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Naturopathic Functional Medicine

Naturopathic Functional medicine is a holistic approach to healthcare that aims to address the root cause of health issues, rather than simply treating symptoms. Unlike traditional medicine, which tends to focus on a disease or condition and the associated symptoms, functional medicine seeks to understand the underlying factors that contribute to a person’s health issues.

Functional medicine practitioners view the body as a complex network of interconnected systems that work together to maintain health. By looking at the interactions between these systems, they can identify underlying imbalances or dysfunctions that may be contributing to a person’s symptoms.

One of the key tenets of functional medicine is personalized care. Rather than following a one-size-fits-all approach, functional medicine practitioners work with each patient to develop a personalized treatment plan that takes into account, their unique health history, lifestyle, and genetic makeup.

Functional medicine practitioners also place a strong emphasis on preventative care. By identifying and addressing imbalances before they develop into full-blown health issues, functional medicine can help patients maintain optimal health and wellbeing.

So, how does functional medicine get to the root cause of health issues? By taking a comprehensive approach that includes the following steps:

A thorough health history: Functional medicine practitioners take the time to understand a patient’s health history, including any previous diagnoses, treatments, and lifestyle factors that may be contributing to their current health issues.

Advanced laboratory testing: Functional medicine practitioners may use advanced laboratory testing to identify underlying imbalances or dysfunctions in the body. These tests may include blood work, urine analysis, stool analysis, and genetic testing.

Personalized treatment plans: Based on a patient’s health history and laboratory results, functional medicine practitioners develop personalized treatment plans that address the root cause of their health issues. This may include dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, nutritional supplements, and other therapies.

Ongoing support: Functional medicine practitioners work with patients on an ongoing basis to monitor progress and adjust treatment plans as needed.

In conclusion, functional medicine takes a comprehensive, personalized approach to healthcare that aims to get to the root cause of health issues. By identifying and addressing underlying imbalances or dysfunctions, functional medicine can help patients achieve optimal health and wellbeing. If you’re struggling with a chronic health issue, functional medicine may be worth exploring as an alternative to traditional medical treatments.

How toxins affect immunity

What is the Immune System?

Our immune system is what fights off diseases and infections. But do you know how it does that?

The immune system is essentially a network system within the body that protects us against disease. Not only does it fight off viruses and bacteria that can make us ill, but it also helps us recover when we become sick or injured. If our immunity is working well, it will protect us  against bacteria or virus by producing antibodies in our blood [1].

Antibodies are very small molecules made by our white blood cells. When viruses or bacteria enter our body, antibodies bind to their receptors to destroy whatever foreign object our bodies encounter. Each type of antibody recognises a specific virus or bacteria and will only bind to that specific object to protect our immunity. [2]

When a person becomes immune to a disease, they must have already been exposed to that virus or bacteria. This can happen through many ways, but the most common are through vaccine or having been exposed to a specific illness which allows our immune system to remember how to offer the body recovery.

The Immune Response

The process by which antibodies attempt to destroy a foreign object is typically described as ‘the immune response’. Our body reacts in different ways. These physiological responses are there to ultimately remove and destroy the foreign object [3].

The body’s typical immune responses:

  • Coughing to release phlegm
  • Sweating to cool down our skin to help bring down our temperature
  • Sneezing to clear any foreign bodies from bacteria or bugs
  • Inflammation is the bodies way to protect a specific area
  • Scabbing is the body’s way to protect blood loss and the healing process

Although we are all aware that these physiological processes happen, it is important to be aware, that our immune system is not perfect and can sometimes leave you without any natural protection against illness. Our immune system typically detects the difference between the body’s own cells and harmful bacteria or viruses. However, sometimes an immune response can be less than ideal and potentially even attack our own body cells. [4]

Examples of when our body’s immune system can act in a sub-optimal way.

  • Allergies

Allergies are very common and affect more than 1 in 4 people in the UK. [5]. The way allergies work is that our body perceives certain things as ‘foreign invaders’. When these invaders enter our body, our immune system essentially goes into overdrive and produces an immune response. Commonly, our body perceives things like dust, mould, and pollen as foreign invaders and in response the body’s reaction is to sneeze, itch and causes our eyes and nose to water.

