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Vegan + January= Veganuary

SYNERGY NUTRITION

This month many of you are going vegan or considering it. It’s the new year, and we can still be jolly     🙂 Why not set some goals and experiment with new things and ideas this month. Especially beginning with your health and being mindful about what you put into your body. I’m not preaching to avoid meat or fish at all. I’m here to support those of you who want  to move towards a more plant based diet.  With the number of documentaries and media stories showcasing what goes behind the meat and dairy industries I’ve seen an upward trend in veganism even amongst celebrities. So to help you with the transition and enlighten you more about vegan diets. I’ve written some pointers below. 

SYNERGY NUTRITION

A vegan diet is free from all animal produce, dairy and eggs. So the diet is focused more on vegetables, fruits, grains, cereals, beans, pulses, nuts and seeds. There are different variations on the vegan diet and the most common are below:

  • The Raw Vegan diet: where raw food that has not been overly cooked or heated at high temperatures is predominately consumed.  Often people switch between different levels of ‘raw-ness’ at different times in their lives – although there are some hardcore raw foodies who are all in, 100%.
  • The Lacto Vegan: who avoids fish, meat and eggs and can consume dairy.
  • The Gluten Free Vegan: similar to the vegan diet, but avoids foods and grains containing gluten foods such as wheat and rye. So rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, oats, corn and gluten free flours are all fine.
  • The Ethical Vegan: who follows a vegan diet and also goes that step further by prohibiting animal exploitation, so does not wear leather, fur, silk, or any other clothes made from animals. They also do not use cosmetic products that tested on animals.
  • A Fruitarian: the diet is predominantly composed of fruit, and the rest is composed of nuts and seeds. I personally would not advise this diet due to the risk of nutritional deficiencies and lack of vegetables and protein in the diet.

Depending on what your current diet is like at the moment I would advise to keep it simple as possible as you transition across to a vegan diet of your choice. If you can’t follow a vegan diet 100% then follow the percentage that suits you. Making small changes to your everyday meals is one of the easiest ways to increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet. The positive is there is a plant-based alternative for almost every type of food so you do not have to miss out on any of your favourite foods and when eating out as many eateries have vegan options.

If your previous diet included dairy produce and cheese which you are now ready to remove. Then finding filling replacements of these food is important to stop you from feeling hungry and empty as dairy foods naturally contain some protein and fats. Cow’s milk for example can be swapped to the numerous dairy free milks available such as almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk or oat milk. Yogurt can be replaced with coconut yogurt or soya yogurt. Tahini, which is a paste, made from ground sesame seeds is a versatile spread that is high in calcium and contains some protein. There are vegan cheese alternatives, vegan chocolate and egg replacements can also be made or found in health food stores and supermarkets.

Just to add that the foods you consume should be tailored to your dietary requirements and taste preferences. There may be times it is not possible to eat vegan and you choose to allow yourself certain foods. So it is perfectly fine to follow an imperfectly vegan diet now and again. Listening to what your body craves is actually good for your health. The key is not to punish yourself, it is about nourishing your body with food and nutrients that energise the body and keep it working well.

Potential nutritional deficiencies on a vegan diet are: Iron, B12, zinc, calcium, vitamin D and omega 3 essential fatty acids. Therefore I would recommend getting these tested and then supplementing these nutrients. Although a caveat is getting the right remedy and dosage right for you, so seeking advice from a nutritionist is paramount, then self prescribing.

I am available for consultations and advice, where I can provide more tailored food recommendations, recipes and supplement advice for you.

Hair loss, alopecia & Indian Head Massage

I wanted to write about an important topic- Hair! For me as a therapist I believe the condition of our hair reflects the state of our general health. I meet both women and men who suffer from hair loss and thinning hair. I have not found a miracle shampoo that will magically transform your hair into luscious locks. If products claim this then it is only temporary. My approach to healthy hair is to feed it with the right nutrients and natural ingredients.

