark on this community and your book is awesome, that seems like enough (to me anyway)…Good luck and I am sorry for the heart aches you have encountered.

  • Hire staff writers? NOTHING is worth being this miserable, seriously. You own this blog, this space, this corner of the internet, and it does NOT own you. If I were you, I’d go on hiatus, otherwise you’re going to come to hate the site.

  • Polina

    This brought tears to my eyes.  It’s so upsetting how caught up on themselves people are.   You are reaching a lot of people through this blog and helping them change their lives.  I think that’s awesome!  Many would look and envy what you have done without realizing the effect this has had on your family.  What from the outside seems like an amazing opportunity, in reality has come with what seems like quite a dark side.  Everything has a cost.

    I, personally, think anything that pulls extra time away from your health, spouse and kids isn’t worth the cost.  They are more important than any amount of fame or money.  Any as much as you may be helping others, it’s not worth taking from those that are most important.   A client of mine that had retired from a very important and influential career once told that his biggest regret is that he spent some much of his time focused on helping others than he did bonding with his kids.   At 77 with a slew of health conditions he looked back and wished he would have put more time into what really matters.  Into those that will always be there.

    So, I’d work backwards.  How much time do you want/need as a family without all the extras, how many hours to you work, do house work ect, how much time do you need for yourself to exercise, play, sleep ect.   Now there are 168 hours in a week. What’s left?   Hopefully, you’ll still have a little time to invest in blogging.. but that might just be a couple hours a month.  And that’s OKAY!  

    Love you guys.. you’ve done an amazing job!     

  • Lisa Coker

    Five stages of Paleo Parents GriefFirst response:  Nooooo!   I just found you!  I need you!  My sister with an Asperger’s son  needs you!  Second:  Don’t you feel a “calling” to reach people? Don’t leave us here.Third:  There’s lots of great information on the blog and in the book.  It’s not like you’re disappearing off the face of the earth.  Maybe you’ll take a break and come back.  Or at the very least turn off the blog comments.Fourth: Life is too short to deal with toxic people.  Your dedication to personal health, happiness and your family comes first.Fifth:  Whatever you decide to do, will be right.  Think long and hard, sleep on it (especially you Matt,) meditate, pray, whatever you need to do to get quiet.  You’ll know the right path.We met very briefly on the sting ray boat on the Low-carb cruise.  When I realized who you were I got star-struck and tongue-tied.  Stacy, you leaned toward me and in the coolest possible way said, “Hey, we’re just regular people.”  I love you guys for being my rock star regular people.

  • Unfortunately these things happen in any kind of group. I’ve seen it in churches many times. People are buttholes. I love reading your blog and recipes, but if you need to stop to refocus on yourselves and your family, then do it. We’ll always have ELAD. 

  • Deb

    I love your blog and would support whatever you decide is best for your family.  I agree with Lauren, when the aggrivation outweighs the pleasure move on, go with what feels best for you and your family.
    I also agree with Justin Ross, I am a #3, the elitist #1’s make themselves feel better by vomiting all the science on us. I think they secretly want a treat now and then, but don’t want anyone to know!!  I like paleo, I follow it 90% of  the time, I feel better when I eat paleo.  I also live my life and follow what works best for ME!  I’m not conforming or going to allow someone else to dictate to me. 
    Remember:  the people who build you up, who give constructive critisism, who support you no matter what are your “inside the fence friends”, The others who try to tear you down, dont support you, and are just generally mean are “outside the fence”.  Delete the outside the fence comments and move on if you are so inclined!
    My best to you and your family.  Thanks for showing other families the ‘real’ deal!!

  • Katie

    I love your blog because you’re people like me and my family.  I’m 31, mom to a toddler, I work full time, and I’d be overjoyed to weigh 50 pounds less than I do now.  I know I’ll never be a sculpted goddess in a bikini.    I want to lose weight and have my family eat better and be healthier, and seeing our daughter sob because we wouldn’t give her that precious PASTA for dinner was my wake up call.   I look around the Paleo blog community and it feels like many prominent bloggers don’t have young children (or kids at all) and/or spend their days in the Crossfit “box” and/or didn’t have that much weight to lose.  

