Food, Glorious Food!

2 key things that you can relatively and easily implement into a healthier lifestyle are the food choices you make and unless you work shifts, the time you go to bed. Healthy food choices and optimal sleep are fundamental to optimal health but both are still so very often over looked. This guide isn’t reinventing the wheel, the wheel never needed reinventing, but it’s reinforcing how doing the basics well are the fundamentals to a healthy body – regardless of what other people tell you or try to sell you.

Making good food choices is self empowement and self-love and is truly the starting point for a healthy, happy life!

The advice in this guide should not be substituted for face to face advice from a qualified professional and we are not liable for occurrences that result of changes you make in your exercise and eating plans.

Contents

Page 1: Remember these key things!

Page 2: Keep it fresh, keep it natural

Page 3: Good fats – bad fats

Page 4: Protein

Page 5: Carbohydrates

Page 6: Carbs – weight loss – energy and blood sugar levels

Page 7: Micronutrients

Page 8: Food intolerances and allergies

Page 9: Avoiding wheat, dairy and gluten

Page 1

Remember these simple things above everything else!

We believe you should be nourishing your body not restricting and depriving yourself, restriction is never sustainable long term. So, remember to enjoy your changes and focus on how you can nourish your body not live in a calorie restricted state.

Keep nutrition and healthy eating simple and enjoy and be excited about any changes you make and always think of the positive improvements those changes will bring.

Be grateful for what you already have but also do not despair if your health is not where you want it to be right now. The changes you are about to make will be a great part of your life!

Don’t worry or give up if things do not quite go to plan, life is never straight forward so keeping a positive mindset, above everything else, is crucial.

Page 2:

Keep Food Natural and Fresh.

Food has such a huge impact on our life, we are surrounded by it but how do we have a healthy relationship it?

Firstly, there is not a perfect diet or eating plan. Do they get followed? Hmmm, possibly at the start, but not long-term. The simple reason? They aren’t personalised, one size fits all doesn’t work. However, there are still fundamentals that everyone can follow.

In my 15 years in the health and fitness industry, I’ve realised there is too much guilt surronding food choices and that depriving yourself of some of the things you like will lead to one thing and that’s wanting that food choice even more! Ofte then, when the individual has that food choice they are racked with guilt and feelings of failure. You see eating a piece of cake is not failing, it’s modern life and there shouldn’t be any guilt about enjoying something like that.

So, my rules when it come’s to food are:

Think about consuming foods that are going to improve your health and wellbeing, as the first thing most people think about is what they can’t have.

If you fancy a piece of cake or glass or wine and depriving yourself will only make you crave it more then have that glass of wine.

Yes, there does have to be a degree of discipline at times – but discipline isn’t a form of punishment it’s a form of self-worth and respecting your body.

Where do I start?

Fresh, natural foods will nourish the body, reduce inflammation, balance your hormones, considerably improve your energy levels and the quality of your skin, hair and nails.

Of course, we can’t escape the fact that modern farming methods may be affecting the quality of our food but still fresh, vegetables and fruits,  quality protien such as fish, meat and eggs and then unrefined carbohydrates such as oats and lentils should be the foundations of a healthy diet.

So, your biggest challenge yet your greatest success? Focus on eating fresh, natural food whilst removing or avoiding processed food as much as possible. Restriction diets or fad diets should only be sensibly used for a short period of time (several weeks at a time) as a means to make quick weight loss gains but with plans in place to then move back to a sustainable healthy eating plan. We have an entire guide dedicated to weight loss and diets.

Relying on quick weight loss or fad diets to achieve your ultimate goal will only end up in failure and you will end up demotivated as quickly as you started the diet! For many of you, concentrating on eating fresh, natural foods, potentially combined with supplements, will give you the results you desire.

Ultimately, you need to find your way to make healthy choices in your lifestyle and above all, take responsibility for yourself and where your health current is.

Once you accept your responsibility for your current situation you are on the road to success:-)

What Should be on My Plate?

Carbohydrates such as oats, lentals rice, potatoes. Yes its fine to eat Carbohydrates! However, portion size is crucial particularly when consuming carbohydrates. Around 40 grammes uncooked will seem a very small amount but it is a portion size.  However, if you are not exercising regularly then limit your portions of carbohydrates.

Protein such as chicken, fish, beef, turkey and lamb, think quality before quantity.

Healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, oily fish, some animal fat, avocados and olives.

Include vegetables with lunch and dinner.

