7 signs intolerant dairy lactose casein lactase allergic symptoms milk Paleo Network-min

7 signs you’re dairy intolerant

Dairy is a huge dividing issue in the paleo world. Strict paleo would omit dairy, but a lot of people take a more primal approach and include good quality dairy in their diet. My study showed most people who identify with paleo do in fact consume some dairy. The deciding factor here is if you are dairy intolerant or not. And how would you know?

7 signs intolerant dairy lactose casein lactase allergic symptoms milk Paleo Network-min

Whilst not scientific, there are a few warning signs that will give you a pretty big clue you don’t tolerate dairy well. But what is it in the dairy that may not agree with you? Well, it’s not as simple as saying it’s the dairy, you could well have a reaction to the lactose, or the casein contained in dairy.

Today, I’m going to look at a Lactose Intolerance specifically, as this is the dairy component that seems to be most troublesome for so many people. Whilst Northern Europeans seem to tolerate lactose fairly well due to a long, long history of doing so, in other populations most people are lactose intolerant.

What does lactose intolerance mean?

Simply, this occurs when you stop making the enzyme lactase, which is required to digest lactose. Without lactase, bacteria will metabolise the lactose instead. Whilst not a serious condition, it is going to be uncomfortable and frustrating for the unwitting dairy consumer.

So what are the symptoms?

1. Symptoms are going to centre around your digestive system, so look out for:

2. Bloating

3. Gas…. Say no more

4. Crams and pains in your abdomen

5. How to put this nicely… loose bowel movements, sometimes very loose

6. Strange noises coming from your digestive system

7. In severe cases vomiting

8. Unexplained tiredness

Important to note is how soon they symptoms came on after consuming the dairy? And what type of dairy was it?

What next?

If you suspect you may be intolerant to dairy, you need to find out.

The best way to test this is by an elimination diet. No dairy whatsoever for 30 days. See how you feel, are the symptoms still there? If you’ve been symptom free, you can test this further by gradually introducing back in certain dairy products. I’ve heard some people will be fine with hard cheeses for example, but not soft cheese. Whatever you introduce, make sure it’s in isolation, and wait at least three days before bringing another dairy variable into the mix. You can experiment with raw dairy, fermented dairy, perhaps you’ll find clarified butter; ghee has a different impact on you.

Do you suspect you’re dairy intolerant? Do you consume it?

Paleo Lunch Box – Prawn, Mango and Spicy Guacamole Collard Wraps recipe-min

Recipe – Paleo Lunch Box – Prawn, Mango and Spicy Guacamole Collard Wraps

If I’m on a day trip and taking a packed lunch, one of my ‘go to’ foods is a Paleo friendly wrap. These ones are collard wraps – which ideally lend themselves to the purpose. Seriously, who needs bread with options like this? They’re easy to make, super portable, and you just can’t beat the combination of flavours and textures that they bring.

The ‘wrap’ itself is just a vehicle to allow you to get the good stuff into your belly, so it doesn’t need to be a health hazard. If anything, swapping a SAD tortilla wrap for a rolled up lettuce or collard leaf improves the flavour and the texture (not to mention the healthiness) of your meal.

 In this recipe, you have savoury, sweet, creamy and spicy all in one neat little package. Enjoy!

Recipe - Paleo Lunch Box – Prawn, Mango and Spicy Guacamole Collard Wraps
Recipe type: Lunch
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 300g cooked and peeled prawns
  • 1 large, ripe mango, diced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Zest and juice 1 lime
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 x large collard leaves
  1. In a bowl, toss together the prawns, mango, tomatoes and grated carrot.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash the avocados with the lime, spring onions, chilli and garlic.
  3. Lay the collard leaves out flat on a chopping board. Divide the prawn filling between the four, before slapping on a spoonful of the guacamole on each. Roll the collards up to make wraps, and hold them together by poking in a cocktail stick.

Do you often make paleo friendly wraps for lunch? What is your favourite medium to use for the wraps? Cabbage? Seaweed? Lettuce? Or something else? I’d love to hear!

Paleo Lunch Box – Prawn, Mango and Spicy Guacamole Collard Wraps recipe-min

7 Ways to Make Your Desk Job Healthier office work cubicle paleo diet-min

7 Ways to Make Your Desk Job Healthier

In an ideal world, none of us would have jobs in offices or at desks, and we’d all have the day free to roam the land, walking miles to hunt for tonight’s dinner or digging in the vegetable garden. Sadly, real life isn’t that simple – and many of us rely on the jobs we have to provide ourselves with good quality, healthy foods to put on the table of an evening.

