Everyday Small Things

Happy, Healthy, Strong: Going Paleo

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I’m going to give Paleo a go.  Why I hear you say?  What’s that I hear you say?

Well very quickly in a nutshell Paleo is more of a lifestyle choice than just a diet.  It is a framework used to create the best person/mind/body you can be by focusing on Nutrition, Fitness and Lifestyle.   Traditionally Paleo is sold as the Primal/Caveman lifestyle.  And with particular regard to diet, Paleo suggests that our dietary choices should be focused on the diet our ancestors ate.  Why?  Well most arguments are based around the fact that the human digestive system has not evolved to be able to cope with the types of foods that Western cultures primarily eat these days.  But I come from an evolutionary biology background and know that there is lots of evidence to suggest that certain aspects of human biology has evolved over the last 10 000 years.  So I don’t really buy into that!  But maybe many of the foods we eat these days just are not good for us full stop. ?!  This is just a super, quick glance at Paleo and a bit ramshackle sorry– for a good and quick explanation click here.

What was my diet before? 

In a nutshell – low GI.  A few years ago I really overhauled my diet because my world fell apart as I was suffering from constant migraines and headaches.  And yeah I really noticed an improvement in energy, in my gut’s happiness and was able to start losing weight. Yay!

Before that I felt like I had tried everything.  At college I even went completely gluten free for nine months after many health professionals suggested it to help combat the migraines.  And I had found the same results.

Despite big improvements I still feel sluggish.  Still have migraines/headaches daily.  Still have a low-grade auto-immune condition.  Still have joints that flare up too much during exercise and take too long to calm down.  Still always feel hungry (even though the ups and downs have stabilised a lot!).

Which brings me to Why go Paleo?

The first day I arrived in Australia I went for a massage (after the long-haul flight).  My massues just so happened to be a massive advocate of Paleo and we got chatting about the migraines/auto-immune condition.  She had had a similar experience.  It’s funny how you meet people at certain moments in your life.  Going back home was for me… a chance to listen to my heart and body again.  So it was interesting that in my first few hours back I had this conversation.

I realised I had just dismissed Paleo earlier because of the evolutionary argument.  But she gave me some good resources to read (see below for some links if you’re interested):  in particular the link between foods that irritate the gut, cause the body ‘stress’ which may induce migraines.  Now not a lot of this is backed up by hard science.  But hard science has failed me.  This is hard to admit.  I’m a scientist for goodness sake.  Anyway long story short.. I have nothing to lose by further investigating the link between my diet, my health and therefore my happiness.  I will probably do an elimination diet soon.. am just researching the best way to go about this now.

In my reading I found this recipe book – a week of Paleo recipes.  And they were so yummy, quick to prepare.  My next post is my review of this week.

Are you interested in Paleo?  What bought you to it?  Have you done an elimination diet?  Can you make any good suggestions?

Want to know more about Paleo?  These are some good links I’ve found:

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Author: Everyday Small Things by KT

An Aussie living in the UK - reminding herself of all the precious moments each day that do actually bring joy and a smile to her face! Please share your story with me too... x KT

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