Q&A with a Nutritionist + My follow up appointment

I've rejuvenated 6 years in metabolic age since my first appointment with Kate! I've also lost 2 kg of fat and gained 1 kg of muscle mass! Hurray!

So a few months ago I went to a nutritionist! At my follow up appointment we went through all the issues that I wanted to improve. They were:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Dry scalp with itching/eczema
  • Autumn depression, that I've had almost every year since I was a little girl
  • Back pain in the lumbar spine
  • Cold sores that I've had regularly for many years

The results I've had in just 6 weeks were astonishing to me. The hormonal symptoms which I've been struggling with have improved immensely. My hormonal "acne" has totally disappeared. I also started to lose some very stubborn weight that I gained a few years back. Kate has a machine that analyzes the body and according to that I've rejuvenated 6 years in metabolic age! :P I went from 32 in metabolic age to 26 which is my actual age, haha... I've also lost 2 kg of fat and gained 1 kg of muscle mass! My visceral fat rating went from 3 to 2 which might not mean much to you, but it basically means that I have less fat around my belly and between my organs, which is of course very good!

The itching in my scalp improved a lot! I think it may be a combination of the great advice I got from Kate and the results of a plant based hair color mask that I did. And I have now been able to go much longer without washing my hair which is very desirable for me :P (I don't like washing my hair too often). I can go up to 7-8 days without washing it and have no itching AT ALL!

Another major improvement is thanks to the supplements Kate recommended for my cold sores! I usually get cold sores very often and I know when I'm about to get them. During or after a trip; when I haven't had enough sleep for days; when I'm about to get my period; and during or after a cold. I've now survived 2 periods, 1 trip to Portugal and a major cold! Wow, wow, wow! I only got one cold sore and that was right when I started taking this supplement. I understood then that I had to take it not only if I had a cold sore but also take it 2-3 days before my "risky" days.

I could make this post super long and drag on about all the great things I've experienced by these seemingly small changes. But I will spare you from that and jump over to something much more interesting! The questions you guy's sent me for Kate!

Before that, I have a small gift for you! Anyone who wants to try out a session with Kate can just mention Natalie or Happy Health blog when booking and receive a 15 % discount on their first appointment. Kate does both live sessions here in Stockholm and skype session for online clients. You can schedule a free call to talk about your health and nutrition needs & goals and how she can help you reach them.

Schedule Your FREE Discovery Call with Kate Nordin of Nordin Nutrition Today!

Click here to schedule your 20-minute complimentary consultation.

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Q & A with Kate

Q: I was diagnosed with high cholesterol/high blood sugar last year and at that time I decided to adopt a plant based diet. That was last August. My numbers improved so that they were normal last January when retested. Just this last month I was tested again and my cholesterol has risen since the previous test in January. I am still fully plant based, but are there things I should be avoiding even on a plant based diet? They haven't risen significantly that the dr wanted to put me on a drug at my last visit, but I would prefer to control it fully with diet so Dr doesn't try to put me on something when I am retested.

A: Plant based diets are certainly an optimal way of reducing cholesterol, however we all have a different level of predisposition for cholesterol production, and much of our cholesterol is
produced in the body rather than through consumption. Some dietary aspects to consider however are how much plant-based saturated fat you may be consuming, such as palm kernal oil, palm oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter. If you are using these types of fats, then it would be worth while swapping them out for non-saturated alternatives such as olive oil for a period to see if this helps. Increasing your consumption of foods high in soluble fibre will also help the removal of LDL’s (the ‘bad’ cholesterol which has your doctor concerned). Keep up regular consumption of oats (such as having porridge daily with ground nuts, seeds and grated apple on top for breakfast). Flaxseeds, chia seeds, whole fruit, beans and/or lentils are also good sources of insoluble fiber. One final consideration is that a low-functioning thyroid can contribute to high cholesterol so it would be worth getting your Doctor to rule this out as a driver to the high cholesterol.


Q: Where can I buy probiotics and what is the purpose for your body/food?

A: Probiotics play are immense role in the overall healthy functioning of the body and the research into the benefits of different strains is continuously providing us with more and more knowledge of their benefit. On the most basic level, probiotics are required for the production of vitamins in the gut, supporting the immune system and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria. Priobiotics support significant range of functions in our bodies such as supporting liver function, reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol, reducing stress hormones, aiding digestion, supporting healthy brain function, reducing gastrointestinal issues and alleviating diarrhoea and constipation These are just some of the well researched and supported benefits, and further research is constantly providing us with further knowledge of the benefits of a health gut flora. My recommendation is that probiotics are best bought from a good independent health food store. For general health, look for a product with at least 10 Billion live bacteria and a variety of strains (8 or more).


