Rule 4: Eat Until 80% Full

In the majority of the Western world, we seem to have a tendency towards overeating. Anyone who’s spent enough time in the US is well aware of the favourite holiday dedicated to the art of over-eating: Thanksgiving. And of course obesity is unfortunately now becoming much too common an epidemic of those who overindulge on a regular basis.

In the Blue Zones, where both obesity and chronic diseases of all kinds are much less prevalent, people follow the rule of eating until 80% full. Calorie restriction is a regular practice that doesn’t have to be planned and that has incredible longevity-boosting benefits.

I’ve always found calorie restriction as one of the easiest ways to improve health while also improving the waist line. Limiting eating to 2-3 meals daily (with no snacking in between) and increasing the time between the last meal and the first one, from 12-16 hours, is a great way to improve insulin resistance (reducing the chances of diabetes or metabolic disorders later on). Weight reduction is one added benefit, but so is improving your appetite response so that your body knows when it’s full and tells you so (which reduces the chances of over-eating in the future). Allowing your body rest between meals and a longer fast is also good to give your digestive system a break. It also helps your gut microbiome to improve its’ balance and your good gut bacteria likes the break while the bad gut bacteria wants you to keep feeding (especially on processed food and sugar).

Stopping eating when only 80% full will give you a better sense of just how much food you actually need. It also means often limiting food to the healthier parts: salad and protein, preferably stopping before desert (which will again favour good gut bacteria as the bad guys live on sugar and processed carbs). Remember that your gut microbiome impacts not just your weight (poor gut microbiome mix has been linked with obesity in many studies) but also your immunity (reducing inflammation as one of the benefits of improved mix). In the Blue Zones, where people live healthier longer and where most are at their ideal weight, this is a regular practice. Isn’t it time to try this easy practice for yourself? Try eating slower and make meals more of a stand-alone activity (rather than eating on the run). This will help you to limit food intake and stop in time.

Need more help with this? I also do hypnotherapy to reduce cravings. To book a free call to find out more, click here:

Rule 3: Downshift from that stress

Let’s just be real here. Unless you’re a munk living on top of a mountain (and if you’re reading this you’re probably not), stress is likely a regular part of your life. Most likely, it’s a much more regular part than you’d like to admit (even to yourself) and one that you haven’t been managing particularly well up to now.

Rest assured though that it isn’t the lack of stress that leads to long healthy life but the adequate management of that stress. The people who live in the Blue Zones aren’t naturally gifted with a stress free life; they just know how to downshift from that stress on a regular daily basis.

Each Blue Zones area downshifts in a different way. For some it’s prayer, for some meditation or yoga (or tai chi). For others it’s just a mid-day nap, called a siesta. The idea is the same, however. To stop whatever is causing stress and just take a much needed break to tune out and tune back into whatever makes you true to you: whatever makes you tick and drives you in the first place. It’s a time to tune into breath, into hope, into rest (and hence into the the much needed parasympathetic sense inside you).

Adding some parasympathetic into our very sympathetic-dominated lives is key to staying youthful and healthy longer. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga… have all been linked with improving our gut microbiome and our gut microbiome being healthy and well-balanced has been linked with us being healthy and well-balanced. That includes positive mental health as well as good physical health. Who would have thought it can be as easy as 1-2-3 (rule number 3 that is).

Need help downshifting? I was a hypnotherapist even before I was a Nutritional Therapist, helping stressed out corporates to downshift through meditation and those who wanted to reach goals that seemed too far away to do so through visualisation.

Rule 2: Live a life full of purpose

We all have different things in life that keep us going and give us a reason to wake up in the morning: whether it be our work, our hobbies, a great relationship, our children or grandchildren or some passion or dreams we live for. The idea is to find something with enough meaning for us to keep us going day in day out.

As we age, our bodies don’t quite work as they used to and we don’t continue to look as we used to. There are many things to moan and complain about as ageing itself is definitely not a fun process. So we need something we’re excited and passionate about to keep us going and to keep us vibrant and youthful.

Youth is excitement and passion after all: it’s having something that drives us and keeps us motivated. That’s why having a purpose to live and keep going for is so important. It keeps us feeling younger and more excited about life. It also makes us way more interesting to be around. People with drive have that natural spark in their eyes; they’re more fun and exciting to be with too. They’re usually not the ones waiting for something to happen because they have something that drives them forward. One of the complaints about people retiring is that they lose their spark as they lose their something to live for. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Retirement can be the ideal opportunity to finally pursue one’s hobby or true interest. Most important is to find some purpose to keep you going, wherever it comes from.

For me that purpose is partially my family (especially my kids and adorable puppy) and partially my drive to help everyone live healthier and stay youthful longer. What’s your purpose? Share what drives you with us by replying to this newsletter or by adding what drives you below this message for your chance to win a free Nutritional assessment session (worth £179).

The power 9: rule#1

As I mentioned some time back, I’m now pursuing my masters in Personalised Nutrition. My focus is of course on how to help us all to age in the best way possible in order to promote longevity and health span.

One of the great benefits of the masters is the access I have to the latest research on the topic. One of my most prized findings was some research from Dan Buettner and others about the 5 “Blue Zones”: 5 areas
in the world where there live the most centenarians. These areas are: Sardinia, Italy; Icaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Loma Linda, California (Seventh-Day Adventists).

