About

Hi I'm Zach (headshot of me)

Hi I’m Zach

My goal with this website is to help get the message out about grain free diets such as the Paleo and Primal diets, SCD diet and GAPS diet, so that more people might benefit from them. My other main goal is to help everyone transitioning to these diets, which can be challenging when first starting down this path. It definitely was for me. I hope to build a community similar to what I wished I had found when I was first starting out.

My Story:

The Paleo and SCD diets have truly transformed my health. In addition to eliminating all of the serious autoimmune disease symptoms I was struggling with when starting these diets, a major milestone in itself, I have not had a cold in years and find gaining muscle and staying fit easier than at any other point in my life.

I began looking into diets due to having Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disease. Like many who have seen health improvements with the Paleo diet and other forms of grain free, gluten free diets (such as SCD, GAPS, AIP), I was in a dark place when first starting out.

After years of attempting to follow the guidance of numerous doctors and western medicine, even some of the most well known doctors in the world on the subject, I was no healthier. In fact, it was becoming clearer that following the advice laid out for me by our current medical system was leading me down a path of stronger and stronger medications and even the likelihood of multiple surgeries over my lifetime.

Following these diets has given me my life back and I am eternally grateful. After experiencing all of the health benefits and feeling so much better, both in healing my Crohn’s but really in so many aspects of my life, my great hope is that I can help others experience the same thing. My goal is to build resources both on how to get started with living this way, but also to help others who are doing this for the long term. Finally I hope to support everyone I can through this journey. If you have questions, need advice, or even have suggestions for me, please reach out!

My Health Journey – The Full Story:

Reading testimonials of others who had been helped by the Paleo, SCD and GAPS diets for Crohn’s and Colitis were invaluable for me when I first discovered them. They gave me the inspiration to attempt these diets and led to the good health I have today. I hope to “pay forward” to others who may benefit, the good health and inspiration. For those interested in the more detailed story of how I was able to transform my health with Crohn’s disease through diet, here it is.

When I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease over 10 years ago in my early 20s, the symptoms were inconvenient, such as having stomach aches and cramps more often than most other people, but I shrugged them off as something I could deal with. I was given some of the lighter weight drugs initially by my doctors (ASA line of drugs) to try to manage the symptoms. As a few years passed though, things started to get more serious.

After a few years of more or less coasting along, getting used to the occasional stomach pain and managing my symptoms through drugs, I began to feel worse. My stomach pain increased, I was starting to feel weak all the time, didn’t feel much like eating and started to really lose a lot of weight. When I went in for a medical exam it was found that my intestine had scarred up so badly and was so narrow in one place from the Crohn’s that I would need surgery to remove that portion of my intestine.

After surgery, I felt better for a couple of years as predicted. Unfortunately after only a couple of years the Crohn’s soon came back and my intestine was quickly becoming full of scar tissue again. I was told that my only options were either to go on major immune suppressing drugs often associated with treating things like cancer (if I was “lucky” I could avoid surgery) or to have another surgery and have another part of my intestine removed.

I started to notice a pattern. If the medical solution every few years was going to be to have another major surgery, the picture of my long term health was looking bleak.

These surgeries carry some real risks each time, and there were side effects from the first surgery that lasted for years. I assumed that multiple surgeries would only have a cumulative effect.

So I started to look for alternative options, and was luckily referred to the SCD diet, a diet developed specifically for IBD diseases, which is almost identical to the Primal/Paleo diets.

Although the healing wasn’t immediate for me, within a month I was feeling better than I had been in a long time. Within six months it was clear I was on the right path as my Crohn’s symptoms were quickly disappearing.

It took me several years (there was a lot of healing needed to overcome many years of Crohn’s damage) but I can happily say that at this point I feel as I did before having my first signs of Crohn’s over 10 years ago. I follow the principles of both the Paleo and SCD diet, as they mostly overlap and cut out things that are not allowed on one or the other. I do have some lingering side effects from the surgery, but those seem to be fading away as well.

One thing that was a challenge for me with Paleo and SCD was the idea of incorporating meat back into my diet. I had been a vegetarian for many years and a pescatarian for the last several before starting any of these diets. I was told it would be a very hard path to stay both a pescatarian and do these diets, as they were already “so restrictive”. Although it took some creativity and trial and error at first, I am happy to say that I have never had to switch to eating red meat, and my health has never been better. I am one of the few pescatarian Paleo eaters I know, but I feel this has worked out well for me.

I only wish I had learned about these diets earlier. My perspective is that if someone is suffering from an autoimmune related condition, it is completely worth their time and effort to give these diets a try and see if it helps them.

It is true that these diets may not help everyone or each individual to the same extent, but the down side of giving them a try (eating super healthy food for a month) weighed against the possibility of treating diseases that have eluded the medical community for decades seems like a worthwhile tradeoff.

The more mainstream all the “grain free”, “gluten free”, whole food diets become, the easier it will be for everyone living this way. The more people who live and eat this way, the easier it will be finding products online, in local stores or finding out about grain free restaurant options.

I am always surprised that despite all the mainstream press about Paleo, it doesn’t appear that many of the people I speak to on a daily basis have actually tried it or in most cases have even heard of it. For the people who have heard of Paleo, they don’t have a good idea of what it really is, or more importantly all of the people it has helped – even if they themselves have an autoimmune disease and could possibly really benefit from this knowledge.

Let’s change that, together.