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I’d be the first to say that diets don’t work -

but that’s only if I’m thinking of a diet as a short term weight loss diet.


If, however, I mean "diet" by what you eat and drink,

then it’s quite simply the most important “treatment” you can have.


As the Chinese say, “food is medicine”.

But one man’s meat is another man’s poison.  Everybody is different and the diet that works for me may be the last thing you need.


So the most important thing about diets is to try different things and, over time, figure out what really nourishes your body and what makes you ill!


If we stop thinking about diet in terms of calories

and instead think about it in terms of nutritional value, then that change in thinking can bring about huge changes in our bodies.


As well as what we eat, it’s also important how we eat.

I’ve learnt over time that eating three main meals a day doesn’t work for me - my body is much happier eating little and often.  Surprise, surprise, when I was researching migraine cures I found that a successful way to prevent migraines in many people is to eat 6-8 very small meals a day.  So now I am happy to stop and snack whenever - it works for me!  Knowing this also allows me to plan ahead, having healthy snacks to hand instead of just grabbing the nearest sugar fix.


I’ve also learnt to follow the 80:20 rule.

Following a healthy eating diet for 80% of the time, but leaving myself room to indulge when I want, so I never feel that I am depriving myself.  After all a little bit of what you fancy does you good!  I always think that one day, like my brother who is on dialysis, I might really not be able to eat certain foods - so until then I’m going to enjoy the odd chocolate martini and pepperoni pizza!


And don’t forget that what you drink is also part of your diet -

and the most important thing you can drink to improve wellbeing - for most people, it’s simply more water.


For me there are two diets and two diet books that have changed my life.

In fact the first, “Candida Albicans” may even have saved my life.


I used to suffer from crippling IBS

- the kind that made me think I was about to pass out from the pain - and all my GP could recommend was medication to take.  To be honest I couldn’t afford and didn’t want to take that many pills.  Then a friend gave me this book.  It recommended a radical change in diet which I embraced - cutting out yeast, sugar, mushrooms, blue cheese - it shocked me how much added sugar and yeast there is in most processed foods.  It also helped me to understand that my intolerance was actually making me crave the foods that were making me worse - so helped me to learn the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy craving.  Although initially I went the whole way - following all the advice on vitamin supplements (there are a lot!) once the yeast was under control my diet became fairly ordinary, but now whenever I feel a twinge I know how to alter my diet to knock the problem on the head!


The other book I was given last year and once again it’s had a massive positive effect on my diet.  “Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat” explains a lot of the current thinking on diet - particularly why hydrogenated fats are so bad for you.  But it also explains why natural fats are so important for us, and it recommends including a good source of fat in every meal.  I met the author at a kids party when we were chowing down on party rings and cake... enjoying our 20% naughtiness!


Since reading the book in January I rarely eat anything that’s not wholegrain, and potatoes, white pasta and rice have been ditched.  It’s natural at home now, but I do find it a huge challenge when out and about.  I can’t wait for the world to catch up (as it had to do with vegetarianism) and start offering wholegrain options of everything!


The changes in me have been more subtle than with the yeast diet, but I do think that my energy levels are more stable, I don’t suffer from so many low sugar moments and I feel better after each meal - and that’s got to be a good thing.


It can take time to find the right diet for you, it will probably be a a combination of more than one, or you may have to make one small change at a time, but trust me when I tell you that for me finding the right diet has given me incredible freedom; freedom from IBS and so many related problems, freedom from so many sugar lows, freedom to snack wherever and whenever, freedom to indulge in anything I want from time to time and freedom from worrying about what I eat and drink and just enjoying it all again!

Tiramisu at Fosa, Zadar, Croatia

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