NUTRITION + HEALTH BLOG

What you need to know right now about your health, hormones, fertility + losing weight

Is coconut oil unhealthy (and other things you need to know about fat)

what to eat Sep 20, 2018

Should you or shouldn't you eat fat? There are so many mixed and confusing messages in the media, perpetuated sometimes by people who should know better (or worse still, others with dubious motives), I don't blame you for not having the faintest idea whether it's still OK to eat full fat or whether you should be heading back to the 0% again...  

Just in case you don't read all the way through, DON'T go back to 0% fat. It's a trick. Bad for your health in general and worse for your waistline. 

And what about coconut oil? Suddenly it's the Darth Vader of fat?  Got that covered, too. 

Ready to get this sorted for once and for all? It's a bit War + Peace in terms of length, but there's a lot to say!

OK, so park that notion that fat is bad. It is not. In fact, most of us aren’t eating enough of it. Fat can help you lose weight, protect against heart disease, absorb vitamins and boost your immune system. Do you know which fats to eat and which to avoid?

Is saturated...

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How can I help my PCOS?

hormones Sep 04, 2018

What do celebrities Daisy Ridley, Victoria Beckham, Jools Oliver and Emma Thompson have in common? They have all publicly shared their struggle with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

PCOS is a common hormone disorder that affects one in five women in the UK.  It can be devastating to a woman’s self-esteem and quality of life. As if this weren’t bad enough, many cases are missed because the pill is often prescribed to young women for painful and/or irregular periods and this can mask symptoms.  It is often only when you are unable to get pregnant or experience miscarriages that explorations uncover the condition. 

Common signs and symptoms of PCOS...

  • Irregular periods
  • Difficulty getting pregnant
  • Excessive hair growth where it shouldn’t be, e.g. face, chest and back
  • Resistance to weight loss (although many sufferers are not overweight)
  • Thinning hair on head
  • Oily skin/acne
  • Miscarriage

Does this sound like you?

What’s happening inside when you...

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Should I try the keto diet?

what to eat Aug 08, 2018

Ketogenic (‘keto’) diets are back in fashion.

You’ve probably read the headlines and wondered whether you should take the plunge if the results are really that dramatic and that easy. But are they, though?

Ever found yourself asking this:

How can I burn fat faster than ever?

How can I make my fat disappear?

 Then you’ll want to read on…

This newsletter will give you the inside line on what the diet involves, whether it’s healthy and even sustainable for ‘normal’ people. Here goes …

The keto diet is the ultimate low carb diet. It’s also moderate in terms of protein and very high in fat.

Is the 'keto' diet like the Atkins diet?, you say.

Well, yes. In essence, it’s pretty much like the Atkins diet, but its fans like to describe it as a more modern version of it, now with a solid scientific basis. Recent research over the last decade or so has provided evidence of the therapeutic potential of ketogenic diets in...

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10 steps to beat cravings

mindset Jul 27, 2018

Everyone gets cravings from time to time. Sometimes you kid yourself that it is your body telling you that you need to have something (and there is some truth in this – more on that later). Most of the time, however, it is habit. There are some simple steps you can take to manage cravings and avoid binges. Using a combination of these steps will be most effective and some techniques will work better than others for you, so it’s best to experiment.

“But I need it…’
Your body needs a steady flow of energy throughout the day. When you eat too many things that turn quickly into sugar (whether it’s sugar or starchy carbohydrates), this creates a blood sugar spike and the body produces insulin to take the excess sugar out of your blood, and it stores it as fat. Sometimes too much of this sugar is packed away, which leads to blood sugar levels becoming too low, resulting in tiredness, low mood, a drop in concentration – and...

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Healthy alcohol-free drinks

drinks Jul 13, 2018

Celebrations are often filled with sweet, boozy drinks that can lead to weight gain and unbalance your blood sugar levels. It’s not always easy to know what to drink instead without feeling deprived. I’ve got a few delicious and refreshing alternatives for you to try.

 

Strawberry lemonade

Serves 8

2 litres water

8 lemons, squeezed (around 280 ml)

1/2 -3/4 tsp liquid stevia (try NuNaturals)

250g strawberries, sliced  

In a large jug combine water, lemon juice and stevia. Simply stir in sliced strawberries and serve over ice.

 

Cucumber, mint + lemon fizz

Serves 6

1.5ltr sparkling water

half a cucumber, sliced

10 mint leaves

1 lemon, sliced

Put all the ingredients in a large jug, chill and serve.

 

Sparkling cherries

Serves 2

4tbsp Cherry Active

500ml sparkling water

Add sparkling water to the Cherry Active and serve with ice.

