Most of us know that the food we eat affects the way we feel. Choosing the right foods can be difficult due to our individual nutritional needs and modern day time-poor, fast-paced lives.
Each of us has a unique blueprint for what makes us feel good. From our differing health issues to our inherent likes and dislikes, our world is a colourful place to live in and there’s no ‘one size fits all.’
Can we expect there to be any one diet that suits everyone?
Green Vitality guides you through a carefully compiled individual therapeutic plan for diet and lifestyle to support your body’s own healing mechanisms and restoring balance and wellbeing.
Vitality is much, much more than just not being ill, and true ‘vitality’ is entirely achievable when you know how.
Stress is an unavoidable part of our everyday lives in the 21st Century. A little stress is actually good for us, it gives us drive and makes us feel alive. We all have an individual capacity to cope with stress determined by our genes and personal characteristics. However when intense or prolonged, stress can lead to anxiety, depression and exhaustion and can affect our relationships, family life, work and sleep. It can contribute to physical problems too such asheadaches and migraines, back and neck pain, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive issues.
A longer term lack of energy can be an indication of adrenal fatigue which occurs when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Symptoms may be
- Ongoing tiredness not relieved by sleep
- An overall feeling of being worn-out and drained
- Increased effort to do everyday tasks and decreased productivity
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low immunity and frequent coughs, colds
- Increased time recovering from illness and infection
Sufferers often resort to caffeine, sugary and salty snacks and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to prop themselves up during the day, particularly mid-afternoon when energy levels can plummet. In some cases, the activity of the adrenal glands is so diminished that it can be hard getting out of bed for more than a few hours per day.
The adrenal glands control major physiological processes in the body affecting energy levels and how and where the body stores fat – stress related weight gain tending to be around the waist. Depleted adrenals can be a contributory factor in thyroid dysfunction, another condition which can lead to exhaustion and further inability to cope with stress.
A diet and supplement program can help you recover your vitality and mood. Clients often experience a tremendous shift in their energy levels and mental focus after even small day by day changes. We’ll design a plan that is realistic and simple to follow and will aid you on your journey to full potential.
“ One in four people will experience some kind of mental disorder in any one year, with the most common being depression and anxiety ” (UK Mental Health Foundation). Both are a symbol that the body is out of balance, whether caused by psychological stress, hormone imbalance, food sensitivities or genetic susceptibility. Life can be hard enough and even more so when you’re anxious or depressed and taking charge of your diet can be the first step towards a happier life.
People can be affected in many ways causing a wide variety of symptoms from:
- Lasting feelings of sadness and hopelessness
- Losing interest in the things you used to enjoy
- Feeling very tearful or anxious
And physical symptoms too, such as:
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Lack of appetite
- Low sex drive
- Constant aches and pains
Severity of the symptoms can vary from simply feeling persistently low in spirit with little hope of improvement, to at its’ most severe, making you feel that life is no longer worth living.
What we eat and drink has a crucial part to play in how we feel mentally and emotionally as well as physically. Because a chemical imbalance in the brain can in some cases be an important contributor to depression, Nutritional Therapy can be very supportive, helping provide your brain with a continuous supply of particular nutrients to produce happy chemical messengers.
Serotonin is just one of these messengers and improving levels is the main route targeted in modern anti-depressant medication. Interestingly, with around 90% of serotonin found in the gut, the gut can be seen in some ways as an extension of the brain, hence explaining ‘gut feelings’. Gut imbalance can also contribute to food allergies, as well as overgrowth of parasites or bacteria, all of which can have a significant negative effect on your mood.
Mood disorders are considered to be more than a simple serotonin deficiency by many therapists which helps explain why anti-depressants work better for some than others. Low dopamine, adrenalin and noradrenalin are all associated with lack of motivation and get up and go.
We all have a unique biochemical individuality which is the variation between individual’s needs for food and nutrients to feel healthiest and happiest. As the saying goes, ‘One man’s meat’ really can be ‘another man’s poison’.
Correcting blood sugar imbalance, identifying allergies and deficiencies and balancing neurotransmitters have all been shown to have a positive and lasting effect on depression, and that’s without the side effects of many prescription drugs. Studies show good nutrition has also been shown to aid the effectiveness of prescription medication.
