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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Categories GENERAL HEALTH, Uncategorized

Please welcome… the newest additions to the TBN team!

We are soooo excited to announce the healthy arrival of both of our babies! Just in case  you missed the updates on social media, here’s a little bit about Eliza and Layla below :).

Hi everyone! My name is Eliza Summer KingEliza because mum and dad love it. Summer as it’s a family name on Dad’s side… plus sunshine is sooo beautiful, I love it on the outside.

Mum had already had enough time off and big bro Karma was getting all the limelight. So on Friday the 7th of August I broke my waters when those 2 were out walking. I was born at 1:35am Sat 8th of the 8th (8 days early!). Strong as the lion I am (Leo). 3.6kg! People thought I’d be tiny but I’m strong thanks to all the good food mumma gave me on the inside!

So far I love being wrapped up like a burrito, love dad’s chest, milkshakes, any cuddles, little licks on my toes from my bro, sleeping and bath time…. and did I already mention mums milkshakes? I eat exactly like her… lots, enthusiastically and quite fast.

From Katie and Carl: the love and wishes we had through pregnancy and beyond were just so touching and we thank you in advance for these continuing thoughts.

Now please meet my roomie. 😎👶.

Hello everyone! My name is Layla Rose. I kept mum and dad (Nicole and Greg) waiting a bit longer than expected but when I was ready I was ready! I could not let Eliza, my roomie from baby land, take all the limelight 😂. I arrived on August 11. I have Mum and Dad wrapped around my finger, they are beyond smitten. Big fur bro Billy…. well he’s not so cool on sharing the attention yet but I’ll win him too. Mum is going really well. Thanks in advance for all your well wishes now and those you sent us when I was still on the inside. Bye for now 😘

We know that it may take time before we get back to business but in the meantime
Please remember to check out maternity leave updates page to stay up to date on when we may be back

While we are away you can get on our WAITING LIST!

If you are REALLY keen to see us when we return, you can phone our bookings manager / administration whizz Michelle on (07) 3063 2710. OR you can email her on appointments@thebalancednutritionist.com.au and request to be added to our waiting list.

Note: Upon our return, existing clients requiring follow up appointments and those on the waiting list will be given first preference for available appointments. Please make sure you read ‘what to expect‘ for a list of our fees/private health rebates etc prior to contacting Michelle; so you are in the know. A deposit is NOT required to go on the waiting list but WHEN you are contacted for an appointment then you WILL be required to pay the 40% booking deposit to secure your spot.

Note: to go on the waiting list, you will need to provide your full name, email address, and a contact number, as well as a few sentences, summing up what you would like our assistance with.

Our Blogs and Social Media

Both will remain ACTIVE. You can continue to access our latest blogs here and catch up on all our past ones as well. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram. Our social media is a balance of education, ‘realism,’ food ideas, dog spam, baby spam (once they are born), and fun! We also have our online course available, Back 2 Basics… find out more here!

Well, that is all we can assist you within our absence from the clinic. Again, Michelle, our bookings manager is just a phone call or email away ((07) 3063 2710/ appointments@thebalancednutritionist.com.au) if we haven’t answered a query here…. Note: our own email addresses will be unattended during our leave.

We hope you are safe, healthy, and well now and always. And we look forward to catching up / meeting you upon our return.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our existing clients for their well wishes, love, patience, and consideration during this special time in our lives.

Cheers to lifelong health and happiness for the adults and the bubs and every age in between!

Katie, Nicole, and Michelle. 

Categories Diabetes, Uncategorized

Case Study: Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

This is a synopsis of the journey of a 50 year old male client of The Balanced Nutritionist who presented with Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension and raised liver enzymes on July 5th 2019. This client wanted to release 25kg of body weight to return to a healthy weight range. In addition, he wanted to minimize his need for medication and better manage his conditions with nutrition and lifestyle. For privacy reasons, this client will be referred to simply as ‘D’ throughout this case study.

