• Exclusion diet/ Healthy Food/ Leaky Gut/ Nutritional Medicine

    Confused by all the nutritional advice? What should you eat??

    Nutritional advice

    Are you confused by all the nutritional advice out there? It is hardly surprising! Nutritional science is moving at an unprecedented pace and much of what we were told in the past and even advised by our Doctors, has been proved to be wrong.

    Any diet given a name seems to be either praised or condemned by someone. Some are aimed at fast weight loss and others more recently at reversing conditions that we previously thought had no cure.

    Atkins/SouthBeach/Dash/Paleo/AIP/LowFodmap/LCHF/  Flat Belly/Slim-fast/Weight Watchers/Slimmers World/Clean/RealFood ……….

    The list goes on and on…  and these days Doctors and Nutritionist are talking much more about Personalised Healthcare and plans that suit the individual – not just the condition. After all, if you are overweight it might be due to diet, lifestyle, hormones, Digestive Problems, Thyroid function, Insulin Resistance etc. and the important thing is to get to the root cause.

    Functional Medicine

    The Functional Medicine approach is based on finding the root cause of your health problems and supporting normal healing by making individual diet and lifestyle choices. It is a system strongly backed by science, evidence and a belief that we all have an ability to heal ourselves and have less reliance on drugs. It is also a system of medicine that believes that health is not just the absence of disease but a state of vitality and mental and physical energy.

    See this article for more information

    What Nutritional advice would I give?

    Modern technology means we can be more aware of our health, our heart rate, quality of sleep, exercise levels, steps taken, energy burnt and we might be more aware of anything not right about our health. Monitoring people and treating the person, not the symptoms is the future of medicine.

    I believe that no one diet suits everyone. For health and vitality you need the most varied diet you are able to digest and you need to work to improve your digestion for the optimum benefit. To get this right we need to let go of any previous beliefs and become aware of what our individual bodies like and need to thrive. Science is telling us that a lot of processed food contains substances that are damaging our health and therefore the ‘trend’ is towards cooking and much more fresh food than has been common over the past few decades. Your diet should not cause inflammation in your body and stress to your immune system but modern processed food diets are proven to do so in a large percentage of the population.

    Canada has just bought out new Nutritional advice and food guidelines based on fresh food and they have a new food pyramid.

    This is based on eating healthy fats, low carbohydrates, plenty of vegetables and some fruit. Good nutritional advice compared to most Countries guidelines.

    In the UK the NHS promotes “The NHS Diet Plan – Science has a go at Diet Plans” – just the title makes me wince!  Out of date Nutritional advice. They are still promoting cereals, bread and wholewheat pasta as a source of fibre and as the bulk of the diet with the emphasis on low fat foods as in the Eatwell Guide which also stipulates vegetable oils and low fat spreads. Functional Medicine Practitioners have been trying to educate people away from these choices for years!

    I do not promote the Low Fodmap diet (often suggested for IBS) as this is one of the most restrictive diets to stick to and doesn’t address healing the digestive system first. No diet should be so restrictive as to take all joy out of eating. Many people that follow this diet might get some digestive relief but will almost certainly suffer from nutrient deficiencies if not carefully monitored and supplemented. Where possible I always favour real food over supplements.

    So what is out?

    • Calorie Counting
    • Low fat diets
    • Meal replacement drinks and Bars
    • Low salt (better to have sea salt than processed sodium salt)
    • Low Cholesterol diets
    • using only egg whites
    • artificial sweeteners
    • MSG
    • other processed food additives and colours
    • all day snacking (harms the normal digestive process)
    • Long exercise sessions (HIIT training was proved to more beneficial many years ago – research Loughborough Uni 2013)

    Conclusions

    If you are free from any digestive problems, achy joints, autoimmune disease, disrupted thyroid hormones, skin problems, heart or blood sugar problems then I would suggest that you look at incorporating more fresh foods into your diet, more healthy fats (natural saturated fats, meat, fish, butter, cheese, olive oil, olives, coconut oil, nuts and seeds), plenty of fresh vegetable and some fruit. As you increase natural fats into your diet you become hungry less often and you do not crave snacks or sweet foods as much. You may feel you eat more and feel more satisfied than previously. Cut out as much sugar and processed carbohydrates as you can  and drink in moderation (wine and occasional spirits but less mixers).

    If you have any of the health  issues listed above then I always recommend an Elimination Diet for 4 weeks and the addition of supplements to heal the digestive tract. Probiotics, L-Glutamine, omega 3 oils, Licorice extract, and possibly Silicogel or Aloe Vera until your gut doesn’t bloat or feel uncomfortable and your bowel movements are easy and regular. Following on by very careful reintroduction of individual foods to see if your body reacts to them. This is because the root cause of many of these conditions is a damaged digestive system that might have been caused by infection, stress, antibiotics or intolerance to certain foods. If you can find and afford a Nutritional Practitioner then it would be best to work with them. They may be able to do blood, urine and stool tests as well as allergy and sensitivity tests that may speed the process. It is easy to get confused when doing it by trial and error. I tried going gluten free several times over the years and always felt better initially but it wasn’t until I carried out a proper Elimination diet that I discovered I also had intolerance to Dairy, Soy and oranges! I personally favoured using the Paleo AIP diet initially but have since been able to expand my choice of foods to include rice, gluten free oats, nuts and seeds – all in moderation. That is why I use the terms Paleo Approach, Clean and Real food. No one single diet should define what you eat or restrict foods that you do not have a problem with.

    I have many posts on how to do this, which foods most often cause problems and with ideas for healthy foods  so that it is not about deprivation but about making choices that satisfy you and nourish your body, brain and immune system while giving you abundant energy and good sleep.

    My main tip is to learn to listen to your body. Every day your body will require different food depending on the weather, your activity, your emotional state…(that’s where the chocolate usually comes in)

    One day I might fancy a succulent salmon steak, one day lamb and bacon burger with guacamole and occasionally I fancy this…

           Gluten free seeded toast, baked beans and free range eggs with Celtic sea salt and black pepper.

