My Personal Journey to a Better Life

Real Health in a Real World


Mark is often referred to as the "Godfather of Paleo", or the "De Facto Leader" of the Paleo movement.  His credentials are unquestioned.  His results are undeniable.  If you are curious at all about the Paleo lifestyle, I highly recommend you check out his website and his book "The Primal Blueprint".  By signing up for his website you will get a ton of great information to


A collection of recipes and guides to some of my favorite meals, sides and snacks.  Real ingredients, satisfying and healthy. 

Diane is happy to share her wealth of information with anyone who is interested.  You can follow her on all sorts of social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter where she is very active and responsive.  She hosts a weekly podcast with her good friend Liz Wolfe (“Eat the Yolks”) that is available free on iTunes, and her website is always being updated with new information.

Along with her website, she has written two renowned books, The Paleo Athlete and Performance Paleo Cookbook, and she has a chart-topping podcast, Harder to Kill Radio.  On top of all of this she still has time to put out amazing content on Social Media, entertaining and educating her followers on Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, Pinterest and Facebook.

Chris Masterjohn
Liz Wolfe
Amy Densmore

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a movie binge-a-thon.  While I am a sucker for sci-fi and dramas, I love a good educational film on a topic that I am passionate about.  If you read my About Me section you know that my current health-kick got started after watching a couple of documentaries.  This set off a firestorm in me that hasn’t died down.  As much as I love researching and reading articles or studies, there’s still nothing like sitting down and getting immersed in a film for an evening. 

WithorWithoutBacon Copyright 2015

Charlotte, NC  United States

A look at American agricultural policy and food culture

Overview of the politics, social effects and problems associated with American obesity

Think exercise is a chore?  Don't have time?  No more feeling like a hamster in a wheel for hours on end.  Get results with functional strength training. 

Examines the role of the bottled water industry and its effects on our health and planet

Robb Wolf
Chris Kresser
Paleo Physicians Network

Foods you should definitely be eating to those you should avoid at all costs.  Get to know about Protein, good and bad Fats, and how to manage the very tricky Carbohydrate intake.

Morgan Spurlock sacrifices himself to an exclusive McDonald's diet for 30 days

LocalHarvest provides online tools that connect local farmers with consumers.  Their directory has over 30,000 family farms, farmers markets, restaurants and grocery stores that supply local food.  Food is better when it's fresh, and there is nothing fresher than purchasing food picked the same day.  Enter your zip code into their search engine and find out what wonderful local food sources are in your neighborhood. 


Covers topics such as organic food, food safety, raw foodism, and nutritional therapy

Mark Sisson

This is a great source to find Paleo-approved doctors.  Nothing is more frustrating that seeking a remedy for an illness and being quickly looked over and sent away with a prescription or seven with nasty side-effects.  This site should help you find doctors from physicians to chiropractors who share in the belief that good health starts with a proper lifestyle. 

Stories of farmers and food co-ops being raided and shut down by government and corporate agents

From photography, to gardening, to martial arts, to technology and entertainment, we all need to relax and take time to enjoy things that make us happy.  Here are some of my interests.

The story of three people on a quest to spread their health and nutrition methods

Diane Sanfilippo
Local Harvest

Can most of our degenerative diseases be controlled or reversed using a real food approach?

Steph Gaudreau has taken the Paleo world by storm.  With her BS in Biology-Human Physiology, 12 years of science teaching experience and being a Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner, she has combined science with her love of good food to educate people world-wide on how to maximize their health and athletic performance.

She has gone on to create the 21-Day Sugar Detox and write a best-selling book and cookbook about it.  Thousands of people have committed to the monthly sugar detox program and have reaped the benefits.  In my opinion there is no better way to start your journey than by kicking the sugar cravings to the curb. 

The information on this website is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only.  It is an opinion blog based on personal research and experimentation.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult with a licensed professional healthcare provider before undertaking any diet or lifestyle change.

Although I believe that when you are eating a diet consisting of real foods, you don't need to count calories and analyze everything you put in your body.  But sometimes it's good to get an idea of what we are eating.  This is a great website to track your food intake.  Every now and then for a week or two, I will measure and enter my food into their diary to see how I'm doing.  Sometimes I need to adjust my protein, carbs and/or fat depending on how I'm feeling.  Sometimes I get curious about my micronutrient intake, and this website is wonderful.  With thousands of food types and the ability to create meals and recipes, it is a terrific source for tracking our food statistics. 