It is not clear why allergies happen but most people who suffer from allergies have a family history of allergies or have some sort of autoimmune condition, such as asthma or eczema. [5]

Autoimmune disease

An autoimmune disease is when our immune system starts to treat our own cells as foreign objects and attacks them. [6] There are more than 80 types of autoimmune conditions that affect a wide range of body parts. Some examples include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, alopecia, and psoriasis.


Toxins (toxic chemicals) are substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous to humans. Interestingly, toxins can include some medicines that are beneficial in small doses, but harmful and extremely poisonous in large amounts [7]. There are toxins that disrupt our immune system,  like plastic drinking bottles to which the human population is widely and continuously to BPA (Bisphenol A), foods wrapped up in plastic,  and others that are found in non-organic food as pesticides, herbicides, hormones, and the constant exposure of antibiotics that are feed to animals, which eventually affect us. Toxin exposure can be found in the air and in our homes through our cleaning products. There are other categories such as mould, air pollutant and cigarette smoke.

Toxic chemicals, such as hormone-mimicking chemicals harm the immune system. These include plastics and phthalates, which can be found in cosmetics and other consumer products. Toxins can interfere with hormone production/function.  They can induce, mimic block, and inhibit hormones. [8]. such as food containers and water bottles. These chemicals have been associated with allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases, infertility, and obesity. [9].

How to avoid or minimise toxins

It can be difficult to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals as they are typically found in everyday products. However, there are ways to lower or minimise exposure of toxic chemicals, such as:

  • Drink filtered water to stop or minimise hormonal disruptions
  • Stop using or drinking out of plastic bottles
  • Wash your hands before eating
  • Dental amalgams which are made of mercury, consider changing them to white composite
  • Taking supplements that are helpful for cleansing the body of toxins (e.g., Caprylic and Probiotics)
  • Take a good Antioxidant as toxins can damage cell membranes and DNA.

Benefits Of A Meal Plan

Don’t you sometimes find it hard to plan your weekly meals, especially when you’re a busy mum or a professional with a busy schedule.  

It’s not easy to plan and organise your weekly meals.   Having someone who can take away that headache, is one less thing for you to think about. We can create meal plans for you and your family’s needs.

What we Offer

Our meal plans can take as long as you like to prepare, from 20 min -30 min or 60 min, the choice is yours.

If a recipe takes 60 minutes plus to cook and prepare, this will normally mean it’s made in a crockpot or pressure cooker, so you don’t necessarily need to spend hours in the kitchen preparing them.

Benefits of meal plans

Planning meals takes time and effort, especially if you are cooking for more than one person, and it takes time to figure out what grocery shopping you need to plan each day.

If you plan, you know what you’re cooking each day, which means no more forgetting a grocery item or any last-minute foods when you take your shopping home. And it saves you money by not overspending on food items.

Food waste

We are all a little guilty about throwing food away, and buying all the ingredients that you need will reduce any food that has to be either thrown out or recycled. And you’re less likely to go past a sell by date. Also, it helps you to prep in advance and manage your portion control, especially if you are trying to cut down on food or lose weight.

Avoiding foods that are unhealthy

Knowing that you have a meal plan may remove the temptation of grabbing processed foods which contain more salt and are higher in calories. Also, if you’ve not planned anything and your tired, this can lead to poor food choices.  

Save money and the stress of any last-minute cooking

Having a meal plan can save on your food bill, reducing the temptation of buying takeaways, as well as the impulse of buying unnecessary food.

A meal plan can also reduce your weeknights stress as you rush home from work to think about “what shall we have today”

Eating a healthy variety of food

How many times do we eat the same things, which limits your nutrition by not providing your body with a variety of foods it needs to minimise the risk of chronic disease.

How to book your meal plan

All you do to book your plan is click on this link and go to the end of the page, to pay for your plan, and we will send it to you via email.

Happy New Year and happy New you!

Healthy eating keeps the Doctor away

When you eat good fresh food, including plenty of fruit and vegetables, you will be doing your body a big favour. A sensible diet helps to keep cholesterol down and your blood sugar levels stable. Also, it reduces the risk of diabetes and cancer.