    Variety is the spice of life:-)

     

  • Autoimmune diseases/ Celiac/ Health/ Hypothyroidism/ Immune System

    Why I think Hashimoto’s needs a different approach.

    Fatigue

    This post is about my recent experience and why I think Hashimoto’s needs a different approach.

    What is Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism

    Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism is an Autoimmune disease where your body gradually destroys your thyroid gland leaving you with multiple symptoms such as

    • Loss of outer eyebrow hair and increased loss of hair on head and body
    • slow heartbeat
    • discomfort in throat
    • muscle aches and cramps
    • weakness
    • arthritis
    • cold intolerance
    • dry skin and hair
    • lethargy / fatigue
    • sleep disturbance
    • brittle nails
    • memory loss/poor concentration
    • weight gain
    • tingling or parasthesia in hands / feet

    Each individual will have any number of these symptoms and they can vary with the level of thyroid deficiency and the length of time the body has been deprived of the right amount of hormone.

    There are other causes of Hypothyroidism such as cancer surgery, radioactive iodine treatment of hyperthyroidism, heavy metal poisoning and more rarely a problem with the Pituitary gland that is not producing enough TSH – thyroid stimulating hormone.

    Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism is by far the most common (90-95%) and that is what I am focusing on today.

    Treatment Options

    Normal medical treatment has always focused on replenishing the body with thyroid hormone – either in the form of a synthetic T4 drug or desiccated thyroid tissue taken from pigs or cows. In the case of a surgically removed thyroid or one that has been destroyed by radiation then this may be the only option.

    With Hashimoto’s I feel it is important to take a Functional Medicine approach to find and treat the root cause which is an Autoimmune reaction and to support the thyroid with the nutrition it needs for optimal function. There is frequently an underlying Adrenal imbalance as well and patients often say that they have had extreme stress previous to symptoms, or ongoing. There may also be a history of Epstein Barr infection or other herpes infections, all of which can affect the immune system long-term.

    It is very important to look at the medical history as the Thyroid may have been under attack for quite some time before multiple symptoms appear and a diagnosis sort. It is also possible that other Autoimmune problems are present, especially Coeliac disease or Gluten intolerance. This could mean that the digestive tract is damaged, already reacting to foreign proteins and not absorbing all the nutrients we need.

    Hashimoto’s is not something that I think you should try and treat yourself and it should be monitored with appropriate blood tests but there are certain actions that you can take yourself that can help balance your system, boost your health and at the same time help your Doctor see the overall picture of the effects of the disease and the treatment.

    If you think you may have Hashimoto’s rather than any other cause of fatigue then the first thing you could do is set up a chart to record your Basal Temperature. This is the temperature that you body falls to at night when you are sleeping. Have a thermometer by your bed and as soon as you wake take your temperature, in your armpit. Make sure that it is right in your armpit and leave it for 2-5 mins to get an accurate reading. If you have low thyroid function then it is likely to be several points lower than the normal range of 36.4C -36.7C . Do this for at least a week so that you have a record to show your doctor and you can also carry on to show any reaction to treatment.

    My own approach

    I have thought for years that my Thyroid was slightly under-active and have not been good with aerobic activity, climbing hills etc. since having Glandular Fever aged 20. I lost my outer eyebrows ages ago. I have been aware of my pulse being slow and irregular (43 -55) for over 10 years but have had ECG’s and told it wasn’t anything to worry about. It wasn’t until a medical showed a TSH of 5.25 and a slightly low FT4 of 11.8 that I thought I should probably do something about it if I was to continue to be healthy.

    It also made me realise that an increasing amount of tingling and parasthesia in my hands was probably more likely to be caused by my Thyroid than by neck arthritis. I felt, maybe wrongly, that if I went to my GP I would just be put on synthetic T4 Thyroid pills and from everyone I have dealt with over the years I knew this was not the cure all that it is often claimed to be.

    My plan was to first optimise my nutrition to see if that had any effect on my symptoms. I started by taking Bio-Selenium 200 as that is know to be essential for Immune and Thyroid function and it is a nutrient that many in the UK are know to be lacking. Ten days later I started a Basal Temperature chart and also recorded my pulse and blood pressure every few days. The first few days my temperature was in the range 34.1-34.4 C which is 2 degrees below normal therefore I decided to add an amino acid L-Tyrosine 500mg as I had read that this could possibly stimulate the available thyroid hormone. I realise that I was experimenting but I  researched and the only side effect was said to be that if you suffered with migraine headaches it may trigger them. I never get headaches since giving up gluten and dairy and therefore thought it was unlikely to affect me.

    Within 2 days my Basal Temperature was up 35.5-36.0 C and I actually felt very warm and my circulation was improved with warm feet – something that is a complete anomaly to me! This was in total contrast to the typical UK weather that had suddenly taken a dip back to cool and wet. That evening I started to get a headache and by the next evening it was continuous and worse – I felt like I had been kicked in the back of the head. Taking painkillers lessened it but then a couple of days later I started to get an uncomfortable feeling in my throat and a tight sensation on swallowing. Now this seemed extreme for a natural protein that is found in chicken, turkey and that I thought I probably was getting sufficient quantities of through my diet and so, listening to what my body was telling me, I stopped taking the L-Tyrosine. During the time I was taking it the tingling in my hands disappeared and I felt more energised and alert but I have since read that if you have autoimmune problems it may be too stimulating and cause more inflammatory reaction. If self medicating – even with nutritional supplements – always do thorough research!

    The tingling in my hands returned, the throat gradually returned to normal and my Temperature remained above 35C.  On to a new plan…

    Ashwaganda, a popular Ayurvedic medicine used for a wide variety of disorders, is something I have used before to treat stress and fatigue. It is an adaptogenic herb with the ability to get the body to regulate itself. It has been proven to work well in regulating the thyroid gland when additional T4 and/or T3 is required or if the rate of metabolism is slow.  Scientists concluded that people with hypothyroidism benefited from Ashwaganda due to it’s ability to raise T4/T3 and its anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antioxidant and nerve protecting qualities. It is important to buy good quality herbs therefore I started on 1 capsule twice a day of fresh organic Ashwaganda Root Capsules.

