I have battled with my weight since forever, losing pounds then putting them back on and more to boot – yo-yo dieting they call it, and I know all about it. Eventually a few years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but even that didn’t phase me as it would a lot of other folk. For long enough I ignored it, still eating all the wrong things, and the weight still crept on. Then I had a bit of a breakthrough, giving up sweets, desserts, biscuits, cakes and scones, and through playing too much with my laptop, forgetting to eat (not good) I actually lost about a stone (14lbs) over a longish period of time, without really noticing it.
I have often thought I might have an intolerance to gluten, as pasta and pastry always made me feel bloated, and unwell, and in looking that up on the internet I discovered Paleo! Paleolithic, I thought to myself, and I was actually right! This method of eating is very much based on the sort of foods cavemen (hunter gatherers) would have eaten! You can have meat – red meat too - fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, veggies and fruit, but no grains, no dairy, no legumes and definitely no sugar or anything processed. Hmm! This looked interesting. Real food! I read some more about it, watched videos, looked up websites and browsed recipes. Mmm! Very interesting! Interesting enough for me to say I want some of that! Wouldn’t you, if you saw all the delicious looking recipes. Eating loads of real food and losing weight too! Yes please!
In January, Morag and I decided to weigh ourselves every Sunday – before tea – she doing her choice of diet and me mine. I loved the Paleo way of eating and discovered ways of substituting flour and dairy into delicious recipes. I actually began to cook again (a slow cooker/crockpot is a boon here too), something some of you will remember I used to hate with a passion.
I love to try out some of the sweet recipes as occasional treats - using almond flour ( finely ground almonds ), coconut and almond milk, honey or even maple syrup for sweetening, nuts – almonds, cashews, macadamias, brazils, etc. – and nut butters, everything unprocessed, without all the rubbish ingredients. Going totally organic is often difficult but I go to the market or our local High Street butcher for meat, and our new greengrocer in town for fruit and veggies and eggs. A trip to Galashiels is sometimes called for so I can peruse the shelves of Holland and Barrett, as it’s there I can pick up some of the more unusual ingredients, like cold pressed coconut oil to cook in – (yes, among the allowed oils) it gives fried eggs and omelettes a delicious subtle flavour.
I cook bacon and eggs with fried tomatoes and mushrooms for breakfast some mornings , but usually a couple of eggs in an omelette or scrambled does me, and often I will whizz up a smoothie with veggies and fruit, coconut or almond milk. Yummy. I don’t miss dairy produce (except maybe cheese) or cereals, as I can make Paleo bread if I really want some. Believe it or not grated cauliflower is a great substitute for rice – do it in a food processor rather than by hand with the cheese grater – and you can even make a substitute pastry or pizza base with it too. Noodles can be made with veggies such as carrots, courgettes, squashes etc. and basically just blanched in boiling water to heat up! I use my old mincer, but a spiraliser looks like fun!
Anyway you can look up websites for yourself for recipes, and info on the diet (way of life), but here’s my good news….. After a week I had shed 6lbs, followed by losses of 2lbs each week for a bit. Some weeks I have stayed the same or maybe lost just one pound but since we started on 6 January I have lost 21lbs – a stone and a half – and I am thrilled! I feel better, no more bloating or stomach cramps, and have more energy. My achy knees and hips are much better too. It’s marvellous. So you can guess I am going to continue with this eating pattern!
Here are some of the websites I have looked at, though it was http://paleoaholic.com/ that got me started, with its meal plans, short articles and recipes. http://fatburningman.com/ is another site I follow regularly, along with http://www.youngandraw.com/ They do the raw thing but it all sounds lovely – says she who hated salads! They have an iPad app for a 14 day juice challenge, but with loads of juicer recipes. Enjoying that!
There are tons of websites you could investigate. I hope I am not obsessing over this way of eating! I do cheat from time to time but try to stick as close to it as possible when I go out, though it’s quite hard when everything includes potatoes (not allowed really, though sweet potatoes are!), focacchia, ciabatta and crusty bread, or the entire menu is paninis, sandwiches, toasted or not, baked potatoes, etc. I would probably opt for a potato but then what to fill it with? Not cheese, sadly! I love Coronation chicken, and perhaps would opt for that. I think it’s reasonably ok! Chicken, mayo, spices…..? Anyway the odd cheat is understandable, and what I like is that I find it dead easy to get back to Paleo afterwards!
The downside of losing weight? Having to keep buying new clothes – I go to the charity shops – and having to get rid of old favourites. I have this favourite pair of trousers that is now way too big, but I can’t pass them on to the charity shop! I just can’t! I think I’ll just have to do some alterations. They’re pretty straightforward, so perhaps I could adjust the seams! Maybe I’ll find a seamstress who would do it properly though! I am also fitting into some tops that I bought “hopefully, without trying them on” last year, but found were too tight, so that’s another upside! The best upside of all though, is that I feel so much better – and thinner!
Talk again soon.