Author Archives: daniatrapani

About daniatrapani

I believe in teaching, educating and making people aware of their health, diet and lifestyle choices. I encourage my clients to understand the importance of a healthy diet as well as a balanced lifestyle in order to achieve optimum results. Each of my clients is treated as an individual and I combine a mixture of nutrition and naturopathy to create a tailored health programme.

Stress and the Digestive System

We have all suffered from stress at some point in our lives whether due to exams, work, a bereavement, an illness, children, divorce, financial troubles or other. Most of us when under stress instead of finding ways to relax tend to have more coffee, fizzy drinks and sweets to keep us going. When you are stressed the digestive system tends to shut down and you are not assimilating any nutrients. Therefore it is best to eat very light small meals through out the day.

Coffee, cortisol and stress

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands which is released in response to a person being afraid or stressed. In a ‘fight or flight’ situation in the old days the cortisol would be utilised as the person either fought or ran for their lives. Nowadays unfortunately we seem to be more and more stressed and cortisol is not utilised and too much remains in the body. Today we sit at our desk drinking coffee to keep going producing more cortisol and not exercising to get rid of it. Cortisol levels are high in the mornings and lower at night. It regulates blood pressure, helps the body to utilise glucose for energy. It sends a message to the liver to release stored glycogen to fuel the muscles and the brain. However too much stored in the body can result in weight gain, depression, mental illness, impaired memory and brain function. This is why too much coffee when stressed is not a good idea.

Juicing

Juicing is good for quick absorption of nutrients. It takes 15 minutes for the nutrients from a juice to hit the blood stream. This is very good in people that have digestive issues, are suffering  from an illness and their digestion is compromised. It is also good for people that are stressed as stress places a strain on the digestive system.  Juicing is also good as it includes raw foods packed full of enzymes that are lost during cooking. Juicing places less of a strain on the liver. Ideally fruit and vegetable juices should not be mixed together. Apples and carrots are the exception. Since a juice is very quick in hitting the blood stream it is important not to use too much fruit as this can cause a spike in sugar levels. Vegetable juices are best for people suffering from blood sugar problems. Fruit juices are high in sugar and can also cause weight gain as juicing removes the fibre.

Removing the fibre is what makes juices easier to be absorbed as your digestive system does not have to work hard to absorb the nutrients. Also in a juice you can pack larger quantities of vegetables than you would be able to eat. This means you are able to get more nutrients from a glass of juice.

Foods not to eat and foods to eat

Red meat should be avoided as it is hard to digest. Avoid all stimulants such as coffee, alcohol and all fizzy drinks. These will put pressure on the adrenal glands. Reduce your intake of refined white carbohydrates like white pasta, bread and all cakes and biscuits. Stay away from all dairy. No rich sauces.

Cook everything fresh from scratch. No ready made meals. You want to eat foods that are easier to digest like soups, sweet potatoes mashed, steamed fish and vegetables. Include more ginger, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, dandelion greens, broccoli, bananas, tofu, quinoa, millet, spelt, lentils, chickpeas, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower, flax and chia seeds, oily fish like wild salmon and sardines. Try to eat everything baked, grilled or steamed. If you are particularly stressed I would recommend smoothies, juices and soups as these are probably the best foods when highly stressed.

Include more super foods into your diet like wheatgrass shots, barley grass and spirulina. Wheatgrass shots should be taken on their own. barley grass and spirulina you can add to smoothies.

I hope the above has helped. If you would like a bespoke nutritional and lifestyle plan please email me or purchase my online initial consultation.

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Eating on a Budget

Healthy food does not have to be expensive. While it is true that organic costs more you can still eat well without breaking the bank. It all depends on the choices you make and what you buy.

Always buy seasonal produce

Eating what is in season is always cheaper. All produce that is imported  will be more expensive.

Local markets

Markets are cheaper than supermarkets so it is definitely worth going. Try to go at the weekend so you can do your shopping for the week.

You don’t have to always go organic with fruit and vegetables

Organic is always best when it comes to fruit and vegetables however it is important to eat your greens so if you cannot afford to buy organic it is ok. You can wash your vegetables with bicarbonate of soda or white vinegar, this helps to really wash them well. You can also have a look at the dirty dozen. This is a list that comes out every year and it highlights the fruit and vegetables that are higher in pesticides. So you may think about only buying organic from that list.

Buy frozen

Frozen fruit and vegetables are by far cheaper than fresh and are still packed full of nutrients so you can stock up your freezer. I often buy frozen peas and broccoli for soups and berries for my smoothies.

Fish and Meat

Fish and meat will be more expensive so you could think about limiting these to once or twice a week. I will stress that when it comes to meat it must always be organic. I can never stress this enough. All non organic meat is injected with hormones and antibiotics. Cheapest meat is chicken and the cheapest fish is salmon.

Cheaper options

Oats, brown rice, beans, lentils, chickpeas and eggs are all cheap and good for you. I always have porridge in winter with fruit and in the warmer months I will put the oats in my smoothie. You can substitute meat and fish for plant based protein like beans.

