white woman with long brown hair wearing a black t-shirt that says I am not for everyone drinking a can of sparkling water through a straw

Why I’m Not Paleo Anymore

Do you remember when I used to be ‘Stupid Easy Paleo’? A lot of you are curious as to why I am no longer paleo and the complete rebranding I did in 2018. So, I decided to share my real, truthful, nitty-gritty story with you all for this week’s episode.

Listen To Your Body Podcast 323 Why I'm Not Paleo Anymore

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Key Takeaways

If You Are Starting To See The Cracks In Your Own Relationship With Food and Diets You Should:

  1. Be honest with yourself about your disordered eating habits and how diet culture perpetuates them
  2. Be gentle with yourself when unlearning what you have been taught by diet culture and discovering what foods you actually enjoy
  3. Get rid of the all or nothing mentality when it comes to food and stop restricting yourself 

How I Got Here

In 2018 I had a realization. I realized that I had been carrying my disordered eating and relationship with my body through the various stages of my life, masking it with different diets and exercise regimes.

When I first heard about paleo in 2010, my most significant thought was ‘will this help me get smaller?’. While I did learn some good things from paleo, over time, the rules, restrictions, and arguments I had with people about whether or not something ‘is’ or ‘isn’t paleo was making me exhausted. That’s when I realized something had to change.

Restriction Isn’t Helping Anybody

The more I learned about the origins of diet culture and the harm that comes from approaching ‘taking care of our health’ in a way that is restrictive and an all-or-nothing mentality, I knew I had to burn what I thought I knew down to the ground.

When you are able to take the guilt and shame out of your relationship with food and stop thinking about food 24/7, you can come back to yourself. You are always and have always been worthy no matter your body size or appearance, and my mission is to help you get back to being the intuitive eater that you were born as.

Do you see yourself reflected in my story? How is your story different than mine? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.

In This Episode

  • Why I do what I do and care about the work that I am doing (12:29)
  • Acknowledging the positive things I learned from paleo (19:10)
  • How to stop letting your relationship with food keep you scared and complacent (28:40)
  • The signs that made me realize that paleo was not for me and something had to change (32:02)
  • Why I decided to rebrand myself and my company and embrace another way (35:55)

Quotes

“We always have a choice. We are faced with new information all day, every day, and we get to decide how and if we want to incorporate that information into our new viewpoint of the world and our perspective.” (3:32)

“I feel like I wasn’t living my life because I was so invested in dieting, and shrinking myself, and making myself smaller.” (12:41)

“This is when I started to become aware of the fact that my thinking around food was occupying a lot of my time. Prior to that, it was just something that happened, I didn’t have that outside looking in awareness of ‘this is kind of fucked up’.” (23:53)

“I started to learn about bigger issues, things like diet culture. And then it all started to make sense.” (33:38)

“I think that is my biggest point to you today, is learning to find the wiggle room, removing the guilt and the shame, recognizing that some of these smaller dietary choices are not going to cause you some kind of crazy significant harm.” (44:42)

Featured on the Show

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LTYB 321: Is Body Positivity for You?

 

Why I’m Not Paleo Anymore FULL TRANSCRIPT

Steph Gaudreau

Hello, dear listener, today on the podcast I am going to be sharing the full story about why I am no longer paleo and why I rebranded my business in 2018. This is not a new story. This is not a new change. But recently on the gram, I did a survey and it turned out that something like 83% of people had no idea what the story was, and is behind my rebrand that I did in 2018. So today on the podcast, I’m gonna dive into the full story if you want the real, this is it. A short trigger and content warning.

In this episode, I do discuss dieting and eating disorder-related behavior. The Listen To Your Body podcast has one bold mission, to help change-making women like you give themselves radical permission to listen to their bodies get free with food and fitness, and channel their energy, and be a force for good in the world. I’m a certified intuitive eating counselor, nutritional therapy practitioner, and strength coach Steph Gaudreau. This weekly show brings you discussions around dropping diet and exercise extremes, letting your inner wisdom lead and taking up space from inclusive body neutrality, health at every size, nondiet nutrition perspective, we’ll examine how diet culture and the patriarchy keep women busy and distracted by the quest for body perfection, and how we can break free to live life on our own terms. It’s bound to be fiery and ultimately, to make you think, hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app. And let’s dive in.

