Participant Information Sheet for a two week or four week Palaeolithic Diet Study:
For this study, I will cover the costs of all your blood tests (no small sum); the caveat is that you have to stick to the diet 100% during the prescribed time, and record all the information that’s required (in the attachment to follow in another email).
The blood tests are done at a lab in Wimpole St which is open from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday.
If you feel the whole thing is too much of a bind and you only want to do the diet without the blood tests, I’m happy to coach you through it.
Here’s my blog about nutrition which gives a bit of background as to why I am doing this study:
Please be aware that there is a small chance that your blood markers might get worse or that you might put on weight.
Another “warning” that I’m giving to participants of this study is that if you suffer from eczema or any other allergic condition, there might be a small chance that your eczema or allergies get worse when you go back to a normal diet after following the Palaeolithic diet – i.e. you might become more sensitive to allergens that you were previously allergic to when you re-introduce wheat or dairy back into your diet.
As far as I know there aren’t any studies which show this, but from hearsay it is a theoretical risk, hence the warning.
If you are still ok to go ahead, then I would need your dob, height and weight to give to the lab when I call to arrange the blood test. (Because the reference ranges of some of the markers vary according to BMI).
Summary of the 14 day protocol:
Fasting test = nothing to eat or drink for 12 hours prior to the test, apart from water.
1) 3 day run-in period – daily weight and waist measurement and a food record of what you’ve eaten for 3 days during your normal diet. (Countdown days)
2) Fasting blood tests, one or two days before or on the day of starting the diet.
3) 14 days of the Palaeolithic diet. (And keep a food diary for the first 3 days: D1, D2 and D3)
4) Keep a food diary again for the last 3 days of the diet. (D12, D13 and D14)
5) Fasting blood tests, weight, and waist measurement the morning after having followed the diet for 14 days.
For the food diary please write down everything that you eat or drink during each of the 3 day periods.
Before and after blood tests:
Fasting test = nothing to eat or drink for 12 hours prior to the test, apart from water
Fasting Lipid profile
1) Fasting weight – on 3 consecutive days during the run-in period, and again immediately after the diet.
2) Fasting waist measurement – on 3 consecutive days during the run-in period, and again immediately after the diet.
What’s allowed on the diet in unlimited quantities (apart from nuts which are limited to 30g/day and a maximum of 1 potato/day):
- Vegetables (cooked or raw vegetables allowed, but no vegetable juices or smoothies)
- Fruit(whole fruit – no smoothies or juices)
- Meat (preferably lean)
- Herbs and Spices
- Black tea, black coffee, herbal teas without milk
- All Nuts(except for peanuts, which are actually legumes)
What’s not allowed:
- Refined Sugar
- All Grains (i.e. bread, pasta, rice, bran, oats, porridge, chapatis, breakfast cereals, wraps, cakes, croissants, pastries, quinoa and all other foods made from grains)
- Dairy Products (i.e. no milk, cheese or yogurt)
- Refined Vegetable Oils
- Juices and Smoothies
- Processed Meat(i.e. bacon, sausages, salami, ham, or any meat which contains salt, preservatives or refined oil)
- Pulses and Legumes (i.e. daals, lentils, peas, beans and peanuts)
- Soya beans, Tofu and Bean curd
What’s allowed in limited amounts:
Coconut oil or olive oil in small amounts instead of vegetable oil for cooking.
Alcohol – the equivalent of one glass of wine per day – not because Stone Age man drank alcohol, but because no one would do this study if it meant no alcohol at all! (Except no beer, sweet alcoholic drinks or cocktails are allowed).
A quick reminder of what’s not allowed:
Bread, rice, pasta, chapati, daal (lentils), legumes (beans, peanuts, kidney beans and chick peas), juices, raisins, sweet drinks, desserts, sugar, cheese, paneer, yogurt or any other dairy products.
Apart from nuts and potatoes (30g nuts and 1 potato per day allowed), all other “allowed” foods can be consumed in unlimited amounts.
Here are some Paleo meal suggestions:
Avocados; Bananas; Berries; Pineapple; Mango; any amount of any fruit is allowed.
Eggs – ideally poached or boiled; or else fried or scrambled with a minimum amount of coconut oil or olive oil.
Scrambled eggs with crab or salmon
Omelettes with onions, mushrooms, chilli, tomato, or leftover meat from the previous night’s dinner.
Smoked mackerel or Smoked salmon – you can put these in an omelette or have them on their own.
Kippers, sardines – all these fish are high in healthy omega-3 fats.
Snacks (maximum of 30g nuts per day – other snacks unlimited)
Bananas are very filling and a good snack if you are feeling hungry – eat as many as you like.