Buettner uncovered something he named “the power 9”: 9 key things that most people who live to a ripe old age in all 5 Blue Zones do that helps them to age so well that they live to their 90s and beyond. Over the course of the coming months I’ll be sharing these 9 key things with you each week so stay tuned, but here is the first of the nine:

Rule 1: Include regular movement in your day

Let’s be honest, we’re all busy people with too few hours in a day and too much to do. We don’t really have time to put too many anti-aging changes into place; but at the same time we also don’t like the idea of ageing. If we could choose, we’d remain young and fit forever, yet we don’t want the sacrifices we make to stay youthful to be too big.

Let’s be honest again. Very very few of us even think about sacrificing anything we love to stay young and fit for longer until it’s much too late and time has already caught up with us.

As a Nutritional Therapist, Hypnotherapist and Naturopath specialising in helping people to age more slowly and to stay healthy longer, I have a very tight fine line to walk with what I can advise that people will actually follow. Give a weight loss plan that will ensure weight loss (being overweight is highly ageing) but also that demands sacrifice and buy in will be limited. Give a plan that demands less sacrifice and results will be limited. It’s a tough balance.

That’s one of the reasons why I so love the data coming out of the Blue Zones: 5 areas where people live longer better and where there live the highest number of centenarians globally. Because people in these areas just live a healthier life naturally, without the need for feeling like they’re sacrificing anything.

And, after all, why should giving up processed junk food, fake sugar (or sweetener) filled fizzy drinks, cigarettes and other unhealthy habits feel like such a sacrifice? But mostly why should adding regular daily movement into every single day feel like something that’s difficult or challenging to do?

People in the Blue Zones don’t have gym memberships and they don’t force themselves to train for marathons. They just walk regularly instead of driving somewhere. They work in their gardens. They put together their own furniture. And they walk to and from local shops with their groceries instead of having them delivered. Movement is something naturally and easily added to their every day. They dance with friends when they feel like it or when music inspires them. They walk in nature and to visit friends and family. Movement is something naturally included in every day.

So why should adding movement be something difficult or challenging to do? And if they can do it, why can’t all of us? Adding movement into every day shouldn’t be something we need to measure with an Apple Watch or Fitbit, but if it helps you get inspired by closing circles or measuring steps, by all means. I shouldn’t have to tell clients an amount of time to minimally move, but about 60-90 minutes a day is ideal and 30 minutes a minimum.

That means any movement by the way. Even just getting up to make yourself a tea is a start. If you need inspiration, take a walk every day for at least a half hour in nature somewhere if you can, or even just to your local shops or around your nearest shopping centre if that’s all you have. Another half hour of movement you can get by bouncing around, dancing, doing a workout on YouTube or spending time in the gym (if you enjoy it). And the last half hour you can get just by moving around your home if you make sure to add some regular movement. Time yourself if you must, or just make sure and move. This is one of the easiest additions you can make to your life that will have a tremendous benefit to your weight.

More additions coming in the next weeks with each of the Power 9 rules uncovered from the “Blue Zones” research.

Want to get started on living longer better and staying healthier and more youthful?

What do heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and stroke have in common?

Have you ever wondered aloud what you’re likely to die from one day? Most of us below 50 rarely like to consider what might one day lead to our demise. In fact, until life whacks us a punch in the form of ill health, we mainly just live in a way that quenches our appetite, makes us lick our lips in ravenous delight or just feeds our current need for sustenance. Unfortunately, however, adhering to the traditional Western diet has not done anyone any good, as showcased by the top 5 killers in the Western world.

So what do heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and stroke have in common? Well, they’re all in the top 5. In the UK, that top 5 looks like this:

  1. Ischaemic heart attack
  2. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  3. Malignancies caused by cancer
  4. Cerebrovascular diseases (or stroke)
  5. Chronic respiratory diseases (such as COPD) -***

Other than being in the top 5, these diseases have something else important in common: they are all caused by a mixture of inflammation and oxidative stress caused by years and years of poor diet and lifestyle: all factors that are within our control and for the most part preventable.

As a Nutritional Therapist, I spend a lot of time telling people that although sacrificing some foods that they may like (such as processed carbs, over-indulgent sweets and soda and energy drinks) may not be fun, it could end up saving their life one day. I get A LOT of questions of why this sacrifice is necessary, particularly from clients who are not overweight. I hear A LOT of “but isn’t everything ok in moderation?”.

The answer is a confusing one: well yes… and no. While some things in moderation are ok (like animal products), other things even in moderation are just bad for you (like sweetened beverages such as soda and energy drinks and highly processed foods, especially sugared foods). So if you insist on eating them every once in a while, just treat them as the catalyst towards ill health that they are. If you keep that in mind and choose to eat them anyway, then at least you approach them differently and with caution.

The real problem is that the food industry doesn’t really care about our health at all except in the way that it helps them make more money. So if they can sell something as a “healthier alternative” without getting caught in a lie, they will. We can’t blame them either because the only thing a corporation is supposed to care about is taking care of its’ shareholders and making money to progress its’ business. So if what’s required is adding a couple of key ingredients to make the product they sell more tasty so that it sells better, why not? Think “healthier” cereals and anything made by Heinz (which just tastes better than the leading organic, sugar free alternative).

