Emma Nutrition

Simplifying the science through cooking and education. When I'm not on Mummy duties…

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Tasty Gluten Free Snacks – by a Nutritionist

Gluten Free Snacks


If you are trying to avoid gluten because you are intolerant to it or simply like to branch out a little and reduce your gluten intake then this guide to tasty gluten free snacks is for you. These snacks are all readily available in supermarkets and health food stores and are a great substitute for a chocolate bar as they are all chocolate based.”Why chocolate?” you may ask… Because who doesn’t like chocolate?! Well okay some may not but I love it and it’s easier to compare the nutritional value of like for like products. Or not like for not like if you don’t ‘like’ chocolate. In which case you will have to wait for my next post about something that is non-chocolatey 😉

Here is a photo of the products I have reviewed below… Continue reading

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Fat blaster drink [recipe by a Nutritionist]

Fat blaster drink Emma nutritionWhether you’re aim is to burn fat to look better or if it’s to make yourself feel a whole lot better this fat blaster is a thirst quencher hottie and will soon become a firm (get it, firm? hahaha hilarious) favourite! Sip it throughout the day and save a glass of it as an afternoon pick me up.

I’m reposting this as part of Emily’s link up at A Mummy Too #recipeoftheweek

Without further ado here is the

Fat Blaster Drink


Cinnamon x 1tsp
Cayenne (or paprika) x 1tsp
Water or cold green tea x 500ml
Orange x 1 juiced or squeezed. I put a whole orange in the juicer as that way you also get the antioxidant flavanoids from the pith and the skin.
Ice cubes x 5

Put all ingredients in a jar and shake. Leave in the fridge until you want to drink and up to 3 days or so. I like to drink this throughout the day.

Nutritional info:

Cayenne is a thermogenic that burns fat by activating lipid cells – one study has shown that inclusion of these compounds in the diet may aid weight management while cinnamon stabilises blood sugar levels keeping them balanced and reducing cravings. Additionally it’s obviously great to drink as much water as possible to keep hydrated, flush out toxins and assist metabolic processes in the body and if you use green tea you will reap extra thermogenic benefits.


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Keep your eye on the health *PRISE* with whey protein

If your goal is to lose weight and maintain optimal health and fitness, the quality of your exercise and diet regimen matters more than the quantity, says Skidmore College exercise scientist Paul Arciero. The clear benefits of a multi-dimensional exercise regimen that includes resistance exercise, interval sprint exercise, stretching (including yoga or pilates), endurance exercise, and moderate amounts of protein consumed regularly throughout the day have been demonstrated by Arciero.

Arciero enlisted 36 female and 21 male volunteers between the ages of 35 and 57 who could clearly be described as out of shape. They exercised less than 60 minutes per week, had done noresistance training within the last ten years, and could be described as obese or overweight, with an average body mass index of 28.6 and average body fat percentage of 36.6.

Dividing his subjects randomly into three groups, Arciero conducted a 16-week trial in which all subjects consumed the same amount of whey protein — 60 grams daily — but exercised differently. One group was sedentary, another was called on to perform intense resistance training four times per week, and the third followed a multidimensional regimen that included resistance exercise, interval sprint exercise, stretching led by a yoga instructor, and endurance exercise.

When the trial ended, Arciero found that those who had followed the multidimensional regimen showed the greatest:

  • health improvements
  • reductions in body weight
  • reductions in total and abdominal (visceral) fat mass
  • reductions in waist circumference
  • reductions in blood glucose
  • increase in percentage of lean body mass

Interestingly, all groups showed improvements, even those who maintained a sedentary lifestyle during the period and simply ate the assigned daily regimen of 60 grams of whey protein. That finding supports an earlier study by Arciero’s team that found increasing the amount of protein in one’s diet to as much as 35 percent will tend to decrease total and abdominal fat.

To make the regimen easy for the public to remember, Arciero has coined the acronym, “PRISE.”






“After all, it’s about ‘keeping your ‘eye on the PRISE’ in order to achieve optimal health,” he says.

Have you experienced improvements in your health through whey protein or changing your exercise around?



