About Me

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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Welcome to my blog, and thank you for stopping by. I hope you find it informative, and if there is anything I have missed or you would like me to talk about please drop me a line of suggestion. After seeing a nutritional therapist I decided from the improvement of my own health that I would like to be there in the same way for others, therefore, I studied two degrees; one in Nutritional Therapy and another in Bioscience Nutrition so that i could be equipped to support a number of health conditions. I now work for a supplement company on a clinical team supporting practitioners and keeping upto date with all new scientific information and provide private consultations too aswel as keeping my blog going :)

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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Nutritional Support for your Breastmilk



If you are a new mother getting support on breastfeeding is so important as initially it can feel alien, confusing and frustrating to do and therefore you need a midwife to show you how to latch your baby and not hurt yourself in the process. Latching can take some time to master. Look for support groups in your area too.


If you are worried in the first few days about milk flow and intake you can get a blood test monitor for your baby from Boots which plugs into your phone and gjves a nice graph on blood sugar levels. My baby had her levels monitored for the first 12hours. She had very little milk and mainly slept but her blood sugars were perfect which suggested she didn’t need feeding.
Breastmilk is such a great food to give to your baby because:
·        It’s free
·         It’s nutrient rich
·         It doesn’t upset your little ones tummy as much as bottle feed
·         It’s more convenient than bottle feeding and its prep time
·         It’s a natural antibiotic, I used it to clear baby sticky eye, by applying it to the tear ducts
·         If you are poorly you produce antibodies that pass across the milk to help your baby fight off what you have

As a mother with a newborn of 5lb 8 ounces I wanted to make sure I could get some chub onto her to get her nice and fighting fit. They said she would lose upto 10% body weight initially, she lost about 4% and was back at her birth weight within 2 days (this can take 10-14 days on average). I am sure a lot of this was down to my survival kit below that helped with the breastmilk flow:


Supplements:
Biocare Pregnancy and Lactation Multi Take a good multivitamin suitable for breastfeeding, this will help replace general nutrient levels such as iron which can be low causing tiredness from bloodloss in childbirth. Vitamin A and zinc which helps with healing. Selenium to cross the breastmilk to support babies thyroid for metabolism (thyroid function is one of the tests the doctors did with the heal prick test on your baby). A few days after birth your babies own thyroid should function independently, prior to this they have your hormones circulating the system to support them.
Solgar Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) taking 3.5grams per day should increase milk flow within 1-3 days. For some woman it can take upto two weeks. You will know that you are taking enough if your urine and sweat has a maple syrup smell to it.
Botanicals Raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus) helps to tone your uterus back into shape and increases milk supply
Biocare Sea Plasma is more to support the circulation of lymphatic system to reduce risk of blockage and infection in the breast tissue. Sea plankton can also support the hormone prolactin which is produced to stimulate milk production.
Biocare Biomulsion Omegaplex contains omega 6 to increase your natural hormone synthesis, this is important to rebalance hormones to make you more relaxed, a more relaxed mum means more milk production. The omega 3 and 6 will also cross the breastmilk to support your baby brain development and give beautiful skin.  

Skincare
Lanolin get lots of it, and when you have got lots, get some more! This will save your nipples from getting sore cracked or hurting from any bruising

Foods to avoid and foods to enjoy
Eat healthy this will help with your sleep deprivation for  the next couple of months, also what you eat will affect your babies taste buds, this has been tested with breastfeeding mothers eating garlic and carrots and their infants when weaning having a preference to these flavours.
Avoid chocolate you will give your child that unwanted sweet tooth, soothe cravings with nuts and seeds with fruit instead which will be rich in nutrients for your milk and will give you a boost in energy
Start the day with oats by making a porridge or muesli, Oats help to replenish lost iron levels for milk flow. Oats also contain tryptophan which increases happy hormones. A happy mother has an easier ‘let down’ on her milk supply
Avoid dairy this can prove difficult for your baby to digest if any of the protein lactose from milk goes into the breastmilk. One sign of this is colic.
Neuners Organic Nursing tea Aniseed, fennel, verbena, caraway, (11%) fenugreek seeds this is caffeine free, caffeine is not advised in breastfeeding as it can affect your babies sleep.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Gluten Free Pasta Recipe for Lunch with the Girls

