why nutritional therapy?
What we eat and drink provide the only materials we have for any of the following functions of our bodies;
Hormone production & Nervous function
Immune response & repair
Detoxification & Elimination
In which case Hippocrates had it right! And perhaps we should beware of what we put in our mouths!
If you have ever had any symptoms in these areas nutritional therapy can help identify potential imbalances and how these may be contributing to your symptoms.
The functional model we use, which breaks the body down into these seven functions demonstrates how when they are all working in balance we stay healthy and disease free.
Whilst there is scope in this model to understand the biochemistry of symptoms within each function separately, the emphasis is on the holistic view of how each may also be affecting the other.
Addressing these fundamental imbalances upstream of debilitating symptoms or named conditions can support the body towards healing and optimal health.
Furthermore, personalised nutritional therapy recognises that you are an individual with unique requirements, and there is no one size fits all.
Including the impact of, and integration between genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors, a consultation will allow time to create a picture of your unique set of circumstances that has led you to where you are today on the spectrum of health, disease and performance.
Supported by functional testing, together we can define a bespoke, personalised nutrition plan. Using whole foods, occasionally reinforced by supplements, and some lifestyle tweaks nutritional therapy can be the key to expressing your optimal health, happiness and well-being.
nutrition and sport
Athletes experience symptoms just like the rest of us, but traditional sports nutrition rarely considers the contribution of nutrition to this. For this reason traditional sports nutrition that revolves around correct calories and macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein and fat) content never resonated with me, it seemed to be missing the point somewhat. But it wasn't until I found myself battling two potential career ending injuries and real emotional lows that I found functional nutrition and an approach to food and it's effect on my body that finally made sense. This functional approach that targets the individual, appreciating the holistic nature of the human body and the incredible power of nutrients, changed everything. So while I am not a sports nutritionist it was my sport that led me to functional nutrition in the first place, and then functional nutrition allowed me back into my sport when I thought my career was over. These are the two great passions in my life and one wouldn’t now exist without the other. What I experienced was integrative sports nutrition, it’s functional nutrition for athletes.
This seem like a pretty obvious concept but one which I know is being overlooked by athletes. If you accept that food plays a huge role in balanced health, and balanced health is fundamental to sports performance then it follows that proper nutrition supports performance.
My personal love of food has grown as my knowledge has increased of just what it really is – it’s not simply a pile of different shape and colour calories– it’s the most powerful and accessible tool we have in human health. It’s millions of years of nature - plants, animals and sapiens evolving together in such an intricate breath-taking way that we are only just beginning to understand it - and we have the arrogance to reduce it to macronutrients and calories and continue to abuse our bodies with overtraining, ignoring pain, and undernourishment.
I believe that athletes risk building their training on a foundation of sand when they ignore functional nutrition. From grass roots participation level right up to elite, we live with perceived “normal” ailments like hay fever, fatigue, stress, poor sleep or gut problems and consider food to be no more than a fuel for our workouts.
It has lit a fire in me to make athletes understand what food really is. Understanding real food and nourishing the body I had abused for years played a huge role in my recovery back to International competition after 2 potential career ending injuries. Had I understood earlier that food is not just fuel I truly believe that several of my injuries could have been avoided. My sleep would have been better, my stress would have been lower, my recovery would have been higher quality. I have never fulfilled the potential I know I had, but if I can put this to use, others don’t need to.
I believe my experience should be used to guide other athletes and stop them going down the same paths I have. Food needs to be respected for the huge potential it holds for improving well-being and performance.