IBS Relief with Nutrition & Acupuncture – Case Study

IBS Relief with Nutrition & Acupuncture – Case Study

 Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the most common conditions clients come to see me for, seeking relief from symptoms such as constipation, pain, diarrhoea, wind, bloating and headaches.

Stress is one of the main triggers for IBS, and this was certainly a factor with the client in this case study.ibscare

Let’s call her Jenny (not her real name).  Jenny originally began working with my colleague Tiziana Bertinotti at York Traditional Acupuncture, and Tiziana recommended she also see me for nutritional support.

Tiziana and I frequently work together with the same client as the combined power of nutrition + Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture (the real deal, not just dry needling techniques) brings huge transformative effects to people’s lives.

Jenny was 23 years old and had been suffering with IBS symptoms of constipation, tiredness, pain, wind and abdominal discomfort for 8 years.  Her symptoms began just after her parents divorced when she was 15 – she also had a bad viral infection at this time too, so there was a combination of physical and emotional triggers.

Jenny had taken an ELISA food intolerance test in her teens and cut some foods out of her diet already which had brought temporary, but not lasting, relief.

She admitted ‘holding on’ to stress in her stomach and was not finding enough time for relaxation.  Due to low energy levels she had stopped exercising as much too: this is a real catch-22 situation as exercise can improve both energy levels and IBS symptoms.

 

The Acupuncture Approach

Acu_Ggle_blogTiziana’s approach was multi-faceted and focused primarily on calming Jenny’s mind and sympathetic nervous system (the ‘fight or flight’ response) whilst improving the flow of energy through her digestive system and liver.  She used combination of body and ear acupuncture, with moxa for extra warmth and stimulation.

The Nutrition Approach

My approach was based on the ‘4 R’ technique;

 – Remove aggravating foods

 – Replace with suitable nourishing alternatives

 – Reinoculate: support the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, and the entire digestive process from mouth to anus

 – Repair: deal with inflammation and increased permeability in the digestive tract

Jenny was keen to undertake another food intolerance test, and this revealed multiple reactions.  Rather than removing all these foods, we focused on a handful of strongly reactive foods whilst working on supporting healing and repair in her digestive system.  Multiple food reactions are indicative of increased gut permeability which allows partially digested food particles to stimulate the immune system.  The foods are not really the problem: the poor gut integrity is, hence focusing on healing and repair.

Her diet included plenty of warming, cooked foods that are easy to digest and supply  the necessary nutrients for digestive comfort and energy production;

 – Magnesium from green veggies, nuts  and buckwheatthomas-rehehauser-49045

 – B-vitamins from suitable grains, nuts, slow-cooked meats and vegetables

 – Essential fats from nuts, seeds, flaxseed oils and oily fish

 – Zinc from pumpkin seeds, meats and fish

 – Vitamin A from beta carotene rich vegetables and egg yolks

Supplements

Jenny had been taking several supplements and we identified some of the reactive foods as ingredients in these.  I replaced them with just 2 products to begin with: a multi-strain broad spectrum probiotic formula and a blend of digestive herbs including ginger, fennel, cardamom, papaya, peppermint and clove for their anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and carminative properties.

And the result?

At her final 3 month Follow On session Jenny happily reported having consistent improvements to all of her symptoms.  She was sleeping better, exercising regularly, free from constipation, wind, and pain, and was enjoying relaxation time.

fitness-332278_640In her own words…

“After many years of discomfort I can now enjoy life to the full!”

which is what you want when you’re 23 years old!

Tiziana and I wrote up Jenny’s case for the Complementary & Alternative health Magazine (now called Integrative Healthcare and Applied Nutrition) and you can see the article here;

Sally IBS case CAM Jan 2016

If you would like to be free from IBS like Jenny, take a look at the Nutrition Plan page to see how we can work together or call or email me to arrange your no-obligation 15min chat and discover how nutritional therapy may be just what you’re looking for!

Call: 07910 705272

Email: sallyduffin@nutritioninyork.co.uk

How can I reduce my sugar intake?

