About

Hello!

Welcome to Whole Earth Life, a blog for natural and holistic living. I’ve set out on a personal mission to free myself of drugs and chemicals while also making changes to live a more sustainable lifestyle; to minimise my impact on the environment.

This journey began for me following the development of two autoimmune diseases. For over 4 years I have suffered with Alopecia Areata and most recently I have been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease – although it seems I’ve probably been fighting a losing battle with Crohn’s for many more years! After receiving this diagnosis I decided that I needed to treat the condition at its root cause and not simply manage the symptoms. I adopted the Autoimmune Protocol (paleo) diet which was created by Dr Sarah Ballantyne, author of ‘The Paleo Approach’ and the magical woman behind www.thepaleomom.com and then I started this blog to track and share my progress.

Shortly after implementing the Autoimmune Protocol (with amazing results!!) I realised that paleo is more than just a diet to me. The principles of being toxin/junk-free emanate throughout my lifestyle. I am changing everything from my shampoo and toothpaste to my washing-up liquid, opting instead for chemical free alternatives. I read the labels of EVERYTHING. I am sick of consuming junk at the expense of my health and to the benefit of mass producing corporations.

At the same time I want to do more to protect the environment. I am very aware that ‘paleo’ is under scrutiny for its potential environmental impact so to counterbalance this I am looking for other ways to make my lifestyle habits more sustainable and in line with a natural way of living. I hope to share these hints and tips with you while also tracking my progress with the diet to prove modern medicine wrong.

I hope this blog will provide a source of hope for anybody suffering with autoimmune diseases. Take a look at my first youtube video that shows the extent of my alopecia as well as my later video of the beginnings of hair growth at the start of this diet.

Thanks for stopping by!

I’m off to make myself a cup of hot ginger tea 🙂

25 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Stella! Fantastic blog and I totally understand what you are trying to achieve. Autoimmune illnesses like company and your genes are predisposed… So you’ve really got to make sure you are not putting unnecessary stress on your body to trigger anything. Eating right is a very important part of that. I’ve got Alopecia universalis since age 12 and have no choice but to reconcile. I know I’ve got the genes for all sorts of other autoimmune junk as well. I am considering trying AIP. Have already changed my diet to much healthier.

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    • Hi Hannah, I read your comment and just wanted to reach out to you. I have had AU since I was 7, now 34 so that’s a very long time! I discovered AIP through Stella’s you tube videos. I too had reconciled to just accept it for life. However, I decided to give AIP a try, been on it for a month 2 weeks and I have had some regrowth :). It will take time and dedication but what a reward it would be to have it grow back.There is a blog post on heathfulelements.com about a girl who regrew all her hair from AU and that keeps me focussed – you would like to check it out. It may help you to decide whether to do AIP. I am not aware of the actual diet the girl followed but I would say it is anti-inflammatory like AIP with bone broth and probiotics as a focus. If you do decide to do AIP and have some success it would be great to post here because I think that give others hope. I know I for one have search for success stories re AU and the diet. Wishing you all the best. p.s I would be happy for you to get in touch with me if you do decide to go for it. Its good to have support 🙂

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      • What do you girls think of Minoxidil 10% (London clinic called Belgravia Clinic)? It only makes hair grow and works really fast: full brown thin hair covering my large spots within 3 months.

        However it doesnt stop it from reoccurring apparently so am taking Prednisolone for that. 1 course of 30grams down to 5 over 6wks and gained 3kg, only 1.5 kg stayed aftee I stopped it.

        About to start the 2nd round of Predisolone with NHS but am not sure if that is wise. I just stopped the first round 2 wks ago.

        My cousin got bold, another cousin recovered. Am eating vedge mainly and have a healthy lifestyle but will look into gluten. ….and my chrisps intake:)

        Xxx

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      • Good morning Stella, There has been thousands spent since my journey started. Found a gastro internal med doc who updated what was missing from this protocal-and have been following the paleo with a few mistakes(corrected). What do you think of Colostrum the doc said it was missing from my huge protocol-immune/paleo? When I get time-I could share the regiment. Struggled with alopecia areata and allover for the last 4 years.
        There is a naturo for the last 9 months who is working on the hormone balance. Alopecia areata happened to her 25 years ago. She said the sex hormones and thyroid has to be in perfect balance to bring the hair back.
        Saw your youtube….we are on the same path but my struggle has not worked yet-it is starting to. My hair was just above my waist…..was…many tears later….

        By the way don’t use monoxidil!! It made me lose even more hair when I went off of it!- for Es

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  2. Hi Stella

    I know answers are hard to come by with AA but I am hoping you might be able to put my mind at rest. Over about 5 months last year I lost all my hair on my head and some body hair. Within a couple of months I had fine white fuzz on the top of my head (the last place that fell out). This was January and the fine fuzz is now everywhere if you look extremely closely. I have dotted around stronger looking white hair and they grow so I have to trim them. The white fuzz however seems to not be growing or doing anything! (It’s about 2mm on the top). It’s so frustrating!!! It must be a good sign that I have the capability to have hair but I don’t understand why what I have isn’t growing and returning to my natural colour. I also lost my eyebrows but in the light they now have fine white hairs too.

