IMG_3479Hey y’all, I’m Sydney and I’m in the pursuit of sunshine.

Yeah, everyone loves summer time and the warmth of the sun & soaking up rays,  but that’s not the sunshine I’m talking about here.  I’m talking about that metaphorical glimmer of hope, the ray of light, the sunshine after the rain…

Do you or a loved one suffer from an autoimmune disease (Crohn’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Celiac, Autism, ADD/ADHD, Epilepsy), food allergies, or do you just really want to give your diet a holistic healthy overhaul? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you know what I’m talking about.  Every bit of information about turning to Paleo, low-FODMAP, processed and refined foods free diets out there always has a negative twist… ‘well I can’t eat this and I CAN’T eat that’… with all the negativity, you miss out on broadening your palate horizons while working around the restrictions in an optimistic way.  Well, that’s what I’m here for—to collect, combine, and concoct recipe adaptations, and explanations, POSITIVELY and OPTIMISTICALLY help you find the sunshine through being empowered and motivated!

Lately, I’ve come to absolutely LOVE cooking and have found it a challenge to whip up something absolutely delish while avoiding Paleo and FODMAP no-no’s. My favorite is when you disclose that your dish or meal is completely gluten-free/dairy-free/paleo/low-FODMAP and people weren’t the wiser!  However, **full disclaimer here** I’m not perfectly Paleo or low-FODMAP 100% of the time… we are 100% gluten and dairy free, and partial paleo and typically low-FODMAP avoiders, depending on the dietary restrictions of my fiancé, John, and what he can tolerate.

Myself and John after he completed his first Spartan Race at Wintergreen Resort in Virginia.

My inspiration and purpose for turning to a Paleo lifestyle is none other than John (who has graciously agreed to allow me to share information about his ‘medical history’, if you will). John has history of Hystiocytosis X, ADD/ADHD, & Crohn’s Disease and since his Crohn’s diagnosis has decided to remove gluten and dairy from his diet, which has worked for the most part. Since meeting John and learning of his dietary restrictions, I have become rather dedicated to finding fun and tasty ways to enjoy these restrictions, ‘making our own sunshine’, while attempting to render his Crohn’s obsolete. Give the Crohn’s a nice ninja chop to its figurative trachea, if Crohn’s disease was a person, you know… John isn’t the only one benefitting from this diet- I also have some fun stuff going on including urticaria with an unknown cause as well as ADD/ADHD.  We have determined that following a Paleo diet will benefit both of us the best. Just eat real food, and all your troubles will go away! That’s our mantra. We tried going fully low-FODMAP during a flare up, but there were no noticeable changes in symptoms.  That being said, just because resorting to low-FODMAP didn’t work for John, doesn’t mean it may not help others with similar symptoms.  We did have the most success doing The 21 Day Sugar Detox (by Diane Sanfilippo) and I HIGHLY recommend it not just as a 21 day detox, but as a guide to a new way of healthy living! So, during flare ups we remove all sugar, and regulate fruit intake, essentially following The 21 Day Sugar Detox to the letter.  Following the 21DSD was the driving force that completely abolished John’s first flare up that I had to witness, and for this reason, we will apply those strict rules if/when he gets another.

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Thanks to John, this blog exists. He has supported me in so many ways challenging me to be the best me that I can be already and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for us. Lucky for him, I’ve found a little niche in something that benefits him too! 😉  This is my forum for logging and discussing, as well as a means of accountability during our trials and tribulations along the way in hopes that it helps anyone else out there suffering from similar diagnoses to see that glimmer of hope, and get on their way to making their own sunshine.  Stay optimistic, people. You CAN do this. Your health is most definitely WORTH IT!sunshine is the best medicine

Along with my new found love for cooking, I am also a certified Spinning instructor, nanny, and mom to 3 four-legged children (two dogs- Lexie and Sully, & one cat-Bella).

Our little family (minus Bella)
Our little family (minus Bella).         Click the picture to check out our wedding website!

Stay tuned for some recipes, inspiration, and life lovin’! And remember, some days you just have to create your own sunshine. 🙂



Check out my favorite paleo resources: PaleOMG by Juli BauerFed+Fit by Cassy Joy Garcia, Balanced Bites by Diane Sanfilippo, Nom Nom Paleo by Michelle Tam, The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne, and Every Last Crumb by Brittany Angell!

If you’d like to contact me, you may reach me at sydneynicoled@gmail.com or by filling out the contact form:

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