My Story

For the purposes of this website, my life was pretty boring until 2005. And then at the age of 24, out of nowhere, I had a stroke.


2005 – a few months after the stroke

I had always considered myself to be pretty healthy, and had no major health issues prior to that. The stroke occurred as a result of a lesion (most likely a blood clot) in the right side of my pons. I lost fine motor function on my left side, which was not very fun considering that I’m left handed. Besides having to learn how to walk again, I had to re-learn how to write, play guitar, hold a fork, etc. Luckily, my young brain quickly recovered, and after a couple months of physical therapy I was pretty much back to normal. A lot of excellent doctors treated me, but no one ever figured out what caused the stroke.


2006 – hospitalized for a month for autoimmune diagnosis

A little over a year later I noticed that I was having a hard time exercising. I kept thinking I was just way out of shape. It got so bad that I was out of breath even from walking, so I went to the doctor. I then spent the next month or so living in a hospital, being tested for a wide range of possibilities – long story short is they settled on a narrowing of my pulmonary arteries, most likely caused by inflammation, that was causing my shortness of breath. I was diagnosed with the rare autoimmune disease Takayasu’s Arteritis, which is characterized by the narrowing of arteries due to inflammation (but only rarely in the pulmonary arteries). The cause of this disease, like most autoimmune diseases, is not known. So then I spent a year on heavy immunosuppressant therapy; we tried a wide range of steroids and other scary drugs, and they worked for the most part. I would still get winded upon exertion, but I could at least function.


2007 – about a week after surgery

In the fall of 2007 I went to California to have a pulmonary re-sectioning surgery performed, where the doctors would remove the inflamed tissue surrounding my arteries and enlarge the arteries using parts of a cow’s pericardium. I often joke that I sometimes crave grass. It’s a pretty scary procedure, something they call a standstill operation – in order to get to the arteries, they had to perform a full cardiopulmonary bypass, deep hypothermia and full cardiac arrest. As you can imagine, when you’re clinically dead for 8 hours there’s a pretty good chance you won’t come back. It was a scary moment in my life, and I am so grateful for my supportive wife and family for being there to help me through it. I made it out okay and now I have a killer scar and some crazy stories. Unfortunately, it didn’t ease my symptoms – I was on the same amount of medication with little or no improvement.


2007 – immunosuppressant steroids caused weight gain and other side effects

Flash forward to 2010. My continuous steroid and immunosuppressant medication therapy was starting to take its toll, even though I was trying to slowly taper off the steroids. I felt lousy almost all of the time, and worse still was the fact that I couldn’t foresee it getting any better. I then happened across an article that mentioned this crazy diet modeled after cavemen that eliminated grains, and it could reverse autoimmune symptoms. Within a week I had devoured The Paleo Solution and just about every Paleo resource I could find, and switched my diet. My inflammation markers decreased significantly within a month.


2011 – about six months after adopting the Paleo diet

Since then things have been much better. I’m not cured – there’s no mistaking that I still have a serious autoimmune condition – but the Paleo diet has absolutely helped. I started exercising for the first time since 2006. I was able to get off of steroid therapy, which was causing all sorts of side effects (weight gain, brittle bones, memory issues, shingles, and so on). Lastly, my wife and son have joined me on this crazy journey, which gives me comfort that we’ll all three live long, healthy lives.

99 Responses to “My Story”

  1. Nancy February 4, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    What an incredible story. I know a man in his 30′s who just had a stroke and they are suspecting MS also. He has lost 2 chunks of time in his memory, like his wedding and birth of his kids :’(
    So sad.
    I will be passing your story onto him as well as the Paleo info.
    Holding on good thoughts for you to regain 100% wholeness- sounds like you are on the right track!

    • Maria February 12, 2014 at 10:03 am #

      Nancy, I am just reading this. Not sure if your friend with MS has got any better. Here is another solid reference regarding MS and significant improvements through diet…also Paleo with small adjustments (no eggs). Check Dr. Terry Wahls website and her book Minding My Mitochondria. http://www.terrywahls.com/

  2. Esther Bergling February 4, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Such a brave and encouraging story!

  3. Kathy Smith Crandall February 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    I am SO thankful that Janey was ALWAYS by your side as you went on that roller coaster ride ! <3

  4. Parker February 6, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    Incredible story, brother. Thank you for choosing to use your struggles and triumphs as a catalyst for education and enlightenment. Yours has been one of the handful of websites that have served as an invaluable resource for me as my wife and I adopted the paleo principals for ourselves.