However, although the please of eating more palpable foods is clear, it is also highly fleeting and creates in our body a kind of addictive reaction where we begin to crave those same manufactured flavours (good for the corporations selling those foods, but not very good for our health). AGEs (advanced glycated end products: such as anything made to be more tasty with added sugars) have been linked both with premature ageing (including wrinkles, loss of collagen…) and ageing-related diseases (such as the top 5 killers). Also linked with the top 5 killers are smoking, lack of exercise and calorie excess (especially when linked with nutritional deficiency). Still think your diet and lifestyle has nothing to do with how you age or even when you’ll die and what you’ll die from?

If you’re still not convinced, consider that there are 5 places in the world with the most people living past 100 in a healthy way (no or almost no meds or diseases). The diet in these places, known as the Blue Zones, is considerably different from the typical Western diet. Their lifestyle is very different too, with minimised stress and both exercise and calorie restriction being a normal part of every day.

I certainly don’t expect to change the world in a day, but my mission in what I do is to bring the Blue Zones home. That’s why I’m soon to launch a program helping people to slow down ageing in just 12 weeks of changes. Stay tuned. And if you want an early preview or to book a free 20 minute call with me, click here:

Genetic testing: For or against?

Genetic testing: For or against?

Genetic testing seems to be the new test on the block that many Nutritional Therapists and Naturopaths are becoming excited about thanks to the potential for predicting what could potentially happen health wise. But is your genetic pool really a code for your future health risks, or is it more just a hint of warnings to heed to ensure optimal health?

Many of those not trained in Naturopathy or Nutrition are now more aware than ever of certain genes, such as the BRCA gene mutation thanks to Angelina Jolie’s decision to have both breasts removed to prevent breast cancer, having discovered she’s a carrier of the SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism or mutation one is born with). But this is only one gene mutation in a host of many that can have significant impact on your health depending on likelihood of expression. There are genes, for example, that code for how you handle acrylamides present in BBQ prepared foods, smoking and even toast, which explain why some people can get away with smoking for years while others end up with cancer just from passive smoke and eating some browned toast and bbq. The acrylamide processing mutation has been linked with ovarian, lung and other cancers, for instance.

Genes that tell you how quickly medication and drugs (and even coffee and alcohol) go through your system can help your doctor properly dose your medication and are considered a new frontier in modern medicine being explored through pharmacogenomics.

The methylation gene mutation can mean that you are unable to perform certain common liver processes that help with detox. If your detoxification pathways are slow and toxins are left stuck in your system, this can then predispose you to inflammation and quite a few chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases, autoimmune diseases and many cancers. While the homocysteine gene mutation could make you more prone to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attack.

However, before you run to get your genetic code tested by screening companies like Lifecode GX or 23 and Me in great trepidation of what you might uncover, know that your genetics is just a plausible blueprint of what could happen and not what definitely will happen. That part is entirely dependent on what YOU DO WITH YOUR GENES and not just the genes you’ve been given.

So what can you do to protect yourself from deadly diseases whatever your genetic codes may be? Well that all comes back to diet and lifestyle of course. How you eat and how you live is what determines how well you live even to a ripe old age. In fact what you do with your genes is much more important than your genes to begin with. The power of switching genes on or off is completely up to us.

Need help knowing how to maximise the potential of your genes and minimise negative reactions? Book a free 20 minute call with me.

How to lower your cholesterol naturally

Let’s be honest, high cholesterol is a problem that many have just started to associate with ageing. So much so that many GPs just assume that people over a certain age should be prescribed statins, some of the most prescribed drugs for people over 60.

As a Nutritional Therapist, high cholesterol is a very common issue I expect to see in clinic. What’s incredible about high cholesterol, however, is that not only is it one of the most common issues in people over 50, but it’s also one of the easiest issues to treat naturally (see article below for a start on some natural remedies).

There are also quite a few misunderstandings about high cholesterol which should be cleared up. For one, cholesterol itself isn’t a bad thing: it’s your body’s natural response to inflammation. So if, for instance, you break a limb, the body would naturally send cholesterol to the area to make the rest of your body aware of the issue. The problem really is when the inflammation becomes chronic, which is when we tend to see certain cholesterol markers (what your GP will call “high cholesterol”) getting elevated. In other words, it isn’t the high cholesterol that’s the real issue, but the inflammation that is creating the high cholesterol as a response. So taking statins to fix the cholesterol issue is therefore often (not always and some people on statins really need them) akin to putting a plaster on a broken arm with a small cut on it too. The plaster will deal with one of the symptoms of the issue, but it’s certainly NOT addressing the issue overall. To do that, we’ll need to reset the broken bone. In the same way, to fix the cholesterol issue, we need to address the real core issue: the inflammation that is causing it. And that’s a whole other concern and the bread and butter of us Nutritional Therapists.

In addition, not all cholesterol is created equal or means the same thing. While LDL (low density lipoprotein) moves cholesterol to your arteries, where it can build up along artery walls causing many health issues, including heart disease, HDL (high density lipoprotein) helps rid your body of excess cholesterol. Hence why we want a significantly higher reading for HDL than for LDL. What we really don’t want is a high reading for TGs (triglycerides) as that can mean your arteries are hardening, and metabolic syndrome, resulting in heart diseases, stroke and other issues.