We know the health impacts long periods of sitting at a desk can bring about, so here are seven things you can do to make this kind of work healthier.

1.       Take a movement break every hour

If your job forces you to sit still for most of the day, it’s important you take the time to move as often as you can. Try and schedule a five minute ‘movement break’ every hour, where you go for a walk and stretch. This will help to counteract the negative impact on your posture and muscle alignment of long periods of sitting down.

7 Ways to Make Your Desk Job Healthier office work cubicle paleo diet-min

2.       Walk to work

If you’re lucky enough to live within a reasonable distance to your workplace, why not walk (or even better, run) there once or twice a week?

3.       Take the stairs

Simple things like taking the stairs instead of the lift can make a real difference, especially if your office is located on a high floor. If you can, why not incorporate some stair sprints into your breaks?

4.       Take lunch outside

Whenever the weather allows, take yourself outside for some fresh air in your lunch break. It will give you a much needed break from technology and artificial light, as well as give you a real boost of vitamin D.

5.       Get a light filter

If you’re concerned about the levels of blue light you’re taking in by staring at a computer, why not try a blue light filter for your screen?

6.       Stand up / treadmill desks

Your boss may take some convincing on this one, but why not recommend standing / treadmill desks for the workplace?

7.       Grounding mats

Grounding, or earthing, mats are brilliant if you want to get more connected with the earth. They slip under your desk easily – read more about them here

There we have it – seven simple ways to make your desk job much healthier. Have I missed anything? If you work in an office, what steps do you take to make it a healthier environment?

Paleo Diet Recipe Primal Herby Almond Nut Pâté-min

Recipe: Herby Almond Pâté

Almonds really do have to be one of the most versatile foods in the world, and are life savers for those following a Paleo diet. Whether you use them for Paleo baking as a replacement for flour, or enjoy as a dip for veggies, you may be surprised to know they make a delicious Almond Pâté! Great as a dip for crudités or just on its own as an appetiser.

Herby Almond Pâté Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 40ml apple cider vinegar (or 20ml cider vinegar + 20ml lemon juice)
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp raw honey (optional)
  • Good pinch sea salt

Herby Almond Pâté How To:

Drain and rinse the almonds.

Add to the food processor along with all the other ingredients. Blitz until combined – around 30 seconds was plenty for me.

The flavours combined perfectly, but there was still a nice crunch to the Pâté. You could blend for longer if you would prefer it smoother!

Paleo Diet Recipe Primal Herby Almond Nut Pâté-min

18 Ways to Get More Veggies in your Diet paleo primal vegetables-min

18 Ways to Get More Veggies in your Diet

With most things in life, the key is ‘everything in moderation.’ Not that this means you can eat pizza in moderation, but you get my point. One thing that certainly shouldn’t be moderated however is your intake of delicious, fresh veggies. We could all benefit from upping our vegetable intake, and certainly shouldn’t be aiming for the paltry ‘5 portions a day’ recommended by so called ‘experts.’ If you’re running out of ways to boost your veggie intake, why not give some of these ideas a try?

18 Ways to Get More Veggies in your Diet paleo primal vegetables-min


Use them in:

Hide them in:

  • Sauces – like this romesco sauce or as a base to a Paleo pizza
  • Baked goods, like these sweet potato and chocolate chip muffins
  • Omelettes – try a spinach and red pepper omelette for a delicious breakfast
  • Dips – why not try replacing the basil with spinach or kale in pesto?
  • Curries – Why not throw some sweet potato, squash, courgette or mushrooms into your curry?
  • Stews / Casseroles – You can ever add some extra veggies like onions, parsnips and carrots and blend them up to make a delicious fresh sauce

Make Paleo Alternatives:

  • Make Paleo Tortillas with Lettuce Wraps
  • Make Paleo Noodles with Courgettes – you may need a spiralizer!
  • Make Paleo Spaghetti with a Spaghetti Squash
  • Make Paleo Rice with Cauliflower

Eat lots of salad!

  • Making your own salad is a great way to consume loads of fresh, colourful veggies in one sitting. You can throw together all sorts of leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, avocado – just about anything really!

Snack on them raw

  • Carrots, Cucumber, Celery and Peppers make excellent nibbles at snack time. Spread them with a little almond butter for a little indulgence if you like!

Make a vegetable based broth

  • This is an excellent way to use up all your leftover vegetables – simply throw them all into a pot and cook very gently for a delicious broth!