Hello, and welcome back to the podcast. This is Episode 323, which I am, you know, creatively calling why I’m not paleo anymore and haven’t been for over two years. Nevertheless, this question comes up a ton. And it is something that people are always curious about. I don’t know if it’s because, on a personal level, you’re curious, we always love a good story, right? That’s, that’s how we transmit information and how we communicate is through storytelling. Or if it’s from the sort of a business technical perspective, like how did you make this happen. But I wanted to go through the story because I think it is going to perhaps shed some light on why I do what I do today. And a little bit more of my personal transformation. And how I came to see diet culture popping up in different phases of my life. And what I decided to do about it, because here’s the thing, you always have a choice. And I’m not going to be telling you in this episode what you need to do. But rather, sharing with you why I did what I did, based on what I learned, we always have a choice, we are faced with new information all day, every day, we get to decide how and if we want to incorporate that information into our new viewpoint of the world and our perspective. So I’m going to share that story with you today and I can’t wait to get into it.

So let’s sort of cast ourselves back, I’m going to do a kind of a quick catch-up on the first part of my life. And then I’ll talk more about paleo and how I got into it, and then eventually why I left and why I don’t really put a label on how I eat anymore. So when I was a kid, I experienced bullying and teasing by a family member and by kids in my school, about my body. I came at a very young age to feel like my body was different. It wasn’t the same as other kids. There was something wrong with me. And I was probably about nine years old when I was in a doctor’s appointment at the pediatrician with my mom. And I remember him saying something like she’s really chubby or she should lose some weight. And at the time I was playing soccer I was in dance classes and an active kid right. And I remember my mom sort of looking at me and looking back at him and saying something like, well, she’s kind of a bookworm. Now No, no hate on my mom here. But that was a moment where it was so crystallized in my mind that this was not okay. And of course, we could probably go into a whole story here about intergenerational issues around weight in my family, society. But we won’t get into that stuff right now how it shows up in the medical profession. In any case, the thing that I felt at that moment was an intense shame. When your cheeks flush and burn so hot, and so read, and it feels like the attention of the world is on you, and you just want to melt to escape the discomfort. That is how I felt. So throughout my teens, and then high school my body changed, as bodies do. And I think there’s a really common thing that happens when we’re sort of teenage, early teenage years.

For a lot of people, not just women, but for a lot of people, there’s this moment where they think, Okay, this is the size that my body is supposed to be forever, or we read it in a magazine, you know, this is the ideal weight, obviously, hugely problematic, but this is the ideal weight. And so we carry that number with us for so long. And I just want you to think, right now, my lovely listener, do you have a number in your head of the weight that you should be? And how long have you had that number? Can you even remember where that number came from? how long it’s been with you? What is it based on, and I’m going to guess that it’s been with you for a long time. And it’s something that you read somewhere or somebody told you, but you didn’t really knowingly choose it. And that’s the problem with diet culture. We’ve been talking about diet culture in this new season, and all of the various ways that it shows up. So nevertheless, had this number that was always the number I was supposed to be. And then I started doing all sorts of restrictive diets and plans, including things like now in my early 20s, I sort of went to a gym and I was eating very bland food and trying to lose weight and cutting back on my portions and I became hyper obsessed with food, I would cut every I would take a chicken breast, you know, chicken breasts have those little attachments of fat and tissue on the side. And I would take a knife and surgically remove with the precision of a brain surgeon, the fat off of chicken breasts, or obsessively read the labels. Because if it had too much, too many calories, or too much fat, for example, those were the two things I was probably most concerned with at the time because this was the late 90s.