Gluten Free pasta lunch with the girls
Sometimes people feel a little lost when thinking of gluten free options for social gatherings, so I thought I would put up my recipe for luncheons with the girls. This is a new type of pasta dish that I have tried that is so easy to make, it was all ready and in my fridge within 10 mins and didn’t cost much to make. Especially as good health naturally were kind enough to send me a sample of their black bean fusilli pasta



Serves 3
Ingredients
 20 Large Black Olive deseeded and sliced
100g sundried tomatoes
20g of green olive pesto
150g of artichoke
50g peppadew peppers chopped
50g of capers soaked in brine
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Seasoned with black peppercorn to taste
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
125g organic black fusilli pasta


Recipe
·         Bring pasta to boil and leave to simmer for 5 mins
·         Rinse pasta with a little lemon juice
·         Stir in ingredients
·         Cover and put into fridge
·         Voila…one yummy dish for 3

Some Health benefits of meal:
Contains fats which are good for mind function and good for silky hair and soft smooth skin
Pasta is rich in fibre and protein which means I will be fuller for longer
The dish is full of nutrient rich foods, meaning my body can utilise the food to aid my body to function rather than it being stored as fat
The meal is gluten free making it less likely to make me bloated and uncomfortable win win.


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Weightloss Tips


The festive season has passed and our waist size may have expanded slightly from all the treats we have snacked on. It’s now the New Year and with that comes plans for the new us, the pre-Christmas streamline version!






Here are some of our favourite weightloss tips:

Get a blood glucose monitor
These are great, you can buy them online or in Boots and they often link up with smartphones. You can take simple skin blood prick tests throughout the day to monitor your blood glucose levels so that you are eating when you need to. Sometimes you will think you need to eat, but your blood sugar is high, meaning the best you could do is fast at that time and go for a walk to get the metabolism going!
   
Avoid instant sugar hits
...such as chocolate.  Sugar is stored in all the wobbly bits such as the tummy and thighs. When you eat sugar, and it isn’t used up immediately for energy, such as when you exercise, your body can be in danger of going into hyperglycemia which can cause you to pass out. To prevent this, your body thinks ahead for when you may need some food and cleverly stores the sugar like a packed lunch in your fat cells ready for when you need a big surge of energy. Alas the energy surge is often not that frequent leaving you with lots of prepacked packed lunches to get through!

Cinnamon is your new buddy that goes everywhere with you
Carry this in your pocket and sprinkle a small amount on your food or in your drinks. This slows down sugar release into the blood stream keeping you feeling fuller for longer and less likely to gain fat.

Chromium
This little mineral is known to have the GTF (glucose tolerance factor) which means it regulates glucose in the blood after eating or when experiencing cravings, making it a popular ingredient to have when hungry or just after eating, to encourage satiety.

Insoluble fibre  
Fibre such as Konjac, alongside water, swells inside the gastrointestinal tract. The swelling makes the body feel full by triggering appetite suppressors.


Get your Zzzs
Sleeping and appetite can easily get confused. There is an appetite stimulator called ghrelin - think of it as the little hunger gremlin in your tummy which makes that rumbling noise. Ghrelin is stimulated by two things, hunger and sleep deprivation to encourage sleep, which can easily confuse you in to thinking you are hungry.


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Nutritional Halloween Treats


It feels like the summer holidays were only but a blink away!  

Not only is it half term, but it’s that spooky time of year; Halloween. It's a time when adults get to show their inner child with fancy dress and pretending that trickle treating is for the children’s benefit! 

With celebrations and holidays to celebrate, we thought we would give you some tips on how to keep it healthy and still fun.

Here are a few treats for your Halloween party.



Alcohol Free Mulled Wine

Made with elderberries, lemon, ginger and cinnamon is rich in vitamin C to boost the immune system fighting off the common cold and flu.

