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.

Celebrating with Food

June 20, 2012

There’s certainly been a lot of celebration in the air lately what with the Queens Jubilee weekend and the fast approaching Olympic Games. It’s got me thinking about how people relate to foods in celebratory situations.

Something that I see in clinic time & time again is the sense that a celebration where food is involved is something to fear or be wary of, particularly for those hoping to lose a bit of weight. It’s very easy in these events to go down a negative path whereby what you choose to eat becomes bad & wrong.

Let’s get this straight, there are no bad & wrong foods. If you were starving in the desert a double cheeseburger would save your life. On the opposite end of the spectrum however, a daily helping of French fries could send you to an early grave.

It’s really all about a cascade of choice: being an adult about your choices & deciding in the moment what is & isn’t appropriate for you to consume. A good way to come to this decision is to use a little rule that we nutritionists stole from the business world – the 80 / 20 rule. We have a slightly different take on it however. Here’s how it works: as long as 80% of the time you choose foods that you know are whole foods and nourishing to the body, the other 20% of the time – DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT!

Worrying is the worst thing you can do. What benefit is a mental bashing going to provide you with? This kind of mindset just leads to a sense of failure and a declaration of “I’ve blown it now”. The typical end result is a few days of comfort eating down to the fact that you’ve fallen off the bandwagon anyway, so you may as well get stuck into the multi pack of crisps or box of chocolates.

It’s unrealistic to think you need to eat ‘healthy’ foods 100% of the time – that’s just weird & on the verge of disordered eating. Celebrations with food are an integral part of a balanced life. What kind of life would it be without a summer BBQ or a slice of chocolate cake?

When we take the stress out of what to do around food at these events, we’re left with the opportunity to see what these celebrations are really all about in the first place – HUMAN CONNECTEDNESS. So next time you go somewhere negative in your mind about the choices you’re going to make at a gathering – shift the focus – look to what’s really important – the eye contact, the sharing of stories, the spreading of love amongst people. And allow the food to do what it was designed to do, unite you all together in peace & harmony.


5 simple tips for a healthy weight

June 15, 2012
  • Balance the blood sugar – we can show you how you would do this on our courses. Balancing your blood sugar means that you have consistent energy across the day.   Our system is loosely based on The Glycaemic idex diets – but it is a lot easier!
  • Make sure you have checked for clinical symptoms  – sometimes it is not your imagination.  It can be much harder to lose weight if you have something in your health that is preventing this from happening – eg if you had a thyroid problem, or a yeast infection, syndrome X, PCOS to name but a few conditions which makes it extra hard to lose weight.  Your Nutrition Coach practitioner can help you get to the bottom of any possible problems.
  • Make sure you are drinking enough water – water helps carry nutrients around the body, hydrates the cells, and flushes out toxins.  It helps us eliminate properly through the bowel.
  • Eat Breakfast – your most important meal of the day.  Studies show that people who don’t eat breakfast are more overweight than people who do.  But make sure it is the “right” breakfast -  no super sweet cereals please.
  • Exercise – make sure you are doing the right exercise.  I see people who are very stressed doing too much cardio training.  This will make the situation worse.   Go back to your trainer and get them to devise a new programme with you that incorporates a mix of weights, stretching and walking.

For more info. on our weight loss programmes or a free 15 minute health check to see how we can help call us now on 0845 0502 442



Why Diets are Bad for Your Health

May 28, 2012

Here at the Nutrition Coach we don’t do diets, for the simple reason that for the vast amount of the population they just don’t work & could actually be detrimental to your health. We all know the drill – you discover the new fad that everyone is raving about, you buy the book or swot up online, you clean out the cupboards and stock up on ……………. [insert as appropriate: cabbage / meal replacement shakes / high protein foods / low-fat yogurts], you have every good intention of seeing it through to the end. This time you’re going to fit into that little black dress, or tone up that beer belly. If you’re lucky and can push past day five you may even get some good results. But how long are those results going to last? A year, a month, a week? Studies have proven that it’s usually not for life, quite the opposite actually.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), reviewed 31 long-term studies lasting between 2 to 5 years. Their findings showed that a very small minority of study participants managed to sustain weight loss, while the majority put all the weight back on, with the addition of more weight gain in the long term. Their conclusion was that diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people & it would have been better for most of them if they did not go on a diet at all. This way their weight may have remained more stable in the long-term and their body would not have suffered the wear and tear of losing weight then regaining.

