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.

Diet MOT

July 31, 2009

We have a great new tool on board!  We are using a fancy bit of software that analyses  your diet and produces a wonderful great big report…I am so excited because it means that we are able to accurately analyse the diet and then make little changes to people’s diets to make a HUGE difference.  In the MOT Gold, we then do an hour’s consultation so you can implement the changes

Know where you are with your diet

Know Where you are with your diet!

We aim to make changes really do-able in every day life – but what a great new tool!

Find out more about our Diet MOT and contact us to make an appointment at one of our London nutrition clinics.

Food intolerances or digestive problems?

July 30, 2009

Are we becoming a nation of hypochondriacs, or are allergies and food intolerances really on the up?

There is a huge variety of different allergy and intolerance tests available, with equally varying methodology and costs.  You can get your intolerances check with muscle testing, electronic impulses and blood tests to name a few.  It seems to have become almost trendy to be intolerant to at least one or two different foods.

The problems start when one of the less scientifically sound tests identify not one or two, but 10 or 20 foods that you should avoid.  I have seen clients who have gone on such restricted regimes that they are now risking not getting all the various nutrients from their diet.

I only ever recommend blood based food intolerance testing as the methodology behind it scientifically sound, but rarely use it as a first line of enquiry anyway.  I often find that food intolerances are actually the symptom, not the underlying cause of the problems, and therefore it makes sense to hold back on expensive testing.

One client I recently saw came to me complaining of a variety of digestive problems.  She was experiencing bloating after most meals, was often constipated and generally felt run down.  She had heard about food intolerances and wanted to have the test to see if this might be the cause of her problems.

She had had a serious bout of gastric flu five years ago, and many of her symptoms seemed to date back around that time.  Due to the heavy antibiotics she was given at the time, her friendly gut bacteria were likely to have been wiped out at the time.

When the levels of good bacteria are down, it becomes harder to fully digest food.  When the larger undigested particles are then presented to the immune system it doesn’t recognise them as safe, but instead mounts a reaction.  Foods that were previously well tolerated can suddenly start creating problems.

Instead of an allergy test, we ran a digestive stool analysis, which gave exact information about the state of the bacterial balance and her digestive capacity.  We then addressed these issues through some gentle dietary changes and supplemental friendly bacteria and digestive enzymes.

Over the following weeks her bloating started to become less frequent, and the constipation was easing off.  The symptoms that she thought were related to food intolerances were disappearing and she was getting her energy back.

Had we decided to do a food intolerance test to begin with I am sure we would have ended up with a long list of foods to eliminate.  But working on her digestive system first enabled us to get to the root of the problem, and she can now enjoy a full and varied diet.

Find out more about food intolerances and contact us to make an appointment at one of our London nutrition clinics.

Tips for beating morning sickness

July 29, 2009

I’m now in my 24th week of pregnancy and feeling great! But this wasn’t the case during the first trimester of my pregnancy when I had morning sickness and felt very tired. Being a nutritional therapist I thought I would get off lightly with any pregnancy symptoms but this wasn’t the case!

I admit I found it difficult to eat healthily all the time during the first trimester but I figured that because my diet was healthy most of the time a few bowls of chips (my weakness) weren’t going to do any harm!

I found that a good pregnancy multivitamin and mineral and some liver support helped with the tiredness and the sickness. I also found the following helped greatly:

  • Eating little and often – even if you feel sick do try to eat something. As soon as your blood sugar dips/you have an empty stomach, the nausea can come on. Having something to eat as soon as you wake up such as a cracker or an oatcake can help with the sickness first thing in the morning.
  • Sea Bands – these are bands you wear on your wrists which work on a certain acupuncture point and can help reduce the nausea. I wore these during most of my first trimester (Amazon sells them).
  • New Chapter Ginger and Honey Tonic (from a good health food shop).
  • A course of acupuncture.

Thankfully I don’t feel sick at all anymore and my energy levels are brilliant. I am making sure my diet is as good as it can be (with the odd treat of course) and I am on a good supplement plan. I’m now making the most of my time before the little one arrives in November!

