Ceri is 30 and lives in New Cross, South East London. This last year she has enjoyed ruling her own kitchen for the first time in her life. Living alone she does all the cooking – which is just as well because cooking is one of her favourite things to do. Ceri writes the paleo recipe blog Cucina Ceri and when she is not cooking, blogging, reading and learning about cooking and naturopathy,or working at her paid job she goes to Fitter London kettlebell, spin and circuit classes to keep fit.
What made you start Paleo, and why did you carry on?
Paleo was introduced to me by Keris Marsden a nutritionist and personal trainer who runs Fitter London. Just over 2 years ago I was just about to start training for the London Marathon and went to see Keris to discuss an appropriate nutrition plan to help me with my training. I tend to suffer from IBS which is aggravated by running, so it was important that I took special notice of what was going in my body so I could endure all that training and recover quickly. It came at a time when I had been struggling with constant hunger, muffin tops and exhaustion – probably caused by a low fat, high carb and high sugar diet.
How Paleo is your diet at the moment?
It’s January so I’m 100% in. I can’t promise my current angelic 100% state will continue into February, but I do confess that it makes me feel so much better – especially avoiding even the unprocessed sugars like raw honey. I like to have a 90/10 (or 80/20) attitude which means that treats such as dark chocolate, a bit of houmous or gluten-free cake (I always maintain a gluten free diet if I can) are allowed when I need them. When I’m on holiday I totally relax these rules.
What do you find hardest about sticking to Paleo?
Other people’s perceptions that I have a weird diet. If I’m eating out as a guest at a friends house and they don’t know about Paleo I get a bit embarrassed about explaining it. I don’t like to be rude if someone has cooked for me – what a gift – so I usually just eat it. Most of my close friends get it now, which is just fantastic and I really appreciate their interest in it. Also if I’m stressed I find it very hard not to attack the pile of sweet food that is always on display in my office. Like Alicia Its not meal times that are the problem – I genuinely love cooking and eating paleo – it’s the snacking…
How do you manage when you’re eating out?
Eating out is easy peasy. You just need to have confidence in asking for a meal to be amended a little bit if necessary. The most difficult place is a pizzeria where there are no other options. But these are usually few and far between.
What’s your number one tip for making it all a bit easier?
Get interested and excited about food. I have found so many new tasty recipes by reading recipe books and using the internet which is such a great resource of ideas. It really helps keeps meal times interesting and avoids the grilled chicken and veg ground hog day feeling. Also cook in bulk. Since I cook for myself most days it would be pointless going to all that effort to create just 1 meal. Even if I’m cooking for friends I will always cook a little extra so that there are leftovers. The freezer and lots of tupperware become your best allies.
What would a week of Paleo meals look like for you?
Because I write a food blog I do appreciate that a week of meals for me might be slightly elaborate but here goes. I don’t think I cook for me anymore – I cook for what the blog is missing! Here’s some examples of meals I’ve cooked up since the beginning of January. I don’t distinguish between lunch and dinner. Breakfast is usually scrambled eggs, leftovers or some salmon with avocado.
Top Row L-R Slow cooker favourites: Beef and root vegetable stew, Mexian pulled pork with roasted sweet potatoes, plantains and guacamole, spicy pulled lamb with coleslaw and greens
Middle Row L-R Stove cooked: Chicken, chorizo and kale Stew, Burmese pork curry with cauliflower Rice, Beef & Harissa Stew
Bottom Row L-R Paleo Pad Thai, tumeric omelette, Fattoush Salad