The purpose of this report is to draw attention to the power of individualized dietary interventions and professional support in the presence of chronic health conditions. Between the 5th of July and the 12th of October, D released 25kg of body weight, was taken off all diabetes medication (as directed by his GP), significantly lowered his blood pressure medication and improved his overall wellbeing. For the full journey, see below:

Initial consultation July 5th presenting concerns:

  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, diagnosed more than 10 years ago. Oral medication (metformin) in use,. Most recent HbA1c* was 11.6
  • Blood pressure issues for close to 15 years.
  • Triglycerides were 3.2 on latest blood tests despite cholesterol medication.
  • Minor reflux
  • Occasional muscle cramping particularly in feet
  • Uncomfortable with current weight
  • Unable to exercise due to shoulder and hip issues
  • Energy not ideal particularly in the afternoon
  • Family history of blood pressure issues and diabetes type 2
  • Motivated to change nutrition and lifestyle to release weight and improve blood pressure and diabetes management.

Initial consultation July 5th Medications and stats:

  • Diabetic medication twice daily / blood pressure managed with 2 separate medications taken twice daily / cholesterol medication
  • Weight: 124.9kg / waist measurement 114cm

Initial consultation July 5th nutritional and lifestyle habits:

  • D was not a big drinker; a couple of nights per week
  • Rarely drank soft drink
  • Water intake was around 1L
  • Plenty of protein in the diet, but perhaps a little too much mindless snacking as a habit – this was most likely driving up blood sugar and making weight loss challenging.

Initial consultation July 5th Initial recommendations:

  • Advised to bring in some low impact exercise
  • Reduced size of breakfast and asked D to eliminate snacking altogether, focusing on just 3 quality meals
  • Increased hydration
  • D began logging BSLs* regularly
  • D began keeping a food diary which generally helps with more mindful eating by default

Second consultation 3rd August Medications and stats:

  • D had followed recommendations to a tee
  • BSLs had initially ranged from 8 to 11mmol/L in early July. By the middle of the month they were more often sitting between 5.5 and 7.5mmol/L (readings taken at various times through the day).
  • Diabetic mediation reduced and evening blood pressure medication reduced as directed by GP
  • Weight 118kg; a reduction of 6kg.
  • Waist circumference 110cm; a reduction of 4cm

Second consultation 3rd August Recommendations:

  • D embarked on structured Metabolic Balance® program*
  • Foods and quantities matched to D based on extensive blood work, medications, medical conditions and physical statistics.
  • GP aware and supportive of this dietary approach

Third consultation 23rd August Medications and stats:

  • Under direction of GP, metformin (oral diabetic medication) was stopped after 10 years of being mediated for diabetes.
  • Fasting BSLs consistently sitting between 4.8 and 5.
  • No issues with hypoglycaemia* although blood pressure dipping low at times hence further changes to blood pressure as per below
  • Evening BP medication no longer used (as directed by GP)
  • Weight reduced to and waist
  • Energy fairly consistent, rarely feeling hungry.
  • Hamstring pulled unfortunately so not much chance of introducing structured exercise into lifestyle at this point

Third consultation 23rd August Recommendations:

  • Continue with structured food plan, addition of more healthy fats
  • Keep consulting with GP and keep recording daily blood pressure to ensure medication adjusted accordingly to ensure no low blood pressure episodes.

Fourth consultation 14th September Medications and Stats:

  • Current medications consisting only of ½ dose of morning blood pressure pills plus cholesterol pill.
  • Still consistently releasing over 1kg of body weight a week, with minimal loss of lean body mass*
  • Had introduced a few meals off the plan and noted a fast response to ‘white carbs’ i.e. white rice – a good lesson to learn moving forward*

Fourth consultation 14th September Recommendations:

  • Advised to start trialling some foods outside of original plan and monitor blood sugar response particularly to other low GI carbohydrates
  • Avoid ‘white’ cabohydrates and high wheat carbs at all costs due to effect on BSL
  • Prescribed multi mineral formula to support nutrient status whilst still releasing weight

Fifth consultation 12th October Medications and stats:

  • Current weight is 100kg, and according to VLA, body fat is now ideal for frame size. An overall loss of 25kg.
  • Waist measurement down to 97cm*, an overall reduction of 17cm.
  • D wanting to discuss remaining BP medication and cholesterol medication with GP

Fifth consultation 12th October Recommendations

  • Relaxing some aspects of the program with a view of maintain wellbeing and blood sugar readings. Review again in 6 weeks.
  • Bring in some exercise with a view for this to become habitual once received the all clear on injuries.

