Featured app: Paleo (io)

Apps can help

This is the first in what will be a series of ‘app of the month’ articles from This AS Life. These articles are about sharing the most helpful apps on the market to help make living with AS a little more manageable. The first topic is one we all need and love. You guessed it, food. Do you feel like you’ve tried and tested every app around on your quest for easy-to-prepare meals that are also good for your body? Or even if you haven’t considered using apps before, now is a great time to get started – they’re easy-to-use, quick, simple and could really benefit your life.

Eat right

What’s right for some people may not work for others. So, it’s all about trial and error. Or hopefully trial and success in this case! ‘Eating paleo’, in normal terms, is to eat like a caveman. After your body has got used to the change in diet, the hope is that you will feel a real rise in energy levels and of course, be a happier person all round. The paleo diet may not be for everyone as it takes a lot of planning before you shop. However, nutrition is a great way to protect your cells from inflammation1 so it may be worth giving it a go. If you’re positively fighting AS, you’ll know how much of a problem inflammation can be. Further to that, the paleo diet is thought to improve overall fatigue2, weight3 and blood pressure4 levels in some patients.

App of the month

Cooking elaborate meals can be fairly low on the agenda when you’ve got AS. However, the more you learn about certain ingredients, the more you can try out in the kitchen with ease (cooking is talked about in the next section). So, (drumroll please) – the very first This AS Life app of the month is: ‘Paleo (io) – The Ultimate Paleo Diet Food List.’ Type in a food you like and find out if it’s paleo or not – if it is, that’s another ingredient for tonight’s dinner; if it’s not, you can add it to the list of no-nos. Simple as that! The great thing about ‘Paleo (io)’ is that it’s so easy to understand compared to lots of the other more complicated paleo apps on the market. By using it only to find out if certain foods are paleo or not, you can make sure your shopping list is paleo-friendly before heading out to the store.

(Above): The Paleo (io) app allows you to see which food types are paleo or not easily on screen

Paleo explained

Paleo means ancient or older and the paleo diet means eating only foods that humans have eaten for thousands of years. You must be thinking, ‘cavemen loved chocolate too, right!’ Generally speaking, this a list of the dos and don’ts:

  • Include non-starchy vegetables in most meals e.g. asparagus, broccoli and leeks
  • Eat grass-fed meats e.g. beef and lamb. Choose free-range/ wild-caught when you can
  • Consume the healthy fats e.g. avocados, olive oil, coconut oil
  • Avoid the unhealthy fats in dairy products and kick the sugar (sorry!)
  • Nuts and seeds are your friends (slow-release energy really helps)
  • Avoid all processed and refined foods
  • Eliminate grains, especially gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley and rye found in cookies, cakes and pizza

Eat easy

Before getting started on Paleo (io), let’s address the issue of pain endured and energy used during food prep – both factors that can often lead to not cooking at all. When experiencing low-energy or pain, the take-away menu can often enter peripheral vision wherever you may be in the house. A top tip is to ask yourself: ‘life can be hard, so why take the easy option now with food?’

Regularly cooking for yourself can be tough at first if you’re not used to it, but when on the paleo diet, the hope is that the food you’re eating will provide you with a new-found energy. There are plenty of apps and websites that will help you find and create simple recipes, but it ultimately comes down to you and what you can manage. The Paleo (io) app allows you to select a list of your favorite food types, check if they are paleo, then make some of your own recipes from the ingredients that made the cut. When you cut out all of the bad stuff you’ll be surprised at how much money you can save.

Recipe for happier eating: download Paleo (io), get yourself comfortable by a firm surface, grab the take-away menu and place your chopping board on top so it’s completely out of sight. Then take out your fresh ingredients and get chopping!

Download Paleo (io) for Andriod or IOS here: http://paleo.io/

This article was written by one of the resident experts at ThisASLife.com. A social site, helping the whole AS community to: Learn. Share. Inspire. Discuss.

1. 14 Foods That Fight Inflammation. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20705881,00.html last accessed 08.06.15.
2. The First Clinical Trial Using a Paleo Diet for Autoimmune Disease. http://www.thepaleomom.com/2014/02/first-clinical-trial-using-paleo-diet-autoimmune-disease.html last accessed 08.06.15.
3. 5 Studies on The Paleo Diet – Does it Actually Work? Studies 2, 3 & 5 http://authoritynutrition.com/5-studies-on-the-paleo-diet/ last accessed 08.06.15.
4. 5 Studies on The Paleo Diet – Does it Actually Work? Studies 2, 3, 4 http://authoritynutrition.com/5-studies-on-the-paleo-diet/ last accessed 08.06.15.

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