"I really love this work so far, I love that you use your personal life experience to teach, help and guide others. I love that your blog, talks and check-ins always seems to be in line with what I'm needing or what's on my mind that particular week.
This time last year I was in Alaska, staying up until 5am, drinking WAY more, eating biscuits and gravy daily, and trying to stave off hangovers from the night before. I was stressed out because there was no organization or separation from work, living, work structure or anything else.
Six months ago I was in school and working three jobs, moving into a new space, feeling cluttered, taking no days for myself, constantly having breakdowns and meltdowns, and feeling pressure from school, family, relationship and friendship needs. I always had this overwhelming feeling of being rushed, my brain was always screaming at me, and my brain was SO foggy. I was eating anything I could get my hands on and 'blacking out' when eating chips, fries, burgers or wings.
Today, I’m starting fresh and work for a new place. My family expectations aren’t a factor. My schedule isn't a factor. When I eat, I usually avoid breads, look forward to eating tomatoes and cucumbers, and am comfortable saying no. My brain fog has cleared significantly (previously, I thought brain fog and forgetfulness were a permanent fixture in my life).
This work is wonderful. It gives me a reference point to come back to every week so I don't trail off too far without knowing where I am."
— Gabrielle P.
"Honestly, I was very skeptical. OMG! I don’t know where to start. This whole experience has been life-changing. I never thought I would be able to give up sugar. I thought I was just too old to really change my eating habits and curb my cravings.
I’ve never really experienced such a change in the way I eat so dramatically, so quickly and with such positive feedback with alternatives that really work. Thank you!”
— Marci C.
“For me, this whole process was about integration. I wanted to take eating healthy and exercise from hard, exhausting and unsustainable to easy, simple and nourishing, requiring little thought or energy to make it happen. That’s exactly what happened. The shift is radical and dramatic—I feel the effects every day. And I have finally stopped trying to eat well and move my body—now, I just do it. And I honestly love it.
It’s the integration that made all the difference for me—and Dana brought it into my life in a clear, supportive and sustainable way like no one else ever has.”
– Steve M.
"My primary goal was to address the desire to feel nourished in my life. This has been accomplished in the sphere of eating—and eating to nourish rather than to fill. I now have the support and skills to do this, and to nourish myself.
Dana considered my concerns and responded to them. She did not come across as prescriptive. I’ve ‘failed’ lots of naturopathic practitioners’ programs because they were too much of a leap for me. They looked at an ideal and expected me to fit it. Dana took things step-by-step and I have a sense of success. No step required me to stretch too far that I fell.”
— Shulamit B.
“Dana is nonjudgmental and open to adjusting to what the client needs rather than taking a cookie-cutter coaching approach. She also calls one out on their stuff without shaming or blaming.
Once I made the commitment to be open to the process and to choose the foods I knew my body was wanting, I also chose to continue the coaching relationship because (1) I have a lot of weight to lose to get to the goals I want for my next decade of living, and (2) I know I will sabotage myself until I get through my old gaming patterns. Having a coach keeps me honest while supporting my choices and my vision for what’s next.”
– Lynn S.
"Although I understand the importance of eating well, that knowledge rarely, if ever, has translated to nutritionally sound eating practices…until now. For the first time in my life, my relationship with food is shifting in a positive direction.
Instead of positioning food so dichotomously (food will make me fat so I should eat minimally, OR food will make me feel good, so I should eat whatever I want because I deserve it), I see food more holistically. Although I am early in this journey, I already see, feel and experience the benefits of paleo-primal eating, including reduced PMS symptoms and boosts of energy throughout the day that don't come from manufactured powders and bars full of chemicals.
I’ve received all kinds of compliments about how toned (and hot) I look :). Although I do not want to tether myself to external forms of motivation, it is nice to get that outside affirmation. Also, I went shopping for a business suit for my upcoming interview (woot woot!) and am down to a size 2. The last time I was this size, I was anorexic and food was the enemy. Now I am healthy, strong and satisfied, and food is delicious fuel for my body. What an amazing shift!”
— Christina P.
"I feel a complete shift now into my new way of eating. You’re amazing, gentle, compassionate and loving. I’m grateful, so grateful for you in my life. It’s so much more than just food. I sleep better, have no joint pain, am hormonally balanced, and have a leaner, stronger me: mentally and physically.
I am stronger in so many ways because of my work with you. You reminded me of the strength I have, which seemed to have been lost. Our work together is coming out in my life everywhere. I am so proud of where I am now. I feel great! I look healthy and fit! I am happy!”
– Christine S.
"I like this work! My wife says that my face is looking skinnier, and I can definitely feel my body composition is changing. This is the first time in my life that I can say I'm truly getting to understand the notion ‘you are what you eat.’ Over dinner today, I told my wife how grateful I am that we get to work with Dr. Dana.”
— Scott B.
"My attraction to investigating this new way of eating and living was witnessing Dana’s lifestyle, energy and vitality. It’s quite apparent that whatever she’s doing is working physically and mentally. My three main objectives were to: improve digestion, clear up my skin, and find inspiration and creativity in the kitchen. All of my intentions have been met and then some.
I anticipated the paleo-primal lifestyle to be one of restriction, discipline and self-control. I felt like I was about to embark on some new fad diet. I procrastinated in setting up a consultation for some time. It was actually the testimonials of my yoga students (also clients of Dana) that got me to pull the trigger.
After consulting with Dana, I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of adjusting to this new way of eating and preparing food. I love the way I feel eating this way. I do have better digestion. Far better! My skin looks the best it has ever looked. I’m FULL and satiated all day. I no longer find myself snacking in between meals. I thought the battle with sugar could only be won through willpower. The fullness I feel from eating the right fats has stopped the cravings for sugar altogether."