P. J. Arciero, D. Baur, S. Connelly, M. J. Ormsbee. Timed-daily Ingestion of Whey Protein and Exercise Training Reduces Visceral Adipose Tissue Mass and Improves Insulin Resistance: The PRISE Study. Journal of Applied Physiology, 2014; DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00152.2014


RECIPE: Lemon & Green Juice Morning Kickstarter

If you’re looking for a quick and easy get up and go juice then you have to try this one! It’s easy, zingy, refreshing and massively detoxifying. If you’re after a detox click the box on the right there for your free guide.

You’ll need a basic blender, or a fancy one if you prefer 🙂 Lemon Kickstarter

1 whole peeled lemon
Celery x 1 stalk
Cucumber x 3 inches chopped
Ginger x 2cm – fresh is best
Pear x 1
200ml water

Place in blender and blend for a minute or so. If it doesn’t blend you can add some water or turn it off and bash it around a little with the end of a rolling pin or a spoon.

Nutrition notes:
Drinking this every morning will set you up for the day whether you are detoxing or not. The lemon’s contain citric acid, the phytonutrient tangeretin, vitamin c and limonene. It also has sour and pungent properties that stimulate digestive enzyme release. Amongst lemon’s health benefits are its detox properties such as bile stimulation and antioxidant status. Lemons are also antibacterial. By juicing vegetables we release the nutrients so that they are readily absorbed into the bloodstream without being subject to the digestive processes; the fibre that remains in blended (vs juiced) vegetables also stabilises blood sugar.

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Controlling appetite through exercise

Keeping your appetite under control is a key component of weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight over your lifetime. We all have different strategies to help us manage our appetites in order to prevent overeating or making poor decisions about the foods we choose. Managing stress, getting adequate sleep and having a good exercise regimen are all methods we employ to help us keep our appetites regulated. However, recent research has revealed that the type of exercise can make more of a difference than you think.

A recent study out of the University of Western Australia found that high-intensity exercises may suppress appetite briefly afterward. The team conducting the research discovered that overweight, sedentary men (having a body mass index, or BMI, of 25-29.9) consumed almost 200 fewer calories after performing a vigorous exercise routine than after a period of rest.

Previous research that looked at high-intensity exercise and its effects on the body suggest that it correlates with appetite control and alterations in specific hormones that manage your feelings of hunger and your level of fullness. However, this new research that just came out discovered that those hormones are affected in different ways based on the type of workout regimen–continuous versus intermittent, and different intensity levels (moderate-, high- and very-high-intensity exercises).

The Study

The participants of the study went through four 30-minute workouts. One session was a period of rest, to serve as the control. In the other three exercise sessions, the participants worked out on a stationary bike at various levels of intensity. During one session, the men cycled continuously at a moderate level of intensity. The other two sessions involved intermittent exercise at either high-intensity or very-high-intensity where they would alternate between quick bursts of high-speed pedaling followed by longer bouts of cycling at a slower speed.

After exercising (or resting), the men consumed a 267-calorie liquid meal and were also asked to eat oatmeal until they became full. The results: the participants consumed fewer calories following the intermittent high-intensity and intermittent very-high-intensity exercise sessions versus the period of rest. Here is the calorie breakdown of what the men consumed after each session:

After a period of rest: 764 calories consumed
After continuous moderate-intensity exercise: 710 calories consumed
After intermittent high-intensity-exercise: 621 calories consumed
After intermittent very-high-intensity exercise: 594 calories consumed

And the most interesting finding? The men said they ate less the day after they performed the very-high-intensity exercise when compared to the days after their other workout sessions. This suggests that the appetite suppression experienced after the very-high-intensity workouts extends well beyond the hours immediately following the exercise and that it may even reduce your appetite the following day too.

More Research Needed

Even though this study showed impressive results–participants significantly reduced their calorie intake after the high-intensity and very-high-intensity exercises–it doesn’t show one way or the other if this will produce weight loss for the long term. The size of this study was also quite small–only 17 participants. What was unique about this study was that it was the first of its kind to study overweight participants rather than just people with a normal BMI. Scientists say that more studies need to be performed to assess the long-term implications of this type of weight-loss intervention.

Thanks to Kari Hartel. You can email her at: KariHartelRD@gmail.com

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The Special K Diet…

Ever wondered about the Special K Diet? Go over to Maria Bell’s article on So Feminine to check out her summary of it and my expert opinion!

