How is your relationship with food?
Do you look forward to meals? Are you able to eat happily and without negative feelings such as guilt or fear ruining your eating? Are you experiencing body shame? Cultural pressure to achieve a particular shape or weight? Do you feel as if you’re having to navigate complicated health messages? Tired of counting calories but don’t know what else to do?
Optimising your nourishment involves more than simply eating well
Accepting that the mind and body are one is a central message in my practice: Our thoughts, beliefs, feelings, relationship with pleasure, mindfulness, pain, joy and more all affects our health. The efficiency with which we digest and assimilate food is directly impacted by the body's many stress pathways: it is vital to feel good and think positive while we eat and digest - but how do we get there?
Nutrition is about far more than what you see on the label of a packet. Of course it is useful to be able to understand the information on packets and this is something I teach you...but there is so much more to be learned in our own journeys towards a successful and stress free relationship with eating. Just because an orange contains a good amount of Vitamin C, it doesn't mean we're absorbing all of it. How do we maximise our metabolism and assimilation? How do we achieve our optimal body image without sacrificing our inner joy and a pleasurable, spontaneous relationship with food?
Chronic stress inhibits good nutrition
Stress management is a key strategy everybody needs to use to navigate life successfully: Stress dysregulates our appetite, upsets our digestion, kills beneficial gut bacteria, promotes stubborn overweight, helps the growth of disease promoting gut bacteria and can often lead to us disengaging with life.
Under a cloud of chronic stress we are vulnerable to building compulsive coping mechanisms, often food centred, in order to find a way to cope. Anorexia, bulimia and orthorexia are extremes of this. The lack of a diagnosable eating disorder does not mean that an individual has a good relationship with food: mindless eating and snacking, a disengagement from a true sense of hunger or satiety are also signs of imbalance. An imbalanced relationship with food and eating often involves the consumption of pro-inflammatory foods which lead to disease and unhappiness – a downward spiral many people find themselves in. Detangling this web is part of the work we do together in our sessions.
Understanding your stress triggers helps to induce permanent change
Many people need more help then simple dietary guidance. Food can be a very sensitive and multi-layered challenge for people. Enabling a recovery from an unhealthy diet or negative relationship with eating can involve delving into family, social and work life dynamics. Beyond this, digging into a patient’s own inner dialogue can be a vital stage in discovering what may be driving negative and self-destructive eating behaviours: I am here to provide that help and through motivational techniques, we get to the bottom of what is going on. We then change it at a speed which suits you.
My goal for my patients is to have a happy, confident, inspired and enjoyable relationship with food: I feel that life can be hard enough without simple pleasures like eating being ruined with negative thinking and feeling. I will teach you how to balance this with a whole foods diet which in and of itself provides you with elevated mood and vitality – a wonderful upward spiral!
Bridging knowledge with behavioural change is a challenge, but a joy to overcome!
Many patients who find themselves consulting with me already know a lot about nutrition. Some of this knowledge is incorrect, thanks to the media and general misconceptions, but much of it can be sound knowledge. Why are they still struggling to implement this knowledge into daily choices? Are they weak? Do they have no willpower?
Not at all: a fundamental truth of human struggle is that changing behaviour involves a lot more than simply possessing the knowledge of what you should be doing. Change also involves very little willpower. It does involve a lot of strategic thinking and organisation.
This is where I help you. I will counsel you to be able to translate both the knowledge you come with, added to the education I provide you with, into lifelong behavioural change when it comes to your relationship with eating and food. In our sessions, we will detangle the web of your relationship with food and build:
sound nutritional knowledge (including recipe and food preparation guidance)
determination and inspiration to change
ability to embrace relapses as learning stages
confidence to succeed and to continue to succeed
self assessment skills
innate instincts about eating (satiety, hunger signals)
positivity in a food centred environment (social events etc)
Together we plan both short and long term nutrition centred and lifestyle goals to enable long lasting changes. I provide you with the ability to self monitor (so that you can be your own nutritionist), plans for lapses, problems, new coping behaviours and I am in frequent contact with you in between appointments where needed to provide support. In our meetings I will walk you through how to nourish your body, but also your mind. Feel free to contact me if you have more questions
"Nutrition is about far more than what you see on the label of a packet."
"Under chronic stress, we are vulnerable to building compulsive coping mechanisms"
a lot about nutrition"