‘(Paleo) has impacted my life in so many positive ways’

When Lisa Orlandella first heard about the Paleo diet, she wasn’t a fan of it.Lisa
No grains, no dairy, no sugar — no way.
Lisa already felt like she was a healthy eater, so there was no reason to try the Caveman diet. Then a trip to the doctor revealed she had high cholesterol. Despite doing CrossFit for a few months, her health was still poor.
Then she heard about a Paleo Challenge at No Excuses CrossFit and decided to give the whole Paleo diet a trial run.
“My husband (Mark) was very supportive and helped me prepare Paleo meals and started juicing all kinds of horrible things,” Lisa said. “I noticed a difference immediately. When I was awake, I was really awake. So much for my alleged healthy eating habits.”
In 1999, Lisa was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, which is a thyroid disease. The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins and controls other hormones. With Graves’ disease, it causes the thyroid to enlarge to twice its size or larger and causes increased heartbeat, muscle weakness, disturbed sleep and irritability.
Lisa’s doctor prescribed her several pills to take daily, which shut down her metabolism and caused weight gain.
After getting off the medication roller coaster she found a doctor who agreed to treat her thyroid with radioactive iodine, in essence, killing it. She has to take Synthroid daily to replace her thyroid function and it has taken several years to regulate her thyroid levels.
Once Lisa was able to regulate her medication, she was on a quest for fitness. She was always active in Jazzercise and various boot camps. Then in January of 2012, she received an e-mail from Groupon to No Excuses CrossFit.
She was hesitant to use it and waited until it nearly expired before joining CrossFit in June. At the time her cholesterol hovered around 185.
In November, after just a few months of CrossFit, her cholesterol was 190, her triglycerides were 76 and her thyroid levels were at 2.15. It was time to change her eating habits and that’s when Lisa signed up for the New Years Paleo Challenge.
When it ended in March, Lisa lost two percent body fat and had the most reps out of everyone in the challenge WOD. Her improvements also showed at the doctor’s office where her cholesterol dropped to 165, her triglycerides were 43 and her thyroid levels dropped to .53.
The doctor was so impressed with her improvement that she doesn’t have to go back until the end of the year for a check-up. Lisa’s response to her change in health was simple.
“I told them the Paleo diet and CrossFit were the culprits and I have continued to do both,” Lisa said. “I never thought I would be a fan of Paleo when I first heard of it, but it has impacted my life in so many positive ways I can’t stop now.”