Health Resources

A father's journey of discovery of the possible effects of Genetically Modified foods

A look at the world of genetically modified foods through the lens of New Mexico's iconic chile pepper

Examines the implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee.

How Nestle turned ordinary water into a billion-dollar business

Steph has quickly become on of my favorite Paleo personalities to follow.  From her amazing pictures, incredible health information, her entertaining and invaluable podcasts, scopes and webinars, to her engagement with all fans and followers, she is a valuable resource to anyone looking to improve their health and athletic performance. 

An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry

Exposes secrets the food industry doesn't want you to know

Stephanie Gaudreau

Today is much different.  Almost all of us have access to the internet where infinite pages of information are available to us at our fingertips.  A quick Google search of any topic can bring up thousands and thousands of pages, from blogs to academic research papers.  But despite the infamous commercial, what the internet says is not always true.  So how do we navigate through this vast wasteland of information?

This is where it all started for me.  One day searching for recipes, I came across marksdailyapple.  I casually entered my email to subscribe to his website, and next thing I knew I was nose deep in literature about the Primal Blueprint.  Everything seemed to make sense.  From the science, to the application, to the results, I was hooked.  Within several days I had added meat back into my diet, ditched the remaining grains and dove headfirst into a life of better health.

I’ve spent years researching diet and nutrition, and have narrowed down several trustworthy people, sources and tools that have helped me tremendously, and hopefully can help you too.  Below are my health and nutrition “Heroes & Inspiration”, as well as other tools that have helped me out.  Please take a look at them, check out their websites and give them a follow on social media, you won’t be disappointed!


Michelle Tam

Join Michael Pollan as he explores our past and present cooking methods

Shocking journey of an environmentalist seeking the solution to sustainability

Julie Bauer

Follow Joe Cross as he discovers a real food solution to his obesity and illnesses

Below is an extensive list of movies that I have watched that all relate to health, nutrition, food politics or our food environment.  Each title is a link to its IMDB page so you can read summaries and reviews if you are interested.  There are some movies that I don’t 100% agree with their science or reasoning, but it doesn’t diminish their entertainment value, or their general message that something is notably wrong with how we feed our population.  Most of these are available on Netflix, or were at one point and if they currently are not, hopefully will be again soon.

judge for yourself if his book is worth picking up.

Diane’s New York Times Best-Selling book Practical Paleo was the first Paleo book I picked up, and it is my go to for information and recipes.  The health and nutrition section is presented in a way that anyone can understand.  It is written with humor and seriousness, because who can’t laugh at their own poop but deep down knows something is terribly wrong?   This is the book I tell anyone who is curious about Paleo to pick up.  From top-notch science, to recipes, to 30-day meal plans for treating several disorders, this book is a one-stop-shop for Paleo beginners and veterans. 

Examination of America's obesity epidemic and the food industry's role in aggravating it

We live in a wonderful time where information about any subject is easily found in abundance with little effort, especially compared to the yesteryear.  We used to have to go to the community library or closest university to research topics of interest.  We were limited to their selection of reading material, had to navigate our way through the Dewey-decimal system and hope that the book was in the location it was supposed to be, and not already checked out by someone.   Maybe we even had to strain our eyes at a Microform contraption.  Just finding source material on particular topics could be challenging.  If the topic wasn’t specifically part of the title we may pass by something relevant altogether. 

Aside from nutrition and exercise advice, Mark also preaches the value in connecting on a deeper level with our primal ancestors.  His book "Primal Connection" is a wonderful read that teaches us to take a break from modern society, shut off the electronics, play games, be social and connect with nature. 

Steph's knowledge doesn't stop with the science either.  She has numerous coaching certifications such as USA Weightlifting Level 1 and multiple CrossFit disciplines.  She has competed on CrossFit teams, qualified for the American Open in 2014 and continues to coach weightlifting in gyms across the globe.

All pictures are property of withorwithoutbacon, jrsphotography, or have been used with permission, and may not be copied, printed or published without written consent. 

The Best of the Rest

Diane shares a common story with all of us; being sick but not really knowing it, and accepting it as it is just a way of life.  Being addicted to sugar and grains, and trying every diet plan under the sun to lose weight, it all catches up to you at one point.  She had her “aha” moment when she conquered her illnesses with a Paleo approach to nutrition, and from then on decided to make her life goal helping other people.