Find out more about pregnancy and nutrition and contact us to make an appointment at one of our London nutrition clinics.


Energising enzymes & detoxing

July 27, 2009

Last week I did an accidental detox, which started with a trip to one of my favourite London restaurants, Saf.  Saf’s botanical menus offer food in its purest, freshest form with most dishes being cooked below 48 degrees celsius and therefore technically classified as raw.

The secret with raw food, which makes it so perfect for detoxing, is that it is rich with enzymes which are a vital element of good health.  Enzymes are highly specific and are involved in almost every action in our body, such as digestion, energy production, metabolism, cellular repair, mental function, and liver detoxification.  Without enzymes our body would literally grind to a halt.  Food enzymes have been shown to contribute to restoring health and vitality on all levels by adding to our own enzyme supply.

The catch however is that enzymes are extremely heat sensitive and are destroyed by cooking food above 48 degrees celsius.  To up your enzyme intake it is therefore great to include some raw fruit or vegetables with every meal, even just a simple side salad or some sprouts, such as alfalfa, sprinkled on hot dishes is hugely beneficial.  If you want to be inspired with gourmet raw dishes, then try Saf, where even the raw chocolate tart is full of energising enzymes.  The food tastes so good, you might find you naturally gravitate to foods in their natural raw state for a few days and end up doing an accidental detox too.

Find out more about detox diets and contact us to make an appointment at one of our London nutrition clinics.

Keeping the peace on long car journeys

July 26, 2009

If you’re off on a summer holiday with the kids this could mean a long car journey and the inevitable tantrums and fighting on the back seat en route to your destination. Help to keep the peace by packing some healthy energy boosting snacks. A dip in blood sugar levels can turn your child (or your partner for that matter) from an angel to the devil very quickly. Snacking in between meals can be a good way of keeping up energy levels and keeping mood stable, however choosing the right foods is vitally important.

The vast majority of snacks available at motorway service stations such as chocolate, biscuits and muffins are packed full of sugar – these provide a short lived sugar fix leaving you feeling tired. Rather than rely on service station snacks, get organised before you go and pack your own.

Try some of the following which can be easily transported in a Tupperware box:

  • Nuts, seeds and dried fruit
  • Raw carrot sticks or oatcakes with hummus
  • Falafels
  • Finger sandwiches (try rye bread, peanut butter and banana)
  • Easy to eat fruit (e.g. apples, bananas, satsumas)
  • Boiled eggs (ready peeled)

Whilst these nutritious snacks can’t guarantee the end of tantrums on long journeys, they may well help!

Happy holidays!


Bloating caused by lack of digestive enzymes

July 24, 2009

Sometimes  when people suffer from bloating and gas,  it can often be down to how their bodies are breaking  food – their digestion is just not up to digesting and processing!  We assess someone’s digestion holistically, meaning we look at their health in context of what is going on in their general  health and their life to get a full picture of what we might do to help

A lady in her 30’s came in last month to the Harley Street clinic suffering from bloating and gas, wind, and stomach pain – frequent trips to the loo where beginning to get her down! Doctors sometimes diagnose this as irritable bowel syndrome.   Her energy was at zero too.   I asked her to complete two biochemical tests – first a gut test (comprehensive digestive stool analysis) and also an adrenal stress profile, which looks at stress hormones (cortisol – flight and flight hormone) and a recovery hormone, DHEA.   She had been really under the cosh at work and had moved countries 5 times in the last five years!

The gut test showed a chronic lack of pancreatic enzymes – digestive enzymes (the lowest I’d seen actually) – fermented foods and bacteria where causing the bloat!   Her adrenal profile came back, with very low cortisol levels  - no wonder she felt tired, she literally had no gas in the tank (adrenal fatigue)

We have worked out a programme – first addressing dietary habits (but in a do-able way – there is no point in doing something so complicated that you cant follow it!) and then giving her some major digestive support.  We will look at lifestyle adjustments to get the stress hormones under control to start with, and then we will work on giving her some nutritional support there too!
Find out more about adrenal exhaustion and contact us to make an appointment at one of our London nutrition clinics.


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