So I think we’re still suffering from the low-fat stuff of the 1980s. That’s when I grew up. But I was really thinking about food all the time and really preoccupied with making my body smaller, however, it was going to happen. fad diets just eating very, very little. And eventually, my ex-in-laws got me interested in Weight Watchers. Now, I was no stranger to that my grandmother had done that in my youth. And she was always on Weight Watchers. But when they got into it, then I sort of got into it as well. I never went to meetings, but I definitely had a slider and points that I tried to follow and weighed myself all the time. And it would absolutely ruin me when that scale did not move in the way that I wanted it to. So obviously, I’m painting this picture for you here. That I had a very disordered relationship with food far before I ever, quote went paleo or found a paleo way of eating, which is central to the story. At one point, when I was doing Weight Watchers, I even had a moment where I just decided you know what, it would be easier if I just made myself throw up. And I tried to get into that and it just didn’t stick for me. So I think about how close I came to really cross the line into a full-fledged eating disorder. And a lot of my behaviors obviously were very disordered to begin with. So I share all this with you to paint the picture that going into paleo things was not great Right, this idea of my body needing to be smaller, and I live in a straight size body and I did back then. But this is what diet culture does, it infects all of us.

Certainly the repercussions and the oppressive outcomes for people in larger bodies, in disabled bodies and queer bodies, in trans bodies, etc, are, the stakes are much higher. So I just wanted to distinguish that and I talked about that a little bit in a couple of episodes ago about body positivity. Nevertheless, I had this experience, which a lot of you also have, which is my body is wrong, I should diet dieting is the answer. Having a really unhealthy relationship with exercise, feeling like I had to work it off if I ate too much, or if I wanted to eat a dessert later on that I had to work out extra to earn the food, right, this transactional relationship with food and ultimately being preoccupied with food, to the point where it was something I thought about all day long, worrying about what I was going to eat next, planning what I was going to eat next, bargaining with myself, trying to hold on to that last shred of willpower, constantly checking my body, whether it was pinching my body, whether it was rotating my clothes and, and being upset that my clothes were smaller, I wasn’t fitting into smaller sizes, weighing myself every day, sometimes multiple times a day. So when I talk about this today, I want you to know that that has been a lived experience for me. And it’s certainly not everybody’s lived experience. And I don’t have the lived experience of having some of the identities that are more marginalized. But this is something that deeply affected me on so many, many levels. And so this is why I really care about this work today is that I feel like I wasn’t living my life because I was so invested in dieting and shrinking myself and making myself smaller. So that kind of brings us up to about 2009 2010. I was racing mountain bikes and friends of mine were talking about something called paleo. Now, I had never heard of it, they were talking about, you know, you don’t eat gluten, or grains, or whatever it was. And I just thought that sounds fucking crazy. Because prior to that just a few years before I was a vegetarian for almost 18 months. And so for me, I sort of was eating a very carbohydrate, heavy diet, a very grain-heavy diet. And looking back, that probably actually served me better, in some ways, because I was getting more carbohydrate intake and probably fueling things like my workouts a little bit more appropriately. So I heard about this way of eating, I was ever pressured into doing it by anybody. But I just thought this is interesting. And in the back of my mind, the thing I was really focused on the most was would this help me get smaller because you have to understand something about the bike racing community in general. And there are some people who are doing things differently now in this industry in the cycling industry, where they’re really promoting, that you need to be properly fueled and recovery, and really just helping cyclists do this in a very healthy way I can think of my friend Jamie Scott in New Zealand, for example, is a nutritionist who does this kind of work, and he’s amazing. So if you’re a cyclist looking for fueling your workouts and not getting crazy obsessed with food, he’s somebody that I can connect you with if you want a recommendation. Nevertheless, I say all this to again illustrate for you if you’re not familiar with the industry, that if you want to essentially get better at bike racing, there are a couple of things you can do. The first one is to get faster. And the type of racing I was doing at the time was cross country racing or endurance racing, both.