  5. The Style Dancer March 2, 2012 at 2:10 am #

    Thanks for sharing your story and for creating your blog. Great recipes, great photography and commentary. Keep it up.

  6. Karen March 2, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    Awesome story!!!! I’m on day 3 of paleo and about to make poi and round roast (from your recipes) for my family of 5 for dinner tonight – excited!!! Praying for continued recovery for you! Thank you for your fabulous website.

  7. Leila March 6, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Hi – I got here from Highbrow Paleo. Yours is an amazing story & I thank you for sharing it. My son had a stroke last summer at age 26 shortly after shunt revision surgery. He had/has minor effects on his right side and has mostly recovered. I would love it if he decided to take an interest in paleo, no luck so far but I keep hoping!

  8. superdeluxe March 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    You have been so much in such a short period of time. I really hope that this lifestyle will continue to help improve some of the autoimmune inflammation. I’m really enjoying reading your recipes too, so thanks for the good food and for sharing your story.

  9. PaleoWorks March 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Good stuff, keep up the excellent work and enjoy your new found health and longevity.

  10. easynaturalfood March 28, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    Wow, your story is really scary! I’m so glad that you stumbled across the paleo diet, because I bet the doctors didn’t mention anything about that to you :) Glad you’re doing much better now!

  11. Karista April 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    What an amazing story! I’m in awe. I’ve recently adopted a more paleo diet and I can certainly feel the difference. Love your blog and your inspirational story. I’ll definitely be checking back. Delicious wishes!

  12. Kathy April 10, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    God Bless You and Your Family, and I am going to check out this Paleo diet.Thank You and Many Wonderful Blessings to You and Yours. Kathy

  13. mia personal April 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    What an inspiring story. Unfortunately it is also a view of the state of conventional medicine. Treat the symptoms, not the cause. If only you had found the Paleo diet before the surgery.

  14. FED April 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Holy smokes Russ, I had no idea! Glad that you are now growing healthier and happier. Plus you have a cool website :)

  15. Penescapes June 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    You are so young and such an inspiration to the rest of us. Thank you for sharing your blog and ideas with us. I hope to browse through your site and provide healthier meals for my family. Thank you once again!

  16. mouseytong June 21, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    Very inspiring! After reading your story and about the Paleo diet, I am inspired to try to work this diet into my life. Though I think it would be a long long road for me. I don’t get to cook much, work and travel doesn’t help. But I think I can make some choices in my food ordering.

    Congrats on being freshly pressed!

    • Juli April 22, 2013 at 1:37 am #

      Lots of paleo options out there! Just saw on amazon approved paleo bars and shakes!!!
      Never say never…, if your health depended on it you’d do it in a heart-beat!!!

  17. hipfoodiemom June 22, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    wow, what a great story! thank you for sharing and educating!

  18. gottagetbaked June 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    This is an incredible story. Wow is the only word I kept thinking as I was reading this. I hope you continue on this road to recovery and I can’t wait to read more from your blog! All the best.

  19. eliseblalock June 23, 2012 at 1:01 am #

    I just learned about you blog about a week ago but I’m hooked. I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award. If you’re interested, check out http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/. Have a wonderful weekend!

  20. kinetikat June 23, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    Thanks for sharing your story. I don’t eat Paleo exactly – I started using a way of eating called “The Idiot-Proof Diet”, which is basically ultra-low-carbing, and found it fixed my chronic heartburn and other problems. I love this way of eating, it really doesn’t feel like a ‘diet’ (as in “Die with a T”, as Garfield would say)!

  21. paleomaha July 8, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story. I love reading these sorts of things about the paleo diet. Yay!

  22. Rob M July 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    Amazing Man!!! My Wife has also been diagnosed with and auto-immune disorder. Like you, she has switched to the Paleo diet, and is recovering slowly. Stories like your story give her hop for the future. Thank you so much for sharing

  23. john July 17, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Congrats to you – and thanks for sharing your wisdom. Keep it up
    John
    Dublin, Ireland

  24. Connie August 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    I stumbled on this website through Google (searching for almond flour pasta). Thanks for sharing your paleo story and posting all these awesome recipes! It’s always a chore to look for paleo-friendly foods that is presented with good design and sharp images, so I really appreciate the fact that you continue to post such awesome recipes. Keep it up!

