Preview Article - Willesee says health concerns made him turn to Paleo
Mike Willesee drinks two cans of coke a day and loves icecream

Reporter Mike Willesee has seen dramatic health improvements halfway through a 10-week Paleo diet program.

It was during an interview with celebrity chef Pete Evans that Willesee decided to test the claims that it could "change lives".

Aside from having a major back surgery earlier this year, the reporter had recently another serious health scare.

"One day I found I could not walk at all, and I could barely breathe. I found myself in the emergency ward at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney," Willesee said.

"Pulmonary embolisms: blood clots in my lungs. It was a close call."

"I have found myself far more involved in this story than I ever thought I would,"

After completing the first five weeks of his Paleo experiment he reported a difficult detox period — followed by positive results.

By the end of week four Willesee's homocysteine levels had returned to normal but he is still skeptical of the program becoming a 'lifestyle'

"Elevated levels of Homocysteine in the blood can be the result of a poor diet ... it means I’m at a higher risk of stroke, blood clots and heart attacks," Willesee said.

"I can't say this is an investigation this is an experiment I'm the lab rat I'm doing it and when it goes to air people can watch what happens to me and draw their own conclusions," Willesee said.

But Pete Evans is convinced it will stick.

"Lets see how you feel in another five weeks because I have a feeling that this will change your life dramatically."


Willesee said in the interview he has always viewed diets with skepticism, but his refusal to subscribe to any diet saw his own eating habits spiral out of control.

"From a personal point of view I have got a terrible diet, it is really based around sugar. My weight is going up and there are a few other things that tell me 'you are not looking after yourself, you can do better than this'."

The Paleo diet first became popular in the US around 15 years ago, and is based on the 'clean eating' philosophy.

Pete Evans has been working with food for nearly 30 years and the 42 year old has now been living the Paleo lifestyle for four years.

"I worked with some really talented chefs that it ignited something in me that has been burning ever since."

He became an ambassador for the diet in Australia with his book The Paleo Way - attacking fast food and intensive farming companies.

"I did it for a year before I came out and said that this has the potential to change peoples lives. I tried to find holes in it, I tried to. I needed to be sure that it worked," Evans said.


Evans says the main impetus behind the Paleo philosophy is reducing 'inflammation'.

"It’s a small amount of well-sourced meat from animals from the land or sea that have had a natural diet. Fill the rest of your plate with beautiful, colourful vegetables. Include some fats from avocados, olives, nuts or seeds if you can tolerate them maybe some egg."

"The grains, the legumes, the dairy have been known the cause inflammation in peoples bodies so Paleo at its core is about eliminating any foods that can cause inflammation."

Before he began the 10-week program Mike had a complete medical check.

"I was in poor shape. My health was, to say the least, a few points below ordinary."

With the help of Evans, his wife Nicola and his doctor Willesee committed to the project "but not enthusiastically" to see if his health would improve.

"I started to realise how irresponsible my diet had been; three cans of coke most days and ice cream was compulsory."

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