    So from a purely selfish perspective if you’re feeling so burned-out on the blog I’d love to see you scale back on posting frequency and maybe keep the focus more on the food rather than personal things.   If putting yourself out there in an honest way is inviting the Internet loons in, then don’t give them that opportunity.  Family is the most important thing in my world and I’m sure it’s the most important in yours.  Your kids and your marriage need to come first and if the loons’ emails and posts are proving problematic, then taking a break is perfectly fine.  

  • Jessica Newman

    I would be so sad to see you go or slow down….but it seems exactly what you need to do. I think Paleo is more than just good food choices — it includes making good choices for your whole life. Right now…it doesn’t seem to be working for you. Y’all are awesome and I’m sorry people are just being so darn ugly. Maybe just trying taking a step back and see if that is enough to alleviate some of the stress. You can’t please everyone….but you’ve pleased a whole heck of a lot of us…thanks for your honest, open and real blogging! 

  • Dawn

    I’m so sorry for you guys.  You’re awesome people.  I would say that, if it were me, I’d switch off comments for awhile and start blogging less frequently.  That way you can write posts about what YOU want to write about with less issues.  It’s more difficult for lazy haters to hate if they have to search out your email/contact page.  Plus, if you blog less then you get to have more time with your kids.  They need you more than we do.  I say make blogging your hobby now instead of a second job.

  • 2Fat

    I only just found you a little while ago, due to the popularity of ‘The Fattest People in Paleo’ post. I was sooo happy to see REAL people, not the perfect athletes who are fit just wanting to get fitter. I’ve read the comment sections on other sites, and know how they feel about fat people like me. I am very grateful for you two being so brave and putting yourselves out there for us average (read really fat) people. It gives us hope!

    Yes, you should cut back and get your sanity and your lives back. But, please leave up the site, check in once in awhile, for those of us who need to know that there are real people out there who have changed their health, and if they can do it so can we.

  • Karyn

    Sorry if this was already said, but…you just finished a whirlwind book release and then a paleo cruise – both high profile things. Maybe things will start settling down and you can just blog when you want to. I, too, love your blog, but family always comes first. Good luck on your discernment!

  • Usually, if you’re doing it right, you’ll end up with a ton of ‘haters’.  And, well, haters are gonna hate.

    In all reality though, this is your blog.  You are entitled to post whatever you like and you shouldn’t be afraid to be yourselves. If you get some hate-mail, toss it.  You wanted this to be a place to inspire people and to share recipes, so keep it at that.  You have plenty of people who love your blog.  Anyone else causing additional stress is just a ‘delete’ away.

    I know it’s easier said than done to not let them get to you, but seriously, they’ll always be there. There’s always someone who has to complain, or be rude, or just plain nasty.  The wonderful thing about the internet is, you don’t have to pay attention to them.

    Sounds like it might be a good time for a little blog vacation.  Maybe step back for a bit, don’t even check it. Switch the email links so you don’t have to be faced with it until your ready.  If your lives are happier without it then you know what to do.  If you miss it, then just try to weed out the drama and focus on what you enjoy about it.

    In the end, you started paleo for yourselves. You decided to share to help yourselves and inspire others.  Many people look to you for advice and inspiration, but you’re just regular people like the rest of us.  Do what makes you happy.  Do what you need to reduce stress and to be able to focus on your lives and your family.

  • Well Happy Anniversary!! And I just want to say Thanks!! You guys made a huge difference in our family…we mostly follow the Paleo diet we have Celiac so we are gluten free all the time….Your recipes have given me the courage to fool around with ingredients and now I have some great ones of my own. Even though we are not 100% Paleo I feel really happy with the changes we have made and it is a learning process. I think over time we will continue to eat better as we learn more about food and our diets. So thanks for opening that door for our family we appreciate it. ~Heather 

  • Alexa

    Hugs to you, Stacy.  Step away…nobody will fault you for that.  Do what feels right to you.  You will find the path that makes sense for you now and it can (and likely will) change as time goes on.  Thanks for all you have done!