  25. Bill Vick August 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Awesome story and message. It’s sad hat many of us only come to looking at the whole person and not just one aspect after facing some kind of life threatening or terminal illness. I’m really frustrated by the medical community and their approach that MD means More Drugs. Paleo (or Primal) works and take a second to read my interview in Paleo Magazine to find out why. I’m only of of thousands of similar stories and we need to all make some noise so the Doctors and most importantly the teaching hospitals look at what’s taking place with diet, exercise and lifestyle. http://www.paleomagonline.com/2012/08/08/i-inspire-bill-vick/

  26. Megan August 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Thanks for sharing- as I had a stroke too.. in your 20′s it doesn’t seem possible. I’m trying out this Paleo diet to help with Lupus symptoms and APS- seeing your story makes it that much easier to give it a go.. thanks and keep it up! :)

  27. Mindy September 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Amazing story and thank you for sharing with this website! Inspirational to us who have autoimmune disorders (I was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue in 2007.) My husband also developed diabetes that same year (hereditary in his family.) I have also heard of the Paleo diet. A very good diet to be on. I am not on the diet however I strictly adhere to completely gluten free. I still struggle some days as I developed Celiac at a later age so not as easy to bounce back. I also get very sick from even the slightest touch from gluten i.e. cross contamination as well.

    I wish you the very best in your healthy journey!

  28. Annie Thome September 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    I really enjoyed your story and will look up Paleo Diet on line. Four of us in this household need to make sure we eat gluten free – and it is hard, but reading stories like yours helps! Go luck to you!

  29. joan September 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    bless you precious one……what an amazing life…..so very pleased you found a diet to ease your symtoms!!!!

  30. Ed September 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    Russ, someday you’ll tell the rest of the Russ Crandall story and the folks that are impressed and inspired by your story now, will be blown away. You’re an amazing dude with an awesome family. I won’t wish you luck because you don’t need it, your determined enough to get what you want without luck being a factor.

  31. Katie Juhl Whitestone October 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    Mom and I were talking today and she told me that she told Grandma Colleen all about your website. So grandma had to check it out and is now a total fan and on the Paleo train and says her arthritis already feels better after just a week and she loves the site. Mom was also mentioning how great of a job you do on this website and just what a wonderful guy you are all around and how much she enjoys spending time with you and Janey and Ollie and I couldn’t agree more. So I asked Charlie if he’d ever seen your site and he said no so we just spent a little while looking around and reading posts and contemplating buying a t-shirt soon (you shold have a baby one on there) and I just had to let you know that you are pretty awesome and I remember the whole story and how scared I was for you and how happy and grateful I am that you are okay and that you have been a friend for all of these years, even if we only see each other sparingly. Hug the fam for me and it was nice to see you a few weeks ago and basically we just love you Russ!

  32. Rachel H November 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Fabulous site! I am also have Takayasu’s Arteritis, and have traveled the paleo road for a while to help maintain my inflammation.

    • Marlene April 17, 2014 at 12:37 am #

      Hi Rachel,
      I reach out to u because i came across this story and saw on ur post that u also have takayasus- im 28 also have TA id like to hear what has help u manage TA better i need some
      guidance

  33. Lesa Kelley November 8, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    I just came across your site when looking for a good eye of round recipe. Wow what an inspiring story you have! I will pass your story and your site on to many. Keep on moving forward..you and your family are pretty awesome.

  34. Kelvin November 29, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    Amazing story. Thanks for sharing!

  35. Gail November 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    The mysterious ways of the world at work? I’m just bobbing around the Internet looking for Christmas Roast ideas and I get totally distracted by comments on a website written by a guy with a humorous name. So, I decide to read his blurb thinking it will explain why he chose his amusing name. What a surprise, the blurb is not about the name at all, but about a very trying and scary time in the man with the funny blog name’s life. All at I time when I’ve just been told I’m going to have scary and trying times for the rest of my life. The culprit? Evil inflammation, which apparently can take on an insidious little life of it’s own. I will take this as an otherworldly thump on the head and go back to bobbing around the Internet, this time looking for info on the diet. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Nancy December 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    My own experiences (Celiacs, arthritis,fibromyalgia, etc) have taught me that this diet is no less than a miracle for those of us with autoimmune problems. It will help you like nothing else can for inflammation in your body and all the problems that arrise from it.

