Nourishing Stuff

Should we all be eating foods enriched with Vitamin D? February 16 2017, 0 Comments

Vitamin D has made it into the news again today with the recommendation that bread and other 'staple' foods should be fortified with the vitamin to help prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of colds and flu each year... and Vitamin D has been shown to be more effective than the flu vaccine in preventing contraction of the flu.
 
Is this a good thing? Well, for starters I don't recommend anyone eat cheap sliced bread, wheat-based cereals or milk, which are the most likely foods to receive nutritional enrichment. But that's another story...!
While it is great to see understanding of the importance of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels entering the mainstream - as well as the efficacy of the potentially more harmful than beneficial flu vaccine called into question! - as with ALL vitamins and minerals, there is no one size fits all.
 
We all need differing amounts of - ideally naturally-derived - nutrients, depending on our lifestyle and our genetically acquired ability to absorb and metabolise them. As such, a blanket approach to administration of supplements - especially synthetic versions - is not the best way forward.
 
As with everything in life, too much of a good thing can become decidedly negative and we definitely know that to be true of Vitamin D.
 
For one thing, there is no mention of the form of Vitamin D that was trialled or which form they propose to put in food - will it be the D2 (inactive) or D3 (active) form? The first needs converting and some people are unfortunately not particularly good at doing this.
 
And let's not forget that the immune system requires far more nutrients than just Vitamin D3 to function optimally. Vitamin C, Vitamin A, zinc, magnesium, sufficient friendly (probiotic) bacteria... these and more are all essential raw materials to prime our highly complex and impressive immune systems for fighting infection. Plus, Vitamin D3 works with Vitamin A and Vitamin K2 to make sure calcium is deposited in the bones and teeth rather than the soft tissues, such as the arteries and kidneys - where it can cause serious harm. They work together in synergy and it is not a good idea to elevate levels of one without either of the others.
 
If you think you might benefit from supplementing with additional Vitamin D3 please, please, please get your (blood) serum levels TESTED first. If your GP won't do it then you can order an at-home finger prick test kit from vitamindtest.org.uk for £28 and get your results delivered to you in a week. Either way, it is always best to work with a trained professional when trying to correct any deficiencies. There is so much conflicting information out there and so many supplements on offer that it is hard to know how to isolate the facts from fictions. And, being so biochemically unique, we can't always anticipate how we may respond to any medical intervention - natural or otherwise. If in doubt, please seek help.
Elspeth x

Want to get healthy and happy for 2016? Book in for some nutritional therapy and let me help you experience true and lasting vitality February 22 2016, 0 Comments

nutritional therapy can help combat stress and fatigue

As Spring looks to be on the horizon (or are the daffodils just permanently confused now due to our errant weather patterns?!) many of us often take stock of our niggling health woes and wonder what we might do about them.

Well, this year why not take the guess work out of it and come and see me!

Whether you're overweight, have digestive distress, anxiety, depression, painful periods, eczema, heart disease or any other chronic illness nutritional medicine can help.

Don't suffer in silence any longer. You are unique and the path to overcoming what ails you will be unique to you. Let me help you get to the bottom of it all and make a plan to get back on track. With the best will in the world, sometimes we need to pass the buck to someone else when it comes to finding the motivation to make important changes. And changing how you eat is definitely an important change.

I am now seeing clients at home in Westbury park on Monday mornings and all-day Friday and for the next four months I am resuming my low-cost clinic at Neal's Yard Remedies on Whiteladies Road on Monday afternoons. I am also available on Skype and some out of hours consultations can be arranged if necessary too.

Hope to hear from you soon!

With best wishes,

Elspeth

 


Time out... September 09 2014, 0 Comments

 

 Please note that I am now on maternity leave for at least six months so will not be taking on any new clients for the time being. I will still be checking emails periodically so feel free to contact me and I will respond asap.

If you are looking for a Bristol-based nutritionist/naturopath to work with in the meantime, I can recommend Gay Darke or alternatively you can contact CNM's Bristol Campus to enquire about attending their student clinics or get info about therapists on their staff lists or previous students etc.

