Tessa Seward gives an insight into her paleo lifestyle
You may have heard of the paleo diet—a diet where wheat, grains and processed food are shunned in favour of lean meat and seasonal vegetables. Tessa (aka @LondonPaleoGirl on Instagram and Twitter) has made her name as one of the top paleo food bloggers in the UK with over 62.3k followers.
Tessa started following a paleo diet after university. She said: ‘I made big ‘diet’ changes about three years ago following being diagnosed with glandular fever and mild myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). I went very strict paleo (removing gluten, grains, diary and refined sugar) and I saw an improvement. However I wanted it to be a lifestyle not a diet, so I slowly adapted it to be a more modern-day living paleo, so I didn’t feel restricted and could live this way for the rest of my life.’
She follows a 70:30 version of the typical paleo diet, occasionally eating food that doesn't fall into the paleo category but still maintaining a healthy diet.
Tessa impresses her Instagram followers with ‘alternative’ breakfasts, swapping out the less healthy ingredients in a full English or waffles with vegetable alternatives.
‘I LOVE breakfast,’ she says. ‘It always seems to be when my creativity comes alive. My go-to breakfast usually involves eggs, there are so many variations of cooking them and nutritionally it doesn’t get much better than this.’
In addition to her paleo diet, Tessa exercises regularly and promotes exercise as a way of maintaining a healthy body. ‘Exercise is critical for strong muscles and bones, however, if you do not workout correctly nor have the diet required it could have an adverse effect,’ she commented. ‘It is important to balance low and high-impact cardio and training, followed by strengthening and a thorough cool down.’
To many, the paleo diet may seem tough to follow. Starting a new exercise routine can be even trickier. However, Tessa insists that this isn’t just a way to lose weight; it is a new lifestyle. She believes that it can work for anyone if they put their mind to it and rely on the body to say what it needs.
‘Be mindful in your choices, use your common sense and do what works for YOU, as we are all so different. In terms of fitness, I work out when I want. I love the post-workout feeling and it is now a very social thing for me, with my relationships with class friends, instructors and gym owners.
We all have different reasons and targets we wish to achieve, however my own personal outlook on nutrition and fitness is to be healthy, happy and to live at my optimum with a ‘diet’ that is sustainable and enjoyable for life. I listen to my body; I know the foods that agree with me and the foods that don’t. Eating ‘whole, real’ foods makes me feel great and energized, focusing more on micronutrients rather than macros. I don’t calorie count—I am just mindful, and know what a balanced plate of carbs, good fats and protein should look like.
Realise the amount of alternatives and naturally healing foods there are! My journey over the last few years, building up my immune system, having energy and feeling well has been down to believing food has the power to heal us. It is the most dynamic tool we have to prevent and treat many chronic diseases.’