  37. elizabeth December 21, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    Good for you! Have you been checked for MTHFR? Seriously should be!

  38. Tara January 13, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Wow, that’s a phenomenal story. Diet is profoundly important in our lives too. We needed extra help though. One of my family members has large cell arteritis. The drugs really took their toll. I thought we had exhausted every option. Zija is a product made of Moringa oleifera. On Zija, suddenly the need for the pharmaceuticals plummeted. I really want to talk to you about this.

  39. Diane January 17, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    I am inspired by your courage and grateful that you choose to share your journey. Blessings, Diane

  40. Rachel January 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    What an amazing story. I found your wonderful eye of round recipe and we are trying it tonight. Will let you know how it goes.

    You are an amazing person. There is a certain calm tenor to your writing style that I really like. Your son and wife are blessed indeed.

  41. kitchenanatomy January 29, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    What an amazing story. I have yet to learn about your condition in Physician Assistant school, so thanks for educating me on your journey. I too have an autoimmune disease with a lot of inflammation, perhaps I should start going Paelo. Best of luck to you!

  42. sandishores January 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    I love paleo for my health, I have a number of AI diseases that are all made better by eating paleo.

    I would also recommend you investigate LDN as a medication, it has made me mobile again and has been amazing for my immune system. it makes your immune system work, not suppress it like steroids do.

    http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/

  43. JudithQ February 7, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    HOPE springs eternal…never lose hope.

  44. russianmartini March 1, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Glad you are doing so much better. It’s always inspiring when people find natural ways to heal themselves. Nature really does provide us with so much, we just need to trust it and pay attention.

  45. ajgetty March 4, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Just came upon your story,hope things are still going to plan for you and your family.I have Guillian -Barre Syndrome with Aman variant ,I will be looking into the Paleo diet and give it a shot thanks for sharing with us.

  46. Josie March 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I also have an autoimmune disease (UCTD) and numerous other issues and diseases that are a result of a the UCTD. I’m on lots of medications including an immunosuppressant when I am healthy. My parents are on the Paleo diet and have had great success. I was just given the go-ahead from my doctor to start. In fact, since I’ve been sick all winter and unable to take the immunosuppressant. Now that I’m starting to feel better my doctor has agreed that I can stay off of it for three months while I try the Paleo diet. My prayer is that I won’t have to ever go back on it. I started on Sunday and feel better already!

  47. alidaniel March 8, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    Wow, very inspiring story. So glad you made it through it all to live and tell us all about it! Just found your blog and love your recipes! Thanks for sharing!

  48. mrsadept March 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    “most autoimmune diseases, is not known”

    Ever had a vaccination? A shot for travel?

    Autoimmune diseases are usually caused by virus’ being on purposely given to the public at large. Go and have a virus work up to see what you actually have.

    In the mean time I think you would find this exceptionally interesting.

    ‘The Exploding Autoimmune Epidemic – Dr. Tent – It’s not autoimmune, you have viruses.

  49. imarunner2012 March 15, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    Hi, I have been enjoying your blog and have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!
    http://imarunnerandsocanyou.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/very-inspiring-blogger/

  50. Laura Olson Stevens March 21, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    Thank you or sharing your story. You are an inspiration.

  51. glutenfreepeach March 26, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    Wow… I am a scientist and my research area is white matter injury during stroke. It’s stories like yours that give me the motivation to work at my budding but very stressful career. Also, your blog is amazing. I’m gluten sensitive and I found a lot of excellent recipes that I’d like to try. Keep it up!

  52. truefoodlove April 1, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    Wow! Inspiring story! It’s amazing how much diet and lifestyle can heal the body and you are living proof. Thanks so much for sharing your story! :)

  53. Louise @ Live-Healthy.org April 20, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    It’s been an honor to have found you on this blog. I am inspired by your story, and it’s made me take life into perspective. Thank you :)

  54. Angie July 2, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    Very inspiring, glad to hear that changing your lifestyle and eating has helped your condition. All the best.

  55. Christine July 8, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    I’m excited to have come across your site. My grandmother had Takayasu, apparently one of the first cases diagnosed in a Caucasian woman. She suffered for 20+ years before her diagnosis. I’ve always wondered if dietary changes would have helped her. It’s wonderful that they are helping you.