While much of the advice out there is to avoid fat if you want to avoid high cholesterol, not all fats are equally bad for you. In fact, the low fat versions of some foods (such as dairy products) are actually worse for you than their normal fat equivalents (I’ll do another newsletter to explain this). Natural whole fats that come from tree nuts, coconut oil, olive oil and avocado are very good for your health and your brain. Trans fats, however, that come from processed foods, fast food, sweetened beverages and many typical cooking oils (sunflower, peanut, corn…) when they go rancid (which they do without you realising often before you even bring them home) are what your body doesn’t like and doesn’t want: hence leading to issues and ill health if over-consumed.

Anyway, this is just a small glimpse into how important what you put into your body is and how that food can affect your health.

Want to find out more about how your body has been affected up to now and what you can do about it? Book a free 20 minute call with me here:

Distilling Aims & Managing Transitions with Declan Barry

In life we are constantly greeted with different transitions, some more difficult to face than others. Many of these transitions are not just difficult to face but they are also often unexpected and undesirable. While we have very little control over what is “done to us”, we have plenty of control over “what we do about it”. This includes even how we approach the challenge or situation.

In fact, how we approach difficulty or challenge of any kind is precisely what sets apart those who thrive versus those who just survive, or worse: don’t survive and get pushed under instead. State of mind (and our thoughts in general) are so key not just to our mental and emotion wellbeing but also to our physical health overall. In fact “How we think” is so key to ageing well that it is one of the main areas that we tackle in the “Slow Down Ageing in 12 weeks” series that I’m launching soon.

In this video about “Managing Transitions”, Declan Barry, an Executive Coach who helps clients to make the most of difficult transitions, explains why transitions are challenging but necessary and how we all can look at them as opportunities and make the most of them by working on how we approach these changes.

Want help dealing with transitions from a mental and physical health standpoint, book a free 20 minute call with me here:

Is there an ideal amount of alcohol for health?

The question of how much alcohol is good for you before it becomes bad for you is one that has been debated throughout the decades. While in the time of Prohibition in the turn of the 20th century, all alcohol was considered bad for you (though fun for sure), many things have changed since then. With the advent of the research on the Blue Zones (the areas where people tend to live the healthiest the longest and where there are the most centenarians), alcohol if drank moderately, has been given more of a thumbs up.

Recently, different studies have come to light, including those saying again that no alcohol is healthy and others estolling the virtues of wine (red wine in particular) thanks to its’ content of resveratrol and other benefits for a healthy heart.

Those who enjoy the occasional glass of wine will be pleased that the latest research seems to once again give wine the thumbs up (the darker the better). But, and that “but” is key, only in very moderate amounts. How moderate? Well one review of many studies found that the ideal amount seems to be under 20g for women and 40g for men daily (sorry, ladies, the gentlemen get to have more fun in this case). What that means in glass amount is something each should try for themselves (and let me know when you figure it out please).

On the positive side, this amount of wine consumed on regular occasions as a daily maximum was actually (surprisingly) considered healthier than no wine at all. However, that doesn’t mean that you can stockpile and have the full lot of a whole week’s worth on the weekend. It is especially the moderate consumption that makes the big difference to health. Any over-consumption in a single sitting and there are grave repercussions to both liver and overall health (and skin too). In fact, the studies demonstrate that better to er on the side of under-consumption than over-consumption for ideal health. So while one glass of wine on occasion is better than none, 4 or more glasses once a week is actually worse than not drinking at all.

Want to understand more about how your diet and lifestyle is affecting your health, book a free 20 minute call with me here:

How we are finding new ways of talking to one another – interview with Rafe Offer & Harry Yeff.

Even though most of us have spent loads of time knowing how to “talk” to one another, do we really know how to “communicate”? 

Do you sometimes feel like though you’re speaking with someone, the communication is pretty poor and you’re not really “getting” one another? And at other times do you feel like you just “click” with someone when you speak with one another?

During the lockdown period of Covid, we all have had to find new ways to communicate with one another. Not only were we not allowed to meet others who weren’t part of our household in person, especially not indoors, but we were even asked to socially distance in places where we could see people, such as in the supermarket or on a walk outside. Connecting with someone else became something we had to learn to do in another way. 

The world suddenly became both a bigger and smaller place. Smaller because our friends who may live abroad or somewhere else far away suddenly became just as close as those who live just 15 minutes away. Both were equally as accessible by phone or zoom and we were equally unable to visit with either. Suddenly, communication needed to be reinvented.

Rafe Offer and his business partner, Harry Yeff, for this particular project, are two heroes who decided together to question how people in general communicate and to look for new means to enable this communication. To learn more about their new venture and how it changes everything for all of us and makes us begin to question how we communicate (and even IF we truly communicate), watch the video below.

Need help encouraging your mind and body to communicate better for improved health, book a free 20 minute call with me here:

Are you doing your Ketogenic diet wrong?

The ketogenic diet has become pretty popular lately. Along with the paleo diet, the vegan diet and even the South Beach diet, it’s become one of the favourites of how to lose weight and is even sold as a healthier approach to eating. But does it really work? And is there a right and a wrong way to go ketogenic?