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      • Sorry if I wasn’t clear! I guess I am worried that all I might ever have is the white fuzz. I was hoping to hear that it always eventually turns into normal hair. I just don’t understand why I have the all over fuzz but it isn’t growing!! I am finding it so hard to cope with! I appreciate you can’t have all the answers. I just don’t want to be who I am without hair.

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  3. Hi Stella,
    I have had alopecia totalis and atopic eczema for a long time. I am also sure that I have some form of fat malabsorption going on. I came across you you tube videos and since then have been researching the paleo autoimmune approach. I am in the process of preparing myself (both physically and mentally) to start it at the beginning of next month. I am hoping it will help with all of my conditions, finger crossed! I wanted to seek some advice from you if that’s okay. I think what I am going to struggle with is not being able to have any sweet treats. I eat healthily and never have refined sugars or artificial sweeteners. But I do have maple with some oats, that type of thing… I read on Sarah Ballentynes webpage that unsulphered black molasses is very nutrient dense and should not be on the ‘no’ list. Dd you completely cut out any sugar’s and for how long? Do you think occasional use of molasses in recipes in the early stage might be acceptable? Any advice would be welcome.
    P.s I too am studying at CNM. I hope you course is going well.

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    • Hi Elizabeth,
      There are plenty of sugar replacements that are AIP compliant – honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar and blackstrap molasses. Particularly the molasses – as Sarah said, its very nutrient dense! I would say go ahead and use them but keep it to a minimum in the early stages while you’re healing as you don’t want to feed any bad bacteria in your gut. Don’t fear the sugar though – if it’s going to stop you from breaking and giving up AIP, make the treats! There are SO many treat recipes out there. Have you seen this resources page on autoimmune-paleo.com? They’ve listed many bloggers that post AIP recipes: http://autoimmune-paleo.com/resources/

      How cool that you’re also studying at CNM! Which college are you based at? I’m absolutely loving this first year in biomedicine so I can only imagine it gets even better in the 2nd and 3rd years of nutrition! 🙂

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      • Thank you so much for the reply and the advice regarding sweet treats, that makes me feel so much better. Molasses in the cupboard! So very glad that you put your story and progress out there for the public as I have found out about the approach sooner rather than later.

        I study in manchester, started October and just covered neurological so I think we are probably on track with each other? I know, I can’t wait! Got so many questions. I too am absolutely loving up. The biomedicine year is fab, so astounding how amazing our bodies are. Just want to learn more and more.

        I will update you if have any progress with diet, I so hope my hair follicles are not dead after so long. I’m sure it will be slow but feeling positive that I may be able to heal myself like you have.

        Good luck to everyone trying to do the AIP!

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  4. Hi Stella! So glad I found you. I’ve had AA 10 years And recently had a baby. AA and postpardum don’t go together and recently lost a lot of hair. I’m determined to heal. In my Amazon cart is the book and supplements. Anything else? Is there a yogurt I can have? Need snack ideas. I’ve started the diet and had a slip yesterday and had wine. My skin started to ich after. Is that from sugar? Thanks for all you do. Praying this works for me.

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    • Hey! Lots of people have a similar problems with postpartum and AA but I’m confident that you will heal just like I did. I’m so pleased to hear you’re purchasing the book and are ready to give the diet a go. Have you included the gelatin in your list of supplements? Making bone broth and consuming gelatin is so integral to healing from autoimmune disease. As for yoghurt, you can’t have any that are made with cows milk but there are plenty out there that are made with coconut which is AIP compliant. Snack ideas – are you based in the U.S.? I know a lot of people there love ‘Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato chips’, fruit of course is a great snack. I’m really obsessed with pork scratchings at the moment – I found some in the UK that have nothing added but sea salt. Anyway there are plenty of AIP recipe blogs out there that will give you tonnes of ideas – you can find them listed here on this resources page: http://autoimmune-paleo.com/resources/
      Good luck!! x x

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  5. Hi Stella,

    I was diagnosed with lichen planopilaris last Friday. I have been treating it with Advantan for 2 weeks now prescribed by my dermatologist. This condition makes my hair disappear in patches and my hair has become thin in general. This is an inflamatory condition and resources say no treatment recovers hairs that have been lost and replaced by scarring. My scalp does not have scarrs any more, it looks normal. I haven`t had any iching or burning.
    I came accross you tube videos which led me to AIP. Your strength and advice give me hope that not all is lost. I have been eating food as per AIP since this Monday. I smoke and it would be very difficult to cut that too immediately. Is smoking a no-no? I am planning to cut it later.
    I am wondering if you have you talked to people with my condition? If so what is your experience? Is there any hope for my hair grow back? Your inspiring blog and advices helped me a great deal and that is why I am positive I my hair will eventually get back to normal. Please get back to me if you have info relating to my condition.