  56. Aimée LeVally August 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Truly excellent site. I came here looking for recipes that I could modify for GAPS diet. I too have an auto-immune disease, diagnosed 22 years ago at the age of 12. The paleo diet wasn’t enough to bring me to health, but the GAPS protocol worked wonders. Again, excellent recipes and site.

  57. eBrooker August 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve been looking into why I’ve not been feeling great either, with various symptoms I won’t bore you with. I will suggest getting a 2105 or 2100 Stool Profile from Metametrix tho… to look for bugs.

    I have a PPTU – which means they found dna of a protozoan parasite. Is it possible you have something similar?

  58. littleblissbook September 1, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    I can relate, I have an auto-immune disease myself and have moved across the country, travelled across continents to seek treatment. I got off steroids, because I figured out it was wreaking more havoc on my body so I did the LEAP program and started eating clean, and it helped a lot. I’m still not 100% better, so it’s a process, but thanks for sharing your story and your photographs on your blog are great!

    I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, not that you need any help gaining followers, but I linked to your blog regardless so my readers could discover yours:) http://littleblissbook.com/2013/09/01/oopsididitagain/

    Rakhi, xx

  59. evy September 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Glad to hear things are going decently for you. Have you heard of MTHFR? I think I will always wonder every time I hear of a young person with stroke/clotting issues, if that person has MTHFR. God bless you as you continue on your journey!

  60. Tiffany Greene October 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    I’m so glad you’ve posted your story. I too have an autoimmune disease (lupus) which can sometimes confound my doctors. I was on loads of medications but have adopted the paleo diet about a month ago. I’m currently attempting life sans all medications and so far, so good.

    I love the way your website is laid out. It’s very easily navigated. Thanks so much!

  61. Kelly October 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    I came across your page when I was looking for a recipe for Pork Sirloin Roast. Thank you for sharing it. While I don’t follow a Paleo diet, I have a friend that does and swears by it. Good luck to your continued success. You look very healthy and would never know that you suffered so many health issues.

  62. Sheila Stoner October 9, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    A very inspiring story.
    Originally, before I found out you are married and age, I was going to say how cute you are.
    You still are, but I am way past that predatory age. My kids are older than you are. :-)
    Thank you for you and your love of good food and nutrition,
    Sheila

  63. Maggi in MD October 22, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    What an eventful journey you have had (there’s the understatement for the day!)

    I stumbled upon your site when I Googled for a recipe and here I am. I have Celiac (another autoimmune disorder) and I have been struggling with weight gain since my dx. I guess once my villi was active and absorbing nutrients again, it really started working! Anyway, a fellow scientist friend recommended that I read up on the Paleolithic diet and I landed here. Seems simple enough to make the change from GF to all out Paleo. And I guess I kinda knew along that eating GF processed food was the culprit. But man, when you haven’t had bread in so long, you go a little crazy. ;)

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your story. You’ve epitomized what my GI doc has been saying for years: a GF diet is benificial to so many people, not only people with Celiac/Gluten intolerance.

  64. Mary Bailey October 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    About 30 yrs ago I felt chronically horrible. Went to many doctors, underwent countless tests. They all said there was nothing wrong, except for one doctor who told me I was in the first stages of MS. I would not accept this, so started my own research, spending afternoons in the local university library, pouring over countless medical journal articles. I found nothing. Then one day while in a thrift store, I saw a book, “Cerebral allergies.” (can’t recall the author). What was described in that book fit my issues. I went to the allergist and asked for guidance to do an allergy elimination diet. He humored me and agreed. Within 3 weeks of basically eating nothing but unseasoned baked or boiled beef and a limited number of vegetables, my symptoms had all but vanished. By then adding certain items, I discovered an allergy to grains.

    As a student of prehistory, I’ve since learned that many of the foods considered “healthy” today are not at all like the foods we “grew up with” as a species. Also, as a species we grew up eating a wide variety of foods, and these during their season only. Studies of present day hunter gatherer societies show that as a species, we probably ate about 1/3 lean meat and 2/3 vegetal resources. Fats and sugars were a luxury rarely procurred. Consumption of grains was minimal or non-existent (and surely not the hybridized grains we have today). The Paleo Diet comes closest to the diet we as a species “grew up with.”

