The new dietary regime starts tomorrow. So obviously today I have to somehow dispose of all forbidden foodstuffs, and I hate to see good food go to waste so it seems best to eat it all.

Yesterday I went to see my new nutritionist (or ‘nutritional therapist’) Natalie. Natalie was my crewmate in the Oxford Lightweights Eight in 1989, and by coincidence lives about 50 yards from my house in Emsworth.

She reminded me of some important nutritional principles – of course I’ve read the books and KNOW that caffeine and sweet scrummy things set me off on a rollercoaster of sugar highs followed by sugar crashes – I’d just chosen to ignore the fact. But it seems my insomnia and fluctuating energy levels are symptoms of this blood sugar imbalance, and I need to mend my ways before we can move on to greater refinements of my nutritional programme. ‘Otherwise’, as Natalie eloqently put it, ‘we’re just polishing a turd.’

So it’s out with the coffee and cookies, and in with the decaf and nuts and seeds. But not just yet. My friend Angus came down from London to visit me last night, and we sat down on the quayside in the sunshine and polished off a bottle of rose with some fantastically fresh prawns from Starr’s butchers and fishmongers. And then we went to the Crown for a glass or two. Then another bottle of wine with dinner… so of course the blood sugar levels are all over the shop today and I’m munching my way through all manner of forbidden foods.

Just a final hurrah before going cold turkey, honestly, Natalie.

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