When the health advice out there doesn't apply to you, you have to find your own way. I'm hunting for a way to eat freely. For me, freedom means without concern, effort, endless thought, and without pain. Join me on the experiment which I am hoping will end with a versatile diet which combines the best of the Paleo, Hay, and Raw Food Diets, as well as my own simple guesswork. If you think your stomach's eating you, instead of your food, join my project to Eat Pain Free.
The Paleo diet is great, but I'm not sure how much I agree with the idea that nothing has changed sinced the days of our ancestors. Perhaps biologically we are very much the same, but our lifestyles are vastly different. Does this not affect the way our body functions? Palaeolithic people didn't:
Drive/fly (not without machines, you understand)
Write articles or non-fiction
Write academic essays
Go to school
Live on Facebook
Live on Second Life
Research on the Internet
Exhaust themselves clothes-shopping
Exhaust themselves food-shopping
Stand in queues
Stand (or sit) on the Underground/Metro
Stop mid-walk to take a photograph
Puzzle with a map
Use a microwave: food was freshly made and prepared, and took time to cook over a fire.
Use an oven
Use a fridge
Use a kettle
Take a bus
Take synthetic medications
Watch a film
Go to the cinema
Go to the theatre
Take a plane
Travel to colder climates
Travel to warmer climates
Play board games
Go to casinos
Use a gym
Inhale fumes from factories, cars, planes, etc
Do 'manly' things, if they were women. Women might cook, clean, bear and look after children, catch fish, collect vegetables, and do some manual labour.
Little thought, little planning, and zero pain, sets an Eater free.
I want a diet with foods I can digest. I want a diet which I can both work and exercise with; which gives me energy, strength, focus, and stamina. I want a diet which SETS ME FREE. And you know what? Beyond a certain stage, I don't want to have to think about it. How's that for an aim?
Help create a website which will help us to do just this: like this page.
HOW IT WORKS
1. There are no rules. Only guidance.
2. There is no perfect diet. There is only variety, and your diet. Learn about the others. Choose the best theories.
3. Find pain-free foods.
4. Choose the rules from the diets or theories you favour. Add your own rules, but don't call them all rules unless you're being really strict. Call them guidance. Make a guidebook to the universe of you and your stomach. Your guidebook will make it easier to eat in and out and about.
5. Find variety that works for you.
6. Make use of The Ultimate Meal Plan (the terrible names may vary...): a database in which foods are colour-coded according to when, how, and with what you can eat your foods. Foods are also labelled according to whether they are 'staples,' 'fillers,' or 'flavours' so that you don't need to worry about planning meals ever again.
7. Find your freedom.
8. Get out and live. Keep your guidebook by your side, along with some delicious pain-free food.
Along the way, join a community of Freedom Eaters, people who are searching for a way to have no pain from symptoms or thought or planning from the attention required by digestive complaints and medical conditions in which diet plays a part. These people want to find advice which relates to them. We want to get out and live, with pain-free food by our sides.
This is just another dieting website.
This is just another health blog.
This needs science behind it.
This needs a professional behind it.
This is for only those eating Paleo.
This is for those with stomach conditions.
This is for those with multiple health conditions.
This is for those trying to find the right diet for them.
This is for those with health conditions affected by food.
This is for those who need to eat little and often.
This is for those with strict diets who want to stop thinking about when, how, and with what they can eat foods.
This is for those who want to feel good after a meal out.
This is for students and others who want to eat well, push limits, and feel good for less money.
This is for people who don't have time to research, but still want to find their own way.
This is for those who are trying to have more energy, be healthier, fitter, faster, stronger, pay attention, feel awesome, feel free, get out.
This isnotfor everyone.