This synopsis of D’s journey so far has been written based on the CARE case report guidelines to ensure the synopsis is as objective as possible. This summary was prepared in consultation with clinical notes taken during consultations. D has read this report in full and confirms it’s accuracy as well as providing consent for it to be published.

The take home points for the reader of this case study include:

  • Comprehensive and individualised nutritional prescriptions are a truly powerful solution to chronic and debilitating health conditions
  • Food groups don’t necessarily have to be excluded. Exclusions of any whole foods should be based on an individual’s reaction to them – not on a societal level.
  • Professional advice and support is critical particularly where medical conditions and medications are involved. D benefited from the support of Katie King, nutritionist as well as his General Practitioner to monitor his medications closely.
  • This is not individualised advice. Consult a professional if you want results like this.
  • These results are proportionate to effort. We can guide, support and advice but ultimately D had the right mindset to make changes to his nutrition and he deserves these results.

*The term ‘diabetes reversal’ is used in medical literature and the exact criteria for reversal is still debated. However, according to the World Health Organisation, most agree that a HbA1c under the diabetic threshold of 6.5% without the use of medication does qualify. More here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520897/

*HbA1c: a test which gives an average of the previous 2-3 months blood sugar results)

*The specific instructions given to this client have been deliberately excluded from this case study as they suited this particular person. The same interventions applied to someone else may not have the same outcome. For safe and effective results, you should work with a suitably qualified practitioner. Book your consultation here.

*BSLs: blood sugar levels

*Metabolic Balance® program is a German medical program that we have received extensive training in and offer at The Balanced Nutritionist. The exact foods and quantities of foods ideal for a person (based on extensive blood work, medications, medical conditions and physical statistics) are prescribed to a person and a structured program follows. Meals are clean, but balanced. Each meal contains protein and fibre rich vegetables as well as fruits and even starch are generally included in a Metabolic Balance® program.

*Hypoglyaemia: low blood sugar (to the extent that it may lead to disturbing symptoms like dizziness, feeling faint, weak or shaky.)

*Lean body mass: the difference between total body weight and fat mass; ideally you always want to preserve lean body mass as it accounts for muscle mass.

*VLA: a scientifically validated test we use in clinic to accurately monitor changes in body fat, lean body mass, hydration and cellular health.

*White carbs: please note that each diabetic is unique. Some, for example may respond fine to fruit others may find it spikes blood sugar. Part of the journey of any diabetic who wants to manage their condition as best as they can through diet, is discovery which foods are most problematic for them. They should then be avoided at all costs.

*Waist measurement: according to the World Health Organisation and the Australian Heart Foundation (https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/know-your-risks/healthy-weight/waist-measurement) , a waist measurement is an important measurement of overall risk of chronic disease, particularly cardiovascular disease. Men should strive for a waist measurement below 94cm and women under 80cm.

 

Categories Uncategorized

What is lipolysis and how does it happen?

The metabolism is a fascinating thing. Our bodies have evolved to do all kinds of cool things in order to guarantee our survival. Look after the body optimally, the way its supposed to be nurtured and chances are it will be behave as it should in return. But in this crazy world we live in, with more stress, more food, less movement, more technology and less nature than ever before…. things can get a little confusing.

Metabolism is a very complex concept, but let’s focus on 2 terms only for this blog. These are ‘metabolic flexibility’ and ‘lipolysis.’ These are two terms we speak with our clients about quite regularly so we thought we’d share them on the blog today. Let’s start with ‘metabolic flexibility.’

Our bodies utilize two different forms of fuel for energy and survival and ideally, switch between both as required. The first fuel source is glucose and the second is fatty acids – essentially stored fat. Metabolic flexibility is essentially a fancy way of saying that the body can efficiently and comfortably switch between both as required. Consider that shortly after you eat a meal, carbohydrates will be more readily available thus the body will utilize glucose for energy. However, many hours later or say overnight, provided that meal was not too large, the body may switch into a fat burning mode instead. If we consider the evolution of human life, metabolic flexibility makes a lot of sense. Thousands of years ago, food availability varied with the seasons. There were times of feast and famine. The ability of the body to switch between these two mechanisms would have been a must for survival of the species.

Now a days, things aren’t so. Consume a diet of wholefoods, not in excess and you can loosely recreate a similar pattern – switching the body between fat and carbohydrate burning. However, overeating, the over consumption of highly processed carbohydrates, high cortisol, little or no movement, consistent snacking…. well all of these factors may mean the body is rarely forced into a fat burning state because instead, it has a steady supply of carbohydrates to keep it fueled.