 

Sparkling lime water

Exactly as it sounds … Sparkling water with a good squeeze of fresh lime...

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How to eat what you want and stay slim

mindset Jun 25, 2018

Anyone else here going through the hideous process of online dating? I’m told it should be fun, but more frequently it’s excruciating. Particularly tricky when someone asks me what I do. I tend to hold them off with ‘I’m a coach’ [not untrue] for as long as possible because ‘nutritionist’ has people feel you’re the kind of person who is going to suck all the joy out of their life, make them eat vegetables and stop them drinking beer. (All of which are untrue, I point out for the benefit of men over 45 who look like either Hugh Jackman or Zack Effron).

So, I was chatting to a guy who I met online a few days ago. I mentioned that one of the things that I saw in my future was writing a book. This lead into suggestions about what my book could be called… ‘The Funny Nutritionist’ … ‘The Adventures of Flora the Good Bacteria’. (Well, he is s scientist, but don’t worry, he did NOT get the job of...

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8 seeds you need

what to eat Jun 18, 2018

Good things, small packages. Everyone should be eating these nutritional powerhouses...

1 FLAX
Flaxseeds (aka linseeds) are one of nature’s superfoods. They’re higher in omega 3 (‘good’) fats than any other food – even oily fish like salmon and sardines. These healthy fats fight inflammation, lower cholesterol and are excellent for balancing female hormones. Aim for at least 2 tbsp flax a day, added to a smoothie or sprinkled on yoghurt or cereal. Or buy flax oil and whip up a simple salad dressing with 2tbsp flax oil, juice of a large lemon [about 4tbsp], 1tsp Dijon mustard, 2tsp chopped tarragon, salt and pepper to taste.

2 CHIA
These tiny little balls are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They’re packed with protein, fibre, omega 3 fats and a variety of different vitamins and minerals but, to get the goodness, you need to soak them, smash them in a pestle and mortar or blitz them in a NutriBullet [or blender]. For a fruity...

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The (surprising) health benefits of coffee

health Jun 10, 2018

 

It took me a long time to fall in love with coffee. 46 years, to be precise. But, a few weeks ago, I accepted a wee cup of espresso from my cousin. It was like little drops of nectar from heaven. Why did I not know this before? I had long loved the smell of coffee but, for some reason, just didn't fancy actually drinking it. And now, I'm sold!

Coffee is a much-maligned drink, with the downside more frequently talked about than the many positives. In this article you’ll find all the ammunition you need to drink coffee without the guilt. It really CAN be good thing but, like all good things, you need to know when to stop. Here you’ll also find info on how much is safe to drink and why it’s not a good thing if you’re trying to get pregnant. 

 

1) Coffee can help you burn fat

Caffeine is found in almost every fat loss supplement because it’s one of a very small number of substances proven to help with fat burning. Research shows that...

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Sugar lips, fat hips

sugar Jun 08, 2018

Unless you’ve been living under a stone for the last few years, you can’t have failed to notice that sugar is really bad for you. Seriously. Step-away-from-the-cupcakes-or-risk-your-life-kind of dangerous. Well, almost. It’s certainly been conclusively proven to be the single thing that’s going to make you fat. Not fat, as we’d always been told. Sugar. Eat too much sugar and you will get fat. Simple.

There's more bad news... 

HERE’S HOW THAT SUGAR THING WORKS

It’s all to do with blood sugar balance. Keep your blood sugar stable and your weight stays stable. Blood sugar that see-saws because you’re eating too much sugar leads to weight gain. 


In a nutshell, many foods (like potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, snacks, cakes and biscuits, fruit and vegetables, etc.) are broken down into sugars so that the body can use them as fuel. Refined carbs (like sugary foods and snacks) and starchy veg and other carbs (like potatoes, white rice,...

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5 healthy snacks to keep at work

what to eat Jun 04, 2018

When it comes to snacks (scratch that, when it comes to ANY kind of eating), it’s important to include some protein and, ideally, some fibre. Why? You need protein (and fibre) to keep your blood sugar stable, so you’ll have a constant supply of energy to get you through to lunch or your evening meal. There’s also the small matter of the energy crash (and, I’m sorry, weight gain) when snacks cause blood sugar to spike. Unfortunately, many of the snacks we’d routinely eat fall into this latter category – including crisps, chocolate bars and many so-called healthy granola bars.

So what can you eat? What you pack for snack will depend on the facilities you have at work. No fridge? You’re going to want to pack your snacks every day from home. In practice, most of the people I see in clinic have access to a fridge. Perfect! This means you can keep small tubs of goodies like hummus and cottage cheese in the fridge and store bulkier items like rice...

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