THE SITE AIMS WILL BE ACHIEVED THROUGH: - the Forum here - http://eatpainfree.moonfruit.com/#/the-forum/4568132376 If you go back to the Index on that Forum you may be able to see what I'm intending to do here: the various different theories of a 'perfect' diet will be explained through extensive research, criticised through research surrounding theories which are contradictory, and essentially 'put to the test' by inviting people to comment on their experiences on those diets. Proponents of each diet/leaders of websites which propose certain diets will be invited to talk about their diets and further encouraged to determine who their diet might be best for (as no diet is perfect for everyone). It will be especially useful for those of us with multiple health conditions who find that diet advice is contradictory (eat this if you have this condition, but don't eat it if you have this condition. What if I have both?). - I hope to have a tool in which the rules of each diet (i.e. what to eat, what not to eat, how to eat foods) are separated and individuals can pick which rules they want to follow. Using my own example, I follow the Paleo diet but not the rule that it's okay to fast sometimes. I then combine this diet with some rules from Raw and Hay diets, and tweak Paleo to the Perfect Health Diet, in which the rule is to eat more starches. This tool should allow people to create a diet which suits their health conditions and lifestyle, taking note of the fact that there are a huge amount of diets out there and not every one can be perfect. Through the tool you can also add your own rules, for example I would add rules which tell me to eat every three hours and to eat simple meals. - I hope this tool will produce a cool little 'guidebook' (point 4) which can expand in detail. I have a small filofax with a list of foods which are colour-coded and have extra information according to how, when, and with what I can eat them. This is great because it means I can look up a food and know everything I've recorded about how that food is likely to digest if I eat it with food X. - A database. The Ultimate Personalised Meal Plan. Point 6 refers to the database I've created, which will hopefully be more expansive when the website is complete. The database takes the information out of my guidebook (the colour codes and food lists) so that I can choose a food type or a meal type (breakfast/lunch/dinner/mid-morning/mid-afternoon/evening snacks) and build the rest of the meal according to my own rules. This creates meal plans which are personalised, and there will be a function to allow individuals to change colour codes and foods or add their own, creating their own personalised meal plan. The final aim of the site is to help people stop researching and get out and about, with pain-free foods in their bags. THIS WILL BE ACHIEVED THROUGH: - A visual representation of a supermarket which shows people where foods are which they may want to eat. This is mostly useful for those eating Paleo, I think. - A photo blog, notjusteatingchicken.com, not yet set up, which highlights the need for us to pay attention to ingredients. I've picked up a packet of cooked chicken in a supermarket before and seen at least five ingredients which have absolutely nothing to do with chicken! - Some help pages, health pages, and reviews of various things I've tried on my own blog. - A community blog and photo upload ability, for people to share their FREEDOM EATING ways!
...even though I now have one.
We all have issues, don't we? Every single person thinks that they've been through something and that whatever they've been through was hard. We might meet someone who's been through something worse than us and feel a little bad about how much we moan about our lives, but then we consider: they don't really know what I went through. Humans are selfish. So why, despite this moral judgement hanging in my brain, do I still choose to write about my health? After all, my health really isn't that bad at all: a few small-ish conditions, the only one of which could be serious is thyroid disease (and there are millions of people out there with it so why should I speak about mine?), and nothing which is life-threatening on a daily basis.
Every diet or blog on the internet has come out of someone living their life and finding freedom from their health condition(s) and finishing by saying 'hey, look, I've done it and I bet people don't realise this amazing, new technique is even possible! Maybe people will want to read about it. Hey, maybe I could write about it!'
And there you have it: another idea, another blog, another 'this is the right way to live!' hovering around in the Cloud, waiting for you to discover it, as if the world has seven billion secrets -- one for each of us -- yet each individual believes there is only one, and all you have to do is point your mouse in the right direction...and find it.
In reality there probably are seven billion answers to how to life your life to the full, or how to be healthy, or how to overcome an illness. If we all like to think we've been through the worst and each experience is unique then why not believe that we have found the big secret to living?
I guess, selfishly, I believe in this too. It is hard not to, when you consider the possibilities of what one discovery could lead to. But more than anything I believe that there are no answers; there are no rules. It is true that we are biologically alike and have come out of the palaeolithic era with relatively similar foods to eat yet vastly different eating habits, but now many of us are being kept alive by medications. Many of us live lives we would never have lived. We may not have evolved much and we may not be amazing while we are defiant to death, but do we; does science, really have a full idea of what the impact of defying death or disease is on the human body? Perhaps my requirements are different to yours because I have thyroid disease, not just because I need to ensure efficient absorption of the medication. My beliefs about life, ageing, energy, vitality, death, and living life to the full will certainly be different to yours. They will again be vastly different to anyone who has had the poor fortune of going through a tougher experience or of surviving a condition with more sudden impacts, or of surviving every day when every day a single mistake could put them in a hospital bed. We are too individual to follow the same rules, but too alike to ignore them altogether. It is for this reason that I write a personal blog.
