The Big Fat Mystery

By David Reavely. Get it today for just £7.99

“Millions of people’s attempts to lose weight are thwarted by hidden food intolerances. uncover yours and get the healthy body you want.”

As a nutritional therapist Dave Reavely began to notice that when his clients gave up the food, or foods, to which they were intolerant many of them began to lose excess weight as well as losing their symptoms. While this weight loss would slow down as the weeks progressed most clients did keep the weight off permanently.

This book looks at how/why this happens to show “food intolerances are merely an outward symptom of a deeper systemic condition which, when addressed, can result in an overall improvement in health, a lower propensity to develop intolerances and a heightened ability to regulate weight”

  • How food addiction can result in weight gain
  • How food addiction can affect the brain
  • Why calories are not the Arch Enemy
  • Allergies and intolerances: what’s the difference?
  • Everyday problem foods
  • FAQs about food intolerances.

Severely debilitated by arthritis in his teens Dave Reavely was determined not to give up all the sports he loved and through research discovered the connection between nutrition and relief of his symptoms. By adopting a healthy diet (and exercise) he was able to resume an active lifestyle, to the extent that he became a PE teacher. Latterly he trained as a nutritional therapist and is the author of two previous books, The Natural Athlete (as a result of which he is nutritional advisor to Jamie Johnson, one of the UK’s first professional female boxers, recently inducted into the Madison Square Gardens Hall of Fame) and The Cool Kid’s Guide to Health Eating.

Dave Reavely is available for interview

Contact: Ailsa Macalister 020 8671 6615

Article on Big Fat Mystery – Sunderland Echo

Eating your way to better health

The Big Fat Mystery
Published Date:
30 April 2008

Article by Alison Goulding

Arthritis could have blighted Dave Reavely’s life – but instead he used his diagnosis to forge a new career helping others find health through nutrition.

Dave Reavely has dedicated his life’s work to unravelling the mysteries of the food we put on our tables every day. He is a kind of food detective.

As a nutritional therapist, the Sunderland-born 54-year-old advises people on which foods could cause problems in their diets.

It’s a career with very personal roots in Dave’s own childhood – at just nine years old, he began to experience the first signs of arthritis.

Dave, who grew up in Nookside, said: “I was quite sporty and my left knee began to swell up after a game of football. I saw a doctor in Sunderland and he put my leg in plaster for six weeks and after that it was fine so I thought no more about it.

“But then the arthritis came back in my other joints when I was in my teens, and by then I was old enough to realise the implications.”

Both his parents had been diagnosed with the debilitating condition, but instead of resigning himself to fate, the teenage Dave began to search for answers and a possible cure.

He said: “Both my parents had arthritis so I knew it could be genetic. There’s a tendency for people to believe that nothing can be done about genetic problems so I set out to prove otherwise.

“I spent a lot of my free time playing football, weight lifting, swimming and running and the arthritis was stopping me from doing that.”

Dave switched from a typical “western” diet to eating more fruit and vegetables and cutting out processed foods, and was delighted with the results.

He said: “I went to the City Library where I was drawn towards the books on nutrition. It was a revelation to realise that diet could be influential to my health.

“When I changed my diet I was able to continue with all these sports.”

Dave’s third book on the subject, called The Big Fat Mystery, has just been published, and it follows on from The Natural Athlete and The Cool Kid’s Guide to Healthy Eating.

It is a practical guide to food intolerances and how they can stand between dieters and their quest to shed pounds.

Packed with recipes, advice and snippets of Dave’s own experiences, the book is a welcome bite of common sense in a sea of faddy diets.

Dave left Sunderland when he was 22 to train as a PE teacher at the Northumberland College of Education in Ponteland.

He said: “Being my main subject, sport inspired my first book, The Natural Athlete, which was all about healthy eating for sports people.”

Helping athletes reach their peak through nutrition is still part of Dave’s work, and he is nutritional advisor to Jamie Johnson, one of the UK’s first female professional boxers, and world title contender in the USA.