New sugar limits for sweet foods and snacks have been published today, in a bid to get food manufacturers to reduce the sugar content of products by 20% over the next 3 years.

Public Health England (PHE) announced new targets for the food industry in face of rising levels of childhood obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.  NHS figures reported last week show a 24% increase in toddler tooth extractions over the past decade, largely due to children eating more and more sugar.

The new sugar reduction proposals suggest 3 ways for manufacturers to meet the targets;

  • Cut sugar levels by 20% across all productsbrooke-lark-203839

  • Promote ‘no added’ or ‘low sugar’ alternatives

  • Cut overall calories or reduce the portion size

These proposals are entirely voluntary and whilst some manufacturers are embracing the changes, well aware of the fact that this cannot be avoided and voluntary measures are likely to be more lenient than legislation will be, others are stalling for time and protesting the moves.

Will the proposals work?

Cutting sugar levels across all products is undoubtedly a strong step in the right direction for improving public health.  But, when you take something away you have to offer a viable alternative: cue the ‘low sugar’ alternative foods.  A potential problem here may be the inclusion of more salt or more processed fats to maintain the texture and satiety of the product.

Sugar, salt and fat are the magic triage of ingredients used in processed foods to achieve maximum levels of taste and ‘feel’ – the ‘bliss effect’ – when eating.  Remove one of the triple and you have to add more of the others to maintain the status quo.

What about artificial sweeteners?

Cutting sugar levels almost certainly means an increased reliance on artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and aesculfame.  These compounds are 200 times sweeter than regular sugar and are currently widely used in many sugar free products like chewing gums and sugar-free soft drinks.

The safety of these chemicals remains highly controversial.  Much of the evidence promoting their safe use is industry funded and frequently conducted on animals – the human digestive process and nervous system differ in many ways to that of animals!

Newer research has shown the negative effect artificial sweeteners have on our beneficial gut bacteria.  Our microbiome comes into direct contact with the breakdown products of sweeteners in the digestive tract, and in the case of aspartame, the main breakdown product is formaldehyde – a recognised carcinogen to humans, and most commonly known as embalming fluid!

A healthy, nourished microbiome plays a major role in regulating immunity and inflammation, as well as influencing nutrient absorption and the production of certain vitamins, namely vitamin K and certain B-vitamins.  Imbalances in gut bacteria are, ironically, linked to disturbed metabolism and obesity – the very health issues we are trying to combat.

Artificial sweeteners also account for a significant amount of food sensitivity reactions in both adults and children.  Pushing more of these chemicals into our food chain puts us at risk of myriad side effects and is certainly not the answer to the obesity problem.

So how do we reduce sugar?

Rather than relying on food manufacturers who have only profits in mind, take your own steps to sugar reduction.  Start slowly, and gradually phase out sugar and artificial sweeteners to allow your taste buds to adjust.

Simple swaps include;

 – Replace standard breakfast cereals with Overnight Oats or homemade granola sweetened with maple syrup.  No time to make your own granola?  Marks & Spencer offer a granola base sweetened with a small amount of apple juice and honey.

 – Replace fruit juice and fizzy drinks with fruit water: add fruit slices (lemon, pomegranate, lime, orange) to filtered water.

 – Replace white bread with wholegrain, or look for bread alternatives such as oatcakes, buckwheat crackers, or nori sheets to make wraps with.

 – Dried fruits are a concentrated source of sugar but their high fibre content helps slow down its absorption into your bloodstream.  Snack on a palmful of dried fruits and mixed nuts, or keep Nak’d bars in your bag / glove box / desk drawer.

 – For an after dinner sweet hit try Pukka Herbs Liquorice & Cinnamon tea: liquorice is up to 50 times sweeter in taste than sugar and the cinnamon supports healthy blood sugar balance.

 – Make sure to combine good quality protein with healthy fats and slow releasing carbohydrates at each meal to support steady, sustained energy levels and reduce sweet cravings.

Struggling to break the sugar habit?  Take a look at the 4 Week Flourish and 8 Week Positive Change Plans to see how we can work together to turn your health around! 