Your digestive system is one of the most important systems in the whole body and if it’s working well and causing you no problems then it’s easy to take it for granted. But there are all sorts of things that can affect your gut and upset the balance. If your body cannot properly break down and absorb nutrients from the food you’re eating, it doesn’t matter how good the food is on your plate and if you’re not successfully eliminating waste products, then it is almost impossible to achieve optimal health.
A poor diet may seem like an obvious cause, but illness, certain drugs and even getting older all contribute to our current gastrointestinal health crisis. Stress is also a major factor – did you know that there are more than 100 million nerve endings in the digestive system, more than in the entire spine?! In the US, more Americans are hospitalized due to diseases of the digestive tract and colon than for any other group of disorders and us Brits are not far behind. These can include
- Celiac Disease
- Food allergies
- Heartburn and Reflux
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis
- Intestinal dysbiosis such as candida overgrowth
However, many lesser digestive issues are ignored because these complaints are thought of as not ‘serious’. Symptoms such as gas, bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, food sensitivities and the list goes on…. are so common that they are seen as normal.
Common medications taken to suppress stomach acid may actually make digestion worse and often limit your body’s ability to absorb nutrients such as calcium.
Having an understanding about how your gut works and tuning in to the messages it gives you can be more beneficial than you may think. When something goes wrong during the process of digestion, it affects not just your gut and causing problems already discussed, but can have a wide range of affects on the rest of the body. Poor digestion is indirectly responsible for conditions ranging from immune dysfunction, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue toarthritis and psoriasis. Therefore, improving digestion is a critical component in restoring health and preventing disease.
At Green Vitality we believe good digestion is a key piece to any naturopathic plan. Different approaches to digestive wellness might include dietary modification, laboratory testing, food allergy identification and desensitization, immune support, high-quality probiotics.
Are you looking for a long term manageable food plan?
Do you want to lose few pounds for a special occasion?
Drop a clothes size?
Lose a stone or more?
Shift that muffin top or post baby weight?
Suffer with weight related issues such as insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension or joint pain?
The best way to lose weight can be a huge dilemma. In the past you may have tried unsuccessfully to stick to a restrictive diet plan and hated every minute. The only ‘diet’ that truly works is the one that YOU can live happily with in the long term. To succeed it has to be practical and enjoyable, so calorie counting, careful weighing of ingredients or calculation of ‘points’ isn’t sustainable for long. Most people want to feel reassured that the pleasure obtained from enjoying good food is not lost in the pursuit of good health and a great figure. There is so much more to healthy eating than salad!
Did you know medications such as The Pill, HRT, steroids and antidepressants can contribute to weight gain? Furthermore some people struggle to lose weight if they have an undiagnosed medical problem. Fatigue, feeling sluggish and poor skin can all be symptoms of something amiss such as underactive thyroid, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, hormonal imbalances, food intolerances, or adrenal fatigue which is linked in particular with weight gain around the middle.
If you are presenting a number of these symptoms, further exploration may be needed, including laboratory testing to ascertain diagnosis and then plan the best course of action.
By identifying and correcting these issues as part of your tailor made program, we can offer you a personal, flexible eating plan based on your needs that is realistic and achievable.
Your continued success is ensured by focusing on what works best for you, and we can devise a plan to include as much support as you think you need to keep you on track, whether that’s
Shopping lists and recipes for inspiration
How to negotiate menus when eating out
How best to eat when you haven’t the time to cook
Regular check ins or weigh ins
We can offer a kitchen cupboard audit and a trip food shopping so you know what to put in your basket with your budget in mind. We can even on choices when eating out at your local restaurants and cafés.
We’ll ensure throughout that your body gets all it needs in terms of nutrients for long term health and you’ll feel better than ever.
We’ll teach you the tools to empower you and to prevent that weight creeping back on once you reach your goal. We’ll be there to support, guide and motivate you to ensure your ultimate and prolonged weight loss success.