  • Apreynolds25

    Speaking from experience one of the hardest things to do is walk away from something you have built and makes others happy. But when the time comes that it no longer makes you happy a step (or ten) back is needed. The people that appreciate you will understand and you can no longer care about the rest. “Those who matter don’t mind, and those that mind don’t matter.” Dr. Seuss.

  • Rocky

    Hi.  Just for the record, I think you guys absolutely ROCK!  I look forward to each new post.  I’m hopeful that you’ll choose to ease back from the blog rather than stopping even though feeling that way is selfish on my part.  Bottom line, in my opinion, is that you need to find your “balance” based on your needs and the needs of your children before the needs and wants of your readers.  Parents so often look back with regrets….and wish they had made some of their choices differently.  If you’re quiet and listen, that small voice within probably has the answers already waiting for you. 

  • Runs after Squirrels

    This is your blog, your story, your life … and personally I’m grateful to you both for sharing. I’ve referred many people to your blog and book who were wondering how on earth to make this doable for kids. It would be a shame if you packed it in because of how dopey people can be sometimes, often not intentionally, but realistically there are lots who feel important by criticizing and offering nothing in its place–pure selfishness. You and Matt are the antidote to that attitude and many thanks to you both.

  • PaleoFitMD

    You guys simply rock. I send patients here all the time. 
    But there is already tons of content on the blog. 
    There is enough honestly for most to get an idea and a sense of how to do this as a family. 
    I would not destroy your lives or your family over this blog. Not worth it. 
    Leave your content intact and then take at least a 3 month break. Then decide what you want to do. 
    That’s my advice anyway. 🙂

  • Sarahgnottle

    On a totally selfish note I would be really bummed if you stopped, you have really helped me with ideas and recipes to use with our kids. But I can completely understand the frustrations! Even if you scaled back I would still look forward to you posts : )

  • Joy

    i have just started reading your blog a few months ago but i feel compelled to comment.  i suck at following paleo but some days i succeed and i have lost weight. you have done so much better than i though and are able to have your boys do it as well!  i am totally inspired about your weight loss and your story. yeah, you may not be in perfect physical shape (nor am i) but your progress is impressive and it’s a journey. i am sorry people are so rude and feel it necessary to make comments and bring you down. you are clearly just trying to be helpful and share your story. i’ve no advice as how you should proceed as it’s a  personal decision but i just wanted to say kudos to you both and thank you.

  • I would say – follow your dream! If that doesn’t include blogging anymore – so be it. 🙂 

    I would say its a bit easier here in northern Europe. Paleo is not very big, low carb on the other hand is. And people dont start eating low carb to look athletic, but to loose weight or improve their health. So I havent seen many nasty comments at all, maybe except from people that think we eat too much meat.. 🙂

    I wish you all the best no matter what you deside!

  • Kazza

    Please put family and sanity first!!
    Take a long break and see if you miss us…..I’ll miss your blog.

  • jenny

    You cannot put the needs of any other family ahead of your own.  I love your blog, but your health/emotional well-being shouldn’t have to suffer for it.  Thank you for all you’ve done 🙂  You don’t owe us anything 🙂

  • Linda195720769

    As I follow your blog regularly, I’ve seen some your posts and picked up on some of the issues you’ve shared.  I most likely read some of the folks that you are referring to.  I see you folks as regular folks.  I’m just a regular folk as well.  You are mostly Paleo, you are not crazy for Crossfit, and so on.  I see some of the things you refer to.

    I’d say find your balance, don’t let this rule your life, the boys, then you and Matt, should be your first priority.  But I would be sad to lose you as a reference and resource.

    I send people to your blog everday.

    Hang in there.  Don’t let them get to you.

    Best
    Linda

  • Clo

    What does you heart say …?

  • guest

    So sorry to hear that you have had to deal with such negativity based on your efforts with your blog and book.  Some people just like to stir things up and tear down others.  I’ve enjoyed your blog, recipes and also live somewhere in the “grey area”…Do what is best for you and your family. You only have one lifetime, it’s not worth wasting on things/people that just make you feel bad.  