Call 07910 705272 or email at sallyduffin@nutritioninyork.co.uk to book in!

Keeping your brain sharp – the Naturopathic Nutritional Way

Image from www.alzheimers.org.uk

Image from www.alzheimers.org.uk

Here in the UK there are currently 850,000 people living with dementia.  Because we are an ageing population, this figure is set to grow massively over the next few years, placing a huge strain on our already beleaguered healthcare system.

Last week I had the privilege of attending a lecture by Dr Dale Bredesen, a Professor of Neurology at the Buck Institute in America.  He is pioneering research into dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease (which accounts for 62% of all dementia) and achieving incredible results. 

His protocol combines nutrition, lifestyle, supplement and medications – a truly holistic approach for what is a complex condition.  You can read more about his work here at the Dementia Alliance International website.

The problem with all the new dementia drugs that keep hitting the headlines is they are only focusing on 1 aspect of the problem: the accumulation of protein tangles in the brain.  Stopping these protein tangles will not halt or reverse the progression of dementia in the long term because this is only part of a much broader picture. 

Dr Bredesen likens dementia to a leaky roof that has 36 holes in it.  The drugs plug 1 or 2 of these holes but the roof will still leak!  Taking nutrition, exercise, lifestyle and key nutrients into consideration is crucial in order for the roof to become watertight again.

The causes of dementia vary from person to person, but 3 main areas have been identified:

1.   Inflammation in the brain

2.   Exposure to brain-damaging toxins such as aluminium, mercury – and for some individuals, gluten – and infections

3.   Chronic lack of nutrients needed to maintain brain function

So, if you’re concerned about cognitive decline or simply want to keep your faculties as sharp as possible for as long as possible, what can you do?

Investigate your genes

The presence of the homozygous APOE-4 gene variation causes a 90% increased risk of developing dementia.  This is an increased risk – it’s not a definite destiny!  How your genes are expressed is determined by your diet and lifestyle: you have the power to positively influence your genes. 

For more information on genetic investigations and nutritional support please contact me.

Balance your blood sugars

Alzheimer’s has been termed ‘diabetes in the brain’ because the brain cells lose their ability to respond to insulin and use sugars effectively for fuel.  If your diet is high in refined sugars and processed foods, cut these out.  Switch to wholegrain versions and include a wider variety of naturally gluten-free carbohydrates like buckwheat, quinoa and brown rice.  Include good quality protein with each meal.  Aim to have a mini-fast each night by not eating for 12 hours e.g. 8pm to 8am.

Go for full fat!

When brain cells struggle to utilise sugars properly, they can still use a type of fat called MCT (medium chain triglycerides).  Coconut oil is an excellent source of these fats, and anecdotal evidence demonstrates improvements in dementia symptoms from including 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil each day. fishoil

Your brain also relies on ample levels of cholesterol: 25% of your body’s cholesterol lives in your brain.  This works alongside omega-3 oils from oily fish, nuts and seeds to keep your brain cells communicating properly.

Check your Vitamin D

Vitamin D receptors are found throughout the brain and low levels of this nutrient are linked with increased inflammation – a key trigger for dementia.

Detox toxins

Reduce your exposure to toxins by switching to natural cleaning products and bodycare products.  Stop smoking (that’s obvious!), avoid aluminium pans and utensils and include plenty of antioxidant foods: coriander, spirulina, chlorella and dark green leafy vegetables, eggs and onions are some of the best sources of powerful antioxidant nutrients.rainbowveggies

Movement and mental stimulation!

Movement of all kinds improves circulation and blood sugar balance.  Including movement each day, whether its walking, swimming, yoga, Tai Chi or a full on gym workout is vital. 

Keeping your brain stimulated by learning new things is just as important.  Your brain cells grow and restructure themselves each time you learn new information or have to solve problems.  Learning a new language, doing a daily crossword or Sudoku puzzle can all help stimulate ‘neuro-plasticity’ – the reshaping and growth of brain cells.

