Precision Movement's KT shares her favourite healthy Christmas cocktails so you can enjoy the festivities without incurring too much damage!
As the days and nights get colder it's tempting to reach for warm foods that give your comfort but may not be nutritionally beneficial. Nutrition is an integral part of recovery from injury and pain as well as supporting a healthy happy lifestyle.
You really want your food intake to be doing the following:
1. Reducing inflammation in your gut and in your body overall. Inflammation stresses your immune system which means healing and recovery are compromised. You want to promote healing and recovery by reducing inflammation.
2. Nourishing your body with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for healing and recovery and for all the vital processes for a healthy, happy functioning body.
3. Fuelling your adventures or your rehabilitation is that's where you are currently at! Whatever your life is filled with you want your food intake to support you so you have the energy to enjoy it.
A quick and easy way to fulfil all these criteria and even take with you on your adventures is with this incredible rich hot chocolate drink. It's loaded with anti-inflammatory foods such as coconut cream and super antioxidant rich cocoa powder containing maca and cacao as well as plenty of vitamin E from the fresh almond milk. I drink it as a bedtime warmer when I make my hot water bottle at night.
Rich Hot Chococo
* 1 cup fresh pressed almond milk
* tablespoon coconut cream
* 1-2 tablespoons Of The Earth Superfoods Hot Chocolate powder
* Stevia to taste
Place the almond milk in a saucepan on the stove and heat gently so as not to burn it. Place the almond milk and all the ingredients in a blender and whizz up. Drink with joy and let the nutrients heal you!
I have a secret to tell you... I've been drinking this super amazing antioxidant loaded drink every morning this year. And it makes me feel super virtuous! So I thought I'd finally share it so you can be virtuous too. Also it's more of a winter warmer than a spring/summer refresher so it's more apt for October.
KT's super antioxidant Winter Warmer drink
juice of 1/2 a lemon
juice of half a lime
1/4 teaspoon of Clear Spring matcha green tea powder
A slither of fresh ginger grated
2 teaspoons of baobab powder
manuka honey to taste
Boil the kettle and place all the ingredients except the honey in a mug. Fill the mug with hot water and stir until all the ingredients are blended nicely. Add making honey to taste. You're good to go! I take mine in a KeepCup so I can enjoy on my morning commute :)
My work as a rehabilitation specialist is an important but relatively small part of health and wellness. I always try to give as much verbal advice as I can along with reading material and tonnes of motivational and moral support! But sometimes we need a little extra... Freebies anyone? ;)
I'm offering an hour of my time throughout the months of September and October (to the first 15 people who sign up) to sit down and ask me anything about your health and wellness that you feel will support your work with me in the studio - (coffee and treats included obvs). If you are not currently a client of Precision Movement you can still book in with me - we don't discriminate here!
All you need to do is:
1. Think of up to three topics you would like help with or would like to change. It could be a nutritional question, how to optimise your sleep, how to fit your home programme in to your life more optimally, to a new goal such as climbing Everest!
2. Email me direct to book yourself in and list the topics you would like to chat about with me so I can prepare accordingly.
3. Meet me at The Atrium restaurant at Grosvenor House Apartments and we'll discuss the topics and formulate a plan about how to integrate changes into your life for a healthier happier you.
How does that sound?
Contact KT direct at KT@precisionmovement and with the subject line "an hour with KT". Valid through September 1st - October 31st 2015. Appointments subject to KT's availability although we'll try to accommodate as much as possible. Appointments are non-transferable and cannot be rescheduled once booked.
The buzz word for 2014/2015 is hack - which basically means shortcut. If you are an entrepreneur like me you need to be efficient with all the other stuff that takes you away from working or having fun in life! Introducing KT's 4 top breakfast hacks to make at home upon a request from a client.
1 min smoothie
Prep time: less than a minute
Smoothies are great but I always find they take a bit of prep time so when your priority is to get out of the house in the morning. You can prep most of your smoothie the night before by adding fruits and veggies that do not need to be cut in the blender and then adding the cut fruits in the morning just before you blend. Cutting fruit and leaving it means it will oxidise and lose its nutrients.
