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What nutrition did for me

In August 2011 I left my job through depression, and as I walked out I knew that my illness had cost me a 7 year career I had started in 2004. I lacked the energy and desire to achieve my goals and was profoundly frustrated with my life. Depression is a real drain like that.

During this low point in my life, I was receiving email newsletters from a website I had read with some interest back in 2009 - It’s one of the most popular websites of the paleo movement – a growing association of people who follow the paleo diet.

The paleo diet is based on the theory that the foods most suitable for the human body are those that we ate during our evolution as a species, for 99% of our history. It includes meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables and fruit, with some limited nuts and seeds. It excludes processed sugary foods, grains, legumes and dairy, as these foods appeared around 10,000 years ago when we became farmers and left our hunter gatherer lifestyle behind.

In November 2012 I decided to give this diet a try and really stick to it. I had run out of alternatives and my life was in a real mess. I knew that these changes would be hard to make, especially as I would be giving up convenience foods like cereal and bread, not to mention chocolates and biscuits.

So for the first week I just avoided sugar but allowed everything else. That first week without sugar was a revelation. Within 48 hours I came out of the brain fog that was permanently around me, and was able to have proper conversations with my friends and family. By the end of the week I felt so good I was ready for the next step, knowing I was on to a really good thing.

In the following three weeks I also gave up bread and cereals, and increased the amount of meat, vegetables and fruits in my diet. Since then I’ve not looked back. I have energy and vitality that I’ve never had before in my life and age the age of 35 I am just starting my own business.

I have also found a new community of people in the paleo movement, also referred to as the Ancestral Health community. It is a very powerful thing to be able to take charge of your health in this way, and we share this experience – many of us have health stories like mine.

I could never have dreamed that by trying ‘the paleo diet thing’, I would end up taking charge of my life in such a rewarding way. I also lost a tremendous amount of weight by eating predominantly healthy foods. I’m now back to the type of build I had when I was 21 – slim and physically fit.

The writer Andrew Solomon has famously said that ‘the opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality’. After finding more vitality through this way of eating and living, I can assure you that he’s right.

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