Up Close & Personal With Nutritionist Angela Walker

Who may benefit from seeing a Nutritionist? The ‘classic’ things that nutrition can help with are improving digestion issues (IBS, bloating, heaviness after meals), energy levels (low levels, energy dips through the day, feeling unrefreshed on waking) and immune issues (always being the one to catch every cold, taking ages to recover from colds etc), I help people with those issues every day. But nutrition is a fascinating topic, there is so much in the media at the moment about the optimal diet, the benefit or harm of specific foods and nutrients. One day eggs are the cause of heart disease, the next day they help us loose weight. It can all be so confusion and people, I find, often get muddled about their diet. Then there is the emotional aspect of food; its part of our culture and core to every celebration in life, yet we can feel guilty about eating ‘bad’ foods. This is something I can help people to look at and work on. Then I also see the people who say, “I have a healthy diet’ and ‘I don’t have anything wrong with me’ but when we get down and talk about the details, actually it turns out there are some, maybe only niggling health issues, but things that they don’t need to accept and put up with, that can be improved and that actually just a few simple changes in the way they eat can make a huge difference So, in an (almond) nutshell, rarely is there someone who won’t benefit in some way from seeing a nutritionist. What advice would you give to people who are looking at different ways to lose weight? Make sure you are properly hydrated, make sure blood glucose levels are stable; look at portion size and make sure what you do eat is rich in essential fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (ie, is it ‘real’ food) and don’t get lured into faddy diets. Weight loss can be tricky and is often miss understood. Yes there is a relationship between calories in and calories spent, but that is rarely the whole story. The quality of those calories are vital; do they contain enough good fats to allow the cell membranes and therefore the receptors for hormones to fire properly? Do they contain enough phytonutrients to modulate inflammation pathway? Do they contain enough vitamins and minerals to enable your metabolism to work at its most efficient? Hormone imbalances can also be a factor, especially to do with the thyroid and adrenal released hormones ie the stress hormones and our stress response system. All of these are issues that can be looked at during the nutrition consultation. What advice would you give to people who are looking to detox? We have a really good detoxification system in our bodies; the problem is that we can overload it with toxins that surround up and poor diet and lifestyles can impair the efficiency of these detoxification pathways. As a result, most of us can benefit from a period of avoiding unnecessary toxins and really boosting our own detoxification systems. My advice is to think about what you want to detoxify from your life; what do you want to achieve and what is blocking you currently. Consider the bigger picture and avoid an extreme detox while you are extremely busy or in your usual environment. The body needs resources in order to detoxify effieciently. We have put together our detox programmes with that in mind, so your body is really well supported throughout. How should people prepare to detox? It depends a little on your current diet and lifestyle. If you are currently drinking a lot of coffee or caffeinated drinks and eating high levels of refined sugars (from cakes, sweets, sugars in drinks) then stopping these suddenly can lead to some short-term but unpleasant side effects such as headaches. So the best advice is to reduce these gradually, for example with coffee if you have 4 cups a day, then reduce by 1 cup per day over a week or two. The more you can reduce refined carbohydrates and increase vegetables and lean protein sources over the week prior to a detox the easier you will make it for your body. As a detoxification and fasting expert, tell us how a juice detox programme can benefit us and how often should we do this? Again this very much depends on the individual and your current diet and lifestyle. Essentially the juice detox will rest your digestive system, kick-start your detoxification systems and allow your body to re-set and rebalance towards its natural rhythm. The sort of things you can expect to see or feel include a better relationship with food, sustainable weight loss, better body tone and shape, improved quality of skin, better sleep, better energy levels and brighter eyes (the last one is the one I love seeing most on our clients). If you lived on a desert island for one year, what five foods would you most want to take with you? Yikes, one whole year? Well I hope I’d have access to the coconut crabs that I loved when I actually was on an atoll in the south pacific; they have a pouch that contains the coconut juice they have eaten which you can use as a sauce after cooking the meat – I kind of all-natural ready meal.  To go with those I’d have avocadoes, tahini (but has to be the dark kind and one of only a few brands), dark chocolate, coffee (has to be my Meke brand), boy choy, brown rice….i can pretty well survive on that! What results have clients achieved from going on the 38 Degrees North Detox and Slim Fit Retreats? Because we measure body composition before and after the week we can track real change, we know that fat loss is much more key than overall weight-loss and we can see that in our clients. Plus clients have a real understanding how they can sustain the changes they have started to see. What physical activities do you encourage your clients to take part in? The ones that are right for their bodies! Strength and conditioning work is so important especially for women where we want to maintain good bone density for healthy ageing. Its also key to have a programme that works for your lifestyle, if you don’t enjoy the gym then hike in nature, do the gardening; if you love the gym then work with a trainer on a developing  a programme that suits your body type and your goals. What are the main benefits of working with a nutritionist during a weight loss and fitness holiday? Having a tailored approach and helping you understand what’s important for your body so that you are empowered to continue the changes after your holiday

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