Use a blender that you can put a drinking lid on so you can blend and go. I recommend The Nutribullet.
KT's Go-To Get-Out (#GOGO) 1 min smoothie
Put in blender the night before or put in a sealed snack bag and put in the fridge overnight.
Handful of Spinach
Handful of blueberries
Handful of raspberries
Tablespoon of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of Raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons of Great Lakes gelatin
In the morning chop up a banana and add a nut milk like hazelnut or almond or coconut water. Blend all ingredients for up to 30 seconds place your drinking top on and you're good to leave the house with a nutrient packed breakfast to start the day!
1 minute yoghurt brekkie
Prep time: 1 minute
To really save time, buy a one portion yoghurt rather than a big tub. I like full fat Greek yoghurt. Pack up a portion of berries, nuts and seeds of your choice and store them in a seal packed bags for use as needed. Add in chopped banana. Add 2 tablespoons of Great Lakes gelatin for an added protein boost. If you need a sweetener use raw natural honey or agave nectar. Stir up and enjoy.
Prep time: 10 seconds grab & go
For those who love a good protein filled breakfast try making egg sausage and cheese muffins. You can make a batch to last you through the working week for a grab and go solution for energy that lasts to lunch time. If you prefer a lighter option go for veggies instead of meat. Let them cool fully then pack them in a tupperware box, tin foil, or in a sealed snack bag and store in the fridge.
Prep time: 4-5 mins
If you have 5 minutes to prepare a breakfast with a difference make up pancake batter beforehand and store it in a squeezy bottle. Heat the pan, and squeeze out your pancakes which take about a minute each to cook. Serve with berries and banana or full fat yoghurt. This is great solution for a house full of kids that need to be fed and out the door to school on time!
My healthy pancake recipe
1/2 cup bobs red mill pancake flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 egg beaten
1 tablespoon coconut oil
almond milk to preferred batter consistency
I also add 2 tablespoons of milled flaxseed Q10 mix
I serve it with plain yoghurt, chopped banana, strawberries and a drizzle of agave nectar.
Breakfast hacks 2 features next week which is a selections of the best grab and go breakfasts around town and a few of my favourite places for longer sit down breakfast meetings too!
Happy breaking your fast! :p
What you refuel your body with after a workout is as important as the workout itself which is why I designed the Precision Movement post-workout smoothies for Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living which are freshly prepared and served at The Atrium Restaurant on floor 2. If you've not had one after your workout yet have a nosey at the selection and make sure you order one next time... you are what you eat and absorb so refuel that body right!
And if you're not already working with us at the studio but still fancy a smoothie then pop in and visit us and we'll prepare one for you.
My favourite is 'Continue the Calm... I always need a reminder! ;)
PrecisionMovement2 workouts are the fitness part of what we do here in the studio. Even though client may initially come to us with an injury, once they are better they often want to get fit again or set themselves a goal or train for an event.
To support your fitness workouts it's really important to get the right nutrition. We advise the following:
1. Count nutrients not calories. Every time you sit down to eat it's a chance to nourish your body. Choose the most nutrient dense foods containing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, reparative proteins and fats. If you find eating lots of fruits and vegetables a challenge then take a fresh vegetable juice every morning. It's the best vitamin hit you can get!
2. Avoid processed foods, sugar and caffeine.
3. Balance out alcohol with proteins and fats in your meal It will minimise the risk of blood sugar spikes and crashes.
4. My top ten food recommendations are salmon, spinach, kale, pomegranates, blueberries, avocados, apples, ginger, lemons and carrots.
5. For water intake multiply your body weight in KG by 0.033 for the optimal intake in litres. Opt for Evian, Vittel, Fuji or Hildon Spring (which we have at Grosvenor House Apartments) as they are natural spring waters and have the highest natural mineral content.
In addition to optimising your nutrition sleep is essential for the healing and recovery of exercise. It helps the body metabolise more efficiently, you can mange stress better, and it improves mental and emotional health too. For more information on optimising your sleep read my top ten tips for the best nights sleep every night.
