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Posts from May 2016

It’s been a while since the last part of this very occasional series (!), so we thought it was about time to shatter a few more myths about something many people don’t give a second thought to. 
 
Like all the things we’ve covered so far it sounds like such a good idea. Something to make life easier. In this case as part of any weight loss – or management – programme. 
 
So what are we talking about? Aspartame, the grandfather of artificial sweeteners. Or, if you prefer to use one of its many brand names: NutraSweet, Spoonful, Equal Measure. 
 
The tale of aspartame is a fascinating one, with many unexpected twists and turns along the way. So here we go. 
From time to time we hear people – friends, family and clients – repeat the old saying that “ignorance is bliss” but is this really true? 
 
Perhaps, in the short term, ignorance may be bliss. It’s certainly the easy option. Whether it’s carrying on oblivious to what we’re doing. Or the deliberate turning of a blind eye. 
 
But how about the longer term? 
 
And it can be very long term. Months, years or decades later. When the chickens come home to roost; the consequences of our actions – or inactions – become apparent. 
 
To many people the appearance of bright yellow fields – fields of flowering rape – marks the start of Spring. To us – and its many sufferers – it marks something slightly different. The start of the Hayfever season (!). 
 
Hayfever, variously known as a “Seasonal Allergy” or a “Summer Cold”, is only one trigger for what medics call “Allergic Rhinitis”. Other triggers include dust, moulds and animal hair. 
 
Characterised by nasal congestion and a runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and nose; Hayfever may also cause shortness of breath and other asthma like symptoms. The conventional approach relies on antihistamines and steroids which are well known for causing drowsiness, together with a range of other unwanted side effects. 
It’s always struck us as ironic that so many things we consider to be bad are really good things in disguise. 
 
Perhaps it’s because we can’t immediately see the benefits and so classify them as “bad” without looking any further. 
 
Or maybe it’s down to our old friend, peer pressure, which says that we should all do things in a certain way regardless of how well it works for us. 
 
We call it “backwards thinking” and a great example of this is our attitude to making mistakes, which are automatically seen as a bad thing. As though having things not turn out in quite the way we expected – or wanted – is wrong. Something to be avoided at all costs. And certainly not to be admitted to publically. Unless, that is, we want to look stupid. 
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