Here at the Balanced Nutritionist, we are ‘pro’ metabolic flexibility. We think it makes sense on many levels – particularly when we consider human evolution. Many engage in debate over whether carbohydrate burning has any validity and instead believe our fat burning pathways should be constantly ‘on’ but we take a more balanced view on this. However, that debate is not the main purpose of this article.

Instead, let’s focus on our second concept, ‘lipolysis.’ Lipolysis is the fancy term to describe the mobilisation and break down of fatty acid cells for energy. Put simply, some degree of lipolysis is important for healthy weight management and certainly for fat loss. Yet, some find it difficult, even when they drastically reduce their food intake, to activate lipolysis, which essentially means they can’t seem to shift body fat.

This brings us to the crux of today’s article. You see there are two main conditions that need to be met in order for lipolysis to take place:

  1. Blood sugar, or glucose levels need to be relatively low. If blood sugar levels are high, the body will continue to use this as a fuel source instead and fat burning will not take place. So if someone has higher than normal blood sugar levels, say because they are prediabetic or insulin resistant, their capacity to burn fat for fuel will be low.
  2. Insulin levels must also be low. Insulin is one smart hormone. It is actually capable of blocking the enzymes responsible for making fat burning happen. Once again, prediabetes or poorly controlled diabetes or anyone with insulin resistance is likely to have high insulin levels fairly consistently, thus posing another challenge to fat burning. (note: fasting blood sugar levels can appear well controlled on blood tests, but corresponding insulin levels may still be elevated. It is possible and sometimes indicated, to have both fasting blood sugar levels and insulin levels tested to obtain a full picture).

Now, these hormones can be elevated for obvious reasons. Overeating, the consumption of junk food, consistent snacking between meals etc. will all drive both blood sugar and therefore insulin levels up as well. But, for those with insulin resistant conditions, these two hormones can be triggered extremely easily, even by seemingly healthy meal choices. Crux of the story? Lipolysis can be incredibly challenging for anyone with blood sugar and insulin regulation issues. You may even consume a seemingly perfect diet and not overeat, but still have difficulty achieving lipolysis and metabolic flexibility.

We wrote this blog because many of our clients find that understanding this concept really helps them understand fat loss better. We hope it brings some clarity to you as well. If you are concerned about your perceived ‘lack of’ metabolic flexibility, here are some tips that we’ll close on:

  • Make sure your meals contain protein. That they aren’t purely carbohydrates on a plate. E.g. a sandwich with vegemite? Note going to cut it for lunch.
  • Make sure you eat proper meals, with a break in between of at least 4 hours to allow time to digest and time for blood sugar and insulin levels to decrease.
  • ensure that breaks are actual breaks; remember anything with flavour (including tea and coffee) has the ability to trigger a hormonal response in the body i.e. stimulate blood sugar levels.
  • Move more. Exercise does stimulate lipolysis. But its also natural for us to move. We are designed to eat and move not eat and be sedentary.
  • Don’t eat a really large meal at night especially one with dessert. The overnight ‘fast’ we naturally attain when we sleep is a good opportunity for fat burning.
  • Drink water. Not sugary crap. Plus, being hydrated increases the efficiency of the body on all levels.
  • Finally, if you are still struggling with weight management or fat loss to a healthy range, consult a professional as insulin resistant conditions require tailored advice.
Categories Health, Uncategorized

Breaking news: research confirms ‘processed food’ is bad for us

So. Breaking News…. “ULTRA PROCESSED FOODS CAUSE OVEREATING AND WEIGHT GAIN

Ok. In all seriousness, our initial response was ‘seriously, did we really need a study to prove this but….’

The really interesting thing about the research here was that the subjects receiving the ultra processed foods versus those receiving the minimally processed foods, received the exact SAME number of calories and macronutrients… initially.

Participants were instructed to consume until they were satisfied and what the research found was that those receiving minimally processed foods simply ate less. Those receiving the ultra processed foods ate more – carbohydrates and fat in particular. The ultra processed group gained weight, whilst those receiving minimally processed foods lost it.

