• 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:-)

     

  • 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!

     

     

  • 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.

  • Exclusion diet/ Food intolerance/ Health/ Healthy Food/ Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity/ Paleo Diet/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Healthy Eating Out – Food Choices

    Healthy Eating Out

    If you have food intolerance’s or you are trying to eat for good health then Eating Out can be a bit of a nightmare. Healthy Eating Out is becoming slightly easier and nutritional knowledge improving but we need it to get a lot better. One thing we could all do to improve the situation is when we have had a great experience eating out – take time to thank the chefs and the staff and maybe a comment on Social media to spread the word. Having been Gluten and Dairy free for sometime we really appreciate it when we have healthy choices.

    I had this amazing Smoked Mackerel and Rainbow Salad with a Honey Mustard dressing in a Pub on Sunday. The Pub was The Brushmakers Arms in Upham, Hampshire, UK. I was hungry and so had a side order of chips but they weren’t necessary because the salad was so filling. So a massive ‘Thank you’ to them 🙂

    Increasingly more Restaurants and Bars are catering for Gluten free but it would be so helpful if a system of symbols could be put alongside each dish on the menu. If marked Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free – it would save time in a busy establishment and save the customer embarrassment.  Gluten and Dairy free Gravy would be a wonderful addition to a Sunday Roast. We have found the occasional place where a gravy made from the meat juices and a splash of wine has ended up being far superior to the ‘normal gravy’!

    A holiday in Edinburgh was a great success when we discovered that Gluten free awareness was nearly everywhere and we even had a Pizza and Pasta restaurant opposite our hotel that did both gluten free Pizza and Pasta plus Gluten free Beer!

    Some Restaurants fail miserably and obviously have no comprehension about the necessity of choice or the prevalence of food intolerance. This is not dependant on the type of venue or price. I have had great food in a humble but health aware cafe and no choice at all in an expensive Restaurant. Many times we have had no option but Ham, egg and chips or been forced to ask for a burger without the bun only to find it is served minus the onion and salad as well! Other Restaurants have cheese or cream added to literally every dish!

    Why would you choose to eat out when given these options?

    So I am pleading to chefs everywhere, please be aware of the reality of food intolerance and healthy options (for both adults and children). Eating out should be a celebration of food and a socially engaging experience not an isolating one.

  • Anaemia/ Autoimmune diseases/ Blood sugar management/ Cancer Prevention/ Energy/ Immune System/ Stress Reduction/ Supplements

    B Vitamins and Autoimmune Disease

    B Vitamins

    There are eight numbered B Vitamins that are all important for cellular metabolism but with more recent findings we know the importance of some B Vitamins and Autoimmune Disease.

    People who suffer from Autoimmune Diseases and/or have genetic mutations that affect the way Vitamin B is used in the body may benefit from supplementing the natural forms of B6 (Pyridoxine), B9 (Folate) and B12 (Cobalamin). These three vitamins are critical for for supporting the methyl cycle and DNA and RNA synthesis. B Vitamins are all water soluble and easily lost or destroyed by water, heat processing, roasting and canning. Elevated homocysteine is a proven factor for cardio vascular disease and taking B6, B9 and B12 can lower Homocysteine levels.

    Vitamin B6 as the co-enzyme form Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, P5’P  is used in the metabolism of proteins and fats and is necessary for creating glucose from these foods and is also essential for the synthesis of neurotransmitters and red blood cells. It is necessary for the production of Hydrochloric acid and the absorption of Magnesium and B12. Helps the body metabolise and transport selenium and zinc, is a natural diuretic and alleviates nausea. It is involved in converting 5-HTP into Serotonin and also the calming neurotransmitter GABA.

    Signs of Deficiency are

    • Anaemia not corrected by iron
    • poor sleep
    • kidney stones
    • morning sickness
    • PMS – Premenstrual Syndrome
    • Skin rashes and dry skin
    • Anxiety and nervousness
    • Insulin Resistance
    • muscle spasms and cramps
    • Carpal Tunnel syndrome
    •  Asperger’s and Autism
    • Heart Disease

    Causes of deficiency are Read More

  • Blood sugar management/ Cancer Prevention/ Health/ Healthy Food/ Mineral Depletion/ Sizzling Minerals/ Sugar/ Sugar Detox

    Need HELP with SUGAR?

