I have had asthma for nearly all of my life and in more recent years have also suffered with insomnia, an inflammatory-state throughout my body manifesting as fibromyalgia-type pain, loss of energy, rhinitis and head-pressure at times, to mention my main ailments.

I have tried reducing SAGs (salicylates, amines & glutamates) as well as food additives, having first come upon the book, 'Friendly Food', earlier this year and then coming across this website.

Potassium sorbate, propionate, annatto, soy lecithin, soy products like soy sauce, yeast extract products have all been excluded from my diet through eating only salted butter rather than margarine, having no ice cream, not even being able to use Easio starter yoghurt culture because it contains soy lecithin therefore requiring me to use my own yoghurt starter. I don't eat vegemite or any other yeast extract products and am lessening my fruit and some vegetable intake. Unfortunately, for quite some time I have had to eliminate honey, not to mention jams.

I have also excluded products like corned silverside and all hams, bacon etc. No cream cheeses. Now, I always make my own bread and several other food items. I have minimised coffee consumption from 1 cup a day to 1 cup a week and I may eliminate it altogether. I have gotten used to natural-flavoured cooking and like it. I now almost find food with soy and worcestershire sauce overbearing. Of course, stock cubes are never used now either.

I use plain water to clean my hair rather than using shampoo, which I will use very occasionally, not every day which has been my habit up until now. This is to alleviate the rash on my forehead.

After starting my low SAG, additive-free diet, the first miracle was being able to sleep again. I hardly need to take Ventolin anymore. My pain has left and I have far more energy. I wouldn't even consider trading my newfound better health for these high-chemical foods. I still have plenty of foods to choose from, especially if they are natural and not out of a package. Packaged foods include things like tea (I know, this is very high in salicylates-usually 1 per day), flour and rice.

Thanks so much to you and Howard for your very generous website with all its research, reader stories and information. You have helped me so much, along with Dr Anne Swain's books, '˜Friendly Food' and the '˜RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook' along with your own 'The Failsafe Cookbook'  - anonymous by email