Best fruit choices are things like berries and citrus fruits.

Keep your food choices as fresh & natural as you can!

Page 3:

Fat and How Impacts Your Health

Healthy fats help balance your hormones (absolutely crucial), support your brain function (your brain is about 60% fat), improve your skin health, ensure your nervous system functions correctly (certain fats surround something called the Myelin Sheath that are the connections that link yours cells to each other to ensure they communicate properly with other cells). AND, on top of all that healthy fats ensure that the structure of your cells are maintained, fairly impressive right? But, are you getting the ones your body needs?

Fats are essential to our health and the body can synthesise certain fats. However, other fats need to be obtained via your diet. Omega 3’s are one of these Essential Fats and can be found in oily fish, nuts and seeds.

Healthy fats, when consumed sensibly, will NOT make you fat. This is one of the biggest misconceptions with people that want to lose weight, in fact some research shows consuming healthy fats may help manage and control your appetite and reduce your cravings which will all make sustainable long term weight loss far easier. 

So, as you can probably tell by now healthy fats should be encouraged in your diet. Remember your goal – nourish don’t restrict! So, it’s the type of fat you consume that’s important, consume the natural ones and avoid the rest.

Try adding some healthy fats to your daily food choices. Foods like salmon, mackerel, walnuts, avocados, butter, nuts, seeds and full fat dairy are great choices.

A key point to recognise is that healthy, nautral fats certainly are NOT responsible for heart disease.

If you feel you might be low in Omega 3 fats  considered supplementation. I usually recommend supplementing daily for 8 – 12 weeks to increase your levels.

Bad Fats

Fats are not all equal. Please do not live by the principle of “I need to avoid fat”. You need to eat the right fats and eliminate the bad ones, it’s that simple really. Unhealthy fats are NOT found in nature, they are man-made and found in processed foods and these are the fats that wreak havoc on your health.

The wrong types of fats interrupt so many of the processes mentioned in the healthy fats section above and are now heavily linked to heart disease and high levels of inflammation.

Another key reason to avoid processed fats is that your body has a really difficult time of identifying what these fats are, they are therefore treated as foreign invaders by the bodyand attacked by your immune system, the results of the immune response produce inflammation. Vegetable oils found in many processed foods are potentially a cause of chronic inflammation which builds up in the body over time. These vegetable fats are highly processed and therefore damaging to the body, and it’s this damage that creates the chronic inflammation that is linked to many modern diseases.

Low Fat Foods

Low fat food is still one of the biggest nutritional mistakes we make. The production of low fat foods probably begun with the best intentions in the late 80’s early 90’s based on research at the time or how that research was interpreted. It was thought ALL fat was linked to heart disease and therefore low fat food would be the answer to heart disease.

Of course, today we know differently and the body needs healthy fat. Once again, it comes back to choosing the right fats not avoiding all fat. Unfortuantely though, low-fat foods are still very prominent on the supermarket shelf as the message about low fat foods being good for us or being optimal for weight loss has become engrained.

You won’t successfully lose weight eating low-fat foods as many are laden with sugar or artifical sweetners. Fat brings flavour to food so when you remove it sugar or sweeteners are included to make them palatable. The problem being that removing fat for sugar or artificial sweeteners is obviously counter productive!

15 – 20 years ago I too believed the message of choosing low fat foods was the right thing to do. But today, I just try to choose fresh natural foods that contain the fats I need.

Hopefully by now you’re starting to appreciate the need to consume healthy fats for virtually every aspect of your health.

A simple method is, if the food package says low fat then avoid it and choose a fresh, natural option instead i.e. real food!

Remember, do not avoid all fat, just choose the right ones as they are vital to your health!

Page 4:

Protein

Protein is great for building lean, toned, sexy muscles…without the bulk:-)

Protein is crucial to your health, proteins are made of Amino Acids that are needed for virtually every aspect of bodily function.

They are generally known as your body’s building blocks so rebuild muscle, various types of connective tissue, organs, nails and skin. They truly are the foundations of your entire body.

There are 22 Amino Acids, some are called “essential” in that the body can’t produce them so you need to get them from your diet and some are “semi essential” which means your body can synthesise them from the combination of other Amino Acids.

Animal proteins are called “complete proteins” as they contain all the amino acids. Nuts, seeds and vegetables still contain protein but not all the “Amino Acids” so are often referred to as incomplete proteins.

