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.

Improve your sports performance through optimum nutrition

March 12, 2012

Nutritional needs will vary for different athletes. A 95kg rugby player won’t have the same program as a cyclist. However, the basic principles of nutrition stay the same and if you feed your body rubbish, the performance may well be…..rubbish.

Many athletes may fuel their bodies with refined carbohydrates, consuming too many empty calories which lack essential nutrients. They consume some protein but the optimal amount they require is unclear and although they will cut back on saturated fat they may be missing the intake of essential fats.

The first areas which need to be addressed are to ensure that blood sugar levels are stable and every meal consists of healthy fat, fibre and lean protein.

Blood sugar fluctuates every three hours, for athletes it is important to never go hungry and thirsty, ensure that you have planned snacks and spread your meals throughout the day. Try having a smaller breakfast and have the remainder mid morning, do the same for lunch and dinner, you will consume the same calories but less energy deficit and enhanced performance. Large meals will cause more insulin to be released and could lead to a sharper fall in blood sugar and leave you tired with low energy.

It is also of vital importance that you listen to your body. Through keeping a food log every 7-10 days note why, when and what you are eating. Do this five times and you will become an instinctual eater rather than just eating for eating’s sake.

Exercise has two effects on nutrient requirements: it increases the rate of energy usage and increases sweating, if there is not enough energy consumption it will have a negative impact on the body and on performance. That is where restricting calories come into play when trying to loose body fat. Although you may be loosing weight on the scales, you will also be loosing lean muscle mass because the body is compensating and needs to get energy supplies from somewhere.

Weight loss of one to two pounds per week is safe and realistic and won’t have a negative impact on you training.

Eating real food may take time and preparation but will deliver results!

If you are not getting results from training program, a diet overhaul may just be the ticket to help you achieve the results you are working so hard for. Get in touch to find out if we could help.

Kate Cook helps people deal with their diet, digestion and stress.
Contact 0845 0502442 or kate@thenutritioncoach.co.uk http://thenutritioncoach.co.uk/contact-the-nutrition-coach.php”>

DIET MOT FEBRUARY OFFER

February 10, 2012

In a time of credit uncertainty and increased anxiety, the sales of chocolate are up. The feel-good food, considered the ‘affordable luxury’. People are drinking more too. But will these crutches really support you through your hour of need?

We all enjoy the thought of red wine and dark chocolate being rich in antioxidants and therefore nourishing choices that we can call upon. But maybe now is the perfect time to accept their damaging effects and to turn to good nutrition to support your body through the stress of the economic changes. Whilst good food choices will support your body, poor choices will contribute to anxiety, fatigue, interrupted sleep and depression.

A supportive diet is one that keeps your blood sugar levels even and is rich in anti-stress nutrients. Your foods crutches should therefore nourish you with B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc. Your kitchen cupboards should be stocked with wholegrains, beans, seeds and nuts and your fridges filled with fresh fish, fruit and vegetables. Sugary snacks should be replaced with alternatives such as oat cakes with hummus, natural yoghurt with berries or a piece of fruit with a handful of nuts. Instead of seeking a short boost from caffeine or alcohol, now is the time to experiment with roobios, green and herbal teas which are hydrating and wont leave you feeling exhausted.

By making the right food choices and nourishing yourself through the stressful times you can achieve a consistent, high level of energy, reduced anxiety and emotional balance. So, be aware of what crutch you reach for in your hour of need and ask yourself whether it really is supportive. In my mind good health is certainly more luxurious than any chocolate – and affordable too.

Find whether you are eating the right foods and discover practical and achievable dietary changes, with a Diet MOT consultation at The Nutrition Coach. Diet MOT consultations are on special offer at the price of £50.00 until the end of February. Call us on 0845 050 2442 or email angela@thenutritioncoach.co.uk to book your place.

Kate Cook specialises in helping people deal with their diet, stress and digestion so do get in touch.

Look forward to hearing from you!

The Nutrition Coach Team

Eating Disorders

February 3, 2012

Food and eating play a very important part in our lives. They are not only essential for our health and wellbeing, but they also bring people together, with the sharing of food being central to social events, celebrations and ceremonies. We therefore often associate different foods with different occasions and emotions, such as maybe associating homemade apple pie with the comfort of a family get-together for Sunday lunch.

We all vary in the foods we like, how much we need to eat, and when we like to eat. It is also normal for us to experiment with different eating habits, for example trying a vegetarian diet or maybe cutting out wheat for a period to see the effect on our health and how it makes us feel. However, when food is used to help us cope with painful situations or feelings, then eating patterns can become damaging. For example, food may be used to help someone cope during a time of feeling depressed, lonely, ashamed or as a way to control their environment and manage external pressures and expectations. Whilst we can all relate to the idea of comfort eating and restrictive eating, for people with an eating disorder, thoughts of food, eating, weight and shape encompass every aspect of their life.