Take home points:

-processed food is completely unsatisfying for the body. Its nutrient devoid; you will go looking for more because the body is simply not getting what it needs. We discuss this with clients. All. The. Time. You have to get off the bandwagon of addictive snacks, sauces, sugary cereals and drinks.

-processed food completely highjacks the appetite. You will have not appetite control on a diet of ultraprocessed foods. You will not stop. You know… the pringles saying? Its the truth!

-eat whole foods… good thing happen.

-Finally, in the same week, we have also heard that Weight Watchers have released a new app for kids in the US for kids to track their food intake, weight ad physical activity. Oh no. No no no. From someone who also deals with adolescents with eating conditions this is NOT good news.

Doesn’t this research prove that resources would be better directed at removing said processed food from kids’ diets because that is a major underlying cause of the childhood obesity crisis. Instead of allowing another generation of humans with eating disorders to evolve?

We are PASSIONATE about simply moving people to a wholefoods program here at The Balanced Nutritionist because even THAT can see some magic happen.

If you are struggling with too much ‘packet’ convenience food creeping in to your diet, feeling sluggish, heavy and yuck as a result book online here because our Back to Basics wholefoods program is perfect for you.

Anyhow, what we would like to see from here in the research world:

-we would have loved to see the result if both groups had to consume exactly the same amount of calories but in 2 different forms still – ultra processed and minimally processed. This would prove the point that its beyond calories and macros. Processed food interferes with the body on a cellular level. It results in vastly different hormonal and neurotransmitter reactions and that is how the damage is done…. providing excess energy is only half the problem.

These principles are exactly why our current wholefoods program is working well – the Back to Basics protocol I mentioned above.

Its a ‘no counting,’ ‘eat to your own appetite’ ‘wholefoods’ based 4 – 8 week program which just takes it back to basics, supporting you with the structure and accountability to do so.

Guess what happens as a result? You gain energy, clarity, happiness, health and released unwanted weight. Without math. Without stress. Without packets. Genius.

Categories Uncategorized, WEIGHT LOSS

Do You Eat Consciously? Or on Autopilot?

We’ve all been there … you walk past the communal lolly jar at work and dip your hand in without thinking, automatically grab a few biscuits from the lunch room while making a cup of tea, or mindlessly eat from the cheese platter at a party.

It’s easy to consume less healthy food when we give in to impulsive eating, by pushing aside conscious decisions and automatically saying “yes” to food, without stopping to consider what we’re actually eating.

On the other hand, when we make deliberate and conscious decisions about food, we’re more likely to choose real, whole foods that nourish our body and make us feel great. This is conscious eating.

“Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body.”

Conscious eating is the practice of thinking about what you put in your body, before you eat it.

Do you eat consciously or on autopilot?

Try this: Whenever you are presented with the option of a less healthy food, give yourself the space to stop and make a conscious decision about whether to eat the food or not.

Before you mindlessly shove it into your mouth, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I really want to eat this food right now?
  • Is it especially delicious?
  • Will this food nourish me (my body or my soul)?
  • How will I feel after eating this food?

When we stop to make a conscious decision about food, often we realise that the food we’re about to eat isn’t particularly special or delicious, we’re not really hungry or we don’t really want it right now, and it won’t make us feel great.

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t choose to enjoy less healthy foods that we really love on occassion.

When you do choose to indulge, savour the food and enjoy it fully. Don’t eat too fast – really taste what you’re eating. And, be kind to yourself – don’t deprive yourself and don’t feel guilty for enjoying less healthy foods in moderation.

Because when you consciously chose to enjoy less healthy foods occasionally, and you really enjoy it, you are choosing to nourish your soul.

Written by Nicole Bence. You can book with Nicole here

Categories Uncategorized

What’s Coeliac Disease?

As we close off this week, we say goodbye to the end of Coeliac Awareness Week in Australia so I thought it was fitting to right a post about this misunderstood condition.

According to the Coeliac Australia website, 1 in 70 Australians have coeliac disease… but 4 out of 5 of them are walking around undiagnosed. So far in clinic just this year to date, I’ve have 7 of my clients tested privately for coeliac disease (a cost of about $60) and 6 of these have come back with positive antibodies. You could say I have a good hit rate when spotting this condition and its signs!

