So, to those who’ve followed my bizarre journey over the last few weeks, where you’ve seen my blog output drop to nothing and my social media appearances fade into insignificance… today you get to see why!
Take a look around the site and you will see why it has taken us a long time to fully complete – and more than this, you will see that there is a lot of scope for it to grow, develop and expand. My hope is that along with the science, the overviews and the basics, this site will build up a list of UK-based companies, suppliers and resources which make following both the Paleo and Autoimmune Paleo diets much more achievable (and much more ‘normal’ and accepted) for those of us who live in the UK.
Why Build This Site – Why Was It Necessary – And Why Back the Paleo or Autoimmune Paleo Approach?
The readers among you who are my clients will know that for a long time I have stated that I am dietarily agnostic. By this, I mean that I have not needed my clients to follow only one variety of diet in order for me to help them – and this is still the truth. This is why this site is dedicated to the science of a low-inflammation, nutrient-dense approach to diet which just so happens to end up being a sort-of Modern Paleo. Modern Paleo isn’t the carnivorous, bacon and butter diet akin to Atkins – nor does it exclude vegetarians – and nor is it based in a fondness for anthropological musings based in little scientific fact.
Instead, as Paleo In The UK goest to great lengths to explain – the Paleo framework happens to be the most nutrient-dense and the most suited to our biology as humans. It is not low-carbohydrate, it is not ketogenic, it is not all about animal protein and it is not simply an ideology based on ancestral principles. Instead, it brings the ancestral line of thinking into the modern scientific realm in order to explain and understand the impact of nutrition on human physiology. This is what we have built our site to represent – a clear reflection of the way modern food interacts with the physiology of modern humans, and all of the other factors of life which interplay with this dynamic and alter our body’s resilience and wellbeing.
Furthermore, our Autoimmune (AIP) section is devoted to deep explanations of the reasoning and the methodology behind effective elimination diets – a foundational tool for any Functional Practitioner if autoimmune conditions are part of someone’s health picture.
Speaking personally, I have witnessed the power of such nutritional approaches. It is not that food is the be all and end all – but it is very clear to me, through both my lived experience and the extensive work that I do with my clients, that the nutritional building blocks we give ourselves have biochemical effects and interactions within our bodies – with our digestive system, our nervous systems, our hormones and neurotransmitters, emotions, mood and energy levels. Food can, and does, directly influence our wellbeing in multifaceted ways.
For those with health concerns, or those feeling slightly at odds with their biology, utilising the tools of a Paleo or AIP approach can – and often is – a way to clear the confusion and biochemical disruption and begin to understand the messages and feedback from our bodies, so we can really understand how we feel best nourished and supported to thrive.
Paleo and AIP are not necessarily the end result for people – but they can be stepping stones en route to deeper self-awareness and physiological connection. Without these steps I can guarantee I would not be alive today.
But this site is about far more than food. It is about everything that goes into living an anti-inflammatory, supportive lifestyle – from exercise to sleep, meditation and mindfulness to the environment and the way you interact. It is about how you build a health life, and feel centred in your own body and the way you make decisions about your wellbeing.
Most importantly: it is applicable to a UK audience (as so many US websites are not).
We have aimed not to be extreme or dogmatic and we have clearly laid out our ethos around what we mean when we use the word “Paleo”. For us, this is not about weight loss or yet another diet aimed at self-control, restriction and punishment. We are incredibly mindful that nutritional manipulations are a tool, and sometimes a valuable one in order to restore health and encourage overall vitality and wellbeing. We are also incredibly mindful that attitude, mental perspectives and social elements of health and wellbeing are just as important – if not more important – than the food we eat. This is why our new site has attempted to cover it all.
Chronic health conditions – everything from autoimmunity to obesity and diabetes, neuro-degeneration to heart disease, chronic fatigue to chronic pain syndromes – are epidemic in modern, western countries. This includes the UK. It is my belief that every single one of these conditions would benefit enormously by implementing a low inflammatory, nutrient dense approach to diet – and a lower-stress, highly restorative approach to lifestyle. They would also benefit by the fostering of deeper, clearer connections between ourselves, our bodies and the food we eat.
These diets might not be a lifelong prescription (and probably shouldn’t be) – but this way of eating and caring for ourselves can certainly shift the needle to allow us to make real improvements to our overall health.
As someone with complex genetics and chronic conditions which my diet did NOT cause – I have often heard the rebuttal from those who are suffering with similar conditions that ‘nutrition didn’t cause my illness so how can it heal it?’, or even ‘negativity didn’t cause my conditions so how can positivity help?’.
I have no real answers to that – except that I would encourage everyone to try it – at least for a short time. Basically, you have to eat anyway – and you have to live inside your body and your brain with your sensations and your thoughts. It is my belief that we need to be less critical in the UK of those who choose to eat and think in a way that nourishes their body and nurtures their soul. It is also my belief – and the new website shows the science to back this up – that the diets loosely labelled “Paleo” or “AIP” are the most anti-inflammatory, nourishing and nutrient-dense diets out there which will ultimately prove incredibly nourishing for many – if not all – health conditions.
When followed properly.
Hence my desire to help build accurate and scientifically backed, research laden resources on the best way to ‘go Paleo’. This is why I have contributed so directly to the building of this new site – and will continue to do so. I do not believe that the way we eat determines everything about how healthy we can be – in fact I think that mindset and intention plays a much bigger role than we even recognise. However, it is clear to me that if your intention and mindset is about nurturing and caring for yourself with the utmost respect – then eventually you will end up choosing to base your diet and lifestyle around the principles of highly nourishing foods and practices which uniquely suit your biology and your health. This may not end up totally “Paleo” (and should not end up always “AIP”) – but it’s a really, really good place to start.
So – I encourage you to take a look around the site – sign up for the updates whilst you’re there, and download any of the PDFs you’ll find dotted around the site so you’ve got resources – completely free – which explain this way of living and eating to you. If you’ve any suggestions for the site – reach out to me through the admin team at firstname.lastname@example.org or, as always, email me directly at email@example.com if you would like my help with navigating your own Paleo or Autoimmune Paleo journey.