Alcohol free mulled wine
Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 400g of elderberries
  • 1.25 litres of water
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 50g raisins
  • 10 cloves
  • 3 large oranges
  • 3 tablespoons of manuka honey
  • ¼ lemon
  • 1 piece of ginger root (grated)
Method
  1. Grate the zest from the oranges and lemon, and then juice them with the elderberries and add the cloves.
  2. Place all the above into a large saucepan.
  3. Add the water, honey, cinnamon sticks, grated ginger and raisins.
  4. Heat the mixture for 20 mins, try not to let it simmer.
  5. Remove from the heat and drain through a sieve into a large punch bowl.
  6. Your wine is now ready to serve.



Raw Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles

Made from chopped dates and nuts, cocoa powder, nuts and cinnamon. The combination of nuts and cinnamon stabilise the blood sugar levels, meaning you won’t have hyperactive children and adults on your hands!

Raw Cinnamon and chocolate truffles
Serves 10
Ingredients
•           100g of chopped pitted dates
•           100g of chopped mixed nuts
•           1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
•           2 tablespoon of cocoa powder
Method
1.         Use a food processer to turn the dates into a paste.
2.         Add the chopped nuts, cinnamon powder and a    tablespoon of cocoa powder and mix together evenly.
3.         Roll the paste into small balls between the palms of your hands.
4.         Roll the truffles in the remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder to give them a nice finish and take the stickiness away.






Pumpkin Soup

Made with garlic and a dash of pepper. Its good fun to get creative with pumpkin designs to show off your talent in your window. Make the most of it, and cook the pumpkin itself, it is nutritiously rich in vitamin A to help you see in the dark when out on ghost and ghoul watch.

Pumpkin Soup
Serves 5
Ingredients
·         2 tablespoon of coconut oil
·         750g of Pumpkin deseeded, and cubed (scooped from the pumpkin, important you keep the pumpkin for decoration)
·         4 cloves of crushed garlic
·         2 finely chopped onion
·         1 teaspoon of ground black peppercorns
·         250g of double cream
·         600ml of vegetable stock
·         2 finely chopped red chillies
Method
1.    Add coconut oil to a hot pan and fry off the onions until golden brown. Add the crushed garlic and chilli, lightly fry and leave to cool
2.    In a saucepan add the stock and pumpkin cubes, simmer for 10 minutes and then add the cream and ground black pepper and take off the heat
3.    Add the contents from the frying pan to the pumpkins and blend with a hand blender
The soup is now ready to be reheated when needed and served

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Beauty isn't just skin deep: looking after you skin


Many things can take a toll on our skin, whether it be seasonal changes from cold winters with drying central heating to sizzling UV rays of the summer sun, natural hormonal changes as we pass through life stages, the environment, and even our own immune system.
Here are some of our top tips on how a good daily skincare and healthy diet can help to keep you glowing on the outside and within.

Be gentle: the top skin layer protects your body from the environment but it is delicate. Avoid rough exfoliating techniques, stripping this layer can worsen acne and dry the skin Instead use gentle cleansers – those with rose oil are particular soothing. For open wounds, manuka honey helps protect against bacteria .

Support natural elimination: a healthy liver, kidneys and digestion enable the body to deal with that may otherwise come out through the skin as spots. Helpful foods are artichoke, dandelion and alfalfa.

Eat clean: choose unprocessed wholefoods such as colourful vegetables, fruit, nuts, oily fish and avocado – they are rich in skin-supportive essential fats and antioxidants like Vitamin A, C,E manganese and zinc

Drink water: our skin contains four layers, with the cells in the upper layers being flatter and drier. Staying hydrating helps the cells stay plump and look youthful.

Golden rule: use ingredients on your skin that you’d be happy to eat – your body absorbs some of them.

How to reduce premature aging

Sun exposure

Cells in the lower levels of the skin produce melanin, a pigment that helps to create your tan as part of protecting the skin and its DNA from UV damage. Enjoying some time in the sun is important to maintain healthy vitamin D levels, but the key is moderation.

Bare 20: Skin can protect itself from a little sun, with the palest skin having an SPF2, constantly wearing high SPF sunblock can prevent vitamin D which is important to keep normal skin health. Ideally get up to 20 minutes of sun exposure daily without sunscreen, or less if the skin turns slightly pink.

Go natural: When spending the day outside choose natural sunscreen. Coconut oil is one option that provides SPF4 and supports elastin to keep skin supple but you need to reapply frequently to benefit from its UV barrier.