Having an eating disorder is a lonely existence and is associated with many health problems. There is no single cause as to why eating disorders develop, but they are associated with a combination of many factors, events, feelings and pressures which lead to the individual feeling unable to cope. Controlling food intake therefore becomes a coping strategy, but as the disorder develops it takes control of the individual’s life. The media often glamorises eating disorders with dramatic weight loss, size zero and speculation of ‘near anorexic’ celebrities making the front pages of glossy magazines. The reality, however, is that anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders are complex mental illnesses caused by psychological distress. A person does not choose to develop an eating disorder, just like someone does not choose depression.

1.6 million people in the UK are estimated to have an eating disorder, and anorexia has the highest mortality rate for any psychiatric condition. People with eating disorders, but who do not have enough of the features common in anorexia or bulimia, are termed as having an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS), and EDNOS make up the largest group of eating disorder sufferers. Other eating disorders include binge eating disorder and compulsive overeating. You cannot tell if someone has an eating disorder by their shape and size alone, as many are of normal weight – the real pain of an eating disorder is on the inside.

Research shows that eating disorders are becoming more and more common. It is therefore particularly important that people are aware of the facts about eating disorders and what help is available to them and their loved ones. At The Nutrition Coach we work with those suffering with eating disorders to improve their relationship with food and to help them to find their way out of the cycles of disordered eating. Taking the first steps to get help can be extremely difficult, but seeking help is the first step to recovery. Food plays an important part in all our lives and we are here to help people develop a balanced, happy relationship with food, so that they can live life to the full.

BEAT (http://www.b-eat.co.uk/Home) is the UK leading charity on eating disorders and initiator or eating disorder awareness week.

Kate Cook helps people deal with their diet, digestion and stress.
Contact 0845 0502442 or kate@thenutritioncoach.co.uk

Bit Late but let’s still celebrate Chinese New Year!

February 3, 2012

Chinese New Year is here and Chinese food is not only full of delicious flavours, it can also be a healthy option too and a perfect way to add some colour to the dull winter months. This newsletter is dedicated to the colourful and delicious Chinese food and below are some of the Chinese traditions I believe we should all embrace more in our kitchen and life style to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.

Dim Sum: Literally meaning ‘to touch your heart’ dim sum, the ‘small eats’ are originally a Cantonese custom and are inextricably linked to the Chinese tradition of “yum cha” or drinking tea (and that’s not PG tips I’m talking but plenty of healthy antioxidant rich green tea). Teahouses sprung up to accommodate weary travellers journeying along the famous Silk Road. Rural farmers, exhausted after long hours working in the fields, would also head to the local teahouse for an afternoon of tea and relaxing conversation. And if you go for the steamed and not the deep fried version you can enjoy some tantalizing healthy ‘small eats’ and you should know by now that I always encourage eating ‘small’ and if you do it while sipping a cup of green tea to relax instead of coffee you might dream of being in China instead of stuck in front of your computer.

Ginger and Garlic: These two ingredients are integral to Asian cooking. The unique tang of fresh ginger is used in everything from stews to stir-fried dishes, while the pungent flavour of garlic is featured in meals throughout China. If you are not using these two ingredients in your kitchen yet, it is time to start experimenting and some more flavour to your foods and dish up a nice ginger chicken or Chinese stir fry. Adding these to your diet will also mean you are adding some health promoting properties, as both of these two foods are thought to have medicinal properties and garlic provides you with anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

Tea: Brits are tea drinkers but unfortunately that’s mostly stimulating black tea and not relaxing herbal tea. I think it’s time to swap the black tea for some of the health promoting tea and tea drinking customs derived from the Chinese culture e.g. consuming tea as a sign of respect, to apologise or to connect large families on wedding days (I wonder how this would go down with the in-laws).

Kate Cook helps people deal with their diet, digestion and stress
Contact us

kate@thenutritioncoach.co.uk

The Vitamin D Epidemic

July 5, 2011

By London Nutritionist Sylvia Hensher

How Vitamin D Deficient Is The UK?

A recent survey in the UK showed that more than half of the adult population in the UK has insufficient levels of vitamin D. In the winter and spring about 1 in 6 people has a severe deficiency. It is estimated that about 9 in 10 adults of South Asian origin may be vitamin D-deficient. Most affected people either don’t have any symptoms, or have vague aches and pains, and are unaware of the problem.

