Episode 21: Melissa Joulwan, Author of Well Fed, on how Cooking and Eating Paleo Changed Her Life

Melissa Joulwan is the author of Well Fed —the best-selling, paleo cookbook. After struggling with her weight and self-esteem as a child and through her young adult life, Melissa found CrossFit and the paleo diet in 2009. Around that time, she also found out that her fluctuating weight was due to something bigger than she expected. This sparked an interest in how our diets affect hormones, mood, motivation, body composition. She keeps up with her own popular blog at . Her accomplishments as an author and chef include being a featured chef, writing recipes for cookbooks done by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, and writing for numerous newspapers, online hotspots, and magazines. Melissa used to do roller derby and is moving to Prague in April!

Melissa’s Journey…2:05
- Melissa grew up in a family where everyone is a great cook, so it’s no surprise Melissa made her way to be a chef. As a child, she was very overweight, ate too much, and did not like exercise. When she graduated from college, she decided enough was enough! She was tired of people making fun of her and not being able to wear the clothes she wanted.
- Melissa focused on exercising more and making smarter food choices. Not only did she lose weight, but she discovered she really liked to exercise. Even though she was exercising and eating well, her weight was still fluctuating up and down and she was not feeling well.
- A couple years later and after being very successful in CrossFit, Melissa still could not figure out why she was not feeling well. After seeing her doctor, she discovered a huge nodule on her thyroid. After having most of it removed, she is now on thyroid hormones to help regulate. A Paleo diet has also helped manage her inflammation and Melissa is committed to this lifestyle.

Why Paleo?…10:00
- Melissa started off on the ‘zone diet’ and stopped eating grains when she started CrossFit. At the time she was working with Melissa Hartwig (Whole30) who pushed her to give up dairy. Immediately after giving it up, Melissa felt her nagging symptoms go away.

Development of Well Fed…13:45
- Melissa has been blogging for a long time and it started off with just logging what she was eating. After about two years of sharing her personal recipes, she was started getting emails about writing a cookbook. Her and her husband decided to listen to her followers and write a cookbook. The book came out and sold like crazy! 
- All three cookbooks are simple and straightforward. She kept in mind that not everyone knows how to cook and these are seen by the layout of her cookbooks.

What is your workout routine?…17:35
- Right now, Melissa is in a serious yoga phase (5-6 times a week). Because of her thyroid, she has to be careful about how hard she pushes herself in the gym; which is why she cannot do CrossFit as regularly anymore. Walking is another way that Mel likes to exercise. She still lifts weights 2x a week, but at a more moderate level. 
- Melissa incorporates health into her life as much as possible. She uses a standing desk and a fatigue mat for her feet. Sitting is something you should do as little as possible!

One piece of advice to start healthy living…24:25
- One: Get your nutrition on track. It is the foundation for everything we do. Get more protein into your diet and get the grains out.
- Two: Make sure you sleep! 
- Three: Exercise.

- www.meljoulwan.com
- Find her Well Fed paleo cookbooks!

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