In a few years before that, in a previous bike life, I was doing downhill mountain biking, you know, with all the body armor and the full-face helmet and like going out to ski slope on your bike. That kind of stuff. So a little bit on the adrenaline junkie side for sure. But when I sort of got introduced to paleo, I was racing endurance races. So I’m talking 50 miles, eight 910 hour races, 12-hour races, 24-hour races. And to get better on the bike, you have two choices. As I said, the first thing you can focus on is getting faster and for me, it wasn’t, I mean, I never really got a lot faster, I could just go for a long period of time. So I wasn’t a great fast, short-distance racer. The other option is to get lighter. Because the less mass you have to push up the hill, then in theory, the faster you can go. So that became my focus. And when I heard about paleo, I thought, Hmm, I could probably lose weight with this, because I learned a little bit about a low carb way of approaching food. And even back then we’re talking about 12 years ago, people were still touting, you know, obviously, what everybody kind of knew paleo for, which was before keto got really big, which is, this is the best way to lose body fat. And if you consider, again, the type of heavy training I was doing, I can’t think of a worse mismatch in terms of macronutrients and need for keeping on top of energy intake, etc.

But nonetheless, I didn’t have any real knowledge of that at that time. And no one to counsel me away from making that kind of a choice. So I started in 2009, in and around the holidays was sort of when I found out about paleo, and then I said, You know what, I’m gonna, I’m going to have my holiday fun. And then I’m going to start in January. I just want you to think about how diety that sounds because that’s exactly what it was. I did I was doing last supper eating. So last supper eating is when you say okay, I’m going to start my diet, and I’m just going to get it all out of my system. We eat all the foods that I want to eat, so I don’t have to worry about it, I can just have my fill, because I know I’m going to have to restrict. That is how I started off paleo. So you can imagine that’s a very disordered way of approaching food. Nonetheless, I started in January 2010. Now just to back up in the story a tiny bit. As a bike racer, and somebody who loved taking pictures, I had a bike blog. And I would share race reports of races that I did and stories about places that I visited. And I had some great times on the bike as well. So I don’t want you to think it was all bad. But one of the things I would do is I would put recipes that I had made or makeup on my blog. And I had a little canon, elf camera point, and shoots were like the size of a deck of cards. And I would use that to take my bike photos and my food photos. And I started putting food photos on this blog.

Okay, so fast forward back to 2010 January, I decided I was going to do this I took a trash bag, I went through my cabinets, I went through the fridge, I threw out all these foods that were on the no list, right? The Paleo no list. And I said, Okay, this is going to be it. This is going to be the change for me. And that’s how it started. Now what I will say is for me, I did learn some positive things along the way. And I think when you’re deciding whether or not like you’re ready to ease up and find more peace with food and find a way of eating that’s more in the middle ground where you can have your health and your work on your health and also enjoy the foods that you enjoy. I don’t want to use the word balance but you know, finding that middle ground that’s less restrictive, more flexible. I think that it is valuable oftentimes to think about what are the good things that I learned from this because there could be some good things. And for me, paleo was the time where at the beginning especially I learned about embracing The idea of eating fat. I know that sounds so basic. But for me as somebody who, you know, came up, I grew up, I was a kid in the 80s. So I was born in 79. So kids in the 80s kind of took that into the snack wells phase of the 90s. And was petrified to eat fat, petrified to eat dietary fat, I had a very low-fat diet for a very long time. It was the first time that I was not scared to eat fat in my diet, which was huge. It was the first time in a long time that I wasn’t just solely focused on calorie counting.

So there were some good things that I did learn. And I want to acknowledge that. But what I started to see, and it didn’t take very long, but what I’ve started to notice is that I had sort of picked up these heavy suitcases full of my disordered eating beliefs and my beliefs about my body. And I just was hauling them through my experience with paleo. So in about mid-2011, this was about a year and a half after I started, somebody said, you know, you have a blog and you share recipes, you should start a food blog. So I thought, Okay, as you do when you don’t really know any better, or what you’re getting yourself into. So I did, I got to wordpress.com no.org, I can never remember which one is a free one wordpress.com, I think the version of a blog. And I called it stupid, easy paleo. And that’s how it really got started. Now, I was still teaching high school at the time. But I would share recipes that I made my creations that I took photos of my Canon elf point and shoot camera, and it was just a wreck.

