Shannon Doleac, MS, CSCS, CF-L1
Owner of Primal Peak, LLC.
My interest in food and nutrition began during my career as a young gymnast. I grew up in New Hampshire and trained at a small gymnastics club, from the age of three. I enjoyed the discipline and dedication necessary to be successful in my sport and quickly realized that nutrition played a part in performance. What foods would properly fuel my body, give me the energy I needed, help me recover and help me maintain a lean, athletic look were questions I remember thinking about at an early age.
After graduating from high school (1997), I accepted an athletic scholarship at the University of Utah. This is where I pursued programs in the related fields of fitness and psychology. How the body and mind work together for optimal performance led me towards undergraduate degrees in Exercise & Sport Science, as well as Psychology (2002).
Following a successful collegiate gymnastics career and my undergraduate work, I went to Tufts University (Boston, MA) to complete a Masters in Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism (with a specialization in Health Behavior Change) (2005). I sought a deeper understanding of how our body utilizes nutrients, and also wanted to acquire better skills for helping other people make positive changes to their health.
My view of “health” has been formed by three elements for as long as I can remember. Fitness and mental wellness make up two of the three, with NUTRITION being the third and most critical component. How each part influences “health” has always intrigued me, and I believe that for optimal wellness to be achieved, this triad needs to be complete. Initially, my interest in these areas was for personal performance, but over time it developed into a passion for helping others adopt healthier lifestyles.
I am currently working as the owner of Primal Peak, LLC, the co-owner of Fat Moose Foods, LLC, a “nutrition specialist” at Copper Moose Farm (providing recipes and nutrition content for CSA members and farm stand customers), and a volunteer for a local non-profit, EATS (Eat Awesome Things at School).
I have an amazing husband (who has always been supportive and onboard with my nutrition endeavors) and two wonderful children who keep me busy and always challenged in the field of practical nutrition!! My husband and I are avid CrossFitters and love being active as a family. I also love to cook and be creative in and out of the kitchen.
Food should be fun! It should taste great, be satisfying, unite your friends and family and most importantly, food should support your health! Our bodies function, perform and thrive as a result of the NUTRIENTS we give it. It is my belief that we can’t outsmart nature when it comes to nutrients and thus our foods should be those sourced closest to the Earth; we should be getting our nutrients through quality plants, animals and healthy fats.
Sadly, our nation’s “food” supply has ventured far from this. The majority of food products sold in the supermarket resemble nothing of a food you could find in nature. Refined, processed, man-made, and full of chemical additives, our body doesn’t know what to do with them. Take a look around. As Americans we are suffering from obesity, metabolic syndromes and chronic disease. Something has to change. It’s time to get back to the basics. Get in the kitchen and seek out real, whole foods that are nourishing and representative of what we are genetically designed to eat!
About Primal Peak
The goal of Primal Peak is to serve as a helpful resource for those looking to improve their health through nutrition and lifestyle choices. This site offers…
- Guidance on making the transition to a Paleo, Primal or Ancestral way of eating
- Motivation to stick with a primal approach
- Techniques on getting the whole family on board
- Inspiration for feeding your children well
- Farm to table inspired recipes
- Overall wellness ideas
- and, the list goes on…
Primal Peak is full of practical tips, insight, and inspiration for helping you and your family strive for optimal health. It has always been important to me to “practice what I preach” and I am frequently asked questions about my own lifestyle. The most common question is “what do YOU actually eat?” By posting many of my family’s daily meals and snacks (“My Plate” entries), I hope to show people how I incorporate my current understanding of what healthy eating consists of, as well as some practical methods for applying this knowledge.
Nutrition can seem simple, but it is is a very complex field to study. We have to consider the evolving science of biochemistry and how our bodies are affected by food, AS WELL AS the issues of food politics, food industry and the limitations of nutrition studies. At the same time, we all have to eat and it’s hard to argue that a variety of real, whole foods should be our focus. By using my personal experience and understanding of nutrition, I hope to help guide people through the mixed messages we are given and keep people focused on what’s important.
- M.S. – Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism, Tufts University – Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, May 2005
- B.S. – Exercise & Sports Science, University of Utah, May 2002
- B.S. – Psychology, University of Utah, May 2002
- Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
- CrossFit Level 1 Trainers Certificate
- CrossFit Coaches Prep Course Certificate
- Member of the Ancestral Health Society
- Member of the Weston A Price Foundation
- 2012 Southwest Regional CrossFit Competitor
- 2002 NCAA Woman of the Year – Top 10 Finalist
- Nine-time NCAA All-American
- Member of USA Gymnastics Women’s National Team 1997-98
The information provided within this website has been chosen, reviewed and/or written to express my opinions. Such opinions should not be used to act as, or replace, professional medical advice of any kind. The information provided within this site should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Medical clearance from a licensed physician should be obtained before implementing a new diet, exercise or lifestyle program. If you’ve been diagnosedwith an existing medical condition, I encourage you to continue treatment as recommended by your health care provider.