Karen Maidment is co-owner of Pure Body Balance in Gloucestershire. She is also the author of Meals that Heal and the creator of specialist cooking workshops that teach you how to make meals that really do heal your body. Karen not only specialises in nutrition but in all the systems of the body and how they work together to optimise a healthier happier lifestyle. Karen works with clients of Precision Movement to optimise their lifestyle and nutrition aspects of health to support the training they do with us.
KT: What sparked your interest in Nutrition and wellness?
Karen: I have always had a love for cooking and food. From a very young age my sister and I were encouraged to get involved with our parent’s back garden allotment. We would get paid a penny for every caterpillar we removed from Dad’s cabbages! And my mum would pop us on a foot stool so that we could reach the worktop and make little cookies and fairy cakes. I grew up in the countryside where blackberry picking, locally shot pheasant and rabbit and home grown produce were part of the norm.
Later on in life during a dip in enthusiasm for my post graduate career in fashion my now husband and business partner Adrian, encouraged me to follow my heart and begin a distance learning course in Nutrition Coaching. Three years later as I was coming to the end of this first course Adrian was taken seriously ill with Crohns Disease. After 2 years of misdiagnosis he finally ended up having major surgery and so we used both his education with the CHEK Institute and my knowledge in nutrition and lifestyle management to turn his health around.
KT: For you, what is the foundation of health?
Karen: Actually to me a healthy mindset is the key. After a decade studying and working in the health industry I have come to realise that as health coaches we tend to be way to hard on ourselves. There is a level of perfectionism that we seem to aim for that is simply unattainable. Yes eating organic food, clean water and seasonal produce are the foundations of my nutritional regime, BUT honestly none of this matters if I don’t like, love and respect myself enough to make those choices daily. Most importantly, it's to treat myself with compassion when I don’t make the most healthful choices. I am only human after all!
KT: What types of people usually seek out your help and why?
Karen: This has evolved as I have evolved both as a coach and with my own health journey. During my 10 or so years in the industry I have worked through numerous health issues myself, in fact I am still a work in progress. From Adrenal Fatigue to Amenorrhea, IBS to Insomnia. I tend to find that clients with similar health issues to those I am working through seek me out. A few years ago I started my website endibsnaturally.com at that time I was working through major IBS symptoms and so it seemed natural to me to share how I was healing myself with my clients. Now I tend to be working a lot with auto immune disease and adrenal fatigue. Many of my closet family members have various auto immune diseases, such as my husband and after an incredibly successful and busy year in 2014 my adrenal health certainly took a hit! My clients tell me that they connect with me due to my authenticity and ability to show compassion through my own challenges. It requires a great deal of courage on my part to show what I sometimes feel are my imperfections, but my clients LOVE that. It makes them feel understood and shows them that if I can get well they can too.
KT: How do you help people achieve better health and wellness?
Karen: Nutrition and lifestyle coaching fused with practical recipe and cookery support. Ultimately there is no point knowing what you can and can’t eat if you don’t know how to cook and follow a basic recipe.
KT: What do you specialise in?
Karen: Many back pain syndromes and injuries are caused by inflammation which creates instability leading to injury. For instance tennis elbow and lumbar spine weakness have show to reduce and resolve themselves once inflammatory foods such as gluten and dairy have been taken out of the diet. I often see reoccurring injuries failing to heal after corrective exercises and hands on therapy due to this inflammatory process. In addition using foods as medicine you can actually facilitate a quicker recovery from pain and injury. Saturated fats for instance are known to improve bone, muscle and tissue structure, as is homemade bone broth which contains high amount of collagen and gelatin. I have seen fantastic results by supplementing with a mixture of bone broth and Great Lakes Gelatin in structural and tissue related injuries. Anti inflammatory juices containing ingredients such as fresh turmeric and beetroot and calcium rich greens such as kale and spinach are also great nutritional medicinal tools to promote recovery.
KT: What do you typically eat for breakfast?
Karen: We follow a Paleo type diet so we often have eggs, salad and some root veggies. I make us a seasonal green juice everyday which nearly always has fresh lemon and ginger, two of my favourite juicing ingredients. I always make sure I have live foods with my cooked protein. Poached wild salmon is a favourite as are the most incredible organic handmade pork and herb sausages from our local farm shop.
KT: What are the four foods/supplements you cannot live without and why?