Maria’s article can be found over here. Enjoy 🙂


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Big breakfast helps weight loss

Study Says Eat Like a King at Breakfast

BANT (British Association of Nutritional Therapists) Chair Miguel Toribio-Mateas spoke to the Huffington Post about a new study that suggests making breakfast the biggest meal of the day is the best way to lose weight.

Scientists from the University of Tel Aviv studied 93 obese women who were split into two groups and given carefully structured meals. After 12 weeks women in the “big breakfast” group had each lost an average of 17.8lbs and three inches off their waistlines.

See the full article in the Huffington Post here

Please visit http://www.bant.org.uk to locate a Nutritional Therapist or to see original article.

For some tasty breakfast ideas check out my recipe page!


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Fruit Restriction Proven WRONG for Type 2 Diabetes

Fruit Restriction Proven WRONG for Type 2 Diabetes

Guest post by Naturopath Case Adams

A recent study by Danish hospital researchers has disproven the efficacy of the advice given typically given by conventional doctors and nutritionists that type 2 diabetics should lay off the fruit.


The research comes from the Department of Nutrition of Denmark’s West Jutland Regional Hospital. The researchers tested fruit consumption on 63 men and women who had been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The researchers randomized the participants into two groups. One group was given the advice to eat at least two fruits a day, while the other was given the more common conventional medicine advice to eat no more than two fruits a day. This advice accompanied the other typical medical and nutritional advice typically given to diabetics.

The participants then recorded their fruit consumption each day for three months. Before and after the trial began the patients were tested for HbA1c status, body weight and waist circumference. Because many of the patients were overweight, their diet plan also included strategies for weight loss.

The HbA1c test shows the mean glucose levels over the past three months. It illustrates glucose control among diabetics. Less than 5.6% or lower is considered normal, while 5.7 to 6.5 is considered pre-diabetic, and more than 6.5% is considered diabetic. The patients studied were all over 6.5%.

After the three months on their new diets, the patients were all re-tested, and their fruit consumption was analyzed together with their HbA1c results, weight and waist size.

The researchers found that those on the high fruit diet had little difference in their relative HbA1c levels, amount of weight loss or waist size as compared to the group that consumed less fruit.

The researchers concluded that:

“A recommendation to reduce fruit intake as part of standard medical nutrition therapy in overweight patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes resulted in eating less fruit. It [consuming less fruit] had however no effect on HbA1c, weight loss or waist circumference. We recommend that the intake of fruit should not be restricted in patients with type 2 diabetes.”

In fact, when the data is looked at more closely, those who ate more fruit had slightly more weight loss and lower ending waist circumference than those who ate less fruit.

The high-fruit diet group had an average weight reduction of 2.5 kilos while the low-fruit diet group had a 1.7 kilogram average loss in weight. Meanwhile, the high-fruit diet group had an average waistline shrinkage of 4.3 centimeters, while the low-fruit diet had an average shrinkage of 3.0 centimeters.

The reason why this nutritional advice of lower fruit consumption has been erroneous is that conventional medicine has failed to understand the importance of consuming the fibers within fruits: They have assumed the sugar levels of fruit without the fiber. Whole fruits contain a number of long-chain polysaccharides – such as pectin and others – which have been shown to reduce glycemic levels and balance blood sugar.

This reality – that fruits pose no threat to type 2 diabetics – has been in front of conventional medicine for over two decades. Research at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minneapolis in the early nineties – published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition – tested seven diabetic men with bananas of various ripeness. Their testing illustrated that the ripeness of the bananas had no effects upon the patients’ levels of glucose, insulin, C-peptide and glucagon. This should have led to the immediate abandonment of this notion that fruit is not advisable for diabetics.

In fact, the precisely opposite is true.

Just about every whole fruit will contain both soluble and insoluble fiber – often at precisely the perfect levels for our digestive tract. Fiber levels among popular fruits range from a low of about three grams for every 100 calories to a high of seven to over eight grams per 100 calories – among raspberries, blackberries (about a cup), prunes and figs. An apple or pear will contain close to four grams each.

Fruit juices, on the other hand, present the sugar of fruits without their fiber. Thus fruit juices are a quite different thing altogether.