    I also added Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabara) that supports immune function and with ingredients that heal the digestive tract, are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-microbial. From my latest research it does look like there may be a connection to Autoimmune problems stemming from Epstein Barr infection that can stay dormant in the body therefore adding supplements that have anti-viral properties could help.

    So far, so good. I am generally sleeping better and have plenty of energy. The peripheral neuralgia is improving again and a month on my temperature has not fallen below 35C and I haven’t had any palpitations. I will carry on for another month with this plan as well as my usual Low Carb High Good Fat diet, Methyl B Vitamins, Vitamin D and keep eating nuts and seeds for zinc, Liver or pate for Ferritin levels, Lemon Balm (anti-viral) and Green Tea and Resveratrol in the form of Red Wine plus my Sizzling Minerals to make sure I get good magnesium levels and all the other minerals I need to help cellular function.

    I will get a repeat blood test and if I have to take a thyroid hormone then I would definitely prefer to take a natural one that provides all the elements needed and not just artificial T4 – thyroid function is complex. Functional Medicine is about looking for the root cause, assessing all the signs and symptoms and adjusting diet and lifestyle.

    This might sound a lot but it just becomes part of what you do – listen to your body, assess signs and symptoms and tweek as necessary! Those that don’t take time to maintain their health may end up losing time due to ill health!

     

     

     

     

     

  • Ketogenic diet/ LCHF diet/ Paleo Diet/ Sugar Detox

    My positive results from Paleo and LCHF approach

    Paleo and LCHF approach

    I would like to share with you my continuing journey with improving my health with nutrition and my personal results with Paleo and LCHF approach.

    Three years ago I was suffering from a few years of high stress. I was overweight and still gaining, tired, with a myriad of symptoms including poor sleep, IBS, dry skin and eyes, hearing problems, post nasal drip, sinus problems,and joint pains, which at times were severe and debilitating.

    I started on the Paleo Approach program by first doing a full elimination diet. Sarah Ballantine PhD of www.ThePaleoMom.com. I discovered I was intolerant of gluten, dairy and soy so totally eliminated them and started to reintroduce other foods gradually while watching for return of symptoms. I then progressed to what I call a modified Paleo diet where I ate some gluten free pasta and wraps, rice, potatoes and either almond or coconut milk.

    With each week I felt better and had more energy. I started doing more exercise including walking, rebounding and a Yoga sequence called ‘The Five Tibetan Rites’.

    I suffered occasional setbacks but with attention to healing my gut with Probiotics and L-Glutamine the inflammation soon subsided.

    Having reached a reasonable level of health I started looking for ways I could protect myself from chronic illnesses like Diabetes, heart disease, Dementia and cancer – these being the main worries as we age.

    I read more and more about eating low carbs and high natural fats, LCHF, followed the research www.DietDoctor.com and everything seemed to make sense. The idea being to keep blood sugar lower and level by eating quality proteins and natural fats like Avocado, olive oil, grass fed butter (which I couldn’t have), coconut oil, oily fish and fatty cuts of meat.

    It was quite easy to adapt from Paleo Approach to LCHF and within a very short time I noticed that my blood sugar was more stable, I could go without food for longer periods without turning into Golem and I was sleeping much better.

    I really felt the benefits so I wanted to see if medical tests would reflect the improvements. Unfortunately I didn’t have any baseline testing from the past to compare but I think you will agree that they stand alone.

    I am 66 yrs old. Metabolic age 55

    Weight is 67 kg  and stable

    BMI 24

    Blood pressure 123/64

    Liver Function Good

    Fasting  blood sugar 5.0

    Triglycerides 0.7

    Cholesterol LDL/HDL ratio 2.04

    Bone mass 2.2 kg Muscle mass 40.9

    As part of eating LCHF I have been having Bulletproof XCT oil in my coffee, I bake using coconut oil and cook with it. I use coconut milk and cream a lot as I love Thai cooking. I also use olive oil each day, eat garlic, onions, plenty of salad and green vegetables, sweet potato, berries, small bananas and only occasionally other fruit like mangoes or pineapple. I buy free range and grass fed meat as much as possible and have nuts, eggs and fish 2-3 times a week.

    My indulgences are red wine and Prosecco but I don’t drink every day. I have dark chocolate and use coco powder to make desserts or Brownies and sometimes sweeten food with a little maple syrup – keeping sugar to an absolute minimum.

    I am certainly not strict with eating LCHF as I do not measure my carb intake, only relying on 1-2 small portions a day, always with protein.

    Sometimes we eat out and the meal is not low carb at all – like gluten and dairy free pizza, Red Wine and Lemon Sorbet but then I am just more aware of how many carbs I eat the next day. Sometimes I skip breakfast and just have black coffee with XCT oil and that keeps me going all morning which is something I never thought I could do. In the past, after a breakfast of toast and marmalade I would be starving by 10:30am!

    Many of you will react with horror at ‘giving up’ many of the things you think of as staples at the moment but I can assure you that the health benefits are enormous and instead of feeling deprived I actually feel indulgent, eating so many of those high fat foods that we have denied ourselves for so long. Throughout my adult life the guidelines have been to eat low-fat to prevent cardiovascular disease and throughout that time heart disease and obesity have been epidemic – time to stop. No low-fat, no artificial fats or oils, low sugar, no calorie counting and no to try to ‘burn it off ‘ at the gym!

  • Health

    School Breakfast v School Lunch does it make sense?

    School Breakfast v School Lunch

    The Conservative Manifesto, while putting forward many innovative ideas about Education has come up with one idea that is very counter productive – replacing free School lunches for all children in the first 3 years of Primary School with the offer of a free School Breakfast for every child, in every year of Primary School. So School Breakfast v School Lunch does it make sense?

