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This months Editor's Comment



"You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth." - Evan Esar

The month of June – almost half way through the year! (Hands up if you’re like me and you feel more like it should be January than June!)

Health is my issue for this month. I’ve recently started trialling the ‘Blood Type’ Diet – basically eating foods that are supposed to be beneficial for my blood group, and avoiding the ones that aren’t. There’s a lot in the media at the moment about ‘fad’ diets, many of the articles insinuate that they don’t have any scientific backing, and are more likely to do you more harm than good.

Obviously many of us aren’t scientists, and we can only go by what we read somewhere. Unfortunately matching what we read with a good dose of common sense is often beyond many of those trying anything in desperation for losing weight. Personally I’ve decided to try this diet based on the supposed longer term benefits of sustaining my health – admittedly this diet is not too extreme, and I can ensure that I cover the spread of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for day to day living.

My question is – where do you draw the line? Some would say that everything in moderation isn’t going to hurt. Other scientific evidence may, however, point to the contrary. And whilst you may notice short-term benefits, what are you doing to your body long term?

It’s no wonder that so many of our younger generation are growing up with eating disorders in the 21st Century. Not only do many of them feel they have to conform to what they perceive to be the ‘perfect shape’ (whatever that is!) – but now even the quest for ‘healthier’ living is impacting on our eating habits.

I guess I’m as addicted as much as the next person to living as healthy a life as possible. I was also hooked by the books challenge – to stick to the diet for two weeks and I’d notice a difference. Also backed up with scientific theory (yes, I am a bit of a cynic), I decided to give it a go.

Now it’s been two weeks and I’m taking stock of my health. Be warned, I don’t know if this happens for everybody, but I think my body went into shock for the first week. Any coffee addict trying to give up coffee cold will understand what I mean. I guess after thirty years of stuffing god knows what into my body, it went into a bit of a tail spin. For seven days, headaches and stomachaches weren’t out of the norm. For anyone else wanting to try such a dietary change, I’d advise perhaps weaning yourself off certain foods and onto others – and not doing it as suddenly as I did.

Still, as for the end results after two weeks… Do I feel better? In a word - yes. I no longer go through that lethargic period mid afternoon, my skin hasn’t been this clear for months, I’m sleeping better and just generally feel… well - better. One of the weirdest things is that this diet is supposed to help alleviate other things a person may suffer from, such as eczema, or hay fever. Well, I suffer from both – the eczema has all but disappeared, and we’re in the middle of summer in London, and I haven’t so much as sneezed, while my flatmate looks like she’s spent the morning crying her eyes out.

Weird.

The hardest thing about having to keep to this diet (for my particular blood type) was having to cut out all wheat-based products. DO YOU ALL REALISE HOW HARD THAT IS???

No McDonalds, no toast in the morning, or bagel at work. I’ve trialled many a poor imitation of wheat-free bread (and yes, some are REALLY disgusting) before finding an alternative that actually doesn’t taste half bad. The gluten and wheat free pasta’s don’t taste any different than the normal variety, although I am eating more rice these days. Am also finding it easier to organise not having sandwiches for lunch. I generally cook a bit extra for dinner and take the leftovers in to work the next day, so getting used to that change as well!

So I guess if cutting out on wheat (wherever possible), and having peppermint tea instead of coffee will result in keeping me feeling more awake with a generally better sense of well being – well, let’s just say I might try sticking with this a while and seeing where it goes. (And I’m allowed the odd chocolate so it’s not ALL bad.)

The cynic turns.




Cara Talbot - Ed.

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