Why Do Your Vitamin D Levels Matter?

In addition to the well-known osteoporosis connection, deficiency of this fat-soluble vitamin can be linked to a wide range of health problems, from cancer and cardiovascular disease to cognitive impairment and problems with auto-immunity such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. Huge increased research interest in this field is constantly bringing to light new evidence which underscores the enormous importance of vitamin D to human health.

Sources of Vitamin D

What many people don’t realise is that very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. Fortified milk, egg yolks and oily fish are the best sources, but we can’t rely on food to provide with optimal amounts of vitamin D on a daily basis. In fact, the major source (80 – 100%) of vitamin D is actually sunshine. Ultraviolet B (UVB) sunlight rays convert cholesterol in the skin into vitamin D.

That’s right, although cholesterol is often a much maligned substance, our bodies literally could not survive without it! The sunlight has to fall directly on to bare skin (through a window is not enough). To add to the complexity of this issue, age, skin colour, geographic latitude, seasonal variations in sunlight availability and sunscreen use can impact on your body’s ability to produce all the vitamin D it needs. For example, darker skins need more sun to get the same amount of vitamin D as a fair-skinned person and because of geographic location, people in the United Kingdom cannot synthesise vitamin D from November to the end of March.

Why the Vitamin D Epidemic?

So why are we experiencing such epidemic proportions of vitamin D Deficiency? It’s because we are increasingly much less exposed to sunlight due to our indoor and sedentary lifestyles, and because of official advice to protect ourselves from skin cancer by covering up totally in the sun and slathering ourselves with sunscreen, which blocks UVB rays, and thus vitamin D synthesis.

What You Can Do

At least 2-3 exposures of sunlight per week between 10 AM and 3 PM are considered enough to achieve healthy vitamin D levels. Each episode should be 20-30 minutes to bare arms and face, legs, or back without sunscreen. This is not the same as sun tanning; the skin simply needs to be exposed to sunlight, but should not burn. Thus, the time of day, geographic latitude and seasonal variations in sunlight availability will determine the optimal length for direct, yet safe sun exposure.

Most experts now agree that supplementation is currently the safest and most effective method of achieving optimal vitamin D status. A blood test for vitamin D can be very useful; it can help establish your current vitamin D levels which can help you figure out how much vitamin D you need, or whether the sun exposure you get and/or the supplements you take are providing optimal levels.

If you’d like to know more about whether you might be vitamin D deficient or how you can optimise your vitamin D levels, please call us on 0845 0502 442 for an informal chat.

Wishing you the best of health

London Nutritionist Sylvia Hensher

Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2011

After living in the US for 8 years one of my favourite holidays was the 4th of July – so happy 4th! It meant throwing on a swimsuit, shorts and a baseball cap and spending time with friends at the beach, watching a parade, going to carnivals, baseball games and watching spectacular fireworks etc. Okay. so you might be wondering why I’m going on about an American holiday. The best part of the day was firing up a barbecue in the evening and gorging yourself silly on corn on the cob, hamburgers, hot dogs, crisps, ice cream and lots more. Now although we don’t celebrate the 4th of July, we sure do BBQs. A few ideas to make your BBQs nice and healthy this summer:
1. If you’re eating corn on the cob don’t add butter. There is no need to flavor it with fat when corn is already very sweet and flavorful. Opt for lemon instead and a little bit of crunchy sea salt.

2. Instead of beef burgers try turkey or chicken burgers. If your butcher or local supermarket doesn’t have them ready made just ask for some minced turkey breast (actually it’s even better if you get minced turkey because then you can season it). My favorite turkey burger is a Mar-a-lago recipe found on Oprah’s website – check it out! http://www.oprah.com/food/Mar-a-Lago-Turkey-Burger
You will never find a more delicious burger. Opt for the gobbler instead of the moo, it’s lower in fat and cholesterol.

3. Try grilling fish on the barbeque as a nice alternative to meat.

4. Opt for skinless chicken breast fillets if cooking chicken.

5. With meat choose lean cuts or trim off portions of fat.

6. Try a dry spiced rub instead of oily marinades.

7. Don’t forget the veggies! Most vegetables grill well on the BBQ directly and in skewers.

8. On the side try a mixed green salad or a grain dish such as barely, quinoa or couscous.

9. Avoid the desert. Opt for summer seasonal fruits. Try fruit salads with low fat yogurt or chocolate covered strawberries.

10. Avoid overdoing your portions sizes (even though it tastes, and smells, so good)

Contact The Nutrition Coach for more info 0845 050 2442

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