 

Concerned about your mental wellbeing?

Looking for naturopathic nutritional support for depression, anxiety or poor memory?

Drop me a line at sallyduffin@nutritioninyork.co.uk to find out more…

 

 

Omega 3 Oils and Depression

A recent large scale study from Japan has highlighted how the national diet which is rich in oily fish, means there are lower levels of depression amongst the population.fishoil

Many previous studies examining the effects of omega-3 oils on depression and mood balance have looked at the average Western diet which is typically low in oily fish.  The Japanese traditionally eat much more oily fish, thereby having a higher baseline level of omega-3.

The study looked at 1050 men and 1073 women all aged over 40. Results showed that higher intake levels of the omega-3 fats EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) were inversely associated with symptoms of depression.

Both EPA and DHA play key roles in the structure and function of the brain, supporting communication between brain cells.

The importance of omega-3 fats to brain health can be likened to a mobile phone signal: when levels are low, cell communication is crackly and interrupted, similar to poor mobile phone reception!

Oily fish and krill oil are major sources of both EPA and DHA.  Certain types of algae can supply DHA whilst flax seeds, hemp seeds and walnuts provide ALA (alpha-linoleic acid), the ‘parent’ acid of EPA and DHA.

The difficulty with relying on ALA as a source of omega-3 oils is that a lot of the oils are lost in the different conversion processes ALA must go through to become EPA and DHA.

Many other nutrients are needed to support this conversion: magnesium, B-vitamins, vitamin C, zinc – and if dietary sources of these nutrients is low, or digestion is impaired, there are knock on effects on EPA and DHA levels.

Try these simple steps to support your EPA and DHA levels:

  1. Include oily fish such as sardines, wild salmon, mackerel, pilchards and trout in your diet 3 times a week

  2. If you dislike fish, consider a Krill oil supplement.  Krill oil provides EPA and DHA in a highly bioavailable form which is easily used by cells throughout your body

  3. For vegetarians & vegans, include hemp, flax and walnut oils daily.  ‘Udo’s Oil Blend’ is a fantastic vegan oil blend of various nuts and seeds, supplying a balanced range of Omegas 3, 6 and 9.

  4. If you have difficulty digesting fats, include bitter foods like rocket, watercress, mustard greens, dandelion leaves and apple cider vinegar before meals to stimulate bile production.

  5. Digestive enzymes may also be useful: lipase is the specific enzyme for fat digestion.

If you’re seeking a natural nutritional way to deal with depression, anxiety or hormonal mood imbalance, drop me a line at sallyduffin@nutritioninyork.co.uk or call 07910 705272 TODAY!

 

Study reference:

Horikawa C et al (2016) Cross-sectional association between serum concentrations of n-3 long-chain PUFA and depressive symptoms: results in Japanese community dwellers British Journal of Nutrition vol 115:672-80

 

Inside a Nutritional Therapist’s fridge…

IMAG0040One of the main reasons I don’t ‘do’ Instagram is that ten minutes browsing through reams of aspirational images related to nutrition and health leave me in despair: my kitchen isn’t stylishly minimalist, I don’t hashtag all my thoughts with #eatclean and if I see one more picture of smashed avocado and poached egg I may well break the internet.

There’s a fine line between being inspirational and unrealistic and for me, so much of what is online is contrived and unachieveable.  When you’re struggling to balance the stress of poor health, family needs and work demands, the last thing you need is to feel that the small changes you are making to your diet – however positive they are – are Just.  Not.  Enough.  And this is the negative power social media can have.

So, in the interests of honesty and sharing I’m going to give you a glimpse of what my fridge looks like after the weekly shop.  (You wouldn’t want to see it beforehand…the sight of a lonely lemon and scrag-end of celery inspires no one…)

Lets start at the bottom…

Salad drawers: these contain courgettes, celery, avocadoes, lemons, an aubergine and some mixed peppers.  Mixture of organic and non-organic, depending on what’s available and what I can pay that week.