You should probably eat both plant and animal sources of protein. We are all very different and have different requirements so you have to assess what is best for your body. With that in mind, some women following a Vegan or Vegetarian diet will flourish whilst others will not and will therefore animal protein too. All you can do is trial things and gauge how your body responds.

We know protein is needed for all repair processes in the body so it is key to your health. I still eat animal produce but far less than I ever used too. Animal produce contain high levels of vitamins and minerals as well as being excellent sources of complete proteins.

We do appreciate that quality animal protein can be more expensive. However, you only need a relatively small portion so it can be more than affordable. A portion would sit in the palm of your hand so I recommend buying a small portion of quality protein as opposed to a larger portion that has less quality. A local farmers market is an excellent place to find free range animal produce at great prices.

A easy tip if you are reducing your animal portion sizes and your plate looks slightly lean is to include pulses / lentils with your meals. These are excellent soures of plant protein so fantastic editions to any meal!

In the western world, no one is going to be lacking for protein. However, the biggest concern is over quality not quantity. Eat less farmed fish and processed meat and pay the extra for the best meat and wild caught fish you can find. Protein really is a quality over quantity issue.

Page 5:

Carbohydrates (Carbs)

Aaaah carbohydrates (carbs)! One of the great debates in nutrition! I get frustrated by how complicated people make this issue and how much fear gets spread in regard to them.

With that in mind we want to make this easy for you, so think of carbohydrates in 3 ways:

Fibrous
Starchy Carbs
Simple sugars

• Fibrous carbohydrates are carbs such as vegetables, beans, fruits, oats and certain whole grains.

• Starchy Carbohydrates are carbs such as pasta, rice, potato and certain breads.

• Simple Sugars are of course things like sweets, chocolates and cakes etc!

Fibrous carbs are the ones you need more of.

Starchy carbs are really energy sources (a bit more about the portion size in a moment) but these are the ones that are often over eaten either in regularity, portion size or both. As an energy source these have a role to play if you are exercising regularly at either a high intensity, high volume or both as you need to replenish your carbohydrate stores. In this scenario, lentils / pusles are better than rice and pasta and sweet potaotes are better than regular potatoes. And, if you aren’t exercising much then you don’t need a whole let of starchy carbs!

And then of course, refined carbs are they ones we want to enjoy from to time time in small amounts:-)

A key element to be adhered to is:

Control your portion size of starchy and fibrous carbs. Often at a meal rice, jacket potatoes or pasta will be piled up on the plate and the portion size is just simply too much. And of course, we all know to eat simple sugars in moderation.

You will read in the following section how ALL carbohydrates are broken down to sugar and how any excess will be stored as fat as the body doesn’t need large quantities or carbohydrate to function!

Carbs Portion size: when choosing food such as lentils, pulses, potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, oats and breakfast cereals (the latter as a treat!) an UN cooked portion size should be about 30 – 50 grams or around 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup. Yes, when you measure it out you will be shocked at how small this actually is, but it’s a simple starting point to gauge how much you actually need. You can then adapt as necessary. Been for a long or hard run? Then include a bit more.

A key thing to note! Starchy Carbs, some Fibrous Carbs and Simple Sugars are broken down in to exactly the SAME THING – glucose (simple sugars). Yep you did read that correctly! Whether you consume a bowl of oats or a bar of chocolate the carbohydrate content of both those foods is broken down to Glucose – that is the form body needs it in to be absorbed.

In my opinion consuming too many starchy carbohydrates is probably one of the biggest causes of weight gain. As you can see a bowl or rice is really just broken down to sugar, consume too much of it and the excess will be stored as fat.

But I’m not anti carbohydrate, just manage the portion sizes:-)

Page 6:

Carbs, Weight Loss, Energy & Balancing Blood Sugar Levels

Balancing your blood sugar levels is one of the greatest things you can do to improve your health. It’s a great starting point for losing weight and improving your energy levels.

Blood sugar levels are easily disrupted by sugary foods, refined / processed carbohydrates, alcohol and stress. Too much sugar itself is a stress on your body due to the demands it places on insulin and hormonal responses.

Spikes in your blood sugar level often affect weight loss as you swing from high to low energy. During the lows often sugary “hits” are reached for to “pick you up” and then the process starts again.

The number one thing you do improving your energy levels is avoid simple sugar.

Sugar you consume enters the blood stream, it’s recognised and your body produces insulin which helps “balance” your blood sugar levels by removing that sugar from your blood. Insulin is a storage hormone so it helps remove sugar from your blood stream to where it’s needed (more on this in a bit). However, any excess sugar is readily stored as fat which is a great reason to keep your sugar intake and insulin spikes to a minimum.