    Jamie Oliver, who has campaigned for years trying to improve our children’s school food has already been on television and social media putting his views as to why the Conservatives are wrong in proposing this.

    The  Conservative  Manifesto states

    We do not believe that giving school lunches to all children free of charge for the first three years of primary school, regardless of the income of their parents, is a good use of Public Money.”

    Therefore why would giving free breakfast to all children throughout primary school, regardless of the income of their parents, be a good use of Public Money? That makes no sense at all.

    “The savings made from this change will be added to the core school budget, meaning that every penny saved will go towards children’s education“.

    How will this save any money?

    The schools are already set up for producing hot meals at lunchtime and the lunchtime period is already staffed, whereas to have a breakfast club involves extra staff for preparing, serving and clearing plus extra staff for supervision and preschool activities.

    The free lunch is a protein based meal, usually hot and containing vegetables and much has been done over the last few years to give healthy options. To save money and ‘make breakfast for all’ a cheaper option would involve giving high carb and probably high sugar cereals and bread.

    In trials so far this has involved Cereals, bagels, crumpets and toast with spreads and milk or fruit juice which is going to do nothing to help with obesity. Some children might even have two breakfasts, one at home and then one at school followed by no lunch if it has to be paid for!

    I also don’t see that yogurt, fruit, bacon, sausages and eggs are going to be on offer or any special dietary choices as they obviously put cutting the budget over improving child health with this policy.

    Here are some of the facts

    1 in 7 primary school age child is obese.

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies in 2016 showed evidence that programs for free breakfast had an effect on nutrition, health and school attendance for disadvantaged children but it was much less conclusive in higher income areas. Take up rates were low at 13%-52% and that it would only prove to be cost effective where more than 35% of the children were eligible for free meals.

    There is probably a good case to be put for Breakfast Clubs where both parents work or where there is a larger number of single parents, or limited childcare facilities before school but then this should be paid for as childcare rather than taken away from school food budgets exclusively. In some relatively wealthy areas parents are prepared to pay £25 a week for this facility.

    There has been plenty of research on Breakfast clubs over the last few years and many schemes are proving it can make a huge difference to children’s happiness, concentration and achievement. The Welsh Government spend £12.7m a year on providing Breakfast in three-quarters of primary schools, poor areas of London have breakfasts that are paid for by the Mayor’s Fund. Other Breakfast clubs are paid for by parents and run by volunteers.

    What  we need to do

    We need to make provision according to need and we should maybe lower the threshold for those children who are eligible for free meals and be able to use childcare allowance towards the cost of pre-school clubs. In this way we might be able to afford healthier food and snacks in our schools to make sure that no children go hungry or malnourished. It is also a great opportunity to educate them in making healthy choices for themselves so that, from a young age, they realise that a bag of crisps and a can of Coke is not a good breakfast and how having a balanced meal with protein and healthy fats will give them prolonged energy and brain power.

    If Theresa May and her team really want to make this a fairer society then they need to put decision making back into the hands of the Schools and the Parents and subsidise policies appropriately. If we get it right we might save £millions in NHS costs by preventing obesity and diabetes.

    So School Breakfast v School Lunch?

    Let’s not prioritise breakfast over lunch but provide the option for both where needed and fund it appropriately without stigma, for the health and wellbeing of our children and to help working parents.

    For more information on low carb kids check out this great website Ditch the Carbs

     

  • Exclusion diet/ Gluten Free/ Healthy Food

    Given up Gluten Grains ?- what you need to stay Healthy…

    Natural fresh healthy food Gluten Free

    Given up Gluten Grains?

    Well the media are at it again with their fear tactics and poor science. According to latest reports giving up Gluten could ‘make you more prone to developing Heart Disease and Diabetes’.

    Let me just turn this around for a moment and query whether they are saying that they have scientific studies that prove that eating bread, biscuits and cake prevent Heart Disease and Diabetes?

    NO – all the latest research shows the complete opposite.

    Let’s look at the facts.

    • The studies quoted were mainly based on the fibre content and lack of some nutrients connected to not eating Whole Grains.
    • The majority of gluten grains consumed in the developed World are highly processed.
    • Processing grains strips away the bran and the germ – removing more than half the B vitamins, 90% of the Vitamin E, most of the minerals and virtually all of the fibre.
    • The rise in Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes has been epidemic over the last 40 years when Governments have been pushing high carbohydrate, low salt, low fat diets.
    • People that develop Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes often are overweight and eat a nutrient poor diet.
    • Latest research in many Countries is confirming that a Low Carb, High Good Fats diet can prevent and even reverse both Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease and Government guidelines are being adjusted accordingly.

    What Nutrients do wholegrains contain?

    Processed flour products usually have some vitamins added back in plus sugar and salt to make up for the lack of flavour. Typically in cereals Vitamin D, some B Vitamins and iron are added.

    Unprocessed wholegrains contain

    • all the B Vitamins – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Folic Acid, Biotin.
    • Vitamin E
    • Vitamin K
    • Choline, Inositol

    and the minerals

    • Magnesium
    • Zinc
    • Chromium
    • Copper
    • Manganese
    • Molybdenum
    • Phosphorous
    • Selenium

    Therefore if you find you need a Gluten Free Diet for managing IBS, Coeliac or Non-Coeliac gluten Sensitivity, any other inflammatory Bowel disease or Autoimmune Disorders it is important that you eat a varied diet that supplies these nutrients. This is not hard as these nutrients are in many other foods but it does become difficult if you also are limited to a vegetarian or vegan diet and in those circumstances I would suggest enlisting the help of a Nutritionist. If you are Paleo then you may not want to eat some of the foods on this list but for the sake of nutrition I prefer to eat what I term a modified Paleo diet and include them.