The aim is to find your own way; your own rules; your own guidebook to eating or to living.
In 1854 a poetic and philosophical man made a comment which is now buried in the pages of his book. 'To be awake is to be alive,' he said. But every man and woman is too drowsy for daily life and too far asleep to participate fully in the highest tests of their lives. Hats off to us for trying, but we could be so much better.
The man I refer to was Henry David Thoreau. He favoured getting out into the wild in order to reclaim our vitality. I favour this too, but there is something the modern world tends to forget when it comes to being awake and truly alive. That something is proper nutrition.
Nutrition is vital in our lives. It is one of several processes which feed our body. It is the reason we feel deeply for those who are unable to access enough food. It is also the reason we have become aware of the dangers of an economic climate which leads people away from the shelves of healthy food and towards the fast-food stands. Few people are aware of the true list of ingredients and the lack of nutrition prevalent in even the prepared foods which look healthy. Those with digestive symptoms may search for the right foods for their body, but many others with medical conditions might not actually realise the impact that some foods, no matter how good their diet, have on their symptoms.
Let me tell you something. At 17 I was diagnosed with the autoimmune form of hypothyroidism. A year later I asked my specialist how long he thought I had this disease without knowing. Well he shrugged a little and said, '7 years.'
I spent a while considering all the parts of my life which may have had something to do with the disease, all the things people had said about me, and all the things I had overheard. Rarely, if at all, during those 7 years, was I ever really awake or alive. I was processing things at a different speed, and the times I was really alive are still hard to remember, as blurry, distant memories which is just the way I was.
Thyroid disease is serious in that, given time, it can kill you. The symptoms will be more pronounced than any ordinary form of tiredness in the same way that fatigue is greatly exaggerated in similar conditions compared to everyday forms of it. But let me ask those of you without these conditions now, how often do you feel alert and functioning to your highest standard? How often do you not feel bloated? How often do you lack the energy and vitality required to participate fully in a conversation or activity? As good old Thoreau said, none of us are really awake. None of us are really alive. Too many of us are being held back by symptoms and too few of us are aware of the foggiless world that's out there if we just get out in the open and away from the smog and breathe it all in with pain-free food by our sides. Admittedly we are not all the same. We are all humans (last time I checked) but in the modern world we have vastly different lifestyles, are in different environments, and are in different medical states. But there is no doubt that we all have foods which slow us down and make our bodies feel more like machines grinding away and sounding awfully like a train clanking along an uneven track while a dead rat hides in the middle carriage, instead of course of the wonderful image of an organic being full of chemicals flowing delicately in the right order and amount. Yeah right, right?
So, if you frequently feel drained, foggy, slow, more like a half-functioning robot when you don't even have a medical condition to put it down to, then wherever you are right now, put your hand up. Now stand up.
Okay, now everyone with a digestive condition or ongoing symptom, stand up with me. And those who have to eat every three hours? Those with conditions, symptoms, or issues ranging from all autoimmune conditions to other hormonal conditions, to poor focus, to the ones which are so unusual that you feel left out in this list,
And anyone with medical conditions for which the advice is contradictory; the treatments useless and littered with side effects? Stand up.
And finally, anyone who wants to eat healthier but doesn't know how; any student who, like me, is trying to eat well to reach their full potential and not be held back, but is facing the issue of expensive bills and too much stuff clogging up a small fridge, stand up.
Okay, now if you feel well, or like your diet and health are good or under control, sit down. Anyone who thinks I'm going on about rubbish, also sit.
Now let me tell you what I'm doing in a nutshell. If you think it will help you, I want you to sit down. And then I want you to like the following photo album.
