The Straw Cottage

eco-accommodation and growing experiments on a small scale



I need to lose two stone. In the couple of months before Christmas, I lost 8 pounds on the 5:2 diet. Two days a week (usually Monday and Wednesday or Thursday) I ate only 500 calories. It’s tough but I find it much easier than dieting 7 days a week! On my diet days I have a boiled egg for breakfast, tinned salmon or tuna with a bit of salad for dinner and a bit of meat and green veg for tea. No great hardship really. I’m hungry but I tell myself it will soon be tomorrow when I can enjoy a fried egg, mushrooms and tomato on wholemeal toast for breakfast! On the non-fasting five days I try to avoid processed food and try to limit bread to breakfast. I lost a stone this way last winter. The 8 pounds I have just lost are the ones I put back on over the summer when I let things slip again. Oh, it’s such a constant battle!

I have a couple of friends following a paleo diet. They eat the foods our caveman ancestors would have access to 10,000 years ago – free range meat, seafood, fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. I can understand the principle – this is the diet we evolved to eat.

Caveman faced obvious danger out hunting or fighting territorial battles. We face more subtle danger everywhere we turn these days – sugar, gluten and other lovely chemicals purporting to be “food”, lining the shelves wherever we go!

However, I need to think a while about a paleo diet in the context of mainly locally grown food with a few imported luxuries. More on this and 5:2 later……………… the meantime I need to book in 2 diet days next week!


Author: Carol Atkinson

Farmer's wife, mother, straw bale builder, running two eco holiday cottages - now delving more into food production

3 thoughts on “Diet

  1. Hi Carol,

    Have followed your wonderful straw bale work for years – with your excellent reports – very, very clear and very thorough. For which many thanks.

    > 500 calories

    FAR too much like hard work I say, because I’ve _lived_ the following since 2006. It means another reading job for you – but you’ve done it before so it should be ‘nae bother’. ; )

    – Johnny (occasionally?) Responsible

    Previously –



    “Every male over 60 in the US (and UK) eating the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) _has_ heart disease and should be treated as such.” – famous doctor. Ditto women – at 70!


    “Heart disease need never occur. And if it does occur it need never progress. Heart-attack proof in three weeks.” – Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.

    “I don’t see why it is considered radical to recommend a plant-based diet and conservative to cut people open.” – Dr. Dean Ornish. “Bravo” – Dr. Esselstyn.

    This diet works. That is the first and the last word. You can eat as much as you like (of the right foods). You will never feel hungry. You can snack as much as you can bear. Want your svelte twenty year old body back? This diet will do it. Tired of carrying an extra fifty pounds? This diet will eliminate it without any sacrifice. You will never need to count calories ever again.

    Can’t do it? Willpower of a gnat? That’s too bad. Because from here on death from heart disease is now suicide by fork and spoon. Life – better than the alternative.

    Just as most people wouldn’t think of taking up smoking today, one day most people won’t think of eating excessive amounts of fat. And ‘NO OIL’. One day, for most people, like the fellow who prayed “Oh, Master, make me chaste and celibate – but not yet!” ; )

    Video – Esselstyn – “No more heart attacks” –

    Dr. Esselstyn’s website – and book – the life you save could be _your_ life –

    McDougall – look for The Mcdougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss book.

    Personally I like reading about it – Amazon –

  2. I have been tossing up the idea of the Paleo diet too. I don’t generally do diets as they tend to concentrate all my attention on food, but trying to eat how our grandparents did seems to make some sense, because they ate more locally with far less sugar and processed food. Personally its not the heart disease that is worrying, it is just the sense of feeling well and having more energy. There is a lot of writing about how the grains sap your energy and make you feel sluggish, and I have definitely noticed this. I’d be interested to hear how you get on with the Paleo diet Carol, if you decide to do it. My biggest stumbling block is finding something to replace porridge as a hearty warm breakfast.

  3. Diet is such an over used word – abused even more than sustainable! Porridge oats are less “messed” with than wheat, the most widely grown cereal. They’re not as highly bred and not much processed before ready to eat. Oats grow easily in Britain too. Just a shame it’s hard to get hold of some nice raw, grass fed milk to go with the oats!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s