Key Point: Sugar is broken down to glucose at cellular level, glucose is how consumed sugar / carbohydrates are absorbed by your cells. So, a jacket potato, bowl of rice or pasta are all broken down to glucose – yes exactly the same stuff as the sugar in a chocolate bar, piece of cake or cup or tea! So, therein lies the controversy with potatos, rice and pasta – they are actually one big bowl of sugar! This is why low carb diets shift fat quickly as you are simply removing a lot of sugar from your diet!

However, the real difference is how quickly that sugar is aborbed. Think about chocolate, it melts in your mouth so quickly raises blood sugar levels. Whereas, lentils or pulses are broken down more slowly so raise blood sugar levels more gradually. But ultimately, both foods end up as glucose as cell level. So, it is how quickly and by how much does a food impact your blood sugar levels and then the following insulin response.

How does Sugar get used in the Body?

The body does several things with sugar. Some is diverted to the brain, the brain is incredibly energy hungry and sugar / glucose is a simple, effective fuel for it.

Your muscles need some, ever had a really hard workout and then several hours laters really craved carbs? That is your body saying it needs to replenish what is used up during that workout – that’s why carbs are very important after exercise.

The liver needs some. The stored format of glucose is called gylcogen and the liver stores a supply. This is probably an evolutionary tool where when carbs were scarce the liver could release some for energy. Of course, in our modern world food and carbs are so readily available that this is almost a redudant trait of the body now.

So, you can see that carbs do have a valuable role in the body. And of course, carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables contain a whole host of important nutrients.

The key is controlling your blood sugar levels by consuming foods rich in protein, healthy fats and fibrous carbohydrates – remember to keep you carbohydrate portions small unless exercising regularly. This should have a very positive effect on your energy levels and weight loss!

Now, we all know refined sugar is not a great choice. It’s going to effect our energy levels in the short term and for many of us our health in the long term. But, if you exercise regularly and have a healthy eating approach then some simple sugar from time to time is very unlikely to be of much harm to you.

Of course, we all need to be aware that too much refined sugar is the cause of Type 2 diabetes and most likely the majority of the cases of heart disease too.

I generally advise my clients to have a reasonably low carbhoydrate diet when not exercising, a moderate carbohydrate when exercising regularly (3 times per week) and then a high carbohydrate when exercises becomes training i.e 4 – 6 times per week or after sport.

Just touching on the Keto diet which is a very, very low carbohydrate and very high fat diet. Some people thrive on this whereas others struggle. There will be lots of reasons for this that I cover in the Weight Loss and Diet ebook.

Did you know, a great time to eat a little refined sugar is first thing in the morning (providing you already have a good fasting glucose response)? Upon waking, I start my day with a quarter or third fruit juice mixed with water (pint glass), this helps me rehydrate after sleep and fires up my thyroid. Refined sugar can also be tolerated after INTENSE or LONG exercise sessions. During periods of intense exercise you use carbohydrate stores within the body which need to be replenished and straight after exercise your cells are very receptive to sugar (glucose as it is at cell level).

Let's Recap!

Carbs such as rice, pasta, oats and bread and really just energy sources. Therefore, rice, pasta and bread should be consumed in small amounts and breakfast cereals avoided as much as possible.

Switch to oats for breakfast, use lentils instead of rice and pasta and use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes.

However, remember, if you are using up a lot of energy via intense exercise then you will need quite high levels of carbohyrdate to replenish the system. Otherwise, have a low to moderate carbohydrate intake.

Key Point! Carbohydrates are broken down to simple sugar at cellular level, so a bowl of rice, pasta or breakfast cereal is going to end up as sugar in the body!

The biggest mistake people make! Too many starchy carbohydrates being consumed when not exercising hard enough to use / burn them up = fat storage.

40 / 50g uncooked weight of rice, pasta, oats is a reasonable portion for NON exercisers.

Ultimately, experiment a bit to find what works for you. Very low carb diets can lead to you craving carbohydrates so listen to your body and work with it not against – your goal is to nourish your body not deprive it!

There is no need to fear carbs! Just choose the right ones and the right portion size!

Page 7:

Micro Nutrients

These are your vitamins and minerals and although only needed in small dosages are mightily important aspects of your diet. Without them your health may be severely affected – particularly over time and they are so often undervalued and under-considered when deciding on food options.