Health experts regularly warn about the dangers of eating too many processed foods. Of course, we are all aware of the prevalence of obesity. Let’s just look at the figures. The Health Survey for England 2016 estimated that 26.2% of adults are obese. NHS Direct reports that more than 10,000 hospital admissions are related to obesity.

While obesity is generally the result of eating too much unhealthy food, there are other factors.

  • They include genetic influences – if your parents are both overweight
  • Slow metabolism or hormonal imbalances
  • Stress also plays a part as food can become a coping mechanism 

Salad or apple pie

First, let’s look at the unhealthy foods. Obviously, fast foods and takeaways and anything containing high levels of fat and sugar. A big issue is where people ‘think’ they are eating something that’s healthy. Take this as an example, a salad from a certain fast-food outlet has more calories than a piece of apple pie. How can that be? Well, the answer is that all those nourishing vegetables have been coated in dressing loaded with sugar.

And there are plenty more examples of ‘hidden’ calories. It’s a good idea to check labels for sugar content, especially those that are low fat. When you remove the fat, which accounts for much of the flavour, you must replace it with something else, this is usually more sugar.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean a drastic change, just a few alterations can make all the difference.

Use Smaller plates

Most dinner plates are around 12” in diameter. Try using one that is between 7” and 9” instead. You can still fill it, but you will be eating less.

Obviously, you need to be careful about what you put on these smaller plates. Include more of our body’s good friends – fruit and vegetables are key to good health; these contain fibre, and we need fibre to get rid of unhealthy cholesterol. As an example, when cooking a Shepherd’s pie, simply add more vegetables to the meat, you have other options to exchange potatoes for sweet potatoes or if you like beans, you can always mash these up and make them nice and creamy to replace the potatoes. 

Other healthier options include more natural salt, such as Himalayan and replacing cream with natural yogurt.

Fish is good for you

As a naturopathic nutritionist I often extol the virtues of oily fish as part of a healthy eating regime. Salmon, tuna, and trout are good examples. Try and incorporate them into your diet at least once a week.

There are those who really don’t like fish and If it is a big no, no for you, then a substitute like Native Nutrient fish oil, which is mercury-free and a good option.

Good carbs, bad carbs

The body needs carbs and it’s important to pick the good ones and avoid the bad ones. Good carbs include:

  • Brown rice
  • Grains, and legumes. 

These foods still have much of their nutritional value still intact. The bad carbs are the processed ones that have been nutritionally altered, including the removal of fibre. These are your typical:

  • Fruit drinks
  • White rice
  • White bread
  • Cakes, and pastries. 

They tend to have an insulin-negative effect on the body. Eat them in moderation. Processed food carries a lot of sugar and salt which has a negative effect on our body’s health. Sugary foods provide you with a boost of energy and what goes up must come down, just as fast as it goes up, which is why you may feel foggy brain, and lethargic when you eat these foods. 

A vast majority of people do not drink enough water, which is required to get rid of waste, and if your body is having a high intake of salt, this can also disrupt the balance of sodium and increases the amount of calcium excreted in the urine, potentially contributing to diseases like osteoporosis, high blood pressure and strokes. 

Satisfying the cravings

From time to time, we all get cravings, usually for something sweet. We want to comfort or reward ourselves, and there is nothing wrong with having the occasional, sweet thing. If cravings occur regularly, chromium is good little helper. It is the main constituent of glucose tolerance and helps deliver sugar to the cells. I recommend at least 100-200 mcg twice a day, at the times when cravings are strongest.

Don’t forget to exercise

Yes, it makes sense to supplement healthy eating with regular exercise. If you’re not a gym-goer, quite a few of the parks now have exercise equipment. They’re free to use. The bonus is the fresh air, which is great for de-stressing and clearing your head. Dad’s may want to wait until Monday in case there are treats (no doubt unhealthy) in store for Father’s Day. 

If you have enjoyed this article and would like to read more of my healthy eating advice, please subscribe to my regular newsletter using the button below.

