Hi, my name is Elizabeth and I have a problem: I eat a Paleo diet.
Just writing these words sends me into a deep spiral of shame and self-disgust.
I started Paleo before Paleo was cool; before there was such a word, or at least one I had ever heard of. This makes me the most pretentious, if not authentic, hipster around, doesn’t it?
Now, contrary to popular belief, I did not wake up one day and think to myself that it would be a good and really trendy idea to eat like a caveman. After years of not feeling right, I went to the doctor and they told me to cut grains from my diet to see if this helped.
While I felt better, it wasn’t some miraculous overnight cure, so over the next year they recommended I go off dairy and then processed sugar as well. Just over a year ago, I went to a different doctor for something unrelated and they told me I was allergic to coffee, which means I am now off that as well. I know, major sad face.
The result: I officially eat Paleo ? or live a Paleo lifestyle, as the hardcore ‘alternatives’ among us would say. (Post continues after gallery.)
This all started in 2010, just before I moved to an outback town in Western Australian where it was pretty much impossible to get gluten free bread at the supermarket let alone a grain, dairy and sugar-free brownie.
So, in one respect, I love that Paleo is now a buzzwords; that sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free are labelled on food packets and menus; that I can sum up my diet in one word instead of a complicated discussion of what I can and can’t eat. It makes my life a hell of a lot easier.
But Pete Evans and his vocal opponents have sent me into hiding. I never used to tell people that I didn’t eat like them; I don’t particularly like talking about it and there is nothing I hate more than putting people out by making them cater especially for me.
If anyone noticed, I used to say I followed a restricted diet due to health issues and leave it at that. (Post continues after video.)
Now, I actively pretend to be ‘normal’ and it makes me feel like I have an eating disorder.