Most health-oriented nutritionists suggest that between 30 and 40 grams a day of fiber is best, while some suggest as low as 25 is okay. Most Americans eat between 10 and 15 grams per day. Fiber is critical to maintaining blood sugar balance.

Soluble fiber – also called water-soluble – has been shown to lower cholesterol because it prevents bile from reabsorption – as bile acids are produced from cholesterol. Fiber will attach bile acids and escort them out of the body. Soluble fiber also slows carbohydrate absorption and decreases insulin requirements. These together help balance blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber attaches to toxins and waste material in the digestive tract and escorts them out of the intestines.

Fruits make up one of the best ways to get both soluble and insoluble fiber. Other ways to add beneficial fibers to the diet include whole grains and seeds. Psyllium husks and flaxseeds are some of the best supplemental forms of fiber.


Christensen AS, Viggers L, Hasselström K, Gregersen S. Effect of fruit restriction on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes–a randomized trial. Nutr J. 2013 Mar 5;12:29.

Ercan N, Nuttall FQ, Gannon MC, Lane JT, Burmeister LA, Westphal SA. Plasma glucose and insulin responses to bananas of varying ripeness in persons with noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. J Am Coll Nutr. 1993 Dec;12(6):703-9.

Adams C. The Living Food Diet: The Ultimate Diet for Increasing Vitality, Losing Weight and Preventing Disease. Logical Books, 2011.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath and holds a Ph.D. in Natural Health Sciences. His focus is upon science-based natural health solutions. He is the author of 25 books on natural health and numerous print and internet articles. A listing and description of many of his books can be found on Realnatural.org. A new video series on low back pain can be found on Healthy-back.net. Case appreciates feedback and questions at case@caseadams.com.

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“Fat talk” – does it make us fatter?

Women who engage in “fat talk” (women speaking negatively about the size and shape of their bodies) face greater dissatisfaction with their bodies and are more likely to have internalized an ultra-thin body ideal than those who engage in fat talk less frequently, according to a review article from Psychology of Women Quarterly.


Study results found that while frequency of fat talk was associated with increased dissatisfaction with women’s own bodies; over half of the participants reported that they believe fat talk actually makes them feel better about their bodies. It’s concerning that women might think fat talk is a helpful coping mechanism, when it’s actually exacerbating body image disturbance. Researchers Rachel H. Salk of the University of Wisconsin and Renee Engeln-Maddox of Northwestern University found that “fat talk” is overwhelmingly common in the college-age women they studied, with more than 90 percent reporting they engaged in “fat talk.”

“The most common response to fat talk was denial that the friend was fat,” wrote Salk and Engeln-Maddox, “most typically leading to a back-and-forth conversation where each of two healthy weight peers denies the other is fat while claiming to be fat themselves.”

An additional interesting finding was that the frequency of “fat talk” was not related to a respondent’s BMI. “In other words, there was no association between a woman’s actual body size and how often she complained about her body size with peers,” Salk and Engeln-Maddox wrote.
“These results serve as a reminder,” wrote Salk and Engeln-Maddox, “that for most women, fat talk is not about being fat, but rather about feeling fat.”

This study shows a fascinating aspect of women’s personalities and exposes the core of, what I believe, to be the single most important barrier to weight loss; appreciation of our bodies. Recently I have tried to appreciate my body for what it is, what it has achieved and what it can do. For example, I could carry my two children out of a burning building, I can run as far as I need to run and I feel strong. Sure, I could lose a little weight and tone a bit more but overall I’m happy with my body. Try it for yourself; appreciate your body. It’s truly liberating!

Here’s an exercise to try:

Find an old photo of yourself from a time you felt fatter than you wanted to be. Take a good look at it…. We’re you really as fat as you felt? Did you look happy? Was your skin healthy? Mostly I find that this exercise makes me wonder why I felt fat when in reality I looked a whole lot better than I thought I did at the time. The purpose of this exercise is to hopefully highlight how beautiful your body is, and was, and how our perception of ourselves could sometimes be a little kinder.