Preparing your body for the Covid vaccination

Preparing your body to receive the Covid vaccine

For the last year, we have been living with COVID-19, and since the vaccine, there has been over twenty million people who have been vaccinated.

Last week I attended a practitioner training session, given by six medical doctors with knowledge of functional medicine.

In this month’s newsletter, I will be sharing helpful tips and insight, in preparation for your vaccine. The tips provided are interventions that may improve your immune response to the vaccination.

As we know from watching the news, we have Pfizer and AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine. The difference between the two vaccines is, the AstraZeneca can be stored at higher temperatures and cost less per dose (£2.87) and uses different technology to immunize people. They use a modified version of a common cold virus.  This altered virus cannot make you sick, but it carries a gene from the novel coronavirus’ spike protein, the portion of the virus that triggers an immune response. This allows the immune system to manufacture antibodies that work
against COVID-19.  Pfizer (£ 14.42 per dose) rely on mRNA technology, which essentially introduces a piece of genetic code that tricks the body into producing COVID-19 antibodies, no virus required. Both vaccines require two shots with a four week pause in between.

Although this virus may infect people of all ages, the evidence to date suggests that there are two groups of people who are at a higher risk of getting infected. Group A is the elderly and group B, those who have underlining health issues.

The elderly is at risk because as we age, our body starts to deplete important nutrients needed by the body to function properly and those who have underlining health issues, means that their immunity is compromised in some way due to ill health or disease. Covid is an added stress that the immune system must deal with. When you get Covid the immune system gets overwhelmed with a severe immune reaction and releases too many cytokines into the blood too quickly. Cytokines help to control the immune system and help fight disease.

This month’s newsletter focus is to prep your body for the vaccine.

Lifestyle tips and how you eat, are part of the pre-preparation, obviously continue with following government guidelines, like mask wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene.

Stress is a biggie, which affects our physiology both mentally and physically, so this is one area that you could improve if you suffer from stress. Providing your body with immune boosting nutrients is another area you can improve on. Working towards lowering inflammation is especially important. There are things that can cause an inflammatory reaction in our body for example:

  • Food intolerances, this can cause issues with inflammation and gut health.
  • Lack of exercise can cause visceral fat accumulation-inducing chronic inflammation.
  • Deficiency in vitamin D can impair your immune system, as this will further support your immunity.
  • Taking a good B complex will help with stress.
  • If you smoke try to stop, as smoking lower oxygen levels in the body.
  • If you have an autoimmune disease seek an alternative practitioner who can help you improve and maximise your health.
  • If you like alcohol try to stop drinking this if you are not getting the vaccine for a month or two.
  • If you like your saturated fats, make changes to your diet by swapping to good fats like olive oil, fish oil. Eat more of a Mediterranean diet.
  • If your sleep patterns are bad, address this by taking magnesium an hour before you go to bed. Breathing exercises help lower blood pressure and calm down the nervous system. Take deep breaths through the nose and out through the mouth six to eight times before you go to sleep.
  • Do not stress out your digestion by eating late, aim to finish your last meal no later than 9pm.

I Hope these tips help you in preparation for your vaccine, which you can start to implement straight away. Contact me if you need to speak further or have a health issue that you would like me to help you with or recovering from ill health.

Make a single New Year’s resolution – Improve your Health and Immunity for the year ahead

Although it’s customary to make a resolution in the New Year, the tradition is to start the year with a fresh start, particularly as I’m sure everyone would like to put Covid 2020 behind us.

Starting the New Year with a fresh start could mean, regaining better control of your health, loosing weight that you may have put on during the previous year, or may have been because you’ve lost yourself a little during the previous year. It’s a time to reflect on the good and positive things, a time to leave all the negative things behind, the old year.

January is the time to celebrate change, I look at it, a bit like, when Spring comes a long, new flowers blossom and help uplift our spirits with beautiful spring colours and beautiful change, after the gloom of the winter dark months take its toll on our health and wellbeing both mentally and physically.

Change will happen once you decide that you need to do something different to fulfil your health goal. One or two health goals are easier to do. Set yourself up with a realistic goal, to make the resolution easier to carry through from start to end.

Looking back at your previous year will help you set up those goals which are important to you.