  • Karen

    I’m new to your blog, but my family loves your book!  I have a thin skin and tend to let things bother me, even when I shouldn’t!  So, I can’t imagine how hard it is to deal with the situations you described.  It’s easy for others to say “just ignore it”, but not so easy for some of us to actually do!  I’m sure this will not be a popular response, but if I were you, I’d take a blogging break and re-evaluate.  Can you turn off the email function?  Get someone to filter them for you?  So sorry this has even become an issue!  Whatever you decide, we will continue to use your book and blog if you keep it!

  • A10

    I can’t even imagine what you’re going through! But one thing I can echo what someone else wrote, and what is probably in your head- your kids. There is NOTHING you can do to get that time back. enjoy them now. The blog is a hobby, not a job. Although you bless a lot of people… if you cannot bless those in your immediate life… then what good is it? 🙁 Sending prayers for discernment!

  • Hi Stacy.  Like Matt and you, my husband and I have a blog that’s relatively new, which we started to help others.  But our 1st mission is our family and, particularly, caring for our daughter with autism.  So our blog is there for me to put “my contribution to the world” when I have time to contribute.  My contribution to my family comes first. 

    You guys already have a lot of great content here, so it is a valuable resource no matter how often you add new stuff to it.  Please leave it up.  And instead of adding daily content, only write and add content when you are inspired–by a recipe or a special moment or a milestone.  Trust me, no one is keeping track of the dates of your posts.  If we only got a new one every 2 weeks, we’d simply be happy to see your name come up in our email inbox.  There are laid back paleo/foodie bloggers out there who are slowly and steadily accruing valuable content.  You guys already have lots of that here, so slow down, rest more, love on your boys more, and run to the computer only when your muse has lit a fire  under your butt and you feel compelled to share enough to sacrifice that hour or more of family time.  Oh, and be proud of all you’ve accomplished.  ELaD is gorgeous.  Just that should make you so proud, and make you understand the paleo naysayers–they’re jealous.  Everyone wants something so tangible to leave to the world.  Congrats on accomplishing that.  Now go take a well-deserved break, but know that we’re all here if you have something fun or helpful to share in the future. 

  • Emilie Labie

    Please always feels like on the picture. We ‘ve got the book. Now it’s up to us. It’s your kids who needs your quality time now. 
    I’m sure Matt will soon quite the meds again.
    Emilie from Belgium 

  • Beth Grant

    Focus on you & your family.

    If you still want to blog, why not cut down on how much your are posting? Once a week could work, or even every other week.

  • Suzanne

    The way you spelled it out in your post answers your question. Your long-term health and happiness and that of your kids vs a bunch of strangers?  You can only be responsible for you and your family. You can’t be responsible for others. You wrote a great cookbook that is reaching many and will help those who are looking to change the way their family eats. It’s more than what most people are able do. You did what you could, now it’s time to take care of yourselves.

  • Don’t leave me!  You’re the only reasons I can get my kids on board with this whole dietary change.  I’ve searched high and low and parenting paleo blogs are hard to come by, and yours is the only “real” one I can find!  My kids want treats. . . they want bread. . . they want to eat chocolate chip cookies like their buddies.  I don’t care what the Loincloth Mafia (to quote Justin Ross) think about Paleo-ish.  What I care about is the real world and how to raise my kids to be healthier, happier, and make better choices (nutritionally and otherwise!).  Keep on keeping on to whatever level you can. . . this is a great resource.  Your family is awesome and you are both an inspiration to the rest of us normals. Cheers!

  • Maggie

    Matt and Stacy, you have done so much to help and bless others, but now…time to be done.   You’re giving too much.  Look, everything people need to know is right there in your book: your stories, your fantastic tips and ideas for making paleo work for families, and recipes.  If people need help, let ’em read the book!  That’s all they need to get started.  and from that point forward, let them be responsible for doing their OWN research and coming up with their OWN ideas…just like you did.

    Can I just share with you…I promise you this:  you are going to turn around and your kids will be in highschool!  It comes up that fast.  I know everyone says that and it doesn’t seem true to you at this stage, but I’m here to tell you–their childhood is GONE before you know it.  Would you rather they remember this summer as a summer of “face time” with you: eating popsicles in the shade, swinging at the park, storytime and puppet shows at the library, walks, hikes, bike rides, and YOU, fully present?  Or would you have them remember the back of your head as you spend “face time” with the computer?