Go to your farmers market

  • A trip to your local farmers market can make you see vegetables in a whole new light. The colours, shapes and sizes of the produce on offer will be outstanding, and might just reignite your passion for vegetables. An otherwise boring tomato or bunch of kale will probably look much more fun here – so stock up at your local farmers market, and aim to walk away with at least one new vegetable.

How do you get extra veggies in your diet? Are there any ideas I have missed?

Tandoori Spiced Rack of Lamb with Mint and Coriander Relish paleo recipe-min

Recipe: Tandoori Spiced Rack of Lamb with Mint and Coriander Relish

A rack of lamb feels like a very special cut of meat; especially when it is seasoned with love and care. I often find myself devouring a whole rack in one sitting – but choose an 8 bone rack, and you should have plenty for two. This recipe tastes like it has come straight out of a tandoor oven; just don’t tell your friends how easy it is to make in a conventional one!

Recipe: Tandoori Spiced Rack of Lamb with Mint and Coriander Relish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • Rack of Lamb Ingredients:
  • 1 x 8 bone rack of lamb
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 5 cm knob ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • Zest and juice 1 lime
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 100ml full fat, unpasteurised yoghurt*
  • 2 onions, sliced into wedges
  • For the relish:
  • 1 handful fresh mint
  • 1 handful fresh coriander
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2.5cm fresh ginger
  • ½ clove garlic
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Zest and juice 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp apple juice
  • *for a dairy free option, use one can of coconut milk. Chill the coconut milk in the fridge overnight, then spoon out the thick coconut ‘cream’ to use in place of yoghurt.
  1. In a food processor, whizz together all of the ingredients apart from the lamb, yoghurt and onions to make a paste. Stir into the yoghurt, and then rub the marinade all over the lamb. Leave to marinade for 24 hours.
  2. Preheat your oven to 190C / 375F. Line a roasting dish with foil, and arrange the onion slices at the bottom. Rest the rack of lamb on top of the onions.
  3. Roast the lamb for approximately 30 minutes for medium rare.
  4. Meanwhile, make the chutney by blitzing all the ingredients together in a food processor. Serve alongside the lamb and a salad of your choice.

Tandoori Spiced Rack of Lamb with Mint and Coriander Relish paleo recipe-min

Get Well Soon Chicken Soup paleo recipe-min

Recipe: Get Well Soon Chicken Soup

Feeling a bit crummy? Chances are, you find yourself feeling under the weather much less than you ever did before you started eating Paleo – but on those rare days that you do, nothing says ‘get well soon’ like a steaming hot bowl of chicken soup. It’s the ultimate comfort food, and boiling the whole bird means it is chocked full of vitamins, minerals, and of course – gelatin. Even if you’re not ill, I highly recommend you make some of this!

Recipe: Get Well Soon Chicken Soup
Recipe type: Soups
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 x 1.5kg chicken
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel, roughly chopped
  • 6 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Few sprigs fresh thyme
  • Few sprigs fresh rosemary
  • A large handful fresh parsley
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  1. Wash your chicken, before putting it into your biggest stock pot. Fill the pot with cold water, just enough to cover the bird, before adding the red wine vinegar. Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for 45 minutes. Skim the froth from the top, before removing the chicken.
  2. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred all the meat from the bird using a fork. It may not be completely cooked through yet – this is perfectly normal.
  3. Return the chicken carcass to the stock pot, and add the onions, fennel, carrots, garlic and herbs (except the parsley). Return to the heat, cover and simmer for another couple of hours.
  4. minutes before serving, return the shredded chicken back to the soup. When fully cooked through, serve in soup bowls garnished with the fresh parsley.

What’s the secret to your favourite chicken soup recipe? Is it a dish you often make?

Get Well Soon Chicken Soup paleo recipe-min

What's so special about grass fed beef paleo primal health benefits-min

What’s so special about grass fed beef?

Grass fed beef gets plenty of recognition on the Paleo diet, and rightly so. We know our ancestors would have undoubtedly eaten copious amounts of wild fed ruminants; not the sort that were shuttled in their droves into giant feed-lots, devoid of natural light and space to roam, and fed with industrialised slop made from genetically modified corn, barley and soya. But, ideology aside, what is it that actually makes grass fed beef superior to ‘modern’ grain fed beef? Is it worth paying extra for – sometimes double the price? In a short answer, yes. And here’s why…

What's so special about grass fed beef paleo primal health benefits-min

As the demand for beef (and meat in general) rose significantly throughout the 20th century, ‘farmers’ began to reassess their production methods with one goal in mind. Profit. These beef barons were prepared to stop at nothing to decrease the production costs of each cow, with no concern for the animals’ welfare or for the welfare of the people eating the meat; and thus, factory farming was born. There were, of course, many who still wanted to do things the right way, and a divide became apparent. As factory farming has developed throughout the years, and cheaper, nutrient void food has become more available, this divide has become significantly greater.