Buy in bulk

You can buy large bags of oats and nuts online. I do a lot of my shopping online at amazon. You can pretty much find anything and it is much cheaper.

You do not have to buy superfoods

If you cannot afford to buy superfoods it is not the end of the world. Maybe start with just one but honestly the most important thing is that you include plenty of greens in your diet. Just by increasing your intake of vegetables is good.

Cook in large batches

You can cook large quantities of foods like soups and curries and freeze them so you have plenty for the weeks ahead.

Plan ahead

It is useful to sit down and plan your meals for the week so you can plan your food shopping.

Take advantage of sale offers

When you see your favourite foods on sale take advantage and stock up so you have plenty to last you for a while.

I hope that you have found the above advice helpful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons You May Not Be Losing Weight

You are doing everything you can to lose weight, going to the gym regularly and eating healthy but still no results. As we age our metabolism tends to slow down and we  will often make mistakes. Here below are a few tips to help.

Not drinking enough water

Drinking water is important to remove all the toxins. You should aim to drink at least 2 litres a day. Dehydration not only will lead to feeling tired but as the liver is overloaded with toxins that are not being flushed out it will become sluggish causing your metabolism to slow down. A healthy liver equals a fast metabolism. Not drinking enough water can also cause water retention on your stomach and legs. Always carry a bottle of water with you and sip it slowly through out the day.

Hypothyroidism  (under active thyroid)

An under active thyroid will cause unexpected weight gain. You are doing everything right and you notice that you are putting on weight instead of losing it. Hypothyroidism means your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms will include constantly feeling tired, depressed and weight gain. A simple blood test can determine if you suffer from hypothyroidism. If you suspect this could be the case make an appointment to see your GP.

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes  in both men and women can cause unwanted weight gain. Too much oestrogen for example can cause fat gain, bloating, water retention and can also lead to hormonal cancers. Pre menopause and menopause can reek havoc with hormones. This is why from the age of 40 it is extremely important to have regular check ups and blood tests checking your hormones. I would suggest a blood test every three months.

Drinking too much coffee

Most of us enjoy a cup or two of coffee a day, but too much and it can cause the pounds to pile up increasing fat stored in your abdomen. Drinking excess amounts of coffee increases cortisol levels in the body that result in weight gain. This does not mean that you shouldn’t drink coffee. It means that you should not drink more than 1-2 cups a day.

Sitting at your desk all day

You workout every day for about and hour and then you spend endless hours sitting at your desk probably consuming one cup of coffee after the other. Sitting for long hours will increase your chances of weight gain. If you do have an office job it is important that you get up often and move around.

I hope the above helped. If you need more advice or are looking to improve your health and would like a bespoke nutritional plan email me.

Black Quinoa Salad

This salad is so quick and easy to make. You can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a snack. It is tasty and super healthy. I cooked the quinoa but you can buy packs of already cooked quinoa making it even easier if you are pushed for time.

Ingredients

Makes a big bowl

1 cup of cooked black quinoa

1 cup of cooked white quinoa

150g of goats cheese cut into small pieces

125g of pomegranate seeds

2 handfuls of chopped coriander

3-4 cooked beetroots chopped ( I use the ones from Waitrose )

1 large avocado peeled, stone removed and cut in slices

Olive oil

Himalayan salt

Balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar (apple cider vinegar is healthier) or tamari and lemon dressing

Method

Toss everything into a large salad bowl and mix together. Add the avocado last. Season with salt and pepper, add the dressing, serve and enjoy.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting seems to be the latest trend but it is actually very good. I practice it myself and the benefits are enormous. I no longer wake up bloated and my water retention has also improved not to mention the increase in energy.

What is intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a fasting pattern where you alternate between periods of where you fast and eat. Usually you will fast between 14 – 18 hours. The other way you can do it is by restricting your calorie in take to 700  a day for two days of the week eating normally for the other 5 days. Personally I go for the 14-18 hour option.

The 8am – 6pm Plan

This is the one that works for me and I find it is also good for beginners. You eat between 8am – 6pm. You eat your last meal at 5.30pm. I go to bed between 10 -11pm so this is perfect for me. I don’t struggle at all with the 14 hour fast and it also gives me the chance to eat my 3 main meals a day with snacks. I find it easier as I go to bed early so I am fasting mainly as I sleep. When I awake I will have my lemon water and little fruit  before having my breakfast. I practice this every day.

The 12pm – 6pm Plan

If you are not a breakfast person then this way of fasting is ideal for you. It also means you fast 4 hours more. You have to find what works for you. As mentioned above I like having my 3 meals a day. Also for me a 14 hour fast is more than enough.

The importance of preparing for any fast

No one shoe fits all and fasting is not for everyone. If you have a healthy diet fasting will not be a problem. If you tend to eat a lot of processed foods and are generally unhealthy you will no doubt struggle with any fast. Therefore it is very important to prepare the body. Start by slowly eliminating unhealthy foods like sugar and alcohol.