First shelf: packets of free range chicken thighs, bag of potatoes and a cauliflower.  I do prefer to buy a whole organic chicken, roast it in coconut oil on a Sunday then use the rest of it during the week, culminating in a chicken & veg soup (I recently created a chicken, ginger and butternut squash soup..divine…)  However we had friends over for dinner that day and chicken thighs were needed.

The cauliflower will be turned into cauliflower and lentil dhal which does me for several days as either breakfast or lunch, accompanied by yoghurt, mint & cucumber dip.

Second shelf: 2 cartons of coconut water; I’m currently taking Spirulina each day IMAG0040for it’s amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine and antioxidant powers.  If you’ve tried spirulina, you’ll know how strong it tastes and how it needs to be mixed with something to lift the flavour – coconut water and blueberries work perfectly!

Asparagus, spring onions, carrots, cucumber and tub of blueberries.

Third shelf: bag of spinach because my own crop has been an abysmal failure this summer; selection of cheeses (cheddar, goats cheese and lacto-free cheese to satisy everyone in the house); limes, local strawberries, free range organic eggs and a tub of butter.  It’s a regular intention to make my own spreadable butter by mixing a tablesoon of olive oil into a chuck of organic butter.  Sometimes I do it, more often than not I forget, so we have a tub of spreadable butter to hand.

The bottle of sweet chilli sauce is a rarity as this stuff is heaving with sugar, but the meal we cooked for friends included it as a dip.  This shelf frequently holds a dessert too as Mr Nutrition In York cannot resist sticky toffee pudding.

Top shelf: broccoli, plain live soya yoghurt, ground flaxseeds – essential for mixing with my morning porridge or adding to smoothies – full fat mayonnaise and tomato ketchup.

So, no secret ingredients here, and no glamorous chic kitchen.  I’m certainly not the world’s best cook (ask Mr NIY, he’ll tell all!) but I am living proof you can change how you feel with everyday foods and learn how to understand what your body needs to thrive.

Confused about what to eat?

Feeling stressed, exhausted and strung out?

Struggling with crazy hormones or erratic digestion?

Drop me a line and lets get you back on the path to vitality & wellbeing…

Clean Eating? I quite like being a bit dirty…

‘Clean Eating’ is the new buzz-phrase in nutrition.  Endorsed by countless celebrity dieters and fitness professionals filling Instagram with image of mashed avocado and raw brownies, this so-called new way of eating revolves around ‘clean’ foods and the avoidance of anything highly processed and sugar-laden.

On the surface, this seems like a good idea and is certainly the sort of approach I vegstallwould normally endorse: avoiding refined processed foods and eating a wide range of natural, nutrient-rich goods instead.  But dig a little deeper, and you find the world of clean eating is far murkier than it likes to appear.

A quick Google search reveals several ridiculous rules for clean eating;

  1. “Processed foods are anything in a box, bag, can or package.” So you’re going to have to carry that free-range chicken home in your bare hands.  And yes, you are indeed being ‘dirty’ by choosing lentils and chickpeas from tins despite the fact you haven’t got time to be soaking and simmering dried ones for hours.

  2. “Clean foods are naturally low in sugar, salt and fat.” ButterStatements like this perpetuate the widespread confusion we have over low-fat foods.  Trans fats and refined vegetable oils disrupt the actions of healthy fats in our bodies, but regular consumption of butter, ghee, good quality olive oil and coconut oil brings many health benefits.  And in terms of the so called ‘clean foods’; avocadoes, coconut oil, nuts and seeds are brimming with fats!

  3. “Use clean sugars.” I don’t think I understand this one at all.  Sugar comes in many guises and in various states of processing.  Avoiding the refined white table sugar is certainly helpful, but replacing this with huge spoonfuls of agave syrup (often favoured by clean eaters) is not a good alternative given its high fructose content.  Fructose is metabolised in a different way to regular glucose, with high levels contributing to the formation of triglycerides in the liver – long term issues with this include Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

  4. A ‘Clean Eating Pyramid’: the science behind this pyramid evades me.  It encourages the majority of the diet to be Clean-Eating-Pyramid_Gglebased on fruit and water – great if you want erratic blood sugar levels, bloating and diarrhoea. Not so great for supporting your body in dealing with stress, hormone fluctuations, ongoing fatigue or digestive issues such as IBS.