Q: Why do I feel hungry when I eat healthy food?

A: It’s possible that the enzymes found in whole foods are stimulating your digestive system to break down food more efficiently, leaving you hungrier sooner; however, without a full background of your diet as a whole, it’s difficult for me to make any greater assumptions than this. One further consideration though, if you are eating a vegan or very plant based diet with very limited or no animal sources of protein, the body requires approximately 40% more planted based protein sources than if you were eating animal protein, as such, maybe you need to consume much larger volumes than you realize.


Q: Without any meat, eggs and dairy. Where do I get protein? And how much protein should a normal person eat?

A: Plant foods can provide all the essential amino acids you need to meet your protein requirements. To meet your daily requirements, ensure that most of your meals contain good sources of protein, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, soy (in moderation) and dairy-free yoghurt, nuts and seeds. A daily intake of 0.75g of protein per kilogram of body weight is recommended, as such if you weigh 60kg you would require about 45g of protein daily. Research however does suggest that vegans require a higher protein intake though due to the way the body handles the plant protein, so a daily intake of 1g per kilogram of body weight is suggest for those following a vegan or almost fully vegan diet.

This table here provides you with a guideline to help you with your requirements:

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Q: How can I increase the absorption of my food?
 

A: There are numerous ways of ensuring better absorption, however if you are experience poor absorption and noticing for example food in your stool the gut must be treated first. Probiotics can be helpful, whilst dietary and lifestyle considerations are also very important.

Stress for example has a major impact on our ability to digest and absorb food, whilst underlying food allergies (such as celiac disease) and/or intolerances (such as lactose intolerance) can also impact absorption. Digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid levels, IBS, other stomach or intestinal conditions, insufficient chewing can also be to blame for poor absorption.
Due to the complex nature of a symptom such as poor absorption, I would highly recommend you seek help from a Nutritional Therapist to properly assess your signs, symptoms and diet to best advise you on the next steps to solving this issue.


Q: I'm a woman that is eating very healthy, but I'm still overweight, why don't I
lose weight?

A: There can be many different factors that can affect weight and an inability to lose weight. A nutritional therapist can make an assessment of your medical, dietary and lifestyle factors
that could be hindering your weight loss. Examples of conditions that can prevent successful weight loss are often hormonal related, such as hypothyroidism, excess levels of stress (and as such oestrogen), underlying health conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Type II Diabetes, and issues such as food intolerance's, low digestive enzymes, as well as certain medications (such as corticosteroids and birth control pills) for example.
I would strongly recommend getting the support of a professional with any of the above issues and certainly not to discontinue any prescribed medication without speaking with your GP
first.

Going to A Nutritionist

I had this misconception that if I went to a nutritionist, they might think negatively about a plant based diet and try to convince me to eat differently.

Hey Guys! I have already written some about how I have started to make some changes in my diet. I also mentioned that I met a nutritionist who told me that many of my symptoms seemed to be linked to some form of hormonal imbalance.

To make a long story short. Me and Kate (Nutritionist) met when we were both hired by a larger company to sit in as "experts" and our job was to provide feedback on upcoming products targeting a more health conscious clientele. During the day that we worked together we chatted and got to know each other a little. I had a great feeling about Kate and I noticed that she was very knowledgeable and also positive about me having a vegan diet.

Said and done. I booked an appointment with Kate. The week before I arrived to my first visit, I had to fill in a Food Diary and a questionnaire with a few different health-related issues.

No matter how knowledgeable one might be when it comes to health, food and nutrition, I always believe that there are new things to learn. And most of all, I thought it was so nice to just completely surrender everything to someone else and not have to figure it all out yourself. Of course, it's also very important to find someone you click with and trust!

You can go to a nutritionist without having to work specifically on something. You may just want to feel better overall, have more energy and get an even more varied diet. I consider myself eating quite a "clean" diet and to have a pretty good health, but I still had some things I wanted to focus on.

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Dry scalp with itching / eczema
  • Autumn depression, that I've had almost every year since I was little
  • Backache in the lumbar spine
  • Cold sores that I've had regularly, many years back

Some of you who read this may think: What do those things have to do with food or nutrition? Well, first of all, I firmly believe that the body can self-heal, if it's given the right conditions. Secondly, it's important to remember that a nutritionist does so much more than just helping people who want to lose weight.

During my hour with Kate, we talked about the different areas I wanted to focus on. We also did a body scan or body analysis that measures everything from weight to fat percentage, BMI, abdominal fat (= the fat inside the body between the organs), muscle mass, bone mass, fluid, etc. The machine also produces a figure called "your metabolic age" it shows how young or old your body is on the inside. The metabolic age is based on mass studies that have been done and factors that include how active one is, genetics, what you eat, weight, etc.