But I’ll tell you what, some of those pictures are still on my website today. And I leave them up there because it’s just evidence of growth. Nonetheless, what I started to notice is that as I began to blog, and then eventually, in 2013, I left my teaching job to work full time on stupid, easy paleo, I really started to get hints of the idea that eating a very, very strict version of the Paleo diet was not going to work for me, especially because at the time, I switched from bike racing to competing in CrossFit. So I had a huge energy demand, I needed more carbohydrates to support my activity, and I was terrified to eat carbs. I ate them, but in very small amounts, and I tried to bias toward, you know, green vegetables and things like that, right? Not no carb, dense sources, I certainly was not eating grains. At the time, I was not eating white potatoes. So I was doing a very, very, pretty strict version, of that diet that’s in the Paleo solution book. And what I started to notice, were these, these thoughts that I was having about food and thinking this, this is when I started to become aware of the fact that my thinking around food was occupying a lot of my time. Prior to that, it was just something that happened.

I didn’t have that outside looking in awareness of this is kind of fucked up. But it was around that time that I started to notice I used to get a CSA box. I tell the story all the time. I got a CSA box, which is Community Supported Agriculture. So I paid in to get a box of produce every week, they delivered it to the gym. And one day, I go in to get the box and inside the boxes of watermelon. It was probably picked from the farm that week, or a few days prior, fresh, delicious, refreshing, amazing. And I remember taking the watermelon out of the box and looking around the gym and saying they may want this watermelon. It’s not that I didn’t like watermelon. But it’s that it had been drilled into my head that it was too high in carbohydrates. Again, this is somebody who is training CrossFit at a competitive level five times a week. Do we see the mismatch here?

Right so I started to kind of notice that I needed more carbs to fuel my exercise, but I was still afraid to eat them. And I remember at one point the head coach, the owner of the gym looked at me and was like, What? What’s wrong with you? Sort of in that way of like, why wouldn’t you want to eat this watermelon? What’s wrong with watermelon. And it was just so in my brain at this point that carbs were bad. And it was like I switched the fear of fat for the fear of carbohydrates. But I started to see the cracks. And I started to see that even though I like to make these recipes, I was wanting to branch out and include other ingredients. And I had so many online arguments with people about when I first started putting potatoes, white potatoes into my recipes. And I started to see and started to write about the idea that, well, maybe this is okay for some people. And you know what, maybe if you have a sensitivity to nightshades, it’s not the best source of carbohydrates for you. But is there something really that we should be afraid of with potatoes? I mean, really. And I would have these online arguments with people who would just ask me about potatoes aren’t paleo and then it would be green beans aren’t paleo and it would be peas aren’t paleo. And it just got to the point where there were so many confusing rules. So much bargaining with what was paleo and what wasn’t paleo, and it just got exhausting.

Bring it in for a minute. If you are ready to get free with food and fitness, and I mean, true freedom, not just going back on another reset. If you fall off the wagon, if you’re ready to explore radical permission to listen to your body, and to live life on your terms, the Tune In membership is ready for you. inside of this monthly membership, we learn how to drop extremes when it comes to diet and exercise. You’ll learn how to let your inner wisdom lead, how to take up more space, and ultimately to take the energy that you were spending on the endless quest for body perfection, thanks to the patriarchy, and handle that into being a force for good. All of that happens in a supportive judgment-free community, the mobile app, not on Facebook, and the doors are open for you. So if this sounds like you, please head over to StephGaudreau.com/Insider, we would love to welcome you to the Tune In Membership.

So over the next few years, I had more recipes, and really was focusing on recipe development. And I started paying more attention to the community at this point. All of you, some of you are still here from those days. And you’re also in a sort of a similar journey, where you’ve started to realize that, Hmm, I have all of these food rules and regulations and the food police and sometimes real people in my life who are arguing with me about whether a certain food is paleo or not, or keto or not, or primal or not, or whatever. And I started listening to you all, who were saying things like, I’m just don’t know what to eat anymore. Is this okay? Or is it not okay? Or you’d share with me how you were afraid to eat certain foods, or you felt like all of the restrictions that you put on yourself, were not actually helping you live a fuller life. And in fact, it was keeping you away from celebrating certain things with family or it was keeping you from connecting with your loved ones, or it was making way more work for you because they were suddenly cooking three different dinners for you doing paleo for your spouse who wasn’t paleo for your kids who were picky and had certain preferences.