One of my own resolutions is to lose a bit of weight, especially after Christmas, as we do tend to indulge ourselves more.

Here five tips to keep you on track:

  • Make resolutions easy, for example if you want to lose weight start with a program that others have found helpful, or you’ve read about, a program that has diet plans, shopping lists and supplements that are used to detox your body.
  • Do your program with other members of the family or friends that have the same or similar goal, this way it helps you stay on track, by helping each other.
  • Start small – You may find that this gives you the mindset to take you to the next step toward completing your goal.
  • Do things that complement what you are already doing, for example, easy exercises, like walking, following a class video, to keep you “health goal mindset”
  • Ask your friends and family to offer encouragement

Come and join our community of detoxifiers starting 8th of February 2021- This may help you start the year making those small improvements that you’ve been looking and thinking about doing.

Click here to start my program and click here to find out more about the detoxing and the benefits it offers your health.

Preparing to get you feeling physically and mentally healthier

When you start to set your health goals to make improvements on your health and wellbeing, think of it as a New Year, a New You!

Bringing back the 14-day cleanse which improves on:

  • Bloating
  • Weight gain
  • Mental clarity which improves work performance
  • Improved sleep
  • Improves your cravings
  • Better eating habits

This 14-day program will improve all the above for you and get you back on track. The program is very comprehensive, because it also reduces your exposure to toxins, provides a dietary reset and supports your ability to clear out your system.

The program also provides:

  • Specific supplements regime (supplement protocols)
  • Foods that promote health and decreases inflammation
  • Provides foods lists, lifestyle tips, recipes, menu planners and a quick and easy meal ideas, shopping lists.
  • You also get invited to a FB support page, webinar going through the program which is all included in the price you pay.

The cost you pay for all the above is £299 and if you pay by 1st of January you will get an extra 10% off the £299.

Want to experience all the above improvements and get a wealth of information to get you starting 2021 feeling physically and mentally healthier.

Click below to join the program and get your extra 10% discount if you buy before January 1st 2021

The 12 Days before Christmas

We know that Christmas can be stressful in the best of times, but this season many of us have already had quite a stressful year dealing with Covid and having to work from home. For some this meant dealing with challenging circumstances, like no accessibility to work from home, a less than ideal work setup, or home-schooling children while working.

But Christmas is also one of the best and happier times of the year because you get to spend quality time with the family, play games, let your hair down and generally enjoy a work break, at least for part of the 12 days of Christmas.

During Christmas, we always feel the extra pounds we put on due to overeating, come January, we want to get rid of the excess pounds around the waistline. With Christmas just 12 days away, I will be giving you some tips on:

  • Sleep. We know that over these festive times, we don’t get enough quality sleep, because hosting Christmas dinners can be exhausting, including all the rushing to buy last minute things
  • Healthier alternatives for Christmas dinner. There are healthy alternatives you could consider doing to make this Christmas healthier, as I’m sure Covid contributed to some weight gain.
  • How not to feel overwhelmed with food and drink.

So why not eat healthily coming up to the 12 days of Christmas, to give you room for those three days you may want to indulge a little more.

Getting Ready

By December 1st, we usually start the countdown for Christmas Day. Kids are getting excited because Santa’s coming to Town. A time they know they must be on their best behaviour for Santa to come and bring them a gift. Sometimes there is nothing wrong in playing the good behaviour card, especially if you are working from home and need a few hours to focus on work-related issues before the Christmas holiday office shutdown. Make sure you keep the sugary cakes and snacks to a minimum, which will help keep the kids calmer before bedtime.

Eating healthier to the run up to Christmas

Create healthier lunches, dinners, or snacks to the run up to Christmas should help keep your weight down, especially during Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

I have created an e-book for Healthy eating to the lead up to Christmas to help you eat more healthy foods. With these pre-Christmas recipes you won’t feel as if you’re depriving yourself during the holiday season. These recipes will help you get organise in the kitchen, so you won’t have to worry about what you’re going to cook each day!

You can download this wonderful booklet of great healthy recipes for a family of four, including a shopping list and nutritional information about each meal. Please click here if you wish to download this. Let help you achieve a stress-free Christmas.

