Eat For Energy - My Exciting New Direction In Nutrition Capsule Kitchen Challenge

Eat For Energy – My Exciting New Direction In Nutrition

I’ve had the privilege of working with Kate here at Allergy and Health Test Clinic for most of this year and am delighted this week to be stepping out from behind the curtain (as it were). There are some exciting things brewing and I recently cornered Kate and asked her about it all.

I know you’re all going to be as excited as I was to hear what’s on the horizon, so without further ado…

You’ve been working on a new direction recently, what prompted the shift?

Don’t worry! I won’t be leaving the Allergy and Health Test Clinic anytime soon. But I noticed that more and more of my clients were struggling with finding the time and energy to cook delicious, nutrient-dense meals, so I’ve decided to step in and create a series of courses, starting with my FREE Capsule Kitchen Challenge at the end of November.

Tell me a little more about it, exactly what have you been cooking up?

Oh, I can’t wait to get started! You’ve heard of clean eating, but this is all about simple eating. The 5 day Capsule Kitchen Challenge  will cover the basics for getting organised in the kitchen, planning and shopping for your meals each week, and cooking delicious but simple meals with minimal effort and in minimal time.

Cooking can feel like a huge chore – especially at the end of a long day at work, when all you really want to do is crash in front of the TV. The Capsule Kitchen Challenge is all about showing you that really nutritious food doesn’t need to be complicated, or a huge hassle to cook. And in the long run making that effort may give you a massive energy boost! It’s well worth the effort when you realise that simplifying your kitchen and diet can make you feel great, and super-productive, leaving you with more time to relax and have fun.

Sounds exciting! Just how much does the food you eat affect your energy levels?

With many of my clients, lack of sleep is NOT the reason for their fatigue or low energy. I can really feel their frustrations at been repeatedly told by so many experts that they simply need to ‘get more sleep!’

While food intolerances make the body work harder which may result in fatigue, convenience food, processed food, and takeaway meals often lack vital nutrients, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies and fatigue. And of course, slaving away in the kitchen for hours every night won’t help either. All of this has been taken into consideration and you’ll learn to prepare food that really gives you an energy boost, in a way that doesn’t require a massive amount of energy to prepare.

The courses are all gluten-free, sugar-free, and use minimal (and optional) dairy products, so they’re suitable for most dietary requirements.

One of the biggest blocks for people effectively managing their nutrition is time. Will your fabulous new courses help people ‘eat for energy’ no matter how hectic their schedule?

Yes!!! If you get your kitchen organised, and know how to plan your meals for the week, you can easily get dinner on the table in just 15-20 minutes each evening. In the future I’ll be releasing further courses that will teach techniques such as batch cooking and food prep, meaning you can spend an hour or two at the weekend, and then get delicious meals on the table throughout the week in a matter of minutes!

What’s the number one habit people can start developing right now to boost their energy levels?

Without a doubt, it’s avoiding diet and sugar free foods. Always choose foods as close to natural as possible. Instead of a “sugar free yoghurt” choose a natural, live yoghurt, or a greek-style yoghurt, preferably full-fat varieties rather than low-fat. Instead of a sugar-free, zero calorie soft drink, have water or, if you really don’t like the taste of water, try making infused water with fruits, vegetables, and herbs (slices of cucumber and lemon, with a few fresh mint leaves is surprisingly tasty).

And of course, eat more real foods like fruits and vegetables! These little guys are total powerhouses that provide endless nutrients to fuel the body… we can all benefit from simply adding more fruits and vegetables to our meals!

You mentioned a series of courses – walk us through them!

I’ve broken the core concepts involved in Eat for Energy down into bite-sized chunks (pun intended!). The free 5 day challenge covers all the basics involved and how to get organised. It’s a taster of what’s to come (sorry, can’t help myself!) and really kickstarts your efforts.

The Capsule Kitchen Challenge will be followed by a 25 day recipe and meal planning package. This digs deeper into simplifying the meals you love, and provides you with a toolkit to plan your week to ensure you’re always getting energy-rich foods.

Finally, there will be a course in 2018 covering the advanced techniques for prepping and cooking all that wonderful energy-boosting food in advance. That includes batch cooking, food prepping, freezing, etc. to really make the most out of the time you do spend in the kitchen, and make life as easy as possible, as often as possible.

