Tiina is a 32 year old Finnish personal trainer, currently working and residing in central London. She first studied business back home in Finland, moved to London in 2005, worked in the city in business research, completed a conversion law degree – and in the end in summer 2012 realised her real passion was somewhere else; health & fitness! She loves training hard and lifting heavy and believes the key to overall health lies in regular, brief but intense, training sessions using functional exercises; eating clean and getting enough rest. You can find her blog here and get in touch with her on Facebook.
What made you start Paleo, and why did you carry on?
To be honest, I’ve never really made a conscious decision to start Paleo as such. It just happens to be the style of eating that I prefer. I have always been eating quite clean but used to love my porridge with cottage cheese in the morning and having my coffee with milk. Then I decided to try the Poliquin recommended meat & nut breakfast and since it worked really well for me; made me feel more energised and less bloated, I’ve carried on with it. That was pretty much the only “non-Paleo” elements of my diet gone.
So I am not eating the way I eat in order to “be Paleo” or follow any other specific diet really – I just like basing my diet on good quality organic protein, vegetables, nuts and seeds, little fruit, and prefer avoiding sugar and anything processed most of the time.
How Paleo is your diet at the moment?
After Christmas it’s probably been at least 95% Paleo. On occasion I may have used a table spoon or two of Greek yoghurt when making my protein-pancakes but that’s pretty much the only non-paleo element I can think of. (Oh, and I did have an amazing Sunday roast last weekend with Yorkshire pudding as well as an apple & mixed berry crumble with custard for dessert!)
What do you find hardest about sticking to Paleo?
I don’t find it that hard really. Probably because I feel like I’m just eating the things that work for me instead of trying to follow any particular diet. I generally quite enjoy my food, so I guess the hardest part is not to eat too much of it!
How do you manage when you’re eating out?
Most restaurants are happy to give you grilled or steamed vegetables or a salad instead of the usual potatoes, rice etc. And again, if I do feel like having the occasional dessert or glass or two of red when eating out I won’t beat myself up for it.
What’s your number one tip for making it all a bit easier?
My advice is don’t make too big of a big deal out of your diet. Try and eat clean 90% of the time and allow yourself a treat once a week / fortnight if you feel you really need it. At least try and avoid the yo-yo style from being 100% Paleo for one month and the other extreme the next.
What would a week of Paleo meals look like for you?
Breakfast is always meet/fish/chicken and nuts with black coffee. My lunch time favourites at the moment are pan fried salmon fillet or grilled chicken breast with some sweet potato and a bucket of broccoli, colourful peppers, white cabbage and other veggies. Dinner often looks a lot like lunch but tends to be a bigger portion. Recently I have found my inner domestic goddess and also started making things like beef casserole or my own burgers from scratch!
For mid-morning and afternoon snacks I usually have things like my protein pancakes with blueberries or rasberries, some very creative but weird looking green smoothies that leave stains on my face and hands….and generally way too many nuts.
Once a week, usually on Sundays I might have a cheat meal, like Sunday roast with potatoes or whatever I happen to feel like at the time.