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.

Sweeten up your cuppa.

December 22, 2009

Sweetener, sugar or xylitol?

The best is of course without any sugar. However, if you are someone who loves a sweet cup of tea, but are worried about your current diabetes, developing Type II diabetes or like for most of us you’re not too keen on an expanding waist line, why not try adding xylitol to your food or drink.

It is a naturally occurring sugar substitute and is found in the fibres or berries, corn husks, oats and even mushrooms. It was first derived from birch trees in Finland in the 20th century.

Xylitol doesn’t have the same affect on insulin levels as normal sucrose and is therefore safe to use for diabetics and children as it won’t affect blood sugar fluctuations in the same way as normal sugar does. One teaspoon of sugar has 15 calories and one teaspoon of xylitol has 9.6 calories. It also has virtually no aftertaste so can be used to sweeten your favourite drink or dessert.

You know the saying: ‘too much of a good thing…..’

Well, moderation is still numero uno!

New Year detox retreat: only one month to go

December 20, 2009

With the New Year fast approaching, many of you may be asking yourself how you would like 2010 to be different from this year.  The New Year is a fantastic time to reflect on your diet and lifestyle and where you might want to make changes, so that you can start 2010 looking and feeling fantastic. 

  • Does your skin lack its usual glow?
  • Have you been suffering from the winter colds and bugs doing the rounds?
  • Are you feeling run down and exhausting from the busy festivities?
  • Have you put on a couple of extra pounds with all the wining and dining?
  • Is the rich Christmas food causing havoc with your digestion and you’re constantly bloated?
  • Have you had too many sweet treats over the winter months and need to get your eating habits back on track?
  • Are you confused about your aims for the year ahead?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions then our New Year detox retreat will be a perfect way to kick-start your health.  It is exactly a month away and is perfect for anyone looking to discover how to invent a new and exciting 2010 and the many health benefits of detoxing. 

The retreat is being held in Dorset from Thursday 21st January to Sunday 24th January, and combines nutrition and life coaching to leave you feeling cleansed and revitalised for the year ahead.  We still have a couple of spaces available on this wonderful weekend, so book now to avoid disappointment.  The all inclusive price is £490 per person.  Find out more about our New Year detox retreat or contact us to book a place.

Julia

5 Habits To Help You To Change Your Life.

December 18, 2009

habits

New Year always brings new hope, new ideas and aspirations. We all set resolutions to change our habits. It could be weight loss, smoking, exercise, charity, work ethic….

Sadly over 90% of us fail to achieve our best intended ideas – So here are just a few tips and habits that might help you create some other habits that will help you not just in the New Year – but all year.

“Practice does not make perfect – it makes permanent. We are what we repeatedly do. Success and excellence can be habitual”. – Ian Dickson

How to Develop the Habits

  • Concentrate on one habit for at least one month.
  • Write it down and display it clearly
  • Tell as many people as you can about your new habit
  • Set yourself a reward for stages along the way.
  • If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again.

1. Develop a habit of being a positive thinker. I put this first because I think it’s the keystone habit that will help you form the other important habits. Focus on this habit first, and you’ll have a much easier time with any of the others. Start by becoming more aware of your negative self-talk

2. Exercise. It makes you feel better about yourself, and more confident. That leads to better success with other positive changes. It reinforces the positive thinking habit — you need to think positive in order to sustain exercise. It relieves stress and gives you time to think — this leads to better mental well-being in your life overall.

3. Focus on one goal. Just as focusing on one task at a time is more effective, and focusing on one habit at a time is more effect, so is focusing on one goal at a time. While it might seem very difficult, focusing on one goal at a time is the most powerful way of achieving your goals. When you try to take on many goals at once, you’re spreading thin your focus and energy — the two critical components for achieving a goal.

What if you have 5 goals you want to achieve? Pick one to focus on first. Break it into a mini-goal you can accomplish this month, if it’s a longer-term goal. Pick an action you can do today.

4. Eliminate the non-essential. First, identify the essential — the things in your life that are most important to you, that you love the most. Then eliminate everything else. This simplifies things and leaves you with the space to focus on the essential. This process works with anything — with your life in general, with work projects and tasks, with emails and other communication.

This will change your life because it will help you to simplify, to focus on what’s important, and to build the life you want.

5. Kindness. Yes, kindness is a habit. And it can be cultivated. Focus on it every day for a month and you’ll see profound changes in your life. You’ll feel better about yourself as a person. You’ll see people react to you differently and treat you better, over the long run. It’s karma.

How do you develop the kindness habit? First, make it a goal to do something kind for someone each day. At the beginning of the day, figure out what that kind act will be and then do it during the day. Second, each time you interact with someone, try to be kind, be friendly, be compassionate. Third, try to go beyond small kindnesses to larger acts of compassion, volunteering to help those in need and taking the initiative to relieve suffering.

More information about me can be found here and here

Can nutrition help you sleep?

December 17, 2009

Are you finding it difficult to sleep?  During stressful times, it can sometimes be difficult to get good quality sleep.