    I follow a Gluten free diet and am also dairy free. Many people that are sensitive to Gluten are also sensitive to Dairy, including people with Coeliac Disease. I like to include some non-gluten grains that I tolerate well and one of the important ones is Oats. Some people might contest this but as long as I buy GF Oats I find they are OK. Oats contain much higher levels of iron and Magnesium than wheat and also plenty of soluble fibre rather than the irritating bran fibre.

     

    What to eat to stay Healthy when Gluten Free

    GRAINS

    Non GMO Corn, GF Oats, Brown Rice, Quinoa, buckwheat and millet.

    VEGETABLES and Legumes

    Leafy Green Vegetables, Avocados, carrots, sweet potato, alfalfa, kelp, tomatoes, Broccoli, mushrooms, peas, beans, lentils, onions, garlic.

    MEAT and FISH

    All meats, liver, pate and other offal for the important vitamin B content. Fish, oily fish and seafood.

    EGGS

    FRUIT

    Melon, Bananas, fresh oranges, grapefruit, apricots, prunes.

    NUTS and SEEDS

    Almonds, Brazil nuts, Pecans, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame seeds, Flaxseeds.

    DAIRY

    Live Yogurt, Cheese, Milk. If you eat dairy or not I would add a good Probiotic as it is in the Gut that we make the most B Vitamins and neurotransmitters.

    Green Tea and Dark Chocolate

    for good sources of Vitamin K and Magnesium

    If you eat a good selection of these foods on a regular basis you will not be nutrient deficient or be lacking in Fibre but you will definitely be free of the chemicals they spray grains with (like Glyphosate) free from inflammation

    and

    Healthy!

     

     

  • Healthy Food/ Inflammation/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    The TRUTH about FOOD TRENDS

    Food Tends

    The Truth about FOOD TRENDS is that they should be based on knowledge and reality as opposed to ‘FADS’ that are just fashionable. The media appears to be in total confusion about the difference and continues to run stories on conflicting information but the public are become very aware of what the food industry is trying to do and the effect this can have on health.

    A sample of recent news articles

    • several newspapers have covered the topic of artificial meat and why customers are not taking the idea up. I am one of the people covering the story of feeding cattle sweets and other processed food products to fatten them up.
    • From www.glutenfreeschool.com ‘Gluten Intolerance Mouth Symptoms You Need To Know’
    • Wake up World on Facebook posted a video on the 9 things the food industry doesn’t want you to know. link here.
    • The Times 22  April – ‘Forbidden Foods: think twice before you give up dairy, meat or wheat’. ‘The fashion for free-from diets keeps growing, but could damage your health.’ This is statement is firmly in the ‘Fad’ bracket while also having another go at the ‘Clean Eating’ advocates (of which Deliciously Ella is not one). ‘More of us are avoiding sugar and other carbohydrates’ is a TREND backed by a huge amount of scientific research Worldwide as well as Governments in Sweden, New Zealand and in the case of Sugar – the UK. see www.dietdr.com

    The Food Trends for 2017

    The FOOD TRENDS for 2017 are firmly rooted in the knowledge that inflammation is a major cause of Chronic disease and that the epidemic of Chronic disease is crippling the economies and quality of life in all developed countries. Another TREND is that this is happening to our children, that more children are getting Diabetes and autoimmune problems and the TREND to eat high amounts of processed food and not cook fresh food at home goes hand in hand with the rise in health problems.

    Another article this week from www.wellandgood.com

    quote

    “WHY INFLAMMATION-FIGHTING FOODS ARE FILLING UP YOUR GROCERY CART

    Fighting inflammation with food is quickly becoming a major health priority—and for good reason, considering inflammation is linked to everything from bloating and acne to life threatening illnesses, say physicians and researchers.

    “We expect to see the market for inflammation-fighting foods to grow 7 percent by 2020 and expect 2017 to be a big year in terms of new product announcements and continued research and development,” says Deborah Barrington, a senior editor at Industry Dive.

    Inflammation-fighting ingredients are already trending on Pinterest. “Turmeric was one of our trending flavours in our recent Pin sights Flavor Report and specifically turmeric lattes. Ginger tea is also a trending search, up 20 percent,” confirms Stephanie Kumar, partner insights lead at Pinterest.

    It’s no coincidence that many healthy food trends—from the zoodle (zucchini noodle) and cauliflower rice to nut milks and vegan cheese—are substitutes for inflammatory ingredients like gluten, grains, and dairy.”

    My Approach to Food Trends

    So I am one of those Nutritionists that firmly believes in eating as much, fresh, healthy, preferably organic, unprocessed food as possible. Call it Clean Eating if you will but to me it is just normal eating – as opposed to what many people eat, that is a result of our food industry becoming industrialised.

    I have plenty of personal experience of improving health outcomes through diet. I constantly research new scientific advances, which have been extremely prolific in the last five years. We now have a far greater knowledge of how our gut and microbiome affect our immune system and brain and also how a High Fat Low carb diet can reverse Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease as well as how a leaky gut can lead to inflammation and Autoimmune Diseases.

    Gluten, Dairy, GMO, Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners

    I also support finding out if any foods are inflammatory for you and damaging your health and wellbeing and that is what my eBook ‘Turn Your Health Around’ helps you to do. Many people have given up some of these foods and felt a huge impact on their health only to start to substitute with a whole load of substitute ‘free from’ processed foods and seen their health plummet. This is probably why some of the ‘FAD’ myths have endured. You can buy my book on the link below – it is on offer at just £6 at the moment.

    Buy my product

     

    Free From Foods

    I cannot imagine that anyone would stick to a ‘Free From’ diet if they didn’t feel or see a huge improvement in their health.

    A ‘Free From’ diet can be expensive, somewhat anti-social as it makes eating out more difficult and you have to spend a lot of time reading labels and becoming aware of hidden toxic ingredients but if your eczema clears up or your joint pain disappears then it is definitely worthwhile. Do I sometimes fancy a Baguette with butter and cheese? – would I suggest everyone give them up ? – NO.