How long does it take to notice a boost in your energy levels once you start eating the right foods?

That will vary from one person to another, depending on your existing diet, metabolism and various other factors, but generally, just a few days of eating well should be enough for you to feel the benefits.

Most people’s go-to energy boost is a hit of sugar or caffeine (I’m a tea and coffee fiend myself). Can you explain how eating the right foods is more effective at boosting energy levels that the quick fixes?

Sugar and caffeine may provide energy, but they also cause the body to crash shortly afterwards, triggering cravings for more sugar or caffeine. Eating a nutrient-dense meal with vegetables and other high-quality nutrient dense ingredients such as eggs, fish, lean meats, and legumes will provide the body with the fuel it needs to produce long-term energy.

Simply put, sugar and caffeine give you a spike in energy that gives you a temporary boost, but quickly vanishes. Eating the right foods will ensure you have consistently high energy levels throughout the day. No big spikes, no huge crashes.

This is also great for avoiding health issues that can be triggered by unstable blood sugar levels such as migraines, diabetes, and even mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression.

Another huge cause of energy issues is insomnia and poor sleep habits. Can a change in diet also help regulate your sleep?

Insomnia can be caused by several things, including nutrient deficiencies, anxiety, blood sugar imbalances, excess caffeine, etc. Changing your diet may make a significant difference to these issues, and your overall health. This may help you achieve better and deeper sleep without resorting to sleeping pills.

And finally, when can we expect these wonderful new courses to be available, and how much will they cost?

The FREE 5 Day Capsule Kitchen Challenge will be starting on the 27th of November. You can also expect the recipes package to be available by then. The main course will follow soon after the Capsule Kitchen Challenge  in 2018.

Sign up for the FREE 5 Day Capsule Kitchen Challenge now!

Epic Alternative USes For Table Salt Waste-Free Health Feature Images (1)

Epic Alternative Uses For Table Salt: Waste-Free Health

One of the first things most of us do when embarking on a health kick is to try to reduce the amount of salt we eat. If you’re trying to lessen the salt in your diet but don’t want to waste the buckets of table salt sitting in your cupboard, here are some great, waste-free alternative uses for it…

Fresh Egg Test

Eggs are one of those things: you seem to either be constantly running out, or have the odd one or two that have been loitering in the fridge for an age. If the latter happens, you’re never quite sure if you should eat them or not. Salt provides an excellent way to quickly test their freshness. Add two teaspoons of salt to a bowl of water and pop in your eggs. If they float, they’ve gone off, and you shouldn’t eat them. If they sink, it means they’re still fresh.

Tackle Smelly Hands

When you’ve been cooking with onion or garlic, and your hands smell funky, wash them with soap and water then mix a quick combination of salt and vinegar and rub it over your hands. Rinse it off, and voila –  an insanely simple solution to an irritating problem!

Sink Drains

Pour salt water down your kitchen sink regularly and it will quickly deodorise the drain and prevent the buildup of grease.

Water Rings

Mix salt with vegetable oil to form a thin paste, and rub it on the white marks created on wooden surfaces by hot dishes and glasses.

Greasy Pans

If you have a greasy pan, sprinkle a good amount of salt over it and rub it with a paper towel before washing as usual.

Stained Mugs

Mix a little washing up liquid with some salt and use it to scrub stubborn tea and coffee stains off your mugs.

Sparkling Fridge

A combination of soda water and salt is an excellent way to wipe the inside of your fridge. It’s deodorising and will beautifully remove any mess without putting chemical-filled cleaners near your food.

Brass And Copper

Use a mixture of equal parts of salt, vinegar, and flour to form a paste. Rub it on any brass and copper items you have that need cleaning, leave it for an hour, then use a soft cloth to brush it off. Buff it after with a dry cloth for a sparkling finish.

Remove Rust

An easy mix of salt and cream of tartar, with a splash of water, is a great way to remove rust. Rub it on, leave it to dry, brush it off, then buff it with a soft cloth. If you don’t have cream of tartar, you can use lemon juice instead.