Looking at how you eat can really help you get a better night’s sleep.

The first thing I would check is caffeine consumption.  It’s sometimes easy to forget that all those cups of tea and coffee and cans of Coke do add up.  Adding the teas, coffees and colas up can quickly amount to levels of caffeine that could definitely contribute to keeping you awake at night.

Start eliminating your caffeine drinks from later on in the day, and just leave your morning coffee or tea if you can.

There are also some natural sedatives that can be helpful.  Lettuce in particular contains a substance which encourages deeper sleep and some people find a banana an hour before bedtime helps them sleep better.

Calcium and magnesium are also natural tranquillisers.  These minerals can be easily depleted through stress, so it can be helpful to find a supplement to take in the evening to boost the levels. Nuts and seeds are also a good source of many minerals, and can be used as healthy snacks.

If you need some more personalised advice on better sleep, book in for a nutrition consultation!

Keep it in the family

December 15, 2009

Sautee the onion and smoked paprikaadd the sliced cabbage and cook on a low heat with a lid on for 40-50 minutesFancy a variation on the Brussel sprout this Christmas, but want to keep it in the family?

This dish is packed with the same punch as the beloved spout, but this forgotten member of the cruciferous family will have you go back for more. And its ok, you can do because it is so good for you. Cabbage, as well as Brussels sprouts appears to guard cells against the very first onslaughts that progress to full fledged cancer.

This is an old Eastern European recipe, dead easy and really scrummy – almost meaty.

 Recipe:

3 white onions, finely sliced

20g butter

1 tablespoon organic, odourless coconut oil

1 small pointed white cabbage, finely sliced

2 tablespoons smoked paprika (this really makes the difference)

200g cooked spelt noodles – similar to Pad Thai noodles

Method:

1. Slice the cabbage finely, lay out on a flat surface and sprinkle with half a  tablespoon of sea salt or Kosher salt.

2. Allow to stand for 20 minutes, and then pat dry the cabbage, removing any excess liquid.

3. In the meantime, heat the butter and the oil in a heavy based saucepan

4. Add the sliced white onion to the heated butter

5. After 5 minutes reduce the heat to a small flame and add the paprika to the onions.

Allow to cook slowly for 15 minutes (the onions will be soft and discoloured – not burnt)

6. Now add the cabbage, cover with a lid and leave to cook for 40-50 minutes until the cabbage is soft.

7. Add the cooked noodles

8. Jazz it up by sprinkling a teaspoon of fresh thyme or fresh parsley on the top.

Trust me, this is so simple but very tasty and über nutritious.

 

How do you avoid the Christmas dietary pitfalls?

December 14, 2009

The Christmas season is fast approaching, and with it the endless canapés, buffet tables and three course meals, not to mention the booze.  If we’re not careful, Christmas dietary pitfalls can leave us piling on the extra pounds and creating havoc with our digestion.  Here are ten top tips to help you navigate your way around the Christmas menu, whilst still enjoying yourself:

  1. Never go to a party on an empty stomach.  You will not be able to make any sensible decisions about what and how much to eat when your stomach is rumbling and you’re being tempted by tantalising smells.  Therefore have a small snack with some protein before leaving the house, such as a boiled egg and rye toast, vegetable crudités and houmous or some yoghurt and berries.
  2. Avoid deep fried canapés such as spring rolls and go for ones that include some protein, such as king prawns or chicken satay sticks.  Olives, nuts, vegetable crudités and tangerines are also good foods to snack on rather than crisps.
  3. On the alcohol side, match each glass of wine with a glass of water and you’ll feel much better the next day, with a clearer head and more energy. And remember half a bottle of wine contains around 250 calories.
  4. Laden your plate with Christmas vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, carrots, swede and red cabbage.  The more colours on your plate the greater the range of nutrients.  Steamed or lightly boiled vegetables are best, so go easy on the roast potatoes and roast parsnips.
  5. Turkey is a wonderful lean meat, and is high in the amino acid tryptophan, which is needed to make the feel good brain chemical serotonin.  Therefore enjoy the Christmas turkey, but be wary of the trimmings such as sausages wrapped in bacon, which will be high in saturated fat.
  6. Choose mince pies with more fruit filling and less pastry, and remember 70% dark chocolate is preferable to milk chocolate, as it contains less sugar.
  7. Stay clear of rich creamy accompaniments such as bread sauce, custard, brandy butter and cream which will pile on the pounds and replace them with some natural yoghurt instead.
  8. If you over indulge then be kind to yourself the next day and start the day with a mug of hot water with freshly squeezed lemon and a breakfast of simple fruits. 
  9. Give your system and break from the excess wheat and dairy, by making a broth with the left over turkey and vegetables, or if making sandwiches use rye as an alternative to wheat bread. 
  10. To prevent that Christmas sluggish feeling, take the family ice-skating, go for a winter walk or a cycle.  It’ll boost your mood and get the metabolism going too.  Or if it’s difficult to get everyone to leave the house, why not get everyone moving about with Twister or charades!

Enjoy!

Julia

Nutrition coach
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