Well, first of all the idea behind the ketogenic diet is that our body will burn ketones (fat) if not given carbohydrates or protein to burn. This happens when the body goes into ketosis, a state of pseudo hunger when it has no energy coming in from either sugars or proteins. The advantage is that our natural fat stores then get used up, aiding in weight loss. There are also ample advantages for brain function and the ketogenic diet is used often for patients who suffer epilepsy, brain cancers and other brain disorders, including Alzeihmer’s and other dementias. 

Getting into a state of ketosis at times can also be helpful for longevity and general well-being, as well as healing in certain states of illness. For example, diabetics can benefit from ketosis as they then avoid the need for insulin to digest glucose, thereby allowing insulin and glucose levels to get more under control.

However, there are different ideas behind the ketogenic approach. The traditional “Ketogenic Diet” as it’s been sold allows for one to eat both protein and fat. But can one actually reach a state of ketosis if protein is available to be digested? Well, Dr Gundry would say “no” and does so in his series of books, beginning with The Plant Paradox. According to him one cannot actually reach ketosis if animal protein is consumed as both animal proteins and sugars keep insulin levels high, which stop us from reaching the necessary level for ketosis. In fact, the idea behind ketosis is that the body must burn stored fat for energy and this only happens if both glucose and protein are not available to burn.

Dr Gundry’s ketogenic approach of his gut-friendly diet is reduction of animal protein, but including ample healthy fats, such as avocados, select nuts and certain oils (MCT, coconut, macadamia, perilla, olive, ghee) for optimum results. 

The beauty behind this approach is not only that insulin levels can become stabilised, but also that the brain benefits significantly from the medium chain triglycerides (MCT, coconut oil, butter and ghee and palm kernel oil along with some others). Long chain triglycerides (such as in fish oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil) are also good for the brain, but they take longer to be absorbed by the body because of their longer carbon chains. That’s why MCT oil (which is the highest potency of them all and is derived from coconut oil) is becoming so popular as an additive to healthy smoothies these days.

Now if you’re eating animal protein AND fat and trying to get into ketosis, it’s probably not happening very well for you because your body is still using insulin to digest that protein. In order to help your body towards a better ketosis, you may want to stop eating the animal protein for a while. See what happens and how you feel. It seems a bit counterintuitive that in order to burn the most stored fat, you need to actually focus on eating mostly fat, but it isn’t for your body that is. Well, as long as you’re eating the right fat at least. So while coconut oil is good, processed fats in bad for you fatty foods are not.

How long do you do this for? Well it depends what you’re doing it for? Dr Gundry uses his ketogenic intensive diet to help those suffering from serious illnesses and puts them on this plan for months, sometimes life. But if your goal is simply to improve weight loss, then start with going fully ketogenic for a week a month and see how you feel. 

Eat all the vegetables you want, by the way, as long as they’re not nightshades or vegetables with seeds (which are actually fruit, such as cucumbers and tomatoes). Stick with greens and cruciferous veg and even some resistant starches, such as sweet potatoes. Include avocadoes and most nuts (no peanuts or cashews) and avoid animal products (except butter and ghee) for about a week. You can do less if you want, but a week is ideal. Do this once a month if you can; even 3 days in a row monthly is a good start. For best results and safety, ensure you do this while supervised by a Nutritional Therapist trained in this approach.

Benefits of fasting for body and mind

It does seem that the idea of intermittent fasting is everywhere these days, popularised by Michael Mosley and other proponents of intermittent fasting, calorie restriction and the 5:2 diet, fasting is becoming mainstreamed. But not everyone is convinced yet. If the idea of being happy to be hungry is still frightening for you, then perhaps you need more convincing on the benefits of fasting.

First of all, before I even list the top 10 benefits, let’s just remember that though it’s only recently that fasting has become the new “in” diet, the practice of fasting has actually been around longer than most of us, our parents, and even our grandparents. In fact, many religions include fasting as a norm in their culture. The Jews have Yom Kippur, along with other fasting days that are less well known and more practiced by the Orthodox. Muslims have the month of Ramadan when fasting takes place from dawn to dusk and Christians have a modified fast (well more of a sacrifice of some foods) with Lent. However, even predating religion, it is believed that our cavemen forefathers fasted regularly, mainly because food was less available. It’s only in modern times of food being plentiful that hunger feels like something scary.

However, hunger may actually be beneficial to one’s health. In fact, studies point to fasting and calorie restriction as methods to improve health, lose weight, reduce markers of metabolic syndrome, improve brain function, eliminate inflammation, improve our microbiome and even possibly prevent cancer. While most research up to now has been done on animals, the work is incredibly promising and even shows signs that fasting may slow down ageing and improve longevity. Now these may sound like mighty claims, but those who participate in fasting regularly swear by its’ healing and energising potential (not to mention the benefits for weight management). While there are many ways to practice fasting, the majority of research about its’ benefits exists around intermittent fasting (such as the 5:2 diet or 12-16 hour fasts or even short eating windows) along with calorie restrictive diets and water-only fasting diets that are occasional or temporary. Part of the idea is also to trick the body into burning ketones (or fats stored) without convincing it that you’ll be starving forever so much so that it slows the metabolism. 