My formula for healthy hair is below:

Healthy FOOD & SUPPLEMENTS + Less stress & MORE EXERCISE + Hair OILS and CONDITIONING

A good diet as the hair needs nutrients from within. I also recommend supplementing nutrients to boost nutrients and hair growth. Nutritional deficiencies such as iron deficiency anaemia, low protein and zinc can lead to hair loss or thinner hair. Certain medications and chemotherapy can also impact hair growth. Outlined below are some key nutrients and foods that can help keep your locks lustrous.

Iron is contained in hair follicles and maintains hair growth and strength. Food sources: red meat, eggs, pulses, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables and beetroot. Vitamin B12 found in yeast, organ meats, fish, eggs and dairy, can help iron absorption.

Silica & Zinc are trace minerals that strengthen blood vessels and improve circulation, which stimulates blood flow to the scalp and encourages growth. Silica food sources: oats, unrefined grains, cucumbers, asparagus, lettuce, cabbage, onions, potatoes, and sunflower seeds. Zinc is found in lean beef, poultry, seafood, lamb, whole grain cereals, beans and pumpkin seeds.

Protein: May help lengthen hair by promoting hair growth. 90% of the hair follicle is protein and a deficiency may place the hair growth process into the resting phase. Food sources: lean meats, eggs, dairy products, beans, and legumes.

Calcium:  May help to thicken hair by promoting healthy hair growth. Food sources include: cheese, yogurt, salmon, turnip greens, fresh and dried figs.

Biotin: functions like a B-vitamin and may promote healthy hair growth. Food sources include: egg (yolks), wheat germ, oatmeal, mushrooms, cauliflower, peanuts, cheese.

Essential fats are great for dry and brittle hair. Food sources: ground flaxseed, nuts, olives, avocado, tuna, and salmon.

Vitamin A: helps sebum production and may reduce dandruff. Food sources: kale, sweet potatoes, red pepper, and cantaloupe melon.

Water is also essential to keep the hair cells hydrated and shiny. Water makes up approximately one fourth of the weight of a strand of hair. You can add some lemon or lime slices to plain water for a refreshing flavour.

Stinging nettle is a traditional remedy for stimulating hair growth. You can purchase ready-made nettle tea bags or make your own with to 3 or 4 tsp. of dried nettle leaves or roots and add 2/3 cup boiling water and steep up to five minutes. You can also use nettle externally in hair tonics or rinses.

Additional lifestyle tips for healthy hair

Hair has growth and resting phases so there may be some times of the year when the hair doesn’t grow.

Stress! Can impact hair loss and growth and deep breathing, meditation, yoga and head massages are some techniques to better manage stress. Indian Head Massage is a wonderful holistic treatment. Massaging the scalp stimulates blood flow and oxygen to the hair follicles and can awaken the roots of the hair. Tension can build up in the neck and shoulders so the massage is great and melting away the strains in these area and simultaneously relaxing the body and mind which leaves you feeling an instant sense of peace and tranquility.

Hair loss revolution have formulated a successful topical oil called – Wild Growth Hair Oil which contains jojoba, coconut, olive oil and additional hair nutrients to promote thick hair growth, detangle and soften hair so effective as a hair strengthener and protector. https://www.hairlossrevolution.com/wild-growth-hair-oil/

To conclude, I wanted to touch upon alopecia which many women suffer from. The protocol I take with my clients is similar to the points listed above where I look to improve the nutrient status of the diet, and investigate imbalances within the body often involving hormones and the thyroid gland.

There are different types of alopecia and alopecia areata causes patches of hair loss. Occasionally, all of the scalp hair is lost, this is referred to as alopecia totalis. Current evidence suggests that alopecia areata is caused by an abnormality in the immune system. This particular abnormality leads to autoimmunity, a misguided immune system response that attacks its own body and in this condition the hair follicles and normal hair formation are disrupted. Skin biopsies of those affected show immune lymphocytes penetrating into the hair bulb of the hair follicles. Alopecia has been linked with other autoimmune conditions such as allergic disorders, thyroid imbalances, vitiligo, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis.