    You’ve made great contributions and helped a lot of people.  Be done now.  In the words of Thoreau: “simplify, simplify”.  Pull the plug.  Enjoy living life.  Thank you for all you’ve done and may God richly bless your sweet family. 

  • Jenn

    i think y’all know what you want to do, but you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  i say you should do what you feel in your guts you want to do–which i’m sensing is walk away for awhile or maybe forever–and just live again without this monkey on your back. do i enjoy what you share?  sure!  but i think the time has come to step away.  don’t be afraid.  to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.  that was written by the most wise person who ever lived, and i think it’s good advice.  go in peace.  you have given MUCH and many have benefitted.

  • Sarah

    Hi, Just my two thoughts.  I hate being in the spot light and I tend to say the wrong thing always. :).  I wanted to let you know that you have been life savers to my family and I.  We have 4 boys.  My autistic son reads your cook book every morning and picks what new dish to try.  He’s 3.  My 3rd son is on the spectrum and refuses to eat meat.  We read your book.  Now he’s eating some meat. (Hey, it’s better than nothing!).  I have enjoyed the recipes and have found that for once I understand them and can add things in knowing what I’m doing. (Like if I add in Almond butter to the cookies, I understand what you wrote so I don’t ruin the batch!).  I would recommend turning the Comments off, I know you miss the good ones, but it protects you from the bad.  Also, maybe change your name from paleo parents to healthy parents, then you’re not looped into one diet world.  Take the good friends you have and walk away from the bad.  Change your email address so sponsors can’t contact you.  Keep blogging as it makes you happy, but don’t be accessible. 🙂 Good luck, and I’m sorry people are people. 

  • anne

    I’m with most of the other commenters here: health and family first. I love the recipes & your story. These I can get from the book. I also love your voice (real people, parents, ups and downs) and would miss that. You have been very helpful to me as a new mom (Stacy’s breastfeeding posts, and Matt’s tips on how to wrangle youn’uns) and for local resources for our newly-moved to DC area family.

    You will , of course, choose the right action for yourselves. Maybe take a (minimum 2 month) announced sabbatical from the blog while letting the guest blogger series run each week? After that, depending how things go, continue the guest blogger series, maybe having a recipe or tip post maybe 3 times a month, and doing a big check-in update quarterly (possibly with the comments turned off). Also, I don’t think it would hurt to close the comments after a set period of time (2 days?) if you do continue. And make friends with the delete key when reading emails.. or don’t let people contact you by email.

    I hope you leave the site up, no matter what you choose to do, as I find it to be cheerful and enjoyable reading while I’m breastfeeding the baby (my blog reading time). Best wishes to you all!

  • C

     I’m with most of the other commenters here: health and family first. I
    love the recipes & your story. These I can get from the book. I also
    love your voice (real people, parents, ups and downs) and would miss
    that. You have been very helpful to me as a new mom (Stacy’s
    breastfeeding posts, and Matt’s tips on how to wrangle youn’uns) and for
    local resources for our newly-moved to DC area family.

    You will , of course, choose the right action for yourselves. Maybe take
    a (minimum 2 month) announced sabbatical from the blog while letting
    the guest blogger series run each week? After that, depending how things
    go, continue the guest blogger series, maybe having a recipe or tip
    post maybe 3 times a month, and doing a big check-in update quarterly
    (possibly with the comments turned off). Also, I don’t think it would
    hurt to close the comments after a set period of time (2 days?) if you
    do continue. And make friends with the delete key when reading emails..
    or don’t let people contact you by email.

    I hope you leave the site up, no matter what you choose to do, as I find
    it to be cheerful and enjoyable reading past posts while breastfeeding the
    baby. Best wishes to you all!

  • Samantha

    If you are not happy doing this blog then the answer speaks for itself. Although I will be so sad to see you guys go, it also makes me sad that you are being treated this way. I love your blog, it is SO inspiring! It puts a smile on my face to see you and Matt so happy. Not everyone shares that joy. Remember, misery loves company. That is the bottom line. I would be so sad to see y’all go, but you have to do what is best for you and your family. Best of wishes guys! 