And I was hearing from you all about how exhausted you were having to try to navigate all of this, and how much much like me, you were thinking about food all the time, worrying about food all the time, and how this what I’ve started as usually something really innocent thinking, well, this helped me feel better. And in some ways, maybe it did. But it was also not healthy for you in your emotional state and your mental health, keeping you from social connections with other people or the community. If you were eating, you’re used to eating and incorporating ethnic foods into your life or culturally significant foods, it was like I can’t eat these all of a sudden, I remember my grandmother, who passed away in 2007, she would, we would always talk about making Polish food and things like that. And I was not paleo at that time. But after she died, we sort of kept those family traditions going, especially Polish Christmas Eve, Wigilia, your polish, you know what that is, and pierogi, and all these significant foods for our family where we tried to carry those traditions. And I remember after she died, and I was paleo, just not participating, the family would be eating it, and I would, I would help cook, but I wouldn’t eat it. And this isn’t about honoring the real, you know, ways that certain foods can make you feel ill or you have to avoid them for allergy reasons, or you have a legitimate intolerance, or you’re on a medically supervised restriction, and your diet. This isn’t that.

So even me on that very, very basic level. And I’m sure if you’re a black person, if you’re indigenous, if you’re a person of color, and you’ve kind of had contact with the Paleo world, or the wellness space in general, like you know that your food choices are often you’re often made to feel less than for your food choices, or that your food choices are wrong because they don’t fit a narrow ideal, or a picture of what quote, wellness or health is, which is usually a very white Eurocentric model. So there were so many things I was starting to notice from my community that made me question whether that was something I wanted to keep doing. And was it healthy for people in a holistic, like a whole body? physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sort of construct was it really was this the thing that I wanted to keep doing. And I started, to adjust and relax what I was eating as well. And that was really my first inkling that something had to change. And just recently, I went back through the blog, and I looked back to the very beginning of all the posts, something like I had over 1000 posts on the web, on the website, on the blog. And it was really looking back at when my language started to change. And when I really started to put it out there that I was thinking differently. And it was about 2016 or so that things were relaxing, I was talking more about making things personalized for you. And eventually, as I went on to become a nutritional therapist to really look at how do we eat in a more bio-individual way. So this is about 2016.

And then 2017, I really started to learn about bigger issues, things like diet culture. And then it all started to make sense. So I’m relatively new to the concept of diet culture. But I started to think about all of the biases that I had. When it came to things like people in bigger bodies, or what is a healthy diet, or how important is food in our overall picture of health, it is important, but it’s not the only thing. I started to learn about the origins of diet culture, which are really rooted in things like anti-black racism and fatphobia, and capitalism, and patriarchy, and very deep, very all-encompassing systems. And that really started to make me a question when I started to learn about that, and I started to learn about the prevalence and the growth of unfortunate growth of eating disorders, and orthorexia. And the fact that many eating disorders began as a diet and sometimes all it takes is one time. One time somebody doesn’t have to be a serial director to develop an eating disorder. And I learned that eating disorders are the most deadly mental illness I started to learn all of these other things about the bigger picture of dieting and what is health? And what are we chasing? here really what like, what are we really doing here, and fad diets and their harm, and how we can approach caring for ourselves without it being restrictive and being an all or nothing kind of scenario and taking the guilt and the shame out of it. And it’s like peeling back an onion. There’s layer upon layer upon layer. What when I started to learn about that, I decided I had to make a choice for me personally, and as a business. And I decided at that moment that I had to embrace another way. And I started to learn about things like intuitive eating.

And so in 2018, at the very beginning of 2018, I woke up in January 2018. I think I even wrote a little blog post about it. And I just, I had been wrestling with this for a good probably 18 months, year to 18 months about what to do. And I woke up in January, I don’t know what it is about January. But I woke up and I said you know what I’m, it’s I have to change. I gotta like burn it down. And it took almost a full year to completely redo the website. Because you got a plan there was when you’re trying to revamp, at that point, eight-year-old website, roughly, there’s got to clean up a lot of trash. There was just a week if you’re interested in websites and stuff, you can message me about it. But there was just a lot of structure and a lot of change that had to happen. A lot of planning. I was finishing up my nutritional therapy program that year. And it was really kind of the beginning of this, this new phase and leaving paleo behind. And so I rebranded. Stupid, Easy Paleo Steph became myself, Steph Gaudreau.

