I had issues thinking of a name for this, I am not tough! I have been asked about my training plan, nutrition and generally how I lost weight and got myself fit again, so I will try and use this as a regular weekly slot to talk about all that stuff.
First up I lost weight accidentally really, I didn’t realise I had put on much weight nor was I particularly unhappy with my weight. I started the much documented Paleo diet in order to see if it could help me resolve some health issues, I was on 4 inhalers for my asthma, I was lethargic and unhappy. You can read all about paleo on many sites online so I won’t go into it in detail here, just the basis is of “Paleolithic” diet, so eating what cavemen ate, mostly lots of veg, meat and a little fruit, cutting out dairy, grains, legumes and refined sugars. I am not 100% paleo, so I try not to use that word too much but it is a good basis. I have porridge for breakfast quite often as it is cheap, easy and filling, I have sweetcorn sometimes because I like it and chocolate because I am a breathing human. Life is too short to be too strict with these things in my opinion.
The main reason I am happy with the after picture is my posture, I am more confident, I am standing taller and I am proud of myself.
When I started eating this way I was able to bin my inhalers within 3 days, incredible, I assumed until recently that this was due to cutting dairy, but now I have found that gluten may be playing a bigger part than I realised. For this reason I still avoid dairy and gluten as much as possible and as I was a massive sugar addict I limit my intake of this too. I cheat on Fridays as this gives me a chance to meet my sister for lunch and generally have whatever I want to eat all day, this said I rarely go crazy and I am still wary of too much of the stuff that makes me feel rubbish, for obvious reasons. I also cheat if I am out for a meal, I tend to go for the ‘friendliest’ option but I do not want to ruin a dining experience by being strict. For sweet things I buy nice chocolates and have one or two when I really fancy it, I now never want things like chocolate bars from shops, they seem too sickly.
There are a lot of sites promoting Paleo-fied treats such as brownies, pancakes, etc, I don’t really go for these as they usually don’t fill the void of what you’re actually craving, if you want a donut with your coffee then have one, it will be far more satisfying. The exceptions to this are banana pancakes made with almond flour, which I prefer to normal pancakes now, and my sisters sweet potato brownies, these are amazing and do not feel like you’re missing out on the ‘real thing’ at all! The ladies who got some after the RedBull Foxhunt race last year loved them too, so not just for those on a gluten free diet!
More detail about what I eat for those who want to know:
Either porridge made with coconut cream and water with a small drizzle of honey or maple syrup
OR Bacon, eggs and black pudding
OR Breakfast salad: Spinach, apple, bacon, 2 poached eggs, dressing made from olive oil and Cider vinegar, salt and pepper
Either a salad – as colourful as possible – today I had spinach, red pepper, avocado, carrot, beetroot, apple, mackerel. Oh, and it’s massive, takes me most of my lunch hour to finish it!
OR Homemade soup, usually something like butternut squash, onion, garlic and ham.
If I am being lazy, forgotten to defrost something, or in a hurry I will have sweet potato wedges (cooked in lard in the oven – use natural fats, they’re not actually bad for you!), with sweetcorn, tuna and a bit of mayo (homemade from olive oil – no grain-filled veg oil here!)
OR steak and sweet potato
OR Roast chicken with Bacon Veg (Roasted veg – ie butternut squash, sweet potato, onions, Brussels sprouts, carrots and whatever else takes your fancy – all roasted up with some chopped up bacon)
Raw almonds live on my desk for work snacks
Nice chocolates (Hotel Chocolat – yum) for occasional treats
Grapes, bananas, other fruit, but not too much (sugar)
Eat colourful – no beige food – the more colourful your food the more nutrients it contains.
Eat natural – no processed junk
Eat homemade – then you know the contents
Eat real – if you can’t pronounce it then it is not food
Eat happy – when you fancy something have it – moderation is key – the longer I have been doing this the less I crave sugar, but in the start I had to be super strict to get past the cravings – headaches, excessive sleep… it was pretty bad!
This is not for everyone but I have been asked, so there you have it, I am happy, I feel healthy, and I am in the best shape I have been in since I was 16. My goal is to have abs by my next birthday (end of May since you asked) when I will be 35, and aim to be in better shape than when I was 16.