  • Hiitsjustmee

    I’m not a regular reader (just stumbled in) but as a recovering blogger, I suggest you consider shutting off comments and walking away for awhile. you don’t owe anyone anything. Take a month (or longer) get some perspective. Get your life back. Then figure out where this blog fits into that.

  • I’ve never been to your blog before (just popped in on a link from Casual Kitchen) and I know nothing about paleo, but I just want to say that you look GREAT!  I looked at your before pics, Stacy, and I am thrilled for you!  You’re a brave and strong woman.

    As to the topic at hand, I waver between being a bit jealous about having your blog take off like that 🙂 and being thankful that I will never have to deal with all the hassles you do.  I can see that there would be great disappointment if you stopped blogging, and yet your first responsibility is definitely to your family.  You need to nurture those relationships and take care of yourselves, first and foremost.  There is *nothing* more important than that.  Readers will move on and won’t be hurt deeply.  Family is forever.

  • Kathleen

    I just found your blog.  It is wonderful, but if I were in your shoes, I would either cut off comments and/or cut your posts down to weekly or less.  That way, there would be less of the negative but you would still be helping others.   Please don’t sacrifice your family and personal life for this blog.

  • Carolyn

    Dear Stacy,

    It is always hard to understand why people respond the way they do to someone who has nothing but love in their heart and the best of intentions to help and share with people what has worked for them.

    You and your husband are young and your children are growing and you need to be together enjoying each other. I have no idea what your life is like other than what you described, but I do know you are in charge of it and you may have to make some hard decisions but don’t let time slip away while your children are growing. You don’t want to miss any of that.

    Not everyone agrees on diet and lifestyle issues and some of them as you pointed out are very unflexible about it. Don’t let bad behavior get you down, at least for long. It is sad to see but it is totally out of your control, except to pull back a little and get out of the way.

    Keep a positive thought about what you have shared and you and your husband talk to someone who can help you deal with your feelings. Stress is hard to manage but it can be managed when you decide what is really important and go in that direction. Mindless, negative, hurtful people are not your responsibility and you don’t have to deal with them except maybe just ignore them.

    You decide what you need and what your boundaries are. You sound like an overachiever and I can tell you from prior experience, you are probably the only one who expects such a high standard. Bottom line, take care of yourself first so you can take care of your family and then share with the world. You already produced a fabulous book and blogging is good too but you control that so take time off and relax for awhile. Nothing is worth losing sleep over if you can control it or just let it go.

    I am not a counselor but I like to reach out to people who are feeling down because I have spent way too much time that way and it was for nothing except to realize how precious life is and with a proper diet ( I am gluten free.) I have improved a hundred percent. That message, the one you have shared, that diet free of processed foods, can bring you back to life and health is a great one and you are an example of what it can do. Not everyone wants to jump on the wagon because they don’t want to give up anything even if it is making them sick. That is sad but we all have to make decisions for ourselves and no one can do it for us. Maybe just being an example is all we can do for now. Even if we love someone we can’t make all their choices for them.

    Keep the faith and don’t worry about bad behavior. You have many, many people who love and appreciate you and your family. I just love what you had to say about your baby how he was born into the family after you all changed your diet and he has been such an easy baby. That right there is a revelation. If more people would listen to that story many more children would do so much better in our country.

    Good luck and I hope you find peace with whatever decisions you make.

    Sincerely,
    Carolyn

  • magic merl

    Late to the party here, but thought I’d chime in.

    It’s your blog, and you can do whatever you want with it 🙂  There are seasons in life, and the start of a blog is all about creating community and reaching out and making connections.  But when the internet people and faceless demands start taking over your real life, then the season has changed.

    It sounds to me like you’re saying “this was fun, but I just can’t do it anymore”.  That’s okay.  Just stop.

    Us internet people will use google and find someone else to bug, and you wonderful people can spend your time energy and passion on the people who REALLY can’t replace you – your children and each other.