    There is an excellent epidemiological paper done back in the 1990′s by Ashton Embry … “Multiple Sclerosis, Best Bet Treatment.” You should read it. I learned a lot from that paper when I first accessed it in the mid-1990′s.

    It’s amazing that you survived not only your illnesses, but especially your treatments. I wish you many years of good health.

  65. babs October 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    I’m so happy that this diet has worked for you. My sister had Takayasu’s disease, had bypass surgery, valve replacement, etc. They told her it wouldn’t be the disease that would kill her, it would be the meds. And they were correct. After twelve years on prednisone, it caused a ruptured aorta. She died instantly a week after having a partial hysterectomy. I’ve just found out that a medication that I’ve been on for five years causes pancreatic cancer. I have recently been diagnosed with pancreatitis. The doctors know what these meds are capable of doing and yet, they still prescribe them without telling the patient (in my case, anyway) the dangers. Good for you, keep up the good work. I am especially interested in your gluten free pizza, I have celiac disease. So, I am going to try it.

  66. Jamie Holloway October 26, 2013 at 4:28 am #

    I do have an auto-immune disease that affects my throat and my ability to breathe. I have been looking into eating the Paleo way and couldn’t find anything for Vasculitis, GPA which is what I have. I admire your courage and your willingness to share your journey with us.

  67. sonny rivera October 26, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    I am so glad i found your page. My daughter has the same disease and she is only 12 years old so when we found out that she had takayasu’s arthritis it really broke ours hearts and ever since then I have been looking for people with the same problem to see what they do to live a better life. I am going to try this diet that you are on. Thank you very much for sharing your experience and if there is any way you could continue sharing more with us, I think we would all appreciate it.

  68. Beka Thorpe October 26, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    Hi there! I love your story and how after the doctors weren’t giving much hope of being able to live a healthy life, you took it upon your self to find health again. I, also, was diagnosed with Takayasu’s Arteritis. The initial diagnosis was in Sept 2011. I suffered 2 strokes in November of 2012. After the strokes I lost my ability to walk, comprehend what I was reading more that a couple of sentences, write, and verbally express myself. I had open heart surgery in of February of 2013 at the Cleveland Clinic (the doctors down here in Nashville wouldn’t touch me… They told me the surgery would be too complex). At my 3 month follow up, the specialist told me that I had recovered the quickest and best out of all of her patients that have had this surgery. One thing I didn’t mention is that I changed my diet about half way through and added a very important whole food supplement to it.. Juice Plus+ it is fruits, berries,vegetables and grains that have been juiced and dehydrated at low temperatures in order to keep the enzymes and phytonutrients in place. I had been on 60 mg of prednisone, now I’m down to 4mg and have been able to get off of other medications. I am since on a couple of medications but have plans to be off of them in the near future! I thank God that He put a friend in my life that cared enough to share nutrition and Juice Plus + with me.

    • Beka Thorpe October 26, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      Btw I regained everything I lost after the strokes much faster than the therapists that I should :)

      When we give our bodies what they need, they will heal themselves.

  69. Nic November 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Loved reading your story. You are very brave. I can relate on a much lesser scale. I too have adopted a diet to reverse the effects of an autoimmune disease. So glad it is working out for you. Keep up the good work!

  70. nataloodle November 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    What an encouraging story! Thank you so much for sharing, and thank you also for the wonderful recipes!

  71. Lane Stewart November 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    Dear Russ Crandall,
    I have a question for you;

    Recently, my grandfather was diagnosed with Wegener’s disease, which is an autoimmune disease. Wegener’s granulomatosis is a rare condition where inflammation of the blood vessels impedes normal blood flow. I saw an article on your story. You have Takayasu’s disease; which narrows your arteries due to inflammation and caused your stroke. It is identical to the mechanisms of Wegener’s.

    At the moment my Grandfather is on several immunosuppressant medications which have completely knocked out his immune system. He has PNEUMONIA in his lungs which he cannot fight off because he has no immune system. He is also house-bound because even the smallest cold could kill him.

    My questions for you are:
    What are all the names of the medication you were on during your immunosuppressant therapy?
    Specifically, Were you on any medication to suppress your immune system?
    How long were you on the diet until you could get off the medication to get your immune system back.
    And you said you are still taking 1 drug that you have to continue to take; What medication are you on currently?

