Last year I was at an ultimate low point. I was incredibly overweight, constantly in pain and struggling to get by each day. It all came to a head while on holiday with the children in August 2015. I was out of breath, I looked like a beached whale in all of the photos, I struggled to walk to the beach from the caravan and more importantly I couldn’t participate in all the fun stuff the children wanted to do.

When I got back from that holiday I knew that I needed to get in control of my condition. I had long suspected that food and exercise were key to my improved health and I had been doing more exercise through walking, but I had not changed anything about what I was eating.

Through various online searches, I discovered Sophie Leicester of Nutrition in Sheffield who offers both weight management and health nutritional packages. I signed up for her Initial Nutritional Therapy Package which included two consultations (each lasting 45 minutes to one hour) plus a personalised written Action Plan and pack of supporting information.

It has been incredibly eye-opening learning about food, nutrition, supplements and how everything that I consume impacts both my weight and my Fibromyalgia. As I have made the changes she has suggested and improved my food consumption I have noticed vast improvements to my pain and tiredness. I have also noticed my cravings for carbs and sugar significantly decrease.

It’s not easy giving up food that has comforted you and food that you associate with happiness and reward, but it is easier when you start to notice the difference in how you feel when you eat ‘bad’ foods instead of good. For example, if I eat a take away like a Chinese or a pizza today, I know that tomorrow I will have increased pain in my legs and that my IBS will flare. It’s also likely I will have a headache for at least a day that no painkiller will touch. If I eat ‘clean’ and healthily, that flare is incredibly unlikely.

I do struggle some days to eat the way I know I should, and so I have had to find ways to maintain some order and sense to my meals each week. It can be very easy to eat badly, especially when I am tired and can’t think what to make, let alone stand long enough to cook it. That’s why I have to plan.

Planning the week ahead has become a Friday evening activity. I go through the recipes that Sophie has given me, look online, read through cookery books or take some from the magazines I pick up. I know the sort of food I like and the sort of food I can eat so it’s now a lot easier to know what recipes I should be making. I also have to plan things that my 9-year-old will like (which isn’t always easy) but taking the time to plan it before we go shopping, means that we can always make the best choices. Once the meals are planned, I go through the recipes and pick out the items we need to buy for the week; adding them to a shopping list.

I have used a few techniques to plan my meals, just a pen and paper, slimming planners, a whiteboard and also a printable planner I created myself. The great thing about a planner you can hang up on the wall is that it is visible for everyone to see and is a constant reminder about what foods you should be eating that day. The printable is particularly good because it means you can stick it on the kitchen cupboard or on the fridge.

Here is the food planner I have created:


And here is the shopping list:


Have you been to see a nutritionist about your food intake? Do you think it has helped you gain control of your condition and improve your health? Have you tried food planning? Will these printables be useful to your meal planning and healthy eating?

I will talk more about the sorts of food I am eating, the websites, the recipes books and the resources I use to keep my meals healthy, but the advice Sophie provided me with was personalised for my own health condition. If you want to get in control of your food, learn about what aggravates Fibromyalgia and what will soothe it, you need to get in touch with her and get your own personalised plan. It’s well worth the investment!

Her website is:
Email: or call her on 07704 709320 to make an appointment.