From Sickness To Health Through The Paleo Diet: Emma’s Story

Sickness To Health Through The Paleo Diet: Emma's Story
Yvette Le Grew

Lifestyle Writer

Nov 04, 2016

Paleo this, Paleo that…it may be one of the hottest diet trends around at the moment with celebrity supporters like chef Pete Evans, Jessica Biel, Orando Bloom and Gwyneth Paltorw but it’s also gaining huge momentum in its ability to bring ailing bodies back into good health. 

Mum and Paleo-lover Emma Risvanis is a shining example of the healing benefits of following the Paleo way of eating and living. After being diagnosed with postpartum Hashimoto’s disease – an autoimmune condition – she discovered she was able to manage her disease without medication and drastically improve the health of her whole family, who also follow the same Paleo clean eating principles. The Paleo approach claims to be one of the most natural diets on earth, and followers claim that it’s the one likeliest to support optimum physical and emotional health for the best quality of life. 

Here’s Emma’s story…

Emma what triggered you to change your lifestyle and focus so heavily on health?

I was feeling overweight and lethargic. I was also diagnosed with post partum Hashimotos, which is an autoimmune condition that affected my thyroid function. On top of that both of my kids were unwell. My son had suffered from chronic tonsillitis ever since he started eating solids, and my daughter had trouble with her sinuses and found it difficult to breath through her nose. She also had a rash behind her knees that wouldn’t go away. I knew something wasn’t right and something had to change.

What was the first step?

I did some research and decided to quit sugar. I started to feel better and dropped some weight. I learned that gluten can cause a strain on the thyroid so I eliminated that too.

Why did you eventually become a follower of Paleo?

The more I researched the more the word ‘paleo’ kept popping up. It seemed to fit what I was looking for. It means no gluten, no grain, no processed food and no refined sugar. Once I decided that was the way for me there was no looking back. Before long those excess kilos were gone, I started sleeping well, my hair became super shiny and my skin even glows. The paleo diet is high in ‘good fat’, which also helps improve skin and hair. It also keeps you satiated longer so you don’t feel the need to snack all the time.

Did your family come on board?

Yes they had to – I do the shopping and cooking! I can honestly tell you that since cutting out the crap my son has not had one single bout of tonsillitis. We have not had a single course of antibiotics in years. My daughter’s rash disappeared and she can now breathe through her nose. We rarely get colds.

My husband was the last to come around. He was brought up on white bread! He is now the fittest and healthiest he has ever been. He doesn’t even snore any more. He has washboard abs and no belly fat (hello!). He feels great.

Why do you think paleo works so well?

Honestly I think we were created to eat real, unprocessed food. Modern diets high in refined sugar and wheat or flour put our systems under enormous strain. Once you eliminate that stress our bodies function effortlessly. I really think a lot of modern illnesses are modern diet related. Cut out the crap and many people will cut out the illness too.

What is your advice to people considering giving Paleo a go?

Do it! You won’t regret it. There’s a lot of information about it online now. Do your research. Follow people on social media that are into paleo – they will give you great free advice and great recipes too. If it all seems too daunting try it for 30 days. Take note of the differences in your body and your mind. You may even find your emotional wellbeing is improved too.

Emma Risvanis is the co-owner of Paleo Pure, a business she founded after her lifestyle changes lead her down the paleo path.

How To Go Paleo

Paleo Promotes: 

  • The minimisation of sugary and starchy foods.
  • The moderation of protein intake.
  • The liberal consumption of fibrous vegetables and greens (raw, lightly cooked and/or fermented/cultured), nuts, seeds, eggs (if tolerant).
  • AS MUCH DIETARY NATURAL FAT as is needed to satisfy the appetite and support the healthiest brain and nervous system.
  • An occasional very small amount of seasonal fruit is purely optional.

Paleo Avoids: 

Grains, legumes, conventional dairy products, conventionally raised meats, non-organic produce, GMO’s and processed food.

Paleo Embraces: 

100% organic, humanely raised pasture-fed-and-finished meats and organs (sustainable as a food supply and healthiest for the human body and the planet).

Paleo Advocates:

  • Nose-to-tail eating: not just “steaks” but all the bits that chefs love to work with and eat.
  • Wild caught seafood: from unpolluted waters.
  • Free-range poultry and pork: with no hormones or antibiotics.
  • Wild game (if available).
  • Organically grown produce, nuts, seeds and healthy sources of natural fats.

The Paleo Way information provided by Chef Pete Evans 

Paleo Butternut Squash & Bacon Soup

Click here for this recipe.

Mum and Paleo-lover Emma Risvanis is a shining example of the healing benefits of following the Paleo way of eating and living


By Yvette Le Grew

Lifestyle Writer

Yvette Le Grew is the former Online Editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly, former Head of Digital Content at Westfield & freelance fashion, travel, health & lifestyle writer for titles across the UK, Asia and Australia. Yvette now contributes 'at large' for



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