For those who want the benefits, here are my top 10:

1. Reduces insulin resistance, encouraging blood sugar control. Reducing food ingested means reducing the need for insulin spikes when digesting the food, which encourages insulin sensitivity. This is especially useful for diabetes or other insulin resistance disorders.

2. Encourages weight loss and could potentially boost metabolism. Reducing calorie intake should equate to weight reduction on its’ own. However, added to that, if no glucose or protein is coming in, the body will naturally burn ketones (fats) for fuel, encouraging ketosis. This means that your stored fat is then burned, reducing fat, and weight with it. Some studies found that metabolism also increased due to increases in norepinephrine, which further enhances weight loss.

3. Improves brain function and could prevent dementias. Though most research is on animals, it demonstrates that fasting protects the brain and can even improve brain health and reduce the chances of dementias. This is very positive considering the increase of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other dementias that we’ve been seeing year on year.

4. Reduces inflammation, improving health. Studies have linked fasting with reduction in inflammatory markers and episodes of inflammation in some chronic inflammatory conditions. These include Multiple Sclerosis, among others.

5. Improves markers of metabolic syndrome. Along with reducing insulin resistance and improving blood sugar, fasting can also reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels and triglycerides.

6. Naturally increases HGH levels. Human growth hormone, which is key to overall health, metabolism, weight management and muscle strength, is increased with fasting. Fasting also helps to increase HGH by improving blood sugar and insulin levels.

7. May prevent cancer development. Many cancer cells live on sugars, carbs and other calorie dense processed foods. By reducing caloric intake, fasting helps to promote apoptosis and reduce tumour growth. It helps alongside chemotherapy to improve outcomes, but research on animals have also shown it to be as effective as chemo for killing cancer cells.

8. Promotes longevity and delays ageing. While most of this research is again mainly done on animals, it is hugely promising for those who wish to slow down the ageing process. Some animal studies demonstrated ageing on animals that fasted every other day so reduced that they lived over 80% longer (and healthier) than non-fasting animals.

9. Improves energy (if done correctly). Helps our body to run more efficiently during certain times and makes our brain more alert. Some animal studies demonstrated that rats subjected to fasting performed better on mazes and other skill tests than rats fed a normal calorie diet. This was especially true for female rats. This may have something to do with what our bodies prioritise when food is scarce, giving energy to our brain and muscles first.

10. Improves gut microbiome by improving bio diversity. We are made up of various bacteria. Depending on which research and books you read, some claim that only 10% of us is human cells, while the remainder is bacteria. Many of these bacteria are good for us, while some are hurtful. The hurtful bacteria live on sugars, processed foods, simple carbs… The positive bacteria, however, can live without food or on healthier foods, such as fibre. Hence, starving our bodies temporarily helps to eliminate these foods and improves the balance of our gut bacteria to more of the healthy bacteria that improves overall immunity and mental health, starving the bad bacteria that lead to reduced immunity and low mood.

***But be warned that all fasting isn’t for everyone and should be supervised by a trained practitioner.

Convinced and want help on getting started on this easy health-giving practice, book a free 20 minute call with me here

The surprising drink that can help your digestion and weight issues

If you’ve have sluggish digestion or trouble losing weight, or even dull looking skin, you may be able to help improve your issues with a rathe simple and surprising drink that everyone can add to their regimen and that many of us Nutritional Therapists use as one of our foremost pieces of advice that’s simple to follow: lemon water. 


The truth is that the benefits of drinking warm water with lemon on an empty stomach each morning (preferably with a straw to avoid erosion of tooth enamel) are something that both naturopathically-minded Nutritional Therapists and Naturopaths, as well as Functional Medicine doctors, have been well aware of for quite some time. Like many things to do with natural medicine, the benefits have been highly anecdotal. But so prevalent are the anecdotes, and so simple the procedure to follow, that we include this as a first step on a plan for most clients. Lemon water is not only great for liver cleansing, alcalizing, digestive fluid boosting, skin clearing boosting… but it also tastes pretty good so is a great substitute for other less desired drinks, such as any kind of soda beverage, energy drink or even processed fruit juice (ie: anything not freshly squeezed). Considering my long love of lemon water, I was pretty pleased to find this article (below) shared on a group I’m in by another Nutritional Therapist as excited about lemon water as me. Lemon water is just one simple thing you can do to improve your digestion and boost weight loss.

To find out many more things you can do to significantly improve your health now and secure your health to age better into the future, book your free 20 minute call with me here:Book a free 30 minute call

Making your business work for you rather than working for your business?

Most people find themselves working to live rather than living to work. For most, going to work and even having a career, is something that serves the purpose of paying the bills rather than filling a passion. If you find yourself feeling weighed down with your career and no longer excited about waking up each morning and spending your day doing a job you don’t really love, read on and watch the video below.

Recently I’ve had the please of interviewing Mandeep Singh, a Career and Business Coach, who spoke about how he helps his clients turn around what they think of as a dead end job to have a career (and life) that excites them. 

So what does having a business that works for you, rather than feeling like you’re working for your business, have to do with healthy ageing? Well, everything. After all, as we age, being able to balance lifestyle with work becomes more and more important. The high powered jobs that helped some lucky few make a lot of money quickly also served to burn out most of them. Sleepless nights to suceed on a deal don’t work as well for those 50 and above as they did for those in their 20s and 30s. Hence why many Associates who face that in the beginning of their careers retire ealy.