    ‘Free From’ processed foods can be just as bad for your health as other processed food. Nestle new Go Free range of cereals are still sugar and salt laden GMO cereals and just because they add a few artificial vitamins and iron to them it does not make them healthy.

     

     

    We do eat a few products such as occasional gluten and dairy free wraps or bread and I do sometimes bake with gluten free flour but mostly we eat real food – meat, eggs, nuts, olive oil, vegetables and some fruit ….the clue is if it is real food it doesn’t need a label!

    If you do find that you have to eliminate some foods then it is important to make sure you eat a varied diet that is going to provide the nutrients you need to stay healthy. Plenty of information and recipes on my blog with links to many others, plus Pinterest and Facebook Pages.

    Other important Food Trends are

    • buying more vegetables,
    • organic vegetable and fruit boxes,
    • growing more produce at home,
    • communal gardens,
    • demand for allotments,
    • the popularity of Farmers Markets and
    •  Restaurants that produce fresh locally sourced food.

    Let’s hope that these Food Trends keep growing and that the media stops supporting the food industry giants and out of date nutritional guidelines. These Food Trends are just part of the paradigm shift and our rise in awareness of how we are steadily destroying our planet and our quality of life.

     

     

  • Celiac/ Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Hot Cross Buns & Chocolate Brownie Gluten Free/Dairy Free

    Hot Cross buns and Chocolate Brownie GF

    No need to go without Easter Treats – here are my favourite recipes that are full of nutritional goodness – Hot Cross Buns & Chocolate Brownies Gluten Free/Dairy Free.

    Both recipes contain some sugar, honey or maple syrup which I only use very rarely but I personally can’t stand artificial sweeteners of any kind. The high protein, good fat content help to keep your blood sugar on an even keel – as long as you don’t eat the whole tray! I have been experimenting with coconut nectar but it is not as sweet. Use whatever you prefer.

    Hot Cross Buns with Cinnamon Crosses

    2 Tablespoons Gluten free flour

    60g Coconut flour

    30g Psylliumhusks

    2 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

    2 tsp Mixed Spice

    2 tsp Cinnamon

    3 tbsp raisins/sultanas/mixed peel

    1-2 tbsp of Honey, Maple syrup or Coconut Nectar

    4 Large Eggs beaten

    Just mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl then add dried fruit,  sugar substitute and mix in eggs until well combined. Mixture can then be spooned into large cup cake or muffin tin and will be enough for 8-10.

    Bake 180C/350F for 20-30mins.

    When cool you could ice a Cross on top with cinnamon flavoured icing.

    Chocolate Brownies

    Put 5-6 ozs dairy free chocolate in small bowl over a pan of warm water to melt

    In a large bowl place

    2 ozs olive oil Margarine or Ghee

    2 ozs Coconut Oil

    3-4 ozs soft brown sugar or a sugar substitute

    1-2 ripe bananas

    beat all the above ingredients with an electric whisk or by hand

    add 4 ozs Gluten Free Self Raising Flour plus

    2 dsp coco powder  alternating while adding 3 eggs so that the mixture doesn’t curdle.

    Then stir in the melted chocolate until all combined.

    At this stage you could add some nuts – flaked almonds, walnuts or pecans are especially good.

    Pour into a deep oblong baking dish or tin and bake at 160C fan oven for  about 30mins until centre bounces back when touched. Do not overcook  as you will loose that nice moist middle. 😋

    Happy Easter Holidays!

     

     

  • Aging/ Arthritis/ Autoimmune diseases/ Collagen/ Energy/ Health/ Immune system - healing/ Inflammation/ Leaky Gut/ Nutritional Medicine

    Proven Nutritional Remedies for Ageing

    ageing

    There are certainly many personal and spiritual improvements that can come with age – more confidence, wisdom, understanding and courage to name just a few. Intolerance is not often considered to be a good trait but it can be what drives you to instigate change – it certainly is a strong factor that drives me into action. I do not accept that we have to suffer as we age. We have plenty of evidence that there are nutritional remedies for ageing and that in the ‘Blue Zones’ of the world, people live to be much older without the chronic ill health that is common during the last 20 years of life in the Western World. Most of us don’t want to live longer if it means being ill, immobile, lonely or mentally impaired and we don’t have to! There are natural proven Nutritional remedies for ageing, combating loss of energy, loss muscle strength and mobility, improving sleep etc.

    Our bodies slow down as we age,

    they don’t function quite as well as they used to but with the right knowledge we can minimise the effects. I am not going to tell you to get gym membership or run marathons as I have never been big on exercise myself. I am a nutritionist and so this is about optimum nutrition. Many of you  have probably already noticed changes that you either hate or have just tried to accept thinking that you can’t do anything about;

    • extra weight
    • fat tummy
    • lines, wrinkles
    • Bat-wing arms
    • loss of energy

    ….but here are a few more;

    • muscle loss and wasting
    • joint stiffness and pain
    • loss of flexibility and range of movement
    • poor quality sleep
    • breaking, fragile nails
    • thinning hair
    • inflammation
    • poor digestion
    • blood sugar problems
    • loss of strength and stamina
    • weakened immune system
    • bladder weakness
    • loss of memory and mental performance

    A depressing list and even with a positive mental attitude these are things that can seriously impact our quality of life.

    To illustrate the point I would like to tell you about my Mother. She was only in her 50’s when she started to suffer from the extreme pain and difficulties of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjögren’s syndrome (dry eyes, mouth, chronic cough, muscle pain and poor digestion). When I had my three children she was unable to hold them, play with them, bath them and even a cuddle could be painful. Now that I have grandchildren I realise the full extent of what she missed out on and it is because of her Autoimmune problems that I became interested in Nutrition and disease prevention.

    I have several friends of similar age to me (65) who also struggle to cope, have less energy, cannot get down on the floor, cannot lift anything heavy due to poor backs, knees or hips. Some my age have already had hip or knee replacement surgery. Weakness of grip and inability to open jars, inability to squat and get up again and lack of balance are all early warning signs and women tend to suffer this much more than men.

