Polly Douglas Nutritional Therapist

Polly Douglas Nutritional Therapist

Polly Douglas, Nutritional Therapist

I will use this blog to post recipes, nutritional therapy information and general info about healthy eating.

Healthy Working Lives

nutritional therapyPosted by Polly Douglas Mon, February 29, 2016 12:19:36

Nutrition in the Work Place

Healthy Working Lives

Most people think that nutrition is just about weight management, we are used to thinking that nutrition can be used to balance the weight of the work force. An overweight work force may have a higher risk of many of the major health risks we face today, including Diabetes, Heart Disease and Cancer. However, diet can be used to manage more than just weight, and may benefit a huge number of the work force, not just those who have weight issues, or specific health concerns.

Stress and tiredness are very common complaints which lead to many people taking time off sick, or under achieving in the work place. By balancing out the diet and learning some basic dietary rules it is easy to improve symptoms and increase productivity. By eating a healthy balanced diet you may also boost your immune system and reduce the number of days taken off sick, for common seasonal ailments such as colds and allergies.

In the work place, nutrition advice can be used to balance energy, improve focus and concentration and reduce the number of days being taken off sick.

As part of the Scottish NHS initiative, one of the aims of the Healthy Working Lives Award is to ‘promote the benefits of a balanced diet and facilitate/enable opportunities for employees to eat more healthily’, please see below for suggestions on how I can make this easier for you and your company to achieve this.

Polly Douglas Nutrition

Polly Douglas is a fully qualified nutritional therapist with professional membership to the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).

Generally, nutritional therapy (NT) is an individualised complementary therapy. Clients will have a unique set of symptoms, medical history and dietary choices. Polly can work out the best diet, lifestyle improvements and supplements to optimise health and energy. Food and nutrients are used to help the body heal itself, trying to focus on underlying causes, rather than specific symptoms. NT can be used to help support many health issues and also weight management, stress reduction, energy and mood improvement.

However nutritional therapy can be delivered in a more general fashion, targeting groups and focusing on the most common problem areas within the work place. Please see below the ways in which I can help you educate your employees, and help improve the wellbeing of your workforce, and help to reduce the number of sick days they may be taking.

Seminars

A number of one-off seminars can be provided on a number of topics and subjects.

Seminars are designed to fit into a lunch break, or as part of a healthy living information day syllabus. A tasting table or specific examples of food can be provided, at additional cost.

Topics can include the following, although if there are specific requirements, please discuss with Polly.

· Energise! Based on maintaining energy, basic advice on blood sugar balance, sleep, exercise and hydration

· Stress management- looking at specific foods that can help support the adrenal glands and help us manage how we react to stressful situations.

· Sleep- looking at how the diet and specific foods can effect sleep patterns, blood sugar balance, lifestyle tips

· Immune Boosting- aimed at reducing the risk of seasonal ailments such as the common cold, and hayfever. These can be changed to suit the season, eg winter health and summer health.

· Cholesterol and heart health- looking at the risk factors and how to avoid them, specific foods to help lower and manage cholesterol levels, lifestyle and dietary tips to reduce the risk of cardio vascular disease.

· Good Digestion- gut health is key to good health, and so many people suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and other digestive issues these days, something that we don’t talk about, but a major reason for taking sick days and feeling poorly.

· Staying healthy- a less specific session, aimed at basic healthy eating principals, why they are important and tips on making it easier to stick to.

6 Week Programme

There is so much information out there about what is healthy eating, should we eat low fat? or low sugar foods? what is the best diet? Or people think they eat healthily, but under investigation, is it a healthy balanced diet?

This 6 week programme has been developed to give basic healthy eating tips. Based on a group environment, with topics including blood sugar balance, energy, emotional eating and portion control as well as healthy meal suggestions and ideas for better snacks. The 45minute weekly sessions are informally provided, and the group are encouraged to take part in games and discussion around the topic. The sessions are designed to fit into a lunch break, to make it easier for the participants to attend each week. Each week the session will develop from the previous week and over the 6 weeks, those taking part will develop a good understanding of what a healthy balanced diet is, and how to go about providing it for themselves and their families. It is not meant to be a ‘diet club’ there is no weigh in and no measurements are taken. The group setting is perfect for creating an on-site support system for each other, during the 6 weeks, and beyond. Participants may find it easier to make changes to their dietary habits, if they are not the odd one out.