One reason we eschew grains on the Paleo diet (apart from lectins, gluten and phytic acid), is the distinct lack of nutrient density that they offer in comparison with whole foods. If you genetically modify these grains, the nutrient density becomes even lower; practically non-existent. When cattle are fed a diet that is so devoid of nutrients, the meat they offer is therefore much less nutritious than that of an animal fed on a natural diet. This shows in the nutritional profiles of grass fed vs grain fed meat; grass fed is significantly higher in vitamins (in particular B vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin K and vitamin B12), minerals (including magnesium, selenium, zinc and calcium), CLA and Omega 3. We’ll come on to that last one again shortly. The lifespan of the cows also plays a part in the nutrients they offer; as factory farmed cattle have a much shorter lifespan (as they are overfed and under-exercised so that they reach the slaughter house in double quick time), they do not have time to build up the nutritional profile that they should do naturally. Quite simply, unhealthy diet + overeating + lack of exercise = nutritionally depleted beef. The same formula would also mean a nutritionally depleted human as well, which isn’t really much of a shock.

We’ve spoke about omega 3 and omega 6 before, and how it is important to maintain as close to an even ratio as possible to reduce inflammation in the body. Thanks to their diet, grass fed beef is significantly higher in omega 3 than its grain fed counterpart. On average, grass fed beef has a ratio of around 2.5/1 (omega 6:omega 3). Depending on the grasses they graze on, it can be as low as 1:1. The ratio of grain fed beef, on the other hand, can exceed 20:1.

To decrease the production time, factory farmed cows are fed artificial hormones to fatten them up more quickly. The presence of these hormones have been linked to hormone irregularities in the humans who eat a lot of grain fed beef – which is another reason to source your meat carefully.

To summarise, grass fed beef is better for you, better for the environment, better for the economy, and better for the animals themselves. It’s the way that beef should be eaten, but sadly, it is expensive. If you are limited in how much grass fed beef you can buy for financial reasons, opt for leaner cuts of meat when you buy grain fed. There will be less of an omega 3:6 imbalance as the all-round fat content is lower. Toxins are also stored in the fatty deposits of the animals, so by choosing leaner cuts you’ll minimise the toxins that you consume. If you’re completely against buying grain fed, look for cheaper cuts of meat like shin and chuck roast, and cook them slowly. Offal is a great bet too.

Do you eat grass fed (or pastured) meat? Is it important to you?

Paleo network recipe spicy stuffed aubergine eggplant Indian shells skins

Recipe: Spicy Stuffed Aubergine

These stuffed aubergine halves are a great meat-free option

Paleo network recipe lime tarragon fish seafood grain-free ideas

Recipe: lime & tarragon scallops

Seafood is so good for you – assuming you buy good quality of course. Scallops are a great choice – especially with a bit of lime!

Recipe: lime & tarragon scallops
Recipe type: Fish & Seafood
Cuisine: Barbecue
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The most important thing with this recipe is getting hold of some very fresh scallops from a good source.
  • 24 (or about 500g) scallops (minus the roe)
  • handful of freshly chopped tarragon (if you can't get it, dried will do)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 limes cut into wedges (approx 8 wedges per lime)
  1. In a bowl, mix the scallops, tarragon, lime juice and olive oil. Ensure they are coated thoroughly and evenly.
  2. On a skewer, thread a wedge of lime and one skewer on each
  3. Cook on the barbecue (or grill), making sure they are all cooked through


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These are great on a barbecue served with a big green salad – and are sure to be a hit! If it’s not barbecue weather, the grill will do just fine instead.

But what’s so good about scallops anyway?

The humble scallop is packed with protein and also a great source of minerals such as zinc, potassium and magnesium. They’re very high in vitamin B12, and also provide iodine – which can be hard to get in adequate amounts on a paleo diet. Small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids are also found in this humble seafood. If you can’t get hold of them, how about trying some clams or oysters instead?

Do you eat much seafood? I’d love to hear how you cook yours in the comments below!