Getting quality sleep and relaxation before these big days

Workday normally wraps up on Christmas Eve, here are some ways you can start to relax:

  • Put on your favourite Christmas Carol playlist or watch those classic Christmas movies you remember watching as a child.
  • Have some eggnog, and for those who are vegan there is a recipe on my site you can use, which only takes 10 minutes to make.
  • Wrap some pressies and put them under the Christmas tree.
  • Take some magnesium an hour before you go to bed. I have a great food sourced vegetarian magnesium you can take click here to order a bottle.
  • Make sure if your cooking, you don’t go to bed too late in the evening. I would recommend pre-preparing the veggies the day before Christmas Day, this way it is one less thing you need to worry about and give you more time with your guests.

Giving your Christmas meal a healthier twist

Remove the skin from the turkey to lower the fat intake and make sure you prick the skin so that more of the fat is released.

If you love stuffing, try a chestnut version. Try making your roasties, or parsnips larger to promote less fat absorption. If you are making bread sauce, use either a vegan milk or semi skimmed and season it with garlic and herbs for extra flavour.

When making the gravy sieve it through a napkin, as this removes most of the oily residue before making the gravy. When it comes to eating those Christmas dessert, use crème fraiche instead of double/single cream.

With all the celebrations and happy cheery family time, make sure you drink enough fresh water each day, as alcohol can cause dehydration and bad headaches. You don’t want to turn into the family Grinch.

Time for me to start my own preparations. In the meantime, I’d like to wish you and your family a very Merry and healthy Christmas. See you in January


Good Shopping habits can save you money and food wastage

It is always difficult when both parents work, and your teenage kids can’t chip in to help you both because they don’t cook.  After watching  Eat Well for Less, it inspired me to write this blog post, because part of what they covered in the program are some of the cooking and shopping challenges that my own clients face.

You’d be amazed at just how much money you could shave off your shopping bill by making some changes to your daily routine, especially now with Covid and people being furloughed.


It’s always very tempting to go to your local store, or even your local petrol station to grab something for your evening meal, because you might prefer to do a small, easy and quick grocery shop.

Shopping this way may be quick and easy, but it can be far more costly and limit your food choices.

Another way to get organised and stop popping to the store to spend more money, is to do one big shop once a week. I quite like doing one big meat, fish or household shop once a month, then buy veggies and fruit once a week, this works well for me and my family and also saves us money.

You can also save money by not buyng brand names, there are other products that you might buy such as cereals, sliced bread, or other which are supermarket brands instead which are just as good. 

Finally, shopping lists are useful to have and take with you as they help you organise your shopping and buy food that you’re going to make throughout the week, I know when I get organised it takes a lot of stress off me and the husband. 

Get Everyone Involved (if they are old enough)

Another stress relief is getting the kids involved in the kitchen to help cook, peel or do whatever is needed. Sometimes they grumble, but once they get their hands dirty they get into kitchen mode. It gives the kids some responsibility, they feel great about cooking and looking after you for a change and they get to eat the lovely food they’ve made, putting them in the mood to take on another challenge in the kitchen. 

In the TV example I saw, one of the teenage girls replaced  her chocolate wheat biscuit cereal with normal wheat biscuits and added chocolate drops to the cereal. This helped save money and lowered the amount of sugar she was consuming.  Buying fresh seasonal fruit in your local street market can also work out saving you money.

The more we practice cooking and making meals, the quicker and easier it becomes. 

Limit Eating Out

If you like eating out once a week, like on a Friday night, it might be a good idea to do this every other week instead.  Encourage the kids to cook for you on that Friday night your staying home. 

Other tips include:

  • Establish a routine. Once you’ve gotten into a new routine, and have the week’s recipes sorted out, print them out with your shopping lists and have a family group meeting about who’s cooking what,  or get them to pick a recipe to make. 
  • Mind the easy take-outs. Look at how often you might buy a coffee on your way to work with a breakfast croissant, you’ll be surprised at how much money you could save per month. 
  • Lunch anyone? If you’re buying lunch everyday, consider taking packed lunches at least three days a week, you can find really easy recipes to make which won’t take long, or cost a lot, for example, rice noodles,  while they are soaking in hot water for 10 minutes, you could get started on shredding cooked chicken breast, peas, carrots or anything you’d like to add into your packed lunch.  You can make a great fresh sauce to add into it,  by using olive oil, two or three tablespoons of soy sauce, add some grated fresh lime and shake it all up to mix into the packed lunch your taking with you.