He now lives in Seaford with his partner Jenny, and works as a nutritional practitioner, and food intolerance tester.

His work has won him the support and friendship of Jan De Vries, one of the UK’s leading practitioners of alternative health, and a regular guest on Richard and Judy and Gloria’ Hunniford’s Open House.

Dave said: “I met Jan when I was working in Scotland. I knew he lived nearby so I sent him the manuscript of one of my books and he invited me around.

“I was picked up in a white Mercedes and taken to his mansion. He is a lovely chap and I feel like I’ve known him all my life.

“He said he liked the book and offered to write the foreword and he’s also written an endorsement for The Big Fat Mystery.”

The inspiration for The Big Fat Mystery came from Dave’s work with business partner Viv Farrant, offering food intolerance testing.

Dave said: “We’ve dealt with an incredible number of people who are affected by food intolerances.

“People know if they have a food allergy because their body will react within minutes. If they are allergic to say, kiwi fruit, their lips may swell up and they can make the connection straight away.

“But most people with food intolerances can be affected hours or days later.”

Food intolerances can cause a range of problems – poor digestion, bloating, acid reflux, and indigestion – which can lead to long term problems with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and constipation.

Dave said: “By missing out the offending foods the body has a chance to recover. Food intolerances don’t just cause digestive problems, they can cause skin complaints, migraines, and we’ve even treated one person with depression. With the food intolerance testing we observed a lot of people who were finding it difficult to regulate their weight. Some were training five or six times a week and eating sensibly but were still hitting a plateau.

“We would find that they were intolerant to wheat and that would make the difference – this inspired me to write the book.

“I helped a marathon runner last year who was overweight, but fit. He had a wheat intolerance and by cutting it out of his diet he lost two stone in 12 weeks.

“When a body is intolerant to something it sees it as a toxin and retails fluid to dilute it.”

Dave practises what he preaches with zeal.

He said: “Now I am a vegetarian because I find it suits me better. My diet is based around good, organic fruit and veg and I avoid grains because I have an intolerance to them.

“My health is pretty good. I go the gym five times a week, I play five-a-side and I swim.

“I often think about what would have happened if I hadn’t changed my diet and I honestly think I would have ended up in a wheelchair by now.”

“There’s a lot of stuff about ‘super’ foods in the media and I think it’s very confusing for people.

“In my experience, a lot of people react badly to wheat and refined carbohydrates like white bread and white flour and refined sugar.

“If people want to see an improvement in their health then small overall changes can have a big impact.

“If the problem is quite serious then I would recommend seeing a nutritional therapist.”

* Dave Reavely is a member of the British Association of Nutritional Therapists, and holds a diploma in Nutritional Medicine. For more information visit:

The Big Fat Mystery is published by John Blake Publishing, and is available to buy on from May 5.

Dave’s Top Tips

  1. Go organic. Organic fruit and vegetables are more expensive, but better for your body and peace of mind in the long run.
  2. Avoid “super” foods touted by the media and try to eat everything in moderation.
  3. If you believe you have an allergy or an intolerance, seek help from a qualified nutritional advisor.
  4. Eating the right food is a brilliant start to good health, but make sure you are doing enough exercise each week.
  5. Don’t panic if you slip up. The odd chocolate bar does not mean you’ve failed, and is an essential part of a well-rounded approach to your diet.

Press Release Sunderland City Council 28th October 2005

Food For Thought

A nutritional expert who used his knowledge to combat his own childhood arthritis and become a PE teacher returns home this week to help launch his latest book aimed at helping youngsters eat more healthily.

Born and brought up in Grindon and a former pupil of Barnes Secondary Modern and Pennywell Comprehensive, David Reavely (51) returns home from Tunbridge Wells in Kent this week on a visit to his family to present a copy of his latest book ‘The Cool Kids Guide to Healthy Eating ‘ to Key Stage II pupils at Wessington Primary School in Washington with the book set to appear on the shelves of every library in the city.