Karen: Food wise I love organic coconut oil and ghee, these are my staple forms of fat. I do not tolerate dairy very well and so ghee gives me all of the great fat soluble vitamins without the casein and lactose. Wild honey, which is my favourite sweetener, it tastes great and contains live enzymes to help you break down carbohydrates whilst offering up antibacterial properties. Homemade broth to keep my digestive system happy and my bones, skin and muscle strong.
With regards to supplements I cannot live without the North American Herbs & Spice range, these are food grade, wild and handpicked. Particularly I love their probiotics (Healthbac), there adrenal and B vitamin booster (PurelyB) and their mineral support (Purelymin). I do not take any supplement every day, rather I listen to what my body needs and take them as and when I feel my body needs a little boost. Bear in mind that most supplements that you buy are synthetic and are actually of very little use to your body.
KT: With Easter just around the corner, can you recommend a healthier option for a chocolate Easter egg?
Karen: I am totally in love with Booja Booja chocolates, particularly the champagne ones. They taste insanely good and contain no dairy or gluten, to big no-nos for my health. They are also organic. You could also consider making your own raw chocolates, there is a fab recipe in my cook book Meals That Heal.
Karen's book Meals that Heal is available to purchase HERE
Details of Karen's next cookery workshops can be found HERE
To find out more about working with Karen to optimise your nutritional health please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the centre on 01285 83127.
Last week I was asked to speak at the L Club in on Sloane Street about the importance of the spine for health throughout life. I thought I would share with you what I shared with the audience of the L Club how your spine develops, what injuries it is most vulnerable to at certain parts during your life and how you can minimise the risk of injury as you age. If you are tempted to just read what it says under your current age bracket this would be foolish. Remember what you have done in the past and what you do now will all influence how the spine will respond in later years. Read on to find out more....
When we are born our spines are curved like a shell. In the first 2 years up to when we walk we go through huge amounts of development and change in the spine. We learn how to move it and stabilise it and to sit up, crawl and walk the spine changes alignment. As we grow our spines take on three curves - cervical, thoracic and lumbar and these curves are responsible for maintaining good posture, keeping our intervertebral discs in place and providing shock absorption. This is one of the most important developmental stages of our lives and we should never underestimate the value of babies learning to move efficiently and effectively. The movements and postures that babies learn here serve them for the rest of their lives which means if faulty movements are developed it will affect movement, co-ordination, posture and strength development in later years.
This is the time when we should move and learn sports. Jumping around and pounding on our bones is the best way to make them dense and strong coupled with a good intake of calcium from leafy greens and vitamin D from the sun as well as good overall nutrition. Any weight bearing sports are good for bone density development (swimming is a non-weight bearing sport). Intense learning of sports is not recommended until age 7. Ideally children should try out lots of different activities. At age 7 if children show an interest in a particular sport they have enough neural development to learn more intensely. Children should not lift heavy weights as it can stunt growth.
When we get to 21 we have fully grown but we can still increase our bone density. Bone density is exceptionally important for the prevention of osteoporosis. Between 30-35 our bones begin ageing and it is no longer possible to increase our bone density - we can only slow the rate of decline. This is effectively done by weight bearing exercise such as strength training. The discs between your vertebrae have fluid and a jelly like substance inside which acts as part of the shock absorption I mentioned earlier. At at 30 our bones cannot get any denser. From here our bones go through a process of becoming less dense.
This is the time when the spine is most vulnerable to disc injuries. Mostly because of our lifestyles - too much sitting and not enough movement. Up to age 45 the discs are refilled with fluid each night as part of the recovery process when we sleep. This is why you are taller in the morning and shorter at night! One of the reasons why disc injuries happen between 30-45 years is because of years of 'ligamentous creep' the connective tissues in the spine stretching over time to accommodate poor posture. Ligaments are the strongest structures in our bodies connecting bone to bone and they give our skeleton stability. Once ligaments are stretched they do not go back to their original length. Over time, years of time, it makes the spine unstable and then the discs become vulnerable to pressing out on to the nerves.