Macadamia nuts or other nuts (out of all the nuts, macadamias are the healthiest because of their relatively low omega-6 fat content)
Apples, pears, peaches, bananas – any amount of any fruit is allowed.
Basic idea is meat or fish with lots of vegetables.
Large salad – “Pret A Manger” do good salads with chicken, prawns, crayfish, salmon or eggs. Have as many salads as you like.
Sashimi without the rice
Fruit – any amount of any fruit is allowed.
Leftover vegetables from the night before
If at home or at a restaurant roast chicken with roast sweet potato wedges is an easy option.
Here’s my recipe for roast chicken:
If you are starving when you get home and end up eating whatever is at hand, it might be a good idea to cook your dinner one day ahead so that you can eat as soon as you get home, and then cook the next day’s dinner after you’ve eaten.
Sweet potato, parsnip and butternut squash make excellent curries and are very filling. They can also be roasted. Sweet potato wedges – very easy and they cook in about 30 minutes.
Salads – lots
Grilled, stir-fried or steamed vegetables – broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, artichoke, courgette – add garlic to make them more tasty.
Vegetable curries – again with minimum oil.
Steamed, baked or grilled fish – sea bass, salmon, mackerel or any fish that takes your fancy.
One of our regular meals at home is baked sea bass or sea bream fillets – put coarse black pepper, chilli powder and a few drops of gluten free soya sauce on the fish, then bake it in a covered casserole dish for 20 minutes at 180 degrees C. Make sure that the fish is upside down in the dish – i.e. flesh down and skin side up, and it comes out very soft and no need for any oil. (strictly speaking soya sauce isn’t allowed, but I think a few drops is fine).
Another of our regular meals is fishcakes. Steam some fish (Wild Alaskan salmon works very well and very cheap from Tesco.com). Fry some chopped onions, garlic, ginger and chilli. Add to steamed fish. Boil some sweet potatoes and coarsely mash them. Add all this with some fresh chopped coriander to fish mixture; mix well and shape into cakes, then pan fry, or heat in an oven. Recently I’ve stopped making them into fishcakes, and just having it like a ‘salmon keema’ without the sweet potato.
Prawns – either as a curry, or lightly sautéed with lots of garlic and a little bit of chilli.
Steamed mussels with garlic – Fry some garlic and sliced onions. Add a little bit of white wine. Add washed mussels. Cover pan with a lid. Steam for 5 minutes. Mussels take carbon out of the environment, so you can feel doubly pleased with yourself as they are very good for you too.
Roast chicken, chicken curry (with minimum oil)
Lean meat – grilled or pan-fried steak or lamb
Lamb, beef or chicken keema – cooked with minimum oil
Grilled scallops with garlic and chilli
Black pepper, herbs, chilli, mustard, Indian spices – all of these add lots of taste to everything, and they’re all allowed.
Here’s my recipe for a Paleo salad dressing:
Macadamia and chilli dressing – keeps in the fridge for months
1 bottle macadamia butter (170g) (It doesn’t contain butter – it’s just crushed macadamias and is available on amazon and Ocado).
80 mls vinegar
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1.5 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon black pepper
5 teaspoons honey
Post diet questionnaire
Did you notice any changes in common ailments or any medical conditions that you normally have whilst you did the 2 week or 4 week Palaeolithic diet study? And would you mind if I put your comments (anonymously) into a group email at a later date?
If the answer is “no” or “no change” to the following questions, there’s no need to reply. If “yes” it would be extremely useful to know!
Any improvement or deterioration in any of the following physical ailments/conditions?
- Skin conditions- eczema, psoriasis, acne.
- Changes in hair – increased or decreased hair loss, or change in hair colour.
- Allergies- hay fever etc…
- Headaches- any change in frequency if you normally get headaches.
- Bowel symptoms- bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, wind or gastroenteritis.
- Change in appetite
- Asthma – or night-time cough or wheeze.
- Propensity to viral infections- colds, flu, cold sores.
- Joint problems – pain, swelling or stiffnessin back, neck, knee, shoulder or any other joints.
- Sleep – Better, worse, deeper or lighter
- Anything else? – e.g. genito-urinary symptoms.
Any changes in your mental or emotional state?
- Happiness level
- Psychotic episodes – mania or schizophrenia
- Sense of humour
And a final few questions:
- Did the four weeks feel very long or did they go by more quickly than you had anticipated? (I think I know the answer to this one!).
- Overall do you think you ate more, less or the same number of calories as you normally do?
- Which specific part of the diet was the most restrictive when eating out?
- Would you like to stay in or opt out of regular emails with comments and/or blood results (all anonymous) from others doing the two week or four week studies, (I won’t be offended if you prefer to opt out!)?If you can think of other questions that I could add please let me know!
- Would you recommend this diet to a friend? If yes, why? And if not, why not?