The book follows the success of his first ‘ The Natural Athlete ‘ published in 2002 which David researched in Sunderland, and is a truly family affair with his daughter Josie responsible for the illustrations and lay-out.

He said : ” I suffered from arthritis at a very early age and it developed into my teens when I began to realise the implications this could have on my life.

” I was determined to find out more and gravitated towards the central library in Sunderland where I could find out more about natural diet and what I could do personally with my family to combat the condition.

” Following the principles of what I discovered about healthy eating and the right diet helped me control arthritis to the extent that years later I was able to go to teacher training college at Ponteland and fulfill my ambition of becoming a PE Teacher.”

David added : ” The seeds that started my life-long interest in nutrition and promoting that message through my books all began in Sunderland libraries.”

Valerie Craggs, City Librarian and Events Coordinator said: “It is great to hear a local success story and David Reavely certainly has a lot to be proud of. It’s excellent news that Sunderland libraries and our information archive were there to support David in his research – as we are for every curious mind – and that David’s story will come full circle when his new book graces the shelves of each of Sunderland’s 21 libraries.”

His first book contained a foreword by internationally acclaimed naturopath Jan de Vries, a regular face on television as adviser both to politicians and celebrities alike.

David said : ” It was encouraging to get such expert support for my first effort, and now I’ve turned by attention to helping youngsters and their families to eat properly and avoid health problems such as obesity which can be avoided.

” My next book ‘ Cool Kids Guide to Exercise and Health ‘ will take everything one step further, and help children lead happier and healthier lives as a result of better nutrition.”

Colin Ranson. Assistant Head of Community Services ( Facilities Manager ) said :
” We were delighted to invite David as a guest into one of our schools, as the whole City shares his commitment to healthy eating and providing nutritional meals for our youngsters.

” Each one of Sunderland’s primary schools with OneCall as the meal provider is the proud recipient of a Healthy Heatbeat Award in recognition of efforts to provide low fat, low sugar, low fat menu’s for our children while fresh produce, fruit and vegetables from accredited suppliers are an integral part of our ingredients.”


Healthy Eating and Pollution Protection
for Kids

Parents’ Guide 


date: 27th May 2011



Nutritional Practitioner and former teacher, David Reavely, has
been passionate for many years about healthy eating for children.His latest
book, ‘Healthy Eating and Pollution Protection for Kids – A Parents’ Guide’ encompasses
a wealth of information about the dangers of feeding children junk food and how
to avoid the clever advertising tricks designed to get them hooked on
unhealthy, processed foods. In addition, it provides parents with strategies to
help protect their precious children from the ever increasing threat of toxins
in our environment. This book is invaluable as a source of knowledge on feeding
children healthily and protecting them from pollution; and as such will be a
superb resource for parents, teachers and children who are engaged in the
subject of healthy eating. This book includes a foreword by world renowned
naturopath and author, Jan de Vries (Formerly the Health expert on Richard and
Judy’s, This Morning, and Open House, with Gloria Hunniford). The book is also
endorsed by one of the UK’s first female professional boxers, Jamie Johnson.
Jamie was recently inducted into the famous Madison Square Gardens Hall of
Fame, and once regularly sparred with Mohammed Ali’s daughter, Leyla Ali.Having
put her sporting success largely down to David’s nutritional advice, Jamie, now
a parent herself, has always subscribed to the view that we should try to feed
our children with good quality healthy food. David is available for press
interviews and can be contacted on:




Author Information: Dave Reavely is a
Nutritional Practitioner, and former teacher interested in healthy eating for
children, sports nutrition and food allergies and intolerances. He has a
Dip.N.Medicine (Diploma in Nutritional Medicine)from the Plaskett Nutritional
Medicine College at Thames Valley University in London. He is a member of the
British Association of Nutritional Therapists (BANT) and is a Nutritional
Advisor to Jamie Johnson, one of the UK’s first female professional boxers,
world title contender in the USA and recently inducted into The Madison Square
Gardens Hall Of Fame.


Dave’s book on healthy eating for children (John Hunt Publishing May 2011)