A few years ago, I had run myself ragged going from doctor to doctor and taking several different medications to diagnose and solve my chronic stomach pain and irregularity.

It was a grueling process to come to no real conclusion and actually be worse off than when I started. I spent nights in agony as stabbing knives, cramps and waves of nausea interrupted my sleep. My days were spent trying to work through the pain and fatigue with intense agitation and no appetite. I began losing drastic amounts of weight until I went to a wellness specialist and dietitian and tried a new diet.

It turned out that I was having trouble with an overgrowth of candida. Candida is essentially a naturally occurring fungus in your belly. An overgrowth is caused by high concentrations of bread, sugar and starches and causes all kinds of health issues.

The solution for me was eventually the Paleo diet. I had a hard time adjusting to cooking for a whole new diet since I, admittedly, had a hard time cooking for myself on the regular, American junk food diet. These recipes were quick and simple.

A Paleo frittata is a great beginner recipe. I would simply whisk up some eggs, which are high in protein and add peppers, zucchini, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese. This is great in the morning before a workout or for a quick and light dinner.

Another easy Paleo recipe is chili. Crock pot recipes are a favorite of mine and chili is super easy and can be made in hundreds of fun combinations. I favor ground turkey in my chili but pork is also a nice twist on the traditional recipes.

Hamburgers are an American favorite and there are dozens of ways to make Paleo friendly burgers. Try some turkey burgers or add portobello mushrooms or avocados for an urban Paleo twist.

The trick is to take some of your already-favorite foods and find Paleo recipes for them so that you do not feel as though your diet is taking away from you. It’s also great to have fun trying new things and get adventurous with your new Paleo lifestyle.