I couldn’t be a hardcore Cavewoman for the rest of my days – that would mean giving up alcohol… *screams*
Also dubbed the Caveman or the “Anna, stop being a twat” diet, Paleo is based on the assumption that our bodies function much better if we cut out the crap. No huge news there – but even if we think we’re healthy by choosing wholegrain over white bread or by cutting out fatty food, turns out it ain’t true. But I had to debunk this myself. More than that, I needed to lose a few pounds and didn’t have the willpower to do it the exercise every day and eat salad way. That would be crazy.
A life of meat, fish, veggies, nuts and natural, unprocessed foods along with a big fat NO to grain, sugar, legumes and dairy? “Sounds like Atkins!” I hear you cry, but no, you’re wrong, I’m right, I am the best and that’s the end of it.
Where Atkins is the “no carb” diet, with Paleo you get your carbohydrate from sweet potato and certain fruits. And also, think of it like this, if it’s in a packet, it probably isn’t Paleo. If it’s in a packet, it could well be Atkins.
I had my reasons, ok? My sister’s wedding was three weeks away, I’d been seeing one too many pictures of myself looking tired and a little on the heavy side – in general, I knew my diet was a huge factor and only the internet could save me now.
I began researching alternatives to milk (coconut or almond milk), sugar (raw honey or agave syrup) and adding them to black coffee. Simple so far. If I craved something starchy, sweet potato was there for me – sliced, baked, fried or used to top shepherd’s pie. I discovered how to make a pizza base out of cauliflower and brownies without flour – I was getting pretty good at this. I snacked on chocolate mug cake, almonds and shredded coconut covered in dark chocolate, jumping for joy when I read pure cocoa powder is allowed. I could have pancakes on Sundays and steak, prawns and veggies for dinner.
As it turns out, if your friends are friends at all, they will mock you. And mock me they did with Twitter being the “let’s rip the piss out of Anna” platform of choice.
I came back and found this on my keyboard. Of course they started to call me Anna ‘Nellswell’ White
The tweeting started almost straight away. Kirstie McDermott was the ringleader, which encouraged her minions Laura Cunningham and Jimmy Loughran to chime in with various memes and pictures too.
- @annashels copy deadline for your cave painting is 3pm
- @annashels you’ll be able to tell the time by looking at the sky #paleolife*
- Bringing @annashels some muck and rocks for her breakfast #paleolife
- Thanks for coming to the shop with me Anna… @annashels #paleolife #Nellswellwhite
- @annashels @frillseeker @darafly Anna’s bf is Australopithecus…
And all I can say is THANK YOU GUYS, you are part of the reason I could keep it up and lose close to a stone in three weeks, have clearer skin and generally feel good.
I enjoy all the cooking and recipe research and every Paleo day I complete is an achievement. But in truth, I couldn’t be a hardcore Cavewoman for the rest of my days – that would mean giving up alcohol… *screams*
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Tips for going Paleo
- Embrace the Mocking
Tell people you are going Paleo and revel in how much they might make fun of you, it’ll help you stick to it. In fact, insist that everyone makes fun of you.
- Forget Calories
EAT. You can consume as much as you want when you go Paleo, as long as you cut out dairy, legumes, grains and sugar.
Blog or keep a personal account of your progress, recipes you like and how you feel. Starting a Tumblr and a Pinterest was really helpful.
- Take photos
Take snaps of your body and note the differences. It makes you feel better and reassures you that the hard work is well worth it.
Have fun with recipes – enjoy cooking and researching online. Anything you crave? Before you give in, search for the Paleo alternative. I’ll admit, today I Googled “Paleo chocolate eclairs” and was in luck!
- Be a Foodie W*nker
Take pictures of your food and write down the ingredients so you can go back to these recipes when you need them. It’s all about how you can manipulate simple and pure foods into delicious meals.
- Give In
If you break your Paleo and eat bread or cheese, your stomach will make crazy noises and you’ll feel awful, which is great! I’d suggest doing this every few weeks to remind yourself why you’re giving it a go.
If you ever see me use #paleolife in a serious or non-cynical way, shoot me – better still, hit me over the head with a rock or stab me repeatedly with a very pointy stick, which is much more Paleo, ya know?
So – have you tried Paleo? Let me know in a comment.