The outcomes of this programme aim to improve energy balance, increase concentration levels and eliminate the 3pm slump. Some people may also have some weight loss, and find that they are dealing with stressful situations better than before.

The 6 week programme could be extended to an 8 week or 12 week programme, where we would then look at specific health issues in a bit more detail, for example digestive health, stress management, cholesterol and heart disease, diabetes and immune boosting. Additional sessions could be tailored for the group, as required.

One-to-One Sessions

Do you have a number of staff with specific health issues? Are there people who have been struggling with long term, chronic conditions?

Nutritional Therapy can be provided on-site, as a one-to-one consultation. Appointments are normally one hour in length, a comprehensive medical history is taken including a discussion about current symptoms and problems, followed by an individualized plan of action. This may include dietary changes (e.g. removing gluten from the diet, or eating more protein), or supplements to help support the body.

Nutritional therapy has been shown to help those suffering from chronic stress, chronic fatigue, digestive issues, cardiovascular health problems, diabetes, skin issues, allergic conditions, inflammatory diseases (e.g. arthritis) and many more.

Due to confidentiality issues it is not possible to deal with individual’s problems during group sessions. It is not usually advised to suggest supplements during group sessions due to possible interactions with medications.

Food and Beverage Providers

Do you have on site catering facilities? Would you like to provide more healthy, balanced meals for your staff? Polly can discuss menu planning and snack provision with your catering manager or chef.

Exercise Programme

Polly Douglas works closely with Scott Lister of Sport Link (http://www.sportlink.org.uk/about-us.html) who provide on-site exercise programmes for employees. Diet and exercise are key to improved health and wellbeing, so why not make it really easy for your workforce to access both, on site, by discussing it with us today?

Health Checks

In association with Natural Alternative (http://www.natural-alternative.co.uk/health-checks/) health checks can be carried out, to help your workforce be aware of any health risks, and giving some tips on how to improve things. A vital part of any organisations health & wellbeing strategy. Assisting in improving morale, reducing absenteeism, improving productivity.

Prices

Type of Service

Price

Seminars

per hour (or part of)

£120

6, 8 or 12 week programme

per person (max 15), per session

£10

One-to-one sessions

per day

(1 hour or 30min sessions)

£300

includes information handouts, and an individualised plan of action per person

Food and Beverage

per hour

Up to £50

each job will be priced individually

Polly Douglas works independently and is open to discussion on how to help you work with your employees to help them follow a healthier, more balanced diet. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss alternative arrangements to those laid out above.

Contact Details

Polly Douglas, Nutritional Therapist 07837 100 642 pollydouglasnutrition@gmail.com

For more information, see www.pollydouglasnutrition.com

For more information about the Healthy Working Lives Award: http://www.healthyworkinglives.com/



Breakfast

nutritional therapyPosted by Polly Douglas Mon, February 29, 2016 12:06:16

BREAKFAST, THE BEST MEAL OF THE DAY!

Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper

How many of us fuel our day with coffee and biscuits, quick fixes that keep us going? No time to sit and eat lunch or breakfast? We may keep going, but we’re doing nothing for our long term energy levels or our waist lines.

What and how we eat has an impact on how we concentrate throughout the day. Starting the day with a nutritious and balanced breakfast can help us remain alert and less likely to reach for the chocolate biscuits at 10am.

By combining complex carbohydrates and protein in your breakfast you give yourself a slow burning, long term energy release which will see you through to lunch time. Breakfast is often overlooked, or taken quickly in the car, or in front of your e-mails, but by taking a few minutes to make sure you eat a good quality breakfast you may find you are more alert throughout the day and can concentrate better during the afternoon.

