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.

Is stress affecting your health?

October 15, 2009

How do you know if stress is affecting your health?  Most of my clients associate stress mostly with their mind rather than their body.  They get stressed about pressures at work, late running trains, or childcare.

Few realise that stress also has a physiological impact on the body.  One client recently came to see me complaining of constipation and bloating, difficulties falling asleep, and constant colds and coughs.  She was a busy working mum, and was getting frustrated with her variety of seemingly unrelated health problems.

To me, the most obvious common denominator for all the symptoms was stress.

In the case of my client, I suspected that her digestive problems and susceptibility to colds were a result of constant low grade stress down regulating these functions.  To make sure that we were on the right path, I asked her to do a test measuring levels of certain hormones that get produced in response to stress.

Not surprisingly, the results came back showing that she had elevated levels of stress hormones.  One of the hormones, cortisol, also controls our daily awake and sleep cycle, and raised levels can results in insomnia as in the case of my client.

To tackle her symptoms, I gave her some herbal supplements designed specifically to regulate stress hormone production, and some digestive enzymes to reduce bloating and ease constipation.  We also discussed potential ways of incorporating relaxation time into her week.  She was keen to try yoga, and also decided to dedicate an hour or two a week for herself reading a good book or taking a bath while her husband was looking after the children.

Over the coming weeks she noticed that her digestive problems started to ease off, and she was finding it easier to fall asleep.  Once her nutrition status started to recover as a result of the improved digestion, her immune system also perked up and was better able to fight off colds.

Do you think stress could be contributing to your symptoms?  Get in touch and let’s see if you could be feeling better.

Liver and food intolerance tests on our detox retreat

October 12, 2009

At The Nutrition Coach we often incorporate the use of functional tests into consultations.  Functional tests are a fantastic indicator of exactly what is happening in the body, and ensure that a nutrition programme and any supplementation are designed specifically to address a client’s individual imbalances, which are evident from the test results. 

Because tests are so beneficial for seeing exactly what is going on in the body, we will be making York Test Laboratories Liver Check Test and Food Intolerance Test available on site during our New Year detox retreat (21st to 24th January).  The liver test looks at any damage to liver cells, whilst the intolerance test identifies any food sensitivities that may be contributing to health problems.  These are a fantastic addition to our detox retreat, where the aim is to fully support the liver and overall health.

Find out more about our New Year detox retreat, or contact us to book an appointment at one of our London nutrition clinics.

Julia Alderman

Life Coaching Tips – Be Nice to Yourself!

October 9, 2009

Well, the Summer holidays are well and truly behind us – and we are starting the long march into darker Winter nights!  Remember be kind to yourselves – here are some of my top favourite ways just to say (to yourself) I deserve it!

1.    Indulge in some luxury oil for the bath and pamper yourself with a long soak.

2.    Book some time in the diary for your hair and nails and a massage!  Or find a beauty college/massage college that offers more reasonable treatments for student practice

3.    Buy a trashy book – or even not so trashy book – I love Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert –

4.    Try the Pzziz – good for a quick break during the day and great for getting you off to sleep –

5.    A great tip from my colleague, Hilary – buy a slow cooker. Cuisinart ones are good. Just bung in the ingredients and relax.

6.    Think about doing a detox – come on our wonderful New Year retreat.  Contact to find out more, or check our blog for the latest news -

7.    Don’t try and have a tidy house – it’s a losing battle!

8.    Live in the NOW – see “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.

9.    Breathe!

10.  Celebrate the good things in life and don’t dwell on the bad

Inspire your lunchbox – Nutrition for your family

October 9, 2009

If you are like every mum and struggle to think of what to put in to the school lunchbox – I’d like to highlight what my colleague Hilary Davies has to say on the matter..

“I’d like to focus a little more on the teenagers for this one. I used to love making lunches for my boys when they were younger. Cute little plastic boxes filled with a variety of delights that they could enjoy and share with their friends with pride. There are also many books out there about healthy food ideas for young children but very little for the older ones. Although my youngest is still slightly in that zone my others are now into the lunch break that is mass refuelling at the greatest speed possible AND without a shred of street cred lost in the process! Added to this – these older ones really should be making their own lunches (if you have a child in year 7 or above and you are still making their lunches – please stop!) so I see the parent’s job as being in the background and making sure that the best foods are available to help their choices.