Past 45 the discs begin to dry up and the spine becomes stiffer. This actually has an advantage as the discs are less prone to pushing out against the nerves because they are less plump. However, less fluid in the discs means loss of disc height. Firstly, you lose height which is not so bad. Secondly, your vertebrae are much closer together so the ligaments become lax and can create instability. This hinders movement, particularly rotation, and can also lead to bone spurs and stenosis.
Depending on what you have done or not done with your body you may experience some pain or injury in your spine as you age - common but not normal issues are osteoporosis, arthritis, spondylitis, ankylosing spondylitis and postural imbalance. What I always find interesting is that most people as they age will have some sort of disc degeneration but not all suffer with pain from it. The key here is movement - the more active you are the less likely you are to feel pain.
The most important point here is what you can do to minimise the risk of injuries and diseases when you are older. Once you have these issues they can be managed but they are not reversible.
If you want to know more about minimising the risk of spinal complications when you are older or maybe you have a spinal injury that you'd like to know how to manage better then contact me at
One of the number one questions I get asked is how to I avoid back pain? Nearly all of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives. But how wonderful would it be to minimise the risk of getting back pain? Read on to find out how.....
We all know too much negative stress is bad for us and some of you may know that it affects us physically. Stress is part of our lives and it helps us achieve success and conjure bravery when we need to step up to the plate. You have a stress threshold - a line that once crossed begins to compromise your immune system. It slows your recovery and healing rate so normal repairs that should occur result in tissues getting left and more damaged. This can be as small as an ulcer or a big as your back pain. The best source of information I can give to you is about your perception of stress and I cannot say it better than Health Psychologist Kelly McGonigal in her recent TED talk. It's 8 minutes and a revelation you will not want to miss out on.
2. Lack of movement
You are designed to move. Sustained poor posture is a major cause of back pain and structural damage. Make sure you move throughout the day. If you are desk bound, walk around the office, take the stairs for a few flights, leave for a lunch break. In the recent article "The making of a corporate athlete" by performance psychologists Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz that was published in the Harvard Business Review it is recommended that every person does at least 2 strength training workouts a week for endurance and to promote mental and emotional recovery.
3. Poor posture
Sit, stand and walk tall. If you are exercising, exercise tall. Another major contributor to back pain is poor posture. If you already have back pain then poor posture will make it worse! You may be blissfully unaware that your posture is bad but if you are currently pain free it is well worth investing the time and effort to work on your posture to minimise the risk of injuries occurring. In this day and age, with the mountain of information and specialists to help you there is no excuse for poor posture. Seek help.
4. Repetitive faulty movement patterns
This is an extension of poor posture but relates more to exercising with poor form. I have seen so many clients walk through my door who hit the gym 5 days a week but when I assess their movement patterns it is clear they do not have good technique and their movement patterns are contributing to their pain. If you are working out in the gym and have not had any guidance at all in the past 6 months then ask a professional to look over your technique.
5. Poor nutritional intake
Your nutrients for every day micro damage to your body come from food. Food provides you with the building blocks for repair, to create new cells, to strengthen your muscles, to strengthen your bones and connective tissue. It is imperative that you take care of your nutrition and nourish your body it is as much a part of minimising the risk of injury as movement is.
For more information on exercise for the prevention of injury and for back pain and injury recovery please email me at
. Download my
eBook '7 steps to getting you back pain sorted'
by scrolling up and looking left!
When I spoke at the Lansdowne Club in Mayfair last month I asked this question:
Why companies are responsible for the health and wellness of their employees?
Would you leave a machine to run your business without applying the proper maintenance check? Health and wellness in the workplace influences sick days taken, how staff represent your company - do they look tired and overworked? In turn these factors influence productivity, retention of staff and ultimately the success of your company. So what can companies do?
1. Culture of health and wellness
Develop a culture of health and wellness as part of the work place. Make it part of your company ethos. If you actively encourage a healthy workplace you will find your staff will continue that. I truly believe people want to be healthier.
a. For an in house client meeting order from a healthy organic deli and offer fresh salads and fruit instead of sandwiches, cakes and cookies.
c. Set up lunch time workshops for staff to learn about a wide variety of subjects that impact their health and wellness. I talk about posture and alignment and how to minimise the risk of desk related aches and pains. Often experts in their field will come and speak for free.
d. Offer an ergonomics assessment to all your staff. Actively encourage good posture and movement throughout the day by recommending staff leave their desk for lunch. Have a water cooler that staff can walk over to throughout the day.