    Now the good news

    I have suffered from ALL of the symptoms above and at age 30 I seriously imagined being just like my Mum by the time I was in my 50’s. I was convinced that diet and lifestyle played a very large part and also that multiple doses of Antibiotics definitely worsened the symptoms. Nutrition became a passion that has grown year on year and while at work as a Nurse the talk was all about ‘evidence based Medicine‘ I was always bashing on about evidence based Nutrition!

    We are living through very interesting times when knowledge about nutrition, ageing and chronic disease is expanding daily and that there is plenty we can do to alleviate the symptoms of ageing with good, evidence based Nutrition.

    What we have to do is not only ignore but also undo the damage that decades of poor dietary advice – low-fat, low calories, high carbs have inflicted on our bodies. If you want to know more about this I have an article ‘ Why Low-fat diets damage your Health.

    Weight gain, joint pain, loss of energy are not symptoms of old age anymore than a sudden penchant for pearls could be and simple changes can reverse all of these symptoms – as I have proved. I am now my ideal weight at 10st.7lbs and most of the symptoms I have suffered in the past have significantly improved or even disappeared. I do have a very poor memory for names but my ability to learn has increased, not diminished; I have more strength and energy than a few years ago and my bladder weakness has improved about 90% – no medications just good nutrition and nutritional supplements.

    The Journey to a Healthier Old Age

    Writing for women and men of 40+ I would like to share my knowledge and help you to prevent or reverse all these horrible symptoms that your Doctor will tell you are down togetting old’ and we will start with…..

    Collagen.

    Collagen is an amazing substance made up of 3 main amino acids – Glycine, Proline and Hydroxyproline, that constitutes 30% of the total protein in our bodies. It is what strengthens tissues and holds us all together. When young the body consistently produces collagen but by age 40 collagen synthesis starts to decline, with a dramatic reduction in synthesis after the Menopause. By age 60 there is normally a considerable decline but with early or surgically induced Menopause this could be considerably younger. As it was for myself and my Mother. I had a Hysterectomy age 31 and what followed was poor digestion, multiple food intolerances, arthritis and fatigue. Collagen and especially Glycine helps to heal the gastrointestinal tract, it is needed for the production of Bile salts and digestive enzymes, strengthens the immune system and reduces chronic fatigue.  This is why it is one of the best nutritional remedies for ageing.

    Other lifestyle aspects that affect collagen production are high levels of stress, excessive exposure to UV light, smoking and a poor diet with high processed carbohydrates and sugar.

    Autoimmune disorders can also target Collagen.

    Increasing Collagen

    There are many ways you can increase your intake and production of Collagen and therefore increase the health of your joints, improve sleep and mood, improve skin elasticity, muscle strength and flexibility.

    With food

    Collagen is made up of several amino acids that all come from animal sources.

    1. Organ meat:- liver, kidney, heart, tongue, sweetbreads. Some people, children included, who have not been used to eating organ meat cooked on it’s own or in a casserole might prefer pâté, Haggis or it added to burgers and sausages.
    2. Connective tissue:- oxtail, neck, marrow – all cheap stewing or casserole cuts with plenty of bone. I find a Slow Cooker best.
    3. Bone Broth:- chicken, beef, ham – organic definitely best.
    4. Pork skin, chicken skin, fish skin.
    5. Eggs:- especially the whites but the yolk helps with the production of fibrinogen which is also important.
    6. Gelatin

    ‘Women of a certain age’ may get a lightbulb moment – did we eat far more of these foods growing up than we do now? Do we now spend a fortune on skin creams that claim to include or stimulate Collagen production and reduce wrinkles by including Retinol (Vitamin A) from animal sources?

    For Collagen to be well utilised in the body some other nutrients are required so these are also nutritional remedies for ageing and foods that increase vitality and a strong immune system.

    • Vitamin C – citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables, peppers and broccoli
    • Anthocyanidins – blackberries, blueberries, cherries and raspberries.
    • Copper – shellfish, nuts, red meat, avocados, liver, kidney.
    • Vitamin D – oily fish like tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel, salmon, egg yolks, mushrooms, small amounts in milk, cheese and yogurt. Sunlight on skin.

    Supplements

    If you are already showing signs of decreased Collagen in your body then as well as increasing all the foods listed I think you need to take a supplement for a minimum of 3-6 months. I was already eating all the right foods and taking a natural Plant Mineral daily but a supplement of powdered Collagen started to make a visible difference after just 1 month. They are not just for bodybuilders – although the adverts do supply a bit of eye candy! A useful site is here.

    Do check out the best supplements because many products with low doses are sold as beauty products.

    You can get Collagen as a powder that dissolves in liquid and is easily absorbed or in capsules or tablets. 3-6 grams a day is recommended. The Collagen usually comes from fish or bovine sources so check this if you have allergies. Some are made from concentrated bone broth. Some have Vitamin C added and some even have Hyaluronic Acid – which helps hydrate tissues and cushion joints.

    Better to spend your money on nutritional supplements that benefit the entire body than on expensive creams just for your face – most of which don’t work. Collagen is not easily absorbed by the skin. Most other treatments rely on stimulating production by removing the surface layer of skin cells (a konjac sponge is a great natural way to exfoliate) or damaging the deeper layers with needles or laser – definitely not something I would choose.

    ageing

    I would love your feedback and to know how you get on.   

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This article was first written by me  for Sally Canning’s website 2016.

  • 10 portions Fruit and Vegetables a day/ Health/ Magnesium

    Magnesium deficiency Stats Reveal All

    Magnesium

    Magnesium deficiency is commonplace and can have quite an impact on your health.

    These Magnesium stats reveal all.

    Magnesium content in vegetables has declined up to 80% since 1950 and modern processing of grains for flour and pasta removes 80-90% of total magnesium. No wonder we are now being told that we have to eat 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day to remain healthy!