In fact, most of the poor lifestyle choices we make when we’re young could kill us when we’re older, or at least bring on an early grave or an early retirement (and not the fun kind) due to health issues. High stress plays a role in most ageing-related disorders and serious illnesses. You can find it mentioned as a top contended in cancer for instance, as well as in heart disease and stroke, among others. Stress can lead to insulin resistance which can cause PCOS and type 2 diabetes. Stress even plays a significant role in obesity and other weight issues, as well as in most chronic illnesses. So having a job/career that we don’t like, or even fearing being fired or laid off because we’re in a tough industry or just not enthused about what we do, hence living in constant stress, can play havoc on our mental and overall health.

Mandeep gives us several pieces of advice for loving what we do and hence living a life that we find exciting and fulfilling. Feeling passionate and inspired in our business life and living our work with passion (possibly finding work that helps us to feel this way) is key to loving waking up each morning. Mandeep suggests thinking about what got you started and where you want to be going if you lose your way along the way.

And if leaving your current job to start something that excites you isn’t a viable option right now, then the key is to find that work-life balance so you can do what you want to do while you’re working or growing your success in whatever business you’re in. Fulfilling that life part of the balance will then serve to give you extra energy to keep going with the work park that you can’t leave behind.

In life, as in work, there are some things within our control and many things outside of it. The key is not to stress on what’s out of your control but instead to focus on what’s within your control. You can make the most difference there and there’s no point raising your blood pressure over what’s out of your control anyway. Instead, focus on making the circle of what’s within your control bigger and stronger and as that grows, so will your feeling of fulfilment.

Watch the video below for more tips and advice.

Need more help or worried about how you’re ageing? Book a free 20 minute call with me here: 

Book a free 30 minute call

Is eating healthy actually making you sick?

Hi there, 

I know, I know: this is a totally shocking question posed by a Nutritional Therapist and Naturopath? And certainly I’m not meaning to say that most of the favourite healthy food I recommend to clients (namely vegetables, gut friendly foods or omega 3 fats) are unhealthy. In fact, these three are still considered very healthy, as is the Maediterranean diet way of eating that I suggest to most clients (for the most part anyway). Phew! Yes you can breathe a sigh of relief now. 

But I have to say that even someone who’s made healthy eating into a career has been struck dumb by some of the most recent discoveries of how what many think is healthy is actually not so healthy after all. Oh, just so you know, what we think of as distinctly unhealthy (meaning junk food and processed food of all sorts, including sodas and other sugary drinks along with manufactured foods like candy, crisps, biscuits… that you find being bought en masse in most supermarkets and that have shelf lives longer than some of our pets) are still just as unhealthy as before (or more so if that’s possible).

Now, I’m not trying to make your life more complicated here. I know you’ve probably been bombarded with so many fad diets that work for some but don’t work for most long-term, and that still leave too many in our immediate vicinity sick, dying old too young or just surviving on multiple pills. The truth is, I’ve been asking myself why there are almost as many diets as species of dog out there and if they’re so great, then why are they not working? As someone who studied Nutrition and Naturopathy and who is now doing a masters in Personalised Nutrition focusing in on how we slow down the ageing process, I’ve been asking myself that question ever since starting my studies and even before. I’ve read so many books and studies on the topic that I was probably just as confused as you. Until I accidentally discovered a series of books by Dr Steven R Gundry, MD and began to read one after the other unable to let go. Suddenly, so much made sense.

To be fair, many who suffer from autoimmune diseases and who went looking for a more natural treatment that doesn’t involve immunosuppressants for life probably discovered Dr Steven Gundry way before I did. His results are incredible, even in his own life. His way of eating is challenging to say the least, but actually much easier that most fad diets that people have gone on to little effect (Atkins anyone?). It’s also not a fad diet but a way of life. I’ve not only seen incredible results since changing my own eating habits to echo more of his advice (and seen them quickly) but also have began seeing incredible results in clients.

I won’t go on and summarise his series of books as there’s just way too much in there. But basically, the idea is that we avoid these nasty things called lectins (which are antinutrients some plants put out to make those who eat them sick). At the same time, we eat to take good care of our microbiome (that’s our gut bacteria), which makes up 90% of us (that’s right, we are only 10% human and 90% bacteria, shocking huh!). There has been quite a surge of gut bacteria research coming out in the past decade along with the advent of something most of us are well aware of, namely probiotics. But Dr Gundry’s books showcase how there’s just soooo much more to it than that.

In truth, I already learned quite a lot about both lectins and the importance of the gut microbiome during my nutrition studies, both in the diploma and the masters (which helped a lot with both understanding and knowing the full truth of what his book speaks about). But Dr Gundry’s book was the final testament I needed to really buy into this in changing both my own eating habits and the plans I give to many of my clients.

I recommend starting with the book pictured above and then contacting me for extra help when you need it. Remember, I offer a free 20 minute call to help get you started in the right direction. Here’s the link to book the free call:

And if you really have no time to read and would like a summary, a lot of it is what I’ve started using in my practice and in my own life and that I’ll be taking my upcoming weight loss program clients through. Book that free call with me for more information.