Always consult your doctor before embarking on any type of fast especially if you have any type of medical condition and are taking medication.

Benefits of intermittent fasting

The results will be clearer skin, an abundance of energy, an improvement in memory and concentration, becoming less acidic and more alkaline with a stronger immune system. Intermittent fasting  also lowers the risk of cancer. It also helps with fighting free radical damage and inflammation in the body. Constant inflammation in the body leads to disease. It is also fantastic for improving gut health.

I hope the above helps. I am a qualified nutritional therapist so feel free to ask me any questions. If you would like a bespoke nutritional plan please email me.

 

 

 

What I Eat In A Day

I get many emails and private messages asking what is my daily food intake. So I thought I would dedicate a post sharing with you what I eat during the day.

Breakfast

20 minutes before I eat anything I have a large glass of water with lemon to alkalise my body. I tend to have the same things for breakfast. Monday to Fridays I will have either oat or buckwheat porridge with almond milk and fruits or a smoothie with Shakeology which is a protein powder with vitamins and minerals. In my smoothie I will put 1banana, 1 scoop of shakeology,  a handful of spinach and almond milk. Weekends I always have eggs, avocado with a rice cracker or rye bread.

I also have a 1 glass of water with wheatgrass powder or a fresh shot  if I am in London.

I never really drink coffee as I don’t like the taste. I am probably the only person I know. I always have one cup of english breakfast tea with goats milk in the mornings.

Midday snack

I tend to have either half an avocado on a rice cracker or a handful of walnuts or almonds with strawberries or blueberries and a green juice.

Lunch

This tends to vary. I eat anything from brown rice, brown rice pasta, spelt pasta and normal pasta with vegetables, fish or meat. I also have salad with chicken or steamed vegetables with fish or chickpeas and lentils. I always make sure I eat a lot of vegetables with my main meals.

Afternoon Snack

I love hummus so I always have some with a carrot or an apple with 5 almonds. I tend to eat my dinner very early between 5-5.30pm so I do not really have a big snack.

Dinner

In winter I tend to have vegetable soups with  beans or steamed vegetables with oven baked salmon. In the summer I will have more salads with organic chicken breast, fish or legumes.

I eat very early as I practice intermittent fasting which I will go into more detail in my next post.

I eat like this 80% of the time  however If I fancy a treat I will have one. I just never over indulge. If I feel like a biscuit I will have 1-2 not the whole pack, if I feel like cake I will have one slice not the whole cake. Once a week I will have a cheat meal. When I am in Italy I always have pizza once a week. I eat every 3-4 hours this is to balance blood sugar levels so you have the same amount of energy through out the day. I keep meals small. I don’t eat massive portions. This is so I do not place a strain on my liver and digestive system.

As with anything in life you need balance. You need to have a healthy relationship with food and enjoy every meal. Healthy doesn’t mean boring and of course you can still have your favourite foods.

I am a qualified nutritional therapist so if you would like a bespoke nutritional plan please email me.

5 Tips on How to Find Balance in Your Life

Finding balance in our every day lives can often be very challenging especially today when we lead such hectic  lives. There are a lot of women who struggle to find the balance with motherhood and holding a job which leads to major stress. How often have we said to ourselves that there are not enough hours in a day to do everything. Finding balance is essential if we want to have a healthy body and mind. It is important to understand that balance is not a temporary fix. It is long term. It won’t always be easy to find that balance and you will struggle in the beginning, but the important thing is not to give up and keep trying until you get there. Here below are a few tips that I hope you will find useful.

Goals

When setting goals it is important to set realistic ones. Focus on the important things that matter most. Concentrate on setting long term and short term goals. Set goals focusing on your finances, job and relationships. Sit down, concentrate and write down what you really want to achieve and be consistent in committing to your goals.

Prioritise 

When you set goals and make lists you write down the most important things to do first. You just have to figure out what is more important and then you systematically get it done crossing it off your to do  list. This is important as it gives you structure and order stopping you stressing about doing everything at once, which is virtually impossible and just causes unnecessary anxiety.

Learn to say no

Do not feel obliged that you have to say yes to every one all the time whether it is at work or at home. This becomes easier as you get older. You can be polite and still say no. If you do not want to do something don’t do it. No point adding more stress to your already busy life.

Learn to delegate

Do not be afraid to ask for help. It is impossible to do everything yourself.  We all need help. So get your partners and children to help you. If you know you won’t have time to do something , instead of stressing just ask your partner. Get your children to do chores around the house. Write down a schedule with different tasks and stick it on the fridge so the whole family know what they have to do.

Find time for yourself

This is extremely important. Find one day a week where you totally relax and pamper yourself. Have a massage, facial or a manicure. This will make you feel good. Yoga is extremely relaxing and calming so try to do it at least once a week. Taking a break from social media is also a good idea. Instead of spending hours on the phone, tablet or computer  in the evenings, take a relaxing long bath and listen to some classical music. This will make you sleep well and you will be refreshed the next morning.