For most people the word DIET conjures up another key word – FAILURE, so of course it’s doomed from the word go. People embarking on a diet, already have an expectation as to how it’s going to go – not well – this is often based on their past experience, but also the general collective consciousness that this is how diets go. The reason diets don’t work is simple – it’s a diet, NOT a healthy, sustainable lifestyle change.

In our clinical experience people are sick & tired of dieting, quite literally, and are ready for a fresh approach to the whole topic of weight loss. The key to healthy, life-long weight loss with a side helping of vibrant overall health, is to not go on a diet at all, but to take on your eating habits one step at a time. You can’t expect yourself to change unhealthy habits over night, even though this is exactly what a diet demands of you. Baby steps are key, have a look at your food choices today and choose one thing that you’re going to work on to form a new healthy eating habit around. For example, swap that chocolate bar in the afternoon for a juicy pear and a handful of hazelnuts. Then once you have mastered this take on another healthy food challenge that you can get your teeth into. With this strategy you’re basically reprogramming brain patterns with new habits around food and before you know it you’ll be reaping the benefits and will never look back.


For a FREE 15 minute chat today on how we can assist you in LOSING WEIGHT HEALTHILY call us now on 0845 050 2442.


Don’t forget to check out our May blog offer for our ‘Dump the Diet’ course – this offer expires Wednesday 15th June.

Dump the Diet May Offer

May 26, 2012

- Do you want to lose weight, feel healthier & more energetic?

- Have you tried every diet going without long-term success?

- Do you easily lose motivation or lack the will power to stick to a diet?

- Do you want to get off the diet treadmill forever, change your attitude to food, and liberate yourself from ever having to worry about your weight again?

If this sounds like you, a family member, or a friend, our personalised weight loss programme will offer all of you a refreshingly different approach.


This month we’re adding an EXTRA BONUS SESSION to our course completely FREE when you or a loved one sign up to the course.

All you have to do is quote the special offer code: “BONUS-SESSION” when you call.


For a life-time of better eating and easier weight control – what’s it worth?

The whole course is just £450 in total for a 1 hour initial consultation, and 6 follow-ups (usually 5 follow-ups). This extra bonus session is worth an additional £60!


The offer is available on courses booked before Wednesday 15th June.

If you or a friend is up for getting off that dieting treadmill once & for all, please call 0845 0502442 now and quote the special offer code: “BONUS-SESSION” when you call.


I must admit that I wasn’t sure about the system when I started my journey with Kate and The Nutrition Coach. Looking back now I see that the small changes weren’t hard to implement (they come in at a very slow pace). I think the most rewarding thing about this diet is that you feel proud about the food you eat and that the food itself is so tasty and varied you don’t feel like you’re on a diet at all. The benefits come quickly: better skin, more energy through out the day etc. And yes, you also start seeing your body getting smaller and smaller… but in a natural way. I can say with certainty that these changes are for life. Catarina, TV Producer, London

“…making small changes to my diet wasn’t at all an upheaval and didn’t feel anything like a diet!!” Hannah, London

“… I felt that for the first time in many years I wasn’t afraid of food and could relax about it…” Sarah, full-time mum, London

Are allergies stopping you or your kids from enjoying the great outdoors?

May 25, 2012

Hay fever is no fun for either the child or the parent. And that’s regardless of who is suffering from it. A child suffering from a sneeze attack, itchy puffy eyes or a runny nose will probably not be at their happiest or most co-operative. A parent having similar symptoms will have less energy and patience with their off-spring. The end result is often misery for the whole family during the season when the world is at its prettiest and outdoors should be there to be enjoyed, not dreaded.

Apart from staying indoors during the pollen season, or taking the conventional medication to control at least some of the symptoms, what other options are there out there?

Making some changes in the diet that support a healthy immune system can make a big difference during the hay fever season. Certain foods are best avoided, and others should be emphasised for the best results.

The ‘friendly’ bacteria
There are around three hundred different strains of bacteria in the gut, most of which are essential to our health and well-being. The ‘good’ bacteria help fight infections and generally protect us against any attacks by invading harmful bacteria or viruses. Healthy gut bacteria can also help in managing allergies by reducing the severity of the body’s response. Any unwanted bacteria tend to reduce the ability of the good ones to do their job.

By eating the right kinds of foods you can help boost the levels of ‘good’ bacteria and discourage the growth of any undesirable bacteria.