If you need any food plans with shopping lists, you can take advantage of the service I provide.  If you’d like to know more please use my free 15 minute telephone consultation.  

Increase in Gaviscon use during lockdown

The world is going mad over Gaviscon during lockdown

Since lockdown people have gained weight due to less exercise and the temptation of grabbing an alcohol beverage as a copying mechanism to staying at home these past 7 months. 

The BBC reported a spike in alcohol with sales in the UK up to 22% in March. Not only that,  Reckitt Benckiser, the providers of Gaviscon, can’t keep up with the demand of people’s eating and drinking habits during lockdown; so there is a shortage of Gaviscon due to over snacking, over-drinking, and eating along with that element of stress due to uncertainty. 

Stress is one of the main reasons you may be heading out to the pharmacy to buy your bottle of Gaviscon, because you may be suffering from acid reflux and generally feeling unwell.

Now is the best time to focus on making sure you’re looking after your health and wellbeing. Dealing with the underlining cause of why you may be getting acid reflux is something you need to address. It’s always easy to go out and grab a bottle whenever you feel acidy, but in all honesty, your acid reflux would disappear by:

  • Dealing with the stress
  • Not overeating, and going for short walk to help digestion, and get fresh air after lunch
  • Eating healthy snack, like nuts and seeds, hummus with carrot sticks. You can snack on healthy foods while you work. Snacking like this also helps boredom eating. 

Your stomach acid pH should be between 1.5 to 2.5 and if you are taking things such as Gaviscon, all this will do is lower your pH. We need stomach acid for the absorption of minerals and to protect us against food poisoning, parasites, gut infections, and H. Pylori. 

Now with Covid lowering stomach acid will leave you open to decreased immune resistance. 

Symptoms of low stomach acid

When you have little stomach acid you may suffer from bloating, belching and flatulence after mealtimes. Here are some examples of things that can happen with low stomach acid but there is a whole list of other symptoms you could be experiencing. Here are but a few:

  • Indigestion, diarrhoea, or constipation
  • Itching around the rectum
  • Acne
  • Upper digestive tract gasses
  • Iron deficiency

Additionally, there are other diseases associated with low stomach acid such as Sjogren’s, lupus, celiac disease, and psoriasis as examples. 

Here are some tips you can implement:

  • Try not to overeat and eat only when you are hungry. Don’t wait an hour or two after you feel hunger pains as this will only promote bad eating habits (Junk food). 
  • If you’re a fast eater and don’t chew your food properly, consider taking a digestive enzyme this will help break down the food you don’t digest properly.
  • Apple cider vinegar acts as a digestive enzyme and may help alleviate discomfort after food. You can use it as a vinaigrette salad dressing. I have a recipe below.
  • Give yourself a window of 4-5 hours after you eat lunch, to introduce dinner.
  • Drink enough water, this will also help with cravings. 
  • Drink camomile tea (loaded with antioxidants) an hour before you eat, it helps digestion and de-stresses the stomach.
  • Keeping weight down will also help with acid reflux. 

Apple Cider Vinaigrette Recipe

  • 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 2tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together to make the vinaigrette

Eat good food and your stomach and immune system will thank you for it

Doing things to support your immune system and digestive system will help you cope better with colds, flu and Covid.  Here are some suggestions for you which don’t take up a lot of your time in the kitchen and provides a great nutritious end result. 

Try making soup, broth, or a stew by using a pressure cooker or slow cooker to create good lunches and dinners. It’s so easy to throw all the ingredients into the pot and let it simmer for 3-5 hours.

Gut repair program starting January 2021

I will be offering a 6-week gut repair program starting the 6th of January 2021. If you’ve been suffering with stomach discomfort during Covid, please join a wonderful community of people doing the program with you. 

For more information on the program as soon as it is released, please register your interest HERE.