Some easy changes to make:

· Add ground nuts or seeds to porridge, avoid sweetening with sugar/honey, use fruit instead.

· Granola or muesli with added nuts, served with natural yogurt and fresh fruit.

· Have an egg on wholegrain toast, no time? A hardboiled egg can be prepared the night before.

· Nut butters, instead of jam on your toast use peanut or almond butter and half a mashed banana

Our traditional choices of processed cereals or toast and jam will give us an instant hit of sugar in the morning, raising our blood sugar and insulin levels. Our body reacts quickly and soon processes this, turning excess sugar into fat, and at the same time dropping our blood sugar levels too low, and encouraging us to eat more carbohydrate rich, sugary foods. With a dip in sugar levels our energy and concentration also dips and does nothing for our ability to focus on our daily work.

Polly Douglas is a fully qualified nutritional therapist offering advice on how to help support your workforce through the dietary choices they are making. It is not about changing everything completely, but small, achievable changes can make a huge difference to how we feel. Polly can provide seminars or workshops to help explain the changes needed, or can advise chefs and food providers about changing menus to help support a healthier, happier workforce.

www.pollydouglasnutrition.com



Food Allergies and Intolerances

nutritional therapyPosted by Polly Douglas Thu, January 28, 2016 11:33:36

As a nutritional therapist I am often asked what the differences are between food allergies and intolerances. The words are often used wrongly, leading to confusion and misunderstanding, so let me try to set the record straight.

Allergies are fast acting reactions after exposure to an allergen. These reactions can be anything from skin rashes to swelling of the tongue and wind pipe, which can be life threatening if not dealt with quickly. Most people are only allergic to 1 or 2 foods but even trace amounts of these allergens can cause problems for those affected. Allergies can be tested for via the GP, and are known as IgE or anaphylactic reactions. They are long term, and once you have an allergy you can’t change the immune system, so you must be careful for the rest of your life. Only 2% of adults and 6-8% of children in the UK are thought to have food allergies, nuts, eggs, milk, fish and shellfish are the most common examples.

Intolerances are much more difficult to diagnose or even realise you have them. Reactions can take up to 72 hours to occur and multiple foods can be the cause. Intolerances can be outgrown, and over time food intolerances can change. The reactions can affect any organ system, often the digestive system and skin, but also mood and respiratory systems are involved, and even joints and muscles causing arthritic pain and stiffness. It is estimated that 45% of the population has at least one food intolerance. Testing for intolerances can be carried out, but not usually within the NHS, and a cost is usually incurred, going to see a private practitioner. I would recommend getting an IgG immunological test carried out, as these have a scientific basis and studies to back up the efficacy of the results.

Trying to manage suspected food allergies can be difficult and time consuming, but sometimes can be guessed at (an educated guess) before going to the expense of a test. Keeping a food diary, with an extra column to jot down symptoms can be quite revealing. You need to be quite precise about writing everything down, including timings, but over a few weeks it may be possible to see patterns emerging. Jotting down things like bowel movements, sleep quality, energy levels and obvious symptoms such as itching, or wheezing may show up links with foods you would not normally suspect. However if these foods are regulars in your diet (wheat, dairy, eggs are common offenders), it becomes a bit more difficult to tie the symptoms to the foods.

Often people try giving up the obvious foods, but don’t feel that it has made any difference to them. This is common when giving up wheat or dairy foods. As a practitioner I often suggest taking one or both of these foods out of the diet, but I also use supplements to help the gut heal, while removing the offending foods, and then slowly re-introducing them after a 4-6 week period. The supplements can make a big difference at this stage. Sometimes there is no difference in symptoms, and I often suggest an allergy test at this point, otherwise the guessing game can go on for a long time, and it can become very tiring and difficult to stick to. If people are seeing an improvement often they decide they don’t want to go back to the offending foods, or they start to re-introduce them one at a time, and in a measured way. On day one eat 1 portion (ie 1 slice of bread), on day 2 eat two portions and on day 3 eat three portions, keeping a diary and a note on any symptoms or changes in mood etc. Each of the excluded foods can be brought back into the diet like this, and then you know which has caused most problems. It is a little bit like weaning a baby. If you are giving up dairy, re-introduce cheese, yogurt and milk separately so you can see if one type of the food has a bigger impact on symptoms than others.

Food intolerances can be battled, and it may be that you can tolerate a small amount of the offending food, but not eat it all of the time. There is a balance to be found between missing out on your favourite foods and having your symptoms, it is amazing how quickly you can learn to listen to your body and manage things much better, once you have worked out what it is you are reacting to.

Polly Douglas is a nutritional therapist working in Edinburgh and Bridge of Allan. She can be contacted on 07837 100 642 if you would like to discuss symptoms or food intolerance testing. www.pollydouglasnutrition.com



Getting the Balance Right

nutritional therapyPosted by Polly Douglas Wed, March 07, 2012 13:07:01
Why do we eat food? There are many answers to this question, ‘it’s sociable’, ‘it’s a comfort’, ‘because I’m hungry’…The basic biological reason that we eat food is to give our body and brain the energy and building blocks needed to survive and carry on functioning. Within our body there are hundreds of thousands of enzyme driven chemical reactions going on, to maintain the internal environment and keep it stable and balanced, so that it works as efficiently as possible. This internal balance is homeostasis, and the body struggles to maintain homeostasis at all costs. Every time we eat or drink the internal chemistry of our body is changed slightly, so the homeostasis is upset. Enzymes, hormones, buffers and other biochemicals start to work, to get the balance back.

When we eat a delicious doughnut with our mid morning coffee, we do many things to our internal chemistry. First we add a lot of sugar and highly processed carbohydrates into our stomach, along with caffeine, water, proteins and fats. Our body needs to break these down the fats and proteins to make the essential building blocks for our survival, but also it needs to keep our brain fed, so the sugar is absorbed quickly through the stomach wall, and directly into the blood stream. Glucose has high priority, it is one of the few things that can pass the blood brain barrier and it is the only thing the brain can use as fuel. This sudden increase in glucose in our blood, forces the pancreas to produce insulin, which is a hormone needed to allow the sugar in the blood, into the body cells, so that it can be used as a fuel source. The insulin tells the cells to open the door, a sugar delivery is coming.

Once the insulin has been produced, it removes the sugar from the blood, which is either used by the cells and burnt for energy, or if there is too much of it, it will be converted to glycogen in the muscles and liver or fat and stored for times of famine. If we have had a highly sugary meal, we will produce a large amount of insulin, which will quickly remove the sugar from the blood, and will leave us feeling hungry again, very quickly. If the brain gets the message that the sugar in our blood is below optimum it sends out hunger messages which encourages us to eat something again. What usually happens is we feel hungry quickly and feel we need to grab something quick to satisfy us. This is often a biscuit, chocolate bar, fruit or bag of crisps, again these are all carbohydrate based snacks and therefore break down to sugars in the body, sending the cycle of high blood sugar, insulin, low blood sugar off again. Our bodies are regularly treated this way 3,4,5,6 times each day, giving our internal homeostasis a really hard time, and can lead to upset hormone balances, enzyme malfunction, inability to process the sugar properly and weight gain.

A diet filled with processed, quick and easy options is usually high in fat and particularly high in carbohydrates and low in protein. The best way to slow down the quick release of sugars into the blood stream is to ingest some protein rich food at the same time as the carbohydrates. Also making the carbohydrate more complex and slower releasing will help reduce the speed in which the sugars are released, this means choosing brown or wholemeal options, bread, pasta, rice etc. Protein rich foods include low fat meat, poultry, fish, eggs, pulses, legumes, quinoa, dairy foods, tofu and quorn. Having a little bit of protein with each meal, complex carbohydrates and increasing the vegetable portion of our meals helps us to feel fuller for longer and is the best way to keep our blood sugars regulated which helps us to loose weight, regulate our energy levels and helps to regulate hormones too.

Eating small meals regularly and not missing meals is also important. Three meals per day plus 2 snacks, each with protein is recommended. Giving the body slow release, regular meals will reduce the occurrence of peaks and troughs in blood sugar and insulin levels, reducing the hunger pangs and decreasing the chances of us grabbing for the nearest quick snack to fulfil our needs.

Women who suffer from PMS or infertility and anyone who has depression, insomnia, low blood pressure, headaches and cravings (to name a few) may benefit from balancing blood sugar levels, and not only will their weight regulate, but some of their symptoms may be alleviated too.

Suggestions for meals:

Breakfast:

Boiled or Poached egg with a slice of wholemeal toast

Porridge with seeds and berries

Lunch:

Chicken and brown rice soup

Lentil soup with rye bread

Salad with chicken/egg/tuna and some oatcakes

Brown bread roll/sandwich with plenty of tuna/ham/cheese/egg and a side salad

Dinner:

Fresh fish/poultry with vegetables and new potatoes (skin on)

Chicken or lentil curry with brown rice

Mixed vegetable tortilla with salad

Snacks:

Dried fruit and nuts

Oatcakes/ryvita/rice cakes/crackers with hummus/olive paste/cheese/taramosalata

Smoothie made with yogurt & fruit

Detox-day 1

nutritional therapyPosted by Polly Douglas Sun, January 15, 2012 11:18:44

I have decided to start a detox today, after Christmas I feel a bit bloated and 'unclean' far too many pork products, sugary treats and alcohol, and definately not enough fresh air and vegetables!! I also feel a bit low and tired so i hope that giving myself a spring clean, and a kick up the backside I will feel a bit better to tackle the rest of this busy year.

The first week is not too bad, cutting down on wheat, dairy, sugar and caffeine. Most of this i try to do anyway, although over christmas i have been much less strict! The hardest bit will be cutting out alcohol. I am not a heavy drinker by any means but I do enjoy a glass of wine or a G&T, and I will miss it over the next few weeks. I also need to increse my vegetable intake, especially green, orange and yellow coloured ones, so lots of soups and stews, stir fries and salads I think. I also need to increase my fluid intake, so lots of water and herbal teas-especially detox type ones (nettle, dandelion, fennel, mint etc). The purpose of this is to reduce the toxins going in to my body and to get it prepared for next week, which is a more hard going...

This week I am taking some supplements to help eliminate toxins, support my digestive system and help my liver to detox. it is important when you are detoxing to have all the excretory systems in your body working well, so that any toxins being released, are eliminated, and not circulated around, and re-absorbed. It is a little bit like stirring up a fish tank to get rid of the left over food, and fish poo, but not turning on the filters, it all floats about for a while then settles back down.

I'll keep you posted, and let you know how I'm getting on. Next week things get much more difficult!

Meal with a Message 1

nutritional therapyPosted by Polly Douglas Wed, November 23, 2011 12:39:47

Meal with a Message - Food to Support the Liver

22nd November 2011 The Inn at Kippen

The evening started with a demonstration of juicing. I produced a carrot, apple, fennel and beetroot juice for the 12 assembled guests, and then after tasting the juice they took their seats.

I continued the evening with a brief introduction as to why the meal had been focussed around liver support, how the liver works and why it is so important to support it so that it can function optimally. There was also some information about the juice and the starter, explaining why these foods had been selected and which nutrients were being supplied, relating this back to the liver function.

The juice contains many potent antioxidants including betacarotene, vitamin C, betacyanin and coumarins all of which help to mop up free radicals and other intermediary products produced by the liver.

The starter was a chicken terrine with savoy cabbage, leeks and tarragon served with a piccalilli and oat cakes. Chicken is a good low fat source of protein, and the cruciferous vegetables served with it (cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi) have liver supporting and anti cancer properties. The other vegetables contain further useful elements such as sulphur, a range of B vitamins and further antioxidants, all of which are essential for a healthy liver function.

The main course was a Thai broth with salmon and rice noodles. Again salmon is a good source of protein, with the added benefit of being a good source of omega 3 oils, which are anti inflammatory and essential to health generally. The broth was hot and tangy with chilli, lemon grass, coriander and ginger. Mussels added a source of zinc and the brown rice noodles added B vitamins and slow releasing carbohydrate to the meal. Extra antioxidants, vitamins and fibre were added with red peppers, pak choi and fennel.

Dessert was a poached pear with chocolate and coconut sauce. It was so yummy, I forgot to take a photo before I started eating!

The pear was poached in a light syrup with orange, cloves and cinnamon, which is known to help balance blood sugar levels. A stuffing of nuts and dried fruit with spices added a little protein to the dish and gave it an exotic spicy flavour. The chocolate and coconut sauce was full of antioxidants and good fats which the body can burn as fuel.

The meal was finished off with a selection of Pukka teas, tailored to the evening, either cleanse, detox or three ginger.

All the food served was wheat and dairy free. Organic wine was served with the meal, in order to reduce toxic load on the liver!

The evening was light hearted and relaxed, with opportunity to ask questions and discuss the food served, and food in general.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, good company and fantastic food, supplied by John and Laurie from the Inn at Kippen. A big thank you to the Chefs and staff at the Inn and especially to those of you who attended, I hope you enjoyed the evening too, but please send me your feed back so that I can improve for next time.

I hope to do some further events in a similar mode, perhaps a weight management one for the New Year? Let me know what you think.

Keep Healthy,

Polly x

Functional Festivities

nutritional therapyPosted by Polly Douglas Wed, October 26, 2011 14:45:36

Functional Festivities

Tips to avoid feeling bloated and hungover

So Christmas is almost upon us once more, I know I can’t believe it either. All the planning, organising of diaries, shopping and food to think about, it’s no wonder we go back to work after the festivities feeling that our clothes don’t fit quite so well and we haven’t got quite so much energy as we used to have. We all over indulge at Christmas time, and that is part of the fun and excitement of the season, but it doesn’t have to mean that we feel tired and bloated and our hangovers take longer and longer to shift. The key to feeling healthier throughout the festive season is to getting your liver in tip top shape before the over indulging starts, and keep looking after it in between rich feasts and alcohol fuelled parties.

The liver is the power house to our detoxification system. All ‘toxins’ that we consume, including medications, foods, drugs, alcohol etc, put on our skin and breathe in, pass through our liver to be converted into harmless waste products which can be safely excreted from our bodies. This happens in two stages, the first phase breaks down the toxins, which can make them into even more harmful intermediary by-products, and then the second phase sticks them together again to make them into new harmless substances. The trouble is that quite often phase one works more quickly than phase two, so the toxic intermediate substances don’t get stuck together quickly enough, and they get back into the blood stream and circulate around the body, giving us less energy, headaches, nausea etc. Does this sound familiar following a big night out?

The liver relies on hundreds of different enzymes (biochemicals which breakdown specific toxins) to carry out its job. The enzymes require many different co-factors to carry out their job successfully, if the co-factors are missing the toxins don’t get broken down efficiently, or the correct bits aren’t there to stick them back together again, either way, the detox pathways can’t work properly and therefore we feel lousy. This may all seem a little bit complex, but hopefully it will make the upcoming advice make more sense.

These co-factors aren’t anything that you haven’t heard of, they are basically protein and vitamins & minerals, specific ones carry our specific jobs within the liver. If we prepare for the increased work that our livers will be doing over the festive period by increasing our co-factors and getting ourselves ‘cleaned up’ now, hopefully we will get through the festivities in better shape too. There may be other factors affecting our liver function, underlying health issues and medications being major ones. However eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals will not affect these, taking supplements with very high concentrations may have side effects, and medical advice should be sought before starting to take them.

