PALEO & WHOLE30 LIVING – MY STORY

PALEO & WHOLE30 LIVING – MY STORY
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Hi there.  My name is Shari MAC (formerly Shari Darling).  I have been maintaining a PALEO & WHOLE30 lifestyle for over 8 years.  I sometimes like to jump-start my metabolism by fasting for 72 hours and then following a Whole30 system for 30 days before moving back into a Paleo lifestyle.   On this blog, I love to share with you the recipes I make at home on a daily basis for my husband Shawn and I. 

In my blog “PALEO & WHOLE30 WITH SHARI MAC”, I love to share with you wine notes in case you are a veteran and are simply maintaining a Paleo or Whole30 lifestyle.  The term “dirty” means that you are enjoying foods once in a while that are classically outside the stringent rules of diets’ philosophy.   I include wine notes for each of the recipes.   

Before starting our company called FRESH DOH (www.freshdoh.com), I enjoyed a career in food and wine for over 3 decades.  A little about my background… As Shari Darling, I specialized in wine, food, and the partnership between them.  I have written International award-winning and bestselling cookbooks.   I conducted wine courses and cooking classes; created wine-related learning tools; and worked as a TV host, keynote speaker, newspaper and magazine food and wine editor, and journalist for over a decade. My work in sensory science (as it pertains to food and wine pairing) and wine-related books and learning tools are still utilized in colleges and universities across Canada, including George Brown College in Toronto for sommelier and chef training.  I’ve also written several books on food.  Suffice it to say; I’m a foodie and wino!

Today, my husband Shawn and I are partners in our company, FRESH DOH. Our mission is to support people, like you, in living a fulfilled life with excellent health, a life free of suffering from physical and mental ill-health, to be strong and healthy. 

FRESH DOH blossomed as a result of my having survived an 8-year caregiving tour of duty. This time was before I met my husband Shawn, and before the creation of FRESH DOH.

I had cared for my deceased husband, Jack Schropp, who lived with and died from Alzheimer’s. Jack was a former Navy SEAL Commander (Ret.) and then left the military and became a Landmark Forum Leader for over 21 years. During two of his three tours in Vietnam, Jack experienced direct Agent Orange exposure. His doctors and I firmly believed (as do many others) that exposure to Agent Orange combined with PTSD is the source of Jack developing this devastating disease.  

Once diagnosed, I used my energy and skills to research how food impacts Alzheimer’s and its symptoms. Partnering with our functional medicine doctor, Dr. Morty Levy, we began a complete lifestyle change, embracing an anti-inflammatory diet.

Inflammation and brain shrinkage are two of the five hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. Dr. Levy and I felt we could impact some of Jack’s symptoms by making his brain healthier by reducing or eliminating the inflammation and slowing brain shrinkage. This plan meant removing gluten, wheat, and refined sugar from our diets and adding in specific healthy fats, foods, and pharmaceutical grade supplements. This anti-inflammatory approach is similar to a Celiac, Paleo, diabetic-friendly, low carb, and whole-food (unprocessed) diet.

Living this lifestyle for more than three years did not halt or reverse Jack’s Alzheimer’s. However, it completely transformed our quality of life. Jack’s medical doctors, friends, and family all witnessed some of the symptoms disappear entirely. 

Even though the disease progressed, Jack became healthier in many ways, still swimming up to 25 lengths in the YMCA pool at least three times per week, and regularly walking 3 miles at a time.

Living this lifestyle lead to the creation of FRESH DOH.

The one thing I found difficult with this diet was refraining from noodles and pasta. I tried noodles manufactured from chickpeas, spinach, red peppers, and butternut squash. The texture certainly didn’t satisfy my need for that “al dente” craving, that density, and chewiness of wheat pasta. I even tried low carb noodles made from the Japanese konnyaku root (also known as shirataki). Jack winced and said they tasted like a bad cold.

I realized that I’d have to develop a recipe myself to make grain-free noodles from scratch. I tested different grain-free pasta and noodle recipes on our family and friends. Through trial and error, I developed what I believe was and is a delicious grain- and refined sugar-free pasta/noodle recipe.

My friends loved them. My close friend, Michelle Leduc Catlin, was the first to declare with enthusiasm, “Shar, you really need to make these noodles commercially and sell them to the public.”

I thanked Michelle for her idea and continued to focus my energy and attention on caregiving while perfecting my recipes for grain-free pasta, bread, flatbread, biscuits, and double pie crusts for myself and friends.

Caregiving is a tour of duty onto itself.  An emotional roller-coaster.  On hyper diligence 24/7.  Sleepless nights.  Ambiguous grief.  Sadness.  Laughter. Gratitude.  Unexpected violence.   A life of ambiguous grief as you slowly witness your loved one mentally disappear.

Statistics show that 30% of unpaid caregivers die before their loved one with dementia.   Statistics show that caregiving shortens one’s life expectancy by eight years. As caregivers, we learn to live with ambiguous grief. 

I refused to be another victim of this disease!  

On January 14, 2018, at 7 p.m. EST, Jack transitioned. I felt my life was pointless. However, with time and powerful coaching, I moved through my grief. After a time, I rediscovered that living a fulfilled life is about living a life of purpose, one that makes a difference for others whenever and wherever we can. When lived with a higher purpose, life becomes meaningful and, in time, beautiful again. 

I was blessed to meet Shawn. On October 5, 2019, we married. Shawn is a beautiful person, brilliant, and an expert regarding physical strength, overall health, fitness, and eating well. He has contributed immensely to my life and has brought essential and positive ideas and elements to our company, FRESH DOH.  

Our first product is called FRESH DOH Grain and Gluten Free Fresh Pasta Dough Mix.  With this mix you can prepare a wide variety of noodles, pasta, gnudi, gnocchi dishes, as well as other foods like breads, biscuits, and pie crust!

https://freshdoh.com/fresh-doh-shop

Make noodles as per FRESH DOH Grain & Gluten-Free Fresh Pasta Dough Mix package directions. Boil noodles for 3 minutes. When noodles float to the water’s surface, drain and rinse under hot water. Coat with oil. Set aside.

   
 

Now as we run our company, I share with you on my PALEO AND WHOLE30 recipes.

At FRESH DOH, we follow the philosophies of many western medicines and naturopathic doctors, including the following:

  • Dr. David Perlmutter drperlmutter.com
  • Dr. William R. Davis wheatbellyblog.com 
  • Alessio Fasano https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alessio_Fasano
  • Morty Levy www.drlevy.ca

Our FRESH DOH mission is to use our wisdom, experience, and passion to provide delicious products to help you achieve and maintain real quality of life. 

Our FRESH DOH purpose is to contribute to your life, and others…in Jack’s memory and honour. 

Our FRESH DOH commitment is to provide support so that your culinary journey is fun and diverse and comforts your soul.

Our FRESH DOH products are hand-made in Canada with quality ingredients in a certified gluten-free facility. 

 

Our comfort food products are PALEO, WHOLE30, grain-free, gluten-free, all-natural and hand-made, NON-GMO, sugar-free, and some are low carb.

We invite you to join our FRESH DOH community. We wish you a healthy and delicious long life!