    We would be grateful for a reply, it is urgent. Our hope is that if we remove the source of the allergy, he can get his immune system back to fight off the pneumonia so it won’t kill him (and he can get out of the house).

    My email is: Lanadox@aol.com
    Thanks. – Lane

  72. RM@yahoo.com November 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    So glad the diet is working for you. My two boys and I have autoimmune disease as well. (mine is thyroid, their’s is brain.). You might want to look into low dose naltrexone, an excellent immune modulator for autoimmune diseases and cancer. It’s low cost and works very well alongside Paleo diet. My thyroid meds have been decreased and autoimmune symptoms are gone for the most part on it. One of my children’s condition looks to be headed to remission, and the other child’s severe symptoms have reduced by 60% or more. Amazing, low cost, and highly effective.

  73. Deb Agnelli December 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    What an incredible journey you have been on!!! Thanks for sharing yourself with the world. You are looking great and hopefully are feeling great. Best Wishes!

  74. Brian Dews December 19, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Incredible journey. I love your blog, and your content surrounding the Paleo / whole foods lifestyle. Just pre-ordered your book on Amazon. Thanks!

  75. Noah Sideman December 25, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    I randomly came across this site while trying to figure out how to prepare an eye round roast for Christmas. Its in the oven as I write an smells wonderful. Your story and this season bring into focus what is truly important. Thank you!

  76. Marlene December 28, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    Hi.. I read your story and im so happy to hear you are doing much better::
    I also have Takayasus Arteritis. Im 28 i live in California, i was diagnosed with TA when i was 17
    I have been on medications ever since..
    Im currently on methotraxate. I have not had any extremely scary symptoms, but after hearing your story i want to try to change my diet.. Im so bad at eating healthy..
    But i want to make a change for once.. I hope u can help me

  77. alisha January 5, 2014 at 2:16 am #

    Russ, amazing blog, amazing writing, amazing life you’ve been given and re-given! We love your blog!!! We love your family! Thanks for all you’ve shared with us! Blessings, J,A,E

  78. Diane Keirstead January 14, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    Russ – you are an amazing young man. So happy that you have found what works for you and that you are doing so well. I am excited to be able to share your wonderful Website with many of my Family and Friends. Keep up the good work. ; – ))

  79. chilliandmint January 30, 2014 at 4:20 am #

    What an incredible journey you have been on. The paleo diet seems to make so much sense although for me not eating lentils would be especially hard as my other half is Indian and it is very much part of Indian cuisine and the type of food we eat for now. Maybe I should look further into the paleo diet – you never know!

  80. Mardi Cameron February 7, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have been grain free for 17 mos and after being sick with chronic fatigue and fibro for 21 years, I am now healthy. I am passionate about helping people becoming grain free. I appreciate having another reason for giving up grain. Yours is a remarkable story.

  81. binisun February 12, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    Thanks for your sharing and inspiration :)

  82. empathologism February 12, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    I like your story and am glad you are well.

    I do wish you’d consider wording some claims to more accurately reflect the entire context of the point upi seem to be making.

    For example:

    Lastly, the foods we eat today are less nutritious due to soil depletion and negligent mass-farming practices. These three factors contribute to a weakened system and an increase in food allergies and autoimmune-related health issues.

    There may be truth in the claim but the terminology “less nutritious” is too vague. The context is avoided hence the big picture including the alternative(s) omitted. As a beneficial diet for inflammatory conditions, lowering markers of same, I get that. I’m a crohns suffer myself which means if there are inflammatory effects to be had with an autoimmune problem, I get them. In fact so many conditions are tied to inflammation and immune response it is amazing.
    But the sort of loose use of the word science as having shown this or that is no more convincing than the same claims that science made about grains and low fat. Finally, the elephant in the room, that small farming is and always will be necessarily a boutique expensive thing for folks with discriminating diets and who can afford or choose to afford them. As such, all good.
    Boutique farming to get the missing nutrition (again too vague) while others who cannot avail themselves to it lack nutrition due to lacking food makes me think of the local scandal that should have a headline “Whole Foods cuts down wooded area to build new location”

    Moderation. We can still feed lots of people. It is cool how people grow bandwagons.

    You may like Bioregionalism, by Kirkpatrick Sale, he would have been an early 80′s advocate for Paleo.

