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The colourful life of a nutritionist

I lead the colourful life of a nutritionist. I am a living experiment and I definitely practice what I preach. I would not expect anyone to do anything that I would not be prepared to do myself.

I haven’t always been slim and fit. When I was a teenager, I was a stone overweight. It happened gradually, but by the time I was an undergraduate at university, I really began to feel the consequences of poor nutrition. I was suffering from migraines too. Fortunately, I met two nutritionists who told me that food can make a difference to the way we think and feel. They challenged me to change my diet and take daily supplements. I decided to try it for three months.

Within two months, I had lost a stone in weight and my migraines had virtually vanished. Out went fags, coffee and red meat. Since then, I have been refining my eating patterns. I haven’t eaten meat for over 30  years because so much meat you get these days is fake meat. There is nothing wrong with eating a fit wild animal, but that is completely different from tucking into a battery-farmed hen. Now, I believe that the vegan diet with fish is probably the best diet of all, so I am a smoked salmon eating vegan. I also eat six organic eggs every week because they contain high levels of essential fats.

I haven’t eaten meat for over 30  years because so much meat you get these days is fake meat.

I usually get up at 6 am, or 5 am if I am writing a book. I do 16 minutes of psycho-calisthenics which combines breath, beauty and strength. It was created by a master of martial arts and yoga. My day starts with my favourite breakfast of oat flakes, with berries, apples or pears. I am allergic to dairy products, so I don’t eat it with milk. Berries are best, because they contain lots of folic acid which is great for the brain.

I sprinkle a special seed mix over the oats. Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the brain and heart. Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds all contain omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function, healthy growth and development.

I also take vitamins. I try and eat around six portions of fruit and vegetables each day because they are jam packed with healthy chemicals and antioxidants. The colours are important too. The best thing is to eat something green, red, orange and blue every day. Some foods are literally like medicines. Black pepper helps you absorb nutrients. Tumeric is a fantastic anti-inflammatory.

The best thing is to eat something green, red, orange and blue every day.

I rarely drink alcohol, but when I do, I like to sip champagne, which contains no yeast. Otherwise, I am fond of tequila.

I have a stressful life, but my dietary regime helps me to sail through. In an average week, I meet around 400 people. I visit 50 cities a year giving lectures. By taking the right exercise and eating well I manage to balance everything I need to do, and keep healthy.

Patrick Holford
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