Wine Spills

Salt is also great for removing wine stains. Blot up as much of the wine as you can immediately after the spill, then cover the stain with a pile of salt. This will absorb the remaining wine. Leave it for an hour or two, then soak it in cold water for half an hour before washing as usual.

Drying Clothes In Winter

Add salt to your rinse when washing clothes if you intend to dry them on an outside line during winter – this will stop them freezing.

Blood Stains

Saltwater is great for removing blood stains. Soak the item in cold saltwater, and wash as usual. If the stained item is made from natural fibres such as linen or cotton, you can also boil them following the wash for the best possible results.

Non-Drip Candles

Soak your new candles in strong saltwater for several hours, ensure they fully dry, and you will find they hardly drip when burned.

Arranging Artificial Flowers

Pour salt into the base of your vase, followed by a small amount of cold water. Arrange the flowers as usual – when the salt dries it will form a solid base that holds your flowers in place.

Play Dough

A genius use for salt for anyone with an artistic streak or children to amuse, mix half a cup of salt with a cup of flour, a cup of water, two tablespoons of cream of tartar, and two tablespoons of oil, and you have an awesome play dough.

Just sift the dry ingredients together, add the oil, and slowly mix in the water. If you want coloured dough, add a little food colouring. Cook it over medium heat until it grows stiff, then spread over wax paper to cool. Knead it until it’s the right consistency, and let your inner artist loose.

For more great tips on waste-free health, check out my post on alternative uses for sugar

Awesome Alternative Uses For Sugar Waste-Free Health (3)

Awesome Alternative Uses For Sugar: Waste-Free Health

You’ve committed yourself to the cause: no more refined sugar. It’s no good, you know you shouldn’t be eating it, but there it is loitering in the cupboard, tempting you to fall off the wellness wagon.

You consider throwing it out – cold turkey is best, right? But it seems like such a waste.

Good news! There are loads of marvellous things you can do with sugar besides eating it…

Alternative Uses For Sugar…

First Aid

Treat Your Wounds With Sugar…

A sprinkling of sugar over a wound can aid the healing process. I know, it sounds like an Old Wives’ tale, but studies have shown that granulated sugar can kill the bacteria. That bacteria is what causes chronic pain, and prevents wounds from healing. Using sugar on open wounds has proven very beneficial for a lot of people, and sugar paste is still used by some nurses as a standard treatment.

Cleanliness

Wash Away Grease And Grime…

When you have seriously grimy hands, slather your hands in a soap and sugar mix. The easiest way to do it is to add granulated sugar to a half empty bottle of liquid soap and mix it in (don’t over-mix!). Lather up the soap and scrub away all the muck – the sugar will form a natural abrasive.

Moisturise Tired Hands…

If your hands are dehydrated, trade the soap for olive oil (in equal amount to the sugar) and use it as a moisturiser.

Cleaning Coffee Grinders…

Grinders for spices and coffee beans quickly collect intense flavours and oil that can be difficult to clean. Sugar is seriously the easiest way to deal with this pesky problem! It will absorb all the unwanted elements in your grinders and leave them wonderfully clean. Just pour half a cup of sugar into your grinder, let it chew on it for two or three minutes, then dump it out and give it a quick wipe.

Simple!

Remove Grass Stains…

The bane of all parents, grass stains can be removed using a paste of sugar and warm water. Apply the paste of the stain, leave it for at least an hour (tough stains will need longer), then wash the garment as usual.

Beauty

Make A Scrumptious Banana Body Scrub…

I love bananas  (in smoothies, on toast, and as a snack!) but even I have to admit defeat eventually. When they’re past the point of being edible and I’ve forgotten to freeze them for smoothies, I repurpose them for a little pampering. Banana is an excellent moisturiser, making it perfect for creating a body scrub. Simply mash up a ripe banana with three tablespoons of the sweet stuff and a teaspoon of olive oil (careful, it’s easy to over-mix it!), and smother it over your skin. Rinse off in the shower and enjoy smooth skin and smelling delicious for the rest of the day!

Kissable Lips…

If you want a treat for your lips, blend caster sugar, olive oil, a spot of jojoba and a dab of vanilla extract or peppermint into a paste. Smother your lips, massage it in and after a few minutes, wash it off..technically you could also lick it off, but that would be rather counter productive!