Avoid excess sugar. The bad bacteria tend to thrive on sugar and processed foods. Reduce fizzy drinks, fruit juices, sweets, chocolates and pastries. Swap your high sugar morning cereal to porridge and mix in some fresh fruit such as grated apple or chopped banana.
Fresh fruit and vegetables and beans and lentils all support the growth of healthy bacteria.

The good and bad fats
Not all fats are bad for you. In fact, some fats are absolutely essential for the health. Two fats are particularly important and as our bodies cannot produce these they have to be obtained from the diet. These fats are called omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They play an important role in regulating the body’s inflammatory responses. As hay fever involves inflammation of the airways, you can probably guess that these two fats are going to play an important part in the anti-hay fever diet.

Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, sardines, pilchards and tuna. Vegetarian sources include linseeds (sometimes called flax), pumpkin seeds and quinoa.

You can get your omega-6 fatty acids from most nuts and seeds, such as almonds, hazel nuts, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.

To ensure a good intake of these key fatty acids, you should:

· Eat oily fish at least twice weekly
· Snack on nuts and seeds
· Sprinkle a mixture of seeds on your morning cereal or porridge
· Use seed oils in salad dressings
· Avoid roasted and salted nuts as the heat reduces the health giving properties of the fats.
· Avoid any deep fried foods as these are all high in fats that increase rather than decrease inflammation.

The problem with dairy
If you suffer from a persistently runny nose during the hay fever period, you might wish to consider giving up cow’s milk. Dairy foods are mucous forming and can exacerbate the problem. There are plenty of alternatives to dairy, such as soy milk and yoghurts as well as rice and oat milk.

If you are worried about your or your child’s calcium intake, then fear not. Nuts and seeds are a great source of calcium, and in fact sesame seeds have higher levels of calcium than milk.

If your symptoms persist, an experienced nutritional therapist can help put together a more individualised programme that takes into account the specific areas in which your body may need support.

Kate Cook helps people deal with their diet and specialises in digestion and stress, so do get in touch 0845 0502442 or email us at

Adrenal Fatigue – or in plain English, Dog Tired!

April 24, 2012

If you go to your doctor and complain of being tired, he or she might tell you just to go away and take things easy – as simple as that sounds, sometimes we can suffer the kind of tiredness that is not solved straight away just by resting. Indeed, sometimes we can have the kind of tiredness and lack of energy that is even worse if you take a holiday. Strange.

Not so strange to us as Nutritional therapists – in our more involved work (obviously at the top level we are involved in changing people’s diets) but on a deeper level we are trying to get to the bottom of why someone might be feeling a lack of energy. A more accurate term to describe what a nutritional therapist does is, that we are involved in the area of functional medicine. We certainly do not pretend to do the very important job a doctor does, but the doctor can only diagnose a condition when someone has already dipped in to “disease state” ie pathology. The Nutritional therapist is trying to stop someone going in to disease so it is all about prevention rather than fire-fighting once that condition has got hold.

A point in case is when someone one does feel tired. We do a test called an adrenal stress index (we are measuring cortisol (fight and flight hormone) and we are measuring DHEA (another hormone involved in recovery). The doctor will does not recognise a lack of cortisol, or non optimal cortisol – he recognises a serious and rare condition until called Addison’s disease. But low cortisol should not be confused with this condition at all. The Adrenal stress index is only measuring the function of the adrenal glands (where stress hormones come from). If these hormones are low – you can feel any number of symptoms from lack of energy, depression, anxiety, foggy headed-ness – it can manifest in the type of tiredness that even an apparently good night’s sleep does not refresh.

A Nutrition Therapist seek to redress this less than optimal cortisol by paying attention to the diet (or course), lifestyle (or stress hormones were designed to deal with sabre tooth tigers not email traffic and mobile phones! 90% of the adrenal gland is designed to handling chronic stress and only 10% acute stress and we don’t have adrenal glands the size of footballs to cope with the kinds of stresses we have on an on going basis. In the old days, people would have had some really horrible things happen to them – think about living in Norman days (they were really tough those Normans and would chop of heads willy-nilly!) but if you were an ordinary person, the daily fear would not be there on a constant basis. I am not saying it would be a walk in the park – life was nasty, brutal and short but the adrenals were designed for this kind of life. A sudden sharp life threatening shock is the kind of stress the adrenals were evolved to deal with.

Taking care of your adrenals, I believe is the single most important thing you can do for your health! Come and see us and consider getting your adrenal glands tested (we use a saliva test) and see where you are at our London Clinic.

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