Coeliac Disease is an extremely serious condition and early diagnosis is ideal as it can have serious consequences if left untreated.  It is very different from gluten intolerance because it is autoimmune in nature, meaning that its a condition where the body essentially turns on itself. In the case of coeliac disease, the body begins attacking its own villi, which are tiny projections lining the small intestine allowing us to absorb nutrients from our food. When these start being destroyed, absorption is severely compromised. For this reason, early signs include a lack of energy (because fuel can’t be extracted efficiently from food), unexplained low iron levels, low B12 levels, depression and a visible lack of vitality. In some cases, bumps or rashes on the body may be present because having coeliac disease is a bit like being allergic to gluten. Gastrointestinal symptoms may range from generalized bloating, to ‘constant pins and needles’ in the gut, to full blown cramps and pain in the belly particularly after ingesting gluten. IBS like bowel motions may also be present. When its left untreated for a long time, the gut can simply become overactive to lots of different foods  because its so inflamed.

Coeliac disease can also be silent (symptomless), making it even more tricky to spot!

Long term, if left undiagnosed, we know that bone health will be affected (due to impaired nutrient absorption) and this condition has also been linked with infertility.

Coeliac disease does have a genetic component so anyone who relates to this symptom list who also has a relative with an autoimmune condition should discuss the possibility of coeliac disease with their health professional or book an appointment here.

Gluten free eating has become incredibly trendy in recent years and in part, I do believe this has contributed to less people being properly tested for coeliac disease. Firstly, some people simply remove gluten from their diet without being properly tested. I believe in the importance of diagnosis by your GP / a specialist because it generally equates for a much stricter approach to ‘gluten free’ plus you need to warn relatives as they may also need to be tested.

Secondly, i believe some people aren’t being tested because some health professionals  may be a little frustrated with everything being blamed on dairy or gluten! This is sometimes the feedback i get from clients anyway, when they have requested testing. I do think its important we ‘screen’ with lots of symptoms and test genuinely likely cases. I find it fairly easy with a few leading questions to determine if there may be a real problem with gluten or if its simply being avoided for other reasons.

Finally, we all need take ownership over our health by booking in with a health professional to thoroughly discuss any changes in symptoms as opposed to simply relying on Googling  information.

There are cases where testing for coeliac disease does come back negative but a person’s health may improve when they remain off gluten and this is typically coined as ‘non-coeliac gluten sensitivity.’

There are also cases when the dietary culprit for health problems, particularly gastrointestinal have nothing to do with gluten at all so again, its critical to seek professional health.

Gluten is not always the devil, but when it is, it can be the stuff of nightmares.

Think you may have a problem with gluten, be a coeliac or just have a really reactive gut and no idea why? Drop me a line and we can organise a time to sort it out.

 

Categories Uncategorized

BONE HEALTH: FORGOTTEN NUTRIENTS

Osteoporosis due to poor bone health is a significant global, public health concern with over 200 million sufferers worldwide. Like so many chronic diseases, these statistics could be slashed significantly if good nutrition and lifestyle practices were prioritized throughout life. With world Osteoporosis Day approaching I was asked to speak on bone health and nutrition on radio and I’ve summarized the points I made in that interview below.

First though, let me emphasis that the adolescent years are the most important for building strong bones and therefore the below nutritional and lifestyle strategies are critical from a young age. So boot your preteens out the door and get them moving and eating good food. There are no excuses. It is worth the arguments. It is worth reversing the disease epidemic. We must take responsibility and start making some serious changes to how we are all doing life. Clear?

Bone mass then peaks at around 25-30 years and begins declining from then on. 

Post menopause, women’s bone mass will decline more rapidly due to lowered circulating estrogen levels, but men are also at risk of the condition. Here are 10 considerations for building bone mass in the first place (i.e. during adolescents) and then slowing the rate of decline as we age. These strategies may also assist those who have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis. 

1. Calcium: We always talk about calcium when bone health comes up and I think the dairy industry has made it quite clear that milk is a great source . But if you can’t chug down 3 glasses of milk per day (which many won’t stomach), cheese and yoghurt are also good sources, with about the same amount of calcium per 100g. However, other sources of calcium that belong in everyone’s diet also include green leafy vegetables, dried figs, almonds, sesame seeds and sesame spread (tahini) and bony fish. Think sardines on toast.

