Go on a diet – and lose ££££s!


At this time of the year everyone seems to be on a diet! The word diet originally comes from the Greek word diaita, meaning “way of living”, but now many people seem to be in a permanent cycle of dieting and overeating!

There’s a long history of dieting.  One of the first dieticians was the English doctor George Cheyne who, in 1724 wrote An Essay of Health and Long Life. Then there was the Vinegar and Water Diet, made popular by Lord Byron in the 1820s.

However in Victorian times being obese was a way of showing you were financially successful, just think of all the corpulent characters like Mr Bumble in Dicken’s novels.  The picture below (from Wellcome Images) is an advert for the effectiveness of J. Morison’s pills (the aim of these dodgy medicines was to put on weight)

An obese man exhibiting a placard

Apparently according to this site, James Morrison (the quack doctor behind these pills) appealed to the general public because of the missionary like zeal in which he opposed “orthodox” medicine!

You’d think today, with all the information about nutrition, we’d know better.  However our waist bands are expanding:


and even kids are getting diseases like Type 2 diabetes (which traditionally affected just elderley people).

A whole industry has sprung up to give us quick fix pills and silly diets.  There’s that much confusion that people have forgotten the basics – the more you eat the more weight you’ll put on, and exercise helps you lose weight:

The relationship between calories, exercise and diet

The food industry haven’t helped, introducing sugar (and even worse fructose) into foods which don’t need it and over processing everything. Wholefoods help you to feel full, but most people don’t eat much.  Tasty vegetables, like turnips and swede, are out of fashion – but contain around 90% water (and there’s no calories in water).

So, as I sit down to a bowl of delicious homemade vegetable soup, I’m not worried about putting on pounds.  Remember a diet is for life – and not just after Christmas!

Happy 2015

Happy 2015

A new year is often a time when we decide to make changes. After 17 years, as a rural business consultant with ADAS, and just over 17 years as a lecturer at Reaseheath College, I’ve decided it’s time to have another change. So in April I plan to be working for the best person I know ;-), and will be self employed.   It will mean that I can concentrate on things that I really care about, like supporting small artisan food producers and sellers, or helping you to use your computer better. So if you need any help with things like

or you just need an extra pair of hands at a trade show (or when staff haven’t shown up), please get in touch.

I was very proud that last year my blog on Good Food Shops has now received over two million page views, from an amazing 194 different countries! My partner thought I’d run out of placees to visit, and stop doinging it after 3 months! Hopefully it’s helped you to find better food, and also helped the businesses it features to remain viable (and helped the economy by bringing in tourists).

As I will probably, like many, be on a reduced income, I’m also planning to do a new blog, or web site, on how you can still eat well, and healthily, with less money.

I’d like to wish you all good health and happiness in 2015, and hope to work with some of you later in the year.