    • Russ Crandall February 12, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

      Hi, thanks for the feedback. My science-related writing is vague on purpose because this is a page dedicated to cooking, and not nutrition, and I’m not trained or certified in that field. My graduate degree is in Healthcare Administration, so I have a fairly good understanding of extent of our nation’s declining health, but I certainly don’t have a solution. I understand your expectation of a more researched reasoning, and I think there are plenty of great sites for that discussion. I should mention that nowhere do I write that small, local farming is the solution to soil depletion and mass-farming practices, nor do I assume that this is the key to our nation’s problems – an extensive overhaul of many of the western world’s current practices is probably necessary for optimal health for our population. Those are issues far beyond the scope of this recipe blog; my intention is to start the dialogue on health and provide tasty recipes along the way.

  83. mariakhan13 February 15, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    Hi Russ!! Your story is mind blowing inspirational and your blog is sOo mouth watering!! But there was something else that caught my attention and brought me here in the first place…..the title of the blog. Would you like to shed some light as to why you decided to call it The Domestic Man?

  84. thefolia February 15, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    Ah that inflammation–I hear it all the time, so glad you are able to keep it under control and trying to prevent with Paleo. I also I’m trying to prevent inflammation from taking it’s toll on myself and my family by becoming aware of the food I eat especially how where it comes from and how it’s grown. Viva la wholesome food!

  85. Kelley Harron February 15, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    Russ, what an incredible journey you have had and I’m humbled that you shared your story. Thank you. I had no idea when I met you, Janey and Oliver at Walt Disney world in 2013 that there was a reason you were eating a gluten free diet. I have heard stories about gluten allergies being misdiagnosed as autism! I’m excited to get your book and make a change as well. Hugs to You, Janey and Oliver!

  86. Stephanie February 21, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

    Inspiring story, great blog. I am a type 1 diabetic, have Addison’s disease, ulcerative colitis and a host of other conditions-your blog has been very helpful to me. We are the same age and its just nice to have someone my own age who has experienced some of the same types of struggles, makes the world a little smaller. Keep up your amazing work!

  87. Kari Ray February 24, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    I’ve been eating Paleo for awhile… I stumbled across your website and was interested in your book, but convinced myself that I do not need yet another Paleo cookbook (I have a bit of an obsession)…until I saw your US Navy uniform! And now I have to buy it!! Go Navy :)

    -Navy Wife

  88. Melody March 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    Dear R,

    Thanks for sharing your life, healthy receipts and inspiring moments with us. I have always been a passionate healthy eater and a big fan of the blog.

    I do hope there are more interactions between you and us followers, where we create a supportive community for everyone who has a passion for healthy food of life.

    I invite you to check out this blog platform Toovia.com. I am a user myself and think it provides the functions/tools to build that interaction between you and us fans!

    Don’t ever stop being inspiring!

    Love,
    Melody

  89. Toot Sweet 4 Two March 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    Wow! What a story. Thank you for being an inspiration to so many, especially people on a similar journey – a journey back to health after a serious, life-threatening event. Stumbled upon your blog today reading a post from Cheri Lucas Rowlands on WordPress.com News about the release of your cookbook. So, first time visitor, but following you now.

  90. Pam March 26, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your story. I just happened to come here from Skinny Taste and was interested in the man behind the recipes. My sister is gluten free and so is my mom, I’m sure I’ll be back many times to get some awesome recipes.

  91. abqandrea March 27, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    Russ, thank you for this site. Its been a resource for quite some time, and also seems to be a life-saving intervention for some people!

    I have a slightly more philosophical question, especially since you are in the health field (or were trained for it). What about the emotional side of the search for a cure? Do you or did you have anger at the doctors who saw you, the hospitals that kept you, the pharmaceutical companies that told you what to take, and the system that educated all of them?

    It seems like the level of disgust and frustration that an average person feels when they find out how fundamentally wrong the health “system” is can’t even compare to someone like you, who nearly died several times in the process and no doubt racked up a crapload of medical expenses.

    This is a very personal question but it would be helpful to others, I think, to address those feelings and how you are dealing with them or successfully put them to rest. Thanks again.

  92. fallenforfood April 9, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    Hi there!
    I’ve nominated your gorgeous blog for the Liebster Award at http://fallenforfood.wordpress.com/ – participation is up to you :)
    Thanks for keeping up such an awesome, inspiring blog!

    All the best,
    Chantal

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