Whilst enjoying my renewed focus this afternoon, I decided to dig around the web for some dinner inspiration. Lovely recipes, mouth-watering photographs – the paleo foodie community are a talented bunch. I decided however to fall back on my favourite meal – chorizo salmon. I’ve managed to find some nice ‘clean’ chorizo which is the perfect partner for wild salmon. Completely fool-proof too. Chop up chorizo, throw in beside salmon. Bake. Add a squeeze of lemon to serve. Simple but tasty.
I paused for a second and thought about taking a photo for the blog. Maybe I could post some delicious pictures too. No way! Too hungry and dinner is too tasty to wait any longer. I did however manage to take a shot of the leftover chorizo shortly before I scoffed it. (Can there be such a thing as leftover chorizo?)
Maybe I’m the first Paleo ’empty dish’ food blogger?
Something I have noticed about starting Paleo is this idea of being an eating ‘challenge’ to see if they can go the distance. I’ve read lots of tweets and blogs about how people are challenging themselves to achieve a week, fortnight, thirty days etc… on Paleo. Initially, I scoffed at the idea of a challenge. Anyone with with a shred of willpower can achieve this, it’s really not difficult if you genuinely want to do it. It’s only food. However, what I wasn’t prepared for was the actual challenge after my initial success in my first few weeks.
Yes, it’s great to lose weight, feel fantastic and rave about a new lifestyle when you commit to a month. It’s easier for those around you to accept too; you’ll go back to ‘norma’l in a few weeks time. But the real challenge for me has been everything and everyone non-paleo around me.
Living Paleo is great until you have to contend with other people and the world outside your own kitchen. Thirty days are do-able. You can choose your month carefully and dodge important social events. You can explain to people that you’re abstaining from wheat/dairy/junk for a month and they respect that. But continue for any longer than that then the real challenge becomes apparent.
The biggest Paleo challenge for me so far is not avoiding the dietary nasties, it’s living with the dealers. The well-meaning friends who want to enjoy pizzas and cakes like we used to, because I’m no fun anymore. The well-meaning co-workers who think my recent fad is actually the beginning of annorexia and keep bringing me cakes (honestly!). The well-meaning mother-in-law who wants me to enjoy her extra crunchy semolina crusted roast potatoes that she has made especially. Some days you just can’t refuse because you’ll upset someone. Hurt a loved one, or hurt your stomach?
I’ve drafted this post a few times because it just keeps sounding so negative, so anti-paleo lifestyle. I mean quite the opposite, I love my Paleo choices and the way that I feel. I feel brand new again. But modern life just makes it so damned hard sometimes. Maybe that’s where my frustration is creeping in. I can’t keep this up 100% and take part in ‘normal’ social situations 100%. There has to be compromises. A little bread here, a spash of milk there and some added sugar to top it all off. All to keep other people happy. The compromises are taking their toll and as I type this I’m still dealing with the stomach ache after being stealth-glutened last Sunday.
Yesterday I read a great post over at Primaleded.com which was written by a young lady with a great attitude which has really given me the push that I need to stop other people interfering with my diet.
The junk-eating-to-please stops here. And it feels great.
Until around eight years ago I never really thought too much about nutrition and the effect it can have on my wellbeing. I had no real need to. I was fit, healthy and full of energy. I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to and I always felt great and I never struggled with my weight at all. I was one of those annoying women who could eat or drink anything and not gain a single pound.
I don’t remember exactly when my problems started, but I know it was around the time I took a lot of antibiotics for a very grumbly wisdom tooth. Soon everything I ate gave me terrible IBS problems (no need for any more details, TMI!) and for years I tried everything to find a ‘cure’. I wanted my old lifestyle back but nothing I tried seemed to help. Sometimes various cures made things worse. I’ve tried everything from Vegan, to probiotics to fibre supplements all to varying degrees of failure. I’d gained almost a stone of weight that would just not shift, no matter what.
My GP has never been of any help, he has always fobbed me off and doesn’t seem to understand how much the IBS distressed me and affects by life. Blood tests have always come back clear and I’m sure he brands me a nut-job. So self help and the Internet were the only way to go for me. After much trial and error I have found that I’m lactose intolerant and I’m recently suspecting that gluten has become a problem also.
I’ve recently embarked on a Paleo diet after reading Gary Taubes’ ‘Why We Get Fat and What to Do About it’ and I cannot believe the difference. I don’t feel like my old self, I feel like a better version of my old self. After six weeks of Paleo living I feel the best I have for eight years. Most of that stubborn ‘stuck-on-stone’ has melted with very little effort. My food intolerances remain, but this is still very early days for me.
This is the start of a new beginning for me and this blog will chronical my journey towards even better health and fitness.
This blog is going to be a record of my journey into the Paleo lifestyle and my experiences of this.
Please note: I have only just launched this site so layouts, formats and content will be updated over the coming weeks.
Follow me on twitter @paleoshaped for updates.
I look forward to you returning to my blog soon.