Contact me HERE
Catch me on Facebook and Pinterest.

Welcome! I'm Jacqueline (or Jackie). After saving my own health and life, I'm passionate about real food, paleo, and living a crunchy life. With a gallon of coconut oil in one hand and a bottle of apple cider vinegar (with the mother) in the other, I'm on a mission to spread the word.

 Livin' the Crunchy Life is where I will share grain-free, dairy-free, and real food recipes, ideas for living more naturally (cleaning, beauty, remedies, etc.) and things I've learned on my journey to better health. Almost all of the recipes will fit into the paleo/primal lifestyle.  Some follow GAPS/SCD diet and/or Autoimmune Protocol. Though I follow a mostly paleo/primal lifestyle, I am not here to tell you how you should eat. I just want to provide options for eating real food. I believe you should find what works best for your body and you will find no judgment here about your food choices -- even if you still eat processed foods. We all have to start somewhere. This blog is a humor-encouraged, judgement-free zone. Do the best you can. I don't believe in creating stress over food choices. Enjoy your food, and most of all, enjoy your life! 

As for me, I started my transition to all real/whole food in 2011 after being sick for over 4 years. I already ate a lot of real food because I loved to cook (and lived in a country where real food was more prevalent), but I also believed low-fat was the way to go. And... well, sometimes the real food was crowded out with the convenience of the fast and the cheap (i.e. 3 for $1 tacos or something like that). Once I started learning more about real food (getting really serious about it in 2012), it spiraled into learning about making body care products, cleaners, and all sorts of things, and later finding the Whole30 and paleo (which allowed me to discover my sensitivities to gluten and dairy). Now, I didn’t go from energy drinks and weekly Taco Bell visits to herbal teas and kale chips overnight. And I didn't ever think or plan to be concocting beauty products in my own kitchen. But now, and I never thought I'd say this (mostly because before I didn't know "crunchy" meant anything more than description for a cracker or chip), I'm livin' the crunchy life.

(I am not a healthcare professional. Content on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please read my disclaimer.)

As for the blog name...

While I say I'm "livin’ the crunchy life," it doesn't mean I do it all or make everything myself, and so on. "Crunchy" to me basically means becoming aware and embracing what is natural, real, and simple in regards to what goes in my body as well as on my body (and in my home). Just living as real and natural as possible. (But don't worry, I still shave and all that normal stuff.) It has taken time for me to get to the point I’m at now, but I still don’t do it all (and some things I may never do). 

Just as eating real food doesn't require perfection or one definition, neither does using natural products for your home, skin, etc. You don't have to make everything yourself and you absolutely don't have to stop shaving your armpits or washing your hair or wearing a bra, unless you want to (and no judgment if you do/don't). Whether you are full-on hippie or still trying to understand why someone would rub (diluted) vinegar on their face, you have to find your own "crunchy" definition, even if for you it only means eating real food.

I'll write more on the blog name later...but I joke that my child (when I have one) won’t have a name for the first several years of his/her life…so there’s a pretty good chance that I’m just not good at naming things. 

Where it all began...

About six or seven years ago, my health deteriorated ...and continued to deteriorate (about the time I decided to stop taking the birth control pill). I was eating mostly healthy (what I thought was healthy at the time), and even though my blood work was indicative of an extremely healthy person, I gained 50lbs in a very short period of time. I was diagnosed with GERD, IBS, PCOS, and any other acronym you can think of. I was given prescription after prescription and nothing ever changed. Eventually, after being in pain daily, becoming depressed and feeling helpless, I was able to switch doctors. After convincing him to test my gallbladder, he found the cause (or at least one cause) of my issues. My gallbladder (no stones) was removed and I was sent on my way.

(I can't say for sure the cause of my gallbladder disease...but if you suspect you are having issues with your gallbladder, check out this post from The Paleo Mom about the link between gallbladder disease and gluten sensitivity.)

I had begun researching food and health while I was sick (although all the conflicting information just left me more confused). I went from incorporating even more real food into my diet (and cutting out more processed), to drinking green smoothies, to eating very little meat, to eating new things like quinoa and chia seeds, and to eventually finding the Whole30® program. (Read my posts about my Whole30s here.) While I now eat what is considered a paleo/primal diet, I'm more focused on just eating real food and particularly the foods that make me feel the best. Along the way, I lost 30 of those pounds, and only most recently have I been able to keep them off. I've also discovered that I have an intolerance to gluten and dairy and I feel best without eating those foods. Because I've eliminated gluten and dairy, I've finally been cleared of my eczema and migraines, my skin has improved immensely (very few, if any breakouts after years and years of bad skin), and my cycle is regular again (was diagnosed with PCOS after stopping the pill). I'm still healing my body and myself (I struggle with digestive and PCOS issues), but one of the most important things I've learned from the past several years: Food is thy medicine.

Welcome to my crunchy life.


I love getting comments and appreciate all feedback and reviews on recipes or anything else, even negative (respectful) feedback. If you ever have an issue with a recipe or need clarification on something I've posted, please let me know and I will be happy to help, give more information, or adjust the recipe if needed. 

Contact me HERE or at livinthecrunchylife (at) gmail (dot) com

Catch me on Facebook and Pinterest

October 2012. Last updated: July 2013


  1. Love this Jackie! Your beauty is shining through. You inspire me : )

    1. Thank you Kat! I have a hard time sharing really personal stuff about myself, so it took me awhile to update this. I'm glad to get to know you through my blog -- your comments are always appreciated :)

  2. Just found your blog yesterday and loving it!! Keep up the good work Jackie!! Great information given and completely appreciated!! Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much, Rebecca! I appreciate your comment!


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