Provocateur
[pruh-vok-uh-tur, -too r; French praw-vaw-ka-tœr] a person who provokes trouble, causes dissension, or the like; agitator.

Yep, that could be a description that fits me. Its fair to say that if you asked my Husband (long suffering), Parents, Brothers, Kids, or even friends, I have never really been one to keep quiet, or mind my opinions, and I think they would agree! Not in a bad way of course, just a questioning kind of ‘why?’ way!

So, who am I? Well the simple answer to that is I’ll let you know when I find out! I can tell you what I am not, with relevance to this blog of course. I am not a chef or a photographer, I believe that life is about balance so do not follow any strict regime. I am not a professional blogger who is going to show you how to lay a table at Christmas, decorate your house, or insist that your life isn’t complete until you have purchased a spiralizer. (Mine is taking up way too much room in the cupboard next to the Moroccan tagine – the fondue went a couple of years ago!) I believe the way to good health is about looking at each person individually, what’s good for one may not be for another. The world of health is very exciting at the moment with many people turning to self-care when it comes to maintaining the balance. There is a lot of new research and development out there and my aim is to share that as best as possible and hope that you enjoy it!

I am 48 years of age at last count, and that is the way it shall probably stay for the duration of this blog! I have been there and done that, had the children, done the school run, skipped breakfast (who knew I was ahead of my time in fasting for 12 hours), drunk too much, ate too much, and generally kicked the backside out of life. Please believe me when I say I am not being flippant about these comments, I more want to let you know at what standpoint I have come from in life. The first hand experience I am talking about is genuine and I know what stress is. I am not a 25-year-old telling you what to do having not endured the stress of holding down a full time job, or run a business, whilst balance a family and keep everyone happy by cooking several different foods at night.

Well now I have that off my chest let’s talk about what I am setting out to achieve here and why I believe that anyone out there should read my posts and benefit from them. Having led a pretty full on life I had begun to suffer, it started with IBS. This was not some overnight phenomena, more of a slow burn over a period of time. The problem was about 5 years ago someone cranked the gas up and other symptoms started to show. Extreme fatigue, lethargy, depression, joint pain and a general feeling that old age had begun. Extreme stress and anxiety followed due to a business I owned at the time. All the time, the weight was piling on and I generally felt crap. (Tried other words but they didn’t work sorry) Sound familiar?

Real life is tough, trying to do the right thing and maintain a decent health is not easy. Particularly for those from a certain ‘era’. I hate to bark on about age but it does seem there is a whole age group out there that the latest literature or hype is not aimed at. Any reader in the same age bracket will have been brought up in the era of the the evolution, or rather revolution, of the oven chip and pizza, the word exotic meant having pineapple on a piece of gammon!

Like I mentioned, it’s a whole new world out there, particularly in the world of ‘diet’. I hate the word diet, having been to every meeting based ‘diet’ club, done the egg diet (no good results there!), smoothie diet, lemon diet (didn’t last long on that one!) and generally every ‘drop 10lbs in an unrealistic amount of time’ diet, the word quite simply means deprivation! Never-the-less, it is a word that is here to stay so let’s try and redefine it. Redefinition is definitely the way to go, I am trying to redefine certain areas of my diet. I cannot make major change, it simply isn’t me, I have a job and writing this blog is not my only career like many of the other writers and bloggers out there. I am certainly not going to suggest that you all reach for your slow cookers and whip up a batch of bone broth, or order a scoby in order to start brewing your Kombucha. (You’re not the only one, I had NO idea what it was until a year ago!) Not that this is a bad thing to do, but for many it is unrealistic, particularly when, if you have a busy life, you can buy it off the shelf!

Seriously, I should mention at this point that I am a health professional, in fact a degree holding BSc Osteopath and qualified Nutritional Therapist. I should also mention that in no way shape or form am I a chef! My interest in nutrition is a professional one in order to help my patients. Much of my continued professional development is spent in the field of nutrition and its effects on health. I choose this specialty as I do not believe I can treat my patients without providing this advice. Chronic illness is becoming more and more prevalent with diseases such as diabetes type 2, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, the list is endless. Treating the person as a whole underpins the profession of Osteopathy as does treating the cause and not the symptoms.

There is a minefield of information out there in terms of the latest research and the field of nutrition has moved, and still moves, rapidly with new developments almost daily. However, one thing stands clear and that is that we are most definitely a reflection of what we eat. My aim is to advise, and share, hopefully with some honestly and wit, the latest in research, lifestyle and wellbeing with maybe a few useful recipes along the way.

Enjoy, laugh, mock or agree! The choice is entirely yours. I welcome any constructive feedback that you may want to offer and equally let me know if you would like any advice.

So, come on, let’s go have some fun in redefining our health and mix it up a little – PROVOCATEUR – agitator!!

******NEWS FLASH!*******

I spent the most interesting and informative 5 days with the Institute of Functional Medicine in London. The IFM teach how to use the functional medicine approach with patients to gain clarity on them as an individual and therefore take a more informed approach to treatment rather than just suppressing symptoms.

Functional medicine emphasises a definable and teachable process of integrating multiple knowledge bases within a pragmatic intellectual matrix that focuses on functionality at many levels, rather than a single treatment for a single diagnosis. Functional medicine uses the patient’s story as a key tool for integrating diagnosis, signs and symptoms, and evidence of clinical imbalances into a comprehensive approach to improve both the patient’s environmental inputs and his or her physiological function.

The Institute for Functional Medicine teaches health care professional’s how to apply these principles in practice through an intensive 5 day training course called Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice.