I love food and I want to live healthily to enjoy my family, my friends and new experiences in life. One of the most valuable aspects of adult life is the pleasure we get from sharing delicious food and meals with others who also like to indulge their passion for food and good conversation!
But what if something happens in life that starts to threaten such important pleasures?
A number of years ago, unbeknown to me or anyone else, my sugar addiction was slowly eroding my health and in particular; my mind. In fact, my addiction to chocolate and cakes was not simply an issue of needing something sweet after every meal: It was becoming an obsession, and an embarrassing one at that, spiralling out of control. Having finished one bar of chocolate, my concentration levels were shot to pieces and my thoughts kept coming back to where and when I would have the next sweet treat………naturally leading to frustration and huge mood swings, and an increasing feeling of failure at my lack of self-control.
Worse, and made worse by low concentration levels, I began to notice that my memory was also beginning to falter. The fear of diabetes, heart disease and a deteriorating brain capacity finally made me take action, but not before I had been thoroughly tested at Bonheiden Hospital in Belgium for early onset dementia.
This was my wake-up call.
There was nothing wrong with my brain that they could see, but my memory, my uncontrollable mood swings and my lack of self-confidence had become so bad that there had to be a reason behind it.
I started to read and google and quickly realised my diet was the most likely cause. Having never had a weight problem, I had thought I was invincible, and could eat anything I liked because I never put on weight. Slowly I began to realise I had probably been destroying my insides by living on rubbish and mainly sweet foods for far too long.
It was only years later that I realised that my chronic, regular UTIs, which disappeared and never came back after I gave up sugar, must have been caused by my diet as well.
I was very lucky to meet a Nutritional Adviser, who introduced me to a number of the now well-known names in the area of Nutrition, which in turn helped me to reverse this trend and get control of my eating habits. This was also when I decided to study Nutrition.
Since then I have worked with others who, like me, wanted first and foremost to get control of their sugar addictions. But we are all unique and not everyone suffers weight and health concerns because of excess sugar.
Based on my own frightening experience of a sugar addiction spiralling out of control, my starting point is first to understand the uniqueness of whoever I work with. I need to understand their challenges because I am passionate about making sure my advice will add real value to people who need lasting solutions. And to do that, I need to understand what works for them and what doesn’t. Whilst nutrition is based on science, there is no ‘one size fits all’ in the area of eating habits.
We are all unique and the product of individual and different habits, likes and dislikes developed over years. These originate in very early childhood, and are often impacted by psychological aspects of our upbringing.
So, whilst children have the opportunity to build healthy habits that they will take with them throughout their entire lives, for adults there is no quick fix to unlearn unhealthy eating habits. The reality is that, as adults, we actually need to replace some of these habits with new and healthier habits in order to improve our ability to manage our weight and avoid serious diseases. This takes time, effort and a big portion of determination.
That is my goal: To help build the new habits that will increase your enjoyment of food, in a healthy way, for the long term.
And this is important: I do not offer quick fix faddy diets, but I do offer to work with you – with the longer term in mind – to support you in building the new healthier habits that will enable you to be in control of your weight and what you eat. And equally importantly; my focus is to analyse and advise you in ways to increase your energy levels, the enjoyment of your own health and ultimately the enjoyment of life.
So, let me help you improve the quality and quantity of what you eat and when you eat it, so you control your food, not the other way around, where it controls you, the way sugar controlled me.
My Experience and Qualifications:
My original degree is in Chemical Engineering. Since then I have studied Nutrition and Metabolic Therapies as well as Lifestyle Medicine and Sugar and Processed Food Addiction.
I have an Advanced Diploma in Nutrition & Weight Management and am certified by the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine and the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine to practice Lifestyle Medicine. I am also a certified and licenced Practitioner for the screening and diagnosis of Sugar and Processed Food Addictions and an X-Pert Diabetes coach and trainer.
I have a deep interest in the biochemical processes that happen in our bodies when we eat and digest food and drink, so I keenly follow the latest developments in the area of nutrition science and lifestyle related disease.
My main areas of interest are in helping people with food addictions and metabolic disease, such as diabetes type 2, change tastes and habits in order to find sustainable ways to improve their health and stay in control of their weight.
I am also passionate about helping young parents to understand how to avoid leading their children down the path to longer term health challenges, obesity and lifestyle related diseases.