I’m a working mother to two small children: Charlotte the beautiful soul prone to histrionics who is 6 and Sawyer, the blond-haired blue-eyed sweet devil boy who is 4. I’m a Senior Editor working for a large publishing company, so when my husband’s job relocated us from NJ to Iowa, I was thankfully able to keep my position and telecommute full-time.

Even if it means I literally see corn out of my window.

So most days I wear yoga pants and T-shirts. And because I care about the general public, I’ll put on a bra if I leave the house. You’re welcome.

Ten years ago, I embarked on a weight-loss journey that took me down many roads with ups and downs, back-to-back pregnancies, and a failed sense of health and sustainability. You can see the photos here. Sure, I could lose weight eating low-fat cheese and 900 calories a day or counting Points but I wanted to hurl myself off a cliff. Eventually, having a hard time losing the weight after the move and the second baby, my new doctor suggested I look into low-carb as a way of treating my PCOS, which carries with it Insulin Resistance. With research, I found the Primal Blueprint and Paleo and so much suddenly made so much sense.

From there I picked up anything written by Michael Pollan and my interest and passion for Real/Whole Foods eating spun off. I started Crossfit at a local box because I had heard such great things of it in the community. It is by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, ever. I push myself to my limits, physically and mentally, almost every day and that changes a person. In this community, I have found a new family and I am thankful everyday for these people. I am a better wife and mother for it. I am a better me for it.

Eventually, I started a website to talk about my new lifestyle and share the recipes I was coming up with.  But keeping that up along with my “mommy” blog became a lost labor. My kids were growing older and I felt I was beginning to walk a fine line in telling their stories publicly and my passion for cooking and nutrition and Whole Foods was taking precedence in my life. So I developed this site as a way to keep everything harmonious. This is a place where all of me is shared.

My weight-loss struggle has finally been met with success and I’ve finally hit the lowest weight I’ve seen in almost 8 years, and what’s more: I did it the right way. Eating whole foods, avoiding inflammatory foods and packaged/processed artificial foods, and lifting heavy stuff. I have changed my life and the lifestyle of my family for the better.

Though they fight most of the time they’re awake, I plan on being around to watch them fight for a long, long time.

Here’s a video from last year at BlogHer Food my friend Lillian from Lillian’s Test Kitchen created as part of a Food Warrior Series. I talk about how I came to Paleo eating and what it means for my family, how it is raising gluten-intolerant kids, PCOS, etc.

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  1. Wanted to let you know your pumpkin muffins were a big hit! I personal train and am a food coach (clean food – genesistransformation.com), gave a muffin to a client and she loved it! I am making lara bars today to take to Bible Study small group Thursday. I added 2 scoops of protein powder and eliminated the flour and they turned out great. Learned to spray the parchment paper with Pam so I could peel the bars loose :) I have an awesome recipe for Chocolate Yam muffins if you want it. A fellow food coach gave it to me and I tweeked it. Your new beef with onion recipe was very good also. So hard to find beef broth that is low sodium. Did the onions in only 3T of butter in my cast iron skillet. You can see my story on genesistransformation.com “transformation” page, before and after. Been in maintenance and then put myself back in rotation to lose 5 more lbs and end at 125. Never been so strong and healthy and I am 55 yrs old!

    • mamamojo

      Where are these pumpkin muffins you speak of? I looked under muffins and breads and can’t find these. I’d love to try!

  2. Lou Ann

    Both my daughter and I have food allergies. Your story resonated with both of us. I ultimately found the “secret” to hassle-free restaurant dining, albeit when she was in high school. I didn’t need it for her, but it’s completely resolved the issue for me. It was so easy and simple, I am amazed at how a 2 1/2 x 4 inch piece of laminated paper that I carry around in my purse can be so powerful. On the “card” appear the words: WARNING! FOOD ALLERGIES followed by a very specific list of food items that are verboten. I simply hand this to the server before I place my order and ask him or her to take it to the chef for clarification as to what, if anything, I can have on their menu. There have been a few restaurants (we travel alot, where there simply is nothing they can provide. I leave. Most chefs, however, are quite good about putting together something for me. Some really get into it. (The more expensive places, typically.)
    When it’s in writing, they don’t have to think; all the information is right there for them. For example, I cannot have vinegar. I include on the card marinades (since most are made with vinegar) and mayonnaise, since that condiment cannot be made without vinegar.
    With gluten, you can list some common items that you know to contain gluten, but that the average person might not. You can also state: IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF THE INGREDIENTS IN ANY ITEM, PLEASE DO NOT USE WITHOUT FIRST CHECKING WITH ME.
    Showing your daughter how to deal with her allergies in a positive, business like, matter of fact way, is a great gift to her.

