It’s no secret that I love Danielle Walker and her influence in the Paleo space. She is so smart and creative with her recipes. What I love most is that she really makes eating gluten and dairy free easy and accessible for regular, everyday people. It no longer seems intimidating or impossible to change your way of eating with her recipes.
I was so excited when I got the opportunity to attend her cookbook tour in Atlanta. I was fortunate enough to score VIP tickets, which included an awesome swag bag and also a meet-and-greet with Danielle. I’m so happy to report that Danielle is just as sweet and genuine, if possible, even more so, than what you see on social media and her blog. When meeting her, she didn’t just want to sign the book, take a quick picture, and send you on your way. She really wanted to hear everyone’s story. She didn’t rush anyone, asked lots of questions, and made everyone feel so special and appreciated for making an effort to attend the event. The event was also extremely well run. Everything started exactly on time and was so well organized, which is something I really appreciate. This tour was unlike any other book tour that has been done. It wasn’t just standing in a line and having the author sign your book. Everyone got a signed copy of the cookbook included with the price of the ticket. The night included a happy hour with drinks and hors d’oeuvre. In addition to some samples offered by the sponsors of the tour, Bare Snacks and The New Primal, we were also served butterscotch pudding with a snicker doodle cookie, sweet potato fries, and cauliflower hummus all from the new cookbook.
Danielle came on stage and shared all about her health issues and how she healed herself through food. She also had a special guest on stage where they did a cooking demo together and then did a Q&A with the audience. The special guest she had in her Atlanta stop was author, Annie Downs, who I LOVE. I’ve read all of Annie’s books and she is so wise…and hilarious! Annie has PCOS, which she spoke about onstage and since I also have that same diagnosis, I really enjoyed hearing her take on it. Throughout the night, I gained so many bits of wisdom, insight, and inspiration and I’d like to share those with you below.
- The first is something I think everyone on the planet knows on some level, however, it was so good to be reminded of this through very personal and painful stories that Annie and Danielle shared. Food controls so much of how we feel day in and day out. We can literally change our lives through the foods we consume! I firmly believe that food can be the most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison depending on how we choose to eat. I was reminded of this over and over again throughout the evening and it inspired me to really get serious about making the best food choices I can because my life and well being, quite literally, depends on it.
- Most of us have been taught to listen to our doctors and do exactly what they say. I want to preface this by first saying that I’m so thankful for so many wonderful doctors out there that truly have their patient’s best interest in mind, however, many doctors are not properly trained in nutrition. The problem with our medical system is that we have a medication for every possible ailment, however, those medications are only masking symptoms and not treating the root cause. Despite being told that food does nothing to change your disease, Danielle, after years of hospitalizations and debilitating symptoms, made the decision to change her diet and her symptoms significantly improved within 48 hours. She is off all her medication, despite being told she’s putting her life in jeopardy by doing so, yet she hasn’t been hospitalized in an entire decade. All of this is possible by her food choices. Doctors are good people and they can be tremendous allies as we heal our bodies, but they don’t know you like you know you. If you aren’t happy with what your doctor has prescribed, it’s okay to seek out other options and treatments that suit you.
- The most profound thing that was said all night, at least in my opinion, what something that Annie spoke of. She said that one day she realized that she had a disease (PCOS) that she has the ability to control through food. She doesn’t have cancer or something of that affect that controls her, but she can control her condition based on her food choices, and what a gift that is. AMEN!! So often I can get down on my diagnosis. I think, “Man, it must be nice to be able to eat anything and not have to worry about the consequences; I wonder what it’s like to not have to worry about how your hormones are going to go bizerk if you eat certain things; I’m really craving pasta, but boy, my mood really suffers after I eat an entire plate of carbs; Pizza sounds so good for dinner tonight but my stomach looks like I’m 7 months pregnant after eating a couple of slices.” I’ve had all of these exact thoughts just over the last few days. I have to think about what I put in my body because my hormones don’t function properly on their own. I admit, it can be incredibly exhausting because it takes up a ton of mental space, but I’m so grateful that I can control how I feel through what I put in my body. And just like Annie said, that is a true gift!
- I’m going to add in one more tidbit for you, for no extra charge. Danielle said that the only thing she uses her hand mixer for anymore is to shred chicken. Did you know you can do this?? I had no idea, and I tried it as soon as I got home…and it works! It’s a game-changer! No more standing over a steaming pot with two forks getting splattered by the hot liquid! My life will never be the same after learning this cooking tip!