How herbs and spices proved a life changer for Greedy Fox creator Jamie When chef Jamie Fox was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and was forced to give up his job at Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall’s River Cottage, it was like the bottom had fallen out of his world. From doing the job he loved, he was now exhausted all the time, confined to bed for days on end. Prescribed a cocktail of 15 different types of medication – including one usually used for cancer patients – Jamie feared that at the age of 34, his working days were over. The debilitating condition – which attacks the central nervous system – was diagnosed in 2011. Its severity, together with the side effects of the medication, led to a lengthy period of depression. Jamie, always fit and healthy before, went from 12 stone to 17 stone. Jamie and his wife Gemma became increasingly concerned about the deterioration of his health and at how the medications were making him feel worse, not better. Eventually, after three years, Jamie went back to what he knew: food. He researched which foods were said to be good for the condition and tried them all out until he found the ones that worked for him. At the same time, he cut out processed foods and virtually all animal-based products. The result? Jamie is now back to 12 stone, loving life again, and with Gemma is running their hugely successful business, The Greedy Fox Company. The couple set up the
The Plymouth Magazine June 2017
business just over a year ago in May 2016 and they’re now taking orders from all over the UK. Jamie has created a range of eight seasonings – with more to be added this summer – using the spices and herbs which helped him to recover to the point where he’s now taking just one prescribed medication daily. For Jamie, it’s like he’s got his life back again: “I’d only been working at River Cottage at the Royal William Yard for six months when I was diagnosed,” he said. “I’d had some symptoms when I was in my 20s but didn’t realise they were related to MS. But the symptoms I had when I was at River Cottage were so bad that I physically couldn’t work. I had extreme fatigue, headaches and double vision. I went to the opticians and they knew straight away. I saw a neurologist and the lesions on my brain were clear.” MS is a progressive condition, but not in all cases. Diseasemodifying medication is offered to control the severity and potentially prevent future relapses: “But they just made me feel like a zombie,” said Jamie. “I felt like I had flu six days a week, with one good day a week, and that lasted for six months. “The final straw came when we were on holiday in Bulgaria and I couldn’t eat anything without being ill. So when we got home, I started my research into which foods might help. It was a case of trial and error for six months and I found that a vegan diet worked the best. I like lean chicken and pork though, so I haven’t cut meat
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