If you're still standing now, let me know whether something is missing from the proposed website. If you're sitting and it's not because you gave up on the idea, let me know I've got a job to do with this website.
The Paleo diet is easier for some of us than it is for others. If you are eating a diet which consists mainly of sugar and carbs, particularly the really processed ones, the Paleo diet may sound like Kill-Joy's perfect way to get you wound up. Paleo experts suggest dropping your current diet and switching to 30-day trials without every food you've been used to, or a 30-day Reset. But what if you need to function at your best and can't function when you're body has been thrown into a place it hasn't met in, say, 10,000 years? And what if you've never cooked a chicken in your life? Don't run away, and don't bark back at Kill-Joy, who means well. Instead, try a proper transition, slow and steady.
A 30-day trial is fine if you want to start seeing results quickly or you want to be aware of the real difference between how you felt on your old diet and how you will feel in 30 days. But what if you actually need to function during those 30-days? What if you are pushing your limits of activity? What if you can't take the 'carb flu', as I hear it's called, and either you need to keep going or you become extremely agitated when your body won't let you stay awake through the afternoon? And finally, what if you've never cooked in the manner advised by many of the meal plans online? What if you don't know how much the average supermarket chicken weighs and you've never had to squeeze its slimy legs into the oven before? A recipe with a long list of weird food preparation guidelines may be seriously off-putting for the five-minute kitchen spender or the person who is more familiar with the identically sliced meats in the cooked food aisle of the supermarket than he is with a very long kitchen knife.
So, for anyone who even slightly fits into this category, try making smaller changes to your diet. Try experimenting with one recipe one day and another on a different day. Try slowly replacing your poorly formed, energy-depleting, high-carbohydrate, passed through thirty hands in a factory meal with something which looks like you could have hunted, caught, grown, or picked, yourself. And then evaluate the results so far.
Here's my best idea for making the transition. See what you think.
Protein comes from poultry, eggs, and meat. Only. That's actually a massive variety of sources.
Get your poultry and your meat from the relevant 'fresh' aisles in the supermarkets. Choose grass-fet or organic where possible, but if not just go for something which requires cooking. The chicken breast fillets or the beef pieces in packets are fine. What you're doing right now is increasing the amount of poultry and meat you eat and buying ones which haven't been prepared, cut into shape, and depleted of nutrients. Seriously, turn over the packet and have a read of the ingredients. What does it say? Chicken? Beef? As expected? Right, now walk over to the cooked meats section. Pick up a packet of chicken. Turn it over. Read the ingredients. More than one? Anything you don't recognise? How comfortable do you feel now?
For eggs, choose ones which are organic or where the packet says that welfare of the chickens was good. Not only will it stop you feeling guilty, it will taste better too.
Replace all 'carby' meals with their equivalent veg sources. Let's break this down:
Want pasta or noodles? No problem. Just replace the pasta itself with zucchini, carrot, spaghetti squash or other starchy vegetable source. Grind down until it resembles noodles, or you can play around to make pasta shapes, and then boil, fry, or think of something new. Now add the sauce. Great.
Want pizza? Make the bread out of flax and almond flour.
Want bread? Ditto.
Cereal? Porridge? Oh my gosh, you have just reached the amazing Paleo meals! Nuts can make porridge. Did you know that? Nuts can make milk. Bet you didn't know that either. Combine an apple (without skin) and a pear in a blender, add maybe five almonds, and you have the same magnificence. You can also use buckwheat to make your own fabulous cereal. Try fresh fruit with almond milk for breakfast. Yum.
What have I missed?
If you do eat all the crap you're not supposed to eat (ehem, crisps, sweets, etc...chocolate is debatable), make these instead:
Sweet potato chips (dehydrated in the oven)
Other vegetable chips
Smoothies, sweet porridges, and dried fruit (limited!) to get your sugar craving sorted.
No fizzy drinks. N.O. Make fresh fruit juices instead.
---> Get that sorted, and you're on Transition Road! --->
Next, reduce the amount of carbs you are eating and increase the amount of protein.
---> How are we doing? --->
Finally, vary the types of protein you are getting. Ensure that you have veg with every meal, and protein with every meal. Vary the amount of veg, too.