HELLO from Paleo & Co. First a very big thank you for being here – you are awesome.
In this very first blog post we wanted to tell you a bit about who we are, and also find out about YOU.
We’d love to feature you on this site – the ‘&Co’ means ‘and community’ and that’s you – so tell us about your success stories, how you approach Paleo as a family, what it’s like to be Paleo/AIP where you live (whether that’s somewhere in the UK or anywhere in the world), share your recipes and tips. or Just say hi. We’d love to hear from you. Just click on contact us.
But in the meantime, back to us (and our outtake photo!)
Firstly, the important stuff. We are not doctors or dieticians, we are not nutritionists or health coaches. Or any other kind of coaches for that matter. We are just a family on a Paleo journey working it out as we go along. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t – but the things that do work we share with you on here. The things we like, the recipes we use, the blogs we follow and the books we use (time and time again).
Oh, and as you can tell from the picture, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. This Paleo world can sometimes seem to be quite intimidating, but we are 100% real, and everything you see on here is real too (our photos are not styled by a food stylist, but are a quick snapshot of what we’re about to eat – sometimes a kid’s hand may feature as they try to grab for their dinner – that’s just real life!) There is no judgement here. So feel free to be yourself too.
(The picture above was one of the outtakes after a friend took a load of shots of us – but I like it. It makes us laugh, we hope it gives you a laugh too!)
I started this Paleo journey due to health issues. I have suffered with digestive issues most of my life, but like most people I just figured it was ‘my normal’.
It was only after having my first child in 2012 that things started to go really wrong.
I started feeling ‘off’. And I was SO tired all the time. I don’t mean I don’t want to get up today type tired, but the kind of bone tired you feel when you have the flu.
Some days I had to drag myself out of the bed and would often want to fall asleep at my desk (luckily I worked from home). I ached so much – washing my hair in the shower was impossible without resting a few times as holding my arms up was too much. I couldn’t even think about holding a hairdryer.
I couldn’t change the sheets as lifting up the quilt cover was too much – I didn’t stand a chance wth the the heavy duvet! I didn’t realise it at the time, but now I know I was also suffering with anxiety and depression type issues. I also had less severe but still troubling issues such as hair loss – and not just on my head – my eyebrows started to fall out too, my face was covered with ezcema, and I suffered weight gain despite eating a ‘healthy’ diet and doing plenty of exercise.
I saw a few different nurses and GPs but they all said the same thing – “you’re just tired”… “that’s what it’s like when you have a baby”, and most worryingly “do you want a prescription for anti-depressants?”
I am not telling you all this because I want you to feel sorry for me (after all, I found the solution that works for me and now feel SO MUCH BETTER). In fact many of my closest friends don’t know the extent of these issues. I’m telling you because I think many people could be going through the same things, and like I did, are accepting it as ‘their normal’. It’s not. And the good news is you can do something about it.
It was only when I moved to New York and got diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease that I found my way out. Although my doctor said I could take thyroid medication and feel fine, I didn’t fancy taking drugs for the rest of my life. So I did what we all do – I turned to Google. After losing hours and days researching, I found something that seemed to make sense. AIP or the Auto Immune Protocol, a healing ‘diet’ which is a stricter version of the Paleo lifestyle. It cuts out nightshades (things like tomatoes, chillies, aubergines) eggs, nuts and seeds. Basically it cuts out inflammatory ingredients and focusses on nutrient dense foods. It also encompasses lifestyle elements including adequate sleep and relaxation.
Living in New York it was easy to find the things I wanted to eat and stick with the Paleo and AIP. When we moved back to the UK I really struggled. The first few months I stuck to AIP as much as I could, but because I couldn’t find the food/snacks that used to keep me going on tough days or food for on the go when we were travelling, I started to add in other foods and soon started to feel ill again.
My husband and partner in everything, Jonathan, started Paleo by default. He’s the cook in our house and he was fed up of cooking separate meals for me and him every night, and so we started eating AIP main meals every night (unless we went out to a restaurant in which case he got free reign!) After a couple of months the difference in me was clear – most of my symptoms were easing, and I was starting to look and feel much better.
He saw the difference it had made to me, and he wondered about what Paleo could do for him. He read up on Mark Sisson and the Primal Blueprint (see our resources page) and realised that Paleo could also help with his fitness – he’s a keen runner and completed the New York marathon in 2015.
He started full Paleo and has never looked back. (NOTE: In the interests of being completely open and honest with you, Jonathan still can’t cope without cream in his coffee… a hangover from living in New York where everything comes with half and half! He tolerates dairy so it’s totally fine for him – but even so we don’t feature any dairy on this site, as we stick to the main Paleo principles of no grains, no dairy, no legumes, no refined sugars and no nasty industrialised seed oils.)
Jonathan also struggled when we moved back home. He was soon sick of eating nuts as his only snack and was dreaming of meat bars.
One day back in 2016, after an unsuccessful shopping trip around the various supermarkets of Manchester, I said to Jonathan: “I wish there was a website where we could just buy everything we need to eat Paleo.” And right then and there Paleo & Co was born. It’s taken a while to get here, but the journey has been worth it.
We have two Paleo-ish kids (that’s another blog post!) and one very Paleo dog.
So that’s us. But this site is about much more than just us. The idea behind Paleo & Co is a community of likeminded people sharing successes, supporting each other and helping to make this lifestyle as sustainable as possible. Our suppliers and our customers are a vital piece of Paleo & Co and we want you to join in as much as possible. Tell us about your Paleo journey, tell us about your success stories, share your before and after pictures, tell us how you approach Paleo as a family, or what it’s like to be Paleo/AIP where you live, send us your recipes, tell us about your favourite Paleo products, review your purchases, just say hi or tell us about your day. We’d love to hear from you.