I’m eight days into a new way of eating (not that I’m counting) and so I thought I’d give my take on what I think about Paleo eating.
Firstly, what is Paleo? Basically, it’s not eating dairy, wheat, carbs or sugar. It’s just a list of things you can’t eat. I’m kidding of course, there is a lot you can eat but I’d be lying if I said it was easy. Here’s an official description from one of my favourite Paleo websites, NomNomPaleo.
I want to point out that although I’m sure some people eat Paleo to lose weight, this isn’t my motivation nor intention. I just found I was getting a little sluggish, tired, little energy … my skin was having weird breakouts and I was really jealous that my Paleo friend Jane (#PaleoFriends) was bounding around with all this extra energy and quite frankly, I wanted a piece of that action!
The first week was horrendous. I had several bad headaches in the first few days which I’m presuming were down to sugar withdrawal, and my energy levels were at an all time low. I had good support from some Paleo friends, Jane and Laura, and it was really helpful to talk to them about whether what I was feeling was normal and WHEN WOULD I EVER FEEL BETTER?!
Whilst I was getting to grips with what I could and couldn’t eat, I would snack on apples and Brazil nuts (you’re not allowed peanuts!) … granted, not the most exciting of foods and at the time, all I wanted to snack on was cream cakes. But it got better, continues to get better and although I’m still at a very early stage, I’m very glad I’m doing it.
So, here are my thoughts about eating Paleo:
- You will dream about cheese. And cake. And toast. I’d like to promise you that it’ll pass … it hasn’t passed for me yet, but I’ve certainly not got the same type of craving as I used to have.
- Mushrooms, eggs and apples will become your best friends. I pad my meals out with mushrooms, onions and tomatoes, always have eggs to start the day and make sure I have several apples with me to snack on if I get peckish.
- After a week of getting to grips with this new way of eating, you’ll start to think about finding recipes to expand your repertoire – luckily, there are loads of great websites that offer tasty recipes (eg. Nomnompaleo.com) Some of the healthy options, however, are extremely expensive – like coconut oil and coconut flour, so bear that in mind.
- Get support. Trust me, you’ll need it. Find someone that’s done/doing Paleo and talk to them about tricks of the trade and also use their stories to inspire you to carry on.
- I have cheekbones again, my eyes are sparkling and the occasional big spot I kept getting have all cleared up – for me, Paleo isn’t about losing weight, it’s the feel-good factor I’m after and it has had an immediate effect on my body.
- Having said that, I have lost weight. I don’t know how much … maybe 5-6lbs in the first week? But this isn’t my motivation – I just don’t feel bloated anymore.
- You’ll feel incredibly guilty if you fall off the wagon but this is perfectly normal with any new way of healthy eating but there are definitely degrees of doing Paleo so don’t feel too bad (although I was mortified I had 2 strawberry bon-bons this week, and yet there was a time when I’d have easily finished the whole bag!)
- Your tastebuds will change. I find I don’t really crave sweet foods anymore … yep, not even chocolate. I’m sure there’s some physiological reason for this, my body is probably processing food differently, or maybe it’s just a case of me breaking bad habits. Either way, I sure hope it lasts!
- I eat more now than ever. I have 3 good meals, making sure that one of them contains sweet potato because I felt that by not having that in my diet I felt really shaky and weak. Snacking on the occasional banana has the same energy boosting effect also.
- You can, and will, eat really, really well. It’s a simple eating plan – meat, veg and fruit … your body will thank you. Having said that, I did make Paleo ice cream last night which was the simplest and tastiest thing ever! (recipe below.)
If you’re looking to change the way you eat or are wondering how you can find more energy, I’d recommend giving Paleo a go. I’m a Paleo novice, and I’m still finding my feet (I might even be able to see my feet soon!) but something has changed in me – a different way of looking at things. It’s strange, but I have a new spring in my step … I climb stairs and I’m not gasping for breath and I’m sure my knees aren’t quite so creaky!
Early days … but if you’re thinking about eating Paleo, please feel free to ask any questions you might have!
Strawberry Banana Ice Cream
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut cream (fat from top of refrigerated can)
- Combine all of your ingredients in a food processor
- Blitz for 2 minutes
- Serve immediately and enjoy
I used coconut milk instead of cream – ended up using a whole can. This meant the ice cream was a little runnier so I just froze it and ate it later that night – delicious!