2. Reward value not volume
If you put in place a rewards system based on being available day and night on the blackberry, working late into the night, setting up competition between your team members on who can stay at the office the longest, employees will do what they need to one keep their careers and two get ahead. Over time this will not serve you or the employees. Create a culture of rewarding value not volume of work. This is a tough one as every company competes for business and has deadlines to fulfill. However, a job well done which takes a little extra time is much better than a rushed shoddy job. Giving employees a feeling of pride over their work is also part their of health.
Again you can begin with small changes. What and how you reward will be individual to each company.
what would be more costly to your business - a budget for health and wellness that retains staff and increases productivity or replacing the same position 3 times in 18 months? Set aside a budget for health and wellness as part of the maintenance of your company. Any benefits that you can offer employees particularly ones that take care of their health and wellness are always greatly received and play an important part in staff retention.
a. Instead of going out for a big lunch to celebrate the company anniversary do something interactive and fun like a game of dodgeball.
b. Take a team bonding day with a private walking tour around an art gallery.
c. For the company Christmas party arrange a healthy cooking workshop that is interactive and ends with a big festive meal.
You can also consult health experts and consultants about implementing a bespoke structure that will work for your company. I personally think a cost efficient and relatively easy way is to build health and wellness lectures and workshops into company lunch times or friday afternoons acts as a continual reminder, motivation and inspiration to employees to take care of their health. This is one of the things I do.
The facts are simple - a healthy workforce makes a healthy successful company. If you are not actively promoting health and wellness in your company you are missing a trick. Look at what the 46 healthiest companies in America are doing....
The health and wellness of employees is not just the responsibility of the company. Find out how you as an employee can take responsibility for your health and wellness, whether your company promotes it or not, in Part 2 of this blog.
Hannah Richards is a Metabolic typing advisor and does functional diagnostic nutrition at
in NW London which she co-owns with Claud Sarjeant. Hannah is a great friend and colleague of mine and I asked her a few questions about how she gains so much success with all the clients I send to her for nutritional purposes. If you would like to work on another part of your healing and recovery as well as optimising your general health for life then this article is a great read for you.
KT: What is Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN)?
HR: FDN is all about finding the root cause of a person's symptoms by testing saliva, urine, blood and stool to determine where the root issue lies and then fixing it. The treatment is bespoke to each individual. I am also a metabolic typing advisor so I help people discover what foods in what ratios are right for their individual make up.
KT: How does what you do differ from regular nutritionist?
HR: With normal nutrition people tend to get treated with an allopathic approach - a this for that system. You'll often find nutritionists treat the symptoms. With FDN I find the root that is causing the symptoms and this can be highly individual for each person. Every disease will inhabit itself very differently in a person. We all oxidise food at different rates, we have different strengths and weaknesses in our autonomic nervous system, we have different acid/alkaline levels and different fat production. So I look at all these systems and the disease it comes with to find a solution that gets the person back to optimal health.
KT: What do you specialise in?
HR: Gastrointestinal rehabilitation. All disease starts in the gut so that is where I look first. Clients will come with symptoms such as weight gain, disturbed sleep, skin conditions, constipation but nearly all of my clients have got digestive issues - so I look to kill off parasites, restore balance in the gut and repair the mucosal gut lining.
KT: What role does nutrition play in general health?
HR: The first foundational principle of survival is hydration but the second is most definitely food. Most people poison themselves with the food that they eat. Food should be a medicine - you should be curing things with food. It is the most preventable measure that people have to cure their own health. If you get the right nutrition then you reverse disease.
KT: What is the right nutrition?
HR: Everyone is different. Your right nutrition is based on genetic history, cultural history, your autonomic nervous system and your ability to break food down. If you have good digestive capabilities and strong stomach acid you'll do well on fat and protein and burn it off. If you don't have good stomach acid and don't have a gall bladder then eating fat and protein is not going to be for you. You can be healthy eating a lot of carbs and healthy eating a lot of protein - you have to find the right fuel for your body.