    Need HELP with SUGAR?

    The health dangers of sugar have been in the news a lot lately with governments even considering taxing sugary drinks, as they have in Mexico, to try and improve the health of the population – especially children. So if you need help with sugar avoidance and dealing with a ‘sweet tooth’ here are a few pointers.

    Hidden Sugars

    Aside from not adding sugar to your tea and coffee and avoiding sugar laden desserts, cakes and cookies you should start checking labels so that you can find how much hidden sugar is in your diet. If you have children then checking sugar intake is vital to their health as well as protecting their teeth. A third of children leave primary school already obese!

    1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 g

    Daily recommended maximum intake is 50 g (1.7 oz) for Women and 70 g (2.5 oz) for Men but 28 g = 1 oz (7 teaspoonfuls) would be better. Many people average nearer 130 g a day which is equal to 32 teaspoonfuls!

    First of all sugar is disguised by so many different names, anything that ends in ‘ose’, fructose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, then cane sugar, cane crystals, corn syrup, fruit concentrates, honey, Maple syrup and Agave.

    High Fructose Corn Syrup seems to add more fat around the middle and around vital organs (visceral fat) -the most dangerous kind.

    Soft drinks are the worst for hidden sugar, even ‘enhanced’ water can have 15 g per 500 ml. Pre-packaged food – even savoury foods like Pasta Sauce and coleslaw can be loaded with sugar; bread, biscuits, energy bars, low fat yogurt often has more sugar than regular yogurt.Need help with Sugar

    Processed Cane or Beet sugar doesn’t contain any nutrients and is often called ’empty calories’  but other sugar types are also devoid of nutrients and even heavily processed using chemicals. When I want to sweeten something I would usually choose a little honey, Pure Maple Syrup or molasses sugar because these do also contain some nutrient benefit and are not over processed.

    Artificial Sweeteners

    It is not a healthy option to swap your sugar for artificial sweeteners as they have many additional problems.

    • they may taste sweet but they have no useful energy
    • they have no appetite suppression effect, unlike sugar and so can cause overeating and weight gain.
    • Many sweeteners may be toxic to the body
    • if you really feel you need them -do your research. At present Stevia seems to be the least toxic but definitely avoid Aspartame which has been linked to mental problems, brain tumour and epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Fibromyalgia and diabetes plus possibly cancer. Avoid Sucralose which is sucrose that has been denatured using Chlorine.

    How to Cut Down on Sugar

    If you have become aware of just how much sugar you are eating and have started reading food and drink labels that is a huge step in the right direction. We can all be caught out – my son is hooked on mince pies at the moment and 1 mince pie has 22.5 g sugar which is nearly 6 tsps of sugar and only 1 tsp off his healthy daily limit. So my tips are:- Read More

  • Arthritis/ Autoimmune diseases/ Energy/ Exclusion diet/ Health/ Inflammation/ Mineral Depletion/ Sizzling Minerals

    Confessions of a Nutritionist…..

    Confessions of a Nutritionist …..

     I have been writing this blog pretty much anonymously for several years

    but today I am going to share A LOT!

    After years of good nutritional food and a small fortune spent on supplements I found myself looking and feeling well below par. Several years of high stress and poor sleep had taken a toll and the signs and symptoms were many.

    • Poor sleep with erratic patterns – difficulty falling asleep, waking frequently or early
    • Low energy
    • Poor concentration and hyperactive mind/anxieties
    • Poor digestion and IBS
    • Joint pains and stiffness pretty much everywhere
    • Sinus and throat congestion
    • Ear infections, wax and pain with some loss of hearing and sensitivity to loud noises
    • Dry, irritable eyes
    • Fungal and viral foot infections
    • slow, irregular heartbeat 49-52 average
    • Low Blood Pressure 100/56
    • Lack of appetite
    • Poor blood sugar control, often feeling dizzy or shaky prior to eating.

    A lot of these symptoms could be considered sub-clinical disease but at this stage they just spoil your quality of life and make you look tired and worn out as in the picture above. My hair was always dry and thinning a lot, skin and eyes were lack lustre. My dry skin was becoming thin and crêpey and my nails also dry with deep vertical lines and they would laminate and break easily. I knew I had to get myself to a better level of health and get my mojo back!

