Hi my name is Joanne McCormack, I am a family doctor -GP- and safeguarding children’s doctor in England.
I qualified 30 years ago this month. Words to describe me would be solid, reliable and sensible. I was in the same practice for 23 years, a GP trainer and chairperson of the local clinical leadership team. Yet in 2013 I embarked on a journey with my patients which now means I advocate low carb healthy fat (LCHF) ways of eating, I am active on social media – I have 2 websites www.fatismyfriend.co.uk and www.healthylivingsite.me; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest- all for professional reasons. I do these things for no fee and I don’t advertise on my sites.
Why do I do this? Why does a conventional person like me go against national guidance to do this? Quite simply because nutritious food is essential for wellbeing and drugs are not half so useful as we would like them to be. I realised the latter more and more over time: people in nursing homes on shed loads of drugs who just sit in chairs all day. They aren’t running about happily with their families, they are just existing. I realised the power of good nutrition when I saw a succession of people in my practice and on the internet recover – go into remission – from morbid obesity, PCOS, diabetes, Ankylosing spondylitis, and dermatitis to name a few. They did this with the aid of what I call Real Food diets.
This is how I practise now. I work with local doctors, nurses, dietitians and diabetologists to spread the word about the benefits of real food ways of eating. My local dietitians are very supportive. To us LCHF is a tool to be used in certain conditions rather than a blanket way of working and we promote real food because it is more nutritious than processed. Is all real food LCHF though? IMHO it is. We are distancing ourselves from the mainstream UK-Eatwell plate without dissing it publicly. Instead, I use real food cards which I developed with some colleagues and I refer people to resources on my websites.
You can see a few case histories there, for instance Ioana who cured her PCOS and lost weight and now feels fantastic on LCHF. Karen who is in remission from the serious Ankylosing Spondylitis for as long as she stays on the London AS diet- it is low in starch and so lower in sugar. As for me, I lost 28lbs and cured my IBS and allergies on a mildly ketogenic diet 2 years ago. My before and after pictures are on my Twitter site @JoanneReynold14 if you want to take a look.
All over the world people are doing their own versions of real food eating. They are setting up websites and blogs and writing books, they are setting up networks like ours www.phcuk.org and they are trying to tell the whole world that we need highly nutritious food for good health. It should be self-evident but there are two problems. One is that many of us are addicted to processed foods and find it hard to change. There is a lot of help on that front though, and we should never give up on giving up. The second problem is that the message itself threatens the profits of the processed food providers and they in turn are supported by governments. The message will not go away though, and some within the food industry are rising to the challenge producing the likes of courgetti spaghetti, cauliflower rice and pork crackling. Normal fat products are becoming more available- yes!
The next step I would like to see is the dropping of the demonisation of cholesterol. We would be dead without cholesterol! It’s essential for life itself 💛. The lipid story is so complicated I’ve devoted one of my pages to it on www.healthylivingsite.me for people to learn all about it and make up their own minds. We shouldn’t be directing people as much as giving them useful info.
I’ve never enjoyed food so much, or felt so relaxed with it. I’ve never enjoyed my clinical practice so much either. I have to find out so much about people and their lives to know where to start. Then I find out what they want to achieve and we take it from there.
That’s all for now – Joannne.