Gardening

Flower Food…

Sugar is perfect for flowers. Add a mixture of white wine vinegar and sugar to the water you place your fresh cut flowers in and they will last longer. For every litre of water use two tablespoons of vinegar and three teaspoons of sugar. The vinegar will prevent bacteria from growing while the sugar feeds your flowers.

Butterfly Food…

If you love butterflies and like to make your garden as friendly as possible for them, here’s a great recipe for butterfly food, courtesy of The Butterfly Garden, by Matthew Tekulsky. The main ingredient? Sugar!

  • 1 pound sugar
  • 1-2 cans of stale beer
  • 3 overripe bananas (mashed)
  • 12 tablespoons of syrup
  • 12 tablespoons of fruit juice
  • 1 shot of rum

Simply mix all the ingredients together (no fear you will over-mix this one!) and paint it across your garden on trees, stumps, fence posts or rocks. Alternatively, use a sponge to soak it all up and hang it from a tree.

 

Did I miss anything? If you have any more great alternative uses for sugar, pop a comment below and let me know!

6 Nasty Cerebral Signs You Have a Food Intolerance (1)

6 Nasty Cerebral Signs You Have a Food Intolerance

Food intolerance is a lot more common than people think, and frequently leads to unpleasant symptoms that aren’t easily associated with what you’re eating. The most common signs you have a food intolerance occur in the digestive system, but there are several that can develop cerebrally.

For once, it really is all in your head…

Migraines and Headaches…

While there are a lot of factors that can cause migraines and headaches, food intolerance is one trigger that is frequently ignored. Many people may associate cheese and red wine with bringing on both headaches and migraines, but few realise that there are a number of other foods that can act as triggers if you have an intolerance.

Research into the relationship between food, migraines, and headaches, has shown that grains and dairy can give you a bad head. In addition to these broad groups, eggs, corn, sugar, wheat, yeast, and citrus have all been found to cause painful heads. The noxious concoction of additives, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners, not to mention flavouring, colouring, and stabilisers, found in processed food, is also a notorious trigger for both headaches and migraines.

If you’re suffering with a bad head, an appointment with us may help you pin down which foods are triggering the incidents. Once you know what they are, you can avoid them, preventing any more food-induced headaches!

Brain Fog…

Confusion, forgetfulness, and difficulty in thinking clearly?

You have brain fog.

Brain fog can lead to you feeling detached, as if you’re walking through a thick cloud of smog, and you can’t see or think clearly. A disconcerting and frustrating phenomena, brain frog is frequently caused by food intolerance (though it can also be caused by nutritional deficiencies, mineral toxicity, and a number of other things).

Common culprits where food is concerned are gluten, other grains, and dairy. But your trigger could be anything, and without testing, it could be difficult to work out.

Anxiety and Depression…

There is a key connection between the gastrointestinal system and the brain, called the gut-brain axis. 90% of your serotonin is produced in the gut, rather than the brain. This is the feel-good chemical that causes havoc when it’s in short supply. Too little serotonin causes anxiety, depression and a number of other mental health conditions.

Serotonin is associated with mood – it is critically important for keeping your moods level, but it also affects your sleep, appetite, and ability to learn. Serotonin is also linked to memory, which won’t help with the brain fog!

That’s a lot to fall out of whack, simply because you’re not producing enough serotonin. If your gut is in poor health, your brain is quickly going to complain. There is scientific research supporting the connection between gastrointestinal inflammation and depression.

Food intolerance frequently causes gastrointestinal inflammation; it’s not just your physical health at risk from food intolerance, it’s also your mental health.

Insomnia…

Insomnia is characterised by the inability to fall asleep at night, even when you’re exhausted, as well as restlessness once you are asleep. If you’re frequently waking up during the night, for no apparent reason, the persistent inflammation caused by food intolerances may well be the cause.

Fatigue…

Likewise, if you’re dragging yourself out of bed each morning, suffering an energy crash from the middle of the afternoon onwards, and in particular right after eating, a food intolerance may be the issue. A great many things can cause fatigue, but if the doctor has already eliminated the usual suspects (diabetes, anemia, hypothyroidism, sleep apnea etc.), it may be worth looking into your diet and determining if a particular food is triggering your fatigue.

