Nutrition Therapy in Oxford, Abingdon and Bampton
I added Nutrition therapy to the portfolio of therapies available in May 2017. This allows me to have a much more holistic approach to problems where diet may be a factor. I can provide clients with nutritional information and explain the relationship between mind and body. I help them formulate both diet plans and improving their food variety for eating disorders and food phobics means I have a broader approach than other therapists.
How Nutrition Therapy can help mental health issues
Disruption of the gut flora can increase the anxiety someone feels. Serotonin is produced in the gut, and the bacteria helps keep us healthy both physically and mentally. The bacteria in the gut can be influenced by:
- Illness – viral and bacterial infections can wipe out the good gut flora.
- Food – if we eat a lot of processed food. The good bacteria don’t have anything to live on, and they die.
- Stress – if we are overworked or have a very stressful event. The good gut flora is sometimes flushed out of our system.
Nutrition counts in weight loss
When I see people for weight loss, I always check what they are eating. Some food combinations are unhelpful to losing weight, such as sugar, flour and refined foods. I help people change their habits to include some really beneficial foods that are packed full of good vitamins and minerals.
If you have weight to lose, then have you tried cutting out a meal? Sometimes being hungry can be a good thing as it forces our bodies to respond to the correct use of insulin, leptin and ghrelin, and not out of habit.
Portion configuration is important too, with half your plate being covered by fruit and vegetables. Have a look at the Harvard guide to portion proportions.
Changing eating habits
Having worked with many food phobics over the years, I know giving someone a diet to follow may not work initially. They will often have objections and preferred foods. Try and swap toast and marmalade for porridge overnight will often lead to rebellion. I work to a 6-week plan to start with. Over that time the client starts to introduce the new foods and reduce the unhelpful foods slowly.
Top tips for food swapping
- On the days you wake up feeling fine, stick to the plan 100%. If you wake up feeling tired or unwell cut yourself some slack, to start with try and stick to 50% of your daily plan.
- If you like sweet breakfasts try something like blueberries and black cherries with porridge, ground linseed and cocoa. The sweetness will come from the fruit and the cocoa makes it taste nice and is full of flavonoids.
- If a savoury breakfast is more your thing, then having eggs as a high protein, low carb start can keep you filled up for hours.
- Instead of going straight from sandwich to salad, how about salad wraps? These can be made the night before and stored in the fridge, the moisture from the salad can help the wraps stay together.
- Have homemade soup instead of a meal. Evidence shows that food suspended in a fluid stays around in your guts for longer, keeping you feeling full.
- Don’t eat meat every day. Try fish several days a week and vegetarian options at least once a week.
- Draw up a plan at the weekend and pencil in where you’re going to be and work out where you can prepare ahead so you don’t rely on take aways and shop made meals. Make a batch of soup or salad on a Sunday to eat Monday and Tuesday.
Fill your plate with colour
The best range of foods you can choose is a rainbow.
Yellow – Squash, capsicum, sweet corn, tomato.
Orange – Pumpkin, Sweet potato, capsicum, carrot, tomato.
Red – Tomato, capsicum, radish.
Green – Spinach, lettuce, chard, cabbage, watercress, capsicum, cucumber, celery, avocado.
Purple – broccoli, aubergine, red cabbage, beetroot.