2.  Enough about calcium, we bang on about that enough. And calcium is pretty useless without good vitamin D levels. Yes, useless. Because the absorption of calcium into the body is dependent on vitamin  D transport mechanisms in the gut. (1). Not much point chugging down calcium if it can’t be absorbed right? Food sources include animal fats like egg yolk and oily fish but really, we need to be balancing our ‘sun smart’ attitude with a healthy dose of UV. We can synthesis vitamin D in the skin with a dose of sunshine – about 10-20 minutes each day when the sun is shining fairly high in the sky. Fancy eating your lunch outside instead of at your desk?

Note: I don’t think its a coincidence that countries with the biggest burden of osteoporosis also have significant smog issues i.e. Hong Kong, India, Singapore and China.

3. So we’ve ingested calcium and we’ve absorbed it into the body thanks to vitamin D but how to get it into the bones? Welcome another forgotten nutrient, but possibly the true star of the show vitamin K. K1 for blood clotting and K2 for moving calcium from the bloodstream into the bone matrix. That’s pretty important seeing as we don’t want calcium hanging around in our arteries. K2 also stimulates bone building and down regulates bone destruction (2). Ironically, K2 comes from all those foods we were told to cut out 30 years ago including butter (ahhhh) as well as some fermented foods (now making a come back – including fermented soy). It’s good to see now that many vitamin D supplements come formulated with K2 and some supplements contain all 3 of the before mentioned superstars.

4. Adequate protein will also assist with keeping our bones healthy as it boosts circulating levels of insulin growth factor, promoting osteoblast* activity. A daily diet of tea and toast doesn’t cut it as far as protein is concerned…

(*cells that make bone).

5. Magnesium is to calcium what champagne is to cheese. Firstly, magnesium helps to regulate calcium channels so calcium is pretty useless without it. Secondly, lowered magnesium levels mean enhanced bone resorption (i.e.. more bone loss). Third, ‘in humans, the iliac crest and upper femur of osteoporotic patients have been shown to have 10% less skeletal magnesium than that found at these sites in healthy control subjects.’ (As cited in reference 3).  So giving magnesium some attention (nuts, seeds, vegetables etc.) is a good idea.

6. We all know we need to move daily and incorporate strength and weight bearing activities to preserve bone health.

7. Avoiding excessive alcohol intake, skipping soft drink altogether (hello bone deterioration on fastforward), managing your weight and not smoking will also preserve bone and slow bone loss.

8. Some medications, like PPIs (antacids), antidepressants and corticosteroids negatively impact bone health according to Osteoperosis Australia (4).

9. If you eat well and move regularly, then the medication listed in item 8 can mostly be avoided.

10. None of this is rocket science. You don’t need to count out your calcium intake in mgs each day. You need to eat the same wholefoods diet which is the basis for health across all systems. Lots of plant powered vegetables and fruit, adequate protein, nuts, seeds and fresh water.  Plus movement and sunshine.

If you have had your bone density tested and your levels are rather ordinary then supplementation as a prophylactic is highly recommended. Book an appointment to look at your diet and get the most bang for your buck out of a supplement that is well formulated with all the nutrients you need in synergy. Prevention is better than cure. 

A history of eating disorders often warrants early testing for bone density deterioration and early supplementation to facilitate catch up growth is critical.

Fancy a few ideas to get more of these nutrients into your diet? Consider these that I just came up with:

-A handful of raw almonds and a couple of dried figs either plain or with some natural unsweetened yoghurt

-Cottage cheese and sliced tomato on rice cakes or vita wheat crackers

-A fried egg with thick tahini spread on toast

-Add kale or spinach leaves into meatballs or casseroles if its hard to get the kids to eat these things when they are in plain site (#persistence…)

-Smashed sardines and avocado on toast

REFERENCES

  1. Institute of Medicine (2011). ‘Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D.’ Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK56061/

2. Schwalfenberg, G. (2017). ”Vitamins K1 and K2: The Emerging Group of Vitamins Required for Human Health’ available from file:///C:/Users/Katie/Downloads/6254836.pdf

3. New, S. et. al. (2000). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  ‘Dietary influences on bone mass and bone metabolism: further evidence of a positive link between fruit and vegetable consumption and bone health?’