Below you can read about my focus areas and the suggestions I received from Kate.

Hormonal imbalances

As some of you may have already read, last year I had a lot of different symptoms that pointed to hormonal imbalances. You can read more about this here if you haven't already.

Kate's suggestion: Increase your consumption of natural fats by including more avocados, nuts and seeds and consider evening primrose oil. You may wish to soak your nuts and seeds to maximize their nutritional benefit and add them into meals such as pasta sauce to increase both protein and fat content (and help keep blood sugar levels balanced).

Increase your consumption of iron rich foods including avocado, tofu (preferable organic tempeh) spinach, black beans, raisins, pistachio & brazil nuts, oats, dried figs, kale, dried oregano, dried apricots, lentils, quinoa and occasionally using spirulina.

Ensure that your daily diet contains plenty of zinc-rich foods. Sources of zinc include beans,
chickpeas, lentils, tofu, walnuts, cashew nuts, chia seeds, ground linseed, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and quinoa.

To ensure balanced blood sugar levels ensure each meal contains both sources of protein and fats. Some considerations can be to add avocados, nuts and seeds, cinnamon (äkta kanel), cold pressed oils and sprouted whole grains such as buckwheat.

Dry scalp with itching / eczema

For several years I have had problems with itchy scalp and I've also had eczema before and as a child. I managed to get rid of the eczema I had on my face and on my body when I ate mainly raw food for a while, but I never managed to get rid of the dry scalp issues.

To help with the condition of your scalp, massage your (natural/organic/SLS free) conditioner into your scalp and leave for 5 minutes before rinsing out (alternatively you can leave it in overnight too). A good homemade spray for dry scalp is as follows:

  1. Take a saucepan, add 3 cups of water and handful of rosemary
  2. Bring it to a boil and lower the heat to simmer and then slowly cook it for 45 minutes
  3. Strain the mixture in a bowl and allow it to get cool
  4. Add 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with 10 drops each of rosemary and peppermint essential oils
  5. Stir it well and pour this into an empty spray bottle and use it after shampooing
  6. Rinse it out and after drying the hair, you will feel that your scalp and hair is well moisturized.

Autumn depression

Ever since I was a little, I've always experienced a major mental and emotional change during the months of September, October when the darkness comes and the days are getting shorter here in the north. I have been in therapy and tested a few different things for this. And I have to say that it has become much better! In recent years, I have not felt it as strong as before, however, my energy level has been much lower during the dark months.

Take a look at SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) lamps to use during Autumn. I personally like the. Lumie Arabica however there are lots of options available on the market. Use daily to ward of feelings that come with the greyer weather.

Backache

I've been having back pain in the lumbar spine for 3 years on and off. I've gone to an osteopath and get help with this but I still have this pain every now and then.

Use a magnesium spray or gel on your lower back to ease the pain. If you wish to make it yourself, you can follow this recipe:

Magnesium Oil Spray Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Magnesium Chloride Flakes
  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • A glass bowl or glass measuring cup
  • A glass spray bottle
  1. Boil the distilled water. It is important to use distilled to extend the shelf life of the mixture.
  2. Place the magnesium chloride flakes in the glass bowl or measuring cup and the pour the boiling water over it.
  3. Stir well until completely dissolved. Let cool completely and store in the spray bottle. Can be stored at room temperature for at least six months. I keep in my bathroom to use daily.

Cold sores

As a child, I often had swine pox on my left cheek whenever I was going through something tough, feeling stressed or having a cold. When I got older, this was replaced by cold sores. During very stressful periods of my life, I've sometimes had as much as 2-3 cold sores at the same time and sometimes they would come back every 3-4 weeks.

When you feel a coldsore coming on, take BioNutri's Elderberry Complex (two per day). If you feel you will be entering a stressful period, one a day can be taken as a preventative.

This supplement can be bought through www.naturaldispensary.co.uk - I will email it to you in a 'cart' and apply the discount. (delivery takes 5-7 days normally).

If you’d also like to take advantage of the same discount Kate gave me, add Kate Nordin as
your practitioner and use the code “KSP010” at the checkout for 10% off all your orders.

So now it's been 2 weeks since I was at Kate's and in 4 weeks we'll be having our follow-up meeting. I will post again after mu follow up, and share my results and tell you more about my entire experience. I have also asked Kate to answer a few different questions from my readers, so if you have any questions to Kate (that do not require too much background info) please feel free to put them down in the comment field. <3

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