Food intolerances are a hidden but persistent form of stress for your adrenal gland. This can lead to adrenal burnout, which in turn leads to fatigue. For more information on Adrenal Fatigue, check out my recent blog post: 4 Ways Adrenal Fatigue Is Sabotaging Your Energy…

Troublesome Skin…

Just as the health of your gut affects your mental health and brain function, so to can it affect your skin. It may seem incongruous to suppose a food intolerance could be the cause of persistent and troubling skin conditions, like eczema, acne, and psoriasis, but if you’re eating something that is regularly causing inflammation in your gut, the problem can manifest as an (apparently unconnected) skin complaint.

Other Symptoms Of Food Intolerance…

For more information on the other signs and symptoms of food intolerance, check out my posts on the digestive signs of food intolerance, as well as autoimmune issues that can be caused by food intolerance.

What To Do About Signs You Have A Food Intolerance…

The first step in identifying food intolerances is to keep a detailed food diary. Make a note of everything you eat each day, and add any digestive symptoms you experience throughout the day. If you have a food intolerance you will soon begin to see a pattern of certain symptoms after eating a particular food, or food group (like gluten or dairy).

If your food diary isn’t revealing any likely food intolerances then it’s time to start testing – our clinics offer bioresonance testing for 150 items that could be possible triggers for just £95 (including results). You can book online at our London clinic now…

8 Ways Food Intolerance Can Easily Trigger Autoimmune Disease (2)

8 Ways Food Intolerance Can Easily Trigger Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases have been rapidly rising in recent years, with almost 100 recognised autoimmune diseases, as well as another 40 disease processes which have a component that is autoimmune related. Worse still, if you have one autoimmune disease you’re at higher risk of developing another.

From Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (a type of underactive thyroid disease) to coeliac disease, there are many autoimmune diseases that can be caused by many triggers. One such trigger may be food intolerance and poor gut health. Here are eight ways food intolerance may trigger autoimmune disease…

Gluten…

“I tested negative for coeliac disease, and the doctor says don’t have a gluten intolerance” is a phrase I hear a lot. There is a widespread misunderstanding that coeliac disease is the only reason to avoid gluten. This outdated information keeps many people with a gluten intolerance (and often an autoimmune condition) suffering needlessly. Gluten causes damage to the gut and inflammation that can leave a person susceptible to autoimmune disease.

Gluten doesn’t have to be consumed in obvious forms, like bread and pasta, it can be found in many foods you wouldn’t expect, and can also be present in processed foods that don’t list it as an ingredient, due to cross-contamination.

Coeliac disease does cause a gluten intolerance, but it’s not the only cause, and autoimmune diseases can easily be triggered by the ongoing symptoms experienced by someone who is gluten intolerant.

Gluten-Free Grains…

Another problem with perceptions about gluten intolerance is that gluten substitutes, in the form of gluten-free grains, will solve the problem. The problem with gluten substitutes is that they’re very similar to gluten. If you have a gluten sensitivity, trying out gluten-free grains is a bit like playing Russian roulette with a baker…

Sugar…

Sugar is the bane of many efforts to maintain a healthy diet. As a result, the health food industry has produced a slew of substitutes, from Agave Nectar to Stevia. But sugar is still sugar. Whatever form it comes in, whether it’s couched in seemingly safe terms like ‘organic coconut nectar’, or bottled in an expensive jar of Manuka honey, sugar is sugar. Or, more correctly, the fructose element of sugar is still fructose. When it comes to autoimmune triggers, it doesn’t matter how organic it is, or how beloved it is by the health industry, if you have a fructose intolerance, any form of sugar could trigger an autoimmune disease.

Chocolate…

While we’re on the subject of sweet treats, it would be remiss not to mention chocolate. There is considerable research that demonstrates some people suffering from autoimmune diseases can be affected by chocolate. It’s not entirely clear if chocolate can trigger an autoimmune disease, but it can certainly trigger flare ups of an existing autoimmune condition.

Quinoa…

Another favourite in health shops, and a frequently-used substitute for gluten, quinoa is part of a group of high protein, pseudo-grains known as saponins. These seemingly-healthy alternatives to traditional grains damage the lining of the gut, triggering an autoimmune response.

