Emma is the creator of Paleo with Mrs P, a website dedicated to creating simple, healthy, nutritious recipes which are free from dairy, gluten, grains and refined sugar. Diagnosed with diabetes just before her eighteenth birthday, Emma later fell in love with the Paleo diet and how it calmed her symptoms, as well as making her feel happy and healthy. Here is her paleo story!
You were diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when you were 17 – that must have been very challenging. Can you tell us a little about this time in your life?
It was 2 months before my finals at school (A-Levels) and 3 months before my 18th birthday, I had been feeling very low for a while and had adapted to all the symptoms of Type One Diabetes, thinking it was just A-Level stress. I was weeing constantly, drinking anything I could get my hands on, I lost 2.5 stone in weight in a very quick time – thinking that it was just “my time” to lose the weight, as my mother is naturally very slim. I also had chronic thrush (sorry boys!!), my body was constantly going into cramp spasms and I felt generally very low. So low, I took myself to the school Dr who did a routine blood test and then the next thing I knew there were blue flashing lights and I was in hospital being diagnosed as Type one diabetic with the highest blood sugar they had ever seen – and questioning how I was still standing. It was a shock.
How did you discover the paleo diet and lifestyle?
It was in mid 2013, my husband had just proposed to me and we had decided that we were going to get married a year later on a beach in Indonesia. I had 4 stunning and slim bridesmaids and it suddenly dawned on me that I was in no fit shape to be a beach bride. I decided to invest in a personal trainer, as I thought it would be a great way to get in to shape and to focus on my diabetes, and get it in better control. Early on Henri (my personal trainer, and now one of my best friends) mentioned the Paleo lifestyle to me as he’d heard of it being of great benefit to other Type 1 diabetics. I cut out all processed foods, sweetened drinks, refined sugar, dairy, gluten, grains and soya overnight and within 5 days my mind had cleared, I felt happier, lighter, had more energy, no headaches or bloating and my blood sugars were much more stable. I was able to eat some meals without giving myself insulin- which had NEVER, in my whole 10 yrs as a diabetic, happened before. Along with all of this I managed to lose 2 stone in weight, which changed my confidence immeasurably.