Today, at 38, I am more energised and stronger in my mind and body than I have ever been. And I enjoy helping people learn nourishing habits to help them feel body confident, energised and glowing.
Discovering the power of nutrition for my own health has played a huge role in shaping my life both personally and professionally. I’m certain my experience putting up with and eventually tackling a chronic digestive disorder is why I work with others from a place of compassion, and with a real appreciation of how unique we all are. Here’s a bit more about my story…
Looking back now, I can see how limited and poor my childhood food choices were and how the consequences of that likely played into my experience of food in my teens and early 20s, when for many years most of what I ate left me bloated and I felt disconnected from how to eat to make my body feel good. My symptoms fell under the banner of IBS, and I put-up with a general ‘fogginess’ which detracted from some of my enjoyment at work and play.
Then, when a stressful job coincided with a series of family bereavements in my mid-20s, exhaustion hit and I felt things taking more of a toll on my health. Thankfully, a few conversations sparked a visit to a nutritional therapist and I soon realised the impact that making different food choices could have on my everyday wellbeing and personal resilience.
Keen to develop my understanding of nutrition and gut health, I took to studying a Diploma in Nutritional Therapy alongside my old career job. And with my new-found knowledge I very gradually but radically reformed my eating habits and marvelled at how my health improved.
I tried out the clinical tests that I now recommend to others, learned a whole lot about my body and the root causes of my symptoms, addressed food sensitivities, and utilised some incredible natural supplements therapeutically to help rebalance my gut health.
On the food front, I effectively transformed a largely vegetarian diet dominated by ‘beige’ foods like pastas and baked goods into a diverse, colourful one - which is vastly more interesting, tasty and enjoyable than it ever was! I expanded my carb heavy repertoire to incorporate more plant-based proteins, plus fish, seafood and occasionally organic meat. I radically reduced my sugar intake and other identified inflammatory triggers, and quit my grazing habit. I also integrated into my daily diet an array of 'functional foods' to support my gut, such as fermented foods which I learnt to love and now wouldn't be without.
Today, my relationship with food is balanced and peaceful, and I intuitively and consistently make choices which work well for me, my body and importantly, my tastebuds! This is the outcome I desire for all my clients too.
Naturally, finding and maintaining health and wellbeing extends way beyond nutrition alone - it’s about your experience of life.
I value a range of activities in my life including yoga, dance classes, spending quality time with loved ones, walking with my local Walk ‘n Talk Wellbeing group, regular travel and experiencing different cultures, swimming (seawater is best!), chilling with my cat Bruno, looking at art and having artistic outlets - basically, making space for all the things that make me feel energised and fulfilled.
I set-up Gut Reaction in 2013 as I was compelled to share what I’ve learned and provide other people with the guidance and support they need to improve their own mind-body health and wellbeing.
Since achieving my Diploma in Nutritional Therapy in 2013, I have undertaken further training specialising in weight issues, behaviour change and wellbeing coaching.
As a long-term associate of Patrick Holford's Zest4Life, I am continually developing my skills as a motivational health coach, drawing on NLP, CBT, ACT techniques and mindfulness, and incorporate Zest4Life eating plans into Gut Reaction’s programmes as appropriate.
I am a certified Food & Spirit™ practitioner, having trained under the wing of Dr Deanna Minich (2018- 19) to learn how to use the Food & Spirit methodology™ for holistic, evidence-based and personalised lifestyle medicine, and to add new dimensions to my wellbeing coaching.
I have studied with the National Centre for Eating Disorders, completing a course in Psychological Approaches to Obesity, and completed Applying Intuitive Eating and Non-Diet Approaches in Practice with the London Centre for Intuitive Eating.
A full member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT), I adhere to the strict BANT Code of Ethics and Practice, and am a member of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Gut Reaction is fully insured for Nutritional Therapy.
In order to help me stay at the forefront of my profession, I invest time reading the latest research papers and maintaining CPD, with a particular focus on mind-body nutrition and gut health.