    Thanks!,
    All the Best

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    • Hi Kate,
      This is the first I’ve heard of Lichen Planopilaris but it does sound very similar to alopecia areata and is certainly an autoimmune disorder so I think you’re doing the right thing by giving AIP a go! Good for you. You’re right, smoking is definitely a no-no but yes it’s probably best to cut it back gradually. I imagine going cold turkey would stress your body out and potentially exacerbate your autoimmune problem. In the meantime, definitely cut back until you’re ready to stop altogether.
      Are you getting some form of probiotics intake as well as bone broth and/or gelatin alongside your diet? I like to remind people that these are essential to healing and not a step to be skipped.
      Best of luck to you! I’m so glad you’ve found the blog helpful xx

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      • Hi Stella,I

        I hope you are well. Many thanks for your reply. I have dug deeper into the alopecia I have and this is called scarring alopecia (scars replacing hair follicles). This is kind of no going back to hair once it is lost but I cannot loose hope just yet. This is not said to be an autoimmune disorder but an inflamatory condition. Stil I am positive AIP diet is the best I can do as I have had ms for many years (fortunately I am not restricted in any ways of life), I will definitely stop smoking gradually. I cook with bone broth but have not had any gelatine or probiotics which I am buying first thing tomorrow. In case you hear about somebody with my condition with some positive info please get back to me so that I contact them. Thank you again, Alll the best!
        Kate

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  6. Hi Stella
    Denise here.
    Thank you so much for replying last week as I was not in a good place mentally (had my 1 day of wallow and self pity) and it helped sort my head out to try AIP properly.
    I have started AIP, I am trying it 1 week now. I will take pictures throughout the process and if / when it works I will send them to you and you can post them up. I have purchased Sarah’s book and currently working my way through it. I am getting probiotics next week as I wanted to give myself a week to get used to the new way and develop recipes for at home and when on the move. I am really hoping it gets the ould hairs sprouting again. Any way I will keep you posted and Thks

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    • Hi Denise! We all need to have a little wallow sometimes! I’ve been there too 🙂 But you’ve picked yourself up and made the proactive decision to start AIP so that’s all that counts! Thank you for offering to share your progress with photos. I really look forward to hearing from you xx

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  7. Hi Stella, I have alopecia areata that is turning into totalis. I am getting a wig at the moment as I can’t cover all my bald patches. I am really struggling at the moment as I have given up work to reduce my stress and honestly thought it would start sprouting and although the shedding had reduced its not growing. I have looked at your you tube and read some of your blogs and I am going to try the AIP diet. Just wondering what advise you have.

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  8. Hi Stella! Very inspiring blog and videos. Thank you so much for opening up. I have a question on what, if anything, you’ve been able to re-introduce into your diet? It’s hard to make re-introductions from AIP for alopecia because the symptoms are slow to appear. In other words, we wouldn’t know that a certain food triggered hair loss till a substantial amount of hair has come out. At that point, it’s too late. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

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    • Hi Amy! I’m so glad you appreciate the videos and blog 🙂 As for reintroductions, this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. You’re right it is super difficult to know whether you react to a food or not when the condition is alopecia! I also have crohn’s disease so this give me some indication as to whether or not I can tolerate certain foods. So far I have tried seed based spices and the actual seeds without any problems. I also on 2 occassions made some cassava flour cakes using egg and didn’t have any tummy problems. The other food I tried was white rice, again, no gut reactions on the 3 occasions I’ve eaten it. Alcohol – big no for me. I’m fine the day after one glass of wine but strangely it is the 2nd day when I get awful diarrhoea. I’ve tried alcohol twice now with the same result. 85% dark chocolate seems to be totally fine but I rarely ever eat it just to be safe (I’m a worrier!)

      I’ve decided that I will not be reintroducing eggs again though. I had an allergic reaction to eggs when I was a child and in the past have generally felt a bit queasy when eating a whole egg (cakes were fine). I figure that if I was so allergic as a kid, there may still be some underlying reaction that isn’t so obvious (e.g. alopecia areata). Also, I’ve decided not to ever reintroduce nuts because I have always been very allergic to almond and occasionally a bit iffy with other nuts so again I figure that they could cause some underlying disturbances with AA and like you said, I wouldn’t know until it’s too late!

      Have you made any permanent food reintroductions? White rice is probably going to be a once in a blue moon thing for me or when I’m a difficult situation and there’s no choice. Spices are totally fine and I will use them fairly regularly. I’ve decided I won’t ever reintroduce dairy or grains simply because they are two of the main causes of a leaky gut so what’s the point! I’m planning to try tomatoes and soaked sunflower seeds soon. Oh and fresh green legumes are totally fine! I never really cut them out anyway.

      With AA I think you have to follow your instinct and judge how realistically you might react to something. I’m going for foods that are generally quite innocuous or not known to be a common allergen in the way that nuts and eggs are!

      I hope this helps xx

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