Below is a simple summary of how the Nutritional Therapy process may work in terms of stages:
Stage 1. Make your health goal
Prior to your appointment (ideally a minimum of 7 days), I ask you to complete a health questionnaire and 3-day food diary. In the first consultation I refer to your questionnaire and current signs and symptoms. I will ask you about your typical diet, lifestyle, activity and stress levels. We also talk about any challenges you might face when making changes. I will share your dietary analysis which will inform your recommendations which are for up to 4 weeks. Typically we may speak 2-4 weeks later to see how you are getting on with your recommendations.
Stage 2. Support your nutrition plan
In the next session, we evaluate how you are getting on. We will go at your pace so you don’t feel too overwhelmed or if you are keen to make changes quickly. Some clients choose to have coaching support between sessions for accountability and motivation. I can provide a variety of information and support: practical tips, recipes, information, help sheets, sign-posting to other professionals if required, supplement protocols if required and functional tests if desired. Tests provide a measurable insight into your health and can help to inform your protocol more specifically.
Tests are organised by myself but conducted through reputable labs. Typical examples include stool tests for digestive issues, finger prick blood tests for Vitamin D and thyroid, saliva tests for stress and fatigue, urine tests (DUTCH) for female/male hormones, and organic acid tests for a metabolic picture. Here is an explanation of Organic Acids:
“The Organic Acids Test (OAT) offers a comprehensive metabolic snapshot of a patient’s overall health with over 70 markers. It provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria. Abnormally high levels of these microorganisms can cause or worsen behavior disorders, hyperactivity, movement disorders, fatigue and immune function. Many people with chronic illnesses and neurological disorders often excrete several abnormal organic acids in their urine. The cause of these high levels could include oral antibiotic use, high sugar diets, immune deficiencies, acquired infections, as well as genetic factors. Our Organic Acids Test also includes markers for vitamin and mineral levels, oxidative stress, neurotransmitter levels, and is the only OAT to include markers for oxalates, which are highly correlated with many chronic illnesses. If abnormalities are detected using the OAT, treatments can include supplements, such as vitamins and antioxidants, or dietary modification. Upon treatment, patients and practitioners have reported significant improvement such as decreased fatigue, regular bowel function, increased energy and alertness, increased concentration, improved verbal skills, less hyperactivity, and decreased abdominal pain. The OAT is strongly recommended as the initial screening test.” (Quoted from: https://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/organic-acids-test/).
Stage 3. Reviewing your progress
Everyone progresses at a different rate in terms of reaching his or her health goal or goals. This depends on many factors such as the complexity of the health issues and personal challenges that lie in the way –for example, a busy, stressful lifestyle. In further sessions, we review how you are feeling and how you are getting on. These sessions are unique to you but may include tweaking your plan so that you are heading in the right direction.
Stage 4. Supporting yourself independently
After a period of education, support and advice from me, and diet and lifestyle changes from you, you may have reached some of your health goals and be feeling ready to continue your new diet and lifestyle without support. Sometimes it can take a few months to feel the benefits of the changes made. You can choose to book in for a follow-up session to evaluate how you are doing or talk on the phone for a ‘top-up’ of coaching or support if you feel the need.