KT: Why can't I just exercise?
HR: Exercise is a stress to the body. If you don't have enough energy to exercise then over exercising will cause the body to stress out and you might see weight gain. Find the right exercise to do for you. If the body is very stressed out then parasympathetic forms of exercise such as swimming and stretching would be better. If the body has the capacity to exercise then run and do your weights. Exercise is a science one size doesn't fit all. Make sure you are assessed and have your stress levels determined so you know what exercise will serve you.
KT: How does nutrition affect recovery from back pain and injury?
HR: The right nutrition can help your healing and recovery of damaged and inflamed tissues at a cellular level. If you are not getting the right nutrients how can your body heal from injury? It is an integral part of injury and back pain recovery.
KT: What is the most common nutrition pattern you see?
HR: In terms of pathologies the most common are the H pylori parasite and yeast overgrowths. In terms of symptoms, Eating less and gaining weight. Most clients that I see think exercise alone will make them lose weight and they do not know what is in their food or where it comes from.
KT: When working with you what are the most common outcomes of your work?
HR: Success! Weight loss totally achievable once everything else clears up. Underlying symptoms like parasite, adrenal fatigue, infection once cleared then weight loss is achieved. Lose weight, better sleep, stop waking up in the middle of the night, look younger, have more energy, eat a more varied diet, look and feel younger and slimmer and all their digestive symptoms will all go - constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, gas.
KT: What are your absolute no-nos?
HR: Soy, gluten, dairy only if it doesn't suit you. Sugar is as addictive as crack cocaine. Sugar is one of the major causes of cancer and destroys every single cell in the body at the cellular level. It's the world's biggest problem.
KT: Can you offer some general advice that someone can implement immediately?
HR: Hydration - drink water. People are so dehydrated - kidney stones. Easiest thing to fix your health by drinking 2 litres of water per day. Generations of people who were not brought up drinking water. We water flowers so they grow - we need to water the body so it grows otherwise it just shrivels up. So many diseases can be prevented by hydration.
So there you have it - Hannah Richards has spoken. I cannot more highly recommend Hannah for any and all nutrition, weight gain and gut related issues. To find out more about what Hannah does visit her website
. You can contact her at
or call the clinic on
0207 624 4194
where I shared the link to
on How stress can be your friend I promised I would also share the other 5 unsuspecting sources of stress that may be compromising your health. Although is true that your conscious perception of stressful situations can transform the outcome, there is little you can do about forms of stress you do not know about.
Did you know that stress can come from foods, hormone imbalance, electromagnetic sources, too little or too much exercise, and temperature changes? And did you know that all these sources of stress can contribute to a relapse of your injury, pain or discomfort?
Stress build up throughout the day
I'll use an example of how stress can build up without you even knowing. You wake up to an alarm after a restless nights sleep. You force off your tiredness with a coffee and rush out the house because you are late. You leave the house without a coat and it's too late to go back to get one now - you'll be cold all day. When you get to work the computers are down The You won't finish that proposal for a client today, you'll lose the contract and your bonus! You have a makeshift late lunch and more coffee to stay awake. You decide to shake off your stress by going for a run even though your back hurts and when you get home, you order a take-out and you can't wait to get the kids in bed so you can 'unwind' with a few glasses of wine before you fall asleep on the sofa in front of the TV. Sound familiar?
Many stressors one response
What if I told you that everything in the above example stresses your body? Think of your body having a threshold - a tolerance for all the stressful things we put it through. What if I told you that repeating this over and over would create a build up of stress that might result in a seemingly 'random' injury or illness? It does. The body only has one response to stress. It does not matter if the stressor comes from a food that you are unknowingly intolerant to or over exposure to the sun. The body's response is to shut down so it can heal. Repeated abuse of these systems results in tiredness, compromised immunity and suppression of healing and recovery. This leads to discomfort, pain, injury, illness and disease.
How to combat these sources of stress...
In this blog i'll give an overview of how to combat these unsuspecting sources of stress so you can begin to change your mindset on how to deal with your discomfort, pain, injury and or illness. As each of these subjects are pretty hefty on their own I'll be sharing information in more depth over the coming weeks.
