life

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.

Aligning your journaling practice with your menstrual cycle

Journaling is a beautiful tool for self-care and reflection. If you wanna try it or just take your journaling practice to the next level, try scheduling time for it during your menstrual phase!

While it's often assumed that anyone who's menstruating isn't working at a top mental pitch, the truth is quite the opposite! In fact, hormone levels decline quickly to their lowest concentration during the menstrual phase. This creates the greatest communication between the two brain hemispheres (the analytical side and the feeling side). This means that we as women are best able to synthesize how we feel about situations at this phase in our cycle. This is why the menstrual phase is a perfect time for journaling. This is a time where we can really see the big picture, analyze situations and review the different areas of our lives.

I've never been much for journaling, but as I've tried to live more in tune with my cycle and use each phase for my benefit, I've decided to give it a try. It actually feels good to take the time and space for it. It has felt very beneficial to me to turn inward and to reflect on where I am right now and just appreciate that...

If you're giving journaling a try, be aware of the masculine energy (the go-go-go type of thinking) that is dominant in most of us women today. Don't make this a big planning/mind mapping session! It's not about where you want to go or how you want to improve yourself/your life/your career. There's a time and space for that too, but I would suggest using the follicular phase (the 2nd phase of the menstrual cycle) for that. This is a time where you look inward and reflect, see it as a date with yourself. A time to get to know yourself a little more...

Here's an easy way to start of your journaling session!

  1. Set the alarm for 1 hour, an hour just for you. You're giving yourself this hour of undivided attention. Turn off all notifications and other disturbances.
  2. Light some candles and turn on a nice playlist of relaxing music (preferably non verbal songs not to disturb your thoughts).
  3. Start by writing down something you are stressed about.
  4. Write down the words you would love to hear when you're sad.
  5. Using 10 words, describe yourself kindly. Don't judge yourself.
  6. Make a list of the people in your life who genuinely support you, and who you can genuinely trust.
  7. Make a list of everything that inspires you — from books to websites, from quotes to people, from places to paintings.

Finish these sentences:

  1. I couldn’t imagine living without…
  2. These are the ways I've grown over the past 5 years...
  3. The qualities I admire most in others are...
  4. When I’m in pain — physical or emotional — the kindest thing I can do for myself is…
  5. I really wish others knew this about me…
  6. If my body could talk right now, it would say…
  7. I feel most energized when…

Answer these questions:

  1. What does unconditional love look like to me?
  2. What would I do if I loved myself unconditionally?
  3. What did I most enjoy doing this past week?
  4. What has surprised me the most about my life or about the world in general?
  5. What could I learn from my biggest mistakes?
  6. How do I deal with anger?
  7. What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail?

Really take time here... Ask yourself these questions, and read the sentences out loud... Sometimes we need to read them several times before we receive the answers. Don't rush...

Lots of Love, N

Weekly update

Some of you are asking about a bit more personal/lifestyle oriented content! Here it is!

What do you say we make this a weekly habit? Haha okay ,let's start with this week and see how far I can go... Also the Thumbnail image of this post has nothing to do with this week but It's just a nice picture I took when I was in New York earlier this year! The photo content of these posts wont be dazzling in anyway, just my casual daily snaps from Insta-stories!

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: That I got to spend some quality time with one of my sisters! She and my mom came over and we all had a nice dinner at my place, then my sister stayed over and we had a lovely evening with a brisk walk by the water and then watching a movie before bed. :) The morning after started with a nice long power walk. Then we found 2 outdoor gyms! I love exploring, haha! Can't believe I didn't know about it before!

LOW OF THE WEEK: Tried making coconut yogurt with probiotic but failed! But, I'll keep trying! As soon as I'm succeeding I'll be putting up a post about it! Probably know about all about it then...

FUNNIEST OF THE WEEK: Beth Stelling's Episode of Netflix's " THE STANDUP'S "

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: My Friday yoga class that I just came from! This class is always great, but today was exceptional. I'm also super happy in general about how it's all going. I'm really getting in to a great flow now, doing 3 short HIIT workout's a week and 2-3 yoga classes! Feels great and I'm feeling so grateful!

TIP OF THE WEEK: My Spotify playlists! There's music for all kinds of occasions. You can follow any specific list or just follow "happyhealthblog" to get all my lists and updates.

FOOD OF THE WEEK: I'm still drooling for this Buddha bowl that I made and posted earlier this week!

RIGHT NOW: Just had the most wonderful Friday! Starting with a consultation at my friend Kate! She's a nutritionist and we're doing a small collaboration here on the blog later on! *so exited for it* (If you have any food/nutrition questions for Kate, leave'em down in the comments) After seeing Kate I went to the Gym for a quick HIIT workout! Came home, made a WONDERFUL fruitless smoothie! Worked for a while and then went to Yoga!

PLANS FOR THE WEEKEND: Rest, rest and rest! Maybe a movie tonight, I won 2 tickets to Atomic blonde through my gym! Yaay! Sunday will probably be back to normal for me I have some work scheduled and I also LOVE starting the week off 1 day before everyone else :P

Hope you all have a great weekend!

10 Tips for Staying Vegan

10 Tips for Staying Vegan

It's so freakin hard! How do I keep a vegan diet? First of all thank you to everyone that's taking the time to email me, it's so much fun to hear from you! The actual people who reads my blog! <3 I really appreciate it and here's a question that a lot of you have been asking... How do I keep a vegan diet? Read this post to get my 10 best tips for staying Vegan!