Best wishes

Elspeth


Looking for a naturopathic nutrition or EFT consultation in Bristol? You can now find me in three different therapy rooms... February 11 2014, 0 Comments

I am delighted to announce that I am now practising in three lovely spots in central Bristol. 

I am still doing low-cost naturopathic nutrition and EFT consultations at Neal's Yard Therapy Rooms on Whiteladies Road every Sunday from 12-4pm. Consultations cost £25 for an hour.

And, now I have joined the teams at Clifton Therapy Room in Clifton Village and Bristol Therapy Rooms which is attached to Bristol City Yoga in Stokes Croft and work there during weekdays, evenings and Saturdays.

If you're feeling out of sorts and want more energy, better sleep, more stable moods... or have a more serious health concern, book in for a consultation and together we can get to the bottom of whatever is ailing you. Understanding the root cause of any health problem is the only way to overcome it now and for good.

I look forward to welcoming you to one of these lovely clinic spaces... and don't forget consultations are also available by Skype from wherever you are.

To your abundant health and happiness,

Elspeth x

 


Low-cost Nutrition, Naturopathy and EFT consultations now available at Neal's Yard Remedies in Bristol January 15 2014, 0 Comments

Starting from this Sunday (January 19th, 2014), I will now be offering low-cost consultations from 12-4pm every Sunday at Neal's Yard Remedies Therapy Rooms on Whiteladies Road, Clifton.

Consultations cost £25 per hour and can include naturopathic nutrition, general naturopathy (including herbal remedies and lifestyle coaching) as well as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as 'tapping therapy').

For more information or to book a consultation, feel free to email me or call Neal's Yard Remedies directly on 0117 946 6034.


Who needs a naturopathic nutrition & lifestyle consultation? December 02 2013, 0 Comments

The short answer is anyone and everyone!

But you might be thinking why do I need one? I'm not ill and I know how to eat already, thanks very much! Well, perhaps you do and, if so, good for you. But, even if they are not clinically unwell the vast majority of people I know and/or see as clients all have some aspect of their health/wellbeing/life that could use a little support.

It might be frequent headaches or bloating and belching after meals, period pain or general irritation with life. You might feel like it's getting harder and harder to get out of bed or that bedtime can't come soon enough... and it's only 4pm. Or, that the stresses in your life that seemed small last year now seem to be getting a bit bigger and scarier. You might wish you had more energy to do exercise, want to sleep better, be fitter, happier, more productive (yes I did just steal some Radiohead lyrics there, well spotted!). Or maybe you feel great and want to make sure you continue to feel great for many more years to come. Whatever you want for yourself but are not too sure how to get it, naturopathy can help you with.

A Naturopathic nutrition consultation is an opportunity to examine all aspects of your health and wellness, past and present, and try and discover which aspects of your diet, lifestyle and/or environment might be contributing to any ill health or unhappiness and find ways of improving them for you.

Clinical nutrition and naturopathy is personalised, natural medicine. You are unique and your body's needs for food, nutrients, sleep, exercise etc are unique and the consultation process is a chance to put together a personal plan that addresses your health needs specifically.

As a naturopathic nutrition practitioner, I assess and treat the whole person rather than isolated symptoms, to learn how and why that person's health is compromised - taking into consideration their diet, lifestyle, environment and emotional wellbeing - to determine which systems are out of balance and what they need in order to regain abundant health and happiness. Recommendations may include food and supplement suggestions, sleep or exercise routines or functional testing for further investigation.

The first session typically lasts 90 minutes, with subsequent appointments lasting 45-60 minutes.

Nutritional therapy consultations are available in Central London or via Skype.

If you would like more information about having a naturopathic nutrition consultation with a qualified nutritionist then drop me a line here and I'll get back to you asap so we can have a chat about it.


Eat the Rainbow - research shows your life depends on it November 29 2013, 0 Comments

 

And why is it so important to "Eat the Rainbow"?