The biggest disagreement I have with ‘clean eating’ is the phrase itself.  It implies foods are either clean or dirty, and therefore, by extension, YOU are either clean or dirty, according to your food choices.

It is yet another way in which food becomes demonized.  It is yet another way for eating disorders to develop, as people (mostly young women) begin to restrict and control the foods they eat, obeying rules set out by other followers on social media, each trying to outshine the other with the latest images of their ‘clean’ meals.

For me, dirty foods are the carrots I haven’t washed yet.  I enjoy mashed avocado as much as the next person, and just as much as I enjoy a bag of ‘dirty’ chocolate buttons at the cinema.

 

A shorter version of this article appeared in The Press on 07/06/2016

Feeling flat, low and stuck? Take inspiration from the Yorkshire Mums’ who rowed the Atlantic!

Top of my List of Inspiration this week are the Yorkshire Rows: 4 brave and amazing women from Yorkshire who have just rowed the Atlantic ocean and achieved the World Record for being the oldest ladies to do it.YorkshireRows_Guardian

Helen, Niki, Frances and Janette set off from the Canaries in late December, rowed 3000 nautical miles – facing hurricanes, storms and endless technical issues along the way – and arrived in Antigua last Thursday after 68 days at sea.

They left their children and husbands at home, spent Christmas on board the boat and had only brief satellite telephone communications with loved ones.

What made them do it?  Well, they wanted to raise money for two hugely important charities – Maggies Cancer Care Centre and Yorkshire Air Ambulance – and to prove that anything is possible.

The ladies had never rowed for more than a few hours before starting training, and had only rowed on the open sea once before the race: in 2015 they crossed from Yorkshire to Holland and Helen discovered she was seasick!

During the race they worked in shifts of 2 hours rowing and 2 hours sleep, non-stop 24 hours a day for 68 days.

I advised the ladies on their nutrition whilst in training for the race.  They worked incredibly hard juggling full time jobs and family life with intensive training and raising the sponsorship needed to build and run the boat.

When I heard last week of their arrival in English Harbour, Antigua, I cried joyful tears!  These down-to-earth, normal working Mums had just completed what is described as the hardest race on Earth and in doing so, silenced any doubts about what can be achieved and what people are capable of once focus, belief and consistent effort come into play.

Everyone has their own personal Atlantic to row – you might even have more than one!  (Mine is to write a short story book…).  I see clients every week who are struggling to get through ill-health and disease and whilst I can guide, support and encourage them, they are the ones who have to focus and take small, consistent steps in the right direction if they want to regain their wellbeing.

The point is, it can be done.  Might not be easy plain sailing but it can be done.  A few years ago Helen, Niki, Janette and Frances would have laughed out loud if someone told them to row an ocean but now they’ve done it and cemented their place in history.

You have the power to ask for support and to start taking steps towards better, brighter health.  If this is what you truly want, get in touch and start the conversation – I’m happy to chat to you!

And to find out more about the brilliant Yorkshire Rows go to www.yorkshirerows.com

 

 

Workshop – Balancing Female Hormones

As part of the York International Women’s Festival I am running this exciting workshop focusing on female hormone health.  Join me on Friday 18th March, 10.30am – 12.30pm at Friends Meeting House, Lower Friargate, York and discover…Happy-Lady_Ggle

  • What exactly your female hormones are up to during the menstrual cycle and menopause

  • What factors contribute to hormone imbalance

  • Which foods and nutrients can support female hormone balance and relieve the dreaded monthly symptoms of zero energy, mood swings, headaches, acne, bloating, cravings and breast tenderness

  • How to naturally manage menopausal symptoms

There will be plenty of time for Q&A and handouts to take away so you can immediately put into action all the tips and advice from the session.