— Jodi P.
"Dr. Dana, I cannot thank you enough for all you have helped me with. I have had a chronic sweet tooth my whole life. I lived for sweets! This is truly the first time in my life I’m not craving them!
The support I received from you is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Every area was discussed, not just a few symptoms. As I learned, such symptoms are usually part of something bigger. In addition to sugar, we worked on my chronic sinus inflammation and loose stools. The sinus inflammation became a non issue, and my stools corrected themselves.
The eating guidance was so important...and acupuncture and herbs expedited the healing process. You are a very attentive listener and gifted with providing solutions. Not only will this make me a better, healthier person, but a better, more focused personal trainer!”
— Nicole E.
"Dr. Dana Leigh Lyons has healing hands that I cannot speak more highly of. She has worked with me on acne, knee issues, and heart and digestive issues. Dr. Dana is incredibly understanding, compassionate, insightful and a listener. I cannot stress how many times I’ve been to different specialists, only to be brushed aside and prescribed a medication that would cause side effects or create a temporary ‘band aid’ for the health ailment. Dr. Dana created a 180 in my health with herbs, acupuncture and eating guidance."
— Ann L.
"Having worked with practitioners and being one myself, I wasn’t sure what else I would learn as far as information and education. I knew the changes to make; I just wasn’t making them. I also was not a person seeking a paleo-primal way of eating. I was curious as well as open to exploring this way of eating, but I wasn’t yet committed. I wasn’t ready to commit to a ‘plan.’ Rather, I wanted a person to hold me accountable.
There wasn’t a hard sale and no demands. Everything was discussed and related to where I was in the moment. As a result, my trust level increased those first 30 days and I signed on for another 60 days and then another. My resistance to change was softly and gently eroded. No storm-trooper approach wanted or needed; Dana’s compassionate approach was gently probing and directing. In addition to gaining trust, I realized primal eating was a fit for me.
Though it took me 60 days to start really following a primal approach, those first 60 days brought insight into patterns, beliefs and resistance...plus appreciation for who I have become—not just an overweight person but a person of contribution and connection. Dana’s focus on me as a person rather than me as a consumer of food helped me address my resistant patterns.
There are several benefits I received through coaching. First was having a person willing to do what I needed. For example, emails have been journal entries for me, and Dana quickly learned that for me, an email was a good way to help me stay accountable. Another is that as my weight loss has continued, I have a person helping me sort through food choices and affirming my efforts. Dana helps me stay focused on the marathon for sustainable results.
Because I started out with mobility difficulties, the improvement in my movement and endurance has been a huge benefit. I had been limited to sitting most of the time. Now I can walk short distances, go grocery shopping, stand for longer than a few minutes, and walk without fatiguing pain. I continue to progress each week in this area.
Another benefit was addressing my emotional connection to food. Truly diving into the underpinnings of my emotions and certain choices has helped me focus on how I want to feel versus medicating because I feel.”
– Lynn S.
"As a 43-year-old man, I have “typical” middle-aged male issues—a belly, some joint pain, and a fairly sedentary life. I’m also a smart, successful guy. I’ve done dietary and exercise research for decades, and I’m fairly well-educated on what I need to do—what I’m supposed to eat and how I’m supposed to move my body. I didn’t need education on what to do—I needed support to integrate it into my life.
I have never been able to sustain a way of eating or exercise by force of sheer will for any length of time. I needed integration support so that eating in a healthy way and moving my body became natural—without having to restrict or force myself.
I had followed Alchemist Eating on Facebook and connected with them on the blog, newsletter and in other ways, and I had deep appreciation for the compassionate style they demonstrate. After a short while, I knew intuitively that I wanted to work with Dana—I needed someone who was like a Willow Tree—gentle when needed, but incredibly strong—someone I could lean into and who had the skill to use just the right support to help me get to my next level without feeling pushed. In working with Dana, I achieved some amazing results:
Eating 95% clean paleo-primal with ease, joy, satisfaction. It doesn’t even take effort for me anymore. I’ve built a life-long new way to eat.
I changed my relationship with food entirely. I’ve always been a comfort food person—I emotionally eat—and that has shifted dramatically. Now, I can get my needs for comfort met in ways that honor my body and overall health too.
I hate exercise. Loathe it. I won’t even use the word. And now, I move my body daily—in ways that feel good and doable. No long workout routines. I’m on a nourishing and supportive trajectory of movement which is strong enough to create some real change in my body, and also doesn’t make we want to throw up. It’s become easy, natural and simply a part of my daily routine—not something I have to do.
I was a huge night-time snacker. That’s completely vanished.
I have generally disliked veggies. They had been almost non-existent in my diet except for an occasional salad. Now, I eat a variety of veggies, with joy…like, actual enjoyment. Whoa!!!! That’s crazy to me. I love including colorful veggies with every meal, and it’s getting even easier and more fun for me. Radical shift.
I was incredibly, deeply addicted to sugar—like methamphetamine-level addicted to sugar. I can enjoy it when I have it on occasion, but I do not crave it anymore. I can honestly say that my sugar addiction is a thing of the past.
Before I worked with Dana, I was 230 pounds. In 90 days, I was down 23 pounds. Easy, sustainable, long-term weight loss…and that trajectory continues. This is last on the list for a specific reason: I used to be really, really attached to my weight and the number on the scale. Working with Dana also helped me shift that into perspective. I keep tabs on it, but it’s SO much less important to me. I have a much better relationship to my body and whole being due to my work with Dana. That will support me for my lifetime!"
– Steve M.