    • AndreAnna

      Yes! In our welcome packed for the Celiac Group, it explained to us how we could get these “dining cards” and how to use them. I am definitely getting them!

  3. Boris Leite Poço

    Hi Anna,

    Your blog has been very inspiring to me, since it was one of the first i discovered in my search for information on the primal lifestyle. Your recipes have brought back the joy of eating.
    Primal eating has changed my life so drastically that i decided to make it the centrepoint of my life. Me and my husband have worked very hard for months to realise our dream: three weeks ago we opened a Paleo restaurant, here in Berlin, Germany. Your recipes are inspiring us to make the most delicious desserts. Thank you so much for our wonderful blog. Keep up the great work! If you ever make it to Europe we’ll be so proud to have you as our guest of honour at our little restaurant.


  4. Deborah Koland

    Last night I made your (and your husband’s) Twice Cooked Chicken and Cabbage Stir Fry for my husband and my sister, who is visiting from out of town. Both of them are great cooks. I only follow recipes. I had printed the recipe a couple of months ago, finding your site by accident. It said it was “easy,” and so I thought I’d give it a shot. What a SUCCESS is was. Oh my, it was good. They both liked it a lot, my husband said, “You can make that every Tuesday!” So thank you, very much, for something so yummy and easy. I’ve marked another recipe to try next, my husband loves figs and we both like goat cheese, so I’m going to try the Fig and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Caramelized Onions next. I had a few minutes today to look around your site a little bit. Boy, do I need to come back here and read more! Really liked The Crossfitter’s Hands that you wrote. I’ll be back soon. Thank you for sharing yourself and your recipes.

  5. Amy


    Here I am in the same shoes. Diagnosed with Leaky Gut Syndrome and Insulin Resistance. Thirty pounds overweight. Went GF 4 weeks ago. Started Paleo 1 week ago. Begin Crossfit tomorrow. You are an inspiration to me, because… well, you are like me. I am sick of this. I am tired of being sick. I am tired of being exhausted all the time. It is time to change. And just reading your thoughts and struggles has given me the extra nudge I needed. I am NOT alone. I CAN do this. It WILL be hard. But SO, SO worth it. I feel the winds of change blowing. Now I just need to let my hair down and enjoy the journey. Thank you.

  6. How have I not seen your blog before today? Your recipes look delish and I love how you incorporate all parts of living a holistic lifestyle.

    I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve put you on my blogroll.


  7. I just found your blog from the link you Tweeted to your before/after post, and I’m so glad to be here! I’ve been waffling with paleo, and I was having a hard time getting past the decades of hearing how fat is bad, bad, bad. Your story gives me the nudge I needed to get serious about paleo/primal eating. Thank you.

  8. Hi AndreAnna, How can I get ahold of you? Do you have an email address? Thx!

  9. Michele

    I have had to go on a diet more restrictive than the Primal diet for food allergies but the Primal is where a I go for ideas but I was so bummed about losing the Thanksgiving stuffing I can’t begin to tell you. You have saved my Thanksgiving! Thank you soooooo much! I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am now!

  10. Sally phillips

    Hey miss andreanna,
    I’d love fir you to visit our website and let me know if we can offer you a prize (gift certificate?) for your Paleo challenge winner…… Our tagline, ” it’s about getting better”.
    Check us out-

    Love what u do!!!!

  11. Glad I found you, I’m always looking for great new paleo recipes. And you have other fun stuff to boot. Those coconut lime muffins look awesome.

  12. The network stands out as the mass of blogs using the same content but frankly stay with this blog. It is usually sensational!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘1863413376 which is not a hashcash value.

  13. I came across your blog and love it! I would like to know the food tracker program you use– Looks very cool. Thanks!

  14. Michele

    It was fun to see a shout-out to an older post of yours on a blog that I also follow: http://www.theminimalistmom.com/2012/05/americandream/

  15. Hi, been watching your site for months now and thought I would tell you how great you look! Proud of the rope climb and keep going! I’m finally going to go on the Paleo diet! Thanks for the inspiration for this 60yr old grandma!

  16. “And because I care about the general public, I’ll put on a bra if I leave the house. You’re welcome.”

    SO awesome! I feel the same way

  17. Love your dedication to healthy foods.

    A client recently forward me your site, as I had suggested she cut out a lot more corn-based foods and sugars out of her child’s diet. I prefer not to get into food discussions with clients, but her child’s eyesight was getting worse rapidly, and there is a family history of blood sugar problems.

    With your site as her template, she is now well on her way of getting the food things under control. So …. thanks for taking the time to put all of this wonderful content online!

  18. Hey would you ideas discussing which blog site program you’re working with? I’m looking to start with my own blog site soon but I’m having difficulties determining between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The purpose I ask is because your look seems different then most weblogs and I’m looking for something different. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!


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