New group starting in Stockton Heath

poster for 8 week plan

Change your Eating in 8 weeks

IT’S BACK, it’s free ☺

A behavioural change & low carb approach.

Tuesday 15th May 12-1pm @ St Thomas’ Church Stockton Heath

Just turn up +/- bring a friend

Run by Dr JOANNE MCCORMACK of & the charity

15th May, 29th May, 5th June, 19th June, 26th June, 3rd July

These & future dates to be posted in St Thomas’ church and Stockton Heath Medical centre
Free to all to attend – you do not need to be a member of the church

Children and Sugar

I work in an area where people are generally healthy and people in my practice think hard about bringing their children up in the best possible way. They mostly cook from scratch and never give their children sugar or so they think….

They forget that breakfast cereals, toast and toppings, orange juice, brown bread, wholewheat pasta and rice all break down to sugar in the body. Not forgetting the “occasional” sugary treats.

To cut out sugar for your child, look at the recipes on and

People who have changed over to a low sugar lifestyle for their children experience better behaviour, better concentration, and even better sleep. A head teacher I spoke to told me that the behaviour at his school even improved when they removed the vending machines.

Can’t lose weight on #lowcarb?

Can’t lose weight on LCHF?
When I started a 30g carbs a day way of life, I never imagined the changes it would bring. The weight loss was an unexpected side effect and not my primary concern.
However, not everyone does lose weight with the first version of LCHF they try

If this applies to you have a think:

Do you eat a lot of fat e.g. fat on your chicken, and in your coffee, and cream on your fruit? If you have fat on your body, you don’t need to eat that much fat in your food.
Fat is your friend and protects your body from too much glucose, and it is also a source of fat calories when you want to lose weight.

Are you counting your carbs- e.g. through “Carbs and Cals”( remember you do not ned to count the Cals) How many grams of carbs are you having in a day? 20-30g per day should be enough. Be honest with yourself( photograph everything you eat and drink with your phone and count it up) and cut it back below 30 g a day if need be.

Are you stressed? The high levels of cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline can stop you from losing weight, so how about some relaxation in the form of yoga or mindfulness? When you are stressed you will sleep less well, and have more difficulty sticking to a sensible way of eating.

Are you eating too much protein? You don’t need more than 1g/kg, or 2g/kg if weight building or growing. Some restaurants serve 14oz, which is about 400g- beef steaks- that is not necessary. As a rough guide a piece of meat or fish the size of the palm of your hand will do.

How much healthy fat should you eat?

Where does the healthy fat in #LCHF come from?
Is it from your food, or is it from your body?
What sorts of fats are you comfortable with?

Many people are fat phobic, and fear that fat in food becomes fat on their bodies. The problem is that many people eat a high fat, high carb way and this is definitely fattening for many of us, as is low fat processed food which is high in sugar. Initially, it may be helpful to use recipes like those on DietDoctor but use minimal quantities of the high fat foods, like dairy, and oils, in order to feel comfortable with what is a radical change of lifestyle.

If you have a lot of weight to lose, do not overdo the fat in your food, especially if you dislike eating fat, as it may make you feel sick. Eat low carb, and do not ramp up your fat intake. Avoid those bullet proof coffees, and don’t add copious quantities of butter to your food. Be guided by your individual responses in terms of weight loss( a pound a week is fine), and blood glucose( it should be between 4 and 7).

I find most people are comfortable eating the fats that are in oily fish, olives, avocados and nuts, but are less comfortable with animal fats in butter, lard, beef, pork, lamb and chicken. All are healthy. The fats to avoid are trans-fats found in cakes, biscuits, donuts, and deep fried foods like chips, and also seed oils themselves, which become trans-fats at high temperatures.

For more detail click here.

A different way to to think of your body and mind..

Let’s suppose you are overweight and have accepted it, or you are overweight and still feel bad about your inability to get off the couch, and your inability to stop eating the foods that keep you and your body just the way they are.

If you could press a button and be slim you would, but it just feels too difficult, what with all the pressures of life.

Here is a different way to look at it:

You are not just you…
Your body is a complex ecosystem in which you live with trillions of microorganisms, collectively called the microbiome. There are so many of them that they outnumber your own cells by between 2 and 10:1. So over half of “you” is this microbiome. This microbiome determines how healthy your immune system is, it determines your weight, and even your food cravings. You may think you crave certain foods and drinks, but it may even be the microbiome making your brain crave them.

You can change your microbiome by what you eat and drink in as few as 21 days. You can change it slowly or suddenly and when you do, it can bring about phenomenal health changes.

I will tell you how you can do that in my 8 week plan.

One of my friends did it by becoming a whole food vegan.

Many more people do it, by ditching the carbs

Low carb vegan

Can you be a healthy low carb vegan?

One of my friends has recently improved her health enormously by changing from a standard British diet to a whole food vegan one.

She had never liked eating meat or fish but she never really thought about eating the most nutritious food possible- within her health beliefs– so she did eat a lot of junk food. Indeed, she thought that the state of her body and mind could not be improved much with changing the food she ate.

By chance, she saw a shocking programme about animal welfare and so made the switch to whole food veganism within a few days. The effects on her health have been astounding. The health problems that have plagued her for years have now gone.

Why should this be so, and what do I think of this as a GP? As a whole food vegan she will be eating a lot less sugar, salt and additives. She will also be getting more nutrients than in her previous diet that included a lot of processed foods. In avoiding processed food, she will also be eating a lot less wheat, and as wheat is broken down to glucose, it means her glucose load is a lot less. In avoiding dairy, she will also be reducing her sugar intake- think of the sugar in fruit yoghurts, milk, milk shakes, ice cream and fruit cheeses. Some people also have an unrecognised dairy intolerance, and this may have been the case with her.

I urged her to stick to whole food, unprocessed food, to take B12 supplements and to be mindful of getting enough nutrients. Consulting a dietitian would be the best way to find out how to do this, as my main concern with a low carb vegan lifestyle is nutrient deficiency.

Here is a website with some good low carb recipes for people who wish to follow the vegan lifestyle.

Chickpea salad

1 red onion in wedges
2 thickly sliced courgettes
1 red pepper cut into chunks
400g chopped tomatoes
5 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons chopped herbs like chives, parsley or mint
2 400g tins of chickpeas drained
100g feta cheese cubed
Green salad to serve

Heat fan oven to 200 degrees
Put veg in shallow roasting tin with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
Roast for 30 minutes, stirring half way through
Meanwhile mix the rest of the olive oil and herbs and lemon juice
Remove veg from oven and cool for 5 mins
Then mix all together and serve with your crunchy green salad

Consent form

We need consent so that we can analyse and publish the programme results. You do not have to do this to take part in the programme.

This is the form it takes:

Stockton Heath Medical Centre, The Forge Stockton Heath.

We would like to use anonymous data to help us and other doctors and nurses learn what can be done with low carb ways of eating. In this way, we hope that the knowledge of this method will spread throughout the country, enabling better health for many more people.

If you consent to sharing your anonymised data please sign a consent form and give the form to me when we next have a group meeting.

I hereby consent to the anonymous sharing of my data as part of the 8 week low carb behavioural change programme.




Mini cheese and onion muffins

6 eggs
50g scallions/spring onions
1 onion
salt and pepper
100g grated cheddar cheese
half a tablespoon butter or olive oil


Preheat fan oven to 175 degrees
Sauté the onion for 5 minutes till soft in the olive oil
Beat the eggs well and add all the other ingredients
Divide between 12 spaces in your muffin tin
Bake for about 15 minutes
Enjoy as a snack or with a hearty salad for lunch or tea