Even if you wouldn't dream of eating artificially coloured sweets, could you get away with just eating broccoli or cabbage with every meal instead of all the coloured veg and fruit? Well, eating broccoli and cabbage every day is certainly better for you than not eating any vegetables at all. The chlorophyll (green pigment) in broccoli and other green veg is one of nature's most potent detoxifiers and broccoli and cabbage belong to the Brassica family (along with kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower) and contain powerful detoxifying sulphur compounds which help recycle and regulate hormones such as oestrogen among other things. So you definitely want to get plenty of broccoli and cabbage in your diet every week.

However, recent research in the Journal of Nutrition has indicated that each different plant food has a different 'positive health message' to tell our genes and we want ALL of that positive information in order to keep switching on the positive genetic expressions that promote good health and keep all the negative disease-promoting genes switched off. So for optimum health it really is key to eat a wide range of different coloured plant foods - mostly vegetables, herbs and spices with 1-2 pieces of fruit - to maintain that steady dialogue of health promotion and disease prevention.

Researchers Thompson HJ et al. concluded in 'Dietary Botanical Diversity Affects the Reduction of Oxidative Biomarkers in Women due to High Vegetable and Fruit Intake' that:

"Botanical diversity plays a role in determining the bioactivity of high-VF (ed: vegetable and fruit) diets and that smaller amounts of many phytochemicals may have greater beneficial effects than larger amounts of fewer phytochemicals."

What will each colour do for you?

Red phytonutrients eg. Lycopene, Astaxanthin and Capsanthin in tomatoes and redcurrants - support a healthy heart and circulation, urinary tract health and optimal memory function.

Yellow/Orange phytonutrients eg. Beta-carotene and Bioflavonoids in carrots, pumpkin and citrus - support eye health and strong immunity.

White phytonutrients eg. Allicin and Favonol in onions and garlic - support a health heart and cholesterol levels.

Green phytonutrients eg. Chlorophyll, Zeaxanthin, Folate and Lutein in kale and spinach - support strong bones and teeth, healthy eyesight and detoxification.

Blue/Purple phytonutrients eg. Anthocyanin, Quercetin and other Phenols in blueberries and red cabbage - support healthy ageing, urinary tract health, immunity and optimal memory function.

Variety really is the spice of life so to live a long and happy one, be sure to make your meals colourful.  

If you're not sure how to get more colour into your diet, book a nutritional therapy consultation with me and we can work it out together.


Feeling a bit bloated after a heavy breakfast? Ease into the day with a Green Smoothie October 22 2013, 0 Comments

 

There are so many different recommendations on what to eat and when that you'd be forgiven for getting totally confused and stressed out about it (which, incidentally, won't help your digestion at all, because stress => release of adrenal (stress) hormones which => down-regulation of digestive juices and processes so that you can run away from that stressful tiger/9am meeting which can => bloating, gas and unhealthy fermentation of poorly digested food in the intestines).

It might take a bit of time to figure out exactly what kind of food, and in what ratio, serves YOU best for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the meantime, however, if you're feeling a little sluggish or just want to clean things up a bit, adding a green juice/smoothie in first thing in the morning a few times a week can help to supercharge and super cleanse your digestive system.

And since, as the father of medicine, Hippocrates, notably observed, "all disease begins in the gut", keeping it clean should definitely be a priority. You might argue that our digestive system (including the liver) has a natural capacity for "self cleaning". And, 1,000 years ago, that might have been credible. However, our poor 21st Century bodies are faced with a barrage of toxic chemicals on a daily basis, from food (additives, preservatives, flavourings, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, heterocyclic amines from chargrilled meat etc etc), the environment (car exhaust fumes, industrial by-products, chlorinated water, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, electrosmog, cigarette smoke), our homes (parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulhate, PEGs etc in cosmetics and body care, hairsprays, hair dyes, formaldehyde, brominated flame retardants and plastics in our furniture)... and our livers certainly WERE NOT designed to cope with all that day in, day out.

Also, it takes a lot of effort to digest a big meal - mechanically and chemically (enzymatically) so it's good to give the digestive system a helping hand now and then and a quick green smoothie is an easy way to do it. Liquids travel through the stomach and small intestines without making too many demands for stomach acid or enzymes (hydrochloric acid and pepsin are released in the stomach in response to proteins largely) and the raw plants in the smoothie provide some enzymes of their own so they don't require so many to be made and released from the pancreas.