Who is affected by alopecia areata? It tends to occur most often in adults 30 to 60 years of age. However, it can also affect older individuals. Alopecia areata is not contagious. It should be distinguished from hair shedding that may occur following the discontinuation of hormonal oestrogen and progesterone therapies for birth control or the hair shedding associated with the end of pregnancy.

If you have any questions about this article or anything you would like to discuss with me please contact me: contact@synergynutrition.co.uk.

Leading causes of Death in the UK

Heart & circulatory disease, cancer along with respiratory disorders appear to be the top reasons for premature deaths in the UK, US and most countries around the world (NHS UK, 2017) BUT … this does not have to be our reality. Science has proven that we can reverse up to 80% of chronic health issues by improving our lifestyle & addressing the root cause.

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See yourself to good health this spring ;-)

Happy Spring Equinox, fingers crossed the sunny weather will arrive. As nature changes and the colourful buds bloom around us, many of us are also going through shifts such as clearing out the clutter from homes, and reconsidering life goals. This time of year is also a good time
to re-evaluate where you are with your current state of health. I had an eye test today and was relieved to hear from the optomotrist that my prescription has remained the same as it was five years ago. I account this to my healthy eating and lifestyle and I am a firm believer in symptoms being reversed. I am also reminded that our vision is important and to maintain healthy eyes eating well is paramount to reduce oxidative damage that can lead to the development of cataracts and glaucoma. So if you want to have a MOT of your health and current diet to see if you are on the track to optimum health and wellness do drop me a line.

Diabetes Awareness UK Programme

Throughout this month, I have been assisting with the Diabetes Awareness Programme run by Diabetes UK and Croydon BME Forum with the lovely Gifty Nmaju whose put together weekly educational sessions. I am very proud of the group who have attended and dedicated their time to learn about health eating and implemeting this into their daily lives.

Today’s cooking session of healthy meals with the lovely engaging group. Successful, fun programme.

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU

Happy New Year to you all!

I am so excited about this year! As I’m writing this, the word that keeps popping in my head that I’m being guided to share is MAGIC! Anything but, I can hear some of you whisper! On a pragmatic note for many of us the first two months of the year are not the best time of year, as you worry about your weight, how you look post xmas and experience energy dips which makes you want  to hibernate under your duvet! A lack of sunlight and low motivation levels also don’t help, perhaps leading to anxiety, low mood and procrastination.

On top of this, since Dec 2016, you are likely to be experiencing a whirlwind of changes in many areas of your life, career, relationships and lifestyle. I believe this is partly from the cosmic energies and planetary positions, as cosmos and environmental changes moderately – strongly influence and trigger emotions within each of us! The change and nudges can feel uncomfortable, taking us out of our comfort zone and leave us feeling confused. Nonetheless the key is to keep our arms open and welcome in the change and speak to someone who can guide you along your way.

So….If you are feeling stuck and confused and feel you are not moving forward in your life, and this includes any area of your life: health symptoms, fitness, life goals, career and relationships then please do contact me as I may be the very person that can help you. With my professional expertise I can unravel where the underlying issue or dis-ease is coming from and how to remedy it to get you  back on on track to experiencing a more fulfilling enriching life that should get you bouncing for the rest of the year and thereafter!

Let 2017 be a magical year for YOU! Lets welcome in a new year, and new you 🙂

If you are interested in working with me and would like to book any of my wellness programmes for yourself or someone you know please contact me for a friendly complimentary chat: 07508094098

Place nutrition at the forefront of our brain focus

It is a fact that eating healthy food helps preserve our brains. For my CPD, I went to a stimulating talk yesterday, (September 9th) on the topic of neurodegenerative diseases and enhanced my own knowledge about the characteristicsSYNERGY NUTRITION of three types of Alzheimers disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease and inflammatory autoimmune conditions. My own brain was buzzing by the end of it!

