How to Quit without Feeling Terrible

I don’t know about you readers but Professor Patrick Holford has been writing to me quite a lot recently. Hardly a day goes by without either him or the Food for the Brain Foundation sending me an email.  Could it be Mr Holford has more time on his hands now he is no longer visiting the University of Teeside?

One particularly interesting message arrived on 25 July with the subject heading “How to Quit with Patrick.”  Now that looked like an offer I could not refuse.  I would love to quit with Patrick. Doing so would mean spending less time on the internet. Possibly it would mean I could go out a bit more and perhaps even make some new friends.

Unfortunately, it turned out I had been duped in to reading the email.  It was not worded very well at all. In  fact it was actually about allowing Patrick to cure all our problems.  You know alchoholism, prescription drugs, illegal drugs and cigarettes.  He has a new book out in September to help us do just that and it is called “How to Quit without feeling S**t.”  Now I don’t know about you readers but one of my lunchtime pleasures is munching through wholegrain rye bread with chick pea and lentil paste between the bread.  I also like to multi-task by checking my Yahoo account.  Combining the two activities never caused a problem until that is 25 July 2008.

Possibly I am too squeamish and sensitive, but I don’t like reading about s**t (even with the letters “i” and “t” removed) whilst eating my lunch.  The mind boggles as to how such a title was chosen. Obviously, the middle two letters had to be removed or people would think he was being rude wouldn’t they? 

I can imagine the meeting between Patrick Holford, his PR person and the publishers when they were trying to decide on a title:

Patrick: We need to show people that it is incredibly easy to quit their addictions and that doctors and dietitians are just hiding the evidence. I have been reading up on this and it is now time to expose this scandal to the world at large. How about:  “The Evidence to beat addictions without relying on doctors and dietitians especially not that horrible Catherine Collins.”

Publisher:  Hmmm …. it is a bit long. We need something short and punchy. How about: “How to Quit!!!!”

Patrick’s PR Person:  Yes, but we need to give people an incentive to change.

Publisher:  You mean you want to scare them?

Patrick’s PR Person:  Errr … would not quite put it like that.  “How to quit and live the life of your dreams.”

Publisher: I like it. Very aspirational.

Young Dip ION student intern who has just wandered in:  Heyyy, we want to capture the aspirational 20 or 30 something who wants to be wonderful without any effort or horrible side effects.  How about: “How to quit without feeling shit.”

Publisher: Errr … sounds okay, but we’ll have to replace “shit” with stars.

Young Dip ION student intern:  Ohhhhh, can we just have two stars?  Pretty please!

Patrick Holford:  I like it a book with two stars!!  The best honour I have ever been given.

Young Dip ION student intern:  Why don’t we do a national tour?  Organise some seminars and set up a website with a fancy looking questionnaire on it?

Patrick Holford:  Ha, ha. Why not?  That is what we usually do!

Publisher:  Ohhhh, go on then.


8 Responses to “How to Quit without Feeling Terrible”

  1. dvnutrix Says:

    Well, Holford is being down with Gen X and Y with the related video where he uses the word and not euphemism as proof of his street savvy. However – it seems that losing an addiction is really very simple and merely involves persuading people to take supplements either per mouth or per IV.

    What a meal the NHS and various clinics make out of the staggeringly simple, eh?

  2. leet01 Says:

    Joking aside, what I found most disturbing about ex-professor Holford’s email was that prescription drugs were included in the list of things from which we need to liberate ourselves. However, nowhere were “addicts” told not to stop their drugs without first consulting their doctor. This is very odd considering that Dip ION nutrition therapists are often at pains on their websites and in their publicity literature to warn people of the dangers of going against their doctor’s advice. I would guess that is drummed in to them during their studies. (Admittedly, there was a frequently asked questions section on the website where you needed a password. Possibly there was disclaimer there but I could not be bothered to register and give him a further excuse to write to me.)

    Addictions and mental illness are often linked to mental health problems. Although, Patrick has told us on numerous occasions that he has a special interest in mental health it is odd the website does not seem to make the connection. As you say it is probably aimed at generation X and Y many of whom spend their days gulping down fizzy drinks and caffeine before downing lots of alchohol in the evening. They probably wonder why they feel so unwell.

    I think we should keep a close eye on the publicity surrounding the launch of this book. Perhaps we could have a whip round and send some one to attend the seminar? It would be interesting to know whether Dr Aust could spend a few hours listening to Mr H without trying to strangle him ..!

  3. dvnutrix Says:

    An interesting idea, Lee although I have no idea whether Dr Aust has a poker face for such matters.

    Judging by the video, he equates caffeine, alcohol, sugar and opiate addiction – so, it might have slipped his mind that suddenly ceasing to take some prescription or other drugs is not a very good idea.

    The number of books he is churning out a year – we do need a fund for the Holford library.

  4. leet01 Says:

    I have checked the website and the London “How to Quit” seminar only costs £15. Even I can afford that so, in the great tradition of investigative reporting, I am going to sign up.  Ho, ho, ho.Now if I remember rightly seminars consist of some one leading a discussion. You have to be prepared to consider the pros and cons of a particular position. Perhaps I could offer to lead a discussion what with my experience of talking about nutrition at Basingstoke Public Speaking Club?Alternatively, I could go as a humble participant.  Possibly at the beginning Patrick will ask the audience to state their addictions:”Caffeine”, “alchohol”, “sex”, “rock ‘n’ roll”, “red meat”, “dairy products” “detox diets” “And you at the back, yeah the cute one who looks like he is a walking advert for optimum nutrition. Surely you are not addicted to anything?””Ummm … I spend all my time reading Holford Watch, Bad Science and DC Science.  How you can help me Patrick?””Security!!”

  5. dvnutrix Says:

    I spend all my time reading Holford Watch, Bad Science and DC Science. How you can help me Patrick?””Security!!”

    Well – even that would be preferable to having him get someone to hook you up to a detoxing IV to cleanse you of this habit. Although, rest assured, the supplements will mean that you can detox from your reading matter without so much as a backward glance.

    I see that Dr Aust may be too busy tending to the latest addition to the Aust family to be able to attend such frivolities 🙂

  6. leet01 Says:

    Dr Aust and everyone else will be relieved to know that they don’t need to go to the seminar. I will be there representing you all.

    I am a bit nervous though since it is many years since I have been to a seminar. When you go to a seminar on, say, medieval Italian literature or 20th century French philosophy you at least have the guarantee that the book being discussed has been published.

    It seems a bit mean to expect people to go to a seminar not having had the opportunity to read the book or paper on which it is based. In fact when I went to university that would be regarded as absolutely appalling. How times and standards change.

    What kind of a seminar will it be …???

  7. dvnutrix Says:

    That is such an old-school scholar attitude. Fancy thinking that you need to read a book before attending a seminar – or, indeed, writing a book that cites evidence that you read a news item about – or perhaps you glanced at the abstract.

  8. LeeT Says:

    “Patrick, I started looking at the websites of nutrition therapists just as a part-time hobby to impress my mum. Before I knew it I had eighty names on a spreadsheet to help out with out with my analysis. Now I am an addict. I just cannot resist reading them to find out how their advice comapres with “Nutrition for Dummies. How can I be cured? By the way would you like to comment on the website for a Basingstoke nutrition therapist who claims to be able to cure death with supplements and goji berries?”

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