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  1. I've never written a blog before, but always fancied it. I really like the layout and ease of use of diabetes.co.uk, so why not start here?

    I am a 62 year old woman, a strong supporter of LCHF eating. In some ways I think I don't really belong here, but I like forums (or is it fora, I don't know) and I belong to many Facebook forums in the 'Atkins / Banting / LCHF' world, but I feel more at home here. That is because the LCHF people here understand that this is all about health. I get rather tired of the 'Need to lose 10lbs as fast as I can / having a cheat day / doing a fat fast ' nonsense in normal Atkins pages, for me (although weight loss is a bonus) it's all about health.

    The reason I don't think I belong here is because I've only ever had one reading one point above the normal range of HbA1c. I reacted immediately to that by going very low carb, I suppose to do with my family history, grandmother, father, brother, niece T1 and virtually all of the senior members of my extended family T2. I've not actually had a blood test for about 3 years. The main reason that I avoid blood tests is because my GP is obsessed with my cholesterol levels, which are high, whereas, having done A LOT of reading and research on the matter, I think Cholesterol is simply irrelevant. So I refuse to have an annual blood test. I do get loads of blood tests by the Haematologist regarding my clotting, but we have never discussed Cholesterol or HbA1c - I don't think he measures that, but I suppose he could.

    I did Atkins back in the 80s, simply for weight loss, and it worked a dream. But I believed the rubbish about 'killing myself with my knife and fork' and went back to 'normal eating' - then I really was 'killing myself with my knife and fork'. Over 30 years I gradually gained weight and ended up at about 15stone, obese BMI. Now I'm on the border of normal / overweight and that's where I like to remain, though I am still losing about 3lbs a year. I drink alcohol, mainly red wine, probably half a bottle a day. If I don't drink wine I tend to lose about 1 lb a week, but I don't have a weight loss goal. Did you know that people in the BMI 'overweight' category actually have the greatest longevity? Surprising that, isn't it?

    I rediscovered Atkins just in time to start, I had been thinking about it for a while and bought the 'New Atkins for a New You' book, which was actually written by three very well respected academics. One of the great things that Dr Atkins did was create the Robert and Veronica Atkins Foundation, which set up a lot of high quality research programmes into his ideas. Much of this science is referred to in the new book, fully referenced, you can go back to the journals and read the research for yourself. This totally convinced me that LCHF is THE healthy diet, just in time, along came my dodgy HbA1c, the rest is history!

    When I started the diet I was on 2 different BP meds and a PPI for reflux, daily. Now my BP is perfect and I have no reflux, no meds apart from anti-coagulants, I will probably be on those for life.

    Because I do a weekly finger stab anyway, I have a blood clotting disorder so need to check my Clotting times weekly, which involves a deep stab and a big drop of blood - and I always bleed for several minutes after - I take my blood glucose reading at the same time - and it's always under 7. I virtually never eat anything over, say10g carb/100 grams, maybe a single grape once a week, maybe a single bite or teaspoon of something higher carb or that I fance (wedding cake etc). Because I am never hungry (this diet has worked wonders in suppressing my appetite) I am never tempted, I actually find sweet things unbearably sweet now.

    I have three lovely sons and 4 lovely grandchildren, 2 of them I worry about constantly because they have a very high carbohydrate low fat diet, they were put on skimmed milk, low fat spreads etc at 2 years old! I think it's utter madness, but as the dreaded 'mother in law' I say nothing. But I worry, with our family history it's a ticking bomb!

    My passion is reading / research into health / diet etc. my heroes are Robert Atkins, Malcolm Kendrick, Tim Noakes, Aseem Mulhondra, Richard Bernstein, these courageous men are taking the fight forward agains misinformation, bad science, bad medicine.

    Essential books
    Westerman, Phinney and Voleck, New Atkins New You
    Gary Taubes Good Calories Bad Calories
    Vinney and Pholeck, The Art and Science of Low Carb Living
    Richard Bernstein, The Diabetes Solution
    Malcolm Kendrick The Great Cholesterol Con
    Ben Goldacre Bad Pharms
    Nina Teicholz The Big Fat Surprise
    Tim Noakes, Real Meal Revolution
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