The wonderful speaker Professor Dale Bredesen spoke of patient cases whose AD symptoms improved when put on a  nutrition and supplementation programme. These patients could go back to leading normal fulfilling lives and not only did their symptoms improve, their biochemical and brain test results significantly did too. Unfortunately pharmaceutical drugs often make the symptoms worse, especially in complex chronic conditions, which is why they don’t work in the long term. Natural therapies are more likely to be successful as they rebalance the whole body, correct deficiencies and neurotransmitter balance, without side effects. It appears that nutrition is being given a second look over as science cannot fix all the problems and the missing puzzle is staring at me in the face!! Furthermore nutrients support the liver function too and many imbalances occur because of the toxicity our body has, such as from heavy metals like mercury. So the answer is simple, lets use nutrients to safely and gently heal and de-toxify ourselves first.

According to Datis Kharrazian, a clinical professor in neuroscience, some of the signs and symptoms of brain degeneration are below and nutritional therapy can help each one.

  • SYNERGY NUTRITIONMemory loss
  • Lack of motivation, drive or passion
  • Brain Fog
  • Tire easily working, reading, driving, etc.
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Poor focus and concentration
  • Difficulty learning
  • Fatigue in response to certain foods/chemicals

SYNERGY NUTRITION There are over 9.9 million new cases of dementia each year worldwide, implying one new case every 3.2 seconds. What got me thinking was how as a therapist I can help the patient prevent and even slow down their disease progression. Many individuals are experiencing cognitive decline without fully being aware of the consequences and for me it can be reversed if detected and managed early as possible. What is also worrying is the memory loss impacting children! It could partly be attributed to their nutrient deficient diets and increased environmental toxin exposure including EMF’s due to modern devices which many of us who are older didn’t have when we were younger. If memory can be improved with eating the right foods, then why should we not bother? So book in for a consultation with myself to boost your mental health function and prevent AD dementia. Some of the nutrients the brain requires cannot be derived from the diet so in conjunction I guide you on the supplements to take, all the advice is fully personalised to you, and your current health status. You can even have a genetic test done to check to see if you are susceptible to AD, or have a family history of the condition. The associated gene is ApoE4 and if you test double positive for this, seeking advice early on is paramount.

Interesting Facts on Sleep

I came across some interesting facts on sleep recently, which I’d like to share on my blog. My opinions are next to them in blue.  SYNERGY NUTRITION

  • 25 YEARS is the amount of time you spend asleep over your lifetime. Wow, that’s a lot of time. During sleep time, numerous restorative processes happen that are crucial to keep us alive and function well when we are awake. 
  • Genes associated with restoration & metabolic rate are activated during sleep. This involves hormones too so getting good quality shut eye does boost the immune system, keeping the weight in balance, so in essence slimmer. Also anti-ageing! So you look younger with more sleep. 
  • 7.9 million people have used alcohol to help them get to sleep at night. While 6.8 million self- medicate with OTC drugs. That’s a staggering amount! Try natural remedies first, they work as getting to the route reason why you can’t sleep is more effective than artificially sedating the body and mind.
  • 30-40% of all health issues treated by GP’s are sleep related. I reckon there would be less if more people chose complimentary therapies first. 
  • 11 days is the record for the longest period without sleep. Even one day without sleep can have consequences on health. The longer the period the more it can negatively impact the body and mental health. 
  • What keeps you awake: 67% said body discomfort, 36% said noise, 34% said their partner, 34% said room temperature. Stress and worrying also is a huge factor. But looks like the people surveyed found the above to be the top reasons. 
  • You are 5X more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if you sleep 5 hours or less each night. Some truth to this, although there are other lifestyle factors to take into account of course. There are many hormones that interplay such as the hunger hormones ghrelin, leptin, cortisol, and also insulin which is influenced by all of them. Someone sleep deprived is more likely to be hungrier and eat more during the waking period. Constant snacking for example can lead to more insulin being released throughout the day which over time leads to insulin not functioning and responding to raised blood sugars. This leads to the insulin resistance which is type 2 diabetes. The pancreas is the organ which releases insulin, the poor organ also becomes exhausted as its being overworked. 

SYNERGY NUTRITION