    So I began an overhaul of my diet to get my digestive system working better. After completing The Autoimmune Summit I decided to do an elimination diet and then follow the Alejandro Junger MD ‘Clean Gut’ and ‘Clean Eating’ and after a month felt much better. I had lost 7lbs, had a flatter belly than I had had for years, had less pain in my joints and could even touch my toes. Gluten and Dairy free really suited me. The diet evolved to include rice, mainly brown or Basmati, some potatoes and some gluten free flour products like wraps, pittas and gluten free oats occasionally. I also included plenty of good healthy oils/fats like avocados, olives and olive oil and coconut oil and plenty of Celtic sea salt.

    So after several months of adjustments there was quite a lot of improvement – going by the list above about 45% reduction in symptoms but I still wasn’t sleeping any better despite frequent meditation sessions, my brain was still hyperactive, my skin, hair and nails were still suffering and a day looking after young grandchildren would wipe me out.

    Then three months ago I discovered a new Mineral supplement that sounded great. This product, Sizzling Minerals, was 100% natural and each wafer contains 600mgs of 75 pure plant minerals that are fully bio-available. Knowing about Mitochondria, energy and ageing – these seemed to be just what I needed. I like to be scientific about things and I always question everything so I took photos of myself and my nails before starting on the minerals. I already knew that I would need to take them for at least 90 days to see the effects but after just 4 days I found I had much more energy and felt happier. After just 5 weeks of taking them I was seeing a difference in the mirror so took the second picture. Then a couple of weeks later this one below to update my social media pictures.

    FullSizeRender (2)_e

     

    Not too bad for 64.

    I decided to join the Company, Simply Naturals as a Distributor. Their mission is to get 1 million people on Sizzling Minerals and feeling better and that is something I am enjoying being a part of. If you are a professional and would like to do the same click here for more info. So after 90 days I am sharing my health transition with you.

    • My sleep is dramatically better, I frequently fall asleep straight away, sleep for 6-7 hours and then wake gradually feeling refreshed and relaxed.
    • My concentration is 100 better, much more focused and no brain chatter!
    • Energy levels are really good – now I tire the grandchildren out. I have completed 3 on-line Nutrition courses and I am learning a lot of internet and Social Media Skills
    • My digestion is good and IBS gone, I feel hungry more often and enjoy my food more
    • All foot infections finally disappeared.
    • No ear or sinus problems
    • No more dry eyes
    • Blood pressure and pulse improved B/P 125/60
    • Skin and hair improved
    • Nails getting smoother, shiny and strong

    IMG_0687 (1)

    nails in March 2015

    nails 90 days laterIMG_0795

    So I feel completely confident in saying that EVERYONE needs minerals because they are so obviously missing in our food these days. Sizzling Minerals are a ground-breaking product that supplies what your body is craving ( I no longer crave chocolate by the way – so I know my body has enough Magnesium now!) and for less than the cost of a cup of coffee. They come in wafers in a choice of four flavours – Natural, Cherry, Orange and Lemon/Lime for a refreshing fizzy drink, powder or capsules if you prefer.

    They get to every cell, they detoxify, they help oxygenate the tissues, they are involved in enzyme production and they act as co-factors to vitamins to make any other supplements you take work more efficiently. They are essential for good health.

    Try them for 90 days yourself and let me know how you get on.

    To buy some  go to the shop at  www.healthcoach2000.info

    Available in Europe, UK and USA

     

  • Brain - Gut Connection/ Health/ Inflammation/ Leaky Gut/ Mineral Depletion/ Nutritional Medicine

    The Brain – Gut Connection

    The Brain -Gut Connection

    Brain Fog – ADHD – Autism – Dementia – Alzheimer’s – Anxiety – Depression – Multiple Sclerosis – Eating Disorders

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – IBS – Tourettes – Schizophrenia

    The Brain – Gut Connection is being talked about throughout the Medical and Nutritional world. What goes on in the gut directly affects our mood, cognitive ability and brain function. We have known about this connection for years but mistakenly thought the communication was only one way – as when anxiety can cause nausea and diarrhoea and depression can cause changes in appetite but not the other way round. Now we know that the communications between the trillions of bacteria living in our gut and the enormous amount of neurons surrounding it are in constant two-way contact with the Brain and many are now calling the gut our second Brain. It also goes some way to explaining why we say we have ‘gut feelings’ and ‘trust your gut’! A multitude of conditions as listed above are now thought to have a connection to problems of inflammation and gut dysfunction due to the wrong mix of good bacteria or infection with toxic ones.