    Take a sabbatical – do a little “bloggers on sabbatical” post, and walk away for 3 months.  Whether you come back or not is entirely up to you, but if you do it will be with new vision, with new goals and new boundaries. 

    You guys are precious, wonderful, generous people, but the blogosphere will cope admirably without you.  Your family, however, needs you there and present with them.

  • Stacey

    I just read this Stacy and I am so sorry your going through this. I’m not going to read everyone else’s comments, rather I’m just going to state what I feel and apologize if it is a repeat.  One of the most important things I learned from going Paleo is the importance of sleep, stress reduction and shutting down technology. The fact that you state your gaining weight now tells me that this blog and your book has added too much stress and likely led you to neglect sleep.  As a mother I have learned that I have to be healthy if I want to help others, especially my family, be healthy.  My personal advice as both a mother and a psychologist is to make that your priority by whatever means is necessary.  There is no rule that you have to blog a certain amount of time. Once per week is plenty.  You have loyal followers and they are not going anywhere.  Second, your book is a success.  That will also not go away.  You don’t need to do anything more with that.  In turning Paleo, I have been frustrated by  trying to figure out who is commercializing this and who is real. Your post here shows that you are real and people looking for that will continue to follow you even if you take a break.  I’d encourage you not to see it as an all or nothing.  If you can’t return everyone’s email, then so be it.  Ignore the negative comments as they are not worth your energy.  Take a break and find some fun in life away from this Paleo stuff.  Most of all, remember that your on this journey for your family and kids.  If your not giving your kids the attention they need, then something needs to change.  I am so grateful to have found you guys as are many others because you are real. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks as this is your life and you are in charge.  I wish you both continued health and fun on your Paleo journey.

  • Julie H

    Hi there.  I stop by here every now and again to get ideas and it’s always fun and intresting.  It is obvious from this post that you are not happy.  A couple other blogs I check out have gone through the same thing – Elana’s Pantry and the Gluten Free Girl.  They both have had to set their limits and do what is best for their lives, they realized too much time was devoted to technology and not life and found their family suffering for what is a good cause.  But, they had to decide their family and health was a BETTER cause.  The BEST cause!

    Set YOUR boundaries.  Make YOUR decisions.  Those who truly care will RESPECT you for it.  Find your joy back!!  You and your family are so worth that!

  • Jenny

    As a fellow ‘paleo fatty’ I say keep up the good work and ignore the negatives! I love your stuff! For me it is about being well and I can cope with not being thin or jacked when I’m rash-free with a happy tummy!

    • Jenny

      I work with kids with learning difficulties and I’m always saying to parents ‘restrict their homework time because they are exhausted at the end of the school day, make sure it is 20 minutes (often broken up) of reading and then plenty of time for eating properly and playing and going to bed early’.  Can you do that? Blog for say 30 minutes and then get busy playing and eating and sleeping!! Fresh air and sunshine and laughs!!!

  • Derryanne

    I am very sad to read your entry…but not surprised.  I have watched many “ordinary” people do famously well (in many different fields) and deal with very similar issues.  People can be jealous and petty and bitter.  Don’t make your life choices based on “the blog”.  In 20 years, what will hold real meaning for you?  The time and attention you give your children and husband will be felt and remembered for generations.  I love your blog, your book is one of my favourites and your story is truly inspirational and motivational.  Please be encouraged by the thousands you have inspired and helped, but do what you need to do for your your own sanity, well being and family.  

  • Personally, I think the paleo/primal community needs real-life, accessible, down-to-earth people like you guys.  I’ve enjoyed every post of yours I’ve read so far.  That said, you also need to take care of the people in your lives who truly matter: yourselves and your kids.  Those are the people you owe first.  So while we would all be losing a valuable voice if you guys opted to step back into private life, if being in the public eye has lead to physical and emotional health problems, I don’t think it’s worth it.  Know that if that is the choice you guys make, nothing will change the fact that you have already touched countless lives and inspired countless people, myself included!  Thank you for all you’ve done!