Nutrient boost: sip green tea in the sun, antioxidant-rich foods such as green tea help protect the skin from UV damage.

A natural facelift


Vitamin C supports collagen production for reduced appearance of wrinkles. Choose topical creams containing vitamin C to use on fine lines, include a high strength supplement and eat rich food sources as broccoli and berries.
Sea Algae helps to support the firmness, moisture and structure to improve skin appearance.

Acne

Hormonal balance

From puberty onwards both men and women can have an influx of testosterone that increase in a oily wax called sebum, causing hair follicles to become blocked and creating pockets of bacteria and debris. Spots that tend to surface on the chin can also be related to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle.

Apply zinc to the affected area and take a supplement to support healing and a healthy level of testosterone.

Only pop spots hygienically - use a comedone extractor as your hands can lead to bacteria and debris being pushed deeper into the skin, increasing chances of scarring and infection.

Include garlic in the diet for its antimicrobial effects to help reduce any bacterial or fungal skin infections.


Hopefully this will give you a good starting point for flawless skin, for further support the Patrick Holford skin problems covers all dietary and lifestyle changes to get yourself flawless skin.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Is Stress a Modern Disease?

Is Stress a Modern Disease?
Woman HeadacheStress is not something you can see like a cut or a bruise and therefore is not always easily recognised. However our modern lifestyles make it an increasing problem, both personally and economically.
Government figures for the UK in 2013-2014 show stress, and its related conditions anxiety, depression and musculoskeletal problems, accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health: 11.3 and 8.3 million days respectively. On average this was 23 days off work per case of stress, depression or anxiety.

Are you affected by stress?

Some ways you can identify if you could be under stress are if you experience any of the following:
  • A vicious cycle of insomnia and fatigue
  • Achy joints and other signs of inflammation in the body
  • Cardiovascular problems such as palpitations
  • Poor immune system that is supressed under stress and when the body relaxes,
  • illnesses often show
  • Possible supressed appetite followed by sugar and salt cravings
  • Caffeine dependence
  • Poor liver function
  • Light headed when standing up
  • Pupils have a delayed or no dilation reaction to light

Physiological effect of stress

Woman Head in HandsStress makes your body want to run away from the situation to keep you safe. It does this by releasing cortisol to stimulate the liver and tissue stores to produce glucose for energy. To meet the demands you may crave carbohydrates and caffeine. However, you don’t really need the marathon amount of energy produced and the high circulating sugar causes glycation (aging, inflammation and damage to cells).

What to do: the first few steps

  • Follow a high protein, low GL diet to balance blood sugar and reduce the aging effect
  • Include foods or supplements containing vitamin B12 and folic acid and vitamin B3 which contribute to a reduction of fatigue
  • Avoid grains as these contain gluten and lectins. Sensitivity to these is common and may cause inflammation that activates the stress pathway to intensify anxiety
  • Consider supplementing chromium which forms part of the GTF (gluten tolerance factor) that contributes to the maintenance of a healthy blood sugar level
  • Read The Stress Cure by Patrick Holford, who outlines HeartMath® and a quick coherence technique exercise for you to learn how to transform negative stressful experiences into something calming

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Gluten Free Vegan Brownies with walnuts


Recipe serves 12

Ingredients
·         225g of 70% Montezuma's Organic Very Dark Chocolate Bar Vegan
·         100g of Doves Gluten Free white flour
·         4 Tbsp flaxseed meal (ground raw flaxseed) with 4tablespoons of water
·         120g of coconut oil
·         100g of caster sugar
·         1 table spoon of green and blacks cocoa powder
·         100g of chopped walnuts


Method
1.    Preheat the oven to 170C for 20 mins
2.    Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, don’t forget to also cover the sides
3.    Heat the butter and chocolate in a bowl above a saucepan of simmering water
4.    Leave the chocolate to cool
5.    Whisk flaxseed meal with 4 water and add with the caster sugar till light and fluffy. It should look airy with lots of bubbles
6.    Fold in the cooled chocolate and sieve in the flour and cocoa powder and fold that in also
7.    Mix in chopped nuts
8.    Pour the mixture into the baking tray and leave in the oven to cook for 15 mins.  Check at 10mins see if they are firm as gluten free tends to cook with quicker.



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