Thursday, 28 July 2011


So Butter For Thought is a pretty random name for a health blog, right?
In some ways, yes. But I view health in a pretty holistic way.
In order to be happy you pretty much have to be healthy – but you also have to enjoy being healthy, and do it in a way that works for you. I happen to think both wine and butter can be a wonderful part of all that. Even more importantly though, I have found that for me butter is almost an essential. Seriously! Let me tell you why!
I have been interested in nutrition for a number of years. However, wasn’t until I started studying the topic properly that I really took a hold of my health and got realistic about what was going to keep me healthy, not just keep me thin. For a number of years I ate what is frequently advocated as a healthy diet consisting of minimal fats and lots of carbohydrates, with fish and tofu as my only sources of protein. I also didn’t eat nearly enough and based what I thought I should eat on calories and under sized portions. Yeah, I totally believed all the macrobiotic and life extension claims.
The result of all of this was seriously ironic. I ended up under nourished, with a bunch of hormone imbalances and constant anxiety. Too little fat and protein meant my blood sugar was all over the place. I was on edge almost all of the time – always waiting for my next carbohydrate kick, and tearful if lunch or dinner ran late.
I’m still in shock that I managed to meet my fiancee subsisting on low fat Poppy-seed muffins, adrenaline and a very bad attitude.
Most worryingly my hormones got totally out of whack, and this affected both my bones and my personality. I definitely stayed thin, but I compromised my enjoyment of food, and probably my enjoyment of life.
When all the hormone issues kicked off my doctors tried very hard to find the cause but found it very puzzling; my ‘healthy’ diet seemed so unlikely to be causing the problem. I did have slight suspicions that my diet could be connected, due to the fact that any problems coincided with the transition. But everyone re-assured me that my diet was super healthy and I was so pleased with staying thin and feeling virtuous, that I happily went along with it. I had also always assumed my anxiety was just a part of my personality and not something I could do anything about.
This went on for years and it was only when I started studying at Bauman College, and began to read some Weston Price Foundation literature, that I started to accept my diet could be linked. I began to apply some of the principles to my own life and started feeling better almost immediately. As amazing as the improvement was it also made sense on lots of levels. Louis comes from a family full of foodies, and amazing cooks of traditional English fare. Whenever we spent Christmas with them, indulging in lots of butter and organ meats, I always felt fantastic for the entire holiday period. I had always assumed this was due to the chocolate truffles and champagne, but clearly there was something more to it!
I felt so much better after even a few days of eating this way that I was able to carry on, despite finding the changes un-settling on a lot of levels. Eating pate can be weird for the first time! I know it sounds stupid, but italso  took me ages to convince myself that using real cream wouldn’t give me a heart attack or make me put on five stone. In fact, after months of eating about twice as much and energy dense foods, I only put on a couple of pounds- both of which were probably much needed. The main change I noticed was that I felt so much better!
However, the most important factor in helping convince me this was the way to eat was that, a few months later, my hormones seemed to sort themselves out. I was so pleased it was unbelievable! The only downside was that I was still struggling slightly to adapt to a lifestyle that was so different to everything I believed to be healthy. Feeling full the whole time felt almost weird and I missed the high of running on carbohydrates alone. Oh and I missed Ben and Jerry’s Frozen Yoghurt. Old habits do indeed die hard.
I started switching back to my lower fat, lower protein diet and the same problems returned. This was all the convincing I needed. I switched back to the Weston Price lifestyle, and have never should never have looked back since!
I wanted to start a blog because although the Weston Price Foundation gets quite a lot of publicity in the ‘nutrition world’, way too many people outside of it still only hear information about the importance of eating low fat diets, or the health advantages of avoiding butter. This is particularly true for young women ‘subjected to’ beauty magazine quick fixes, or ‘one size fits all’ dietary approaches. Most women need more healthy fats and fewer processed foods – and yes, Ryvita is a processed food! I want to show that it is totally possible to be slim and healthy, without cutting out important nutrients or willfully under-eating. Life should be about soooo much more than calories. Or Special K detox diets. Yuck…!
If you have any questions about any of my lifestyle or experiences please feel free to drop me an email. Also please know that I am still a Holistic Nutrition student, and therefore not just about the butter and the steaks. :) . I’m still a massive believer in the benefits of fruits and vegetables and nuts –  and more traditional nutrition advice still plays a big role in my life. I don’t think everyone has to eat the Weston Price way; I just know it worked for me and helped me to move away from the fat, protein and energy deprivation that had been a part of my life for way too long! Some people can be happy and thrive on a vegan diet, and as an animal lover I totally respect that. I just want to explain my story and what worked for me, in case anyone else could benefit from the information.
The Weston Price eating style is also tasty and allows you to make ample of use of French cookbooks and home-made ice cream. Do those count as reasons in themselves?
Thanks so much for reading!

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