And I remember on Instagram of that year, 2018, June 2018, I was super stressed, sweating, you know, I think my whole entire shirt was sweated through, and I was going to make the change on Instagram. Now shout out to everybody who remembers when I had two accounts. If you remember that I had two accounts. At one point in 2016 and 2017, I had two websites. This is how much of a schism I had in my brain about this and how it kind of what do I do here? You know, I learned all this new stuff, I’m starting to learn that what I thought was a way of eating and being healthy. And like I learned all these other things that go into it, diet, culture, and diet industry. And I was so conflicted about it what to do, I actually made a second website. So I had stupid easy paleo with food, food recipes on one. And then I had StephGaudreau.com, which at that point was exploring some of these other topics I wrote an article called weight loss or health game, you know, we’re really focusing on the wrong thing here are we? How do we even measure? Are we like tasting weight loss as the be-all-end-all? I mean, it was starting to have to talk about it back then.

And running two websites proved to be too difficult. So I put them back together in 2017. And then in 2018, decided to No, I can’t, I have to just go forward with it. So that’s what I did. And in June 2018, I changed my Instagram handle and almost overnight lost 10s of 1000s of people from the community, which is fine. I’m a huge proponent of if something doesn’t. If you’re not aligned to something anymore, then yeah, you have the freedom to unfollow and curate your feed the way that supports you the best. And all told, it’s been about 60,000 people who have left, which is a pretty big number. But again, that’s fine. But that was the beginning of the change. And then in November of 2018 is when I really had the new website came out. So that’s kind of the story. And then in 2019, I got officially certified as an intuitive eating counselor through Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, who are the writers of the intuitive eating book. So that’s really how it’s progressed. You just got kind of my life story in a nutshell here in this episode, and it’s a bit longer than some of the others in this season, but I wanted to really share with you the full entire story.

And so here we are in 2021 People are still asked, I still get direct messages from people asking me if a sir I don’t post food on my Instagram stories all that much anymore. But the other day I posted a pizza, because I had to so through intuitive eating, as I took myself through the framework, I realized I had to make peace with carbs and bread, especially over the years, I started to incorporate more carbs back in like rice and brew. And like, I used to be afraid of eating fucking banana. Not afraid of eating fucking banana anymore. I’ve got to actually sitting here next to me that is getting a little like brown on the banana scale. But that’s just one example. I had to actually take myself through as I reclaim my inner intuitive eater. I had to take myself through making peace with some of these foods that I just had put on this horrible path to the horrible pedals pedestal. We have some foods that are on a virtuous pedestal, I had the horrible pedestal right of all the foods that were horrible for me and just sinful and guilt-ridden and unhealthy and, and I had to make peace with that. And the bread was one of those foods. So the other day, last week, I think I put up a picture of this delicious pizza that we occasionally get from a place here in San Diego. And somebody messaged me and asked is that paleo and I just want like, I don’t know what the intention of the question was. I don’t know if it was somebody who wanted a gluten-free crust recipe and thought it might be that or was sort of admonishing or just I don’t even know, I don’t know what the intention was. But I was just kind of had a laugh and think, why am I still getting these questions and, and that’s the thing that I grapple with.

As I look at things like my website, or the things that I talk about on social media, I hope at this point, if you follow me on Instagram, or you got my newsletter, or you’ve been listening to this podcast, you know that things have shifted, but I realized that it’s a message that I have to keep repeating. And I still get questions all the time. Are you paleo? Is that paleo that you’re eating? Sometimes I still run into people, although not as much since COVID. And I’m not going to very many places. But I still would get questions. Are you stupid, easy paleo? And I just realized how much that stuff sticks in people’s minds. I also get questions. Like, what happened to all your recipes, they’re still on the website. Now, if you Google “Stupid, Easy Paleo”, or you put it into your web browser, you type in the URL, it redirects to StephGaudreau.com. It’s essentially the same website. But we’ve changed it over. So Stupid, Easy Paleo doesn’t really exist anymore. But one of the things I had to do over the last year or two years is really starting combing through some of those recipes. They’re all still on the website.