How often do you look at the fat, sugar and calorie content on a packet?

How often to do you think about micro nutrient content?!

From now on, pay as much consideration to the nutrient value of each of your meals as you would the calorie intake. Remember, your goal is to nourish and rejuvenate the body so start choosing your foods based whether the food you are consuming is high in vitamins and minerals.

Nutrients & Weight Loss

I often get asked about supplements when discussing weight loss as early everyone reaches for a protein shake when starting an exercise or new eating plan – hats off to those marketers!

The number one supplement to start with is a good quality Multivitamin! Weight loss comes down to nourishing the body, so invest your money in a good quality multivitamin as a starting point before anything else.

Can I lose weight without a multivitamin? Yes, of course, you can! But a multivitamin can really help support your hormonal balance, optimal sleep, and management of stress – 3 key and common areas the can inhibit your ability to burn fat. Those three areas will have a huge amount occurring at cellular level and it’s these complex cellular processes and pathways where micronutrients play a critical role in how well, or not, your system functions. For example, the body needs more B Vitamins, Magnesium, and Vitamin C during periods of stress as these nutrients are critical during our body’s stress response and can quickly become depleted. So, when you under stress, short-term or chronic, your focus should be on increasing your nutrient intake to support the demands being placed on the body

Of course, good food is your main priority. I have this conversation most days of my life, but we can’t escape the fact that even many “fresh” fruit and vegetables are less nutritious today due to changes in farming processes and it’s debated whether we really obtain everything we need from food. Now to survive yes! There are people that to live a 100 and seemingly don’t seem to be eating a super nutritious diet. Well, they will tend to be the minority, see surviving to 100 is very different to flourishing as we age and many of us struggle as we age as unfortunately, we are lacking the key nutrients the body needs.

As stated above, food is your priority but I strongly recommend taking a multivitamin to ensure your body is able to cope with everything modern life throws at it.

A healthy body will start burning fat so increasing your micro-nutrient intake is crucial…get nourishing!

Page 8:

Food Intolerances / Irritants / Allergies

Do you constantly feel ill, run-down, or suffer with inflammatory conditions or digestive problems?

In the modern world your body is being bombarded by toxins and irritants so in this section we take a look at food irritants / intolerances.

If the overload of toxins becomes too great the body will be unable to cope and ill health (in many forms) may occur.

If you’re struggling to lose weight or have health problems that are particularly linked to inflammation such as digestive problems, autoimmune conditions, skin health, arthritis or fatigue then it would definitively be worth investigating as to whether certain foods are causing you a problem.

Inflammation is complex process within the body, but think of it in 3 ways:

1: Immediate reactions such as a bee sting, allergic reaction to food or if you tiwst your ankle and swelling occurs quickly. These types of reactions are easy to see as they appear almost instantly.

2: Delayed reactions. These can occur anything from 24 – 72 hours (sometimes even a week) after the initial trigger. Food intolerances fall under this catergory which is why they can be very difficult to recognise. Something you ate on Saturday might now only be reacting on Tuesday. The entire digestion process takes about 48 hours so you can see how a reaction could occur at anytime during that window or potentially longer. Now, say you ate the same “reactive” food 3 days running i.e. bread – can be a common irritant. You have now not only got a constant reaction occuring over 3 days but also a build up of inflammation in the body which could take 7-14 days to be flushed out the system. So, you can see how potential food intolerances occur. Consume a trigger food once and you will probably be fine, maybe slightly lethargic, but consume that food every day (i.e. wheat such as bread and pasta) then you can see how that could become a real problem. On top of this, your immune system becomes hypersensitive to this trigger and the inflammatory reactions can increase over time worsening your symptoms.

3 Chronic inflammation. This is where inflammation builds up over months or years. It can occur in joints, where you experience long term pain in your knee or shoulder. But, it also occurs from your food and lifesytle choices. Above we mentioned how food intolerances can become a long term problem and gradually over time the entire body (system) can fall in to an inflammatory state – chronic inflammation. Symptoms of this can be fatigue, autoimmune diseases, digestive issues, arthritis and skin disorders and ften we then end up treating the symptom not the underlying cause i.e. a diagnoses of IBS where actually the IBS is symptom of undiagnosed food intolerance.

Of course, not everyone is going to have food intolerances but given the volume of processed food available in our modern world, it’s likely many of us will suffer to some degree – just feeling run down and tired is  a common issue related to food intolerances.

