The Nutrition Coach Blog London Nutritionist The Nutrition Coach offers advice on healthy living, nutrition and diet issues such as IBS, bloating, gluten intolerance and more.

Boosting your immunity

February 17, 2010

Our immune system is constantly on alert fighting off bacteria, bugs and infections. If we are a bit run down, tired, or stressed, or if our diets are lacking in nutrients we can easily come down with a cold. With this cold weather, it can be harder to keep winter bugs at bay, and it can be difficult to bounce back particularly after a nasty bout of flu.

So how can we protect ourselves? Read on for our top immune boosting tips.

  1. Get your five a day. Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. These nutrients are vital for helping us fight off infections. Simple ways to boost your fruit and veg intake are to add fruit to your morning cereal or to Greek yoghurt for a healthy dessert. Have a bowl of soup and a salad at lunchtime, and roast, stir-fry or steam a wide range of vegetables and serve with your evening meal, or add lots of vegetables to warming winter dishes such as casseroles.
  2. Add onions and garlic to your cooking. Both have natural antiviral and antibiotic properties which make them great for warding off germs. If your social life allows, have onions and garlic raw whenever you can.
  3. Eat curry. Turmeric and coriander, both key spices used in curries, contain antioxidants. Ginger and cinnamon are wonderful warming herbs and have traditionally been used to help relieve colds, plus cinnamon has the added benefit of containing anti-bacterial properties. But before you reach for the takeaway menu, have a go at making your own curry – many takeaway curries are full of saturated fat and salt. Also consider other spiced dishes such as Moroccan, Turkish and Lebanese food.
  4. Reduce sugar and excess alcohol and caffeine as they deplete the body of nutrients and can depress the immune system.
  5. Drink green tea. Although green tea contains some caffeine, drunk in moderation it may help boost immunity as it is high in a group of potent antioxidants called flavonoids.
  6. Ditch white foods (e.g. white bread, pasta and rice), which have little nutritional value. Instead eat dense fibrous foods such as rye bread, brown rice and oats. These foods are packed full of nutrients including B vitamins and zinc which are vital for our immunity.

De-stress. Excess stress can lower our body’s immunity so take time out to relax and get away from it all. Curl up and read a good book, watch a funny film, or wrap up warm and get outside for a long calming walk in the countryside or by the coast.

Book in for a DIET MOT to see if you can make improvements in your diet and your health!


Purple sprouting broccoli

February 16, 2010

Sauteéd purple sprouting broccoli – In season now!

As a light lunch served with grilled mackerel or as side dish

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp organic coconut oil (odourless)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbs tamari Soya sauce
  • 400g purple sprouting broccoli


Wash and trim the broccoli, removing an inch of the bottom of the stem.

Steam the broccoli for 5-8 minutes.

Place the garlic, ginger and chilli in a mortar and pestle and pound until the mixture resembles a paste.

Heat the coconut oil and add the paste. Stir regularly and cook for about two minutes.

Add the sugar and Tamari Soy sauce.

Add the steamed broccoli and toss well ensuring the broccoli is coated by the sauce.

Cook for a further 5 minutes or until the hardiest part of the stem is tender.

Serve hot as a side vegetable.

Purple sprouting broccoli contains the phytochemical sulphoraphane and is hailed for its many health promoting benefits. These beautiful vegetables are packed with vitamin C and is a good source of caretenoids, iron, folic acid, calcium, fibre and vitamin A.

Restaurant Menu Analysis and development

February 10, 2010

A really important part of The Nutrition Coach’s activities is developing healthy menus for the restaurant industry.  Some are healthy restaurants who want to deliver a super healthy offering and some are conscious of The Food Standard’s Authorities (FSA) guidelines and want to start to work towards them.  We work on both menu development and help develop nutrition facts on menus.  We are also involved in working-in store to educate the consumer – to help them make better choices and to get the best out of their nutrition and we are also involved with education of staff and internal communication.

We have worked with one of our leading high street brands for over four years – we have taken on single projects (eg doing corporate canteen nutritional audits) or developed long term nutritional strategy.

Do get in touch!

Looking for a weight loss coach in London?

February 10, 2010

I am so excited about our Dump The Diet course which we deliver either as a group course (on the phone) or one-to-one consulations either face to face or on the phone.  We are getting great results and changing how people think about food forever!    The course concentrates on weight-loss-coaching – so, we give you a plan and then coach to actually doing it – week by week.  The course teaches you to be happy now (with your weight and your life) but to keep doing the action (eating knowing the rules!)  to get to your goals.  So often we live in a place in our minds where we are never quite good enough and this leads to a self-destructive cycle of plummeting self-esteem.  A weight-loss coach is your personal guide to getting the results you need.

Have a look at our weight-loss programmes

Vitamin D….why you need it and how do you get it?

February 2, 2010

sunshine If like me, your body has not been exposed to direct sunlight for a good few months and the sight of snow and darkness has been your forte, you could be lacking in Vitamin D.

The most natural way of acquiring vitamin D is through the sun and your body will self regulate the amount you need, however this is not a luxury if you live in the northern hemisphere.

A study published in June 2008 concluded that 50-60% of people could be vitamin D deficient. The contributing factors for this could be urbanisation, pollution, lack of sun exposure and less outdoor activity.

Why do we need Vitamin D?

The evidence is overwhelming and vitamin D plays a vital role in breast and other cancer prevention.  Low levels of vitamin D have been correlated with heart disease and heart attacks and it boosts the immune system. Receptors that respond to vitamin D have been found in almost every human cell ranging from brain to bones and researchers are finding health benefits of vitamin D in every area they look.

How do you increase your levels of vitamin D without the risk of solar radiation?

Supplementation is a safe way of increasing your levels, and the type of supplement you have to look out for is Vitamin D3.  Cholecalciferol is the natural occurring vitamin D and is made in large quantities when sunlight hits the bare skin.

The amount you need to take really depends from person to person and this can be determined by a 25 hydroxy vitamin D blood test. If your blood levels are low, use supplementation for six weeks and then retest.

The optimal levels of 25(OH)D is between 50 and 70 ng/ml, summer and winter.

Vitamin D from cod liver oils is not a good source because some cod live oils contain toxic amounts of vitamin A which antagonizes vitamin D.  

People who have regular sun exposure all year round don’t have to supplement. For children under the age of two it is recommended to take 1,000 IU per day, over the age of two, 2,000 IU per day. Healthy adolescents and adults between 80 pounds and 130 pounds should start with 3,000 IU per day and those over 130 pounds (35kg) but less than 170 pounds (75kg) should take 4,000 IU per day.

With the lack of sun exposure for months on end and the distant memory of your last holiday in Cape Cod it might be a good idea to have your vitamin D status checked out. Make an appointment today with one of our qualified practitioners in order to have the test done and suitable recommendations can be made tailored to your needs.

Corporate Wellness and Corporate Nutrition

January 30, 2010

The New Year has kicked off brilliantly for the Nutrition Coach’s corporate arm.  We have been instructed by an organisation to design a number of health initiatives for their staff – hosted in various locations.  It is these far sighted companies that can see how much just a little nutritional knowledge can do for not only the organisation but how much the staff benefit as well.

Typically, we host interactive talks or workshops with action points for the staff that are easy to implement but make a huge difference to energy and health.

It is interesting that some companies, after all the difficulties of last year, want to make sure they are still allowing budget for these all important benefits for staff – but the benefit really goes two ways – it is great for the staff and good for the company

Have a look at Corporate Nutrition

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