    What are the causes of gut dysfunction and inflammation?

    • Gut wall integrity is vital to good health. The gut wall is only one cell thick and has the surface area of a tennis court. Many problems can cause this area to become inflamed and leaky – meaning that the product of our digestion and bacteria which should be contained within our digestive tract can enter the bloodstream.
    • Chronic constipation.
    • Stress
    • Environmental Toxins
    • High blood sugar – when the blood sugar is kept high due to a poor diet of sugar and carbohydrates, sugar binds to protein in a process called ‘glycation‘ and high glycation leads to actual shrinkage of the brain as well as release of high levels of inflammatory chemicals called ‘cytokines‘ and increased leakiness of the gut lining.
    • Antibiotics -either given to us or to animals that we eat can damage our good bacteria in what is referred to as our Microbiome.
    • Lack of B Vitamins -that frequently follows antibiotic use.
    • Gastroenteritis and chronic infections with overgrowth of toxic bacteria like Clostridium Dificile and similar, difficult to treat infections.
    • High levels of Omega 6 fats in the body that fuel inflammation.
    • Exposure to gliadin, a protein in gluten containing foods, increases permeability to the blood/brain barrier and gluten increases leaky gut.
    • The gut is lined with gram negative bacteria (LPS) and if these enter the systemic circulation it triggers widespread inflammation including in the brain.
    • When we get inflammation and pain the anti-inflammatory drugs given may relieve some of the symptoms but the condition will actually worsen because the drugs also irritate the digestive tract. Frequently these anti-inflammatories are given with stomach acid lowering drugs which upsets our digestion and assimilation of nutrients from our food and also the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract.
    • Histamine Intolerance – caused by too little of the enzyme DAO (diamine oxidase) that breaks down Histamine in foods. Too much Histamine causes leaky gut and a damaged gut can’t then make more of the enzyme. Magnesium is also necessary to make DAO therefore low levels of this mineral also affect the gut. For more information click Allergy

    When the Brain gets inflammatory Cytokines it responds by sending messages to the Adrenal glands to produce Cortisol which can lead to more gut leakiness, further changes in gut bacteria  and more inflammation that affects the brain. The only way to stop the cycle is to heal the gut. See the Posts on Leaky Gut and Healing Your Digestive tract.

    Beneficial bacteria in the gut have another purpose – they manufacture neurotransmitters that affect our sleep cycles, and activities in the brain and Central nervous System. Inflammation in the gut disrupts the Tryptophan – 5HTP – Serotonin – Melatonin pathways which can lead to sleep problems, anxiety, depression and other mental problems as too much Tryptophan that is not converted to 5HTP will be converted into a brain irritant called quinolinate. If there is any balance or movement disorder then it can be GABA that is affected.

    TREATMENT OPTIONS Read More

  • Nutritional Medicine

    Heartburn, Acid reflux & GERD

    Heartburn, Acid reflux, Gerd

    Good digestion is essential for health so if you have Heartburn, Acid reflux or GERD ( a chronic condition where some of the contents of the stomach flow back up into the oesophagus and irritate it), or if you suffer from bloating, gas and poor bowel habits you need to correct the core problems and maximise your long-term health.

    The essentials for good digestion are;

    Digestive Enzymes – we should produce enough digestive enzymes but to do that we need sufficient minerals in our diet. This is a problem these days because of intensive farming and processed foods. Eating plenty of fresh vegetables and some raw will help but sometimes it is necessary to take a supplement of plant based digestive enzymes until you are able to increase your bodies natural production.