So, which co-factors are the most important and how do we increase our intake? First of all protein is important, so we should be eating small amounts of protein rich foods 3-5 times per day. Protein at breakfast is an excellent way to start the day and helps to give the liver an all day round source of one of its major co-factors, needed in both phases of liver function. Protein coming from red meat and processed meat products (bacon, sausages) are difficult for our digestive system to get at and can form more of the toxic intermediaries, so plant based protein sources are gentler on the liver as a general rule of thumb. B vitamins are essential for many functions in the body, especially liver function. Most of the B vitamins can be found in green leafy vegetables, whole grains and other vegetables, however vitamin B12 can only be found in animal based products. Sulphur is one of the key components in phase 2, it can be found in eggs, garlic and green leafy vegetables.

As well as giving the liver the basic ingredients to do its job, we should also protect it from any extra toxins or intermediaries which slip through the net, so we need to have plenty of antioxidants. The main antioxidants are Vitamins A, C & E, selenium and zinc. These will boost your immune system, keep your heart healthy and improve your skin as well as protecting your liver. All fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, betacarotene is a precursor to vitamin A and is found in orange/yellow vegetables in particular. Pre-formed Vitamin A is found in liver and whole milk. Vitamin C is found in fruit and vegetables generally. Vitamin E is found in oils, seeds & oily fish. Selenium and zinc is found in highest concentrations in Brazil nuts and oysters respectively.

As you can see fruits and vegetables are mentioned quite regularly above, they supply the body with minerals, vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, natural fibre and water. You should eat a wide variety of colours to get all of the different nutrients you need. Aim to eat one salad a day in addition to a dark green vegetable with dinner such as broccoli, spinach, kale or Swiss chard to up your vegetable and fiber intake. Try making smoothies with fruit and natural yoghurt to increase fruit intake.

It’s not so difficult is it? I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t say that you should be monitoring your alcohol consumption and 2 glasses of wine per night is much easier for your liver to cope with than 2 bottles on Christmas day, but we all know we’ll have days like that. Drink plenty of water or herb/fruit teas to flush out excess toxins, caffeine and fizzy drinks may seem like the answer, but they just add to the toxins circulating through your system so avoid them if possible.

See if you can increase your intake of vitamin B and sulphur rich foods over the next 2 months and you will be surprised about the improvements you will feel in many aspects of your health and well being, and you never know, you might not get such a sore head on new years day!

Polly Douglas is a qualified nutritional therapist and a member of The British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT). She will be carrying out nutritional therapy sessions on a one-to-one basis, or for families needing some advice on healthier eating, or more specific health issues, across Central Scotland. She can also offer food allergy testing, hair mineral analysis testing and many other tests which can help to give more specific information about what is happening within the body e.g. stool tests to check for parasites, or digestive inefficiencies and hormone screening for PMS or fertility issues. Find her at www.facebook.com/pollydouglasnutrition.

Co-Factor

Food Source

Protein

lean meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, soya, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, whey, hemp, quorn

B Vitamins (B2, B3 & folic acid)

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B12

Lamb, asparagus, mushrooms, eggs, wholegrains (oats, brown rice etc), avocado, nuts and seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, beans and pulses

Watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, bananas, squash, broccoli, asparagus, lentils, red kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, onions, nuts and seeds

Sardines, lamb, eggs, shrimp, cottage cheese, milk, turkey, chicken, cheese

Sulphur

Garlic, onions, cabbage, eggs, legumes, whole grains, Brussels sprouts

Antioxidants

Vitamin A

Betacarotene

Vitamin C

Vitamin E

Selenium

Zinc

Liver, whole milk

Carrots, watercress, cabbage, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin, mango, broccoli, apricots, tangerines, asparagus

Peppers, watercress, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, lemons, kiwi fruit, melons, oranges, grapefruit, limes, tomatoes

Unrefined corn oil, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, other seeds, nuts and beans, wheat-germ, sardines, sweet potato

Brazil nuts, molasses, mushrooms, herring, cottage cheese, cabbage, cod, chicken

Oysters (and other seafood), ginger root, lamb, pecan nuts, haddock, rye, oats, almonds, eggs