How Paleo Changed My Life
27 February 2018
27 February 2018
I’d like to share with you my personal story about the impact that the Paleo diet has had on my life, and why I do what I do. I’m pretty sure that many of you will have had similar experiences and can relate.
The starting (low) point
It was 2014. I had been feeling less than optimal for a while – physically, mentally and emotionally. I was suffering from several symptoms; fluctuating moods and energy levels, energy crashes and tiredness, anxiety and depression, food cravings and addictions, brain fog & difficulty concentrating, recurring ear nose and throat issues, aching joints, water retention, and various digestive issues. I had gradually over time become miserable and exhausted. My confidence and self esteem suffered, as did my social life and performance at work.
Something was very wrong and it had to change.
At this time I had also started to become very mindful of my future health as I started noticing people around me being diagnosed with serious illnesses, and it really scared me. I wanted to avoid disease and live a long, healthy vibrant life, for my own sake and that of my loved ones.
The discovery that changed everything
I repeatedly visited my doctor (G.P) but he was only focused on treating my symptoms with pills. Diet wise I was following the 80/20 “rule” (who created that anyway?!). So 20% of my diet was sugary processed junk foods. However the rest of the time I believed I was eating relatively healthily. I was eating what I was advised to eat by my doctor – including lots of fruit and wholegrains and low fat. Turns out this was a big part of the problem.
Thankfully I discovered the Functional Medicine Practitioner Chris Kresser and read his book “The Paleo Cure”. I learnt about the Functional Medicine approach, which looks to identify and address the root cause of health issues and disease as opposed to simply addressing symptoms. I learnt that the health of our gut/microbiome and our mitochondria lies at the root of most health issues and disease. I also learnt that the biggest influence on these things is our diet, plus other lifestyle factors such as stress, sleep, exercise and our environment. I learnt about the Paleo diet, which up until that point I was not even aware of, which seems crazy to me now, but that was the reality. The more I learnt the more I realised that the symptoms I was having could have been caused by the way I was eating and living. This was actually a relief and exciting because it meant that I could do something about it!
I commenced on a journey to upgrade my diet, Paleo style, replacing inflammatory foods (sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) with nourishing foods (veggies, berries, nuts & seeds, quality protein and plenty of fats) in order to give my body the environment it needed to function optimally – the way it was designed to.
The incredible power of food
I am a total food geek. Since a young age I have been hugely passionate about all things food – looking at it, reading about it, watching tv programmes on it, buying it, creating recipes, cooking, eating, hosting dinner parties, going out to restaurants. You name it, if it had anything to do with food I was into it (and still am).
The journey I went on to transform my diet was challenging because I was addicted to many foods that were not serving me and I needed to eliminate them. Plus I had a serious fear of “missing out” and it was rather daunting. How could I possibly live without sweets, bread, cheese and hummus?! And what about the physical, emotional, social and practical realities of making such significant changes?
As I went through the change process I learnt A LOT. I am pretty sure I came across every challenge, barrier and question possible.
I also did not want to have to choose between positive health and my love of food, so I poured much time and energy into developing recipes that look and taste amazing whilst nourishing me. I can honestly say I now enjoy tastier foods than ever before, and have an abundant library of delicious, nutritious recipes.
I have learnt, experienced for myself, and witnessed in others, the immense power that food (and intelligent supplementation) has to either heal, nourish and energise our bodies and minds or destroy them.
Food really is medicine!
I experienced many positive changes. It took some time however I stopped getting ill, eliminated my food cravings and addictions, aching joints, bloating and my myriad of digestive issues, experienced higher and more consistent energy levels, got leaner (I can’t remember the last time I counted a calorie or weighed myself) and emotionally I felt a lot happier. It also felt great to know I was minimising my chances of developing serious chronic illness in the future.
Through my own experience I discovered a new passion and purpose. I spent (and still do) countless hours learning from top experts in the Functional Medicine, Nutrition and Biohacking field including Chris Kresser, Dr Mark Hyman, Dr Kelly Brogan, Dr David Perlmutter and Dave Asprey (Bulletproof), through courses, books, blogs, articles, and podcasts.
Increasing numbers of people are suffering from the same symptoms I was and feeling like crappy versions of themselves. I am deeply passionate about changing this, and I now use my toolkit to help others to achieve optimal health and performance, which fills me with joy and gratitude.
I also learnt a lot about the ways we can optimise the Paleo diet. So I decided to create Upgraded Paleo as a platform to support people like me who are following the Paleo diet, empowering them to optimise their health and performance.