You can reduce the damage quinoa does to the gut by soaking, then rinsing your quinoa, however this isn’t always enough for those with an autoimmune disease – especially something like Crohns.

Instant Coffee…

When you’re late for work or struggling to wake up in the morning, instant coffee is a godsend. It’s also a double edged blade. It’s unclear exactly why instant coffee triggers problems, but there’s something about it that causes an inflammatory immune response, which doesn’t generally occur with ground coffee beans. It’s likely related to the chemicals used to make instant coffee…well, instant. Regular coffee can have the same effect, but it’s far less common.

If you are going to drink coffee, take 30 minutes out of your day to go to a cafe and mindfully enjoy a wonderful cup of the good stuff!

Nightshades…

A seemingly innocuous and healthy group of plants known as nightshades can also trigger an inflammatory immune response due to the alkaloids found in their skin. This group includes potatoes, peppers, aubergine, and goji berries, as well as certain spices derived from red peppers, like chili powder, cayenne, paprika and curry powder.

Dairy…

Lactose intolerance has a well-known connection with digestive issues, but dairy in general can trigger autoimmune responses. This is due to the main protein, casein, found in milk and other forms of dairy. It’s possible to avoid the risks by eating products like clarified butter or ghee, which have had the dairy proteins removed, and fermented dairy such as kefir, and grass-fed whole yogurt.

Other Symptoms Of Food Intolerance…

Food intolerance can also lead to other signs, in particular problems with your digestive system. For more information check out my posts on the cerebral signs of food intolerance, as well as digestion issues caused by food intolerance.

What To Do About Food Intolerance Triggering Autoimmune Disease…

The first step in identifying food intolerances is to keep a detailed food diary. Make a note of everything you eat each day, and add any digestive symptoms you experience throughout the day. If you have a food intolerance you will soon begin to see a pattern of certain symptoms after eating a particular food, or food group (like gluten or dairy).

If your food diary isn’t revealing any likely food intolerances then it’s time to start testing – our clinics offer bioresonance testing for 150 items that could be possible triggers for just £95 (including results). You can book online at our London clinic now…

6 Signs Of Food Intolerance To Watch Out For (2)

6 Signs of Food Intolerance to Watch Out For

Food intolerance can cause a slew of unpleasant signs and symptoms. The most obvious ones occur in the digestive system. These are more easily identified (and more easily associated with the food you are eating) than some of the other signs, which at first blush don’t appear to be related to diet.

Although there are multiple causes for these digestive symptoms, if you have any of these regularly, or a combination of several, it’s worth checking to see if food intolerance is the cause…

Upset Stomach…

Perhaps the most obvious symptom of food intolerance is some kind of discomfort in your stomach, located in the area just below the centre of your rib-cage. If you have an intolerance to a particular food, you may experience stomach pain, nausea, or heartburn. This may begin immediately after eating, but can start up to a few hours later.

Bloating…

One symptom that is often dismissed as an unavoidable element of life is bloating. Women, in particular, tend to associate bloating with PMS and other reproduction-related causes like ovulating, or the good old catch all cause of ‘hormones’.

But bloating can easily be caused by a food intolerance. Pay close attention to when you feel bloated, what you ate in the hours and even days beforehand, and whether or not there’s another likely culprit (i.e. your period).

Cramps…

Cramping in your abdomen is also a common sign of food intolerance. This can be extremely unpleasant, but it’s also easily mislabelled as IBS (see below) or mistaken for period cramps. Be mindful of when you experience cramping and how frequently.  

Constipation…

An extremely uncomfortable sign is constipation. Despite the general assumption that constipation is caused by a lack of fibre, food intolerance may be responsible for backing you up. In truth, few people are genuinely deficient in fibre, although additional fibre often relieves constipation even when it has another cause. Be careful though, increasing fibre too fast will increase gas!

Gas…

Another common (and embarrassing!) sign of food intolerance is gas. Both fructose (most often found in carbonated drinks and fruit) and lactose (a form of sugar in dairy products) are common intolerances, that can easily cause gas. People often ignore these possible culprits due to the overriding belief that vegetables like lentils, beans, and onions are the only gassy food triggers.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)…

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is the label that gets slapped on your digestive issues when possible functional causes (e.g. coeliac disease, crohn’s disease, colitis etc.) have been ruled out. Causes of IBS will vary from one person to the next, but one common trigger for IBS? You guessed it – food intolerance!

