Nutritional Therapy

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An introduction to Nutritional Therapy

Food’s influence on our health was recognised over two thousand years ago by Hippocrates who said, Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” and this is upheld by research, which is beginning to demonstrate the enormous potential that many nutrients have in the treatment of degenerative diseases, chronic conditions and even the common cold.  Yet despite this, many people still choose food for its convenience rather than its health benefits.

This may be because in our time-starved and hectic world eating is something we tend to squeeze into our day rather than making time to enjoy it and unfortunately this attitude to food can negatively impact our health and lead to chronic disease.  So, if we want good health and an ability to prevent disease manifesting in the first place, rather than trying to eradicate it once it’s here, then investing in our health with good nutrition may be an important step to take.  But how can we make this step and what will it entail?

Seeking the help of a Nutritional Therapist may be a good place to start.  Nutritional Therapy treats the whole person, and in order to determine how a condition has manifested, takes into consideration a person’s past and family history and any diet and lifestyle factors that may be having an influence on their health.  It recognises and respects that everyone is different and works with people according to their own individual needs.  And whilst it doesn’t claim to miraculously prevent or cure disease, it does acknowledge that having a good nutritional base may support good health.

However, ridding ourselves of our ailments isn’t quite as simple as just changing our diets.  Conditions that affect digestive health may have manifested due to a whole myriad of factors such as stress, food sensitivities and gut flora imbalance, whilst underlying causes of weight gain may include having a blood sugar imbalance or slow metabolism, and it’s these things that Nutritional therapists will seek to recognise.

Beginning with the completion of a detailed questionnaire, diet summary, and review and analysis of the questionnaire, a Nutritional Therapist will present their findings and recommendations in a 60-minute consultation, where they will work with the client to put together an easy to follow action plan.  A follow up will take place five to six weeks later where the client’s progress will be assessed and any residual symptoms dealt with.

Having a Nutritional Therapist there to guide you towards your healthy eating goals can be an enlightening experience.  As well as helping you to avoid the pitfalls which befall so many as a result of the myriad of mixed messages about food from the media, internet and even friends and family, a Nutritional Therapist can provide you with the support you need to build good foundations for lifelong health and wellbeing.

Bio: Elizabeth Cooper is a Nutritional Therapist who runs several clinics, both privately and for a leading health charity, around Leeds and Harrogate.  She is also co-author of a healthy lifestyle booklet for children and adolescents.


21 Oct, 2013

12 thoughts on “Nutritional Therapy

  1. Thanks for arranging this post. It is really informative, well written and above all it is very easy to read.

    I can certainly see the benefits of consulting someone like Elizabeth. While I understand the place for traditional drugs I would much rather try to address nutritional matters before resorting to conventional medicine whenever possible.

    1. I have to agree. I would definitely do the same and do.

      Elizabeth’s blog is both informative for those of us who don’t know much about Nutritional Therapy and as you say is well written.

      I am sure she will be helping those people who read her blog.

  2. I totally agree with your post today, nutritional enlightenment can be achieved with the guidance of a Nutritionist. It can be a daunting task to think of where to begin to purge your home of toxic substances that will hinder proper digestion and make you stay happily plump.

    I read a book once upon a time that helped with my transformation to Veganism. It was hard I won’t lie, to rid my diet of animal products, but once the weight started coming off and my energy increased it was getting easier to stay on track.

    I selfishly wanted to attain a goal that was really hard for me, to get below a size 10. At the time all I was eating were fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and at times I found myself extremely hungry. Working out as much as I did (6 days a week) between Tae Kwon Do and the gym, I was dropping the weight pretty steadily.

    My sticking point was the scale not moving, I had hit a plateau and threw in the towel. Moreover, while I was pregnant I had a hard time keeping food down and it seemed like the only thing that would stay down was animal proteins.

    The weight after baby was staying on, I had little sleep as most parents do and my diet returned to my post-vegan habits. Also troubling me was the thyroid problem, I don’t care what the doctors say – hormone replacement etc my metabolism wasn’t normal. I definitely had a tendency to wear what I ate, metabolism was sluggish at best.

    After battling cancer, which these days still consist of chemo tabs on a daily basis, I have little energy. My weight gain, combined with what chemo does to a body while on it, improper nutrition etc. have me unpleasantly plump. My birthday is coming up in November and I have decided my gift to myself this year is a gym membership and a revamping of my diet, back to eating way healthier and moving my body so that I can feel better.

    Looking better will just be an extra perk that I will enjoy, but most of all I want to mentally know that I am doing what I can to be the healthiest I can, while taking my chemo and continuing my journey of life.

    1. Thanks Maria. Battling cancer isn’t easy. It’s always a big decision to go down any route, but particularly hard to go down the chemo route. We must therefore make sure we stay as healthy as we can while we’re having chemo.

      Nutritional Therapists can provide us with the support we need to build good foundations for lifelong health and well-being. They will also give us the tools so that we stick to our goals and deal with things like weight issues.

      All too often we start off with good intentions and then fall short as we become demoralised when something we’re doing isn’t working, like trying to lose weight. I believe being mentally strong is sometimes more important. If we’re mentally strong we’re more likely to cope better physically and therefore more likely to stay on track. I love your attitude too.

      We have to find what works for us and this where a Nutritional Therapist can help.

      1. Thanks Ilana, I will definitely work on the mental strength part. I know when I put my mind to something I can accomplish it!

        Really looking forward to November. Things can only get better from here!

    2. Hi Maria

      I’m glad you enjoyed the blog and sorry to hear about the health issues you’ve had to cope with over the last few years. I think your birthday gift is a fantastic idea to put you back on the path to good health and will I’m sure provide many benefits.

      Wishing you all the best

      Elizabeth

      1. Thanks Elizabeth for the well wishes. I am really excited for November to get here. I’ve started stretching in preparation for beginner’s yoga.

        It’s amazing how tight your muscles get when you don’t stretch them out on a regular basis.

        I need to get my carbs under control. I know how they don’t satisfy and certainly don’t have nutritional value.

        It’s a vicious circle, but I have faith when armed with healthy snacks and oatmeal I will be able to “tame the beast.”

  3. Very informative. I haven’t been to a nutritional therapist, but have studied it and will be studying it further here soon. I just need to put into practice what I’ve learned so I can help others. But you know what they say, nurses are your worse patients.

    I think food is the answer to a healthy life and I agree with Hippocrates. I think the medical community knows it is, but they can’t make money off nature.

    The cures are out there. We just have to discover them for ourselves.

    1. Yes Elizabeth’s blog is a great blog. Lots of helpful tips and a good insight into what a Nutritional Therapist does.

      I agree, food can either make us well or make us ill. It’s important for us to understand how to keep ourselves well, which foods are healthy and which foods aren’t, which foods work for us and which foods we should avoid.

      Learning about nutrition through extended courses always helps us pay more attention to what we eat. Good luck!

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