The food diary of a naturopath
We caught up with naturopath Jules Galloway on personal dietary experiments and got the inside scoop on her daily eats.
Diet objective: Miscellaneous health issues
Protocol: Self-styled // adapted gluten-free
What prompted you to start experimenting with your diet?
I had several health issues which had not been able to be addressed through herbs, supplements, or even pharmaceutical medicines. I started doing my own research and found links to gluten, dairy and sugar. I was also told by a naturopath that I had an intolerance to these foods, so I thought I would just try cutting them out. I was shocked at the results! So many niggly health issues cleared up - the headaches disappeared, I stopped getting recurrent tonsillitis and chest infections, my skin cleared up, asthma symptoms gone….
How did you go about researching dietary changes?
I was tested for intolerances through a naturopath. Later, I started eating a diet that was mostly paleo, because since I was already avoiding gluten, dairy and sugar, it seemed like the logical next step.
Did you try anything that didn't work?
I tried just replacing my usual diet with processed gluten free goods and fake soy cheeses and soy milk. Needless to say, all that processed stuff didn't agree with me!
I've tried a ‘regular’ gluten-free diet, but I ate lots of processed gluten-free products and it didn't make me feel good at all.
How did you know when you'd hit upon something that 'worked'?
I knew I was onto something when I started to see a turnaround in the symptoms of endometriosis. I've had the condition since my teens, so it took a while for the diet to have any effect. Once I saw that starting to shift, I was stoked!
How do you know it’s nutritionally sound?
I've had plenty of GPs tell me that diet won't do anything to help, and that gluten intolerance isn't event a thing! I just keep doing what I'm doing; if I feel better eating this way, that's all that matters. (P.S. There is now medical evidence to prove that gluten intolerance is indeed a thing.)
How do you evaluate your way of eating?
I have a few markers - the most important one is my own energy levels. If they drop and I feel constantly tired or run down, I know I need to tighten things up and eat better.
What are the 'rules'?
It's best described as 80/20 paleo. I don't eat gluten, dairy, sugar, processed foods, chemical additives, processed vegetable oils or soy. Instead, I eat loads of yummy (and exciting!) wholefoods - meat, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, broths, healthy oils and fermented foods.
The 20 per cent of my diet that isn't paleo is stuff like legumes, rice, corn, and potatoes. Oh and wine, which isn’t paleo!
What are the perks?
A stronger immune system, more energy, less anxiety and clear skin were the main benefits I experienced. But it's different for everyone. Some people eat this way to bring down inflammation, some eat this way to improve their moods. Some simply believe it makes them feel stronger, clearer and full of vitality.
On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being easy…
Eating out used to be hard, but it's getting easier these days, as more restaurants are becoming aware. I also make lots of healthy treats and keep them in the freezer (see recipe at bottom).
Do you ever break out and eat something you try not to?
I'm a bit partial to Lindt 70% dark chocolate. Hot chips are my other weakness; usually, they're cooked in a type of oil I'd never ever use at home, but I just enjoy them and try not to stress about it. I think that stress is far worse for your body than a few chips!
What happens when you veer from your menu?
I always suffer in some way afterwards. My digestion flares up, my knees ache, my skin breaks out and my energy levels plummet. I don't beat myself up about it - but each time it happens I think to myself "This isn't really worth it" and try to remember that feeling next time I'm about to eat something that I know my body won't like.
Breakfast: Banana and blueberry smoothie with cashews, chia seeds, and almond milk. Long black coffee (no sugar)
Lunch: Chicken and vegetable soup made with bone broth
Afternoon snack: Bliss ball
Dinner: Slow cooked lamb with veggies, cauliflower rice and sauerkraut.
NEXT: Want to know more about gluten free living? Take a look into the life of a gluten-free guru here.