Other Symptoms Of Food Intolerance…

Food intolerance can also lead to other signs, in particular problems with your autoimmune system. For more information check out my posts on the cerebral signs of food intolerance, as well as autoimmune diseases caused by food intolerance.

What To Do About Food Intolerance…

The first step in identifying food intolerances is to keep a detailed food diary. Make a note of everything you eat each day, and add any digestive symptoms you experience throughout the day. If you have a food intolerance you will soon begin to see a pattern of certain symptoms after eating a particular food, or food group (like gluten or dairy).

If your food diary isn’t revealing any likely food intolerances then it’s time to start testing – our clinics offer bioresonance testing for 150 items that could be possible triggers for just £95 (including results). You can book online at our London clinic now…

The new years resolution to improve your fitness that you’re probably already doing!

OK, hands up… who ate one mince pie too many, or drank too much prosecco over Christmas? I know I did!

In past years the 1st January would have seen me resolving to lose those post-Christmas pounds and improve my fitness by getting back into some kind of exercise. This year though, I have far too any excuses…

I’m self employed and run two businesses – I don’t have the time to exercise!

I have two young children.

I’m permanently knackered thanks to those two children providing me with endless broken nights of sleep.

etc etc….

But the real reason for me is that I have recently been diagnosed with adult hip dysplasia, and right now my surgeon says walking and swimming are my only fitness options. And I hate getting my face wet in the swimming pool!

So this year, as I could feel the mince pie guilt creeping in, I was overjoyed to stumble across an article in RED magazine which suggested it was possible to get fitter without wearing lycra or getting wet in the swimming pool, but simply by moving more.

Reading on, the article discussed METs – metabolic equivalent units. Forget hours in the gym, or steps on your FitBit, METs are the measurement of how much oxygen an activity uses, and therefore can be used to measure intensity per minute. And the best news is that apart from sleeping or sitting (sitting is being called the new smoking after all! ), every movement has a MET value and contributes to your fitness – including all those tasks you’re probably doing already on a daily basis such as hanging/folding laundry, cooking, clearing the table, washing up, popping up/down stairs, hoovering, walking, grocery shopping, and even fidgeting at your desk!!!

You can find a comprehensive list of activities, and their associated MET values here, but remember not to include anything with a value or 1 MET or less. Research shows that moving more than 600 METs per week not only increases your fitness, but also dramatically reduces your risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

But how does it work? Well let’s look at meal preparation – we all have to eat after all! Cooking a meal that requires moderate effort such as mashing potatoes, chopping ingredients and generally pottering around the kitchen to fetch ingredients and utensils, clocks in at 3.3 METs per minute. Since I have food intolerances that make eating “convenience” or “ready made” foods difficult, I make every meal from scratch and that can take me 30 minutes or longer, so I’m racking up 30 x 3.3 = 99 METs each time I cook. Add in laying the table, clearing the table, washing up, and those METs are starting to add up.

In fact, a quick tot-up of my average day showed I was doing over 1000 METs without even trying… and if I was to move more or even just walk faster, I could improve on that score and my fitness. So say “hello” to my new years resolution! Why not make it yours?

Happy new year!

Kate x

How to go gluten-free without going broke!

I was working with a client recently, and her face dropped when her test results showed she would need to go gluten-free.

“But it’s so expensive to go gluten-free!” she cried.

And indeed, it can work out expensive.

Visit any supermarket and you’ll find a section dedicated to gluten-free breads, pastas, cereals, biscuits, and cakes. Take a look at their price tags and you’ll likely need to take a lie down to recover from shock! Gluten-free bread is rarely less than £2 for a tiny loaf of miniature slices, while a 500g bag of gluten-free pasta also hovers around the £2 mark, and it’s hard to know which brands will turn to mush when you cook them. And don’t get me started on the lack of nutrients in most gluten-free products… it seems to be a case of remove the gluten, and replace it with a bunch of sugar and/or incredibly refined carbohydrates, add a handful of weird chemicals for flavour and texture, then stick on a huge price tag.

But is it really necessary to buy all your products from the gluten-free section of the supermarket?

