When we were writing our last book, Stacy polled our Facebook page for the one single word that they would use be associated with us, and by far and away the word used was “real.” It’s why we used that word in the title of our award-winning, bestseller, Real Life Paleo! Since then, we’ve evolved away from restrictive eating and dieting, with a focus on what we can add to our lives to make them more fulfilling and improve our wellbeing, inside and out.
We didn’t realize how fat phobic our approach was, how harmful healthism can be, and how orthorexic our own disordered eating was. We’ve learned a lot since then, but that first poll helped us find our new direction in 2016. We not focus on a variety of matters that improve the health of everyone – like advocating for legislative change.
It was 2010 when Stacy moved from her personal blogging over at LiveJournal (yes, we’re THAT old) to writing down thoughts on a Tumbr. The original thought was that given our situation of being a working mom and stay at home dad, we had a unique perspective to share about our family’s success and struggles. But as we starting living a Paleo lifestyle, the blog quickly turned into a place to share the recipes friends would beg for after bringing grain-free and refined-sugar-free cookies to potlucks.
At the time there were less than half a dozen paleo blogs and most were fitness-oriented. We wanted to share the story of how adapting the lifestyle changed ALL of our lives for the better – from Stacy & Matt’s 200lb weight loss to the boys going off medications like daily inhalers and improved behavior of their attention disorders. So we bought a domain and began sharing about being parents who were paleo (because we truly thought at the time we were focused on health and not just aesthetics). While we became known in the community for always being REAL, we also lost sight of all those other “real” parts about ourselves – the passions we always had.
As time went on, we experienced great loss – Matt’s brother lost his life-long battle with mental health. We became foster parents. Our passions changed, we realized the elitist bubble we’d put ourselves in and how harmful that was. Especially through a multi-year global pandemic, we saw how toxic the wellness industry can be – how very detrimental to public health for all. We’re now on a mission to continue our education and share about the negative effects of diet culture, and beyond.
We no longer associate with “paleo.”
Of course, we still mindful of what our bodies respond well to – Stacy is strictly gluten-free because she is Celiac, Matt stays (mostly) gluten-free, and the teens are all navigating what works for them in the real world. It became especially eye opening how disordered our approach was when we welcomed kids into our home who came from food deserts or had been neglected and never eaten a family meal at the table together. As we learned to navigate food through their eyes, it opened ours to the negative effects restrictive eating can have.
We’re not abandoning everything we believe – after all, this is about being REAL. But our diet and lifestyle isn’t “perfect” (it never has been). Stacy now hosts The Whole View to talk about ALL the things that effect our health – because food is only a very small portion. Learning more about mental wellbeing and all that goes into that has changed our lives for the better – not in toxic before and after weightloss photos, but in actual lab results of reduced stress and cortisol.
We do what works for us, and that might not work for you – that’s OK, that’s why there are hundreds (thousands) of free recipes on our blog so you can find ones that DO work for you! We don’t share many recipes anymore. And, what you do find is how our family REALLY eats. We also talk more about other things that align to our core values and effect the health and wellness of everyone. It might not mirror what you believe. Again, that’s OK – what makes this world fantastic is the diversity among us!
We may not be for you, that’s OK.
Like the thought provoking posts we had always written about the Paleo community, we now have a library of resources to other topics that matter to us. You’ll likely learn our religious and political beliefs – since those are things that matter to us personally and we aim to have a REAL, honest, and open personal blog. And while our soap-box-rants may stir your emotions, we hope to be able to engage in a mutually respectful dialog in order for each of us to expand our minds.
Lastly, if we are just not your cup of tea anymore – that’s OK. We don’t want to force you to be here!
You’re welcome to just come and search through our recipes or leave altogether. It’s why we’ve sorted the blog into categories and sections for you. We hope that our approach to following what truly moves us, what makes us happy, and what helps us be our best selves can in some way serve as inspiration for you to do the same.
Whatever situation you may find yourself in today, remember that you are your own destiny. If you let fear drive you away from change, you will never be able to succeed because you stopped yourself before you could start. Reckless abandon isn’t needed – it has been a journey over many years to make this transition, and it’s still not complete. Whether it’s a hobby, a diet, a lifestyle, or a career – we each deserve to be happy and healthy. We created that vision of happiness for ourselves and we followed it. There’s nothing more we could possibly hope to inspire you to do! ♥