OC­TO­BER 2016

Women's Health (UK) - - FRONT PAGE - Katie Mul­loy / Ed­i­tor

I re­cently fin­ished a chal­lenge for which I ate only raw food for 10 days straight. I wish I could tell you it was the be­gin­ning of a beau­ti­ful jour­ney, one from which I would emerge bright-eyed and dewy-skinned while birds sang and small lambs danced around my feet – and I no longer had the de­sire to eat those lambs along­side some crushed rose­mary pota­toes and a nice red wine jus. Alas, that didn’t hap­pen. In­stead, I spent a long time soak­ing nuts, ques­tioned who has the time or fore­sight to use a de­hy­dra­tor (four hours just to do some kale crisps) and fell asleep on the com­mute home ev­ery night pre­sum­ably be­cause my body wasn’t used to the sud­den lack of protein and carbs. If you read all this as a crit­i­cism of a raw diet, that was not the in­ten­tion. From both an eth­i­cal and nu­tri­tional stand­point, I ab­so­lutely see why eat­ing raw (which, for the unini­ti­ated, is gen­er­ally a plant-based diet where noth­ing is heated be­yond 48°) is a great way to live. Max­i­mum good­ness, min­i­mum harm, etc. I can also see that no way is it the diet for me. De­spite my multi-level vir­tu­ous in­ten­tions, I could never make it work. Not just be­cause of the time or or­gan­i­sa­tion such a reg­i­mented way of eat­ing re­quires but be­cause, for me, it lacked the one thing I be­lieve should come with ev­ery meal – en­joy­ment. Don’t get me wrong, there were some de­li­cious mo­ments. I con­jured up de­light­ful, ex­per­i­men­tal sal­ads (straw­berry, fig and pistachio was my favourite) and knocked up more in­dul­gent raw desserts than the world’s med­jool date sup­plies could han­dle. And I’ll take those things and in­cor­po­rate them into my now re­turned-to-nor­mal eat­ing pat­terns. Be­cause they’ll be even more en­joy­able when they’re part of a pic­ture full of other foods I love – crispy roast chicken, hum­mus, baked sweet potato, deep com­fort­ing cur­ries and quick, light stir-fries. All healthy and good in their own way but not per­mis­si­ble on a strict raw diet. And so I sup­pose my point is twofold. First, while most healthy di­ets re­quire some mod­icum of re­straint and a lit­tle self-aware­ness, adopt­ing a way to eat healthily and that you also en­joy is key. It is like ex­er­cise; find what you love and you’re more likely to stick to it. Se­cond, only you know what works for your body. Take gluten – be­nign to some, bloat­ing neme­sis to oth­ers. Dairy – proven foe for the acne prone, un­de­ni­able friend to the weak-boned. While this mag­a­zine can’t of­fer tai­lored ad­vice for each and ev­ery one of you, it can give you the proven facts, the very lat­est science and the word of lead­ing ex­perts to help you make up your own mind about what is best for your body. Food can be a weirdly sen­si­tive is­sue. It can be tribal and ter­ri­to­rial – and, with each move­ment claim­ing their way is the best ei­ther morally or nu­tri­tion­ally, in­tim­i­dat­ing even. I never want Women’s Health to be any of those things. There may be recipes and ad­vice about how to go ve­gan, raw, pa­leo, low-carb, su­gar-free… the list goes on, but how you in­cor­po­rate that into your life is up to you. We just want to give you the in­for­ma­tion so you can make the best choices for you. So on that note – let’s tuck in shall we…

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