I don’t think it is, and here are four of my favourite inexpensive purchases for going gluten-free without going broke:

1. Courgettes. Not the coolest of veggies, but grab a julienne peeler or a spiralizer and you can make your own nutrient dense noodles that will soak up a good bolognese sauce and add flavour to your meal. You can also use those gadgets to make noodles out of butternut squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

2. Rice. For many people avoiding gluten, this is can be a staple go-to as it is naturally gluten-free and generally inexpensive. Some clients with a gluten intolerance will cross-react with rice, but if you’re ok with rice then always go for brown rice for extra nutrient density.

3. Lettuce. Again, not a particularly cool veggie, but makes a great alternative to bread or tortilla wraps. Stuff a large crisp lettuce leaf with whatever you fancy (burrito style) or layer with ham and roll together (like a savoury swiss-roll!)

4. Oats. Gluten free oats and gluten-free oat cakes are widely available, and make a great breakfast alternative to the high sugar gluten-free breakfast cereals and gluten-free biscuits found in the gluten-free section of the supermarket. Sadly, gluten-free oats are not suitable for all, so always check your test results before tucking in!

If you’re not sure whether you should be avoiding gluten, you can book an appointment with us to find out your food intolerances in just 60 minutes!

Kate

 

8 Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

All nutritional therapists are obliged to refer a client to their GP to investigate further, if any “red flags” are mentioned during a clinic appointment. This blog covers 8 of those “red flag” symptoms.

In clinic, we often see clients with symptoms from this list, who don’t want to waste their GPs time or worry that their GP won’t take them seriously. We’ve all heard that GPs are busy people, working long hours and seeing lots of patients everyday and the last thing anyone wants to do is to waste their time, talking about their health concerns. But if you have a symptom in this list, or any other symptom that has come on suddenly or is causing you concern, then you must make that appointment.

1. Pain
Any pain which is persistent and/or severe, that occurs anywhere in the body, should never be ignored. The most concerning pains are those in the head (including eyes and temples), abdomen, and central chest. Your GP will be able to refer you to the appropriate specialist to explore the underlying cause of your pain.

2. Blood
Whether it’s red, brown or black, thick, thin or lumpy, just a few spots or several cupfuls, any and all unexpected blood loss needs to be checked out as soon as possible.
There may be red blood in your vomit, urine or bowel movements, or you might have seen brown or black “coffee grounds” in your vomit (a sign of coagulated blood). And if your bowel movements have become black and tarry (and you’re definitely not taking an iron supplement), then you should see your GP straightaway.

3. Sudden Changes in bowel habit
A sudden change in bowel habit, whether it be the frequency, type, colour etc. should be reported to your GP. They may request a sample to send away for analysis or to check for parasitic infection.

4. Change in a skin lesion
A change in size, shape, colour, itching, bleeding or pain in a skin lesion such as a mole should always be shown to your GP, who will refer you to a dermatologist (skin specialist) if necessary.

5. Unexplained Weight Loss
We’d all like to lose weight easily, without even trying, but if you’re losing more than 1lb (0.5kg) per week without any major dietary changes, then your GP needs to know. Routine blood tests will be used initially to rule out issues such as overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) and further investigations will take place if these initial tests are negative.

6. Recurring Cystitis
Women are much more likely to get cystitis than men, because their urethra is shorter, making it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder. More than half of all women will experience cystitis at least once in their lifetime, but women who experience cystitis that recurs more than 3 times need to have their case examined thoroughly by a urologist (urinary tract specialist) to see if there is an underlying kidney or bladder issue.

7. Non-menstrual vaginal bleeding
Whether you’re between periods, postmenopausal, pregnant, or using hormonal contraception, any vaginal bleeding not associated with menstruation should be reported to your GP, who may then consider ultrasound scans and blood tests for the underlying cause.

8. Breathlessness
We all get breathless from time to time, but if you’re finding walking up a short flight of stairs has you gasping for air, or you struggle to catch your breath on a short walk down the road, then you should ask your GP for some routine blood tests to rule out anaemia (serum ferritin, serum B12 and serum folate should all be checked). If those come back negative, your GP will need to explore other causes for the breathlessness.

Health and happiness to you all!

Kate x