Hi, friends! I'm Amanda Torres, and I am so glad you are here! If you are interested in learning more about the Paleo or autoimmune protocol (AIP) diets, mindfulness, meditation, or holistic healing through Chinese medicine and functional medicine, you are in the right place.
This website is a testament to the power of food as medicine. For most of my life I ate a nutrient-poor, pro-inflammatory diet consisting mostly of processed wheat, industrial seed oils, and very few vegetables (despite my diet fitting the label of "vegetarian"). I also grew up seeing a pediatrician who treated every sniffle with at least 1 round of antibiotics, leading to a lifetime of digestive problems and poor resilience.
It is no surprise that in my 20's my health crashed and I ballooned up in size. I developed an autoimmune skin condition called hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) and was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, dyslipidemia, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In other words, I was a hot mess.
Conventional Western doctors, the only kind I had seen up to this point, wanted me on multiple prescription drugs (including statins) and a low-fat, restricted calorie diet. I was utterly terrified of a miserable, unhealthy future full of boring and bland food that left me hungry all the time. I felt robbed of my youth - I was only 24 when my crash occurred.
But, my stubbornness came to my rescue. I refused to accept powerlessness over my body, despite the infuriating message from my doctors that I was not in control and could not be healthy without their prescriptions. I began searching for answers and alternatives. I was willing to try anything, especially for relief from the debilitating skin condition HS. I eventually found the Primal/Paleo diet in 2010 and decided to give it an honest chance, even though the thought of living without bread made me angry and depressed at the same time. It is not an exaggeration to say that choosing to go Paleo saved my life.
You can read the full details of my "journey back to health" here, but in short by 1 year I had lost 80 lbs and reversed or drastically improved all of my chronic illnesses. I have also used Chinese Medicine and functional medicine to heal leaky gut syndrome. My recovery story is the reason I started this website. I know what it is like to feel scared, helpless, misunderstood, and like your doctors are not your allies. I know what it is like to be confused about healthy eating habits. I know how exciting it is to find someone who can understand your suffering and how encouraging it is to see a real success story. I am humbled and incredibly grateful to have reached millions of people with my website and to have improved so many dinner plates with my delicious recipes.
A little more about me: I am a scientist by training, having earned both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in neuroscience from Tulane University. I've been working in laboratories conducting biomedical research since 2007, have published papers, and understand how to dissect scientific journal articles and examine evidence with a critical mind. I am not dogmatic about Paleo or AIP guidelines and have formed my views based on evidence, including publications in the scientific literature and also my own n=1 personal experimentation. It is very important to me to provide the best evidence available to my readers to back up everything that I write here on The Curious Coconut™.
I love animals, especially cats, and my wonderfully supportive husband Andy and I are lucky enough to currently share our lives with our feline family members Rufus, Dexter, and Bubo plus our little old man chihuahua named Loki. They've all thrived on a raw meats and bones diet, and the cats are all still raw fed but in Loki's old age he does better now on a high quality canned food. We currently live in The Birthplace of Rock 'n Roll, aka Memphis TN - guide to awesome local businesses coming soon.
I've got 6 awesome eCookbooks you can purchase from my website, and my debut print cookbook is releasing in August 2017. It's called Latin American Paleo Cooking and features traditional recipes made Paleo - without any grains, dairy, or legumes. I also took care to make nearly all of the recipes AIP compliant (or easily adjusted to be so). My Puerto Rican mother-in-law was gracious enough to share her heirloom family recipes withme to adapt for the book. Pre-order your copy now and save your receipt for a special gift from me! Be sure to join my supportive Facebook community as well.
P.S. Interested in working with me? Email me and let's chat!