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Mindful eating

October 4, 2010

Many people suffer with a disordered relationship to food and eating, and the essential act of nourishing one’s body can cause distress, guilt and sadness.  Whilst these individuals are not necessarily diagnosed with an eating disorder, there are a growing number of people who suffer on a daily basis with disordered eating thoughts and behaviours. 

For people with disordered eating patterns, a key step in moving towards developing a happy relationship with food is to practice mindful eating and developing awareness in the body of how hunger arises.  You may be surprised to read that there are actually seven different types of hunger.  These are: eye hunger, nose hunger, mouth hunger, stomach hunger, cellular hunger, mind hunger and heart hunger.  Over the next few weeks I’ll be addressing each of these types of hunger in more detail and exploring how they arise and how we can satisfy them.

There is a Zen saying ‘When hungry, just eat’.  Whilst it sounds simple and obvious, unfortunately it’s not.  Children know instinctively what, when and how much they should be eating, but as we get older, eating is no longer just about re-fueling.  Instead, food can begin to serve many other purposes.  It can be used to sooth, distract, numb, entertain, reward or even to punish.  Therefore, the once straightforward relationship between hunger and eating and satisfaction becomes mixed up in an array of thoughts and emotions.  By developing an awareness of mindful eating and the seven types of hunger, it’s possible to learn how to start going back to having a happy relationship with food.

To start the journey of mindful eating, try observing these steps:

  1. Always sit down when eating (even for snacks).
  2. Engage the senses with the food that’s being eaten.  Look at it, smell it and taste it.  This means that your attention needs to be focused on eating and not distracted by the TV, computer, phone etc.
  3. Eat slowly and chew your food well.  Follow the principle of eastern traditions that solid food should become liquid before swallowing and liquids should be chewed.
  4. Don’t worry about leaving food on your plate.  Listen to your body and stop eating when your body has had enough.

Eating in this way is being respectful to your body and engages the body and mind in the process.

If you suffer with disordered eating patterns, or have any questions then please do give us a call and we would be more than happy to help you at one of our London nutrition clinics.


Baobab the superfruit

September 27, 2010

I’m always excited to discover nourishing new foods, and this weekend it was the velvety baobab.  Baobab is a fruit grown in Africa, with a velvety green shell that protects the seeds inside.  The seeds are coated with an edible pale powder that can be added to food and drinks and has a pleasant citrus-tang.

Research has shown that baobab deserves its superfruit status as it is:

-Rich in calcium (more than milk), magnesium and potassium

-A good source of vitamin C

-High in anti-oxidants (similar levels to goji berries)

With so much going for it, why not give it a try?  Baobab powder and fruit extract are versatile and can be easily added to smoothies, fresh juices or even muesli, for an added nutrient boost.  With its high anti-oxidant and vitamin C profile it’s a fantastic addition to help support immunity and protect against autumnal bugs.

If you’re suffering with poor immunity and want further advice on how to stay healthy through the winter then please give us a call for a free chat or book in for a nutrition consultation at one of our London clinics.


How chili peppers aid weight loss

August 9, 2010

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight then i’m sure you’ve been tempted by the allure that chilli peppers may hold the answer.  The secret ingredient in chili peppers with potential health benefits, including helping weight loss, having anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant properties is a compound called capsaicin. 

New research in the Journal of Proteome Research suggests that the capsaicin in chili’s may aid weight loss by stimulating the expression of certain fat degrading proteins, and down-regulating other proteins that work to synthesize fat. The study was carried out with rats and showed that rats given capsaicin lost 8% more body weight compared with the non capsaicin fed rats on the same diet. 

Your gut might not thank you if you start munching on chili peppers in your pursuit to lose weight, but adding a little bit of spice to help flavour dishes may be a helpful addition and bring some potential health benefits.

If you’re tired of trying fad diets and want some help to achieve sustained weight loss then please do contact us to discuss your situation, or to make an appointment at one of our London nutrition clinics.


Metabolic Balance Recipe

August 5, 2010

I made a lovely curried halloumi salad that should work for most people on the Metabolic Balance programme (or for anyone wanting to lose weight for that matter!), so I thought I’d share it with you.

What you’ll need:

Your MB allowance of halloumi cheese (cubed), usually 75-90g
1-2 tsp of mild curry powder
70-80g of mushrooms, sliced
spinach leaves for the remainder of your vegetable allowance

Coat the halloumi cubes in the curry powder in a bowl.  Heat up some olive oil in a frying pan and start by softening the mushrooms a little.  You can add a tablespoon of water to speed up the process.  After 2-3 minutes add the halloumi and continue frying until the mushrooms are soft.  You can a little more water at this point as the curry powder will for a bit of a dressing for your salad that way.

Arrange your spinach leaves on a plate and add the mushrooms and halloumi plus any juices from the pan.

I found this recipe really tasty and satisfying.

If you’d like to find out more about Metabolic Balance weight loss programme at our London clinic, please get in touch to book in for the free initial consultation.

Rooibos tea boosts antioxidant defences

August 3, 2010

Too many caffeine-containing stimulants such as black tea, coffee and chocolate can leave you running on adrenaline and in the long run leaves you feeling exhausted and prone to mood swings.  There are so many great tasting alternatives in the shops that you don’t have to feel deprived when trying to ditch your regular pick-me ups.

Rooibos, or red bush, tea is an excellent caffeine-free alternative to regular black tea.  As well as tasting like regular tea, it has the added benefits of not leaving you feeling exhausted and recent research has confirmed that it also boosts antioxidant levels. The research from the Antioxidant Research Laboratory in Rome found ingestion of fermented and unfermented rooibos tea increased total antioxidant capacity levels in tea drinkers.  This means rooibos tea can also help strengthen the immune system.

If you feel stressed, exhausted or prone to mood swings then ditching quick stimulants is a key first step to getting your health back on an even keel.  If that sounds familiar then please do contact us to discuss your situation, or to make an appointment at one of our London nutrition clinics.


Metabolic Balance works for me too!

July 27, 2010

Just received a fantastic testimonial from one of my male clients, so thought I’d share that with you.  Weight loss seems to be something mostly talked about by women, and yet it’s a problem shared by both sexes.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with some very focused and motivated male clients, and here’s one of them, in his own words:

For many years I had been trying to shift a good 25 lbs.  However the result was always the same.  I would lose 5 to 10 lbs then grind to a halt and over the next few months it would slowly creep back.  A common story I am sure.

In January 2010 decided that I needed to do something different.  Either that, or it would be another 10 years talking about losing weight without real success.  My brother (a doctor) convinced me to try metabolic balance, and the result has been amazing.  In 6 weeks I lost a full 2 stone and 6 months on the weight has remained off.  Problem solved, you might say.

So how did it work where so many diets that I had tried had failed.  I would put it down to 3 things.  Firstly the diet is tailored to your metabolism.  Through levelling my metabolism and sugar levels I was able to eat significantly fewer calories (c 1500 calories a day as a bloke) and not feel hungry – this really surprised me and was key to me achieving the diet whilst working hard in an demanding job.  Secondly, the regular consultations I had with Sanna were extremely useful.  Sanna helped me to understand which elements of the diet drove maximum benefit and how to flex the diet post weight loss to ensure that the weight stayed off.   Thirdly, now the weight is off, I know how to keep it off and, if it creeps back on, I have a tool for shifting it fast that I know works.

If you’d like to find out more about Metabolic Balance and weight loss, get in touch with our London clinic.

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