4. Osteoporosis Australia ‘Risk Factors’ available here https://www.osteoporosis.org.au/risk-factors

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Mike Willesee’s Paleo Journey

I woke up this morning, flicked off my alarm and opened up social media. I was immediately reminded why I generally don’t start off my day like this because I was appalled. Gob smacked. Actually disgusted. At humans and how cruel we can truly be. Particularly on social media… what is that? People seem to have alternate personalities, one that they reserve for face to face contact and the other for slandering on social media. The amount of complete uproar and the degree of slandering that has come as a result of Mike Willesee’s absolutely tremendous health transformation is just pitiful. This is how I see things, in really simple terms, without adding any ambiguities to the situation:

1.Mike’s health was on a downward spiral. He admitted this, his Doctors admitted this, his family were aware of it.
2. Mike agreed to go paleo for 10 weeks to see if his health benefited from the dietary and lifestyle change.
3. Low and behold, his health has improved and its reflected in the blood results, his waistline and the scales. Furthermore, he feels energetic and has taken responsibility for making better food choices.

If I ran into Mike Willesee in a coffee shop, I’d like to say to him: “Well done Mike. Seriously, well done. You’ve not taken the easy road. Making nutritional and lifestyle changes requires commitment. But you’ve done it. Thank you for being an example to the world. For not rolling over and simply accepting that way of being or blaming your age or opting for more drugs or more surgeries. Thanks for taking a stand and showing people that it’s not a joke anymore. We can not expect to shovel garbage into our own bodies day in and day out and still expect them to perform. You join a minority group (some of them are my clients and I have been lucky enough to help in the journey) who are accepting that the status quo simply is not working and you have been willing to do something ‘different’ something ‘real’ for a different result.”

I feel bad for him. I hope he and Pete Evans both have really thick skin. We should be celebrating alongside him and yet people are criticising and bringing Mike and his team down. And if this is about paleo then let’s clear up a few things right here and right now:

1. Paleo is a real food lifestyle. With the added benefit of incorporating movement, down time and other stress reduction techniques. There are many variations of it in a sense, Pete Evan’s program is his own version and many people are benefiting from this particular template.
2. It’s not for everyone. However, real food, in my opinion is. And if you are on board with keeping it fairly real, I hate to break it to you, but you are probably not that far off paleo anyway.
3. There is fibre in fruits and vegetables and lots of it. Fibre does not need to come from highly processed cereals or even bread. This argument is getting a little tiring. We have an overconsumption issue, in general where starchy carbohydrates are concerned.
4. Paleo is ummm not about eating lots of meat. For those who are still at this stage, read ‘The Primal Blueprint’ by Mark Sisson or ‘The Paleo Diet’ by Loren Cordain (PhD.) Then, you can comment on a topic you understand.
5. Similarly, calcium is found in plenty of other foods, not just conventional dairy. Cheap and highly industrialised dairy products is about as far from real as you can get. Buy the good stuff or forget it. Avoid long life cardboard dairy products, $1 per litre milk and pre grated cheese. I really can’t believe we are concerned about the dairy issue… and yet its fine for us to accept the copious amounts of sugar, trans fats and take away products we consume as a nation day in day out….augh. This is not ok.

“For the first time in my life, I’ve stopped to think about the food I’m eating.” Mike Willesee 

I normally roll over this stuff. And I certainly do not post hate messages on other peoples Facebook pages or websites. Despite being the victim of some interesting social media tactics by others in this industry over the last few weeks, I will continue to keep things positive. I will not stoop to that level because I have a professional respect for others, their learnings and their approach. But I do have a commitment to my clients and on a larger level, to the world. And some of us are really keen to simply get the message out there that we have to start paying attention to food. I mean actual food. Not the stuff that passes as food but really isn’t. We pay more attention to the fuel we put into our cars then what passes between our lips and it really has to change. People, quite simply are not well. More drugs, more surgery, less fat in the diet… not solutions. Conventional medicine and the use of pharmaceutical drugs offers amazing possibilities and it is lifesaving where necessary. But how about we all take a little bit of responsibility for our own health and do whatever we can in our own power to avoid being sick in the first place? That’s a public health idea I would like to see policy built upon.

At 73 years of age Mike you have done exceptionally well. Congratulations on the lifestyle change and I hope you are an example to many others to follow. Ignore the people who are bringing pain to your moment of glory, they must be jealous because you look so damn fantastic!

If you missed the hoo ha, then catch up here.