You can really blend any greens you like. They all contain heaps of energising B vitamins, including natural folate, as well as other vital vitamins and minerals. Greens do leave something of a bitter taste by themselves but this can quickly be masked by fresh lemon juice, apple, berries, mint leaves and/or ginger. Don't have any more fruit than a handful of berries or 1 medium apple per serving as your liver doesn't cope well with any more of a fructose hit than that and we wan't to keep blood sugar levels nice and stable, especially first thing in the morning because it can be hard to get off the blood sugar roller- coaster once you set off in the wrong direction...

How to make my Super Quick & Easy Green Smoothie

Ingredients (organic or soaked in vinegar/citric acid to remove as many pesticides/herbicides/fungicides as possible)

Enough for 2 people or half can be saved in a sealed container and refrigerated for breakfast the next day.

  • 1/3 cucumber
  •  4 radishes
  • 1-2 medium apples
  • 4 large lettuce leaves
  • 1 handful mixed spinach, rocket & watercress
  • 1-2 inches fresh ginger
  • 60ml Organic aloe vera juice (Amazon Associates link)

Optional metabolism-boosting/cleansing extras: turmeric powder, chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, cayenne powder/tincture.

Equipment
  • Blender 
  • Glass
  • Glass jar/protein shaker to keep half in fridge if not using all now
Directions
  • Roughly chop ingredients and add gradually to blender
  • Pour into glasses and drink - ideally through a straw to spare your tooth enamel/reduce sensitivity.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers.

And that's all there is to it. Raw, enzyme-rich greens ready to drink in 5 minutes. And the beauty of having fruit and/or liquid food on an empty stomach is that it goes straight through your digestive system in approx 20-30 minutes. So, if you're still hungry after your juice (and chances are you will be, at least until you get used to it) you can follow it half an hour later with some avocado and salad or some eggs/(nitrite-free bacon) and steamed veggies and still be doing your digestive system a real favour.

American nutritionist Kimberly Snyder is seriously into smoothies and eating 'light to heavy' throughout the day so if you want to learn more about it, check out her website.

Are you already a green juicer? What are your favourite blends? Post them below if you're happy to share.


What is naturopathic nutritional medicine? October 08 2013, 0 Comments

Good question! Well first of all, it has nothing to do with calories; or points; or counting of any kind. It is not about demonising certain foods (except for ALL highly processed, lab-made toxic 'franken-foods', of course). Instead, it is about helping people understand their unique needs when it comes to what they should be putting in their bodies.

All real food is good food. And what do I mean when I say real food? I mean all foods found in nature and minimally processed (by which I mean cooked!) in a kitchen and not a factory. 

Today we are bombarded with food on every corner, but unfortunately a lot of what is sold as food is not actually food at all. Instead it is a toxic brew of pseudo food ingredients packaged together cheaply and quickly, which not only has negligible nutritional value but also harms you in the process.

So, what are we to do?

Quite simply, boycott the packaged stuff and make delicious, whole-food meals for ourselves with delicious real-food ingredients.

These ingredients are: meat, fish, fruit, veg, eggs, nuts and seeds and to a lesser extent, beans, pulses and grains. Raw dairy is also highly nutritious for some as well.

And that's the other thing. These real whole foods are only beneficial to us if we can digest and absorb them well. So this is where nutritional therapy comes in. A nutritional therapist will examine what you are eating and how you are feeling and try and work out which foods and in what ratios will serve you best and leave you feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, rather than bloated, lethargic and overweight.

If you think nutritional therapy might be just what you need, why not book a consultation with me now.

 


Hello and welcome! September 18 2013, 0 Comments

Nourishing Solutions is a place for sharing information and wisdom about health and wellbeing and how to achieve it for the good of us all.

My intention is to inspire you to make whatever changes you need to make in order to feel abundantly happy and healthy every day, and I look forward to being equally inspired by all your health and wellness wisdom in return.

Elspeth x