>Perusal of this site does not make you a client of Shannon Doleac. The author claims no responsibility to any person/entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused,or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the information presented herein.
My love for nutrition began later in life, and my perspective on food and fitness has evolved through my own personal experience. During my first pregnancy I thought I was doing everything by the book: walking (but not over doing it), eating “healthy”, and getting lots of rest. But, throughout the pregnancy I suffered from severe acid reflux and was put on Nexium to help alleviate symptoms. Nine months in and 55+lbs later I was also diagnosed with preeclampsia (high blood pressure and protein in my urine). The doctor induced me and thankfully I ended up having a healthy baby girl.
In the weeks following the birth I looked in the mirror and felt like I was trapped inside someone else’s body! So I did what most women do, signed up at my local globo gym and got on a treadmill, ate “healthy” and wished my way back to my normal size. After eighteen months I was still wishing my way back to my normal weight. I knew I needed a change.
In 2009 I started CrossFit and soon after was introduced to the “paleo” style of eating. My gym was running a 60 day “paleo challenge” and I signed myself up to see what it was all about. I realized that this “paleo thing” was not just an eight-week “diet;” it is a lifestyle change. After adjusting my diet I discovered that some of the negative symptoms I had dealt with before and during my first pregnancy were completely food related.
Two years later, my second pregnancy looked and felt completely different after adopting the paleo lifestyle. The acid reflux, low energy and mid afternoon crashes were gone! I was able to maintain my exercise routine throughout and gained a healthy 28 lbs. The foods I had postpartum were quite different this time around, allowing me to return to my pre-pregnancy size in 5 short months while feeling great. I feel so fortunate to have found a positive relationship with food that that I can pass on to my own two girls as they continue to grow.
My love for cooking has always been there, but through this process I recognized I had been cooking the wrong things in order to keep my body healthy and fueled in the right way. Taking on a “primal lifestyle” was also a kitchen challenge that I happily accepted and I was soon creating new recipes using real food. I realized that along with a passion for cooking, I also had a passion to help others to be a better version of themselves through food.
I’ve learned the focus is no longer about being as thin as I can possibly be, which is the message conveyed by much of society. Its become about making a lifestyle change, being strong and eating real food. I sure wish I taken this approach as a collegiate swimmer years ago. I am inspired to help other people understand that they too can develop a healthy relationship with food, wellness and themselves.
*Currently working on Primal Blueprint Certification
After high school, I accepted a soccer scholarship to Santa Clara University and decided to study Psychology while doing my senior capstone in Health Psychology. This area focuses a lot on the importance of health behavior change. I have always believed that the mind plays a crucial role in our lives, especially in athletic performance and nutrition.
Today, I am in the process of furthering my education in nutrition and athletics. I am looking to continue to play soccer at the next level, while finding ways to educate myself to learn more about how crucial food is for the body. I believe food is the body’s first medicine and my passion to help other people learn about how food affects their body is something that I truly look forward to doing in my future.
My love of food started at an early age. I would watch Julia Child on PBS and then go into the kitchen and pretend I had my own show. My love has only grown as I’ve gotten older and able to experience new things, in my kitchen and out.
I grew up in small town in New Hampshire and was very active, playing all kinds of sports. In high school I decided to focus on volleyball and accepted a Division I scholarship. After graduating from college I moved around a bit, eventually settling in California.
I had always thought I followed a relatively “healthy” diet but one Thanksgiving I was introduced to paleo, and I have never really looked back. The improvements I saw in my physical shape, sleep habits, and general attitude helped me to fully embrace the lifestyle.
Nutrition has not always been in the forefront of my life, but since adopting a primal lifestyle I have realized the ways in which nutrition has had a positive effect on both my mental and physical wellbeing. I am grateful to my friend Shannon for introducing me to this way of eating.
I met Shannon when we started 6th grade, we have been friends ever since. She has always been a supportive friend and I am very glad to be contributing to Primal Peak.
My primary focus as it relates to food and nutrition is to help people get back in the kitchen and cook for themselves! We live in a very fast paced world where people “don’t have time” to cook. I say that’s a bunch of bologna! Knowing where your food comes from, and what goes into it, is so important. And although I don’t have kids, I believe teaching future generations of eaters how to prepare meals is an invaluable skill. Not to mention the time it provides for families, large or small, to sit down together and connect over a great meal. I am not a trained chef, just a home cook with an extensive cookbook collection and obsession with the Food Network.
When I am not helping with Primal Peak, my husband and I are usually out surfing, at a CrossFit gym or just generally enjoying the outdoors in San Diego. I am Accountant by day, and food lover by night.