Category:Meet the Team
What is a Nutritional Therapist and how can Nutritional Therapy help you? We caught up with Rachel Robertson to understand more about how nutrition impacts our overall health and wellbeing and how she works with her clients.
All the anxiety of lockdown has not been conducive to healthy habits. If you’ve not succumbed to nervous comfort eating, you should be incredibly proud of yourself, because most of us have. Added to that the government encouraging us to “eat out to help out” and all the excitement about takeaways reopening, and we’ve probably not been nourishing our bodies in the best way possible recently.
That’s ok, and totally understandable. But unhealthy eating is only going to reduce our energy levels, add to our anxiety and weaken our immune systems. It’s time to start looking after our bodies and fuelling them to take on the challenges ahead of us. We caught up with Nutritional Therapist Rachel Robertson to find out more about how healthy nutrition can give you a foundation for solid wellbeing.
How can Nutritional Therapy help people?
Correct nutrition is the foundation of good health, and the logical place to start if you are experiencing a health problem, as well as preventing potential issues from occurring and nipping problems in the bud.
Working with a Nutritional Therapist can be a way to find explanations for any mysterious symptoms you haven’t been able to get to the bottom of, and can also give you an overall health MOT.
Overall, Nutritional Therapy provides support and motivation to make positive changes for your health.
How does Nutritional Therapy work?
I put you at the centre, not your symptoms. By taking time to listen to you and take into account your health history, your health concerns – however apparently big or small – what’s worked, what hasn’t, what you feel the causes are and what your health goals are, we can identify the underlying mechanisms that are causing your health issues. By investigating all of your body systems, the interconnections between them and the impact of your nutrient status, lifestyle, genetics, environment and emotional health, we can often avoid misdiagnosis, unnecessary medications and their unwanted side effects.
Ultimately, it’s about empowering you to take control of your health. You will learn about the underlying mechanisms at work in your body and upon which food, supplements and herbs act. You will gain more clarity, and make sense of the ubiquitous confusing messages in the media, about what is good nutrition, what supplements, if any, you should take and whether particular ways of eating are appropriate for you. The whole process will guide you back to eating instinctively.
You’ll be given practical tools for your journey, supporting and motivating you with tips and tricks, recipes, menu plans and more, to enable you to feel confident to carry out the programme successfully.
If someone has been struggling with nutrition during lockdown, what can you do for them?
I offer a comprehensive and intensive 6-week Detox Programme, which is perfect for anyone who needs to reset their wellbeing after a difficult period.
Skin problems, fatigue, weight-loss resistance and hormonal symptoms, amongst many other health problems, benefit from reducing our toxic exposure and supporting our organs of elimination – the gut, liver, kidneys – to work effectively. This programme is designed to do just this and will be an amazing fresh start for you.
Isn’t nutritional advice full of contradictions, though?
This is largely a mis-portrayal by the media.
By definition, nutritional advice given to the public is wrong because it is generic, whereas individual nutritional requirements vary widely.
Most media stories oversimplify nutritional advice. Journalistic writing does not have to be accountable and often jumps on the bandwagon of inappropriate conclusions drawn from flawed research. Saturated fat being demonised and the low-fat diet promoted is an example of this.
Many nutrients work synergistically (e.g. vitamin D requires vitamin K, magnesium, boron, zinc and vitamin A to function), and if one or some of the necessary nutrients are lacking then the other will not have the desired effect. This likely explains many of the ‘vitamin x does not affect y’ conclusions.
Nutritional Therapy is based on solid science. As science advances, so does Nutritional Therapy, with more sophisticated diagnostic testing and more effective therapies.
What first motivated you to become a Nutritional Therapist?
The book ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration’ by Dr. Weston A Price, a dentist and scientist who, in the 1940s, travelled the world in search of ‘healthy controls’ to better understand how modern processed food was causing tooth decay.
It was a unique point in history when a portion of many societies were still eating their traditional diets and only some had adopted the Western modern diet. He found outstanding physical and mental health and immunity to tooth decay in the former group and a striking deterioration in health and rampant tooth decay in the latter group.
In terms of the contribution of diet, not only were the traditionally-living people not in contact with foods such as refined grains and white sugar, but universally they prized particular foods, such as bone broth, offal and shellfish, and carried out certain food preparation practices, for example fermenting grains, vegetables and dairy, to increase their digestibility and nutrient content.
Another, more current, inspiration was the experience of Terry Wahls, an American physician, who, suffering with MS and condemned to a wheelchair, switched to diet and lifestyle approaches to health and reversed her symptoms.
What can people expect when they come for a session with you?
Before the consultation, I provide a health and nutrition questionnaire for you to complete. An initial consultation typically lasts 90 minutes, and in this time I ask detailed questions about current health concerns, symptoms, diagnoses and treatment, medical history, family history, lifestyle, levels of physical activity, use of medication, supplements and diet.
I then evaluate your individual needs and use my extensive knowledge of nutritional science to develop a personalised, safe and effective nutrition and lifestyle programme. Laboratory testing may be recommended.
What conditions can Nutritional Therapy help with?
There are many health problems that can benefit from Nutritional Therapy, and it is a great way of preventing issues from occurring in the first place. But these are some of the specific issues that can benefit from this approach:
- Digestive health – IBS, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, reflux, gallbladder problems
- Energy levels – fatigue, blood sugar imbalance
- Nervous system – depression, anxiety, stress, difficulty sleeping
- Immune system – allergies, intolerances, autoimmune conditions
- Skin conditions – acne, psoriasis, eczema
- Cardiovascular health – hypertension, atherosclerosis
- Thyroid health
What do you do when you’re not working?
My husband and I home-educate our two boys.
I am a keen gardener. I grow my own vegetables, fruit and herbs and co-run a community allotment.
I am a foodie and love experimenting in the kitchen!
I love Ashtanga yoga, running and practicing Vedic meditation.
Can people reach out to you if they have further questions?
Do get in contact! I’m always happy to have a chat and answer any questions you have to see if Nutritional Therapy can help you. I would love to work with you and help you improve your health.
You can call me on 07715374225, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can book a consultation with Rachel by clicking here.