Going Paleo this past year has been a major hiatus, as a foodie it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do but thankfully the sacrifice was worth it and a year later I’m able to enjoy food that once gave me so much trouble and while there are still things I’m best avoiding or keeping to a minimum, it was most definitely worth the sacrifice. I never thought three days holed up in a hotel room with gastroenteritis could change everything, I had never suffered from depression or anxiety and allergies and food intolerance just weren’t on my radar but simply put, I returned home from that holiday a changed person. Twelve years, heartache and tears, many hours of therapy and sacrifice later and finally life feels like it’s back on track.
Before going Paleo I spent a decade jealous of ‘normal’ people and their ability to just brazenly eat foods that were guaranteed to turn me into a painful balloon. I hadn’t gone near a belt in years, tights were challenging enough that I’d repeatedly daydreamed of starting a range with extra wide, soft waist bands (until I found the marvellous Heist tights that is). The bloating caused perpetual lower back pain and my wardrobe could have been mistaken for a maternity range – I’d even considered maternity jeans at the worst points. There was just no respite, I’d explored every avenue medically over the years, alternative therapies such as hypnotherapy and acupuncture, finally started exercising and given up smoking, avoided FODMAP foods and tried numerous supplements and probiotics but nothing made any significant improvements.
So after being recommended Philip Weeks by a friend, it was to be my last ditch attempt, whatever the cost or effort, I’d had to give it 100%. I was skeptical at first, ‘natural health’ solutions often get a bad rep but working with someone as knowledgeable as Philip made all the difference and frankly I had nothing to lose. Diagnostic blood tests and analysis uncovered that I was reacting to so many foods it seemed hopeless initially but he reassured me while the process wouldn’t be easy, with time it was doable. This was just what I needed to hear, it was the first time anyone had actually said they could help me and I laughed my way, you might say hysterically, out of his office upon hearing the news of my new strict, Paleo regime. Having skipped breakfast and faced with my finding my next meal, clueless and unprepared I spent the next week hungry and considering life may as well be over. A tad over the top possibly but if you’ve ever seriously given up sugar you’ll forgive me the dramatics – it made giving up smoking seem like a walk in the park. Thankfully once you start to feel the benefits and the cravings subside after a couple of weeks of withdrawal, it’s amazing how feeling better makes it so worthwhile you’ll do anything to avoid feeling rubbish again.
So a year on, my strict Paleo journey has come to an end and I’m able to tolerate many foods that were off the list previously. I’ve a much better understanding of my trigger foods and try to limit their intake as too much can still wreak havoc but ultimately the journey was worth every penny and ounce of effort. If you’re new to the Paleo way of life and in a similar boat I wholly recommend seeing Philip.
So while this journey comes to a close for me, it’s been a huge learning curve and I’ve emerged with much more understanding of the importance of what we eat. I wrote about the things I wish I’d known when embarking on my journey here and also the two recipes, cashew nut bread and gluten, grain and sugar free granola that saved me so many mornings.
For me now, it’s back to baking 🙂
The following is a list of resources for advice and recipes I found useful on my journey too…