Have you started the New Year with lots of great intentions?
Something along the lines of:
"I will go to the gym"
"I will shed a few pounds"
"I will not drink alcohol"
"I've got to cut the calories"
The Coeliac girl here and I am planning on trying out lots of new Real Food recipes this year and sharing them all with you – that’s my resolution (along with less screen time).
Case for Lifestyle Change
In the spirit of motivational New Year blogs, I cannot believe how well Amanda has done on her Real Food Journey. Now who the hell is Amanda, you are probably thinking? Amanda is a lovely lady from Lancashire who I met via a Facebook group. Amanda, over the last 8 months has undergone a major health overhaul. I wanted to share her story to inspire you and others in 2018.
Amanda was living a pretty 'normal' life in the UK, eating what she thought was a healthy diet – full of ‘heart healthy’ whole grains and low-fat products. Amanda, however, was sadly far from being in optimal health. She had a similar Psoriasis rash to mine but her rash was over her entire body and was extremely sore. Along with this, she had high blood pressure, kidney stones, headaches, irregular menstrual cycles, insomnia, abnormal cholesterol and was clinically obese at dress size 26 (she was 20 stone 2 pounds for those wondering). By changing what she ate to be in line with the Paleo principles, her Real Food diet over the past 8 months has enabled Amanda to drastically reduce her body fat, improve her health and also her overall well-being.
Some observations Amanda has made!
|Before||After 8 months of eating Real Food|
|Weight: 20 stone 2 pounds||Weight: 16st 4lb|
|Size 26 Dress||Size 16 Dress|
|Heart Palpations regularly||Completely gone|
|Very High Blood Pressure and taking medication (Irbesartan 225mg per day)||Blood Pressure reduced and medication dosage reduced to 150mmg per day. Aiming to come off completely this year.|
|Haemoglobin very low at 3.4 gm/dL (linked to Anaemia)||Haemoglobin within the normal range at 12.1 gm/dL|
|Irregular menstrual cycle 14days +||Normal menstrual cycle|
Severe Psoriasis across whole body
|High Cholesterol at 6.4 mmol/L (guidance of 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults)||Now reduced to normal levels (even with eating healthy fats like avocado)|
|Severe headaches regularly||Gone|
|Extreme tiredness throughout the day||Improved significantly – normal tiredness|
|Presence of kidney stones regularly||No kidney stones within the last 6 months|
So how did Amanda start this journey and what was her trigger for change?
A personal voyage of discovery
After years of doctor consultations (mainly for her Psoriasis and abnormal weight), Amanda had tried possibly every steroid cream known to humankind, light treatment and even sticky tar baths.
The doctor's aim was to ‘fix the problem’ by treating the symptoms rather than the understanding what the cause was.
As I have experienced myself, it was what I was eating on a daily basis that caused my skin issues (in my experience it was my diet and no amount of steroid cream would fix the cause).
Amanda’s doctor also encouraged her to eat MORE whole grains than she was doing so already, to help her lose body fat (as grains are healthy right?) – the result… she ballooned in weight!
The doctors did not believe that Amanda was following their advice of more 'healthy' grains which made her feel terrible and that she must have been lying about her diet.
At Hunter & Gather we believe in a real food lifestyle with the foundation being NO SUGARS, NO GRAINS and NO HARMFUL FATS.
The Real Food Paleo Diet
Amanda took her health into her own hands and after getting nowhere with the doctor’s advice she researched a Real Food Paleo diet, which means no sugars, no grains and no harmful fats by default.
After 8 months of eating this way, Amanda has seen some amazing results in such a short time. Here is what she has said:
“It’s more about being the healthiest I can for my children. Teaching them good habits and looking at the long-term lifestyle. The weight loss is just a major bonus.”
So, what can you eat on a Real Food Diet?
- A Real Food Diet consists of good quality fats, meat, fish and vegetables.
- Plenty of Avocados!
- Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Avocado Oil (for cooking and cold drizzling)
- Eggs (Free Range, check out St Ewe Eggs)
- Salmon and other fish
- Steak, mince, lamb, chicken, pork, duck etc (no restrictions on meat but we recommend Pasture for Life)
- Cheese (Goat if you have allergies to cows milk)
- Vegetables – cabbage, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, olives, asparagus)
- Berries in moderation (blueberries and raspberries)
- Dark Chocolate as a treat (90%+)
- Salt and herbs
A Real Food Diet does not include the following:
- Grains – even 'whole grains'
- Pasta, rice, bread
- Beer, soda and fruit juice
- Anything with 'sugar' as an ingredient
- Overly processed foods
A key thing to remember within a Real Food Lifestyle is that the nutrient Fat is not unhealthy and should be eaten alongside fresh, ethically sourced meat and vegetables.
It will come as no surprise, but we love Avocado (the fruit and oil) as it is a great source of monounsaturated fat, vitamins, minerals and oleic acid and should be incorporated into your diet where possible.
If you have been reading this and you think:
"Feeling great, being the best version of myself and losing excess body fat sounds amazing"...
then be sure to try out a Real Food lifestyle and do reach out to us as we would love to help you on your journey.
Amanda is continuing on her Real Food journey in 2018 and is really taking control of her health and wellbeing – what an inspiration!
"All information provided in our blog posts and on our website is just that - information, opinion and anecdotal thoughts and experiences. It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your dietary and lifestyle habits. We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself."