"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

What's the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance?

Lisa Cutforth - Wednesday, July 08, 2009

stockxpertcom_id248989_jpg_d8d5ad9f3a2a763ef3a45103003f66061Many of us will experience an adverse reaction to a particular food or substance at some point in our lives. Allergies and food sensitivities appear to be on the increase. Is there really an increase in incidence or is there merely an increased awareness? With modern diets what they are, it is quite probable there is an increase, many people are taking in substances that are foreign to the body, e.g. artificial additives, preservatives, colorants, moulds and fungi, these chemical toxins and poisins wreak havoc in the body and can compromise the body's immunity, in addition to this many people do not eat a balanced diet which means they are missing key essential nutrients (eg. amino acids, vitamins) so may not be able to synthesize the necessary enzymes for digesting particular foods. Both of these factors can contribute to allergies and food sensitivities or intolerances.

How serious are they?

Food allergies tend to be very serious and can be life threatening, food intolerances can lead to malnutrition and dramatically affect the quality of life of the individual. Here is a short article that looks at the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance...  Essentially some foods in some people may cause an immune response, the body has an allergic reaction when it is exposed to these foods.  These differ in severity but usually are immediate and in severe cases an allergy can result in anaphylatic shock and result in death (peanut allergies and sometimes egg allergies are examples of the more severe allergies).  Food intolerances are the much more common lifestyle impeding culprits. A food intolerances can be more difficult to isolate and this is because they cause a different type of immune reaction, it is often a delayed reaction, it is usually not life threatening and develops because of a compromised or overactive immune system, where the body because of a lack of enzymes or deficiencies may not be able to digest a food or in the case of leaky gut larger particles of food enter into the system and the body reacts in a defensive way to the food.  Caeliac disease fits into a class of it's own and is closer to an "auto immune" disease where the body actually can start to attack itself. 

Where can you get help?How can you find out more? For more help or guidance on allergies or food sensitivities Contact Us

Booking an appointment with a nutritionist, dietitian or even a naturapath can be a great place to start. They can advise you on what tests you need to have done, if any, and some of them will even perform their own tests. They will help you to isolate possible suspect foods or substances and can also help you to manage your allergies and food sensitivites and still maintain a balanced diet, once you know what they are. You can go directly to your GP and request allergy or food intolerance tests first, they will write a referral for you to have tests at a local lab (These are sometimes covered by medicare). Once you have your results you could book in with a nutritionist or dietitain who can then offer further guidance and support. Whatever you do, don't ignore allergies or food intolerances, the symptoms and destruction on the body only tend to get worse. It is best to seek professional help so that you are supported as you explore whether the foods you are eating are making you ill. This is what people who have eliminated their trigger foods have said: "I do not know myself now, I feel great, I have lost weight, I have more energy, and it was just a matter of creating some new habits. At the time it felt like hard work, but I would never go back now, it was worth the effort and I just love feeling this great, I didn't know what I was missing."

Here are some more articles you might find interesting:

Are food intolerances making you sick?

What's the difference between a food allergy and an intolerance and what can I eat?

Finally a Party that Caters For People with Allergies!

Lisa Cutforth - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Food after allergies!  Finally a Party Catering for People with Food sensitivities!

Cooking Party!

Get inspired with great allergen free recipes and stop feeling like you are missing out on all the good stuff! 

Lisa Vance, International Nutritionist with certificate in cordon Bleu

Cookery brings you “Food without the Pain and Discomfort!”

(Lisa will show you how to prepare delicious Gluten, dairy and egg free cooking).

Wheat, Dairy and Egg are amongst the top 10 most common allergens that plague people’s lives, you may be sensitive to these foods without even realising it. 

 How would you know?

o       Can’t lose weight

o       Sinusitis

o       Ringing in the ears

o       Indigestion

o       IBS

o       Bloating

o       Diarrhoea

o       Acne

o       ADD/ADHD

 Come along and enjoy an evening of fun, food, and inspiration:

Touch, taste and experience the pleasure of delicious and nutritious food!

Places limited so confirm your place today, by hitting reply!

Fri, 24 April, at 6.30pm, Brendale 

$35 per mouth

Don’t miss out, book your place today.

Click here if you would like to join us: Yes Please!

Are You Addicted to Chocolate?

Lisa Cutforth - Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Why does chocolate make us feel SOOO good and seem to have so much power over us?

 

If you are the type of person who thinks about chocolate all the time and can’t live without it, and if you just can’t even think about saying no or resisting it, then you are probably addicted to it!

You can be both physiologically and psychologically or emotionally addicted to a substance or behaviour and that is what makes it harder to control or give up. 

What is it in chocolate that makes it so “addictive”?

The taste, the texture and the way it makes you feel! 

The main ingredients in chocolate are: cocoa, milk and sugar.

If we break each of these down, we can start to understand the effect each of these has on the body. 

 

Cocoa:

  • Contains compounds that act as stimulants for the central nervous system, so we feel more alert (for example caffeine and theobromine). Theobromine triggers the release of endorphins in the brain and works as a natural antidepressant.   
  • Contains phenylethylamine, which is know for causing emotional highs and lows associated with mood swings, love, pleasure and indulgence.  
  • It also contains important minerals like iron which is needed for blood formation and magnesium which the body needs for muscle movement (contraction and relaxation) and also for the nervous system, so it can help us feel a little relaxed.
  • The heavenly texture can be attributed to the fat.  This pleasurable “mouth feel” associated with fat is probably an evolutionary consequence of the high energy fat could provide in times of famine.
  • Cocoa is also a rich source of antioxidants (protective in the body)

Milk:

  • Contains tryptophan which is converted to serotonin (one of our “happy hormones”) in the brain
  • Interestingly a sensitivity to milk can give rise to cravings for milk.  (You may not be lactose intolerant but you could still be sensitive to milk!  Some partially-digested proteins for example casein in milk or gluten in wheat will form opium like peptides (chains of amino acids) which can bind to special receptors in the brain and are capable of producing a drug-like effect, leaving us wanting more of the very thing that is causing us harm!) (I will cover more on the topic of allergies in future newsletters).

Sugar:

  • (Carbohydrate) aids the transport and absorption of tryptophan into the brain
  • Will provide an increase in blood sugar, which will periodically alleviate the symptoms of low blood sugar (low energy and low mood).

Therefore you can see there is a host of explanations for why chocolate has such an effect on us and it would be so hard to give up.

 

The downside of chocolate:

  • Processed, mainstream chocolate is high in sugar and contains all sorts of other additives to keep it “fresh”.  Anything that causes a rapid increase in blood sugar will inevitably result in a rapid drop in blood sugar, which will affect your energy and your mood short term but has more serious long-term consequences (e.g. diabetes)
  • Caffeine is a stimulant so acts increases stress in the body
  • There are better ways to achieve higher levels of these important nutrients:  e.g. iron (meat, chicken thighs).  Milk hinders iron absorption.  Tryptophan is found in protein rich food like chicken, pumpkin seeds, turkey, tuna, rolled oats is a particularly good option, because of the combined carbohydrate content.
  • Some people are sensitive to certain foods, continuing to eat these foods can have undesirable consequences for the body, for example it causes inflammation which can appear with the following symptoms:  bloating, mucous production, diarrhea, cramping, leaky gut. 

The million-dollar question: So is chocolate bad for me?

  • It’s a treat!  It is definitely acceptable and possibly even beneficial to enjoy good quality chocolate in moderation.  “Good” options are 1-2 pieces 75-90% Cocoa, and preferably Organic Chocolate.  If you can’t stand dark chocolate, choose a good quality milk chocolate with nuts in it, (hazelnuts or almonds). 
  • Always make sure you are enjoying it while you eat and never eat it mindlessly (while you are doing something else!), it just isn’t worth it!

How can a Nutritionist or Nutritional Therapist Help Me?

Lisa Cutforth - Tuesday, December 02, 2008

How would you like to wake up without your alarm clock, feeling rested.  You jump out of bed as the sun comes up, you feel like getting some exercise straight away and then instead of going for a walk around the block you skip around the block?  Nothing is too much of a challenge, you breeze through the day, with a clear head, you’re organized, alert, energized, effective and feeling powerful.  You are excited about the day ahead, you get results, you excel.  You come home after work, you are able to switch off and relax without needing a glass of wine or a stiffer drink, you enjoy helping to prepare the evening meal and you settle in to enjoy a nice dinner with your family, good conversation and an easy enjoyable evening, the cleaning up is done effortlessly, you are at peace with the world, in control and in love with life.  You get into bed and fall straight to sleep and wake up completely refreshed for the new day! 

Any of that sound appealing?  Is that you now? Or…

Do you wake up in a haze with the alarm clock or the sound of your kids? You hit the snooze button or pull the covers over your head.  Eventually you drag yourself out of bed, you still feel tired.  You head for the kitchen and your caffeine hit.  Time starts to register, and you rush around like a maniac trying to get ready and going.  You arrive at your destination, already exhausted, stressed and irritable.  More coffee.  The hunger begins to hit, but you are busy, busy, busy, too busy to eat.  You push through.    You chase your tail, your day is unstructured and stressful.  You grab some food, something quick and easy and high energy and high fat.  You get home late, tired and cranky.  You don’t feel like cooking, you need a stiff drink, you don’t want to talk to anyone or have to be nice.  You make it through the evening, you hit the sack, but you don’t sleep well.  Your mind is racing, you are trying to figure out how you are going to do today’s unfinished tasks on top of the ever increasing work load.  The alarm clock sounds…

What does your nutrition status affect?

Mood, motivation, energy levels, weight, power, strength, mental and physical ability, disease risk

Do you suffer with any of the following?

Cramps, indigestion, diarrhoea, constipation, sinusitis, acne, arthirtis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, gout, weight gain, weight loss, diabetes, headaches, irregular menstruation, low libido, food addiction, allergies, food intolerances, eczema, psoriasis, frequent colds and flu, more immune system, Poor memory, fatigue, aches and pains…

Many people seem unclear about what it is a nutritionist or nutritional therapist does, or why they might want to see one. 

Basically nutritionists help you to get more out of your life.  They do this by identifying underlying causes of disease or health concerns.  While nutritionists are prevention focused, this often translates into restoring health, PROMOTING LIFE and preventing pre-mature death.  If you have a health concern, it is good to start with the basics, the root or core of the problem.  Every cell in your body requires nutrients to function, that means every process, everything you do, requires nutrition.  If your nutrition status is sub-optimal, this is going to spill over into every other area of your life.  Your performance will be sub-optimal, you will feel and be below your game, your mind cannot operate clearly… and life becomes a drag… something you get through day to day… rather than something you LOVE, ENJOY and CELEBRATE!

“Nutritionists work with each client to produce a tailor-made programme to address specific issues and help you reach your health goalsThis could be clearer skin, more energy, improved digestion or weight loss. Nutritional therapy can also help more complex issues such as overcoming infertility, alleviating migraines or supporting a particular medical condition.” 

 

The results are you feel more in control of your life, you have more energy, you are more productive, you feel more alive, you have better relationships with your self and others,  and experience an overall better quality of life. 

Why isn’t this enough of an incentive?

You can know what to eat, and hear all the healthy messages out there in the world and still not implement it or change or even WANT to change.  We all have a relationship with food.  Food services much more for us than just nutrients.  We use it to reward or punish, to celebrate, to commiserate… Much more important than the type of food you eat, is the way you are thinking about the food you eat.  The internal processing, what are you telling yourself about the food you eat, the guilt, the shame, the peace, the praise, the associations… all the sub conscious stuff. 

 

Nutritional Therapists are aware of the multvariate factors that prevent individuals from implementing appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes, and will work with them at their own pace to adapt to new circumstances. 

 

I like to take it one step further, working with you to understand the triggers, the motives, the underlying stuff and then look at practical ways of moving forward, empowering you, supporting you to implement lifechanging, sustainable strategies, to heal yourself and take back control of your life!

For more information of nutrition or nutritional therapy, these are two of my favourite sites!

 

http://www.saant.org.za/nt/defining.html

http://www.patrickholford.com/content.asp?id_Content=414

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