Some things we can insist on and some we can let go. For me the greatest necessity is that they drink enough water through the day. How many of your older children are drinking 1.5 litres of water during their school day? I think I’ve heard every excuse under the sun from a teenager about not drinking water but the stats are undeniable. A 3%, yes, just 3% reduction in hydration = 10% loss of power and 8% loss of speed. That’s just the physical effects so translate that to the brain and we could have a bunch of dehydrated fatigued children who are unable to achieve their full concentration and performance in class let alone on the sports field. If my boys consent to drinking 1.5 litres of water during their day then frankly I don’t mind if they leave the house with a ham sandwich (wholemeal and salad of course!) and an apple.

The days of little cute boxes are well and truly over for this age group so we do have to accept that the general theme is going to be anything they can pile into a pitta, wrestle into a wrap or bung into a bap. Plus it needs to be simple – remember you can fill in the nutritional gaps with your family food so this just really needs to be ‘good enough’. So chunks of fresh chicken, fresh salad – a bag will do – you could be on the side chopping tomato and cucumber otherwise it might not appear! Sticking it all together with hummus or some fresh salsa is a good idea. Try and steer away from too much cured meat such as ham and salami. Cold pizza can be a good one as it’s not considered ‘healthy’ so street cred in tact but it can be a great excuse to pile on the veggies and maybe some salmon, peas, chopped peppers, red onion and so on. I would also recommend making double quantities as so often lunch is eaten at morning break leaving them starving by the time they leave school and heading for the chippy! Aaargh!! If there’s a second bap or wrap waiting at the bottom of their bag then the gap can be well filled.

Reassuringly fruit still seems to be sociably acceptable so do pile them with that – even if they eat it on the bus to and from school!

Also be reassured that, although we lose some control over their nutrition when they are out and about, we can absolutely make up for it when they are home and they will thank you for good, wholesome family food”

If you are worried about your family’s diet – come and see us for a DIET MOT or contact us

Can nutrition help for headaches and migraines?

October 8, 2009

Headaches seem to have been a bit of theme for me over the last couple of weeks.  I’ve seen quite a few clients complaining about thumping headaches that are becoming far too regular a feature in their lives.

We’ve all had the occasional headache, and often even know the cause of it.  The heavy night out, working late to reach a deadline or general lack of sleep can all be triggers.  Most can be treated with painkillers, but many don’t like taking them on a regular basis.

The problem with painkillers is also the fact that although they make the pain go away, the underlying reason why the headache started in the first place may still be there.  As soon as you stop taking the painkillers, the headaches often return.

I recently saw a client who had suffered from recurring headaches for as long as he could remember.  He had got to the stage when he almost didn’t notice the milder aches, and it was only when I asked that he realised that he had a headache even as we spoke.

His food intolerance test indicated a handful of problem foods, so I asked him to eliminate those from his diet for a trial two week period.  I also gave him some extra magnesium and vitamin B3, both of which can make a big difference to the severity and frequency of headaches.

After the two week period he reported a gradual decrease in the number of headaches he was getting.  We decided to continue with the same approach for another four weeks, and this time also eliminate caffeine and increase water intake.

After two months the headaches were no longer chronic, and only seemed to appear on a more occasional basis.  He also confessed to me that those occasional bouts were mostly caused by a night out, or stress at work.

If you would like some help with recurring headaches, please get in touch and book yourself in!

New Year retreat: Detox your body and re-invent your life

October 5, 2009

Our New Year retreat is the perfect way to start 2010.  Combining nutrition and life coaching, you’re guaranteed to start the year filled with health, happiness and a new perspective on life.  It’s just over three months away now and at the amazingly affordable, all inclusive, price of 490 pounds per person.  We know that it’s often easier to plan for holidays in advance, particularly as Christmas approaches, and therefore we’re offering you the option to make payments for the retreat in four monthly instalments of 125 pounds between now and the 21st January.

The retreat is set in glorious Dorset and runs from 21st to 24th January 2010.

Find out more about our New Year detox retreat, or contact our London nutrition clinic to book a place.

Julia Alderman

Nutrition coach
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