Simple solution for mysterious symptoms


When Natasha came to see me, she thought that there was something very wrong with her. A recent fasting blood sugar test was just 3.1 (normally it ranges from 3.5 to 5.9).

She’d then been given glucose and about a week later, it had jumped to 7.5. She’d been feeling weak, and often had trouble coordinating her movements. This may have been easy to hide with a normal desk job, but her job as a primary school teacher meant that she was expected to be on her feet all day.

One of the things I noticed is that she didn’t seem to be following the diet she had written down on my questionnaire. In fact, she admitted that on occasion, she would go the whole day without eating and then unwind with a few beers in the evening.

You see, Natasha’s problem wasn’t diabetes, rather it was that she simply wasn’t eating properly. Every day, she would pour all her energy into “her children” at school, making sure that all their needs were taken care of, leaving her with no time to eat.

After that she would wind down with a few beers. Maybe you don’t drink, but if you reach for crisps or chocolate and wonder why you are putting on weight despite eating so little during the day, the solution is simple – you need to make time to eat three good meals every day.

Boiled egg on toast, or a bowl of porridge with some nuts are both quick and filling and will keep hunger in check till lunchtime. Most of us are pushed for time at lunch, so leftovers from the night before can be a godsend. So what makes a healthy dinner?

Let’s divide our plate into quarters: a quarter protein, a quarter starchy carbohydrate, a quarter raw vegetables and a quarter cooked vegetables.

So long as the food isn’t deep-fried, it really doesn’t matter what you fill your plate with – just get the portions right. Protein can be anything from meat, fish or eggs, to tofu, beans and lentils.

Similarly with the complex carbs: rice, pasta, ugali, chapatti and wholemeal bread, are all options. As for vegetables, the more colourful, the better. I normally suggest that my patients try to eat a “rainbow” as often as they can: everything from beetroot,

watermelon, pumpkin and broccoli to the humble sukuma wiki.

So, get back to basics. You’ll be amazed at how many niggling health concerns go away, when you just start eating right.