But I’ve had to remove it because this is what keeps me in integrity with what I’m talking about. Now. I’ve had to remove certain dietary designations, and rename recipe titles even and take paleo out of them. There’s probably still some work to be done there. But that’s just some of the stuff that goes into making that shift. So yeah, the recipes are still there. I mean, food is food and food is delicious. And all of that content remains. But what I’ve had to do is, is to start infusing more for you so that you can understand how, how do we navigate like how do we care about our health, which if you have the resources to do is wonderful. And just to note, not everybody has the same resources and accessibility, and the ability to do those things. But if you do care about that stuff, and you do want to eat well, it’s not like you have to make an either-or-decision. And I think that’s my biggest point to you today is learning to find the wiggle room, removing the guilt and the shame, recognizing that some of these smaller dietary choices are not going to cause you some kind of like crazy significant harm. Now if you’re a celiac and you eat gluten, of course, you’re not going to feel good, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about like, Oh, I ate, you know, a piece of fruit so I fucked it up like we have to stop this. This is not helping people in any way. way, shape or form. So I would love to be part of the solution. Right?

Where we’re thinking about our health, yes, if that’s important to us, and it’s a priority, knowing it’s not a moral obligation. But yeah, we want to feel good in our bodies energetic, we want to have the brain space to do the things that we care about and live our lives and reclaim, reclaim our energy, reclaim our time that we’re spending so invested and doing food and exercise perfectly, and we’re not living our lives. That is what I’m here to do. I’m here to get rid of this all or nothing with food, to help you see that your health is more than just your physical body, to help you really come back to yourself, and know that you’ve always been worthy no matter what your body size or appearance or shape or you’ve changed is. And that’s what I care about. So yes, some of the same recipes are still around. Yes, things are always changing.

But I hope this has given you some insight as to what I do now, which is really to help people embrace this middle ground with eating and find a more peaceful way of eating. And that’s how I’ve gotten here. It’s been a bit of a long story. But I wanted to share that with you so that it clears up any questions that you might have. It walks you through very transparently that we change, not only do we change in terms of our bodies, but we oftentimes change in terms of what we know, is going on in the world. And we see things differently. And we get to decide do I want to incorporate that new information? Or do I want to put my head in the sand? Do I want to see things from multiple viewpoints? And how ultimately Am I going to make the choice to help other people in the way that I best know-how?

So that’s the story, how we’ve gotten here, especially what the last couple of years have been like and what really led up to my decision to not be paleo anymore. I would love to hear what you think about this episode. So definitely reach out on Instagram send me a direct message I know that I have not only do I have a podcast and have a website for you. But I have tools, and resources, and programs I’ve specifically designed for you to start making the transition into a more intuitive way of eating, which by the way, you’ve always been an intuitive eater, you were born that way. Maybe not consistently since you were born. But that is your natural state that is our natural state is to be intuitive eaters. So if you’re interested in learning how to come back to that, or if you’re just seeking some strategies so that you’re not thinking about food 24/7, and you can just live your life and enjoy your life. I have things like the mindful eating tool. I have things like my emotional eating workshop, my membership, and one-on-one coaching spots. So please reach out, see how I can help you. Don’t try to do this alone. peeling back these layers. There are a lot of layers to peel back. You don’t do it all in one day. You need support, diet, culture is still going to exist. It’s going to make you question yourself. So get the support you need.

Tell me what you thought about this episode. Did you see yourself reflected in this story at all in the broader themes of taking disordered beliefs and views about food into different phases of your life? What was that like for you? I’d really love to know your story. So reach out on Instagram and let me know in the DMS. All right, my friend next week, I am going to be back with some of the deeper ways that diet culture keeps you stuck. And what we can do about it, because I’m all about solutions. So until next week, be a kick-ass human be amazing and I’ll talk to you soon.

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Hi, I'm Steph!

Lord of the Rings nerd, cold brew drinker, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more, not less: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.

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