Perhaps one of the most noticeable signs of someone’s health and wellbeing is their skin. We all want to look as young and healthy as we can and that means smooth, glowing skin which is evenly toned and free from blemishes. You can greatly improve the appearance and health of your skin and the rate at which it ages by making the right dietary and lifestyle choices.
Increasingly people suffer from a range of skin issues of which there may be various contributing factors. Modern life puts our bodies under a lot of stress, we live in polluted environments and we eat highly processed food poor in nutrients and rich in additives. When was the last time a skin care professional asked you about your diet?!
Most skin conditions involve inflammation which can be a sign of an overactive immune system. Atopic eczema is actually medically defined as a recurrent inflammatory condition. Acne can be very distressing, whether it’s on the face, the part of our body most on show or on the back which is also common. Hormone imbalance and some medications can both be contributing factors. Skin shed too slowly may contribute to formation of blackheads and yet too rapidly can lead to scaling associated with psoriasis.
Whilst topical treatments such as cortisone cream and antihistamines may temporarily reduce the symptoms, they don’t treat the underlying cause.
One of the key areas in managing any skin condition is to help cells behave closer to what is ‘normal’ by supplying the body with the necessary nutrients to make tissue function better, boost collagen and limit damage by what’s known as free radicals. Adequate nutrients keeps the cell membranes hydrated and supple and regulates cell turnover.
The natural ageing of skin is inevitable, but there’s a lot that can be done to slow the process and make the best of what we’ve been dealt genetically. Correct nutrients and diet are essential to ageing gracefully. Cosmetic companies feed into our insecurities about getting older and many people choose to invest in botox and fillers. Less people realize how important it is to feed your skin what it needs to build healthy elastin and collagen and maintain firmness from the inside. You may not want to resort to extreme measures to look younger, but you don’t have to feel guilty about looking your best either. Your fridge may be a good place to start looking for the real Fountain of Youth!
For women, hormone balance is key in managing many conditions, from often being the key to losing that difficult to shift ‘fat around the middle’ – in itself usually hormone related – to reducing the tearfulness, irritability and water retention associated with PMS.
Endometriosis, Fibroids and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are all conditions linked with hormone imbalance. These issues can be triggered by the same mechanisms, including stress, poor diet and toxic overload. An eating plan tailored to cater to your specific nutritional needs can play a major role in improving and often eliminating issues altogether, as modifying your diet and increasing beneficial nutrients can ease your symptoms, reduce pain and balance mood, as well as allow you to lose weight more easily.
Nutrition plays a huge role when it comes to having a healthy body and reproductive system. It’s easy to become unbalanced in our lifestyle and achieving that balance again is extremely important in achieving optimum fertility, a concern for many women today. Nutritional deficiency can cause menstrual problems, a lack of beneficial hormones to be produced, or a lack of overall health. Specific changes to diet have been proven to increase the chances of healthy ovulation, help prevent recurrent miscarriage and support a healthy pregnancy.
Transition through the decade prior to menopause can be a difficult and challenging time and a natural approach has proven to be very effective in making this smooth and comfortable. Supporting your body with the right foods, supplements and lifestyle changes can make all the difference in making this important stage of life feel much less like something to manage and more just what it is – another phase in a woman’s life. Nutrition not only can assist the effectiveness of HRT, it also provides a viable alternative and without the side effects.
Our society is growing older and a combination of wealth, health and longer life means 60 really is ‘the new 40.’ We all want to look and feel younger. You may be concerned with preventing a hereditary condition or want to know you’re doing everything you can to keep aches and pains at bay, and there are numerous studies to support healthy eating for life in offering protective factors and maintaining vitality.
Heart disease, dementia and osteo related problems are not an inevitable part of ageing, neither is the reliance on a variety of prescription medication which has become the norm for so many. Conventional medicine can sometimes divide people up into ‘parts’ without the joined up thinking or holistic understanding of the whole. Nutritional therapy being complementary, can work alongside orthodox medicine to help manage an existing conditions including
- Cardiovascular health particularly high blood pressure and raised cholesterol
- Musculoskeletal health such as joint pains and osteoarthritis
- Cognitive Health including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
At Green Vitality we can address your concerns and create a long term plan that will aid you in taking control of your own health.
+44 (0)7974 572 089