I’m unapologetically critical of diets. The very word itself, though etymologically derived from the Greek diaita(meaning to eat a healthy, varied diet with a view to longterm good health) makes me shudder; it usually denotes the oddest eating practices that wreak havoc on the body. I say this from personal experience – I’ve been unfortunate enough to labour under some seriously draconian diet plans over the years and while they all made me thinner and feel healthier at the time, they all only left me heavier, sadder, nutritionally unbalanced and jaded.
After being diagnosed with PCOS several years ago, I made the first big change in my diet in years and stopped eating meat. It wasn’t a difficult adjustment to make – I’ve never been much of a carnivore and wasn’t a huge fan of the dubious treatment of animals that seems to be rife among the farming industry. My symptoms after a month drastically reduced, leading me to be a convert to the approach of making tweaks to a reasonable eating plan that I’d be able to sustain.
When I read about Paget & Coles, who offer something called ‘nutritional therapy’, I was more than a little curious – their approach tallied with mine and I had been looking to learn a little more about how I might improve my health and sense of wellbeing through my diet. Booking in to see Sam Paget was a very good move. During our session on Marylebone High Street she left no stone in my diet unturned, going through what I eat, when I eat it, what I’d like to achieve with my diet and what ails me. The Hippocratic ”Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” sprung to mind.
Sam’s suggestions (both on the day and in the pleasingly detailed follow up e-mail) were sensible and easy to incorporate. Top tips I took away? To eat phytoestrogens to counter hormonal imbalances, to always keep blood sugars steady in order to avoid further imbalances (sufferers of PCOS are often insulin-resistant), and that rather than abstain from a glass of wine altogether I should instead eat a couple of nuts alongside to attenuate the sugar spikes.
It’s been four months since seeing Sam and her advice is still informing my choices; it’s much easier to avoid falling into eating pitfalls now that I have a deeper understanding of the nutritional requirements of my body. Those of you in the quest for better health, book in.