Going paleo


There’s nothing quite like having someone stick a camera up your backside to give you a healthy dose of reality check.

After months of excruciating heartburn and bloating I went for a gastroscopy and endoscopy with Professor Julian Oettle at the Donald Gordon hospital.

When I say bloating, I don’t mean a little gas. I don’t mean unicorns and rainbows. I mean absolute ballooning. My stomach was as hard as rock. I looked pregnant and I was afraid that if I let one go I go stratospheric and Richard Branson would have to bring me back down to earth.

Unpleasant is not quite sufficient for the hours of preparation it required. Drinking litres of the most revolting substance man could come up with and then waiting for it to emerge from the other end. I swear the shape of the toilet bowl is tattooed into my nether cheeks.

Stripping down and holding the gown around me like a shroud, I stepped hesitantly on the scales for the nurse. The horror. The humiliation. I was told in no certain terms to lose weight – a lot of it – 10 kilograms – fast.

The outcome of the camera intrusion from top and bottom was that my esophagus is ulcerated, my stomach lining is growing up my throat and I have acute IBS.

Prof. Oettle, a sweeter man you couldn’t find, gently told me it was time I made a few changes in my diet.

No sugar. Ever.

This almost made me pick up my hospital gown and run for freedom. I drink 5 cups of heavily sweetened tea a day. Chocolate and ice-cream I can live without – but no sugar in my tea? Not fructose either not honey. I wanted to weep.

Then he explained, gently as one would with a highly panicked woman, that sugar causes increased acid production and in order to heal my throat I need to stop the sugar.

Why on earth has no-one told me this before?

No wheat. Ever. 

I have a fully fledged wheat allergy. Something to do with genetically modified wheat and the body’s slow build-up of intolerance. Well, I thought, that’s doable. I hardly eat bread anyway. That’s before I discovered just how much has wheat in it – no pasta, no cake, no McVities. Apparently, I can experiment with some grains and see how that goes.

No carbs. Fullstop. 

No carbs? No carbs? No baked potatoes with butter and cheese? No potato chips? Is this a conspiracy to see how far I can be pushed before I totally break down? Was there a camera crew filming my reaction?

And then, the doctor said the name I was dreading.

Yep. He did.

Tim Noakes.

NOOOOOOOO! I silently screamed.

I’ve spent the last year mercilessly teasing the Cult of Noakes.

Now, I’m going to be that person?

Please, don’t let me turn into that person.

Next thing I’ll be joining Crossfit.

Or Scientology.

Same difference.

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