We can also react to natural food, again it makes sense that not everything we eat is going to suit our body. For example, wheat and grains just don’t work me and I also limit dairy. I also think onions and potatoes are also not great matches for me too!

If you suspect a potential food trigger / intolerance then avoid the completely food for  7 – 10 days. If your symptoms lessen or go then its likely you are reacting to that food.

I would then recommed 8 – 12 weeks of complete avoidance of that food. That should allow your body a period of time to ease the immune response to that food. You can then very slowly and gradually re introduce that food and assess your symptoms. If your symptoms return then it may be advisable to avoid the food as much as you can.

One key approach to things like this, believe it or not, appears to be the pychological approach. Research shows your mindset (like a placebo effect) can have a profound on your health. For example, if I believe wheat is going to cause me a problem when I eat wheat-based food I’m likely to react. However, the question is, I have “taught” my brain this reaction over years via my belief’s or do I have a genuine wheat intolerance?! Perhaps it’s a combination of both, worsend by negative thoughts I have about wheat?

This is quite a complex theory but actually, one we can easily implement with daily positive reinforcement and positive thinking. How much of our ill health is psychological and how much is physiological? The mind is far more poweful than the body so can we retrain our minds to think and act positively to influence our health? An interesting fact from studies has shown that at least a 3rd of all people taking medication, actually improved more (and without the side effects) when taking a sugar pill than taking their medication. See, just the belief that they are taking medication is powerful enough for the body to repair itself..a very interesting area to explore isn’t it.

Do you need support with a potential food intolerance? Contact Us Here!

Page 9:

Removing Wheat, Gluten and Dairy

Removing food groups from your diet is quite controversial, the three above are common ones which is why I have highlighted them.

Firstly, if you are functioning well, have a happy, healthy body, and enjoy eating wheat and dairy produce then there is probably no need to stop. In fact, if you’re functional when and full of energy then you probably have never thought about food intolerances, why would you need to. However, if you have health or digestive issues, lethargy, or fatigue then you may have already done some reading on the subject of food intolerances – there’s plenty of information out there to read up on.

Personally, I do better when I avoid eating wheat, gluten, and dairy. I still have them occasionally but it really isn’t a big inconvenience to avoid them.

My issue is that I tend to find I get a white coating on my tongue if I have too much of any of them – much like hangover tongue. This would tell me it’s a food reaction and also potentially a yeast reaction too. My energy levels crash too. It may several days to pass sometimes closer to a week. However, if I was having wheat, gluten and dairy daily I know I would really struggle. In total I may have 1 piece of either wheat or dairy weekly, but, usually I’ll go weeks without either…the less I have the better I feel! If I avoid all 3 for about a week I noticed a huge improvement in my energy, a transformation really!

I would consider myself hypersensitive to these foods and avoidance is really the answer for me. I view wheat, gluten, and dairy as nonessentials anyway. Grains were never in our evolutionary food chain and drinking another animal’s milk makes no sense whatsoever to me!

So, I generally avoid. Say I have a bowl of porridge, which I used to love by the way! As nice as it is at the time generally it will me slightly tired (quite quickly within an hour or two). Feeling slightly tired would mean I’m likely to reach for something “carby” like flapjack for a pick-me-up and despite the flapjack tasting incredible at the time, it just furthers my lethargy and a vicious cycle ensues.

This is why if I’m working with client suffering from tiredness, lethargy, fatigue or a digestive complaint I always start with their food.

Your next steps are potentially a food intolerance test (we discuss these in our Gut Health ebook) or you start an exclusion diet to determine the food triggers. All said, very often within 7-10 days of total avoidance of wheat, gluten and dairy people will usually feel far more energised.

Avoidance doesn’t have to be forever. If after the 7-10 days avoidance you are feeling better I would then advise a further 8 – 12 weeks avoidance to allow your immune system to “reset”. Sometimes, half that time can actually be enough and you can try re-introducing them. There isn’t an exact protocol for this, every approach has to be individualised.

Finally, I do not agree with the view that you need to eat wheat and dairy produce for nutritional value. You can meet all your nutrient requirements by consuming a wide range of vegetables, fruits, quality meat, eggs, fish, fibrous carbohydrates, nuts and seeds!

Happy eating!

Where to Start?

Start simply, there’s no right or wrong. What suits your lifestyle, what can you sensibly achieve right now and then build from there….even small changes can have a significant impact.

Don’t put pressure on yourself and of course…enjoy it!