  • Carol B

    I just wanted to say you guys are awesome – and brave. It takes real stones to put your personal lives out there for us in the internet world to enjoy and learn from. I love reading paleo success stories myself, and to me your whole blog is a marvellous celebration of that. You’ve gained health for yourself and your family in a non-xtreme sports kind of way. It has taken me two years of paleo eating and fighting my sugar demons to get to where I am now, ready to do the Whole30. This process of switching from carb/sugar to nutritious food will take different forms and different timeframes for all of us. I went from 196 lbs in Nov 2010 to 152 lbs now, coming back from 162 when I fell off the sugar wagon a little in the fall. But it’s not really about body weight in the end is it – it’s about learning how your body works and how to make it run better. Please don’t take other people’s personal issues vented on you, personally! Anyone who verbally attacks someone who writes as warm and uplifting a blog as you do, sadly has many boundary and social issues and likely could use some kind of intervention from a good therapist. My advice? Delete the sucky posts and keep the good ones. All blogs have nettiquette rules, n’est-ce pas?
    Thank you for awesome efforts: not everyone can write a book, and host a website that can inspire people to make positive changes in their diets, and by extension, their lives.

  • Dralicarine

    I am an integrative pediatrician and I struggle with similar burdens.  But, I have found a few things that keep me going and focused.  
    1.  Knowledge is not owned by anyone, and real truth cannot be contained within someone’s “property”, so real progress always happens when “people crash the party” and spread the truth
    2.  We have to do what we love, and put up with some of what we don’t.  But speaking clearly, respectfully and true to ourselves is what is most important, and will give us the strength to handle a lot.
    3.  Our family has to be protected, and we have to resist the urge to put them aside.  But, our children learn by watching us live out our passions too, so we can’t stop what we love in effort to “serve” them.  We have to work it out, and find the balance.
    Good luck, I suggest you keep up the great work, but put parameters on the time you devote, and if you cant respond to all of it, that is just fine.

  • Dralicarine

    I will also say, don’t listen to people who tell you to bow out totally to focus on “your family”, that is the self centered world we live in.  If everyone did that, we would never make progress.  Define your boundaries, choose your friends carefully and don’t be surprised by others.

  • Sarah

    I’d say : be happy. You’ve obviously thought this through, and although the tendancy is to be there for others (I’m not saying it’s not important), people like you who strive (maybe unconsciously, maybe because of your personal values…) to make and to share something so close to you… at some point, it’s too much. Maybe I’m citing the extreme, and I don’t know more than general knowledge, but when we do something that does not make us feel good in order to try to make others happy… well it’s never possible. Take an abusive relationship: the abused partner will always try to “make it better” for the abusee… But it rarely works out, in the end; If a relationship is abusive, then it means that the relationship is simply not meant to be, and that the partners have to find themselves the true person which will make them happy. Maybe I’m oversimplifying, but life is too short to feel down, and to do something that doesn’t entirely bring only good to you. I love your blog, but I would love to know more that you are perfectly happy with what this blog is to you. All the best!

  • reedettes

    I just read this. I am SO thankful for you all and my kids carry your book around with them every time we shop and they are looking at your recipe often. I’m so sorry you have seen the negative of the online world but because of you, I have seen the positive. Thanks for helping make the beginning of our Paleo journey so much easier and inspiring. You have helped inspire my kids to begin a journey that is so healthy. Blessings to you all!
    http://reedettes.wordpress.com/

  • Fire horse

    Hi Stacy,
    I’m sure somewhere along the beginning of my Paleo journey when I was in a state of constant confusion, exhaustion and frustration, I took for granted the information available and if it didn’t suite my specific needs I was too lazy to customize it and would give up. Believe me, I wanted so badly to email someone and ask them to please do all the research and then make up a bunch of free recipes customized just for little ole me. Fortunately, I was never out of my mind enough to do such a thing but I also have never given thanks to those of you who share your knowledge, findings and experiences with the rest of us. Sharing you blog helps to inspire a newbie to just get started and those who are already in the midst of it, to share stories. I’m not a hardcore Paleo and not sure I ever want to be but I strive to do as much as I can for me. Don’t get discouraged. This is your blog, a diary of transition and it is so helpful. Many thanks!