Paleo Plan

Sitting here in the middle of the night eating bread and butter to calm my stomach down, the idea of starting a totally Paleo way of eating feels ridiculous and unachievable. But from Monday, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing. I’ve signed up for six months of meal plans, shopping lists and suggested workouts on a site called paleoplan.com.

I first read a book called Protein Power in early 2000, and I was swayed by the authors’ argument that the human body is not set up for a diet in refined carbohydrates. This is no longer lunatic fringe theory, of course, but back then, it really was not regarded highly by the medical profession. Over the years, I’ve come to believe that adjusting my diet to include the kind of nutritional breakdown that the hunter gatherers had (minus the insects!) and eating more in the way of organic, unrefined and unprocessed food would be extremely good for my health, but until now I’ve just not had the time, energy, impetus, need, to go for it wholeheartedly.

But there is no doubt about it, I need to do something about my health and my lifestyle. I’ve taken the alopathic medical route, and I’m diligently taking the drugs, talking to the specialists, striving as hard as I can to do the right thing about my colitis. I’m doing some of the complementary stuff as well, as much yoga as I can dredge up the energy for, eating live yoghurt, trying to reduce stress (hah!) – and although in some ways I’m better than I was, I’m still nowhere near top form. I have three children and a demanding job – I need to be on top form. The Paleo diet makes no claim to cure my colitis – but through experience and common sense, I’m hoping that it will have an overall positive effect on my health.

It may not be realistic to assume I will ever be superwoman, given that I have a non-curable lifelong debilitating condition. I never really was superwoman to start with! But I am convinced there has to be a way for me to regain my energy levels. I’ve attempted to eat in a more ‘paleo’ way before, but it involves such a radical change to my lifestyle that I’ve not been able to stick to it. Paleoplan though, makes all my choices for me. Every meal and snack is pre-chosen for me and there’s a shopping list weekly, so that I’ll always have the right food in the house. I decided to give it a go when I realised that it costs about the same per month as my subscription to Netflix…

Hopefully, I’ll end up losing some weight as well as experiencing some other health benefits. The Cambridge Diet worked. I stuck to it for eight weeks, and lost two stone. I’m glad I did it, even though I put some of the weight back on, because otherwise I’d now be two stone more, and I think that would be very uncomfortable. But for someone like me, for whom food is directly linked in to my happiness and satisfaction with life, in my situation, with three children, and living in a culture (Jewish) where food, community meals, feeding people is so utterly ingrained, it was not sustainable. And, frankly, it was miserable. And because it was not sustainable, it suffered from the same problem that most diets do – when I stopped, I gained weight again.

I would recommend the Cambridge Diet for anyone who needs to lose significant weight in a short space of time. The shakes and soups and bars are actually rather nice, there is a lot of support available from your consultant, and I believe it’s said by the NHS to be nutritionally sound with regard to essential nutrients. But long term, it’s just not for me.

So Paleo, here we come. I’ve bought the first week’s food thanks to the joy of online shopping, and the cost was eyewatering. However, I (hopefully) won’t be buying snacks, or in fact, any other food – so maybe it will even out in time. Even if it doesn’t, if I can find some way of not feeling nauseous most of the time, losing my almost constant headaches, reducing the effects of the arthritis and managing to drag my leadbum up off the sofa, it’ll be worth the extra cost.

 

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9 Responses to Paleo Plan

  1. I think paleo is an excellent way of eating that makes perfect sense. I’m not ready for paleo myself but I really agree with it in principal. Good luck!

    • Paleo with children is very very tough. I’ve been putting it off, even though I think it’s the right thing, for about ten years:-) I’ll see how long I can last….

      • I can’t see how it can go wrong. Your body is made for it. All you have to do is avoid shops, takeaways, supermarkets, adverts, newspapers and magazines and you will easily avoid all temptation!

        Let’s face it, it’s all made way too easy for us these days.

      • You are so right. We don’t really stand a chance. But every day I eat Paleo, organic, or local food, I’m mentally giving the finger to the culture which is shoving all that temptation into our faces while telling us the obesity epidemic is our fault…

  2. jan hardy says:

    Good luck love. Let me know anything I can do to help.

  3. I read that you have colitis and are going Paleo. There’s a similar diet that has worked very well for colitis and Crohn’s patients called ‘the specific carbohydrate diet’. Or the ‘anti-inflammatory diet’. No grains.
    Check out this website: http://www.scdiet.org

    One of my friends, Jodi Bager, wrote a cookbook and has a website dedicated to this – called Grain-free Gourmet.
    Check out her website, I think you will find it helpful: http://www.jgourmet.ca

    All the best!

    • Thanks for this! I have looked into the SCD before and I think Paleo is even more restrictive, so the SCD might be worth considering if I find it a bit too stringent:-)

    • It’s going extremely well thanks! I’m gradually learning what my body can tolerate and what it can’t (gluten free pasta is a bit of a disaster sadly!) and I’m losing weight very slowly without trying or feeling deprived… I’m still getting the odd flareup, but even during a flareup some of the symptoms are a lot less obvious. Now the boys are gradually becoming more Paleo in their eating habits too:-)

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