    Sufficient Stomach Acid – without enough stomach acid food particles do not get broken down enough before being passed into the small intestine. The bacteria in the small intestine cannot completely digest the food and it then passes into the large intestine with undigested particles causing gas, bloating, the growth of unfriendly bacteria and constipation. When the stomach is sufficiently acid a thick mucous wall covers the lining as a protective barrier and this mucous also helps us absorb Vitamin B12 and iron. Therefore when people optimise their stomach acid over time, not only does Heartburn and GERD go away because the LES (Lower esophageal sphincter) gets tighter and more controlled as a natural response to correct acidity levels but their energy goes up as well, due to the absorption of B12 and iron.

    Good gut micro-flora – the human gut should be populated by more than 100 trillion microbes that are essential to our digestion and absorption, bowel movements and gut motility, development and maintenance of our immune system and maintaining intestinal wall cell barrier (keeping the bad stuff out).

    A Healthy diet – traditionally the recommended  healthy diet contained whole-grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, good quality proteins such as eggs, organic meat, fish, nuts, peas, beans and lentils. However, some people find difficulty in digesting grains in bread and cereals as well as beans and lentils. This may mean that it is better to leave them out of your diet, at least until your digestive system has fully healed, or to prepare all grains by soaking them first which reduces the phytic acid. Phytic acid locks onto minerals such as zinc, copper, calcium and iron but in the presence of low stomach acid these minerals cannot then absorbed.

    Causes of Indigestion, Heartburn, Acid reflux & GERD are

    • low stomach acid
    • stress
    • food allergies and sensitivities
    • drugs – especially NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), PPI’s (Proton Pump Inhibitors that decrease stomach acid) and other acidity regulating indigestion medicines.
    • certain health conditions – ulcers, gallbladder problems, IBS
    • poor diet and lack of minerals
    • overeating
    • consuming too much sugar, alcohol or refined carbohydrates
    • consuming too much coffee or caffeine
    • smoking

    Food and drink for healing the digestive tract

    1. increase vegetables
    2. increase probiotic foods – yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir
    3. avoid too much alcohol or caffeine and try teas that aid digestion; fennel, ginger, camomile etc.
    4. avoid ice cold drinks, ice creams or sorbets
    5. cut sugar to a minimum
    6. take Aloe Vera juice 2-4 oz a day
    7. try Manuka Honey that which has been widely used to combat H.Pylori overgrowth and heal the stomach lining 1 tsp. twice a day.
    8. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar in warm water (possibly plus a tsp. Manuka Honey) before a meal or as a treatment for Heartburn, as acidity signals the Lower oesophageal sphincter to close tightly.
    9. eliminate food allergens as these cause inflammation and prevent the digestive system from healing. follow advice for Healing your Gut in previous posts.
    10. don’t drink too much water especially before or during meals.

    Supplements to consider

    • L-Glutamine – amino acid that heals mucous membranes
    • Vitamin U -actually a healing enzyme found in cabbage so eat cabbage and drink cabbage water or take as a supplement like Gastrazyme (available on Amazon) as short term therapy.
    • A good probiotic daily plus Saccharomyces Boulardii (this is especially active against bad bacteria and yeasts)
    • a good plant based digestive enzyme combination with meals
    • a good plant based mineral supplement daily
    • occasionally it may be necessary to supplement with Hydrochloric Acid but I am not personally advocating this as I believe that when these other issues are properly addressed and a more normal balance has been restored the body will produce enough stomach acid.

    If nothing seems to help then your medical practitioner should be able to organise further investigations such as:-

    Endoscopy, H. pylori testing, Barium swallow and IgG food sensitivity testing.

  • Exclusion diet/ Food intolerance/ Health/ Immune system - healing/ Inflammation/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Food Intolerance symptoms and tests.

    Food Intolerance Test

    There has been a lot of controversy over food intolerance over the last few years and the distinction between true food allergies and food intolerance is still a very blurred line for many.

    Food Intolerance symptoms can be bloating, tiredness, constipation, diarrhoea, IBS, Eczema, arthritis, headaches and migraines, palpitations, mood swings and attention problems.

