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Monday, January 31, 2011

Want to learn more about Nutrition?

Are you interested in nutrition and its impact on health?  Are you at a stage in your life when you feel ready to learn something new?

If yes, then I can thoroughly recommend this course from Nutrigold.  The course is online, and so you can study in your own time, whenever and wherever you choose.

Nutrigold is headed up by Andrew Wren who has an impressive 'nutritional heritage' - his father is Dr Lawrence Plaskett, who founded the Plaskett College of Nutritional Medicine, and his mother is Barbara Wren who is head of the College of Natural Nutrition.

The course is perfect if you just want to learn more about food, nutrition and health.  But it is possible to add an additional ten hours to the core course to become a registered nutritional adviser.

Anyway, the Nutrigold website explains it better than me.  For more information visit the site here: Nutrition and Health Online Course.

Follow me on Twitter

I finally joined Twitter, so please do follow me to get up to the minute news and hear some of my thoughts and musings that don't make it onto the blog.

You can find me here or search for flowermelanie.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Brighton Practice

My Brighton practice is now up and running.

At present I am only running nutrition sessions, but that will change in the next couple of weeks when my new therapy room is ready, complete with treatment couch for kinesiology.  Keep checking the website - - for current information.

My consulting rooms are based next to Preston Park station.  On street parking is free at any time except 12pm-1pm.

Station House Clinic
18a Clermont Road

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Getting Rid of Wheat Problems

Having a wheat intolerance is very trendy, all the kids want one you know.  It’s the ‘must have’ celebrity health concern.

Joking aside, difficulties digesting wheat do affect lots of people, and wheat comes up frequently in allergy testing.

But you don’t need an allergy test to tell you if you’ve got a problem with wheat; the only thing you need to ask yourself is ‘do I feel better when I don’t eat wheat?’.  If the answer is a definite yes, then you have various options open to you.  One option is to avoid all sources of wheat for a time and then re-introduce it into your diet to see if it is still affecting you.  In some cases, the body just needs a rest from the offending substance to ‘recover’, and when re-introduced it will not cause any problems.  Another option is to continue to eat wheat, but being more aware of how it makes you feel, and thinking carefully about when and how you eat it.  Some people fall into the habit of eating wheat-based foods at three meals a day without thinking about the other options open to them.  In this respect, it’s good to broaden your food horizons and start to look for other things that you might really like to eat.  Again, sometimes reducing your intake of wheat in this way helps you to better tolerate it, because you are eating smaller amounts that the body can easily deal with.

These two options don’t always help though, and sometimes eating even a small amount of wheat can cause bloating, discomfort and other problems.  So what do you do if you fall into this category?  I think wheat is particularly hard to avoid, and it can be very stressful to have to manage your diet in this way; complete avoidance is a difficult long term option, as people with coeliac disease can tell you.

Well the good news is that this kind of problem can be fairly easy to resolve, and in my experience allergies and intolerances are not necessarily something you’re stuck with forever.  In particular, food allergies and intolerances are a sign that all is not well with your digestive and immune systems, and these issues can respond well to various natural therapies (kinesiology and nutritional therapy included).  I have had many clients who now eat wheat freely, when previously it had caused them significant discomfort.

One of the common reasons these allergies and intolerances can arise is due to the use of antibiotics.  Although antibiotics can get rid of infections that may be endangering your life and your health, they can also adversely affect your digestive system in years to come.  Antibiotics can greatly reduce the amount of beneficial bacteria in our digestive systems, potentially leading to all kinds of digestive and immune problems.  There are other factors involved too; for example, maybe your body is not producing enough digestive enzymes, or perhaps your digestive system is affected by emotional stress.  But once identified, all of these contributing causes can be addressed, putting you back on the path to good health.

So once you understand which substances are affecting you – either via allergy testing or your own experimentation – remember that strict avoidance is not your only option.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What does a Nutritional Therapist who 'doesn't do diets' actually do?

Recently I have been thinking a lot about the future of nutrition (‘Mmm yes, very interesting..’ I hear you cry!).  My view about this has changed an awful lot over the past few years and probably differs hugely from most other nutritionists around.  This is mainly due to what I have learned about intuitive eating and my discovery of the Beyond Chocolate approach; trusting your instincts, slowing down, eating food that satisfies and nourishes, stopping when you’re full because you know you can start again whenever you’re hungry.  (For more info, visit

As a nutritional therapist, I have used therapeutic diets in the past with my clients.  That is, fairly austere diets that include (or exclude) specific foods and nutrients to bring about changes in the body.  They can work really well sometimes, but they are short lived - no one can eat like that long term.  And in fact lots of people couldn’t eat like that for the short term either.  And I just hated telling people they have to stop eating foods they really love!  So I don’t do that anymore.

So as a trained nutritional therapist, what does the future hold for my professional life if it’s not diet-based?

After pondering this issue, I think it comes down to three things: information, experimentation, and nutritional supplements.

I think information is key to make informed choices about what you put inside yourself.  For example, if a client comes to see me because they habitually feel bloated and suffer from heartburn after a tuna baguette, I give them information about how their stomach is working and what might be happening to their digestive system when they feel this discomfort.  Armed with the information, they can then much better understand what’s happening to them and why.  In this respect, my role is partly as an educator.

‘Experimentation’ involves taking responsibility for your health, researching and discovering what works for you.  Once armed with the information, it’s time to start trying different ways of eating and different foods to see what makes you feel better (and what doesn’t).  I always suggest to my clients that they experiment with anything I might recommend – it’s their body, they’ll know if it feels good or not.  Maybe you’ve been forcing yourself to have porridge for years, but you absolutely hate it (and it doesn’t seem to make a difference to how you feel anyway).  Time to stop and experiment!  Do you fancy food when you first wake up?  When is the first time you get hungry in the morning?  What would be your ideal breakfast?  There are always lots of things to learn about yourself.

And then there are nutritional supplements.  For some people this is a controversial area, but not for me - I have seen the amazing changes that well chosen supplements can bring about.  In some cases supplements can work better than drugs (see ‘Food is Better Medicine than Drugs’).  Taking supplements can sometimes be more practical than changing your diet, especially if you have an obvious deficiency of one or more nutrients; relying on food alone to rectify a deficiency or imbalance can be laborious and time consuming (or impossible).  If you have a specific health problem that you want to address using nutrition, choosing which supplements to take ideally needs professional input otherwise you might not see the benefit.  And this is where the nutritional therapists come in, pinpointing the most important nutrients that will give the most benefit in the shortest space of time.

And have I found that this approach works better than giving my clients a diet to follow?  Absolutely.
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