R. H. Salk, R. Engeln-Maddox. “If You’re Fat, Then I’m Humongous!”: Frequency, Content, and Impact of Fat Talk Among College Women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 2011; 35 (1): 18 DOI: 10.1177/0361684310384107

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Genetic testing and weight loss

Have you ever wondered whether your weight is high or low due to genetics? Why you put on weight just by looking at a biscuit while your skinny friend eats all day and never gains? Could it be due to your genes? Might your parents and your grandparents be responsible for your waist size? Genetic testing weight image

Possibly! Or possibly not! Let me explain…

Weight gain is a very complicated science. If it were simple it wouldn’t be a multimillion dollar industry! People wouldn’t put themselves through extreme diets, punishing bootcamps or psychological guilt over and over again. So often I hear how simple it is to lose weight “just eat less calories than you burn”, “less input;more output” etc etc. While exercise or moving our bodies can reduce weight, it is not as simple as burning off last nights chocolate indulgence. Exercise also builds muscle which burns more energy and makes us look slimmer, it massages our internal organs promoting them to function better and increases mitochondrial production (energy at the cellular level) that has a host of important roles. It really is not a simple process.

What if I told you I can test your fat genes? Would you jump at the chance? What if I told you I could test your gastrointestinal system, your cardiovascular system, sex hormones, lipids, adrenals and more? It is possible to test all of these and quite simply too. It is not cheap though and would probably set you back well over ÂŁ3k to test them all, possibly more. Last night Dr Dawn Harper presented a TV show on Channel 4 called Fat Family Tree. I’m not sure who made the decision to call it that…anyhow it claimed to “use cutting edge genetics to decode the genes of an overweight family for whom all other attempts to shed the pounds have not worked. Working out how the family’s genes have put them at risk of excessive weight gain is the first step to devising a diet to help them beat their genes. Based on the latest scientific research, the show’s ‘gene-busting’ diet also promises failsafe diet tips that could help all of us shed the pounds.”

There is excitement in the scientific world about gene polymorphisms. Many findings are clinically significant and useful. For example the study looking at the impact of weight loss and a sodium-reducing diet or the MTHFR gene studies that show how some people can’t change naturally occurring folic acid into the active form that the body requires to carry out its biochemistry and therefore store fat, have a higher predisposition to heart disease, diabetes, miscarrige and depression.

Which tests are available?

  • Digestive and stool analysis
  • Hormone profiles – women and men
  • Adrenal stress index
  • Metabolic profiles
  • Allergy profiles
  • Antibody profiles

    What can I do about it?

    Here are some examples of what you can do about it if you have had a test, have been following a healthy plant based diet, exercise regularly and are still not losing weight or putting on weight easily:

    High Adiposity Index: Remove unhealthy gut bacteria, replace with probiotics, reduce refined carbohydrates, address gastrointestinal issues.

    Gastrointestinal issues: remove pathogens (parasites, fungus, yeast etc), address intolerances, correct nutritional deficiencies, normalise transit time, supplement with enzymes, review inflammatory markers.

    Inflammatory markers: support immune function, remove pathogens, address food sensitivities if present.

    Cardiovascular markers: reduce cholesterol, increase magnesium, coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E, reduce blood pressure, review hormone status.

    Hormonal imbalances: address fatty acid deficiencies, increase B vitamins, review Krebs cycle energy production, increase Magnesium and Zinc, detoxify, address carbohydrate metabolism and insulin sensitivity, balance hormones, check MTHFR gene.

    MTHFR gene you need to take a folic acid supplement. This study showed that minimum of 400mcg per day would help although it is thought that the form of the supplement needs to be as folinic acid not folic acid

    Ultimately you want to be counselled accordingly so that you do not waste money on irrelevant testing. There are many tests you can have done. Some use blood, others use saliva or stool or urine. Where you are based, what your other symptoms are all play a part in the bigger picture. It is wise to also remember that regardless of your test results these do only show your predisposition to something; you may have a mistake in a gene coding that causes a predisposition or puts you at higher risk of something but it generally doesn’t give you a magic bullet solution. A higher risk means simply that and should encourage us to be more vigilant in how we treat our body. A good practitioner will help you to analyse your body, your health history and offer advice as to which type of intervention may be more successful for YOU!

    Should you wish to ask any questions or order any tests you can go here:

    Genova diagnostics – tests. Use the code A70GQ

    Invivo clinical – tests.

    Nutri-Link – use the code WOOL.E2 for 10% discount on supplements. Folinic acid available from this company.