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Thoughts on changing diets.

Rachael Forrest

Non-meat options can still be really tasty and filling.

Non-meat options can still be really tasty and filling.

The British Government has just declared a climate and environmental emergency, which is a first step towards doing something about the crisis we find ourselves in. It’s one thing to declare it though and another to actually take action and it’s the big fuel companies as well as airport expansion that have to make the biggest steps.

However, on a personal level something we can do as individuals is to cut down on meat consumption. I looked at this a few years ago, for ethical reasons but, even though I didn’t ever eat huge quantities of meat, it still seemed daunting to give it up completely. After all, it’s so easy … such a useful ingredient with so many options.

Now my (almost) grown-up kids are pushing to go vegetarian as well and we are all making an effort. I have discovered the delights of baked feta as a brilliant and filling meat alternative (might take some getting used to - it’s a strong taste) as well as the multiple uses for lentils and beans. We haven’t missed meat at all, except it’s convenience, and once you have enough alternatives in your repertoire this is no longer an issue.

My current take on it is that we’ll have meat very occasionally, maybe once per month or every couple of weeks. That way, when we do have it, we can make sure it’s good quality, local and organic. I feel like my body needs the occasional dose of B12 and Iron which come from red meat so, for now, I’m not going to give it up completely but will make it a rare treat instead.

This is such an important and vital step towards reducing methane, land consumption and mono-cultures that taking no action is not an option for me personally but I do know that changing lifestyle habits can be difficult. I suggest taking it slowly, informing yourselves about the alternatives and getting family & friends on board so you don’t feel alone in your endeavours.

Meet Our New Antioxidant CoQ10 Formula for 2019

Rachael Forrest

Our formulas are always under review which means we can make sure they offer the best combination of ingredients for our patients. This year it’s the turn or our lovely Antioxidant/CoQ10 formula which has a new bottle and a new formula to show off. It’s even more full of goodness from all the colourful veg it’s made from but there is a change in balance of ingredients.

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The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice a change in dosage - notably the COQ10 - and this is because our nutritionist Dr Jane Jamieson (PhD) has been looking more closely at how the ingredients support each other to form a matrix.

Co-enzyme Q10 is a natural product made in the body and it’s purpose is to support energy production in the mitochondria (the energy producing cells). Co-enzyme Q10 functions within the mitochondria to shuttle electrons in the electron transport chain and it also functions as an antioxidant. I can honestly say that I have not been ill since I have been taking these and expect the new formula to be just, if not more, effective.

Our new formula contains less CoQ10 than previously because in combination with the other ingredients it is able to work more efficiently. Most other formulas contain higher dosage of CoQ10 which cannot be absorbed by the body as it does not have the capacity to do so. Our formula contains a bioavailable form of coenzyme Q10 to give the cells a boost.

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You will never need as much of one particular nutrient if all of its co-factors are present. For example, 100mg of coenzyme Q10 on its own, will have a similar effect as 10 mg or less of coenzyme Q10, alongside vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, selenium, glutathione, lipoic acid, bioflavonoids and beta-carotene. This is the mistake that most supplement research makes, mainly because it is easier to do an experiment on a single nutrient, than it is on a multinutrient formula.

The body always prefers the multinutrient formula because of the other benefits it gets. In terms of our formula your body also gets Zinc (anti-viral), Vitamin C (anti-viral and supports collagen production), Selenium (supports the thyroid), Beta-carotene (is great for the mucus membranes and for the eyes and immune system).

Our new formula supports co-enzyme Q10 production and recycling in the body in the following ways: It contains L-tyrosine which is the amino acid precursor for co-enzyme Q10. It also contains bioflavonoids, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E and glutathione (glutathione production supported by zinc and selenium) which mean coenzyme Q10 can be recycled and reused by the body.

There are many enzymes required to produce coenzyme Q10 and these enzymes require co-factors to work properly. The vitamin B complex found within the food state matrix supports the co-factors needed for coenzyme Q10 synthesis in the body. Zinc is a co-factor for some of enzymes used to make co-enzyme Q10. A great increase in bioflavonoids supports the effectiveness of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to recycle coenzyme Q10 in the body, so lower doses of coenzyme Q10 are needed. Supporting co-enzyme Q10 inside the cell is effective as coenzyme Q10 doesn’t cross membranes well.

As always, if you have any questions about our formulae, please get in touch. Jane is willing to answer all questions and explain how and why she has chosen ingredients and dosages. Enjoy!

Practising what we preach

Rachael Forrest

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I'd just heated up my 'left-overs for lunch' when one of our lovely therapists suggested I should take a photo of my food and blog about it.  To be honest, such things don't occur to me and I don't think I have ever taken a photo of food before - whether it's my own concoction or something I've ordered, however, in the interests of getting up-to-date, I have now done just that. Excuse the photo, it may not be up to Instagram standards!

It made me think about what we eat here at the clinic.  We are, after all, aiming to promote health and fertility but what people say isn't always what they do.  Amongst the therapists who work here, and not all are fertility related, we have a couple of vegans, meat eaters, some dairy free, one (me) who follows a ketogenic eating pattern (low, but not no, carbs) - that's for blood sugar balancing, not for weight loss - and some raw cacao fans.  Every one of us is conscious about what we eat and we take care to balance our foods but none of us are fanatical. I would say all of us are relatively healthy and we each exercise in our own ways - some more regularly or intensely than others.  We stick to the 80/20 rule - if you're doing 80% right then the odd piece of cake, bottle of wine and slobbing day are not going to do any harm.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say they'll do some good as it removes any pressure and is much more realistic (especially over Christmas!).

Most of us at the clinic work long days and bring our own food in with us.  It gets too expensive to keep buying lunch when you're in the middle of town.  As I said, I try to keep my carb intake low so that my blood sugar stays balanced and it's made a massive difference to how I feel.  The bowl of food in the picture is my own recipe of 'butternut squash curry'.  Basically, heat some coconut oil with cumin seeds, garam masala, chilli flakes and some turmeric until sizzling then add the diced and skinned butternut squash pieces with some garlic.  Let them brown a bit and then add either water or tinned tomatoes (water in this one), veggie stock pot/cube, frozen spinach and peas (you can add anything you want at this stage).  Once the butternut squash is soft I turn the heat off and stir in coconut cream/milk and then dig in.  Butternut squash still contains carbs but has a low glycemic index and it's filling so great for a Winter's night.  The coconut milk adds essential healthy fats which also keep you feeling satisfied for longer.