Why Nutritional Coaching is the new Black

Nutrition. Nutrition.Nutrition.

It’s everywhere! And for good reason of course. Most of us know that good nutrition is extremely important for literally every aspect of our lives. We don’t need any convincing here.

But what we do need to be aware of is that there are a lot of different nutritional experts out there who practice nutrition in very different ways.

The intention of this post is to draw your attention to some of the different types of nutritional services around so that you can choose the type that suits your needs best.

Nutrition Experts and Services they offer

Clinical Dieticians/ Dieticians – These are the most regulated type of professionals. Usually they work in a clinical setting with either healthy or sick patients. If you have a very specific nutritional need for example you have coeliac disease or kidney problems etc… then these are the people to go to.

Registered Nutritionists – These are people who have done an approved nutrition course and have registered with a professional body. They usually work with healthy patients and with groups of people to promote optimal health and nutrition. They usually work privately but recently many government programmes are beginning to involve Nutritionists in clinical settings. An example of this is the Healthier You programme and the Diabetes Prevention Programme by the NHS in the UK.

Nutritional/Health Coach – This is a relatively new profession, created by the sheer demand of it. These are people who are usually registered Nutritionists and who want to take it a step further and offer a more hands on approach to their practice. They work mostly with healthy individuals who want to lose weight, reduce body fat percentage or simply optimise their diet.

The demand created by today’s society

Let’s be honest here. Most of us know what is healthy for us to eat and what is not. Buuuut we slip off the healthy bandwagon one too many times.

We need accountability. We need someone to keep pushing us and keep reminding us of our goals so we can keep going. We need that emergency contact to reach out to when we feel we’re about to sway or if we feel the dreaded taste of guilt after a binge.

That’s what Nutritional Coaches are here for.

Reasons why Nutritional Coaching is a must in today’s world

  • They will give you a flexible healthy nutritional plan that is designed to be easily integrated into your lifestyle.
  • They will bring you back in for follow-ups at regular intervals. This is very important as those sessions are extremely motivational. You will share the struggles you experienced since your previous session and your coach will offer you tips and tricks on how to tackle them. You will leave the follow-up feeling super excited and pumped to continue your healthy lifestyle.
  • You will have body composition measurements taken at every follow-up. Your coach will keep a track of your progress. Simply seeing the changes from week to week will give you that extra boost in confidence and motivation.
  • You will never feel alone on your journey. Usually nutritional coaches organise facebook groups, WhatsApp groups or some other type of social media page and encourage all participants to share their journey, ask questions or simply chat with other fellow health enthusiasts.
  • They will help you change your lifestyle for good. You will quite literally have your hand held at every step of the way until you feel confident and comfortable enough to continue your healthy lifestyle on your own.

How to find a good Nutritional Coach

This really depends on where you live, although there are many excellent experts that operate online too. The only difference with online coaches is that the progress tracking would need to be done by you rather than your coach. And for some people, particularly if they lack the necessary tools such as machine analysing body fat percentage – it may be a problem. Nevertheless, something is better than nothing.

In the UK, Australia and USA a simple online search will undoubtedly yield a large number of potentially great nutritional coaches. Make sure you read their reviews and check whether they fulfil all the key points mentioned above.

If you are in Cyprus you are welcome to come and see me. My background is in Herbal Medicine and I am a Registered Nutritionist. I’ve worked for the Healthier You and Diabetes Prevention Programme in the UK which is a big reason I believe nutritional coaching is so important. Because it works and I’ve seen it work time and time again.

If you are anywhere else in the world – perhaps visit your primary care practitioner and see whether they are aware of such professions or search online as well.

The sacred ritual of eating


Eating – The most natural thing in the world.

We’ve been doing it since we can remember ourselves and we continue to do so every single day.

Most people will agree that eating is an important part of life. It’s our sustenance, we need it to live. But nowadays, eating is a lot more than that. Eating is part of almost every event, celebration or occasion. Going out to eat is probably most people’s favourite pastime when they’re not working. We eat on our desks at work, we eat when we’re watching movies, we snack while we commute, we eat at parties and we even have midnight feasts.

Most of us will agree that we don’t just eat to live though.. we eat because of the delicious taste of food, we eat out of habit, we eat to be social.. etc etc.

Food is just such a normal everyday thing that everyone around us and ourselves included do every single day. And with so many people now learning about the importance of good nutrition and healthy diet – they want to make some changes. The truth however, is that most people fail to make changes. In fact, I recently read a ridiculous statistic of something like 95% of people who try to change their diet and maintain the change – fail. We are failing at such epic rates that it’s strange that it doesn’t occur to us that this is weird and something is very off.

And it’s not that your nutritionist didn’t give you a good diet plan – in fact almost any healthy diet plan, if maintained, will give you the results you seek. It’s not that you do not have access to information about what to eat and what not to eat – do you. It’s also not that you are lazy or have no will power – you do.

So what is it?!

Back to basics

Eating is one of the most intimate acts of self care that we can practice.

Our body cells renew themselves all the time. And where do they get the energy and materials to do that? From the food we eat.

We eat to build ourselves, literally.

Every bite we take is a foundation laid for new cells, new organs, new hormones, new skin, new hair… new you.

Perspective

Whoever said we should be grazing all day long – is wrong. Sorry for the bluntness but it’s true.

Food and eating is so special and should be treated as such. Since you are literally creating and re-creating yourself with every meal you take, don’t you think you ought to treat the whole thing with a little more grandness, more wonder, more respect?

A sacred daily ritual

Make each and every meal you take an occasion.

Eat your meals with the people you love – what happened to family meals?

Present your meals nicely – arrange everything on the plate in a way that is pleasing to you.

Use your very best plates and cups and cutlery – yes, those “special occasion” ones you have in the back of your cupboard. Every meal is a special occasion.

Lay out the table nicely and watch how all of a sudden, without intending to, you’ll summon the whole household (hehe).

And then sit and look at your food. Look at the delicious, healthy, natural food which soon will become a part of you, and say thank you. Thank you to the supermarket worker who put your food out on the shelves, thank you to the people responsible for transporting your food from the farm to the supermarket. Thank you to the people who picked your food from the soil. Thank you for the food itself, for growing, for giving you its nutrients and lastly thank you to the sun – the main source of nourishment for giving you it’s life-sustaining energy. (Interesting fact – It has been proven that if you bless or thank your meal before consuming it you actually absorb a much higher percentage of the nutrients in the food!)

Finally eat your food slowly and mindfully. Enjoy each bite and enjoy the company of the people you love around you.

Do this and watch your health, your relationships, your overall well-being turn around completely. Like magic.

Top 12 Most Addictive Foods

Food addictions are real.

It is estimated that at least 20% of the population have some sort of food addiction or exhibit addict-like behaviours.

My clients always ask me “How do you know whether you are addicted to a particular food?”

My response is very simple. Think of the particular food – for an example let’s say chocolate. Imagine never having chocolate ever again in your life. How does that feel? Do you feel an abnormal amount of fear/discomfort rising up within you or just sheer discontent? For real though, if you were told you can never eat chocolate again ever – does this thought scare you? Do you feel like your life will be diminished in some way?

Now think of cucumber. If I told you that you can never ever in your life eat cucumber again. How does that feel? How does this feeling compare to the feeling you got with the chocolate?

I think you see where I’m going with this.

Susceptibility of Addiction

Every body is different, and so of course this does not apply to everyone. But it does apply to a lot of people. And for those to whom it applies, this may literally save their life. So here goes;

  1. It’s not your fault – I repeat, it is not your fault that your brain is so susceptible to food addiction. This has nothing to do with laziness or lack of willpower. You are not weak.
  2. If you discover that you have food addiction to a particular food – you have to cut it out completely. I’m talking cold turkey! Trying to have a little of the food you’re addicted to will literally drive you nuts.
  3. Your addiction can heal – and it will if you eliminate the food completely.
  4. After a period of time without the addictive food you will not only feel “normal” and not miss it but you will be happier. Addiction = down regulation of dopamine in the brain. As a result, once you heal your addiction – whole, real foods will taste amazing and will satisfy you completely. You will naturally know when to stop eating and you will eat just the right amount of food that your body needs, intuitively.

without further ado, here are the..

Top 12 most addictive foods

  1. Pizza – this is the number 1 most addictive food! Surprised?
  2. Chocolate – this one is a no brainer
  3. Crisps
  4. Cookies
  5. Ice cream
  6. French fries
  7. Cheeseburgers
  8. Soft Drinks
  9. Cake
  10. Cheese
  11. Fried Chicken
  12. Breakfast cereal – most people think of cereal as a healthy way to start the day – you may want to think again and check the food label. Many popular “healthy” cereal brands can contain up to 13g of sugar in 1 serving of 45g… that’s almost 4 teaspoons!!!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and hopefully you’ve become more aware of the addictive pull that some “every day, normal” foods can have on your brain and essentially your quality of life.

If you are struggling with food addiction, please know that you are not alone. Do your research and get some help. There are so many fantastic books you can read on the topic or alternatively if you prefer a more personalised approach you could visit a specialist who can help you heal at your own pace. You’re also more than welcome to reach out to me, as a recovering sugar addict I believe I could be of service and provide you some comfort while you’re making the necessary changes.

Sweet Summer Superfood Salad

Salad… What pops up in your mind when you think of salad?

Most people would probably say boring, restrictive diet food. And they would be 100% correct if all they know is salads made only with lettuce, cucumber and tomato.

I absolutely love salads! I could even go as far and say that salads are my favourite meals. But not simple salads. I love rich and wholesome ones. The kind that have everything inside from dried fruits, seeds and nuts to leafy greens, organic cheeses and even crackers.

So, to help ignite your perhaps dormant passion for salads, I’d like to share one of my favourite superfood salad recipes (and yes, there are many! :))

Ingredients

Salad base

  • Lettuce and salad leaves
  • Baby Spinach leaves
  • Cucumber
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Apple cut into cubes
  • Avocado
  • Dried fruits; Raisins, Cranberries, Goji berries (you can put a little of each)
  • Figs (fresh is best but dried will also do)
  • Pomegranate
  • Organic goat’s cheese
  • Mixed seeds
  • Walnuts

Salad dressing

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tsp organic honey

Method

  1. Firstly, take out your favourite bowl.
  2. Cook the quinoa.
  3. Wash all the fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
  4. Put the lettuce, salad leaves and spinach at the bottom of the bowl as a base.
  5. Then add the cooked quinoa.
  6. Cut up all the fruits and veg and start layering them on top.
  7. Add the nuts and sprinkle the seeds on top.
  8. Finish off by pouring the simple dressing over the whole salad.
  9. And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, look at your creation, admire it, marvel at it, be grateful for it and Enjoy every single bite!

The Most Delicious Green Smoothie Recipe

Who doesn’t love a delicious and refreshing green smoothie? This smoothie is not only super healthy and nutritious but it’s also been designed to pass the taste test. We’ve also added filling ingredients such as Greek style yoghurt which will keep you feeling full for hours!

Ingredients

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Banana
  • Frozen mango
  • Milk/almond milk/soya milk
  • Greek style yoghurt
  • Spirulina powder
  • Maca powder
  • Mixed seeds
  • Ice

Method

  1. Add the milk and the yoghurt into the blender first and then the rest of the ingredients on top of the liquids. Blend until smooth
  2. Add more ice or liquids as needed. Serve and enjoy cold!

I hope you enjoy this quick and simple recipe! Let me know whether you liked it in the comments below!