Eat from the earth. Refrain from eating any foods that are packaged, processed and tampered with. Reduce stimulants like coffee to the minimum to prevent stressing out your adrenals. Be aware of your alcohol intake
Sleep enough and rest properly. Sleeping and rest are not the same thing! Sleep 8 an average of 8 hours in a blacked out room in silence. Maintain balance between work and life. Acknowledge that you are not superman/woman and that rest is as important as action.
Get enough sunlight for vitamin D but not too much - hardly a problem in the English winter months! Eliminate all electronics from your bedroom and switch off lights at the mains.
Definitely exercise but make sure you are not overdoing it. If you are injured seek professional help to recover effectively. Strike a balance between healing restorative exercise like tai chi and hatha yoga and more energising forms of exercise like hitting the gym or running.
5. Make stress your friend
If you haven't watched this video on how to make stress your friend I highly recommend it. Kelly McGonigal says it better than I ever could.
This seems rather obvious but pay attention to your body temperature. Anything that keeps you too hot, burns you or adversely keeps you too cold is a stressor. Make sure you are temperate in all situations - at home, work and when you sleep.
Lastly, this is a huge topic and I'll be covering smaller chunks in finer detail as the weeks go on so you can begin to make changes that will result in a healthier, happier pain free life! If you have questions please email me.
Information sourced from Paul Chek's How to Eat Move and Be Healthy book, CHEK Institute, USA.
If you are in business and or climbing the corporate ladder you'll know all too well that feeling of invincibility. It's a divine trait and can also be equally as detrimental - unsuspectingly to your spine and your heart.
Clients come to me in their mid-30s to mid-40s with back, neck and shoulder pain and in their mid forties to fifties with heart trouble. One way or another, a life time of stress will get you. And when it does you will have to stop completely to heal and recover. There is nothing more soul destroying than being close to the height of your career and having to take 6 months or longer off because you can't get out of bed. It's probably not something you think about at all - and I am with you that you shouldn't have to. An awareness and application of a few basic support systems can minimise the risk of present or future work related back pain and injury. Here are my top 5 counteractions to minimise the risk of irreparable damage to your spine so you don't have to think about it!
1. Your state of mind. No one is invincible. If you are striving to achieve a top job it is an endurance race not a sprint. Pace yourself and take time out. The first step is to rethink the invincibility cloak - save it for dress up with the kids!
2. Your body heals and recovers from the stress you put it through daily when you sleep. Sleep is not an option for minimising injury and illness prevention in the future - it is a necessity. Both quality and quantity are important. Aim to sleep for 8 hours a night ideally between 10pm and 6am. Take out any electronics from your bedroom and switch off lights at the mains. Your room should be pitch black and as quiet as possible for a really good quality of sleep.
3. The food you put in your body becomes you. If you eat sugary processed foods your body will be starved of the nutrients that heal and restore from daily stressors. Also not eating enough will cause stress and impair effective recovery. Every cell in your body is renewed over 7 years. So short term fixes will not work well for injury and illness prevention in the future. Make a commitment to yourself to make a change for life - feed your success by eating what nature grows for you.
4. Movement is absolutely essential for injury prevention. If you sit at a desk during your working day you MUST make an effort to move either in the morning or in the evening. Exercise plays a direct role in maintaining good posture and keeping your joints strong and stable. A balance of high intensity and restorative exercise is also important. Too much high intensity will stress you out and could lead to an over-training injury. The quality of movement has a huge impact on how successful it becomes for injury prevention. If you turn up the gym and have a go on what looks good or manageable I would suggest seeking advice. At the very least find a good trainer or corrective exercise specialist with experience, top qualifications and a passion for their job to design and regularly upgrade a programme for you.
5. Strive for a balanced life. Spread your energy and interests wide. This idea is about giving your brain a new stimulus - a chance to work in another way. It is said that a change is as good as a rest right? So change your stimulus to give your brain a rest. Mental stress is as detrimental to your body as physical. This will mean stepping away from the office - and the blackberry.
Taking these 5 points on board and implementing them for life going forwards will minimise the chances of injury and illness so that you can enjoy a long, healthy and successful career.