Below and in following linked pages is the full web version of our Learn to Eat Well Workbook. It collates the most reliable information available about diet and healthy eating, and provides a step-by-step orientation to allow anyone to construct a good Eating Plan that works, whether to be more healthy, lose weight, or manage illness better. Ideally the Workbook should be used with a personal hard-copy Learn to Eat Well Journal. This uses self-assessments, daily charts and a dedicated diary and is the ideal way to design and set about your Eating Plan that is based on your own circumstances.  Ideally the Journal is something you can share with someone, either a professional, carer or friend, we know that making changes always works better with support. EatingJournalFolder Hard-copy journals are available from collaborating health and care providers, or may downloaded as part of a self-care package from this website.
The aim of the Workbook and Journal is to organise all the information out there around your needs! So our special approach is to be methodical. The Workbook is built up in colour-coded steps. So read below for more on how to use the Workbook. Then it is usually best to start with the blue step (click on the colour you need):

Food is good for us!

Humans have a digestive system designed for almost anything: we are ‘omnivores’ (rather than carnivores or herbivores), more like rats or pigs than tigers or cows! If you are well you can eat a vast range of edible materials without harm. Maybe the healthiest relationship with food is not to have to think about it! However there are times when we may need to give our diet more attention:

  • when we are ill or our digestion is upset
  • when we find foods repeatedly disagreeing with us
  • when we discover that what we are eating may be storing up trouble for the future
  • when we get confused about what we should eat
  • when eating becomes a problem in itself

This workbook is set up to help you in these times to figure out the best eating for YOU. It does not preach (at least not much!): it is designed on the principle that your best way is your way, not something you read in a book or magazine or were told to eat by someone. The workbook helps you understand more about how you relate to your food now, and points the way if you need better balance. Above all it helps you take charge of what you eat so that you get the most enjoyment, health and benefit from it.

Before we start … If you are going to tackle your diet and digestive issues yourself you should also know when to call for help. Digestive and eating difficulties are occasionally signs of more serious underlying conditions. They can also make almost any medical condition worse. This workbook is designed to give you the tools to take back control of your eating but it cannot be a substitute for a health check. It is your responsibility to yourself to get the best possible advice when needed. If you have any persistent health problems, this workbook should be used after you have seen your doctor or other appropriate health professional, and the medical impact of your problems and possible treatments have been properly reviewed. If you have not had proper attention then do what you can to get it!


This is a workbook, not an instruction manual or textbook – you do not have to read it all. Much will not apply to you. Think of it like a set of tools you can use or leave. The information is summarized and laid out in simple practical steps. Reliable web pages are offered for you to find out more. To help you choose the best tools the GREEN section points to the Journal which has key questions for you to complete in your personal Eating Plan. Our workbooks are best used with health and care professionals, or at least shared with someone! The evidence is clear: you are more likely to make long-term improvements if you are not alone in the work. A few professionals have started to come together to offer these Journals as  ‘Health Guide Toolkits’ and to support people on this journey: ask your health professionals to go to and see if they would like to take these up. Take your time! The best things come to those who stay the course. You have probably tried all sorts of things already. Now is the time to be methodical. Do ask your supporter if you want help in reading through the sections. Please aim to put your own Eating Plan together. This, and the diary pages available in the Tool Kit will allow you to write down and share progress with your advisor.


So now lets move on to the BLUE section

© Sustaincare CIC, Exeter, England, 2015.

This workbook is produced and published by Sustaincare Community Interest Company as one of a suite of workbooks, evaluation measures and other resources, in print and digital format. The publisher hereby acknowledges other copyright owners where their works are included, and reserves the moral rights of all contributing authors. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from the publisher at Notaries House, Chapel Street, Exeter, Devon, UK, EX1 1AJ. The authors and publisher have used their best endeavours to consult independent authoritative sources and experienced practitioners to compile and update these materials. However knowledge and best practice in the health field are constantly changing.  Each person and illness is also unique and no publication can anticipate every circumstance or be appropriate for everyone. The journal is designed for use by individuals along with their health guides or advisors. The latter should use their best professional judgment to guide the user, and both should defer to licensed medical practitioners for relevant diagnoses, prescriptions and other treatment plans. In the case of remedies or other products, users should read the label carefully for detailed information about safe use and in the case of natural products should choose responsible manufacturers with independently assured quality standards and safety monitoring procedures (for example Registered Herbal Medicines in Europe, registered Therapeutic Goods in Australia or Natural Products in Canada). To the fullest extent of the law and taking account of all the above, neither the publisher nor the authors, contributors or editors, assume any liability for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the materials herein.