…..of Christmas Past!
Last Christmas, ate lots of bad stuff
And the very next day, felt pretty rough
This year, I didn’t eat crap….
And, amazingly, I feel great. Well, when I say great, my arthritis feels great – in that, for a moment, it felt like it had gone away completely.
Of course, I don’t believe that it has gone away, but stuff has happened in the last few weeks that has started me thinking. Never a good move, I know, but just bear with me.
I had the flu. Not just a heavy cold and a sore throat, this was full-on, in bed for days, shivering, hot, cold, sweaty, hallucinating, aching neck, persistent sore head, nasty cough (which, three weeks on, still hasn’t gone away), streaming nose and just generally being a zombie. I can’t remember a time when I produced SO much rancid goo. I now know what it feels like to be the walking dead and it’s not nice at all.
All of this in the two weeks over Christmas and New Year – brilliant!
Well, actually, yes, brilliant. Two things happened.
1. In week 1, I stopped eating. I had no appetite for anything so I drank lots of fluid and fasted. Intermittent fasting is supposed to be pretty good for you – after all, our Paleolithic ancestors would have fasted on and off when they couldn’t find or catch anything to eat.
Remember, the Paleolithic era ‘fixed’ the human genome – genetically, humans haven’t caught up with our rank modern diet. Fasting, now there’s a concept I might explore.
Anyway, for me, not eating meant no temptation to eat loads of inappropriate food – not that I would eat loads, but I do have willpower issues now and then. So, nothing to upset the gut and fuel my rubbish immune system.
2. Any immune system I had left was completely distracted trying to sort out my throat, head, shivers, cough, cold sweats and saving me from being a zombie (didn’t quite work).
The result? My arthritis left me. My little patches of psoriasis cleared up. I had no pain (well, no joint or muscular pain). The joints in my fingers stopped being crunchy. My right elbow (the barometer) was like new. My feet felt small in my shoes and the dislocated toes on my left foot gave me no trouble at all. Apart from the flu, my body felt amazing – really amazing!
I though this was very interesting. Very interesting indeed!
What if you could bottle the effect of a distracted immune system? Oh, hang on, Scott, isn’t that what the drug companies have already tried to do? Haven’t they produced lots of toxic drugs that doctors are happy to push on their behalf? Now, you want to get off this stuff – eejit.
And what about the doctors, their relationship with drug companies and how this mighty, powerful drug industry feeds money to governments and conspires to keep us unhealthy and make billions of pounds? Sound mad? I could go on forever, so I’ll save that for another time. I’m seeing my rheumatologist later this morning and I have some very interesting things to say to her – I’ll be in ‘rant mode’ next week, I can tell already.
Anyway, back to food. During the holidays, I took my kids to spend some time with my sister’s kids and we had a bit of a blether. Inevitably, we got round to talking about food and my sister asked, “So, what do you eat?”
Well, I eat food. Good, natural food. Tasty food. Home cooked lovely stuff made with good ingredients – just like our Christmas dinner. Last year (OK, Christmas 2011) I had a momentary lapse of reason. Wheat, processed sugar and dairy fuelled by quite a bit of alcohol. It took me three weeks to recover.
I had spent the previous three months fitting a bespoke kitchen in our house – with some help from family and friends – and I was able to do it because I was paleo. I couldn’t have tackled the mammoth task unless I had spent 4 months eating the food we’re supposed to eat, which left me feeling fit, well and strong. I finished the job on Christmas Eve (late) and I had put just about everything I had into it. Working 14 hour days at weekends and putting in 3 or 4 hours every day after (and sometimes before) work.
I was shattered. My guard dropped. Everything went to Hell on Christmas Day and, boy, did I suffer for it. That wasn’t going to happen this Christmas – oh no! This year, we were paleotriffic!
Here is the bird. Sourced from a good farm and fed good stuff. Not quite fully paleo but we went to our usual butcher and it was as close as we could get! I have investigated and sourced a real paleo bird for next year – rock on!
Then there’s the gravy! Oooh, I make amazing paleo gravy with a little olive oil, shallots, the juice from a chicken or two, homemade stock, a bit of pepper and NO FLOUR. There’s no need, it is reduced over time and I always keep a wee bit to start off the next batch.
Here it is bubbling away.
Then there’s the stuff we roast our vegetables in. I render my own chicken fat each time we have a roast – which is pretty much every Sunday. It produces the most clean, pure and delicious fat, which freezes easily and melts beautifully at room temperature.
Oooh, it is lovely. Here it is melting away with a wee touch of extra virgin olive oil for good measure. Our roast veg was superb!
What about the wee sausages with bacon on them – pigs in blankets, you say? Ye cannae have Christmas dinner without them. Well, ours were made from gluten-free chipolatas and wrapped in the butchers own cure bacon from pastured pigs – very paleo indeed. They were the best I have ever tasted and the few that were left over didn’t last long!!
My plate was filled with marvellous, tasty, gorgeous food. We were all (and I include my wife’s parents and her brother) paleo for a day!
It was a smashing dinner and, even in my bunged up, sandpaper throated and slightly hot and shivery state, I had an excellent time. What’s not to like about this……
What about the pudding, though? Well, normally, we have a shop bought, reasonably good quality pudding. Add to that cream, custard and ice cream and you have a caveman’s nightmare. Well, last year, I had it all – and the results weren’t pretty.
So, this year, I made my own paleo pudding and it was a triumph! It took a while but it was full of naturally good stuff, made with almond flour, carrots, sweet potato (no really, it was blooming excellent), dates and lots and lots of dried fruit.
It went up in flames at the table and was served with whipped coconut cream (which didn’t turn out exactly as planned, but I know where I went wrong).
So, our first real paleo Christmas and I felt no after effects at all. Nothing to recover from.
Nothing like last year.
It just proves that good health and feeling great starts with – and is all about – food.
And maybe fasting, which I am now quite interested in. I’ll let you know!