What you need to know right now about your health, losing weight, hormones + fertility
You might have been wondering whether you could go vegan and whether it will help you get healthier, lose weight and (if the vegan lobbyists are anything to go by) improve any one of a number of health markers.
And, while it’s true that some studies show that a vegan diet can do wonders for your health, it really takes something to make sure that a vegan diet is a good and balanced diet.
Just to be clear (and I know you probably already know this), a vegan diet is a stricter version of a vegetarian diet. On top of not eating any meat, fish or seafood – i.e. dead animals, a vegan diet also cuts out any foodstuffs made from animal sources (some of which are the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat) – so, not just cutting out chicken meat, but also cutting out eggs. In the same vein, not just cutting out beef but also milk, yoghurt, butter and cream. And that means honey, too, as well as certain wines and desserts (gelatin).
Moving to a plant-based (or more...
Bloating, gassy, cramps, heavy, uncomfortable? One minute you can’t go to the loo and the next minute you can’t get off it?
The likely cause is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It’s incredibly common. According to Guts UK, a charity set up to promote awareness of and funding for digestive problems, it affects up to a third of people at some stage or another and it is one of the main reasons people visit their doctor.
Unfortunately, according to the NHS, there’s not a lot you can do. The official view is that it’s a lifelong problem that no one really understands and that there’s no cure for (although over-the-counter medicines can help symptoms). So sorry, move along and deal with it yourself.
As nutrition professionals will tell you, there IS hope. A consultation with a nutrition professional specialising in digestive health will be able to, in the first instance, provide some natural solutions that are likely better than taking...
Most people don’t give a second’s thought to their skin – unless they’re scowling at the wrinkles or wobbly bits in the mirror. It’s already doing a fabulous job keeping your insides in, protecting you from infection and radiation, and keeping you warm. There’s also a huge amount you can do to keep your skin looking healthy and fresh and – I’m happy to tell you – stave off the wrinkles without buying that expensive anti-ageing cream. Read on to find out how.
Alcohol, caffeine, food additives like flavourings and colourings, salt, sugar, and tobacco are full of cell-damaging free radicals, which play havoc with your skin. Ideally, cut them out altogether but certainly reduce them as much as you can.
Essential fats found in fish, avocados, nuts and seeds keep cell membranes soft and smooth – they’re nature’s perfect skin plumpers. Just in case the word...
If you regularly suffer from chronic pain - and most women going through perimenopause are one way or the other - you’ll not be a stranger to popping painkillers. After all, the most common medical treatment for the pain caused by inflammation is anti-inflammatory drugs that suppress the symptoms, providing pain relief but doing nothing to address the causes of the inflammation. But what if you could eat the pain gone - or at least help ease or manage your symptoms?
In this month’s blog, I’m going to be talking about what causes inflammation and the natural solutions you could try instead.
The substances that cause inflammation and pain are called ‘inflammatory mediators’. These are chemicals the body makes, and examples are prostaglandins, leukotrienes and oxidants.
Prostaglandins and leukotrienes are made from one of the omega-6 fatty acids, arachidonic acid, which is plentiful in meat and milk. Too much...
There are very few things that wreck your health and your mood more than a poor night's sleep. That goes for people of any age, of course, but the women I see in clinic site poor as one of the things that gets them down most about their health.
A good night’s sleep is as important to health as eating the right things and exercise. Your physical and emotional wellbeing depend on getting enough. Yet we’re living in sleep-deprived times. Some people are even competitive about how little sleep they’re getting, like dragging yourself through the day on four hours’ rest is a badge of honour. Scientists even say we’re now getting an hour or two less sleep each night than we were 60 years ago. And the effect on our bodies is not good.
Now, here’s the interesting thing. You know that more sleep is a good thing but is it a priority in your life? I’m guessing not. In my clinical and personal experience, few are the people who actually put...
Achieving long-term health and energy is a balancing act. Quite simply, what you put into your mind may have as much of an impact as the food and supplements you feed your body.
Many studies have been conducted on the mind-body connection. What we know for sure is that a positive attitude works – when we remember to nurture it.
Wholesome food, avoiding sugar and toxins are obvious tools for great health but how should you deal with the consequences of negative thinking and stress?
Experts rate exercise, sufficient sleep, controlling negative thoughts and building a strong social support as some of the best ways to decrease stress and boost immunity – so paying attention to your feelings and needs is as vital as drinking enough water and avoiding junk food.
The release of endorphins during exercise promotes a sense of wellbeing, which has the added benefit of boosting your immune system.
During exercise, the...
The perimenopause years are often marked by all kinds of unwelcome new symptoms - and one of those is what happens to your memory. While this phase of your life will pass and you'll get back to feeling like you're firing on all cylinders, it does give you a bit of a sneak peak into what life might be like in years to come if you start losing your marbles. And we're talking a lot worse than walking into rooms with absolutely no idea what you came there for. (This is me - quite a lot).
Of course, when it comes to cognitive/ brain health, what’s going on is multilayered – forgetfulness and brain fog can be caused by so many different things (many of which can be helped by changing your diet) – but there are some foods that scientists know are excellent for keeping the brain healthy and preventing the downhill slide.
Berries aren’t only delicious, they also work wonders for cognitive function thanks to the high levels of powerful...
Have you ever heard of Non Scale Victories? It’s often shortened to NSV. You’ll find a lot of talk about this if you hang out on social media long enough. And these are really something worth celebrating.
My weight loss clients come to see me because they want to lose weight. And they do. But what they also come away with is so much more: NSVs.
I always focus on slow but sure weight loss for so many reasons. Here are a few: Fast weight loss is what you get with a very low calorie diet or even that very trendy ketogenic diet that is incredibly high fat and very, very low on carbs. Both are a quick fix but they are also not only difficult to do, but more than anything they are difficult to maintain.
With low calorie diets specifically, you are hungry all the time. AND, you run the risk of slowing down your metabolism. How? The body senses starvation, goes into self preservation mode where it economises and burns fewer calories. This means it’s also...
‘Hormones’. Oestrogen and testosterone are the two that most likely spring to mind, and their role in puberty, libido, the reproductive system. In fact, our bodies produce a whole host of other hormones which play a role in our health and how we function day in day out. Ghrelin, given its name as a ‘growth hormone releasing peptide’, controls hunger, food intake and combined with growth hormone, fat storage.
Stimulated by the cells in our stomach, ghrelin sends signals to the hypothalamus in the brain telling our bodies it’s time to eat. Small amounts are also released by the pancreas and the small intestine. The more ghrelin in the bloodstream, the bigger the appetite and likely, the more food you eat. After food, ghrelin levels are decreased as we’re satiated, and they don’t rise again until your body starts looking for more energy.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you might be...
The holidays – whether Christmas or otherwise – can end up being a bit of a free for all. Even the best of intentions to stick to a healthy eating plan can vanish in the face of that last mince pie or another glass of fizz. This is not said with any judgement. It just is the way it is. And then here we are in January, and you’re wondering how to shift that holiday weight, tame the hormonal mayhem that comes with overindulgence, and get back to being healthy more of the time.
But how exactly?
You could make a New Year resolution but we all know (and science backs this up) that you won’t stick to it and that most people end up making the same resolution year after year after year.
If you’re a repeat offender at goal setting and not reaching them, you’re not alone – but help is at hand because in this blog I’m going to be talking about how to reel things back in so that you can get back on track and meet your goals.
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