    On visiting your Doctor and saying that you think you may have a food intolerance he may tell you that the best way forward is to carry out a exclusion diet where if you leave out the offending foods and your symptoms go away then you have nailed it. If pressured the Doctor may send you for allergy testing. This is usually a history of your symptoms followed by a skin prick test for the substances  suspected as causing problems plus non food ones like grasses and pollens plus a control to show that you have a strong histamine response. This test is relying on a IgE immune response which would occur almost immediately with the release of inflammatory chemicals like histamine and leucotrene and can result in raised blisters, itching and even breathing difficulties or collapse. This is an allergic reaction. Food allergies are a reaction to food proteins and can be described as IgE -mediated (immediate) and non-IgE-mediated (delayed reactions).

    Delayed immune reactions to food and antigens are mediated by IgG, IgA and IgM and can take several hours or days to produce a response in the body. Celiac Disease is a non-IgE related response. Other food intolerance tests like York Laboratories, IgG RAST /ELISA and Food Detective rely on IgG immunoglobulin and a blood sample is necessary. They do not cause a histamine reaction. Recent research from the National University Hospital in Singapore has shown that the IgG response may even be protective against the development of a more severe IgE food allergy. These tests have been ignored by mainstream doctors for many years but have proved increasingly popular by patients who don’t feel they are getting to the root of their health problems. It is true that they may not show up all your intolerances as the tests are based on raw foods but we have known for 30+ years that people can react much more to processed foods. Processing food by heating and oxidisation changes the protein. If a person is reacting to tomato ketchup he may not show an immune response to  tomato and therefore the patients problem would go undetected.

    An article from The National Centre for Biotechnology Information in 2009 concluded that the determination of food allergy, intolerance and sensitivity would be improved by testing IgE, IgG, IgA and IgM antibodies against both raw and processed food antigens. Antibodies from modified food may cause disruption in degenerative and autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, joint inflammation, neuro-degeneration and neuro-autoimmunity.

    This is exactly what the Functional medicine community has been saying for a few years now – delayed Food sensitivity is associated with a multitude of chronic disorders, such as MS, Autism, RA, fibromyalgia, IBS, Crohn’s disease, Dementia and hundreds of other conditions that affect about 40% of the population.

    My son has an Autoimmune condition that affects his eyes, his digestive tract, his skin and his joints. He had eczema from about 11 years old but when he had severe gastroenteritis and couldn’t eat for 5 days his skin cleared up completely. On pointing this out to the Doctor we asked if we could have an allergy test done. While waiting for the appointment we tried an Elimination diet and filled in a detailed food diary. He definitely reacted to Dairy and soya and an improvement was seen but this is a difficult diet to do, especially when the reaction can come hours or days later. The offending proteins can also come in ways other than food, like in medicines (even the capsules that contain them), toiletries etc. When he had the skin prick IgE tests they came up negative and he also showed a very low histamine response so they said he was unlikely to be allergic to anything. We introduced more foods but remained off dairy but he was still getting quite severe inflammation. A year on we both tried the   Clean Gut Diet by Alejandro Junger, MD and started taking Probiotics and all symptoms went away within days. We also lost over 14lbs each without ever being hungry and we had much more energy. We realised that gluten was also a problem and eliminated that. We substituted Almond milk for cows milk we found great tasting bars that had only fruit and cashew nuts and we even added back in wine and gluten free beer and we still felt good and maintained our weight.

    Then gradually my son’s eczema started to come back and he had occasional flare ups of arthritis. Our only options seemed to be to go back onto the full Elimination diet or pay for a Food Intolerance test. We bought the Food Detective from bodykind and the results were very helpful and made sense. Luckily it didn’t throw up a whole new lot of foods to avoid but apart from Cow’s milk and gluten it showed a response to almonds and cashews. This is hardly surprising as these were foods that he had hardly ever consumed in the past but was now eating nearly every day. We have left them off and his inflammation is already reduced after just 3 days. We will leave them off for about 3 months and then eat them less frequently and see how he goes but the test was definitely the quickest way  and we saw results very quickly – evidence based medicine!

    I would recommend this Food Intolerance  test to anyone who thinks they can cope with collecting a small amount of blood from a finger prick and following the instructions to the letter. The test costs £65/$110/85 euros and takes about 40 mins to do with the results at the end of the test. It tests for the IgG reaction to 59 different foods and there is a video on the bodykind site that shows you exactly what to do. There is also a booklet that tells you how to interpret the results and how to proceed with dietary changes.

    Click here to visit bodykind