Only 10 spaces are available – book today to avoid disappointment!  Tickets are only £15 as this event is part of the York International Women’s Festival (regular price £25).

To book your place or for more details call me on 07910 705272 or email sallyduffin@nutritioninyork.co.uk

 

 

Using Sea Vegetables for Health

Vegetables don’t just grow on land; sea vegetables make a tasty and nutritious addition to all kinds of meals: quiches, sauces, soups, stews, casseroles…

The different types of seaweed are rich in minerals – particularly magnesium, iron, iodine and zinc; B-vitamins, antioxidants, long chain fatty acids (omegas 6 and 3), prebiotic fibres and certain types of carbohydrates called fucans. 

Fucans have been shown to possess a range of positive effects including:

– reducing inflammation

– supporting immunity through anti-viral actions

– supporting healthy blood flow and circulation

– helping to maintain our friendly gut flora through modulation of intestinal pH, short chain fatty acid production and the gut mucous secretions.

(Lordan S et al (2011) Marine Bioactives as Functional Food Ingredients: Potential to Reduce the Incidence of Chronic Diseases Marine Drugs vol 9(6):1056-1100)

You don’t need to eat vast quantities of seaweeds to gain these benefits.  In traditional Japanese meals, small amounts of sea vegetables are used to lift and strengthen the flavours of the meal and enhance digestion.

Nori flakes, mixed sea vegetable flakes and kombu strips are the easiest ones to start with.  The flakes can be sprinkled over soups, casseroles, scrambled eggs and even mashed potato!  Add a 2″ piece of kombu to the pan when simmering beans or pulses; the seaweed nutrients help to breakdown some of the tough starches in the legumes, making them easier to digest (i.e. they will cause much less flatulence!).

Sheets of nori are used to make sushi and also offer an interesting alternative to bread for making sandwiches – ideal for a gluten free option!  Simply place your filling on the sheet and roll it up, adding a dab of water to stick the end of the roll in place.

The mixture of minerals found in sea vegetables makes them ideal for optimising energy and wellbeing – particularly if you are struggling with an under active thyroid.  The iodine, zinc and magnesium found in sea veggies support thyroid hormone formation and function, giving your thyroid gland a much needed boost!

Discover the benefits of a Seasonal Cleanse

Spring and autumn are nature’s seasons of change and transformation.  We can tap into these natural rhythms and enjoy a cleansing programme of our own to boost circulation, digestion, energy and vitality.

An effective cleanse is more than just drinking plenty of water and taking a few supplements, it involves supporting all the detoxification pathways in your body from the cellular level right through to actual wastes being eliminated via stools, urine and sweat.

So, what are the benefits of a seasonal cleanse?

 – Simplifying your diet by removing refined sugar, wheat, dairy and processed foods gives your hardworking digestive system a well earned break.  At the end of the cleanse, if you start to reintroduce these foods you may be able to pinpoint any that cause particular problems or intolerances for you.

 – Boosting lymphatic circulation with dry skin brushing and regular movement can improve skin appearance and texture giving you a wonderful fresh glow!

 – Your liver works tirelessly to process and detox hormones, nutrients, medications and alcohol.  By avoiding alcohol for the duration of the cleanse and enjoying luxury levels of vitamins, minerals and amino acids needed for liver function you are supporting these vital detox pathways.

 – Caring for your immune system: around 80% of your immune system is located in your gut!  Healthy digestion and beneficial gut bacteria = a strong, robust immune system: helpful when faced with spring allergies like hayfever or the onset of the cold & flu season in winter!

More energy! Think of your body as a complex machine.  Any machine that is serviced and well oiled will run effectively and the same goes for your amazing body: give it plenty of vital nutrients, regularly remove the wastes and tend to any weak spots.  Energy is produced in each cell of your body and requires a constant supply of magnesium, B-vitamins, co-enzyme Q10, vitamin C and zinc – to name but a few of the nutrients involved.

Are you ready to enjoy a seasonal cleanse?

Drop me a line at sallyduffin@nutritioninyork.co.uk or on 07910 705272 and lets get you started!