Book a free 30 minute call

Could your life style be causing dementia?

The statistics for dementias are staggering and very sad. An ever-increasing number of people seem to become affected with this debilitating group of diseases. The question is not so much why but what can we do about it RIGHT NOW?

While there are certainly dementia genes that lead some to be more predisposed than others to these debilitating illnesses, genes only play a small role in whether someone is stricken with dementia later in life. The study of epigenetics also teaches us that whether certain genes manifest or not is determined quite a bit by our lifestyle (including how we live, how we eat and even how we think).

Sadly many people don’t know that common mistakes they make even early in life may predispose them to being more likely to incur dementia (including Alzheimer’s) later in life, and by then it’s too late to fix.

What are those things? Here I did a Facebook live video on the subject. Have a watch. I’m also coming out with a 12 week series on things we should DO RIGHT NOW to slow the ageing process. That will be out later this spring. 

Watch the full video here 

I’m also creating a free video with 3 things many do that unknowingly may be causing them to age prematurely and 3 other things we should all be doing that can help us slow ageing down. If you want a link to the free video once it’s ready, reply to this post or email saying “send me the video” or reply on my Facebook or Instagram (@healthyagingnutrition) or on my YouTube saying “send me the video”. You can also book a free call with me here:

Book a free 30 minute call

Slow down ageing with these 7 herbs.

Let’s be honest, none of us really want to age. While ageing is a natural chronological process that, at this point in time, happens to all of us, HOW we age is something that we can control and should.

How we eat, how we live and how we think impacts completely on how we age. Changing just a few key elements in any one of these three areas can make an enormous difference to not only our present, but also to our future.

Throughout my life and my work, I’ve been rather obsessed with figuring out the various secrets to slowing the ageing process. I’m even focusing my masters thesis on this exact question and launching an online series which incorporates what I’ve discovered in the process of searching for the secret to antiaging.

In the process of research, I sometimes come across interesting articles that I can share with you all, so that you can save yourself the trouble of having to search for the secrets which have taken me years to uncover. Here’s a great article which includes 7 herbs that can help slow the ageing process. While knowing the herbs to use is one part of the discovery, actually finding how to best take these herbs in the most impactful way is the key.

Karime’s Testimonial: Perimenopause & Bloating

As a newly-qualified Nutritional Therapist focusing in on Healthy Ageing, the most important feedback for me is feedback from the client. My aim in what I do is, as it was already since I startedmy practice in Wellness Coaching more than 5 years ago: to help my clients to leave working with me feeling much better and happier than when they came.

It was through my continuous work with clients, both one on one and in group coaching that I would begin to sense what knowledge I needed to increase in order to help them better. Thanks to that work, I decided to learn NLP and then Clinical Hypnotherapy. It was then through working with weigh loss clients in Hypnotherapy that I realised that I could help them more by learning Nutritional Therapy and Naturopathy. Though this was another 3 years of study, I could see how my added knowledge would help clients. It was during my learning that I also was able to focus in on the subject area that interested me most: that of how we age and what causes ageing to happen more quickly (with the negative repercussions of ageing) as well as how we can slow down the ageing process through living in a more healthy way. This is the focus that I will now also pursue in my Masters. During this entire time, I have continued my work with clients, both in my personal clinic capacity and through student clinics while studying. It is always a very happy moment when a client is so satisfied with how I helped him or her that she is willing to share her/his testimony. Though we already have many testimonies on both my Instagram accounts (@HealthyAgingNutrition and @CoachJuliaKeller) and on my website (, we’re constantly adding more as clients offer to give them. Here is a video testimonial from a client some time back when I first finished my nutrition studies.

Healthy Ageing Starts With Healthy

After interviewing quite a few experts for my soon launching series on Healthy Ageing from the inside out, it was refreshing and different to be invited to be the one being interviewed for a change. Anthony Abis, of BU-Evolution, a brilliant new venture bringing various specialists in the holistic healing world together, interviewed me abouteverything from what got me started to what my upcoming series will be covering.

New Years Detox

It’s been a very challenging year, to say the least. I don’t think anyone is sorry to leave 2020 behind and to begin anew in a fresh new year. 2021 has a lot of expectations riding on it. Not only is it the year that hopefully will finally see an end to a pandemic that took lives and financial stability in the same brutal reality, but it is also when we witness the UK leaving the EU (with all the hangover side-effects that will go alongside the departure that’s been building up to this moment for a while).

Hopefully too 2021 will also be the year that we all — now a bit more cognizant of our mortality thanks to a pandemic that threatened to kill both people and economy alike — finally realise the importance of staying healthy. Not only does staying healthy mean that we keep our immunity intact and ready for when we really need it to protect us, but it also means ageing better and more slowly (more on this to come).

What better way to start the year but with keeping to our resolutions to take better care of our health. Normally this begins with promising to eat better, to go the the gym and exercise more and to stop bad habits before they get worse. Well, what better way to get started than a detox. To help, I’m making available again a video I posted last year on how to go about detoxing. However, keep in mind that not everyone will benefit from the same type of detox and that some may need to build up instead or will need to go about it in a totally different way.

To find out what kind of detox is best for you, schedule your free 30 minute call with me here: