On the weekend, we provided comments for an article in the Courier-Mail, on this very topic ‘staying healthy whilst working from home’. Since your working environment may have changed dramatically recently, here are some tips for staying healthy despite the change to routine:
If you’re used to packing a healthy lunch each day continue to do this every morning before you actually start work. If you don’t prepare something healthy in advance, you’ll go to the fridge mindlessly at lunchtime and be more inclined to choose something less healthy… or even Uber eats instead!
Keep a large glass of water at your desk and continually sip throughout the day. Topping up gives you a chance to stretch your legs, gets the blood pumping and gives you a moment to refocus. If you don’t stay hydrated you may mistake hunger for thirst. Plus you’ll feel lethargic and might even get a headache.
If you’re in an exercise pattern already, keep it the same! Don’t promise yourself you will ‘just do it later’ because chances are you won’t. Slot it in as normal. And if it’s not part of your routine, then with all the extra time you have minus commuting… Why not make it a habit from now?
Stock on up fresh veggies to use as a base for salads or lunchtime wraps and fruit for snacking. There are amply supplies of fresh products at your local fruit and veg markets. It’s the supermarkets that have been cleaned out. Support the little guys. And stocking up on pasta and confectionery has no benefits right now or ever for that matter.
As the weather cools, consider popping something rich in nutrients into a slow cooker first thing in the morning. It will be ready in time for lunch. vegetable-rich dishes with either pulses or some form of meat protein are a great, healthy and filling option. Keep an eye on our Facebook page as we will be sharing heaps of recipe ideas over the coming weeks.
Actually, eat proper meals. If you get into the habit of skipping lunch altogether, you will be hungry and you’ll go for quick snack foods high in sugar continuously for fast pick me ups and you’ll only come crashing down again.
From personal experience (keeping it real as always) the hardest part about working from home is avoiding mindless eating as a result of procrastination. To avoid this, it’s best to make sure you don’t have temptations lying around – like chocolates, chips, and biscuits. Apps that boost productivity are really handy as well. For example, the Pomodoro app is a free download on your computer that encourages you to focus for 25 minutes at a time and then allows you a 5-minute break. Psychologically it works! It’s like having a robot boss on your computer keeping you accountable to your work and stopping you from mindlessly walking to the kitchen!
We hope that helps. If it’s business as usual for you (but from home instead) and you’d like to seize this opportunity to work on your general health, reach out and book an appointment here – we are still operating by Skype / in clinic 6 days a week.
We hope that you and your families are safe and well during this unprecedented time that we are all facing right now.
We wanted to assure you that we are here to help support you as best as we can. This is our first mass communication in relation to Coronavirus; essentially because there has been so much information from everywhere at all angles, I (Katie) felt it better to hold off and communicate more personally to each of you as your appointments arose. However, the time has come to put out some assurances and options for you moving forward regarding any upcoming appointments you may have with me or Nicole here at The Balanced Nutritionist:
Firstly, Nicole will only be seeing her clients via Skype, Zoom or phone effective from now until the foreseeable future. If you are a client of Nicole’s, but you’d prefer to see someone face to face, I can take over your care for now. Otherwise, Nicole can still care for you just as effectively by any of these methods and you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your lounge room.
I will continue to provide consults in clinic OR by Skype / Zoom/phone depending on your preference. There is mass communication already circulating in relation to best practice when it comes to face to face interactions; I won’t add to this as I trust that we have had this drilled into us from all angles.
Roughly 40% of our current client base is from other states including Victoria, NSW, WA and even NZ. So please rest assured; we are well set up and experienced at providing our consulting services via Skype / Zoom or phone and assure you that the effectiveness of treatment will not be compromised.
Should you wish to move your upcoming appointment to Skype / Zoom or phone, you can either phone ((07) 3063 2710) or email us (hit reply) now OR inform Michelle when she contacts you for confirmation. Confirmations will be done 4 days in advance from this point forward to allow for scheduling changes etc.
We are able to post orders for supplements via express postal services should you prefer an online appointment or simply need to restock and don’t want to call into the clinic.
On a final note, if you are experiencing financial hardship due to a sudden change in employment or similar, BUT you really require our services please reach out so we can see what we can offer you during these times.
A few general words from a professional, nutritional perspective…..
Over the last few weeks, I’ve witnessed some fantastic ideas relating to health and natural immunity support, from fellow colleagues being communicated via social media etc. Sometimes, this sort of advice gets shut down very quickly and dismissed as quackery. None of these colleagues (or us here for that matter) are laying claim to being able to cure viruses or anything outrageous like that. I believe the message is simply… if you have the capacity to continue working on your overall health, then you should continue to do so during this time. By strengthening our overall wellbeing, we will help our own immune systems, reducing our risk of contracting viruses in the first place (and colds – it is the season for it). Furthermore, if faced with an unfortunate diagnosis, if we are as ‘generally healthy’ as can be, it’s likely we will suffer less severely. So for this reason, we do encourage you to continue eating well, staying well hydrated (water that is) and moving where you can. This will also contribute to better mental health during these periods of increased self-isolation. Overall, we offer the following tips:
Local fruit and vegetable stores and even IGAs seem to be really well stocked with beautiful fresh produce as do local butchers. I can personally vouch for Lorenti’s fruit market, Greenslopes IGA, and England and Allsop Butcher Coorparoo. The supermarkets are being wiped clean so support these little guys; less crowded and better quality, fresh food. This is the food that will support you right now; not the pasta and confectionery being wiped out of the bigger stores.
Please drink your 2L (minimum) of pure water daily. Please. Even though it is getting cooler, you still need it!
Fresh air helps. Even if it’s just from your own backyard. I’ve upped the length of my dog walks to well over an hour a day to enjoy the sunshine, capture some vitamin D and keep moving generally. If gyms are forced to close you can continue with bodyweight strength exercises and even yoga/pilates via computer apps from home.
You can generally support your immune system naturally with nutrients like vitamin C, zinc and even some herbal products. Please ask for individual advice at your next consult. We will be suggesting immune support to all our clients at the end of consultations from this point forward; as a professional duty of care. Note that some herbs are contraindicated in certain health conditions and immune support for pregnancy is particularly specialized so do ask. No, these products won’t cure Coronavirus – but they could reduce your susceptibility to catching things in the first place.
Finally, I buy toilet paper in bulk yearly from Who Gives a Crap, an awesome organization if you don’t know them – check them out! Anyhow, I have about 60 rolls in the clinic so should you find yourself low on supplies, just ask and I’ll give you a roll or 2:).
That’s all we have for now folks. Things are changing rapidly though, therefore some of this information may change by the time you read this, but we shall do our best to keep you informed.
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.
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
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.
We just could not resist a Christmas countdown post…. But, seriously… constipation is no laughing matter. And we know for many, a good reliable poop is the stuff of dreams.
Constipation is the inability to pass stools regularly or empty your bowels completely. Some people who suffer from constipation may pass stools less than three times per week, they may be hard or dry stools, there may be straining, a feeling of incomplete evacuation or complete inability to pass at all.
Pooing at least once per day up to 3 times per day is normal.
You’ll be relieved to know that most cases of constipation can be successfully resolved by eating a diet high in fibre, drinking more fluids and exercising daily.
Here are our top tips for keeping things moving… and achieving a good reliable poop. ⠀
Eat a whole food diet with a variety of fresh vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Many people hear this advice, but simply do not know how to put it into practice – this is where we come in. Book your appointment here.
Increase your fibre intake – add chia or flax seeds, leafy green vegetables, and fruits like pears, kiwi, prunes and apple. (Tip – do this slowly… and pay attention to the next point below).
Keep hydrated – drink at least 2 litres of water per day. Minimum. When did we all forget about water?
Exercise daily. Go for a walk. A light jog if you can. These things can help stimulate ‘movement’ down there…. Ask any runner, and one of the benefits they may cite is ‘it also keeps me regular.’
Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge – don’t wait! Psychologically, you will keep telling your brain this over and over and over again until… it will do all of the holding for you!
Use a footstool or ‘squatty potty’ to elevate your feet when on the toilet. Other cultures don’t sit to poop. And to be honest, squatting is an easier position to eliminate from. Squatty potties are much more common these days.
Give yourself an abdominal massage.
Tried all of these things? Embarrassed about it? Still not getting a good reliable poop? LOTS of people have problems down there, Nicole has even shared her story about this very topic. Read it HERE.
Maybe you aren’t sure where to start? Give us a shout at The Balanced Nutritionist so we can gradually help you ease the discomfort through your nutrition and appropriate gut supplementation if necessary.
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!
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.
Firstly. Let’s just say that writing a blog that is so blatantly about ‘weight loss’ isn’t really our cup of tea. We prefer to focus on ‘health’ because weight release will naturally follow ‘health’ but this precise question is quite literally coming at us from many new clients of late.
The answer is probably going to vary from person to person, but here are a few things to consider in the journey to a healthy weight.
Firstly, weight loss is not easy. Please don’t be fooled by reality television shows that make us believe losing weight just ‘happens’ overnight because it doesn’t.
Second, you need to change your thinking. Stop. Re read the third line of this post again. Know that ‘health’ comes before ‘weight.’ You just can’t have a long list of symptoms and health concerns but only want to ‘lose weight.’ You have to tackle the whole package. A healthy body will find its natural, healthy weight. And maintain it. Is a ‘starving body’ a healthy body? Unlikely.
In addition to not eating much food, some or all of the following might be part of the problem.
1. You could be incredibly stressed. Which could mean very high levels of stress hormones and not a lot of sleep. Both of these are going to make releasing weight a lot more difficult.
2. You are possibly drinking a lot coffee… and / or not a lot of water. This is a recipe for dehydration. The metabolic process of ‘burning fat’ (lipolysis) is much harder for a dehydrated body. In addition, dehydration puts extra strain on the kidneys, which means its harder for the kidneys to do their job – essentially, too eliminate waste. And weight loss is essentially… the elimination of a lot of waste. So you really want your elimination pathways to be working really well.
3. Not eating enough food=probably not getting enough fibre from plant based sources like whole fruits and vegies. This, along with dehydration will probably block the pipes… not the water pipes, the other ones! Then you’ve got a situation where all that ‘solid’ waste hasn’t got anywhere to go either. Translation: healthy poos help with weight release.
4. Less ‘excretion’ of waste products as well as less fibre means those friendlies in your gut are going to suffer. We’ve linked just about everything to the health of our guts and guess what? That includes weight! Having a healthy gut is part of the picture when it comes to finding a healthy weight range. This does not mean you should go out and buy a probiotic and all of your problems will be fixed by the way… its just part of the picture and it can be altered without a pill.
5. Food is so much more than just macronutrients. The micronutrients i.e. vitamins and minerals that are found in healthy foods are critical for so many processes in our bodies. Like enzyme production for digestion, maintaining the thyroid health, neurotransmitter synthesis for happy, balanced moods and building our hormones… and lots more. So good food keeps… all of the parts of our bodies working really well. This leads to health which leads to a healthy weight.
6. When you are eating… the choices might not be great. Food is confusing right now. Far more confusing than it should be. And our addiction to ‘diets’ leads to some pretty crazy eating styles. Like only eating meat or fat but no vegetables… or going for something really processed like a ‘diet bar.’ Sorry. But we just don’t believe in that rubbish. Have you looked at the ingredients on those things? If you can’t pronounce it… your body ain’t going to know what to do with it, we guarantee!
7. Starving all day but then eating anything and everything by the afternoon. Because you are just. so. hungry. Wouldn’t it be easier to just eat well, giving your body
what it needs from the morning onwards… and watch as things fall into place over time?
We could go on… but this is a blog not a book. We just like to help people get healthy, reduce their requirements for medication, eat without stress, learn to love healthy nutritious foods, get comfortable preparing quick, wholefood meals…. and feel great as a result for a lifetime. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.
Our favourite tool to use to achieve the former is personalised nutrition using the Metabolic Balance® program. It means we work with our client long term, they get to know the foods that will nourish not punish their bodies and we have the best chance of long term success.
I was recently contacted by a young lady (who we will call Alice from this point forward) directly interested in Metabolic Balance. She has decided to move forward with the program and I am going to be sharing a bit about her story and her results (as they happen-no fabrication here) so you can follow her journey.
Alice presented to me in clinic like a lot of other clients do, although that’s not to diminish the significance of her struggles in any way. Quite tired consistently and slow, but consistent weight gain over the past 5 years. Some of her symptoms absolutely screamed low thyroid function including low mood, periods of alarming hair loss, low mood and digestive disturbances. Despite this, all of her blood tests had come back ‘normal’ and despite trying quite a few different approaches, she had not felt well for a long time. Nor had she felt in control of her body or her weight.
Alice’s journey will be unique in that she is in the health industry herself. So she does have good awareness of her own body and a very proactive approach to her health. This attitude is one of the key’s to success not only on Metabolic Balance but any health journey. One must value their own health and be open to making changes to achieve the result they want.
When I asked Alice how she was feeling she simply said ‘really inflamed. I feel like things just aren’t right and I’m at a loss as to what to do to improve them.’
We did decide pretty quickly that MB would be the most comprehensive option as far as her food was concerned moving forward. In addition, I made some adjustments to Alice’s supplements because although she had some really good quality options in her pantry, she wasn’t taking them at the correct time or dosage or consistency.
Fast forward a few days and we received Alice’s blood results back from the lab. These are used, along with age, medical conditions, medication and measurements, to formulate the Metabolic Balance food plan. The blood tests are fairly comprehensive and sure enough, a number of inflammatory markers were well outside of normal range, and suspected iron deficiency was confirmed.
Fast forward a few more days and I received Alice’s Metabolic Balance plan back from head office in Germany. Alice is not a fussy eater (which is great – the less fussy, the more ‘ideal’ the plan will be) and at first I was really excited. I had a quick scan and saw a few things I had never seen come up on a plan before! Yay for Alice, I thought. Meanwhile, I was also considering the extra recipes I could add to me Metabolic Balance recipe book. But then on closer inspection….. ‘augh’ was the sound that came out of my mouth. This is REALLY restrictive. There weren’t a whole lot of fish options and overall the protein types were a bit limited… so was the vegetable list. I had about 30 minutes up my sleeve before my next appointment with Alice and so I pulled a few recipes out that would be suitable to help her along and did a bit of brainstorming around meals she could create.
So how did Alice take the news and the plan? Firstly, she was feeling marginally better with the new supplement routine but looking forward to nailing the food side of things. And after an hour together, reviewing her bloods, going through the preparation phase (first 2 days) and then discussing the food plan, we both found lots of positives to focus on. As Alice said, if it was the same old thing than she would simply get the same result, right? 3 meals a day, adequate water for her size and exactly the right foods…. time to get creative and let the journey begin.
In general, I find the ‘worst’ the blood tests are and the more ‘chronic’ someone’s health state is, the more restrictive a Metabolic Balance plan may be. In saying that, many people go through life basically eating the exact same thing everyday, and even Alice’s list can be turned into lots of different fast, healthy meals. We will be reviewing progress and symptoms after 2 weeks and introducing a few more items to the allowed food list. At 4 weeks, its possible things may get more exciting again, but we will wait and see how Alice responds to her Metabolic Balance plan.
I’ll update you on Alice’s journey in a week, when I next see her. The purpose of this blog series is to take you on a journey… because Metabolic Balance is ‘a journey.’ It’s also to show you first hand what kind of improvements and changes to someone’s health we can gain through nutritional medicine. My personal opinion, based on my professional knowledge is that there is no better example of ‘healing through nutrition’ than Metabolic Balance. You will see that truly regaining health isn’t always easy… but regaining ‘life’ along the way certainly makes it worth it!