I Know That This Information Would Have Saved My Parents Lives

Written by: Kepa

Hi guys,

My story isn’t quite like the other testimonials I’ve read on here, so congrats to all the other paleople (paleo people). Back in 2009 after my second daughter was born, I got to my heaviest ever weight 80 kg. Now I know that might not seem much to you, but I was supposed to be around the early 60 kgs mark being only 5’5” and skinny most of my life. It was pretty shocking to me to be that heavy. Both my parents died at the age of 63, my mum from cancer, and my father from a heart attack. They were both over 100kgs, and shorter than me. So I made up my mind that I wouldn’t follow in their footsteps (well not in their health footsteps, they were both teachers, so am I). I had always thought that if you just exercised enough, you could eat anything you wanted. Which is true to an extent, but what I didn’t realize, until now, you gotta work damn hard to get those layers of fat off, and then even harder to keep them away if you’re on a western staple diet of processed carbs. I had heard about the ancestors way of eating promoted by a famous former All Black captain Rugby player in 2010, and thought ”this is interesting, but not quite me”, and then disregarded.  I took a lot of pride because I ate ”healthy” foods like cheerios and wholemeal bread (how gullible are we?). Then my brother had been on this paleo diet ”thing” when he started Crossfit around about Feb 2012. He would come to work/school and cook all of these wonderful meals, mainly steak, eggs, and veggies, but it still didn’t quite dawn on me until Nov 2012.  Two weeks before I started Crossfit I started the Paleo diet on the recommendation that if you were to train or start an exercise regime you should try changing your diet first, so I did. Two weeks later I dropped weight even before I started at Crossfit. I was pretty stunned, but deep down it made sense to me why.  My ancestors (Maori) have only just stopped eating like I am now from the 1940’s. In World War II Stalin stated that if he had “1500 Maori Soldiers, he could rule the world”. Their physique and fearlessness were unmatched, and in 70 short years we now have the worst cases of autoimmune diseases, a familiar story that echoes many indigenous peoples that have been introduced to the western diet.

Anyways, I haven’t lost as much as other people 8kg (numbers are nothing to me) but I’ve nearly gained a physique I’ve always dreamed of and I feel stronger than I ever did in my 20’s.
I was always a very happy, positive, and passionate person, and very spiritual, so I meditate a lot. I thought I felt good, and all in all well rounded (well my belly was lol) until I started eating ”real food” like my ancestors. 4 months later and after reading The Paleo Solution and about 10 other paleo books, I know that this information would have saved my parents lives. So thank you Robb and all of the other people that took the time out to save lives through educating themselves and then us, it has inspired me to do the same.

Love Kepa

Kepa photo fat


Kepa photo good










Categories: Athletic Performance, Featured Testimonial, Paleo Testimonials, Weight Loss


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  1. James says

    Great story, makes me think of my parents, and gives me new fire to get them on the Paleo lifstyle.

    Oh and those are the worst before and after pictures ever.

    • Kepa says

      Hey James, sorry for the late reply as I totally forgot that I had sent in a testimonial and was shocked it actually got published. I totally agree with you about the photos I just had an urge to get it up quickly and and those were the only photos I could find. I will definitely get some up asap!

  2. Jo says

    Maori have appalling death rates from heart disease and diabetes. I think that genetically they are at even higher risk of the SAD diet of processed food. Maori children make up the majority of those on free breakfast programmes. What do they get? Bread and cereal. Maori, however, do have a pride in their ancestral history, and I think encouraging their ancestral diet may help to improve their health statistics.

  3. Beth says

    Even if your parents had had this information, it doesn’t necessarily mean they would have changed their diet and lifestyle habits. I was talking to my dad’s girlfriend about how sugar (including wheat and excess carbs) feeds cancer, as her dad has cancer, and that if she could get him to change his diet, it could only help. My dad overheard the conversation and told me that if he ever got cancer, not to ever put him on that diet because he’d rather die happy.
    Any child would be disheartened to hear their parent say such a thing, but I have to accept that it’s his life to live. I never try to convince him about the benefits of a paleo diet, he just knows what I don’t eat (and some of the basic premise behind why) and doesn’t agree with it. It sucks, because I know he could be so much healthier, but it’s not my choice.

    • Kepa says

      I understand what you mean by “it doesn’t necessarily mean they would have changed their diet and lifestyle habits”. I just mean that they lacked any kind of alternative info all we had was the mainstream tv and the standard recommendations from Drs to eat “healthy” unfortunately at that time, and to a large extent currently, that’s all that was said “eat healthy” they didn’t show what to eat and this was before the internet became widely accessible as we live in a very rural area and many other beliefs that played a part in our lifestyle. So if they were exposed to this kind of info then at least they would of had a choice whether they chose to eat healthy or not was up to them. Thanks for your comment I really appreciate it

  4. says

    Wonderful story Kepa. Just think of all the years of healthy living ahead. Who knows how many will be inspired to change their diet by the healthy life you live. Thank you for sharing.

  5. says

    Kepa, great post.
    I am also from NZ and have often described a (near) perfect diet as per-European Maori diet. Seafood, sweet potato etc. Haven’t heard the Stalin quote before, but I believe Captian cook described the Maori as the best example of humanity. Sadly this is so far from the description that would fit many maori over the today. I too lost my parents to lifestyle diseases. Kepa keep up the good work and lead by example.

  6. says

    Great testimonial Kepa. Sorry to hear that you lost both of your parents, but take comfort in knowing that your post goes a long way to helping people with dietary/health problems that they may have. Thanks for the post.

  7. Nadia says


    Choice one. Thanks for your story from our little corner of the world!

    Did you see the show on Maori TV a while back which followed a bunch of people doing an ancestral diet? Pretty ahead of the curve compared to other stuff on telly. It was called “The Native Diet.”

    Anyway – just wanted to say chur (and feel free to upload some more pics with more of your new physique)! 😉

    Keep spreading the word…

  8. Mike says

    Congrats Kepa. I’m a Kiwi too and have just started Paleo for autoimmune problems I’m getting. Love the Stalin quote! Made me laugh…

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