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Nell’s Bio

I’m one of the collaborators of The Paleo Diet Cookbook with Dr. Loren Cordain, PhD and Lorrie Cordain, and the author of Paleoista, Gain Energy, Get Lean and Feel Fabulous with the Diet You Were Born to Eat, (A Touchstone Book, Simon & Schuster 2012). 

I am Nell Stephenson, the original Paleoista.

What is Paleoista?  

It’s a term I coined, trademarked and used in the title of my first solo book which comes from a hybrid of two words: Paleo and fashionista.

Paleo is a reference to The Paleo Diet, a manner of eating which includes plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, lean, clean proteins and healthy fats.  Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?  

Fashionista comes into play as a representation of another component not only of my own personae, but of many, many clients, women and men alike, with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years.  

Style and confidence, combined with eating real food and moving has proven, time and time again, to be the winning formula for one to follow in order to be incredibly healthy, have ridiculous amounts of energy and, by the way, to achieve that lean body you’ve always wanted, all the while eating an amazing variety of beautiful foods and never feeling as though you’re depriving yourself, or feeling as though something is missing.

Combining my education (BS in Exercise Science from USC and culinary school), over fifteen years experience working with clients as a private fitness trainer and nutritional consultant, my Paleo expertise and proprietary modern approach to Paleo living, I talk the talk, walk the walk and am the go-to gal to refer to as a resource for anything and everything related to implementing Paleo into the lives of anyone who is interested in achieving their optimal health.

Dr. Cordain himself put it best when he kindly regarded our working relationship as something akin to that demonstrated in the film Julie & Julia.

Not interested in the ‘caveman’ approach?  Neither am I. Yes, I’m an athlete, but I’m still feminine. It’s LouBoutins over Vibrams for me, and it doesn’t stop at the shoes!  

Who ever said that eating real food and moving had to be exclusive of being fashion forward, modern and cool?

Counseling clients online across the globe on their newly ‘Paleo-ized’ diets, speaking to groups both large and small about the benefits of going Paleo, hosting Paleo cooking demos, writing for several online publications and working on my own books are but a few examples of my comprehensive arsenal of Paleo tools utilized on a daily basis to work towards my long term career goal: to change the way America eats!

Why I Went Paleo…

In 2004, I contracted a parasite during an Ironman race.  I sought medical advice and accepted my prescription for Flagyl right away, but continued to feel worse and worse. After six months, I was at my wits end. I began to research online and, through trial and error,  discovered I had developed an intolerance to gluten. Despite having spent six months visiting doctors and specialists (none of whom asked anything about my diet) and going to the E/R on more than one occasion, left to my own devices, I figured it out on my own.

I’d previously always eaten a ‘healthy’ diet with lots of veggies and fruit… as well as plenty of ‘good old’ whole grains, legumes (lots of soy and peanuts when I was vegan for two years!) and organic dairy.  I was a ‘fit’ age group athlete on the outside, but on the inside, my GI system seemed to be rapidly progressing from the mildly annoying stomachaches I’d had for years in varying degrees, to suddenly being doubled over in pain after every single snack or meal, for months!

Long story short… I stumbled across The Paleo Diet, read it, and began following it straight away.

I felt better in three days.

I wrote to Dr. Cordain to simply thank him for his work and tell him what a gift it had been to me to discover it, and to share with my clients.

He wrote back, and the rest is history!

It’s been since 2005 and there’s no reverting.  

I started my ‘all things Paleo blog’ in 2007.  I invite you to peruse through at your convenience as I share my story, and my journey from not Paleo (pre 2005) to ‘mostly Paleo’ (as you’ll see in earlier posts, when I still ate the occasional bowl of rice cereal, ‘green powder’ and vitamins with fillers… before I knew better!) to where I am today, intermingled with posts including recipes, topics in the media relating to health and food, reader’s questions and a little bit of every Paleo topic you might think of!

Paleo living is the way to live!