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Food for thought

Get healthy (Photo: Sue Jefferson, CheapEats)

Get healthy (Photo: Sue Jefferson, CheapEats)

After a recent knock, I’ve been picking myself up, dusting myself off, and getting on with life.

When you get a shock to the system, and your life is turned upside down, it’s tempting to run to the comforts and vices: chocolate, booze, drugs. I instinctively ran away from these. For the first time in my life, food became a chore rather than a pleasure: not something you want to encounter when you run a food blog!

I decided to get fit. I’ve been swimming or walking, or both, every day. I’ve been staying away from unhealthy foods, and I’ve plunged into a healthy eating regime.

I’ve been quite happily avoiding the sugars, bad starches, and excess dairy. I’m not sure about the term “detox”, but a healthy eating regime, mixed with exercise, certainly does wonders. I only wish I’d started regular swimming a long time ago. I’ve never felt better, and my appetite is back with a vengeance. That may, of course, have something to do with the pleasures of lovely London: more on that later this week (and thank you, kind readers, for your helpful London tips).

I’m not going to get into the specifics of my story, but then again, I’m not as anonymous as our commenters. This is far from a flippant post, but I’m interested to know how you have reacted to food and your bodily health in the aftermath of a dreadful upset (grief, a job loss, a relationship break-up, a health scare or terrible accident, sudden onset of crippling loneliness, or just being surrounded by rottweilers while smelling of dog food).


  1. I went through a “bad” patch last year, and kinda forgot to eat a lot of the time. At one point I went for 2-3 days without eating and didn’t realize it. It’s not like I was sitting around either! On top of everything that was going on, I was doing a lot of manual work, moving apartments, assembling furniture, so the lack of food wasn’t a good thing. Eventually ended up getting very sick and after a week my system “rebooted”, so all better now.
    Definitely don’t want to let that happen again (though kinda glad it did, made me realize how much crap I was eating before!)

  2. Hope everything is ok now Peter.

    I’ve suffered from depression for years and this is my first year anti depressant free for about 8 years. The reason for this, I think, is because of some supplements I’m taking, more team exercise (very important for depression treatment) as well as increasing my protein intake. I’m taking EPA and DHA supplements and I haven’t felt this mentally well in years. That’s not to say I haven’t been ill. I am just getting over my second cold in two months but I haven’t been as floored as I would have been say thing time last year. The diet change came from my wanting to lose some weight, nothing to do with battling my depression; I was handling that with the medication but it has been a most welcome bonus. This has worked for me and I am not advocating this for anyone else on anti depressants.

    As for reacting to food after a dreadful upset; I stop eating. After breaking up with a fiancé two months before the wedding I lost my voice, appetite and mind. All three have since returned with a vengeance. 😀

  3. Hey Peter hope you’re feeling better. Sorry to hear you’ve had a tough time

  4. I have to get really bad before I won’t eat and really good before I’ll do any regular exercise; it’s a vicious non-cycle:-) In terrible times, what has struck me is how people’s instinct is to feed you up when they know you need comfort. So, even though it’s the last thing in the world you want to do, you end up eating lovely dinners so they won’t worry.

  5. I have to say I am the opposite of other posters – break-up, deaths, bad times in general drive me straight for the food, I comfort eat, over eat, just eat! I find solace and temporary happiness in food and also use food to comfort other people…there’s a feeder in me!
    I firmly believe in the healing properties of ice cream Peter – try it 🙂 Be well, the blog is fantastic and you should be very proud.

  6. I’m fortunate in that I’ve been happy and healthy enough lately that I’ve had to think hard about the question. Generally when stress is getting to me I’ll ramp it all up – go for a long run (preferably on a beach) or swim, and eat anything and everything. Healthy food, stodgy food, ice-cream. I find the combo helps to let off steam and provides comfort until your system resets itself.
    Hope all’s ok Peter, and that you’re feeling better soon.

  7. The day my young child was diagnosed with cancer I stopped eating for about two weeks, just coffee and the odd slice of toast, I couldnt look at food as my jaw was permantly clenched and my stomach sick. On the day I eventually took a breath, unclenched my teeth and accepted that with tough treatment over a a couple of years she had a good chance of making it, I sat down and for the first time cried and then ate a whole packet of chocolate biscuits ! I continued to eat alot of crap on the excuse that I was always at the hospital, didn’t have time etc. Eventually, I got myself back on track as I realised there was no point in her getting better and me getting a heart attack. My daughter made a full recovery.

    I have no doubt that grief or shock really can alter the normal attitudes to food. I admire your approach and I think reading that has made me more aware now of the triggers to crazy eating.

  8. Oh goodness Rosie, I’m so sorry you and your child had to go through that terrible ordeal, and I’m so glad that she recovered!

  9. Hi everyone, thanks for the kind words. Interesting and sad to hear about what you have all gone through. Hope you’re all doing well now