    The World Health Organisation states that 75% of the population do not  reach the RDA for Magnesium of 300mg.

    What factors affect our levels of cellular Magnesium?

    • Stress and illness
    • carbonated drinks – phosphates bind to Magnesium
    • caffeine causes more Magnesium to be excreted through the kidneys
    • refined sugar does as well
    • taking Calcium supplements without Magnesium

    Magnesium is in your cells and the intercellular spaces so cannot be accurately measured with blood tests.

    Symptoms of Magnesium deficiency are  muscular cramps, poor sleep, anxiety, times of hyperactivity, chronic pain and heart problems but you can be deficient and not have identifiable or constant symptoms.

    Magnesium can be found in leafy green veg, wholegrain cereals, brown rice, nuts, pumpkin and other seeds, beans, fish and seafood, cocoa and dark chocolate.

    Sizzling Plant Minerals are now with increased Magnesium at 200mg per daily drink and they also include all 75 natural minerals that are deficient in our diet. Your cells require these minerals to function properly and keep healthy and that is why I consider this supplement to be the first choice as the most important  supplement for maintaining health.

     

     

    Buy here. …and tick autoship to save.

     

     

    Here is a YouTube video from David Perlmutter MD that explains just how important Magnesium is for health.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmNIL3lo_Jg&sns=em

     

  • Health/ Organic produce

    Why now is the time to support Organic Farming.

    organic farming

    The Food Industry and major Supermarkets work hard to promote “cheap” convenient food while at the same time hiding intensive farming practises, poor treatment of animals and the effect on our health and the environment. I found out a few facts recently which had a big impact on me and made me research further, coming to the conclusion that we need to take more responsibility for what we eat and why now is the time to support Organic Farming. 

    BBC TWO screened a series called ‘New York: America’s Busiest City’ where they investigated how the City worked to clear rubbish, feed everyone and house people. It was a fascinating program giving us a glance of what has to happen ‘behind the scenes’ to make a City of this size function. One episode focused on Food and included a visit to a Beef farm where the intensively reared cattle were fed hay and grain and then fattened up for market with the addition of waste processed food like sweets, biscuits, gummy bears, and chocolate. I found this quite horrifying as it couldn’t be any more healthy for cattle than it is for us but then they are slaughtered at about 30 months –  they don’t get any long-term effect whereas we might!

    I know that there has been a lot of emphasis on Grass Fed beef recently but it took this program to make me realise that it was not just about feeding grain and pelleted food. There are two links to articles here….

     

    Some cattle eat grass, some eat corn and others have more of a sweet tooth they satisfy by chowing down on … into the same materials it would the starch in the corn they are fed.” It is not just candy, either. “Cattle are well equipped to utilize … via Feeding Your Cattle’s Sweet Tooth with Alternative Feeds Like Candy Can Help Improve Bottomlines

     

    chocolate, fruit loops and a whole list of candies. Fattening up the cattle thanks to a large percentage of sugar content and no real nutritional value, the disease-riddled cattle end up fetching a larger price for farm owners. The fruit loops-fed cattle … via Cattle Now Being Fed Cookies and Candies Instead of Real FoodGrazing Cow

    Public Domain from pixabay

    This article explains how the diet drastically changes the fat content in beef to being more anti-inflammatory Omega -3 fats in grass fed beef and containing more unhealthy Omega-6 fats when fed on junk food.

    Grass-fed beef is certainly more expensive, but is it better for you? If so, just how much better? via Grass-Fed Beef: Is It Worth The Extra Money? – BuiltLean

     

    Then with Trade agreements like TTIP in the news we hear of chickens being washed in chlorine after slaughter because they were reared in such confined, overcrowded,  dirty conditions  that they had to clean them up prior to packaging. We hear about huge multinational companies controlling seed purchases that relies on their toxic chemicals to get high yield, of more GMO crops entering our food chain.

    Therefore, if we care about our health and the health of our farming we need to be more aware of the source of our food and what it has been contaminated with.

    Should we also be annoyed when we are deliberately lied to or mislead by the Food Industry or Supermarkets? Tesco, Lidl and Aldi have all been guilty of this by labeling foods to have come from various ‘Farms’ with English sounding names that are not real Farms at all. In the case of Tesco’s the ‘Farm’ labels replaced the cheap ‘Everyday Value’ labels that were previously often ignored due to people thinking they must be poorer quality.

    It is time to start prioritising our values over price so that we can have an impact on animal welfare, the nutritional quality of the food we produce and the impact on our environment. UK farming  produces about 62% of the food we eat. Therefore 38% probably travels to us from anywhere in the rest of the world at great cost. At the present time we still waste a tremendous amount of food but that is now being highlighted and addressed by the Supermarkets and by organisations like FareShare who have 20 regional centres across the UK and are able to redistribute food to the people who need it most www.fareshare.org.uk

    Why now is the time to support Organic farming-especially in the UK

    At present we pay £6bn a year into the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) but our farmers only get about £3bn back and so are effectively subsidising their competitors. Once we leave the EU we need that money to be distributed fairly and proportionate to the value of the produce not the quantity. We also need to pay a fair price. A litre of milk costs the Farmer about 30p to produce so why do Supermarkets only want to pay them about 23p?  Retail organic food producers are doing very good business by connecting with their local communities both here and in the USA and giving us superior produce with much less packaging or plastic!

    organic veg

    This month I have added to my Free Range Meat delivery with local organic food, vegetables and eggs, ordered a weekly organic veg box and bought seeds ready to grow beans, beets, chard and herbs in pots in the Spring. It has only cost me a small percentage more but we have been eating really well and everything is tasty and lasts longer.

    organic veg

    Another good link below from Compassion in World Farming.

    Food and Human Health; Food Sense; Food sense 20/03/2012. … Philip Lymbery, CEO, Compassion in World Farming. Share this page. Tags. food; intensive agriculture; via Food Sense | Compassion in World Farming

    Happy Shopping…..